I Don’t Know How to Fix Things

5 Apr

So I guess my big plan is to be resentful and frustrated?  And to be short-tempered and lash out.

The school posted their class schedules for fall.  And that when the trouble began continued.

I made the mistake of showing it to my boss, who knows (and HAS known) that I go part-time this fall.  I know, she knows, because she informed me I lose my vacation, not in October (my work anniversary) like I thought, but in August when I go part-time.  Of course, it wasn’t the most awesome realization, but I was just happy she was still letting me take September 1st off for the DMB concert. . .  When I showed her the schedule, I did not know much else.  This is understandably annoying as fuck.  I’m annoyed that I don’t know what I’m doing a semester in my future too.

The number of classes I take depends on my funding and how much time I will have to attend and study for class.  I thought I would play it straight and show everything I knew when I knew it.  I didn’t really love my boss’ reaction though.  First, my boss lamented that another co-worker wouldn’t be able to have Thursdays and Fridays off.  Pause for a major side-note:  Amazingly, Thursday and Friday happens to be just the exact days the vet I don’t really like works.  Amazing, huh?  Sounds like someone is conspiring to me. . .  Anyway, my boss basically said–so you can work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (and an unspoken Saturday)???  As less of a question and more a statement of fact.  Which wasn’t the point of going PART-time.  I rudely found out she has zero intention of hiring another part-time person (as I expected) to make up for my lost hours.  This means when I don’t work they will be short-staffed.  And this puts my co-workers in a bad spot–which puts ME in a bad spot for shorting them, and they will resent me for it.

To get some answers, I requested a meeting with my school’s financial aid department.  Here’s the bullet-points:  A)  The meeting was scheduled for after my class.  B)  I finished my quiz in good time and got out of class a half hour early.  C)  I found the financial aid office and saw the gal in there, and alone.  D)  I was too shy and too early, so I sat outside the (glass) room and waited.  E)  Another student came and went, so I still waited.  F)  I went in 4 minutes till my meeting time and the gal said she was sorry she made me wait–as she had obviously seen me outside.  G)  I learned both of us were socially awkward.  H)  She did not really say anything, instead waiting for me to talk.  I)  I had written 5 questions, and preceded to read them to her.

Yes, the post-bac is eligible for funding somehow.  No, I don’t have to be a full-time student, I have to take a minimum of 6 credits to get any funding.  Surprise!  I can get a Stafford (federal) loan for $12,500.  No surprise, I cannot get any money for living expenses.  She doesn’t know–I need to call my undergrad loan companies to find out if I can reduce or temporarily eliminate my payments.

The whole meeting took 10 minutes.  I could have been out of there by 2:40 PM, but left at 3:08 PM.  Or better yet, I could have conducted the meeting over the internet.  I went in hoping to get clarification, maybe even a financial plan.  At least some information from my FAFSA which the school already has access to.  I left frustrated and not really knowing what my next steps will be.

I was trying to figure out what to do this fall.  What classes will I take?  How many credits can I afford and how many will I have time to study for?  As part of this analysis I read the (recycled) employee handbook.  Where I learned some VERY interesting things:  1)  Full-time is considered 30 hours/week.  2.)  An employee is considered part-time when they work 29 hours or less/week for a period of 90 days.

What do these facts mean for me?  I do NOT lose my vacation right when I go part-time in August.  I lose my vacation after I’ve worked part-time hours for a full 3 months–which really would put us in November, IF my 2 year anniversary didn’t fall on October 10.  I’ll lose it on the year-mark.  Plus, I may not lose the vacation at all, if I have to work three full (9 hour) days in addition to 4-5 hour Saturdays.  That puts me at 31-32 hours per week–which is FULL time.  And that’s if I don’t go in early, get shorted on my lunch, and don’t stay late–slim chance.  And also means I’ll still be accruing more vacation time.

But really, I don’t care THAT much about the vacation stuff–though it’s super-annoying when an employer offers that benefit at hire, but tries to rip you off when it comes down to it.  What I do care mostly about is getting my education so I can elevate my position in life.  Where I am now is depressing and hopeless.  I want to move up.  And in order to do that I need to take (and do well in) as many classes I can each semester.  And I need to pay my living expenses as well.  Which leaves me having to play the give-and-take at work, but I don’t have to give up my goals for this (dead-end) job.  If that’s the case (I really hope it isn’t) I need to find a new job.  Somehow.  That’s it.  I will compromise (somewhat) but I have to make my priority getting through this program, and in a timely fashion.

How can I NOT be bitter–when I feel like my whole future is at stake?  My desperation to be a big girl and get into some career, has made me really suspicious of work and their intentions, resentful of my financial situation, and frustrated that I don’t know how to fix it.

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