atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4138: "I once had a large income and a larger ulcer."

I now have a small income and an even larger ulcer. Then again, the world of 1957 (which was the copyright year for Heinlein's Have Space Suit--Will Travel) was a lot simpler and cheaper to live in than the world of 2014. Sam Russell got off easy: "I now have a small income and no ulcer."

Today I am going through old paperwork, trying to trim down the morasse in the basement, but the shredder overheated. Fancy that. Among other things I found a photocopy of my first paycheck from Rockwell-Collins, and I realized that if I just had that one paycheck right now it would help enormously. Just the net amount after taxes and benefits, I mean. I was making "minimum wage" for a technical writer at R-C, but that's still the highest-paying job I've ever had.

In the same box, two copies of the Cedar Rapids Gazette extra dated 9/11/01. Yeah. Pretty much the beginning and end of my lucrative career as a technical writer, right there. *sigh*

All of this exactly fails to help my mood. I'm still depressed about a lot of things, and shredding records I no longer need to keep is only making it worse. But the job needs doing, and I have some time, so I'm doing it. The shredder overheating lets me take a bit of a break from it, though.

Those were the days! I paid Mediacom some nominal sum (I think it was $40 atop my regular cable bill) per month for 6 MBps over the cable system; when Comcast bought Mediacom, it dropped to 3 MBps but the price remained. These days, Comcast's basic Internet service is 25 Mbps (if it's not 50 now) and the price is still about the same, still atop your regular cable bill.

At the time, 3 Mbps was miraculously fast (my dear boy, this was 2000) and formerly the territory of corporations and rich people who could afford ISDN (remember that?). I remember the day the cable guy installed the cable modem, and suddenly I was accessing the Internet as quickly as I could from work--R-C had stupid fast access, even down in the trenches--and it seemed like the 21st century had arrived even for me.

Hard to believe that I was back on dialup three years later (in 2004) and would remain there until 2006. But the P3, Jurai, had a good modem in it and it was sufficient for my suddenly-truncated life, especially since I didn't start blogging until after the bunker made the switch to DSL.

In any case, I find myself having to build a new career, and it's not an easy thing to manage even when you're not middle aged. Fixing computers is probably my most salable skill and I can do this; it's just that it's too easy to get dejected at the distance I fell after 9/11/01 ruined my tech writing career. It's a long climb back and I don't have the luxury of time, but it's going to take as long as it takes and there's nothing I can do about it.

Pluses for the current situation: they seem to like me at work. My boss is trying to get me more hours, and as mentioned months ago they (ideally) want me to work in back as an Advanced Repair Agent...and our main ARA works his last day on Thursday, meaning there will be more hours available (especially since we're under a hiring freeze for a little while longer). (I don't believe I am talking out of school here as any doofus could log onto the hiring portal and see that there are no openings posted right now.) I don't expect to get his position--there are at least three other people who have more experience than I--but the extra hours will help my money situation as they get distributed among the remaining workers.

So if I can just hang on a bit longer, things will get better.

* * *

"20 things you might not know about Heinlein" in 5-item increments, but I already knew least the first five. We'll see about the next fifteen.

"Heinlein was a Democrat"--he certainly was, for years, until the Democrats turned into the USSR party. Then Heinlein became Libertarian. People that try to claim Heinlein was a conservative don't want to hear it when you tell them otherwise, but Heinlein himself would have found such an assertion to be beyond ridiculous. (His advocacy of "free love" alone--)

* * *

Well, the shredder works again. Time to get back to work.

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