P.2: Stepping Back

I’ve decided to write my story backwards.

Backwards in time. It explains things.
Backwards in time. It explains things.

As I journey backwards in time, why I hate my job will get easier to understand. I want you to hate it as much as I do.

There are a lot of things I want you to hate.

I don’t mean I want you to become bitter or mean. I want you to care. I want you to hate it when people get hurt and abused their entire lives. I want you to hate it when life sucks and it sucks for reasons that didn’t have to be that way.

I only took this job because there wasn’t anything else that matched my provable skills at the range of income I needed to survive. I also took it because I didn’t know it would be such an outrage. I thought I would be helping people.

And now I have to quit but that means totally screwing myself because I have to have an income. I’ve already done what I could to change the system from within. I wrote in suggestions for how to make changes that would turn it into an ethical business. They didn’t implement them. My job is done here. The rest is pure desperation for an income on my part.

We moved last month. Lisa couldn’t walk up the stairs anymore because her stroke-affected left side has caused her knee to give out. We needed a first floor apartment. It was OK. We moved closer to Corinne’s nursing home. We’ve started visiting her more.

Moving is expensive and time consuming. It wasn’t a good month for the new car to have three major break downs. I just put $4,000 down on that Kia Rondo. It was perfect for Ubering, or would’ve been if the shocks, fuel pump assembly and compressor hadn’t all gone out. It was another two grand plus a loss of more Uber income.

In no time at all at this rate, I’ll be back where I was when we first moved to Tallahassee two years ago. We moved here ostensibly to be closer to Corinne. Largely we also left Palm Beach Gardens with our tail between our legs because the company I was trying to get funding for didn’t get its funding. I worked a whole year without pay.

It was a risk entrepreneurs take. We were so damn close. I had a falling out with the CEO over not getting paid. I was afraid if I stayed near there I might kill him.

Not really, but I didn’t want to be reminded of how bitter I felt. I asked Lisa not to ever mention his name. She still constantly brings it up. I can’t sue bankrupt companies. I just wanted to leave it. I needed peace in my soul. Looking back doesn’t do anything positive. I just had to rebuild.

But every time we didn’t have money to rebuild with, Lisa looked back at him who shall not be named. I could be rich if I had a nickel for every promise he made as he swore on his mother’s grave.

I hate being poor. I hate that my wife is half paralyzed and we can’t shop at Costco or Sams.

There are two reasons we can’t shop at Costco. First, Lisa can’t pick up anything heavy. Second, George eats everything in site. He’s over three hundred pounds now. What would he be if we bought in bulk?

George, our eighteen year old, wakes up at dusk, right when Lisa goes to bed. He goes to bed around sunrise, right when I wake up. He rules his own life. Making himself uncontrollable to us is part of his strategy. If we leave anything in the refrigerator at dusk, it disappears by morning.

The weigh in for the Cromagnon.Diet will be July 4th, at which point we start our forty day Cromagnon Action Plan. I have serious doubts about it working. Lisa and George are both far too controlling. She’ll buy stuff I asked her not to and he’ll eat the stuff I asked her not to buy.

Lisa Carvin
The very elegant, Lisa Carvin, ready for her new job and enjoying the new apartment. The struggle is not depicted here.

It’s not good that things are like that in a month when I earned $3000 less than I usually do and spent $10,000 more than I usually do, not when I’m still reeling from a year without pay at all. It all gets so wearisome. She was bad about overspending before the stroke. Now with the memory loss, it’s like fifty first dates but instead I have to educate her daily on how to stop buying stuff that costs money and does nothing but poison our bodies.

George closes his door. He doesn’t want to hear me yell at his mother. I hate that I couldn’t just keep quiet. I hate that I might have lost his respect. I look at him and apology flows from my heart in a flood of undropped tears that match the words I can’t think of to fix something that is just … hopelessly broken.

Don’t anybody tell me I don’t know the pain of poverty just because I live in the richest nation in the world. Poverty is all about math and cooperation in families. When cooperation doesn’t exist, the pain of poverty eats at your soul.

It’s not that the banks kick poor people farther down when they overdraw their accounts. It’s not the extra the poor have to pay for insurance, rent or loans, while the wealthy enjoy lower rates, cheap mortgages that build equity and gain money from investments instead of pay it, yet with lower pay checks. That’s not where the greatest pain is. That’s just the math.

The most painful part is the  never ending struggle to get a family to cooperate and still manage to have something worth holding on to – when it fails. When we can’t pay our medical bills we can blame it on the system. Our planned out monthly budget surplus is designed to reverse all this. It pays off a credit card. Our rates dropped from 30% with all maxed out cards down to 12%. We were getting somewhere. We’ve lost some ground – another year’s work maybe.

My hair would be gray if I didn’t shave my head. I really don’t want to see how old I’m getting.

Happy anniversary, Dear. The dollar movie tonight sounds great. Please. No popcorn. Promise?

Author: jamescarvin

Licensed insurance agent W965746. National Producer #20666979. Presidential candidate 2016. Inventor. Entrepreneur. Philosopher. James has two grown children, cares for the disabled, and blogs in his spare time when he's not on the road helping families optimize their awesomeness.