Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday turned out to be

a kind of "lost day". Ron and I both got Extremely agitated Friday night and neither of us was able to sleep much. Ron spoke to "Roberta" on the phone and let her know I was Not coming in to work 'one last shift at Fakewood'. It really worries me that now they are sending me to what sounds like it is going to be Another stressful library and I begin to fear I am going to just totally lose control or end up having to retire on disability. And the main problem with that last bit is that since I have not earned much money in the last 10 quarters my disability income would not be even what I have been making at the library. What I am Hoping to do is to sign up for good short term and long term disability insurance at this year's open enrollment and then plan on going out on diability Next year when the coverage is in effect and would hopefully pay me additional disability income as well as my low social security benefit.

But Ron told me that he read my hip x-rays right along with the orthopod last week and that the x-rays clearly show Very Severe arthritis. He said when I showed the doctor how I had to get down on the floor to shelve on the bottom shelves, the man was "Shocked and Amazed" that I was able to move so well with almost NO cartilage in either hip joint. I feel sure that I could get disability for both my hips and my mental illnesses, but it would not bring in enough for us to be able to pay our bills. and honestly we are struggling and are not Really able to pay our bills as it is now. So, Ron and I have agreed that I will try very hard to begin developing an income as a free lance writer so that by the time I just physically Can't do the library job anymore we will have a real and sustainable income to live on.

I have wanted to be a free lance writer pretty much all of my life and I have to say that I feel a real thrill about having sold my writing last week (even though it was only $25) in that now I really Am a freelancer. And I am learning how to bid for jobs and making the contacts I will need in this career. I am scared, but hopeful. Staci is back in town doing more work over at Kathi's. I have been really happy to see her a few times and hope to get to spend some time with her while she is here this trip. Anyone know of any writing gigs? If you do, please give me a holler.

lots of news from Friday

worked a 7 hour shift at a small library branch, let's call it "tiny town right next to the state's mental hospital--Library. I absolutely love working there. When I arrived there was only a small number of books on a to-be-shelved cart. started at 10a then had everything in the book drop checked in by 1o:30. By the time we opened the library at 11am I had shelved all of the returns. No page work left to do the BA printed an items pending list and I went around the library gathering materials that patron's have requested a hold on. (the IP list at this branch came to just a tad over two pages. at Fakewood we often have 15 or 2o pages of IP requests to pull and only the BA's get to pull them. Checked in the IP I had gathered, printing out hold slips for books that were to be picked up at tiny town lib and correctly flagging and shipping books that need to be at other branches. all and all an easy day.

Until three pm when the tiny town supv told me that Polly the HR lady had sent an e-mail and I needed to read it and reply immediately. Rather than tiny town lib, where I REALLY wanted to be assigned to, I have instead been assigned to the Canyon Peak library. Much of the e-mail was devoted to telling me that Canyon Peak is implementing new work room procedures this week and the staff is Upbeat about trying the new methods. The NEW methods seem to me Very Much like an alternate work room system that we tried for about a month at Fakewood awhile back. Most of the staff became quite frustrated with the new system which was actually less efficient than the tried and true methods we have used for Years and pretty much Everyone was happy when the Managing Librarian declared the experiment a failure and we went back to tried and true. I have an appointment to meet with Holly Tuesday afternoon before my shift at Canyon Park. I am very concerned that her "best solution" for addressing my problem of two much stress is to move me to a branch that sounds like it is pretty stressful these days.

No clue how all will end up but it is a relief to know that I will not have to continue working at Fakewood and I don't consider my transfer to Canyon Peak to be the likely last word.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


was an okay day. I ended up staying up way, Way, WAY too late bidding on freelance writing jobs at a site called rentacoder. the guy that is buying my articles (sent the last one off today but I have a feeling he's going to want a rewrite) told me that rentacoder is where he got his freelance career started. (and he is now to the point of outsourcing some of the jobs he is able to get). It is hard to tell what kind of going rates will actually prevail. Someone in Austin Texas who basically wanted 10 articles and a biography for a new blog. A guy in Mexico bid 100, I bid 150. The job went to someone in India who agreed to do the whole project (at least three hours work) for 4 dollars. sigh

since I was up so late I slept til noon. and didn't do too much today. I did get a call from the HR lady who told me that I will work at a small library tomorrow but will have to work at Fakewood on Saturday. The work week Begins on Sunday each week and from the last voicemail we received (after a call where we spoke briefly) it sounds like they will be offering me a choice of two possible transfer positions and it will be effective next week, staring on Sunday. So off to bed to get my sleep so I can be ready to work at 10:30 tomorrow morning, at a very pleasant little branch that is not a bad drive from here. 3 or 4 miles at most

more later

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

how did it get to be Wednesday already?

Well I worked my Monday shift back at Fakewood and managed to keep my stress down to a three xanax level. That Roberta was not scheduled to work this Monday was a big help. Tuesday I had an appointment with an orthopedist. He took one look at my x-rays and expressed surprise that I was trying to go back to work, since the x-ray indicated to him my arthritis was Really bad and he would have thought I was there to get paperwork to retire on disability. I went more or less directly from the orthopedist to the human resources department. Honestly, I almost feel a little sorry for Polly. The orthopod stated I needed accommodation in having at least three hours of "sedentary work" per shift. And Polly seemed truly distresses at this additional requirement thrown into my list of disabilities requiring accommodation.

I believe that Polly IS really listening to me, trying to understand what I need and trying to arrange for a transfer. I do agree that this is a very complicated ADA case and I am giving her time to try t0 work it out. But I did feel the need at our last meeting to point out to her that if I don't feel she is proceeding in good faith and as much speed as possible I might feel compelled to bring this matter to the attention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I also tried as subtly as possible to point out that if this does become a legal matter, the lib system will almost certainly incur WAY more than my annual wages in attorney's fees, even in the event that the library system were to prevail on some or all of the various legal challenges that might arise if the matter were to become acrimonious rather than collaborative as it stands now. I didn't have the heart to even hint about the bad publicity the lib would surely receive.

We were able to get a wireless adapter hooked up to the old Toshiba so I am online from home. The black box in puter's power cord makes the cord an Expensive replacement item. It looks like we will be able to get it for about $60 at Walmart, however that will have to wait until we can afford to spend 6o bucks. A little it of good news on the income front. I placed a tiny free classified ad offering my services as a writer and editor. A full-time freelancer outsourced 5 450-500 word articles to me. I have submitted and he has accepted four of them already. Once he accepts the fifth he will Paypal me $25 for all five pieces. It is a far cry from the 10 cents a word I had hoped to ask for, but these articles literally can be researched and written in about 15 minutes. After the first one, where he did ask for a rewrite and explained more precisely exactly what he wants, every article I have submitted has been approved with no requests for rewrites or revisions. Twenty dollars an hour sounds good to me at this point. And the gentleman who is purchasing my articles has also given me some tips on how to build up my own freelance writing business. After all these years of insisting I was a real writer, I have thank the Lord, actually turned pro this week. I am pretty happy about that, even as I dread having to go back to work Friday.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


well I survived my Sunday 5 hour shift at Fakewood it was NOT easy. I did feel nervous a lot of the time but fortunately I did not hyperventilate as I had on Friday. I did keep once again detailed records of Exactly what I accomplished during the 5 hours I was paid for:

12:10 pm. arrived and found the outside book bins are overflowing

12:15--1pm checked in 121 items after emptying one very full book bin onto the desk

1--1:15pm put away checked in materials on workroom holding shelves. filled out two A/V problem slips (cd and dvd containers returned empty of their discs) checked in and put newspapers out for patrons to read and checked in a meeting room key from the book drop

1:15--1:50pm shelved 2 cart shelves Non Fiction plus a handful of paperbacks and magazines

1:50--2:05 Break

2:05--2:20 put into shelving order a three cart shelf cart of large non fiction Art books

2:20--2:55 sheved 3 cart shelves of heavy art books

2:55--3:05 helped outgoing page get her checked in materials cleared from the check in area

3:05--4pm checked in 127 items and had all put away and check in desk cleared at exactly 4pm

4--4:20pm made pick up rounds of assigned areas

4:20--4:55 shelved 3 cart shelves of Non-Fiction DVD's

4:55--5:15 performed closing duties. made sure all patrons exited the building. made sure the meeting room was fully secured. locked the outside door shortly after 5 pm. changed the Open sign to Closed. Made sure all restrooms cleared of patrons. Locked inside door.

I get tired just thinking about having to go back and do it all again tomorrow. Meanwhile, I am enjoying being able to get online and write and send on my old Toshiba lappy. Not sure when I will have the money to replace the power cord on the new Compaq lappy. AND I have picked up a small free lance writing gig. 5 articles, 450--500 words each, $25 cash by paypal. It aint gonna pay my bills but I suppose it is a start. Hope everyone's weekend went well and I will keep you posted.