Friday, November 19, 2004

$21,000 = Buy It Now!!!

So, I have been temping at a fund company in Midtown as their receptionist. It is one of the nicest jobs I have ever had. It's a satellite office, so sometimes it's dreamy and quiet. The two other women I work with are charming and kind and down to earth and funny. The analysts come and go and are not condescending. I have plenty of time on the Internets. I have a stunning view of Central park and can take lunch whenever I like. And they now want to hire me.

And I am terrified. For two reasons.

One: I'm afraid I won't pass the background check because my credit is shit. I had an appendectomy in 2001 when I had no health insurance. I had horrible peritonitis and almost died. The total bill came to $21,000. It's kind of interesting to have a price tag on your life. It cost $21,000 to save mine. Despite the fact that I had made less than $19,000 that calendar year, I was considered ineligible for emergency Medicaid, because I made too much money. Then 9/11 happened, my wages were reduced, and then I got laid off (after having to move to a new apartment because my roommate threatened to come into my bedroom at night -- but that's a whole other thing.) So I'm worried that they will think I'm liable to insider trade or something, when really, I just want to answer the phone and greet people.

Two: I haven't had a normal job in so long. I have had jobs where I made twice the salary they are offering me, but they were working for crazy startups or insane bosses. The HR lady called me yesterday to tell me she would be sending over my w4 and direct deposit paperwork and my heart froze beacuse I don't have a bank account and wondered if that would make me seem like a leper. I mean, I just don't have a bank account. I had a Chase account when I moved to New York, and then was really poor and closed it because of the fees, and decided to say "fuck you" to the whole idea of banks for a while. It is amazing how weird people think you are when you tell them you don't have a bank account. I am getting a bank account soon, just to make things easier, but I don't intend on keeping all my money in there for a big corporation to charge me for the privilege of making money off my paltry income.

But I kind of feel like I'll be found out and forbidden a "normal" job. I really need health insurance. I have headaches all the time because I need to go to the dentist, and I want to have children in five years and I need a GYN because I think there's something wrong with my ovaries. All I want is to be able to have me and my husband be healthy and live together and get out of debt and have a nice family. It's too band you hate us, America, since we actually have a great deal in common.


Blogger Kender said...

O.K., I see you are, (were?) a struggling actress and are temping and your husband is tending bar. I am also surmising that since 21 years ago you were in 7th grade you are in your early thirties yes?

Hhhhmmm...perhaps it is time to get some more education and get a real job. One where you make enough money to afford health insurance for your teeth and your ovaries.

One that pays you enough that for once you would realize why that people that pay taxes vote republican. And I am not talking about the people that pay taxes and get them all back at the end of the year because they pay so little. Nor am I talking of celebrities that make so much money that taxes are something that rarely cross their minds.

No, I am talking about normal people. People that make around 50k and up a year. People that get bumped into a higher tax bracket with a small raise and because of the new tax bracket actually LOSE money. Money that goes to social experiments that are championed by liberal morons that believe in wealth redistribution.

I am going to stop here and watch this blog to see if you have anything constructive or enlightening to say. Or maybe you will break down in tears again, sobbing when you realize that the liberal path leads to socialism and that is the only way you may ever have health care because you seem too simple to actually make a success of yourself. But hey, that is just one successful guys opinion. Kleenex?

2:23 AM  
Blogger Lillet Langtry said...

Wow, more vitriol from a "Successful" person. It is so nice how people define "success" solely in material terms.

Actually, I have a bachelor's degree from an Ivy League college. And between 1999 and 2002 I was working as an account executive for a headhunting firm and grossing close to 70K a year. I was laid off from that job due to 9/11. Believe me, I've paid my share of taxes. And in many respects, I was happy to no longer work in that kind of environment. Oh, and working in Manhattan, and living in New York, my tax rate is probably much higher than yours unless you live here.

Here's something else : THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH SOCIALISM. The root of "socialism" comes from "SOCIETY", meaning, like, people other than your self. It is about distributing a portion of resources for the good of the community. It's about being civilized. Did you know that FINLAND is ranked above the United States in terms of economic productivity? and has wholly socialized medicine? I'll try to find the link for you.

I assume you voted for Bush. If you care so much about your money, why support someone who's running our nation more deeply into debt than ever, under whom the dollar's value is plummeting like a fucking meteorite, who even THE ECONOMIST refused to endorse? Who supports corporate welfare instead of the welfare of actual human beings? Why permit your tax dollars to go help Citibank instead of poor people? It makes no sense.

If you were a hard core libertarian, I would have respect for your position. But the "Republican" government at present is NOT opposed to government handouts and subsidies -- its just all directed at corporations and the war machine.

Check out Mike Ruppert's book _Crossing The Rubicon_ also, if you are concerned with your standard of living and how current policies might affect it in the years to come.

I'm glad you are happy with your successful job -- I mean that with no sarcasm at all, truly. I hope that you will be able to, however, honestly look at the bill of goods you've been sold in terms of how the Bush administration would like you to believe that by supporting them, you are better off.

My husband, by the way, has a PhD. And what's wrong with working in a bar? He makes decent money, and probably does a lot more actual WORK than 80% of the people in any corporate environment.

Thanks for your comments.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Kender said...

Congratulations on your degrees to your and your husband. A PhD in what though? I have a silly friend that has a PhD in Philosophy. She is so happy to have finally made almost 30K this year. And she is 35.

I am sure your husband works harder, physically, than everybody in corporate America. Corporate america doesn't handle actually working hard very well. And I never said success was measured in material terms. However, having been rather successful economically I can say that it makes it much easier to do things you want or need to do. And 70K a year is a good salary, but to give you a good idea of where I am coming from last year we paid taxes far above that. Last year we paid just over 80K in FEDERAL taxes alone. I live in California BTW, so we both know about high taxes. When I do have to hire someone for my business my workmens comp Ins. rate is 37.5% of payroll. And it has gone down since Arnie has come in.

And yes I did vote for Bush. The Dems scare me. Check out

It has the u.N.s plans and desires for a world court, world taxes and all of the info you ever need to learn about 'globalization', and it is not a plan to make teh world all warm and fuzzy, but rather a way for all countries to lose their soveriegnty.

And what makes you think I am republican? I just know that without money there is no way to fight the people that want to take it away for "wealth distribution". Nice site BTW, maybe we can keep things civil and I can drag you away from "the Dark Side":D

10:35 AM  
Blogger Lillet Langtry said...

Hello again,

Yeah, I responded before I knew you were from LA. How much is a gallon of gas there?

You'll never drag me away from the "dark side," but I do appreciate your desire to keep it civil, and will always respond in kind. ;)

The Democratic party is a total fucking joke, absolutely. But the current administration is psychotic, and dangerous. I totally understand wanting to have the freedom that money provides, and I've been both really flush and really poor and I know the effect that has on my overall sense of well -being. But I'd rather my tax dollars not go to make life easier for corporate existence and rather have them go to, say, a healthcare system that has people's welfare privileged over, say Pfizers.



11:08 AM  
Blogger Kender said...

2.14 a gallon....and I have also been poor and flush, and I prefer flush. And I prefer my tax dollars, if I have to pay them, go to protecting me and my way of life, i.e. peaceful and prosperous.

I know that gas prices are higher here than NY. We don't have the public transit system you have there, and cant, since we are much more spread out. I am about to drive to work, a mere 10 miles, but all the running around I do today running errands will put 80 to 100 miles on my truck. I get 12-14 MPG from my '77 restored chevy stepside truck. Huge engine, 4 barrel carb, runs great and moves like a scalded dog. You drive?

1:28 PM  
Blogger Lillet Langtry said...


No, we don't drive -- there's no point here. I've spent a fair amount of tiem in LA though and know how basically you are in your car all the time.

Did you know, though, that LA used to have a pretty comprehensive light rail systenm in the earlier part of the 20th century? It's funding got axed in a deal between the auto, petroleum, and rubber conglomerates. I will find the backup for this for you.

How can you deal with such bad mileage on your car? isn't that crazy expensive?


4:42 PM  
Blogger Kender said...

Actually I am outside of L.A. in the high desert. I try not to drive "down the hill" as we say here. I just deal with the mileage. Bitchin truck, bad mileage. It's an ok trade off. I also have a motorcycle. Now the mileage there is great.

We have alot of transportation options with rail now. The red, green and blue lines get you around well, along the metrolink. But you still need a bus to get to the stations and get around after you reach the stations. I prefer to drive. If I decide to change my destination while I am en route, no problem. Traffic sucks if you don't know what times to drive, and you don't know the short cuts. That is where the bike comes in handy, cutting through lanes.

I am well aware of the light rail lines that we used to have here. Being a history addict, I probably know more about the history of L.A. and other places I have lived, than most.

Even with the light rail and metrolink, getting around L.A. is still costly in time and money. I have a friend that goes to the metrolink station everyday and takes teh train to L.A., then a bus, just to get to a job he hates and doesn't pay him that much. About 30K. He hates it, but is locked into doing something he hates because he is, like so many people, scared about losing the money.

I say follow your heart. That is what I do. Later Langtry, K.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Trey Desolay said...

Hi, Kender. As you know, I've been lax about participating in the blog that Lillet has begun. I will make my first real blog soon, but as there has been some discussion of my education and employment history I feel it's only fair to be up-front about that. I hope this clarifies things.

My PhD is in Philosophy, but my area of specialization was mathematical logic. At many universities my degree would have been in math. As an undergraduate I completed a triple major in philosophy, mathematics, linguistics.

I don't come from an academically inclined family; I was the first to graduate from college. I've been working since I was 13 years old and paid for every penny of my college tuition. Since graduating, I've worked as a lecturer, a researcher, a systems and applications programmer, a writer, and a book editor. I was a partner in a start-up publishing company that employed 25 people. I also helped found a technical translations services company. One of these start-ups was successful, one was not.

I had made and saved a great deal of money at one point and wagered it all on going into business with some people who turned out not to be trustworthy. Bad call on my part, but no bitterness. For two years I was stone cold broke and couldn't get hired because tech firms were afraid to hire as an employee someone who had already started two companies. This is what not something I surmised, but something I was told.

I've been bartending for nearly three years now and although it is time for me to move on I don't regret it one bit. In fact, in one of those three years I made as much money as I ever have. And never mind the money: I am very happy about the direction my life has taken recently.

In short, nice to meet you.

5:07 PM  

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