No “Mercy”

I would like to educate the blogging world of the practices of an organization whose so-called “vision” is to “create a more humane world.”

Yes, I live in a housing project funded through a non-profit organization. I have been a resident of this apartment complex for 15 months. I have never once been late on my rent. I followed through with a 12-month application process, which included paying a $100 in administrative fee, as well as a $400 deposit before moving in. I went through background checks, employment checks, bank statement checks, and got on waiting lists. I also was forced to wait an extra 6 months before I was able to move-in, due to construction delays.

Currently there is a waiting list for my apartment. Another single mom could be living in a motel right now, hoping that something becomes vacant. A couple with a new baby, living off one income, desperately hoping for an affordable apartment. I could move out in 30 days and the apartment could be filled by then. Everyone wins.

My property manager informed me that because I would be breaking my lease, I would be subject to penalty fee, totalling $1514 (2-months rent). I would also be responsible for paying for professional carpet cleaning, which usually runs $200 a unit.

I was furious. I told them that my new job pushes me over the income limit for my family size. Technically, I am not eligible for re-certification, and I am living in my apartment illegally. They shook their heads and said that that information would not be considered until my lease ended.

I told them that since my new job pushes me over the income-limit, it also makes me inelligble for Head Start, and I would be forced to find alternative care for my daughter. I told them that my new apartment is an ideal  situation because it is above a preschool.

I don’t think they could have cared less. I asked for the regional property manager’s email. I sent her a very polite, very reasonable explanation of my current situation, and got this response:

I’ve been in this business over 25 year, and I never deviate from my policies.

WHAT THE HELL? YOU ARE  A NON-PROFIT WHOSE MISSION IS TO HELP PEOPLE! I AM ASKING FOR HELP!  I UNDERSTAND ORGANIZATIONS HAVE POLICIES, BUT THEY CAN MAKE EXCEPTIONS DUE TO INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES! OBVIOUSLY ITS ALL ABOUT F***ING GETTING MONEY OUT THE “POOR” PEOPLE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DEDICATED TO!

This new apartment is too good a deal to pass up. Its an amazing opportunity for me and my daughter, and at this point, I really don’t give a s*** about some gigantic corporation’s “policies.” I am filing a complaint and a policy change request with the Colorado extension office, and putting a deposit down on my new rental. I am not going to take my chances on the freak-show of  the Durango housing market, come November. In fact, I plan on being out of my apartment in the next 30 days.

Today is also my last day at the school district. My boss and co-workers took me out to lunch, gave me flowers and presented me a card with almost $200 in it. Needless to say, with all the current events in my life, I’ve been a little emotional today.

So let me recap: New job, new apartment, an egg donation, a court date and God knows what else in the next month. Never a dull moment, eh?  Deep breath.

The interview

Since I had put my boss and one of my co-workers down as references for this new job, I had no choice but to break it to them that I had an interview today. I cried a little. I will probably cry a lot more if I actually do get the job.

I don’t know if I’ve truly expressed how much I love my boss. She is the most positive person I’ve ever met. She’s been through her own hellish divorce, found love again after many years a single mom, and continues to inspire me everyday. She works like a dog, and I have never once seen her let someone down. She deeply cares for every single person she comes in contact with, be it through her job, or personal life.

As far as the support she’s given me throughout the Rooferman drama, she has read the letters I’ve mailed him, been to court with me, given me advice on the situation, understood when I had to pick up my daughter because of a custodial emergency, even babysat for me so I could go to mediation. She also bought my daughter a ticket to the Polar Express this year. I can’t express the gratitude and love I feel for my boss. Its beyond just a working relationship now, its a deep friendship.

My interview went well. I knew 2 out of the 3 people who interviewed me, and of course they all wanted to know how LB was doing. The questions were more generic than I had anticipated, which was a relief on one aspect, but a tiny bit disappointing on the other. I could have answered much tougher questions and really proved my abilities. They introduced me to the office employees that I didn’t know, and told me they would have a decision by the end of the week.

The only thing that made me a little doubtful was their statement of “If you don’t get this job, would you be interested in another position in our department?” So, I don’t know if that means they have selected someone else, or if that’s the standard question because they have two openings and are trying to kill two birds with one stone.

Either way, I feel good about it. I’m going to toot my own horn a little bit here, because I give a damn fine interview. I got two laughs and lots of smiles and nods during the process.

I also stopped by the HR department to finalize the details of the salary and insurance costs. Indeed, I would be making $2.50 more an hour, almost $900 more a month. Insurance averages about $200 a month depending on the plan you choose.

I don’t want to get myself too excited, but damn, with those figures, its hard not to.

Skippy

I feel skippy today. You would have never known that 48 hours ago I resembled single mommy roadkill on the bathroom floor. It felt good to be back to work. Everyone was so chipper and happy that I was feeling better, it was kind of nice.

LB made her first appearance in the local paper this weekend. FRONT AND BACK PAGE (I guess couldn’t pick just ONE adorable picture of her). The article was mostly about Head Start looking for a new building to house their program, and they just happened to pick LB’s class for the photo-op. My boss has the newspaper clippings all over my office 🙂

Just when I feel all warm and fuzzy about my employer, I get a notification from that other job I applied for, that I’ve met the general requirements and I will receive further instructions on the mandatory test date. Its been so long since my application that I had almost forgotten about it. Honestly, since the State of Colorado ordered a hiring freeze after the stock market started plummeting, I had pretty much given up hope, but I guess I squeaked passed the cutoff.

I also returned to work yesterday and found a box stocked with goodies under my desk. I’m talking pancake mix, maple syrup, pasta, cereal, cookies, mac & cheese….the works. I’ve already been asked by one of my co-workers if I want to be the recipient of Project Merry Christmas, which is a little weird to me. I remember stuffing Christmas boxes with my mom when she worked for social services, and now I’m the one getting the boxes.

 Its still a little early for all of that, so I wondered who my mystery Santa Claus was. My very conservative, Christian co-worker (she’s either acted in or directed the Passion Play every year) told me a little mouse must have left that box for me. I was shocked and completely grateful of course, but there’s a whole other post coming up about this topic. My complex relationship with organized religion has a long and twisted past and I can’t get into it as merely a sub-topic. All I can say is “Thank You Kim!” (she has her own blog, and has probably tracked mine down by now).

I’m going to meet with Lawyerdude today. I am going to present my 7-page proposition for Sole Parental Responsibility (Physical Custody), my 3-page outline for what exactly I’m going to ask for in court, and my 2+ (still in the works) page for Sole Decision-Making Responsibility (Legal Custody). I’m also going to get the breakdown on the legal jargon contained in “Civil Rules of Procedure.” During my court observations, I’ve seen Judges throw the book at the uninformed Pro-Se peeps, telling them if they don’t know the rules, they are basically screwing themselves. Lets hope I can learn the rules in 14 days.

P.S. I’m using some of that hunk of Child Support Cash to pay for Lawyerdude’s advice. I would mention the law of Karma again, but I’m afraid she’s getting pissy with me using her name so damn much, and will come back to bite me in the ass.