Bitch on the Blog

August 19, 2015

Running on empty

Filed under: Bureaucracy,Errors,Ethics,Future,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 17:18
Tags: , ,

As some of you know, others just guessing and studiously ignoring it, I have been in the shit hole of all shit holes (financially) for some time. It’s the fucking old devil’s job to climb out of that hole you make when you find yourself having fallen from a great height. People who once champagne danced on your floor at your expense will turn their backs. It’s quite fantastic. Has shattered my view of the world. I am not a leper. Not being in the money is not contagious.

Yes, insert sigh, so limping on pennies from day to day is a disgrace. Particularly at my age. That comes from not securing a “bread winner”, instead preferring to struggle on, on my own, in the wake of a divorce twenty years ago. Dear dog in heaven will you pay for relinquishing “rights” in the divorce court. My solicitor told me at the time I was making a big mistake. Never mind. That was my choice. Optimist, those for whom the future will “be fine” (my mantra) pay through their nose. Do you actually know how expensive it is to be poor? You don’t. Don’t try it. It’s an experience. But one of those experiences which (best case scenario) serve to make you more compassionate but can do without.

Long intro.Today’s question is about an aspect of a subject dear to my heart: Ethics/morals.

I need to earn money – big time. Not much but urgently. I have got about ten days before this ship sinks. What do you do – and this is a serious question: Accept a job that you think stinks to high heaven (ethically) or suspend all moral sensibilities and do it regardless?

I can tell you the answer for me now. I CANNOT do it. I rather starve. On the other hand I don’t want my son to witness his mother being made homeless.

Great stuff, ain’t it?




  1. ‘this to0 shall pass’ became my personal motto.
    i once got down to 87 pounds. from allowing myself to almost disappear because i allowed an ‘abuser of women’ into my life.
    by the time i got out… and you so slowly sip into it.. you don’t even know your own soul and your self esteem is disappearing… not to mention your physical self… though he never beat me… it was all mental and emotional… and i was a tiny little wreck. with no money. no insurance.

    i lived alone in our large city. the marine lived in another part of the state. i collapsed one day (had my own house painting business) on the job.
    i was hospitalized for over a week to build up my electrolytes or whatever so i wouldn’t die.

    when i came out i had no place to go. i stayed in my apt until the last two weeks which were paid. being my own painter.. i lived from job to job.
    when my rent was up i moved into my car. i lived in my car for about 6 weeks. sleeping at night in the parking area of my old apt complex.
    showering at a friend’s house and pounding the pavement looking for work. i finally found a good job. i started without even a place to live.
    the security of the apt complex discovered me one night asleep in my car and took me to the apt manager after i’d told him my story.
    she allowed me to stay in one of the studio apts until i got my first pay check. THERE ARE good people in the world!

    i only tell you this sordid little tale…
    because things can look very bleak. and yet. they somehow manage to come around right. it may not look like it right now.

    i still live on very little. but at least i have a home. there are no bells and whistles. that just doesn’t appeal to me anyway.
    i remember being homeless. if you had asked me if i’d ever be homeless in my life??? i would have laughed… not even imagining it. EVER.
    it can happen in a heart beat. i know that now. and i’m not afraid of it anymore. i’ve been there. done that.

    i have literally always lived paycheck to paycheck. i still do! people say pay yourself first. that’s great if you have enough money. LOLOL.

    when i tried to get a little help from an agency… she said… are you married? i said i’m single. i’m a widow.
    then she said do you have an illegitimant child or children? i said GOD NO! she said… then i’m sorry we can’t help you.
    i said i only needed just enough to put a deposit on an apt to rent. then i’d pay it right back. she said SORRY.

    i only tell you all this crap. because whether it’s any help or not… i would probably take the job you think stinks … unless it’s being a hooker.
    if it’s being a hooker … forget it. and live out of your car and search until you find a decent waitress job … or ANYTHING! you HAVE TO BE SAFE.
    you can always look while you’re working at a horrible job. it doesn’t have to be the final job.

    i’ve never really known what you do.
    i’ve always thought for some reason that you work from home for yourself … or maybe as an editor of some sort…

    i wish i could help you. i wish i were rich. or even had any extra to spare. there are SO MANY people i would just wave a wand and make it BETTER.
    when i see the WASTE of money the stupid kardashians throw away on stuff… when i have friends who need help… it makes me physically sick.
    if you have enough readers of your blog… there is a fund me button or something. a lot of people have literally been saved by that.
    enough people donating small amounts.

    my own captain (you’ve hear me mention him on my blog maybe) he lives in key west florida. he is in your exact situation. needing money desperately. his blog is manateefritters. com
    you should check it out. it will at least make you laugh. you’ll need to scroll down to the last few posts after this latest one. it’s an eye opener.
    i won’t end this tirade of hope and tragedy and true confessions with any worn out platitudes.

    i’ll picture something fantastic happening for you and put the whole great white light of the universe all around you for protection. dear bean. xo♥

    Comment by tammy j — August 19, 2015 @ 22:53 | Reply

  2. i hope things turn around for you!

    Comment by kylie — August 19, 2015 @ 23:01 | Reply

    • Kylie, let’s just say that I live round the corner from where the Titanic sailed (Southampton). And from my lounge window I see the pub renowned for the Titanic’s sailors downing their last beers before going on board.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 20, 2015 @ 15:46 | Reply

  3. U, I’ve never been that desperate. Something/Someone has always come through (at the last moment sometimes). But I wouldn’t rely on faith at this point in my life. I would do what I needed to survive, even if it meant swallowing my ethics.

    Why? Because a greater ethical question is at stake: do you value yourself enough to take care of your basic quality of life? In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you have to fulfill the basic needs of survival before you can afford yourself the luxury (yes, luxury) of attending to other (self-actualizing) needs. It may not be fair or pleasant, but neither is deteriorating while those you love watch helplessly. There’s no dignity in that. No matter how you cling to the moral high ground, you’re still going under unless you do something to prevent it.

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — August 19, 2015 @ 23:46 | Reply

    • Thanks for the stern talking to I need. What you said “do you value yourself enough to take care of your basic quality of life”? echoes the same question my son keeps asking me.

      Fact is that somewhere along the line I lost the plot. Can I pick up the thread? I don’t know, Lorna. All I do know is that I have to. All my life I have been as strong as an oxen. Nothing defeated me. Now? I look in the mirror and try to recognize myself.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 20, 2015 @ 15:41 | Reply

      • Ursula, I’ve looked in the mirror and not recognized myself. So I know what you’re taking about. What I’ve come to realize is that I was searching for some version of myself that no longer exists. Mirrors reflect what IS not what WAS or what SHOULD BE. I learned that if I don’t like what I see, I have two choices: accept myself or change myself. I’ve tried both. Changing is a matter of changing inside because I can’t change anything but myself (even though I wish I could). Accepting myself as I am is not the same as giving up, but befriending (rather than fighting) myself, which takes more courage than changing. At least that’s what I’ve found.

        What am I trying to say? I don’t know. You will do what you must. I have an inordinate (an sometimes unreasonable) faith in the human spirit to triumph against seemingly insurmountable odds. Don’t lose faith in yourself, U. Never lose faith in yourself.

        Comment by Lorna's Voice — August 21, 2015 @ 17:07 | Reply

  4. I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. I can only imagine where you are coming from.

    My mom became homeless, by choice, for a time 53 years ago. I was ten and my sister was eight. Fortunately, after I called them, my grandparents “rescued” us before Mom hit the road. I lived with them for most of the next five years. Then, when I went to live with my mom, we were very, very poor, — cockroaches and rats in the house poor — though not homeless. A lot of my life decisions have their genesis in that experience.

    If I were in your position, I’d like to think that I would take any job, so long as it was legal, even if it were ethically repugnant. (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs)

    Comment by Mike Goad — August 20, 2015 @ 00:17 | Reply

    • Mike, good to “see” you again on this page. I do remember you making allusions to your upbringing. It is, for me, unthinkable to abandon offspring. Your mother must have been in a terrible terrible space to leave you and your sister to it. My heart goes out to all three of you. My own experience was somewhat reverse. I was born out of wedlock and so my lovely lovely maternal grandparents looked after me for many years. Unfortunately, as happens with old people, they died. Eventually.

      My parents married when I was four and from age eight I lived with them permanently. Culture shock. They were – by nature – bound up in each other. With a passion. And my father made a stab for freedom from the shackles of secure employment. Resulting in my youth – and presumably that of my siblings considerably younger than me and whom I left behind at age nineteen – being blighted by monetary ups and lows.

      I will dig my way out of this – time and age stacked firmly against me.

      As to your “life decisions” having “their genesis in that experience” I appear to be a slow learner.

      Thank you for your input, Mike. I do appreciate it.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 20, 2015 @ 15:34 | Reply

      • Mom was quite young that summer. She was 16, almost 17, when I was born, so, in that summer of 1962, she was only 27. Her second (or was it her third) husband had just left her and her plan was to chase after him. I don’t know if she ever caught up with him. She ended up in a mental institution for a time — self committed. I know that leaving us left her with a sense of guilt for the rest of her life. She apologized, once again, when she was in the hospital in 2007, though I assured her that I had forgiven her long ago. The issues that made visiting her difficult were current issues, nothing from the past. She passed away three years ago. Interestingly, my sister ended up leaving her two daughters with Mom for long periods of time. Given the circumstances, it’s amazing that both of them turned out to be exceptionally fine, confident and capable women. I credit Mom, in large part, for that.

        Comment by Mike Goad — August 20, 2015 @ 22:32 | Reply

  5. Knowing you as I think I do, two weeks down the line, you will be singing a different tune. All the very best.

    Comment by rummuser — August 20, 2015 @ 01:05 | Reply

    • Such faith, Ramana, such faith in my abilities. Thank you. Truth be told if I didn’t have that backbone made of steel and a son I don’t want to disappoint in his belief in me the lure of stepping into water with stones in my pockets does have its moments. Alas I do not have it in me to take that step. Life is too precious. But by god, and there is no excuse for it, I do cut things finely. This is do or die time. For the third time in six years. I pulled it off twice. A third time? We’ll see.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 20, 2015 @ 13:50 | Reply

    • I, too, have great faith in your resourcefulness, Ursula. What does your son say? And why do you mention prison? Have you committed some municipal violation that has escalated? With strained budgets here in the U.S. something like that can have disastrous consequences:

      Comment by cheerfulmonk — August 20, 2015 @ 17:52 | Reply

  6. I’m sending my best wishes and hope I’m wrong about the power of prayer. At times like this it would be reassuring to believe.

    Comment by cheerfulmonk — August 20, 2015 @ 02:09 | Reply

    • Thank you for your best wishes and more, Jean. As to belief: It’s strange, almost hilarious. I remember, must have been about eighteen, a New Year’s Eve being desperate (boyfriend trouble – he later became my first husband). I went back in direction of home, walked past my parents’ house into fields and a dark sky lit by stars. All alone at midnight. I prayed. Well, not so much prayed as shouting at God to help me. Then I went home and my grandfather, not knowing how better to help, gave me a large glass of Schnapps (high VAT % fruit liquor) which made me promptly pass out on my parents’ bed. Small mercies. Next day I was back to my old, not to be beaten, self whilst everyone else was nursing either no hangovers or small ones.

      And so, to my shame, whenever I come to a point where I can’t see the light ahead I will turn to God. Well, who else is there? It’s shameful, Jean, but truth is that, on occasions throughout my life, I make deals with the devil whilst bargaining with God.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 20, 2015 @ 13:48 | Reply

  7. All I can do is wish the best from here.

    Regarding the ethics/morality vs survival options, the politicians’ (and lawyers’) usual choice is to substitute some contrived morals for the real ones. Thus, they both take the unethical job and – rather than “suspending all moral sensibilities” – go into a hyper-moralizing frenzy. I presume that isn’t an option that you would find any better than your current choice.

    Comment by Looney — August 20, 2015 @ 02:50 | Reply

    • Thank you, Looney. Questions of ethics are a minefield. And so they should. An opportunity to examine ourselves to a depth at which there is no hiding.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 20, 2015 @ 13:41 | Reply

  8. Even though you probably don’t want to go along another avenue, what can you cadge from the gov’t coffers…

    I have lived via the gov’t coffers for years, due mainly to health issues that wax and wane, but also I get extra due for my home/rent circumstances. I have a roof over my head and just enough extra to keep the personal side of life going…as long as I’m careful. Technically now I should be outta of the gov’t coffers but I’m at the age [number, not in looks] that I’m unemployable as next next year I go up from lowly coffer to the end of life coffer – nicknamed “old age pension”

    If you found yourself homeless – you could get emergency housing here [in New Zealand], fairly quickly…

    Another way which I use occasionally is selling off “stuff” -sometimes I get extraordinary amounts of “free” money in that the handmedown was never paid for anyway…

    Comment by cedar51 — August 20, 2015 @ 20:19 | Reply

    • “Cadge from the government’s coffers”. Now that’s not only an idea, Catherine, it also makes me laugh. The UK is the pits in this particular respect. And if you have permanent “health issues” as you do, well, it’s even more the pits. Many years ago, against my wishes but urged to do so by friends, I “signed on” because I had broken both my arms (yes, I don’t do things by halves). And was limping. At the assessment they deemed me capable of work because I could touch my toes. Nay, one better, I could place both my hands on the floor. There is a cruelty which belies everything the “welfare” state stands for.

      And then, naturally, I am a foreigner in this country. Some seven years ago, just before my financial life went down the toilet, the local authority questioned my right to live in England. Let’s not forget that I am a European National who – by definition – has every right to live in England. I didn’t take it seriously at the time. My “case” was referred to the Home Office. I still didn’t take it seriously. Until I tried to phone them. Then pure Kafkaesque nightmare tarted kicking in. There was no one to talk to. Eerie. Eventually I got the news – in writing – that the home office takes six months to respond. SIX months! I was frantic. Not least because my son was heading towards taking his final exams – with his mother being left exactly where? Those six months destroyed me in terms of ability to generate money. Aided by a little bit of malicious help by my duplicitous sister. I take credit for not turning bitter at the time. But by golly, I’d spent most my adult life in England. I had married a British national, I had given birth in this country, worked, paid taxes and they have the nerve to question me? Do you think I ever got an apology for what turned out to be an “administrative error”? Don’t make me laugh. Of course not. As long as there are carpets things will be swept underneath them.

      I am sorry to hear about YOUR problems which sound more permanent than a few broken bones. I do hope New Zealand takes care of its citizens. What are we as human beings if we don’t help each other? That often missing link – the helping hand – I feel passionate about. Not on my behalf since I have been very lucky to find help in the most unlikely places but on behalf of others. Those who are too timid or downtrodden to even make their voices heard. It’s shameful, shameful, shameful what goes on right underneath out noses and how we studiously ignore misery.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 21, 2015 @ 03:22 | Reply

      • Yes, I’ve heard the British welfare system isn’t “crash hot” – it’s not great here either, but for some reason I reached a magic point some decades ago when I had been on the “temporary benefit for more than a decade” and it was jolly obvious I wasn’t going to get any better… there is another little story that in hindsight was quite funny because gov’t threw a lot of money my way to help me retrain AND then after I had my degree discovered I was over a certain age!!!

        I gave up then, and have pleased myself for the last 4 years…I’m still on a basic with a few extras due to cost of living AND I have managed to find out how some in lesser circumstances than me manage to wheedle/cadge more…

        I was married to a British national as well, but in Aussie and then we came here – in the times when you didn’t need anything visa-wise. Occasionally he has difficulties with authorities and I have to give him some help. He never got dual citizenship so still has his faithful British passport – I think now he has the Euro one….

        Comment by cedar51 — August 23, 2015 @ 04:50 | Reply

  9. Never having been in that situation, always lucky enough to have enough cash and a roof over my head, I have no useful advice to give. But I hope things take a turn for the better before too long.

    Comment by nick — August 20, 2015 @ 21:53 | Reply

  10. I’ve been there Ursula and I once held my nose and took a job that was dodgy but I offered thanks for it at the table every night when I put a plate of food down. I stayed in it for about a year and kept looking for something else while doing so and finally left fpr another job. It’s easier to find a job when you already have a job.

    Comment by wisewebwoman — August 22, 2015 @ 16:53 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: