Terminated

“We will no longer be requiring your services”

All Job Prospects Shall Be EliminatedAll Job Prospects Shall Be Eliminated

“Your job shall be terminated.. at my will”

That was how I found out I was losing my job. It was the end of my shift at the end of a fairly normal night for me at my most previous job. I did have some warning about this as I had been put on probation at said job two months prior but the news still hit me like a slap in the face. My first reaction was shock and later that day it turned to relief. After living for multiple months with uncertainty about my future at least now I finally knew my fate. During that time I was also dealing with some rough conditions brought on by previous bad life decisions which made the uncertainty about whether I would continue to have income even harder to endure. The stress was getting close to breaking me but I stuck with it the best I could and continued to try to improve at the job that I had grown to love. Unfortunately my best was simply not enough and the relief of knowing my fate was at best, bittersweet.

When I asked about why I was being terminated I got a generic “at will employment” response that offered me no solace. Without knowing exactly what I had done wrong it will be hard for me to improve in the future. I want to believe that I was simply not good at my job. I may have been delusional about my job performance for a while as I did feel I did good work and as far as I know I never had any complaints from fellow co-workers or clients about the work that I did. It was rare that I would get negative feedback about the work that I was doing and customer praise seemed to come in regularly. These factors may have contributed to me having an inflated sense of worth to the company I served. When I was put on probation however I was given a rude awakening. The reason for my probation was due to poor job performance. The circumstances of which were a bit muddled and I never got a clear answer on what I could do to improve said performance however this was the only negative feedback I had really gotten that seemed of substance so it is all I have to go on now when trying to understand where I had gone wrong.

I have a more crazy theory that there was something else about my place in the company that caused me to be let go. It was strange that after being put on probation for poor job performance the people who were in charge of rating my job performance and training me to be a better employee seemed to refuse to help. Pleas for more understanding fell on deaf ears as my emails for clarification about what I was doing wrong were ignored. Meetings that were supposed to take place during my probation to review my progress also never happened and my termination came about at 1 month before the end of my probation. All of these factors do make me think that there may have been a different reason than job performance for me to be fired. Perhaps the probation was just a bit of red tape that was required to get the process started of getting me out the door. However theories like this are full of paranoia and narcissism. I am trying to be a bit less self involved so I am choosing to not delve too deep down this path just now. Even if the evidence is there to support such thoughts.

So where does this leave me?

I am 30 and I have been down this road enough times that I am almost not even phased by making big life changes any longer. However I am also getting to the point that I do not think I have the energy for too many more of these. So I don’t know exactly what to do. There is either something wrong with my work ethic or my personality that is causing me to only work places for about 3 years at time before moving on. Historically I have quit jobs after about this much time, this time the choice was out of my hands. Still it seems I may be looking forward to a life of constantly shifting jobs/homes/lifestyles. I may have adapted well to constant flux over the years but I crave stability now more than ever. I have had plenty of adventures in my life and I just want to sit back and enjoy the simple things. I just wish I knew where to start. I suppose as usual I will start at the only place I can, at the end. My time with this company may have come to an end but my journey continues on.

Onward, to the next adventure!

Along this Winding Road…

The book that started me on my path to greatness...

I have been meaning to update my site with a new blog post for a long time now. I haven’t written a blog post because I just could not think of anything witty or clever to write about.I thought about writing something angry again, something intended to just piss people off. However I just have not been that angry lately.  I need to write something though, I cannot just keep waiting for inspiration to find me.

So let me write once more about my life, and the winding road I find myself traveling down.

Last year was not a great year for Ian. I started the year dirt broke and working at Mcdonalds. At least when I worked at Mcdonalds I still lived in the Lansing apartment. Then summer hit and against all odds I actually got laid off from Mickey D’s. It was something completely unexpected and it came at the worst possible time. I was in the process of finding a new place to live and the sudden loss of income made my choices very limited. So I ended up moving in with my mom. I intended this to be a very temporary situation. It turns out my laziness was much stronger than my good intentions so I spent most of the rest of the year sitting alone in Olivet.

This ended up being mostly depressing for me and had a large impact on my self esteem. It was good to get close to my Mom and Step-dad again as well as to just have some time to relax, however every time I thought of my life living at home being jobless I would slightly hate myself on the inside.

Just writing about my life can be depressing, thankfully this story actually has a moderately happy ending.

Once winter fell things started to turn around for me quite drastically.  It started at RedditGifts.com of all places. This is a website where you can join a Secret Santa program with other fine folks across the internet. The site sorts everyone out and selects a random person to give you a gift and another random person who you must give a gift too.  Nobody sets any limits on how much can be spent, or not spent. It is all meant to be just good fun.

The person who I was selected to give a gift to was a gay man who used Reddit mostly for looking at “Bear” porn. At first I thought this was funny because back in my days as a gay man the bear community seemed to have a keen interest in the young and furry Ian. Then I started to realize I had no idea what to buy for this guy. I thought maybe he would appreciate some self pictures of me, but then I realized I was just being full of myself again. I didn’t know how I felt about buying a stranger actual porn and sending it to them through the mail. I wasn’t even sure if that was legal, though it would have been rather funny. Instead I waited to the last minute (like usual) and sent him an Amazon gift card. It was not creative but everyone can find something they like no Amazon.

I waited for a while for my package and when I received it in the mail I was quite excited indeed. It was like I was a Kid again, over time I had grown to know what to expect from my family and friends in terms of gifts but this was new. This was a stranger who did not know me personally but he knew more about me than most people probably ever could if he researched my Reddit profile closely enough.  So when that truck pulled up to the house and the driver got out with a box in his hand I was brimming with anticipation. I spent no time taking the package back to my room and promptly tearing the box open. Inside of it was an Amazon gift wrapped box. At this point I knew I had spent to much on the gift I sent out, the gift card I spent couldn’t buy a gift this large not to mention the additional cost for gift wrapping. No matter how much anticipation had built up what lied inside of that box still blew me away.

It was a Blue Snowball USB microphone. The person who sent me this gift had bought me the perfect gift. I had been podcasting for years but had always just used my cheap headset microphone. I had thought many times about upgrading to something that sounded better but I always opted instead to spend my money on things that seemed more important. This cycle would never have ended, and I might have never known what a good mic can do for my voice. Now, thanks to this stranger somewhere on the internet I would be able to get my voice out across the network in the clearest way it had ever been heard before. I was blown away. It was something I had always wanted that I never would have bought for myself. It filled me with a sense of goodwill I thought I would never feel again. This feeling is what prompted me to sign up on redditgifts.com to be a regifter, to buy some other new stranger who got nothing from their first match the gift they deserved (which is another story altogether, this post is about me.)

About a week after getting the amazing gift I had gotten an email from a local web hosting company which I had been applying to for a job. I had an interview scheduled for the day after my birthday. This did mean I could not be completely hungover that day but it also meant I might have a chance at a completely sweet job. The interview went well enough, I was completely nervous and thought I had screwed the entire thing up. They told me they would be in touch and I expected that meant I would not hear from them. The last time I had interviewed at this company they called me two weeks later to tell me I had not gotten the job. I figured it would take at least that long to hear from them and decided to go out to a movie with an old friend. Not even 3 hours later as I was walking into the movie theater my phone rang, I thought it was my brother calling at first since his name popped up on the screen so I answered in the most inappropriate way possible. Turns out it was the HR department at Liquid Web letting me know they had decided to hire me and that I would be started the next week. My brother works for the company so the corporate number was assigned to him in my phone, thankfully they said nothing about my strange greeting.

It was the day after my birthday, I was spending time with an old friend I had not seen in years, about to go do something I love and had just recieved some of the best news I had gotten in a long time. It didn’t even matter what movie I was about to see, I was going to enjoy the time I had that day. This was the start of something new for me, a chance to get out of the rut I had been in for so long. I could see the path ahead of me start to brighten up again. After years of jobs that would go nowhere and opportunities squandered I had this chance to prove I was worth a damn.

The next few months went by slowly. The job was going great, as I expected it would. I was able to buy a truck with the help of my Mom and I started having money coming in every week. Slowly my confidence was building, slowly I was starting to feel more like myself again. After almost 6 months of having gainful employment, and a ride, I decided to finally make the move to getting my own place to live. I must say my decision was guided by the fact that my little sister was moving back home. Not that I do not want to live with her but she was going to kick me out of the room I had been staying in which meant moving into the camper, something I did not want to do. I found a place fairly quickly and moved in that same week.

That leaves me where I am now, sitting here in my shiny new apartment writing a blog post that is long overdue. This is the first time in my life I have had my very own place. Sure I decided to bring on a roommate as well but the lease is in my name and I can actually afford to pay for it on my own. Not once in my life have I ever been completely self sufficient and it feels fucking fantastic.

Life is good, at least for now.

 

One Last Thing….

It has been a long time since I have sat down and wrote a blog post. I am not 100% certain that anybody reads the things that I write here, however I still feel like I am letting people down when I neglect to write. I certainly am letting myself down in the least.

My life has been.. interesting, as of late. Things have not been going as well as I would have liked them to have gone. To sum it up I am on shaky status with my current minimum-wage job, my lease is up at my apartment complex and I do not have anywhere else to move to yet, and my depression has hit an almost all time low. I still do my best to remain optimistic as ever, only to find myself just not thinking about the things that I need to get done and putting them off.  A hopeless feeling has surrounded me in my life.

As I will be most likely couch-hopping for maybe a month or two until I can afford to find a new apartment there may be even less Ian on the internet very soon. I am not sure if I am going to have access to a computer at all very soon other than library access or through a friend. So I will not be spending much time chatting, gaming, or reading the news. All of these things are very sad to me as these things are pretty much all my life has become lately. On the brighter side of that, those things are likely some of the things holding me back and not being able to do them may force me to get my life in order.

Just recently I applied for a job which would be almost like a dream job to me. I may not be as qualified for the position as they would like me to be but I am hoping that I am more qualified than the other applicants that I am competing with.  It would be splendid to make more than minimum-wage.

Since I haven’t pointed it out in a blog post or news update yet. You should all check out PaintComic.com I have updated the site quite a bit and added more comics. I still do not have the complete collection online again yet (I am actually ‘remastering’ them before putting them back up) however there is enough to enjoy.

Otherwise, I hope everyone out there on the good ol’ internet is having a better year than me and I will be back with you all soon!

Falling Back…

My last major update about my own personal life on this here blog was about the optimism of summer. Well it seems much if not all of the optimistic attitude has faded from my life.

Ron is not happy about the increase to minimum wage!

Lately I have, as I have many times before, been massively worried about my financial situation. This was bound to happen I suppose as my bills finally caught up with my part-time minimum wage job and have overtaken my life yet again. I don’t know why I expected a company like Mcdonalds to really treat it’s employees well at all. I guess I bought into all of the crap they tell you while hiring you about how much they care about you and want to see you succeed in the world. In the back of my head I knew then that they were full of shit but I was remaining blissfully ignorant at the time and hoped for the best. As it turns out they don’t actually care and treat their employees how you would expect an evil mega-corporation to treat them, more or less like slaves. Is that too extreme? I think not, and I am sure it is not even that shocking as anyone can guess that would be the case. I worked hard, they told me I did good even “honored” me by making me employee of the month and then proceeded to shaft me by giving me less and less hours when I told them I could not afford to work there if I received any less hours than I was already receiving. Basically there is no reward for doing a good job at this company so I made a decision right then to stop doing a good job. Worst case scenario they fire me and I collect some nice rewarding unemployment, more likely scenario they continue to cut my hours more and more every week and my situation continues to worsen. It is obvious to me that Mcdonalds would have a higher quality work force if they paid their employees more and treated them better. A better work force would of course turn into a higher quality product which would result in more customers and in the end more money for them. Being a large corporation however, they will never go for such an action as cutting costs on labor provides a more immediate monetary boost where getting more customers might take some time, and they would have to take a hit on their bottom line until those customers start becoming loyal.

Then again maybe I was just spoiled working for a local business that paid decent wages and treated it’s employees with respect. Times are changing and I shouldn’t expect to work anywhere and be treated well anymore. That is just the state of things in this country now. Corporations own the government, corporations hate people, and in the end people are going to be sacrificed for the bottom line every time and sadly there is not much any of us people can do about it.

In any case I am looking for a second job, I have some leads that I am hopeful about. I will report back with more info when I get it. That is if I still can afford to pay for my internet…

On being happy…

Being happy for me is more difficult than most people probably realize. When I go to work, hang out with my friends, or am otherwise in public I put on a little happy show. I play the part of a jovial fat man who just happens to love life and everything in it. People like the happy Ian, and I just happen to enjoy having people like me. In reality, I do love the world and everything in it, so the character is not entirely fictional. However I am not always happy.

Whenever I think in depth about my life as a whole I feel empty. I am 24 and literally have less than nothing of value in this world. Monetary value at least. I dont own a car, a house, even a computer. Most of my clothes are years old and I dont even have too many of them. I rent a room in a house that I share. I share a single size bed every night with my gf, which isn’t so bad other than the fact that it isn’t even a comfortble bed.

My paychecks barely cover my rent, they don’t cover the amount of day to day bills that I have at all. So I get behind, which really would not be that scary if it was only recent debt.

I also live with the fact that when I was 18 I took advantage of my natural good credit and have two unpaid credit cards and one old loan from Dell. Two of these debts are suing me now, though I don’t know which since all of my debt was apparently bought by other companies.

If my wages ever got garnished I would be out a place to live, which means that I would have to move, which means I would have to quit my job. The cycle would never break.

Inside my life feels like I am walking down this dark tunnel, running from my past. The lights in the tunnel get dimmer as I go on. There is no indication of the lights becoming bright again, in my heart I sense that the tunnel was a mistake to begin with and that it must only lead to a cell or a untimely death.

I can only hope the tunnel actually somehow leads to an exit and I can escape this misery. That scenario just seems so unlikely right now.

In summary, I am only human. I cannot withstand all darkness like I lead people to believe. I am sure we all get like this sometime. Suffering and enduring is the nature of being human. I just want a break, some relief. Will I get what I want? Only time will tell.

Thank you for reading my emo rant…