September 30, 1999
Here it is - the end of the month and I haven't written anything.

Well, my ex has decided since he hasn't gotten to official papers yet, that he can change the visitation agreement. He called me September 16th and told me I had to have the kids at the meeting place by 6pm on the 17th or he was going to file a court order against me. He found some sort of paper that said if the judge doesn't specified the visitation, he could choose what schedule he wanted and he now wants them every 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend.

Well, first off, the judge DID specify once a month, and second off, I can't get the kids to the meeting place by 6pm without taking them out of school early. He also is mis-interpetting how much child support he owes. We started yelling on the phone. I tried to explain how much it costs me to take care of the kids, but he kept screaming it was my choice to live in an apartment that costs $670 per month. I told him that I couldn't possibly move the kids and I into a one bedroom apartment - it wasn't an appropriate living condition for TWO children. He expects everyone to live like sardines and in poverty. Frankly, I'm not going to call him anymore. It was his choice not to get long distance service.

One of my friends tried to talk him out of the visitation that weekend, because I had been really sick, but he said I sounded perfectly healthy, which I probably did, since I had recently taken some medicine and had something hot to steam my sinuses open. (I had also coughed up some phlegm a half hour before - my daughter thought I was dying) He was very uncooperative with her and began to whine about how terrible it was to be married to me. When she didn't say anything back - he hung up the phone.

So, I had to take off work early and quickly pack a suitcase for the kids. We got there at about 6:30 and if he thought I had sounded healthy the previous night, he couldn't claim it then because I looked and felt like hell. I paid for the kids' dinner - the only time he has every paid for their meal at the meeting place was the visit before when I was late picking them up (I got a speeding ticket trying to get there on time). Then I left because I had promised one of my sisters before his little ultimatum, that I would take care of her pets and I didn't want them to go a whole 24 hours without someone checking on them. Unfortunately, I forgot I still had the suitcase in the truck and forgot to give it to him. I'm sure he'll throw that up in my face later.

Anyway, I spent 14 hours Saturday doing laundry at my sister's house and my chest cold came back and I still have the blasted thing. Sunday, I picked them up and even though he had kept some of their clothes (I had been wondering why some of my daughter's outfits were only half there) so they did have something clean to wear, he sent them back in the clothes they came in - in an very filthy state. Now, I'm sure he thinks he's justified, but if I had done that he would have been screaming for CPS.

That Friday, I had tried to get a hold of my lawyer with no luck. The woman has not returned any of my calls since the custody hearing. I did some research and found some very useful numbers - like the toll-free one to the State Bar and one for ethical grievances. I found out that my lawyer had recently suspended for non-payment of dues and I now have the papers necessary to file a grievance against her. Last week I called another lawyer and he is taking over my case. He apologized for the profession and said the word on the grapevine was that my old lawyer is having personal problems. I'm sorry to hear that and part of me doesn't want to add to her problems, but that doesn't excuse her blowing me off and my problems aren't exactly small. I'm expected to do my job, no matter my personal problems, she needs to do the same or at least tell me she can't.

Anyway, this lawyer says that my husband should be the one calling us - with enough notice - and making the appointment for visitation. Until this last time, I had been doing the calling. He also says that it would be very hard for my ex to file a court order against me. I hope that is true, because the kids are going to see their grandparents this weekend and staying the week. The school district here has a fall break and my other sister wanted a break from watching my kids. I haven't told my ex that we're not showing up. I have lost my address book with his number and it's about time he started doing more anyway. The lawyer is also going to see if he can correct some of the mistakes I made from ignorance this summer when I couldn't get a hold of the first lawyer and had to do the best I could. Unfortunately, I'm still not very good at sticking up for myself, but I did try. So, it could have been worse.

As for my job status, everything's up in the air again. I interviewed for a new job on the 28th. If I get it, I'll be making as much as my ex. I will be an administration assistant for a VP of a major corporation. I probably won't know until next week.

As for the old position - last week, was the end of the six week trial and I was suppose to be hired on permanently. A day before everything was to be set in motion, the manager wrote a memo to the temp agency giving a lame excuse for why they didn't want me. I was crushed. No one said anything to me about being unhappy about my performance and the excuse was really lame.

Luckily, the temp agency thought the same thing (the temp before me got a lame shaft too, I've been told), because they have been working hard to set me up with interviews for other positions that pay even more than the one I didn't get. I had two Tuesday, but I will probably not get the second one because someone else already with the company interviewed right before me who was also qualified for the job. But the interviewer was impressed enough to ask me if she could send copies of my resume to two other departments. Of course, I agreed.

As promising as this is, I am still not getting paid anything for this week and although I have paid my bills for the month, I can't afford to lose much more income. Sigh!

A friend upon hearing my present troubles, sent me this prayer:

Lord Jesus, bless (Fribble) as she looks to you to help her provide for her family. we know that as she puts you first, you will never leave her or forsake her. give her favor, we pray, and bless the office where she works because of your favor on her, just as you blessed Potiphar and Pharoah because of Joseph's presence in their households. make her a light in dark places. amen.

My reply:

Thank you for the prayer!

It is interesting that you mention Potiphar. I believe the real reason the other department didn't want me is because I didn't cater to the boss' paramour. She had made herself pretty much the queen bee of the place and everybody insisted that if I had a question that needed answered, that she was the one to answer it. After a couple of weeks, I found out that not only were the others more than willing to help me, but they actually gave me correct information.

Then I noticed that the job description stated that I was suppose to assist all of them (along with another lady). The other lady, once I got her work caught back up, was helping this woman all the time, so when I needed work to do, I would ask the others first, then her. I still did a lot for this woman - she's very disorganized and I can't help but wonder if she would have gotten her position based on her work merits alone.

But that is God's to worry about. The boss and her are both married to other people and his wife works for the same company. Sooner or later, all hell will break loose.

Only God knows what will happen there, but I wished thay hadn't strung me along for six weeks. Meanwhile, I wait for that all important follow up interview.

I did get something useful from that time. A lot of people from neighboring departments were quite nice to me. One had the following up on her wall and let me make a copy of it:


    (Strategy - Become one of those who gets it.)

    (Strategy - Acknowledge and accept accountability for your life.)

    (Strategy - Identify the payoffs that drive your behavoir and that of others.)

    (Strategy - Get real with yourself about your life and everybody in it.)

    (Strategy - Make careful decisions and then pull the trigger.)

    (Strategy - Identify the filters through which you view the world.)

    (Strategy - Learn to take charge of your life.)

    (Strategy - Own, rather than complain, about how people treat you.)

    (Strategy - Open your eyes to what anger and resentment are doing to you.
    My addendum - Be honest about what is hurting you or you will be burying instead of forgiving.)

    (Strategy - Get clear about what you want and take your turn.)

I do know that during my next job, I will ask for more feedback - such as how often I should bug people for something to do when I have finished my own work, and if I am allowed to interrupt some meetings to ask. I didn't think I could interrupt any meetings at my last position and maybe that's why the manager said I wasn't aggressive enough in finding things to do - after all, these people were away from their desks an awfully lot of the time the last two weeks I was there.

I know . . . I know . . . I could have kow-towed to the queen bee more, but no job is worth that amount of stomach acid. I will not run myself ragged for someone else's ego - it makes me homicidal.

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