Title of this post was taken from the song Money by Pink Floyd.
I've complained a lot about paperwork, and someone recently asked if I could possibly have that much stuff to take care of. Yes, yes I do. Unless you've lost a spouse or had to handle someones estate, then you just don't get how much is involved. Phone calls, copies of documents, mailing out said documents, closing accounts, changing names on accounts, and on and on. Here are two recent experiences. I went to the medical examiners office to pick up a second copy of the autopsy report. I needed an extra one for insurance purposes. Let's leave it at that. It's much to raw right now and I really don't want to talk about the report itself. Here is how the conversation between the receptionist and myself went. Anything in red is what I was THINKING at the time, and what I actually said is in black.
Me - I'm here to pick up a copy of my husbands autopsy.
Them - What's his name.
Me - Joseph Dawson.
Them - Well our records show we already gave you a copy.
Me - I know I didn't realize I would need several copies.
Them - Well do you want another copy then.
Me - Nope, I just thought your office was kind of cool, and I thought I'd come in to say hello. Thought maybe we could go out and get lunch. I could go for a turkey sandwich. Yes.
Them - Well I'm going to have to charge you for the extra copies.
Me - Fine
Them - How many copies do you want.
Me - Why don't you give me two that way I have them if I need them.
Them - That will be fifty dollars. We charge twenty five dollars per copy.
Me - Awesome that you guys are capitalizing on my grief. I totally appreciate it. In fact I wish now I did have a turkey sandwich. I would totally throw it at you! Fine.
Them - Okay just make the check out to _____________________.
Me - I have cash.
Them - We don't take cash.
Me - What?
Them - We don't take cash only checks.
Me - Do you get that I drove an hour and twenty minutes to pick this up? All I have is cash. I don't carry my checkbook on me.
Them - Sorry, you'll just have to come back.
Me -Yea, I'll come back with my turkey sandwich.
Them - Pardon me I didn't catch that.
Me - Never mind
*When I did go back to pick up the copies the lady apologized over and over again. I get it's not her fault they have a stupid policy.
Another example. I lost my water bill and had to run to City Hall to pay it. They said I had to go upstairs and have a new bill printed and then go back downstairs to pay it. Fine. I run upstairs and thought that while I was at it I would have them take Mike's name off the account so that it would be addressed to me. The lady was really nice, and I explained that he had passed away in April and that I needed the bill to be in my name. She made a change, printed the bill and off I went to pay it. I didn't notice until I got downstairs that she had changed the name on the account to Mrs. Michael Dawson. Good times, good times.
On another note today was my first day back to work. Everyone that works for the county came together for meetings. I listened to NIN the whole way there, thinking it would help. I sat in the parking lot with my fingers tightly wrapped around the steering wheel, almost like it was my life raft. The music pounded so loud my ears were ringing. I willed myself to keep it together. I closed my eyes, and thought about where I was this exact time last year, and how drastically things had changed. I squeeze my eyes closed tighter, forcing myself not to cry. Why am I so emotional? In that building are people who have shown me amazing love and support. Without them I would not have made it through last school year. I find comfort in their presence. They truly are amazing educators. Part of it comes form the fact I'm so shy anyway, and large groups of people make me nervous. Mostly though I think this is because this is another first. In my adult life I've never had a first day of school without Mike, not in college or in my teaching career, and yet here I am without someone to tell my tale to. I slowly turn down the music, and open my eyes. The sun is shining and people are laughing as they walk by. I turn off the car, gather my things and join the masses. As I walk in I worry about how this school year will go. How am I going to handle everything that comes with work and with my kids? I remind myself that life is not fair, and what's fair is not equal. Fair means making sure everyone's needs are being met, and those needs are not always met in equal ways or amounts. I need to figure out how to meet everyone's needs including my own.