To my fellow, ATS members, I've come here today to put into words, a report of how our country is crafting its people.
I am a regular lurker who doesn't usually speak up, unless I'm educated enough to communicate my thoughts correctly (which happens surprisingly
). That's all to say that I'm not a regular, active thread-ing individual, so keep that in mind, and try to be nice!
As background, I am a returning student and am currently enrolled in pursuit of hopes of becoming a doctor one day... and a good one at that! I was
valedictorian of my high school class, and already have a bachelors in Finance and International Business; which turned south since I had graduated
just before the housing market collapse in 2008. But until my decision to try for medical school, I was patient, mindful of my time, saving up enough
money to be able to go back to school; penny by penny, dollar by dollar. I wasn't able to find ANY job within my field of study, and I became homeless
for the first time in my life. Fortunately, I was able to squeak my way into a job in IT as a helpdesk tech, re-located, and worked my proverbial ass
off. I worked my way up, with studying and certification, and I was finally able to get paid enough to be able to save little bits for school (while
keeping a roof over my head! whew!).
Without any family to turn to, or any friends to help ease my transition, this would become one of the darkest days in my life; a place in time I
could think back on and become a stronger person as a result of it. This became increasingly difficult but I kept at it year after year, looking
towards my goals; being able to provide for myself (and hopefully a family), while still actually enjoying my days (a dream I feel is becoming more
and more distant from all of us). And so eventually, the day that my years of hard work would paid off came...finally! I was able to properly bow-out
from my cubicle, and was happy that I'd be able to go back to school and hopefully become an individual who could really help others; who would care
about patients, and compassionately care for them. I was able to somehow secure myself a laboratory job at my school; a God-send of a job, which
worked with my rigorous class schedules. I could almost taste my dream. This was 2 years ago.
But as you all know, these past few years have been ridiculously unstable and now, we've got policies in place that are severely hurting someone like
myself. I can say, without a doubt, that I am directly feeling the effects of policies enforced by Uncle Sam. Increased inflation and rising school
costs soon emptied out my college-fund piggy bank (with federal financial aid continuously running into 'problems' and 'mistakes' which would promise
me funds, while delivering none), and I started working another job. However, being broke and still having to pay for basic living conditions, don't
work well together. It's like a peanut butter and steak-sauce sandwich. They just aren't meant to jive. So I first attempted federal financial aid and
even needing to go as far as the welfare office. Unsurprisingly, I was denied both, until I was able to negotiate a verrrrrry small financial
contribution from federal financial aid (which I was, and am, thankful for; it's money I didn't have before!). With this delicate balance of work,
school, financial aid, limiting my food consumption costs, and other money saving techniques, I was somehow able to make due...for a while.
Until....The Obama Administration's Healthcare Act.
Obama-care was intended to help everyone access health benefits, economically. One caveat in the policy is that any employees who work at least 25
hours per week, are to receive health benefits by their employer. Employees like myself, who worked up to 40 - 60 hours per week, were, ideally,
supposed to receive those promised health benefits. UNFORTUNATELY for myself (and others), instead of receiving these benefits, I was CUT DOWN to less
than 25 hours per week (24.5) in order for the school to avoid any forced actions by the office of the POTUS. In this way, they 'win.' They are able
to claim 'compliance' while actively screwing over their staff, like myself, who's just making due (without any benefits). There are no exceptions to
this rule, and I know this has also happened to people like me, all over the country. My last resort was military service; but laughably, I was denied
due to medical conditions from my past, which I no longer struggle from. So no GI-bill for me!
This is all to tell you how long and hard I've worked and planned in hope of going back to school for the sole purpose of helping people (and of
course keeping some type of roof over my head while doing so). In the span of a year, all of the support foundations I built for my return to school
have been broken down one by one; and now I've got almost nothing left. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if I had family or friends to lean on...but
I have no family, and I've become too far removed from my friends. Regardless, as a single, independent individual, trying to operate within the rules
placed by our society, I find that it has become an impossible task to try and juggle.
I now have 4 jobs, which may seem like I would make a lot of money, but they all pay almost minimum wage (if not minimum wage); it wouldn't be too bad
if there were some consistency with the availability of work, but the billable jobs come and go. So with 4 jobs, I am still coming up short. I've
spammed my resume every where with no luck. After years of straight-laced hard work, I'm speechless with how quickly it can all come crashing down,
and all out of my control.
I face eviction in the next couple weeks, more employment down-sizing, and a dreadful feeling that I will find myself back on the street. If it be my
fate, then I'll take that stride proudly... but I can't help but believe that isn't meant for any of us. I think of myself as a intelligent,
problem-solving individual, but not even McDonalds will hire me. The small jobs I have now, were earned through great effort, and those are even on
the edge of ending too, as the belt around our economy keeps tightening.
This has been a good ride, and I've really enjoyed being a student again, and also here as a member (even such a non-contributor such as I), but I
think I'm beginning to see the end of my rope. I've found some of the most thought provoking, and thoughtful pieces of the internet, right here at
ATS. Strangely enough, this is the last place I thought I'd be finding myself spilling my guts...its almost therapeutic actually. I can at least share
my story before the lights go out (which I'm working hard to keep on lol). I just have such a hard time accepting the fact that all of my hard work
has essentially been dissolved by the policies of the powers that be, in almost no-time at all. They didn't even break a sweat; while I could fill a
kid's inflatable pool with mine, trying to keep myself fed enough to work and study.
I know this has been a terribly long post, and you are obviously not required to read it all (or any of it for that matter). But this post comes from
a young, hardworking, mid-20's person, born and raised in the USA, who is now facing more dark days ahead. I can't wait for 2014, then I'll be
REQUIRED to buy health insurance, or they will...guess what? FINE MY POOR ASS for more money I dont have. Maybe I'll get internet privileges in jail?
haha Morocco sounds nice
edit on 29-9-2013 by bojimbo because: (no reason given)