Sunday, March 16, 2008

An Aside

I knew it I had to go out and get a job---any job---when I couldn’t qualify for CEDA utility assistance.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the program---and frankly I wasn’t until recently----CEDA administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The program pays a month’s worth of utility bills for individuals.

The trick is to qualify for the program.

One of my former co-workers told me about CEDC in a recent conversation. She applied and they paid her utility bills so she thought I should give it a shot.

The big difference in our lives is that she has a child and that I don’t.

You would think that this wouldn’t make a difference but according to “the guidelines” because I have no children my unemployment means that I make way too much money.

Yes, you read that correctly.

My unemployment---which has since ended by the way----that piddly $654 bi-weekly check meant that I made too much money.

Are you fucking kidding me?

A single person who makes a touch over $13,500 can’t qualify for almost any type of assistance.

That’s when I felt like a Detroit auto worker from the 80’s.

The funny thing is that for those of us who lived through that time, mistakenly thought that if we kept out of trouble and worked hard we wouldn’t be caught in a changing economy.

We weren’t like our some of our parents and grandparents, we went to college. We learned how to play the game.

Apparently that wasn’t (and isn’t) the case.

So to quote the film---Hi ho, Hi ho, it’s off to work I go.

Poof! I’m a server.

Talk about reinventing yourself.

Since I’ve started training and actually picking up shifts as a server (waitress) I wanted to take a few moments to let you all in on a few secrets:

Those Hyde Parkers/U of C people aren’t so bad after all. In fact, quite a few have helped a sister stack her paper.

If you come in with a group, run me ragged and then insist on splitting the check 15 different ways I won’t like you. And yes, I expect an additional tip on top of the 18% gratuity that’s added onto the check for large groups. Motherfuckers.

I so love the people who serve me at my regular watering holes. I always prided myself on being a good patron but now I truly understand their pain.

Speaking of pain, my feet feel like they don’t belong to me.

You have no idea how extremely tired I am. But I will build a bridge and get over myself.

Things will get better I’ll revisit this and write about my serving life in a few weeks. While I rarely wrote about my past employers, it might be a little different with this one.

But as you can assume, slinging drinks and food on the south side is a blog within itself. There are so many stories just begging to be told.

I’m just not sure if I’m the one to tell them at this point.

I won’t tell you where I work but if you find me and ask me if I’m the Woodlawn Wonder, I won’t lie to you.

Naturally, you’ll leave a big fat tip, right?

Speaking of people who have a story to tell and live on the south side, let me reintroduce you to the lovely Erin of

She and a group of my west Woodlawn dwelling neighbors met out for drinks a few months ago and while we haven’t seen each other since, we continue to cyber stalk each other.

Her blog is quite funny and the tale of how she met her husband (Portly Jew indeed) is a modern Chicago love story.

BTW, she wants a baby and just turned 26. These are just a few facinating things you'll find out about Erin via her blog.

26? Isn't she still a damn baby herself?

She's a ballsy, stand up broad and despite the fact I barely know her I like the cut of her gib.

Sit down and stay awhile at her blog. I’m sure she’d like to see you.

Just don’t continuously ask to borrow things.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to bed to catch up on my sleep.


Erin said...

Hey Ms. Wonder!! Thanks for the link!
BTW, you should check out U of C's employment options...they have openings in what you used to do...that is, if you're not happy with the mean, non-tip leaving check splitters. The bitches.

Omo said...

in the interest of sharing...i ran accross this link for's the credit disbursement for ComEd customers..never hurts to put some $ in your pocket....

Erin said...

don't you worry about it! I was speakin' the truth....peeps started reading that put two and two together and there was talk at a party and every thing got silly, and got silly fast. I'm glad for the link to my 'lil blog...lots of new Woodlawner/HP-ers reading!