Don't believe your eyes: It's the little town of horrors. Really.


Excuse me, dear, dear readers, but today I warn you: I am going to rant. I will waste no time. I will add one other caveat: This has nothing to do with sewing. This has nothing to do with patterns. So, you may take today off from reading The Blue Gardenia learns to sow her blossoms. I understand. I will not be upset. Just allow me to vent. As always, I welcome your comments. Heck, I not only welcome them, I appreciate them. Share your knowledge. Share your humor. Make me feel better. Is that so hard?

So. Where to begin? Mmmm. I'll start with today. I'll construct this building from the roof down. Not so smart, surely, but I'm emotional at the moment.

Now, as those of you who follow this blog know, His Bertness was laid off in April. Pink-slipped with two weeks severance. He's still looking for work, and it is most likely no news to you, my informed darlings, that this is a tough job market. He competed with 87 applicants for a job at a junior college in the Midwest. I kid you not. He's highly intelligent, vastly talented, and a pretty boy to boot (and let's face it, looks matter, even if they shouldn't.) He'll get a great job, far better than his last, sooner or later. I know it.

Am I digressing? Am I giving you too much detail? Bear with me. Be patient. I need to vent. I do. So. On my way to meet a girlfriend for lunch (thank you, dearest Carol, for treating) I stopped by the pharmacy to get a prescription filled. My pharmacy tech said there was a problem with my insurance. Did I have a new card? Well, yes, I did, but it was at home on a bookshelf. I called and hubby gave her the info verbally. The prescription still did not go through. She asked me to bring the card in later today.

When I got to the privacy of my car, I called His Bertness to alert him to the problem. (I think talking on cell phones in public places exhibits bad manners of the most egregious kind. So, I'm judgmental. So be it. At least I can spell the word. Yes, I am in a bad mood. Very.) When I got home, he gave me the bad news: Our COBRA insurance had been canceled. Canceled. He said they told him only one payment had been received. Totally untrue, and I quickly got him all the info from our bank about when checks had cleared. He called his former company and passed this on. It did no good. (Unethical, uncaring, unconcerned asses. That's my opinion, and I would be ever so happy to have them step up to the plate and prove they care about their former employees by making the company they hired to administer their COBRA plan do the right thing.) He called the company who administers the COBRA program for his company. Naturally, they have outsourced most of the customer service jobs to another country. So, after talking to two people abroad, who knew nothing and had no power, he was transferred to four folks in the USA. They said our COBRA payments would be returned, with the exception of the first month (they, by the way, refused all claims submitted for that month). I want them to return the stimulus money that funded 65 percent of our COBRA payments. Bet they don't. Of course, what I really want is our insurance reinstated. This minute.

OK. Here's where this whole story gets even stickier: I blame Prescott. I do. It's true that His Bertness's former company is actually located in Prescott Valley (oh, thank you, Van Morrison and James Hunter, how long can I be pissed when I am listening to y'all? Shut up, guys, this is righteous anger) but his company has laid off so many people. And it used to be in Prescott. And because this is Prescott, a retirement community, well-paying jobs are scarcer than hen's teeth.

And, of course, I need to say that Bert's layoff only follows a gazillion other bad things that have happened since we moved here eleven years ago: HB's hepatitis C diagnosis, a terrifying house fire (thank God for a watchful neighbor and a terrific fire department), and bad lawyers. Oh, and did I mention that I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis? So there you go. Too many bad things have happened here. I think the universe is trying to tell  us something, like, move on, dummies! His Bertness gets annoyed when I blame Prescott. Yes, I take the responsibility for moving here, starry-eyed and aglow with love for Thumb Butte and the pine trees. But. C'mon. At a certain point, you have to admit your mistakes and move on. Don't you?

Lost_in_America_Brooks But. Let me end on a positive note. Let me share my experience, strength and hope with you:

Don't move to a small town, no matter how picture-postcard beautiful it is, no matter how quaintly old-fashioned the downtown square is, until you check out the job market. Don't just assume that because you have always worked, because you've never had a hard time finding a job, that that will hold true in a small town. Because. Potential employers ask these annoying questions, such as, what was your salary on your last job? Forget that you don't expect to get anywhere near that — after all, you're getting paid in sunshine dollars — just the fact that you were paid decent wages in your life Before Prescott (or insert your small dream town here) will intimidate the future employer. And don't think for a moment you'll get a job flipping burgers. You won't. You'll be overqualified. Truly. Remember that hilarious scene in Lost in America? I know. There are so very, very many. A bounty. But the one where Albert Brooks is working as a crossing guard? Total Hollywood fantasy. Will not happen. A local already has that job, and he isn't giving it up!

Oh. Well. As a great poet once said, life sucks, then ya die.

And, until then, I'll be grateful for my wonderful Blue Gardenia clients, James Hunter, Van Morrison, Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty. I think I'll rent that movie tomorrow. Absolutely.

And I must credit the Photos from Prescott blog for the gorgeous picture of Goldwater Lake. Thank you. And thank you, sweet and patient readers, for sticking through to the end. I appreciate you. I do.