Sunday, November 09, 2008

This could get ugly

Okay, so I've probably mentioned all of this before, but here's just a bit of a summary about my husband's job so that the rest of the post will make sense.

My husband is a traveling photographer. I don't currently have a job. In fact, I've spent most of my married life not having a job, because my husband has always had some job like traveling photographer or some other job with an odd schedule that made it near impossible for me to have a job with a schedule that worked with his schedule. Sometimes I have had a job being his assistant, or I've been a sales consultant and worked with him, but he doesn't have an assistant at this job and I'm not a good sales consultant and being a bad sales consultant would cost him money. So most of the time I've just given up the idea of having my own job and I've traveled with him.

The travel lately has been rare. Either he only goes out of town for two or three days, or when he goes out of town for a whole week he doesn't travel again for months. When he first got this job he was gone every other week, and I usually went with him, unless school or something prevented it. But now he is not traveling so much, and I've been thinking that it would be okay if I didn't go with him at all and got my own job for a while. I haven't done anything about it yet, but I've been thinking that is what I should do because the price of gas has gone up and sales have been bad. So the price of gas has gone back down, but the sales are still low, so I should probably still look for a job.

My husband used to get his schedules in the mail, but now there is a website. The schedules are listed from Sunday to Saturday, though it is rare that anyone works on a Sunday, and a full schedule is usually Tuesday through Saturday, but you might work on a Monday, or you might have to drive wherever you are supposed to work on a Monday, and you might have to drive back home on a Sunday. So you can usually look on this website and see where you are supposed to work next week and probably the week after that. They also have this phone number that you call on a Friday to make sure that the next Sunday through Saturday schedule hasn't changed, as it is easier to change the phone messages than it is to change the schedules on the website. And then sometimes there are still other changes in the schedule that happen after Friday, but you don't know about them until a manager calls.

Because of the bad sales and sometimes only being scheduled to work two or three days a week, we've gotten a bit behind on the bills. Some bills just have to be paid first, even if they aren't due first, like the rent and the cars, and you have to pay the insurance on the cars or you can't drive them, and we don't want to get the phone or the gas cut off cause that would be annoying and it would be a hassle to get them turned back on if they were ever cut off. The cable for the Internet should not be a priority, but my husband seems to think that it is, so the bank sends them fifty dollars every month automatically. After all of that is done, sometimes there just isn't money left for paying the credit cards, and we don't pay them for a while and get late fees. But getting a late fee from a credit card is preferable to having the gas cut off or not being able to drive the cars and such.

So the credit card people call and complain, and I say thank you, we will get to that when we can. I've gotten pretty good at nicely brushing them off, mostly cause they first want to talk to my husband, who isn't usually here, so I take their number or something and say thank you and hang up. But once in while I get a call from someone who doesn't say the standard things, and I either have to be rude and hang up or I have to have a real conversation with them. And I have to explain that we are down to six hundred dollars or so, which we cannot spend, because my husband has to go out of town next week, so maybe we'll be able to pay when we get back. Sometimes they don't listen and think that we're going on vacation and that's why we won't pay, and then I don't feel bad about being rude and hanging up. But if they really want to go through all this stuff, I try to be nice and explain, and hopefully we can pay them something in a week or two.

Okay, so after explaining to several people that we could not pay, because my husband was going out of town next week, one of the managers told my husband that the trip to Tulsa wasn't going to happen. Now, we were a bit disappointed, cause we like to go to Tulsa once in a while, and I was thinking that we would go on this one last trip to Tulsa before I started looking for a job. But we didn't get that upset, because the trip to Tulsa was being replaced by a six day schedule around here, and we needed the extra money. And that also meant that we could go ahead and pay some of the credit card people who were calling, because we no longer had to keep any money in reserve to pay the expenses of going out of town for the week.

So we looked at the website, and it still said that he was going to Tulsa. And Friday he called the phone number, which said that there were no schedule changes. So my husband had to talk to the manager who told him he would be staying home this week, and the manager told him that someone else was going to work the schedule here, and that he would still be working in Tulsa as originally planned.

Some of these traveling photography companies have a form to fill out if you don't think that you have enough money to cover the travel expenses for the week, and then they send you an advance. My husband has worked at this particular company for about two and a half years, and I have asked him to find out how one gets an advance for travel expenses, but so far we haven't needed it and he never asked. So now he has asked, and they told him that there was no such thing as an advance, even to pay for travel expenses.

So we have no money, and not enough credit on the cards that are paid up, so there is no money to go to Tulsa.

My husband's answer to this sort of thing is to borrow money from my mother. Except that four years ago he borrowed three thousand dollars that he hasn't even started repaying. And then there was the thing about refusing to go to Judgement House with her last week, even though she offered to buy him a nice dinner afterward. So I don't think my mother would be much in the mood to loan him any money, and I don't think that I'm in the mood to ask her to do that.

So I don't know what's going to happen now. I don't know if he can borrow money somewhere else, or if he'll be really nice to my mom, or if he'll be able to switch schedules with someone else, or if he just won't work next week or what.

I'm going to spend the day mostly doing laundry and such, just in case we are still going. If we are not still going, it will be good to get the stuff done anyway so that I can get started on looking for that job.

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