I’ve spent the past several days working a temporary job just to get income. As you may know, I am a Christian homeless woman, living in a van now, but living in a vehicle for a total of seven months, since March 1, 2017.
I’m driving a delivery truck taking mostly auto parts from Bellevue and Kent, Washington, into Richland, Washington, five nights a week. That’s close to 200 miles one-way, so I’ve not had a chance to blog because I sleep during my time off and don’t have time to do anything else.
I’ve very tired, and have worked over 75 hours in the past five work days. Tonight I have off, but Sunday night I will again drive my truck into Richland, making a stop in Sunnyside, Washington, to pick up samples of cow milk that will be tested for any bacteria which will then be delivered up to Pendleton, Oregon where they test the milk. I drove to Pendleton one night when they needed someone to make the delivery because their regular person wasn’t available.
My travels went through Washington state, delivering auto parts.
My ad on Craigslist was requesting an office job that I could do for a few weeks until my other job starts that I blogged about here. I was answered by about seven or eight people; some were weird replies, such as “ready to work?” and that was all they wrote, to long explanations about what they needed me to do, vague, not really saying what the job was about. Just “running errands” and the red flag: depositing money into a bank account, you know, those kinds of scams out there. Don’t do anything where they talk about a bank account, because that’s a scam, I know too well. My other job from a scammer on Craigslist involved wanting to know my bank account information, and I reported the guy in this scam. But my recent ad was answered by only one person who sounded normal. I’ll call him Scott.
Since I needed money for my car payment and phone bill, I posted a short ad that I would do office work should anyone need a temporary office worker, and my ad was short:
I have over ten years of experience doing various office positions, and have a background in counseling and social work. My office skills are current and I’ve recently been working office jobs as a temporary employee.
If you have an office type job that you need filled quickly on the East Side to help you for a short-term basis while I look for a permanent job, please contact me and I will send you my resume and/or talk with you by phone. Thanks.
** I report scams, valid offers only.
I have to report that I do report scams. Everybody should. But my main point is that when you need a job for a short time only, post it on Craigslist, then learn the scams, what is said, how fast they pay and by what means. Otherwise you may get into a bad place, working some hours and then not getting paid. Anyway, this Scott, as I call him, seemed nice enough. I will find out tomorrow whether he pays up front like he says he will, and he offered to pay me in advance because I was trying to work until my other jobs starts back up. He felt kinda sorry for me is my guess. He said he was a Christian and I believe that he was legit. I never felt nervous or like he was a creepy guy. He never made improper statements, or joked coarsely, so I believe God has ordained it to happen; he offers me a short-term job to help him and me, both. Since he needed a driver to allow him to take care of other things, instead of doing the driving himself.
He is the owner of a delivery trucking company where he has other people working for him. They all seem nice and they work hard.
In his warehouse they unloaded the trucks into sorted areas of the different cities that items needed to be delivered to, then loaded them up into the trucks that were going on that route. Mine was to go to a series of cities in Washington state, but one night he needed someone to go up to Oregon to deliver the stacks of items they need every week night during the business week, meaning every Monday through Friday nights when we worked making deliveries. He asked me if I would deliver up to Pendleton, Oregon, to which I agreed. It wouldn’t be so bad, I thought. I would just take an hour longer to drive to it, then turn around and come back once I had dropped off the load of tied, Styrofoam, stacks of milk samples. I have no idea what they wanted them for, so it was some science testing place, maybe a government oversight committee’s idea. I don’t know. Why would cow milk need to be tested? Now I think it’s good to know what is in the milk that we drink, it’s just my guess what that was about. I didn’t see any cows, so I wonder what cow milk, or even goat milk, they may have wanted samples for?
I went up there and didn’t know where to unload the milk samples. He gave me the wrong address; it was a digit off, and my GPS was showing that I go to an electrical power company, so I didn’t know what they wanted the milk samples for. Something weird going on, I thought, so I waited for Scott to return my call, asking him where to deliver the samples.
And I waited… and waited… two-and-a-half hours went by before he called back. I had been lying on the front seat, curled up in a ball, asking God to please have Scott call me back, to which he did. Scott called me right then. So I could deliver the samples and be on my way after three hours in Pendleton, Oregon. I went back to the warehouse to drop off the rest of the load that was in my truck; the load where I had loaded up several boxes from my start location in Bellevue, Washington. They were heavy, and I needed the guy at the Auto show room to help me load seven of the larger, heavier boxes.
So I went back to the warehouse to drop off these boxes where they would be sorted and taken to their locations to be dropped off the following business day. I got them out of the truck, but it was then that my cell phone service was shut off because I hadn’t paid the bill, and I didn’t have directions to take two more packages to Ellensburg, WA, to drop off at another auto repair shop.
I was panicked. It was the middle of the night, and without phone service I would not be able to call my boss and ask him how to get to the store in Ellensburg. I remembered Ellensburg was on the freeway home, but I didn’t know where to pick up the freeway, which direction to go, and I drove a bit, for about 30 minutes, thinking I would go west which ultimately would be the direction I go to go home, where my van was parked.
I was wrong about knowing the direction to go, and turned around to come back. Then I couldn’t find the exact location where I had been at the warehouse, which I could get into, but the phone was locked up in the boss’s office. I had not way to reach him, the phone was not available. So I curled up in the truck for awhile, thinking it would be easier to find my way and an open store, after sunrise.
It was cold, and I remember thinking that I had the gas card, so could fill up once I found the right kind of gas station where I could use the gas card. He had given it to me since I would often need gas to put in the truck, since I was traveling several hundred miles during the night. I decided to run the engine to run the heater.
As the sun was getting ready to rise, I started out looking for anything open, and a gas station where I could ask directions would be best. I would buy a cup of coffee, and be cheerful, knowing this night would end soon and that cup of coffee would sure help. After about 20 minutes of driving around I found an open gas station where the lady at the counter was able to point me to the direction of the freeway going to Ellensburg. I was about an hour-and-a-half’s drive away. I got the cup of coffee and started out again. I needed gas, and though I knew there was a gas station in Ellensburg, I also drove through Prosser where they were having a balloon fair. It was a blast looking at a parasailer flying above me on the freeway, then finding a group of hot air balloons which were lifting up from the ground at the Prosser Balloon Rally. I had to get gas, so stopped at Prosser, at Love’s gas station and truck stop.
At Love’s, I had to fill the tank and I was not certain that this Love’s would take the credit card. Scott had mentioned that not all gas stations could take the car, but I did not know what that meant; either the gas stations were all Love’s, or there were certain Loves’ we could use the credit card for, or there were only certain gas station companies where we could use the corporate credit card. Since I was not sure, I tried to get the gas prepaid so I would know I could pay for it. I did not want to be stuck with a full tank of gas, unable to pay for it. So the guy at the counter told me to pull the truck around to the side where the big-rigs get their gas. At the pump, the gas kept splashing rapidly into the smaller truck tank, so only would add about five cents of gas at a time, then the gas pump would stop pumping gas. After several tries, I had to drive the truck over to the other side again, and after going inside and out of the gas station about six times, I finally got the gas tank full and began driving again.
After about an hour of driving near Yakima toward Ellensburg where I had to deliver the two items, the truck started to automatically slow down. Lights came on on the front panel, and I lost power, so I had to drive really slow all of a sudden. I drove about 10 minutes on the shoulder of the freeway with my flashers on. Then I pulled over on the freeway, and stopped. I was afraid I would damage the truck’s engine if I kept driving. Once I found the owner’s manual, I identified the problem as the truck needed DEF fluid, and I started out on the freeway again, this time going no faster than about 15 mph, staying on the shoulder, my lights flashing. I prayed for a patrol officer, and lo and behold, right then up ahead I saw the flashing lights of a highway patrolman stopped on the side of the freeway. I drove my truck slowly up the grade, and was able to park behind him. I noticed it was a K-9 unit.
He walked up to my passenger door which I opened for him, and he said “what can I do for ya? Are you broken down?” He had his sunglasses on and looked like a kind man. I told him I could drive still, but very slow. He reasoned that I should keep driving the 14 miles to Ellensburg and go to a gas station right off the freeway there, and I was able to go all the way without breaking down, completely. He said he would watch in case I broke down.
At the gas station, I called Scott using the manager’s phone, who told me to go to the gas station down the road and use the company credit card and buy the DEF fluid. It was my first experience with DEF fluid, not knowing what it was, and I still don’t know what it was for.
I was able to get the DEF fluid and drop off the packages at the auto repair shop, then went back on my way to go on the freeway, driving the speed limit, knowing I would get home all in one piece. I was worried I might not know how to get to where my van was parked, at a Bellevue car dealership where I would park the truck in their parking lot for the night. I would pick it up again the next time I had to drive it to make deliveries again. I struggled, stopped at a storage rental company, and the guy behind the counter gave me direction. I then had to park the truck in the back parking lot where I would leave it, get to my van, and figure out how to get to Kirkland from Bellevue. I was lost, and drained. It had been 20 hours since I first picked up the truck and then drove up to start my delivery job. Wasted and exhausted doesn’t describe my state of mind.
I’ve had conversations with God; I’ll call them that. More like rants about how I can’t understand how I can work all day but can’t keep a job. What is he doing to my life? When I went to school I was promised a house with a white picket-fence around it. That is what my college application said; well, no, not really. But that is what I thought.
Why did I think that? Wasn’t I taught that a college-education would promise me a house with a white-picket fence around it? Now it sounds like a pipe-dream, something made up out of The Wizard Of Oz.
A story. A story about how a white woman in her 20’s could work on her college education, get married, and have 2.0 children. Or something along those lines. I was supposed to be happy and have children, that’s plural, more than one child. I only got to have one child, and that was an unhappy one. An unhappy daughter and her unhappy mother. Married to an unhappy man who was a recovering alcoholic; at least that’s what he said.
I grew up thinking I would have a nice life; my dad was doing well and he told us we were “an upper, middle-class family”, which was common in those days. More common than today. Only we weren’t, we were at the upper echelon of the middle class family life-style, having more than others but not quite rich. We weren’t that well-off. I know this because in the mature mind I have now, I have learned about making oneself look good on the outside, but on the inside my parents may have been struggling with debt. Credit cards, bank loans, and that sort of thing. I just didn’t know it when I was a child.
Dad drank, so I married an alcoholic, because that’s what I learned from Al-Anon, that we marry alcoholics because “that’s the thing we know”, how to live a life of chaos, broken dreams and unhappy marriages. Dad cheated, and my mom later divorced him, once she got the house and a few other things, I believe, and felt stable financially. But he let her down, and I mean greatly. She worshiped him and hung on him at every chance she got. I believe her existence was devoted to him and his success in business. He was in advertising and had his own ad agency in San Francisco; at least that’s what he said. I don’t know how much I trust a man who would leave my mother in such a depressed state. She loved him, through and through, and hung on for years… He just got worse and drank all the more.
In Al-Anon, they call that “co-dependence”, you hang onto another person, covering up for their mistakes, accepting disaster, telling yourself you’ll be okay, and if you just love the other person enough they will get well and change. You prove yourself, your loyalty to them I guess and that’s supposed to be the difference they need in a relationship to make a change. You love them well, I guess. That’s the theory I’m sure that goes on in each mother’s mind who is married to such a dysfunctional man. Her identity was build upon his wellness, success, and how well they looked “on the outside”. It was all fake. They were not happy and my dad was not well. Either was she, now that I think about it, but I knew that at the time.
As a small child I grew up thinking my dad was larger than life; he was always right and he was god in the family. Until my sister came along who earned a PhD in bio-physiology, and so knew the origins of life, then she became his god, and so was like a god to the rest of us. At least she got treated that way and was the oldest of four sisters.
It wasn’t a happy time, because I was the third child born alive, my older sibling died at childbirth, was a still-born I guess, and so I was the fourth born, but was the third born who survived. My mom didn’t care for me much, I presume. She must have been heartbroken that the other child died, and so I was a replacement child. I wonder how that felt to her? Since I don’t know her well, I just guess at stuff.
I am a hurt child, abandoned by my family, having been my dad’s favorite child, or so he told me so once when he was drunk, and he might have told the other children the same thing, now that I think about things. He may have identified with me the most, because I liked to read and he read himself silly, what with a library that had shelves lining the walls in the living room, and in his office in their bedroom, with a walk-in closet to the side that they had built on to add more rooms to the house. That is why I thought we were doing well, financially. We had a big house next to all the ones in my neighborhood at the time. We lived in a tract-housing development, called Rohnert Park, in California, that has since built up into a large tract-housing development, much bigger than when we were there. We moved in before Rohnert Park was proclaimed a “city”. It was named after “the Rohnert family”, is what I was told when I was a child.
We were considered well-to-do, compared to my friends, and we had horses. We pastured them at another friend’s house. I rode gymkhana and did barrel racing as a young teenager; I was President of the 4-H when I could talk. I was very shy then and someone nominated me to be the 4-H leader, but then I couldn’t do it any more because I was frightened to death. I was pushed into it, you see. And, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, or say, or what it was about. I was too young. I sold sheep at the fair also while I slept in a horse stall with a friend when we rode in horse competitions at the fairs around the area. Those were good times since they were unusual in my lifetime, very prestigious, since the other kids at my school didn’t have horses, so I was raised with many things they didn’t have. I was grateful, but then I flopped as an adult. I simply “couldn’t get anywhere” and I became a Christian out of desperation.
My marriages had both flopped. I married two alcoholics, for reasons explained. Yep, it was that easy. You see someone and you tell yourself, “I’m going to marry that one”, but I wasn’t the one saying that. They were. I did not want these marriages and in no way was I ready to be married and live a life of marriage. It was a mistake in my life to have married so young in how young I was for my age; and have these men as my marriage partners, so messed up as they were and not ready to become husband’s, themselves.
This is my mistake; not making decisions based upon who I was. I let everyone tell me what I should become, and I became it. Only I flopped since I was not to have those things; husbands, horses, swim and ballet lessons; that was not who I am, not who I was supposed to be. I am who I am meant to be today; living in a van and shaping a life around God’s timing, and for the strengths that I have been gifted with. Only time will tell how well I turn out.
So I went on my first truck ride, making my way through the state of Washington, wondering what it was all about.
This is the truck I drove.
This is a 16-foot box truck, cab-over, I am told, by the man who owns the company. I’ll call him Scott.
He’s a good guy, a Christian, so I could talk to him immediately about the Christian experience and why I trusted him.
I shared with him my experience writing job ads on Craigslist while I looked for work. His was one example of the kinds of jobs I would get…
I’m an office worker, and there’s nothing like a truck-driving job delivering auto parts that I wouldn’t want more… To have sore arms and neck, a back that won’t bend and legs that hurt when I walk… yes, that’s the kind of work I would get in a hurry, wanting to make ends meet and not take additional free benefits like the food stamps I used to get.
I got food stamps when I was poor, and traveling through the states in the United States, under hardship, hurting like hell, wondering why I couldn’t find work. I was a case-manager back in California, and I’m trying to make sense out of why my life took shape this way.
I live in a van and I’m homeless, now for the third time. Why am I so having a problem finding good jobs where I can support myself, and live a normal, decent life on my own, not harming anybody and just getting along? All I want to do is lead a normal life.
Now I’m having problems with income, again, and so I have the truck-driving job where I deliver auto-parts to companies around the state of Washington, and into Oregon, where I delivered some supplies one night. I posted an ad for “job wanted” on the East Side of Lake Washington so that I wouldn’t have to go into Seattle to find a job. I wanted temporary, a quick job so I could wait for a job coming through and have some sort of income, while waiting.
I needed food stamps so I got the emergency food stamps while I’m waiting for a job to come through, where I applied for a job, got the paperwork done, and now have to wait for a pharmacy assistant certificate to get posted on the Washington state licensing site, here: Pharmacy assistant certification
I’m checking the status of when they are working on September 16th, when they would have received my September 13th signed application in the mail on this page: Day of certification processing
So, I guess I have another two weeks from today in order that they receive my application and post it on their website, as “pending”, or maybe “active”, depending on how fast they process them.
I can’t wait. My arms are sore and I’m tired from driving all night. This is the only job I’ll have until I get the other job working at the front desk for a pharmacy-related company in their corporate office, with a clinic next to where I sit. A nurse sits back there and does the infusions for any patient they have, who make an appointment to receive infusion therapy. That is where they feed medication through a tube into the person’s arm. So that is the job I’m waiting on and then I won’t have to drive a truck making deliveries any longer.
Today I got sent home early from a job I loved, after only working there for two days. This was my third day, and this morning, around 9:45 am, a pharmacist for the company called me into her office, and I could tell it was something serious. I was a bit scared, not knowing what this was about; I was not sure of her name and had never worked with her directly. She had not even been one of the managers who hired me.
She confided that she “went above the manager’s head” about this and was calling me in to tell me that I could not work there since I did not have my pharmacy assistant credential which I had applied for last week. It had not been recorded yet, they were two weeks behind at the licensing board entering applications into their system. Today was the 20th; I had mailed it in on the 13th, and they were entering in applications to their online system from the 6th, so my application wouldn’t even be entered into the system until maybe the end of next week, a week-and-a-half away, or probably the first of the following week, meaning I would not be able to work at my new job that I loved, until that application was at least processed, to make it “pending”, until the background check was done, and they moved it to “active”. That could take three weeks or more from today, so I set myself up at the library to look for another job, going through a temporary agency, and maybe go back to the job I loved.
I’m really not sure what I’ll do. I have an interview for tomorrow at a temporary agency that will send me to an interview for a permanent position close by at a security company. They need a dispatcher who would work as an administrative person, and watch the security cameras, working closely with the police and fire departments. They also would train me on how to use a baton, and handcuff people, in case of emergency and all were called in to assist in some incident.
I am not really the best at security, and don’t want to do the job, however it is working in an office. That’s not so bad. But knowing security companies the way I do, I know this is not the type of job for me. Besides, I am way overqualified, but for a quick job, this might be my answer. I just don’t want to get stuck in security like I have been in the past. How odd that this is the job she said they have where you get hired in permanently, not temporarily, and she explained how good the benefits are. I’m not really sure what God is doing except that this may be a job that He is providing, until I know where I am going in life.
When I see the lady at the temporary agency tomorrow before going on the security job interview, I will ask her about the temporary to permanent job she told me about first when we spoke on the phone. It was then as she reviewed my resume that she saw I had done security work for two years, until I couldn’t stand it any more and finally left. I had been trying to get long-term permanent employment on my resume, and that’s the only permanent job that was offered me at the time, so I took it. Now it’s come around again and I simply hate the industry and don’t want to go back into it for any length of time. I may accept a job offer and then leave if I have another job to go to. Like that job I love so much that is only temporary, for about 2 or 3 months, which was said to be temporary only. I have not been made any promises there but an employee told me it is a growing business, so that’s promising.
Today was an amazing day; I started a new temporary job after leaving a temporary job I was not happy with. I left my previous temporary assignment when the manager started acting strangely; he seemed angry because I had found a bill his company owed of over $42,000.00! He wanted me to pay it after I found out what the balance was, expecting to only pay $350.00 or so. But when I went to pay it, the company told me that the company owed the tremendous amount of over $42,000.000! I was dumbfounded, and in shock.
After that, I sent the manager an email telling him I was unclear on what bills our office paid out and who paid all the other bills that came in the office mail which I opened every morning. He did not respond, he only acted like he hated my guts, and he began to treat me as if I were undesirable, that he couldn’t stand me being in the office, and that I was the dumbest person on the block. He became quite insulting, and I tried contacting my recruiter who sent me to this temporary job assignment, to no avail. He never answered my repeated emails, texts and phone messages. So I took a Monday off as a sick day, hoping my recruiter would have called the angry manager and see if he wanted me to return to work that week. But that never happened. After 5:00 pm Monday, I elected to quit; so I emailed my recruiter that I resigned, effective immediately, because he never responded to any of my messages, asking him to call the manager and find out what went wrong. So that is how I left my last job, after about a month. It was supposed to be a three-month assignment.
So, today, I felt very good about my having quit the last job, in order to accept this new position, which may be a permanent job if I stay the three months and they want to keep me. So far I enjoy the people, and the job is not too hard so that I can learn about the company on my own free time, as well as spend my lunch hour on my laptop at work, happily plugged into an electrical socket, typing to my little heart’s desire. I will have a stable paycheck, and I am so grateful to God for helping me quit my last job, even though I had no idea why that was happening, that it had gone so wrong. I have a new job instead, one that I like and I think the people are very friendly and I am hopeful it will be my last job. I will stay if they will have me, that is all I know now.
I am trusting that the Lord Jesus Christ will help me figure out a way to keep income coming into me, as well as fight my demons that have chased me around the United States for the past two decades or more. It’s just unbelievable what the enemy has stolen from me; a daughter I gave birth to, a level of status I had in my field of psychology, a job at a University I loved, a home I was buying, a new car I bought for earning my master’s degree… so many things went down the drain in those years. But I am not going to cry over spilled milk when I know that I will spend my eternity with the Lord. That is all I know since we don’t know from day to day how much time we have to spend on the planet, nor what our futures may bring. I pray that my life be blessed and that I make it to heaven.