Thursday, December 11, 2014

The truth about the Motorhome

Until now I've given lots of fairly opaque good reasons why I have opted to move into a motor home. This is the absolute down gritty truth.

1. I was working quite happily for Barnes & Noble, full time as a Head Cashier. I wasn't making much but I was comfortable. That job ended in January of 2014 when Barnes & Noble closed the store. There was a lot said about the reasons for it and a lot of surmising but at the end of it all, my 40 hour a week job ended and there was no real opportunity to transfer elsewhere.
2. Concurrently with working with Barnes & Noble, I was completing a course with Midlands Technical College that was entitled "Medical Billing and Coding Specialist". This was sold to me as a course that would definitely get me work as there was always a need for coders and billers.
3. Subsequent to Barnes & Noble ending, I managed to obtain a temporary position with DHL that could have become permanent but did not. I can't say I'm sad about that as their computer system was very haphazard in operation.
4. After DHL ended in February I was on a miserly $153 unemployment from the state until that ended some 20 weeks later.
5. A couple of months after the unemployment ended and I'd been living off savings, trying hard to get work ever since February, I landed a part-time position minding children in an after school program that I didn't even remember applying for.
6. The income from the after school program is not enough to pay all my bills. So much so that I still receive Food Stamps and still have to dip into my rapidly depleting savings - even when my bills are... $525 for rent, $28 for electricity, $45 for cellphone and (now) $20 for internet. Adding gas on top plus car insurance depletes my savings. I really don't make much.

I analyzed my situation and came to the conclusion I was paying the lowest possible rent and that the only way to get cheaper was to get a motorhome and maybe pay $100 a month lot rent. Needless to say I keep applying for jobs. Good Heavens, I'm qualified - a Bachelor's degree, work experience, worked with people - a people person, been in management and have a medical coding/billing qualification. All I get is agencies responding and calling me to interview in distant locations then promising to get back and not doing so - even when prompted. Employers interview and promise to get back but never do. I never know whether they want me and can't get hold of me or can't be bothered to get back to me to let me know. So for the moment I'm stuck on a low wage job trying to make ends meet.

Thus, my dad gave me money to buy an old bus. I bought it and am now converting it into a motorhome. The goal
is to be living in it in January. Even if there's no cooking, shower or toilet installed, January is my goal. Christmas will be hard because my after-school job does not pay if there is no school. Thus the summer will be desperate poverty.

I cannot guarantee to get a really decent position given the state of things in South Carolina. I feel very much that the only jobs that my course created were jobs for people working at Midlands Tech. Certainly I see jobs for Billers and Coders but every medical admin job I apply for locally gets the same results - either no response or horror when they realize I'm not a woman (not that they have any reason to believe otherwise). As an example:
1. I was offered an interview by email from a surgeon's office. I rang and the secretary became hostile and denied that the email was genuine, said there were no jobs and nobody was recruiting. My ladyfriend rang and was told there were plenty jobs - by the same woman, 20 minutes later.
2. I was offered a job interview by a dentist for his front office. I rang to book the interview and was given an interview time. 20 minutes later they rang back to cancel because the dentist would be out of town and they would ring back. I rang back a couple of times and had fob-off answers. Then I realized that like the surgeon's office, it was sexism. Subsequently when I visited my own dentist I mentioned that dentist to her and she knew of him and laughed because some of her female patients had been propositioned by him at a party and were not amused.
3. I was offered another job interview which was canceled when they realized I'm not a woman. I can't recall the exact details now.

So, it makes sense to reduce costs to a point where I can survive off my earnings. Living without heat and air conditioning reduced my electricity bill to $27 a month. I can't do without internet or cellphone as I need both in order to apply for jobs since ALL job applications are now online. I hate being in this position but I am forced into it by the endemic sexism in South Carolina. Thank God I'm not black because then I'd be facing endemic racism as well. As far as the course to be a Medical Coding and Billing specialist, I feel Midlands Tech lied to me about job opportunities with it and thus took money under false pretenses. I feel the only jobs they secured with that $3,000 (approx) rip-off were their own. Not once did they say "Only women get work in admin in South Carolina" and recommend a more suitable course. If there ever was an American Dream, it's a bad nightmare in South Carolina for this educated White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

Now you know why I'm getting a motorhome together. Another side effect of the motorhome is that I can simply drive it closer to wherever I work and just use my car to commute.


  1. One thing I have noticed since being laid off my job of 12 years- women seem to get the better jobs/offers. I guess I'm supposed to day labor in the sun for 8 an hour. White Anglo Protestant? You and me both buddy... Its become a curse these days, apparently. I've applied for so many jobs here in Fl, that I bought the bus as an "escape pod". I'm heading west, where I've actually seen some help wanted signage.

  2. Its either that or we save up for a sex change operation!

  3. I hadn't thought of that!
    Maybe get it covered under health insurance one mythical day when I'll be able to afford it... lol

  4. Allegedly you can get it done free if you're in jail in some states. High price to pay lol