I had actually cheered up this last week, regarding prospects for staying down here through the winter. Then I checked my bank account on line. I'd started earlier in the week with a couple grand in the account, the amount left after all the moving expenses and the emergency sewer repair.
I got my first week's paycheck deposited. I also paid the early-month bills: utilities down here, insurance payments, a loan payment. The net result is about a grand left in the checking account, two more weeks to find out what something more resembling a real paycheck is like down here, and enough bills to more than deplete what's left. If I have to leave, heading back to Minnesota, the real question will be is there enough to cover bills, gas home and the next two weeks before a real paycheck comes through again?
Without getting too specific, that first week, after three with no income, would be covered by two days worth of income in Minnesota. Granted, there was a learning curve involved, on both sides: my learning how to get around, and them learning what I'm capable of. The last couple days this week were OK, though I still have no idea just how I'm getting paid per job down here. For some odd reason, the powers that be don't give that kind of information to the drivers when they're actually doing the run. That comes later, attached to a pay sheet summary. Which I haven't seen one of here yet. In Minnesota I had a general idea which runs pay shit, which earn you a tank of gas or more. Here these are new-to-me companies, and I've no idea what kind of deals the company cut with them to outbid the competition.
I'm not overly optimistic. I haven't seen a track record overall which values the workers. We're highly replaceable.
I was hopeful, earlier this week. I'd had what should have been a couple good days. But still, not knowing, and now seeing just how dismal a single week can be. I have never, in 27 years, had a pay week that meager where I worked all five days. Not even my very first week. Not even back when I knew squat about the business or the cities, and the pay was much lower.
The result is a lot of imagining worst-case scenarios, which, if I really think about it, aren't all that worst-case. There are funds I can tap into, but they're tied up in nice CDs right now, and I don't wish to eliminate a good source of interest income. No, the real worst-case scenario is my returning to the land of ice and snow for a few more working winters. At least there is a job up there to return to. I'm getting to like it down here, where 50 degrees has folks shivering and there's always green and no ice under feet or wheels.
I just need a liveable income.