Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Divorce is Final

Last Saturday, I received my vacation and sick leave check from the University of Florida. Forty-seven days after my last day at work. FORTY-SEVEN FREAKIN' DAYS. It has been one of the worst periods of my life. Trapped. Frustrated. Useless.

But now the action will come fast and furious. Yesterday, I moved my stuff into my brother's place for safekeeping (and to beef up his furnishings!), and am now getting ready to REALLY embark on the New Clothing Entgerprise. Stay tuned. Some sad, some happy, some in between.

The New Clothing Enterprise is finally set to begin.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I heard yesterday that Bencor (who administers UF's sick and vacation time payouts) will mail my check on Monday - forty three days since my last day at work. These have been forty three of the most useless days of my adult life; waiting for the bureaucratic wheels to turn. My suspicion, from the beginning, was that I needed to stay in Gainesville so I could pester the appropriate people to ensure things happened the way they were supposed to, and, as it turns out, I was right. Without multiple visits, phone calls, and faxes, I have no idea where in the process I would be. But now, the time has arrived to put the plan in action.

I plan to be in Washington DC by May 8th. I plan to spend several days camping - in the Smokies, the Blue Ridge, and the Shenandoahs - on the way up. My aim is to store my belongings at my brother's house in Orlando on April 28th or 29th, and depart for the nation's capitol by May 1st.

There is much to be done between now and then. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Let me give you, my friends and followers, some idea of what I am dealing with.

My last day at WRUF, officially, was Thursday, March 5th. I had a substantial amount of sick and vacation time for which I, as a vested employee, would get paid upon my resignation. Optimists told me it might happen within three weeks. Human Resources told me it would take four to six.

By working with the Business Manager at WRUF, who is always as helpful as she can be, I determined, on March 27th, that my leave payout was due to be transmitted to Bencor (the company that administers it) on April 8th - more than a month after the effective date of my resignation. I knew I had to fax them a form to authorize my payment, so I did it on that day - March 27th. I kept the confirmation sheet from the fax.

I called Bencor today and discovered that they did, in fact, receive my leave payout from UF on April 9th (ok, only a day late, according to them), but they had no record of ever receiving my fax authorizing a payout. I had a feeling...

So I am now rushing back to my old office at WRUF to re-fax a form that I originally sent two weeks ago. I am told if I get it in today, they can process my request this week, and I might have a check next week - which would, indeed, be a full six weeks from my last day at work. When you bear in mind that the terms of my employment called for me to give thirty days notice - so SOMEONE has known about this since the first week of February - you might get a sense of how frustrating it has been to sit around and wait. And wait. And wait.

This is the money that will keep me alive while I begin my New Clothing Enterprise. I've been ready to begin it for months. It appears I am finally down to just a couple more weeks...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Interesting things happen when you’re stuck in limbo for a while, and the pace and purpose of your life is altered. I find myself slowing down when I eat. What’s the rush? I should eat better food (only less of it!) and enjoy it more. I find myself taking the time to notice a beautiful spring sky, or the endless shades of green in the grasses, plants, vines and trees that enshroud Gainesville. And I find myself being more patient with others.

I experienced the effect recently at my neighborhood Starbucks. There always seems to be at least one patron who is oblivious to the fact that the world is, in fact, inhabited by other people. They stand in the way, occupy too much of the barista’s time, and just generally find ways to make the preparation of my cup of coffee take twice as long as it should. On this day, there was a man who was apparently determined to help his coffee achieve the perfect balance of bitter and sweet by adding sugar one granule at a time. Then, he added half and half to the mix as if it were an exercise in alchemy; perhaps that ten thousandth stir might turn the coffee into gold.

It is a tribute to my current state of mind that I resisted the urge to kick him in the shins. I had one errand to do and two hours to do it. I remained patient and pleasant. I waited. Perhaps having no place to go makes people nicer.

I sat down to relax for a few minutes after doctoring up my own steaming brew. Then the worst possible thing happened; classes adjourned at the nearby high school and a dozen noisy teens walked in. I don’t have the patience for that. I ran out the door, in a hurry once again.

Now Playing:

Slow – Collective Soul

This is an obscure song from the album “Dosage” about ten years ago. It is kind of a strange song, but I like it. I hadn’t heard it in a while, and then stumbled across it one day when I was looking for songs that fit my mood. This one does.


Mornings like this
Make me feel like I could never float
Glimpses of peace
Portray all that you never could show

I'm not weakened by the fears
That you have applied
See I'm now learning in these walls
That I've been supplied
Slow down boy
Slow down to control
Slow, slow

Clothed in new costumes
That weather your newfound storms
Staring through reason
Content with your newfound decor


I passed the darkened vaults of
Late doorways as if I were a king
Like this I chain a whisper to my faults


Slow – Fuel

This is very different from the Collective Soul song. It seems to be about quiet desperation – the slow and inevitable disintegration of everything that is important to you. But it ends on a vaguely upbeat note. And, in my opinion, Brett Scallions has one of the better voices in rock – very distinctive, good tone, great range and brilliant phrasing.


All this time
I thought this coming down was fine
Now everything I fought to grow
Is withered hanging on that vine

And all I wanted
Was all I needed you know
And everything good in my life
If you have to take it all way
Oh, no, take it all away, oh, no no no...
Take it slow.

Everything I try to find
Is every love I'll never hold
And in your garden now
The weeds are choking seeds we've sown


Now you find
Your own savior for a time
And if you try my love
I hope you'll find your cure in time