You know how the day after a holiday feels like the longest day ever? Isn't that unfair? At the end of this long day, I realized I need a good rant to get some things out of my system. So, bear with me if you would like to commiserate; if not, check back tomorrow.
A brief list of my current rants:
--Our lovely new Alabama governor is on the top of my list today. I realize that, as a state employee, I have a great job, and I am very appreciative of it. However, I went into my job knowing that I would make less money than I would in the private sector (the state of Alabama is not known for paying high salaries, you know). I decided to stay with my current job, despite the earning potential I was giving up, because of the great benefits: a very good health insurance plan, great retirement, several paid holidays, and flexibility to be off when I need to. After the girls came along, those benefits became even more important to me.
Now, it seems our super governor would like to take most of those benefits from state employees. He mentioned earlier this week that he wants to reduce the number of paid holidays for state employees, and I have seen mention of replacing our excellent health insurance with a high-deductible healthcare savings account (at the same time health coverage is supposed to be more accessible, of course...we are always backward here, it seems). That's just for starters...there is almost a guarantee that he will attack the retirement system next, and who knows what else we may lose before he is out of office.
My anger is not all about the paid holidays, of course. And I will even readily admit that the Mardi Gras holiday is a little superfluous (it's given for those counties where Mardi Gras is celebrated; the rest of us can take that day whenever we choose), but many of those holidays were added in past years after several years without raises for state employees. So really, Governor? You choose to attack state employees as one of your first orders of business after taking office?
I understand we are in a budget crisis in Alabama, and I am all for reductions where they need to happen. But I also think there is wisdom is attempting to retain some of the qualified and experienced workers in the state system, and cutting benefits without raising pay is not the way to do it. Am I overqualified for my job? Yes, by far. It has always been worth it to me to sacrifice that pay, but if my benefits are taken away, the situation may start to look very different.
End rant #1.
--Despite my wonderful health insurance, we got stuck with a big, fat bill from our dentist recently. Isn't it sickening to watch that huge check come out of your account when you don't think you should be paying it at all? I found this new dentist last winter when I needed some quick pain relief after avoiding the dentist for too long. I had a root canal, followed by more work to get my mouth back in proper condition. I was given a treatment plan, with an estimate of my cost after insurance. I have a common insurance plan, you would think these people would be familiar with what is covered, right? Apparently not. After I paid the estimated cost after every visit (totalling several hundred dollars, not even including my root canal, which was done at another facility), we were surprised by a $450.00 bill. That is NOT a simple underestimation, in my book.
No one seemed particularly interested in explaining how that happened, and yet, they kept demanding their money. I caved and sent a check last week, along with a not-so-nice note to cancel our standing appointments. Now, we are on the hunt for a new dentist...again.
--I should just stop using the drive-through at McDonald's. Every time I go there, my blood pressure must rise to dangerous levels. See, our small town upgraded to the big-city version of McD's a few months ago, and we now have the double-lane drive through. Trouble is, people don't understand how to use it and someone always cuts out of line behind me to go to the far line, when you're supposed to form one line until you get to the point it splits. (That probably only makes sense if you have one of these types of drive-throughs. Does it happen to you too?)
Basically, people are cutting in front of me, and I am nearly as bad as a third-grader when it comes to people breaking line. Petty, I know...but when Addison & Mackenzie are exhausted from an afternoon at the park and want their "hambooger", we don't have a lot of time to spare.
(No, they don't get McDonald's very often, but when we are all worn out at the end of the day, sometimes it's the best option available!)
Well, I sure feel better now...blogging is definitely therapeutic! If you're still reading, thanks. : )