Rich, White Hypocrites

My perfectly nice, albeit somewhat-clueless, neighbor directly south of this place has been complaining about “all the construction” going on across the street every time she sees me. Yet another tear-down of a perfectly reasonable three flat in order for someone to build a giant, million-dollar, single-family home. She then bemoans the fact that our house is going to be gutted and keeps asking me what the new landlord is going to do to it, how long construction will last, and what she’ll have to “deal with.” I have no idea. The landlord thinks he just did us a favor by cashing our checks for three months and then telling us to get lost.

I know one thing–everyone who knows the guy (he owns another building on this street) says he’s going to do the absolutely minimum possible to make as much cash off this place as he can. I know we’ll be priced out of it. A three bed a few doors down is currently on the market for over two grand a month. The place we’ll be moving to is only five bucks more than what we pay now and heat is paid, but it’s even more outdated, with a tiny kitchen and no dishwasher. And what we pay here is still almost $300 more than the previous tenants paid. Oh, yeah. I saw their rent check once.

I want to ask the nice-ish neighbor lady if she realizes the hypocrisy of her complaints, considering five years ago, she and her husband bought and razed the two three flats that were on the corner to build just two massive single-family homes. Between those two houses, five different kids are sent to private schools, and as many as six different families can no longer afford to live in this neighborhood.

Our public school claims enrollment is down, diversity isn’t what it used to be, and they are losing a significant amount of funds from CPS. Maybe if all the rich white people from Lincoln Park didn’t move over here to rip out all the apartments and then pay out a buttload more to send them to the Catholic school and $400-per-week elite preschool, more “diverse” families could afford to stay.

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Snippy Remarks

One of the great parts about my job is that I can set my own hours, as long as I’m getting my work done. Some aspects can be completed at home (editing, writing, outreach, emails), which works well for me because we don’t have (and cannot afford at the moment) after-school care for the kindergartner. I have to pick her up at 3:10 every day.

One of the annoying parts of my job is that no one bothers coming in until late–10, 11, noon–so they don’t see me plugging away at nine in the morning every day. Almost all the courses in this program are offered in the evenings, and a majority of the professors apparently live in and commute from Oak Park, so they straggle in whenever works for them.

Yesterday one of my co-workers remarked that she didn’t think I existed anymore since she hadn’t seen me “in forever.” I informed her that I am here every Friday, unlike all the other grad assistants, because I have a four-hour morning class on Tuesdays and have to leave right after to pick up my daughter. And since Charlie gets the kids on Mondays, I’m here as early as 8:30 until 5:30, then go straight to my other class until 9pm. I did not see her any of those days.

And Mr. FancyPants Important Man, who is too busy giving interviews about his latest project to meet with me, made a snide remark the other day that I’m an “earlybird,” which makes it hard for him to give me assignments. I snapped back that I have a cell and office phone, email, and access to all of those in a variety of ways.

I like my job and I do enjoy the people with whom I work. I edited and indexed a really interesting book on a subject I knew nothing about until that moment. I finished it in two weeks, which made me feel a pretty solid sense of accomplishment. I know in any job, we will work with human beings, all of whom have their own quirks and preferences. But I do not enjoy being made to feel as though I’m not doing as much as other people.

This is barely enough of an irritation to warrant so many paragraphs, but sometimes I find myself writing a very wordy status update on Facebook, then transfer and expound on it over here in order to save my friends the time and energy they would have to use up to read and comment on my huge posts.