Yes, finally, it is almost over with just a mere hand full of hours left before we move into February. I would be a liar if I said that January 2015 was awesome and these last thirty-one days went without a hitch. This month will be marked as one of most “nail-biting” periods that I have had in a very long time. From work to inflation, there were times when I thought that for sure I was going to sink into debt and find myself sounded with bills that are in arrears as work fizzled out and costs suddenly rose. Luckily, none of these situations came to past.
At my work, I am designated as a part-time labourer. I use only a small fraction of my skill-sets; mainly my job is to move boxes, the lowest denominator of skill is required for this task. Your weight of usefulness is measured in terms of endurance and obedience. If you perform to a standard of expectation, then you are kept. If you fail to meet this standard then you are never called back, or your time served is reduced. I was fortunate to have earned my usefulness to the point that for the last half of January I managed to obtain almost full-time hours.
Using my work’s colloquial jargon, “my bacon was saved,” as I found myself with utility bills that increased overall by 10 percent, and extra charges in a couple of services that I use that magically appeared. As of today, with the flood of time-served at my work, adding one very healthy pay cheque that is on its way, I can breath easy for one more month in the slow season.
January 2015, will be marked as a time when costs soared. Every utility, service, item that I use on a daily bases, with the exception of gasoline for my vehicle, has risen sharply. And when faced with reduced time-at-work, pitted up against the rise of inflation, I was sure that I was going to join the growing number of Canadians who are in real hardship. Cutting back, cutting off, austerity at the deepest personal level, is the new norm. Finding ways of cutting taxes, buying cheaper goods, letting go of more expensive conveniences, and switching back to a more basic lifestyle, are not just fads and choices, these are necessities now.
So I survived it. February should at least be a little better with the money that I earned so far. I am not out of woods yet. People around me are falling through the web of debt faster than our government can cut another service. As people around me “fail” in the economic sphere, in their wake they could take me down with them. My landlord could sell his land, and force me to move; my work could suddenly fail, as it is a retail outlet; my government could raise taxes to unprecedented levels never seen before in my lifetime, leaving us begging for handouts while moving into a cardboard box underneath the shrubs at City Hall. Fortunately, Doctor Doom’s chronicles have not come to past yet for me–fingers crossed that they do not–and I can move through this, keeping my dignity.