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when the honeymoon is over and you appreciate the chance to make money but can’t stand your job

In my time at the university, a private 4-yr institution, it was the people on the business side of the desk with all the good intentions who caused me the most problems. That includes ensuring that I owed them $1200 and thereby barring me from getting copies of my official transcript and applying for grad school for almost two years now. They “helped” me by labeling me as a “financially needy” perpetually working class student then putting me in immediate debt for two or three years, all the while smiling and supposedly sympathizing with my situation.

One day at home, I checked the mailbox after work and found a letter from the Department of Education. I had filed a Statement of Financial Status form with them to prove that I cannot pay $400 a month to my loans but am trying to begin repaying some of my debt. At the time, I had just started working and had no paycheck stubs or ways to prove how little I was being paid so I sent what I had, which is what the department manager at my job had personally printed and given me (they can no longer provide personal letters to employees I was told). The Dep of Edu told me to respond with more proof in 15 days.

At work, I sat at my temporary desk in my temporary seat stamping other people’s tax forms, numbed and having mild panic attacks at the reality that I was going to have to give up on my dreams because these loans were going to go to collection and $9000 would be added on top of them as a result. I would never be able to go back to school to get the degree they say I need to prove myself to them yet again. (conversations on education and what is considered knowledge, me giving up on my dreams being a fate probably worse than death, me knowing I have nothing to prove to anyone are herein withheld)

temporary desk. temporary chair. super temporary job with same agency that put me in debt for life in the first place. I can’t help but see the irony. The only thing that’s solid and forever in this life, the only thing they allow me to have permanently, is the debt I owe.

No one cared what I was going through. Everyone shrugged off my problems or gave me useless, empty advice. Or snapped at me for being depressed. Or blamed me for getting into this situation in the first place by not turning in paperwork when the establishment wanted it, by not meeting deadlines set up and enforced to put me in debt and keep me in debt, one way or another; its not personal, they say, just do what they want when they want it.

I would never put myself on the same level of corruption as people who carelessly benefit from a system that strips people of their humanity and deifies money but I can’t help but think that I have become someone who isn’t much better. I see the system for what it is but can’t do much about it in my position. I see what it’s all about but can only tell others what I see.

I need an approved repayment plan from the Dep of Edu and need to pay for six months before I will be eligible for financial aid again. I can then apply for schools again. I can then pay for 10 months and clean up my credit, apparently. First I need to pay off the rest of that $1200 (which is down to $550 or something), so I can get my transcripts.

The Third Day, a work journal