Today’s Middle Class Monday is really special. We were in the middle class and then, five months ago, Mr. Brickie fell off a ladder and shattered his wrist and *poof* we were out of the middle class just like that. Today marks the day we’re back!
When a poor person gets injured they may have been working for cash or under the table. They may not get workman’s comp. They may not have a way to support themselves when they are hurt. Even if they do, they may not have a way to get to physical therapy and post-op surgery appointments. There are so many ways a situation can go wrong.
Because we are (barely? almost?) middle class we have a reliable car that got Mr. Brickie to all his appointments. Because we have a phone plan we were able to put all those appointments into Google Calendar and get reminders. Because he is part of a union he knew he would have a job to go back to. So much support was in place for him it felt like Disney’s version of a work injury. I fully expected bluebirds at some point.
Last but certainly not least his workman’s comp payment (70% of gross earnings) was enough to live on because he made a living wage to begin with. If he was making minimum wage those payments would have been about $185/wk. Certainly not enough to live on even considering our rent is paid through November.
It’s just another way being poor is so much more difficult. I wish people would see other people and think, “Wow, you’ve done a lot to get where you are.” Even if where they are isn’t someplace the looker would choose to be, you know?
Now it’s time to change the subject to Mr. Brickie’s first day!
Last night was awful for both of us. We didn’t sleep well, the cats were anxious, the kids even had trouble falling asleep. Everyone was so nervous about his first day back to work.
He went to practice at the training center last week, so he knows he can still rock it out. His trainers were really happy with his performance.
It’s like the first day of school. You know the place, you’ve been there before, you know the people, but you’re still nervous. He’s very lucky to be going back to the same company (the same job, even!) because they are looking forward to having him back and will understand if he has to ice his wrist on lunch or whatever.
Also, he’s already set up with direct deposit so I hope that sails smoothly next week.
I’m not sure there is a way to adequately express how relieved I am we are back on track with the five-year plan. I mean, it’s altered and set back five months but it’s still the same plan since we made the decision to stop fighting the losing battle to keep the house in Illinois.
Overall, it’s been better than I could have imagined. The school district is better for my kids here, I’m closer to people I know and trust here, I’ve made and lost friends here but I’m still coming out at a net positive so I’m doing great there, too. As soon as he gets that first paycheck from working next week, I’ll be able to replenish the emergency fund and then start paying down credit cards.
We have about $1,000 more in credit card debt now than we did when he got injured five months ago. It could be worse. It could be better. I did get that $5,000 windfall but spent it mostly on my daughter’s contact lenses and the rent savings account.
September is an “extra check” month, too. Not having any bills to spend the check on will give us about $462 and that is almost halfway toward filling the emergency fund back up.
I hope he’s having a good first day back. I’ll be home and worried, waiting for him. I mean, I have errands to run today but I’m going to spend a couple hours after the kids leave for school sitting silently on the couch contemplating my life changing back into something I am familiar with.