Last Tuesday evening, I went to 63B girls’ night. It has long been a second-Tuesday-of-the-month tradition. It began for many reasons. One reason was so that we could finish conversations that we had started on the bus. There were a handful of us who rode the same express bus in to work and back home every day and we naturally just started having conversations. Of course, since we were on the bus, the conversations were limited to 20-25 minutes and frequently we’d have liked them to be longer. The group became very fluid, including some guys, people who no longer rode the bus, people who live in the neighborhood, friends of bus riders, etc. Throughout the years of this group, we’ve gone to each others’ parties, gone on vacation together, watched each other’s kids, networked, and all the things friends generally do with each other.
Back in March, on the working-day after I got laid off, another woman from the bus was laid off as well. We each sent our resume to all of our friends, including the friends from the bus. While sharing job-search strategies, I found out that a few of the bus people had been going out of their way to help her out. Her situation is very different so I can understand how they might be more inclined to help her.
However, these people have done absolutely nothing to help me. And, on more than one occasion, they had been in a position where they could help. At one point I asked one of them for specific help and the help he provided was the bare minimum of what he could have done. Even after the other woman has a new job, even after they know my unemployment has run out, even after they know that I’m temping and this job sort of doesn’t even pay the bills, they still can’t be bothered to help at all.
This is especially bothersome because a handful of other people have been going out of their way to help me out. Some with job finding, some just by paying for drinks/food when they can or not charging me for sharing a hotel room, and some just by keeping my music library up to date. And by other people I mean old friends, new friends who I've known for less than a year, ex-boyfriends (or whatever) and people from the Hold Steady message boards. I mean really, some of these people don't even know me and they are doing extraordinary things for me. Seriously, the necklace guy has done more for me.
So, on Tuesday when I met the bus girls I had to ask how much a Yuengling draft was because I only had $4. They all saw/heard this. Then, they sat around and talked about their promotions and raises and successful businesses. And when it was time to pay, they took my $4.