Not very long ago, one of my strongest character flaws was apathy. At the time, I had prided myself on it being a strong point. Some times ya just gotta let go man….as I puffed out a huge hit from a blunt and tossed back my J&C. I didn’t mind letting the little things go, and I didn’t have the energy to pursue going after the bigger things so I would let those go as well. This attitude applied to all aspects of my life. And when I say all, I mean ALL. This is no childish embellishment, such as the words never, always, forever, all and none. Perhaps all this needs a little clarifying.
Children have a tendency to exaggerate. Parents often hear statements like “Nobody likes me at school,” or “all the kids make fun of me.” I’ve even said “You always make me eat that!” or “You’re never nice to me” to mom and dad as a youngster, and part of my being an adult now, and having a larger and more accurate vocabulary means eliminating those words from my speech. Were ALL the kids really laughing at you? Did you ALWAYS make me eat green beans? Were you really NEVER nice to me? Because I feel as though that trip to Disneyland was pretty awesome and nice. I want to be accurate in my descriptions of things and to say always or all or never or none is just a little unrealistic.
Anyway, apathy is a character flaw that had applied to all of my life. To money, relationships that require work, friendships that require anything, work, play, working out, taking care of anything like my house, laundry….I would handle things when I absolutely had to…but not before. Never in a timely or responsible fashion.
Those days are gone.
When I quit the business, my first “cutting of the ties that bind” was to quit working as studio manager over at Metro. Although I quit in a respectful way, and was let out in a very kind and compassionate sort of way, my last check was withheld and after significant correspondence via certified mail where the CEO agreed to pay the last money owed, nothing came in the mail that would settle the debt. Finally I decided to go visit the California Labor Board.
I felt confident in seeing the Labor Board for a couple of reasons. First, they are on the side of the employee and in California, they will fight to get you your money. Second, I have no intentions of going back to the industry, and a visit to the Labor Board solidifies my choice to quit adult. Before, when I was owed money, going to the labor board is not something that would have even crossed my mind. I was either too high to deal with it, too afraid of being blacklisted, or filled with such shame about not being able to get my own money I would have just swept it under the rug. Goodbye money, lets let it go. But in being sober, in being competent enough to file a claim, wait for the letter, get the necessary paperwork together to prove my case, I find I am fully able to argue for my money in a coherent way, and in a way that the Labor Board must respect. Especially considering that the company had agreed they owed me money.
The thing about the whole situation is this: no person I know in adult would ever go through with such a thing because it would mean that they could never be hired by the company again. And yes, I know, who wants to work for a company that won’t pay, but there is always that glimmer of hope that they will one day stay true to their words and pay what is owed. I do not care if I am never hired by any of the companies again because I do not wish to work for any of the companies again. While I still love a few, companies like Vivid, and Wicked, Digital and Viv Thomas, Metro has always been late in payment, months sometimes, to the point where certain agencies will no longer hire girls out to them. I would never work for this company again. And now, thanks to the Labor Board hearing, I am finally free of all that binds me to them, which was nothing more than a simple check.
So, all in all, I must say it was a good day. I feel accomplished, as if I put the time and effort into the right thing, waited patiently for things to occur naturally, and then followed through in a responsible and accountable kind of way. I am grateful to be going to bed sober, and with that debt settled.