Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Newest Form of Discrimination

The newest form of discrimination? Let's call it "creditism". You were out of work for two years or more THROUGH NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN, due to the crappy economy. Because you eventually wound up with ZERO income due to aforementioned economy, your credit rating suffered greatly. You now have a secure, stable, civil service job but landlords will not rent to you because of aforementioned credit devastation. You're not a bad person, you're a person who had something bad happen to you....but that is apparently irrelevant. You look bad on paper. It's a modern-day nightmare. The 99ers were victimized by employers who felt they'd been out of the workforce too long... and it was because of THEM that we were out there -- and some of us are still out's a vicious circle. We were told to take "any job" as if jobs were hanging from trees and we were refusing to pick them.  And now, when some of us are trying desperately to get our lives back, short-sighted landlords are closing yet another door.  SO tired of feeling victimized.

If you check craigslist ads, maybe 75% of them mention that the renter must have good credit or a guarantor (which I do not). Some even post a number, e.g., "must have credit rating of 740 or better". In some cases, I have ignored that and called anyway, only to be met with, "Welllllll, we'll have to see...." At one apartment viewing, one guy told me, "Well, you might be OK now but sometimes creditors come after you and the next thing you know, you're being garnisheed...." So I have to stand there and do my song and dance while some guy tells me that he probably won't rent to me because HE thinks I *might* be garnisheed sometime in the future...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Today's Frustration....

So... looking for an apartment in NYC is becoming quite a challenge. As a native New Yorker, I knew how high rents were and knew that I'd run into several hurdles. My budget is very limited; I work in Queens and I hate Queens with a white hot passion but the apartment needs to be in a commutable distance; my credit rating is in the toilet and landlords are starting to be picky about that... which is ridiculous all by itself. I understand the need to be cautious, however, the economy has hurt many, many people. It devastated me. I'm not a bad person, I'm a good person who had a series of very bad things happen to me that affected my credit rating adversely. I don't look good on paper. But that doesn't make me bad. I wasn't irresponsible; I was penniless. ........................................ So... went to look at a place in Brooklyn yesterday, near where I lived when Hayley was in high school. I still like the area a lot and was very happy to find something in my price range. But it was on the top floor of a three-story walkup. NO way I could drag groceries and laundry up all those steps, not at my age with a bad knee. And it was kind of small. I've accepted the fact that my budget may only buy me a studio apartment but it's got to be bigger than a shoebox. The landlord was a youngish guy -- well, younger than I am -- who had done a very nice job of upgrading the kitchen and bathroom. But the main living area was probably barely 10 x 12, and there were only two small closets in the whole place. If you don't have floor space, you have to build up and you also have to be able to store stuff away. That would have been difficult in that apartment. Obviously this one isn't going to work for me. ........................................ So... today I went to look at an apartment in Rosedale. I still don't like Queens but if the apartment is someplace that isn't TOO suburban, I can handle it. This apartment was in the home of a basement very close to the Rosedale LIRR and a bus that would take me straight to work in about 35 minutes. The good news is that since it was near the train station, there were small businesses around such as grocery stores, liquor stores, 99-cent stores, etc. But the supermarket looks to be at least a half mile away and so is the laundromat. That's problematic. But what made it unworkable is that Rosedale is right next to the airport and in the space of about 15 minutes, five planes flew directly overhead, so low that I thought it was going to land on the train station. You could actually see the smoke coming out of the engines. How do people sleep in that neighborhood, I wonder? I guess they've gotten used to it but it reminded me of when I lived in Brownsville right near the train station and had to deal with the #3 train barreling past my window every 20 minutes. HATED it. No way I can live that close to the airport. Sigh. The search continues. Irritated by the way my posts are viewing on Google Chrome. Since Blogger is a Google product, shouldn't it look best in Google Chrome? Au contraire. Trying to make paragraphs and they are not showing up in Chrome and barely showing up in Firefox. Grrr. Should have stopped and bought a bottle of wine on the way home. Could use a drink right now.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Whose lie is it, anyway?

I've been online for at least fifteen years, probably more and I'm a huge fan of online forums, bulletin boards, Facebook, etc. On or offline, people are people. We live in a society where people move away from friends and family and you don't get to know your neighbors well, especially in a large city. It's lonely. But I have made many friends online some of whom I have become very close to, some of whom know more intimate details about me than my own sisters do. My friendships are important to me. Connecting and sharing with like-minded people is important to me so I will take it anyway that it comes. Recently, someone in one of the groups to which I belong posted a question something along the lines of: "I believe that everyone lies. Agree or disagree?" I vehemently disagreed. I never lie, I said to myself... and then I thought about it. A person who has NEVER shaded the truth would have to be perfect. And none of us is perfect. Whether they are "little white lies" or large, ugly falsehoods, if it's not the truth, it's a lie, right? Upon further reflection I'd have to say, "I have never told a large, ugly falsehood to anyone I cared deeply about." That's the truth.