Some Rain on My Parade

I have this emotional wound I need to exudate.  So remember the bad call that happened either last Thursday or Friday. I was so sure it was going to lead to my demise.

I got a little excited when I didn't hear any feedback on Friday, but boy did I celebrate too early.

I got the feedback a couple hours ago (it was initially sent to our lead on Friday, but our lead had to add her own feedback). It was as bad as I feared, but I guess it didn't reach my hiring manager and lead to my involuntary termination (not yet anyway), so maybe not as bad as I feared. It was still bad. And it still hurts. It stings. And it's injured my pride, the little shred that was left.

In the feedback email, I was accused of incompetence and letting down our HCPs. Not good.  I'm just sad now. My entire mood has shifted.

I really wanted to go into New Job with a boost of confidence of a job well done at last job. Wishful thinking.

Now, I'm actually starting to wonder if I don't just belong here (Call Center #2). Now, I'm thinking if I can't even do this basic job well, who am I to take on a larger role. Am I kidding myself into thinking I can actually be a manager.  I feel so defeated. Not the parade I wanted to walk out on.

I don't even know how to come out from under this rain cloud. Usually responding helps to channel some of the bad feelings, but I did that and it felt no different. Le sigh.

Maybe because it's not unexpected? It doesn't make it hurt less. How can I walk into New Job with the confidence of a history of success if I don't have that.

And then I still can't help but wonder what am I really doing leaving this low-volume call center to a much bigger company with 100% more responsibility.

Facts: If I actually spent 8 hours doing the work the job requires, I would not enjoy it very much. The only reason it's even tempting to stay is because the workload is so low.

I wish I knew that tomorrow is going to be a better day.

I am grateful that I had a job these last 8 months (when I thought I would be on sabbatical). So, I could re-frame it as the ultimate Free Money Win!

I wish.

8:36pm Update
Then I recall my revised death date, and all is well again. I went ahead and added my goals for New Job to the poster paper I have hanging in my home office. I shall press on. I am okay. I shall be okay.

I was getting ahead of myself.  I think the unspoken excitement and hidden hope that comes with new beginnings was misleading me, as it's wont to do. I'm still desiring to do great things at my new job, but it doesn't change my past circumstances or future outlook.

Be well, all.

Monday afternoon progress

So per my ujj (usual), I had an early morning panic session. I did spell out some solutions. And I'm here to announce some progress.

This  morning's woes: 

1) Fulton bank has frozen my account with $550 in it.

2) Because the Fulton bank is apparently frozen, it froze all my Transfers at my External Bank.

3) Then one of my Aunts sent a me a couple emails..


This afternoon's progress:

1) I did end up making one more call to Fulton. I picked a different branch and looked for a simpler solution: namely, how do I close my account if I'm out of state. The staffer stated I could request the closure in writing and have it notarized. I had seen this response on the Bank Bonus site I used so it was not unexpected. I'm proud of myself for asking for the Staffer's name and asking who I could address the letter to. She agreed to have me send it to Attn: Her Name. 

I thought it would be an easy solution - go to my local bank and get the document notarized. I hand wrote a simple request and drove to the bank as soon as I got off the phone. Thwarted! The Bank Teller said (without looking at my document), that they only notarize "government" or maybe she said "legal" documents.  *Eye roll.* I know better than to argue. I ask what's the reason, and she indicated because it has the place for the notary to sign. I take my lumps and move on. 

I try another Bank, Bank 2 (not just another branch of Bank 1), of which I am a member. They said their notary is not at that branch this week. Okay, thanks.  

I come back and google some account closure forms along with a notary signature block.  I make my own forms and return to Bank 1, this time to a different branch on my break. I produce my documents and passport and politely ask for the forms to be notarized. No problem! Much nicer, less questions. 

Forms in the mail. I don't know if this will solve the Fulton problem, but I sure hope so. And it certainly felt good to come to a resolution! 

2) By 9a, External Bank had unfrozen my Transfer Service. Yes, thank the Lord! I was so happy, I didn't know what to do. Recall, I had no faith this would be resolved before Thursday or Friday!  So my other banking business is ...well, business as usual.

3) Nothing else (yet) from Aunt, but at least I wasn't fretting about it all day. I am confident I will hear from her again in a couple days, but I have a few answers and a plan to laugh it off. The latest response is: Yes, I got a gajillion dollars from my rich aunt's estate. Ha! 

And I am on my lunch break, halfway through my shift and only one call so far!! 
Mind you, one call between now and 8p could derail the whole day, but until then it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Worries I'm leaving for tomorrow:
Errr... I need to get my next stock of food, but I think the Wal-marts are still closed due to looting. So what now? Wait or get a smaller supply of food at Food Lion? 

Have a great day! 

3 Monday Morning Problems to Solve

So lately I have been waking up with this anxious feeling, heart feels like it's racing but I don't think it is.

This morning was one of of those days. Maybe it's related to the following things.

1) Fulton bank has frozen my account with $550 in it. I tried to get it out via debit card. I tried to close it via secure messaging. I tried to call a couple branches for help. I tried to call customer service for help. Nothing. So I had the brilliant idea to pull the money out as an external transfer from another bank. This just made the problem worse!

2) Because the Fulton bank is apparently frozen, it froze all my Transfers at my External Bank. So it's completely interrupted my flow. So I had to call External Bank. And they said check back in 1-2 business days. You know how much I love talking to customer service.

3) Then one of my Aunts sent a me a couple emails yesterday related to Wespath and one of the other beneficiaries. I know I'm being a hypocrite here because I had asked for a copy of the beneficiary form so I could get funds to other family members (who ended up being secondary beneficiaries). But now, I'm hoping Wespath does not reveal to the Other Beneficiary that I was also a beneficiary. Isn't that just like a human?

Well my Aunt is asking me if I got any money from them? Did I update address information for Beneficiary 2? Did I give Beneficiary 2 a copy of Aunty MERJ's death certificate?

I'm not comfortable sharing if I received a payout because I don't trust members of my family not to use that information against me. That makes them sound horrible, and they're not. I just want to disengage from the conversation altogether. Honestly, it doesn't concern me anymore what Beneficiary 2 does or doesn't do or what she has or doesn't have. She's a fully functioning adult.

After the first email, I feigned ignorance. Then when 2 more came, I immediately archived them. Again, I'm a hypocrite here because I don't like when people don't answer my messages, but I don't know what to say. I don't want to lie and say I didn't get anything. I also don't really want to engage in any conversation regarding Beneficiary 2.

Wait and see is going to make too anxious.

Possible/ Proposed Solutions

1) Fulton Bank - Some solutions include calling 1 more branch to see if they can do anything, fully expecting they are going to want me to come in. I think I'm half-hoping they will send me another debit card. But if the account is frozen, that won't really help. The alternative is to see if they will close the account without me coming in. After 3 calls, I know the answer is going to be to come in. So, why not leave this stone unturned.

So I can either wait until I have to move to New City and stop in on the way.  Or wait 24 months to get a notice about inactivity and hope they'll be more amenable to shutting my account down then.  Either way, I just have to accept I'm not seeing that $550 anytime soon. Woosa.

2) External Bank - I have no choice but to wait 2 business days and call back. I have no faith that this will be resolved without a follow-up phone call.

3) Aunt's emails - I'm more convicted that it's really none of her business, but I'm still unsure how to respond. I want to alert her that I'm not responding, i.e. "Sorry, I'm not going to engage." Do I have the emotional strength to disengage without vocalizing it? I think I'll wait a week and see if I can emotionally distance myself; if she follows-up in the meantime, then I'll respond with something along the lines of... "err... where's the unsubscribe button? Sorry, I'm disengaging from this email chain." I'm trying to add some levity to the situation eventhough it's literally keeping me up at night. The week timeframe is mostly just to give myself a time limit to stop thinking about it.

Revised Death Date: Jan 31, 2030


Jun 1, 2020 Update.

So about 3 months ago, I published my proposed death date for the reasons below and some more here.  I haven't reviewed it since then, but I was thinking more on how I would make the money work- namely the 401k Roth Conversions. After doing the preliminary math for feasibility, my death date has been moved up to Jan 31, 2030.  I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that is purely dependent on available funding.

I'll be age 45.

I rounded to Jan 31 to commemorate my Aunt's passing in 2020. It'll be 10 years to the day.

While scary and unthinkable to most, this date still provides comfort to me. Nothing I feel has to last forever or end me.


(originally published Mar 8, 2020}
Death Date: Sat, Nov 8, 2031
A few thoughts later and I think I decided on a (tentative) death date: Saturday, Nov 8, 2031.

I'll be 47.

At 7, I moved to the US with the hope of safety and a better life. It has been bittersweet.

At 17, I graduated high school with the hope of the best 4 years of my life. It didn't work out quite the way I imagined.

At 27, I realized I would never be a child star; went back to school for a better financial life; and tried one last time at a love worth dying for (that exact nomenclature came later).

At 37,  the hope will be to transition out of the workforce after staying 2 years at my current job.

In those 2 years, I plan to relish the perks, namely discretionary PTO and the low level of skill required to do my job. I would like to take a trip to Spain this year, ideally for 3 weeks, but likely for one.  In 2021, I'd like to take a trip to Portugal for 3 weeks (only because at one point not too long ago the internet said it was the best place to live for a girl like me) right before leaving Call Center #2.

I want to stay employed for the trip for the health insurance and funds.

From age 37 to 47, I want to feel free.

I think it will be exceptionally hard to spend the FIRE money without actually reaching FIRE because I can't know for sure what's going to happen. But what's the alternative? (Duh, waiting like a normal person.)

I don't think I could really spend down all my accounts, so I think $25k would be a reasonable amount to leave behind if I had the opportunity to enjoy the rest. It's also a good amount to have in the event my death date comes and goes.  It's near the amount I keep in my emergency fund, so at least that's already established (and locked up in CDs).  It'll be extremely frustrating to start all over again, in the event I'm still alive, but at least I won't be starting from $0 (that would be even harder). November 8 was also my sainted aunt's birthday so at least it'll have some significance to me.  So if I find I'm nearing $25k left to my name, and death is not on the horizon, I'll just have to go back to work.

As a result, I plan to keep my license active. So an active license and a $25k emergency fund will be my safety net in case of "life."

Plan B of course is  work 6 or 7 more years and reach my FIRE number of $500k. I may be around age 42 by then. I would want to enjoy it for at least the 10 years it took me to achieve it, so that's 42 to 52.

I guess we'll just have to see.

Is this a sign?

So yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon watching scary shows on Investigation Discovery. Criminals just make me so mad. How do you just decide to steal someone's things or take someone's life? I don't get it.  I think what scares me the most is how much of the crime on those shows are crimes of opportunity.

The criminal just happened to run into the person they ended up victimizing by chance.

This of course makes it difficult to sleep at night. My backyard has more foot traffic than I anticipated because it backs into an open field and people walk their pets back there. Ugh.

So it's not easy to pick out who doesn't belong.

I've been looking into DIY fencing. Or just some sort of privacy screen that requires someone to make an overt act to step into my space.  Because right now, it's kind of a free for all.

The point is as of late, I've been wondering if I missed some signs moving here. The crime rate in this little enclave matches that of a big city like Washington, DC.  Scary, right?

When I looked on Trulia before buying this place, this area seemed neutral.  Although nothing has happened, I do feel a little more exposed than I did in a 2nd story apartment. There are more points of entry and again the backyard situation makes me a bit uneasy.

And unlike just about every other neighbor, I like to open my curtains and let the sunshine in. Everyone else just seems to keep their blinds shut day and night. I don't get it! How can you live in the darkness?

But again, this goes back to crimes of opportunity. Maybe a criminal will be less likely to steal their stuff if they can't see it because their blinds are always shut.

I don't want to live like that though.

When I went to bed last night, I was talking to God about it. Did I make a mistake not heeding the warnings of others? Did I miss other signs?

2 colleagues mentioned that this area is not safe for someone like me.
The surrounding area has a bad reputation as well due to a lot of homeless and displaced vets.
My being able to work remotely (could have expanded my search).
My aunt dying (somehow)?
COVID (could have been a reason to back out of the deal)?

When I visited, yes, it was a little rough around the edges, but again the crime map I saw on Trulia made this particular neighborhood same okay.

But now that I'm here, I'm starting to wonder if those colleague's warnings were true warnings I should've heeded.

And then today when I went to the local Walmart, in walking distance from my house, it was shut down due to looting in my area. What?! So, is this a sign from the conversation from last night? Did I ask God for a sign, and did he deliver?

If it is, what do I do now?

But then I looked at another headline and they said the looting was in the part of NC I had just moved from, which is safer than this area. So, now I'm just confused.

If I'm supposed to move from this house, where do I go next?