Hey, I Do Have Some Stuff To Be Proud Of!

Drove 90 miles to the dentist one way. Then ran some errands and drove 90 miles back.  I moved and haven't found another dentist yet. Plus this appointment was made 6 months ago. Plus, it gave me a chance to stock up on some snacks I can only find at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. It ended being about $100 worth of yummy snacks.  Oh well. I usually just categorize it under the eating out tab.

My debit card I use for Everyday Expenses like this actually got declined. Oh well. It's mostly due to all the time and money I've been spending at hardware stores lately. I will upload those pictures one day...I promise...

I guess it turned out that day was today!

Anyway, despite my debit card being declined, I was feeling very rich in resources. I have a desirable life.

At the dentist, I had two insurance companies covering my visit. I have Old Job's insurance until end of June and I have New Job's insurance since June 15.  When I first visited this dentist 7 or 8 years ago, I came in with a Groupon because I had no insurance.

Maybe because I'm not telling people that I haven't fully celebrated how far I've come. But within 5 years, I essentially was promoted twice and reached an unspoken goal of becoming a manager. I reached 6 figures. I remember near the beginning of My Early Retirement Journey, my annual salary was so close to reaching $100k one year that I thought wouldn't it be nice if I could just cross that hump!

I technically haven't done it yet, but if I stay employed at my current job through the remaining of 2020, I'll surely reach it!  This is cause for celebration!

I owe myself a celebration weekend. No crying. No lamenting! Just celebrating all my achievements. No wanting a different creation story or future story. Just me and my accomplishments!

But I did it y'all. I did the classically adult things without adulting in mind.
I bought The House.
I have a Career.
I have a Fancy Job Title.
I have a Car.
I am making Six Figures.
(And I have an Oven!!)

Have I arrived?! 

Can someone throw me a debutante ball? Can I throw one for myself?

The road to get here was hellish. It just was. It never looked the way I thought it would. And who knows, Monday it could all vanish.

But in this very moment - I have the things. All the things.

I did it! I did it! We did it! Me, God, my guardian angel, anyone who has given me a boost. We did it, y'all!

Am I Struggling?

I heard someone say that once to describe someone else they thought was struggling with the COVID restrictions. It seemed hyperbolic to me. What's so hard about not being able to go outside?

A few minutes ago, I started to think I am struggling. But is that really true? I was getting teary eyed again.

Am I just using my aunt's death as an anchor to struggles that were already there?

I think maybe she was just my last lifeline.

I remember one of the earliest times I imagined life without her, and I felt alone.  But I was much younger then.

Now I'm a bona fide, almost middle aged adult.

I just feel alone. Not that we talked everyday multiple times a day before she got sick. It's just I knew she was always there and generally was a huge fan of me.  She was immensely proud of who I was and just thought I could do anything.  To her, I was the best!

And now I'm openly weeping.

I feel like the first part of the grieving process was being sad for her - the way her last year on life was, the way I treated her, the way others treated her, the way she died.

Now, I feel sad for me.

I don't have an emotional safety net. I don't have a person who thinks I can do no wrong and just wants to see me happy and take care of me and love me forever.

Can you be the best if no one thinks so? Well, can I be the best, if no one else thinks so?

I Don't Feel Any Better

I feel the same as I did when I went to bed last night. I felt the same at 3a this morning. I feel the same right now.

  • I feel defeated.
  • I feel discouraged.
  • I feel like I let myself down.
  • I feel like I've presented a negative impression.
  • I feel like I've compromised my integrity. 
  • I feel like I'm not doing a good job.
  • I'm wondering if people are talking about me.
  • Do people think I'm now untrustworthy? How will this come back to hurt me later on? 
    • What are they saying about me?
    • What do they think?
    • What were they thinking during that meeting?
  • I feel myself retreating. 
  • I want to stay more silent from now on. Instead of speaking up I want to shut up. 
  • I feel let down.
I just want yesterday not to have happened. 

And why is it so hard to get my hair done!

What could make this situation better?
- If I could go back in time and not compromise my client's privacy.
- If I knew what the other people in the meeting were thinking. If I knew what they said about me afterwards.
- If I knew what my immediate team members thought of the meeting and what was said to my manager. 

What can I do to make this situation better both for me, my reputation, (my working relationship with my team?) ? 
I don't know. 

And I'm Down Again

When do I get to stop being this person?
Since The Great Setback of 2001, I think I've just let myself be sucked into the idea of little setbacks turning into big ones.
Maybe because I don't want to be caught unawares.

How do I get to be a person who can let things roll off my back, as the saying goes?

I'm feeling discouraged.

When did I become the person that needs so much encouragement and positive affirmation. When did I become that person?

I felt a little jealous of New Manager. It feels weird to even say it out loud. I was just thinking, how lucky is she that she has so many people that want to love her. She has what she describes as 3 great kids, a partner, and at least one of her parents is still alive. And her team seems to have nothing but good things to say about her.

What's it like to be that person.

And now my eyes are tearing up.

So, today in a meeting I offered a point and I felt like it was entertained but ultimately dismissed. That didn't feel good. It made me feel like I have nothing to offer (false). Then I felt a little pressured to share information about a previous client that I've been feeling like lately I really shouldn't be talking about.

That actually has been a point of inner contention with me since starting new job. So much of my experience has been with this client. And I think we signed something when we started not to share that we were the vendor. But is that while we were working? Is that now? How can I speak about my experience in future jobs?

But then I know from different trainings here that some people know that that client used a vendor for a few services. So, is it a circle of trust? But do my current co-workers now think I'm someone that can't keep confidential things confidential?

So I'm just a little bummed. I feel a little lost.  Adrift.

Then I think...well, just hang in there for 18 months. And that seems doable.

I guess my position would be I can only offer my experience, it's their decision whether to use it or not.

Someone Chose Me

So I was talking to New Manager at New Job at the end of the day and she mentioned a few things.

So I outlined the timeline earlier of how I came into New Job.

Basically, my memory of the events was the Recruiter advocating for me for a Manager position when I applied for a Specialist position.

When I reread the email exchange, it's remarkable how much of that was context I applied to the situation.

See, I was referred sometime in Dec/Jan for the Specialist role.

I was invited to interview in Jan for an early February interview. However, I never got confirmation of the interview date and time. When I didn't show up (because I didn't know), the Recruiter reached out to me to check-in.  So, okay I'll give the recruiter that. I've had a phone interview with another company where the call was dropped and my return calls were never followed-up on.

Anyway, I didn't show up in February for an onsite interview (that I didn't know I had). Recruiter reached out to find out what happened. I said my aunt died but I also didn't know they were expecting me.  So, ultimately this part of the story would not have changed. I still would not have shown up but they would not have waited for me because I would have let them know I wasn't coming.

So, recruiter said okay, well there might be another role opening that might be a fit for you. All along I thought this was the recruiter making up for the mishap.

But I find out today from New Manager that New Manager was like - okay, well if she (me) didn't show up for that interview, does she want to interview for the Manager role because that's what I was thinking I would want her for anyway.

What?! Who does that? I thought that only happened to mediocre white men!

So that made me feel really good. I'm guessing now that Recruiter never told New Manager that the mishap was due to Recruiter.  So think about it, New Manager is under the impression that I didn't show up for an interview and still wanted to consider me for a higher role?

Is this what it feels like to be chosen? For those people that it happens to often, wow, what a nice feeling!

I teared up a little earlier today just thinking about everything.

Part of me kind of wants to clear my name, but I still don't want to throw Recruiter under the bus. What purpose would that serve? I'm curious to know what the whole story is though. Recruiter had to have said something, right? Would they really want to interview me if I just didn't show up or was my aunt's death enough of a reason.

Another Tuesday Morning

I came on here to document some good behaviors.

  • I put the dishes in the dishwasher. (Still haven't gotten rid of the gnats.)
    • This is good because while at Call Center #2, most weeks I had been loading the dishwasher on Mondays during my shift.  Now at New Job, I missed last week and panicked a bit because there are so many meetings and not so much downtime.  So I adapted. Yay, me!
  • I've been good about following my emotional independence guidelines.
    • Peer 1 sent me an email out of the blue. Normally, I would excitedly respond and be disappointed when I didn't get an immediate response. But now I scheduled it to send using my guidelines.
    • Family Member 1 also has sent me a couple emails. Again, I'm waiting until my scheduled time to respond. I just feel more in control of the situation this way. 
    • And when there are things I want to share with just anyone, instead of engaging High-Risk individuals, I just share it with former co-workers or Low- Risk Peers that have little to no impact on my emotional state. I get the positive feedback I was soliciting and I can move on. Yay, me! 
  • I made more furniture.
    • I'm in a bit of a dillema. I get so impatient and frustrated with the heat working outdoors, but working indoors gets everything dirty and it's hard to breathe when I'm staining the pieces. My initial thought was I quit - I'm never doing this again- I'll just wait till Fall. But we all know by now, I'm not great at waiting for things. So I want to keep going and finish (and start) two more pieces I've already planned out. I think I might just get a second fan and more candles (to help with the fumes). Suck it up and finish. 
  • I cleaned the sewing machine.
    • This was a combination of cleaning up the mess I made with woodworking indoors; quitting woodworking indoors; and just setting up an alternate hobby I can do indoors. Either way the sewing machine is clean. I need to set up a workspace. I think I decided to use one of the kitchen nooks as opposed to upstairs in the office.  Once I get a better couch, I'll eventually move the futon upstairs (or take with me to New Job). But if the futon moves upstairs, there will be no room for a sewing/crafting corner. Plus, it'll be easier to sweep up debris on laminate than carpet. 
  • I survived Week 1 of New Job.
    • Quite notably the high has worn off. I was a bit concerned I would like it so much (read: highly hilarious) that I would find myself in a conundrum about Death Date. Ha!
    • I still am really hoping and praying that I do a great job. Like 8th grade excellence - where I got straight A+s.  I'm just not sure that the scope of my job actually involves something that has a deliverable or a measurable impact. I still want to do a really good job!!

Some other things
  • For whatever reason, I've had the robovac at least 2 weeks and it's still in the box. I think I'm just not interested in having to set it up without a phone. Ugh. 
  • In 3 months, I'm hoping to make a decision about obtaining regular cell phone service. I was hoping the cell phone would be offered. But after seeking it out myself and realizing the usage is monitored, now I'm not sure I want a corporate phone.  My default setting is to fly under the radar, so I don't know. 
That's all for now. 

Week 1 Done

I finished my first week at New Job.  Oh what a day! My boss let me leave early, so that was nice. I haven't fully processed the week but wanted to post something before I crash.

Not quite into a routine yet, but I'm finding my way there. For example, I'm shooting for an 11-7p workday because that's what I was used to at Call Center #1, but I'll settle for 10a to 6p. I'm trying to do this by blocking out time on my public calendar. More on that later.

I bought some more lumber for my next wood project.
And I got 3 more bank and credit card bonuses paid out this week!

Oh speaking of money, New Job has something called spillover.  So even if I reach the max 401k contribution for the year, I can still contribute to my 401k and they'll still match that! How lucky!

Ok back to my bonuses:
Credit Card #1: $200
Credit Card #2: $200

Bank: $200

Woo hoo!  I don't like tallying it just yet, except for on the blog.

But it is in these little moments where I feel like okay, I do have a little bit of money. Like I can go to Home Depot and put my frugal cap away and just buy the completely unnecessary items to make a hobby table.

That's all for now!

Update: Free Money Wins 2020!

Hello, friend.

So since I recently fell hard for the bank bonus game, I thought I'd dedicate a page to my Free Money Wins this year. This is a money blog after all. I mostly just want to share my excitement and provide information for anyone who might interested. I stumbled upon this little hobby from reading someone else's blog, so I'm just paying it forward.

The credit card bonuses are commonly used by travel-hackers, but they're not my favorite because even after having been in credit card debt, once that new card was in my hand, I felt so powerful. It was like all my financial lessons learned - be gone!

So I'll probably just stick to the bank bonuses. I opted out of sharing the names of  all the institutions in one place because sometimes I just get leery about these things.  You can find them all listed on the Doctor of Credit site.  But I hope you'll still be here to help me celebrate! I'll update and re-publish this post as new bonuses are awarded. And if you have questions, feel free to use the comments to ask!

*Bank Bonuses Received in 2020, Total: $1,375

  • Bonus #1: $300
  • Bonus #2: $75
  • Bonus #3: $200
  • Bonus #4: $75
  • Bonus #5: $400 
  • Bonus #6: $125 
  • Bonus #7: $200 (updated 19Jun2020)

(*tentative, as can always be clawed back if there's a mis-step before account is officially closed)

Credit Card Bonuses Received

  • Credit Card #1: $200
  • Credit Card #2: $200

COVID Related Free Money

  • $20 credit to car insurance (updated 16Jun2020)
  • $1200 stimulus check
  • No student loan payments for (May - Sept): $2,500-$3,000

Other Free Money

  • $40 off $40+ at Target (for signing up for linking their RedCard to my debit card) 

I went ahead and included the list of all COVID-related wins as well. Cuz why not?!

Some deets:

  • The site I use for notifications of Bank Bonuses is: Doctor of Credit
  • I created a spreadsheet to track everything (e.g. bonus amount, open date, requirements, close date)
  • Use a hub bank for all your transfers in case something goes wrong with a transfer that freezes your accounts. This has happened to me 3 times already. Each bank has their own wonky criteria that triggers red flags. 


I'm Nervous

I've had my first little taste of bitter at work. I think I came across too critical today. I wasn't even trying to be critical. I was asked what I thought about something, and I answered. But I think my manager took it as a critique and asked what I was used to doing.

I think I have to be more mindful that people are paying attention to what I'm saying. So I felt somewhat compelled to show an example of what I did in my last gig.

Then I had written a brief bio about myself, that included a little bit of my personal background. THIS IS HUGE for a non-forthcoming person like me. So, now I'm nervous that I over-shared. Fortunately, I only emailed about 8 people.

So now, I'm constantly checking my email (eventhough it's after hours) to see how my email landed. I'm afraid of a negative response or my manger thinking it was inappropriate. I don't have a good radar for detecting when things are too personal. I think anything about yourself is personal if it's not related to work. So I didn't have a good gauge.

Plus, I was motivated by the fact that I just want people to know where my head is these days and to just have one more space to talk about my aunt. Yes, I mentioned she recently passed away.

Basically, I'm alone and grieving. Cut me some slack!

I think the guise of COVID helped me feel like it was okay. Since everyone is working remotely, so less room for organic conversations about your life. And I wanted to do it sooner rather than later. Also, people are quick to talk about their family and kids and parents and in my last job, their addiction. So, I don't know, at first I felt comfortable, but notably, that comfort faded. But like I do, I was already committed to the process.

So my first dip in the excitement. It was bound to happen.

Happy Wednesday!

I can feel myself going to that dark place - the one where I never have to feel bad feelings. So I'm going to sign off; eat some potatoes, cake; and watch TV.

New Job and More

It's only been 2 days, but I've learned so much.
I've been so busy and part of what was keeping me up last night was thinking about blogging.
I always wondered how people are so busy they don't have time to post.

I'm so fearful that something bad is going to happen.
I'm really trying to push myself out of my comfort zone.

I'm trying to form personal connections with people.
I am more forthcoming with personal details about myself.

I am complimentary and positive.
I even reached out to an old client that started the same day as me at New Job!
In graduate school, they kept telling us how small this world is. Boy, were they right!

Well, I know tomorrows tend to negate my yesterdays. But today feels good. I feel good. Now I know once I say that, tomorrow will be a bad day. But for once, I just want to celebrate this moment.

Thank you, God!!

In other news, I mentioned I made the table. It's amazing! I guess it's not so different from putting together furniture, but it feels different. I did a thing! I still have to get the stain though.

I miss my mornings  a little.  Some of the meetings I have scheduled start at 8a. What!! I haven't had to be awake and functional at 8a for like 5 years. Hahah.

I miss my mornings. I miss not having to wake to an alarm. I miss piddling away the morning - running errands; watching shows; just lazying around.

My place is overrun with frogs and gnats and ants. I just feel imprisoned by them.

I need to buy a drill.

I was definitely right that I would not have mental space to churn bonuses. Boy, was I ever. I used to get up so excited to check my email and scope out comments and learn about new bonuses. Now it feel like a chore. But I did get 2 paid out this week already. So, yay for that!

Oh, great news!
So I left Call Center #2 on Friday. My paycheck was reduced by about $350 because the pay period ended on Monday. So I was missing one day. I was actually pleased with the outcome. I thought I'd be out 3 days.

Twist! I actually got paid by New Job for Monday's work! I got a notification from my bank for a deposit, and I was curious. Yep, they paid me for that 1 day because that was the end of their pay period as well! And my paycheck was about $400. So before taking anything out, I'm making at least $50 more a day at New Job. That's great, right! 

No TV for 8 hours...twice!

It is just about 11p.

Throughout the day, I imagined posting about the DIY table I just made. Except... it's not made yet. Well, no I take it back. It's totally made with screws poking out. I'm going to keep it like that and see how I feel. I'll either try to take the screws out and redrill some of the holes or bend the screws by hammering them so they're not poking out. I give myself a solid 80% on the table.

I'll show pictures when I'm not so tired, but I followed the instructions in this YouTube video.

I bought a $20 cordless drill from Walmart and it got in about 2 of the 12 screws completely. The rest are in different states of entry. And this is after trying to pre-drill holes. I couldn't even really get the holes drilled, so I just wanted to be done and did a shoddy job just to have something to "turn-in. I wanted to finish the coffee table TODAY!

Well in the end, the stain I got was too dark so I only stained a test spot. The stain they had in the video was not at Walmart, and for who knows why... I failed to check at Lowe's and Home Depot! And I went to both. I didn't write it on my list, so out of sight, out of mind.

That's annoying because I could've easily returned the stain had I not tried to use it.

The project was functional in several ways. First, I purposed to create something!! And I did. Second, I was out of the house from around 8a this morning until 8p. It took me until about 3 or 4p to get all the materials. If I do this again (which I really want to), Build Day will not be the same as Get Materials Day.

It took so long to get everything because I didn't know where to look or they didn't have exactly what I was looking for (e.g. the stain); Lowe's wouldn't cut 4x4s; long lines; the heat; changing the dimensions.

Anyways, your girl made a table!!

I either need a nail gun or a better drill. I'm not sure I understand the significance of using nails vs screws.

Yesterday...I'm not even sure what I did yesterday, but I was out of the house at least 8 hours as well. Running errands. If I recall correctly, the 2 things I wanted to get done was - mail back the notarized I9 form and get my hair done. Both tasks were accomplished!!  Not without some snafoos, but I'm not focusing on that right now.

The latest thing that actually was the catalyst of signing onto post is family noise.
One of my aunts is asking if filed my loved one's taxes and if loved one received a stimulus check. The curious part is the subject line of the email is something like "Urgent" or "Important"...and she says she wants to close the loop on this. What loop?

I'm like what are you going to do if she did get a stimulus check? Aren't we supposed to return it to the IRS and write deceased on it? And what are you going to do if I haven't filed her taxes? Do them or just tell me to do it?   Where were you when I was pleading for help handling her affairs when she was alive?

I'm trying to not take this as some sort of ridiculous jab. Maybe it's a friendly reminder of things she thought of that I need to do? I guess I'm not sure what the point of the email is.

Possible responses: Thank you for the follow-up. Stay blessed! or All is well.

Can you believe New Job starts tomorrow? Have my first meeting at 9a. I don't think it'll actually happen but I don't know yet when to start telling people they're wrong.

Then This Happened!

Guess what finally came!  Laptop for New Job.

I didn't panic that much as compared to my usual when the shipment didn't arrive at the scheduled time. I just knew it had to get delivered sometime. And it's not as though it held all the world's secrets.  The only thing I was contemplating was whether or not to go out to run some simple errands. I decided against it because this was the priority today.

This was the cake I baked yesterday and frosted a few minutes ago. I couldn't decide between chocolate or white frosting, so I did both.  When I can settle down, I'll eat some.

I might go to Food Lion on my last break of Call Center #2...or I might not. I'm too excited to think straight. I wanted to get a banana and $50 cashback for all my running around tomorrow. The banana for my tummy, but mostly to set a gnat trap. Between getting rid of the gnats, ants, random outdoor bugs, and the black jumping bugs, I'm your neighborhood exterminator.  But I surely don't intend to be doing this all summer.

I had idle hands today so I clicked around and started a hack for one more bank bonus. And yesterday I applied for and was denied a credit card with $150 cashback. Not that bummed about that because I really don't need to be churning any credit card bonuses right now.

Two more hours of my shift! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!!

Civic Duty, Done!

I did a thing!

Well, I guess another thing. (Not this thing.)

In preparation of my laptop being shipped, I got a 2nd wind to contact the County about getting a street sign. Living in a less affluent neighborhood (median income $48k), some things seem to slip between the cracks.

One of these things was our street sign. I was the last one to move into our row of townhomes (Apr 2020) but these homes have been built since around the end of last year.

I had one FedEx package get turned around because I'm guessing they couldn't find the place.

So when my laptop which was estimated to be delivered first "before 12n", then by 10:30am still didn't arrive, I followed up with the County on the request I made last week regarding the street sign.

Well...what I wish I had one before calling the County again was look out my window. She says the work order has been in since Monday, and after some kerfuffle, I looked out my window, and there it was!

Who knows when it actually went up because I was outside yesterday or the day before and didn't notice it. But I don't generally look up. I'd like to think I would have noticed the pole when I went to check the mail, but don't put it past me. I have a huge tendency to be very focused and yesterday was definitely an off day.

Anyway, street sign is definitely posted!

So where's my package?

I had considered going to the notary today during one of my breaks just to get it out of the way because Saturday is looking pretty full already.

And with this heat...and the people, my patience is going to be worn a little thin.

But now I may be stuck waiting on this package until when?

But I did it! I contacted the county and they did what they said they would do! This is the best. I love it when people do the good things they say they're going to do!!

And since we're on the topic of things to-do.

After 3 attempts at going out yesterday, I only managed to get $100 of the $150 I needed in cash. I was too flustered to think of a better solution. I did get my shrimp fajitas, but on the way to try to get the notary signature, I decided against it and turned back around.

So for Saturday (or optionally Sunday if needed), I would like to:

  • Get Notary Signature ($5) and copies
  • FedEx I9 back to New Job (I decided to just make the effort with the objective of moving toward permanent WFH)
  • Get $50 more cash
  • Get Hair Done, part 1
  • Got to Beauty Supply store
  • Return goods to Walmart (to get credit back to Credit Card #1 and be done with that game)

  • Walmart Run
    • Filters
    • Standing Fan
    • Storage container if in stock
    • Other items on the list
  • Home Depot
    • Motion Light ($20)

Projecting into next week, I hope to do:

  • (9AM - Get Notary Signature if not able to Friday or Saturday)
  • New Job Orientation
  • 5p Get Hair Done, part 2

  • Another FedEx run to return Call Center #2's laptop (was hoping paystub would post today so I could see it, but it didn't. Need to check if direct deposits went to right place and how much I actually got paid. So I hope to still be able to access my work profile on Monday as well as just make sure I didn't forget to do anything.)
  • Oh, probably should take trash to dump.

And so begins the next stage of my life!
So far, I've been avoiding pings from my co-workers. They've mostly been well-wishes, but I don't want to engage in case it leads into questions I'm not ready to answer.  But I might just be thinking too highly of myself. No one really cares what I do next, honestly. 

So that's it folks. Other than probably breaking my neck at every little noise to see if it's the FedEx truck, today is an okay day with a busy tomorrow. 

I Think I'm Sad Because...

I think I'm sad because I haven't talked to anyone in 1 week or more.

Today, so far I've had one 5 minute call with a customer.

Yesterday, I think I had one call.

The thing is when you live alone and relegated everyone to email, you will naturally lose your physical voice.

Maybe that's why I'm startled when strangers say hello and don't respond appropriately.

Maybe that's why I was ugly crying just 20 minutes ago, for at least the 3rd time today.

This great thing is happening and I can't even say it aloud because then I'd just be talking to myself.

Ugh...what am I doing?

Colleague sent me a copy of her report from her financial advisor and it mentioned naming a "trusted contact." It was her mom.

Who would that be for me?
Remember how I couldn't find anyone to share cupcakes with?
Remember how I couldn't name a deserving beneficiary?
Am I actually an aged curmudgeon? 
Who is my trusted contact?

In most cases, I usually list My Doctor Cousin as my emergency contact for two reasons. One, she's a doctor and has always been a responsible person. So that even if we aren't speaking or particularly close, she would do the right thing. Secondly, since most people have changed their numbers over time, hers is the only valid number I still have memorized - you know back when people used to memorize phone numbers.

I am alone. I am really, really alone.

I don't feel particularly sad about it because I don't know what the alternative is.  Distracted? I don't think I'm sad because I'm alone. I think I'm just both things at the same time. I am sad and I am alone. 

But I don't feel sad, but what is it called when you're crying multiple times during the day for minor things? Don't say clinical depression.

It's something else; I just don't know what it is. Denial? 

Le sigh.

This is what it's like to be me, folks.

The reason I don't think I'm depressed is because I don't feel like the "sadness" is debilitating. And the feelings always seem circumstantial. I'm just not particularly resilient and seemingly quite emotionally labile. I guess, right? 

I just like when things go exactly the way I imagined they would go. I just get thrown off when something doesn't happen the way I thought it would.

My reaction to it overwhelms me and it frustrates me. I think if someone wanted to label it...it's something closer to some sort of female (autism/asperger's) spectrum disorder.

Or maybe I'm just my own type of human. Maybe.

Area of Improvement

I'm sure I've said it here many times before, and if I haven't said, I've thought it. I really wish I would speak up more. For good things and bad things.

I was rushing to get home because the pick-up for my fajitas took longer than expected and I had stuff in the oven. Normally stuff in the oven is not alarming, but I foolishly lined the bottom and sides of my baking pan with wax paper and was sure a minute more than was needed was going to catch something on fire. Luckily, nothing like that happened.

So in my rush to get home, I ignored some delivery men next door. They said, "hey, how're you doing?" And I just muttered a "hey." I think. I don't even know if it was audible.

When I realized my house wasn't on fire, I instantly regretted how poorly I treated the delivery men. I stewed and stewed and peered out of the window. I wanted to go out and apologize to them. This is what I wanted to do.  Instead, I meekly waved to one that I saw coming up the driveway when he spotted me.  That felt okay.

But as the minutes wore on, I felt I owed them an apology. So finally, I went upstairs and wrote a sorry note on a sticky pad. I went to go stick it on their truck's window, but just as I was walking out of my house, they were walking toward their truck.

I froze and went back indoors.

I wish I could've just said sorry. What would that have cost me?

I hate when people are rude to me for no reason and I don't say anything. But this feels just as bad.

And what do you know... I'm crying again.

What is going on today?

I'll just type through the tears because I don't want to deal with them.

In the past, I've just accepted the other bad behavior from others as my lot in life. With the thought of death date right around the corner, those feelings were eventually salved.

But when I do something that could potentially hurt others, it just makes me think... I may not be making the world a better place in any significant way, but I surely don't want to make the world a worse place.

I just hate when things suck and I can't go back and fix it.

So, how do I move on from this moment. What can I tell myself for the next time it happens. Collateral damage from an un-empowered life? That'll do.

In other news, I got quite overly excited this morning. But once I laid out a plan, managing those tasks seemed doable.

Overwhelmed and in Tears

I came online around 9a to blog about the fact that I got up, got in the car to go run some errands- since Thursday has historically been my errand day- then almost immediately turned the car off.

I got in the car; I started the car; and I just didn't want to go anywhere. The only thing I really "needed" was dishwasher tabs, but just the effort of having to wear the mask and be aware of my surroundings was more than I was willing to handle.

I think it's just the pending feeling of  doom? with New Job. I just wanted this week to be a carefree week. For some reason running errands didn't feel carefree. Plus I forgot the returns in the house.

So I turned the car off, checked the mail and headed back in.

2 hours later, it's 11a.

I did get the email I had been hoping for. The laptop for New Job is scheduled to arrive tomorrow (Friday).  Yay, right?

But why am I in tears? I don't know if I've ever actually shed tears in the past for feelings of overwhelm. This might be a first.

I spent the last 2 hours and the past few days trying to find a way to get my hair done. I have to get it washed, blow-dried, go to the beauty supply store, take it to another stylist to get the rest of the style completed.

This is why I shaved all my hair off in the first place. Now that it's in this short-phase it's especially annoying. Actually it's always been annoying because it's ALWAYS  a process. And all these solo-entrepreneurs with their inconsistent business practices don't make it easy!

It is just a pebble in my shoe that I didn't expect. A large part of WFH perks for me is not having to be camera ready, but now that there's this expectation I have to be on video, it's another task...made only more complicated with COVID.

I think what's especially annoying is knowing I'll be sitting here all day babysitting these phone lines when I could be getting stuff done.  I mean, it's my job and I'm getting paid for it but still.

Then I get the email confirmation from New Job.

First I notice my Preferred Name is there, but the actual email address is still my real name. So what's the point of that?! I wanted to go by Preferred Name to avoid any more conversations about my name. Now this is just asking for more questions. I think that's what's making me the most annoyed.  I spent so much mental energy coming up with Preferred Name and all its implications, and it was all for naught.

To top it off, to verify our employment there's all this running around to do - print the forms (how?); make copies of ID documents (how?); find a notary (who? where?); then send it via FedEx. 

That's at least 3 trips.  How is this helpful!

I've been hired remotely before and it was a one-trip process. New Job needs to contract with an employment verification agency. This is not a good solution. I understand that COVID disrupted a lot of process, but do better.

Now I'm thinking, did I leave one badly run organization to join another?

So I'm just crying. It solves nothing.

I still have to figure out my hair.
I still have to figure out how to get my ID verification done.
And what to do about my name?

I feel better

I woke up ready to spew some negative thoughts, but then I had to use the restroom. I couldn't stand the ring around the commode. So I spot-cleaned the bathroom. And I just turned the air on.

I suddenly feel better.

And when I went downstairs earlier to get my notebook, I noticed no new bugs at the backdoor. I guess my tape barrier worked. Not a sustainable permanent solution, but it works for now.


Tomorrow might be an errand day, but I just can't seem to get my mind focused. What am I afraid of? What am I scared of? What are some negative outcomes that seem impending that I can't vocalize or verbalize?

I'm going to try a brain dump...

  • I wish my laptop for New Job would arrive today.
  • Did I offend New Boss by rhetorically asking/commenting, "you're old enough to have college-aged children?" If so, will that affect our future relationship? It was just an observation on my part. I thought it was a compliment. 
  • Has solo life made me socially awkward?
  • Are there things people like about me anymore?
  • If I have to go to Team Meeting today, will I say no? Can they force me to go? 
  • Should I just send email to Colleague today to avoid having the virtual check-in? 
  • I hope New Laptop works with one of my docking stations. If not, I hope new docking station is cheap/ affordable. I wish I knew what model it was so I can order docking station already. ..But that's definitely something I can wait on.
  • Why do I keep getting these wonky calls? Will yesterday's escalation lead to some more undesired feedback? 

Oh, something I will say for myself. When I make up my mind to do something - right or wrong- I follow through. 

Mmm... that's not the point I was trying to make. Mostly, just I knew I was ready to leave the call center life when I left Call Center #1. I was worried I didn't wait on God or disobeyed him in some way, because I could't secure another job right away.

One of the reasons I was ready to quit the call center was because I was losing my patience with customers and providing that level of customer service in general. It was a role I just couldn't play easily anymore. But I just thought that was life. And for the most part it is - suck it up and deal with it. But I was getting less patient, less kind, less understanding. It was harder to keep the mask on all day.  I was afraid of getting fired for essentially not doing the job I was paid to do. That was only 1 of 100 reasons, but I quit with no job. I saved for and intended to take a 6 month Sabbatical. 

That didn't happen.  

The six weeks of flailing about before I accepted the offer at Call Center #2 seemed like enough of a break. I still didn't want to do call center work but I couldn't stay unemployed because I was becoming unglued. So for that, I'm grateful for them.

But within the first week at Call Center #2, I was affirmed that I no longer wanted to do call center work. So I kept applying. After 3 more months of actively applying and interviewing, I had to come to terms with the fact that this was as good as it was going to get for me. I tried my best to give 100% but was internally making plans to get out sooner rather than later. I kind of already resigned myself to the idea that this would be my last job before calling it quits (on Life). 

I can't recall my exact plans in this moment without checking my notes, but I know I kind of checked out. I just figured I'd last as long as I could at Call Center #2 and hoped not to get fired.  I would be treading water essentially, and when I ran out of breath, I would just live off whatever I managed to save. And that would be that. 

What I'm trying to say in a long-winded way is this. I don't think New Job is going to change these plans. At some point along the way, reaching $250k became the goal because I could survive a good number of years on that before running out of money. 

While I won't be staffing a call center anymore, I think Brain has just lumped all work as work - call center or not. So I'm concerned that this is the mindset I'm taking into New Job. Thus I don't have a chance of reaching the work-product outcomes I might desire. 

Running in the background are still plans to make it work for about ~18 months until I can reach $250k and then enter my self-imposed Twilight Years (or is it Golden Years?). 

What My Next 6 Months Might Look Like

Strangely, but not surprisingly, my last week at work has not looked or felt the way I thought. I just hoped it would be uneventful, physically and emotionally.

As a disclaimer, a lot of "small stuff" ends up being magnified in my life because a lot of times it's the only thing that happened to me that day. So, on the bright side, "life is good." That's what I'm supposed to say, right?

I very much want to get excited about starting New Job on Monday, but Brain won't let me. I'm convinced I'll jinx the outcome. Not that silly, if you think about it. How many motivational and biblical directives focus on your thoughts, attitude, and words affecting outcomes.

Because I can't vocalize my excitement, the thoughts I have pent up inside have nowhere to go. What I can do is try to imagine what I would like the next 6 months to look like.

I'm guessing the workday will follow the traditional 9a-5p. So I'm using that as a structure. I'm hoping to move toward a 10a-6p because when the days get shorter, it will get more difficult to be awake and functional at 9a. After all, I have been working late shift for close to 2 years now.

Here's what I had in mind.

Scenes From the Next 6 Months of My Life

  •  Stretch 2x daily.
    • This is the default for our current safer-at-home order. 
    • Not sure how actionable this will be when a commute is involved.

  • Brush and floss daily.
    • Preferred: Brush and floss daily and nightly.
    • Default:  5 days/wk

  • Go to church 1x/week.
    • Preferred: Actual church in a building.
    • Default: online

  • Fellowship 1x/week.
    • Preferred: Do this outside of the house. Yes, this encompasses secular social interactions and meetups.
    • Default: Virtual/ email/ chat/ blog comments. 

  • Seasonal creative outlet x1.
    • Preferred: Create something, e.g. sewing, music, dance, art, etc.
      • Note: This does not include sports and fitness. You need to create something. 
      • Note: This does not necessarily have to be out of the house. Just create something. It's okay to take a break between projects, but create something, that ends in an external culminating project.
    • Default: blog, baking(?)

  • Service to others x1.
    • Preferred: > 1x/month
    • Default: 1x/month
    • Examples: Volunteering, judging science fairs, American Red Cross

  • Personality
    • Preferred: Be unbroken; be confident; be kind and upbeat; be unburdened.
    • Default: Alive.

  • Other
    • Preferred: Reduce screen time by 8 consecutive waking hours 1x/week. 

Silly rabbit!


So much for keeping a secret. Brain was telling me not to forward the email but alas I forgot. I'm so bad at keeping secrets, even my own. It's hard living a double, triple, quadruple life!

So I was trying to do a good thing. A colleague reached out to me about Call Center #1. And you know me, give me an inch and I take 2 miles. She also said she was feeling a little bit of job insecurity.  So I thought hey, I'm leaving Call Center #2, why don't I just refer her for my old spot. That's how I got on this train to New Job.

Super fail!

I mean nothing bad happened, but remember how I was not planning on telling anyone in my personal life about New Job (or new house). Fail! In the email to the recruiter,  I mentioned that I was leaving and I was forwarding the resume of a colleague. Well I also forwarded that email to the Colleague!! Now she's asking where I'm going??

Side note, no one at work even asked, not even my manager. I did all that prep work for nothing.

Ugh, I only even forwarded the email so Colleague would know I did what I said I would do (also that's what that on Speckled Peer I have does) and it wasn't just a gratuitous offer.  Trying to be open and transparent and all. I regret that. But as I was deleting out the recruiter's info, I should have just caught myself and not forwarded anything at all.

I should wait a week to respond to Colleague but I obviously want to wake up tomorrow not thinking about this, so I'll likely be responding shortly.

Oh to add another sourball to the mix...

I, in the spirit of doing no work, joined an online meeting for  a new project. I figured I probably didn't need to since I'm leaving on Friday. However, I also didn't want to be in the queue to take calls. And I was also curious if the lead for that project would say anything. Well imagine my surprise, when one of my leads pinged me to say I didn't need to be in the meeting.

I was annoyed. Not only were my plans foiled, but it makes me wonder who told My Lead I was even in that training because only 2 of my teammates were in the training. Tattle tale much?!  I don't want to get too excited but that's another stroke in the I'm Happy to Be Leaving Column!

Is it Tuesday already?

Hi, friends -

I feel unsettled, adrift even. I haven't been sleeping well for over a week, if not longer. Sunday night and Monday night were no different. Going to sleep between midnight and 3a and still awaking between 6-8a.

Sigh. I think a lot of it has to do with doing nothing all day.  I just feel unsettled. The zeal of the bank bonuses have worn off. Other than the big one that requires money movement in July, the rest of the other requirements have mostly been met or are scheduled. That's a good thing, but all this freed up mental space is of course exploring the dark places.

I'm most looking forward to getting my new laptop for New Job.  I wish it were here already (or that I could track the shipment) so I could fool around with it all week. If it comes Friday, then that will be my weekend.

I mentioned yesterday, the robotvac came. I'm just not in the mood to fiddle with it, so it's still in the same spot as yesterday.

I had gotten in the habit of running the dishwasher at the beginning of the week, but because of my funky mood, the dishes are still unwashed.

And the bugs. I'm up to ants, those little jumping blacks, and dust mites. I'm killing at least 3-7 bugs a day. Ick.

My mind can't even focus on any other worries. Just wish my laptop would get here already. We are a very "alerted" society these days so to be kept in the dark is 😫😒.

That is all.

P.S. - Had to disable comments on the blog temporarily due to Spam. Ick. Between that and the influx in my inbox, I had to take control where I can.

Some New Rules

Well I disrupted my own morning this morning chasing a $300 bonus. When will I learn! It turns out I was not eligible for the bonus because I didn't live in the target area and my unnamed family member that allowed me to be eligible didn't help.

  • So no more bonuses where I have to claim things I can't easily verify or use old addresses (well except the one on my license).  It's not worth my sanity.
Okay, I guess that was it for house rules.

  • I woke up in somewhat of a foul mood today. Not sure why. Probably have to do with angst about New Job. I don't know why. This is literally the best possible scenario. I can start something new from the comfort of my own home.  I would really like to get my hair done because on our Teams chat on Friday, I think New Manager expected me to do video as well. 

  • Robot vac came.

  • Got approved for the Big Bank Bonus account I was hoping for. Well that was the easy part. I just have to keep up with the requirements for the next 6 months or so. 

  • Still trying to find a line item to earmark for these bonuses. Contenders are power bill's Facility Charges and perhaps monthly Hulu Live Subscription when Fall TV returns. 

It's soooo hot! The air has been running up here since I started my shift this morning. I am in the market for a fan and for no reason at all haven't pulled the trigger. Well, I'm just going to blame it on COVID.  Like the filters I finally ordered to change out my HVAC filters; then later was notified were out-of-stock. It's the responsible homemaker task that I had been putting off. Well I cleared it off my to-do list anyway and will make another hearty attempt at the next reminder. 

I think I don't understand credit cards. Example, Card 1. I had a $30 charge on it. So that balance was due say Jun 13. Then I charged $142 for a cable bill on Card 1. But subsequently, that charge was reversed. But now my account is saying there's no payment due but the $30 charge is still on there. So does the Credit I received for the Reversed Charges count as a payment?  I know I won't get charged interest if I don't pay it, because I'm at 0% Intro APR, but will I get charged a late fee? 

I'm proud of myself for not responding to 2 HIGH-RISK emails. 

Speaking of emails, I must've submitted my email address to a wonky site because my spam folder was filled this morning with nasty spam emails since May 13.  Some of them mention companies that I actually do business with so that's creepy. I'm not sure how they do that. Now I'm looking into getting another private email address. But when would I use that? 

I am convinced when your email is open while you browse sites that's how these spammers get some of your information. When I used to keep another personal email attached to my iPad, I got Spam non-stop. After I removed it, they slowed and eventually stopped. 

So I'll try to be more mindful of when that email is open during browsing. 

I really need to call Spectrum and cancel the TV essentials package I have.  I haven't... well I guess I technically have used it to watch ID, but that can wait until the Fall! 

Fast forward 15 minutes....and WOW. If I take off the $15 TV Essentials, I apparently break my bundle and my internet goes from $50 up to $70 JUST FOR INTERNET! Will these people stop robbing me! 

And now of course you know I'm mad for revealing things about myself that are none of their business: What do you use your internet for? Who's your cell phone provider?  Hello, mind your business! 


Well there goes my plan to get Hulu Live in the Fall. I have a feeling it'll be cheaper just to bundle cable. These people! I actually prefer Hulu Live because it has what I imagine TiVo was like - it tees up the shows I watch often when there's a new episode vs having to check every time. 

Saturday Check-In

I have been waking up around 7:30a  3 out of 5 business days the last 2 weeks or so. I may need to adjust my bedtime to 12midnight so I can try to get 7.5 hours of sleep. Today was another one of those days.

Last night was another sleepless night. Not sure why. Thoughts ruminating I supposed. I even tried updating a spreadsheet this morning, as that's usually therapeutic, but my heart wasn't in it.

Here's the latest...

  • I chatted with New Manager yesterday via Teams. She seems very positive, upbeat, and flexible. At one point she even stated, if you need to take care of something everyday from 1-3p, that's okay. It's all okay. Wow, right?!

  • I wrote a 2-3 paragraph bio for when I start. I wanted to showcase my experience but also added some personal details about where I was from. Usual stuff that I typically never share or offer in conversation. 

  • I finally bought some more stuff for the house. I bought a robovac! I haven't purchased a security cam yet since my move date is still TBD. I finally bought air filters. I am hopeful that I can use one of my chairs to reach the HVAC vents. These little jumping bugs (chiggers?) keep crawling in through the backdoor. I see them doing it. So I attempted to purchase some door sweeps and a weatherizing strip for the back door. However when I looked at the backdoor to see where I could apply them, I can see a weather strip already there, so I'm not sure what good what I bought is going to do. Let me tell you it was a feat trying to get it all in one order. Basically the only Walmart that had all the items I was shopping for was 12 miles away, and I had no desire to drive that far. At least not yesterday.  So I did 2 orders - 1 to ship, 1 to pick up 5 miles away. I'll be passing 2 other Walmarts on the way. Womp, womp. 

  • I'm about tired of running errands. This upcoming week might be a relaxing week. I have to transition from old job to new job. 

  • It's already sweltering in NC in the morning. I have to get a fan. Notably, my energy usage went down from last month. 

  • I'm going into New Job with the mental note that I'll probably still be in NC for Jun, July, and Aug. 

  • I really want to get a new couch. The futon downstairs hurts all my body parts.

  • I hope to establish a new sleep and stretch routine to go along with New Job. New starts are usually a catalyst for new good behaviors for me. 

  • Still not planning on telling anyone about New Job for 3 months (a typical probation period), especially one of my colleagues. That feels like the biggest secret because she referred me! Twist, right?! 

  • Oh! I followed one of my Rules of Engagement. One of my colleagues wanted to schedule a Check-In to after my Designated Times, and I almost fell for it just to get it out of the way. But nope, I stuck to the designated time and rescheduled our chat. 

  • Peer 2 also sent a check-in email that I immediately wanted to respond to and have successfully resisted the urge. These are just 2 little steps of empowerment that warrant recognition.

  • On the bank bonus front, I still have 2 applications pending for a potential combined reward of about $1k. 

That's all for now! 

Why I Spent $15 in Mental Convenience Fees

After much consternation, I woke up this morning convicted (read: anxious) to just be done thinking about these darn credit cards. I made a plan but for some reason, I just kept waiting to execute it.

I didn't want to keep it in my mental closet any longer. So I ate the $15 in gift card activation fees to free up some mental space.

Here was my initial plan:

Objective: Spend $1500 across 3 credit cards by Jun (1) and July (2)

Card 1:  $500 visa gift card purchased at a grocery store (should trigger a 5% cashback bonus) (next weekend)

Card 2: Split between Spectrum internet bill and upcoming auto-insurance premium (mid-June)

Card 3: Power bill (mid-June) (w/ $3.50 fee)

I completed Card 1's Spend Requirement sometime last week. It was so easy and a little bit thrilling. I vowed not to do it again and to just complete the other 2 Spend Requirements from the comfort of my home. But I just couldn't get mind to get on board with pre-paying bills. Maybe it's because of the potential COVID-related free money; maybe it's because I want to keep my money a little closer to the vest; maybe it's because of the upcoming transition of jobs. I don't know what it was. Come to think of it, maybe the routine of paying bills regularly each month was something I wanted. 

Whatever the reason, this morning I just nixed those plans and bought 2 gift cards. It was a lot of nervous sweating because the cashier at Food Lion had to get a manager to put in some code to buy the gift cards. If I think back, this happened with Card 1, but the cashier was close enough to the manager and just ended up scanning something from behind the Customer Service Desk. There was no back and forth. 

This time, Cashier called Manager. Manager asked if I was paying debit. And I said yes (white lie). Because sometimes people use debit/credit interchangeably. Manager had to wait since I paid for each Gift Card in separate transactions. After Transaction 2, Manager said that wasn't a debit card. I shrugged. What difference does it make? 

Luckily, nothing else happened and I walked out sweating profusely. I don't know why I'm nervous; I'm not actually doing anything wrong. I think the commenters on the site just scared me because they said these types of transactions can raise red flags. 

Then I had to come home to use the phone (since I don't have cell phone service at the moment) to activate the Gift Cards and get a pin. Once that was done, I wanted to finish the job. So, I drove to another Food Lion (again, undue nerves) to buy the money order.  I thought I could save $0.46 by buying one money order for $1k but no. She split it up into two. See this is where dealing with humans causes your experience to vary. I know I have purchased money orders before that were > $500 and only been charged for one money order.  Oh well.

This Cashier didn't make me feel like I was doing anything suspicious, but I was still nervous. I asked if I could split the payment on 2 cards and she said that was okay. I realized with the extra cost of the second money order, I didn't have enough so I had to pay an extra $0.46 cents in cash. Oh well. 

I'm just glad it's all done. I'll be locking my cards as soon as the transactions post and be done with that!!

I'm so happy to be done and just not thinking about it anymore. I'd love to say this is the last time I'll be doing this, but you know how I am. Only time will tell!

Happy Friday! 

Thank you, Petra!

I couldn't end the day without a shout-out to my girl at the DMV. This morning ended up being an errand day.

Yesterday, I looked to see if the car inspection stations were open yet. Turns out they've been open all along. I could've sworn when I checked in April, The Internet said they were closed. I immediately panicked not only for the possible late fee, as my registration expired in May, but that I had all this free time the last 2 months and could've gone then.

I kind of got over it quickly because The Internet was saying there was talk of waiving late fees. I mean at that point, it was definitely a no-crying over spilled milk sitch. Late or not, I had to renew my registration.  I decided to table it for Friday when I would be back at work and more in that mindset.

But you know little Miss Anxious couldn't enjoy her Free Day. So I went this morning. Part of the logic was in the past, I was told it can take 24 hours for the inspection to register in whatever system before you actually can renew your registration.

I was up early enough with nothing to do, so I headed to the dealership to make it easier. Didn't want to have to deal with a local mom-and-pop operation.  I believe in all I was done within an hour. It didn't seem very long at all. And get this, they were running some sort of special and I only had to pay ~$17. (Should I count that as another COVID Free Money Win?!) Usually, it's the full $30.

Thankfully, my car passed.

And before I left the house, I checked to see if one of my transfers to my new Bank Bonus Account had posted yet. It had! So I grabbed that debit card on the way out and in my excitement left my water on the counter.  (I was sweltering by the time I got to the dealership and no cups to get water because #COVID.)

I bought the $500 money order on the way to the dealership and since my local bank was on the way (surprise!), I stopped there and deposited it.  The $500 spend (but really $0.46 for the money order) should translate into a $250 bonus in 60 days.  Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Well, don't count those chickens just yet. But that's one less thing off my list.

Boy did it feel good to knock three birds out with no stones! Hehe.

So back at home, a few hours later, Anxious Annie decided to see if I could renew yet. Since my address changed I could either do it online (for $3 fee) or go in person. The $3 fee was totes worth not having to deal with nasty DMV employees.

But alas, when I tried to renew online, the online system would only update my Other Name aaaand it didn't recognize my street address. Foiled!

So, I had to go to the local office! First I had to find one. I did and from what I could tell, they were open for regular business (where as the driver license office was by appointment only).

Fully prepared for hardship and nonsense, I took 3 pieces of proof of address, my passport, my DL, and my SS card. Yes, I like to come prepared. I mostly thought it was going to be a fact-finding mission and I would come back empty-handed.

Nope! I was in and out in less time than the roundtrip.

Petra at the counter called me up. I handed her my renewal paper. She asked if my address had changed. I said yes. She said write it down. I did. She said you want me to change it. I said yep. She changed it. Calculated my new total (because we pay property tax for cars here).  It went from $121 (in my former county where the median income is $100k+) to about $96 (in my new county where the median income is < $50k). I paid and out printed my sticker.   For some reason I didn't anticipate them being able to print a sticker instantly, but that's exactly what happened.  She asked for no ID and did not mention the Other Name.

This completely made my day! It even made up for the fact that I meant to pay with a CC (credit card) to meet another CC spend but forgot.

Best day ever!

And as the cherry on top, I asked New Manager at New Job when she saw her team going back to the office. And she said there was no timeline.  So now my wheels are turning. Are we all really going to be in this limbo state until there is a vaccine? I really thought that was all baloney, heretics even, hyperbole.

So now I'm thinking my timeline of having to move in July, then August, then September might still be way off. What if I get to stay here for the next 18 months?! That would be awesome!!

But for now, I'm just thinking at least the next 3 months - Jun, Jul, Aug. So it's making me want to spruce the place up a bit more. More to come!

9:43pm The End of a Not-So-Bad Day

I got a lot done, or at least it seems that way mentally.

This morning I woke up and took the trash to the dump. That makes two weeks since the last trip. I think 2 weeks is manageable. I was hoping for a month, but until I can get an outside storage container for the trash, two weeks is doable.

When I did the math, it's a 10 mi rdtrp. Let's say my car gets 300 miles per tank, and a fill up is around $20. To have your trash picked up, it's $18 or $19 dollars per month.  So unless, I take 30 trips each month to the county dump, I still come out ahead.

One colleague mentioned I'll probably get sick of it at some point, and she's probably right. But for now, it's doable.

Then I drove by the Walmart to see if it was open. Because of the riots and looting, their hours have been sporadic. I saw cars in the parking lot, so I stopped in.  Last night when I made my list, I had accepted that this would be a short food trip to Food Lion so I only had about 5 items on my list.  Given the added uncertainty of these current times, I went a little nuts.

You see earlier this week (or last), I had started a 3-month Supply List. In my studio apartment, I didn't really have the space to stock up on things, so I just purchased as needed. Now that I have twice the space, I'm leaning towards keeping common items stocked not just for supply chain issues, but to help to continue to automate my life.

Although unspoken, I do feel as though I'm in the final stretch of this stage of my life.  So these everyday tasks just need to get moved to auto-pilot.

Anyway, the quick grocery run turned into a $95 trip. I actually didn't have enough money on my  Everyday Expenses debit card because I had transferred that pot of money to a debit card for a bank bonus that had a spend requirement. The funds were still in transit, so I couldn't use that card either.

I ended up purchasing some things I remembered from my Supply List such as brownie mix (the fun stuff), canned beans, ground turkey, and frozen veggies.  People were right, some meat is at surge pricing.  The ground turkey I got was normal price though. When I looked at bacon, I promise I saw a package for $7!

I saw someone with toilet paper in their cart, so I checked that aisle to see what was available. There was toilet paper and paper towels! I grabbed one of each. That was an unexpected surprise. I have about 1-2 months left of each. In pre-COVID days, I would've waited til my last roll. But these are different times.

So trash dump, Walmart; then I came home and ran 1 load of dishes in what I am now calling my average dishwasher. I've become increasingly frustrated with the dishwasher and the fridge.  I miss my studio's fridge. The inside was huge and the compartments fit my lifestyle better. Smart Me thought to write down the make and model of the fridge, but alas I didn't.  Now I think I might get a small extra freezer. Grr...when being frugal costs me more money.

Work Stuff
My computer wouldn't log into our telephony software for the first half of my shift, so that was fun.
My manager responded to my Letter of Resignation. She asked no questions.

I'll stop talking about the other thing that happened. But mentioning it to a co-worker did provide some re-assurance which I needed. I also decided to apologize to the client and our team. I've been trying to humble myself, but so far it just feels as though it's backfiring because that is not an organic part of who I am. But one of my coworkers was saying sorry to me just because I was having IT issues (eventhough it had nothing to do with her), so I got the idea from her.

New Manager contacted me to get my address for my new computer. That was exciting. I really hope she's great!! But I won't get my hopes up too much. She asked about the "Preferred Name" I listed, but I haven't responded yet.

What I'm Looking Forward To
I have 2 days off!! This is the best. Vacation days or Paid Time Off has got to be the best thing ever invented!!
I have some yummy corn-on-the-cob all cooked and ready for my enjoyment. I already ate 2 or 3 cobs, so there's just enough for tomorrow.
I have some new brownie mix to try. I broke down and bought one of those microwave cookie mixes, but since I don't have a microwave, I'm going to try it in the oven (or toaster oven).
I finally got the 3rd Credit Card, so my Spend Plans can commence.
I'm proud of myself for still carrying out most of my daily tasks today when usually I like to let an emotional collapse ruin my day.
I got denied for my most recent bank bonus for address verification. I hope my second application is approved. If I complete this bonus, it will be my biggest one this year!

Still on my mind
Right now, in this moment, still haven't decided whether I should go the gift card route for Credit Card 2 & 3's Spend Requirements or prepay bills. Hrmph. 

I'd love to say I'll wait until Friday to get more information about when I have to be on-site from New Manager, but I know better.

Tuesday, 8:24am, Stuck in Negative Feedback Loop

I actually slept through most of the night. I thought I'd be awake most of the night ruminating on the bad call and negative feedback. Nope, my brain saved that for this morning.

I just don't know how to move forward. I know I'm going to spend the rest of the day replaying all the things I could've done differently. It's so hurtful to be called incompetent. I feel like saying that old middle school comeback, "I know you are, but what am I?"

If I were to stand back and take some perspective, other people are losing their lives and struggling. So yes, this is not that. But because my job is such a big part of my life, this negative feedback is a big part of my life.

Going to work is essentially the only thing I do other than general life.

I'm supposed to be going to the store and taking the trash to the dump. I'm just not in the mood.

What could make this better? 
- Having some great shows to watch on Wed and Thurs (my days off)
- Having some fun snacks to eat while watching great shows

Are there any fun reality shows out there that aren't women behaving badly?

Still ruminating
I know you hear people say, or students say, their teacher or their boss or their co-worker is out to get them. You know those instances where it feels as though someone just doesn't like you. I'm starting to feel that way about the client. I "challenged" her in a meeting a couple months back, and I think since then her feedback has been especially harsh. Yes, the call could've been better. But when I step back from it, I mean it was not a great customer service experience but what did I actually do wrong? It was certainly not the outcome I anticipated when I followed up with that doctor or I would not have called him back in the first place.

I don't know anymore. I just want this to have never happened. It's like a car accident, where 3 seconds changes your whole life.

This is that.

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!