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Gift Card Spending

September 16th, 2018 at 05:46 am

Saturday was the first quiet day I have had in what feels like "forever". I am did some house chores, but very minimal. Made a salmon dinner. Did Laundry. Cleaned one toilet bowl and vacuumed the bathroom floor upstairs (hair everywhere). Our house looks like a pig sty and I mostly don't know where anything is (or so it feels like), but I am hoping I have time next week to sort things out.

I think I am finally over this virus. Hence, the energy for chores.

Next week: Car #2 to mechanic, sell van, consult lawyer (or make appointment to). Trying to make plans with SF friend and one client/friend. MH has jury duty and so I may end up covering kids. Kids have all sorts of appointments, in addition school. I am sure I am forgetting things. MM(15) is going back for next phase of medical study. He will be paid $200-ish, but we both have lots of paperwork to fill out.

I was just thinking today, we have some prep to do for Finland trip. Need to do notarized permission to leave country without us (to be on the safe side). Guess I will pencil that in for next week too. *sigh*

I do not foresee much relaxing during this short time off, but I am guessing I should just be grateful that I should have time to deal with all of the above. We always try so hard to lead more calm and peaceful lives, I know that is a lot of why I feel so overwhelmed this year. I am failing spectacularly this year, but am hopeful that things will calm down in the next couple of weeks.

I really thought I had been paranoid or imagining it, but I drove car #2 about 45 miles on Friday and the engine was making some bad sounds. This means that literally Monday both our cars broke, on my first day of unemployment. Crazy Murphy! With two cars, don't remember that ever happening before? But admittedly, both are drive-able; it could be much worse.

Knock on wood, but it's been a few days since I have gotten horrible horrible news. So that is really nice.

I was so happy to see Banker Gurl's news! It's not just my real life world... It's just been very heavy this year on SA, hasn't it? It's nice to hear such amazing happy news!

We are getting through some of our (credit card reward) gift cards. MH decided to pick up a ladder today. I had picked up $200 in Home Depot gift cards to that end, but he just hadn't gotten around to it. We really needed a taller ladder. He wanted to pick up while we still had the van. In the end, it was folded up so much I'd say it didn't matter. But, I am happy to have another chore crossed off the honey do list.

I also asked MH at some point how much a copier/scanner would cost. I was just curious re: side work I might pick up. Fast forward to now, and I know they are cheap enough that I think it's good to have one for personal use. It's one thing to know your *forever employer* doesn't care that you use all their stuff for personal use. It's another thing to start new somewhere else. We actually went to Home Depot a few days ago but the ladders weren't stocked on the shelves and we didn't have time to track down help. But we had a little while before we had to pick up a kid. So we walked over to Staples just to see what they had. A lot of stuff in the $50 - $100 range. We have $100 gift cards, so even better. Was earmarking those for school supplies in case I was unemployed this summer.

That, we have to research and pick up still. I think I will just set that aside for my first part-time week at work. I have picked up some very small side jobs, and we will get some use out of it. I will be replacing a small copier I bought from Costco in 1995. (I actually used it yesterday to make copies for new employer). The crazy thing still works! But I need a scanner and something that can feed multiple pages.

Other randomness:

"Twin" tried to blow me off because she was slammed at work. Someone else had already told her my news. I hadn't thought much beyond, "The honeymoon is over," re: her new job. But in the end, she agreed to meet with me briefly Friday. She was telling me that they were so desperate for help but they just can't find anyone to hire. This market is just so crazy! (Mental note: Not budging on salary if I do ever end up going to this firm).

Of course, it's not quite that simple. We went out to dinner with a friend Friday night and he started ranting and raving about how employers are all struggling to find talent but that they refuse to increase salaries. So there is some crazy supply and demand problem right now. I know, right?! I have been completely dumbfounded with the entire, "We are so desperate for help, can you start yesterday? You have to take a 40% pay cut though." Why aren't more employers increasing salaries to fill the gap? Since I decided to quit my job I have been willing to accept a 25% pay cut. Because that's still a heck of a lot better than unemployment (and is the point we can at least pay all of our bills). It's only at the "25% pay cut" point that employers will talk to me. I've seen too many jobs posted with ridiculously low salaries. I really thought this was the reality of our lower-cost move. But, friend was telling us that is just true across the entire U.S. right now. (I do think it is exaggerated by our lower-cost move because wages were so high and unemployment was so low in our old city, but it had never occurred to me that this was more of a widespread economic reality).

In the end, I have (had) a lot of good clients who pay very well and don't have staffing problems. I knew if I had the time and patience that I would find a good employer. Fingers crossed, but I think I pulled it off. -25% would have been really a temp stepping stone to learn new skills and maybe widen my network. Not the best long-term solution for my household. In the end, I accepted this offer so readily because it was an offer I think will be okay for the long run. Will share more re: numbers later. My total compensation is decreasing 15% from "forever employer". But I am also dropping all the OT so not taking much of a hit on a per hour basis. I think I calculated that I am getting paid 1% less per hour, compare to "fake employer" (who was not paying me for my OT). & if that hadn't gone entirely to hell, I was feeling like that was about as good as it was going to get. So I am really pleased I found such a well paying job, especially since I am taking such a big step down as to responsibilities and hours.

Edited to add: I deleted some delirious/overly tired post from a few days ago. I suppose I should share again (for anyone who missed it or is lost) that next week is my last week off. New employer was too desperate for me to start. We compromised and my first week there (the following week) will be part-time.

I will do a separate car post.

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