Friday, February 24, 2012

Done!

The other day, sick of always emailing things to my mother and asking her to print them for me, I purchased a printer.

I bought it at the same time as my Macbook (it was an optional add-on at the Apple site) and I didn't even give it much thought.  It was literally like, "Oh, hey.  A printer. I oughta get me one of those.  $99?  Sounds fair."  *click. Add to cart.*

Now, because FedEx has the tendency to be dumb, my printer was several days late.  During these days, I had time to surmise what my new printer might be like.  Damn, I thought.  I should have ordered a wireless one.  I bet this one isn't wireless.


The next day, I thought, I should really pick up a scanner with my next paycheck so I can scan and get rid of all these old photos.


Imagine my shock (and happiness) when my printer arrives and it is BOTH wireless AND a scanner!  Needless to say, I have spent the past three days on task, scanning and uploading all the loose photos I owned.  Over 800 photos later, I'm finished!  Phew!  I didn't realize I was such a photo hoarder.  (Still am, but digital format is just so much cleaner.)

Next up, I'm hopefully having Shaun rip some of my old VHS tapes to DVD, and having Mike transcribe some of my old (super embarrassing) writing.  After that?  Well, my clutter problem might be damn near solved.  That'll be pretty sweet.

In other news, my job has me so turned around that I just looked at the clock and realized it's 2 AM. My first thought was not, "Wow, I should sleep." but instead, "No, that can't be right."  and I proceeded to check multiple clocks.

Bed now.  Maybe.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.

It seems like 2012 is going to be "my year", as they say.

In the past month, thanks in great part to my friend Mike (who is a WIZARD when it comes to doing my taxes) and this new pretty sweet job (which allows me not only to work full-time, but weekly overtime as well) I have...

-cleared most of my credit card debt
-put a decent chunk of money into a savings account for the first time in roughly 4 years
-bought the Macbook Pro I have spent TEN.YEARS lusting after and trying (and failing) to save for.

A little story:  when I was 19 and first wanted an Macbook, I figured the only way to get one was to get an Apple credit card.  So, I applied and was denied due to lack of credit.  Understandable.  I realized credit was something I had to build, so I tried smaller--I got a Target credit  card first, then a Sears card.  (The Sears was a Sears Visa--I hoped maybe my credit limit would be high enough to get a Macbook.  Nope.)

Long story short, I racked up a ton of debt on those two cards, plus an Old Navy card.  I was never approved for an Apple card--but I was approved for a Dell credit card.  Enter my really crappy 2002 Dell Inspirion laptop, which cost $700 on the site, but after all the interest and late fees I accrued over the years, probably ended up costing more like $2,000.

Anyway.  Long story short?  Pay for things in cash.  If you want a Macbook Pro, wait ten years until you get a sweet tax return.

Other good news?  I passed my junior year a week or so ago, and am now an official college senior.  I also finally got the tattoo I've been wanting for a year or so.  (it's in the horrid itchy phase right now.)

Next up?  I'm seeing The Addams Family (the musical) this weekend with my friend Christie.  It's our second time seeing it, this time with the touring company, but I'm still really excited about it!  It was a great show, despite all the bad press it received.

Besides the continued bill paying and getting caught up on any financial things that have fallen to the wayside, I plan on improving my organizational skills, forming better habits and minimizing things around the house even more.  And hopefully pretty soon I'll be able to take some financial-worry-free weekend trips with Shaun.  I'm dying to go back to NYC!  It's been too long.

Hope you are all doing well also, and that tax time was good to you.  I know many people owe this year, even those who claimed zero.  I can't imagine how terrible it is to expect a decent return and instead be told you need to give up some of your own money!  I was definitely fortunate to be spared that.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mini-rant.

It makes me angry when people assume that just because something has worked for them, that it will work for everyone.

A friend of mine recently posted a blog that implied pretty much anyone could obtain a job in 14 days--and if they didn't, they simply weren't doing things right.  Now, I'd be all for this if it was titled something like "How I Found a Job in 14 Days", but it's not.  It's a how-to.

I first read this article because I was curious.  Really? 14 days?  You mean I was doing something wrong these past six months?  I looked forward to the pointers he had to offer, but finished the article feeling unimpressed and insulted.

"Submitting resumes online is not job hunting" was one of the first pieces of advice.  If I followed this advice, I not only wouldn't have gotten my last three jobs--I wouldn't know where to even begin looking for jobs.  Of course, his advice is to "go in and speak to a manager", which might work just find in a city setting, but aside from the center of town (which has roughly 10 businesses that are either not hiring or I'm not qualified to work for), there are no businesses near me.  I NEED online job searches in order to find places that are hidden just off the beaten path, as I'm not terribly familiar with my rural area that consists of mostly houses and farms.

Also, out of the managers I've spoken with, most are too busy to give you the time of day.  They'll either say, "Fill out an application online" or, "We aren't hiring right now, but we're always accepting applications."  (This is retail code for: sure, apply, but by the time we're actually hiring we'll have lost/thrown out your application.)

What's that? You don't think retail establishments throw away applications?  I can't tell you all the times I've personally crumpled applications just seconds after receiving them. 'we're always accepting applications' means 'don't waste your time'.

When I tried to explain to this person that I was happy for him, but he was fortunate he had the luck to get a job in 14 days and this was the exception rather than the rule, he told me luck has nothing to do with it, it was simple preparedness and opportunity (one could argue that "opportunity" IS "luck", at least I think it is!), and that I should keep my eye on the goal or face the consequences and stop making excuses for my failures.

I find it hard to believe that someone who found a job in 14 days really grasps what the economy is like out there.  In the past six months I've applied for between 5-10 jobs a DAY (that's 1,800 jobs! But let's be generous and say I took a weekend off here or there, or maybe couldn't find 10 jobs every night--still, it is a huge amount of jobs, at least a thousand.) and you know how many interviews I was called for?  TWELVE. (Actually, I was only "called" for ten--I stormed in and secured interviews twice.)

I was also called for two interviews, one with an insurance company and one for a book store, but when I returned their calls (two to three times) they never got back to me.

Out of these twelve interviews, I was offered ONE position--the one I accepted.

And don't get me wrong, I am extremely hireable and a good candidate for many positions. (This is not simply my personal opinion--I have been told this by hiring agencies who absolutely salivated over my skills and resume.)

If it took me six months to find a job, it's just insulting to claim anyone can find a job in 14 days.  It's brutal out there.  Don't tell me luck or good fortune has nothing to do with it!