Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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A Moment of Frustration

It’s financial.

Of course it’s financial.

It’s always financial.

Oh, the Michael’s paycheck saga. I worked for them in November, until I was called by FEMA. Now that was frustrating because FEMA asked me to commit for 60 days, then let me go after 19. I would have turned down the deployment and stayed with Michael’s if I’d known it was gonna go like that.

Anyway.

I left right before one payday, and was deployed for the next payday. Then I got back right before Christmas, so I didn’t get to the store until after the new year to pick up my checks. Unfortunately, they had been returned to corporate rather than mailing them to me. Bummer, but okay, I’ll deal with corporate.

Well that’s not so easy. The number I could find online was for customer service not the head office. So I called customer service, who connected me to HR. I left a message. Several days later I left another message. I finally reached someone who emailed me a form to fill out. The form.

The form was a .pdf but I was unable to unlock it for editing. Didn’t even show up as an option. I had to print it out. Then I had to access the payroll portal to get the check dates. I filled out the form, and realized I didn’t know how to return them. I didn’t have a fax number or a physical address, so I called Michael’s again.

I am surprised by how difficult a concept this is to explain over the phone. “Just fill out the form online and email it back to us.” Well I tried that, it doesn’t work. I hung up on one person who clearly wasn’t getting it. I finally got a person who suggested taking a picture of the form with my phone and emailing that back. Well. Should’ve thought of that myself. Good idea. So that’s what I did.

Then I got an email saying I needed to fill out a different form that included the check number and the amount. I had to email them to request a copy of the form. Then I had to go back to the payroll portal to get the additional check information. I printed out the forms and completed them. This time, there was a list of 5 fax numbers on the form with instructions to send the form to them. I don’t own a fax.

Fortunately, the unemployment office has a free fax machine, so I went down there and faxed. I faxed to all the numbers because I was gonna cover my bases. Nobody at unemployment even asked what I was doing.

Today I got an email asking me to confirm my mailing address. I sure hope that means the checks will be cut soon and forwarded to me. I mean, it’s been since November and I need the money.

That brings me to my second source of frustration. I had to use the company card while I was deployed because I didn’t have any money in the bank. Most of my expenses were covered but a few were not. That’s okay, and it’s normal. So I have to pay a few things out of pocket. Not a problem if I’m working, but I haven’t received a check since Christmas and I simply am out of money. I hope the Michael’s check arrives soon.

On top of that, my car is due for a sticker this month. I need to get an inspection and pay for registration, another $150 or thereabouts total. Where is that check?

Now I will be working 4 days this week. I have a training. But I will lose about 1/3 of my check to taxes. Then another $200 for health insurance. Then another $200 for back health insurance, since I’ve been covered for the past year without making a payment, so I owe that money. Really I won’t have any cash in my pocket from this expedition. But I will have a coach and evaluator certification, which hopefully will make me more appealing to have in the field. Maybe.

I still haven’t heard from the other cadre about making the change to a different team. In November they told me it would be 2 months. With the holidays I expected it to take longer. I did email them, asking them if they needed more information, just to see if someone would get back to me. So far, nothing.

Speaking of nothing, I haven’t heard from the 911 dispatcher job I applied for either. I took the test. I was the second person done. I guess I wasn’t as good as I thought. Not even a “thank you for applying, we’ve decided to go another route”. In fact, I don’t even know what my test score is.

In other news, I finally found my keys which I put in a “safe place” before I was deployed. I’ve been without a house key since Christmas. They were in a bag along with my correspondence supplies and unanswered letters. I have been working on replying to those letters and I went to one of my out-of-the-house workspaces so I had room to empty the bag and spread out. Lo and behold, there in the bottom of the bag were my keys.

And I have entered the art exhibition. Two pieces. I’ve never entered a juried show before so I don’t know if my work is good enough. I hope it is. I won’t know for like a month if I’m accepted.

In the meantime, I continue looking for work. Sooner or later something will give and I’ll be back among the gainfully employed.


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TCB

*Taking Care of Business

I haven’t done much to report lately, just getting things done.

I’ve been to 2 doctors, my gastro guy and my psydoc. We have cut back on meds with both of them, so that’s pretty cool.

I joined a gym so I am trying to get back into the swing of working out. I didn’t go at all last week because I was looking after my roommate. He is disabled so I didn’t like to leave him alone for long periods of time. He’s pretty self sufficient but you know, things happen. I was supposed to go workout today with my daughter, though I haven’t reached her yet so that could fall apart.

I have been trying to reach Shonda at Workforce Solutions, which is the job placement arm of the unemployment office. I keep missing her. I asked what her hours are so I could call at a better time, and the person who answered the phone got snippy. Apparently they can’t tell me her hours. I haven’t had a callback from her yet, so I don’t even know if she’s getting my messages.

I think I have finally gotten my paycheck issue with Michael’s handled. You might recall, they sent me the replacement check form as a .pdf but I was unable to activate the edit option. I printed out hard copies, and have been looking for a fax number or physical address to send the forms. The people at Michael’s keep saying to scan the image into my computer and email it, but I don’t have a scanner. I emailed them again last week. They got back to me saying to take a picture of the form and email it to them. Well, duh. I’ve been dealing with this for several weeks now, and it never occurred to me to take a picture. I am just not one of those people who is very tech minded. Apparently neither are most of the staff in HR, since nobody else suggested it either.

We are moving forward with putting a DBSA meeting in Oak Cliff. I went to a meeting and met a very helpful man named Patrick LeBlanc who works with Bridging the Gap Foundation. He gave us a referral to a local church who will hopefully be willing to give us space. I sent an email this morning. I called last week but didn’t manage to connect.

I need to empty suitcases still, and start packing for my work trip in 2 weeks. Really I only need 4 days of clothes so it will be the carry on. No checked luggage for me.

We are replacing the floor in the bathroom so I need to get in there and clean it a bit. I would keep using it, but I spilled some toothpaste on the sink and it left a clean spot. I didn’t think the sink was dirty until that happened. Yes I am oblivious. My roommate F says it looks like a boy’s bathroom. I think, it probably looks like a teenager’s bathroom.

I also have an opportunity to enter the Art214 exhibition. It’s juried which is a little challenging, but there is no entry fee so it’s within my budget. I can’t tell if I’m excited or nervous, which probably means I should enter. What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t like my art and I don’t get to show it, which is no different than my situation now.

We watched AJ and the Queen yesterday. The whole season. I was up until almost 4 am and slept until 1 in the afternoon. Totally worth it. Now let me be honest, this isn’t going to win any awards. But it has RuPaul, and I love her, and many cameos from drag queens both in and out of drag. Chad Michaels, Jujubee, Bianca del Rio, and Latrice Royale to name a few. The plot was a little predictable — I figured out the big reveal before the end of the second episode — and periodically a little preachy, but also funny and heartwarming. I give it a solid B+, thoroughly enjoyable.

So that’s been my week. Also a solid B+. Time to call my daughter again and see about working out.


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In Which I Don’t Name Names

The bank has finally released my money, woot woot! And I spent about $300 today catching up on stuff. But I don’t feel bad about it, it was just things I had to pay for.

I have to call the doctor on Monday and pay them, now that I think of it.

I have had help from friends along the way. One friend gave me $75 to tide me over. Another one loaned me $100, which I will pay back next week. I actually didn’t touch that money but it was a relief to have it available in case I needed it.

Roommate and I have been watching The Marvelous Mrs Maisel with great enjoyment. The actress is impossibly tiny. She reminds me of my friend M, who I haven’t seen in a while. Having binged our way through the series, we are now watching Chuck. We seem to have a Zachary Levi theme going.

Today I heard about an art exhibition, the Art214 Juried Exhibition. It’s juried, which is a bummer for me, but there’s no entry fee and you can enter up to 3 works, so that’s good. I’m going to see if I can make one more piece so I have 3 and then I’ll enter. I figure it’s worth trying, to see if I can get in. Worst they can say is no, and then I’m no worse off than I am now.

I have been working on hats this week. I got one done and another one mostly done. One of the things I bought was to order more yarn. I really don’t need more yarn, but the price was so good and they were selling out. I want to order about $200 worth of Noro yarn from WEBS but I don’t have the budget or the space for it.

I have been underemployed for so long, I haven’t been able to pay storage. It’s been like 8 months. I thought the units had already been sold. Then I got a call from the manager saying he’s having trouble processing my card. Well I bet he is, that card’s been cancelled for a long time. Now I don’t know what to do. I don’t have the money to pay it up and I’m not working right now so I can’t even make the regular monthly payment. But, I want my stuff. I thought I had gotten over it and now I have hope again. I’m torn.

I am having trouble getting my checks from Michael’s. They aren’t intentionally giving me a hard time, but they aren’t exactly helpful. They sent me the forms to request a replacement check in .pdf format. I could open the file, but there is no option to turn on the edit function. I had to print a copy to fill it out. Now I need to mail it to them, but there isn’t an address on the form. I tried calling. I got a person who told me to edit it online AFTER I told them I couldn’t do that. Then they told me to scan it in. I don’t own a scanner. I was finally forwarded to another department and the person I needed to talk to was away from her desk. I left a message, but so far no response. I guess that’s another thing to do Monday. I’m really putting together my Monday to-do list right now, huh.

I feel like I got closer to a friend today. J was dithering on going to ATTA today, and I convinced her to go. I picked her up, so we had a few minutes in the car on the way there and back. I think it might be the first time we’ve been alone together. I feel like we really connected. Not to mention we’ve been reading each other’s blogs so that gives a good picture of what’s going on in our heads.

Daughter is having roommate drama. Things have been stable for her for several months, so it’s time for everything to get shaken up. The kittens are adorable but if she has to move they are a complication. Her new ID hasn’t arrived yet. At least, with the one roommate gone, nobody will be throwing away the mail. Daughter goes by her nickname so people don’t recognize her legal name, which is of course is how the DPS knows her. I’m pretty sure her previous replacement ID got tossed.

Nothing amazing happening, but I felt like checking in.