Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No work... what to do?

This week I have no work. I start a new job on Monday so I have the whole week to catch up on things which I think is very much needed in my life right now. I've been trying to find different tasks to tackle to get myself back on track. My house is so disorganized and things are completely out of place. Maybe if my house was in order my mind would follow. Hmm....

Yesterday I started cleaning here and there and starting to realize just what a big job I have ahead of me. I'm trying to stay focused though and come up with ideas. I have some thoughts on how to clean up my home business office and make it more inviting for my creative juices to flow.

I just finished mowing the back lawn and I broke the mower. Oops! Luckily it's just a missing screw and BF was aware of the problem and will fix asap so I can mow the front lawn too. Mowing the grass is exhausting but I enjoy it a lot.

The good news is I'll be able to blog more and read other people's blogs.

The bad news is BF has his new motorbike parked in our living room until he secures one of the back sheds. Oh, and he has parts and all sorts of man things all over the dining room table. *sigh

September TCOB Review

September sucked. I'm so looking forward to a healthy and progressive October! So now lets look at the nasty details!

First for the PF goals: None completed. I can hopefully catch up in October.

  1. Pay student loan under $1500
  2. Add $50 to EFUND
  3. Add $50 to Australia Fund
  4. Save $200 towards BF birthday Fund
Now for the Personal Goals:

  1. Visit my sister at least twice in the hospital
  2. Go mini golfing with my brother and BF
  3. Have at least 2 just ME days
  4. Start new job
  5. Enjoy two family game nights
  6. Send my two of my best friends an I love you card made by hand.
Well I did a lot better on my personal goals than the finance but I'm happy with the results. I've been so stressed the last little while that I've really needed to step back and connect with people and things that are important to me again. I think this is more rewarding in my opinion. Hopefully October will see me back on track in the finance department. Yay me!

New Job on Monday

I stopped going to the second hand store. It was completely fucked. I am not going to tell you what made me finally leave without the full two weeks but that I am so happy I did. I'm not sure how much I'm going to write about employment on my blog anymore. While most readers are very supportive, some comments piss me off and dwell in my brain which pisses me off even more.

It's very easy to read a blog post and judge somebody off 300 words isn't it?

Good Bye Telemarketers!



If you are a victim of annoying telemarketer calls you don't have to worry anymore because the Do Not Call List is ready for Canadians as of today. I took the liberty of tracking down the info for everybody for consumers. I have copied the information right from the site and pasted it here but if you want to go to the original site and find out other information here's the link.

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Key facts for consumers

The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) is designed to reduce the number of unwanted telemarketing calls and faxes Canadians receive.

1. How to register?

  • You can register your home phone, cellular or fax number(s) on the National DNCL.
  • Signing up is simple, quick and free. You can sign up online at www.LNNTE-DNCL.gc.ca or by calling the toll-free numbers 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625) or 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889).
  • Once you have signed up, many telemarketers can no longer call you starting 31 days after your registration.
  • You must renew your registration every three years if you want your number(s) to stay on the National DNCL.

2. Who can still call you?

  • Registering on the National DNCL will reduce but not eliminate all telemarketing calls and faxes.
  • There are certain kinds of telemarketing calls and faxes that are exempt from the National DNCL, including those made by or on behalf of:
  • registered charities seeking donations
  • newspapers looking for subscriptions
  • political parties and their candidates, and
  • companies with whom you have an existing commercial relationship; for example, if you have done business with a company in the previous 18 months––such as a carpet-cleaning company––that company can call you.
  • Telemarketers making exempt calls must maintain their own do not call lists. If you do not want to be called by these telemarketers, you can ask to be put on their do not call lists. They are obliged to do so within 31 days.
  • For more information, see Part II of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules and the Telecommunications Act.

3. Market research, polls and surveys

  • You will continue to receive calls from organizations conducting market research, polls or surveys even though you are registered on the National DNCL. These are not considered telemarketing calls because they are not selling a product or service, or requesting donations.

4. Rules telemarketers must follow when they call

  • Among other things, telemarketers must:
  • identify who they are and, upon request, provide you with a fax or telephone number where you can speak to someone about the telemarketing call
  • display the telephone number that they are calling from or that you can call to reach them, and
  • only call or send faxes between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekends.
  • Telemarketers must not use Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device (devices that dial telephone numbers automatically and deliver a pre-recorded message). However, these devices can be used by police and fire departments, schools and hospitals, as well as for appointment reminders and thank you calls.
  • For more information, see Part III and Part IV of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.

5. Complaints

  • Complaints about telemarketers can be made through the National DNCL website (www.LNNTE-DNCL.gc.ca) or by calling the toll-free numbers 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625) or 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889).
  • Types of complaints can include receiving a call even though you have registered on the National DNCL, receiving a call outside of permitted calling hours, a telemarketer who does not put your name and number on their do not call list, or any other violation of the rules.
  • When making a complaint, remember that you must provide information such as the date of the call and the name or telephone number of the telemarketer.
  • The CRTC will investigate complaints and can penalize telemarketers found to be in violation of any of the CRTC’s Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.
  • The CRTC can levy penalties of up to $1,500 for an individual and up to $15,000 for a corporation, for each violation.

Date Modified: 2008-09-30

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Say goodbye to tripping over things running for the phone just to get a blast of fog horn in your ear because you've just won a free trip! Yeah right! LEAVE ME ALONE! I pay to have phone service... not to be harassed.

Hope this helps everyone out!


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Family Weekend

This weekend BF is on the mainland looking for a motorcycle to buy. Scratch that... he called me last night and said he found one. I was shocked he found one so quickly and purchased it like that but he seemed so excited I tried not to burst his bubble asking 1001 questions. He's very responsible with money and I trust he knows what he wants. Plus, he's the best bargain hunter I've ever seen. Supposedly he talked the guy down quite a bit so ... yay to the power of negotiation!

I gravitated to my family to keep me company and out of the house for the weekend. Yesterday my parents and I spent some time shopping ( I only spent $5-6 the whole time). Then we went for lunch at a great restaurant up island and my share with tip was $18. After that we stopped in at Coombs were temptation was high for me. I LOVE COOMBS!! I managed to get through the market unscathed but then I found my lover pecan caramel corn and I spent another $6.

On the way home we stopped in at my grandfathers. We drove by his new home being built and gave him some updates. The home burned down in February. We are hoping it will be done by xmas but there are no guarantees. Then we went back to my parents and everyone pitched in some food to make a delicious dinner.

Now I'm off to drop off some resumes and spend some time with my youngest brother. BF should be back later tonight around 7pm I'm hoping. I really miss him a lot and it was kind of creepy coming home to an empty house last night.

Friday, September 26, 2008

BEING TWENTY - SOMETHING

Tue, 17 Feb 2004 is the date stamp on the oldest email in my Hotmail inbox. It was an email from my best fried E. Here is the email she sent me. I hope it inspires or clicks with one of my readers. Twenty something or not.

The email:
******************************

BEING TWENTY - SOMETHING

They call it the "Quarter-life Crisis." It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are many things about yourself that you didn't know and may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now.

You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones. What you don't recognize is that they are realizing that too, and aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you.

You look at your job... and it is not even close to what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are looking for a job and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and that scares you.

Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and are constantly adding things to your list of what is acceptable and what isn't. One minute, you are insecure and then the next, secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life. You feel alone and scared and confused. Suddenly, change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward.

You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you. Or you lie in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love someone but love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you know that you aren't a bad person. One night stands and random hook ups start to look cheap. Getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic.

You go through the same emotions and questions over and over, and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You worry about loans, money, the future and making a life for yourself... and while winning the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!

What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out.

Send this to your twenty-something friends...maybe it will help someone feel like they aren't alone in their state of confusion........



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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Creativity... I miss you

I feel like I'm all turned upside down lately. I feel pressured financially and my brain is already packed and gone to Australia. How will I ever survive the next year? I feel so icky all the time. Then today it hit me as I was staring out the window. Where has my creativity gone?

I used to come up with fun and wacky ideas all the time. Money schemes and party fiestas... you name it I was the brain behind it. Now, I feel like a well all dried up. My friends and family all come to me when it comes to planning a party. I'm in charge of the guest lists, contacting people, setting up the menu, directing people on what to bring... etc. It's made me wonder if my passion for these kinds of things should lead me in another direction.

I really enjoy cooking and have toyed with the idea of taking classes or a course to improve my skills and overall knowledge of the food world. I can see myself running a catering business or seniors meals program down the road. I always dreamed of having a restaurant of my own but the hours and stress seem a little too much. I have already helped somebody open a restaurant (my sister) and I know its no joke!

So today I had this idea spark into my head just like the good old days and I was off in lala land scheming again. I have an idea that I would like to implement as a trial run for a preteen/teen cooking class. I'm calling out to all my blogger family for some fun, easy, healthy recipes. If you've got em.. I want em! I have some ideas to make the whole thing work. Maybe I'm just going crazy off this one idea and it will soon fad away but I'm going to try to not let that happen. The only way to get the ball rolling is to do something for myself.

So please... any ideas?

It's Chilly in Here

Oh no! The time has come that BF and I hate the most. It's time to... turn on the heat. It started last night. I've been complaining the last few days its been cold and have been piling on the sweaters and slippers to avoid turning it on. When I broke out the blanket to watch TV I knew it would have to come sooner or later. Last night BF (the human heater) finally broke down and admitted he too was cold. Yes! I turned on the heat. After a few hours of the heat being on I decided to bake a lasagna and turn the heat off. The house was plenty warm to get us through the evening.

Today I'm home all alone and its freezing. Its ok to be bundled up in a blanket in front of the computer but when I went downstairs for leftovers it was freezing down there. On goes the heat again. We have company coming tonight so I've got to keep it warm in here and I don't want to catch a chill cleaning house, lol.

Anyone else had to turn on the heat yet?

Playing Hookey

Today I am playing hookey from work. I woke up and my wrist was hurting pretty bad. I decided it was from tagging 4ooo garments yesterday at the store and decided to call in. I was getting shooting pains into my elbow last night. My supervisor was fine with it.

I talked to my old boss today who said that I am more than welcome to come back but that she wants to keep me employed there until October of next year when I go to Australia. Hmm... well I'm not sure how keen I am on that so we'll have to see how things go. She also asked for me to have a letter she is drafting explaining the range of movement of my job signed by my doctor. I really don't think my doctor would have a problem with this. If the carpel tunnel did act up badly I guess I could always quit. We did talk about some alternatives such as wrist braces, specific exercises and a small magnetic tool I can use to minimize some of the strain on my wrist during work. I told her I would book an appointment which can take some time with my doctor. The letter should be ready sometime tomorrow afternoon.

I don't know... seems like a lot of big commitments. Should I just look for something else and tell her I wasn't comfortable with the letter. I mean if I do get hurt at work will this affect me being able to go to WCB? I want to keep good relations with this boss so I will think it over during the next week while I'm being tortured at my current job. I'm kind of thinking I should be on the hunt for something else if this is the case. I've been looking but there is nothing out there right now. I talked this over with my best friend and she too had noticed this so I'll have to be careful with my next move.

Any thoughts?

12days to go!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Enough is Enough

Today I quit :)

Yay for me!

I was responsible about it though. I started yesterday by sending a Face.book msg to my old carpool buddy asking if she would still be interested in carpooling if I was to come back. She msged me back almost instantly and said she would definitely love that.

Today I was planning to call my old employer since things were really shitty but I forgot the number. By the time first break rolled around I was so desperate to get out of there I called BF at work who searched the number online for me. I called and spoke to my boss' husband who said they would love to have me back and to call back later to speak to his wife.

I called later on and she was very happy to hear from me and said she just had to check with her office that it would be okay but other than that they would be more than delighted to have me back. I was careful to tell her it may only be temporary. She told me she expected me to give proper notice to my new boss and that she would call me tomorrow after she spoke to the front office.

I knew I was supposed to wait until tomorrow to quit but I couldn't. I bit my tongue until after last break (each break was very busy on my cell, lol) when I was just about to bite the head off a customer. I thought... I can't wait. Even if I don't get back on at my old employer I've got to get the f@ck out of here!! I asked my manager if we could have a private chat when she was not busy. Turns out she wasn't busy.

We had a sit down in a private room and I spilled the beans. I told her "I'm just going to be very straight forward and honest". She loved that. We really are very similar people. So these are the points I made:

  • The reason I had wanted a job in production was to avoid the public. This job has me out with the customers half the working day, which is not something I like or that will change.
  • I can deal with rude or aggressive customers because they are sick (pharmacy) but I will not take crap from the a$$holes who shop in this particular store.
  • I miss my old coworkers and I find that not all the staff are very friendly
  • We talked in length about a specific worker that she's already had plans to do something about.
  • Then I told her I am just plain unhappy. I told her its affecting my moods and people have noticed. I haven't felt creative in a week and with only one year until Australia I just want to be happy in BC as I may go to Quebec for a few years once I come back.
  • Lastly I told her I had already called my former employer and had made arrangements to return to my old job once I had completed whatever time frame she needed me for to find a replacement.
She took everything really well. She said that she was sad because she really liked me a lot as a person and was really excited about having me as one her team members. Then she told me about her personal experiences that related to what I was going through which helped a lot. She told me that no bridges had been burned and there were no bad feelings. Then she actually commended me on being so honest about the entire situation. (Honesty is always the best policy). THEN she told me.... she expected 2 weeks notice out of me as a professional courtesy to give her time to bring somebody in and train them. In return she promised to reduce my time in the public area of the store to as much of a minimum as possible while I finished my time there.

Whew! Let the countdown begin!!! (Its going to be darn hard to last two weeks!!!! *sigh)



14 days to go!! 0/14

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hello Friday, I think I love you!

Oh thank heavens the work week is finally over. Who's with me on that one?

This weekend I plan to take it pretty easy. I'm going out with my mom today to do some shopping for her BF's 50th birthday party on Saturday night. We're doing a big potluck dinner to celebrate with his family and friends.

Saturday I'll probably bum around and do a whole lot of nothing until I have to help prepare for the dinner. I'm so exhausted from this week that I really need the time to rest.

Sunday I think I'm going to catch up on some cleaning. I've been a serious slacker this week!!

In other news I finally got to spend some time with my sister last night which was great. I plan to go up there more often now. I've been really wanting to see her but visiting hours are limited and I don't want to interfere when the kids are up there. I had a nice time with her and she asked me to start coming more regularly which made me feel good. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Using My Employee Discount

I've been trying to figure out things that I like at this job to help the time pass. Today was rough!!! 10 mandatory hours. My poor feet! After work I decided to reward myself. I get 50% off clothing and so I decided to do a quick 30 min breeze through the store. It was strange because almost everything I picked actually fit, except the dress pants. Damn! Must have put on a few pounds.

Anyways here's a list of what I got:
  • one pair of jeans (w/ tags still on)
  • one pair of cargo pants
  • two hoodies
  • 2 sweaters
  • one beater
  • one tshirt
  • 3 long sleeve shirts
Grand total (after discount) : $50.90


Yay! I really need new clothes badly. I'll try and hit up some more shopping before I leave this job for dressier type clothing.

10 goals before 30

Earlier this week I read a post by FB entitled "10 things to do before 30". I liked it so much that I decided to do one of of my own for fun. So here is my list of 10 goals before 30. Warning! FB and I have some similar goals.

  1. Leave this continent ( I plan to live and work in Australia for one year)
  2. Get my drivers license
  3. Have a $5000 EFund
  4. Have my retirement savings caught up to date
  5. Be debt free
  6. Learn to speak French (BF and family speak French and I want to be able to express myself)
  7. Have my own business operating successfully
  8. Save $20,000 for a home down payment
  9. Save $10,000 for a wedding fund
  10. Repair my credit

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Australia


Last weekend BF and I were laying around and I demanded we talk about Australia. BF is a really laid back kind of guy. He's not a planner. I on the other hand plan everything. So I told him I need to know when he's planning on us going because I can't prepare myself without knowing an approximate date. Boy oh boy was I surprised to hear his answer.

October 2009. Eeek! I thought it was more like January 2010. Uh oh! I freaked out. I told him its kind of hard for me to reach all the goals I have by then and that its too early. He was really calm and told me that as long as I have all my debt paid off and a little saved not to worry about anything because he'll take care of it. Hmm... I don't want to rely on somebody else so I'm going to have to save as much as I can in the next year as possible. I want to get my retirement savings in the works before going on this trip.

Since my birthday is next month I'm asking BF to only buy me things related to the trip. I've asked him for a light weight backpack to carry all my worldly possessions and a head lamp. I know the backpack will be very costly so that's why I'm asking for it for my birthday instead of having to save up for it myself. Anything I can acquire through my birthday and xmas towards the trip will definitely help out a lot.

I believe I will have at least $500 in my Australia fund by the end of the year. Next year I'll need to save about $500/mo for 9 months to make my goal of $5000 for the trip. Wow! That's a lot of moolah!!

JOB = :(

WTH! I had a feeling I was making the wrong decision about my job.....

Tomorrow I have to work two hours overtime that is mandatory. I have to be at work at 6am and work until my usual 430. WTF?!?!?! This is soooooooo annoying. They are flipping the whole store around and they want everyone in two hours early. I'm not impressed at all. Yes, the money is a plus but I can barely stand to work there a whole eight hours, never mind ten.

Sigh* I found out today I'm eligible for benefits in 3 months but I don't even want to stick around for them. Seriously... I hate my job that much.

I got an email on Facebook from my old carpooling buddy from my last job asking how everything is and I told her honestly that I am considering coming back to the old job.

I just want to find a job I don't hate going to but I can't. I know I'm only going to be working for another year until we go to Australia but I still want to be happy in the meantime.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The good the bad and the boring

Ok so I went to my first day on the job and so far it can be summed up as: BORING!!

I know its too early to judge but its not really looking like a job I would really like. Seeing as I've had 5 million jobs now it doesn't take me very long to to recognize things that I've had to do and haven't liked it the past.

HOWEVER, I'm still going to give it a chance.

Let's start with the BAD NEWS.

I started at the beginning of a pay period which means I won't see my first cheque for 3 weeks. Boooo! This also means I won't get any more money until October 1st which means really watching the pennies I have now and not being able to reach my September goals and having to take them onto my October ones. :(
Also, I find this job really boring and it requires me going into the front of the store sometimes which I hate. I really thought this was a back end position only. We'll see how it goes.

Onto the GOOD NEWS.
According to the new jobs pay schedule October is a three pay cheque month. YAY! That means that I will be able to catch up on everything no problem next month and hopefully secure paying off my student loan before the end of the year. So at the very least I will push on through October and November since I've already had my days off approved that I requested before being hired.

The BORING
Everything is so boring at this new job and I miss my old coworkers :(


So that's a quick summary of my first day. I want to get started on dinner, I'm thinking sushi so I'm off to make that now. Toodles!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lazy Day Ahead

I don't think I'm going to do too much today. I woke up at ten and don't have any big plans except stopping by the pharmacy and maybe my new work to look at clothes. I know I have to do laundry and clean up a bit but thats really it. Maybe I'll mow the lawn if I feel up to it.

Yesterday my brother, BF and I took my niece mini golfing and then to a farm up island. It was fun but trying. That child's parents really need to work on discipline and listening skills I tell ya. After all the fun was over we needed a nap (we are so not ready for kids, lol). Then we went off to my parents to play games and eat some delicious pizza.

I'm pretty nervous about my first day tomorrow. I hope things go well.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Last Day at Work

So I guess people are wondering how my last day at work went. Well, I cried... twice! People I am not a person who likes to cry in public but my monthly little friend has been visiting and I've been crying at commercials so I'm not surprised. Well, ok, so I was feeling a little emotional anyways but it totally wrecked my whole tough girl persona at work damnit!

Everyone had been coming up to me individually for the last two days telling me how much it sucks that I was leaving and how much they would miss me. It really made me start to second guess my choice. On Friday a girl that I worked with from the job from hell started as a new employee. It was great to see her but I was sad to hear what happened after I left. Almost all my favorite people were either sent packing or had been so stressed they had to take medical leaves. :(

I made cupcakes for the last day because I knew I was really going to miss these people and I wanted to do something nice. However, they wanted to do something nice for me too so on the second to last break they made everyone stay at their station when the break buzzer went. Then they surprised me with a big ice cream cake with a message on it. I was ok until I saw the message but then the water works came.

"Good luck Dolly! We'll miss you"

Down came the tears. Later on I was also given 18 farm eggs by my boss but he had his wife give them to me because he didn't want everyone to know he's a softy. So sweet! It was a really great day full of love. The second time I cried was when my boss's husband came out for cake and told me I wasn't allowed to quit because they would all miss me to much. When I started crying they asked what they could do to make me stay but then quickly said sorry because they knew it was a medical reason.

At the end of the day I talked to my female boss about how hard it was for me to leave. She said I haven't burnt any bridges and I can go there anytime I need work. Even if its just fill in or temporary in the future when I need some money and a job to go to. I asked her "what if I show up on Monday?". We both laughed and I almost teared up again and she told me to take a week or so and think about my health and if there is a way that I can work safely and not make matters worse she would love to take me back but that I need to think about the future. She's right... I have to be in tip top shape for Australia.

It was hard to leave and it will be strange to walk into a new job on Monday. I'll keep you posted on what happens my first day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Packing a Lunch


At my last two places of employment I've had to bring a lunch with me because there is not usually an alternative. Its been a great experience for me. It's got me all ready and trained to take this good habit to my next job. Taking a lunch isn't always the easiest option but with some planning ahead it can be healthier, cheaper and less stressful than grabbing something locally to eat.

Bf and I always take at least once grocery shop a week. I like to eat a lot of fresh produce and so we don't mind taking the odd stop in to pick up a few things. One thing that is manditory is if its a Sunday night and there is no "lunch stuff". That never flies in this house. We will go to the store Sunday night no matter what to make sure there are lunch alternatives in the house before the busy work week begins.

BF usually goes home for lunch so he buys lunch meat (well not lately with the Lysteria scare) and makes a sandwich. I on the other hand have to bring a lunch so I purchase fresh fruit, snacks and a case of soda. I pack a lunch with variety.

Usually I start with what I'm going to eat as the main lunch. This is usually a left over meal in tupperware. Then I add a drink for lunch, usually a soda. Then I pack a little something to "compliment" the lunch like a small bag of chips (I divide a big back of chips ($1) into plastic bags). I'll also pack at least two pieces of fruit and then a granola bar or some rice cakes. Add a water bottle and you're all set. I like to work physical labour jobs so I have to make sure I eat well through out the day. When I've worked office jobs I usually take a bit of a smaller lunch because I wasn't as hungry.

If you want to start packing a lunch every day you'll definitely want to purchase some good quality plastic wear to bring things in. I use really small plastic ware for things like yoghurt, dressing or snacks. It's good to have a variety of sizes.

Another good tip is to always put something in your lunch you really enjoy. It's not good to pack yourself a lunch and then be bored with it, toss it and get something else at the cafeteria. Don't force yourself to eat things or you'll cheat or stop packing a lunch because it will bore your taste buds.

A big one is pack your lunch the night before. If you really want to get organized you can divide things up into plastic baggies and plastic wear right after grocery shopping so you're all set up for snacks and things for the whole week.

Packing a lunch is great. You don't have to wait around in a line up(unless its for the microwave ;-)). You get to monitor what you are eating more closely. You can encourage other people to bring a lunch and then socialize and get to know them better. Best of all... it saves you $$$.

On a day to day basis I usually carry a granola bar, water bottle and sometimes an apple in my purse/bag though out the day. That way if I'm out and I'm hungry but don't want to spend a bunch of cash I can just grab something I already have on me.

Remember all the little bits of spending here and there add up so try packing a lunch to save some dough!

Lunch Ideas


Chips - Buy a bag and divide it up into smaller lunch bags
Yoghurt - Use plastic wear instead of buying individual yoghurt that is more expense
Almonds - Good for you and very easy to snack on
Flavored Rice Cakes - Love these babies
Granola Bars - These will cut the mid morning hunger and there are a ton of varieties out there
Soda - If you buy a soda a day at $1 that's $5/wk, buy a case of 12 at $4 then you'll pay $1.25/wk. Now times that by a year.

The bottom line is buy bulk or at least buy bigger portions and divide them up. The savings are worth it!

If you still need some convincing... you could always "invest" in a really cute lunch bag.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Secured Visa

I've mentioned before my want to get a secured Visa card to try and build some credit back with Visa. When I was younger and dumber I had some trouble with Visa which resulted in me losing the Visa, having a 90 day late payment on my credit history and having to buy myself out of collections in a hurry to stop it from also showing on my credit history at a rate of 36%. Crazy, right?! Yeah well... you live and you learn.

Now I feel I am older, wiser and ready to face the CC demon again in a more responsible manner and without the pressure from a stupid ex BF. I want this credit card for a variety of reasons.

  • I want to start rebuilding credit
  • I want to reestablish myself with Visa
  • I would like to be able to use my credit card to reserve things, sell on Etsy.. etc
  • I would want one in case of an extreme, EXTREME emergency where waiting for a bank transfer won't work. (Like medical, car breaks down in nowhereville, have to schedule emergency flight or whatever)
So the best option for me or anyone with little to no credit history or bad credit history is a secured credit card. This is also an option for persons who do not meet other credit card requirements such as level of income. So today I went online to find out more through CIBC. This is the statement I found:

At CIBC, we understand that establishing a credit history is important. Your credit history is a record of your past borrowing and repayment. This information is used by lenders, such as credit card companies, to determine your means and ability to repay debts.

If you have recently immigrated to Canada and don’t have the credit history or employment income required for a credit card, we can help. A secured CIBC VISA Card allows you the convenience and security of a credit card without the credit history and employment income usually required.

A secured VISA Card requires a security deposit equal to the value of the credit card limit. The deposit is placed in a CIBC interest-bearing savings investment, so your money grows while you establish your credit rating.

That really was not enough information for me so I decided to call the toll free number to find out more. I spoke to a really nice gentlemen who gave me all the info I wanted even though this is a service only available by going directly into your local branch. So here it is in a nutshell:

  • A deposit is required for the amount you which to have available on your credit. (Ei- You need a $500 limit.. you put $500 down. You want $1000... you pay a $1000 deposit)
  • The deposit is held in an interest bearing savings account for a duration of 25 months
  • After the 25 month "graduation" period you are sent a letter of notification at which point you will have your deposit returned to you with interest. The stipulations are removed from the card and you will have a regular Visa (Classic for CIBC).
  • There is no credit check, just basic info needs to be provided
  • If there are any problems such as late payments or such behavior the 25 month "graduation" period will be extended.
So I definitely doing this. I'm just wondering how soon I can get the deposit together. I think I will just do the $500 down but I want to ask if I can extend my limit by placing an additional deposit down the road and whether that would change the "graduation" date.

Todays Events

Today I woke feeling like super crap so I called in sick to work. Later on I called in and had "the talk" with my boss about leaving the company which actually went rather well.

I started calling around about different jobs I saw listed and decided to print out some resumes and get on looking for a part time job. I went to the shopping center down the street where my new job is located at to try and find something there. The problem is the majority of the center is being torn down bit by bit and rebuilt so there's not a lot there right now.

I stopped in at the Shoppers there and decided to apply for a part time cashier position. I met with the head cashier who saw pharmacy on my resume and so she dragged me over to meet the head pharmacist. Things went really well and she said once they move to the new location she will need somebody to fill in on evenings and weekends (exactly what I'm looking for) to do some Rx filling and blister packing (which I love). She says once they move she's going to call me and work out some hours. Great!!! I'm not banking on it but it sounds like its a good possibility that I could be working there soon. I need to find out their move date.

Then I felt good so I didn't worry about handing out any more resumes and walked downtown to meet up with BF for lunch. We went to this new little Thia place and it was super delicious!

Afterward I decided to take a gamble and see if I could pass the learners test. I haven't been able to find my learners manual for a couple weeks and so I knew it was a risky gamble but I was feeling lucky. I did a few online tests earlier and did ok so I went for it. Um... I failed by 1. ONE!!! Oh well. They told me that all the time I accumulated on my last learners license is applied to this one so once I take the test I can bypass the wait time and do the road test right away. Which I'm not ready for but its still good to know.

So then I took the bus home and bought a slurpee on the way to console myself. It's delicious.

I QUIT!!

I have been all worked up about quitting this whole week. Today I got up the courage and called in. I woke up feeling worse than yesterday so I called my carpool and then called work to tell them I couldn't come in. When I called work I also set myself up to have this conversation by saying I needed to talk to her later today regarding an issue that was brought up at my doctors appointment.

When I called she was really understanding. I started off by saying why I was not there today. She was pretty nice about that end of things. Then I just told her. I said I was offered another job last week which I really struggled over because it was making less money and I really like the staff that I work with at her company. Then I told her about the doctors appointment and the carpel tunnel syndrome.

She said she knew I was going to leave today by the message when I mentioned the doctors office. She said her body is old and worn down and barely works anymore and that she didn't want me to be like her. She also said that if I ever want a job back there again, even temporary, the door is open. She said I'm a great employee, hard worker, wonderful personality and everyone there will be really sad to see me go.

Aww.

So the dirty deed is finally done. I told her I would still work tomorrow and Friday if she wanted me to come in and she said that would be an immense help because they have a huge shipment due tomorrow. I'm pretty sure I will be able to sign paperwork and get my last cheque on Friday but we'll see.

In other news it sucks to miss three days of work. I'm really scared about how missing this much work will affect my cheque. Also, I don' t know when the pay days are at my new job yet. Hmm..

I have an update on the Australia situation but that will have to wait for later. I'm off to have a shower and then maybe print out some resumes to look for a part time job. I'm going to need it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Beautiful Blue

Starting the Process of Sizing Down

There is too much stuff around me. Stuff I don't want or need. It's really time for me to start downsizing again. I've accumulated a lot of crap the last few years and I want to start paring down.

Clothes is a big one for me. I hate shopping for clothing. I really need to get rid of almost everything I have. What I would like to do is start getting rid of all the stuff that's been hanging there for months without being touched and focus on getting a few pieces that I really love. I'm hoping working at the second hand store will allow me to find some choice pieces at a good price point.

Paper is probably my second biggest problem. I have a bill binder somewhere that I used to use for years so that all of my bills and important documents were in one place. I haven't used it over a year so I'll need to track that down and start filing papers as I come across them. I do have a small filing cabinet in my office but I don't have any folders for it and when I went to the office supply store they seemed very pricey. The binder is just as easy for me and it fits snugly on a shelf to save space.

Mementos. I have so many things that I don't really need or truly want anymore but they hold so many memories for me. I'm a sentimental kind of girl. One thing I did when I was a teenager was taken pictures of things before I have them up so I could still look at it but it took up way less space. Maybe I'll try that again. I have to stop associating things to memories.

Random crap. As in.. WTF is this? Better hold onto it just in case! I'm sure everyone has a lot of this laying around. Maybe yours is.. W(hy)TF do I have this? It's every where and its just gets shuffled from one place to another.

Stuff... it's just a lot of work to maintain. It's in the way. I don't really need it so why is here?

It's best I start thinking about things now because I do not want to store very many things when we head off to Australia. Just things we truly don't want to let go of. That's why almost everything we have furniture-wise is second hand. So we can just part with it easily before we go. Well, I'm off to organize some stuff.


Check out this interesting post I read about The Four Laws of Simplicity.

Removing Temptation

Yesterday I removed the money I had left in my account for BF birthday fund. The August alloted amount of $200 was reached but I haven't been to bank in awhile to withdraw it. I stash this money in a secret hiding spot. I am really excited to be on track with saving money for his big day. I feel very confident that the next two installments of $200 from September and October won't be any big issue and I'll be all set. I'm so glad I figured this all out early enough to save for it this way.

I noticed there was still an extra $42 in my account. I get paid on Friday and won't be doing anything in between so I decided to take that money and send it straight off to student loan. I set up a transfer of $40 which brings my total owing to $1862.57. My goal this month is to get it paid under $1500.

I have about $25 in cash to get me through the next few days just in case anything comes up. I also have the $15 for my last week of carpool ready and waiting to be given to my carpool buddy. I am happy I decided to get my money in order now so it doesn't temp me as the week goes on to spend it on something dumb. Yay!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dr Update

Well I went to my schedule Doctors appointment. Everything went well I guess. He told me to drink a lot of fluid and take it really easy the next few days. He said tomorrow I can work up to crackers and toast but I'm already ahead of that. Sorry doc, but a girls got to eat! :)

I talked to him about the issues I'm having with my hands and wrists being sore all the time. A few years ago when I was working an "office job" I started getting stabbing pains shooting up from my wrist into my elbow and my wrists would throb. Then at night my hands would go numb in my sleep and wake me up.

Well since I've started this new job I've had something similar except now I wake up 6-7 times a night with hands so numb they are swollen. I have to flex them to get circulation going again. What's worse is when I try to flex them they seem almost out of joint and so I have to use one hand to move the other. Scary!

He told me to definitely try out the new job (I've been polling everyone lol) and if I'm still having issues in a few weeks after starting the new job to come back and we'll talk about thinks like carpal tunnel and tendinitis. Great! :(

I'm not supposed to go to work tomorrow which I know will piss off my boss royally since its a high volume day for us. What's even worse is tomorrow is when I was going to tell her this is my last week. I don't want to have to do this over the phone. I'm pretty sure this week is going to be super uncomfortable for me at work. Earlier today when I went home she said "Well I guess you're lucky its Monday and not Tuesday Dolly." Eek!

Stomach Flu Blues

I don't know what is wrong with me today but I am sicker than a dog. I knew this morning something just was not right but thought I would try to go to work anyway. 25 minutes in I knew I had made a mistake. My boss was understanding but kind of rude in a way about the situation. I mean I did come to work even though I was feeling sick for the company's sake, not mine. Well, I did think about my pay cheque, lol. I called my mom who picked me up two hours into my shift.

Luckily I already had a doctors appointment for today. Now I'll have a whole list of things to talk to him about.

Something about my bosses reaction today regarding my illness is sitting very wrong with me. I've been thinking really hard and I'm seriously leaning towards the new job.

a) I clicked with the Manager there really well. It was like when you meet somebody who is so much like you, you wonder how you've never met. I think she would be fun to work for.

b) The work will be less physical. I will be assigned to womans fashion so I'll be going through clothes and pricing them which may actually be fun.

c) I get to sleep in an extra hour which I think will be better for me. I'm not really a morning person and getting up at 5:30-6am has been really hard on me.

d) It's right down the street from me so I will get some exercise walking to work. Also, there is a grocery store and pharmacy there too which will make it easier to pick things up when I need them.

e) They have benefits there as well. I'm not sure if there is dental or when they kick in. I will have to double check that but I'm also pretty sure there are paid sick days and things like that.

f) Since I have a set schedule I will be able to find some p/t easily if I feel the need. I will just need to find something that fits around my schedule (8-430 mon-fri).

I can still look for a better paying job while I'm there. When I honestly think about it I think its the better choice. My carpool girl is going to start looking for work in the next few months too so I don't want to be stuck with no way to work. I think the only reason I would really stay there is for the staff. I'm going to have to tell my boss tomorrow that I'm quitting and its going to be so hard and awkward. I'm pretty sure she's used to being told this but I hate these types of situations. I hope the rest of the week isn't going to be evil at work because of it. :S

So I just want to say thank you for everyone's support and advice. It really gave me a lot to think about. Today though something clicked in me that just said "get out". So that's what I'm going to do.... go with my gut.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Putting a Positive Spin on Lemons

Ok, so now that I've exposed some of the gritty details of my work history lets look at the positives it has brought me.

If I had not moved around and worked so many people I would not have learned everything that I have. Everyone I know compliments me on my vast knowledge about random topics all the time. It has also made me a more tolerant person. I have worked with thousands of people and believe me... I have not liked them all, lol.

No, I don't tell prospective employers how many jobs I've had. My resume only lists 4 jobs and makes it seem as though I've had a very steady work history. I am a great employee. I've never been called a slacker and I'm easy to train. I have a amazing work ethic and I've been so well trained by a gizillion places that I don't have to told a lot to get the job done.

I enjoy my vast work history as much as I've enjoyed all the travels that got me there. Of course there were some horrific experience but that is life. If your life stayed static all the time how would you know you are really living. I guess the way I see it is this life is mine and its short. I don't have to follow the mainstream to be happy. It's all truly about what I want and how I choose to get there.

I can't make any huge steps career wise right now because I'm going to Australia in just over a year. I'm not even going to attempt anything towards going to school until after I'm done and have money saved. I think once my mind is detached from everything and I'm leaving peacefully over there for a year that maybe things will become clearer. I have a small list of things that interest me now but we'll see how I feel in the future.

I also know that in the next few years I will spending some time living in Quebec as that is where BF's family is and he misses them dearly. So I need a career plan that allows me to move around a bit. I also know I want to work for myself. In another post I will jot down some things that interest me.

I really appreciate everyone's feedback. Thank you for taking the time to read my long posts and share your thoughts with me. Everyone's feedback has been so positive and supportive. I love my PF blogger family!!

More later... have to run.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

2008 Great American Seafood Cookoff


Chef Brian Landry
Louisiana

Today I visited the the site for the Great American Seafood Cook off. I checked out the top five recipes and boy do they ever look delicious. I voted for Chef Brian, from Louisiana, Landrys' Shrimp and Andouille Cassoulet. It was a hard choice but it was the one that made me drool the most so I decided to give him my vote. I think it would be so fun to take part in a cook off like this!

I thought it was the best recipe because it really appealed to my taste buds and the recipe seemed easier for me to try at home myself. I like recipes that are straight forward without a ton of separate recipes going on. I like one simple to follow recipe that tastes great. If I was to change anything it would just be to leave out the sweet onions because I have a small intolerance to them. Besides that I think this recipe is a winner!

I also love the fact that this contest is promoting the use of local domestic seafood. I think its really important to support your locals. Besides, you know its fresh when you see it coming right off the boat from that days catch. I buy my crab off a local boat here in town down on the water. You see the tiny boats bringing them in and the woman selling them has been there as long as I can remember. It was a great thing as a child going down there to buy crab. I've brought a lot of visitors down there when they are in town. Everyone enjoys and it helps keep that dear woman in business. You can't beat the price either!


So if you have some extra time today check out the site and all the delicious recipes. I bet you'll find something that will make your taste buds go crazy too! If you decided to vote remember that you will also get the chance to win a trip to New Orleans with a whole prize package. :D


Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood



Friday, September 5, 2008

A Little Bit About My Job History

Wow, its really hard for me to answer some of your questions. Employment has always been a crazy thing for me. I had my first real job at the age of 14. Before that I was baby sitting, doing paper routes and chores for money. I grew up in a home where there was no money for anything, barely enough to feed us. No second helpings thats for sure.

I ran away at the age of 15 and rented rooms in different houses. Some times I went to school but mostly I didn't. I did graduate high school on time thankfully otherwise I'm not sure I would have gone back. Instead of carrying on to school like a lot of other kids I did not have the money, resources or zest for school. I just never figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

At 17 I made my first move to Vancouver. Since then I've lived all over BC and Alberta. Working here, there and everywhere. I estimate I've probably had about 50 or more different jobs in my life. I'm in my mid twenties. I try not to do the same type of job twice but sometimes I just take what ever is available to pay the bills.

I did go to school in 2003 to be a Pharmacy Technician. At the time I thought it would be a stepping stone to a better career because I would be making a lot more money and could afford to go to school for something that would take a longer than 8 months and that I would be able to live off with the better wage.

I was a fool. I bought into one of those stupid schools that charges you 10,000 for an eight month course. I was lied to. I was told the the following year it would be mandatory for all technicians to have a valid diploma to work in a pharmacy setting and that the minimum wage for that type of job would be raised to 16 per hour. Great! Too bad it was all lies...

Soon into the course I realized my mistake. It was so bad that two teachers quit just because they felt so badly for us. I could have taught the material to myself in two weeks. It was all photo copies and no real books except one on human anatomy. The other two younger girls (class size of 10) in the class and I realized our predicament but figured out quickly we could drop out and pay the money or finish the course and have a very expensive piece of paper. I tried reporting them to the private school division to no avail. During my exit interview I told the director of the school my feelings on this and explicitly told them to never contact me again or use my name for any publicity. I was mortified!

Two months into job searching I got a lead on a pharmacy job from a friend. I worked there for 1.5 years making $2 above minimum wage near the end. It was hell! People treated you like crap, the pay was lousy and my store manager was a raging cow. Soon my hair began to fall out and I had to take heavy pills to stop me from throwing up every ten minutes. I was a wreck. I left on a medical leave and didn't return.

Since then I floated around to some more places, worked around and tried to find my place in things. At one point I took a trip to the Okanagan and met BF there when we lived and worked on a farm picking cherries. I have to say, I've had a very rough go of the things but I've learned and experienced far more than a person of my age usually has. I appreciate all the lessons I've learned.

In November of 2005 I ended back here on the Island. I was not happy about it. At one point I worked three jobs and slept 5 hours a night and also on my fifteen minute breaks at work. It was then that I decided to pay off all my debt. I had some from a relationship gone sour, a CC that went south and had to be bought out by City Fin.ancial at a rate of 36% and of course... the lovely student loans. I rented a place and that same month BF came to live with me.

When BF arrived I asked him to look for work off the Island as I really hate living here. He tried but it wasn't in the cards. So I've been stuck here every since. Honestly, the wages here are shit, there are nothing but fast food restaurants and malls. The job market is so lacking its pathetic. Nobody that can get away stays here. If you are younger you move away to make your money or go to school. The local University offers nothing of interest to me. I'm not even willing to go to school again until I have some money saved, my current loans paid off and some clue of what I want to do.

That's my main problem. In the course of trying out fifty or more jobs I have become jaded. Nothing interests me. I've tried every spectrum and I've been beaten down. It's hard working crap jobs for over ten years and then making an effort to improve yourself only to be ripped off. I need to find what interests me.

The reason I've been going for labour jobs lately is because I don't want any stress. I want to go to work, work really hard, and come home exhausted from a hard days work and not stress. I want jobs where I never think about work once I'm home and gladly collect a cheque every two weeks. Still, its not very satisfying, its just keeps me from going bald. I have to admit, I'm pretty fond of the fine hair I have left.

I am not really sure what else to tell you all. This is pretty much coming off the top of my head in an unedited post. It's the raw truth.

This is why Australia is so important to me. I just want to get away, and feel free again. I want to pack my bags, live in a van and travel from town to town picking random fruits, veggies and nuts. Maybe once my mind is clear and I'm feeling good I can really take a good look inside and find out what I want.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Readers I need YOUR help

I am having a really tough dilemma with this whole job thing. I mean, I really need a new job but I'm not really wanting to take a pay cut. There are two reasons I'm leaving my job. One, because its so physical and two because the pay sucks. Why would I leave one labour job for another sort of labourish job for less pay?

I'm going to work out some pros and cons here.


Current Job:
Pros

Love the staff
Will have benefits in less than 4 months (really need dental soon)
Can look for another job that has more pay in the meantime (easier to take time off)
Already have future dates booked off that I need with no problem
I get really cheap farm eggs from my boss, lol

Cons
The pay SUCKS
It's physically draining. I have pain in my back and my hands (going to the doctor Monday)
My coworker broke the microwave (ok, ok it's not a reason to quit but it sucks) :D


New Job
Pros

Will save $60 on carpool ( I like carpooling though)
Is close to home
Get discounts on store items and at Bed and Bath ( we don't have Bed & Bath in my town)
The manager and her assistant seem really nice
I get to sleep in an extra hour because it starts an hour later than my current job

Cons

There are no guarantees I will like this job any better than the one I have now
I will make less money at this job ( I CANNOT afford to make less than I do now)
I get off an hour later which means I can't really get a second job because its kind of late in the day to start another shift somewhere else.
I will have to find a different job soon to make ends meet which means starting this job and possibly leaving in the near future (ugh)

So there you have it. There may be other reasons that I can't think of off the top of my head but that's basically what is rolling around in my brain right now. I just can't afford to make less. Bottom line... but I'm tired and sore. Sigh* BF says to set my sights higher, for a better paying job so I can work less and be more energetic. He's right. I underestimate myself.

So fellow bloggers and readers I really need your help and to hear your opinions on this matter. I was going to give notice tomorrow but now I think I will take the weekend to think it over. There's not much difference in telling my boss tomorrow or on Monday so I think its the best thing to do. I'm so indecisive!

I'm going to try and set up a poll. Let me know what you think PLEASE!!!


September 2008 Monthly TCOB and PF Goals

I'm a little late on getting my goals in order for September but... better late then never, right? Last month was so crazy. I'm hoping to find more me time and enjoy myself more this month because I think I deserve it ;-)

First for the PF goals:

  1. Pay student loan under $1500
  2. Add $50 to EFUND
  3. Add $50 to Australia Fund
  4. Save $200 towards BF birthday Fund
Now for the Personal Goals:

  1. Visit my sister at least twice in the hospital
  2. Go mini golfing with my brother and BF
  3. Have at least 2 just ME days
  4. Start new job
  5. Enjoy two family game nights
  6. Send my two of my best friends an I love you card made by hand.
Thats all I can think of right now, but I think these are some mighty fine goals so I'm very pleased!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

August 2008 TCOB - End of the Month Review

  • Pay Federal Student loan under $2000 YES
  • Bump EFund up to $500 Completed
  • Go over all bills and make sure everything is paid and up to date Completed
  • Update Dolly's Garden Blog at least once a week I'm deleting this blog soon
  • Get BF to hang bulletin board so I can finish setting up office in an organized manner Nope
  • Organize one box from storage room Uh... no
  • Go on another hike with BF while the weather is still nice Nope
  • Get at least one good weekend of camping in Completed X 2
  • Blog at least once daily Yes

It Pays To Call and Ask!

Today I decided to call up the job I have been waiting on to see what is going on since they called all my references last Friday and I still have not heard from them. I figured I had better call because if they weren't considering me or had hired somebody else then I need to get back on the job hunt asap!

I called and talked to the boss' assistant who was shocked to hear I hadn't been called yet. She thought her boss had already called me and they were just waiting to hear what date I could start on. Um.... lol.

So I guess you've all already figured it out. I did get the job. It's a little bit less pay (which sucks cuz I was looking for more pay) but its going to way easier on my wee little body. I didn't honestly think I could last too much longer at my current job.

Since I want to give notice at my current job we agreed that I would start on the 15th. I hope things go better at this new job. So far everyone seems super nice.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Feeling Loved


I'm sending out a big thank you to Ginger for choosing me as one of her picks for the "I heart your blog" award. I'm so touched by this. As a lot of you know times have been really trying for me lately and most of the time the best part of my day is logging in and reading your comments. Ginger, thank you so much for making my day!

Now as a recipient of this award I am asked to pass it on to 7 other bloggers that I heart. This is really tough to narrow it down because I love you all. *Smooches. Here are 7 choices that are near and dear to my heart!

Back to School.... Back to School

It's my favorite time of the year. When all the little kiddies go back to school. Yay!

I hope everyone had a great Labour Day weekend. I surely did! I'll post some pics some time later in the week. BF and I had a great weekend and it was really nice to have the three days to relax and spend time together.

I haven't heard back on the job yet. Not sure why. The interviews were great and I know my references were amazing. I think I will call tomorrow and ask how things are going. That way I can start throwing more resumes out there and looking harder if they're planning on hiring me. I need to find a new job because this one is taking too much out of me physically!

I will post my numbers for August tomorrow, promise! :D