No Soda. About an 80% on the daily dozen. Chocolate bought and consumed.
The day didn't start well. I tossed and turned more than slept. Then when DH got home he tells me he's decided his car is "safe" for a 6 hour shift, so wouldn't be using mine. After a 2 hour "discussion" he promised to come straight home and change cars if he had the slightest hesitation about the wheel bearing. (DH got home about 3:20 a.m.)
As soon as I turned the lights on at work, I had a customer - one of the agencies. I later found out that I gave them the low income version instead of the full fare. I was blurry eyed and a bit foggy AND had two calls on hold before I'd even logged in. uGH.
After lunch I found out that the route changes are being postponed til November 1. Citing that the city budget has not been passed.
This is a mixed blessing. On one hand having more time to finalize prep will be very helpful. On the other hand, we have spent a massive amount of time advertising an Oct 3 start date. Now we get to explain that there's a new start date...
BTW - if anyone has an interest in bus driving, we are looking for drivers. ASAP.
I helped out the first open house about the new routes tonight. 120 people showed up! Less than 7% sounded disgruntled, and of those, most of them we were able satisfy them.
It was actually kind of fun. Tomorrow I get to do it all over again. 4 hours overtime, thanks much.
Viewing the 'Bus Chronicles' Category
No Soda. About an 80% on the daily dozen. Chocolate bought and consumed.
So I finally heard back from my doctor about the bloodwork results. My lymphocytes had gone back into the normal range, but my platelets had not. She also said that my ferritan levels were on the low side. So she suggested two options - try taking iron supplements for two months and retest; or, go see a hematologist.
I decided to try the iron pills first. Reading about the symptoms of low iron, it sounds a lot like me. Extreme fatigue, brittle nails, etc.
The problem is though, I eat a lot of foods that are iron rich! My smoothie five days a week has strawberries, etc. in it. Spinach, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and on and on are most of my diet.(outside of my chocolate addiction ...)
So I don't get how I could have low iron.
Right now I'll try just about anything to get my energy back. So .. iron supplements it is. (taken with OJ for now - vitamin C helps the iron absorb better.)
The supplements are pretty cheap - got a 30 day supply for just a few dollars. So .. worth it.
DH and I had our first date night (just us) Thursday night for July. Ordered out from Ming's and ate in the bedroom with the door shut - to keep the cats out.
I had been supposed to cook, but just had no energy to do so. So DH suggested Ming's. I'm going to do the CC roast on Sunday instead (when it's likely I'll have the most energy, after two days of not working.)
We still have most of our date night budget left - since DH's friend paid for our meal at the Chineese buffet on Sunday.
DHs friend who we dogsat for and who had indicated he'd reimburse us for the meds we bought for his dog ... well, it looks like he isn't going to follow through on that. Ugh.
I bought the meds knowing full well that we might not be reimbursed, but of course I was hoping! $150 out the door.
Our electric bill ... OMW! Somehow I missed the June bill (amoungst the many final bills, etc) - that was $99. Then the July bill - $149! Ouch!!!
We had our a/c set at 72 - DH agreed to let me put it up to 78. I couldn't sleep at all at 78. So put it down to 76. That seems ok so far.
Hopefully our next bill won't be so huge!
DH helpfully told me that big electricity bills should be expected in a house in the summer. Really hubby? I had no idea. Doesn't mean I have to like it- or live with it!
Our checks for our joint account finally came today. We bought them from Walmart - enough to probably last us the rest of our lives. (250 I think.)
It came in some weird packaging from someplace in New Braunfel's TX. At first I thought it was some kind of tourist brochure and almost tossed it without opening ... Glad I didn't do that!
At work we now have 8 women and two men in administration. One of our men who retired at 53 was replaced by a woman.
I really like her so far. In fact, she helped me out big time with a project I was working on.
We are changing our bus routes and our time schedules completely in October. My boss gave me a spreadsheet with all the time schedules on it for all the routes that one of the dispatchers had created.
The problem with it was 1. All the routes and times were on one sheet; and 2. All the times were written without a colon. i.e. 843P instead of 8:43P
So, the first problem was easily fixed. It was the second problem which caused me a great deal of frustration. How to insert a colon into umpteen cells without having to click on each one individually?
I tried every thing I knew how to do, plus what I could find on Google. Nada. Then TN saved the day by suggesting a V Lookup - and made one for me too!
From there, it was just a matter of around 4 hours of copying and pasting. (There were a lot! of times needing colons ...)
So today I took off of work early to go to my doctor's appointment. My boss came out to help someone at the window who'd come just as I was getting ready to go.
Before heading out, I stopped at the restroom. Then I had to pass near the window on my way out. Guess who was at the window being helped by my boss? Let's see if you can guess, "My problem is that I don't agree with the policy about lost passes ..."
As soon as I saw/heard this, I scooted out of there ASAP. Seriously, that lady is back already? Did she lose her pass already? I am SO glad I didn't have to deal with her before leaving, or my blood pressure would have been sky high!
As it was, I left with plenty of time to get there. You never know how long it'll take ... I got to the turn off about 30 minutes early, but then missed the turn off.... So, got there about 20 minutes early.
They still had me in their system by my maiden name, so got that all updated. Then gave them the bill from the lab with my maiden name (got a call later from their coding department telling me I'll have to get back in contact with the original place. This may be fun ...)
Anyway, when my doctor finally came in to the room she told me that my platelets have always ran kind of high ... really? But that they don't usually get concerned til its in the 600's (mine was 580.) But still combined with the lymphocytes, it was worth looking into. So she's scheduled me for a repeat CBC and a blood smear (where a person looks at the individual cells?) That'll happen on Wednesday morning.
She also is referring me to an allergist. She said that I could possibly take allergy shots for a couple of years, and then be DONE with allergies! Oh joy! If that is truly possible... I'll deal with getting shot up every month for a few years!
She thinks that my tiredness, moodiness, nauseousness, lack of energy etc etc etc can all be attributed to my allergies (and insomnia due to allergies/taking Allegra D.)
All I know is I'd really like to stop putting all these chemicals into my body (especially when they don't seem to be helping all that much) and get my energy back!
We'll see I guess.
On Sunday I made a recipe from the Stuffed at the Gills blog for Chow Mein noodles. It reminded me sort of of my favorite Amy's meal - Chinese Noodles with Cashew sauce. It was a bit of work ... but oh so good! Even DH approved. (We had a bit of a tiff because he was tired of my "trying" out recipes that weren't turning out that great ... we compromised that I'd limit my "trying out recipes" to 2 x a month. Otherwise we'll stick with ones we know we like already. Whatever. )
I've started putting FSA eligible expenses on my credit card. I also downloaded the app for the FSA place - already have submitted two claims and been reimbursed for one. Pretty nifty! (Now if I can just find the receipt for the copay DH had back in May ... getting his 1 1/2 year checkup on his shoulder, that'd be another $25 back in the budget ... gotta be around here somewhere.)
Our associate pastor preached this week. While I'm not too sure what I think of him overall, I did really like the story he focused on and how he related it to today.
He talked about the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well. His focus was on how Jesus gave a great example of breaking down walls and barriers. Jews and Samaritans were very close cousins, but hated each other. The Jews thought they were better than the Samaritans. Sound familiar?
What I wonder is how can I / we go about breaking down the walls / barriers today? How can we make everyone feel equally worthy of love, equally worthy of a good place in the world, equally worthy of respect, equally worthy of dignity? All of us bleed the same color ... no matter race, religion or sexual orientation. All of us are equal in God's eyes.
How can we get the blinders off of peoples eyes so they can really see this? If we could do this, the world would be so much better off.
On an unrelated note - I got the iPad working again without having to take it in anywhere. It is now mine. Ha ha ha. (DH is quite happy with his Chromebook.)
What a wonderful first day back at work after a long weekend. Not.
Starts off with a mentally challenged man making rude gestures at me while telling me he's not stupid and that he could do any of our jobs better than we can ... No idea what prompted this - I hadn't even had a chance to say good morning to him before he started off ..
Then multiple calls of complainers ...
Then I realize that I put a $5 bill in the $1 bill section, but got distracted before I could move it to the right place. Guess how much the cash box was off? $5. first time I've been off in months. Ugh.
Then of course ... the sinus headache....
Topped off by the lady who had called last month about losing her bus pass and wanting us to replace it for her for free. When she was told that our policy is that we are not responsible for lost passes, she ranted about how illogical and stupid that ws to me on the phone for ten minutes, and then when I transfered her to the bus driver supervisor, she ranted to him for ten+ minutes - finally ending that she was going to contact the mayor about our stupid policy.
So ... she shows up today just after I finished counting the cash and realizing that I was short $5. My head was pounding. There was 8 minutes left to go.
She asks me if I remembered her calling about her lost pass. I told her that I talk to a lot of people in a month, so sorry, I didn't . Then she says she'd found her pass, so had "let it go." Then proceeds to rant and rave for ten+ minutes about how stupid and illogical our policy is. Acting like she expected me to agree with her.
One particular gem ... someone losing their pass isn't the fault of the bus company, nor is it the fault of the person who bought the pass - it's an act of God. So of course the bus company should refund or replace the pass. I wanted to say - Are you out of your mind? Seriously? On what planet is you losing your pass an act of God?
Finally at 4:33 she says that she has to get out of there. My boss wasn't much help .. just came by as she was leaving to tell me it was time to log out and go. Gee, really? How about telling this lady her ranting time was way past up.
I plan on asking her if I can tell this lady if she dares show her face again, that she needs to buy her pass elsewhere. I do NOT want to deal with her again.
(I'd reiterated multiple times that this is our policy. Did no good. She just wanted to rant.)
Then after work I call back our insurance agent about the plumber claim. She told me that they won't cover it (the broken faucet) because the inspection report said that it needed to be replaced because it was about to fall off. Huh?? We were told it was leaking and might need to be replaced, but nothing about it about to fall off ... oh well.) While on the phone with her I stuck my foot in my mouth and told her that we hadn't liked our realtor C very much - one reason being that we had felt like we'd kind of been pushed along in the house deal - for instance, being told to not ask for any thing to be fixed that wasn't major in the inspection report otherwise the deal might fall through. Not to mention that we'd both felt like we did nearly all the legwork of finding places, and he did nothing until we actually had a house to make an offer on .. Too late, I remembered that she had been suggested by our realtor C.
Oops. I plan on sending her an email tomorrow apologizing - not for what I said, because it truly was how DH and I feel - but that she wasn't really the right person to say it to. We hadn't planned on saying it to anyone really - just not recommending C as a realtor if anyone ever asked us.
Then I get home and in the mail is a bill for some labwork I had done back in February I think. I'd gotten a bill for it previously, and called to explain about the name change on my insurance. Apparently I need to call again - because they are still trying to charge me for the full $270.
Ugh. I hate talking on the phone!
I have a doctor's appointment on Monday. Presumably to discuss the labwork with the high platelet/lymphocyte count. But I also plan on bringing up my sinus headaches/allergies and pushing the doctor to help me get something figured out other than what I'm already doing (which only seems to work some of the time.) These sinus headaches are making my life miserable.
So .. I went to work today. Within about 20 minutes of getting there I was really wishing I was back home.
People on the phone being obtuse. My computer got switched out on Friday (which is a good thing, mostly) which meant that I had to re do all my settings ... and my locator application was hidden, and a my address book program didn't get put back on .... etc., etc.
Then I talk to my supervisor to find out what the text on Friday was all about. She told me that people taking Friday and Mondays off is a pattern of someone unhappy at work.
So I told her I had a doctor's note because I was genuinely not feeling well! At first she tells me she doesn't need it. Then ten minutes later she comes out and wants to see it. I thought that was pretty bizarre.
Can I take 20 more years of this?????
So ... the houses. First, the $52k (1880) one. The reason it is $52k is because it needs extensive renovation. Plumbing, electric, etc., etc. Neither FHA nor Rural loans would work for it unless a lot of improvements were made first (by current owners.)
We didn't get to look inside of it because C (our Realtor) hadn't gotten in touch with the seller's Realtor. (Granted, the house was only listed on one site, which made it difficult to find.)
The $120k house. Mr FT and I got there more than an hour before scheduled time and just drove around the town/area, and walked around the property. Sigh. Love. Love. Love. That feeling you get when a place is just *right.*
A super sappy wide smile lighting my face as we walk around inside the house.
Until ... heart falls into stomach ... the basement wall has bulges....
C at first declared "you guys don't want this house" but then after looking it over more, he told us that it wasn't as bad as some he's seen, and maybe it could be fixed.
He's suggesting offering 85k (last tax assessment of $95k) -- 15 y.o. roof, basement wall issues, the amount of work the yard will take to get it back to a manicured level, etc. (Where we would ask for a credit for the roof, them to get the basement taken care of, and closing costs.)
Mr FT and I feel like we're capable of tackling the yard stuff (although probably hire out the dead tree removal.)
We're taking time to sleep on it a few times and think some more about it.
I also have a call in to the mortgage broker person to find out what would disqualify a house from an FHA or Rural loan. (i.e. the basement or roof)
Love, love, love the house/land/town. Love. Will feel so sad if we can't make it work. Worth the 30+ minute commute.
I'd love to share a link to the property, but we might end up actually living there ... so
I came across an article today that mentioned something about Obamacare which got me wondering.
Mr FT has healthcare through the NE health exchange. He's getting subsidies.
I have health insurance through my employer.
When we get married, Mr FT is going on my insurance and dropping his insurance.
Now what I can't figure out, is this - I know tax wise we'll be considered married for the whole 2016 tax year. So, I had already figured we may have to pay back part of his subsidy. But ... now I'm wondering if we'll have to pay ALL of it back - because once he marries me, he'll be disqualified from having Obamacare coverage.
I haven't been able to find anything definitive on this. That could be a lot of money. Gulp. It also really doesn't seem fair ... but what is fair in life, right? Especially when it comes to government and taxes. Sigh.
When I was working as a school librarian in New Mexico, I was part of a program called Americorps. As part of that program you get an education award for each year of service. I earned two awards.
I used about 30% of it for a certificate program, but have had no use for the rest of it.
With marrying Mr FT, my plan was to transfer the award to him so he could pay off his student loans.
I'm almost POSITIVE I read that the only qualification was it had to be an immediate family member.
But ... tonight I was doing a little more research into it to refresh my memory. Unless I was reading something way different, I really messed up.
Apparently you can only transfer it to a child or grandchild AND only then if you were 55+ years old when entering into Americorps service.
If this is truly the case, then we won't be able to pay off his student loans in one fell swoop. So .. I guess that means that we really have no reason to wait to actually buy a house til after we're married. (I figured it would take a few months for the award to be transferred, and then pay off the loans.)
What a colossal waste of money. The award money will expire in 5 years (7 years from end of service.) I have absolutely no desire to go back to school for anything.
Ugh and Double Ugh!
We sure got some snow here this morning! There was nothing by 2 a.m., and then when I looked again at 4, there was at least 4 inches. By noon, there had been at least 10!
I got stuck trying to get out of my parking lot and couldn't find my shovel. So I improvised and used ... a mop! Then when I came home tonight, I had to make 3 attempts to get up the little hill into the parking lot!
I kept track today of how many calls I took asking about if the buses were running. Over 100 total, but 45 of them were in the first hour! Other people were also taking similar calls.
It didn't help that Omaha shut down their bus system. I think that got a lot of people here panicked that we were going to do so as well. How nice would a snow day be ... (did you notice how well I slept last night? Yeah.)
I may have misunderstood the Brink's PrePaid deal. I have an email in to customer service to clarify, but from what I can gather, it pays interest 1 x per quarter, not monthly. Which is why I didn't have any interest show up for this month. The .50% is for amounts over $5k, so it still should be 5% for the first $5k.
Waiting now for clarification.
I received my $25 AGC from SBs today. Pretty fast since I only ordered it yesterday!
So ... I had lots of ideas and plans for year 39. Those plans and ideas worked about as well as most New Year's resolutions.
Nevertheless, a new decade of life means maybe plans and ideas and goals can be a bit better off than just another set of resolutions. We'll see I guess.
Financially I did okay. As of now I have quite a few LTP (long term planning) funds fully funded and have started on the Car and House funds.
Health/weight wise ... um ... If I remember what I started at last December ... Well ... I pretty much maintained I guess. I pretty much haven't been to the gym in at least 3 months (although I have been exercising - just not at the gym.)
Friendship wise ... While I still don't have anyone here I "hang out" with outside of church activities, I am a little more involved. Maybe eventually that will lead to something. Someday.
Relationship wise .... Mostly good, with some frustrations that rear themselves at times overly much. But that generally tends to happen when I'm way overtired.
Job wise - Most days/most of the time it's ok. I have a great boss, and a couple co-workers I also like. The co-workers who were causing drama before have pretty much completely laid off. So ... it's tolerable.
It's definitely helping being able to take time off now and then to get away. Like today - I took off to have a long weekend as my birthday present to myself. Although I might have taken today off anyway because Sunday I did something to my back, plus feeling miserable cold/allergies. (My back is feeling better tonight, as are my cold/allergies.)
Yesterday NE and I went to the local urgent care place because NE had a finger infection. (Most likely from him biting off a hang nail ... When I asked him if he was going to stop doing that - Why? 1st problem in 49 years? - Ohhhhkaaayyy.)
While we were waiting for his prescription to get filled, we went over to SuperTarget. I had $2 coupons for cat litter (Scoop Away 25lb) plus the Savings Catcher had 25% off it. I unfortunately forgot my Red Card though - asked at the front desk and was told to bring my receipt the next time and they'd make an adjustment.
Of course ... I wasn't used to having NE along on a shopping trip, so I also spaced using the coupons (but not the savings catcher!)
I went back to Target today and was able to get both the 5% adjustment and the $4 in coupons! (I also bought a 3rd box with a coupon. Kari is SET for litter for a long time!)
While I was out today I also stopped at Walmart - mainly to pick up a few iBotta items - definitely things I'll use, but didn't need right now. I also was really wanting to find a Terry's Chocolate Orange .... no luck. Stopped at a few other places too. All sold out.
I cashed out for $20 from iBotta today, and also for $25 PayPal from Swagbucks.
I got a postcard from my doctor letting me know that I need to schedule a baseline mammogram .... Oh the joys of my new decade. I was going to do it today, but then realized that I don't know what my bosses schedule is like ... so need to get that info first.
My aunt (who Thrifty Ray has met) has really gotten into knitting since retiring. While I was in CA over Thanksgiving she made me slippers, and had me pick out the yarn for an afghan. She texted me today to let me know that it was finished! I might have it here by Friday. So cool! (Or should I say, so warm!)
Now that we can post pics again, I'll post a picture of it when I get it.
If I'm on the upward mend of this cold on top of allergies thing, then hopefully within the next few days I'll have the energy to get my apartment back into shape. I'd really hate for the property manager to come in right now ... (not dirty, just really, really cluttered/messy)
Oh! I almost forgot. I logged in to restaurant . com today to buy the gift certificate for the fancy place NE and I will be going to on Thursday night. Only to find out that my $200 credit seemed to have completely disappeared!! I checked on Living Social to make sure they hadn't reversed the offer I'd purchased or something ...
I wrote customer service and got a form reply telling me how to redeem an offer. Ugh! I replied ... nothing back yet.
SO VEry Aggravating. (I bought a $200 r.com gift certificate for $35 from Living Social. I hadn't used any of it yet!)
So today was one of those days at work.
I had the person who kept interrupting me before I could answer their question ...
I had the person who started taking Jesus's name in vain all because they were going to have a 30 minute wait at the main transfer station ...
I had the person who came to the window on their cell phone and acted very annoyed with every question I asked / every time I spoke to them ...
Then I had someone ask me why we have a sign up about no cell phones at the window --- point to above reason ---
Then I had the person who had no earthly idea of their location and expected me to know where they were by just rattling off some business names (gas station, other places that are multiple locations ...)
So yeah ...
Not to mention that the office is super duper COLD. I think it's colder inside than it is outside! I wore a sweater today which helped, but my hands were still freezing!
Then CW who loaded a time sensitive project on me a few months ago started telling me about a new project she wants me to do. Supposedly NOT a time sensitive one - but to do whenever I have time to fill.
She of course went on and on and on off on different rabbit trails. I told her I'd be happy to do it - I just can't log off the phone very often nor for very long. (Like I had to log off the phone when she came to tell me about this project .. 25 minutes later ...)
Seriously, if she'd stop talking so much to people about how little time she has and how much she is overwhelmed, she might just get done what she needs to get done! I would guess she wastes at least 6+ hours a week talking about this to various people at the office (mostly me or my supervisor.)
She's a nice person, but I try to avoid her if I can just because she can be a time suck.
I think I've decided to NOT do the transmission flush for my car tomorrow. I did some more reading on it, and it looks like it's not recc'd until at least 100k. I am still going to get my tires rotated and my belts looked at (Toyota Yaris's don't have timing belts - the have timing chains, which almost never need to be replaced.)
So .. today was not a no spend day. I gave in to temptation. I stopped at Walgreen's hoping they had the chocolate oranges in.
Nope. But I did still end up buying a couple of candy bars and a Coke. Also bought toilet cleaner. ~$6 total
I was also WAY tempted to stop by BK. But I managed to resist that one. Yay me?
Thinking I'd have a sweet potato for dinner. Nope. Checked them and they'd all gone bad. Argh.
So .. finally opened up a box of Quorn Chic'n Cutlets I bought in September? Microwaved two of them according to directions.
Yuck. Double yuck. SO bland. I had to smother them in ketchup to eat.
I think the only thing to do is to fry them in breading or something. Which kind of negates the whole healthy factor (and since I'll need to use eggs to get the breading to stick ... makes them not vegan. Not that I really care about that.)
I've got around 5 more boxes of Cutlets left. 3 boxes of nuggets (which I *think* are breaded.)
These are definitely NOT going to be a good deterrent to my "stop at BK or eat at home" argument with myself ...
Decided to NOT go to a movie tonight. Just too tired (didn't sleep well last night at all.)
Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be nasty. I'm so glad I won't have to field phone calls on a day like tomorrow will probably be. Doubly glad to have tomorrow off.
Almost forgot - a bus funny -
Guy calls me and tells me he left a horse statue on the bus. I clarify with him until I get the picture that it is a 6 inch wooden statue of a horse. He had it sitting on the seat next to him. Not in a bag or anything - just out on the seat.
Another one - guy calls complaining about a couple who brought on two large dogs on the bus. Says that the bus driver told the couple they had to pay $1 per dog.
Um ... Had my supervisor talk to this guy. She figured out that he had no real idea what time this happened or for sure which bus route. She thinks he was making it all up. (No, we don't charge for animals brought on to the bus.)
I really don't get some of the regulations surrounding government employees.
One of them is about gifts.
Thursday a customer brought in a bouquet of flowers for one of the drivers to show his appreciation.
After letting my boss know what I was doing, I took them down to dispatch.
Grumpy old man dispatcher was on duty. He wrinkled his nose and said, "We don't do flowers down here!" Umm ... yes you do. I've brought flowers down before for other people. :roll eyes:
My boss tells me to give them to the bus driver supervisor. BDS is in with Big Boss.
Big Boss says, "Oh, we can't accept flowers from a customer." I barely control my mouth and ask how flowers are different from the cookies we got at Christmas (a HUGE platter of cookies.)
Cookies were consumable, but flowers aren't.
Um ... okay.
I'm told to either throw them away or find a vase to put them in and display them in the main office. My boss found a vase and I filled it with water.
I'm wondering exactly how I'm going to explain this to the person who brought the flowers. Ugh.
My afternoon break is at 3:00 p.m.
I get a phone call at 2:51 p.m. from fast talking lady. At 2:53 p.m. Customer who tried climbing the stairs on his backside when the elevator was broken last year rolls up to the window.
I tell fast talking lady that I need to put her on hold. She very grumpily says ok.
Customer takes several minutes to complete transaction. (I'm having to help him a lot.)
2:57 I get back to fast talking lady. She snottily tells me that this better be fast because she's going through her Tracphone minutes.
2:58 New customer (never seen before) comes to the window. I mute the phone for a second and tell him to ring the buzzer because I'm going on break shortly.
New customer says, "What, you're too lazy to take a few minutes to help me before going on break?"
I'm utterly flabbergasted and have lots of responses in my head. None of which I verbalize.
2:59 I finish with fast talking lady. I go to the window to help rude customer and see several people behind him. I ask him to ring the buzzer again.
3:01 I'm almost finished with his transaction when person covering my break comes out.
3:15 I'm still fuming.
3:16 I get call from "Hello, friend!" lady who always puts a smile on my face no matter what kind of a day. I actually tell her this today (she asks me how my day is - usually just say good or fine - today I said 'better now that you've called - you put a smile on my face) She was really surprised - thought she was a pest.
3:18 Still very annoyed by rude customer, but feeling somewhat less upset.
How is the above financial in nature? It's called MOTIVATION for SAVING for RETIREMENT!
At my dentist visit today I did end up having a filling done. It was going to cost $84 after insurance. Zoinks!
I handed over my FSA card thinking there was maybe $5 or $6 left on it at most. Nope! There was over $50 left! Yay!
So since I was in a celebratory mood ... (ya ya sure ... I was using any excuse) I headed to Target and got my fave Amy meal x 3. Plus a few other things.
Spent about $24.
BUT .. today I saw my last October paycheck. Which is the second one going to November.
After entering it in, and filling in the numbers in my various categories ... and knowing that I'll be getting reimbursed for the plane tickets to CA for Thanksgiving ... and knowing that December should also be a 3 paycheck month ...
I came to the following conclusion --
I will be able to meet my $10k in my EF goal by the end of this year!
This goal originally was $12k, but I realized that I wasn't funding some categories properly (i.e. car tags, etc.) and so reduced it to $10k. With some of the larger medical expenses I had this year, I wasn't sure I'd even make that one.
But it (knocks on wood) looks like I just might!
Then in January I can start aggressively saving towards the house downpayment! YES!
I have decided (once again ...) that I am going cold turkey on purchasing soda or any junky food for November and December. (Not saying I won't EAT any junk food - just I won't purchase it myself.)
I've let myself get way too lax with the junk, and I'm hoping by putting forth this moratorium, I will both save money (since many trips to the store are merely disguised trips for junk ...) and help me get back to LOSING weight. Maybe help with my lack of energy too.
Okay, so now for the funny ...
Our bus system has a number of routes which are interconnected. This means that when Bus A is South of O street it is for example #46, but when it is North of O Street, it is #45. A rider could get on Bus A when it is the #46 and ride it from the North to the South and get off of it as the #45.
So ... today I get this call from a woman who was at first and O St. She wanted to know when the #45 bus would be coming by.
After checking to make sure if she was wanting to go downtown or outbound, I told her that the #46 bus would be going by her in about ten minutes.
(The #46 bus goes out from our transfer center west along O St from 11th to 1st, and then the numbers start going back up (Nw 1st, Sw 1st) When it gets to NW 48th and O it heads North. This happens from 6:10 a.m. to 6:10 p.m. Monday thru Friday.)
She then started arguing with me that the #45 bus came by first and O in the morning, but not the #46 bus.
As she was hanging up I heard her say to someone nearby ... "The lady doesn't know her buses very well." LOL
I filled out a comment card at the restaurant the other night. Today I got an email letting me know that I'd won a $15 gift certificate!
I wonder how long that will be good for ... cuz' I'm guessing it'll be a long time before I'll be getting back that way.
So where I work I often get calls from people about items they've left on the bus. Lots of times it's wallets, id's, phones, lunch boxes, bikes, computers ... the list goes on. Many times I have been able to reunite people with their lost item.
Sometimes the person coming to pick up their lost item is extra enthusiastic. Sometimes even overemotional ... going as far as telling me "I love you!"
I get a kick out of these types of people.
Today though I had one which I think may be the funniest one so far. (I shared the above info to show that I find humor/pleasure from people of ALL walks of life and their reactions to being reunited with their item.)
About 9 a.m. I get a call from a man who is in an absolute panic about an item he left on the bus that morning - one he'd gotten off of around 6:40. What was that item? A hairbrush.
I dutifully called down to dispatch and told him what I was looking for. I could just hear dispatch rolling his eyes. Dispatch couldn't raise that particular driver right then.
So thence commenced five calls from this man in the space of about less than 2 hours. Until he finally got the news he was waiting for - his brush was found and in the driver's possession!
Near the third or fourth call, I got the song "Where is my Hairbrush" from Silly Songs with Larry Boy stuck in my head(Veggetales - if you don't know what I'm talking about - look it up. Seriously cute and funny stuff. Kids songs, yes. But funny!)
I was SORELY tempted to ask the man if he was familiar with Veggietales or Larry Boy. Somehow I refrained.
Around 4 p.m. the man came to the office to retrieve his hairbrush. It was a metal? hairbrush good for kinky hair I think.
As soon as I gave it to him, he immediately removed a bandana from his head - telling me that he'd kept it on all day because he didn't have his hairbrush to smooth his hair out.
Then he preceded to groom himself, almost like he was in ecastcy (sp?), there at the window.
I sat there watching him with a big smile on my face, and trying to contain my giggles. I wasn't laughing at him really (and I really hope he didn't think I was ...) but more laughing at the pure joy he was getting from a hairbrush and the bizzareness of having someone brushing their hair at my window...
Oh where is my hairbrush? Oh where.... is my hairbrush? Oh where, oh where, oh whaaarrreeee!!!! is my HAIRBRUSH?!
I got a call right after work today letting me know that a 5:00 appointment at my dentist's office had opened up. So I made my way through traffic and managed to get there by 5:01. (26 minute of traffic torture ...) I had my teeth cleaned and x-rays done. It looks as though I may have a new cavity. Darn it!
I'll have to back in a couple weeks for an eval and possibly a filling. I really need to do better about flossing.
So ... my dentist's office isn't too terribly far from the Super Target where they have a large variety of Amy's meals. I *know* I said I wasn't going to spend any more this week. But I did spend more. And of course I didn't stop with just a couple of Amy's meals.
Part of the problem was that I was pretty hungry by the time I was done at the dentist. I'd forgotten my lunch box at work, so had only had a plain cheese sandwich and a twix bar. (so healthy, I know ...)
I would say that next time I just won't bring any payment methods with me, but I can't do that since I'll need something to pay the dentist with for the cavity if the cost exceeds my leftover FSA amount. Maybe just bring my checkbook. Hmmm... that might work.
I got my flu shot today. I also wore one of my new to me tops from Schoola. Although I LOVE the top, I'm not sure it is a keeper or not. The nurse giving me the shot asked me if I was pregnant. Nope, just fat, I told her. She was kind of embarrassed, but I understood she had to be doubly sure since if I was, I'd have to have permission from my doctor to get the shot. But ... that made me realize it wasn't my imagination that the design of the top might over enhance my stomach a bit..... It's too bad, because I really do like the top.
Maybe I'll take a picture of me in it, and see what you all think.
The last two days have been so busy and frustrating.
Yesterday at work was the saga of the lost wallet. Today was the saga of the Uni bus drivers not knowing all the places they're supposed to stop ... (new rules for the Uni buses - only stopping at designated stops. Other buses stop at pretty much any safe corner.)
Then of course the hotmail troubles continued today. I woke up around 4:30 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep ... then preceded to spend 45 minutes in chat with a hotmail CSR - with no resolution. This afternoon I spent another 60 minutes or so in chat with another one. This time managed to create a temporary account so that I could send an email to customer service.
Also this afternoon finally figured out what was going on with the new credit union's website. Now I have to wait til tomorrow night to be able to finish the registration process.
THEN today I got a package from my former employer's 403(b) holding company -- the one I was trying to rollover to Vanguard. They said they couldn't complete the rollover because in their records I was still employed!! It's been ten years folks!
So ... made a few phone calls to deal with that. Got voicemail from former employer of course, so will have to wait and see.
I am just SO tired right now. I think the cream cheese I bought this past Sunday is bad or something - because I ate some on Sunday with a bagel, and ended up with a sour stomach that night. Then I had it again Monday night, and had major nausea/yuckiness this morning.
No spending so far - only 6 days to go for August.
So I tried logging into my hotmail account today to get my reward from Bing, but it wouldn't let me log in! I tried resetting my password - two times! It still wouldn't let me log in, even with the new password.
Next I tried creating a new account so I could email customer service. No good! I got to the part where they test you to see if you're a zombie or not, and I couldn't get the captcha to work - I even tried the audio option, and it wouldn't play.
I accidentally left my phone at home today ... playing SB Mobile TV. I had forgotten to turn it off (which is also partly how I forgot to bring it with me ...) When I got home I had 240 points - mostly from bonus rounds. Oops. (not complaining!) This weekend I got tons of bonus rounds too. I have the feeling this is some kind of glitch.
I went to the gym today for the first time in a month! After I got there I realized I hadn't downloaded my Stronglifts app. So I did my workout from memory (reducing the weight though since it had been awhile.)
Kind of like how when I was at church this weekend and realized that I didn't have my Bible app or my hymnal app ...
I wonder how most apps got redownloaded, but a few didn't (and how did I not notice this?)
Oh well, being fixed now.
I tried setting up my online access to Liberty First CU yesterday, but kept getting an error message. I'd planned on calling them today during my break, but of course, I didn't have my phone with me.
I'll have to do that tomorrow.
I have a seed stuck in one of my teeth from my smoothie this morning. It's been bugging me all day!
You could definitely tell it was the first day of classes for the major university here. We had at least three wallets and two sets of keys left on buses today. One of the wallets created a good bit of drama - I called dispatch about it and was told that the driver HAD the wallet. I checked that the name matched.
The kid stood out there (missing his first class) waiting for the bus. He checked with all 4 of the buses on that route. None of them had it. His mom calls me - I find out the name of the driver who has it - and again, double check the name.
Still no wallet for the kid.
Turns out the wallet the driver had was for another person who'd lost their wallet. The kid's wallet had been taken by another student and turned in to campus police.
It ended well, but was the source of multiple and more frantic phone calls ...
Word of advice. Whenever you ride a bus, make sure you #1 know the intersection you got on the bus, #2 know the route #, #3 know the TIME you got on it, #4 know some kind of description of the driver, #5 a bus number would also be a really good thing to know.
Then if it so happens that you leave something on the bus, you can give someone really good detailed info - making it much more likely we'll be able to locate your item!
You would be shocked at how many people who call in know NONE of that info.
So I got the SIM card from Ting today. I remembered from last time how to change it out. So I did that. Then I restarted my phone.
It's still locked to ATT!
I sent an unlock request to ATT ... says it'll take up to two business days.
BTW - I have had absolutely NO RESPONSE from Ting to the email I sent on Saturday about losing my phone. None. I hate to say it, but I'm getting less and less enthralled with Ting's Customer Service.
My boss today handed me this card she got at an event she went to last week. It was a deal for opening a checking account at a local credit union.
$50 within 45 days of opening with a $50 deposit. That's the only requirement.
It gets better though. If you have a direct deposit sent to that account, do one bill pay per month (free), and 12 debit transactions ... you get ... (drumroll please) 2.5 % interest on up to $25k !!!!
Um .... somehow I think 2.5% interest would be worth the hassles of doing 12 debit transactions a month. I could put all my money into that account. Have savings and checking all in one nice big account. I'd actually earn some real money for interest!
That'll have to wait til I get my Nationwide bonus though.
The Credit Union is Liberty First CU - I'm not sure what the residency requirements are for it though.
At work today I did the FINAL touches on the 200+ page document which has been causing so much stress for the last six+ weeks. It is done and over with!
My boss let me log off the phone, and took all the window customers so I could 100% concentrate on it. Good thing too, otherwise there's no way I would have finished it on time.
The calls have been insane this week - with school starting today.
Oh ... speaking of insane ... I have to tell you what came in today to lost and found. Inside of a bus pass folder was a baggie of what looked like .... weed! At least 4 other people agreed that it was very much similar to weed.
I called the police and they sent someone over. He said he thought it was either an organic herb or K2, but not weed. Then told me to just throw it away. ??? So ... I did. Seemed pretty bizarre to me.
Tuesday after I was done with my school event (went well, kept pretty busy) I stopped at Supersaver again and picked up $20 worth of stuff that was on pretty good sales.
I rarely get to a Supersaver since I have another grocery store just less than a block from me .... so that was fun.
I got a text from my brother (texting on iPad still works at least ...) I have the feeling that he is wimping out on the September trip. ARGHH! So, it'll just be mom and I.
Hopefully I'll have phone service soon so we can talk and I can find out what is going on.
Tomorrow is my Friday for this week. I'm SO ready for my 4 days off. SOOOOO ready.
I cashed out for another $25 PP from SBs today. That makes $50 for August (plus the $25 from July I cashed out in August.) I did the Visa thing for 500 SBs, (connected to a card I don't use, but monitor easily), so am back to nearly 800 SBs towards my next one. Maybe I'll make another $25 in August?
Well ... the good news is that NE let me borrow his GPS unit so I could get to the after work school open house events Monday and Tuesday.
Also good news was that NE hadn't given me back the phone I'd let him use - so it wasn't thrown away by me.
Bad news is that my phone is still missing.
Also bad news was that NE's phone was still on his account, so without Customer Service being open, there was no way to put it on my account.
Oh well. With NE's GPS unit I at least was able to navigate to the school tonight, and will be able to tomorrow again. I just don't have cell service.
The officer who comes by every other week came by today, and I told him about my phone. He told me about an online reporting thing for this kind of stuff. So I've filled it out, and now will see if anything comes of it.
The event tonight was mostly boring, but it did get busy at some points. Did more info giving than actual selling of passes though. (double checked every one to make sure I didn't make ANY mistakes!)
I stopped at a grocery store near the school (SuperSaver) and bought something called Nibblers - a cheese pack. It was pretty good actually. (I had eaten half a bagel at 3pm. but was still hungry, and knew I wouldn't eat again til 8:30 ...)
Found out today that the mom of one of my best friends passed away today. She lived in Duluth, and her memorial service will be sometime next week. I'm debating on going possibly. First I need to find out when it'll be ... then figure out if I can make it work or not.
It'd be a bit of a long road trip.
Not much else to say I guess.
So Thursday is Treat Day at our office. We rotate through everyone who wants to participate - which is 8 people. Yesterday was my turn.
Wednesday night I was really tired and did not feel like making anything. But I also didn't want to buy anything since I already had the brownie mix (bought on sale a few months ago.)
So I started putting the ingredients together about 8:30 p.m. Dumped the mix in the bowl, dumped the water in, broke the egg, ... then it was time for the oil.
Instructions called for 2/3 cup of oil. Somehow in my frazzled brain I read it as 1 2/3 cup.
I didn't realize my mistake - even when I used up all my bottle of oil and had to open a new one ... - until I poured it in the bowl.
So Thursday morning I left ten minutes earlier than usual to stop by the grocery store. $7 later I had the treats for the office. UGH.
Thursday after work I did the school event - selling passes at the Open House. It went pretty well, although I found out on Friday that I had mistakenly overcharged someone for their two passes. I'd had several people before them buy a StarPass and 20 ride pass so I had that number in my head I guess .. this person bought a StarPass and a 31 day pass.
UGH! When I do the events on Monday and Tuesday, I'm going to just have to go slower, even if it means people have to wait.
Friday was a no spend day. I was uber tired and just came home and vegged.
Finished reading Marie Knodos book "The life changing magic of tidying up." Overall I liked it (some hokey stuff in it though.) I might start on my clothes this weekend.
Leaving for church in a while. Today will be my second time picking up the Sabbath School offerings (and counting them) for this church. Thankfully the job doesn't require me to be there early enough to distribute the envelopes, otherwise I'd be in trouble. (I just can't seem to get myself going on Saturday mornings .. doing good to get to SS before the praise/request portion is over.)
Tomorrow I plan on going to Dollar Tree to get more frozen fruit. I'll probably also stop at Walmart which is nearby to get my regular groceries.
Then I'll tackle my clothes. That'll be a big project, but hopefully worth it.
Today I got to leave work a little early so that I could take my car in to have the oil changed. I also decided to have the front end aligned because I'd been noticing it pulling to the right a lot lately, and NE had mentioned it too.
So about 20 minutes after I got there they asked me to come back to the garage area so the mechanic could talk to me. Apparently there are 7 points? in the suspension/alignment throughout the car. Something called the Toe? and another one, and then something called the Custer. The Toe and the other one are the important ones that can be aligned. The Custer - nothing to do about it.
Somehow I hit a pot hole or something, and now my Custer is off by 7/8". He told me that there is no fix for it - it's just something that happens sometimes to small economy cars like my Yaris. He reassured me that it isn't a potential safety issue, and won't affect tire wear. He just wanted to make sure I understood why my car will still have a slight pull to the right.
Who knew alignment was so complicated? (I only had the front aligned, he said the back was fine.)
So that was $78. (19.99 for the oil change, $58 for the alignment)
After the car was finished I headed to the mall to return my shoes.
You'll never guess what I did though.
I got out of my car and powerwalked all the way to the entrance. I even held the door open for someone and started to go inside.
Then it hit me.
I don't have the shoes with me!
My shoes were still in the car.
I had no issues returning them. I'm going to let that money sit in the clothing category - may need to replace some underthings soon. And they're not cheap. A good sale is 2 for $50 at Lane Bryant.
I did stop at Taco Bell. I was very hungry and didn't plan that very well. For tomorrow when I go to the school event, I'm going to have something extra in my lunch box to snack on.
I got both of my SBs Paypal cards today. So that was $50. $25 of it counts towards July (I waited til the 3rd to cash it out in order to get it at a discount) and the other $25 counts towards August. I'm about halfway to my next $25 card now.
I also got paid for my second parking garage shift today. $29.xx
I just need one more Pinecone survey to be able to cash out. Anyone else finding that the surveys aren't coming as often? Or crediting as quickly? The survey I got credit for today I took back in July.
Recent news almost makes me hesitant to go to a movie theater anymore. Almost, but not totally. Hopefully there won't be any more copycats.
We had a sad crash here today around noon - I found out about it before it was even reported on the news. Someone called saying that two particular intersections were closed down because of a crash - they wanted to know what the detour would be.
I found out later that it was an incident involving a Chevy Tahoe and a 30 yo man on a scooter. Tahoe won.
Please be aware of the motorized two wheelers around you! I always try to give them a wide berth and get extra looky loo before making any moves if I notice one near me. It can just happen too fast.
Today after work I stopped at Walgreen's to pick up a couple of things (had a raging headache, even with Allegra D ....)
On my way to my car I noticed this really really CUTE guy sitting in a jeep parked in front of my car. He must have seen me look at him or something, because he nods his head at me.
At this point I have my door open ... and I proceed to nod my head back at him ... just being friendly.
Instead of smoothly flowing into my seat and driving away .... I end up bumping my chin on the top of my door! Then land in my seat doubled over from laughing at myself.
The guy calls out asking if I'm okay, so I manage to contain myself enough to let him know that I was fine. Just my pride was damaged.
They say that pride goeth before a fall (of which I've done plenty ...) but today it's more accurate for me to say ... pride goeth before a chin bump!
Work was okay today. Had a good bit to catch up on from yesterday (mail in orders, end of the month bus repair reports -- so funny some of them, etc.) I had a couple of delightful callers - one is a repeat lady who makes me smile big as soon as I hear her voice; and the other was a little old lady trying to figure out the system and just SO appreciative of my help.
Kind of helped to cancel out the guy who was ticked off because the fare box ate his card and kept asking how that could happen. Um ... fare boxes eat cards sometimes?? If you saw the bus repair reports ... it's amazing more bus passes don't get eaten. (He hung up on me before I could figure out exact bus/route/time .. if I had that info then I could have had the driver contacted to check the story and get the guy a new pass.)
The other day I took a survey abut a local e........y company. One of the questions asked about whether I'd experienced any power outages. Well, in the year or so I've been here (to that point) I hadn't!
Today that changed! A few minutes after I sat down for lunch (finished microwaving) we had a 20-25 minute power outage at the bus station. It was so weird and so quiet.
Today was my 1 yearaversary at work. Talking with my boss made me really wonder if I want to try for something else. It's not always a sure thing that you're going to find good bosses.
Plus I'm thinking about the gym ... if I go to this CC, I'd have a 20+ minute commute home and then a 15-20 minute drive to the gym. Maybe a 30 minute commute straight to the gym (not stopping by home first). I'm worried it'll be even easier to excuse myself from going.
I'm still going to do the application package though ... nothing says I will get a job offer and nothing says I have to take said job offer if it happens. Won't hurt to try.
Amazon - Kitty flea/tick collar, ink for printer - $23.xx after $30 in gift card and $1.50 cash back discover
Walgreen's - $2.75 (major headache cure attempt ... not health food.)
So Thursday after work was spent riding/driving to O city and back. Why? NE had found a 2000 Chevy Prizm for $1200 which he decided to buy.
There is some work that will need to be done to it - brakes, driver side window, etc., but mechanically it is in good shape.
I am SO glad to have my car back now (he filled up my gas tank and treated me to dinner at Hardee's as a thank you for letting him use my car this week.)
I convinced my boss to let me have a 3rd school event in August. That'll make 4 different events I'll be doing.
I figure I can do more than my fair share now since I won't be able to help with any of the football games (they all are on Saturdays or Friday nights. Except for the one after Thanksgiving, which I'll be in CA!) (We run a shuttle service from multiple locations in the city to the local public uni's football stadium.)
The last two weeks have been a bust financially and health wise. The numbers aren't going to be very pretty .. not as bad as May's, but definitely not as nice as June's. You can probably guess where a lot of the budget busting came from.
I bought two $9 Net 10 phones from Family Dollar today (sale ended today.) I'm going to be using them for the sole purpose of playing paid videos. I think they'll pay off soon enough to be worthwhile.
I also read this article posted on FB:
Many of the things I knew about already, but I did see one thing which interested me. Send Dollars - almost exactly like Inbox Dollars. I signed up for it and already have about $6.80 (out of $30 to cash out.)
I did this horrible survey yesterday morning which turned out to be mainly about coffee. I somehow managed to complete it - mainly because they didn't ask the one question which would have saved both them and me a lot of time .... Do you drink coffee? Nope - they just assumed that everyone drinks coffee. Yuck.
I managed to complete the Survey Soiree for SBs this week - 150 SB rebate. I only was able to do this due to waking up around 4 a.m. 3 out 5 mornings ... not on purpose. At all.
I don't know if my tiredness affected my viewpoint today at work or not, but MAN were people ever crabby and argumentative. There were a couple of times I wanted to ask - why are you even asking me this question if you won't take my answer?
The local community college is looking for a Learning Resource Director. Gulp. They aren't requiring a specialized higher education librarian degree (like most universities would ...) It pays $4/hour more than what I'm making now. I'm not sure what the benefits are.
I'm thinking seriously about applying.
My two big qualms .... 1. It would put me WAY out of my comfort zone dealing with CC students; and 2. It doesn't state what the expected hours/days are.
2 is probably the bigger issue. I checked on the website for the LRC and it shows it is open on Saturdays.
I have the feeling that my stating that I can only work M-F probably would get my application thrown in the proverbial trash without further reading. But, still, it probably wouldn't hurt to try. Who knows how many other ALA certified (well, expired certified?) librarians are here AND know about the job offer. I might have a slim chance.
I do want to see what the benefits are though first - because if I got the job, my commute would change from 6 or 7 minutes to more like 20minutes + - and definitely not walkable. (but would be bussable.)
(And yes, the not working on Saturdays is completely, unequivocally, non-negotiable for me. This is partly why I've hesitated to apply for any of the various public librarian jobs - all of which require weekend hours. As a newbie, I probably wouldn't be able to say - I want Sundays only!)
Ok, I'm now off to catch up on your blogs. (This is actually a second rendition of my post... thanks to accidentally hitting the backspace button instead of the arrow to move over tabs ...)
NE got the news today - his transmission got water in it. The mechanic is suggesting rebuilding it = to the tune of $3100. That's more than the car is worth.
NE is considering selling the car and getting a cheap $1200 car he found in O city to get by until he has enough to get a more decent car.
I'm almost to 5k SBs - mainly due to doing surveys and actually qualifying for a few this week. (Working on the Survey Soiree thing.) Can hardly wait til August 3 so I can cash them in (and get the discount.)
Walked to work Monday and Tuesday so far this week. NE's picked me up both days - kind of fun getting picked up. He's gotten to see some of the coworkers I talk to him about from afar.
The project at work that never ends may be actually getting close...r to ending. I worked on the table of contents today, and fixing some formatting issues. Of course all I did may be for naught if decision makers decide to change some of the content. Oh well, it was something to keep me busy.
Why do people argue with you when they call in for information? I just don't get it.
NE and I ended up not going to see Antman on Sunday. All the theaters are owned by the same company, so all the Matinee priced showings were before noon. Way too early for NE (he works nights.) We watched a movie on Netflix instead - something that took place in WW2 on a submarine - a bunch of US soldiers were captured by a German Uboat submarine. Very interesting (can't remember the name of it though.)
My latest Ting bill closed yesterday. I managed to keep the non-tax part of it to $15! I think now that NE is also on Ting, he's gotten the idea of being very conservative with phone minutes. (Before, he just didn't get why I would get frustrated when he'd talk for 30 minutes before coming over for 3 hours ...)
Compared to my old cell bill of $75/76/month ... I love Ting!
Tomorrow, and probably on Thursday too, I'm going to have NE pick me up later so I can use the gym at work. This also helps him so he can get up later. (His Wed. shift starts later, and he doesn't work Thursday nights.)
This morning I decided to check the airbnb site again to see if anything new had come up. Guess what! I found a place for $29/night! Previously the best I had found was $45/night. I booked for two nights, so my lodging costs will be $65. Right now I have $176 set aside for my getaway, plus whatever I can add this month.
I'm thinking I will be coming in under budget!!
I booked the lodging with my Amex card. Between paying for a portion of NE's medical bill (he's paying me back minus $125, which is half of the cash back reward) and then booking the lodging, I finally have my Amex finished! I doubt if I'll ever use it again unless some offer comes up again like the Sam's Club one, or some kind of Amazon deal. Too much of a pain.
I also finished out my $500 for July spending on my Discover card. (Actually I just realized that I might need to do one more grocery trip with it - because once I take the shoes back, then I'll be under $500 again.) I've put all my recurring bills on it - electric, gym, Internet, etc. I also used my card to pay for the final treatment of Riddles (again will be paid back.)
*Working on spending $500/month from July to November on my Discover card for a $75 bonus. I am not spending anything I would not normally to get this.
I have no debt, and pay my balances in full every month.
August looks like it will be easy too, between trip expenses and car insurance renewal. September should be easy too - mom/brother visit, purchase airplane ticket for Thanksgiving, etc. November I'm not sure what all I'll be able to do to get it.
Went grocery shoppigng today after the gym. I walked over there, totally forgetting til I passed the pet care aisle that I needed cat litter ... Oops. At least the cat litter and the grocery bag weighed fairly the same.
I bought: apples, bananas, egg salad sandwich, eggs, green bell pepper, Boca crumbles, candy bar, paper towels, sliced cheese, shredded cheese, cat litter.
Total of $28.70
There are 3 more grocery Friday's in July, and I have $39 left in my grocery budget. I'm going to have to try to keep my next 3 trips to $13 or less to stay within budget. That means probably forgoing the sandwich and/or Amy's meal.
(paper towels and cat litter come out of non-grocery categories)
On the way to the gym today I was nearly sideswiped! There were two left turn lanes. I was in the far right one. I turned into the corresponding lane. Luckily out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the person on my left starting to come over! I beeped my horn and swerved into the extra lane to my right (for right hand turn people.) My adrenaline sure was pumping!
CCF you might know the intersection I'm talking about -- 27th and Hwy 2 heading towards Walmart.
I had two people at work argue with me today. One was someone wanting directions. I even gave him to the bus driver supervisor, and the caller argued with him!! The other person was someone who came to the window with commuter checks. I told him he needed to fill them out. He told me that "NO, it's your responsibility to fill them out! The lady who I've always dealt with before never asked me to fill them out." I told him that in the year I've worked here, anytime someone's brought commuter checks, that they had them filled out already. He didn't believe me. Finally I just took the checks and gave him his passes.
(We hate commuter checks! They give them two checks for every pass AND the check numbers are LONG. Such a pain in the patookus!)
Before the arguers, I'd been thinking that this had been a pretty calm week - nothing really of note. (at work at least)
Thursday - No spend day #8!
Friday - spend, spend .. but all within budgeted categories
After working out today I was trying to make a right hand turn from the parking lot, and ended up sitting there for five minutes because a lady in a huge SUV was trying to make a left hand turn. I couldn't see over her and she made no attempt to let me know when I could go. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but it would seem to me like if you are in an oversized vehicle you might be aware that you are not see through ...
Anyway... I stopped at the grocery store today and spent $10.71. My last shop for the month. It does put me over my goal of $100 by about $3, but I'm okay with that. SO much better than the $350+ I spent last month on food/junk, etc.
Bananas, apples, frz. veggies/fruit and 1 candy bar. So, 5 items.
This afternoon I got a call from a man who was wanting us to see if his father was on one of our buses. His dad is an 80 yo and very frail - he'd said something about wanting to go to a particular location in our city, and then later was nowhere to be found.
I got a physical description of the man and the time he was possibly missing since. At first our bus driver supervisor said the man should contact the police first. But then the asst. living home where the father lived called asking the same thing and confirming that someone saw him get on a bus.
There followed a bunch of bus drivers getting descriptions of the man, and a confirmed sighting of him being left off downtown, but not having gotten a transfer. I received a third phone call from someone else looking for him after we had the sighting confirmed.
By about this time it was time to close up, so I don't know the ending of the story.
I really hope they found this mans father though.
I realize this isn't really financial, but in a way it is .. sometimes at work these things happen and I'm bursting to share it with someone .. but have to be choosy about how often I share so I don't interrupt others.
What these will be - once or twice a week when I have enough material, I will write about some of the more interesting phone calls, people, and lost items at our bus station. This is mostly for myself, to kind of record some of the things that happen. However, I'm hoping some of you might find them interesting as well.
Lost and Found Tales
- a new dish drainer
- a bucket of crickets
- a backpack with a XXX DVD and other ....
- a large bag of moldy food (probably dumpster food)
- post it notes --- Here's a story that makes this interesting ....
Lady calls and tells me she left her bag with post it notes on a bus and that she'd already contacted the driver and knows he has them. I let her know that the bus would be back by her at such and such a time. She tells me that won't work for her. So I tell her that she can pick them up from the bus station. Again, that isn't going to work for her. So I tell her that she can make an arrangement for someone to come pick it up for her. Again, (say it all together) That Won't Work for Me!
I explain to her that those are her only options. She huffily says, "Well, then I guess I just made a donation to your company." I replied, "Well ma'm, if you're not able to come pick them up within the next two weeks, I guess you're right." She asks to speak to my supervisor. (I may have been a little bit snarky here ... we'd been going around and around several times.)
My supervisor tells her the same thing and says that I'm the one who makes the policy for lost and found.
Two days later her son comes by and picks up the $3 worth of post it notes.
There Are No Stupid Questions:
1. If I want to ride the bus only a short distance, shouldn't I be able to ride it for free? Nope, if you want on the bus you either have a pass or pay the fare.
2. I washed my pass / kept my pass in my bra / left my pass outside during the rain storm ... can I get a free replacement? Nope, sorry. We aren't responsible for lost, stolen or damaged passes.
3. My child told me that the bus drive said she couldn't take the same bus back home that got her there. Ummm.....
1. Scratchy/bad connection .. Where is the bus supposed to be coming by Ferris Parkway? Um ... could you please spell that? Annoyed lady spells it. I ask for an address ... realize she's in California, not Nebraska.
2. Lady calls wanting bus info ... figure out she's in Florida ... still wants me to give her bus info ...
Shake your Head - Go Ahead! Repeat Often!
1. "Interesting" Lady ... ten minute+ monologues either describing how another bus passenger is out to get her, her favorite sandwich at the hospital cafeteria and how they make it, or some variation.
2. The Vet Complainer - asks a question about the bus, then proceeds to complain about the mayor, the city, the bus system, NE in general, the VA ...
1. Ask what time the bus is going to be there. Finds out it's going to be an hour (or possibly 90+ minutes on two particular routes.) Expels a curse or two, and then usually starts complaining about what a messed up bus system we have. The best ones are where they compare our system to LA (CA) or other such megaplexes ... (We are a city, but a city of maybe 600k. We could probably fit in a 1/10th of LA's area.
2. How long it takes to have the phone answered / amazement that I answered on the first ring ... sorry, I'm only one person. I just had the ten minuter on the line where I can't get in a word edgewise, and there were six calls in a row without me even having to hang up before you ...
1. I answer the phone and get this, "Where's the bus?"
2. Even better - I get, "I'm on 10th street, when's the bus coming?" Ummmm...
3. Here's one from today --- Guy calls asking when the bus is leaving from downtown to go out to West O. I start telling him by saying the bus number and the time. He interrupts me by saying, "That bus doesn't go out on West A!" You're totally right sir ... but you didn't ask about West A!
4. Guy calls in saying he lost his wallet. I get the bus route #, time and place. Call dispatch, find out the wallet (supposedly) isn't on the bus. Tell that to the guy. He gets very upset and says, "I've lost 3 wallets on that ______, ______, ______ bus this last month!" (Wallet turns out to actually HAVE been on the bus .. just somehow didn't turn up in the first search.)
General funny / trying to not embarrass customer:
Someone comes in to buy an $8 pass. Hands me the money. I count $9. Double count it. Hand the pass, receipt and a $1 back. Look of surprise - "Did I give you $9?!"
There's lots more ... but I'll save some for another time.