Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just Power Through, and Shake It Off

So, I guess that now it is safe to admit what "opportunity" I kept referring to in my recent posts. As anyone who has read any of those posts already figured out more than likely, I was referring to a job that I had interviewed for a few weeks ago. I officially found out yesterday that I did not get it. I was pretty disappointed, because my friend had passed my resume along to the person looking to hire, and I was actually pretty qualified for the job, and the interview went really well. I felt like the interviewer and myself had a pretty good rapport, and the management style seemed to be exactly what I am looking for in a supervisor. And not least of all, the job would have been a SIGNIFICANT increase in salary, meaning that I would have been able to *GASP* actually only have to work one job to actually live in DC comfortably. Now granted, I was pretty sure I was going to get the job, and I was of course thinking about how I could potentially keep both jobs and just "stack that paper" as the kids say (or said, at some point, somewhere......). I was thinking about how much of a great Christmas present it would be to myself to be able to be at a better job than my current day job, away from my crazy as fuck supervisor and her idiotic, manipulative, paranoid ways. I was thinking about how I was going to announce it at Thanksgiving with my entire family, and for the first time in almost 5 years I would actually have some good news to share with the family about my work life. But alas, I got waaaaaaaay too far ahead of myself, and the shit caught up with me. So here I am, back at square one.

But you know what? I'm ok. I mean, that is the closest that I have been to actually getting a new job since I started at my current job. The position would have been a title promotion as well as a major salary promotion, and I was actually qualified enough to get an interview, and if it hadn't been for my friend putting in for me, I more than likely would not have had the courage or confidence to apply for a job on that level, especially not in that salary range. If anything, this experience got me past some major insecurities and road blocks that I was creating for myself when it comes to being willing to apply for jobs on the level that I would like to be on. It made me realize that despite the insecurity and feelings of being incapable that my current boss has been instilling in me for over 4 years, I am actually a very hard and capable worker, and if given the opportunity, I will give everything that I have to prove to you that you made the right decision to believe in me, and I was more than ready to do that for this company. So in the end, it's their loss. However, this experience has given me the confidence that I think that I needed to actually start applying for jobs and actually believing that I might actually be able to do them. I am walking away from the experience feeling that I am definitely better for having gone through it.

With that being said, I have also (for once) not been letting this job hunt experience completely derail my other "intentions" for my 28th year. As I mentioned previously, I have actually been making progress in some of the things on my list. For example, I am so close to one of my major financial goals that I can almost taste it, and this weekend I should be able to cross it off the list as completed. After about 7 years, I will finally have my one lowly credit card balance paid off IN FULL. Now, I know that that's kindof a big deal to most people, but to me, it feels astronomical. See, when I was in college, for most of my college career I had a part time job while also being a full-time student. I worked at one job for about 2 years, and then switched to another one that was actually not made to be a part time job, so I had to quit that one, which ended me up at my senior year of college living off campus without a job. At this same time, Bank of America (oh yeah, I'm naming names, WHAT) decided that, in all of their infinite wisdom, despite all of my numerous instances of having a checking account balance below $20 and even then over-drafting fairly regularly that what I really needed was a credit card. Now, granted I was only approved for a $2,000 balance, and my dad had even recommended that I get it, to start building my credit, however what my father and I did not know, but Bank of America MOST ASSUREDLY knew, was that I was bound to get in over my head. And, of course, I did. Since I was now living in an apartment off campus (ie no dining hall or meal plan) and was not working (ie a shitload of free time and no income coming in), I had nothing but time to find ways to tear my little granule of credit to shreds. Basically, Domino's Pizza became my meal plan, and they were more than happy to let me eat as much as I wanted/payed for. In a relatively short time, my credit card was COMPLETELY maxed out, entirely based on meal purchases (and hardly ever groceries, always delicious, convenient, not very cheap take-out delivery food). Before I knew it, I was not only going OVER my credit card limit (who knew that you could have delayed charges hit and actually surpass your maximum amount??), but my interest rate was literally at the maximum percentage that it could be. That's right, I was the guy with a 29.99% interest rate. Which means, for any souls lucky enough to not understand credit cards, that basically for every dollar that I charged to the credit card, I owed Bank of America an extra 1/3rd of a dollar for them letting me use the card. Because of that, my father has pretty much been trying to get me to start making more than the minimum payment on the card since my senior year of college, so about 7.5 years. Throughout this time, I was always dancing around the maximum, always paying off enough so that when the crazy high interest bill hit my card, I would still have some room to play around in the limited amount of credit that I had left. At my first job out of college my coworkers tried to get me on a budget, to help me create a path to financial freedom (in a sense), and it of course failed because I was too concerned with having as much fun as possible. I basically started to look at my credit card balance the same way most people in my generation look at their student loans: like a insurmountable debt that was going to be with me for life, so why worry about where it is going.

Then I of course got into this current job, which payed significantly less than my previous job, so I of course couldn't be expected to try and save money away or pay off the loan, right? However then I got the part-time second job, and told my dad that I would use the extra funds to get my finances in check. However, once I had extra money for once in so long, I was gonna be damned if I don't at least have a little added fun to my life. And, again, the credit card was just sitting right below the balance, slowly destroying my credit score. And near the beginning of this summer, I had finally started to develop a way to put some money away, and start to make an actually noticeable dent in my credit card balance. And just when I finally started to make some progress, Bank of America pulled one of their sneaky maniacal traps: they increased my limit to $4,000. Meaning that, not only was my credit-to-debt ratio made to look better, but I was just about to head to San Francisco for work and then road tripping to LA for vacation. All this to say that, next thing I know, my balance is at $2,894 (FUUUCK), and I was throwing that card down like a madman. I was out of control. And in the midst of all that, my dad finally just got to the point and called me out, saying that when I started working at E Street, my main justification for getting this second job, and working over 60 hours a week between the two, was "to finally start paying my credit card down". And just like that, I woke up. I immediately started taking whatever money I could and start putting it towards paying that balance down. Luckily I got a "freelance" wedding planner gig to manage a wedding ceremony and reception, and the money from that took a nice chunk out of my newly formed out of control balance. After that, I was pretty much devoted to making large payments. And, while I have allowed myself to still use the card as necessary (again, I didn't wanna be too strict with myself and then snap and go on a Barney's shopping spree), I always made sure to pay myself back and then some as soon as I could. And finally, after about 5 months, I am just about done with the entire balance of the card. And, as if on an internal schedule, Bank of America increased my limit AGAIN to $6,000. Now, while I have been tempted to use it to buy a new laptop, or finally get that new HD SLR camera that I have been wanting for years now, I have resisted temptation and not used it that much, especially towards any big purchases. And perhaps I will finally be able to get them to lower my interest rate to a more reasonable level. And if I can have a card with a $6000 credit limit sitting there barely used, my credit score should start to soar pretty respectably.

So, all that to say, despite the setback of not getting the higher paid job, I have finally found a system that will allow me to regain my financial stability for the time being. And I could not be more excited.

Now , while I did not intend for this post to primarily be about the horror that is my current credit status, I think that that about wraps it up. Also, I have been drinking wine the entire time I have been writing this, so I am getting to a pretty good buzz point, which is making it increasingly difficult to keep typing and keep my eyes open as well. Night.

*video above: In lieu of a photo, I have included the video for Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off", because A) it's catchy as fuck and super fun, B) this is my current sentiment regarding not getting the job, C) the two guys trying to not straight up grind on eachother at the 3:12sec mark, D) the ASS on the guy in just gray shorts at the :45sec mark (yes lord....), and E) the adorable cub guy at the 3:19sec mark. The guy at the 3:19sec mark is like what i want my husband to look like: thick, fuzzy, and adorable. YUM. (yep, I'm definitely a little faded....)

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