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Archive for the ‘Half Price Books’ Category

Man, the last 2 days at work have dragged. Still continuing to feel antsy about all my money issues, but a few positive things have cropped up. First off, I spoke to my rep at the temp agency (called her while I was on a break) and she’s working on getting a pay bump for me. She’s waiting on confirmation from the HR person. Apparently, they gave a pay raise to the other temp in the auditing department once he transferred over like me, so it looks like this will go through. (By the way, he stopped by my cube today. I thought the “other temp” was the big guy in the cube next to my supervisor, but no!  This dude is actually kinda cute…we had a very quick, whispered convo about our jobs — the “yep, it’s boring as all hell” mutual agreement. I hope to talk to him more again soon!)

However, I don’t understand why, but my rep said she wouldn’t be able to make this pay retroactive for the time I put in doing it last week (about 9 hours or so), only this week forward. Now, I realize it’s on 2 different pay periods, but still — this sort of change in responsibility must happen all the time to their temps between pay periods. I can’t believe they are unable to pay me the difference with a separate check for last week. We’re talking what, about 6 bucks after taxes?   I’m not sure if the error is on my part for not alerting them to the change on Thursday or Friday, but if the client agrees on when the changeover occurred AND the agency was alerted in a timely manner (i.e. not weeks or months after the fact), why the hell can’t they cough up the extra dough? Then again, I believe the client should also be responsible for mentioning changes in job duties to the agency, so I doubt this falls squarely on my shoulders. I know, it’s a small amount of money to worry over, but with things as tight as they are, it’s very annoying I might get gyped on what I’m owed.

As far as what I’ll do if the client refuses to pay me more for this new project?  Yikes. In many respects, if that happens, I’ll need to extricate myself from this place as soon as possible, but if neither agency has no place new to send me, then I’ll be worse off than before. This stint is definitely better than nothing, but geez, what a reason to stay, huh?  And you know something else I was thinking about today…the people at this job aren’t the friendliest bunch. My last co-worker (the hick drone) was not entirely charming personality wise, but the few times I dropped by to say hi and see if she needed any help (I can do stuff between document uploads), she was very “meh” to me. I actually did help them out last week with a stack of member cancellations, because the computer was being terribly slow that day, and she didn’t even bother to say thanks. Then yesterday I smiled at one of the customer service girls who was milling around the cube next to mine, and she stared at me blankly. The receptionist (bleach blonde with an overdone tan and tiniest waist I’ve ever seen) doesn’t smile either, and I don’t think she’s ever even greeted me when I walk off the elevator. Aren’t receptionists supposed to be a LITTLE bit bubbly, at least?  Once I got to thinking about it, I realized that most everyone there is very closed off to newcomers. When I walk into the break room, or down the halls, I feel invisible.

Now, after years of doing temp work here and there in various fields, I know this is a common occurence and it’s happened many, many times to me over the years. Which is why I was so surprised when during a few of my last gigs, people were SO nice and welcoming to me.  I never thought I’d live to see the day when people actually treated a temp like a regular person. So suddenly being in a cold environment again is a bit uncomfortable.  The only upside is that I’m pretty much left to my own devices, and I’d rather have that than people constantly bugging the shit outta me.  I guess I should appreciate what I’ve got. It could be so much worse (I’ll have to discuss one of my worst jobs ever here soon. When I think back on that job — which lasted a very hellish 3 months last year — I remember thinking I would do ANYTHING else in the world rather than go back there again. So yes, this stint is an absolute dream in comparison).  *Thanking lucky stars*

(Shit!  I just typed a big ol’ paragraph and suddenly the page redirected to a router error page — GRRR!  I thought WordPress did more autosaves than this!)

Let me try to remember what I wrote…Ah yes, the other good thing that cropped up was that I got a slew of responses to the Craigslist ad I reposted yesterday. For some reason, all the queries were from men this round. One guy came by tonight and I practically begged him to buy something. No, actually I DID beg him (“please please please?”)  After some haggling over a never-used, limited edition brass Zippo lighter, I finally slashed the price to $12 (my first offer to him was $25). Yeah, I could’ve made more on it using eBay (maybe), but after eBay fees and Paypal fees and the free shipping I probably would’ve tossed in to sweeten the auction, it would’ve wound up about the same amount in the end. Besides, I’ve had that damn thing for sale for months, with very little interest from anyone. I got it for free several years ago from a very strange dude, so no skin off my back. And while I’m not quite ready to sell it yet (if ever), he showed interest in a large bookcase I have in the living room, so I said I’d keep him in mind if I decide to part with it. It’s one of the last bookcases I have left, and it matches a desk I have, so I’d rather keep it…but just in case, at least I’ve got someone interested. At any rate, I was determined not to have this guy leave my place without spending money so I was delighted squishing $12 into the little glass jar I use until I run to the bank.

Another dude is set to show up at 6 pm tomorrow…and yet another guy is supposed to give me a call back about arranging a time this week.

Other good things: I worked an extra 15 minutes both today and yesterday (by skipping one of my breaks both days), so that will help eek up my paycheck by a few more bucks on Tuesday.  Additionally, the check from the contract work I did at the non-profit arrived today, and as I thought, no taxes were taken out, so I wound up with $93 (yay!).  I sorted through some old cassettes last night to sell at Half Price Books, and toted those to the car this morning. Looks like I’ll save that trip for Monday night because I need to gather a lot more stuff to sell before I drive over there.  I resisted an urge to stop for dinner nibs last night at McD’s and ate 2 Banquet chicken pot pies that were in the freezer instead. Pretty damn good, I must say.

Right now, I’m down to 2 more pot pies, 2 pork egg rolls and a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese. I have a few odd cans of soup and veggies in the pantry, but most of them are getting a bit old and half should probably be tossed. I’ll have to buy something else to get me through, so tomorrow I’ll stop off for cheap hot dogs & buns (along with a few paper goods I’m running low on). Soon I’ll need another bag of dog food and a can of coffee. But hopefully that can wait till next week.

Tonight I put $5 of gas in the car and bought 2 packs of cigs…and I was so hungry around lunchtime, I finally caved at went to McD’s, for a total of $3.18. For lunch this week I’d been munching on a loaf of banana bread I’d gotten from mom for Christmas that I had thawed over the weekend. But the 2 last slices I brought in today just weren’t enough to keep my hunger at bay.  I’m thawing the other loaf of Pumpkin Spice bread she made for me…which I’ve never had before. But I’m sure it will be delicious and will help get me through next week.

I’ve had a terrible time finding enough decent Amazon Turk HITs to do in the last few days (haven’t seen my favorite morning ones at all), so right now, it doesn’t look like I’ll hit my goal of $10 by Friday. But, weekends are usually a bit better, so I’ve reset that goal for Monday. At the moment it looks like I’m on track to cover rent and electricity early next week. Still looking towards recycling and DVDs sales on Saturday, some other possible CL sales through the weekend, my cleaning advance on Friday, drafting an article for Associated Content, and the jaunt to Half Price on Monday. With any luck, I’ll have a bit left over to buy more gas and food.

I’m also planning on researching other avenues for part-time work. I’m considering applying to Panera Bread or another place close to home & where I’m working now. I also need to give my neighbor a call to see if she could use a few hours help cleaning and organizing. Additionally I need to step up my efforts to find a new full-time gig with better pay and start scouring Careerbuilder more often. It seems I’m so busy trying to scrape up bits of money here and there I overlook the obvious shit like FINDING A PERMANENT JOB AT MY SKILL LEVEL.  But…I’ve had zero luck with CB in the past. Seems I always land stuff through networking or some unadvertised deal via my agencies. Which reminds me, I need to sign up with that third agency soon. Although getting the time off work will be a problem…it’s close to home so maybe I can do an early morning interview or just use my lunch hour. Who knows if they’ll have better luck finding me anything, but it’s worth a shot.

My tummy’s growling a bit since I didn’t eat dinner, but I’m not in the mood to fix anything. Sipping on coffee at the moment. Oh, for the record, 3 month old corndogs from the freezer are disgusting. Don’t even think maybe they didn’t get freezer burn (especially if you didn’t bother to seal the box back up) or “hey, they won’t be so bad.” They will. Trust me. I wound up spitting out my first bite on the floor (super hot AND gross) and tossing the rest in the trash.Ah well, I tried.

Time to relax for a bit before bedtime. I wonder if the latest episode of Caprica is up on the SyFy site yet?

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The MOACA finale was great!  I wonder how long I’ll have to wait for the next season to begin. *waaa*

Thought I’d give an update on the status o’ my finances, based on this week’s spending and next week’s incoming moolah:

I started off with $15.67 in my bank account as of this morning. I stopped off at the gas station for 2 packs of cigs (5.98) and $2 in gas before my gig at the non-profit. On the way home, I was jonesing for something sweet to eat with the pot of coffee I planned to make, so I stopped at the Wal-Mart neighborhood market store and picked up a box of 4 iced honey buns made by their “Mrs. Freshley” brand. Total was 1.08, but I used some of my remaining change so the total charge to my bank was only 77 cents. By the way, I ate 2 and they were pretty good, albeit a bit unsoft (rather tasty after 10 seconds in the microwave). But they’re cheaper than Little Debbie, and it’s nice to know I have an even less expensive alternative for snacks when the mood hits. I indulge on little treats when I can, so as not to go batshit crazy with all this budgeting.

Speaking of indulgence, after finishing that pot of coffee and the MOACA finale, I was in the mood for something else. Being Saturday night after a long-ass week of work, I checked my bank balance: $6.97. Just enough for my ideal splurge — a 12 pack of beer. I debated back and forth about spending the money and running out again, but I finally decided “screw it.” Grabbed the dog since he needed a walk any way, and we buzzed over to the convenience store. I was hoping I could use up the rest of my change (40 cents or so) then put the rest on my card, but they were unable to take 2 different forms of payment, so I put it all on my card, knowing I had enough to cover the $6.35 charge.  My bank balance is now 57 cents, plus a handful of pocket change.  I sure to like to push it right to the limit, don’t I?  Luckily, my bank doesn’t charge if my balance is too low and I normally get very squeamish about having that little in my account.  I think my record low (several years ago) without causing an overdraft was 11 cents.

So, I have 57 cents in the bank and 40+ cents in change (too lazy to count pennies right now).  I owe $730 for rent + $164.42 for electricity in SIX DAYS, for a grand total of $894.42.  So I’ve got the 42 cents covered at this moment…now watch how I plan to accomplish paying these two bills off:

  1. Paycheck from temp job direct deposited Tuesday 3/2, 35.25 hours x $~6.93 after taxes = $244.28
  2. Paycheck from non-profit work to arrive Tuesday or Wed, 7.75 hours x $12 (still not sure if taxes will be taken out or not, but let’s knock off a few bucks just in case) = ~$80+
  3. Cleaning advance check, to be received Friday, 4 cleanings for March x $40/ea = $160
  4. Cash advance loan for $175, to be taken out Thursday (payback amount will be 205.xx in 2 weeks)
  5. Float!  Paycheck from temp job direct deposited 3/9 (hopefully before rent & electricity hit), ~$240
  6. Total: $899.28 (!!!)
  7. Which would leave me with 5 bucks leftover for the next 2 weeks to buy food, gas, and whatever else.

This is where my  sales from Craigslist and Half Price Books come in, not to mention another possible $10 accrued on Amazon Mechanical Turk within a few weeks.  If I can get a few CL people over in the next week, we’re looking at anywhere from $5 – $75 in possible sales. Selling books, CDs, videos and cassettes to Half Price will garner between $5 – $40, depending on how much I load up in the trunk and what the items are. So far, I’ve made nearly $100 selling items to them over the last couple months (4 different trips over there after work, which wasn’t bad, since it was very close to the non-profit).

Other ways to make extra money include asking my neighbor if she needs help cleaning & organizing again (last time I helped her out for two hours, she paid me $22), plus the few dollars I’ll get from recycling and selling 4 DVDs to a pawn shop on that end of town (they take DVDs in cardboard cases for 50 cents each, whereas the other place doesn’t). I still have about 15 or so DVDs in plastic cases I could sell to the “other” place for $1/ea if things get absolutely bone dry and I need a few bucks in a flash. However, I’d rather sell them to Second Spin and make a bit more if I’m going to part with the rest of my collection…the only downside it takes about 2 weeks turnaround to get the money.  Aside from that, pulling stuff out for eBay sales is another possibility. Although, I’m not sure I can get my camera software working with Firefox, so that could be a wee snag (and I have no idea where I put the battery recharger, which is really unlike me — the camera and the recharger always get placed next to each other wherever I leave them, except this particular time. Grrrr.)

At this point, if I can get through this next grinding round of bills by the 5th, I’ll reassess for the coming weeks. The whole problem with all this is that I can never get caught up enough to see the light at the end of tunnel. Borrowing from a cash advance place is not a good idea, but considering the alternatives (i.e. borrowing from my brother), it’s pretty sweet. I will elaborate on the deal with my brother in future posts. I can’t borrow any more from mom (she helped me out greatly last year when I lost my job, plus she’s on a fixed income), my dad’s in the same boat financially, and my brother is a raging dickhead.  I actually can’t wait to dish out the goods on him. One reason I started this new blog was so I could talk about him and other family issues without repercussions. My former blog (much more humorous) was known by my sister-in-law, which was fine when I was just shooting the shit, joking around, or bitching in general, but as far as family stuff went, I had to watch whatever I said.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever give this blog address to anyone I know (even close friends). I’m enjoying the anonymity for the moment. And while I’m not discussing anything they would find upsetting or shocking, my main fear is that they would find it tedious and boring. I’m usually much more entertaining. While I will throw in some funny shit now and again, I don’t have to worry about an audience that’s hoping for laughs.  Of course, at the moment, I’ve received zero page views, so it’s rather a moot point. On one hand, I love that no one but ME knows about this site, but it’s also slightly depressing. I guess I’m anxious for some feedback by now, and not from a total idiot saying “u suck” either.

Anyhoo, I’m going to run along for now. But I wanted to point out I hate that WordPress considers certain “big” words to be “complex expressions.” For example, in a previous post I used the word “accompany” and it suggested I use “go with.” In this post, it suggests I replace “accomplish” with “carry out.” WTF?  Do we really want to dumb down an already dumbed down society?

Nighty night for now…

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