Roommates From Hell: You Don’t Even Live Here!

I think I’ve mentioned before that our bedroom is just off the kitchen in this house. That means that if you’re standing in the kitchen and talking loudly to be heard over the running water in the sink, I can hear what you’re saying too. If you are yelling over the sound of running water, then yes I can hear you only a few feet away in my bedroom. This is not a hard concept to understand.

Or is it?

So Guy Upstairs has his girlfriend over, pretty much constantly. She seems like a nice enough girl the odd time I see her. They mostly stay in his room, hiding out and watching movies and Netflix. He’s pretty great, for a random roommate, and I’ve never really had a problem with her.

Now, our kitchen is a bit of a clustered disaster at the moment. We’ve had people moving out, and new people moving in, and the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend and I have a lot of stuff. I try to keep a rather large area of counter clean for cooking, but have the  bad habit of not putting away our Tupperware. It will pile up for a few weeks, and then I’ll do a massive overhaul of the Tupperware shelf and put it all away. The stuff piled up on the counter is clean, and out of the way. It’s just sort of…… piled.

Now, Guy Upstairs doesn’t have a hell  of a lot of stuff in the common areas. He has food in the fridge, and in his cupboard, and a bit of cookware. That’s pretty much it. He makes his dinners, feeds her when she’s here, and keeps his things in his cupboard and in a pile on the counter (right by  Mount Tupperware). We have never had a problem with each other, not even when it comes to cleaning and sharing the kitchen. He is nice and kind and respectful, and we both understand that this kitchen will never be something out of a Martha Stewart Living article. There’s far too many people, all with their own stuff, who come and go here for that to ever happen.

Guy’s Girlfriend seriously needs to realize that though!

Now I won’t complain about her being here all the time. AAB was here constantly before he moved in. And for the most part, as I said, we don’t see much of her. This is not her house, though. She rents a room in a house a few blocks from here: she just doesn’t like her roommates. They’re loud and dirty, and have no respect for anyone else living there. I totally get that. I’ve been in similar situations before. And my heart really went out to her when she was complaining about her roommates loudly partying when they knew she had to be up early the next morning.

Still, she doesn’t live here.

That didn’t stop her today from standing at the sink beside Guy Upstairs while he did his dishes. Over the sound of the running hot water, she was LOUDLY complaining about Mount Tupperware and how NO ONE in this house ever does any cleaning. She made it sound like they were surrounded by filth, like this house should be condemned for the state it’s in.

And while she was loudly complaining, she knew I was sitting in my bedroom, eating a sandwich while I watched an old Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares episode while I took a break from my day.

Now I have been cooking, cleaning, and dealing with the student loans folks all day. It’s my day off from work, and I’ve been going since 9am (forced myself to stay in bed late today and relax). I threw some stew in the crockpot, cleaned up my mess in the kitchen, did all our dishes, swept and mopped, took down all the Christmas decorations,  cleaned out the front hallway (the floors get nasty pretty fast this time of year in there), cleaned out our fridge, sorted through a pile of things I wanted to donate. This was on top of dealing with student loan people for almost 3 hours. Oh, and I finally tackled Mount Tupperware, too. I’ve done a hell of a lot around here today, even if it isn’t noticeable right away.

The nerve of that precious little turd to complain! If she was running around cleaning up after people here, that would be one thing. But I’ve never seen her do more than rinse out her tea mug before though! I mean, I’ve had to scrub skid marks out of the toilet before that are NOT mine or AAB’s! I have cleaned up her poop, dammit! She doesn’t clean up after herself, lets Guy Upstairs basically wait on her hand and foot, doesn’t help him clean up after them. Hell, when I even just tried to say hello to her today, she just turned her back on me and pretended she didn’t hear me! She is becoming intolerable in those rare moments that I have to interact with her (or hear her complaining outside our room).

It’s days like this that push us forward though, Sunshine. While I was talking to AAB about this, and talking about the other Incredibly Grown-Up Things I did this week to try and get us out of here (more on that later), he realized that we DO need to leave this place. This house has served me well for almost 4 whole years now. Since high school, this is the longest I’ve ever lived in one house. But it’s just not practical for us to live with all of these roommates, especially when their precious little turd girlfriends do things like this that set me off.

So Sunshine, what should I do while we get all our ducks in a row? Should I talk to Guy Upstairs about his girlfriend’s attitude? Should I ignore this? Should I talk to her?

Believe Me: I Know My Job!

So I can’t say exactly where I work, but it deals with selling alcohol in a store run by a provincial government. Now, we are trained to a ridiculous degree! I met the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend after I had been hired on here, and showed him the training booklets I got just to be a seasonal worker. And then the books for the tests to be a casual worker. And my Service Knowledge book. And Product Knowledge books. And my Customer Service training books. And the notes from my in-class training. And the online modules for my mandatory training. In short, I am constantly either in training, about to start training, or just finishing training.

And one thing we’re trained on constantly is the ID laws for our province.

Here’s the gist of it all: in order to buy alcohol at my store, you need to have valid government photo ID with you. I can ask anyone at any time to produce their ID, and deny a sale if they don’t have that. Yes, the legal drinking age here is 19. That doesn’t mean that if you’re 20 you don’t need your ID. We are legally obliged to ID anyone who appears to be under 25. And that’s not all.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not the one paying for it. If you touch it, talk about it, point to it, offer money for it, pass money to someone in the store, or say something like “Thanks man, I’ll pay you back for this later” in front of us or our security staff, you’re getting ID’d. We have this little thing called a Second Party Purchase, where we know someone is buying alcohol for someone else. If you carry it up to the counter for someone, you’re getting ID’d. Yes, there are a few exceptions: if you’re a child carrying it up for a parent on crutches, or you lift it up onto the counter for a wheelchair bound friend who can’t do so themselves, we will most likely let that slide. You are allowed to help, as long as it is clear you  are only helping.

We get this training drilled into us. Do you know how much of a fine we can face PERSONALLY if we serve an underage person? $250,000!!! So we are damn sure to ID everyone we need to! Not only that, but we look out for each other. If I see a group of customers all picking things out together, I’ll be sure to tell my co-workers to make sure they ID the whole group. You are damn right we’ve all got each other’s backs!

All of this being said, it amazes me that amount of people who come through my store and seem to think that either the rules don’t apply to them, or that they know our jobs better than we do.

Case in point: last week, I walked by a group of three young men in the vodka aisle discussing what brand of vodka to buy. All three of them were pointing at bottles, and were talking about how they would pay their friend back later for buying the vodka. When they came up to the register, I motioned for my coworker to ID the whole group.

Well, the young lad who was paying went off! Apparently his dad is a cop, which means he knows the law inside and out, because the first responsibility of being a cop is to make sure your son knows exactly which laws don’t apply to him. According to this boy, even though him and the cloud of cheap Axe body spray he called friends had all decided together which bottle to buy, we couldn’t legally ID his friends because they didn’t touch the bottle.

Normally, our story would end here. Child Who Is Not Smoll would yell and scream, and then leave without his bottle. But not this time!

No! After being denied once because his friends didn’t have ID, Boy Child came back in the store to try and buy the bottle again! Now, since we just saw him in there trying to buy for his friends, and it’s recorded on the store’s security camera that he was denied for his friends not having ID, we can’t sell him this bottle. The only way we can sell him the alcohol is if his friends both come back with their ID. But he wasn’t hearing any of this!

No! His dad is a cop! He knows the law! His friends didn’t touch the bottle! And he came back in alone!

Needless to say, he was rejected again. As he slowly meandered on out the door, he had some very loud choice words for my coworkers and I. Out shift leader told him that since he had already created a scene twice in a span of less than 15 minutes, he was not allowed back in the store for the rest of the night. If he did show up again, he would be denied service and asked to leave.

Did that stop him from coming back?

Well, if it did, would I still be writing this?

He came back with his friends a while later, claiming that because they all had ID now we had to not only serve them, but APOLOGIZE to them for not serving them earlier!

Needless to say (even if I am saying it here), they did not get served. Even better, we had police on sight for a separate incident later that night. You know what? They had no clue who this Boy Child was, and had no officers on the force with his last name!

Want to know the worst part of all of this? His two friends seemed pretty apologetic throughout the whole thing. If they had just come back with their ID, we would’ve served them. Even if the Boy Child had flipped out a little tiny bit at first like he did, but they all came back with ID and apologized, I would’ve served them.

But after all of that, the three of them left empty handed.

The moral of the story Sunshine? While you may think you know customer service, the people in each position get specific training for their job like you would not believe! So don’t be THAT customer that tries to teach employees about return policies, or ID laws, or anything else.

Customer Service Representatives get a shit rep, and take a lot of shit from people. We are all people, and we all deserve the respect you would give any other person in any other job. So be kinds, be polite, and don’t be that asshole who thinks they know our job better than we do!

Why My Credit Sucks, But Not Totally

Ok so when I talk about my credit, I don’t even include the student loans I have. Thanks to laws and bills here, I don’t have to pay back anything until I make over $25,000 a year.  Sadly, I make well under that, even in gross pay right now. This also means I’m safe from huge payments, and can chip away at my loans slowly for now. this is a big plus for me right now.

A huge negative is my credit cards. You see, while I was looking for work, I still needed to live. I managed to work enough odd jobs and get enough benefits to cover my rent. But things like food, clothes for interviews (all second-hand stuff, mind you), and transportation (busses for the most part) still needed to be taken care of. Then, after I found work, I found out that my hours drop DRASTICALLY in the new year (from 40 hours a week plus Sunday overtime, to zero hours scheduled for two weeks straight). If I scrimp and save my paychecks, I can pay my rent and credit card minimums. But there’s no money left for food (unless I get called in for shifts, which look pretty likely this year!). In the past, I took a temp job at the University, but the last few months there hasn’t been anything available for me.

So, I put things on credit. It’s not like I’m out buying Gucci handbags and Fendi wallets. I’m buying on sale Mr. Noodle and some “priced to sell TODAY” veggies to throw in with them. I’m buying “Buy tonight, cook tomorrow” meats at a huge discount. Basically, I’m buying bargain groceries. This stuff adds up over time though. And there’s always a little something else you need to get. New interview pants because yours ripped or you lost some weight (from not being able to afford food). A bottle of the cheapest wine you can find to give to a friend for her birthday. A package of bus tickets you try to stretch as long as possible.  And this just adds up even more.

So, I’ve dug myself a pretty sizeable hole. Between 4 credit card and a line of credit, I’m looking at hitting the $30,000 mark this year if I don’t do something about it.

My biggest problem is the interest. I’ve read all the books, I’ve watched the shows (Gail Vaz-Oxlade you are my Queen!!!), I know that interest is a what kills you in the end. I really had no idea how bad it was until recently.

On my largest credit card balance, I owe a minimum of around $250 a month. Of that, $240 is just the interest accrued that month. That means I’m only paying off $10 of my debt each month!

So, I spoke to a financial advisor. At my job, I’m only classified as part-time, which is not a good thing when you’re looking to borrow money. Actually, that is the kiss of death for most people. But in my case, she is hopeful that we can at least get a large chunk of my debt consolidated into one payment with a lower interest rate. Why?

1. I MAKE PAYMENTS ON-TIME

The last time I was late on a payment was 8 years ago. Even then, I notified my bank that there was a problem with my paycheck and my credit card payment would be a week late. I’ve only ever missed one phone bill payment, which I paid in full the moment I I realized it and talked to my phone company about as soon as I could (my mother was in the hospital, the doctor told her she was going to die, and I was more than a little pre-occupied at the time). My point? I made my payments! And the rare time I didn’t make them on time? I made sure to apologize, explain myself, and beg for mercy. A lender doesn’t HAVE to keep lending you money. Legally (and laws vary depending on state/province, so be sure to know yours) you can miss or be late on X amount of payments before you suffer any true consequences.

I make sure to have my payments in on-time each and every month. And the credit companies take note of that.

2. I PAY MORE THAN THE MINIMUM

No, I’m not paying my balance in full, like all the experts tell me to. But if my payment is $50 for the month, I’m throwing down at least $75-$100 on there. Not only does that free up more credit if I need it later in the month, but it also shows commitment. My lending companies know that I want to pay things off, and I’m not going to just sit around doing the bare minimum to do it.

When I spoke to a financial advisor this week, on thing she emphasised was that I was paying a good $100 more a month than the minimum on my largest debt, in an effort to make it go away. This is a huge factor in determining what I CAN pay and what I WILL pay if my debts are consolidated, which affects the amount they are willing to lend me to do this.

3. I STOPPED SPENDING WHEN I DIDN’T NEED TO

Coming up closer to Christmas, my online spending increases (hello Amazon deals, you saved me TONNES for Christmas). BUT, what I spend on other credit cards decreases (I have on card dedicated to online purchases). I didn’t touch two of my cards for a month and a half! And this is huge for your credit score!

To bump up your credit score, on thing you need to do is show that you don’t need to spend your available credit. I tried to do my in-person spending (clothes, shoes, things someone needs to try on or physically test before they buy) in the warmer months. Then, when I know I’ll be spending money online in the colder months, I put away the cards in my wallet. Now, if I don’t have the cash, I don’t buy it. Yes, it sucks. Big time. I went hungry more than a few times, had to live on ramen noodles again at times. But giving those cards a break shows that I’m not dependant on them. This is huge when it comes to determining your credit score.

Basically Sunshine, I’ve messed up my finances pretty damn bad. Once, when I was really drunk, I ordered 60 pairs of false eyelashes from China. Thankfully that only set me back like $20, but that’s the kind of stupid thing we all do from time to time. I’ve tried to show, especially in the last few years, that while I’ve been entirely stupid with my credit, I get it. I need to pay it back, I want to pay it back, and I’ve put some effort into paying back.

As I said, I have multiple cards. Sometimes, just paying off one card (while keeping up payments on the others) is enough to put a huge boost in your credit score. And your credit score determines a lot. Right now, my score is low enough that i can get a mortgage, but at a horrible rate. My goal is to bring that up to a decent rate by the end of the year, and be looking to buy a home just after next Christmas.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of things you can do to help your credit score, but it’s a start. Talk to a financial advisor if you’re in a bind. Trust me, Sunshine, it helps.

Shout-Out Saturday

I realized that I get my inspiration for this blog from so many different places. I mean, there’s blogs, books, situations, people………. It’s not fair that I keep all the glory (and resources) to myself.  So, as often as I can, I want to give a quick shout-out to the people out there that inspire this blog, that help this blog, and that provide endless sources of info for this blog.

Today, it’s one of my new favourites: Unfuck Your Habits. I honestly started following this blog for the daily “go make your bed” reminders. Then, I started actually reading through some of the stuff they post.

It’s truly amazing how many people see this blog and think, “Hey, I can unfuck my life too!” They take submissions, showing people who had a room/corner/bathtub/pile of clothes that was just getting damn nasty. The before and after pictures after following UYH’s advice is amazing!

And their advice is easy to follow and makes you feel like you’re really accomplishing something. I tried using their 20/10 advice (20 minutes of cleaning, 10 minute break) while attempting to unfuck the rats nest that is my house. It makes seeing your progress so much easier! My giant tangled lump of necklaces looked more manageable when I took 10 minutes to rest and ponder the best approach to separating them. And my jewellery has never looked so clean and organized  before! On one of the 10 minutes breaks, I realized I could clean out an old jewellery box I was using for bangles and odds-&-ends and use to hide away the earrings Bowser keeps trying to attack!

And it’s not just cleaning that they focus on here. Need to work on your study habits? Eating habits? Get rid of bad habits? UYH touches on all of this! While their main focus is on cleaning (and they have some amazing printable resources to help with that), they can help you plan out a study schedule, plan healthy meals, and so much more!

So if you get the chance, Sunshine, Unfuck Your Habits is a total treasure trove of excellent unfucking advice. And besides, who doesn’t love bettering themselves while freely being able to use the word “fuck”?

A Little Bit o’the Purge

Well a belated Happy New Year to you all out there, Sunshine!

I had a busy few weeks leading up to this. Volunteered for the 6am shift at work for the holidays. That meant 3 weeks of getting up at 4am, then walking to work in the snow at 5:30am. But I was done by 2:30pm every day, so it was worth it for me. If I could get a Monday to Friday job like that, I would take it in a heartbeat. It meant a lot more time with my Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend, and being able to cook dinners again. For the first time ever, I cooked a whole chicken! Did a lot of baking, decorating, had a slight existential crisis, multiple panic attacks, and drank a lot of Starbucks (thank you gift cards!).

But now I’m back to my normal life for now. Working closing shifts again, hours are getting cut drastically. I’ve picked up a few shifts from co-workers this week already, so I’m getting around 25 hours this week (compared to the 40 I was getting before the holidays). Next week I’m down to 8 hours, and the following week I have ZERO hours on the schedule. This means I’ll have to go back to waking up early, getting myself all ready in case there’s a chance I could get called in and pick up some hours, and keeping myself busy around the house. I’ve done a few very grown-up things so far, and have a few more on the list (appointments with my bank, my doctor, and finding a new eye doctor). But the big thing right now that AAB and I are focusing on is a good clean and purge of our stuff.

Last night, AAB started cleaning out his dresser. Because of his job, he has a tonne of clothes that wind up too ripped and stained to donate. So he turned what he could into rags, threw away a whole bunch, and then gathered up ALL the laundry (somehow there’s 4 baskets sitting here. How the hell did that happen?).

I started with my jewellery. My baby Bowser kitten went through a phase a few months ago where he kept jumping up on my dresser and knocking over my earing boxes and necklace stand. After a few weeks of half-assed organizing his post-leap messes, I just gave up. I dumped most of the stuff into a giant bowl, and kept tossing random things on top of it: socks, scarves, empty plastic bags, lotion bottles.

So last night, I spent a good hour and a half untangling necklaces, pairing up earrings, grouping bangles, and hiding away the few things I got from grandma. While going through all of this, thoughts kept popping into my head as I handled certain pieces: do I really need this? Will I ever wear this? Is this something I really want? So I started seriously thinking as I untangled and matched up pieces.

And you know what? It turns out I didn’t need half of this stuff. I had a necklace tucked away in a small baggie that had a few broken links. I swore for more than two years that I would fix it and wear it again someday. Two years! And you know what? There was never a time where I said to myself, “Gee, I wish I had that old tarnished faux-gold and faux-pearl necklace on right now. It would totally complete this look.” It was a great necklace, and I wore it once to a fraternity formal to jazz up an old LBD. I hadn’t worn it since, and didn’t really have anything else to wear it with. It wasn’t expensive (just one more piece from my lovely Ardene collection). It held no sentimental value. It wasn’t some rare irreplaceable piece. Every season there was something similar at Ardene that I could get for a very reasonable price if I was ever desperate for a piece like this. But right now, it was just this tangled mass of chains with a string of faux-pearls slowing falling apart. It was taking up space, and that’s all it was doing. So, I tossed it.

So for the next few weeks, especially on days when I do not have a shift and I don’t get called in, this is what I’ll be doing to stay busy. On top of my usual job hunting and cleaning around the house, I’ll be purging and organizing our stuff all over the house. Today, I went through a basket of lotions and hair products. While I did jump between curling and straightening my hair when it was longer, and needed some heavy duty moisturizers and split end menders for the ends at that time, I haven’t touched any of that stuff in months. I chopped my hair in a pixie, and just use a little putty and texturing spray in now. So why keep all of these almost empty bottles of hair products sitting around the house taking up space? Especially when recycling goes out tonight? Later today before I leave for work, I’ll be gathering up some odd random holiday stuff (Halloween costume ears, swords, Christmas sweaters and socks, etc.) and storing that stuff away.

So Sunshine, do the objects you surround yourself with bring you joy? Are they things that you can say definitely add value to your life? Or do you have piles of “maybe someday I’ll use it” crap all around you? Maybe this year could be your year to finally go through some of this stuff and say, “If I don’t need you, I’m not keeping you.” And this goes for anything you have that is just a drain on your time and space: books, beauty products, friends, volunteering opportunities, partners, socks……….. Take your time, go at your own pace, and get rid of the junk that’s just taking up precious space in your life.

Sorry I haven’t posted lately. Got into a heated debate about minimum wage work, and how people think anyone over 17 is a loser foe working fast food or customer service. It’s put me in a horrible mood. I’ll be posting in the new year much more though sunshine!!!

Student Loans: Don’t Let Them Ruin You

So it’s no secret that I’ve financially screwed myself over in the last few years. I’m sitting here watching people all around me pay off their debts, or even graduate with hardly any debt at all, while I feel like I’m sitting in the corner with a huge dunce cap covered in dollar signs.

What infuriates me, though, is when these same people talk to me about how they did that. So many of them were there with me when I was screwing myself royally, and not a single one offered any useful advice! Now they’re all like, “Well I mean I OBVIOUSLY paid the interest off every semester. Doesn’t everyone?”

No! We don’t! Because we didn’t know that was a thing that we should be doing! Those of us who are in the financial sinking ship I’m trapped in had no idea how bad things would be. I mean, I knew the basics about spending and saving and such. I read The Wealthy Barber in college, and got my obligatory copy of The Debt Free Graduate at orientation. I had the knowledge. I just had no clue how bad things could get after school was done.

Like so many others, I had the “I’ll have a degree and that will get me a job” fallacy stuck in my head. I thought that once I was working, I’d make enough money to get a dinky little apartment and start paying off my loans pretty quickly. I didn’t think that I’d be making $100K right out of the gate or anything, but I at least thought that I’d have a full-time job in something related to my degree that paid me enough to live AND treat myself sometimes AND pay off my debts.

**queue laughter**

I know, I know: I was so naive!! Looking back, I should’ve done so much more research into my finances, my financial options, and financial obligations. Obviously I didn’t, and instead relied on the horrible advice I was so prone to taking from well-meaning friends. So what were some of the things I didn’t know back in the day?

1) YOU CAN MAKE PAYMENTS ON YOUR OSAP (STUDENT LOANS) BEFORE YOU’RE DONE SCHOOL

I blissfully collected my student loans (OSAP, where I’m from) for 5 whole years. When I had a bit of money left over at the end of the semester, I’d think, “Gee, isn’t this great!  A few hundred bucks I didn’t manage to blow on energy drinks and 7-11 hotdogs! I’d better spend it now before the next loans come out.”

Dumbest. Idea. Ever.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small the payment you can make: if you have ANY money you can put towards your loans before you absolutely have to pay them back, put it towards your loans! It doesn’t matter if it’s a government loan, line of credit, or private loan. If, for whatever reason, you know you absolutely CANNOT put money towards your loan a bit early (penalties, contract terms, etc), put what you COULD put towards it into a savings account. Then, that very first payment you can make will be a bigger one with all of that extra money put towards this.

Why does this help? I mean, what’s the point of paying back money if they’re just going to give you more money anyways, right? Well, because of INTEREST, my darlings. If you get a $1,000 loan, and can pay $150 towards it right away, that leave only $850 collecting interest. Interest which you will have to pay back later. Every little bit counts when you’re trying to pay things back.

2) JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE MONEY DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO SPEND IT ALL.

Ok, so this goes back to the first point a little. I didn’t need my splurges. Yes, everyone needs to treat themselves sometimes. And I honestly thought I was doing very good with the budgeting. Every semester I would divide up my money, and only give myself access to what I had budgeted each month. I’d have enough for rent, phone, credit card bills (mostly), and other little things like groceries and transportation. I thought managing my money like this made me a Real Grown-Up.

Now, I had some friends who blew through their money fast on big ticket items. They bought crappy used cars that barely ran, a brand new mattress (when they had a perfectly good one already), state-of-the-art computers, and Texas Mickeys (those comically large  bottle of booze at the liquor store that come with a pump because they’re too big to pour from, for those who don’t know). Compared to them, I was a flippin financial genius.

But just because I seemed financially savvy compared to them didn’t mean I actually WAS. I blew money on the stupidest things sometimes. I mean, just the amount I blew on energy drinks, over-priced take-out food, over-priced lattes, and bottles of wine that were outside of my price-range……. well, I think I might just cry right now thinking about that. And all of that money still needs to be paid back!

I used to tell myself, “Well, the money is there. I’ll be able to pay it back later. I may as well enjoy myself now before I end up some corporate shrill who forgets what fun is.” Yeah, that doesn’t happen. On graduation day, you are still the same person you always were, with the same ideas of fun, but now you have that debt hanging over your head. Would I still like to splurge on a nice bottle of Ravenswood Zinfandel and a pair of Doc Martens’? Oh hell yes! Can I afford that now, after racking up all that debt which was partially made up of things like that? Not a freakin chance!

3) A DEGREE DOES NOT EQUAL A JOB. AND A JOB DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN PAY BACK YOUR LOANS RIGHT AWAY.

I was one of the many who lived under the delusion that having my BA(H) would mean companies would be falling all over themselves to hire me. I mean, I have a degree! An honours degree! I should be making the big bucks here!

Yeah, I’m a Customer Service Representative at a government -owned specialty store. And I’m not the only one with a degree working here! I lost track of the number of other CSR’s I’ve met just in my city who are educated people, with degrees (PLURAL, EACH!!!!!) who are still working behind a cash register. Not that it’s a horrible job or anything…….. but we were under the assumption that we would be a bit higher up the food chain once we shelled out all that money for a degree. At least, that’s what we were constantly told anyway.

At my current job, I make under the provincially mandated minimum annual wage to be forced into making payments on my loan. This means I make so little money, the government basically says, “Here, you need this more than we do. Keep your change for now.” I have been out of school 3 1/2 years and have not yet had to make a payment (not that I haven’t, but that’s a whole other post).  I keep a roof over my head, food in my belly, and nip on my cat’s scratching post. But not much more than that.

Even with two degrees, a college certificate, and advanced Microsoft training, the competition is so fierce for jobs that I can’t find a better paying job at the moment. I know that will change. I know that someday (soon, hopefully) I will be making enough to not only be FORCED to make payments on my loan, but to AFFORD to make them. But it’s going on 4 years now of job hunting. I know people who are 5 and 6 years in, still working retail or call centers. It sucks, especially after shelling out all the (borrowed) money. But it’s reality, Sunshine.

 

Well, it’s getting late. Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend is passed out in bed (he has to be up in 6 hours for yet another 10 hour day at work), and my baby Bowser kitten is right by his side. I’d better finish up this post, and this glass of Cab Sauv, and curl up with them while there’s still some bed left to sleep on. I know this post seems a little depressing, but it’s meant as a warning. Don’t make the same mistakes I did: let me be the terrible warning for you! You just do your thing, keep on keeping on, and try to do life the very best you can. Until next time, keep on smiling Sunshine.