Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It is slightly over 2 months since I came back to work

and my job officially stopped being fun this week. Our brand new paralegal of great promise had a family situation that required her quitting and leaving the country. We had to let another guy go. So I'm right back to doing three jobs for one mediocre paycheck.

Oh, this is funny - someone suggested we try to poach another paralegal from another developer, so discreet inquiries were made as to her salary range. She's making 10K more than I am, after my "promotion" to management, and that's her base, not counting bonuses. How funny is that? See me laugh? Yes, she's with a national and we are a regional outfit, but, still. We can't afford her, so it's not an issue.

I would be really, truly bitter, but I am not alone in this insanity. My boss, who has VP after his name on his business cards and truly busts his ass long hours and carries a ton of stressful responsibility, confessed that he stopped contributing into his 401K when profit-sharing dried up. He can't pay his mortgage and fund his retirement at the same time. Yes, his house is nicer than mine, but he bought it as a fixer-upper and has poured a lot of time and money and sweat into it, and proportionately, we are in the identical leaky boat, drifting along Shit Creek without a paddle. He used to afford it easily, based on his income for the last several years, but times are tough in our industry. Last year I was fine, too. I didn't go into more debt, but the money dried up, and then 2 months without a paycheck was the final kick in the pants. I am still making a token contribution to my 401K, but if this continues I will not be able to afford to retire, I will have to work until I die. And here was my great epiphany of the year: This shit about how you have to own a house and a house is a great investment and rent is for suckers? The math doesn't always work.

I am spending a disproportionate amount of my income to keep this house. Even if I wanted to keep this job, which I don't, if I just moved to a very nice 1 br. apartment in a resort-like upscale apartment complex nearby, I would be able to fully fund my retirement plan and have a healthy savings account, too. If I leave the state (the preferred option) I could do the same. If I keep this house, I am screwed.

So, as soon as Girl has a place to lay her head (and her little dog's too) while she changes career directions, and she has a Plan in the works for that, I am putting the sign in the yard and St. Joe on the job. I don't know if I'll stay here a little while longer, and ride out whatever happens with this company, it does have a certain amusement value, or take the dog and my camera and this little computer and go live in Asheville and figure out how to earn a living after I get there. I want a big change, and I want to get away from corporate life. But then we are back to the health care issue - I have to work for The Man, because The Man, and only the Big Monolithic Corporate Man, can afford to give me group coverage. Or, I could move to Canada, but I somehow think the Canadians have little use for someone well versed in Florida construction issues.

It'll work out. Sometimes the first thing to do is identify what IS NOT working. That's done.

Knitting Stuff:

I am still working on the Falling Water Scarf, and it is a quick and low stress knit, and so lovely. I will make another, for sure. I am also loving this Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, and when I go visit Boy this fall I will come home with more. I don't need to buy anything else until then, but damn I'm going to have a shopping list ready for Yarn Paradise. I love that shop! It really lives up to its proclamation of a vast selection, it has all of my favorite yarns in one place, in a wide selection - not 3 skeins of this color and 1 of that, but enough to actually Make Things. And the Upstairs - Bags of More and More. It's almost exhausting to shop there, it's one of those places where you need to have an agenda and a shopping list, or sensory overload will leave you vacant-eyed and drooling. I think I spent at least an hour there last time, fondling things, and left with two scarves' worth of Cashmerino - scarf for Boy was started immediately, and now I'm on the one for me.

I'm thinking I'll need the vacation REEEL BAD by the end of September. I'll spend a week there, and come back and bust my ass putting a fresh coat of paint on the bathrooms and fresh mulch in the yard, and pay to get the exterior painted, and the sign goes up. If the other houses are still on the market, I will undercut my price. I know how to do a CMA too, and I have my Number in mind.


Bess said...

Oh I love to knit with Cashmerino. I have some C. Aran that's intended for a sweater one of these days. Bought it from Ram Wools, where the dollar still swaps nicely.

I'm so sorry that your house is eating you out of home. Doing some "Checks in the mail" visualizations for you and maybe some paralegals in the office ones too.

sallyjo said...


Catherine said...

I can't quite "run" but I am walking very fast.