Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 35: How Trying To Get a One Dollar Meal Cost Me $80!! Damn!!

Ok so a buddy of mine in Dallas sends me this coupon for a 1/4 quarter Chicken Meal at Boston Market for one dollar.   It was kinda like the coupon that KFC and Oprah did when KFC came out with their grilled chicken a few months ago.  Back then I heard that it was a disaster trying to redeem those coupons,  and I didn't go anywhere near KFC.  So why oh why didn't I do that with this Boston Market thing too?

My plan was to redeem the coupon this weekend, and I'll admit that I was kinda looking forward to it because I think their cornbread is the bomb.

So Friday night after work I decided to slide on over to the NYC Boston Market after coming from getting my eyebrows done and having a beard and goatee removed.  Yes, yes, I confess to that, but I am certainly not alone.  Hair removal is big business!  That salon was packed and I even had to take a number.  Halloween was the next night and I guess all of us gals didn't want to be mistaken for spiders or gorillas.  LOL.  So we all sat and waited patiently for the nice Indian ladies to transform us back into humans again.  For the bargain price of $6, it was well worth the wait. 

So I leave the salon and I walk down to Boston Market.  The line was out the door.  Not surpised but it was really not that serious for me to wait either.  I told myself that I'll just go to the one near my house the next day which is...


Now I'm driving and looking for the restaurant.  I see tons of little kids with Halloween costumes on, but no Boston Market.  Hmmm...????  I drive around a little more and but I still can't find it.  Kids all over and the traffic is getting thick, so just as I am deciding to hang it up -- I see a spot and jump in it.  What luck!  I get out, and I am so damn focused on getting to this restaurant that I didn't read all of the signs.  I just hopped my happy ass out of the car and walked down the street like a big ass donkey.

Ok, so Boston Market is out of business!  Oh well.  So I bought a burger and fries at Michelle Obama's fave burger spot instead.  Ten bucks.  WTF??  First lady prices I see.  But I went ahead and got it while I tried to justify the purchase in my head.

Then all of the sudden, the kids are everywhere in the restaurant...fairies, devils, Transformers, clowns.  Even the adults were dressed up at 12 in the afternoon.  Hell I even saw a Black guy dressed up as a breast, and I don't mean chicken breast.  Nipple and all.

I decide to leave because it was just too much activity going on, and I get back to the car and there is a friggin' parking ticket on it!!!  Resident parking.  Sign was right there in my face.  The broke bandit strikes again. 68 friggin' bucks and the time on the ticket was not to two minutes after I walked away from the damn car.  Bastards must have been watching me.  And I saw this guy standing on his porch who kept staring at me.  He must have saw the ticket person coming my way and didn't say shyt.

What a dumb ass.  I'm so pissed at myself right now.  That was plain dumb to get a ticket for $68 all for trying to get a dollar chicken meal.  I learned a valuable lesson today....nothing is free or near free.  Even though the one dollar thing was damn near free, I f'd up trying to take advantage of it.  Went out to spend $1 and end up spending $10 and getting a $68 ticket too.   Like I really have this money to give away right now?

But you know me, I can't just take that lying down.  I'll go to court anyway and tell them that I am filing bankruptcy and ask them for a hardship reduction.  Hell what do I have to lose?  The worst thing that could happen is just that I'll just have to get in front of the courtroom and tell a bunch of strangers that I'm broke.  Or be told to pay the ticket and go whine to someone else.  Either way, I'll take my chances.

I know one thing though, I won't sweat redeeming another free food meal coupon that hard again.  No piece of cornbread is worth $68.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Broke Antidote #2 Revisited: I's Gettin' Real Tyred of My Roommate's Hair

I finally left a note for my roomie that I was gonna raise his rent because I'm cleaning up after his half cleaning up azz!  Now there's some extra money for me right there.

So here we go again.  Woke up and went in bathroom to take shower, and there were at least 10,000 hairs from the roomie's head in the soap dish, on the toilet, in the toilet, and on the wall (Ok maybe not  quite 10,000, more like 100,000!).  I mean I go in there all groggy and sleepy, and as soon as I see these hairs all over its like red lights start flashing and alarms start ringing.  And top to it off it seems like the hairs all wave at me and say, "GOOD MORNING, GOOD MORNING!!!"  Just a totally nasty scene, and I'm not exaggerating either.  Here's my photo evidence (the date stamp is wrong on the pics):

I mean the hairs might as well be little snakes because I scream and curse, and I don't want to touch or step on anything.  In my own bathroom!  My roomie is 50 something and he seems to be one of those types that does the absolute minimum when it comes to picking up after himself.  I mean he gets in the shower everyday and doesn't wash it out.  So along with the hair I have the little dirt ring too to greet me in the mornings too.  Now does that make any sense?  Even if he washed it out once a week I would even take that.  I have shower spray, Comet, Mold and Mildew remover in the bathroom but he won't use any of it.  I'm like whaasup?  Like do you have arthritis from all that hand action on lonely nights?  Is that why you can't squeeze the trigger on the shower spray in the morning? 

So even though I need his rent money, I have had it.  I swept up the hair on the floor, then I lifted the toilet seat to dump the dustpan and hair was stuck all under the seat.  ARGHHHH!  I was furious.  So I left the hair in the dustpan and put a note on it so he would see it when he got home.  I then put post-it notes in every spot where the hair was on the walls (see in the picture above) and on the toilet seat.  In the note I wrote that I would clean up for the both of us for an increase in rent.  Shyt I'm doing it any friggin' way so why not get paid?  As broke as I am I certainly am not going to clean up after a grown ass man for free.  My roomie's name is not Mister and I ain't no damn Celie.

Hmmm.  A thought just popped in my head...

You know I do wear a little headwrap when I get home at night and he sees me in it a lot.  Maybe since I look the part of Celie he might have it a little twisted?  Maybe he is confused or something?  Is the headwrap throwing him off?  Shoot, I bet he has never even seen The Color Purple anyway.  He's so boring and just a big ass corn muffin.  Well the hell if I know.  All I know is (in my Shug Avery voice), "I's gettin' real tyred of 'dis man's hair." 

So the 30 day notice for him to vacate is hot in my hands and ready to go.  My ad for a roomie was put up on Craigslist.  Gonna be more broke without his rent share but I'll just have to find someone else.  We did chat and he agrees that he is dropping the ball on the cleaning, but to me it's just words.  He's not gonna pick up after himself.  I mean he even left his shoes (some little Leprechaun sized shoes I might add) on the kitchen counter next to the dish drainer one day.   Hopeless.

I get paid this week and the rent is due, but I'm going on strike.  Headwrap or not, my palms gotta get greased with some green or the roomie and his hair follicles need to hit the damn pavement.  I already have enough problems. 

I think I wanna see MJ's flick.

Bought my lottery tickets yesterday.  Scratch off ticket was a loser.  Put some boots on layaway to get out for my birthday.  Yep, layaway.  It is what it is.  The days of instant gratification are over.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 21: The "B" Word Is Looking Better Everyday

Ok since August I have been looking for something part time.  I had an interview last week at Victoria's Secret and I went to a cattle call at a bar in Newark.   I thought the Newark thing went okay, but the guy said that they would call me Monday and today is Wednesday.  So I will still keep my fingers crossed anyway.   I'll keep applying to stuff.  In the next week I will hit TGIF and Daffy's and Arden B.   I applied to The Container Store but that was about it.  Not good at all.  I mean I get here at night and say I'm gonna work on the resume and apply to jobs and I just sit here in a daze.  TV off.  No sound.  Just sitting here in a daze looking at the computer screen.  Mind all over the place.  I did that for two days straight.

So AGAIN tonight I was supposed to be updating my resume.  But I turned on the TV and I am sitting watching "I Love Lucy" and typing on this blog.  What is wrong with me?  I guess what it is is that I am tired of updating that friggin' resume.  I have been messing with it since Labor Day and working on it is an energy zapper.  But I'm gonna do it.  Tonight.  In 30 minutes. (UPDATE:  I took my procrastinating ass to bed and didn't even work on it of course.  Sat here and dozed off after eating all that junk tonight.  See next paragraph.)

Before I continue, I must say that I ate too much tonight.  I had tortilla chips and salsa, then two big crab cakes and rice, then two blueberry muffins with butter on them.  That makes no sense at all and I am pissed at myself.  And I have the nerve to wonder why people keep asking me am I pregnant? 

Did I just see a baby Milk Dud walking on my desk just now?  Please God no.  I don't need that right now.  I don't see it so I'm hoping that my eyes were just buggin.  A Milk Dud has appeared here or there over the years unfortunately so it is quite possible.

I'll make it quick about the "B" word in the blog title.  BANKRUPTCY.  I guess bankruptcy is looking better and better as each day passes.  I can't stand this as a course of action but man!  I recalculated my debt and instead of $78K it is closer to $90K.  How long would it take me to pay all that back with interest with the money that I make?  For the past 18 years I have tried and tried to keep my credit in a good place, as that is how I was able to open the business and get the credit for things that I needed.  Now I won't be able to get anything for a long time.  Even some jobs won't take me over that.  It's gonna be real f'd up to be in that spot at this point in my life.  I have seen two attorneys already and they both are saying different shyt which makes it worse and makes me more confused.

The lottery is 200M.  Ain't that crazy?  And one person won it last night.  Sometimes I walk down the street and spazz out and think about what I would do when (notice I say when) I win the big lottery.  I think about where I would live and the people who I would help.  I know people probably walk by and are like, "WTF is she smiling about?"  I took an article of a lottery winner and took a cut out of my face and pasted it on his body.  Why a man?  I couldn't find a Black woman's photo who had won the lotterry but there was this pic of a Black man.  So I couldn't have a Black head and white arms now could I?  But the guy had on a nice shirt so at least I'm looking stylish holding that big, fat lottery check!  I pasted it on my wall for inspiration.  Maybe I'll be the Black woman lottery winner who takes a picture that other brown girls can paste their faces on? 

I was having a convo with my half cleaning up ass roommate (that story in another post, and I have photo evidence this time okay!), and he was saying he would be bored if he didn't have a job to go to.  I had already noticed that he ALWAYS talks about work and how many hours he is working and how important he is.  I bet he does that shyt on dates too.  Yawn.  Along with, "I've been to Spain, and Italy, and the moon and yadda yadda."  Look I lived in Salt Lake City okay.  And I was Black (well I still am - hee hee).  That's some major shyt in my book.  The state is less the one percent Black and it was very overwhelming being a girl from a all Black community.  You think you know but you have no idea how bad I went through it out there.  Sometimes I used to say that I wanted to die because I was so sad.  But I came to appreciate Salt Lake City and played with the cards I was dealt at the time.

Back to the convo with the roomie.  He said that he retired twice and went back to work each time.  He said he was bored?  I was like puhleeze.  I could name five things I could do besides work for someone else.  Then he tried to bring up a friend of his who did the same thing as he did as if to say that that was a pretty common thing or something.  Again, puhleeze. You weren't bored.  You are just a bore.  At least that's what I surmised from his admission.   If you have never done much outside of work in your life, then that's what you will probably die doing.  That's what I told him and he was quiet.  He probably never did much and the traveling he did was always associated with working anyways.  Work until you are so old or so sick that you have nothing left because you gave it all to some job.   Hell I told him he could have taught at a college, or volunteered for Habitat for Humanity or Americorps.  Man, don't ever get around me and talk about that working for someone else is all there is.  I will start preaching and probably won't shut up for a minute.  Getting on slave ships everyday going to the city; getting in you car and getting on the road with the other robots running to their jobs every morning.  I've always hated that morning and evening scene - and yet I'm still doing it.

Call me crazy, but if I had the choice I would walk right up to my mother and say, "What were you thinking woman?  Send me back.  This life shyt is for f'n the birds."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Broke Antidote #4: Meet Me a Man With Money in His Hand (cont.)

Ok I paid for the site and I put my profile up.  I got a few 'winks' from guys in the first couple of days.  I winked back at a few.  Some of the them wrote some great stuff.  But some seemed a little suspect.  Say for example the blond Native American (?) who winked at me but his profile pic showed a bald Latino guy?  Uh, I paid $120 for that?

But I guess I gotta grow into this internet dating thing.  My roomie uses it like one of my friends.  It takes some work it seems.  Winking at people and sending messages and stuff.  It's like Facebook.  I had to grow into that but you can get caught up on that for hours too.  Kim sends me shoes and others send me hugs and cause requests and yadda, yadda, yadda.  It's too much sometimes. 

So even though this is one of my strategies, I'm not working the plan that great.  One brother did walk up to me at the bus stop and chatted.  I gave him my business card and he called.  Like usual, I didn't call back.  Then one day I was walking home and there he was again.  We stopped and talked and he started to tell me he was in the music business and has a studio over here in Jersey and what not.  Then he kept talking about himself....okay?  He asked me did I know the hip hop group K9.  I was like not really, but it sounded familiar?  Then he said, "Well, I'm Sharif."  Um, okay? So what does that mean?  Again he says, "I'm Sharif."  Still nothing from me.  Then he says that he was part of that group that was around in the 80s!  I asked him how many songs did they have and he was like three.  Well I went online and it was more like one.  But anyway, he goes on to say that they have a big party at MTV for all the old groups and people come up to him and recognize him from K9 and what not.  All the while he is telling me this, a FINE, TALL brother comes jogging by.  He looked but Sharif was so busy talking that I couldn't take in all of the fineness. It looked like a hundred dollar bill running by me.  I felt robbed!!  I have lived here six years and I HAVE NEVER SEEN A GUY THAT FINE RUNNING, DRIVING, OR WALKING BY - EVER!!!!  I think it was a sign from God saying, "Girl, you see this man running by?  Stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize.  Sharif ain't it." 

So now Sharif is in his third story and I had been telling this man since he first stopped me that I was hungry and trying to go home.  "Well I'll walk you home."  Damn.  Can't shake him.  So we walk the two blocks and here we go again...that damn skunk is next to a fence that we were walking by.  I screamed and scared two other people standing by their car.  It was a guy and a girl and the guy nearly dove across his car hood when I yelled.  Ooops. 

Anyhow, Sharif walks me home and still wants to talk!! Damn, didn't I tell yo ass that I was hungry?  So I finally cut the convo off and he asks, "Are you gonna call me?"  My goodness.  What for?  I just met you, I'm hungry, and I just got punked by a skunk.  And you talk too much.  Nope.  So I sent him a text and send good night, and he should be glad I did that much.

UPDATE:  Sent me a text saying two days later, "I wanna see you".  Shudders.  I hate when guys say that and I am not feeling them like that.  But I was hungry.  So I thought that maybe I could get a free dinner out of him.  So we go back and forth and decide to meet at this cheap ass Chinese spot,  but I like their food so I wasn't too upset.  So we sit there in the light and now I can see 'Sharif".  Teeth jacked up and chapped lips. Point deduction for each.  Now he is telling me that his group is going on tour with R.Kelly.  Ok great man.  Then he was talking on the phone while we were there too.  Another point deduction.  Then after we leave he says, "Don't say I never fed you."  Huh?  That dish cost about $9.00 pardner and you ain't gettin' that many kudos for that.  Whatever points he might have had left are now in the negative numbers after saying that.  He walks me home again (can't shake him), and he kisses my cheek with those chapped, scratchy lips!  OMG.  Yuck.  More deductions.

Finally I'm home.

"Are you gonna call me?"

"Yeah, I'll call you." 

And did I?  What the heck do you think?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 17: The Power of "The File" and 65 Cents Raises


I have been waiting almost two years to get a raise.  And I open the letter, and I get 65 cents?  That's equivalent to about $26 per week.  I know people might say I should be happy for that in these times, but uh I'm not feeling that way one bit!  So over three years I have gotten a total of $1.37?  That averages to about 46 cents per year.  I waited almost a year and half to get an increase and that's what I got.  I'm sick.

I mean what am I supposed to do?  I went to the NFCC which is a not for profit credit counseling group, and we calculated that I need about an extra $1500 per month to cover everything.  That's equivalent to about what I would make at a little part time job, which I have been looking for since August.  And two months later, still nothing.

So I write a letter to my managers about my dissapointment (I guess that is spelled right, whassup this thing has no spell check - booty), and I know I said some risky things, but I said it the best way I know how. 

My friend Kim says that what I wrote was insulting to my employer.  How so?  This is the third go around for me and I haven't said anything for three years about pay there.  My review scores seem to determine the raise, and they give me a lot of "Meet Expectations' scores.  In some cases I don't think that is accurate.  Sure there is some down time where I might blog on some sites and stuff, but since the business closed I don't have many outside tasks anymore. If the company checked my searches they would probably see a lot about managing debt, bankruptcy stuff, and resume tips. But if in their minds I am just doing the minimum, I asked them in the letter to tell me how to get more "Exceeds Expectations" and "Outstanding" scores.  I told them that my situation is dire, and that this is the worst time that I am experiencing in my life financially.  It sucks and so did my raise.   But Kim makes it sound as if I should not expect anything and to go for a promotion.  There is no promotion for me as far as I see it.  I mean what do I get promoted to, "Head Executive Assistant?"  Head of who?  I'm the only one in the office! 

Then she says it was a bad idea to put in writing because it might go in my employee file.  Uh oh, here we go with the dreaded file.  In all the jobs I've worked at across the country, everyone is always so scared about what is in their damn file.  I mean I used to pull that mess when I was a manager when I was dealing with employees.  I used to put a lot of shyt in these files and didn't tell the employee, and I didn't have to.  It's a scare tactic that is used on so many of us minions in the world. 

I don't care about no damn file.  My bills gotta get paid.

I'd rather have what I said in writing anyway so it ain't no question wtf I said later.  That talking to managers can backfire and get all twisted up, even when another so called 'neutral' manager is there also.  I have been burned too many times with that so I put my stuff on paper.  If you want to put the letter in the file go ahead and file it dammit.   If someone wants to terminate me and use the file as ammo later then what can I do about it so why worry or concern myself with it?  The file is just another reason to be scared and be a slave to others and not say how you feel about things.  The file is the Boogey Man for grown folks.

Dig this movie scene I just made up just now. It is called "THE FILE"


Shot of outside of an office building.  Camera zooms in on the company name, "SELECT SLAVES, LLC.".  From the perspective of Karen, the door to the office building opens.  The security guard behind the glass window greets her by waving his hand.  The camera zooms in to show that the security guard has chains around his neck.

Karen walks down the hallway and passes the various offices.  People are sitting at their computers busy typing away. Some are running down the hall with files and papers, zipping in and out of offices. Karen speaks to each person, and they glance hurriedly at Karen and wave to acknowledge her greeting.  Each person she greets has chains around their neck.  Karen continues to walk down the hall. 

Creepy music plays.  At bottom right of screen a pair of men's shoes appear and stops in the hallway.  Whoever has stepped into the hallway is watching Karen.

Karen is seated in her cubicle staring at her computer.  A shot of the computer screen shows that she is looking at a gossip website.  Karen's chains are hanging on a hook next to her coat.

Creepy music plays.  The man's shoes are shown walking towards Karen's cubilce.  The shoes finally stop in front of Karen, and she turns, looks, and screams.

The camera follows the shoes up to the leg of the pants.  The man's body is in the shape of a file.  In big letters are typed "Karen's File".  Karen continues to scream.

Curious employees stop typing and walking, but they say nothing.  After a few seconds they go back to moving hurriedly back and forth between the offices.  None go in the direction of Karen's cube.

Karen clutches her head and continues to scream.  Karen's file begins to walk toward her with his arms outstretched.  Close up of Karen screaming.  The camera moves to the clock on Karen's desk.  It says 9:18am.  Karen is off screen and continues to scream.  Fade to black.

Scene opens in the employee break room.  The clock says 12:36pm.  Employees are huddled in a circle and are speaking in whispers.  Then one employee looks towards the door and his eyes widen.  The rest in the huddle first look at him, then towards the door.  Creepy music plays.  The File is standing in the doorway. 

The camera cuts back to the group, and instead of adults they are now mice in work clothes.  They all scurry away under the tables. 

The File (chuckling) - "That's right bitches.  You run and you don't even know what's in here."

The File points to his own chest.

The File - "Just the mere thought of it does the trick.  Damn.  That's some powerful shyt!"

The File walks away laughing louder. "Bad the Bone" plays in the background. 

Fade to black.

The file.  You never see it but it could come and 'get you' one day.  (*sucks teeth*).  Anyway...

That's all I'm gonna say about a goddamn file for today. 

I like working there and I don't want to leave, but I need more money.  So hey, I put it out there to them and it may not have been in the best way, and if they get mad, then...

The world is hyped about the economy but we are getting ready to spend $5000 for a Xmas party at work okay?  And the 20 or 30 offices across the US will be having one too.  Shyt f*ck the party and give me the money so I can buy me a new wig or some shoes.  I mean I have no shoes to wear seriously.  Just a bunch of mess with f'd up heels and soles that are 'talking' like we used to say back in 70s and 80s.  Like Pink says in her song, "Keep your drinks just gimme the money."  That shyt is the gospel.  Word up.