Posts Tagged ‘Benefits’

So I thought I’d try and share an update on where we’re at with certain topics I’ve discussed here…

The Mortgage – the State and the Non-Profit came through for us – we were awarded a 5-Month Period of Payments on the Mortgage, we’ll pick back up in January 2017.  That being said I am seriously scared to death on what’s going to happen come January.  The non-profit contact did tell us that we can apply for some sort of “gap” funds…whatever that is should our situation not change.

My Job – I was hired on Part-Time with a Southern Retail Department Store – initially I was in the Fine Jewelry Department, but the Part-Time hours just weren’t enough.  So after discussing it with the counter manager we put my name into the pot to move into the Ready-to-Wear Women’s Clothing Department, FULL-TIME! I actually got my benefits packet in the mail today,  WooHoo!

With that being said – Insurance – We applied for Insurance through DSS sometime early last month for my husband and I – and we found out today that we were approved, WooHoo!! So I might hold off on enrolling in benefits through work (medical at least for now) to conserve some funds.

We also started the process for my husband’s Disability – the paperwork has been sent back in and he’s had his physical – they called today to clarify some things and then stated more paperwork is headed our way for him to complete – we really NEED this Miracle.  So hoping they approve him so we can get some stability – though 9 times out of 10 the applicants are denied the first go-round…we have until January…ugh

The other item we need to decide on is Silver…she’s really more than we can afford each month with her $540.00 payment – $273.00/mos insurance – and Gas…so we’re trying to determine what we’re going to do with her.  As much as it would break my heart to part with her, I can’t seem to see us being able to continue to pay for her…

The other upswing in our household is that about two weeks ago we adopted a new baby girl for my Son – I took him to PetsMart and we found him a new baby, we welcomed Josina (now named Sakura) into our house – she’s a four month old little lady whose just made herself to home!

And yes I am still cruising through my Cook/Bake from Scratch journey!  More of that to come!

We had a very long conversation last night – one we’ve had time and time again since my hubby lost his job – but we had the same one last night…what do we do going forward and how can we continue moving forward?

He heard back from the place that sent him for the Drug Screen and was running his background – they turned him down because something “dinged” on his background check and the Regional Manager said No…I know what it was, he was arrested in 2008 for Embezzlement while working at a hardware store – he was given (3) Mis-demeanors, restitution and 2-years probation – we paid the restitution to the courts and he served his probation – has kept his nose clean since with no problems AT ALL and it’s been what 7 years? How long does one have to carry this around?

So we’re back at square one…

We’re waiting for his Unemployment Benefits…which according to the state could be another 2-3 Weeks before we get those

We’re waiting for Food Stamps…and DSS said that too could be another 2-3 Weeks…

What do we do in the interim?

Oh yeah balanced the checkbook just now and see we’re down $62.42 going into pay day tomorrow…so with that and my check being less than $300 for health insurance we’re screwed…my car insurance is supposed to draft next week on the 28th to the tune of $212.00 (I just sent a note to my agent’s office requesting the payment be cancelled for the month as I can’t make it this week or next until we get the unemployment benefits)…

So we’re trying to figure this all out – options are thus:

1. We try and find a place to live here in Wilmington to lessen the interruption to the kids’ schedules and lives

2. We drop everything here, sell as much as we can and possibly move back in with our parents in MD – yes taking all five of our furbabies with us – we made a commitment to them when we took them in – a lifetime commitment…pray I can keep my job and work remote…pray

3. We file bankruptcy and pray we can keep Silver

As much as I don’t want to leave Wilmington I will if push come shove – we’ve not had good luck since we got here…the move itself was smooth, but we’ve had a seriously rocky road since we got here…

Hubby made an observation last night that’s stuck out with me – whenever we get somewhat stable, inevitably something gets pitched into the mix that seriously throws us off course…and this is so true…I don’t know what we did in a past life to piss off the fates but my Kids deserve better, they deserve stability and we need to be able to give that to them!


Angry Emoticon Frustration

Yup those are where I’m at right now

Do you guys remember, what was it back in May when I sent a letter to my HR Dept?  I posted it to my blog on this post:

Well I finally Got Fed Up – Sent an Email to HR

So I haven’t heard anything back – there was some initial back & forth between myself and the HR Manager, which I shared here, and pretty much let it drop from there –  awhile ago I guess my frustration started to surface and I had a conversation with my boss where she told me that HR was working to get me on staff full-time with benefits, a raise, paid time off, etc.  I took it with a grain of salt, didn’t think anything of it because I’d heard the speel before…so I let it go.

This morning was rough with the kids dawdling, not wanting to get ready for school – so much so that my daughter missed her bus – so I had to run her to school and got to work around 8:15 ish – I had all intentions of following-up with HR this morning, especially after yesterday’s post, find that here.  However, my boss beat me to the punch, she called me into her office and told me that she had something for me from HR…uh oh I’m thinking…but nope…she says Congrats you are finally a permanent member of the team!


Eyes Popping Emoji



Color me surprised! Yup she had an Offer Letter from our Corporate Office for me stating that as of yesterday I am being offered a $0.75/hour raise – full time permanent with Overtime pay – benefits including Paid Time Off, Vacation, Sick Leave, Paid Holidays, 401K, and Health/Life Insurance!! I am soo gobsmacked still I can’t wrap my head around it quite yet! But I am pleased.

The math works out to $30.00/week on a 40.0 hour week or $120.00/month or $2,760/year!!! I figure that extra will offset the cost of the 401K/Life Insurance, etc. Not sure if we’re switching insurance yet, hubby and I have to look at the two plans side by side before we decide…so yay!!!!  Great Way to Start a Tuesday, No?!?!

A While ago I Posted this Post Well I Finally Got Fed Up – Sent an Email to HR  and since I posted that I’ve had a lot of inquiries as to what’s going on, so I thought I’d share the following conversations I’ve had with the HR Manager for my area:

The following day I received this email from the HR Director:

“Hi Lara,

I am the HR manager for your area and I have received your email.  I am looking into your concerns and will follow up with you next week. Thank you for reaching out.”

I am keeping the HR Manager’s name out of this, the following email chain followed:

From Me: “Thanks XXXXX!  I do appreciate it.”

And then for 8-Days Natch, sent this follow-up:

“Good Morning XXXXXX,

Just Following up, curious if you’ve had any luck gaining headway with this issue?  Or if there’s more information you need.
Happy Friday!”
Her Response: ” Happy Friday back at YOU!I am working on it and think I have all the information I need, I have a follow up meeting set for Tuesday. Keepyou posted.  Have a good weekend.”

My Response: “Awesome! Thanks so much!!! I do appreciate you looking into this for me.

Have a Great Weekend!”
Her Response: “Don’t thank me too fast.”
My Response: “I’m not I just appreciate someone finally taking my concerns seriously, Boss Lady always just gives me those non-answers and to finally have someone looking into it is something I appreciate.  Trust me.”
Her Response: “We will talk next week. Don’t be too rough on Boss Lady, I got all my information from her.”
Internally I rolled my eyes thinking to myself “Wonderful, Wonder what crap answer she gave the HR Manager”
11-Days Passed with Nothing Further, I sent this follow-up:
“Good Morning XXXXX,

Hope you had an amazing Memorial Day Weekend! We did, hit the beach twice w/the kiddos and just hung out at home.
Just following-up on this request, have you made any headway, have any updates?
And yet again no response until I sent this email 5-Days Later, I came down with a nasty cold over the weekend and was to say the least less than pleased I had to try and work at home all the while take care of this nasty cold
“Good Evening XXXXX,

Following-up again on this, haven’t heard anything back yet and curious what’s doing.
Also just wanted to give an example of a concurrent issue this lack of benefits causes – I’ve been up and down all weekend w/this cold like thing cough runny to stuffy nose low grade fever and I emailed Boss Lady to let her know that I’d be out tomorrow – BUT working from home – when I really need another day to rest and maybe even check in with the Dr – but because I can’t afford to lose anymore pay on top of what was lost last Monday – Memorial Day, I am in a bind.  I’ve worked at home when nauseated – literally when sitting up made me feel like I was going to hurl because I couldn’t afford to lose the income – worked through Mono earlier this year because again couldn’t afford to lose the income.
Any update at all would be wonderful!
FOUR Days Later I get this Response:
“Hi Lara,I know I probably sound like a broken record with all of these different travel schedules. But your concerns really have been researched a number of us have been traveling. As a matter of fact I am currently in CA. I will be back in the office on Wednesday. Let’s try to catch up maybe that afternoon on Thursday morning.”

I responded in Kind with this:

“Ok thanks for letting me know – was getting concerned there for a moment.

And yes, Thursday sounds great!”
And in the between there I hosted one of the finance guys from our corporate office and the poor thing got an ear full from me about everything – my need for paid time off, benefits, lack of a 401K, and why I thought my Boss isn’t willing to give me benefits, telling him I didn’t want that to get back to Boss Lady…he understood – his disdain for the corporate BS Game was something he also discussed…he too was thoroughly astounded that me and this other woman in my office were in the boat we’re in…so we shall see…
That’s where I am right now…waiting for Thursday.

Well I finally got Fed-Up with not having a raise or benefits or paid time off – going to my boss over the last several years has proved futile – so I finally went to the HR Team about it, sent them this email tonight:

Good Evening HR Team,

First off I don’t want this communication to get back to Boss Lady quite yet.
What I am writing about tonight is simple – I have been with Company almost four years (my anniversary is coming up on the 18th of this month) and in that four years I have not once had a raise, a review, or even a chance to obtain the benefits 99% of our Services home office team has.
Put simply when I was hired my offer letter stated my term was for 6-Months while XX & Company worked to streamline the ERP/Company Oracle systems; after 6-Months Boss Lady told me that I would continue to remain employed with Company for “A hot minute” (yes she literally said that) but that Company & XX were working on a solution.
Fast forward roughly a year and still nothing; we had one sit down to discuss how the XX ERP & Company Oracle systems could be cohesive, but each time XX Legal has shot it down – in my tenure attempts have been made twice and both times shot down. So then we came up with alternative solutions to prevent multiple submissions of timecards and that’s where we are now.
However, my status remains the same in PS “TEMP” – I don’t have benefits, I don’t have paid time off, and I have not received a single raise.  Each time I have asked Boss Lady about this I get “We’re not sure what we are doing with you or your position” I am sorry but you mean to tell me in almost four years you haven’t figured it out – never mind the fact that there’s been people before me doing the same job as I am for years prior.  So it does not make any sense to me.  Two summers ago I asked for a raise, and was once again shot down – in a nutshell I’ve been in a stalemate in terms of my job, income and benefits for almost four years.
And, in that four years I’ve come close to losing my home twice (we’re in that situation now), have had my power & water disconnected, and have had to struggle to figure out how to pay for groceries.  The cost of said groceries has gone from $125.00/week to $200.00/week to feed my family of four; my gas cost has gone from $20.00/week to $60.00/week, my car insurance has gone up – basically all of my expenses have risen, yet my income has stayed stale.
On top of this I am not afforded the same chance at training outside my annual EHS, Integrity, and Bottoms Up training’s as someone who is a full-time permanent employee with the company.
My husband who works at Major Pet Retailer has gotten a $2.50/hr raise over his tenure in the last four years, he’s got benefits – that’s a RETAIL position – so then why is it the company I work for a Multi-National company unable to provide those same basic things to myself.
Now I like my job – I like going to work each day – I like being with Company and wish to continue to stay with Company – however, if my situation does not change then I will be forced to seek employment elsewhere.
Thank-you for taking the time to read this, I know it’s long.
Please respond here to this email address, I want to keep this off of the XX Radar.”
Obviously I was crossing out here names of my boss, the company I work for and the one we contract for…
I am hopeful something comes of this…Goddess knows we need it…another conversation with Citi tonight proved it – we’re due for Dec – May, $5K once again…ugh

1 Yr Blog Anniversary

Ok so technically it’s been 13+ months since I started this blog – that’s 13 Months of publishing all of the ups and downs of our finances.  Am I crazy for doing so? Some might say yes, others might say no – I am somewhere in between personally.  While I haven’t technically learned any real lessons through the last year, I have seen just how screwed up our financial life is…I’ve made promises to myself that things will change, and alas they do not…so where does that lead? More screw-ups and more issues…we’re no better now than we were a year ago…sure we have a newish car, sure we’ve lost one fur baby and gained two more in that year (well one furry the other scaled) but man we haven’t learned a thing have we?

Doom and Gloom here huh?

Well that’s been the way of it – I truly truly want financial stability – but right now we’re down so very deep that I don’t see how we can dig our way out of it…we’re once again almost $5K behind on our mortgage with no end in sight on getting caught up or even ahead…we’re once again behind on our utilities (this is a perpetual cycle)…I have no end in sight for the stagnant pay – my boss won’t give me a raise  – nor will she even talk about benefits…am I looking for another job? Yeah but I am being pickier about what jobs I apply to, not applying for everything I remotely qualify for, I want something that’s not entry-level admin w/stagnant pay & no benefits – I want a promotion, better pay (AT LEAST a $5,000/yr raise if not more) and benefits.  If the job doesn’t meet those qualifications then I am not applying for it, PERIOD!

Today my husband is talking to his store manager about a possible move within his company, he’s been invited to join the grooming team which will mean higher pay (hourly wage + commission), more stable hours and even a closer chance at management vs. the two-three cycle it’ll take to get him store management…so crossing my fingers that he comes away from that conversation with good news!

The next two weeks for us are going to SUCK arse financially – for two reasons – well one BIG reason – Days Off with NO PAY for me, Week Ending 04.13.14 will be a 4-Day workweek I am going to try and squeeze a 5-Day Workweek into 4-Days (10 hour days with gym trips in the morning, UGH)  – the reason for this is GS Camporee 04/10 – 11-12/14 and then I’ll turn around and have a 3-Day Work Week on Week Ending 04.20.14 because we’re heading to Maryland to visit our family 04/17-18-19-20/14…UGH 🙄 Joy of all Joys right??? I am just thankful that we have the new van (we’ve named her Bessie) so that I don’t have to worry about renting cars!

Well that’s all…Happy 13-Month Blogaversary to Me!

Image Borrowed from:

Another week has flown by, and work has been slowing as well – which is good, it allows me to catch up and ATTEMPT, I say ATTEMPT to get caught up…I say that because as soon as I do, there’s a boat load of more work to be done right on the tails of what I’ve just finished…Whew!

On that note I am coming up on my 3rd anniversary with my employer – and with that comes the normal frustrations I’ve had for quite sometime now – no benefits, no paid time off (this is the HUGE one), and yet no answer as to what is doing with either of those items – my ellusive boss has decided to just dodge the bullet and not give me a straight answer.  I think that it’s closing in on time to try and alter my work life so that I can find a way to not drown our forward motion financially if I should fall ill (as I did three weeks ago).  I am not going to launch into a while tirade about this, it’s been consistent for awhile now and I know in the back of my mind I am doing something to change my work life entirely – for now though it’ll be little steps…

And with that, I am just going to move forward – the budget this week is a tad strained, why? Well simply because we’re planning for Summer Camps this year and with that comes the cost of Summer Camp.  I am thankful that the Brigades Boys and Girls Club offers summer camp for their after schoolers, which is a blessing for us – so I am having to put down deposits for said camp program because we are in no way set-up to pay for the entire summer ($1,600) up front…how some of their people do that I have no clue as it’s normally lower income people who send their children there…makes sense honestly.  So this week and next I am tacking an extra $40/week onto the normal tuition to cover this deposit.

So without further adieu, here goes!

Note here, we’ve had some monies incoming, $30.00 came to us from the Nielsen Ratings Group and I had to move $10.00 in from our KTC Savings account to prevent Over Draft – seems this week everything either fell short in the grocery department, or with Jimmy being sick we were spending more $$ in meds – so that extra $40.00 is accounted for in the carry over from the previous week.

 $95.49 Remaining from W/E 04/28/13  $601.73 Lara W/E 05/05/13 Salary
 $79.00 Amt. Spent  $224.50 Jimmy W/E 05/05/13 Salary
 $16.49 Avail. Starting  $826.23
 $18.22 Target  $16.49 Avail. Starting
 $8.01 Target  $826.23 Total Pay
 $4.14 KTC Total  $842.72 Avail. For Bills
 $5.23 McDonalds
 $20.00 Check Order
 $2.09 Pets Mart
 $1.31 Wal-Mart
 $20.00 ATM Book Fair Money

And first the line item breakdown of expenses this week:

 $20.00 DB Plumbing
 $110.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $17.00 Savings for Car
 $121.00 AT&T
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 5/10 Auto-Draft
 $5.00 CCA, 5/13 Auto-Draft
 $5.00 LCA, 5/15 Auto-Draft
 $89.00 AmeriNational, Austin TKD
 $170.00 Groceries
 $40.00 Gas
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $25.00  Jimmy’s Money
 $25.00  Dinner, 5/10

Truly doesn’t leave much for bills next week and that is making me Wicked Nervous as my OT Hours this week will be absolutely minimal, like 42 – 43 hours total for the week, down from 46 last week…

So now with the Cash Withdrawl, total cash required, $285.00, have to round up to $300.00 to cover everything:

 $20.00 DB Plumbing
 $110.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $17.00 Savings for Car
 $121.00 AT&T
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 5/10 Auto-Draft
 $5.00 CCA, 5/13 Auto-Draft
 $5.00 LCA, 5/15 Auto-Draft
 $89.00 AmeriNational, Austin TKD
 $300.00 Cash for Week

So there we are! Let’s cross our fingers we don’t spend all of the remaining funds, $165.72 – with Mother’s Day on Sunday, I am going to try and keep our activities low key – so hoping the weather cooperates and we can head over to the beach (for those who don’t know, we live 20 mins away from three beaches) and just chill for a bit, that to me is the ideal way to spend Mother’s Day!