On Here is Your Open Thread

@Punk-assBookJockey I agree with @garli. In your professional community it might be known that your department is a bit "off". And prolonging working in a toxic environment can be harmful to the rest of your career, wreck your ability to properly answer interview questions about your current work situation, and cost you time and money in therapy and meditation classes. Sorry, I'm projecting. BUT if you can see that this is a a problem now, that is good! I was in a little too far before I started to try and claw my way out of it - which I am still doing. I say apply - the cut may be worth your mental health and shorter commute, and it could open up so many other doors professionally if you can't stay past a year.

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm 1

On Overdrafting With Simple

@spottedwren I used to have headaches like that (though on a smaller scale than buying a house) when I had Chase, not to mention fees popping up everywhere. I switched the local University Credit Union and they are a dream. No fees and you can link your account up with another CU member in 30 seconds and so bf and I send money back and forth all the time.

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

I don't really have any set plans for the weekend, except for a sewing class tomorrow, which is already paid for, but I can't decide if I want to use fabric that I already have or get something different. Either way I have to buy some other materials for it, and I might get the christmas stocking pattern and some fabric for that while I'm there. So anywhere from $15-$50. Ugh just remembered that we have concert tickets for The War on Drugs for Saturday. Post-30 I've gotten to be rather cranky about concerts that I am indifferent to too many people, I want to sit down, it's too loud. I'll take $10 for beer and remember to take earplugs. Making Oktoberfest food for the Packers game - brats, spaetzle and cabbage. One year I made pretzel rolls to go with, we'll see if I'm up for it. I'll say $90 at most.

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 12:14 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

@Heather F G Buster goes almost every other month at least for blood draws to test his thyroid and seizure drug levels, alternately. He used to handle it pretty well, but the last few times the vet has had a wait, and he detests other dogs, so all that adds up to a bundle of anxiety wearing a thundershirt and panting. So that is $75 or $100 each time, depending on the test. Plus the time in march he puked all night, and then on me when I picked him up - $300. Oh and his knee, obviously, but barring rejection of the final claim pet insurance will have covered about 80% of that. Every single time we go, they have the projected estimate, and circle things that can be denied or have a lower-cost option, etc. Also, we get him Chew-Tuff dragon toys from Target. They take him months to take apart. We actually had to take his first one away and put it in "time out" because he was so agitated that he couldn't destroy it! And he actually ripped the second one in the belly right away, so I emailed the company. They replied asking for a picture and the breed, haha, and sent us a really cool duck to replace sad dragon. It lasted 6 months!

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

@Heather F G Congrats on the job! Oh those annual check ups. We adopted Buster in December two years ago now, and so it's super fun having the all the vaccines and heartworm test, etc all at once right before Christmas! MERRY CHRISTMAS DOG, here's your lepto-lyme shot! Actually, from my parents he made out pretty well last year. Something like eight toys and my dad went and got him a ton of treats. He can destroy a normal toy in about 20 minutes if he wants to though, so they lasted until New Years. He's got an Amazon wishlist this year.

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

@Heather F G oh boy! Too much anxiety in your weekend for me. New job though! Is it an upgrade? Last spring I did a ton of yardwork for my parents and stayed with my brother (he's severely autistic) for a long weekend for them and they bought me a window air conditioner as a thank you, but really it was for the granddog. They kept asking if he was staying cool on hot days, did he like the bedroom where it was better than the rest of the apartment, and so on. I'm totally sewing up a Christmas stocking for him and taking it home with me at Christmas!

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

I feel like it was a spendier weekend than I wanted, which was to stay under $100. let's see: Friday I got home and was about to get the dog out the door for a walk and I remembered he was super low on food. So we went on a little walk then I got him in the car and we drove to the neighborhood pet shop, where parking is a disaster on a Friday, but he liked it because of all the different smells and things to pee on on our walk. Food was $3.42 after using our reward and he got all sorts of treats from the owner, and she even gave me some samples of a kind he really likes. The dude talked me into fish fry for dinner, $30 and so tasty. Saturday morning I left for Costco to get there when they opened. $4.74 on Taco Bell breakfast, because I realized that I would be to early to fill up on samples. Dog's drugs were $3 my share, but then I saw a baselayers display and got the top, $16 and I LOVE IT. It is so soft and will be warm and helpful this winter. Stopped at Jo-Ann ($6.78) on the way back to get some elastic for this skirt that I keep talking about making, and I picked up an apron pattern too. That was on sale for $1.99 (thanks @andnowlights for the heads up!) Went to trivia, but didn't place into the tournament for next weekend and I'm ok with that. He paid for drinks and snacks since I paid for dinner on Friday. We got home and took the dog on his longest walk in months to the neighborhood market (about 50 minutes round trip) to get the dogfishhead punkin beer $8. Dropped the dog off at home and went on a run to the grocery store to get stuff for the wee, $36 my half. Sunday! Sunday was my favorite day because I was super productive around the house and I only left the house to walk the dog and so I wore sweatpants all day. by 1 pm I had taken out the window AC, washed the bedroom windows - even using the feature where you can kinda flip them over to wash the outside, done three loads of laundry, rearranged the bedroom so my sewing desk is out of its nook and in front of the windows (now the bedroom space is being used SO much more efficiently, made a peach tart, and got chili going in the crockpot. The fella made some chicken apricot thing that looks good too. Snugged with the dog for the Packers game - he woke up right when they did, at the end of the second half. $102.23

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 11:12 am 0

On Ask An Assertive Person, Vol 1: Discounts

@andnowlights The pizza place on the corner used to be our default "who wants to cook or do dishes, I don't!" place to go or get takeout. A few months ago we went in and sat at the bar to eat and the bartender knocked the top of the garnish tray into my full beer, which went into my lap and on my plate. I was soaked. My *underwear* was soaked. We'd only seen this guy in there once before and he had screwed up our order, but for the better, giving us a larger pizza for the smaller price. He asked how to make it right and as my skirt is dripping beer on to the floor, I just said, "how about a new beer and a new plate, let's get this cleaned up and then we'll figure it out." $5 off on a $35 bill. Then he was exasperated that we had our bicycle benefits stickers too and got another 15% off. We even tipped him on the full amount. Ugh. I was too stunned to figure out an appropriate response. I really don't feel like that was satisfactory, at all. We haven't gotten take out or been back since (which shocks our friends and family, THAT is how often we went there). What do you do? Walk in there and say, btw, I haven't been here to patronize your business since your rude bartender gave me a beer bath?

Posted on September 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm 0

On Ask An Assertive Person, Vol 1: Discounts

I try really hard to patronize small businesses, because I want that money to stay in our community. I've built a rapport with our neighborhood pet supply shop, who know my dog and ask how he's doing. They tell me about new stuff that comes in that they know he'd like and gave us some treats for him after he had his surgery. They also have customer appreciation events that I feel are very generous, and for every $150 you spend you get $10. I also love my local sewing shop, and she has the same loyalty deal but doesn't have some kinds of fabric and she understands that some times you just need to go to Jo-Ann or Hancock Fabrics. I would never ask for a discount, but these places understand that we have a choice in where we spend our money and go the extra mile without asking quite often.

Posted on September 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm 0

On Ask An Assertive Person, Vol 1: Discounts

@BillfoldMonkey I had an ordeal with Charter a few months ago after our "second year" promotional rate expired (I had no idea $50/month was a *promotional rate*). It took a bunch of twitter trash talk and two lengthy phone calls in which I read U-verse rates to the charter guy and told him that on principle I'd take crappier internet for the same price from u-verse because I didn't feel like Charter valued my loyalty and on-time bill paying, but I knocked it down from from $63 to $46/month. I think he finally realized I'd keep him on the line all day and he mumbled something about how we pay a "wire fee", which means when the tree branch that is dangling precariously over the cable that feeds into your house falls down, they'll fix that without charging you. He said "oh, we can give you a wire fee discount", said it would be $44 plus taxes, and here we are. I hope there is a note in there about me being relentless and that they should not bother with inflating our rates again. Telecomm companies have a monopoly, they're greedy, and not hurting for cash. I won't be rude to their call center people but I do not feel one ounce of remorse in demanding a better deal.

Posted on September 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm 0