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Archive for October, 2007

medical expenses!

October 29th, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Ale came to my room today at 3am, crying because her head hurt so badly...I gave her some Tylenol and let her sleep with me...but it really frightened me because it is the second serious headache in less than 15 days!...needless to say I called the Dr's office at 8:01am!...The doctor saw us around 10:00am..."luckily", it's just a synus infection! (I'm $110 poorer after Dr and meds, but, believe me, from the things I was imagining....I thought she might be developing a tumor or something REALLY scary like that!...)...
I won't lie to you: the lady at the pharmacy left us alone for a few minutes to go get a medicine at another branch they have nearby -well, not REALLY alone, there was another saleslady, but she was tending other customers- and, for one nanosecond my mind went: oh, what if I just took these and ran??...LOL!...wouldn't do it though...I took a toy at a store once, when I was about 4, and I still remember when Mom made me go in and return it AND apologyze to the cashier!...
Anyway, I had to use the rent money that sis gave me, but, I do get paid on Friday, so the rent will get paid then (will have to re-work the numbers for the bonus $$$!)

Tough translation

October 28th, 2007 at 09:26 pm

this one was for the office...I definetely need to read up on:

cooperation/aid
productive development
dairy production
forestry
horticulture
fruit growing
rural electrification
water and sanitation
economics


ack!... it has been very difficult to translate all this...I hate it, as it makes me feel stupid...(on the other hand, one of the reasons I LIKE translating is that it gives me the opportunity to learn about a lot of new topics!...so I guess I should be grateful!-once I have acquired the vocabulary, it will be much easier!)

Makes me wonder, though, why I always end up with translations when our counterpart has a full-time translator...oh, well...it's in MY job description!

When good companies go ugly!

October 26th, 2007 at 07:52 am

not just bad...ugly!...
sis works for a multinational which offers very good working conditions in North America and Europe...so-so conditions in South America and has a total leadership vacuum in Central America...

The latest? Due to the performance of sales in the area, they decided to cancel incentives (a.k.a. commissions) for this quarter...so, the policy that stated that salesreps get sales commissions would be eliminated (the original policy was drawn up in such a way that no-one, at any one time, could get a commission higher than 7% of their monthly salary, and that provided that the whole region achieved the sales goals, which in reality meant that the commissions were closer to 5%).

Now, you'd think this is the type of change in policy that would be communicated to the employees, wouldn't you?....welll, NO. They didn't tell them beforehand. They just added a two-line note about it in this payperiod's deposit notification. ....not only that, but the regional manager actually dodged sis and co-worker's calls all day yesterday...THAT is lack of leadership!...

Now, I'm not saying they don't have a right to say: "sorry, folks, we are not making enough money so we cannot give you your comissions"...but, they should have said it back when they realized this was even a possibility!...

Oh, as an interesting piece of info: ES is the only country in the region that CONSISTENTLY achieves/surpasses the sales goals!-- so sis and co-workers feel insulted and aggravated, because it's not THEIR results that are affecting the overall sales in the region!

In any case, sis was counting on that money to go to the eye doctor and have a new CAT scan, as she's having strange migraines lately...now she doesn't have the $$$ (and, no, they don't provide medical insurance!)

Laugh with me!

October 24th, 2007 at 08:34 am

I received a letter from the bank along with my cc statement...here are some parts of it:

we've noticed it's been some months since you last used your cc, so we want to invite you to use your card and, as an incentive, we will give you 2 free tickets to the movie of your choice.((movies cost $3.80/person-normal price...matinee is $2.50 and Wednesdays is $2... ok, keep those figures in your head and be ready to laugh, ok?))...All you have to do i come to our Service Centers and show us vouchers for purchases with your cc totalling $15!

(oh, and the lowest yearly interest rate for cc's in ES is 20%!)

my first "direct" customer!

October 23rd, 2007 at 03:01 pm

...other than the company I used to work for, that is...but, I don't consider them a "direct" customer because they gave me translations BECAUSE I worked with them!...
He's bringing the documents by tomorrow! ...great!

Thank God!

October 23rd, 2007 at 11:24 am

all my work colleagues are going to Honduras for a regional conference. I'm to stay and "guard the fort"....they leave tomorrow and come back next Monday...I was starting to wonder what I was going to do with myself for 3 whole days (it's slow when they ARE here, imagine with them, and 95% of the people at HQ being gone!), when, the people in HQ decided to send me some translations (these do not mean extra money, as it is part of the job description, but, hey, they'll keep me sane!) LOL!

Heard it in the cafeteria....

October 19th, 2007 at 02:07 pm

from a very good source (finance dept employee!)...our year-end bonus will be paid next pay period!!! (she was warning the bank teller to make sure she had enough cash!)...it's not confidential, or anything, everybody knows it's due on payperiod 22....but, since it's my first year here!....

oh, yeah....taxes!

October 19th, 2007 at 12:01 pm

ok, the next two translation jobs will go into my tax fund...I got taxes withheld from my previous workplace and, the translation office withholds them from every payment, but, my "main" office doesn't (is not allowed to, by law!-- being an embassy), but, we (local employees) ARE, of course, required to pay taxes on our salaries....I've skipped putting money aside these past 6 months because, honestly, I needed it for debt!...but, I had already decided that, come November, I would start to put aside a bit for the taxes (although, the way things are going, if I manage to pay off all my cc debt this year, I could easily put together what I need just by taking the $$ that would have gone to the cc's next year!-- filing must be done before April 30th!)
so, yeah, I just made my calculation based on the withholding tables/payment tables...it's fairly easy here in ES, as there isn't much you CAN deduct (as a salaried employee, I can discount a maximum of $571 for medical expenses and a maximum of $571 for school tuition....it doesn't matter whether I have 1 child or 12, $571 is the maximum!--it's ridiculous!)...and that's it....for the translations...not much, really...I'd have to look at the definitions, but, it's VERY limited...

~$700 more!

October 18th, 2007 at 12:19 pm

the latest translation will bring in about $700 after taxes...this one will most likely be paid either by the end of November or early December! Smile

Another payment!

October 18th, 2007 at 07:09 am

...the translation money is starting to trickle in!...$189.90 this time...already spent $35 in paying the electricity for this month, and today I'm going to go to the bank at noon to pay $98 still outstanding from last month...and tomorrow I will go to pay the $160 due this month, which will make me officially current....why go today and not wait until tomorrow?
1. the longer I have the money, the greater the temptation to buy "just a little thing"....
2. One less day of interest!

$20 lost ...and found

October 17th, 2007 at 09:04 am

remember the sweat pants?..well, since they didn't have Ale's size that day, the school secretary called me and told me she had kept the $20 bill and would give it to Ale when she got picked up (so she wouldn't lose it during recess or lunch!)...since my niece couldn't go pick her up from school, she enlisted the help of one of her best friends (whom we've all known since they were in 4th grade!)...I called the school to let them know (they do NOT let the children go with anybody, not even a parent, unless you are either on a list of authorized people submitted by the parent enrolling the kid in school or, in cases of emergency, authorized via phone by the parent who enrolled the child!)...so, at the end of the school day, the secretary gives Ale my $20 bill...and since I had given her permission to spend $0.30 out of the change I should have gotten, she tries to buy a $0.30 candy from the store.... at which point her English teacher sees her and takes the money away from her, and gives it to the school counselor her- again for safekeeping-who gives it to the lady in charge of delivering the kids to your car, who gives it to my niece's friend...but, she doesn't give it back to Ale...Ale calls me crying because she feels awful that she lost my $20. I tell her I feel bad, too, but that it's not her fault and she did all the right things...I ask my niece to call her friend and she says she will (but, she doesn't! I know her, she was ashamed to call fearing her friend would think we were accusing her of stealing the money!)...so, today I go to the school and ask the school counselor who confirms Ale's story. I then ask my niece AGAIN to call her friend (they haven't seen each other since last week, as niece was NOT in the house when friend dropped Ale off!)...and, friend confirms she has the $20 and will give it to niece the next time they have classe together at the university!...

Needless to say, I feel VERY relieved that the $20 has turned up!....

On the bright side, while we still need the sweat pants and shirt, we didn't get to spend the change! LOL!

snake in the grass?

October 16th, 2007 at 08:45 am

cousin is very happy because her son has decided he wants to help her with the toy business and went with her downtown yesterday....I don't know...knowing him, it's probably just a trick to:
1. get her to buy him something (which would be the least serious situation); or
2. get her to lower her guard to steal some money from her (after all, this would allow him to know WHEN she will be picking up the toys, which is to say he'd know when she has cash!)
Isn't it sad that I have these thoughts??

Better safe than sorry, though!

80 pages!

October 12th, 2007 at 02:44 pm

40, really, as I've already spoken to my friend so we can split them!..

woo-hoo!!!

Had to buy new school sweat pants for Ale...

October 12th, 2007 at 09:07 am

I thought since she has PE on Tuesdays and Fridays, we could do with just one pair...but, it's raining too much and the weather is so humid all the time, they're not drying! (clothes dryers really ARE luxury items here in ES!- Plus, most of the time you don't NEED them! Even during rainy season we get ~4 hours of fierce sun per day)...but,this rainy season has been so...well, RAINY! and the sky has been overcast...so, the pants were still wet today!...I had her wear some other non-uniform sweatpants and gave her money to buy a new pair ($7)...her t-shirt was even wetter than the pants, but, she still has 1 from last year that still fits!

Another order for X-mas gifts!

October 11th, 2007 at 06:08 pm

heard my previous workplace was looking for toys for Xmas, so we called and cousin went to give them our catalogue, show them some samples of things not included in the catalogue, etc...well, we suggested watches for the 10-13 year olds!...and they loved them!...it's actually a watch with several bands and several covers to make them look different...very much like this one!


they want 90!!!! woo-hoo!...and they also want an AM/FM radio with video games...55 of those!....

business is booming!! Smile

do you have a spare nose?

October 11th, 2007 at 09:49 am

mine is totally useles today...I'm sneezing, and cannot breathe...oh, and I can't smell a thing, either!

Guess WHAT??

October 10th, 2007 at 08:37 pm


If you said MORE Translations....you're absolutely right!...3 PowerPoint presentations for the training tomorrow!...woo-hoo!...and it's only 9:30pm and I already sent them!!!...that levaes me 1 and a half hours to work on the 4th presentation (due on Friday)...the comments from today's training sessions will have to wait, but, of course, those are lower priority... I still haven't done my wordcount on those presentations, so I still don't know how much $$$ I'm getting for them! LOL!...

notice my tickers?

October 10th, 2007 at 02:20 pm

they've MOVED!!!...now, don't think that I only paid $254......that's the impact on the principal, no interest is included! so, my debt is no longer over $13K!!!
Frown ...but,hey, it's a difference of $254!!!!...and I still have to make more payments this month!! Smile
Oh, and the $20 towards Disney is an automatic monthly deduction! Smile

Nightmare

October 10th, 2007 at 01:19 pm

After another one of his "here today, gone tomorrow" stints, my nephew came home last night. Says he wants to go to rehab (again!...he just left the last one 2 weeks ago!-in the middle of the treatment, I may add!) and wanted sis to give him shelter for the night...sis, of course, said No. She already told him 3 rehabs ago...he cannot enter the house if he's not IN a program...he left and said he'd be back later...he didn't come back last night...or today...sis is on the emotional rollercoaster again (aren't we all?)...

Sis told him we cannot afford to help him right now...not just financially, but emotionally...unless he REALLY gets his act together, we cannot help...

and I had the nightmare again, the one where he sneaks into the house, into my bedroom and takes my things (my laptop this time!)...I woke up screaming...in my dream, I was trying to wake sis up so she could come and stop him...

it was all just a dream...the most awful part, of course, is to have these feelings about a child that you love! Frown

YES!!!! Another training= more translations!!

October 9th, 2007 at 08:45 pm

these are the "cheap" package ones, but, still....I already billed $23 for tonight's!! ...the ones last time (which will be paid in Nov) totalled $547 AFTER taxes, so...they're not to be despised!!...and, just think: the course goes from oct 8 through Nov 16...that's 30 working days!!!

I feel like doing the happy $$$ dance!


"free" t-shirt for Ale and a potential bike

October 9th, 2007 at 07:47 am

since we had to buy a toy to bring as a sample to one of our customers and, since it was $21.30, AND, since there's a "spend $19.99, get a free t-shirt" on Barbie products right now, we got a free t-shirt for Ale. If the customer likes it, we will buy 11 more, so we would end up with 12 t-shirts in all!...since there are 4 different ones, Ale would get one of each and, the others we would request in different sizes so we could give some to Nanny's grand-daughter and would have some to give away as presents to other little girls. ...and, no, the customer doesn't want them. Same thing happened last year and, because not ALL the toys have a "giveaway", it would seem like they're being partial to some kids (or groups) by giving them 2 "gifts" instead of just one!- it seems this happened to them with a previous supplier and it was a big mess!...so, whenever the toys have giveaways, they always ask us to keep them!

Oh, and, while we were at this store, I spotted a hot-pink bike that looked about the right size (it was! I made Ale try it!)...and it costs $73, as opposed to the one we had seen at the other store, which was $106 (I do get a 13% discount on the $106, but, that is still $95.40....)

starting to collect on those translations!

October 8th, 2007 at 06:32 pm

$360 this time! woo-hoo!...I'm going to the bank tomorrow and paying $78 towards the cc and $220 towards the loan...the remaining $62 will go towards the dept store card! ....woo-hoo! TAKE THAT!!

Groceries are even more expensive now!

October 8th, 2007 at 09:22 am

Wow!...I didn't even buy meat yesterday (only chicken) and, our "non regular" purchases were 1 comb, 1 brush, 1 toothbrush and 1 hair pin...my total was $62.50!!!!...

Payday!

October 5th, 2007 at 09:14 am

and I already took out half my salary out of the account...but, that paid for rent and for my car loan with the coop at the previous work place....
I also have to do the grocery shopping, pay for Nanny's salary of the next 2 weeks, fill the tank of my car, pay the electricity bill and pay for Ale's school...Ah! and make a cc payment...((hysterical laughter))

Oh! It's the loan payment!

October 4th, 2007 at 10:04 am

I was thinking about that "extra" money and, I KNOW what it is!...it's the $69.36 loan payment (which I finished paying in August, but didn't "see" last month because I was still trying to "catch up" on other payments!)...so, yes, as of this month, I should have $70 "more" to put towards other debt!...this is so exciting!

Scary!

October 4th, 2007 at 08:47 am

yesterday I called my sister and asked her to remember to bring the money for the house expenses (Nanny's money and also her share of utilities and rent)...I swear she said: "I already have half of it, but couldn't get the rest because the OTHER credit card company was already closed"....does that mean she's making cash withdrawals from the cc's to pay for the household expenses?...I know she gets paid once a month, on the 25th, and I thought this is where the money came from...so, she's using ALL her cash to pay debt and then taking on MORE debt to pay for the household expenses??...Scary....VERY scary...
I really need to talk to her and sort this out...if necessary, we need to sit down with Niece and bring her out of Princess-land and face the fact that she HAS to work! (she says she really wants to, but, she arranged her university schedule in such a way that ANY form of employment is really impossible!...unless it's the occasional model jobs she likes so much -loves to see herself in print!- but that don't really pay much....and which she spends 100% on clothes, makeup and shoes she never wears!)

wish me luck! (because THIS could make me THE most unpopular person in the world to both of them, but,hey, we are all living together!)

School census in ES - updated!

October 3rd, 2007 at 12:51 pm

We got a copy of the new certificate that the Ministry of Education issued Ale's school...they have now been awarded Category A

The school appealed the previous ruling, did their homework in correcting some things and presented evidence on the issues they considered had been wrongly rated and, got the new certification, which grants them a 10-year operation license, subject to yearly visits (see my previous entry: http://miclason.savingadvice.com/2007/08/13/school-census-in...

I still have money??

October 3rd, 2007 at 10:46 am

well, I have the amazing amount of $2 in my account...to last until payday (which is this Friday), BUT...cousin owes me $11 and sis owes me $60 (I paid that money to Nanny, sis still hasn't given me her share of the expenses for this month!)...they're both supposed to pay me today ...but, that means I have $73????...I could faint!...oh, wait, no, that will cover the payment on 1 cc...(due on the 15th, though...)

Oh, wow, this is a first!!

sent my niece to make a payment...

October 3rd, 2007 at 09:47 am

and, could you believe it? they didn't accept the payment because she didn't have her id card with her...this has never happened before...she will go again today...and bring her id with her, but, I already told her, next time she should ask to speak to a supervisor (because, she's made payments there before, both for me and sis, and they never required an id, plus, she says the cashier was rather pedantic)

I think my financial problems have been a blessing

October 1st, 2007 at 01:40 pm

True, it hasn't been easy. True, I really wish I hadn't put myself in this situation....but, you know, my financial problems helped me take a good look at my priorities and, I can now say, this (crisis) would have happened sooner or later (most probably later, when I wouldn't have had as much room to "maneuver" so to speak!)...

Also, the crisis hit while Ale was very young and, thus, still didn't have that sense of entitlement she might have had if we had continued to live "the good life" on credit! ...being aware of money from a young age will be benefitial for her...most of her classmates don't have a clue! (after all, they're only 7!)...but, Ale at least has an idea of the value of money and, she knows getting into debt is a bad idea....

I have learned that you CAN have fun without spending much...as a matter of fact, you can even have fun -GASP- for free!...

I also learned that your true friends won't leave you just because you can't "keep up", but will try to schedule more cheap/free activities into their lives so you can participate!...

So....eventhough some parts of THIS ride have been awful, at least it has been worthwhile!

And, no, I'm by no means "out of the hole" yet, but, I can look back and see the progress I make and, I can look forward and see the end of it all!...

And, who knows, maybe I'll have gained enough sense to NOT fall into the trap again!




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