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Viewing the 'Setbacks' Category

Go away, Murphy!

December 12th, 2007 at 06:48 am

....we already have our hands full as it is, and, yesterday, one of our suppliers told us that the 30% off promotion had expired...we actually had a large order on toys from them...so, cousin ran downtown to find another supplier (she found one, yay, cousin!), but, it took her all morning...AND, the office get-together was yesterday night...(no way I could get out of going...we are only 9 people!-counting the spouses and 2 consultants!)...and, today, one of the people coming to help pack presents is sick!... AND, I still haven't finished my translation!!! (the good thing is, I was given an extension, because the end customer is NOT going to arbitration just yet-they might not go at all, but they want to have the documents just in case anyway!)

::breath in, breath out::

panick mode!

December 7th, 2007 at 09:28 am

I'm overcommitted for this weekend!...
these are the events:
1. Ale's church meeting (yes)
2. Embassy's Xmas festival for children (don't think we'll be able to make it!)
3. gift-wrapping/order preparation fest with cousin (definitely YES!)
4. Xmas get-together with translation agency folks (VERY difficult)
5. 20-year anniversary class reunion (also VERY difficult)
6. 35 pages of translation....

HELP!!!....oh, and here I am, instead of trying to reduce those 35 pages..I'm blogging!

car trouble!

November 22nd, 2007 at 03:57 pm

I was on my way to pick up Ale when the car started overheating...took it to the nearest gas station...the radiator was dry!...I just checked it about a week ago (when filling the tank)...they filled the radiator with water and I drove it all the way back to our neighborhood (there´s a good workshop one block from my house) Needless to say, the car has to stay overnight (it was already 4 pm when I finally got here!) ....I told them the car had overheated and, they´ll check it...they´ll also do the oil change and I asked them to check the brakes (I check them every 6 months) while they´re at it....

((sigh)) they´ll call me tomorrow to tell me what it is, how much it´s going to cost and how long it´s going to take!...wish me luck!

Freight going up by 30%

November 20th, 2007 at 08:26 am

the freighters guild announced a 30% increase in their rates...guess what THAT'll do to food prices! (not that I can blame them, though, with gas at $3.68/gallon!....ok, most use diesel, which is cheaper, but, still, it HAS gone up in price!)

New iron!

November 14th, 2007 at 10:41 am

well, Nanny asked me yesterday if it was ok for her to use the iron, as the cable had started smoking while she was ironing in the morning!...er, NO!...I will probably take the old iron to have it fixed and use it as a "spare" for emergencies...I bought a new iron yesterday (luckily, they were on sale!..it cost me $29)...a steam iron, HEAVY, teflon coated... (don't ask ME, I don't know how to iron, but Dad had learned while in the military and always said a heavy iron works best...of course, he was in the army around WWII, so....the new technologies might make that unnecessary!)...

someone cloned cousin's debit card!

November 7th, 2007 at 12:30 pm

there was a discrepancy between HER numbers and the balance at the bank (she discovered this when a toy wholesaler tried to reserve a cheque she had given and got rejected for insufficient funds)...well, someone has spent $685 from her account!...living the good life at expensive restaurants and bars in the two most expensive malls here in ES (coincidentally near the place where we live!)....I would have blamed it on her son (who, at least apparently, continues to behave and will start to work next month!- or so he says)...well, I would have blamed him if it weren't for 2 things: 1. he was with her at the times when the transactions took place and 2. there's a $150 purchase at a store called Ilusion. Cousin didn't know what it was, but I do...it's a very expensive home-decor store (definetily not your average teenage-hangout!)...nothing but crystal, silver,pewter and the likes there...definetely not a place where a teenage boy would spend $$$$....she is disputing the charges (obviously) and has closed her account with the bank...

On the day her cheque was rejected, she tried to go to an ATM to get a balance and found out her card was blocked. When contacting the bank she was told the card had been reported as stolen, so they issued her a NEW card...and not she's lost ANOTHER $535 ....fishy, very fishy...

anyway, the bank is investigating, and she got whathever money she had out of there...

She's been told it generally takes 45 days to have something like this resolved...we'll see...wish us luck! (the $$$ in the account was the toy money!!!...obviously she thought it would be a lot wiser to keep it in the bank, where it would be "safe" rather than keep it home....after last year's "incident" with her son!)...I'm just glad I didn't give her MY share of the $$$, but chose to keep it myself, as we need to buy some toys TODAY to be able to benefit from a special sale price- which will allow us a $10 PROFIT/toy, instead of the $5 foreseen!! Smile


November 3rd, 2007 at 06:39 pm

One of the larger jobs was not paid yet. I spent: $1.30 for traditional candy at the mall (Ale begged and, since she can't eat the colored ones at the moment, I gave in!), I also went to the toy store and, I found a bike that was a bit more expensive, but had 18 rim tires, so it's bigger than the ones I had seen before and, will last her longer. She tried it and she can use it - it does have training wheels!...we can pay it with 25% downpayment and 3 installments without paying interest, so I paid ~$25 also bought the protective gear...I separated $6 for our vegetables tomorrow (change) and, put the remaining $$$ in a safe place, so I don't have it with me today and tomorrow (so I cannot spend it!)...on MOnday I'll deposit it and start working on the payments!...oh, and it seems my car may need a new battery (it refused to start after I dropped cousin off!...luckily her neighbor is a mechanic and he was just arriving at the same time, so he looked at it and, used the jump cables to start my car!)...that could cost me about $60-$75....I have to look on the bright side: while that means less money towards debt, at least I HAVE IT!...if this had happened last year, for example, I would have been in BIG trouble (and would have had to incurr new debt to get it!)...If this had happened before we went to the toy store, I might have backed down on the bike!, but, I'm already committed now (else I lose part of my $$$)...I also have to buy some more medicines for Ale, to finish her treatment...part of that is reimbursable, though, so...no big loss there...
Oh! and the guys from the translation agency warned me that there's "a TON of work coming really soon" and to check whether any of my friends were willing to do translations, as they might have more work than their current pool of translators can handle!..that is sweet news, indeed!!
it was a good day!!!
minor detail I was forgetting! I owe $322 to my friend who helped me with one of the large translations! duh!...I'll go take that out of my stash RIGHT NOW!

Tough translation

October 28th, 2007 at 09:26 pm

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

productive development
dairy production
fruit growing
rural electrification
water and sanitation

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!)

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...


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

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!!!!...