Thursday, August 30, 2007

Frustrated as Hell

While the title of the post very easily could describe the experience as a Red Sox fan the last two days, watching a ball bounce 14 times before dribbling out of the infield to get the bases juiced after a freshly-squeezed umpire walk allows Damon to drive in a couple runs, this is not about baseball. For that, go here. This post is, by and large, a rant.

Yes, a rant. I have a rant. I have a rant, and it is in my pant(s). This one has to deal with money. To be specific, it has to do with my money. I hold myself of the opinion that I am good with money. I'm not the best, but at least I am organized about it. I pay all my bills as they come in. I put money away in savings. I invest. While I may fork out too much in tips and rounds of drinks for my friends, it all comes out of my amorphous "discretionary" account, which essentially forces me to ration out fun over a month instead of money. I have no debt, as I have effectively paid off my student loans (with a few monthly CDs maturing around the payment dates covering the remaining payments). I would like to think that I am at least in the upper quartile when it comes to dealing with money.

So what the fuck?!? How on Earth is it freaking possible that every couple weeks I keep getting whacked with unexpected expenses, each being a couple thousand a piece? Seriously, what the hell?

First, there's the broken ankle. A craptastic turn of events that bled through most of my emergency savings because the goddamn metro can't keep its escalators working, but can operate their claims department well enough to stonewall me from medical expenses. Fantastic. With the student health insurance having all the convenience of an HMO with all the payment savings of an indemnity plan, and a monthly stipend from school being the financial equivalent of lunch of a packet of saltines and a playing card smeared with peanut, that was pretty rocky for a while. I ended up bailing early on physical therapy and a pain prescription refill to stay bouyant. Oh, and my health insurance company recouped cost from the metro, without a dime headed back to me for my copays, including the $1500 out of pocket for the CT scans.

Second, my dingleberry-scented douchebag of a boss from last summer finally sends me my tax info and shows me that the son of a bitch never paid my payroll taxes, despite assuring me TWICE last summer that he was doing so. Great. Now I can either sue him in small claims for misrepresentation and lose because I don't have anything explicitly in writing besides a vague email (stupid of me), or I can actually work for him again this summer while he steals money from the government that is meant to pay my payroll taxes but instead lards his "cut" of my working hours. And hopefully I can get my check on my last day (today) instead of last year when it took 2 trips to the place and a call to his supervisor to finally bleed my check out of him after an 8-week battle. "Yeah, I mailed it to the wrong address, then was surprised when it came back to me as undeliverable, and I didn't bother calling you or checking the email you sent me to ensure I actually wrote the wrong address on the envelope." I really hope I can find alternative funding next summer so that I don't end up with a surprise 2 grand tax bill out of nowhere again. And I hope this sumbitches privates rot off.

Third, a new place. I didn't sign on for this crap. Carpet, twice as expensive as advertized. HVACs break just before we move in. New furniture because the old stuff suddenly doesn't look right. New bed, despite the agreement that we could afford it (So we finance it, YAY!). While I should have seen this coming, I didn't. Especially the HVACs. Who knew that replacing ones from 1958 would be nearly 3 times as costly as ones for newer buildings? $6500, seriously? Oh, right, and we have a list of 10 items of furniture that the Resident Female and I decided we needed for the place that we are holding off on for a while.

Fourth, car. I think I'll just take my car in for the 120,000 mile tune-up that the manufacturer recommends. Yeah, a tune-up, that sounds cheap, right? Like $100, maybe $200? $700! $700! You fuckers, how is that fair?!? Oh, and of course, you find 70 or 80 things wrong that jack that bill up to $1800. And you only tell me after I've already paid the $700, so that money is already "baked in the cake", as it were. Why is it that every single person I have ever met that deals with cars is a full-of-shit charlatan, scum-ridden, syphillis-scarred trouser-stain that lacks even the remotest conceptual understanding of honesty and human decency? Seriously, when has a car company, car salesman, car repairman, mechanic, or car-wash ever been even partially honest? There has got to be a way to slowly eviscerate and throttle all of these rectum-sucking low-lives so that we never have to deal with them again. And fuck you if you were about to say, "Well, you could always buy a Saturn".

Speaking of people that ought to die screaming in agony as they plead in vain for their mommies: anyone to do with the wedding industry. Holy fuck. It is as if the word "wedding" in the description of a product suddenly implies a $200 surcharge. Is the word "wedding" that expensive to print on paper? Where do these damn people get off by even suggesting these prices? Why do rational and sane people agree to pay for this crap? (note: because their future wives tell them to). I've seen this stuff in the stores and online with certain prices attached. Yet they end up in the wedding registry, or a deposit goes down, or a check gets issued, and suddenly there is an automatic $200 fee for wedding stuff. "Hey, let's get those disposable cameras to put on the tables at the wedding." "Great idea, these with the cardboard cover over the camera that has an elaborately printed color scheme are $10 a piece, and these with the same exact kind of cardboard but with wedding graphics are $110 a piece." That seems fair. This country has lost its mind when it comes to wedding prices, has a massive problem with consumer debt, and extremely high divorce rates. Somebody should write that down, it might be important later.

So, why do I bitch and rant about all these things that nobody probably wants to hear about? I wanted to point out that your humble narrator has had more money in "one-time" expenses (not even counting planned things like an engagement ring) pop up in the last year than he has been paid in his living stipend in his 2 years of graduate school. Seriously, two years income is less than one year's "Hello!" expenses. Another $1800 bill today for a fucking car, and a "surprise! I have credit card debt despite you bailing me out a few months ago" revelation from the Resident Female, and I'm a little less than chipper when it comes to finances at the moment Oh, and I need to go get new loafers and a new belt, because apparently my sense of fashion is horrendous and my wardrobe is outdated. Sweet. So today is another $2000 day for me.

SO, anyone know where I can sell a black-market kidney?


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