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Working Hard at Staying Positive

Job situation looking up.

Every bit of laundry in the house is clean and dry, and every dish, piece of silverware, pot, pan, glass, etc is also clean. Insomnia is my friend. LOL.

Also I can get a cheap laptop on Amazon with the Amazon gift certificates that I’ve been saving up for a new clothes dryer.

Added a Go Fund Me widget and link all over the place. Worth a try.

Go Fund Me Link

http://www.gofundme.com/4hy8ws Worth a try I guess 🙂

Adventures in Electricity

Well, here’s my second post using the phone. I still HATE this keyboard with a passion but at least the phone gives me words based on what I’ve typed (or mistyped, for that matter).

Today I was at Safeway getting cheap dinner and my phone starts ringing. Of cpurse by the time I get it out of my purse the call has gone to voicemail. Luckily the caller was in my contacts and I could call right back.

Amazingly enough it was the credit manager at my utility company (Central Electric Co-op) and she was not calling to tell me that they were going to turn off my electricity (yet anyway).

She and I had talked last Wednesday and she gave me til last Friday to come up with the slightly over $40.00 that I need to keep going with my contract
I’ve been trying to contact a local charity (Willing to Help) since September 5th but it turns put that they aren’t going to be opening again until early October.

The credit manager told me that she had noticed that I was using a CPAP machine and nocturnal oxygen so she had called Neighbor Impact (another local charity) and discussed the situation with them. They told her that they might be able to help me and that I should call them.

So I called Neighbor Impact and left them a message. Hopefully this will work out.

Sorry for any errors in this post–this keyboard is a complete and total pita (and I do NOT mean the bread).

adventures in cleaning land LOL

My first post from the phone!! An LG smartphone powered by Sprint AKA Credo Mobile for those of you that care.

I finally got the vacuum cleaner fixed today and have spent most of the evening vacuuming the dining room, living room, and hallway. I am proud of myself for fixing the vacuum cleaner because I am not handy in the slightest. It had to be fixed though as I am cleaning house eother in prep for a roommate or in prep for selling.

Learned how to access Facebook and the blog using the phone as well. My next phone will have a full keyboard!!

PS vacuum cleaner NOT fixed so I bugged the park manager and he will take a look at it.

Desperately in Need of Financial Help

Things have totally fallen apart since my last post….and now I need $104.00 for the electric bill (by September 10, 2013), I am losing my computer today or tomorrow (it is going back to Aaron’s (Lease to Own) unless I can pull some rabbit out of some hat and come up with $135.00 to make the monthly payment on it, and I am 8-9 months behind on space rent — my mobile home park manager will work with me if I can come up with 3 months of space rent (approximately $1200.00) by the end of September.

I have contacted 2 of 3 charities here in town for help with the electric bill, one can’t help me because they helped me in June, the other one doesn’t have any funding for anything other than food boxes, and the third one took the summer off (they were supposed to be back yesterday, but didn’t answer their phone yesterday morning or afternoon).

My ex-roommate gave notice on June 9, she had actually moved out at that time but much of her belongings remained in my house, and I discovered after she was arrested on July 7 that she had totally trashed the room including clothes, bird seed, bird feathers, and bird poop all over the floor. There are also holes in the wall and a lot of other damage to the room. Cleaning the room and house has been problematic because I have been ill after choking on a pill on July 27 that went into my lungs.

I have lost 3 jobs this summer, 2 online jobs where the work just ran out, and one offline job where I didn’t pass the second week of training (due to the great pill inhalation episode, I had to leave training often because I was coughing my head off and disturbing the other trainees). The offline jobs were not covered by unemployment benefits, and I made too little from the two weeks of training to be eligible for unemployment.

PayPal or Alert Pay (Payza) or Serve donations in any amount would be gratefully accepted. The email address for all of those accounts is suellen.roley@gmail.com.

Suggestions on how to come up with the cash I need (other than selling my body, LOL) would also be welcomed. Please understand that I have no money right now so any suggestions involving membership fees will not work for me.

A Request For Help

It never rains but it pours is a saying here in the USA.

First one of my online jobs has been on hold since May 17, 2013.

Second, my roommate gave 30 days notice on June 9, 2013 which coincidentally was also the same day my last online job went on hold–with no warning at all. I cannot rent the rooms (bathroom/bedroom) out until my old roommate moves completely out, and she is going to drag this out to the 9th of July even though she is living with someone else and has been for nearly a month now.

This means no money. No money means no bills get paid.

I managed to renew the domain for this blog with a loan from a friend. Food stamps and Oregon Health Plan (Standard) take care of food and medical needs. I got help paying the electric bill as well from a local charity.

All this brings me to the point of this post, which is 1) no charities offer any kind of help or assistance with ISP/cable/telephone bills and 2) due to a mistake regarding my debit card (my ISP said it was invalid which it was not, and there was money in the account) I now owe them over $309.00 and must pay in full by July 9 2013 (or face disconnection, a $20.00 reconnection fee, and a $5.00 late fee).

If I cannot come up with that $309.00 in the next 8 days, I will have no internet access at home (am looking into wi-fi in this town since I do have a laptop).

I have already paid my ISP $300.00 ($144.00 + $170.00) since this mess started. This money came from my last few paychecks from the remaining online job.

I have an excellent shot at a full time brick-and-mortar (outside of the home) job that would pay $10.00 per hour for 3 weeks of training and then $12.50 per hour full time plus benefits, but that job probably won’t start until the end of July, which does nothing to pay my bills right now. Also, one of the online jobs MAY come back to life in July, but even if it came back to life tomorrow, the earliest I would get paid is next Friday…..3 days after the shutoff date for my internet connection.

I have written my mother a letter asking for her help, but I am fairly sure her answer will be no because she feels she is broke. IMO, she doesn’t have a clue what broke is….broke is 85 cents in your checking account, $0.00 in your savings account, and 50 cents in your PayPal account. Oh yes, lets not forget the $8.00 in Serve and the 13 cents in Alert Pay. Rolling in dough I am …… NOT!

A donation to the cause of keeping Suellen online would be gratefully accepted. If I do receive any donations, I intend to pay donors back as soon as I can.

I Didn’t Ask For This Resume Critique

After my experience with Resume Doctor, (http://www.i-dont-think-so.com/?p=507) I’ve steered away from resume evaluations. However, with this particular company even deleting their ‘do you want a resume critique’ email unread (which I did) didn’t stop them from critiquing my resume. I deleted their first email unread yesterday, and I remember saying to myself, after that mess with Resume Doctor, I DON’T THINK SO (first time that I’ve really been able to fit the blog title into a blog post in a natural way in a long time).

Today, I received this pile of male bovine fecal material.

Dear Suellen

Thank you for choosing Beyond.com for your resume critique. In our years of operation, we’ve learned what employers are looking for in job-seeker resumes. We’ve also learned how job seekers can showcase their skills and qualifications while avoiding mistakes that could hurt their chances for employment.

Our goal for this critique was to provide you an honest, direct assessment of your current resume. By using an intelligent program that we created, we have scored your resume based on an evaluation of its content, structure and other key factors. Your resulting score is located in the upper-right corner of this page.

After evaluating your resume, we believe it needs some improvement to pass the 30-second test and avoid falling victim to some of the latest screening techniques being used by employers. Your resume should make hiring managers want to read more about you. It should show why you would be a great employee and create excitement about your skills and qualifications.

Your resume doesn’t miss the target by much, but we suggest seeking professional assistance to improve your aim. A professional resume writer can showcase you as a prime candidate, help you stand apart from the hundreds of other applicants, and help you land your next interview. At the bottom of this 2-page critique you will find detailed information on our resume writing service. We encourage you to call and speak with one of our Career Advocates at (888) 447-1193 or email ResumeCritique@Beyond.com to discuss your critique. If you call within the next 48 hours, you will receive a 15% discount off of the regular price.

Ready to move forward now? Click here to order professional resume writing with your limited-time offer.

Here is some specific feedback regarding your resume:

As an experienced professional it is imperative to demonstrate that you can make an impact in any organization. By writing a resume that effectively depicts your skills and experiences, you can quickly get the attention of hiring managers. Your years of experience can help you land your next job, but first you need to land the interview. Writing a resume that gets you noticed takes skill and experience. Your resume needs to demonstrate that you can be a major contributor and add to the bottom line and it needs to compel them to continue reading.

THE CONTENT OF YOUR RESUME

Your resume seems to be missing a career summary, which is traditional at this stage in your career. When reviewing candidates with more than five years of experience, most employers expect to see career summaries at the top of resumes. More than an objective statement, a career summary provides a concise but comprehensive view of who you are as a professional, not just what you hope to achieve next.

Employers and recruiters are looking for results-oriented resumes that help them envision how you could be an asset to their organizations. Unfortunately, your existing resume gives the impression that you are a “doer” and not an “achiever”.

THE STRUCTURE OF YOUR RESUME

Your resume structure is clear and consistent, which means you’re making it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to take in your key points within each section. Now that you have a solid foundation, see if there are any improvements that can make your resume structure even more fluid.

It looks like your resume could use more bullets in certain sections. Each bullet should be brief and descriptive, to convey information quickly and effectively. To help you focus on the most important information, make sure your bullets are results-based, highlighting what you achieved as a result of what you did.

ADDITIONAL POINTERS ABOUT YOUR RESUME

Right now your resume is just too long to be effective (about 787 words) . As a candidate without many years of experience, you can help your cause by creating a more concise summary of your experience and qualifications. Don’t assume that including more information will make you appear more experienced. Instead, focus on making sure every line of your resume is effective and has a clear purpose.

You should consider removing, or emphasize less, any work experience from over 25 years ago. Employers are more interested in your most recent, relevant experience.
Be sure to list your work experience in reverse chronological order, with your most recent experience first. Also, list the geographical location next to the employer name. Try to qualify and quantify your past accomplishments whenever possible to give them greater impact.

Based on the number of jobs on your resume with a relatively brief tenure, recruiters and hiring managers may view this as “job hopping”, which can be a red flag. While there are many valid reasons to move on from a job, you don’t want to raise concerns about your commitment level. The good news is there are ways to minimize the “job hopping” impression and present a more steady work history.

In your resume, you incorporated personal pronouns. This is something that you should consider changing. Personal pronouns (I, me, my, etc.) should be avoided as they are not necessary and may be a bit awkward. In fact, many recruiters and hiring managers consider it incorrect and unprofessional.

OUR RECOMMENDATION

To reiterate, we believe that your resume could do a much better job of selling hiring managers on your value as a potential employee. We are concerned that your skills may be overlooked. In today’s extremely competitive job market, you need to win over hiring managers quickly and convincingly. Without some overall improvements, your resume probably won’t generate the attention it deserves.

We’d be happy to help you create a better resume. Through our professional Resume Writing Service, you will work with a professional resume writer, who can help you perfect your resume and showcase your distinctive skills and qualifications. Your writer will be chosen based upon your industry and experience. They will provide expert help in choosing keywords for your resume so it will resonate with hiring managers instead of falling victim to some of the latest screening techniques. All in all, we feel we can help you get through the gatekeeper and be called for more interviews.

The cost of having your resume written by a professional is normally $149. However, for the next 48 hours, you can receive a 15% discount. That’s only $125 (a $24 savings). This offer expires on 06/20/2013. Click here to take advantage of this special offer or call 888-447-1193 to speak with a Career Advocate.

Hmmm, as stated a few times before I didn’t want this resume critique, I didn’t ask for it, I deleted the email offering it to me unread. And when I login to their site, I can’t even tell WHICH resume they critiqued (I have several resumes as I have experience in several different fields).

Even if I were interested in their services, the less than honest way they go about drumming up business for their website really really turns me off. In addition, this (in their opinion) less than optimal resume has gotten me 3 phone calls, two interviews, and a phone interview/screening/invitation to an informational session in less than a week (I haven’t been actively job hunting since the first of the year, so I didn’t send out resumes until last week). My resumes are working for me, so even if I could afford their services I don’t see the need to pay $125.00 for a service I never expressed any interest in in the first place.

The areas I bolded in the above (which was copied and pasted from the email I received) are phrases that I think either contradict themselves or that presume a lot. First paragraph they say this experienced professional but later in the same document they say this without many years of experience,. Which one is it? Either I have a lot of experience or I don’t.

The other wording that I highlighted is which is traditional at this stage in your career presumes that I have a career. Maybe back when I worked for the bank for 10 years, I had a career. Now I have a series of jobs, and my whole point is to pay my bills. I will shovel alpaca poop if necessary to pay those bills. And if I’m supposed to be emphasizing a career, I would have to include jobs that started in 1989, which they say is too old.

Great Customer Service From Cascades East Transit

Regular readers of my blog know that I don’t have a vehicle and am usually taking the bus wherever I need to go.

Yesterday (May 13, 2013) marked the first day of a new schedule for the bus I ride the most often. I knew the old schedule by heart (after all, I’ve been riding the bus for 2 1/2 years) but the new one had changed quite a bit and as it was only launched yesterday I haven’t had the time to memorize the new times.

No problem, thinks I, because the schedule is on the Cascades East Transit website. HA HA, the website was down. So I called the customer service line and they went above and beyond in helping me by scanning the bus schedule into an email and sending it to me.

Additionally, tomorrow one of the main streets that my bus normally uses is going to be closed for 3 months and I needed to know if that closure would affect my bus stop since I have a INR check tomorrow morning. They checked and told me that the only stop that will be affected is the one at the Bend Senior Center, which isn’t the stop I need.

An Open Letter to Cascades East Transit

I’ve had it clean up to my eyeballs with being harassed about my wheeled cart (not to mention my drink cups and my bicycle) by many of the drivers at Cascade East Transit.

Do the bus drivers (not all of them, but enough to be a constant irritation and source of stress) actually think I ride the bus nearly every single day and haul that cart around at least 3-5 times a month because I want to?

Do they think I spent nearly $50.00 on that cart simply because I had a spare $50.00 burning a hole in my pocket? (don’t I wish LOL!!)

Do they actually think I ride the bus nearly every single day and haul that cart around 3-5 times a month because I want to irritate them?

Do they think I get out of bed in the morning and immediately start thinking of ways to make their life difficult?

Do they actually think I enjoy hauling 60-80 pounds of whatever I need (on my next to last trip I desperately needed cat litter and cat food) anywhere from 1/2 a mile to a mile (no matter what the weather is?) and that I would do this repeatedly if I had any other options?

Here’s a reality check. I do not have a vehicle nor do I have access to a vehicle. I cannot haul 40 pounds of cat litter (or even 20 pounds of cat litter) and 10 pounds of cat food on a bicycle, nor can I carry it home on foot (home, by the way, is 2 1/2 miles each way from the bus station).

There is a minimum cost of $5.00 for a cab, and they cost $8.00 each way (not including tips) just to go to Safeway from my house; if I want to go to Trader Joes it’s going to be $20.00-$25.00 EACH WAY.

I make a whopping $1200.00 per month ($800.00 from work and $400.00 from my roommate) her $400.00 comes right off the top to pay space rent, there’s another $100.00 (at least) for electricity, another $140.00 for telephone (that doesn’t include any long distance calls I might need to make), cable, and internet (I work from home online so I have to have internet access), another $53.00 for my cellphone, $15.00 per month for a bus pass, and another $100.00 for my computer (which again I have to have because I work ONLINE from home).

If you do the math, that leaves me $392.00 per month which would be lovely except for the fact that I am trying to pay off 5 months of back space rent, 3-4 years of back property taxes, and extremely high medical bills from a unexpected (and uninsured) hospital stay in 2010.

I don’t have spare cash in my budget for even an $8.00 cab ride to Safeway much less the $20.00-25.00 for a ride to Trader Joes. I haven’t purchased any new clothes since 2009 because I cannot afford them.

But I can’t possibly be allowed to take my wheeled cart on the bus because it is too heavy for me to handle…..hmmm, I handled it just fine today, it is NOT my fault that the bus driver chose to help me and then make comments about how there was too much food in it and that I should not bring it on the bus.

The wisdom according to some of the bus drivers appears to be that I should just buy what I can carry in my canvas shopping bags (no matter that I can only carry 3-4 days worth of food at a time) and god help me if I go get a food box at the end of the month because that’s too much to bring on the bus as well.

Additionally, most of the people who have a problem with the cart do not express it in a ‘kinder, gentler’ manner. They are generally pretty rude about it which should not be acceptable for people who are PAID to deal with the public.

I’m trying to come up with a way to attach the cart to the bicycle for big shopping days (which really aren’t all that big/heavy unless I need cat litter which is generally about once every 2 months) because I am tired of being harassed about the cart.

A little compassion and understanding on the part of the guilty bus drivers would go a long way. It would also help if they realized that without people like me who ride the bus on a regular basis they wouldn’t even have a job.

Fear and Loathing at Safeway

I really think that some of the people that work at Safeway should find another line of business. Most of them are really nice, but there are a few bad apples that just make me crazy (not that it takes much to make me crazy though!). Or maybe I should start shopping elsewhere…..

So it’s the end of the month, I am so broke it’s pitiful–to the point of scrounging pennies off the floor, out of dresser drawers, etc as well as cashing in water bottles and pop bottles for the deposit. Not to mention I ride the bus everywhere, which becomes germane to this story really quickly.

I managed to scrape together two full rolls of pennies (50 cents per roll, so $1.00) and 10 pop/water bottles (at 5 cents apiece that’s another 50 cents).

I am desperate for my ice cream bar fix, and I know they cost $1.39, so off I go to Safeway (first mistake). I grab my ice cream bar and am waiting in the express lane to be checked out. They open a second express lane, and I go over there (second mistake).

First, the checker (Ron, although I’d like to call him other names) says ‘were you next in line?” No, I wasn’t, he already knew that and was trying to embarrass me, but geeze louise I had ONE lousy item, and the person behind me–who had been next in line–didn’t care and told him so.

He rings up my ice cream bar and deducts the 50 cents for the bottle refund, and I hand him the two rolls of pennies. What I did not know is that he was going to open the rolls and count out 89 cents, which normally wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I was already pretty disgusted with the ‘were you next in line’ bit–and I only had 5 minutes to walk from Safeway to the bus stop as it was.

He just had to be sure I wasn’t trying to cheat Safeway out of a few pennies or stick a bunch of Canadian pennies in the rollers. If I were trying to rip off Safeway, it sure wouldn’t be over one lousy ice cream bar that cost a whopping $1.39!

I wouldn’t have bothered rolling the darn pennies in the first place had I known what was going to happen. I find it amusing though that he handed me back 11 cents in pennies—89 cents + 11 cents = $1.00 so there was no attempt to cheat on my part; however, there was an attempt (two attempts in fact) to irritate me no end on his part! It worked too!

However, the best part, the absolute best part, is that because of his ‘were you next in line’ delay, and the counting out of 89 cents delay, I missed my bus by about 30 seconds (the buses were leaving on the next run, pulling around the corner and heading down the street as I got to the bus stop).

Now this missing of my bus wouldn’t be such a big deal if I still lived in Portland, where the buses run every 15 minutes maximum (some even run as often as every 10 minutes) and where the bus shelters have some true shelter from the rain (after all, it’s Portland, where everybody and their dog has webbed feet because it rains ALL the time LOL).

No this is Bend, where most of the bus stops have no place to sit (other than the sidewalk) much less any shelter from the weather. And Bend’s buses run every 40 minutes from 6 am to 6 pm (every 80 minutes on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays)—so I got to sit in the lovely weather HA! and wait for the bus for 40 minutes.

It was so nice and balmy too the high temperature for that day was about 35 degrees. It was spitting rain as well (at least Hawthorne Station, the main bus stop in town, has two shelters and the station itself).

I was eating nails and spitting out tacks by that time though. I suppose I could have walked home but walking home (2 1/2 miles) in 35 degree weather struck me as a less than fun idea.

I do believe I’ll try Trader Joe’s or Albertsons for my next shopping trip!