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Author: criscarson Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308445  
Subject: The criscarson QUARTERLY update... Date: 1/24/2007 7:36 AM
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Having noticed my last post was in October of last year, I'm sure some long time posters may(or may not) think I've dropped off the face of the Earth.
Fear not. I/we are still here-andtogether.
The last month has been very tumultous, but mentally and emotionally.
Let's start in November:

(1) I got a job at the local paper. Owned by gannett, a Fortune 500 company. Worker is eligible for 401k with match IMEDIATELY.
But, I havent yet taken advantage of that-yet. Why? Read on.
(2) Having worked at Rite Aid-another F500- since August, I gave my 2 week noticce Monday. This company I was contributing the max to the 401 since November. As of now, however, only $300.00 has been saved.
At 18%? Do the math.(:-
(3) The bookstore gig is not working out. I've only worked there 1 day this month and am not counting on it by any means.
(4) I am still on call at the high school subbing, but again, is unplanned money. Nothing to count on.
BUT....it's been a very good last 30 days.
(a) Asstated above, I started with Gannett in November of last year. My classification is 'Dock Worker.' Basicallly, I 'stack down' the papers coming from production to the circulation dock for the carriers to load to their vehciles for delivery. The job is literally 'hurry up and wait.' I average 4-6 hours a night,,of which at least half of that is spent waiting, doing nothing, for the press to finish priniting and running to the trucks to which I'm not assigned. Of course, the other half, I'm busting my @ss.
Trust me, I earn my money.:-)
I work 30 hours a week at the paper, late night to early AM. With this job, I earn DOUBLE-with the pay differetial and the 401K-than I do at Rite Aid.
I had a VERY good conversation with my super this AM(EARLY AM. :-)) He stated that, after a slow start, I'll be getting a raise next month after my 90 days probabtionary is up. Of this, I'll probably utilize the rasie to contribute to the 401K, with company match. Since I hadnt budgeted for the raise, I don't plan on it, so that's just 'stowaway' money.
With my both reatil-from Rite Aid-and warehouse experience from the paper, I'll bide my time for now. Hopefully, in the next few months, I'll be able to get on at the WalMart or another local distribution center in a few months.
The AVERAGE starting pay here is 30% over what I make now from the paper.
Whew.... I'm longwinded from just typing this.
And now, the real coup de grace that has me happy:
AS, again, many lT posters know, my wife has been chronically ill since we got married. The most frustratng thing was, we never knew WHY. All the Drs. she had been to gave no hard-and-fast diagnosisi for her ailments.
She had previously applied for SS Disability-of which she'd be getting about the same amt as I make/(about to be 'made) at Rite Aid. Obviously, I very big help.
Last week, coincidentally, her ailment was diagnosed.
She has Lupus.
She's had RA symptoms forever, but no one knew WHY. While, obvioulsy, being diagnosed with Lupus is not a good thing, it's a blessing in diguise...because now we at least KNOW what to deal with and how to live with it.
And the big news(like it could be any bigger)
At her hearing yesterday, she got APPROVED for SS Disability!!
She;ll receive back pay since 4/05 in alump sum(minus the 30% bite for the lawyer, of xourse). But she'll also get Medicare-we already have insurance,though-and a check large enough to cover rent and the car payment.
With my retirement $$ as well as my paper job, we'll be taking in almost as much as I made my last year at the library.
Hsving had to live off my creditcards the last year just to make ends meet(to the amount of a mortgage of a house in the trashy side of town, not that I'd buy one), it's time for some massive debt repayment, smaller cards first.This is such a relief, becuase bankruptcy wsas not that far from the horizon.
The financial uncertainty, I'm sorry to say, was one of, if not the, major issue in our relationship. Now that that's been cleared up, we can move on, and really settle down, with our lives ogether.
I really enjoy my Dock Worker job, and I'm good at it. I plan to stay with the company and hope to move up after I've gotten my ears wet a little while longer. Basically, I work 4-6 hours a night and have days free. back to college corerspondence courses, maybe?(!)(If not trading in the market. My return on my IRA is 30% since Memorial Day last year when my rollover from my 457 plan went in.(Happy Dance.)


Anyway, with all the fav posters who've suffered in silence-verbal, not posting-through the last year or so with everything going on, I just want to let y'all know things have VASTLY improived for the better.
Maybe now, we can start living our lives like a 30something married(retired!) couple.
Hope everyone ahd a happy holiday season. Kisses to y'all.:-)

-criscarson-
Sorry for the long@ss post, I'm just wired from my good news this AM at work....see above...
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Author: ShiningDawn Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 245984 of 308445
Subject: Re: The criscarson QUARTERLY update... Date: 1/24/2007 8:43 AM
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The Wall Street Journal had an article in yesterday's paper that talked about some of the new lupus drugs that will be entering human trials in the near future. The link below looks to be the full article without the need to subscribe to the WSJ to get it online.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07023/756127-28.stm

Dawn

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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 246000 of 308445
Subject: Re: The criscarson QUARTERLY update... Date: 1/24/2007 11:24 AM
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Happy New Year!

I am glad DW has a diagnosis, although obviously I wish she had a cure. I am glad the dock worker job is working out, although you may need to elaborate on why you got a slow start. I am glad the guvmint is coming through on the disability, and that you got some good sub spots over the holidays.

But I will be really glad when your CCs are paid off and the family is both medically and financially healthy again.

Fuskie
Who hopes it won't take so long for the next update...

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Author: Selphiras Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 246026 of 308445
Subject: Re: The criscarson QUARTERLY update... Date: 1/24/2007 2:51 PM
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Congrats on making it through the SS disability process. Just wanted to be sure you realized that in addition to the lawyers cut, which by the way can't be legally more than 25% (if what I read is true--do be sure to check on that), you will also pay state and federal taxes on this money.

I believe there's a form on the website to have them withdraw taxes automatically, but I may be confusing that with the direct deposit form. Maybe they withdraw them automatically regardless. Anyway, you don't want to be surprised to find more than 30% gone from the check when it arrives.

Selphiras (we just did a lot of research about the process for DH, but we believe we missed the cutoff for applying....)

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Author: NewPenny Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 246032 of 308445
Subject: Re: The criscarson QUARTERLY update... Date: 1/24/2007 3:26 PM
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<< 4 - 6 hrs, of which at least half of that is spent waiting, doing nothing, for the press to finish priniting and running to the trucks to which I'm not assigned.

Basically, I work 4-6 hours a night and have days free. back to college corerspondence courses, maybe?(!) >>



What a great opportunity! By using the paid waiting time for studying your corespondence courses, you'll really get ahead!

I used to carry a text or note book while I was on active duty. I used the frequent hurry-up-and-wait times to read or review. I looked at it as adding 2 more hours a day onto the 24 I already had.


Sorry to hear about your DW's new diagnosis. A friend of mine has Lupus and says it does take a long time for a diagnosis. It seems to imitate other things, and is hard to nail down. The good news, as you said, is that with a diagnosis, you can step out of the terror of the unknown, and learn to manage it.

My best to you both, and congratulations on the financial front as well!

Penny

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Author: NewPenny Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 246043 of 308445
Subject: Re: The criscarson QUARTERLY update... Date: 1/24/2007 4:06 PM
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<< Congrats on making it through the SS disability process. Just wanted to be sure you realized that in addition to the lawyers cut, which by the way can't be legally more than 25% (if what I read is true--do be sure to check on that), you will also pay state and federal taxes on this money. >>


Well, not always. I pay no taxes at all on my disability pay. Of course, it's my only income, so that may be why. It may depend on how much overall income the family has, as one of my neighbors pays tax, and the other doesn't. This would be worth looking into so you don't get a nasty surprise down the road.


Happy Dancing for you on getting through the disability claim process as well. I know the huge relief of finally having something coming in that can be counted on. The peace of mind it brings is very healing!


Penny
BTDT

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Author: cfaklari Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 246080 of 308445
Subject: Re: The criscarson QUARTERLY update... Date: 1/24/2007 11:24 PM
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Hi criscarson,

I was just passing through and saw the reference to lupus. Autoimmune diseases run in my family, and I have learned a lot about them. Check out this link for the Lupus Foundation of America. They have support groups around the country, and I suggest you check one out. Dealing with any sort of chronic disease is emotionally as well as financially stressful; you can't navigate it alone. It's healing just to be able to talk with people who have been there.

http://www.lupus.org

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Author: criscarson Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 246262 of 308445
Subject: Re: The criscarson QUARTERLY update... Date: 1/25/2007 11:50 PM
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Fusk;
I got a 'slow start' befcuase I have ADD. My specific case means not that I dont pay attention; it just takes me a while for the info to sink in.
My boss, a fiftysomething good ol'boy(his speech harkensd me back to Larry The Cable Guy)<Git'er Done!>)is nothing but a big old bear. When he's upset, and we're on the dock in front of everyone, he acts like a grizzly, ready to chew up anything that gets in his way. Get him in a more private setting, however, and for things personal, outside work(Instance: I had to miss work one day. i called Boss and told him we were headed to the hospital and wouldnt be in that day. OK.
The next AM, we're in the hospital. I get a call from him. 'Andrew.'Yeah''This is Larry.' LOL. Not really. 'How's she doing?')
1st words out of his mouth. He called seeing if I was able to work that PM(I was, as it turned out), but the point is, she let her needs come first before hisas a boss.

Another example: There's controversy down at work today involving inventory in our department I'm responsible for gone missing. His attention was brought to that today. So, he calls me, on my off time, and gently, nonaccusatorilly, informs me and waits-doesnt ask-for my opinion/defense. It was nothing at my fault; just 2 or 3 DM's getting their wires crossed.
But the point is, he treats me like just '1 of the guys' and in the same braeth, it's always known that he's The Man. I've never had a job with any real resonsibility, let alone in a blue collar setting.Here, I have both.
I guess this job just falls in the parameters of the kind of job I've always wanted. One which is not defined by race, who-you-know, or your immediate qualifications without your employer willing to take time to train you.(That explained the slow start. UNtil he found out about the ADD,his favorite expression was 'I'm like history; I don't like repetin'<his injecture, not mine>myself.)
So, we found a way to make it all good. At first-until I got the order of things in my brain how they should be done, he literally gave me a grocery list what to do every day(Ex: (1) Clock in. (2) Go to production hall.) And so on.
I guess I like this bewcuase it's an Everyman job more than anything else. You arent classified on what you are; it's what you do and the way you do it.

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