Archive for October, 2011

October 13, 2011



*** This is going to be a rant. Strong language will be used. I will not be offended if you skip this one.***


So … I do property management. It’s a fluid business, and things can change nearly without warning. Take for example, February of this year. In January, we were told that the company I was working for had lost the contract on my building, effective March 1st. They weren’t yet sure if they had a place for any of us, but would keep us updated.

Three weeks  passed with nothing. Then the games started. The “HR liaison” (because their HR is outsourced) told me there were a bunch of different opportunities. She saw (for the first time, no doubt, though I’d been working for the company for 10 months) that I had EA experience. Well, there was an EA post opening up! Would I be interested? Oh hell, why not. OK GREAT! Let’s talk again on Friday!

Friday rolled around (3 weeks out from the end of the contract now), I showed up for our chat, and was thrown into an interview. You know, in my Casual Friday jeans. ::sighs:: Luckily it was with the outgoing EA, not the boss, and we had a good chat. Then the CFO wanted to see me.

That man sat me down, and told me I wasn’t cut out to do anything as “difficult” as an EA position. But, he DID have a receptionist post … at a pay cut. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

I looked for other opportunities. Found one, with a FANTASTIC company, in my field, and I’m super happy with them. We made the transition fairly peacefully, and all was well.

Or so I thought.

In March, I logged into my old HR account to retrieve all my paystubs (since no one gets paper copies any more). And there, in the middle of several stubs, was one for $1000 of “Supplemental/Bonus Pay”. $1000? I’d never received that! So, I called the HR company. They said it had been mailed to the corporate office, and probably had been overlooked. They’ll find out and make sure it gets to me.

A week later, nothing. A week after that, nothing. And so on.

I contact the company directly, and left a message. At least twice a month, from April – August. Totally ignored. Hmm … now this is seeming like less of an oversight and more of a willful withholding, right?

In August I had a friend who is a finance lawyer draft a letter saying if I didn’t have resolution by September 1st, I would be filing a fraud charge. (The willful withholding of salary coupled with the fact that they’d reported to the IRS that I’d RECEIVED THE PAYMENT when in fact I had not, is open and shut fraud.) No answer. So on September 1st we started that filing. In DC, we have to provide the company with proof of filing, and then they have 30 days to remedy the situation.

October 1st came and went. I sent one last email to everyone (everyone being the big boss, the CFO, and the HR company rep who’d been helping me) letting them know the filing was going through. The HR company called and begged me not to, as it would affect them as well … when they had done nothing wrong. A fraud charge on a company that provides payroll services is a business-ender. She told me that since it had been 6 months the check was dead and she’d cut me a new one, without waiting for approval. Sounds like a good plan to me! I’m on board with it.

Yesterday I got an email from the CFO asking if I can give him a call. Now, so far, I’m upset and I’m irritated at their shenanigans, but whatever. I can deal. So, I call him.

This fucker spent 20 minutes talking in circles. Here are a few highlights:

“The check was reversed on July 26th, it should not show on your W-2.” – FALSE

“You were not entitled to it because it was not in your offer letter or any other correspondence that would have led you to expect it.” – AND YET ONE WAS CUT TO ME

“Bonuses are discretionary, and we decided not to give you one.” – AND. YET. ONE. WAS. CUT. TO. ME.

“Our policy is that you must be an employee on the date the check is handed to you, or you forfeit it.” – IDIOTIC POLICY

“We cut all the checks at the same time, but give them to different people at different times.” – ALSO IDIOTIC

“No one from your team got a bonus.” – COMPLETELY FALSE

“The check was a mistake, you should never have seen it.” – BUT I DID SEE IT

Basically, he spent the time telling me that I shouldn’t have ever expected a bonus (even though they announced that they would be giving them), and that anyway their policy was to cut one for everyone and then hand them out as they saw fit. When I pointed out to him that I’ve BEEN an HR Coordinator and I would never NEVER cut a check I had no intention of handing out, the idiot had nothing to say.

But he DID go on and on about how they made me what he felt was a fair offer to stay, but I chose to leave, so too bad.I told him it sounded like he was saying “If you’d stayed, you’d have gotten the check.” He said that wasn’t at all what he’d said.

BULLSHIT. WHY would you bring up your offer if it had nothing to do with the bonus? Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

Then he told me that it was a mistake because “payroll and taxes are all automated in DC”. Um, no. I’ll give you a lesson, asshat – you have to manually call in and pay your payroll taxes EACH WEEK in DC.  And once a month in Virgina. Don’t try to tell me you know better than I do when you’ve never done payroll at all, and I did it for a living.

I explained to him that a bonus check cut on February 11th is for work performed in the prior year. The year I was an employee, and as such I WAS entitled to it. He had nothing to say, except “I’m sorry you have hard feelings about this.”


So basically, they’re stiffing me a grand. Those assholes have no IDEA how hard we worked on this building. Hell, we worked so hard on it, another company hired us to stay! Everything he spouted to me was bullshit, everything he gave as a reason was a lie. The simple truth was that SOMEONE fucked up. Someone allowed a check to be cut, and the stub to be provided to me, and didn’t want to make good on it. So they hid and they lied and they stepped over TOO MANY lines.

If he’d been honest with me I would have been pissed, but not like this. But to LIE to me on top of committing fraud?

That earns a big fat FUCK YOU.

I’m contacting the HR company in the morning. If they can confirm the tax payment was reversed, I’ll send a letter to the company owner throwing the CFO under the bus for his fucking games. But if that payment WASN’T reversed? I’m filing for fraud.

Hope your current  business and financial dealings don’t get TOO messed up when that happens, fuckers.


* !!!!!!!! In the time it took me to write this, the CFO sent me a screen shot of the “reversal”. First off, it’s actually a dead check, not a reversal. Secondly, IT. HAD. MY. SS. NUMBER. ON. IT. You  know, something he should NOT have access to. Who do I contact about THIS?

October 11, 2011

Style Help: Party Planning

Thanks to a lovely birthday certificate from Rent the Runway (yay, perks!), I’m starting Christmas party preparations early this year. Specifically, WORK Christmas parties.

You see, I’m in that always awkward situation of being a first-time attendee to my company’s holiday blowout. All I know of said blowout is that it’s on a Thursday night, and I’ve been told I shouldn’t miss it. What I DON’T know is the vibe of this party … what does everyone wear? Should I eat ahead of time? Figure out a ride home so I’m not driving? Is it a cocktail party, or a seated dinner, or dinner and dancing?

Hrumph. It couldn’t be EASY, right?

So … I think I’ve settled on a dress. But I need help! Does this outfit work? Should I look for something else? Make additions? Take something out?

Ah, affirmation.

In any case … here we go:




Fairly modest, business cut. But the color makes it fun! I figure I can wear a cardigan to work that day, then take it off for the party. If everyone else is in their business wear, it fits. If everyone is in party wear, it STILL fits … it’s a Kate Spade, after all.




I already have these in my closet … well, not THESE, but some that look almost exactly like them. Done and done.





This bangle is really just too good to pass up. Also Kate Spade, it matches the dress PERFECTLY. And it’s only $32. Anyone want to get it for me for my birthday? ::winks::

To play off the gold in the bangle, I have a pair of leaf-shaped gold wire earrings … gifted by my husband a few years ago. The only picture I have of them is in a full outfit shot from a while ago, but you can get an idea of the shape and size:




To further play off the gold of the jewelry (and the black of the shoes), there’s this bag. Do we think it’s too much?


So there you have it. What do we think? Opinions and other options are more than welcome!

October 10, 2011



Alright, here goes.

Over the weekend I was perusing facebook and discovered my mother and sister had attended the bridal shower of a close family friend. So close a friend, in fact, that she’s considered family. (Her older brother and I are the same age, and have been close since we were 3. That’s 25 years, people.) I hadn’t known about the shower, but that was nothing shocking … I do live on the opposite coast and all.

The thing that hurt was that I didn’t even know she’d set a wedding date … much less one for November 2011.

So, I complained on Twitter, and then called my mother. Who proceeded to let me know everyone else had been invited (sister + fiance, brother + guest, parents, aunt + uncle, grandfather) but me. And then she added, when I explained how hurt I was, “Well, Sarah, you have a NEW family now.”


Can someone explain to me how getting married, and creating your own baby family, meant giving up your birth family? Can someone explain to me how my mother would get this idea in her head?

To be honest, it didn’t start when we got married. It started when I moved out of my parents house for good. College was one thing, because I came back. But once I was out, it was like I didn’t exist. My mother would mention to acquaintances how nice it was to have her “whole family” together for dinner … when I was in my own apartment 50 miles away. When my grandmother was dying I wasn’t contacted AT ALL. I drove up one night to sit with her and be with the family. My mother asked me what I was doing there.

I’m glad I stayed, even with the awkwardness. My grandmother died the next morning, and I’d been able to say goodbye.

Since moving cross-country, and getting married, it’s gotten worse. My grandfather is still holding a grudge from a nasty fight we had 3 days before the wedding. (I spent an hour and a half apologizing (for something that was as much his fault as mine) and laying it all out there, in March. His response was to say “Now it’s up to me whether I forgive you or not. We’ll see how that goes.” He hasn’t spoken to me since. He hasn’t spoken to my husband since the wedding. That’s OVER A YEAR now.) My mother continues to talk about how her whole family is around her. I’ve lived in DC for three years now, and not one member of my family has come visit us … even though they are visiting my cousins in Ohio several times a year.

I’ve thought honestly about it, to see if this is a situation I’ve created. Did I distance myself, and this is their reaction? And each time, I come back to the same answer – no. This is NOT something of my doing. I spend as much energy trying to be a part of their lives (with the exception of my grandfather … that’s just too much hurt) as I do with my father and sister … two people who DO still consider me family. I’m not doing anything differently with them than I am with anyone else.

Apparently it’s just easier to forget I exist.

During that horrid fight with my grandfather I told them all how I felt like I wasn’t a part of their family anymore. And my mother and I discussed it at length later that night. She told me I was being silly. I told her I still felt it, so it was valid. I thought it was sorted out.

I, apparently, was wrong.

This weekend, faced with another slight, I lost it. I cried and cried and cried to my husband. My poor husband … who has no real idea of the “family” I’m looking for … because his own birth family had such a different relationship. He doesn’t know how to help, or how to try and fill the hole in my life.

Is anyone else dealing with this? Have any words of advice? Anything?


* The photo is of my mother’s family (all those who were at the wedding, anyway), just over a year ago. Of the entire group, only 3 have talked to me in the last 6 months, of their own free will. And only 5 of them have talked to us since our wedding.

October 6, 2011


Sorry for the silence … I’m in budget season.

I’ll try to be back tomorrow, but definitely next week. If this budget doesn’t eat me first.


October 4, 2011

Almost Painless

You all were so amazing with the hair tips yesterday that I HAD TO DO IT. I stopped at the store on the way home and found a color … in 2 different brands.


A frantic tweet for help went unanswered* so I spent the better part of an hour pacing, trying to figure out which one. Finally I decided to go with the slightly more expensive (and let’s be honest … cooler looking box) brand. I picked a color I deemed to be safe (less red than I was planning on … just in case it all went horribly wrong) and went home.


The box promised me the process would take 10 minutes, the formula would be no drip, and the results would be shiny and wonderful.

Well … one out of three isn’t TOO bad.

The process, all told, took about 30 minutes. 5 for mixing of the color, another 5 for the fighting of the towel that was SUPPOSEDLY draped gracefully around my shoulders, and 20 for fighting all my masses of hair. Masses of hair that were decidedly rebellious.

One quick note … everyone online said one box should only be enough for shoulder length hair. My hair is currently down to my bra clasp, in the back. I used about 2/3 of a box. My hair is super thin, maybe that’s why?

As for the drip part … well, let’s just say my husband was sitting on the floor at midnight, trying to cut a drip from the light bathroom rug. Clearly, I won’t forget to remove that again. Oh well, the thing needed to be washed anyway.

But, guys, I did it. With no major screw ups! HOORAY! Not that I changed my color very much (less than intended … I chickened out!) … but it’s enough to make me happy. See for yourselves:


Hair until yesterday! Pretty! Curly! Blurry! Nice enough, but not really doing it for me. So, it’s now:


Shiny! Straight! Faceless!

I know it’s hard to tell, but there is red. You can only really tell when they’re side by side:


Which is why the alternate title to this post could be “How to Dye Your Hair for Yourself and No One Else”.

A quick review on the L’Oreal Healthy Look: this product rocked. Yes, it was drippy, but it wiped off my skin cleanly without any trouble. I even forgot to put the gloves back on when I went to rinse everything out, and even my nails are still clean. And this was some DARK dye. The shower, countertops, and sink cleaned up with minimal effort. Fabric was another story all together. A lot of reviews say it made their hair feel like straw, but mine came out (after using the included conditioner) silky and easy to brush. Speaking of the conditioner though … I wouldn’t use it again. It has a pretty strong smell that I’m just not in love with. It’s not BAD, but not really to my liking.

I’ll definitely use this again. **

So … what’dya think?!


* Christina DID speak up, after I’d been home. She came with a personal recommendation, and made me happy I’d spent the extra $2. =)

** Of COURSE the morning after I dye my hair I get both Living Social and Groupon offering me salon deals. And Jenn tells me there’s a new Paul Mitchell school nearby. Pssh. Next time…