Category Archives: Life

Losing Faith in Banks

I have two banks. One is a credit union that was based in Fort Collins with whom I had been a member since 1988. It’s name was Norlarco but is no more because it died and was merged with another Denver-based credit union. From what I hear, Norlarco’s board allowed someone to make risky investments in Miami property and that essentially killed it. (Ironically, when I was wanting to buy a home in Los Angeles they told me they couldn’t help me unless it was in Colorado. I guess I didn’t grease enough palms!) The biggest pain has been changing my checks and all of the settings for all my various auto-payments, from utilities to Netflix. Ugh.

Last year I opened an account at Washington Mutual because I neede the convenience of a local bank here in New York. As everyone knows, that died and got sold to JPMorganChase.

Now my drama continues with credit cards. I was notified last month by my credit union that due to an internal security breach all their debit cards were comprimised and would have to be replaced. New card just showed up in the mail. New PIN for me to memorize.

Last night I just got an e-mail from USAA (a credit card issuer) stating that there’s been a security breach, and they are going to have to replace my credit card.

This is crazy! I’m just about ready to start stuffing money into my mattress!

Things Are Looking Up in ’08

Guess who has a new job!

And in many ways I could say “Guess who has a new life!!” My life right now is so dramatically different than it had been both one and two years ago. Two years ago I was screwing up the courage to pack it all in with regard to my life in Los Angeles and to make back to New York City. My career path [as a computer freelance consultant] was completely stalled, my love-life was nonexistent, and I was generally not a happy person.

One thing I did enjoy: I was blogging a lot, including articles about my political views on the world. Being a freelancer, I was able to create and live by whatever image I wanted. My decision to move back to New York and to try to find a “corporate job” meant, for practical issues, that I would have to prune (one might even say “neuter”) my blog. Why? Because let’s face it: the first thing a (responsible) HR department does is to Google a job applicant. And with my livelihood at stake, I wasn’t about to take the risk of being considered a job candidate who lacked discretion.

For many personal reasons, I didn’t write about the last two years here in New York, nor am I likely to go into it publicly. But I will tell you this: I have seen some of the brightest and some of the darkest hours of my life. The job search was an endless, soul sucking, ego-degrading toil that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I spent about a year and a half searching for a job. Then when I finally settled on a pay-so-low-it-didn’t-cover-the-mortgage job this last February, it turned into the worst employment experience of my life. Long story short, after they missed paying my second paycheck (and after getting in a shouting match with my evil superior) I walked out, and mystically my Dream Job appeared out of nowhere!

The abbreviated summary: I now work for Accenture, and specifically I work for the Accenture Marketing Sciences division, for the Digital Optimization group which consists mostly of a newly acquired company called “Memetrics”. My job is as an “integration engineer” which is really stimulating and exciting, and I even get to wear my “Statistician’s” hat every now and then!

The other great thing in my life is my boyfriend/partner Bill. This is the first long, solid relationship of my life, and it is incredibly enriching. (That also mean all the spare time I used to spend doing things like… er… blogging has dwindled away to something approaching zero.) I’m going to let that personal part of my life remain private, but I will encourage anyone to visit his website (which he maintains daily, and which I helped build and design) at http://www.scroggiestudio.com/.

Well, that’s about it for the recap. I don’t know how much blogging I’m going to do in the near future. I might write about the website design work I’m going to do for Bill’s website. It uses iWeb and Apple’s MobileMe right now, but I want to maybe integrate WordPress and direct hosting, strategic marketing, etc. Developing his site has really been a wonderful case-study for me in all these things. (And an important one—his livelihood depends on it!)