The Vent Thread

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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby Otohiko » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:58 am

You should just travel with your stuff packed into a garbage bag. That'd be classy as fuck.

***

I'm having a pretty shitty week or so. Lots of stuff not going right, but a lot of it is boiling down to anxiety over my school/job situation which is rapidly going to shit. My reaction to it so far has been to procrastinate and hope someone finally wakes up and helps me with stuff (e.g. my academic supervisor who has been basically AWOL for months...), but I really need to get moving on things. I gotta pester people to help me sort this out, and I REALLY need to look for jobs for the coming year. Real jobs, too, hopefully, that'll take some stress off my current predicament - if it wasn't for my parents backing me up (for the first time in my life, they're actually willing to help me pay for school and stuff, a total 180 from their attitude for the last 10 years), I would be really screwed right now. The real problem, though, is that I'm out of fucks to give for my department and I'm really disillusioned with where my academic career has got me so far. I'm again reminded of that since this week is orientation week, and I'm sitting here biting my nails over whether or not to go to some of these department-run events. On the one hand, meeting some new (and old) people in the program might be really nice and help me get some motivation back. On the other hand, every event of this type that I had gone to in the last 3 years at least has just resulted in me feeling incredibly awkward and out of place for a few hours, and going home bitter at how much my department and these so-called humanitarian academics in general suck. I have so little in common with most of them, largely through my background and upbringing. Those of you who know me, probably know that yeah, I'm not the most outgoing and charismatic person, but I'm fundamentally pretty darn social and actually really love being around people. I'm not one of those people who doesn't want to talk to or make friends with anyone, in fact quite the opposite. So for me to not want to be around a group of people, it's gotta be pretty bad, right? Well, it is pretty bad. All the same, it's telling that it irks me, and out of desperation to get to know some people, I may end up going... and then rage about it more in the end :/

I've also been in the midst of a creative project that I'm very excited about. I wanna do it. But it requires a massive amount of energy, focus, attention and just sitting through and doing a bunch of hard work to improve my skills in certain areas. All this other stuff has been sapping away my energy, and so I really can't give it the attention I want to give it. And conversely, because I've not been able to work on it, I've been losing the general motivation and excitement that the project was providing me with for the previous couple of months.

All of this has put me into a kind of a rut and, before everything else, hit my sleep schedule. I've semi-recovered it, but I don't really know if it's gone for better. Last few days, I've been going to bed between 3-6pm and waking up 12-3am. As this is the time that a lot of my friends are active online, it means that I've also been missing opportunities to play games and hang around with people I actually care about and stuff ;__; Really need to fix that as well, but as this whole sorting-stuff-out thing creeps up on me, I want to sort that out first before I go off entertaining myself and such. Bleh.
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby ZephyrStar » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:23 am

Hang in there mang.

I get exactly where you are coming from about going to departmental functions, I was very much the same way. I got pretty burned out at the end of things, and was also disillusioned at the passion of the folks coming in...seems like nobody was after the same things I was. Looking back I know that's not true, but it still sucked at the time. I would still go though, I think it's one of those things where you need to give it a chance at least, even if the outcome is what you expected, at least you went, at least you confirmed for yourself. This is something about myself I've been trying to change in the last few years, that I will do things just to do them and make a very conscious effort to talk to people and try to engage. I think that little voice in your head that says "nothing to be gained, why bother" is best when ignored, in the past I have listened to it too much. There was a reason I really didn't have any sort of social life past my online friends and my roomies for the last 2 years of school :|

I think you also need to hunt down your AWOL supervisor and get some answers. It's really not fair to you and everyone else under this person if they're not willing to at least lend support and advise when needed. Demand it of them. I did the same when my graduate committee chair was extremely difficult to get ahold of during my final semester. What I wanted was feedback on how I was doing leading up to my defense, and what I was asking for was for him to look over what I already had. What I ended up doing was setting up a little private website with my stuff on it, and updating it/pestering him (and the rest of my committee) constantly about how I was doing. I actually ended up getting a lot of really good feedback from one of the members, so by defense time, my chair really didn't have any arguments. I know it's not as simple as that in your case. It's just really shitty when you are very proactive and STILL don't get what you need...

And yes, fix your sleep cycle so you can join us ;__; Again, I'm duly familiar with it, that was pretty much my grad school sleep cycle thanks to my time watching the computer labs/building ;______;
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby Fall_Child42 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:16 am

hell, I sort of know exactly where you are as well.
Shitty sleep schedule, no idea about what to do for a career, etc.
I wish I could offer advice but I have no freekin' idea what I'm doing either.

Oh well.
I'm appreciating Frank Turner's music even more now.

Life is about love, lost minutes and lost evenings, about fire in our bellies and furtive little feelings.
After all the loving and losing, after all the pioneers and the heroes, the only thing left to do

is get another round in at the bar.
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby Otohiko » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:23 am

yup. I have my own (mostly Russian) musical indulgences to help with that :P

Also, we should hang out before you leave for NDK. I need to fix my sleep schedule a little more first, but yeah.

Also vent: I am le sad I can't go to NDK or AWA ;__;
(fortunately I can only be so sad about it, because when I learned my work schedule yesterday, I realized that there was never a chance I could go .__.)
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby Castor Troy » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:59 am

I'm pretty bummed that I can't make NDK due to all of the expenses I have as a new homeowner. :cry:
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby CodeZTM » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:48 pm

Oh dear sweet god, my family discovered my Twitter. D:

*block*block*block*block*block*

/hits idiot friend
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby mirkosp » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:51 pm

CodeZTM wrote:Oh dear sweet god, my family discovered my Twitter. D:

*block*block*block*block*block*

/hits idiot friend


Time to make the twitter private!
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby CodeZTM » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:56 pm

mirkosp wrote:
CodeZTM wrote:Oh dear sweet god, my family discovered my Twitter. D:

*block*block*block*block*block*

/hits idiot friend


Time to make the twitter private!


*headdesk*

I never knew that existed, and now I feel stupid.
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby lloyd9988 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:06 pm

CodeZTM wrote:
mirkosp wrote:
CodeZTM wrote:Oh dear sweet god, my family discovered my Twitter. D:

*block*block*block*block*block*

/hits idiot friend


Time to make the twitter private!


*headdesk*

I never knew that existed, and now I feel stupid.


xDDDDDD Thank you for making me laugh, Code
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby Drageer » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:19 pm

Ended up taking too many AP classes this year (currently a sophmore in High School) and now i'm literally swamped with homework and studying (due to forgetting A LOT over the summer). I'll get through this eventually though. I just hope I can edit when I get that rare tidbit of free time.
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby dj_ultima_the_great » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:30 am

You know, there's something I have been avoiding saying for a long time, because I always thought it came off as melodramatic. I always hated people for saying it when they couldn't get that new $100 pair of jeans, or they couldn't go to a concert, or they were grounded for their own idiocy.

But right now, I am honestly wishing I were just dead - and I know it sounds selfish and stupid, because I have things like internet and electronics and all sorts of hobby-related knick knacks, and I feel like a goddamn worthless wreck because I have all of these first world luxuries, but everything that's actually important is coming apart.

That's the long way of saying that I'm being evicted again, and I'm just not sure I have the energy to do it all over again. I don't see a way out of this one. My siblings have both refused to help, meaning I have nowhere to go. I could move out with my best friend, but that's hinged on her willingness to do so and her parents' willingness to cover my rent for the first month or so until I get a paycheck or two. I have been scouring Craig's List to this end. It's my only hope. My mother's life is a big, black void that devours everything into which it comes into contact, and I can't do this anymore. I'm too emotionally and mentally exhausted.

Before anyone questions why we have internet but not enough for rent, allow me to explain. I told Mom that I would cover the cable bill, pay for gas in the car, and do most of the grocery shopping if she would pay the rent. Given the difference in our paychecks, this was a pretty fair tradeoff. I thought that by doing this, it would relieve enough of the financial burden off of her that she would be able to keep up with the rent. This actually was the truth until the debt collectors started finding her one by one, and each one threatened to throw her ass in jail if she didn't start paying them. Eventually, we got back to the point we started at before I lost the house - Mom wasn't making enough to cover all of the bills coming in.

But here's the part that I find most tiresome. My mother doesn't tell me in advance that she won't be able to make rent, so that I would have ample time to find help. She instead waits until five days after it is due, when she is about to be served papers, to say that she hasn't paid. (All the while, I assume she has paid it, because she was actually being reliable for once and I was starting to get comfortable these last few months.) She often used this tactic against me - whether she does it consciously or not, I don't know. I call it, "The Ultimatum." She knew she could extort money from me if she waited until the last possible opportunity to ask. Like, say, before she has to drive forty minutes to work and the car is running on fumes. She knew I had no choice but to fork over gas money because she couldn't get to work otherwise, which would result in her getting fired and all of the shitstorm that accompanies that.

The difference this time is that she knows I can't help her with the rent, and so she's trying to get it from my brother - and therein lies the problem. He has no obligation to help, because unlike myself, he doesn't live with her. Her fate is not his fate. It is for me. Just an hour ago, both of my siblings told me the exact same thing - that if it was just me, they would help in a heartbeat. However, they can't help her anymore, and therefore can't help me. I didn't expect either one to help, and I don't begrudge them for not doing so, but knowing that I have been abandoned by my entire family now does sting a bit.

Pretty soon, my mother will have to face that as well - and although I may wish to be dead right now, she may actually do it once I'm gone.

That's not an exaggeration. It's an unfortunate prediction, and much as I predicted that there was no reason to decorate my room because I wouldn't have it for long, my foresights are usually right.

I hate it when I'm right.
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby Castor Troy » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:38 am

Jen, has your mom declared bankruptcy?
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby dj_ultima_the_great » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:04 am

That's been in the plan book for a while, but the trouble is that it takes money to do it. Yes, I am vaguely aware of the fact that some lawyers will forgo the fee, but my knowledge of legalese is crap, so I can't tell you anything beyond the fact that she hasn't found one like that so far. Mom did work as a legal secretary for years, and actually knows her stuff very well. It's one of the few areas I trust her in anymore. She wants to declare bankruptcy, too, so I know she's not lying to me on this one. She genuinely can't do it yet, as far as I know.
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby Fire_Starter » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:08 am

dj_ultima_the_great wrote:...until the debt collectors started finding her one by one, and each one threatened to throw her ass in jail if she didn't start paying them.

Wall of text below relating to the collector situation.
Spoiler :
Preface:
I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. This also applies only to the USA, as I don't know how it works elsewhere.

However, I have successfully mounted a pro se defense against a spurious collections suit. So what I'm saying here is personal anecdote only.

If they're using this threat (and I have no doubt they are, having dealt with collectors before), then they are acting in a 100% illegal manner. Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, if they don't have a court judgement against you, there is NOTHING they can legally do. They may eventually garnish wages, but NOT without a court order allowing that. And that only comes after a civil suit that's found in favor of the collectors. However, there is no way that anyone can be put in jail for failure to pay a debt (unless it's child support), and to even imply that is against the law.

She needs to document and, if at all possible, record each and every call she gets from a collector. Save everything they mail you as well. If they are threatening jail, that's a violation of the FDCPA. If they're threatening to garnish wages without a court order, that's a violation. If they're threatening ANYTHING they don't have the authority or ability to make good on, that's a violation. If they fail to issue the "mini-miranda" at the beginning of the call, that's a violation as well. By law, they are required to state something to the effect of "This communication is from a debt collector, and any information gained will be used for that purpose." They also have to verify that who they are speaking with is the person they intend to reach. They are not allowed to discuss any details whatsoever until they have verified this.

Each time they violate the FDCPA (and a call might have one or several violations), they can be liable for up to $1,000 in damages, payable to the party they are acting against, i.e. your mother. So if they call and all they say is something like "You owe $xxxx to us, and if you do not make arrangements to pay this debt, you will be arrested and placed in law enforcement custody.", they could be liable for up to $5,000 for that call alone.

1) They failed to identify themselves as debt collectors
2) They failed to verify that they have reached the correct individual
3) They discussed confidential information without verifying who they were speaking with
4) They threatened action that was not intended to or legally able to be taken
5) They falsely asserted that there would be jail time involved for failure to pay

Each and every one of those items listed is a seperate violation, and they would be liable for up to $1,000 per if it went in front of a judge. The legalities of call recording vary by state, but if they say the call may be recorded, that counts as their consent to recording. So if you're recording, that also counts as your consent, thus satisfying the two-party consent rule in some states. Also, some states like Illinois have loopholes that allow you to bypass the consent rules if you have reason to believe that the other party is or will be violating the law with the call. If you aren't able to record the call, still document the time and date of the call, along with what was said as close as you can possibly remember. If it comes down to a lawsuit, you may be able to subpoena their call records and recordings.

There is also the option of a Cease and Desist Letter, which tells them they are not to contact you at all except through legal counsel. This will stop the calls, but it could very well mean their next step is filing papers, so be aware.

Finally, write a validation letter to each and every collector a call or notice comes from, and send it via certified mail. Clearly state that the debt is being disputed, and ask them to provide full documented validation that the debt is indeed owed by her. In most cases, they will be required to provide the name of the original creditor, the original outstanding balance, as well as a signed instrument (such as a credit application or service contract). If they cannot provide these, they have no grounds to persist. Even if you know the debt is legitimate, this makes sure you're dealing with someone who is actually authorized to collect, and not some phishing expidition. If they persist without validation, guess what, that's another FDCPA violation right there. And even if they aren't found liable for damages, not having validation will usually lead to them dropping the case.

If you want to give the FDCPA a read for yourself, I highly recommend it. It's surprisingly to the point and easy to understand.

Full FDCPA Text


As for the situation in general, it's best to move out on your own if at all possible. If your friend gets the OK to get a place with you, go for it. If her parents won't help out until you get a couple of paychecks into your account, talk to your siblings and see if they would loan you the money. They already said if it was just you then they would help. If it's to strike out on your own and get out of a bad situation, then they may be willing to help in that regard if they know it's for you alone, and not once again propping your mother up for another few months.

I know you're worried about what she'll do once your gone, but you've done everything you possibly can, and at some point you have to do what's best for you. You can't help someone who won't help themselves and is dragging you down with them. If you have a legitimate concern about her harming herself once you're gone, you can look into getting her some form of counseling, even if it's against her will. She may (and probably will) hate you for it in the short-term, but it would keep her from doing something irreversible.

But when all is said and done, you need to decide what's best for your own well-being. It's not fair for her to keep using you as a safety net for her own problems. You have your own life to live, and she needs to grow up and let you do it.
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Re: The Vent Thread

Postby lloyd9988 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:04 am

I don't really know whether I feel happy or sad really. . . Didn't know where to put this. . . I just watched Waiting for Superman, and I know its a documentary that was obviously meant to evoke emotion within me. . . but when I saw the face of a child just feel like he wasn't accepted just because of a system that told him that he wasn't good enough was a real strong heart connection because that was the one thing. . . where my heart can completely connect with. So I really did cry something happy afterwards at the ending because I really . . . really can feel how he felt when he was told that he was good enough just the way he was and that he was. . . So. . . yeah. . . I'm really hoping that kid will do well with his life and that he'll be happy for the rest of his life...
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