Just Life Updates

I can’t believe how time has been passing by so quickly! And I’m wasting most of my time with work, unfortunately.

Work has gotten ridiculously hectic, with alot of travelling added to my schedule. My fear of flying seems to be getting worse, honestly. With each new flight, I get more scared – even if it’s relatively smooth and turbulence-free.

I think most people become more comfortable with flying, the more they do it. It’s like, exposure-therapy. But why am I the opposite?

It’s just weird. I hope it doesn’t get to the point where I won’t be able to fly anymore. I wonder if I’ll lose my job when that happens.

I used to excitedly dream about being able to leave my job, and find another job more satisfying to my soul – like genuinely helping people and animals in need. But I’ve given-up on that dream. Probably permanently.

I do need the income from the job I currently have. I don’t expect to be able to maintain that income doing something else. I also do need the health insurance from the job I currently have. It is undeniably very good health insurance that I doubt I could find as good anywhere else.

Even though I’m not happy nor fulfilled with my work at the moment, I really cannot turn my back on the financial stability it provides for me. So I’m trying to embrace this corporate life of mine now, and figure out how to change my mindset so that I’m not depressed about it everyday.

And instead of dreaming about escaping it, I need to start dreaming about transforming it.

Scam Issues Again!

Remember when I got scammed just a couple of months ago and I wrote all about it here?

Well, I’m still having issues!

So I did everything I was supposed to do. I contacted my bank and cancelled my card and they sent me a new card.

Then I had to update my new card everywhere, which was super-annoying! I had to go to all my frequent websites where I regularly make purchases or pay my bill and make all those changes online.

I did notice however, that there were a few online locations where my card was already updated before I got to it to do myself. I thought that was weird and researched how that happened.

Turns out that there is a “service” called VAU – Visa Account Updater – that automatically updates card account information whenever there is change with merchants who have saved the card information. And don’t think this doesn’t apply if you don’t use Visa – all the other cards do it too, but the acronym is different.

I still thought it was weird, but figured it would be ok since it was super-convenient at the time and I forgot all about it.

Until today when I found a charge that I did not make from Amazon!

I contacted Amazon to find out more information, and they looked into it and basically told me that there is another Amazon account using my card! Oh great, not again!

I asked them for information to help me identify who is operating this other account and they wouldn’t tell me. I asked them to shut-down that other account since this is obviously fraud behavior to use my card without my authorization, and they wouldn’t do that either.

Basically, my only option is to contact my bank, cancel my card, and get another card. I just did all this a couple months ago so the annoyance of it all is still fresh on my mind.

But get this! Amazon was one of those online locations where I did NOT have to update my card information myself because it happened automatically without me.

So…. if I contact my bank, cancel my card, and get another card…. then my legit Amazon account will automatically update with the new card info (because that’s exactly what happened last time)… AND THEN the fraudulent Amazon account will ALSO automatically update with the new card info too! Right?!

This is not a good “service” at all! Especially if people are already compromised by fraud activity! I feel like people should be able to opt-in and opt-out of this, with full awareness of what the impact would be.

I’m so irritated. So I don’t think cancelling my card and getting a new card will help me prevent this fraud account continue using my card with Amazon, because of this automatic update that I don’t want to participate in. What I need is to turn OFF this automatic update, but how? I’m at a loss.

What would you all do in this scenario?

I’m Freaking Myself Out

So I have sleep issues occasionally – where I have difficulty falling asleep, or where I see things in the dark when I’m trying to sleep, or sleep paralysis sometimes too. It’s very weird and terrifies me when it happens. But, that hadn’t happened to me in several months so it hasn’t been a recent worry of mine.

Anyhow, I slept fine last night. I didn’t notice anything weird or strange except I did wake up lightly a couple of times and noticed that my cat wasn’t sleeping against me like he usually does. He’s definitely a creature of habit so it piqued my concern that he wasn’t there.

When I woke up to use the restroom around 6am (close to my normal wake-up time so that wasn’t odd), I did find my cat sitting up by himself in the dark hallway. THAT was odd. When he sits up by himself, he’s usually at a window or watching something going on like me cooking or cleaning or something. I made a mental note to pay attention to him all day to see if he was feeling ok.

And then I went about my morning without worrying about it.

Until my daughter told me during lunch that she saw a dark figure coming out of my closet last night. Oh geez.

She slept with me last night. She told me she woke up in the middle of the night to pick up her pillow that fell off the bed. When she turned over to face the hallway and my closet, she said she saw a dark figure half-in/half-out of my closet. She said that she turned away and went back to sleep. I asked her if she saw our cat while she was awake then, and she said our cat was there, just sitting up and quietly watching everything.

I’ve been freaked out ever since.

This is what that hallway and closet looks like from the bed we sleep in. I turned-on the light in the closet so you all could see where it is.

And now I’m very worried about going to bed tonight. Because I’m freaking myself out about it, and I’m scared that I’ll see something tonight.

So what do you all think? Have you experienced something like this before? How do you turn-off your head so you aren’t so scared about it? :(

Holiday Aftermath

Did everyone survive Christmas ok? I hope it was all enjoyable!

Mine was ok. The husband was sick with some sort of respiratory illness (cough, fever, sneezing, etc) and he refused to go to the doctor so it’s unknown what it was exactly. Probably the flu as that’s been popular around our local area recently.

So we cancelled all our guests coming over since he was likely contagious and I got a break from hosting this year. No in-laws! I was actually quite happy about that more than anything else! Is that mean of me?!

And gifts worked out well this year too. My daughter is 12 and it was so easy to please her! Basically, all she wanted was clothes, makeup, skincare, fragrances, and gift cards. I was very worried about picking-out clothes/makeup that she didn’t want or like, so we went shopping ahead-of-time and I had her pick-out specifically what she wanted so I wouldn’t make any mistakes. It worked out I think.

But is that weird though? To know exactly what you’re getting at Christmas, and not have any surprises? She seemed good with it, and she seemed to prefer getting stuff she REALLY wanted vs stuff she only somewhat wanted because I can’t read her mind. What do you all think? Are we being anti-climatic by removing all the mystery and suspense of the holiday?

I ended-up picking out my own gift too, and was very grateful about it. I’m perfectly happy with no surprises at Christmas. I simply wanted to get my cat’s litter box out of the closet because I was annoyed about not getting to use the closet as an actual closet and keep the door shut. So I picked-out a litter box enclosure that I should be able to leave out inconspicuously in a normal room. If this works out, then I get a whole closet to myself as a result! Let’s hope!

So overall, I had a peaceful and relaxing Christmas holiday with immediate family only.

How about you all? Did you have a good Christmas as well?

Holiday Hustle

Hello all! How’s everyone holiday season turning out?

I’ve actually completed all my Christmas shopping and wrapping and basically marked-off most of my to-do’s regarding the holiday. There were some gifts that I had to mail to extended family out of town, and those have already been packed-up and shipped and delivered so no worries there at all. I’m really happy that I don’t have to step foot in any type of retail store for the rest of the year! :)

However, there is one gift that hasn’t arrived yet that I’m starting to worry about. My daughter asked for it specifically so she’s expecting it and will be disappointed if it doesn’t show up in time. I ordered it during the Thanksgiving holiday because I especially wanted to make sure that it arrives in time for Christmas. You can imagine that I’m quite perturbed that it isn’t here yet.

I’ve checked the delivery confirmation tracker on it, and there’s been 0 activity on it since Dec 5th, so I’m starting to lose hope. It’s weird, the package originated in China (ok, that was probably my first red flag). At first everything seemed ok as there was constant activity on the tracker multiple times a day UNTIL it arrived in the United States. And THAT’s when all the action stopped.

I’ve been checking everyday and nothing. I’m kinda sour. There was a customer service email that I already tried, and they only give me the same information as the tracker, so that’s not helpful. I got a survey from that company asking me how I enjoyed the product, and I did respond back that I haven’t received it yet and gave it 1 star, hoping to catch someone’s attention. I haven’t heard anything back yet.

So that’s my only stress left regarding gifts and Christmas shopping. Wish me luck!

But how are you all doing? Done yet? Waiting until the last minute? Stressed-out? Chill?

I Got Scammed!

So, I’m usually very careful online and I rarely click on any unsolicited links or emails. But I got scammed last week and I’m still mad about it!

My daughter plays soccer for her middle school, and already has several friends on the high school soccer team as well. We’ve watched several high school soccer games in-person to support her school and her friends. And the high school soccer team has been doing fantastic and made their way to a State Championship game.

When it was time for the State Championship game, it was in another city several hours away so we couldn’t attend in-person. But an hour before the game, my daughter sent me a link and said there was a live-stream of it so we could watch.

My mistake is that I didn’t question where that link came from! My daughter has been in a soccer group chat and she’s frequently sent me links of game schedules, game scores, game photos, etc so I was already accustomed to her sending me links that worked out regarding soccer.

So I clicked this one and it went to a school sports live-stream site and it said I had to subscribe to view the live-streams. The subscription was like $9/month, but they said that the first month would be $1 only and I could cancel at any time. I already didn’t like that, because I do try to avoid subscriptions whenever possible. But I figured that $1 was a fair price for a live stream so I entered my debit card information.

And as soon as I did that, I realized my mistake. Because my email notifications started going off with all these multiple confirmations. And then I started getting text messages from my bank about these new charges that I did not agree to.

So I replied to my bank text messages that I didn’t do those charges and they shut off my card and the notifications stopped. But those charges could’ve gone on forever if I didn’t get my card turned-off. That’s crazy.

I started investigating that link my daughter sent me and it’s everywhere! If you search for your local school sporting events (especially high school), there are dozens of websites offering live-streams of the games – and they are all scams! They look legitimate because they know the team schedules and they tag all the schools.

And even the BBB Better Business Bureau is aware of this scam and have published this article warning people about it: High School Sports Live-Streaming Scam. Too bad I didn’t find this article until AFTER I got tricked.

Anyhow, I feel so stupid for falling for this, and I am so disappointed in all the bad people trying to scam others and steal money from them. I wish you all luck in avoiding scams like this, but even I got fooled! :(

Customer Support is Non-Existent

I’ve literally been on hold for almost hour.

Why is this normalized?

So I called my bank’s 800 number because I disputed a charge I didn’t recognize online. They sent me an email saying that they reviewed my transaction and decided it was legit after all, so my dispute was denied. No explanation was offered.

I hadn’t spoken to a real person yet so I decided to call their 800 number.

After awhile I realized that my wait time was getting ridiculous and I snapped this photo of my phone…

I also realized that ALL my interactions with 800 numbers are quite similar to this. Not to mention the voice prompts from hell where every choice you make is a circular loop to the wrong person. And why even bother with entering information into the voice prompts when every single time the person that finally answers makes you repeat it all anyway?! So ridiculous.

But really why? Like, why do companies no longer care about taking care of their customers? WHO are they taking care of instead if not customers? What could be more important to a business that makes revenue from customers besides their very own customers?

I truly don’t understand this mindset.

I’m starting to think that they must be making TOO much money that they can afford to neglect/alienate/anger/risk the squeaky wheel subset of their customer base. If that’s the case, then they are overcharging all of us.

Rant over.

And I still haven’t spoken to a real live person at my bank yet.