A Fresh Start

A Fresh Start

A couple of months ago, I took a job in a law office.

I wasn’t looking for that type of work, but something in their keywords and my keywords must have matched and the job post popped up on ZipRecruiter.

It took me five days and a lot of research before I finally submitted my resume and cover letter. “I doubt I’ll even get a call.”

That was on a Tuesday.

I started working on Thursday.

When I started to share my news, a few friends asked me, “A law office? That can be intense. And you have to talk to people? Are you sure you want to do this?”

The law firm I work at specializes in bankruptcies. My role as the Client Relations Coordinator (receptionist, if you are old school) means I am the first point of contact when a client calls. I am the person that greets the clients when they arrive.

One of the benefits of working in this role is my ability to hear everything, from people talking in the office to one of the dozens of phone calls I receive. While I had done my research on bankruptcy in this state, it’s nothing compared to actually seeing it live and in action.

A few weeks ago, a vendor was talking to the practice owner near my desk. I hear this person say, “I don’t know how you make money off poor people.”

The air in the office seemingly went still. My jaw dropped, and I glanced over to the attorney, a man who is highly respected in this area and been in practice for over thirty years. He takes no punches and doesn’t mind putting a person in his or her place when needed. He is firm and matter-of-fact.

He paused, let out a small laugh and says, “Well, we seem to do all right.”

In my prior research, I had found a lot of information I’ve since learned are misconceptions.

Spoiler alert: Just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s true.

Let me bust another myth believed apparently of many people, not just the aforementioned:

  1. Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean a person is poor.
  2. Filing for bankruptcy isn’t free.

No two cases are the same. There are people who only receive social security benefits each month. There are people who bring home five-figures each month. There are people who are out there hustling, working two and three jobs and can’t seem to get ahead.

While no two cases are the same, one theme seems to ring true for most: life happened. They have exhausted all other options and are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I hear the phrase, “This is my last resort,” all day every day.

It’s heartbreaking and sobering. I make it my mission each day to give comfort and hope to someone who feels like all is lost.

They may have to take off work to come to the office and go to their court dates. They do the things asked of them by the paralegal and attorney. They do the work required by federal law.

So no, they aren’t poor. The clients we serve are all hoping for a fresh start. A do-over, if you will. It’s not easy. And again, it’s not free.

Be careful for what you Wish

Be careful for what you Wish

You’ve heard of Wish, right? I’m usually the last person to know about the cool and happening stuff, so I’m making assumptions.

I believe the first time I’d heard of it, I gave it a glance and moved on. Nothing struck me as exciting. Then sometime later, and I couldn’t tell you what did it, I decided I needed to see what all the hub-bub was about, and I downloaded the app.

Oh, my goodness look at all this pretty stuff. And so inexpensive, too!

For signing up, they let me choose a free gift. I don’t even think I had to pay for shipping. [It’s been a hot minute, so I am not completely certain on that.] Anyway, after sometime later, after I’d already forgotten, my gift came in the mail. It was a four-piece jewelry set. The bracelet ALMOST fits, the necklace is small but I could remove the charm, and the earrings are cute. All in all, I was not disappointed.

I shopped a little more. I ordered a couple of things, they took a while to arrive (I believe everything comes from China) but still, I was satisfied.

A few months later, I put in another order. I believe that happened in early June. To be honest, something came last week, and I’m not sure I’ve even gotten everything.

[ETA: There is still one item MIA.]

Let’s talk about the things I was disappointed about:

Women Fashion Simple Ring


Now, this isn’t horrible. However, I didn’t think it was all that great, either. It’s not an exact match to the photo from Wish, but it does look as cheap as you’d think.


8PCS Hair Styling Set Clip Bun Maker Braid Hair Ponytail Tool Hair

8 hair pieces.png

The day this arrives, I have two identical packages fall out of the envelope. I am perplexed. Why did they send me two of the exact same thing? Was there an error? Were they making up for a long shipping time?

I grab my phone to check the order history and my email. I see nothing out of the ordinary. And then it dawns on me: two packages of 4 equal a total of 8 pieces.



14k Rose Gold Round Cut Diamond Rope Twined Vine Ring 

ring 2


This was the pièce de résistance.

This was the item I was the most excited about. The one item I wanted more than anything in my cart. The one item I’d searched over and over again to make sure there would be no difference. And then it arrived.

Sure, some other things were a bit on the disappointing side.

I mean, yeah, the items are inexpensive. And sure the shipping is slow because it has to be coming by carrier pigeon. How could it not be exactly as pictured? There are nothing but rave reviews!

The ring I received was uglier than the entire collection of 1990s bubble-gum machine jewelry I used to have.

Final Thoughts

There are some good things and some bad things. So far, everything I’ve gotten has been on the small size (with the exception of the rings). Such as the bag I bought to hold all those plastic store bags (don’t judge). It holds the bags just fine but the max capacity is like ten. And those are really compacted in there. Capture.PNG

Will I use Wish again? Probably. It’s fun. And because the shipping takes forever, it’s exciting to get random packages in the mail.

But as far as jewelry goes, they are dead to me.



Thrift Comes at a Price

Thrift Comes at a Price

I remember going into a Goodwill once as a kid. I’d only been to that store maybe one other time, and it was probably with my grandmother. That woman could pinch a penny and make it rain nickels.

It was getting close to Halloween when my mom took me with her to the store. Some element of an outfit I needed she thought she might find there. I was in elementary school. I can’t remember how old I was. Seven? Nine?

The only three things I remember about that trip:

  1. The store was dirty.
  2. It smelled weird.
  3. I saw the art teacher.

I’m not sure what my costume was. I want to say hippie, which looking back seems like an odd choice for 1980 – 1982. At any rate, I was mortified to be seen there. In hindsight, I now understand why my own children didn’t care to go, either.

Another thing I detested? Yard sales. Both my grandmother and mother could turn on a dime for a yard sale. The directions are on an index card written in white crayon? They could see it. NASCAR has nothing on those two women. They could make a U-turn on a four-lane road in the middle of morning rush hour and never lose an ash off their cigarette or spill a drop of Diet Pepsi.

It wasn’t often we stayed with my grandmother but I remember one Saturday she’d picked my brother and me up early. We’d gone with her to the chiropractor and as we were headed back to her house, she spotted a yard sale. She pulled over to the side of the road and put the car in park. Before she turned off the key, I probably groaned or whined and said, “I’ll just sit in the car.”

She looked back at me, pursed her lips in a way I knew was serious business, turned back, put the car in drive in left.

It’s been at least thirty-five years since that happened, and I have no doubts there are still tire marks on Lynhurst Drive.

As I’ve grown up and learned to stretch my pennies, I’ve come to appreciate the things a good yard/garage sale, thrift store, or online buy/sell/trading has to offer. There is a treasure of things to discover. And then of course, if you have the desire to be crafty as I do, you can do this:

cake stand and plateIt just so happened the cake stand cover fit the plate. I bought seven pieces in total, all clear glass. Two small plates, two candlesticks, a large serving plate and a vase.  Probably less than $10 in total. After a can of spray paint and tube of special glue, I had a fancy and one-of-a-kind cake stand and two raised dishes.

However, as much as I love the thrill of the thrift, I don’t care much for being the one doing the selling. Most specifically a yard/garage sale.

To me, it’s cut-and-dry:

  • Gather the things I no longer want.
  • Price them fair and reasonable given condition.
  • Display goods in an organized and orderly fashion.
  • Smile, conversate, collect monies.
  • Pack up unsold goods and distribute to appropriate outlets.

I use what I call “The Goodwill Method” for pricing. The reason is simple. I’ve never seen someone ask if they will take less for anything in the store. What is marked is what they pay or they let it sit. I’m not saying no one has ever asked, but I’ve yet to witness it.

In my thinking, I price slightly lower than what Goodwill would price. Even lower in some instances. But without fail, it feels like the entire day is answering the endless question of, “Will you take less for this?”

It annoys me to no end. I want to shout, “DO YOU SEE .25 WRITTEN? NO. I WANT THE WHOLE $2!” I’m the type of person who will go to a yard sale and pay whatever is marked. If I feel the price is too high, I leave it. No awkward back-and-forth. No disappointment. No (what feels like) confrontation.

I’m currently in the process of decluttering my house. And when I mean decluttering, I mean I have found things other people who reside here have taken out of the various donation boxes and hidden. They’ve also taken to locking things up or putting them on high shelves in hopes said items escape my scrutiny.

In an attempt to be brave, I’ve been trying my hand at selling a few things via a popular (or at least to me it is) online buy/sell/trade site. I’ve used the site before to purchase several things, and I really like it because each group is for a specific area.

So far, I’ve had great results. And I’ve had some people ask if I’d take less on a few things. This led me wondering if it is common knowledge and expected there will be negotiating when it comes to any type of private sale.

As one does when doing extensive research, I went to Facebook and took a poll.

As of this writing, here are the results:

Buy at listed price: 25%
Negotiate lower price: 75%

A couple of people had a few words to say….

The idea of telling someone I will give them less than they ask for something at a garage sale is mortifying to me. Like, it’s already $1. I’m not going to haggle to save twenty-five cents.  – Courtney

I won’t ask on anything under $3. Over that I’ll ask, worst that can happen is you pay asking price or walk away without the item. The best to happen is they get the price they REALLY want and you feel like you got a deal. – Byron

We went to the flea market today. I was fully prepared to pay sticker prices or walk away. In a couple of booths I was seriously looking at something, both women immediately offered less than asking price.

In another booth, I saw a sign that read something to the effect: “Nothing under $20 will be discounted. We work really hard to make the prices fair as well as worth our time here.” I had to give him props for being upfront about it.

If there is anything I’ve learned it’s this – if I don’t want to negotiate prices, then don’t put up anything for sale.

And I’m probably still going to pay the price marked.