Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fried

Note:  I passed out before being able to publish this post yesterday... and no, I wasn't drinking.

That's right.  My brain is fried.  Ever since I bought that truck, all hell has broken loose in my life.  I'm about ready to jump in it and just take off somewhere into the mountains for a few days.  I actually haven't been able to drive it since I brought it home from the dealership because my phone has been ringing off the hook for two days straight.  At one point I had my mobile phone pressed against one ear listening to one person talk and the land line pressed to the other ear listening to a different person talk.  I couldn't process it all, so I hung up my mobile phone abruptly.  People must think I'm crazy, but my brain has limits to how much information it can process in the same second.

Every week I think, "This is it.  I'm finally going to get caught up on my To Do List this week because I have nothing more urgent on my plate," and before I know it, I'm being bombarded with other people's agendas.  Now it is Friday evening and I lost another week to general insanity.  But what was really bad about this week was that I kept dreaming that I was having a heart attack and found that even with taking my blood pressure pill and a double dose of anti-anxiety medication, I couldn't get my blood pressure down to a manageable level.  I felt more stressed this week than I did working 80 hours a week at my last job.

I think my biggest problem is that I've had to deal with too many slimy people all at once.  There's the car salesman.  He's actually okay.  He's just a kid trying to make a living, but I have to push him to get him to give me some facts as opposed to pulling some guesses out of his butt.  He's doing more research for me right now.  I'm making myself a bigger pain in his butt than he is in mine.  If people want me as a return customer, they've got to do something special, because I'm not easily impressed.  I had to cut through his B.S. several times and call him on his deceptions.  I'm amazed that he's still speaking to me.

Then there's the investment company that's been "helping" me process my claims.  This financial adviser gave me the go ahead to pay off some of my own debts and buy a truck.  I started the process, obviously, only to have her call the next week and tell me not to touch any of the money because we need it as liquid assets to get us qualified for other loans.  Say what?  I hate paying off loans.  I hate being in debt.  I hate having the possibility hanging over my head that the bank can foreclose on my home or repossess my vehicles.

Also, she promised me an investment program that would provide me with a small monthly income, just enough to help cover the monthly bills, while I'm still struggling to get my photography business off the ground.  Now she is rescinding that offer and telling me that the money is locked away and I cannot access it until I am 59 and half years of age without taking tax penalties.  Just wonderful.  At the rate my blood pressure is rising, I doubt I will live that long.  I reminded her that I wanted access to the money so I can move.  She said, "Oh, we'll find something to help you out five or ten years down the road."

I.
completely.
flipped.
out.

I raised my voice in frustration, telling her that we are already planning on moving next summer, because if I have to spend one more year in this neighborhood, I'm going to kill myself.  Instead of giving me her blessings in spending the money we need to move and investing less in annuities, she offered to pre-qualify me for a mortgage loan.  Gee, thanks.  I'm so glad that I trusted her to respect my wishes. When I first started working with her, she said, "I will do whatever you want," but so far she has only done with my money what she wants.

The only people I detest more than financial advisers at this point are attorneys, and I hope I don't have to hire one to sue this financial adviser, because either way I'll be flushing a lot of cash down the toilet.  Isn't a financial adviser supposed to give you advice and let you decide whether you want to take it or leave it?  This lady totally railroads me, controlling my every move right down to whether or not I can pay a bill and move out of my house.  Basically, the more money I spend, the less commission she gets, and that's obviously all she cares about.  She's been trying to get me to consolidate everything into her company, including all of our insurance policies.  I said no way.  I love my State Farm agents.  They are like family to me.  I've probably talked with them at least six times this week, and they always cheer me up with their upbeat affect. 

The financial adviser is all gung-ho about saving every penny for retirement.  I am constantly reminding her that I'm out of work, have two kids in college, a sudden mortgage that I didn't have nine months ago, was due for a new truck, so I need money now.  Realistically, when I'm an old fart, I'll probably be in too much pain or too weak to enjoy life, so what's the point in having all that money other than to pay hospital bills and provide some inheritance to your kids and grand kids?  We already have a couple of sources for retirement income, and we don't need a third.  Also, everyone in my blood line dies young.  I'm all for stretching money out for as far as it can go, but to be suddenly told that I can't access it until I'm nearly 60 years old really fries my butt.  I had asked repeatedly for no more than a 3-year annuity and somehow they gave me a friggin' lifetime annuity against my wishes.

Those of you who have been reading my blog these past few years know that the light at the end of my tunnel is the promise that I can some day move out of this neighborhood and go somewhere peaceful and private where I can ride my horses without having to compete with 18-wheelers, horns honking, power tools roaring, doors slamming, and people lurking in the bushes.  I hope this latest challenge works out in my favor, because I don't know how much more I can take of other people screwing up my life.

My neighbors were in rare form yesterday.  For the umpteenth time, I found myself standing at my kitchen sink gazing out the window at the grass and trees and birds as I tried to replenish my body with a glass of water to fight off dehydration between phone calls, when some huge truck comes up the street and stops at the end of my driveway.  Two men stare directly at me in the kitchen window.  I wait for them to move along, but they just keep staring, so I retreat from the kitchen.  They then drive further up the road to their destination -- my annoying neighbors' house, where they proceed to buy windows, washers, dryers, toilets, doors, and all kinds of strange stuff that has been lying around in their yard.

This morning they had tons of strangers and trucks lined up from the their back yard all the way along their front lot and out the gate into the street.  I'd love to know their advertising tactics, because I wouldn't mind having people lined up like that for my portrait sessions.  It just amazes me how these neighbors switch from one tactic to make money to another so quickly, and each tactic seems to get increasingly more annoying and obtrusive than the last.  I thought nothing could top the bleating, starved goats they were "boarding", but listening to the endless rumble of diesel engines along with the crashing of heavy objects being loaded into trailers and onto the beds of trucks is right up there with all their other methods of torture. 

It appears they are making the majority of their money this winter through offering dry parking spaces on their lot, as two more junk cars showed up this week, and through picking up "deals" at garage sales or off Craig's List and reselling them for profit.  They may as well be running an eBay store on their property with all the action they've been getting.  At least they are parking all the boats, trailers and other junky vehicles on the other side of their property now instead of up against my fence.  I think they've figured out the my horses scrape up whatever they park against my fence with their teeth.

I really hope I can get caught up on my ranch chores this weekend and get to drive my truck.  I've got 32 items on my To Do List, and something tells me I'll be lucky to get them all done by the age of 59 and a half.

This financial adviser is loaded with assumptions, and she thinks it's only appropriate to move to a warmer climate when you retire.  I have had to repeatedly tell her that I'm living in the state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation, and the best way for me to either make my photography business profitable or get a steady job is to move out of state now.  I've got nothing to retire from at the moment.  Also, I'd like to believe that I'll be riding horses when I'm 60 and older, but I'm already feeling my age and know that my days of riding wild and free are quickly diminishing.  I need that special space where I can ride, but I can see that I seem to be surrounded by people who don't have any understanding of what it's like to be desperate to regain a lost lifestyle.

The truck salesman told me that I could have a tow package installed for about $150.  Then he told my husband it would be about $200.  Then, after I bought my truck of course, he called and told me that best price he could get for a tow package installation was $400.  So, now my husband is thinking of ordering the parts and installing everything himself.  Has anyone ever done that?  Is it easy / hard / safe / unsafe / better to leave to the pros?

9 comments:

Dreaming said...

Wow...what incredible frustration you are experiencing. Dealing with bureaucracy is liking hitting your head against a brick wall.
I can't advise you about installing the tow package. From what my hubby says, it all depends on how the truck is currently equipped. I guess the wiring is the most challenging.

Katharine Swan said...

I don't know anything about installing a tow package, but I would call around and get some price comparisons from other places before you take it back to the dealership to have the work done.

As for your financial adviser, remember that YOU. ARE. HER. BOSS. She cannot do anything without your permission, and if she does or tries to or can't see eye to eye with you, fire her sorry a$$ and find yourself another!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The 4-pin wiring is in the back already and I have the ball off my old truck. I just need a ball receiver installed and the brake control system attached to the dashboard. The dealership won't do it for liability reasons. I've called around, but it sound like the closest place is an hour and a half drive one-way.

Anonymous said...

you need a new finance advisor, I would try a bank or credit union, they usually offer this free or very reasonable. now stop and take some deep breathes, think good things,like the spring and looking for that perfect place to move. remember this is not forever, it just seems like it at the moment.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Oh dear lord...I would so be coming unhinged on that financial advisor. Not that I have ever trusted my $$ to anyone else, but *I* would be telling her that I think her and I have different views of what is important in MY life and think I would like someone else to work on MY behalf. Is that possible? To get a different advisor within the company to take over your assets?

It really is all about money in her pocket. You nailed that one. What the freak difference does retirement make if you don't have the means to survive today?

Uuuggghhh!

As for the tow package...I didn't even realize that those didn't come already affixed. Our last couple of pickup came with them. Even the suburban had one. I know that it costs about $500-600 to have a 5th-wheel hitch and plug put in. So I'm thinking that $400 sounds way more appropriate than $150.

I don't think installing a bumper-pull hitch itself is that technically difficult-bolts and some welding. If there is a light plug-in already on your bumper, that is a big bonus. If there isn't, that can be a lot of work and a bit technical to run the wiring back and to be honest, I wouldn't even know how to begin to attach the wiring in the front. Plug-ins I can fix. LOL...I've pulled more than one of those out by forgetting to unplug them before pulling away. But starting from scratch at the motor? Not a clue.

Mikey said...

Yep, can't help you on the inside brake box.
Girl, I don't know HOW you maintain any kind of sanity. Get it your truck and just go drive for the day. Turn off the phone and recharge your mojo. Just do it.

Breathe said...

I turn off my phone for three hours a day. I pick the hours and give my spouse an alternative way to reach me or use caller id to choose my calls. For three hours, generally between 10 and 1. Gives me time to think.

In reality, everyone can handle a call back. You might need to regain that control.

Wiring is the tricky part. But that's certainly something you want done right.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Unfortunately, these were all phone calls that I requested, so I wanted to answer. I just didn't expect each conversation to add up to two entire days being lost.

achieve1dream said...

I would so fire that woman!! That is ridiculous! I really hope this mess works itself out for you quickly.