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  • FIRST POST
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 27th Nov 16, 3:40 PM
    • 216Posts
    • 611Thanks
    Smolly
    Smolly's Stumblings to Sanity - the next Chapter...
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 16, 3:40 PM
    Smolly's Stumblings to Sanity - the next Chapter... 27th Nov 16 at 3:40 PM
    After much gentle pushing here is my new debt busting diary – my previous ramblings can be found here under the rather grim title of ‘Bereft and Broken’ should anyone feel inclined to read it and weep.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5503074#topofpage

    I have come a very long way since July when I had my LBM. I’m not 100% better, and in fact I’m actually in more debt now than I was back then, but that is due to interest charges being added before I could get my accounts frozen. I am however, so much better than I was back in July. I’m more confident about dealing with this mountain of debt and my health is improving. I’m also back at work and slowly building up my hours.

    I won’t go into the whys and wherefores as to how I got in this mess – that’s all in my other thread. I will say this though. I would not be writing this second diary without the support of certain people who have been cheering me on whilst ‘Bereft and Broken’. My aim in this diary is to see my debt reduce, by any which way I can legally reduce it! I won’t be considering bankruptcy though. I aim to work to pay this debt off and currently have a part time job, am selling things on eBay and have started doing some mystery shopping. I can’t work with StepChange as I can’t offer enough to my creditors at the moment to do so. My DMP is therefore self-managed.

    My budget doesn’t allow huge payments at the moment to my creditors but due to health problems all have put me on a zero charge for the time being to allow myself some time to get my head together. Tomorrow I will start a new budget called GoodBudget. I hope with this to see exactly where my money is going and budget better for paying off debt.

    The big awful debt figure as of 21 November 2016 was £27,961.98. As of 22 November 2016 through a successful PPI claim I managed to reduce this to £27,028.30 so I have paid 3.34% off. Exciting times!

    I know I will have bad days but fortunately my good days far outweigh the !!!! ones. I will no doubt make reference to the OH when the days are pants and I will also mention my dear work colleague, the CLL (Crazy Lying Lady)! You will no doubt come to love her just as much as I do…

    Take care all and good luck with debt busting. May the battle commence…
    Last edited by Smolly; 27-11-2016 at 5:35 PM. Reason: Spelling error
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98, Dec 16 £26,977.66, Jan 17 £26,884.76
    EF #205 £0/£1000
Page 6
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 24th Jan 17, 4:24 PM
    • 7,556 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    Hope the dentists went OK Smolly - and also that events at work have unfolded as they ought. That woman is a flipping NIGHTMARE! One of the first rules of Health & safety is that you look out for the safety of others as well as yourself - her actions with that spoon ought to mean that at very best she ends up with a written warning - I'm guessing a serious break of the H&S policy in your environment though could be said to be gross misconduct so hopefully you may well be rid of her. Not in the least surprised you burst into tears - SUCH a shock - it sounds as though in the circumstances you were actually quite lucky! Good for you on the formal report too - that takes guts but for everyone else's sake it's the right thing to do.

    Brilliant work on the selling thing too - I could see you making a full time living out of this!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£450.55 (14/08/17)
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 26th Jan 17, 12:18 PM
    • 595 Posts
    • 2,003 Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    I'm so sorry to hear of your past dental experience, that sounds terrible. Here's hoping it never happens again and your recent appointment went smoothly.

    Is there any update on the CLL situation? The more I think about it, the angrier it makes me. She seems to have some mental health issues, nobody in their right mind would act like that. She really should be removed from her position. I hope she's not the type who would seek some kind of revenge, she really does sound unbalanced.
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 28th Jan 17, 10:06 AM
    • 392 Posts
    • 1,615 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Poor you and the dentist, that sounds really horrific.


    About CLL; she is a bully. Aggressive and passive aggressive behaviour. I do not blame you for ignoring and avoiding her where you can. If you're not doing this already, start a log of EVERYTHING you observe her doing.
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 28th Jan 17, 8:23 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 611 Thanks
    Smolly
    The CLL has left the building...
    Really? The CLL has left the building??? YES!!! but only for a week...... It will at least give me chance to recover mind and body!

    Thank you everyone for popping in. I braved the dentist - I did not know that they had a 'special gel' (probably used for children) which completely numbs your gum before giving you the needle!! I never felt a thing! That said, it isn't really the needle I get upset about. It's all the fingers and thumbs and wads of cotton wool that they stick in your mouth - I have a terrible gag reflex. So bad that I can't even wear a scarf around my neck!!! Anyway I got through it and it wasn't at all as bad as I was expecting - I did take extra happy pills before I went in though so that may have accounted for something!

    Anyway back to the CLL as I can hear you all twitching to find out what happened. I've had a pretty low week. Woke up Thursday and just randomly burst into tears. Realised it was from burnt hand and having to put in a report which I did feel really sh**ty about but it had to be done.

    As a result of that they have decided to trial the CLL at another school. That isn't going to solve the problem at all - it's just shifting it. She's already on a warning, and being monitored so why the hell they haven't sacked her yet is beyond me. Anyway after Friday she may well be as she took things to a new level. My nerves are already beginning to frazzle once again as a result of this woman and on Friday she didn't put the health and safety of her colleagues at risk - she put the health and safety of a child at risk by giving false information which I can only think she plucked from thin air as it wasn't substantiated in any way. Fortunately I was witness to it and so was a teacher and we've had to put reports in to my boss.

    My boss is a very professional person, always fair and always immaculate. After Friday's incident I saw her put her head in her hands and after a few minutes come up looking like she'd been pulled through a hedge backwards. Her eyes were glazed, her hair was all over the place and for a few minutes rambled and mumbled about god knows what. I seriously thought she was having a breakdown. She came round eventually but the CLL is affecting the health of all of us. My other colleague, who never goes off sick, is now under the doctor for raised blood pressure.

    Misty we do wonder if the CLL is having some sort of mental health problem herself but she has refused to get help when offered to her. It's difficult as she is always lying. She keeps telling us she can't work late as she needs to be away by a certain time to see to children/be back for the husband/go to an appointment - it changes everyday. Twice this week I've left 20 minutes after her to find her making phone calls in her car down the road. On one occasion she then set off and went food shopping! I know because I saw her in there! She is so the CLL!

    Anyway she is adamant she is returning after a week. My boss made her clear out her locker completely telling her she may like it where she is going and then she won't have to return. She also made her hand in her key to the office and it's now been passed to me. I'll be covering her hours next week and then we will see what happens.

    I'm 95% sure that like Arnie, she will be back.... Watch this space.

    Anyway onto money matters - debts now stand at £26,884.76 - not quite at July's level when I woke up but not too far off.

    No more eBay sales to report but you do have to list regularly to see the sales and as I haven't been listing I have no one to blame but myself.

    No mystery shops either - they seem quite few and far between but then I think I'm being a little choosy too.

    N@tWest rang me and asked me to make a decision - I can default and they will accept my £1 a month offer, or they will have to revert to charging me interest again as they can't accept the offer on my account as it is at the moment. I blagged another 3 weeks off them to make a decision. I will go with the default as their monthly account charges are ridiculous plus there's the interest on the overdraft but I wanted to see if I could reduce it enough not to go down that route at all. Means really pulling my finger out with the eBay - I can't see me raising an extra £395 in less than 3 weeks but stranger things have happened!

    Payday yesterday and I succumbed and visited a local charity shop where the prices seem to be a little bit flexible depending on who is working there! It wasn't my usual lady but I did find a stunning Ghost evening dress for £5! Even better that they were having a half price sale!!

    EH - I would love to do the eBay hustle thing full time. I have tried it once before and I did make more than I'm making in my current job now. However I hit a low period where sales weren't so good and I decided I needed to look for a 'proper' job. I want to see where the next few months take me - I really love selling secondhand clothes - and I love sourcing them. I also want to start consider selling on Amazon in the future but need to do a lot more research about it first.

    Think I've just about caught up. I always look forward to Sundays as I get up super early to let the dog out (it's my day - Saturday's is the OH's day) and I then have a good couple of hours before everyone else bothers to get up and it's just me and the pup - my dressing gown and slippers, a book and a cup of coffee. Bliss. Much better than sleeping in and seeing half the day go by!

    Anyway I'm off - hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday evening xx
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98, Dec 16 £26,977.66, Jan 17 £26,884.76
    EF #205 £0/£1000
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 29th Jan 17, 10:12 AM
    • 392 Posts
    • 1,615 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    How has this woman still got a job? Surely she needs to go. If her bosses know she is putting other people in danger and fail to act, they are culpable if something should happen. At least you get a week off from her.
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 29th Jan 17, 12:28 PM
    • 595 Posts
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    MistyMountainTop
    I can't believe CLL hasn't been fired. Lying about a child seems like gross misconduct to me. There are procedures to be followed but if something like that happens, it is well within the school's rights to fire her on the spot.

    I'm sorry it's causing you (and everyone else) so much stress, I can only hope those in charge realise what a liability she is and get rid of her before she does any more serious damage. You'll have to keep us informed as to what happens after next week...

    I reluctantly put a few things on ebay as money is really tight and I couldn't think how else to get some quickly. Luckily the higher value item sold within 45 mins. The reason I am so reluctant to do it now is that recently many buyers seem to pull every trick in the book to get a discount, keep the item for free, have a partial refund, etc. If they decide they don't like something or it doesn't fit, many just start an "item not as described" case and then you are out the postage to have it returned as well. I've sold a genuine article and had a fake returned to me. Luckily I kept records of the serial number so the buyer didn't get away with it but had I not pushed and pushed for weeks for ebay to sort it out, they wouldn't have. I've been selling since it started in the 1990s, and have 100% positive feedback on over 3,000 sales so I know how to spell every little detail out in the auction, include measurements and include plenty of hi-res photos, pack really well and do everything in my power to ensure that the buyer is happy and knows just what they are getting. I just can't be bothered anymore, once the last bits are sold I will mainly use it for buying and possibly the occasional sale. It started going downhill for me when ebay made it impossible to leave anything but positive feedback for the buyer. Rant over, sorry for going off!!!
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 30th Jan 17, 4:30 PM
    • 7,556 Posts
    • 39,406 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    It sounds to me like they're playing for time with CLL Smolly - and it also sounds as though whether she likes it or not, returning to your school might not be an option for her. I suspect they're covering their backs and being determined to show that they have explored every avenue to sort things out for all parties before simply going down the dismissal route - I wonder whether she has a history of maneuvring herself into a position where she gets fired and then taking employers to tribunal? That's possible and may account for why they're being so cautious. Fingers crossed that you're rid of her anyway. There is clearly *something* wrong with her as nobody in their right mind behaves as she is.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£450.55 (14/08/17)
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 30th Jan 17, 9:20 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 611 Thanks
    Smolly
    Thanks boxofpaws, Misty and EH for popping by! Bit of a stressful day today covering the extra hours - things started off well but then got a bit manic. Still it was peaceful and the extra money will be very welcome when it comes in.

    Not in early tomorrow as DS has an assembly that I want to go to.

    I'm sat here just having a break in between doing eBay listings and surveys (Pinecone so not boring!) I listed a few bits at the weekend and within 5 minutes of listing one item it sold! Kerr-ching!! There's now about £35 sat in my Paypal account from weekend sales- not quite the £395 I need to repay N@tWest and I may need to raid it if things get tight but I'm just going to keep plugging away. I certainly won't make the money if I don't put the effort in. Have decided to hold off paying bro back this month (plus the OH as he is very forgetful!) until I can see if I can get the money together first.

    Have been trying out one of those photography light box thingys which illuminate the object inside for photographing. Comes with a built in light so no costly set up with extra lights etc, but it's tiny! Tried to get some shoes inside - I couldn't even manage one of my huge size 8's but it's ideal for smaller items such as jewellery and other random bits and pieces. I didn't pay very much for it either - I was sent it to trial. It's a bit flimsy but it is rather good and my photos do look a lot better. It's made me decide I would like a larger one. You can buy kits on Am@zon which include two small lights and a larger pop up light tent - perfect for things like shoes and bags. I already have £20 saved in Am@zon vouchers with ShopandScan and they do cost more than that but I'm happy to wait. I might check out eBay for second hand ones...(after I've paid off N@tWest of course!)

    Ok so back to listing...

    Hope everyone is well xx
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98, Dec 16 £26,977.66, Jan 17 £26,884.76
    EF #205 £0/£1000
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 31st Jan 17, 12:05 PM
    • 7,556 Posts
    • 39,406 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    A trick for a DIY lightbox effect - get an ordinary kitchen chair and throw a white sheet (preferably an ironed one) over it. Remove any obvious creases or folds. For smaller items, you can then use three sheets of ordinary A4 paper - lay two with their short sides together but just overlapping and tape together on the underside. Place a further sheet at right angles in the middle of them so it forms a sort of stumpy T, and again, tape together on the underside. You can then curl the ends of the long strip round to stick to the single piece, making a sort of curvy three sided shape, which reflects light about beautifully when you place something on it to photograph. For bigger items, a large cardboard box on the chair, with the sheet over it again, works well. The pop up ones are pretty good - but another DIY trick is to cover a sheet of card with silver foil and use that to reflect natural light from a window onto your subject too.

    Hope your peaceful work-time is being enjoyed and appreciated to the full, and well done for being nearly 10% of the way towards the money you need for NatWest!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£450.55 (14/08/17)
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 1st Feb 17, 8:39 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 611 Thanks
    Smolly
    Thanks EH - great advice about the homemade lightbox. I will give it a go but am pretty sure at the moment I don't have a white sheet! I've been looking for a cheap white shower curtain that I could perhaps use instead but not found anything yet. Will keep looking...

    Thank you also for reminding me that yes I have saved nearly 10% of the debt - I wasn't looking at it like that. The figure is now £42.04 so a bit nearer still.

    We have not had news as to how the CLL is fairing in her new job. We shall find out on Friday I should think. Last minute and all that. The new girl who has been helping us is really keen to stay with us (so we can't be too bad to work with can we?) and she has been after a transfer for a while now. We have been told however that it is up to the CLL! If she wants to come back then she will be allowed to (but they will look for another way to move her). I have a terrible feeling she will be back Monday, but for now we will enjoy the peace.

    Anyway I am off to make a cuppa. I feel as if I've done loads today and in actual fact I have.

    Hope everyone is ok xx
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98, Dec 16 £26,977.66, Jan 17 £26,884.76
    EF #205 £0/£1000
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 2nd Feb 17, 8:24 PM
    • 392 Posts
    • 1,615 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Cant wait for the CLL update tomorrow!
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 3rd Feb 17, 12:11 PM
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    MistyMountainTop
    I don't understand how they can let CLL come back "if she wants to". It doesn't make sense to me. If something happens again (or should I say when rather than if) and someone else is hurt, they are leaving themselves open to a lawsuit by retaining someone who has shown negligence in the past.

    Here's hoping the new girl can stay and CLL will soon be no more than an unpleasant memory xxx
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 3rd Feb 17, 2:02 PM
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    • 39,406 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Crossing fingers here too that the idea that CLL could come back if she wanted to is some sort of misunderstand. Of course it *could* be that the subtext that was given to HER was that she can return, but if she does she will be facing a disciplinary. If she agrees to stay elsewhere then it will be a written warning on her file maybe. She's a flipping liability!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£450.55 (14/08/17)
    • Smolly
    • By Smolly 7th Feb 17, 9:18 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 611 Thanks
    Smolly
    Hi all - I've been absent again haven't I!

    I truly think the CLL incident has scarred me. For 5 days from Wednesday to Sunday last week I had one long migraine. It just kept coming and going and I was popping pills and felt totally whacked. I still went to work and did everything else I was supposed to do, but I felt so drained and utterly fed up.

    I just don't get it either about the CLL - our contracts clearly say that we can be redeployed anywhere the Council requires us to work....so why is it up to the CLL to decide whether she wants to return or not? The new girl is getting along really well and we are all feeling quite relaxed without the CLL - but she could come back if she wants to. She was going to return yesterday but she was told she was still needed at the other place for a little while longer. We have at least two more weeks without her. I felt quite depressed about the whole thing yesterday but I managed to pick myself up today.

    I've bitten the bullet and rung a couple of creditors following my chat with NatWest. I rang one and they were lovely and told me to send in another income and expenditure sheet and they'll set me up on a proper pay arrangement for the next 12 months. I then went onto ring another and they said they're not even doing anything with the account until May, at which time they will do something similar (both of these creditors don't want any money at all from me at the moment but I am paying them at least £1 a month).

    I've got a few more to ring and update but it does take it out of me doing this. I ended up in tears when speaking with the first lady (not Trump's) and it made me realise I still have a long way to go in sorting myself out.

    Review at the docs tomorrow for my meds and will mention my awful memory loss and migraines. In fact my memory loss has just got me into trouble with Mum. I usually ring her about 8.30 each evening. I'll remember at 8.20 pm or thereabouts but unless I ring her straightaway the thought just disappears completely from my mind. I've just had a very snotty text off her saying she assumes she's not on my list tonight.... So I rang her and apologised and she spoke curtly for about 2 minutes before abruptly ending the call. Sigh....

    Moneywise - things are tight but I'm still plodding away with trying to whittle away money for the NatWest overdraft. It was around £42 and now it is something like £90 so things are heading in the right direction. I just hope I don't need to spend it on food or petrol like I usually do....

    Anyway that's me done. Mum has managed to depress me so I'm off to bed. It may only be 9.15pm but I'm peed off to say the least. I've listed 3 things on eBay so not a complete waste of an evening.

    Take care everyone xx
    LBM Jul 16 £26,823.83, Nov 16 £27,961.98, Dec 16 £26,977.66, Jan 17 £26,884.76
    EF #205 £0/£1000
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Feb 17, 9:32 PM
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    • 39,406 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Just a thought - your Mum could have rung you. she could have been concerned that you may not be OK, and rung you to check. It's no solely your responsibility to always be the one to make the phone calls, and it;s wrong that she's left you feeling that way. If you think I'm speaking out of turn then so be it but YOU are not at fault here. Families work with 2-way traffic.

    Have a hug. On the bright side it really sounds as though they are trying to sort out the CLL situation - had it just been a case of moving her out for a short time to let the dust settle I think you can assume she would have been back this week.

    Have another hug. You're doing so well!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£450.55 (14/08/17)
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 7th Feb 17, 9:42 PM
    • 131 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    ada-or-ardor
    I totally agree with EH, it's so sad all the onus is on you to ring your mum - every day at a set time! And you miss one day and get a passive-agressive telling off. But regardless, that's how it is and it's hard to change things like that, so I hope you enjoy your early night!

    Well done on building the overdraft fund AND calling a few creditors to update!! A bit more released from the pressure cooker hey?

    Well done Smolly, you're doing so well! :-)

    Ada x
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 8th Feb 17, 10:41 AM
    • 595 Posts
    • 2,003 Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    I'm sorry that things haven't been going too smoothly - it seems to be something in the air! I hope your headaches are gone now, migraines are so debilitating.

    The whole CLL situation is ridiculous. Surely there are other people in the office that feel the same as you. Could you all band together and tell the ones in charge how you feel unsafe around her? I just can't believe they haven't let her go and are considering her being able to come back to your office.
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 25th Feb 17, 10:32 AM
    • 392 Posts
    • 1,615 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    How are you doing Smolly?
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 28th Feb 17, 10:14 PM
    • 7,556 Posts
    • 39,406 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Yes - what Paws said! Hope things are OK?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£450.55 (14/08/17)
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 17th Jun 17, 10:18 PM
    • 595 Posts
    • 2,003 Thanks
    MistyMountainTop
    Come back Smolly, we miss you!
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
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