Monday, December 01, 2008

My absence: Just call me Pat Benetar!

So the reason why I have not managed to make my regular appearances in the blogesphere for the past few month, well really, at least a half a year is because life has just been working me out!

I went from having no job to basically having 3 jobs! My regular full-time job has been going really well. I am really enjoying what I am doing and feel like I am making a contribution that is being valued. I have had two bosses in the past 8 months but that is because the guy who hired me got promoted to his boss' position, which is not a bad thing for me since he thought well enough of me to hire me in the first place and has direct knowledge of my work. And I like my new boss, who is a woman. I was not sure of her when I first started the job and she was in another group within my department. I got a strange vibe from her then but now that I report to her, she has been really great. She was promoted when she came to my group and is very inclusive and treats me very congenially, which is the opposite of what I felt from her before. So things are good!

Additionally, I am still working at The Container Store. A lot of people have asked me why I am still working there and it is not that the money makes a huge difference but I like it and it doesn't really interfere with my schedule that much. I work truck uploads, which is normally one night every 5-7 days (9-midnight on a weeknight/Saturday or 6-9 on Sunday) and I have started picking up store hours on some evenings and on the weekend. I cannot under emphasize how different this company is from regular retail --- and the people I work with are all pretty much very nice, helpful, agreeable people. But of course, that is why they were hired.

And lastly, I have been dealing with some investment properties that I purchased last year. The long and the short of it is that they have not worked out quite as I had originally envisioned. I have ended up renting them out as Section 8 housing, at a loss, and using a property manager (who is also an owner in the subdivision) to manage them. I was very hands off for a little less than a year but then the finances of it all caused me to take a closer look. I had not foreseen not having a job for 6 months when I purchased them and any extra that I could have dedicated to these properties disappeared into living expenses. But honestly, even if I had kept my job, the economics of this endeavor disintegrated as the housing market started going south. So while I am able to collect income on each property every month, it is not enough to cover the mortgage by a sizable amount. So I have spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out what to do. And I still haven't gotten it figured out.

What I did figure out was that I could not continue to afford a property manager if I was already losing money so this fall I started the process of managing them myself. And in the process I discovered that a few things were not being managed as I expected. So I had to dive in on my own -- manage the transition in management with the manager and tenants, sign new leases, sort through a whole mess of things with the housing authority including rent increase requests, etc, steering clear of an investigation that they launched against my former property manager, and finding someone to do maintenance for the units. Additionally, one tenant and the former property manager did not get along, for a number of reasons, and while I has trusted his advice in the past with regard to tenant matters, I started to question if the rendition of events he had been telling me was completely accurate.

There have been periods where I worked at least 5 hours a day for 13 days straight plus had to manage stuff with the properties in addition.

I definitely feel like an adult these days.... Got some big ol' adult issues to deal with. Whew!