I spoke to Angela first thing this morning, before seeing students, before I thought too much about it. I feel some kind of shame over this, like I’m doing something wrong. When I step back and look at it logically, I have no idea when I’m feeling shame about it, but there it is. And I walked into her office anyway.
She emphatically said she doesn’t want me to leave, even offered a loan, but loans are part of how I got here and what I need to get clear isn’t a small amount. She’s checking in with her resources to see if there’s some way of fixing this situation.
To address some of your thoughtful questions/comments:
I’m out of deferments on the loans – I’m currently in a “forgiveness” program which dictates that they WILL take the money out for the next seven months… or else they’ll take it from my paycheck anyway. Trust me when I say I’ve explored all avenues out of this. I’m out of luck. There’s a reason why the feds outlawed the type of consolidation loan Jeff and I did back in 2002.
Selling one of our vehicles would be an option if we didn’t live apart. And even then, old as they are, what we’d get for them wouldn’t come close to covering the hole we’re in.
I can’t get out of my lease (even if I could, I have nowhere to go locally, so again, back to quitting) until December. I’m already in the smallest apartment possible, so there’s no downgrading.
State law dictates the amount taken out of my check for retirement. I have NO say in this whatsoever. State law also dictates that there are NO early withdrawals under NO circumstances. I’ve checked with both ASU’s HR and the ASRS.
And to top off my annoyance at this whole retirement thing, when I switched from classified staff to service professional, ASU screwed up my retirement and stopped taking it out. They figured this out in June, so starting in July, they started taking an extra $250 out of my check. The pisser is that they’re planning to force me to pay for the six months they screwed up – which means I’ll be having another $250 taken out of my monthly pay anytime now. Because I haven’t been kicked enough, apparently.
Regarding tutoring, I’m honestly not sure when I’d eke out the time. I work from 8:30 – 6 Monday through Thursday. I don’t get home till 6:30 and I have to contend with my kiddos at that point – they go to bed at 8:00. On Fridays I work till 12:30 because Nina gets out early every Friday. That leaves weekends. At this point, I’d be robbing my kids of our time together if I took a second job. That doesn’t mean I won’t, but seriously, there has to be a better way.
So… if Angela can help me figure out a way to save my job, that’s my preference. It’s kind of funny… over the past few months, I’ve had this growing sense of wanting to stay here a few more years, get more experience under my belt. I hope that ends up being feasible.
If she can’t, then my plan B is to go to Washington to stay with my friend Heather. I’ll use my retirement money to pay off the debt and begin to build a life again. Pray I find a new job quickly and that it’s one I love like I love my job now. I’d be looking in areas of academia, publishing or writing, or maybe some non-profits. I wanted to go to Seattle, yes, but not in these circumstances.
That’s the update. I’ll let you know what’s happening as things progress. I have rent down for October, but I’ll have to have a decision made by the end of this month.