Easy Does It

Normally I keep this blog to music-related posts/videos… but today, I need to take some time and write out a personal blog that everyone can relate to in some way, I’m sure of it.  Just because I can, and I love telling stories with great conclusions – I’m going to go way into the back story of how this entire situation has come to what has happened to me today.  You’re in for a read… but it’s a good one.  So I hope you enjoy.

With moving to Ontario from Halifax, I obviously was out of a job.  In fact.. I didn’t have a job when I left Halifax, I’ll be honest.  So upon coming here – it was my goal to get a job immediately.. and I sort of did.  I got hired at the mall by my house within the first two to three weeks and I was beyond excited.  The manager was even going as far as telling me he was going to make me assistant manager… on my second day.  Naive little me believed this and put all of my trust into this job.  I worked Monday-Thursday… come in on Friday morning and he tells me I’m fired with no explanation.  His demeanour completely changed within 14 hours… and I had done nothing wrong.  I was devastated.  I had put all of my eggs into one basket and he crushed that shit real quick.

So there I was.  Left without a job again.  The whole reason of coming up here was to work work work and make amends with people I had fucked over in the past… and in general to become a more responsible and mature person.  I felt as if Halifax was filled with so many reasons to not care, so many vices.  Of course it wasn’t the city itself.. Halifax is amazing – but it was the life and the circles that I had created for myself that I was allowing to constantly drag me down.  The only way out was to get out.  Which I achieved, step one.

Either way – I ended up getting another job a few weeks later.  Not only was this job more hands on and exciting (I need to be constantly stimulated.. especially in a job), but it was steady.  40 hours a week no matter what…. and the option of more hours after training had been completed.  I am still there today.. loving it.  It is definitely stressful as it is a call centre and there is a lot to learn… but the fact that I go to work 5 days a week and know at the end of every 2nd week I’ll be getting a paycheque that is going to cover rent, food, & debts… it’s a massive deal to me.  With that, I have been paying necessities of course.. as well as slowly paying off debts from my past that are very important debts to be paid.  That’s all fine and dandy.  Things take time and I think I am doing very well on that front.  I am starting to budget and spend my money only on needs… not so much on wants.  Though I can’t lie I totally splurged on a $6 smoothie the other day.  I had to.

So last night I make a plan that today I will be going to get some groceries for the rest of the week until my next paycheque.  I checked my account and I had $90. Over the last two years I have become a master of getting massive grocery loads with a measly $40… so I head to the bank first and attempt to pull out $40.  The bank machine tells me no… so naturally, not thinking anything of it – I head to the teller.  When the teller pulls up my account… she informs me that I have $32 left.  I immediately start to panic.  I knew exactly what it was… but I was still shocked because there was no reason why I would have been charged that much in fees.  $90 to $32 is a lot of bank fees.

You see… I honestly don’t believe in paying for banks.  I think its truly disgusting and meaningless…. but when you have a job that does direct deposit.. you don’t have much of a choice.  As well as when you are as terrible with cash money as I am… it’s better for me to have a debit card (at least somewhat) because it causes me to actually think before I purchase.  So two months ago I decided there is no reason I should be paying $14 to keep a bank account, as well as I couldn’t afford it, honestly.  So, I called into my bank and got myself on the $4 plan that allows only 12 free transactions a month.  If you go over the limit, you get charged $1.50 per transaction… which all gets taken out of your account at the end of the month with bank fees.  Of course… I go over it last month… not by much.. but still… so I called in and switched to the $10.95 plan, but I am told that if I call a week before the end of this month… I am able to switch back to the $4 plan and that will be my only charge on the account for this month.  So of course I do that, and when I call in.. I make it a priority to ask the agent if that means my June transactions will be reset from then until the end of the month.  He tells me yes.  So… I get my next pay a few days later and I’m buying groceries on debit, tim hortons, taking cash out of machine for rent.  I’m doing it all because I have been told I am reset with 12 transactions and I’ve only got a week to wait until it is reset again.. so 12 transactions is enough to get me through the week.

So lets just say I almost started crying and begged the teller “Please help me, that is all the money I have until my next paycheque like I need this I would have never ever made ANY transactions if the agent wouldn’t have told me my account would be reset.”  She ended up getting a manager to take me into her office and tell her the whole story of what happened… and that’s when one of the most insane things that has ever happened in my life occurred.

She looks at me, with soul and tears in her eyes and says look… “You are young, you are just starting out.. I can see you are trying to get your life together… I see your paycheques are coming in.. I know you are not lying and I can see you are really trying… this is what I’m going to do.” (at this point I’m holding back tears).. she says “We are putting you on the 10.95 plan with 30 transactions… but I am waiving the fees every month until October to give you a chance to set a goal of only making 30 transactions a month and succeeding” (Now I’m crying)… “I am also going to give you back the money that they took out for your overcharge fees.. but it will not be able to be done until Tuesday because it’s the last day of the month.”  She looks at me deep into my soul and finally says “Look… I was kicked out of my house when I was 19… I was on the streets… then one day I got an offering for a part time job in a BMO call centre.  I worked my way up and didn’t give up, got into a full time position.. and now here I am.. 34 years old and have my own office and a job that sustains my life.”  She gets up and gives me a hug.  She was so kind.  I am weeping now.  I had never had someone give me a gift that was so filled with truth, with understanding.  So I ask her.. “Ok… so I can take out the $30 thats left and it wont charge me?”  She laughs and says yes you are fine.

I go back to the teller and ask her to take out the remaining $30.   Then I correct myself and say actually.. I might as well just take out the $32 because I have to get on the bus.  She then looks at me and makes a surprised face.  I’m like oh god what happened now.  She says to me “Lindsay, you have a credit in your account of $68 dollars.  You now have 100 dollars.”  I start crying again.  Actually, weeping.  The manager really put a credit into my account because she understood that I AM trying.  I’m doing everything in my power to make my life what it should be… and she didn’t judge me that it is taking me time to do this.  She didn’t judge me about my past… although she didn’t know it – I feel some part of her had a slight idea that I had been down a rough road.  She believed in me.  She did this because I’m sure when she was my age… she had wished that someone would have done something like this for her.  So the teller asked me … “Would you like to take out more than $32, then?”  I replied with “I will take out $40 and that is it.”  She gave me a kleenex and said you “You’ve got this Lindsay.  You can DO this.  If you need any assistance EVER with your bank account… we are here to help.  We will ALWAYS do what we can to make things possible for you.  Please come back and visit.”

I am in shock, disbelief, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude.  I have never in my life been treated with such respect and with such care by a public establishment, especially a bank.  I am so thankful, grateful, and humbled by this experience.  I will never forget it.

From this experience I’ve learned that I really need to take a step back in my life and work on things, and not give up.  To me, this was the God of my understanding’s way of saying to me “Keep going Lindsay.. do not stop.  You’ve TRULY got this.”  It’s not about the money.  It’s about the fact that she looked deeper than just the surface.  She looked into my eyes and saw that I AM working on myself and I am taking charge of my responsibilities.  She gave me a chance and that’s all someone can ever ask for.

This is not the place to get too deep into my personal life – but I have made some interesting choices within the last two years of my life.  I am now currently doing everything in my power to make amends with people that my choices have affected, as well as give myself a chance to move on and do life properly.  I am succeeding in this – but one thing I must say to anyone reading this post.  If you have someone in your life that continues to make bad decisions and mistakes… when they stop making mistakes, and when they start actually trying and really doing.. give them space to breathe.  If you were affected by their actions – you have the right to make sure that they don’t forget what amends they need to make with you… but jumping down someone’s throat when they are TRULY doing their best for the first time is not the way to be.  It sucks to wait for your share of the cake when someone has taken your piece… but I promise you… with great patience.. it will be MUCH more worth it and sincere.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope that this can maybe shed light on a situation you may be in, or maybe help you consider how someone else is feeling in a situation they are in.

Today I have learned that the saying from Alcoholics Anonymous that my aunt always preached to me is right.  “Easy Does It.”



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