[-$24,200] Holding On

Miserable at Work

Newish Leader is now surrounded by mini-me’s as a result of recent hiring. The office has changed so much. A few of the mini-me’s have knives out for our team. Not in an overtly dramatic way, but, mostly covertly, as it has become apparent that we’re not what Newish Leader and the mini-me’s want and the clock is ticking.   

Remember the smug chick that I wrote about in this post, and this post, who was rude to me during an interview and who now works in my division in a leadership position? I’m naming her ‘Arrogancia’. Arrogancia is one of Newish Leader’s mini-me’s. Newish leader LOVES Arrogancia. Of course! Well… Arrogancia is making an effort to not acknowledge my existence. Whatever. I have returned the favor.

Since the knives have come out, morale has dropped on my team. A couple of teammates have already left over everything going on. One got another job and left last week. Another resigned this week with nothing else lined up. I’m trying like hell to get out. I feel really bad for my Manager who has been great to us. Manager understands how frustrated we’ve been and is frustrated as well with Newish leader and the overreach of the mini-me’s who are now Manager’s peers.

I’ve been sending out resumes and doing some phone interviews, but it seems like it’s taking forever for anything to move. I was just on a phone screen a few days ago where the interviewer told me there are five (5) rounds to their interview process. OMFG! It takes so long and takes so much effort to get a job in my field. It’s ridiculous.

Plus this time of the year, I’m competing against a fresh crop of new graduates from fancy graduate programs with the latest and greatest skills that are in demand.

I’ve gotten a few rejections back already, which is good in that at least those employers tell you and don’t ghost you. One job, I’m pretty sure I lost because of my stated salary expectation during an initial phone screen. Surprising because I’m at the absolute bottom rung of ‘market rate’. I gave a wide salary range that started below what I’m making now. They probably got one of those new grads whose desired salary range started even lower. On the other side, I’ve withdrawn from a couple of interview cycles at places that I knew were not going to be a fit for me.

I’m finally completely burned out in this job. There are times when I struggle to understand email or think clearly at all. I stare at the screen and just can’t think. I’ve been procrastinating like crazy.  My stress and anxiety are very high right now. Classic burnout. There is a lot of work and with people leaving there is even more work to try to handle and less ability to take time off because of the deadlines.

The past couple of weeks have been the hardest. I feel so trapped sometimes that I’ve been on the verge of tears at work almost daily. I wish I could just walk out and take a long break from working, but then I remember my bills and my debt and know that I can’t do that.

Yesterday, I had a phone interview with a hiring manager for a job that I thought was going to solve my problems. It looked perfect on paper. As I talked with the hiring manager, I learned that a couple of very important things had been left out of the job ad. In effect, if I were to get this job, I would be going from the frying pan into the fire in terms of working environments that I do not want. I was so crushed by the disappointment that after the call I just stared at the wall for like 10 minutes, unable to find the strength to do anything at all.

If I can’t find a decent job, I will have to do one of two things. One, I jump into the fire and take a job that I know that I will be equally miserable at because they use the same workstyle that I despise and am trying to run away from in my current job. Very few employers still use the old workstyle that I like and do well in. Two, I stay where I am and suffer the humiliation of being treated as less than and unwanted by the mini-me’s until I’m finally fired. It’s a cruel choice.

Holding On

I’m not giving up hope though. I am getting some initial interviews. I’m continuing to put in applications whenever I see something promising. I’m holding on.

The Debt

My refinance went through a week or so ago! I am the proud owner of two loans now. lol

I took my $24,200 loan and refinanced $18k of it with my current lender. My interest rate increased a bit from 3.09% fixed to 3.39% fixed. I could have gotten a much lower variable rate, but I didn’t want to take the risk with that. My minimum payments for that loan (5-year term) will be $334 each month.

The other $6,200 I refinanced with a new lender at 4.2% fixed to get the career counseling. Ironically, I haven’t had a chance to use the career services yet. The payments for this loan will be $112 per month.

So my new minimum total per month in loan payments will be $440, down from $661 minimum.  I will be focusing on paying off the new loan first once my employment situation stabilizes. I haven’t been making any payments beyond minimum payments and accrued interest since my last post. I’m hoarding cash as much as I can right now.


“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW Archives)



  1. Candice · May 8, 2019

    I don’t know what drew me to your page today. I am in a similar situation and work but I’m where you are when you started your financial journey. In my industry, there are one year contracts with options to renew and I told my boss’ boss that I don’t plan to return at the end of my current contract. So now I am desperately trying to find a job that is a better fit but also considering taking something that isn’t the best fit so that there isn’t a paycheck gap…

    I was literally starring at my screen today and just walked away from my desk feeling exactly how you described. I am so impressed and inspired by your hard work. I am sure a new opportunity will come through for you…until then, my best.


  2. Maria · May 9, 2019

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. It’s appalling how you, your manager and your team members (excepting the mini-me’s) are being treated. Some employers treat their workers like crap.

    Well done for getting the refinancing in order! And for continuing sending out applications, following through with interviews etc. Fingers crossed something will turn up soon.

    You mentioned the one job oppportunity you think you lost out on due to your salary expectations. I’m wondering, would you be willing to accept a somewhat lower salary to get a non-horrible job in your field? That you could keep for a year or so to let you pay off the last of your debt, fund classes etc? Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree you shouldn’t have to, I’m just wondering if that would/could be the lesser of the currently available evils.

    Rooting for you, as always!


    • Double Debt Single Woman · May 9, 2019

      The salary question came up during an initial phone screen. It was not a job offer negotiation phase type of thing. During the phone screen with HR I named a salary range that actually started a bit below what I’m making now. I think they were looking for someone quite a bit more junior with a salary to match. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, just my guess. It could have been any reason that they passed on me. Yes, I’ll consider going even lower salary-wise for future jobs.


  3. Anonymous · May 9, 2019

    I’m so sorry. Are you sure a new position would be equally miserable? Maybe with great coworkers and leaders you’ll be happy. Anything has to be better than this. In what ways do you think it would be just as bad? Again I’m so sorry you’re going through this.


    • Double Debt Single Woman · May 9, 2019

      Thank you, Anonymous.
      I wasn’t clear in my writing. I didn’t mean to imply that any new position would be equally miserable. I was referring to the jobs in my field that have a specific workstyle that I despise. This is the workstyle that has taken over my current job and that I’m running away from. Unfortunately, that workstyle is taking over in my field and few places have the old workstyle that I like. Hope that clears up what I was trying to say. Yeah, that said, beggars can’t be choosers. I’m constantly reconsidering what I’m willing to put up with every time I put in a job application.


  4. StubbornMama · May 9, 2019

    Oh DDSW! I feel for you! I’m glad your refinancing went through though!! When you can make minimum payments smaller, it’s a win. Leaves you a cushion, just in case! We have entered the first full month of Hubby’s new hourly wage and I feel like we aren’t moving ahead yet because of a couple expenses that I couldn’t get taken care of before they happened. I’m hoping to break even in terms of debt at the end of the month! I am going to call the bank next week and have my mortgage payment date switched. Right now it is the same day as my car and always comes out on hubby’s pay. So, on months when he has a third pay (or bonus pay as we call it because I don’t adjust the bill budget for it), a lot of it gets eaten up by the extra mortgage and car payment and doesn’t leave much “bonus” for debt repayment. By the mortgage coming out on my pay weeks, it frees up some cash. Sorry, I digress but I love that you understand exactly what I am saying and don’t think I’m odd for obsessing about getting out of debt. I really hope that this job can last you till you get rid of the ball and chain! But at least you know that you will be free of it in 5 years at the worst! Bare minimum. At this point, I just want to see below $50,000. I’m rooting for you DDSW!


    • Double Debt Single Woman · May 9, 2019

      Thanks, StubbornMama.
      I know how disheartening it is when you start making progress on debt and start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel only to be held back.
      Oh, there’s no way I’m going to stand for having this debt around for 5 years! I just need to get a job that I can tolerate for another year to put this student loan debt out of its misery.
      Hang in there!


      • StubbornMama · May 9, 2019

        Oh for sure, totally get that sentiment about not wanting to have it around for 5 years! I wouldn’t either if I could! I’d like to win the lottery, any amount will do! Hahahaha. Then a chunk or all would be gone. Seriously thinking of paying into the 50/50 at work because it is usually huge! That’s about the extent of my gambling. I really hope you can find something or hold it out for the next year. You are an inspiration to me!


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