Sunday, July 28, 2013

On the Brink of Financial Disaster

Just when you think you're on the right path and life is just full steam ahead, there always seems to be a little curve ball headed your way...

I know it's been awhile since I've written, so I'll try to play a little catch up.

Back in January I was demoted at my job.  Yep, D-E-M-O-T-E-D.  Me.  I couldn't believe it, but it happened.  And with that demotion came an almost 60% pay decrease.  It was devastating, like a bomb had been dropped on my life.  Instantly I wanted to quit, but there was a big overhaul coming in March to the patent world.  I didn't know what to do, but with the New Year came new work goals and a new partner to work with.  I worked hard, met my goals and had a good time working with my new partner, but still my work status had no signs of changing.  Work was swamped.  Every company we had ties with wanted huge numbers of cases filed before the overhaul.  I didn't want to leave my team during these desperate times, so I stuck it out again thinking that once we get through this difficult time then I will have proved to them that I am worthy of my job.  No dice.  I was working insane hours and only making as much as I did as a college intern.  I was burnt out.  After the America Invents Act went into effect I requested a 3 month leave of absence.  I just wanted to take some time for myself, rest, and explore some new options.  My request was denied, but I was given a two week vacation.  I took the vacation and then put in my two weeks notice.  Every part of me felt broken and beaten when I walked in to those doors.  I just couldn't do it anymore.  Honestly, I should have put in my two weeks notice when they gave me the initial demotion, but I just felt so strongly about leaving on a high note or making it work.

Then three days in to my two week notice I found out that I was pregnant.  I didn't know what to do.  This was obviously not something I planned for at this exact moment in my life.  The plan was to quit my job, embrace freedom, be bold, and find a new path for life happiness.  This vision didn't exactly include settling down and wearing mom jeans with enough spandex I could pull them over my head.  I don't think I have ever felt so lost in my life.  What was I supposed to do?  Was I supposed to follow through with quitting my job, or turn around and beg for it back?  I was so broken, but because I had a healthy amount of savings and an encouraging partner, I decided to not say anything and just ride out the last of my two weeks.  I planned to take a few months off work, help my partner run his business, travel to South Korea to see my grandparents and even try to start a business of my own.  However, about  1-2 weeks in "it" hit.  The stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks morning sickness.  No one tells you this, but morning sickness is the biggest misnomer in the world.  For me, it was ALL day, every day.  I spent the next 15 weeks crawling mainly between the couch and the bathroom, occasionally making a stop in the kitchen.  Life was miserable.  I became very hopeless and depressed.    My funds were quickly being drained.  I could barely stand up, let alone even think about working.  I kicked myself for quitting my job.  Had I stayed I would have been protected by short term disability for this debilitating period.

Around 18 weeks my savings were nearly depleted.  Everyday I was starting to feel a little bit better.  (The rumored magical second trimester did exist after all!)  I finally felt good enough to start applying for jobs.  The interviews have been coming in slowly, but I am at a point where I am revealing to the head hunters that I am pregnant.  It's getting more difficult to hide by the day and my good conscience can't stomach the thought of pulling the wool over someones eyes.  I've started to lose hope that I will ever land a direct hire position, so I am now hoping for a contract job.  Though one agency told me that most companies would not take me for a 1 year position if I require 6 weeks of maternity leave and the best I could hope for is a 6 month position.        

Now here I am at 21 weeks pregnant with only enough money left in my savings to pay for 1 more month of Cobra (my health insurance plan).  I'm getting so desperate for work that I've applied to contract companies even just to get day labor.  On Monday and Tuesday I have more interviews, so I hope something comes along for my quickly.  Otherwise, I am at the point where I may need to resort to closing one of my retirement accounts, but that is only a temporary band-aid and not a real solution.

Signing off,



  1. I always love your honesty, snowball! It sounds like you've been through a rough ride, and I'm sorry to hear that. There was NO WAY of you being able to predict the turn of events, so I hope you don't hold yourself accountable for thinking what 'might have been' in terms of disability leave and job situations. You made the best decision for the given time, and I think that's admirable.

    Looking forward to the future updates and to see how you come out of this rough patch. I know you will!

    "It's always darkest before the dawn."

  2. Thanks Danielle. I'm not gonna lie. It's been hard, but I haven't given up hope yet.

    Thanks for listening :)