From the BlogSubscribe Now

Don’t Feel Like Following the Rules Today!

Right after I moved into my house, I had the brilliant idea of locking my dogs in the basement while I went to work. There is a dog door in the basement that allows them to go into their fenced area outside – I was scared they would pee on my newly refinished hardwood floors if they had access to the upstairs. The above picture is my basement door when I came home from work that evening – the dogs were letting me know they were NOT fans of staying in the basement all day. After replacing the door (the new one cost $100 in case you’re interested), I totally learned my lesson. I don’t lock my dogs in the basement anymore.

What does this have to do with anything?

I’m feeling kind of blah lately. I juggle a lot of responsibility every day, and this blog is my escape from the world of work, homework, grocery lists, cleaning, and all the other things I just don’t want to do sometimes. Writing takes me to another place, and all that other new age stuff people say about writing. But inadvertently, I’ve developed a sense of responsibility about my blog as well.

Today, for instance, I am supposed to be posting about the changes I just made to my budget. It’s a pretty decent post. It has a pie chart and everything. But instead of creating something that makes me happy, I was writing the post out of this sense of owing it to the blogosphere to keep you guys informed of every financial detail of my life. And I thought, Who gives a shit about the changes to my budget? It’s actually pretty mundane, and I figure I can bore you with it when I post my roundup at the end of the month.

I don’t want this blog to become a boring place where I only talk about what I spend and save. Sure, that’s kind of the point, but sometimes I want to talk about other stuff too. And that’s why sometimes you guys get stuck reading my random thoughts and rants. Today I don’t feel like posting about some crap I feel like I’m supposed to talk about. So I’ll just ramble and you can read if you want – it’s going to be a long one!

Here are some things I would rather talk about.

iOS 5 and the rumored iPhone 5. I mean, have you ever SEEN so much energy devoted to a device that hasn’t even been confirmed by Apple yet? Every day, I see artist renderings of what the new iPhone might look like, pictures of these little metal gizmos that are supposed to prove that it will have a 2 million megapixel camera, and claims that it will bring back the dead (okay, maybe not that one). It amazes me that, even with all the people who are all OMG Apple SUCKS, no one seems to be able to talk about anything else.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge Apple fangirl. I’m freaking out wondering when iOS 5 will be released so I can quit syncing my iDevices with my computer every five minutes. I will drool appropriately when the next iPhone is released, and will probably eventually get it. But it just cracks me up that the world is holding its breath and we don’t even know for sure that there will be an iPhone 5. I think it’s coming, and soon; I just think we should all calm down until we know for sure. Cracks me up!

I cut the cable cord on Saturday. I was chatting with a Comcast rep online, trying to get a new promotion to return my cable and internet to $55 a month instead of the regular price of $120. The lowest they would go was $78. And I thought about all the time I spend diligently begging for new promotions every 6 months, and it just pissed me off. I don’t even really watch TV. So I called and told them I was over it. Internet only, please! Which will cost me $62 a month since I don’t have cable now, but that’s the regular price and not something I have to fight to keep.

As of right now, I still have cable. My dad (who worked for Comcast many years ago, before they were Comcast) says I will probably retain most of my channels because of a bunch of technical stuff I don’t understand. Basically, they can’t shut off all the channels while I still have internet access because they use the same something. So we’ll see if I end up keeping cable for $62 a month without a promotion. My guess is no, but I don’t really care either way.

I think I know why I like my new job so much. I can’t believe I’ve never figured this out before, but I am learning that I REALLY dislike being told what to do. My attitude is, once you’ve trained me, get the hell out of my way. Tell me when I screw up, but other than that, I’m a professional and I’m capable of working independently. When I look back at all the former jobs I hated, the one thing they have in common is some kind of issue with my supervisor:

  • The crazy bipolar boss who literally threw pens and Post-it pads at us, screamed obscenities, and tried to turn us against against each other.
  • The boss whose dramatic personal life (which she talked about constantly) made me wonder how in the world she was qualified to supervise anyone.
  • The micromanaging boss who would grill my clients in the hallway after sessions to make sure I was doing therapy the way she wanted. (I mean, why didn’t she just sit in on a few sessions if she was concerned?)
  • The pothead boss who, I’m pretty sure, bought weed from one of my drug court clients. Enough said.
  • The boss who stayed in her office all day and never interacted with any of us except to issue write-ups.
  • The boss who used to be my coworker, then became all weird and boss-like. And she had way less experience than me, which made it hard to take her seriously.
  • The boss who had no mental health training and didn’t understand the impossible demands of my job.

Yeah. So now I don’t really have a boss – technically, one of the psychiatrists is my supervisor, but I never even see her. I work when I want, take off when I want, and I don’t have to ask permission to do anything. I do my job and I get paid. The end. And I’m finally happy at work.

The funny thing is, I never had issues with authority until I started working. In school, I was one of those suck-up kids who loved making straight As and helping the teacher make copies during recess. Every single teacher, librarian, coach, or professor I ever had remembers me because I was “such an excellent student.” So why don’t I feel that way in a work environment? I’m not really sure.

I’m not very crafty. Last fall, I bought an old 12-pane window for ten bucks at a flea market. I intended to clean up the window and use it as a massive frame for twelve 8×10 pictures. It will look amazing on my wall. So why is the window sitting in my garage with cobwebs all over it? Because I can’t figure out what to do with all the flaking lead paint on one side. I used a wire brush to get rid of the loose pieces, but I don’t want to bring it into the house until I do something to cover the rest. Like shellac or paint or something. But how do I do that without getting paint all over the glass? Should I knock out the glass (which is in pretty bad shape anyway)? Until I figure this out, I can’t make my awesome vision turn into something useable. If any of you crafty peeps are still reading and want to help me out, that would be super.

I wish more people commented on blog posts and/or emailed the bloggers they like. I know sometimes people don’t have anything to say. But for a blogger, it’s the most amazing thing in the world to know that someone reads your posts and is willing to respond to you. I can look at Google Analytics and find out how many people visited my site today, but I don’t have any way to know your story, what brought you here, what you thought about what you read… I don’t get to know YOU if you leave without saying anything!

I’d like to think that people come here because they get something out of it, and maybe because they find me mildly amusing at times. But many of you remain anonymous, and I never find out what you like or hate and what you’d like to see more or less of. So you end up with huge random monster posts that don’t make sense, like this one. Talk to me, people!

I don’t want to feel like a dog scratching against a locked door, and I’m sure you don’t either. Leave your comfort zone and post a comment telling me something you’ve done (or would like to do) that’s outside your daily blah.

/end randomness

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web developer and mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!


  1. I am glad you like your new job. Your old bosses sound insane. 

    As far as the window, it sound like it will be amazing. I wouldn't use a wire brush though. Just some sandpaper and a mask. Not sure if it would be easier to take out the glass or just put painters' tape around it. If it is really old I would be afraid of the glass breaking. Old glass has a tendency to do that. Good luck and show pictures!

    I never get emails from people either. That would be nice.

  2. I'll be honest, I don't usually comment on blogs because I can't typically figure out how. 🙂 You are more than mildly amusing, you are very funny. And your blog has some great info too.

  3. 20's Finances says:

    I say, if you keep writing honestly, people will comment. Keep it up and don't be sucked into writing what you are supposed to write. Write what you feel like writing and people will be interested.

  4. Ohhh, hate that you had to buy a new door.  It really sucks when you have to spend money on things like that.  idk what kind of dogs you have but maybe a baby gate would work.

    • I just let them roam the house now. As long as they can sit on the back of the couch and bark at the traffic, they don't destroy anything. I just leave the door to the basement open and they (thankfully) go outside to pee when they need to. I had a baby gate before I moved but they could jump over it.

  5. I love the long post!  I have gone through phases with my site too.  I worry 'what if I am not helpful enough' or 'shoot, I need to focus on SEO more' 'blah blah blah'.  However, I find the posts people seem to enjoy the most are the random ones that I think nobody will care about.

    So, here is my advice:  Write what makes you happy, and optimize it as much as you can without driving yourself insane.  If you are excited about your new budget write about it.  If you learn anything you feel would help others (PF or not) share it.  You own this blog, and it reflects you!

    My husband hates having a boss.  No matter how ideal his situation is, there is something about having a superior that doesn't sit well with him.  He needs to go out on his own, but we have 3 kids and tuition so that isn't happening anytime soon.

    If you feel blah, then read a great book and do something for yourself.  Sometimes I get so stuck with things that have to get done that I forget that I am a living, breathing person that could use a break once in awhile too!

    • What is this "break" of which you speak? I don't think I'm familiar with the term. 🙂
      I just want to make sure I'm staying true to myself. Sure, this site is about debt and finance and I talk about those things almost all the time. But sometimes I just don't feel like it. So on those days, I'll continue posting random things that amuse or annoy me. If people want consistently intelligent and informative posts, they can go somewhere that's into that kind of thing.

      • Everyday Tips says:

        I have a random complaint today, and I don't think I informed a soul on anything except the fact that there is a certain commercial that makes me mad.  Just write about whatever the heck you want.  I love to hear personal stories myself.

        A break can be a variety of things.  It can be what happens to your leg when you trip over an angry dog that was in the basement all day.  It is also something that stops your car if you spell it differently.  It can be a type of room at work where certain people linger at all day, trapping you with conversation you don't care about.  Finally, it can be a respite from whatever monotonous task you are doing. 

  6. I love reading randomness posts like this. It makes me think my randomness isn't so…well random, or boring (because this post is anything but that). I cut my cable cord the beginning of this year and I didn't even notice it, which is surprising for me since I used to be a TV/Movie/Dvd junkie. I only pay for internet and when I want to watch shows I stream them on my Roku with Hulu and Netflix (love it). 

    You have had quite a lot of bosses and crazy ones too. I'm glad you're finally loving your job, to me that's one of the most important things in life. I spend like 8-10 hours a day at this one place, so I better love it. lol 

    I feel your sentiment about people leaving comments and interacting more on blogs. I try to comment and share as much as possible. I have noticed that the posts I write that are more personal get more attention/comments than the super intelligent/smart ones. 

    At any rate, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Please post more randomness! 🙂

    • You got it – more random headed your way in the near future!

      I have an Apple TV – when I watch anything, it's usually on Netflix. I considered a Roku because of Hulu, but I kind of hate Hulu with its stupid commercials. Who wants to watch commercials?! Thought about a Roku for Jay's room as a trial run.

  7. Trish Dauterman says:

    I have had dreams of doing the window as picture frame thing for years!  I was also excited to find that the previous owners of my house left me one in the basement.  I was planning on using painters tape around the window before painting.  Also, it is glass so even if you are a bit sloppy you can use a razor to remove.
    And this is going to be random but you asked for comments…
    I used to blog on a regular basis but then home ownership kicked my butt a bit too hard.  I still keep up with a lot of food blogs for inspiration.  The Food Blog Alliance did a post today on how to handle internet trolls that I think is great advice for all bloggers regardless of their niche:

  8. Its good to break away from your regularly scheduled program 🙂 part of personal finance health is keeping the other sides of you healthy as well. Not happy and healthy its hard to focus on finances. So if this makes YOU happy then do it, keep that other post in drafts for a rainy day when there is nothing else.

    yes im an apple fanboy since I converted several years ago. I dropped my iphone4 last week and shattered the back glass plane so I am anxiously waiting for the 5 release next month (and I follow the rumors daily)

    I also wish more people would comment on blogs (and click ads) I have a few in finance, health and photography… I watch my wassup plug in and see them visiting but I want to know what they think as well.

    love your posts always!

  9. Painter's tape on the glass will work fine–just be careful painting the inside of the frame. They also sell paint remover in little 

  10. Whoops, sorry about that–they sell paint remover in little containers, just put it on a rag and scrub. That's good if you get it on the glass. I myself was revealed as too anal to ever be allowed to deal with paint again. 

  11. I've commented before, but I love your blog. I stumbled across it a few (?) months ago when you left a comment on someone else's blog ( which is pretty much how I discover all of the blogs I regularly follow. If people leave actual comments, instead of those "I'm just saying something so I can link to my blog" comments then I'm inclined to click and see what they're writing about.)

    Your posts are always genuine, which is what I like most. 

    And yes, the iPhone 5 stuff is ridiculous (and I'm typing on a MacBook and texting on an iPhone 4 right now.)

  12. Re: your awesome window. Sandpaper it down and put painter's tape on the glass. Don't leave the tape on too long though or it'll lift the paint right off. Don't ask why I know this. It's embarrassing.

  13. I've been reading your blog for a month or so but haven't commented because my blog isn't related to personal finance at all.  It's just about whatever I happen to be doing (a lot of crafty stuff, going to restaurants, assorted random stuff).  I like your blog because it's personal and I relate to dealing with money stuff as the sole breadwinner in a two-person household since my husband lost his job.  Keep up the good work, random or not! 🙂

    • Please don't feel like your blog has to be related to post a comment! Just from what you've said, I can't wait to check it out. And since you're dealing with one income right now, you probably have more to say about money than you think. 😉

  14. Oh man, I have some stories about crazy bosses, including one who basically stopped talking to me except to scream obscenities at me. Nothing is worse.

    Oh also, I have an iPhone 5 obsession too. I have a 3GS now and am hoping I can upgrade as soon as it comes out.

  15. You're so right. I get super excited when I see a new comment on the blog, and I get even more excited when I get an email from someone who reads but normally doesn't comment telling me that GRB makes a difference to them. I write the blog for myself, but hearing from other people just makes me feel all warm and gooey inside. 🙂

  16. It's cool that you're finally happy at work, not many people are. Personally, I think it's fun to read something different every now and then, you know.  I feel you with the commenting thing, same thing happens to me at my blog. What really drives me nuts is bloggers out there who never really respond to comments (not talking about you, just a couple blogs I used to visit), it's so annoying. They should just not have the option to leave comments in the first place if they have no intentions of replying to them. Grrr. I can understand with blogs that get tons of them, but when there is only 5 or so, what's the big deal? Thankfully, I've been irritated enough that on my blog I always try to respond to all the comments, it's fun. 🙂 I guess your ranting is contagious. 😉

    • I feel your pain! Sometimes I comment to be polite, but other times I really put some thought into what I'm saying in hopes of getting a response. When the blogger doesn't even respond with a "Thanks for your comment" it's a letdown.

  17. I'm with you & Red–I LOVE getting comments on my blog, and I wish more people left them!  I also love the random updates.  I totally need to bring these kinds of posts back to my blog. 

    In terms of leaving my daily blah, I biked to work in a torrential downpour today.  Not exactly the smartest thing to do and I already do bike to/from work daily but it was an amazingly fun ride.  There's not much that starts my day off better than literally singing in the rain as I pass all the poor suckers stuck in traffic…  🙂

  18. It's your blog. The only person who sets the rules is you. 

    I'd give advice as to what to do about your dogs, but it doesn't seem you need it. However, if you start getting complaints from the neighbors about how much they're barking at traffic, I've been there done that.

  19. I love your blog!  I think what makes you stand out is how honest and real you are.  You're trying to make good financial decisions, but you aren't completely puritanical about it.

    I think I may have similar issues with bosses.  Like you, I always cozied up to teachers and professors (well, except a couple that drove me bonkers), but after having a bunch of bad bosses/managers, I'm starting to wonder if they're more trouble than they're worth…

    • Thanks for commenting! I'm biased because I work in mental health, but I'm starting to think a lot of managers need professional help! After my stint as a supervisor, though, I can honestly say I would eventually go crazy if I had kept doing that job. It's just not for me.
      I have a lot of issues with female authority – I understand the reasons behind some of it, but I'm still working on other aspects. Thank goodness I hang out with other therapists all day and get to talk about this stuff for free! 🙂
      I will say that I know self-employment/entrepreneurship isn't for everyone, but I think it's definitely for me. I'm actually more disciplined in the things I do independently than the things I do at work. I dream of the day when my bluntness is recognized as an amazing thing by some famous website and I can write full time. And I crack up every time I say that out loud because I know how ridiculous it sounds! Maybe I can invent something as cool as the Snuggie and retire comfortably.

  20. I say to bloggers about their blogs what I say to brides about their weddings: it's your blog; do what you want to! Lovely read. But I'm wondering, why the concern about getting paint on the panes if you're putting photos there anyway? That being say, tape down newspaper to cover and spray paint the trim. Easy-peasy. Any stray spray can be scraped off once it's dry with a razor blade, or exacto knife. Or your fingernail. You get the idea. Then post a picture!

    • Well, I don't want paint on the glass because the pictures are going to be behind the glass, unless I decide to just take the glass out. 🙂
      I'm debating completing this project over the weekend but I'm not sure I'll have time. I may wait until fall break in October – I'll have a week off and plenty of time for projects.

  21. I think it's just part of the blogging cycle of learning.  First you get all obsessed about # of readers and commenters, then you try to get more people to visit google, wonder why you don't make more money from advertizing, then you try to cater to your audience, realize you're making up things to worry about and eventually go back to the roots of why you started in the first place.    It's easy for people with type A personalities (i have one, not sure about you), to turn writing into a competition when it's really not.   I can never tell what random thing I write will end up being popular and I've just learned to be okay with it.  I love hearing about random people's thoughts.

  22. I've only been reading your blog for a couple of weeks. I subscribed to a heap of finance blogs but am going to weed them out because a lot of them are super dull. Yours is interesting though and seems to have a lot more personality than most.

  23. Lovesangel77 says:

    Excellent post 🙂 I identify with you on many aspects in this post, down to  "once you’ve trained me, get the hell out of my way" after all..isn't that what performance evaluations are for if you disagree with my work!? I'm also glad you found a job that you are able to like and be left in peace to do your I am working on doing the same as it seems that from your list of strange folk in the workplace that we had to have been working in the same places..lmao.

Join the Discussion!