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PARKER: Calling for re-integration to real life

Image Credit: Compilation/Jennifer Stahn
September 02, 2014 - 7:47 AM

The other day I got my first real pay check in two years and I immediately went and got my nails done, because I have priorities.

Actually, first I called James, the guy who calls me twice a day from TD Canada Trust asking when I can pay down my student line of credit that is now 5% larger than it was originally. I was all “hey James, it’s Andria Parker,” and he was all “Andria! How are the folks?”

OK. We aren’t that close. But as soon as he opened up my account and realized I was the girl with the savings account titled “financial freedom” and the balance of $0.01, he figured it out.

“What can I do for you today?”

“Oh, nothing,” I said, “I just wanted to let you know I finally made a payment.”

“Get out,” he said, “You just made my day.”

It’s not the most comforting thing in the world to be on a first-name basis with the bank’s call centre representatives, but sometimes in life we go through phases where we don’t have a choice.

Like the time I used to get Christmas cards from Craftsman Collision because I was a frequent fender-bender-er.

We know that these things, too, will pass. But when James from TD says things like “get out,” when you tell him you finally could afford to pay a minimum of thirty-six dollars, it’s kind of a bummer.

That’s why I went to get my nails done — although, first, I probably should have called Chris from ING, Samantha from Vancity, and Joselyn from Telus.

I should have called my banking and collections friends before I spent twenty bucks on bagels, before I bought three of the same perfect fitting T-shirts from Zara, before I put the entirety of my mother’s surprise birthday party on my credit card and before I bought a stranger’s meal when he just looked like he was having a bad day.

Getting re-introduced into the world after being a student is complicated, though.

First, you get a job and spend all your time trying to figure out a way to make your job title sound related to your degree. Then, you gain a post-freshman 15 thanks to all the time you have on your hands. Following that, you fall into a deep, dark pit of despair after recognizing you will never again be able to have a legitimate spring break in Panama City. Finally, you get a pay cheque and after spending all of it on Marc Jacobs accessories you couldn’t afford during the last two years of your degree, you realize you now have to start paying off your student loans.

I’m not saying f&@$ real life or anything, I’m just saying it would be nice if there was a re-integration process, you know? For example, I Googled “Budget templates” and there’s like 40,000 different kinds. How am I supposed to know which budget template to use when I can’t even remember to call Chris from ING before I ask the nice lady named Tammy to make my nails almond-shaped?!

When we first started college we had to wonder about what to major in and we assumed life would figure itself out after that. When we finally majored in something, we had to wonder what we’d do with that major and we assumed after that life would be smooth sailing. When we eventually get a job that sort-of pertains to said major, we have to figure out how to set up automatic bill payments and we assume that after that, for sure life will sort itself out.

But I’m beginning to realize life doesn’t work like that.

“How long you want?” asks Tammy.

“I don’t even know anymore,” I respond. “Surprise me.”

— Andria is a twenty-something blogger living in Kamloops with her 100 pairs of heels and 200 paperback Penguin Classics.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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