Can you believe that $hit? 18 months later, and countless sleepless nights & battles with my ex-employer, and BAM! I wake up one day and my 401(k) account is $17,000 fuller. How’s that for crazy? :)
I’m kinda still in shock. And also very VERYYYY happy I never filed a complaint with the D.O.A. (Department of Labor) the other month! My fear out of all this would be that my ex-boss would come after me in some form or another if I did that, and every single time I literally picked up the phone to call them (the D.O.A.) something stopped me from doing so. (Plus we were/are good friends – making it even more complicated)
Three times that happened, and each time I emailed her and said something like “I can’t take this anymore – what’s the deal w/ the money?” and I’d get a response back saying something to the effect that she was working on it, and to remain patient. Which was always enough for me to cool down for a few more days (or weeks) until my anger rose back up again to that same level ;)
Granted, it could have gone the other way and I’d be here bitchin’ and moaning all over again and you’d tell me to grow some balls and just go after her already, but luckily that didn’t happen and we’ll never have to wonder anymore ;) And I think that says something about sticking to your guns and doing whatever YOU feel is the right thing to do at times – even when popular thought says differently.
Not saying you guys were wrong in advising me to file or anything – factually speaking it was DEF the right thing to do – but only us, personally, understand the entire situation and know what our heart is telling us to do or not. And I lump my dad into this thinking too — he told me on day 1 to file suit against her because I had to admit my money was long gone and I was kidding myself if I thought differently. Again – it very well coulda ended up that way, but as we now know it didn’t. And had I filed, I can guarantee I’d have one big mess on my hands – whether I got my money faster or not (or at all!). When times were good, my ex-boss was DOPE. Caring, fun, smart, you name it. When things went sour though, it was totally like Jekyll and Hyde. Anything could set her off, and you did NOT want to be in her way when she was on the war path.
Something else to consider was the way we’d been treated over the past 4 years too. For anyone who’s been around this blog from the beginning, you’ll know how AWESOME we used to have it back in the day also ;) And when I say “awesome,” I mean “INSANELY awesome.”
This is what it was like:
- Our work days started at 10 a.m.
- I got paid way more than I should have for my job: $75,000
- We’d get quarterly bonuses of $2,000… just because.
- We had box tickets to major sporting events.
- We had killer free gym membership
- We had an unlimited account at Starbucks – free anything, anytime!
- We had unlimited vacation time, as long as you didn’t take advantage of it.
- We took insane trips to Vegas and other places all on the company dime.
- We could wear our hair (*ahem*), or clothes, however we damn well pleased :)
- We had a fully stocked fridge. Including all the beer you can drink. (!!!)
- We paid $0.00 for our health insurance. And it was the best of the best.
- We had an open door policy w/ the CEO – we could walk in anytime and throw out ideas or ways to improve the company – which were all taken seriously.
- And more importantly, at least to me, we had 100% matching of our 401(k). Up to the legal limit of whatever we were allowed to put in each year! Which meant I could invest $16,500 from my own paycheck, and our company would MATCH IT with another $16,500 that same year. 100% fully vested and all mine. Sick, right? I did that for 3 years, and everyone thought I was crazy – sometimes taking paychecks of $90 so I could max out faster. It was a big risk toward the end, knowing the $hit was about to hit the fan, but as we all know: big risk = big reward, baby!
So did I have a right to be upset about my missing $17,000? Yeah, of course I did – it’s called stealing. But at the end of the day (or years, I should say), I was treated pretty damn well and I’ll be forever grateful. It was my choice to continue on w/ my 401k at the rate I did, and I knew the consequences if things continued to go downhill…. I didn’t think they *would,* but hindsight is always 20/20 ;) And honestly, I’d do it all over again the same way if I could anyways. Not simply for the money, which is nice, but because I acted and took risks that made sense to me at the time. I could have very easily got burned, but the stars aligned and I can finally lay this chapter down to rest.
I got my money. I got 4 years at an incredible start-up. And I remain friends with my ex-boss without bringing legal action into it all. I’d say that’s a win. And now I gotta move it all out just in case something else tries to get in my way! ;) IRA here we come!!
PS: In going back through my posts to research all our work benefits we once had, I found it interesting how bit by bit we lost them until we were eventually sold and let go :) It’s kinda crazy looking through history when you have it all documented like I do here. I remember so clearly EACH event when it happened, and being so excited to just share it here with y’all, haha… I think it saved me a lot of pain and was a good coping mechanism ;) Check out how the final days crept up:
– The secret is out! How much i earn.
– Vegas + Work = Sweet Love?
– And it starts…the first phase of Operation Cut Benefits!
– Dear employer, PLEASE don’t cut our 401(k) matchings!
– Just found out our quarterly bonuses are frozen (dumb economy)
– Health Insurance getting changed up, but I still have a job!
– Goodbye 10% of My Salary!
– It’s Official: Our Employee Benefits Are Over
– I Got Fired.
(Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt)