Dragon slayed

So here I am STILL plugging away at college—-STILL on the 16 year plan to getting a degree. Ever since I learned that I was capable of passing a math class, and then another in spring of 2012 that I also passed with an A, I started to feel like I may actually have a real chance of slaying this math dragon after all.  So I decided since I was on such a roll I may as well knock it out of the park over summer and get it out of the way.  Sure! I said, I can TOTALLY sit for 4 hours 4 days a week and learn nothing but MATH for FIVE STRAIGHT WEEKS…NO PROBLEM…

I spent some time before the spring semester was up interviewing the misc math professors to be sure that my learning style meshed with their teaching (and most importantly their testing styles) I got very comfortable with one gentleman who happens to be the math department chair and I felt a little more at ease over my decision to try and take such a  big bite out of math in such a short amount of time.

As with all semesters, 2 days before classes started I logged in to print out the map of where the class was and see if the syllabus was already online.  Low and behold, the math professor I had chosen was now listed as TBD

This is how seeing that made me feel:

 

Anyways- I showed up and it was evident after the first 30 minutes that I was NOT going to learn a damn thing in this math class–BUT if I played it right I could pass it and walk away and never have to take another college math class EVER again in my entire life.

I went ahead and stuck it out for 5 weeks.  I passed- with an A. But I did NOT learn a single thing, if I had to take the next level of math there is no way I would be prepared to take on new concepts and use information from MAT151 to build upon.

This experience taught me several things:

1- I can BS my way through more then I thought I could-even math which sounds like it would be harder to accomplish

2- a Good teacher will instill confidence in their students and prepare them to move forward- a bad teacher makes you feel like poo—and I realize now I had a LOT of bad teachers growing up.  Just because someone has a job as teacher/professor/instructor does not mean they can teach.

3- Sometimes doing just what is expected and nothing more is fine.  I put in the work and regurgitated what needed to be regurgitated in order to get a certain grade, but I did not learn anything–I got what was required out of the class–a passing grade (an A even).  I had hoped for more.  This was a big lesson on disappointment due to expectations that *I* set.

Good news is- I slayed that math dragon once and for all.  In fact it has given me enough confidence that I have actually toyed with the idea of going back and refreshing my real estate classes and taking those exams for my own license after all…one more thing I could “finish” that I started.

Who knows what tomorrow with bring.

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Freefalling

So

Half a year, 6 months, 24 weeks, 180 some odd days or so.

Since my last blog post.

So very much has gone on in the life of the Geroux Crew. I don’t know if I will ever have the energy to blog it all and give each item its due press on here.  I also am not big on doing yet another whirlwind summary catch up post.  Besides- those 2 of you that even read this corner of the web know us in real life and are not out of the loop anyways. However, I use this space as therapy for myself and the fact of the matter is that I can feel the effects of not having released my thoughts on here or anywhere for months on end…plus one day I am sure I will go back and read all of this lunacy and I will freak out wondering what happened in that chunk of 2012 that I just didn’t blog. So I have to at least TRY to get some of it written down.

To be very vulnerable, I am hoping that by reviving this blog with a rehashing of the last six months of my life I can get a bridle around the wild horse that is my cyclical depression that has started to rear it’s ugly head recently. There are entire websites dedicated to the health benefits of journaling–so here it goes. Bare with me the next few days. If you read at all.  Eventually I will get to a happy place where I will share a butt load of pictures from our recent Disney Cruise Vacation 😉  Until then though- I have some gaps to fill in. For myself, for my healing and for my recovery.

Back in April (Cue squiggly lines and dream music that indicates time travel)…..

Jason got word that his brokerage was going to be making significant changes.  Not even 24 hours after I dropped that last post bombshell on him about not wanting to work with him.  At first they gave a long 4 year time frame in which none of the agents needed to worry about their jobs for “at least 4 years”  But then the broker had a heart attack and the reality of how short life is (or can be) hit both him and his wife. That time frame was abruptly shortened to accommodate changes in their lifestyle that they needed to make. See, he had recently dropped everything here in AZ and taken a job literally over night in another state. Living four years apart from family sounds like no big deal when you aren’t recovering from a massive coronary. So I can completely understand the shift in priorities, trust me. It doesn’t make it suck any less for those affected though. Jason was told he had until the end of 2012 to get things in order so he could transition his 60 plus property portfolio to his own brokerage.

This was generous- believe me I recognize that.  They absolutely did not have to allowed him to even keep his portfolio.  Such is life as an employee- you are at the mercy of the business owners. So I am ever so grateful that  my husband’s hard work was not snatched away. Decent people they are in that regard.

Now, all of this meant Jason had to some how take 90 hours of night schooling and pass several tests costing several hundreds of dollars. Our life was starting to feel as sucky as it was sounding. We never saw him.  Like never.

The truth is, he was running too thin trying to work full time at Orchard Africa and also keep all of his property management balls in the air  AND go to school for his brokers license at night. The latter of which was not in “our plan” for at least a few more years, but were things thrust upon him out of the blue. Unfortunately a few sloppy mistakes (nothing huge just consistent oversights that added up like putting Glendales tax rate on a Gilbert contract, cropped up right at the same time that the broker was hating everything to do with property management stresses which made it very easy for them to decide to just chuck “it all.”  (“it all” is in quotes because I found out in the last month that they had decided to keep a few hand selected PM clients and stay in the business, just “not with Jason or his large portfolio.”)  Eventually it all caught up with him and he had to make the very difficult decision to walk away from that calling at Orchard. It was only a short contract with no guarantee for renewal. He had to focus on his long term career that provides weekly for our family and he need to be able to fully meet the demands that were being thrown at him.

Things were going fine until the acting broker came to Jason and said “we can’t take the stress of this responsibility anymore, you need to be done ASAP.” So 4 years went down to 8 months down to what sounded like “tomorrow” to essentially start up a small business…all while he had JUST taken a 50% reduction in pay in order to meet their earlier demands on time.  So our bank account was already taking a hit with the loss of income, now we were looking at footing thousands of dollars (from where??) in order to propel all of the hard work he had put into building that property management division the last 2.5 years forward and not lose it all. They eventually agreed to work towards an October time frame.

I have wrestled with how I feel about how the last 6 months were handled as far as my husband’s position with that brokerage goes. I have also debated whether or not I wanted to even blog about it all, because in reality at this point it’s all over anyways. It is sort of sad that I have to even consider worrying about potential social media backlash by being real and honest and vulnerable since the people (I am not naming) are truly connected online.

But I think I need to say it out loud so I can move on. It really hurt. Not because I did a poor job of separating personal relationships that I had formed with these people that I admired from business (I did and that didn’t help), but because of how these people began treating Jason.  The condescending, rude, impatient communication was rampant the last several months of his employment with them. Not just between him and the acting broker either, between the acting broker and Jason’s clients. He was often putting out fires created by hasty emails that were fired off by someone who had obviously written off that particular part of their job weeks before.  He HAD to put out those fires, because he wanted and NEEDED to keep those people as clients.  Where once the brokerage would stand proud behind an agent and always give them the benefit of the doubt, they suddenly cast criticism on Jason’s competency at every turn.  The fact that they got audited by the department of real estate in the midst of all of this, certainly played into this big time I am sure. One pissed off tenant that blamed Jason for the tight wad decisions that the homeowner made went online and pussyfooted her way around a bad review of Jason  and that single negative review carried more weight then the six glowing reviews that buried it.

In order to truly move on I need to do more then just vent about it all, I need to forgive as well.  So here it is.  I forgive everything above.  Since the act of forgiveness is to set ME free from being a prisoner to the resentments I have built up, this does not have to be done directly to the “offenders”. (A very hard lesson I learned this summer, that will get blogged about later)

Jason was no saint in all of this by any means. He made his share of mistakes on paperwork, and there is no excuse for that, especially since he was working towards being the BROKER himself, which meant no safety net to catch those errors with.  I say no excuse, but I do justify it somewhat simply because in a very short period of time, other people had turned our life completely upside down and thrown at him responsibilities that he had not been preparing to have.  He was forced into a position to slap together anything he could in less then 6 months time frame and then when he was just about to cross the finish line…red tape stepped in.

His finger print clearance card that had been on file with the state from when he had worked for the Governors Council expired and was no longer on file with the Department of Real Estate.  He went to DPS to start the process of getting another one issued, but it was July at this point and with school starting at the beginning of August, every teacher, crossing guard and lunch lady hoping to be employed by a school was in que to get their clearance. They were beyond back logged.  Jason was quoted as much as 3 months until it would come in,which put him well passed the date he needed to have been up and running his own brokerage in order to meet the October deadline. He called them EVERY SINGLE DAY to check on the status.  He had to be up and running by September in order to get everything transitioned for the October deadline. That was not going to happen.  He could not do a single thing in the mean time.  As much as he could do without his actual brokers license he did in hopes that a miracle would occur and it would get shifted to the top of a pile. His brokerage said they would budge on the time frame… and “budge” they did…they gave him exactly 15 more days.

We later found out why they had such a hard deadline for him to “get out” in.  They dropped yet another bombshell announcement on their agents that the brokerage had been bought out and was merging with another. This significantly effected how business was going to be run, processes that were in place and most importantly to the agents their commission splits would change.  That merger was set to take place gradually but I am certain played into the unwillingness to stick to the original end of the year commitment they had made.

As the weeks went by and the tasks to get his own brokerage up and running piled up due to his lack of finger print clearance card, Jas started to take a hard look at formulating a plan B.  All that time and preparation and money and neither one of us had even let a PLAN B cross our minds.  I think what we may be tempted to call circumstances may have been God actually closing a door that we had both been so narrow mindedly rushing towards.  We had both been praying, but of course with certain outcomes in mind… outcomes that WE wanted to see.  We were both blinded by the path we were heading down, mostly because we had been essentially shoved out of the airplane window and told to fly…so we were desperately flapping our arms. Just as we were about to slam into the ground, God provided a parachute.

I don’t even mean that in a cutesy “christianese” lingo sort of way either.  I truly in my heart feel like the way God stopped us from heading into certain disaster was by getting Jason to LOOK UP and read the road signs around him and to do that He made him run over a huge pot hole and get a flat tire.

At this point it would be ridiculous for me to claim “long story short” but the gist is- Jason went and interviewed with a premiere real estate agency in town that has a robust and thriving property management team.  They welcomed Jas and his portfolio with open arms. So right now he is in paperwork overload getting all but nine of his properties transitioned over to this new (not his) brokerage.

Wanna know the “funny” thing?

The very day Jason signed on with the new brokerage, his finger print clearance card arrived in the mail.