I received a “Sorry We Missed You!” notice in the mailbox this week. I was home all day working and nobody rang or knocked, but that happens sometimes. The real concern was the sender of this certified letter: My old employer.
My heart sank when I saw that. What could they want? The scribble on the notice said I’d have to go to the post office after 11 a.m. the next business day to pick up the letter. So that left about 20 hours to worry.
I worked at this place for several years and I left, wow, a handful of years ago now. I figured a certified letter from a past employer probably can’t be good and I immediately assumed I was in some sort of trouble. Granted, I never did anything wrong or had animosity for anyone there.
And it’s been so long — the only reason they could be tracking me down now is because they were trying to blame me for something. I reasoned that if it was a legal matter, it would have come from the legal counsel, and it wasn’t, it was from them. Wtf is going on?
I Googled “I received a certified letter from a past employer,” which wasn’t the smartest move because I found a bunch of forum threads on various websites in which people described false accusations of not returning cell phones and other stuff the company owned, issues with taxes and wages and now the company is demanding repayment, and a bunch of other stuff. None of them good.
I managed a budget when I was there — what if they did a deep audit and found some accounting troubles? Not that there would be anything, mind you, at least nothing intentional or shady on my part. (Being falsely accused of something and nobody believing me is a big fear of mine, like what happened recently with the Philadelphia Parking Authority.)
And how did they get my new address? When I worked there, I lived in the house that I now rent out to tenants.
I asked Mike what he thought, and he said it probably had to do with the 401(k) that I still have there. Ah! That would make sense. They’d have access to my new address.
I Googled some 401(k) questions. Did you know that when you switch jobs, you’re supposed to transfer your 401(k)? I had no idea. I must have done that at some point in the past, because the ones from other past jobs all seem to be in the same spot now, except for this one. And if you don’t move your 401(k) after you stop working there, the employer has to pay administration and management fees and the fees might even be taken out of my sum.
I’ve been worrying a lot lately about tons of dumb stuff, which isn’t like me, and I’ve been having trouble sleeping a few nights a week. Even with my allergy and asthma meds, time-release melatonin and three cups of chamomile tea, sometimes I’m up reading until after midnight, not a bit tired. And if I have something on my mind, well, forget it. After getting that notice I knew sleep was going to be a struggle so I took an extra Benadryl and swallowed a bit of vodka and that seemed to help.
I woke up refreshed and eager to get to the post office to find out wtf these people want from me. I opened the letter in the lobby of the post office and, womp womp. All the worrying, and it WAS over my 401(k). It wasn’t even aimed at me specifically. It was a form letter for everyone who is on their plan letting them know of some changes.
So, the answer to my overall issue here with the sleep problems and worrying is exercise. I work from home, I walk Sassy a few blocks in the morning and evening, but other than that, I rarely leave the house or move around very much. I wrote about how I was going to start going to the gym again now that it’s warmer, because I couldn’t bear to walk five blocks in the freezing cold (seriously, cry me a damn river) but it didn’t take.
If I work out 3-4 mornings a week like I used to, I’d be less stressed and more relaxed at night. And I know the key is just to get out of bed and walk to the damn gym. But every single morning I come up with new excuses. My main excuse is I didn’t get enough sleep. And when I don’t get enough sleep, it’s because I don’t do enough during the day to really get tired enough to sleep through the night, so it’s a vicious cycle. I’m sick of it so I need to really do this.
It’s been my experience that working out does make me happier, so why is escaping from this vicious cycle such a struggle? If you have any advice, I’d love to hear it.