Seasonal Angst

Terror Alert Level

Ever feel like something bad is about to happen?

I have been experiencing an ever-growing sense of dread.

People who know me probably aren’t surprised by this statement since I’ve been waiting for the ‘other shoe’ to drop since 9/11…

Still, I wish I could say that world events are fueling this. Certainly the never-ending rioting by the “unnamed youths” throughout France (to clear the country of excess automobiles, apparently) and yesterday’s homicide bombings in Jordan should make the cheeriest Polly Anna cringe and think dark thoughts about humanity and our perilous plight. But I’m no Polly Anna. No, I’m more like her bi-polar twin, Molly Leanna. You know the one – the ever-pessimistic voice in the crowd.

Or even the sick sucking sound coming from my checking account as gas prices continue to fluctuate from ‘an arm and a leg’ range to ‘an arm and a poke in the eye with a sharp stick’ range… It might be the fact that Christmas ads are already polluting the airwaves – harkening yet another season of gift giving. (Yes, that is sarcasm.) Or perhaps it’s the pending onslaught of winter and the depressing realization that sub zero temps and wind chills are going to be the norm for the next six months.

SIX MONTHS.

While this thought is enough to send even the sanest individual into a spiral of discontent (if not a suicidal fog), it’s probably simpler than that.

I suspect it’s hormones running rampant.

Very rampant.

Time will tell.

The new job duties, now firmly in to month #2, are building – and the stress of managing $3-6M dollars daily is making me overly angsty. I blew through $1.4M in less than 20 minutes today. Actually, each transaction took less than 2 minutes. A click of a button and whoosh $1.2M on its way to Europe. Another click and whoosh $108,000 heading to Japan. Honestly, it’s a heady experience that I love. As I’ve been reminded – it’s always easier to play with Other Peoples Money. OPM. Ah, yes.

Yet, I find it somewhat disturbing, too. Am I the only person who sees the irony in moving ME to Treasury?!

If anyone were to monitor either my home use of Quicken, my review of my “finance” spreadsheet or my obsessive-compulsive checking of my both my online bank activity and credit card balances, I’m sure that I’d register in the “seriously demented and insecure” range… When the new login message asks incredulously, “You again? You just visited!”, I know I’ve been logging in too frequently. I am totally and utterly paranoid of missing a payment or over-drawing my account. The thought of incurring a late payment fee is a nightmare that I will go to great lengths to avoid. Once in a while, I feel like a member of the Wallenda family balancing the funds of my checking account versus the payments due to my creditors. And if that’s not ALL… I worry that some scumbag will steal my identity.

My ears perked up this morning when I overheard a co-worker telling another co-worker that he now has Identity Theft Insurance. Initially, I thought to myself, ‘Well, I should look in to that…’ then the more my co-worker talked about it (and his rampant paranoia was exposed), I realized that all the insurance in the world won’t help prevent me from becoming a victim. It still comes down to personal responsibility… And that leads me back to my almost compulsive review of my checking, savings and credit card accounts.

The scary thing is that I find myself checking the intra-day activity on the treasury account at work probably twice as often (if not more than) my predecessor.

I don’t like surprises.