I'd meant to christen the second phase of this year-long adventure with the triumphant announcement that I'd tripled my income in only a week. What better proof could I have offered that Action Manifesting works? And I came close, so I thought--but, actually, I came a lot closer to ruin.
My frightening steps to the Yellow Brick Road:
Goal: to escape from an exhausting, dangerous and poor-paying night job.
Strategy: Commence an online search, using a highly recommended source: indeed.com. I set a goal of 2 applications a day, minimum...or 60-80 month. By playing the 'numbers game', I hoped to beat the odds by getting out about 200 resumes within three months. And I cast my net wider to better my odds: different resumes: one for retail, one for data entry, one for copywriting/editing/proofing. Something would come through, for sure. And, lo and behold, something did.
Results: In less than a week I'd done two intensive online interviews using Yahoo's Instant Messenger. Despite my initial aversion to that format, I found the process pleasant enough and was impressed with the questions I was asked. I was even more impressed with the money to be made through either of these at-home online data entry positions. The first company would pay $20 an hour and include a free HP notebook, plus a desk and filing cabinet. Wow! Then the second offer came through, from--are you ready--Merrill Lynch. $25 an hour! Free HP laptop! Possibility of winning a home and a car at the end of the first year! Yayyy! Go, you hottie, Reb MacRath!
Alarm bells: There were no alarming alarm bells, if you know what I mean, at the start. I'd worked for a short while at bank branch office in San Francisco and for a long while I'd worked as a credit verifier. I did have strong data entry skills. At one point in the online chat, my interviewer--Sarah--said she managed the HR dept in the NYC office--but she'd introduced herself as the office manager. Later she said pay would be biweekly--after telling me it would be weekly. And she seemed far less interested in my questions about actual paydates, etc, than in the software I would need for the free laptop. I needed the software pronto.
BAWWWK! Did this mean I'd have to pay for the software? Yes, but I'd be reimbursed on my first paycheck...at a still unspecified date. I said no, I didn't have the money. Sarah countered: Surely no one could trust the probity of Merrill Lynch. And the software would only cost $450, installed by the same vendor in a deluxe free HP laptop. Payment could be made by Western Union to the vendor. I said no again, I didn't have the money. I was put on hold for two minutes. And then:
BAWWWK! BAWWWK! No problem, I was told. They had a special fund for occasions such as this. Another company that processed their refunds would overnight a check to me to cover the expense. I was to deposit it by ATM only for quicker clearing, so that I could pay the vendor by Western Union and thus get my laptop on the way. Yes, yes, to tell the truth, alarm bells were starting to sound. But--hey, folks--$25 an hour and the chance to work at home?
I got cracking, arranging for the land line I would need and the DSL. And I was waiting at home for the phone tech when a text message arrived: Sarah had tracked the package and confirmed the check was waiting at the UPS store I use for all mail. I had to pick it up and deposit it immediately--by ATM only. Go, go, go! I texted back: I'd pick it up after 5, when I had my phone installed. Forget the phone, she texted me--check must be deposited today!
The check was waiting for me. And...
BAWWWK! BAWWWK! BAWWWK! The outside of the express envelope showed delivery from an individual in Atlanta, GA. The check itself was from a company in Sarasota, FL--and drawn on a bank in Livonia, MI. The check amount was not $450--but $2450. I texted Sarah back, confused. She responded: Forget all that and deposit it now--by ATM only!
Luckily, I walked straight past the ATM machine and showed the check to the bank manager. His verdict: beyond the shadow of a doubt, the whole thing was an out and out scam. The check would clear, on a pending basis, long enough for me to pay the 'software company'...then it would bounce, leaving me to pay the bank for funds disbursed.
Blue conclusions--and some not blue
Scoundrels abound. While I'm thankful I didn't deposit that check or give notice on my current job, I feel disappointed too: I may not have fallen for the lure of Easy Money...but I fell hard for the hot, sexy hope of making easier money. I ignored my instincts: to avoid online interviews with people I don't know. I shied away from questions I really should have asked and shied away from asking for anything in writing. I could go on, rapping my knuckles for other sins of omission. But the bluest thing that I was left with was this: the fear that I'd let down all who hope that Action Manifesting works. At first thought, it seemed I had.
But the one thing most experts agree on--from Napoleon Hill to Deepak Chopra to Wayne Dyer--is the need to abandon the lust for control. We need to stop fixating on the precise new job we want, the exact salary, the exact timeline, etc. The principle is that the universe will take care of the details if we focus on purer intentions.
I picked myself up, dusted myself off...and resolved: I'd continue to apply on indeed.com but decline all online chats. I'd restrict my responses to companies that had local offices with people I could meet. I'd get any offer in writing--and not give my notice at my current job till I felt completely secure. At the same time, I'd explore another chance to get out from under the night job--by changing a pleasant part-time second job into a full-time gig at an even slightly better salary. And I'd work aggressively to realize that option.
My conviction is stronger than ever: Action Manifesting works. The caper with Not Merrill Lynch was simply a stern warning sign on the way.