The Golden Buddha restaurant looks better on the inside than it does on the outside. If I had passed by the place before tonight's meetup, I'd have thought it was a typical take-out joint which had a few seats for its patrons. But looks are deceiving. As the adage goes: "Don't judge a book by its cover." And it would be right in this case.
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Although I got to sleep late, I started waking up around 9 am. At this point, I got up and started to surf the web a little. And then I had an idea. Instead of calling my former employer to determine what happened with the Direct Deposit Summary I'm supposed to receive every month once my monthly pension payment has been deposited to my bank account, I'd send a written letter instead. The following is the gist of that mailing:
I’ve been receiving my pension for several years now without problems. However, I cannot say the same about the Direct Deposit Summary that I also should be receiving on a monthly basis. Normally, this is not a major problem for me. However, I now have a need to receive this document on a regular basis, or to be able to print it from an online website for my records.
Looking at the attached document, you will note that the font and spacing used for my address makes it possible for the post office to deliver the mail to the wrong address.
(Personal identification has been removed from this part of the letter to protect my privacy when published in the blog.)
I would appreciate it if you can send me a fresh copy of September’s Direct Deposit Summary, and make it possible that I can log online to a website, so that I can print copies of any Summaries which may have been lost in the mail. Additionally, if you can adjust your print layout so that my address is clearer (to prevent incorrect delivery of the mail), I’d appreciate it very much.
Just as I was finishing up on this task, Lili called. And we agreed to get together this afternoon, so that she could vent about her boyfriend problems and that I could give her some money that I owe her for paying taxes and fees for our upcoming cruise.
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Around 2:30 pm, Lili and I met at a bagel shop near her house. I had a sandwich while she sucked down some coffee. Then she went thru the saga of her and her (ex-)boyfriend, trying to figure out what to do about him. She's so unhappy, that she's been eating everything in sight, and has gained a few pounds in the past few weeks. She's afraid of gaining back all the weight she lost via Bariatric surgery, and is in a vicious circle of eating to deal with disappointments.
While listening to Lili, GFJ called. She also had problems - this time with the Wasband. He didn't want to sign some paperwork for her, as he wanted to collect money for work he wasn't involved in. So she walked out of the office for the rest of the day. Sadly, she will still need to get his signatures if she wants to collect money from the customers. So she will need to figure out some way to "Blackmail" him to do his job and sign the paperwork. (Later on, I reminded her about a clause in her divorce settlement - and that will be some nice ammunition she can use against him if needed.)
When I was done with Lili, I chatted with GFJ again, and drove up to Catherine's in Poughkeepsie. Although I can't remember the salesladies' names, at least one remembered mine. We chatted, and I browsed a little, and killed a lot of time that needed to be killed before my Fishkill meetup. Next, it was off to the bookstore for a while. And then, it was off to Fishkill.
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I was very lucky on my drive to Fishkill, almost missing a turn. Making the mistake of turning late (having seen no cars on that street), I was lucky to stay on the pavement. From there, I had a very uneventful ride to the restaurant. And then, I was able to find a seat next to the wall - just before everyone came in. My choice to sit next to the wall was made so that I could sit next to another lady, H, who used to go to the Whine and Dine meetups. And we finally exchanged phone numbers. Hopefully, we'll meet for coffee (or something) soon.
Eventually, more people came in, and I was locked into my seat for the duration of the meal. Our hostess told the story of why she started this meetup....
She was sitting alone at an airport bar, and had two nice conversations with two different males without any attempts to have anything but a nice chat. She thought that if she were sitting alone at a bar outside the airport, it would be interpreted as a woman looking for a man to pick her up for an evening's intimate companionship. By setting up a meetup that was "dinner only", she could have a similar experience to her airport chats without having to worry about "next time expectations".
Later on, she told us about the costs of meetup - $10 for up to 50 people, and $16 for an unlimited number of members. To spend $16/mo. to have a group of people to dine with is a cheap price - and something she is willing to do to have a nice evening once per week.
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On my way home, I had another chat with GFJ. She told me about a business/future employment plan she has involving a business a half hour away from my place. GFJ has done her research, and is trying to figure out how she'd approach the owner about (1) selling off part of her business and staying on as an employee and (2) closing down her business and joining this other firm as an employee. Both are viable options, and both quickly separate her financial interests from that of the Wasband.
I hope GFJ can get what she wants from this potential meeting....