The signs are all saying do less
Not sure where my simple life ended
If I could start over
I would
But I can’t
So I visit there looking for clues
Just keep writing and it will all make sense
It’s shaping up like a storyteller’s life
Full of fortune, misfortune, and risks
Laced with romance, rose-glasses, and chances
Tempted to hold out now for the apocalypse
Throw all my big plans to the winds
Because uncertainty’s closer than my lover
And makes me cry in love’s afterglow

WorldPay Sucks

2/8/12 Update:
WorldPay Sucks Much Less. A corporate customer service rep called me after finding this blog post, agreed I was treated unfairly, apologized, insisted this is not how WorldPay likes to do business, and credited me back my early termination fee. Woo-hoo! Thanks interwebs…

Original Post:
I learned a valuable lesson recently I wanted to share with you: Have a lawyer review EVERY contract you go into.

You see, Steve Agid of WorldPay managed to rope me into a 3-year contract without my knowledge. If I had just called my lawyers and had a full copy of the contract for them to review (he never offered me a copy), I could have prevented this unfortunate situation.

We met in person, and he sketched out on a yellow notepad the “details” of the WorldPay agreement. After later informing him that I was surprised and dismayed to learn of the 3-year contract, he swore that he always writes down and circles the length/term of the contract to prevent any misunderstandings (like “this”). Well, he simply didn’t write it down that day (picture attached). When I showed him these notepad scribbles (I keep everything) he chose to ignore my email.

He was previously made aware via email that my alternative credit processor was PayPal, which is a month-to-month service, and he was aware that my business venture was experimental in nature, therefore I never would have agreed to a 3-year term had I known that was his game. I definitely wouldn’t have agreed to a 3-year term with a 90-day notice to opt-out. The papers he drew up for me and had me sign did not mention a term anywhere, so I was lulled into thinking I was safely in a month-to-month contract. This was not the case. My lawyer later pointed out in retrospect that, by signing, I had “agreed” to the small print “terms and conditions”, which references another set of papers that were never presented to me in person, which contained the language about the 3-year contract & 90-day opt out. When I called in to cancel my “monthly” service I was told there would be a $450 fee for cancelling. This situation will cost me over $600 to get out of.

I should also have been cautious when he used subtle pressure tactics to get me to sign up for the service before I was ready to switch. Saying things over email like: “I waived your startup fees for July but it will be much harder to waive them in August”, etc. I trusted him because he was highly referred in BNI, and I understand the pressure of commission sales, but these should have been warning signs.

Whether this was a one-time guffaw or whether he does this on a serial basis I do not know, all I know is that he took my money happily and didn’t care whether I was a happy customer. The service did not adequately meet my needs so I opted to cancel, at which point I learned of the staggering opt-out fee and term length. I gave him a chance to explain, apologize and rectify the situation and he took the low road, accusing me not only of having a poor memory but then proceeded to totally fabricate a conversation which had me knowingly agreeing to the contract despite the risks I had been “informed” of.

This is just bad, short-term, profit-motive business at its worst.

Please consider taking your business elsewhere. At the least, please always use a lawyer and caution when entering any contracts based on someone’s pressure tactics and lack of professionalism in disclosing the entire contract and terms. Sadly, I would not be joining any group where Steve Agid nor WorldPay does business.

Christina McKinstry

Yellow pad attached

“Hi Christina

Any progress on the voided check or bank letter and a business license of any kind? I waived the two start-up fees ($125) for July. It will be harder for me to waive both ($50 and $75) in August. I need only to have all my paperwork submitted by tomorrow afternoon to get it secured.

Let me know
Steve Agid”

“Hi Steve, I attempted to close my account today but they told me I was on a 3-year contract with a $450 early termination fee. Is this true? If so, why wasn’t this disclosed to me up front? I never would have agreed to a 3-year contract.”

“Christina, you asked me about this when we met at the Sterling Branch. I always make a point of it just so as to avoid this kind of misunderstanding. I usually write it on a yellow pad and would have given it to you.

Most of the times when someone cancels early they say I never told them, even when I have circled it in front of them.

Steve Agid
Account Executive | San Francisco, CA | WorldPay”

Hedonic Happiness

Perhaps I’m suffering from a bit of hedonic happiness disorder. Dr. Aymee Coget explains that when you go after something you think will make you happy, after you get it, you will be unhappy again within 3 months. She says you adapt to your new environment then crave more change. This is a “hedonic treadmill.” This may explain what happens to me every 3-5 years. I get really flatlined about the work I’m doing or the way my life looks and want to just shake it all up. I must be extremely impatient because the moment I realized I had hit the environment I wanted after my first “real job” (a nice house, landscaped back yard, nice car), I IMMEDIATELY quit my job. No three months waiting for me!

So I’m wondering how much of my esteemed “ambition” is just hedonic, pointless pursuits of something “outside” myself that I think will make me happy, and how much is truly me searching for my own authentic expression in the world. This is where I’m tripping up today. Hmmmmm.

Please pay me

I’m having some interesting thoughts about money I thought I should write down (or type-in, as it were). There seems to be a resistance, among very sweet, noble people, to collecting money from others. This is an interesting phenomenon that I, myself, have also experienced at times. I think, at the heart of it, is a deep knowing that someone could be caused pain in having to give up their money to you, or that someone along the way will have to suffer because you’ve asked for money, whether mentally or materially. And I’m not sure whether or not this is pathological thinking or whether it is really forward-thinking.

Pathologically, you could say that a resistance to getting paid for doing something one loves to do is simply projecting your own fears about money onto other people needlessly. If, in fact, someone gives you their money, they may not think twice about it. It may not bother them or their bank account at all. On the other hand, they could be making silent judgments about your fairness in setting a price, for example, or valuing what you do differently than you do. We don’t like separating ourselves from others. Giving you their money could cause them to not have enough money for other things. These may all be things you needn’t concern yourself with.

However, maybe there is some forward-thinking value in not wanting to have or use money at all. Money might slow us down transactionally. If we all just gave to each other freely of our talents or material goods when needs arose, we could eliminate the exchange of the middle man, trusting that, in time, our needs would be met in the same manner. After all, most of us spent our youths living this way and, as mothers, we spend a lot of time providing “free” services to the world. This comes naturally. But this may be too utopian at this time in history. Perhaps money is needed for the same reason that rules are needed to prevent the time-drain of confusion when anarchy exists. Anarchy can only work in an organism that communicates perfectly and instantaneously across the entire organization. In the same way, money may not be needed in a society in which the members all knew exactly the needs of all the other members and could communicate quickly and meet needs quickly.

Which brings us back to today.

If we have resistance to asking people to pay us for what we do for them, then we should be consistent and try to live rent-free, not pay for food, clothing, etc. I know there are people in the world who have chosen to live this way and it IS possible. However, as long as we choose to live in apartments/houses that demand rent/mortgage, and we are paying for basic survival and beyond, we must ask others to support us so that we can meet our needs. We can not be useful to the world as long as we are worried about how to meet our own needs with our financial situations. We waste creative time worrying about where the next meal will come from when we don’t ask people to pay us enough for what we do. We cannot control their suffering or what they may think of us for asking this of them. We must simply strive to ask what is fair for the service we provide for the world.

It’s an interesting cycle we are in of just circulating money amongst each other so that everyone can just live their lives and do their jobs. When you are employed by someone, you don’t have to think of these things as often (maybe once a year at salary evaluation?), as you do when you strike out on your own and try to put a value on what you do for the world.

Money money money, mo-ney…

Returning to the Core

I thought all my problems would be solved up there
If I just juggled and puzzled and tetrised long enough
As if life were a series of math questions
I’d eventually rule out enough variables
As long as I didn’t give up
Or run out of time on the test
Or get too wrapped up to think straight
Meanwhile the world stopped making sense
And I would trip and stumble and bump into people
Then, boom
The silence of the heart’s wisdom
Drowns out the noise
Feels so much like nothing
It’s easy to write it off
As progress delayed
Going off the grid
But there’s information there
People around you come alive
An awakening ensues
The world tells you what to do
The heart only feels
It doesn’t ask for your rationale
It comes on strong
Like light flooding dark
It’s always there
Behind the curtain of your thoughts
Waiting to be remembered
Ready to change your life

Anxiety, Dizziness, Freedom

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard

I heard this great quote yesterday in the book “How,” and it made me think about the freedom and anxiety I’ve experienced since quitting my job at Chevron in 2006. When I left my job, I, for a split second, experienced total freedom. I could do ANYTHING I wanted, go ANYWHERE I wanted. I say a split second, because once I was opened up to trillions of possibilities, I became paralyzed. If I could go ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING (barista in New Zealand crossed my mind!), that was extremely exciting but also extremely daunting. I experienced total dizziness when I thought of how many things I had to choose from, which moved into a bit of anxiety.

So I narrowed it down. What do I have? I had a romantic relationship based out of San Francisco, I could use that as an anchor for my freedom. I had an engineering degree that I wasn’t keen on using in a traditional way, so that was out. I liked government, massage therapy, hammer throwing, so I moved in those directions.

Lately, I opened myself up to more dizzying freedom, with extreme anxiety right on its heels. I decided late in 2010 (you might recall), that I was tired of being broke and wanted to instead try being filthy rich. I figured it was worth it as a chapter in my life’s experiences. 2011 found me heading in the direction of filthy rich, which meant climbing out of a valley of business/personal debt via a bankruptcy and starting fortune-building from scratch. All I knew was how to put my intention out there and start tuning into possibilities for income to come my way.

It has not been a snap-your-fingers-and-it-appears process, nor would one expect it to be I suppose, given my long, varied, and sometimes sordid relationship with money. It has meant different things to me in my life throughout the years and I suppose I’m still orienting myself so that I can actually be very useful and receive money (appreciation).

Anyway, late last year I had set my sights on two business endeavors that might start to bring in the kind of income I am shooting for. Unfortunately, they didn’t produce the kind of results I was looking for right off the bat so that outcome put me into a bit of an anxiety attack. I opened myself up to the possibility that these things may not be where I should be focusing all my energy, which again opened me up to the “dizzying” feeling of having “freedom” once again to decide where to put my efforts. It feels so nice to have a plan, and so awful to have a destination but be map-less.

As Thomas Jefferson famously said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” When you put yourself 100% in charge of your financial future (as opposed to relying on a job with a set income), the responsibility and vigilance is your burden to bear, and you must become more closely attuned to the energetic signals the universe has for your choices and direction. It requires massive creativity, sensitivity, and courage.

Dizzying at times, but, O, the places you will go…

To learning!


Cross-eyed and splitting hairs
Mesmerized by the merry-go-round of life
All the while wanting to be the one stopping and starting the ride
So focused for so long
Got exactly what I wanted
Which wasn’t what I wanted
People keep saying I should play a new game
The chill-the-fuck-out game
Try to roll with MGMT
Instead of Metallica
I don’t know…
I get nervous when I slow down
Do I have a lower gear?