The one thing that had been getting me was the fact that the branch I created locally did not always stick to following the remote branch. It would start out that way, but once I checked out the master branch again, it would not always and definitely not consistently point toward the remote branch once I re-checked out my branch.
I finally figured out that the local and remote branch must be named differently. The character case matters! So if I had a remote branch of ITR-FOO and a local branch of itr-foo, it would loose track of the remote branch. The easy solution is to name the branches differently by using a “-” remotely and a “_” locally for names or just name the branches differently. Now, I use ITR-FOO remotely and itr_foo locally, or shorten the local name to itr_promos if I am using ITR-PROMOTIONS remotely.
For merging branching, using git is so much simpler, even if it is very retarded sometimes.