Archive for May, 2009

I rarely complain about my job but…

today’s the day.  Now I guess you could say that I’ve complained about my job before, but really I’ve only ever vented about the big corporation that I used to work for and how they didn’t seem to give a damn about those of us in the trenches actually, you know, DOING the work.  So about a year and a half ago I got fed up, applied for an independent contractor position that amassed to about 2 hours of work a day.  This was perfect.  I loved the feel of this company.   I had an awesome new supervisor.  I was only working there for about a month and a half when Christmas time came and I received a personal Christmas card in the mail from her.  She sent me a birthday card and little thank-you’s when she would look for volunteers to take on additional work and I would volunteer.  This is a small company, and I loved the stark contrast between the big corporation experience I had and this new, kinder, gentler way of doing business.  I always tried to be a team player and take what additional work I new I could handle that evening.

Fast forward to this past January, my awesome supervisor up and quit.  I thought it was odd timing because the only supervisor was starting his paternity leave for a week.   Shortly there after she sent an email to all of those who were blindsided by her departure.  Essentially she said that the owner was very heavy-handed and didn’t like constructive criticism coming back at her.  Things got pretty ugly, but in my gut I knew that my former supervisor was telling the truth.

Because I’m an independent contractor I can work as little as I want or as much as I want as long as the work is available and I give appropriate notice.  So with my scrapbooking marathon mid month and my cousin coming into town the last week, I didn’t want to have stress myself out about squeezing work in, so I took that time off.  I also knew that the doctor I do dictation for was on vacation during that time, so I felt less guilty about taking off that amount of time.

When Tuesday hit, I was expecting some work and only got 10 minutes worth of dictation.  Talk about easing me back into working!  That’s about a half hour of work for me.  So yesterday I am expecting more work because, well the doc is back.  Yeah, not so much.  A whopping 12 minutes.   I am not a squeaky wheel.  Never have been.  I despise rocking the boat.  But right now we are trying to be good and get rid of the credit card debt, so my check is kind of important in that regard.  $50-$75 a week is going to make that process VERY slow.  Last night I sat down and wrote an email to the owner expressing my concerns, emphasizing the lack of communication.  I was told because I reduced my work load they had to hire someone else to help fill that void.  (This was after an email in March saying how things were going to be tight because they lost a couple of big accounts, but don’t worry because they weren’t going to hire anyone new, but everyone’s job was safe,  so I figure that the extra minutes I wasn’t going to be doing would be helping someone else.)  She emailed me back and I responded in kind today.  I come to find out that because I am an independent contractor they don’t have to tell me squat because I’m not an employee and staffing issues is not my problem. EVEN THOUGH I WORK FOR THEM.

This just annoys the shit out of me.  I am very loyal.  I spent 8 years working for BIG company and things had to get really bad before I was willing to quit because they gave me my first job and for the most part really worked with me.  So to be told today that my loyalty doesn’t matter because I’m not an employee.  Well, it really stings.  So at this point I’ve sent out a resume for another IC position.  Not sure if/when I’ll hear back, but I’ve been in this field for almost 10 years now.  That should count for something.

I’m disappointed in the fact that what I thought was a great company was really just a crappy company being held together by a great supervisor whose willingness to work hard was being taken advantage of.   I’m hoping there is other opportunity out there for me that will work with my schedule and my life.  I’d hate to have to sit here and take the abuse.  Maybe one day I will really quit.

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You Capture – Family

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This week’s You Capture was family.  I had grand plans.  My cousin, Sarah, was going to be in town. We were going to do fun things…and then SmartyPants and Sass decided that fevers, sore throats, and feeling like dying was in the cards.  But I didn’t let that stop me. We were going to do fun things.  After all my cousin hadn’t been here since she was six and doesn’t remember much at all about that trip.

So Sass began the illness on Monday.  Since my cousin wasn’t coming into town until Tuesday night I figured I should get her to the doctor to find out if the sore throat was Strep.  Turns out it wasn’t, so no antibiotics.  So when SmartyPants started not feeling well on Wednesday I kept hoping that Sass would soon wake up and be all better, so I could know when to anticipate SmartyPants getting better.  They waited until Sunday afternoon, after we dropped Sarah off at the airport.  And now Sweet Pea has it.  Fun times, I tell you.

Anyway, on Wednesday I decided since the kids were sick we weren’t going to be taking any hikes but a trip around Lake Tahoe sounded like a good idea.  Not much movement on the kids’ part but Sarah would get to see a little scenery.  We stopped at one of the beaches in South Lake Tahoe for some picture taking and sand playing.  Sarah was looking at her camera and I’m sure will hate me for this picture…but they get better!

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Then we headed around to the west side of the lake and stopped at Emerald Bay.  Lake Tahoe is absolutely gorgeous.  Even when I left Nevada to go to college and I couldn’t wait to GET.OUT.OF.TOWN, I missed Tahoe.  Comparing Elephant Butte, New Mexico to Lake Tahoe is blasphemous.

emerald bay and the girls

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Okay, and I have to throw in a little picture of Emerald Bay all by its lonesome, even thought it is NOT part of my family.

Thursday we were happily ditched by Sarah to spend the long drive over the mountains to spend the day in San Fransisco.  My parents drove and they met up with one of my uncles for lunch.  (Okay, I’m cheating here.  I just said I didn’t go to San Fransisco, but here I post a picture which I didn’t take, but I’m journaling here, and it’s my blog, so I can!)

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On Friday, once again, I had sick children, but they wanted to take Sarah up to Virginia City.  It is such a little touristy town, but so quaint and small and quirky.  With SmartyPants sounding like she was going to cough up a lung, I thought maybe an ice cream cone would make everyone feel better.

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The girls had strawberry and Sarah and I enjoyed cookies and cream.  Delicious.  (Know how I know that SmartyPants wasn’t feeling well? She only ate half of her ice cream. Poor thing!)

I never did get a picture of just Sarah and I.  Mmm.  Will have to remember to get that done when I see her next…which better be before another year goes by.  I miss her too much!

So what did you capture this week?

What I Learned This Week

I’ve been a little slacking in the blogging world this past week.  Between 2 sick kids and my cousin visiting from Florida it just seemed like I didn’t have time to really sit down and write anything.

But I’m determined to jump back in with Jo-Lynne’s carnival this week.

What I learned this week is that no matter how many times I discuss things with my girls like Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day or 9-11 or hear Taps or the Star Spangled Banner, I will always tear up and my voice will crack.  The first time I remember this happening was during my junior year in high school.  My boyfriend at the time was a year older and getting ready to graduate and was enlisted in the Marines.  For some reason knowing that he was willing to enlist and live that life, despite the difficulties we had in our relationship, I knew he could see the bigger picture and it touch something in me.  There are times when I wish I didn’t get that lump in my throat, but I’m so very thankful to those who have been selfless enough to enter into the military life.  I am going to be in D.C. next month, and I am planning on going to Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  I’ve been there before, but I not since my heart has opened itself to understanding the true sacrifice others have made for this country.

For more history on my experience with the military keep reading.  If not, feel free to move on back to Jo-Lynne’s and see what others have learned this week.

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I was raised a military brat, but I had it easy.  My dad retired from the Public Health Service which is considered a Uniformed Service not an Armed Service.  Essentially what this meant was that he was afforded all the perks of the military without having the downfalls such as deployments or dealing with chain of command.  We were never stationed at a military base; although, on two of the moves there were bases in the vicinity.  We moved every 2 years from the time I was 5 until I was 11.  The hardest part of this was leaving my friends every couple of years.

So when Traveler decided that he needed a change and that change was going to be the military, I was up for the challenge.  After all, I knew military life.  I understood the lingo and could talk the talk.

My deep understanding of how much we owe our VOLUNTEER military came at 9-11.  At this point Traveler hadn’t traveled much.  Since Tech school and basic training we hadn’t been apart for more than 5 weeks, and since SmartyPants was born he hadn’t been gone for more than a week at a time.  We were spoiled.  When 9-11 happened we were in Idaho and just starting our search for a house.  Traveler was planning on fulfilling his 4-year enlistment the following April and going back to school.  While sitting in a hotel room in Boise watching the Twin Towers fall, my heart sank…for many different reasons.  One of which was that I didn’t know if the Air Force would let T out.  In the military there is something called Stop-Loss.  This happens when a certain career field has low numbers and they can’t afford to lose anyone.  Essentially the forces-that-be tell say that you can’t get out even if your enlistment is up.  Since Traveler’s job was one of low-manning already, he was stop-lossed.  9-11 created the atmosphere of deployment.  We had decided that he would get out because there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity to go anywhere unless he did a 1-year unaccompanied tour in Korea – which neither of us wanted.  So the thought of him being deployed for an unknown length of time INTO harm’s way (I had just found out I was pregnant with Sass), was really unappealing for both of us.  So T applied for a Stop-Loss waiver asking to be discharged.  Amazingly enough this went through.

I will never forget how much sacrifice military families make.  It is not only the person who is active duty and signed the dotted line.  It affects all those who are a part of that person’s life.  The spouse, the children, the siblings, the parents and grandparents.  I have a feeling our time is coming and it scares me, but at the same time if T’s name is called, he wouldn’t hesitate.

Shrinking into Summer

So my last week as part of the Shrinking Into Summer Challenge was definitely not my best week.  I think I’m hitting a bit of a wall when it comes to exercising.  I’m not sure if it’s the heat, knowing the heat is coming, burn-out from shredding…  I just don’t know but I haven’t wanted to run for a couple of weeks and I haven’t actually done it since last Wednesday.  I have been making myself shred on my normal run days, so at least I’ve been doing that!

The main thing I have noticed during this challenge was when I committed to shredding.  It really toned my muscles and gave me a lot of strength than I probable ever had.  I put on a T-shirt the other day that was one of my tighter ones that I haven’t worn in a couple of years because I didn’t like to see the little bulge of my muffin top.  I put it on and it felt much looser around my chest and sides.  So I lost some circumference in shredding.

I’m thinking that with May being a crazy month, I might just let myself off the hook for running this month and get back in the game come June…after all I do have a half-marathon in October to train for!  I will keep shredding a few days a week.  I don’t want to lose all the muscles I have built up.

I hope everyone else had a good challenge and have seen results.

What I Learned This Week

So it’s that time of week where Jo-Lynne asks what we have learned.

There is one main thing I learned this week.   I am no longer intimidated to do things on my own.   Growing up and even through most of my 20’s I didn’t like to try new things on my own.  Put me together with a girlfriend and I had confidence exuding from my pores, but alone – not so much. Or if I did do it, I pretended really well that I had the confidence.

I was brainwashed this past January into trying scrapbooking.  It was a weekend-long marathon scrapbooking event.  One of my good friends let me know about it and reassured me that all I needed to bring were the pictures.  She had everything else.  (Let me tell you, she certainly has a lot of stuff!)  It was a great weekend.  We laughed, we scrapped, we drank margaritas and shared a bottle of wine.  I also realized that if I’m not being interrupted every 5-10 minutes by little people, I can actually pull some creativity out of the far recesses of my mind.  We all happily signed up for the March marathon.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Lots of fun, no kids, completed pages galore.  So I signed up and paid for this month’s marathon…

and then I realized that no one else in my little group was going to be able to make it.  My heart dropped a little bit.  I had already paid.  I didn’t want to go by myself.  I wanted to be part of my little group.  But after being assured that I could borrow some supplies from my friend, I changed my perspective and decided I was going to have fun anyway.

And you know what? I did.  Was it as much fun sharing that time with my friends? Not as much.  Did I interact and meet new people that I might not have otherwise? Definitely.  The weirdest part was that I didn’t have the knot in my stomach about being in a situation without knowing anyone.  What helped was the fact that I felt fairly confident in my abilities, so I wasn’t trying something new all by myself.

Bottom line…I am at a place in my life where I can go and do things without my “support system” and be just fine.

What did you learn this week?

My Golden Floor

After last week’s You Capture there were many comments about my golden kitchen floor.  I have to clarify.  I only chose to have a golden kitchen in floor in the sense that when we bought our house it had a golden kitchen floor.   Here is a before picture on the day we moved in.

kitchen before

You can’t really appreciate the golden nature of the floor from this angle, but I will refer you back to my previous picture in last week’s post. Notice the 2-tone cabinets, yellow tile countertop and backsplash and ancient oven/microwave combo.

In order to give you a better understanding of the creative decorating we bought into, I will show a few other pictures from what can be referred to as  “the wallpaper days”.  (And no matter how many cool wallpaper patterns and things that can be done, after having to rip down 6 rooms’ worth of wallpaper, I will never wallpaper a room.  EVER!)

blue flocked wallpaperThis wallpaper is flocked…I never really understood what that word meant until I saw it in all of its blue glory.  (The carpet? it still exists.  There is about 2000 sq. ft of it in the house.)

golden wallpaperThis was the wallpaper in Sweet Pea’s room.  It is shiny and striped and golden.  It would have matched perfectly with the golden floor.  I had promised Sass and SmartyPants that I would pull their wallpaper down and paint their room first, until Sweet Pea started waking up before 6 am.  The sun literally would light up her room with an awesome golden glow way before it was time for me to get up.

Now this last picture… is awesome all in its own right.

lavender toiletYes, that is a lavender toilet (with a rose colored seat) and lavender bathtub and a horseshoe shape of more golden floor – just like the kitchen.

Here is a partial view of the minor changes I have made to the kitchen’s atmosphere.

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I painted the cabinets white and changed out all the hinges and handles to something less…gold and leafy.  I also posted way back when in the second week of You Capture a picture of my new bathroom floor and toilet.  As you can see the carpet is no longer there and the lavender toilet is long gone.  There was a happy dance done.

Would I like to be rid of my golden floor? Yes.  And if anyone is willing to fork over about $10,000 so I can do a little kitchen make-over and make it bigger and prettier with new cabinets and more counter space, I would be extremely appreciative.  Leave a comment and we can work out the details of that money transfer!

You Capture – Color

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I absolutely loved this week’s challenge from Beth.  Color was the theme.  It is definitely spring here and I couldn’t wait to get out and take its picture.

This first picture I couldn’t wait to take.  I have been seeing lilacs EVERYWHERE.  So many different purples just exploding around town amidst all the new green leaves.

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Then, of course, I had to capture the new leaves.  These were taken in my front yard.

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We went to the park on gorgeous afternoon and this little guy was hanging around.

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And finally.  These are one of my favorite pairs of shoes.  They were Sass’s way back when, and happily Sweet Pea has fallen in love with them too.  She has a pink pair, but when we are out playing, she has to pick her flame shoes, because they help her run fast.  Doncha know?

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capture - color converse

So what did you capture this week?