Last lunch 

Last week was the last week at my former job in fact, Wednesday was my last day. It seemed the minute I resigned the pressure was off. It felt great to finally be able to breathe and not worry or be anxious about things. I thought for sure my direct supervisor would have me running around doing transition meetings with the team and going over projects but I only went over projects with him. I did have to tell my project teams I was leaving and when asked who was taking over the projects I just referred them to my direct and said to contact him. I’m sitting here today wondering if he’s regretting that decision of not assigning the projects prior to my leaving. [believe me I’m not spending a ton of mental capacity on that]On my last day, some of my work colleagues took me out to lunch. There were about ten of us all together including two assistant office heads and the office head. I was surprised so many people showed to be honest [of course my direct supervisor wasn’t there and that didn’t hurt my feelings whatsoever]. This was after my hour long exit interview with one of the assistant office heads who were there. To say I was candid at that interview is probably an understatement. Whether she takes any of my feedback into consideration is another but I don’t’ care. I only hope it helps the next person that my supervisor tries to give a hard time because I’ve felt like I’ve been walking around with a target on my back the past two months there and I’m sure someone is going to be my successor. So, you can believe how great it felt walking out of there on Wednesday and having the next four days off.

Now I’m at the new job and it’s a huge contrast. That’s’ probably the difference between the private sector and the government. The people seem really laid back – even the dress code is more laid back. I won’t have to alter my work wardrobe in the least. It’s going to take me awhile to get my access code and go through training but that’s ok. Believe me, I’m not complaining. I’m just soaking it in. 

i got it!

i_got_the_job

It feels so good to finally be writing this post. I’ve been holding off until it was official but officially I got the job the I took that test for. Whew! What a long process but I’m in and I start on the 18th.

Needless to say my current employer wasn’t thrilled when I put in my notice yesterday but I don’t care. That job was the most stressful job I’ve ever had and both my health and my life have taken a toll from it. I’m so glad my time there is coming to an end and I will not look back, that’s for sure.

On to bigger and better things and hopefully more posts!

testing 1, 2, 3…..

Well, hopefully soon I will be able to slow down a little and enjoy life. I’ve been focusing all my energy lately on trying to stay off of my bosses sh*t list (that means pumping out work from 8-5 all day similar to that of a t-shirt factory in the Philippines) and look for another job.

One of the jobs that I had a bite on recently I had to take one of their engineering entrance exams to see if I qualified. Prior to that, I tried to get my hands on every practice test I could find on the internet and take. These consisted of several logical and mathematical questions that built off the prior one. The first couple of sample tests I had consisted of all water. “You work for a water company and your job is to identify customer service needs, future increase in usages and decline.” It was a ton of math, y’all and you couldn’t use a calculator on the test. Everything had to be done on a scratch paper by hand .I had to go on you tube and refresh myself on videos of multiplication and long division as I haven’t done this stuff since 5th grade.

In the meantime, HR for the company kept failing to upload my status of qualifying to take the test. Every day I had to call this lady and ask when this would be completed as I hadn’t heard anything from anyone about scheduling the thing. This went on for three weeks. It was so frustrating. During that time I just kept studying. Finally, the end of last week I got a call from HR saying they hoped to have it loaded that day and to look for an email. Hours later I got the email confirmation and went ahead and signed up to take it this past Saturday. I was like, Its now or never!

When I got the email confirmation attached were two more sample tests. I printed those out and studied them both. These were, “You work for a power company and your job is to identify…….” You get the gist. Water, power, gas, etc.

Saturday, I drove to the testing facility that also was a tax service. I had to have three forms of ID’s in order to get in to take the test. Which meant that Friday when I got home from work I was sitting on the porch drinking a beer thinking, Where is that social security card……..

That kind of thinking got me out of my chair running into my office, hauling my desk drawer out (which, Charlie says is a nightmare that I need to clean out) and dumping it on the floor going through everything…….no card. My heart started beating faster……….where is it??!!

I opened my locked trunk and looked in there. Nothing. Please don’t tell me I’m not going to get a job because I can’t prove that I’m not an illegal alien!

I went into the bedroom and hauled my dresser drawer out and dumped everything onto the bed. Nothing. I sat down, where could it be?

Finally, I went into one of my files that I keep all the vehicle titles and there it was. I almost collapsed with relief.

When I got to the facility I handed the woman checking me in four forms of identification including my ss card and she laughed.

“I just wanted to make sure I covered all the bases,” I said.

Once I signed this really long form saying that I wouldn’t cheat, lie or steal to pass this test I was led into a room and given a locker key to lock up all my personal items before going into the testing room. There was a computer monitor sitting on the desk and the scratch paper consisted of two plastic dry erase sheets and a marker. By the end of the test I would have used 10 of those things that the lady sitting at the desk watching me take it said, “More?” She couldn’t believe I was using that many sheets. “Yes, please”

Its math, bitch, I wanted to say.

The test was very similar to the sample ones I’d taken. Although, I was having problems with a simple conversion were several questions required that conversion in order to answer. There was a way to mark the questions you’d come back to and I marked all of the ones that I was having difficulty with. It was at least 10 or 12 problems. I had 2-1/2 hours to do this thing, I wasn’t worried until –

-I looked at the clock on my computer and it said I had 54 minutes left and I was only on question 31 (there were 53 total) and I had all those marked ones to go back to.

Don’t freaking panic, you. I told myself. Don’t.Freaking.Panic………OMG! I’M PANICKING…………….BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE…….

I practically flew through 31-53. By the time I went back to my marked problems the clock was counting down from 9 minutes.

Breathe, dammit…..

I went through all the marked problems barely having time to read any of them and marked every one of them. Charlie echoed in my mind, Just answer every question no matter what. Finally, I answered the last question as the clock counted down from 20 seconds. I hit the finish button and then they had the nerve to ask me to complete a questionnaire – Oh, but no worries – you have 5 minutes to do it.

Whatever. I didn’t pass. I did my best and now it’s time to go home and drink a beer. I finished the questionnaire, stood up and left the room.

The lady sitting at the desk said, Are you finished?

Yes. I hung my head.

Did you pass?

I don’t know. It didn’t tell me.

Just then, a piece of paper spit out on the printer behind her and she reached around and took it. She looked at it and handed it to me. You passed!

What?! Wow! Really?

Yes, it wouldn’t have said, ‘Qualified’ if you didn’t.

I couldn’t believe it. I went out to the truck after collecting my things and thanking those ladies a thousand times even though it was me taking the exam and took a picture of my confirmation form and texted to Charlie.

I went home and drank several beers after that. So, now you think I can get that job after going through all that? I’m calling that HR woman as soon as she gets in today.

same ol’ sh*t chex mix

This month is continuing to be the mutha-f*cker last month was. I’m sorry I’m so negative but Charlie and I have been hit with a ton of stuff. Things at both of our jobs have been quite difficult which both have to do with staffing needs or lack of help.

The job front is still looking bleak despite my many interviews. I have one small bite but nothing is panning out yet. I’m really ready to move on. Last night, I sat in traffic forever after working late at the office and stopped off at the grocery store to pick up stuff to make for dinner. I thought Charlie and I could sit outside and commiserate over work, have some beers and grill out. What ended up happening was opening a letter from my mortgage company informing me that my property taxes increased and that I owed them $2500 in escrow to be paid by April 1st (the date is not lost on me) and if I didn’t pay it my monthly payments would go up almost $300. I sat on the phone while the escrow woman explained everything to me then I was informed that I was eligible for a re-finance and, hold, while they transfer me over. Then, I was on the phone with a loan officer for another hour going through the application process. If this does go through it will decrease my monthly payments by $300. But, it was exhausting. That was the last thing I wanted to do was hang on the phone all night and talk about my mortgage.

Tonight, I am hoping for a do-over. I don’t want to get the mail or answer the phone. The weather has been exceptional here despite it being March. Last Sunday we rode up to Gainesville to see some friends and to have lunch. It was nice to ride without so much winter gear on and not feeling like I was the Michelin Man. This weekend it’s going to start raining Saturday evening and last for a week. Charlie and I are going to try to get our first landscaping job of the season installed Saturday afternoon before it comes in.

So, y’all haven’t missed much. It’s been the same ol’ sh*t here. You’ll be the first to know if that changes.

an island

Well, the party at Link’s house wasn’t that bad. We had BBQ and jammed down despite my not bringing my drums over. Link’s gf had bought a box of kid’s instruments (kazoos, whistles, wooden knockers, etc) and we filled in background with the guitars and singing. Rooster and Shutter were there playing Link’s bongo drums, and Link pulled out Shutter’s bass guitar and started playing. Val who had been in all week from Maine with with her ex gf (practically all of Val’s friends are ex gf’s) and daughter was singing and playing guitar with daughter on the violin. Martha showed up without Dino in tow which was a relief but I still got cornered in the kitchen by Mike.

You just cannot have a conversation with Mike without him trying to get under your skin.

Mike: So, why are you off FB?

I just need a break from social media for a while. I want to focus on interviewing and trying to find a new job.

What kind of job are you looking for?

I’m looking for a project manager position with other companies.

I heard you completed that project management course are you certified?

No, I still need to study and take the test.

Oh, yeah you’ll need that if you’re going to get a project manager job.

I just looked at Mike. I mean, I’ve been a PM probably longer than he had been an attorney. I will have no problem finding another pm job it just has to be the right fit. But, this is the type of shit Mike always says in a conversation. I decided it wasn’t worth arguing. Thankfully, Rooster and Shutter came walking in to save me and I broke away from Mike to hug them.

I’ve just decided that I’m just not going to let anyone get under my skin. I’m just going to walk away and chill out when someone is trying to make me upset. I am an island surrounded by sharks and no one can get to me. I’m going to end this with a video of Rooster singing a song that perfectly describes what I’m talking about.

 

end of the week chex mix

I’m just trying to get through this week. The closer it gets to Friday the better. Tonight, we’re supposed to go over to Link’s for a jam party with the Maine folk. Everyone is invited, too. Initially, I was thinking I was going to haul my drum kit over there for the jam but now I’m thinking not. I’m not confident enough of my drumming skills to display myself to Dino and Mike who are going to be there so I’m not even going to deal with their scrutiny. Charlie and I are just going to go and hang for a bit and then call it an early night because it’s a school night.

Yesterday was a good day for a lot of reasons I will go in to later. I came home in higher spirits for once. Charlie and I were sitting out on the porch talking about our music calendar. We wanted to see this artist at Edie’s on Saturday for the early show. I went in to call the box office and I was told they only had one ticket left. I asked the woman on the phone if she could possibly slip in one more and she asked if it was ok to put me on hold. I said, Sure. She came back on to say she was able to get us both in. So, we’re seeing this chick on Saturday:

anti-social media

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I recently decided to go on a social media and texting sabbatical for at least a month. After that announcement on FB, Charlie received several messages on her FB asking why I was doing that. And, instead of saying, What do you care? We never hear from you anyway, she just politely explained that I needed a break for a while to focus -which, many didn’t understand that line of reasoning.  Those I took to not understand that reasoning I put in the category of those who don’t find it important enough to find time in their busy schedules to catch up with friends and replace real friendships with social media. Because, texting and FB are all they have time for outside their busy schedules.
And, why is anyone surprised by this? The original creator of FB was known to have a human interaction deficiency.  Now that makes perfect sense – FB is meant to replace real human relations with a computer screen and internet connection.  
I’ve also realized that texting has taken the place of real communication. Have you ever had situations where you were trying to just get a simple answer out of someone or just rely a bit of information and it got so misconstrued that you didn’t know which way was up? I have. Try reading some of those texting bloopers -which, always makes me cry some of them are so funny – but, aside from texting my wife during that day while I’m at work (because the whole office can hear me talk on the phone and I don’t want them to hear, This place sucks) outside of that I’ve just been telling people to coordinate with my wife if they need something or -pick up the phone and call me.
The other day we dropped off weights we were selling to Link. This in itself was another reason I stopped texting was just seeing the amount of messages that went unanswered from Charlie inquiring if she was going to come get them. When did she think she was coming to get them? Hello? To finally a reply from Link saying, Oh, I don’t have time to come get them can you bring them over….. So, special delivery of a weight set was made to Link’s place on Saturday. The minute we walked in the first thing out of her and her gf’s mouths were, How come the FB/text sabbatical? Again, I let Charlie explain it. My explanation would have started out with, Why not? I never get any messages or replies from y’all anyway.
I realize people are busy. I do. But, you aren’t the only busy one, I want to say, but I’ll take time out of my busy day to talk to you [on the phone] but it has to go both ways. I don’t think people get that. Case in point when we left Links they said they’d let us know if they wanted to get together that week and that they’d text Charlie to let us know. Whatever. It probably will be a no if it’s during the week because Charlie and I have a really hard time going out on a school night anymore with all the work stress we have going. We’re trying to manage and minimize our stress(es) outside of work and there’s more to life than updating on FB. We could be tossing a ball to the dogs, listening to music or even planning our 2016 music calendar which we did a little of last night. We could be cooking, I could be studying (I really need to start that) or redoing my resume’ for the 100th time.
Now this in no way is meant to include my friends from overseas (you know who you are) or certain family members that I really, really don’t want to talk to or a friend who is out-of-state that we’re just trying to coordinate times/locations to meet to verbally catch up. None of those people are included in this. It’s mostly the local ones that you never hear from. It seems like the ones nearby are the farthest away for some reason. But, that’s ok – like I said, there’s a ton of other things that I should and could be doing instead of posting on FB or waiting for someone to text me back. So far so good! 
 

winter bluez

I’m so over things lately.

I’m off today to go to court for my stupid auto accident I had in December right before Christmas. This accident has set us back so we’ve been struggling a little with bills and so forth. That in itself really frustrates me. To feel that I work hard to support my family with the thought that my work is putting me through all kinds of stress for not near what I’m being paid for it to be worth it. (70-80k would be worth it but I’m nowhere near that)

And, work is another thing. There are few people that I work with that I like and call my friends -Antonio, Miguel, Julio – they have fictional Spanish names even though only one of them is Spanish. Notice they’re all guys, too. I don’t get along with most of the women in the department. Most everyone else I work with are @ssholes, including my direct manager and the bosses above him. My direct – let’s call him Richard does whatever he wants, has no projects and really no responsibility except to micro-manage us. Which, he does because that’s the only way he thinks to manage. He’s going to eventually run his whole team off – hopefully, I will be the first to go. I want to go. I’ve been interviewing my @ss off lately. So much that he’s becoming suspicious of my frequent days out of the office. I’m hoping I’m done for a while and can just wait for some offers to come in. I really hope so, too.

So, yesterday we have our stupid office meeting that lasts all afternoon. This is the meeting where other departments come in and tell us about how important their job is but why it’s important that we do their job for them. Because my department, my job we do everything for everybody because our department head is a control freak and has made it so everything comes through us. So, you can imagine the workload on all of us. Despite all this we have to sit in a meeting all afternoon and listen to needless shit while more work piles up. That in itself is frustrating. Afterwards, I had a meeting with the department head to show me a project that will become mine – heading up 1,000 cement plants and new construction (I made that up but you get the gist of how large the project is) and I’m sitting there thinking, I could give a shit about your cement plants, you can shove them up your ass. I’ll be dead before these ever get built.

So, after my big cement plant meeting I reminded Richard that I was going to be out of the office the next day. Even though I had put this on my calendar and asked for it off in advance he acted like this was the first time he’d heard about it. I wanted to say, You aren’t my daddy, I don’t have to ask you for time off that I have accumulated over 5 years with the company.

“Ok, well you’ve been out of the office quite a bit these past few weeks…….”

Yeah, f*ck you, it’s none of your business, I wanted to say. But, instead, “I have something to take care of that I can’t reschedule. It’s personal.”  Why I took personal leave time. And, I’m not about to tell you, @sshole, that I’m going to court…..

“Ok, then.”

Shortly after that he picked up his bag and said something about going home to his baby girl and the new girl on our team went, “Awwwww!” I threw up in my mouth a little.

Soon as I was assured he was in the deck and pulling out, I left.  I stopped to get gas on the way home and accidentally bought some sour plum Saison instead of the malty amber that has a similar red and white can. I didn’t realize this until I got home and poured it into a glass and it foamed up and ran over. I took a look at the can and said, Fuck! I’d paid $12 for that damn six-pack. Just my luck that day. I was determined to drink one and like it. I drank one but the jury’s still out. In fact, I made Charlie try it last night and she spit it out and said it tasted like vomit. Wonderful.

After choking that down I opened a lite beer. Much better. Charlie pulled up. We were supposed to go meet Martha and Dino for Fat Tuesday at the Mexican pub up the street. We hadn’t seen Martha for a while and needed to catch up. Dino had recently asked her hand in marriage and we hadn’t had a chance to congratulate them.

I admit Dino gets the HELL on my nerves…….on a good day. He works at the cement plant and acts all Fred Flinstone-ish. Like, I’m da MAN and this is ma WO-MAN! Kinda thing. I hate it to be honest. And, of course Dino has to rule the conversation. It’s not lost on me that Dino works in the plant and I build plants and that he has some inferiority complex over that and feels he has to brag about everything and act a know-it-all. He had to go on and ON about Martha’s ring and how much money he spent on it and nothings too good for my little hunny-bunny. I looked down at our modest rings and thought, at least ours are titanium -like we are. Not some decorative non-sense that the stone will fall out the first time she goes out to slop the hogs.

So, you get it and I really didn’t need that that night because of the day I’d had. I went home and cried afterwards to Charlie that I felt like I was never going to find a job. She reminded me that I cried about this two years ago and I got a job. I agreed. I know I didn’t make a mistake. I could not even imagine being at my former job. But, it’s time to move on. I really wished that Charlie and I had blown the Flintstones off and gone to the Tequila bar instead. I could have used that more than that stupid plum Saison – can you even imagine me drinking that? No, me neither. I would hope y’all would know me by now to know that’s not my drink. I wished that it could have been just Charlie and I sitting at the bar toasting our night out and saying, F-our bosses.

And, I know this is a really long post but that brings up another thing. I think I’m over most of our friends (and, probably not the ones reading this post). Especially, after the Super Bowl party. Some didn’t even RSVP. Some RSVP’d yes and didn’t show and didn’t even send a text to say, Sorry we can’t make it. Then, some showed up and got the hell on my nerves. Like Dino and Martha’s friends Mike and Sally. Like Dino, Mike is a know-it-all, too. He’s the authority on everything and when the two of them are in the room they are always knocking chests like cave men and slugging back beers. Mike is one of Dino’s best friends, in fact, he’s going to be Dino’s best man in the wedding. Charlie and I had cooked for twenty plus and only ten had showed up so we had to freeze a bunch of leftovers despite both Mike and Dino putting away two plates of food and making sure they took the rest of their six packs home with them when they left the party.

Some of the people I really wanted to see – didn’t show. Some never even answered their texts asking if they were coming or what they were up to. That is on the list of things that I’m over, too. And, people wonder why just Charlie and I go out together and never invite anyone. It’s because we’re tired of inviting people and getting no response or having to put up with the likes of Dino and Mike.

We’d rather drink alone…..and not Plum Saison for crying out loud.

 

 

super bowl 50 chex mix

I’m sorry I haven’t written for so long. I kept hoping the next time I wrote I could say that I had a new job and how great it was gonna be. But no. It seems like it’s going to take some more time for the universe to make that happen.

Things have been such a stressful grind lately between work and interviewing. I need a break for awhile. I hate to complain but I really feel that my job has taken over my life and made it a heck of a lot more stressful. I won’t even get in to my boss(es) on here. But, remember Noel? Yeah, it’s like that. Why is it so hard for people to be NICE? It’s like this:

rayland

I really do feel like I’m becoming one, too. I have to get out!

In the meantime, Charlie and I are having a Super Bowl party and, no, the skanks ladies from last year arn’t coming this year and good thing because I was going to say on the invitation:

This years Super Bowl 50 party sponsored by: 

uber

and NOT: 

tide

So, Charlie and I will be grocery shopping and cooking to prepare. I’m going to enjoy it while I can because next week it’s back to the grind unless I hear otherwise.

GO BRONCOS!! 

 

run with the dogs

frostbite15aAdam Pinsley’s original rendition of “Sadie”

Saturday, Sadie and I did a little 5k race called Run with the Dogs. After dropping Charlie and Bailey off at Charlie’s office, Sadie and I headed downtown to the race that started at a local high school. There were more dogs than I’ve ever seen in one place there. Sadie and I kind of stayed on the fringe because I didn’t want us to get too much into the pack area. It would only take one aggressive dog to start a mosh pit of teeth and growling. They had said in the race packet to not bring any aggressive dogs but there’s always someone who thinks their kid is the best in the world and ignores the gnashing of teeth and growling.

There were some really interesting dogs there, too. We saw albino Doberman that I never knew even existed. There was this huge Irish Wolf Hound that was just beautiful. Pure breeds and mutts everywhere.  Booths selling and giving away dog cookies, poop bags and cards of their animal-related businesses.

rundogs1

Finally, after making everyone walk up to the starting line and waiting bunched up (again, I seriously thought this was a dumb idea) they blew the whistle and started the race. Sadie and I jumped in when the crowd dissipated and we had some room. There was a wiry sheepdog looking dog in front of us that she kept trying to smell its butt while we ran. I didn’t discourage thinking it could emulate the carrot in front of the horse.

rundogs2

We wound through the neighborhoods and came out on the huge hill leading up to the post office when Sadie ran out of pep. She stopped and looked behind her, like, “What? I’m just looking around.” We would walk a bit and then she’d start jogging again. We finally made it over the hill and ran down into downtown Decatur. She stopped to walk again until we heard a bunch of cheering up ahead. She picked it up a little and I managed to get her to run over the finish line and finish strong. She did pretty good for her first 5k. We walked over and grabbed some bottled water and I pried open her snout and poured some water into her mouth because I knew she wouldn’t drink anything until we got back to the car which, when we did she drank out of the little bowl I brought for her. We loaded up and went to Charlie’s work to pick up Bailey and head home. Here she is after the race – no worse for wear.

rundogs3