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I’ve been working at our other office down by the airport this week. After the whole snafu a few weeks back I went to my boss and asked him if I should consider going down there and working with another co-worker who was handing over their wire center to me and he agreed that it was a good idea.

Talk about leading the cows around the barn to show them food.

When I was hired he said he was a hands off kind of guy. At the time I took that to mean that he’s not in to micromanaging. That was fine with me as my former manager was a micromanager. What I didn’t expect that to mean was days going by without any communication/interaction whatsoever. I used to be the one to keep him in the loop about everything I was doing but now I’m not. Once I told him I was going to work down there temporarily for a while and got his response of Ok, let’s see how it goes, I was done. I know how it’s going to go. It’s going to go a lot better than working up there in that construction office where I can go a whole day and no one even knows I’m there. I went back there to work on Wednesday this past week and no one even knew I was there until one point Larry and another co-worker, Don (who works in yet another office building) burst in.

Don was telling Larry that he needed to get his filing cabinets out of there soon. Larry told him not to take my wall. I had lined them up to block out Carmine coming in every 5 minutes back in the day when Larry and Sherry were in there. I was sitting there looking at both of them like, I really don’t care what you do, and said so.

Then, Don starts asking me what’s going on with the half-built cubical walls. I said that I didn’t know. Then, he asked where they came from. I again said that I didn’t know. Larry was like, Don’t get me started on that. Which was funny because aside from helping Baxter from putting one of them together one day he basically gets to run around with Sherry all day and do nothing.

Don was rambling on about something else and Larry said, I’m gonna come see you. I shrugged like, Whatever. I wanted to say, What about? They finally left and I spent the rest of the day in there working and no one else came in. No idea where Patricia was – I got asked that, too, and I said my standard, I don’t know. Even if I did I’m not telling any of those people shit.

When I work in the south office I work next to three of the women I originally started working with in our old office – before we had to move out and we all got tossed to the wind. There’s way more interaction there and I actually get asked out to lunch and to the field to look at shit. So, I’m going to try to stay down here as much as possible because I’m just so over the b.s. at the other office. I guess I need to go ahead and take charge of my professional development and push on through or else I’ll be sitting in that stupid construction office waiting for things to happen that never will.

Speaking of professional development, I went to this free seminar by Brandie Mitchell on how to package the product of you. There was some great information there and it was held in one of the company’s corporate offices. I’m trying to get out and network more with other people in the organization of where I work and this was a good opportunity.

Some of the things I took away from it were this: People will pay you more for what you know than what you do.

  • Build a platform that packages your message of who you are and what you do.
  • Become a signature in the way you do things.
  • Make a list of things you do best and skills you use in each of them.
  • Identify the most important lessons you have learned in life.
  • What do others ask you to help them with?
  • What types of customers do you enjoy working with?
  • List your achievements and accomplishments.
  • Create an action plan for 90 days, 6 months, 12 months.

Those are some of the things I took away from the event. I already have an action plan in place. In 90 days I want to be PMP certified and then continue to make contacts and build a network. By 12 months I’d really like to be in a different place at work. Whether that means running a wire center successfully or something altogether different. My vision is to be more corporate and be in that kind of an environment. I feel that’s where my heart is taking me these days. Whether my customer is a contractor or a corporate manager – it doesn’t matter – they both want to build something. The customers I enjoy working with are the ones who enjoy building something that helps others and I think I’ve answered at least one of the questions above.

 

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Athens, Drive-by Truckers, Random men and vomiting adolescents

It’s a lot to cram into one post, I know.

The more I go to Athens, Georgia the older I feel.  I think the next time – if there ever is one – I’m going to feel like I should practically be in a nursing home. Maybe that’s a good reason to not have anymore next times in Athens. But, hey, we had a good time – I’m glad we went- but like eating pizza (like today) it was good but I don’t want to eat it again for a very long time. That’s Athens for you.

Saturday, Benjii came over to dog sit and we left for Athens. The rain had let up and it turned out to be a nice drive out stopping at Charlie’s favorite store – Northern Tool and Equipment – on the way. Yes, she found about 10k worth of stuff she wants from there. (Who said anything about a way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach – with Charlie it’s a new compressor for her power washer or a Sthl tree saw). Once we pulled in to Athens we found our hotel right away. Her bro had booked us into the Georgia Gameday Center – which, turned out to be a one bedroom condo. It was PHAT! That was the nicest part of the trip was the condo we stayed. Once we checked in and took pictures of the room we left to go have a drink. I had texted my friends Stacy and Nikki when we pulled in to ask where a good place for a drink and a bite to eat and one of the places they suggested was Trappeze Pub.  We pulled up some stools and ordered a couple of Unknown Pregame beers (yes, everything in this town has something to do with some game somewhere – it just so happened there were a bunch of folk from Kentucky in town because of the UGA/Kentucky basketball game – all that way to watch basketball…….must not be much going on in Kentucky……ok,  shut up, Lanie)

After drinking our PRE-UGA/Kentucky gameday beer (to go with our hotel named Gameday, of course) we decided to go get PRE-game tacos. We started walking up Clayton street and finally found Bulldog tacos – kidding – Taqueria Tsunami where we had some great tacos and I had some great margaritas. One thing about Athens is that the drinks are good and cheap. Well margaritas were $6 each with fresh lime juice and not that sickly sweet limeaid mixer they typically use in margaritas. After a satisfying dinner we headed for the hotel to freshen up before going to the 40 Watt Club. For some reason we decided after the hotel to go ahead and get in line at the venue an hour before the show. I don’t know why we thought that was a good idea because when they let us in an hour before the show (8) there was hardly anyone in there anyway. While we were in line outside waiting to get in we started talking to the guys in line in front of us. One guy was in a wheelchair and had driven down from (scary coincidence) Indiana (where I’m from) and had been to the Truckers show Thursday and Friday, too. We said that he must really like them and he said he’d seen them like (I heard 17, Charlie heard 70- not sure which one I believe but you get the gist) times.

You really don’t want to know what I’m thinking at this point.

Another guy in front of us said he was from our neighborhood – we couldn’t believe that – right up the street from where we live. I was starting to think it was all a strange coincidence and was really hoping we could go inside soon because I was starting to tire of the conversation outside. I was thinking, I really am tired of talking to random men. I hope to get away from talking to random men – 

WRONG. Such was the story of our LIFE that night.

Once we went inside both those random men melted away into the crowd. We stood at the bar and ordered drinks. The bartender was very nice and we struck up a conversation with him and I was starting to realize that Charlie and I were probably only 2 of 5 women in the whole club. I started looking around and it was like we just got dropped off into Portland Oregon with long bearded men wearing grungy trucker hats, nerdy glasses and flannel shirts that were almost too short to tuck in. It was the hippy log splitting crowd – although I bet most of those men’s hands were as soft as my own. So, the warm up band, Hernies (and after listening to them I’m sure it was short for Screaming Hernias) wasn’t coming on until 9. We had several drinks in the meantime and Hernia -er – Hernies didn’t actually come on until 9:30. More grungy men filed in and a really drunk guy stationed himself next to us at the bar. This guy was probably the only non-grunge guy in there. Any minute he looked like he was either going to fall over or puke. Charlie and I moved away but at some point still couldn’t escape this guys hands. At one point he ran his arm down Charlie’s back and she just turned and looked at him and moved off. I said, “Let’s move down more.” Then, some other random man came over to talk to us – named Steve. Steve spied my tshirt with a motorcycle on it and asked if we rode.

I have learned most times when people as if you ride it’s just a segue into them telling you their whole life history of riding and showing you 1,000 pictures of their motorcycle on their iPhone before you even have a chance to say what you ride. Which happened. I was hoping to put Steve in between myself and the drunk, hand-sy guy next to me as I switched places with Charlie and now I was getting fondled. No such luck because after showing us the 945th pic of his Harley he hugged us and took off. Next, we started a conversation this some really big guy who looked like  Grizzly Adams in a Green Bay hat. I was thinking, If this doesn’t scare this drunk guy off then I don’t know what will. He did disappear momentarily but was back by the time Grizzly was gone. Next, we started hearing this sound from the stage. It was a loud, wambah, wambah, wambah that went on FOREVER. I was like, Is anyone finally going to sing around here, or are we going to be trapped here all night with the drunk pervert  and looking at 1,000 more Harley pictures? 

I shouted to Charlie over the WAMBAH, WAMBAH, WAMBAH  that we were probably going to have to move as I didn’t know how much longer I was going to take this guy touching me without putting my boot in his @ss. We slid down the bar further and another random guy came up and started shouting to us. His name was Jeff. We probably shouted at him the longest. The opening band finally started singing over the WAMBAH and they sounded like the Beatles on an acid trip. I had necessarily switched to the hard stuff and ordered another Jack and Coke wishing I’d worn earplugs – especially after talking to another random guy who said he came up from Valdosta, Georgia and followed the Truckers, loves them and that they are really Eff-ing loud. But, from the screaming coming from the stage I wondered if he meant the warm up band instead. By the time the Truckers did come on stage we were drunk immersed in a conversation with Jeff who had managed to scare off the drunk guy for us and was hugging us both and I had decided he was the lessor of the several random guy evils. Or maybe I was just deaf and drunk by then and didn’t care. By the time we left the club our ears were ringing and I was ready to be away from random men and go meet our friends, Stacy and Nikki.

WRONG.

We no more walked out  of the club and texted our friends to meet up with them when another random Steve came up and started walking with us. I was like, Really? WTF! I felt like that poor cat that always ran from Pepe Le Pew. We told him we were headed out to meet some friends and he said he was walking that way anyway. Honestly, if he hadn’t been so young I would have been worried. By this time there were several people out walking around – in fact, it was getting Marti Gras-ish and we witnessed our first public puking of the night before ducking behind a car and ditching that guy. When we walked into the club to meet our friends I’d never seen so many young drunk kids in my life. Stacy came up and shouted that the friend of theirs that had rented out the place for her birthday had been rushed to the hospital an hour earlier from alcohol poisoning. She pointed to the girls gf who was continuing to party on in her place. Once Charlie and I stole a tshirt off the wall for a memento we excused ourselves and said we had to get back.

Walking back to the hotel there were even more people out  – skimpy dressed, young women and men and yet more of them vomiting in the gutters. It was a total drunk fest. I hadn’t seen anything like this since – well, the last UGA game I went to in 1995. And, yet again we bumped into Steve and before he could say anything we just started running to the hotel because we’d had enough. I kept thinking we were running away from young, drunk zombies who were going to eat our faces off. We made it to our nice room, split our subway sandwich and passed out.

The next day we were going to go out to eat breakfast somewhere but we were both ready to get the hell out of dodge. We came back and ate pizza with the dogs  – which, was fine with me. It was a fun weekend but I don’t think we’ll be going to Athens again anytime soon.

 

saved by zero

“Maybe someday, saved by zero,
I’ll be more together.
Stretched by fewer thoughts that leave me.
Chasing after my dreams; disown me, loaded with danger.
So maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Holding onto words that teach me.
I will conquer space around me.
So maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Saved by, saved by, saved by zero.
Saved by, saved by, saved by zero.
Saved by, saved by, saved by zero”

This is how I feel lately with studying for my exam, work, my career in general. I admit, ever since my review I’ve been a bit pissed disenchanted. You know? I thought my last job had the most un-helping-ist people I’ve ever come across but I’ve changed my mind. It seems like no one wants to do any teamwork or work with anyone else but themselves -and there’s only a few who will help or answer questions (but, they sit in different locations which is another topic of frustration).

I’m studying Project Management Methodology that employs the basis of working as cohesive team or I should say “a team based approach” to management of a project and am not experiencing this at all in my current role. I really thought when I accepted this role that I would be managing projects and an area. In fact, that was what I was hired to do. I’m supposedly getting an area of responsibility and am in fact, meeting with the existing manager of this area to go over things on Monday. I’m ecstatic about this although, I had to push my boss to get the ball rolling on this or else I’d still be sitting here doing training classes online until the cows came home. The sooner I can do this the better.

So, that’s what I’ve been frustrated about. Also, there’s a couple of other things I’ve been upset about. One, my Friday telework day was taken away because my boss thinks that I need to be in the office with support staff to ask questions of and help. That’s totally fine with me except – it’s Friday and I’m the only one in the office. The wonder twins have gone off to their “field” work – in fact, I haven’t even seen them. My boss and Patricia are working from home. It’s just little-ol’ me here in the office. Next, I’m frustrated that I asked to go out in the field with Larry of the twins and we set it up and everything and he blew me off – probably because he only wanted to be with Sherry out in the field and he doesn’t want me tagging along. And, last I’m frustrated because I think Carmine said something to my boss about my being on the phone one day with Charlie. He told me in my review that someone said they overheard something about my being on the phone with a landscape client. I told him that I must have been on the phone with my partner who runs the business full time asking me a question was all and that I promise that I don’t talk to clients during normal work hours.

That Eff-ing pissed me off to no end!

First, Patricia is on the phone ALL DAY talking to her husband, her mamma, her cousin – anyone who will listen to her talk. She even had her husband stop by the office the other day and hang out with her all afternoon. But, did I say anything? NO. I see Carmine in the parking lot talking on her phone – probably arguing with her ex husband about who’s going to pick up the kids but did I say anything? NO. I mind my own business. But, you know? IT’S SO UNFAIR. I get penalized and all these other people just go off and do whatever the hell they want all the time and no one ever says anything to them about it.

[Breathe Lanie]

So, those are my FRUSTRATIONS. And, I thank you all for listening and reading this and being my audience because I just had to get this out. Now back to our regularly scheduled program. What do y’all have planned this weekend? We’re going to Athens like I said in the V-DAY post and, thank you, Goddess because it will be nice to get out of town and breathe different air. It’s been a week or two!

Have a great weekend, y’all!

 

 

V-Day

I’ve already started to read posts about “Valentine’s Day, bah humbug” or the “my love gave me a heart -shaped Domino’s pizza for Valentine’s Day”

I breathe a sigh of relief that Charlie will never do that. Whew! (First of all – not Domino’s – she would have better taste to get me a Jack’s pizza) not to mention Domino’s is a radical right-wing company, I digress. This is not about political right-winged sh*t but VALENTINES DAY!

So, Charlie already gave me my gift which was an acrylic photograph of the beach taken by our wonderfully talented friend, Shutter (aptly named). I’m thrilled with it and I think she’s hanging it on the wall as I write this.

beachpic

Next, we decided to cancel restaurant reservations to this Italian place in Decatur for the second time because the Saturday after V-Day we’re going to Athens, GA to hear Drive-By Truckers at the 40 Watt club. Charlie’s bro got us tickets and a hotel stay there for Christmas and we just decided to celebrate a belated V-Day there. Plus, friends of ours who live there are hosting a party at a bar around the corner and told us to head on over after the show. It’s always a party when we go to Athens. Benji is going to dog sit for us so it worked out perfectly.

So, that’s our V-Day in a nutshell. Maybe we’ll find a heart-shaped pizza while we’re there or maybe a burger and a glass of Creature Comforts since their brewery is also around the corner.

What’s your V-Day plans?

 

kickin’ it

Last week went by in a whirl. Thursday, I had a really bad day at work. Well, bad in such a way that I was hit with some stuff that I didn’t expect. The upside was that I’m going to take on more responsibility and downside was I was told that I could progress a little faster. Part of me was like, I’ve been in this job less than a year, feel isolated in my current work environment and really have no one around to ask questions – so this feedback seems very unfair. The other part was ok, I’ll work harder, ask more questions but only after studying up on the stuff I’m doing.

It was almost the mentality of my old job – we want you to do this but we don’t want to answer any questions or train anyone. It just all kind of get thrown on you and you have to roll with the punches. So, after an evening of crying to Charlie and getting drunk with her and Benji I went into my boss’s office the next day and asked if we could follow up on a few things. We had a good conversation. I wanted him to know that there had been a breakdown in communication and the strides I was going to take to ensure that didn’t happen again. That I was going to work hard for a higher rating this year. In short, I’m going to make sure I have more facetime with him and him hear stuff from me directly and not just from our middle manager that sits out in the satellite office who I only see once a week. [Yeah, basically -phuck you middle manager who sabotaged my review with your opinions]

Friday, Charlie was really hung over feeling under the weather and I ended up going out and meeting Benji and her new squeeze, Kate, to see our friend Hannah Thomas play at Eddie’s.  Charlie and I were coming back from eating some wonderful Pho (which, I think revived her a little) and I had her drop me off at the box office so I could go ahead and get a ticket to the show. I was planning to get my ticket and hit a coffee shop and study a little before the show but as I was standing in line for my ticket this woman bought the remaining 21 tickets left for the early show who was Madison Parks.

They were like, Thanks for waiting.

Oh, that’s ok, I’m just getting a ticket for the late show so I have time to kill.

The woman who bought the tickets asked me if I wanted a ticket to the early show and I said, Sure. So I got in for free. (Which, was a good thing because I doubt I’d ever pay $$ to see that woman again) I went in and took a seat in the bleachers they have in the back. Since I was coming in late all the seats were already full. It’s a tiny place so if you’re seeing a show there you want to get there very early so you can get a good seat. Then, a family of 4 came up and I ended up sitting next to a 7 year old in a tu-tu, who squirmed the whole time and at one point I could have sworn she had her elbow in my ear.

Would you like a child with your Guinness?

Madison rocked it out for the first three songs with her band who looked like all high school kids. But, when she pulled up a stool and started talking about hanging with her girlfriends in Nashville talking about boyz and this was a song she wrote about it blah, blah, blah I decided to hit the back patio to watch the rest of the hockey game until Benji and Kate got there. On the way out I hugged Hannah’s neck and wished her a Happy Birthday and said Charlie was sorry she missed her that night. Once Benji and Kate got there I scored us some great seats at the bar inside and we rocked out to Hannah and her new girl band. So much of a contrast from the early show (– maybe that’s why she was the early show).

Saturday, we ran around getting stuff for the party Super Bowl party and Bernice came into town. Minutes after she pulled in we were all in our car going to dinner in Little 5 and hitting Shutter & Roosters gig at the Star Bar. We had a blast that night!

Sunday morning, Bernice was hung over feeling under the weather and Charlie and I went out and grabbed a bagel and ran some errands before the party. By the time we got back she was up making empanadas for the party. We talked and ate and prepped food. We ended up having a great turnout and aside from our team losing we had a great time!  Link was our only Patriots fan in the crowd and she and Charlie were at it all night goofing off as you can see in this pic:

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The next morning I was hung over not feeling well until I ate a piece of sourdough toast with some butter and honey on it. I had been on this Paleo diet for a few weeks and the weekend was the first real carbs I’d eaten in a while and I think it just hit me really hard. Or I drank too much beer. Charlie and I went to have noodles for lunch and hit our favorite joint on the way back to the house. I had gone ahead and took the day off as I knew I wouldn’t want to work along with 6 million Americans that call in sick the day after Super Bowl. When we got back we hung out and played darts in the bar shed so all in all it was a very full weekend and glad it was a good end to a shaky start.

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social media and blogging

Social media, it’s a contest on who’s having the best time or the worst. I myself am just about done with it. And, here’s a Carrie Bradshaw question:

  1. Is Facebook for those who will not, cannot find the time to write a blog? I only say this because there seems to be a lot of people who are on their soapboxes have a lot to say and are trying to cram in all in on Facebook with 100 posts per day. If you have that much to say to the world then why not start a blog? And, next question:
  2. Does it take the place of real communication?

 

Part one Lanie answer/opinion: I think Facebook and blogs are two different animals. I think most people who post on Facebook frequently could not wrap their minds around starting a blog, topics to write about, etc. (Even though some are posting their opinions enough to start a blog) Some people use Facebook to promote their blog. I don’t. There are only a select few friends who know my blog address because I like to use it a lot as a sounding board and not all my friends would appreciate the candor of my blog.

When I first started blogging none of my friends knew my address. This was many blogs ago, too. Blogging has taken a turn historically. I think Facebook has destroyed a lot of the blogging community. Facebook is like McDonalds fast food (to me) whereas a well written blog post is like a filet mignon cooked perfectly on your grill at home. After some time blogging I eventually met other bloggers who commented on my posts and me theirs. We all became friends and traveled to Chicago to meet up. Only before we got there did we share pictures of one another just so we were able to recognize each other when we met up. Those were the fun days of blogging. Now, only I and one other blogger out of that group still blog. Everyone else has moved on and I don’t think they have even followed me to this blog. Nowadays, people just lurk and they rarely comment. I’m guilty of that myself. I’m always looking for other blogs to read and a fresh outlook. When I try to do searches with key words on blogs by typing in “gay” I get a lot of “my coming out story” or men’s dicks. I like to identify with LGBT bloggers (as well as bloggers of other walks of life), however, I don’t always want to read about coming out stories nor look at men’s penises. I like to read stuff that’s more real, every day stuff. There’s been a few bloggers I’ve dropped because I don’t think they really write about authentic stuff [anymore] -about what’s really going on – which, I find a lot more interesting than their sugar coated look at me, everything’s great posts. It’s almost like Facebook all over again and that brings us to the next answer:

Part two Lanie answer/opinion: I DO think Facebook takes the place of real communication in 85% of the people who use it frequently. Oh, I don’t have time to bother responding to your text but I can like your FB post and even comment on it instead. And, what’s even more mystifying is when they HAVE your number and could call or text but they choose to use FB messenger. Is there a reason for this that I’m missing?

I get that social media is important for marketing purposes. Especially, after reading this article. There are some staggering statistics in that article. People use it for different things, sure. Myself, if I even post it’s to share information about a party we’re having or to share pictures in the past – mostly, dog pictures. I’ve read a lot of people just enjoy the posts of funny videos, pictures or articles. I get that. There are a million ways to use Facebook what is disturbing is when it becomes a place for people to get up on their soapbox and preach – mostly to the choir. Or as a primary means of communication. And, finally I saw this article: In the time you spend on social media each year, you could read 200 books. Now that’s something to wrap your head around and it doesn’t have to be books, either. You could learn a new skill, get a certification to get a better job, spend the time working out, getting to know a new friend, or blog.

I can hear it now: I just don’t have anything to say in a blog.

Sure you do. All you have to do is start writing.

Let’s get more real, if you have a lot to say start a blog. We need more voices out there in the blogging community. Let’s not let blogging die. And, if any of you have some authentic blogs to share please send me a comment. This blogger would appreciate it!