Protected: again, I say own your sh*t

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negative/positive vice versa

It’s been a week. Despite my impending unemployment I’ve been working a lot lately on self promotion, resumes, cover letters along with school work. It’s really hard going into the office every day. I’m just trying to bide my time. The other guys I work with have been ok -it’s just work in general that has sucked.

The other day I had a meeting with my current boss, Dan. I’m not sure I wrote about this but our old boss, Baxter, got moved out to bum-f*ck to manage another team. Lucky them is all I could say. Then, they brought a new guy in who is about 10 years my junior to run the group. I will say he’s a really nice but clueless.  I called a meeting with him because I wanted to make sure he’s going to give me a good review, recommendation and that I can use him as a reference for future jobs. All that was a yes, I have no worries he will give me a decent recommendation if someone calls him. So, while we were meeting he told me he’s going to go ahead and do my yearly review that day and we’ll go over it. Great! You know how long I had to chase Baxter down to do my review last year? I called and emailed him to ask when he was going to do it and he blew me off and waited until 4:00 pm on a Friday of the last day he had to turn them in to call me with it. So, you get the idea how much of a jerk this guy was.

Later in the day, Dan tells me he’s finished with my review and asks if I want to go over it. I said, Sure. So he asked me what I felt my accomplishments were in the last year. I thought, Ok, this is going to be like a job interview. So, I rattled off some things I had accomplished with my wirecenter, designs, continuing education, etc. Because the company had been spouting off all this BS of continuing education to get “2020” ready. What a load! Obviously that’s total bullshit.  After I was finished I was waiting for him to start in on my review. I’m like, Just give it to me and let’s get this over with. He starts by saying that since he’s only managed me for a short time and since Baxter managed us 7 months out of the year he called him for feedback.

My heart sank. I knew what he was going to say. Baxter has always had a grudge against me for some reason. Because I’m a female working in a man’s world? Because I don’t take shit from anyone? Because I’m a strong female? Who knows. So, he reads me what Baxter said and then reads the portion of what he wrote which I couldn’t even hear because I seeing red over what Baxter said-“that I needed to communicate better with clients and developers and that relaying on others has slowed my development in grasping key concepts and processes”.

What.thefuck.was.that? I just sat there and then made him read it again. I couldn’t believe it. I have done nothing but work on my own since I started this job. There was no training, no mentoring, nothing. Baxter never even answered his emails let alone held my hand in doing anything. I told Dan that I didn’t feel that was fair. He just shrugged his shoulders and said that he had written positive things after that. I was like,Yeah but you can’t take away a negative with a positive.   

Then he went on to say that I could reject the review. Yeah, I know how that goes – HR ends up eventually overriding it and it gets posted anyway. It’s a no-win situation. So, I told him I was going to look at it but that I would probably sign off on it regardless. I didn’t want to look at it after that.  I knew if I looked at it I would throw something and I just needed to get out of there and go home. So, I did.

Yesterday, I opened it and read it and was steamed once again. Right below their comments was a box for employees comments so I wrote the following:

I do not agree with the following comments from the Overall Comments section which are “Lanie needs to work on communicating in a timely fashion with developers/customers.” And, “Relaying on others has slowed her development in grasping key concepts and processes.”

Both of these statements are inaccurate – I communicate daily with developers/customers as well as work independentely on my ongoing projects. I have never relied on others for my professional development or growth. I have only sought out more senior members of my team as mentors to answer questions and seek advice. My current team has never been collaborative so I have had to relay on myself to solve complex problems.

I want to add that I am the only member of my team that has a professional project management certification at PMP  and is seeking higher education in cybersecurity. I am constantly growing my skills and accomplishments and striving to meet professional goals.

Then, after I made sure it was saved and signed the damn thing. Let Baxter and Dan read that. I was professional – unlike Baxter. The whole thing just made me want to get the hell out of there. As I was driving to school I wanted to just blow it off and go drink somewhere. Seriously, I was thinking, When does all this shit end? I can answer that – March 29th when my stint is done and my severance kicks in unless I get an offer prior to Feb 18th but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I had a meeting set up with the internship department to go over my resume and match it to some of the IT related jobs I wanted to go for so I didn’t want to miss that and I’m so glad I didn’t. The lady I had the appointment with, Malika, sat down with me in her bosses office to start editing my resume. The resume the outsoucing coaches had guided me on had a lot of problems with it. First of all, the objective that they suggested I use had all these run-on sentences and used outdated lingo like “track record”. So, Malika and I got to work deconstructing it and her boss, Phoebe,  was looking over our shoulders while we did it and I happened to pull out the job announcement for a role that I’m interviewing for next week. Phoebe looked at it and said, By all means lets go over your interview and started firing off interview questions. We went through the whole thing and the two of them guided me on the things I should say. It was a totally meaningful workshop – really, much better than the career outsourcing company that my former company contracts to coach people they cut loose. Granted I’ve been to a lot of their things too but working with Malika and Phoebe felt more personalized. As I packed up to go to class I scheduled another session with them the following week. Then, I walked into class and my prof – who is a security engineer with Verison said we would be subnetting that evening. Even though I don’t have a solid grasp of it I love doing it. I love writing out the IP addresses and breaking it down to how many hosts per subnets, how many available IP addresses per host, etc. He taught us the way he does it which was a lot better than any of the other ways I’d ever learned it. My classmate who I had intro to networking with last summer said this was the best way he’d ever learned it too. The prof made each of us get up and subnet an address on the board. It was great but by the end of class I was really fried. I’d been through so many emotions that day, went from one thing to the other that I just wanted to go home and drink a beer and decompress. I was seriously spent and still a little emotional over work shit. I won’t let them keep me down. I am going to fucking move the hell on to a better place if it kills me and I’m going to nail that fucking interview next week.

 

walking papers

Sometimes change has to happen in order for good things to come back. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.

So, yesterday – D-day – I got my walking papers. Out of everyone on the team it had to be me. I’m not even going to rant about some of the losers they passed over to get rid of me. I’m trying to take this as graceful as possible. I’m trying to look at this as something that had to happen. At least I get a 60 day notice and get to stay on the health insurance along with a severance. There’s worse things, I suppose.

I came home early and made myself a drink. I had several drinks. Fuck the diet. Fuck everything. Heather up the street came up and had a drink with us. She was worried and called me yesterday and then came up. That was very sweet of her. Charlie was over at Stilettos tarping her roof so I heard from her all day yesterday as well. Its’ nice knowing you have people you can count on in the rough times. I did text Emil yesterday and told her – she said it fucking sucked. I can always count on her not to mince words. Even Benjii texted Charlie to see if she was ok.

So, I’ll just sit here and look for a job that I can’t start until April. Which, seems like a long time to be honest. Normally, when I job hunt I say I can be available in two weeks after an offer but now it’s like, two months. Unless I’m getting a federal job (which, after the shutdown doesn’t seem appealing) with secret clearance that seems like a long time. Maybe it will be more realistic towards the end of February.

What does suck is that I have to sit there in that office and put my best foot forward until the end of March. I have to work with these people who look at me with relief that it wasn’t them who lost their job. But, whatever. Honestly, I never liked the job anyway. I was always the redheaded step child on the team. Aside from a few people I worked with who were decent the rest were either assholes or people I couldn’t relate to. I never trusted anyone on the team. No one really had my back it was kind of a sink or swim situation. Believe me, it’s nothing like all this shit they tote about on TV. About it being the greatest company to work for. These must be people working for the company on Mars or something. I do plan on having a nice little bonfire in the backyard with the new uniforms I just received a few weeks back. But, alas the smoke fumes from them will probably give us cancer so maybe not. Maybe I’ll just leave them in my office for someone else. According to my coworker who is taking over my wirecenter he said pretty soon they will all be gone. I guess that should give me comfort that I’m getting out while the getting is good. At least I’ll have a head start before they start laying off in the masses because it will happen. 20 billion in the hole is not going to go away. Thanks for nothing Mr. CEO.

friends won’t be around

You know, I used to worry about moving away from Hotlanta because I would miss all the friends I had. (Notice I said HAD?) But now, I worry more about eating at the same BBQ place down the road as it being the only place for 50 miles. I worry about driving for miles to go grocery shopping. I don’t worry about having a dock to sit on nor starting up the boat for a quick run around the lake before getting on a conference call.

I guess it’s a balance. I do love our home and we’ve finally been able to turn our carport into a garage blocking the remaining views from our unsightly neighbors. (This would be another reason I wouldn’t mind moving – to get away from them). But, back to friends – lesbians here suck. They do. Our straight friends are way easier to manage than the lesbians. There’s always drama there. We have these one friends who are friends with everyone simply because they just don’t care. If someone goes off and doesn’t call them for a year and then reappears they are fine with it. Charlie and I aren’t like that. I guess we expect more from people why we don’t have a lot of friends, I guess. I’d rather have quality friends I can depend on then some fly-by-night friends that I drank with occasionally. I guess my standards are too high.

This one friend, Link, ghosted us for 5 months. When she got back she was trying to get together with us. We were like, Hello. We hadn’t heard from you. You hadn’t answered our phone calls, texts, nothing. No, we don’t want to see you because we’re upset with you. You can’t just fall in to “Let’s go out and drink and have a good time” because we’re pissed.

I mean, wouldn’t that piss you off?

So Link has to use our other friends against us. We asked Rooster over for chili and football and she begged off saying she didn’t feel well but would try to make it. So, the next day, chili bubbling in the crockpot and we see that Rooster had checked in on Facebook to watch football with Link, Dino and Martha.

You know, if she didn’t want to hang with us she should have said she had other plans. Simple as that. You don’t have to lie about it and say you’re sick. Link’s also pissed that we still hang with Stiletto – yeah, we do because she answers her damn phone. She’s a FRIEND. We’re not taking sides here from their breakup. Stiletto’s been a friend, Link has not been a friend.

But, I think some people just don’t know the difference. They just don’t get it. Some people are just ok to have fair weather friends. That’s ok, though, really. Different strokes for different folks but you don’t have to be rude about it. We have enough on our plates as it is. I have SQL and firewalls to get thru this semester so I don’t have a lot of time for bullshit. So, I’m off Facebook, stupid ex-friends, carbs and after yesterday – football.

 

keto and scam chex mix

No more breweries, no more bread. No more gluten of any kind. I started the Keto diet while Charlie was in Florida. I have to say it’s very similar to the Paleo. I’ve been on that diet previously so I know what to expect. I found that my appetite has lessened since I’ve been on it which is good because normally I want to gnaw my arm off come lunchtime.

So, here’s a couple of recipes to try if you’re interested:

https://joyfilledeats.com/spinach-artichoke-stuffed-chicken/

I made this one and it’s fabulous! I added mushrooms as well. It’s great for leftovers and to cut up and put on a salad. Tonight, we’re going to try this recipe:

https://tasty.co/recipe/paleo-beef-and-veggie-stir-fry

So, save for my one night out at the bar and a few lunch dates with Stiletto and Emil while Charlie was gone I didn’t do anything. We still don’t know anything at work. I’ve been applying my @ss off to places. I have a phone call with a recruiter this morning and we’ll see where that goes. So, a word of advice to you job hunters like myself. If you get some email from a recruiter asking you to fill out this long form of information, beware. Do some research on the company to see if they are actually legit? Also, if they have a website go to the Domain White Pages and type in their web address. It will show who created the site and how long it’s been up. If it’s under a year then beware. Read this article on the Top 10 Job Scam Warning Signs.

Both Charlie and I got alerts of identity theft and had to lock down our credit for all three credit agencies. Fortunately, we got to it in time but a word of advice: Unless you’re filling out an application for some kind of credit, lock your accounts down at all three credit agencies. You can unlock it for 24 hours if you need to have a credit check done but after that re-lock it down. There’s no reason to have it open unless you’re filling out forms for credit applications or buying a new car or house. Here’s a Quora link that has all three credit agencies links and phone numbers.

Also, in today’s day in age get a mailbox that you can lock. We did and we see messages on our neighborhood nextdoor posts of people stealing mail all the time.

So, that’s it for my advice column. What else is new? Just another semester of school is all and really wanting it to start getting warmer. We have no plans for the weekend. Charlie just got back yesterday and I had to go off to school so we really haven’t had any time to spend together since she got back. We got the dogs some really cool hiking harnesses but it’s supposed to rain again this weekend so I guess that’s out.

 

the new year chex mix

As we head on in to a New Year, I’ve had time to think about what I want for this next year. Despite still being employed I still apply to jobs just in case there is a need to accept employment elsewhere. I want to worry less about the things I cannot change and start setting boundaries. I read this article about boundaries and I realize I have none. This is a problem.

I admit the year ended on a disappointing note as I’m still not Net + certified and I blew my 4.0 average at school. It’s just numbers, right? Despite all that, the year as a whole turned out to be pretty good. We took a few trips to the beach, our music party was a hit and Charlie we did quite a bit of work to and around the house.

In 2019, I want to be less annoyed by people and have more patience. I want to develop some marketable skills. Maybe a programming language. Definitely a certification.

I want to drink less alcohol and eat more vegetables and of course like 90% of the population of the U.S. I want to lose weight.

I want to practice more self care which means not letting my family get under my skin.

I want Charlie and I to travel somewhere other than the island although, that would be good too.

I would like for all this schooling to somehow pay off.

That’s all I got for now but it’s enough. What do you see for the New Year?

nothing and no one

I trust everyone made it through Christmas in one piece. We did, anyway. Charlie and I never do much for the holiday except hang out and do fun things. This is another perk to marriage is having someone FUN to spend time with for the holidays and do whatever we want. Although, her family is pretty laid back we rather spend time with them outside of the holidays.
Before her, there were many holidays I spent alone. Simply because since my mother’s and grandparents (on her side) deaths there has been no one in my family that I wanted to spend the holiday with. I’d rather be on my own than deal with their shit, to be honest. Oh, I did spend a few with my sister back when she was cool but since she’s gotten older she’s been harder to deal with. To be honest, she’s a bit of a chip off the block of the old man. He’s gotten more and more out of it and mean since our step mother passed in ’17. A lot of people, I’m sure feel sorry for him. But, they don’t know him like we do. My sister still insists on taking him food or cooking for him when he turns around and feels her meals to the dogs. She tells me this on the phone. Despite knowing that he’s going to do this she still insists on doing it. She’s a martyr. I’ve realized that until she stops doing this she will be a little bit mean like him.
She calls me on Christmas Eve to tell me she along with my ex-brothers-in-law are taking breakfast down to the farm for Christmas Day and that our step mother’s family (who we’ve really never identified with which, is a whole ‘nother post). I told her that’s great, leaving it at that because what else can I say about it?

Fucking Martyr.

She asked what we were doing and I said we were canning pickles. She asked why I was doing that? I replied what else was it I was supposed to be doing?
Well, that’s not the type of thing you should be doing on Christmas Eve.

Why not?

I should have said, Oh sorry we’re really hanging out downtown smoking crack on the corner.

WTF?

This is why I don’t hang out with my family. No matter what you do you get criticized for
it and not one of them ever asks how I’m doing, how Charlie’s doing how the kids are
who they don’t even know exist and have never met.

She says she will call tomorrow when they finish breakfast and I want to ask, Fucking, Why? No One cares. I doubt Dad will even know who I am as the last fit of dementia he had he asked who I was. Instead I said, Ok. Like WTF ever. Sometimes it’s just as exhausting resisting an argument than of having one.

The next day when she does call she asks if we have opened all our presents yet. Maybe
she’s getting dementia, too, because we have never really done this. I said, we were
canning jam and to tell everyone Merry Christmas for me I had to get back to canning. I
was afraid she was going to hand the phone around to everyone to talk to me. She said to
talk to dad and wish him a M.C. Whatever. Ok.

He said, Hello. I said MC and then nothing. I asked if he had a good breakfast and he
said he did and that he thought they’d have enough food for dinner that night and I told him he probably would if he didn’t feed it to the dogs and he laughed. I told him I had to go andhe handed the phone back to my sister who I told what I said and then hung up. I’m not sure if that pissed  her off or not but I don’t care. Maybe I need to give it back as good as I get sometimes. Maybe then she will back off.

It makes me glad that I live 8 hours away. I just realize that everyone up there (in my
home state) is just all caught up in their own shit and don’t really give a shit about
anyone else. They just want others to be caught up in their shit because it’s all about
them and always will be. I think it’s time to start taking care of myself and separating
myself from them even more.

And, if I didn’t have my wonderful wife and her family which has become my own I
would have nothing and no one and for that, I am grateful. What presents? I have
everything I want, right here.

Group Therapy

So, we got Thanksgiving out of the way and are moving on to Christmas very rapidly. I was out looking for a pair of pants today and the Christmas music was already piping out of the store speakers with gusto. There’s no way to fight it so just embrace it for the next 30 7 days. Although, the song All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, was playing and I had to grind my own teeth and ignore it. Fortunately, the first pair of pants I tried on fit and I grabbed them, paid, and ran out of the store before I could start screaming and be carted off to security. See, I didn’t have two front teeth from the ages 6-9 of my life. My grandmother on my father’s side of the family practically treated me like a leper because I had no front teeth. Corn on the cob and fried chicken had to be cut up prior to being served to me and she had to make it a point to tell everyone that my food had to be prepared specially because of my impairment. You can understand why I tried to make this woman’s life hell every time I had a chance when I went over to her house to visit.

Over the years I have preferred not to spend the holidays with the family I was born to because they are all miserable people and who wants to be around that? I don’t for sure even if they are my blood. Charlie’s family is another story. This is one of the great things about marriage – you have an excuse not to spend it with your blood family but with the one you create.

We had a great Thanksgiving with the kids despite their dog driving both of our dogs and cat nuts. After they left all the animals bedded down for a good rest. Later, both dogs were playing and I think the cat had still had enough of it because he went over and bit the back of Sadie’s leg like, Cut it out. I think it takes cats longer to recover from company than dogs. Yesterday, we went out to the local brewery and took them with us. They got extra pets and snacks while we sipped on our ales. We got them some very expensive dog sweaters for Christmas. The Pendleton National Park series dog fleece sweaters. Sadie has Arcadia and Bailey has Grand Canyon. They are going to be styling the next visit to the brewery.

 (FLEECE NAVIDOG)

Pretty soon we’ll be wondering where Spring is and when it’s going to warm up. I’m not really sure what the new year will bring but I hope it’s as good if not better than 2018. I don’t really have much to complain about in 2018. The top three are great – health, Family (Charlie & animals) + livelihood -the rest is what it is.

I started to write a recap of ’18 but really nothing went on except for work & school and a couple of trips out to the island and a music party. Despite not passing my Net + exam I am smarter than I was last year at this time as I now have 7 classes under my belt. Well, that’s the way I want to look at it, anyway. Yeah, I could have passed that damn test and got a better grade in Cisco (C for Cisco – bleh) but I didn’t even know anything about networking this time last year so I’m giving myself a break. I already have meetings on the calendar to work with my security mentor’s group in January so maybe something will come of that. My one class starts in three weeks but it shouldn’t be too taxing of a semester. I hope!

Charlie and I have tons of fun things planned the week of Christmas so I will be sure to post more of that later on. Have a great rest of your week and happy holidays!

 

 

 

 

Fleas Navidog

So, this past weekend was kind of a crappy one.

Saturday, I had my Net + certification exam and you probably know from my lack of posting that I didn’t pass. I studied my @ss off for this thing but – as always – the second or third times a charm with me. Why can’t I just pass shit the first time?  That and my C in Cisco have really pissed me off. And, the lack of communication from my last interview. Ok, now even if I heard from them I’d want to ask why the lack of communication and why now? I’ve moved on.

And, last week we had the first of many phone calls of “We think there’s going to be surpluses the first of the year. We don’t know how much, how many, when or what but it may happen.”

Way to go bumming everyone out before the holidays with a bunch of unknowns. That’s just great. I’m still submitting my tuition and book receipts. F-it. I’m in it for the long haul now. I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry about anything until I get a message from HR telling me to pack my shit and go.

Sunday, we found out that Charlie’s 103 year old grandmother is on her death bed and is going to hospice.

I hope to be leaving a few things in this year. Charlie and I are going to have a bonfire and write things on pieces of paper we don’t want to follow us into the New Year. Like:

Being amateur therapists or giving out advice. People are on their own to figure shit out. I’m not devoting anymore energy towards telling people what they should do. If someone asks me for advice I’m going to say, you need to look inside yourself and find out what it is you want. I can’t tell you.

Not being certified in Net + – I will get that cert if it kills me.

Worrying about being laid off. If it comes, it comes. I can’t control it, anyway.

Inviting people who NEVER COME to our occasions. Honestly, I’m done chasing people down. People can just invite us out for a change.

I think I’m going to get off FB for a while, too. I think it’s a mental disease. I don’t mind texting and stuff but I’m over social media.

Things I want to do in the New Year:

Make more friends. I feel like we’re bringing fewer friends into the New Year and would like to expand our friend’s base.

I feel like I’ve been studying pretty hard this year so I don’t think I can study more without a brain bleed or something but maybe focus on the certs more than classes. I’m only taking one class this semester so hopefully that will help.

Charlie and I are going to try to go out dancing. Thursday nights are country night at the leather bar so we’re going to go check that out.

Cutting back on red meat. I don’t eat a lot of it now but cutting back even more on it.

Of course, working out more. Hitting the gym more.

I think that’s a good start. We’re off most of the week during Christmas and plan on doing some festive things. I’m going to take off from studying until January and then hit it again pretty hard. Until then,

Baby, it’s [raining] cold outside

Saturday was the last day of school for the semester as well as two final exams. UGH! For the second Saturday in a row I drove in pouring rain to class. The weather here has just sucked lately – I can’t remember this much rain last year. So, I didn’t do well at all on my Cisco exam. I was pretty bummed about that. I have no idea why they offer practice exams if none of the questions are going to be on the actual exam – which, they weren’t. I totally studied the wrong stuff and ended up with a terrible score that sunk my grade to a C. At least the next final in my security class went well and I think I have an A going in there. So, on to the certification exam next weekend. I don’t even want to think about that right now. I plan on cramming all next week for it.

By the time all that was over I was ready to blow off some steam. We had tickets to see Charlie Mars at Edie’s and Emil was going with. I had another friend who was supposed to go bail at the last minute and had to eat the ticket but whatever -she’s off my invite list for AWHILE. But, we had fun without her and for once Edie’s wasn’t packed to the gills – we kind of felt like we were in our own little private show. There’s something to be said for going there when it’s pouring rain and Atlanta United is playing in their cup game. We managed to catch the last bit of the win after the show. It’s nice that Atlanta has one sports team that can bring it.

Last night, we had peeps coming over to help us eat this huge lasagna we’ve had in the freezer. I think so far we have 9 confirmed and maybe a 10th. I went to the farmers market later that day and picked up stuff to make a salad- which, turned out to be a hit. I think goat cheese and pears are in my future. It was kind of an early Christmas dinner as Charlie and I don’t really have any plans for the holiday. While it was hard to get into the spirit with rain pouring down outside the dinner was very cheery and everyone seemed to have a good time.

So, nothing really became of that interview I had a few weeks back. The guy said he would call on Friday, never did. I sent him and email to check in last week and he said he’d be in touch in a few days, never did. So, at this point I’m going to stick it out until bonus time and start working on my independent projects with my security mentors at my current job. They’re going to offer another retirement package come February so I believe that I’m going to lose both my coworkers to that. One is retiring and the other wants out. He’s seriously job hunting right now. I told him if he leaves before me then I want his office. So, pretty soon it could just be me sitting up there in the central office. Granted, I’d love for the one coworker to retire because he’s a bit annoying. But, the other is going to be a blow because he knows so much. There won’t be anyone around to answer questions once he’s gone.

So, on to more studying! You probably won’t see me until after December 15th. Happy Holidays!