Thursday, January 29, 2015

So. Freaking. Done!

The last two weeks have not been peachy so I suppose it is not unreasonable for me to be in a bad (understatement!) mood today, but my new 'job' has thrown me over the edge.  I am aggravated, frustrated and emotionally drained from this job and I have not even started it yet. So, dear readers, I give you the top three reasons why if my husband's lack of a job does not land me in an asylum, trying to start my own job definitely will.  Here they are (or no particular order)...

1.   The manual--this is the first job I have ever held that is exclusively online, which is exactly what I wanted, however, what I did not bargain for was the fact that I needed to learn how to navigate the system totally on my own, armed only with their 25 page 'how to get started' manual.  I am pretty computer savvy and heaven knows I am not afraid of words on a page but, holy heck, grab my bottle of Excedrin, this is a labor intensive endeavor.  Adding insult to injury, there are more rules to which the tutors need to adhere than Sr. Mary Richards had about our uniforms in high school...and she was in-tense!  I am afraid that if I ever do this get this program up and running, I will be incarcerated for answering a student's question directly, rather than referring the student 'to the appropriate reference material.'

2.  The email system--I love email.  I think the ability to communicate without bothering a person on the phone is a blessing.  That said, the system only works if the recipient has access, time or the desire to answer in a timely manner, otherwise, waiting for a response is torture.  Adding insult to injury, because this is a completely computer run endeavor, there is no phone number to call for immediate gratification.  Might sound weird, but it is true.

3.  The lack of viable practice material--Sure it is great to have a sample whiteboard (my means of communicating with my students) with lots of fun buttons and colors on it but, with no way to run through a few sample lessons, how am I supposed to know what to do?  Might be nice to be able to get a trial run in before I go live (especially with all the rules and regulations for my responses).

Am I really just that old that this approach to starting a job seems so frustrating and upsetting?  Trust me, the last thing I want or need is to have my hand held, but I feel as though I am totally flying blind and it is disconcerting.  I would love to share my concerns with the project manager and perhaps discuss options on how I can get started, but apparently he does not share my love of email nor he does not want to deal with me today.  Honestly, I don't want to deal with me today either.  I read an inspirational quote this morning that said 'always choose to be postive' and I will do just that.  I am positive that this is not working for me today.  I am so freaking done!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Write or Wrong

I am a magazine junkie, an addict in the true sense of the word.  I have many subscriptions in addition to 'needing' to purchase at least one or two magazines when food shopping or on a trip to Walgreens.  My addiction to fashion magazines started when I was around five years old and my grandpa put my first copy of Glamour magazine in my hot little hands.  He was a commercial photographer and he had just finished a project with Conde Nast, the magazine's publisher.  It was love at first sight and all the subsequent titles that have been added over the years have fulfilled some kind of need from style issues to a longing for celebrity information to my love of houses and interior design.  While my first love is the fashion magazine and I eschew the real tabloids (is anything at all  true in the STAR?), I have been known to poke around in such banal reads such as First and AllYou.  That said, last night I read an article in one such magazine that I annoyed me so much I actually wrote a letter to the editor which is something I have never done before.

The article was about...drum roll, please...finding a job online and while the article included a nice variety of potential positions from which to choose, I feel the writer was missing a major element to her discussion, namely facts or, shall I say, accurate facts.  Now, anyone who has read even a few of my posts knows that I know a little something about unemployment and trying to find a job.  To say that I have become a pseudo-job coach to my husband over the past five years is probably not understating a fact and my ability to navigate and query on job sites is somewhat legendary in these parts (OK, that might be a slight overstatement of the facts but not much) so to read an article stating facts that I could so quickly dispute was really frustrating.  The author claimed to have gotten the information straight off the same job sites I search daily but let me tell you, I would love to be looking through her eyes instead of mine as her salaries were far higher and her list of required experience far shorter for the same types of jobs to which i am applying.  I don't know if her information was outdated or guesstimated but it certainly is not the reality I see when checking the job boards.

So, how did an article like this make it through the editing and fat-checking process and into the magazine in the first place?  Is fact-checking at that magazine merely on the honor system?  The editor asks if the information is true, the writer says yes and BAM, the article gets published?  I hope not, but clearly something fell through the cracks this time.  I will say that it probably bothers me more than the typical reader because I am so embroiled in the whole job search process and have truly become sickened by it so seeing misinformation spread like this is upsetting.  I suppose it bugs me so much because the article makes it all seem so easy but that is not the experience we are having at all.  If I did not know how hard we were trying, reading the article in its simplistic form with its erroneous information would make me feel like such a loser.  How could we not get a job if doing so is as easy as the author states it to be?

While I can only assume this writer set out to write a nice, simple piece with some helpful job search suggestions, making no guarantees about finding a job after reading her article, I wish she would have checked her facts and accuracy or at least talked to me as I would have set her straight had she asked.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Little Things

For the past few weeks, a few of the bloggers I follow have been featuring posts describing 10 or 20 things about themselves, so I have decided to follow suit since imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, is it not? So, I give you...

5 Things About Me That You Probably Don't Know, Care About or Hope to Remember (in no particular order)

1.  I never, ever wanted children, ever--It took me almost 8 years of marriage before I would even consider it and then when I finally felt ready, I had a breakdown and told my husband I could not go through with it. He was totally supportive of my feelings but, the joke was on me as I was already pregnant.

2.  Once I had my baby, I wanted 10.  I was so smitten that when we had our second child, I told my husband that I wanted another as our baby was being bought over to the warming table in the delivery room. We have 4 children, but I would definitely have had 5 had we started sooner and if my husband did not want to have me committed for saying so.

3.  At one point during my college years, I really wanted to be a psychologist.  The irony here is that not only did I not become one, but I got recruited on campus to be a buyer for a major department store, landed a position in the male dominated field of electronics and could have seriously used some therapy by the time my tenure there had ended.

4.  I once needed to be escorted to my car after work by a couple of riot police, complete with shields, during a race riot. See #3. Just one of the many reasons why therapy might have been required for my retail experience, but alas, merely one of them.

5.  Our wedding reception was held at Tavern on the Green in NYC, but I did not want it to be.  I really wanted it to be at Maxwell's Plum, the long since closed, poor sister of Tavern on the Green, but in my estimation, the far superior choice for the type of wedding that I had wanted.  Begs the question why was it not held at Maxwell's, no? Because 38 days before my wedding, but after the invitations had been mailed...and when my fiancĂ© was flying to a business meeting and was unreachable...I received a call at work saying that the new chef at Maxwell's refused to do weddings. Yup, you read that correctly.  My assistant grabbed my purse and keys after he heard me screaming on the phone so that I would not drive into the city and do something I might later regret.  Long sorry short, the reception was moved to Tavern on the Green and while it was beautiful, I did have to completely change my vision to accommodate that chef and it irks me to this day.

I could go on, but I suppose if I get some positive from feedback from this post, I will need some material for a Part Two of my list.  Questions and comments are always welcome!

Sunday, January 4, 2015


I had wanted to start off the new year in a better emotional state, but since we are starting this year with the same unemployment stress and financial difficulties as last year (and the year before that and the year before that...see the trend?  note the sarcasm?), I grabbed the bull by the horns, took control and made the only change that was there for the taking.  Yes, folks, I changed the template on my blog.  Now I know what you are thinking.  Radical, right?  How could I possibly have the guts to change the lovely, striped rosy controlling personality love the rigidity of those stripes... to this orange hued, swirly mass of squiggles.  Well, the decision did not come easily for me.  No, I ruminated and pondered the idea for a whole three minutes, conferring with my daughter about this massive change in my life.  I must have perused at least ten different templates contemplating deep questions such as do I really want birds flying across the page or will the raindrops on the window motif be overly depressing for my readers?  Heavy stuff, this blog design.  Is making this change reflective of bigger changes that I would love to see happen during 2015? Heck, yeah!

While I might be making fun of my decision to change my background this afternoon, the choice to do so stems from a feeling of inertia I am experiencing in other aspects of my life.  Last year was filled with some nice highs, but the lows we experienced were significant and threw us back into the unemployed masses with all the stress and worries we used to have, compounded by our needing to 'buck up' and deal with  the issue all over again.  So while other people might be looking at 2015 as a blank slate, I am still seeing the same old writing on the wall (or blog) that I saw last year and the previous year, etc. and seemingly ad infinitum for us (at the very least, it feels that way).

So, here we go again, another year, more challenges and, hopefully, more highs than lows.  If nothing else, my blog got a face lift and maybe that bright and cheery citrus color will equate to a brighter and more cheery tone to my writing with happier news to share. It should be noted that I did not choose the lemon motif for the blog design as I have already had more than enough of those in my life. This year, I would like to take my life off repeat and add a little swirly craziness to it for a welcome change.