28 June 2017

Seven Mondays

Last week I accepted a job at HeadStart.  It's a lateral move from the job I just left but with significantly better benefits and stability. It's in another city, which is giving me anxiety in such a stupid way.  I'll  talk about that another time.

So, I'm still working at the temp job and am still not enjoying it.  I mean, it sounds fun sitting for four hours with nothing to do, right up until you do it.  I've been there over a month and I'm still not fully trained, still don't have a permanent workspace, and still can't care about the business.  Private sector is not for me.  We knew this but we just had to  try one more time. *squint*

All that being said, I'm having guilt about continuing to work there while I've accepted a new job.  It's complicated so let's step back.

The job I'm working now is a temp-to-hire job that becomes permanent after 90 days, August 15th.
The job I just accepted works off the school year so it doesn't begin until August 7.
My unemployment claim is valid until September something.
I can't quit the job I don't care about because unemployment won't cover it and I don't enjoy being poor.

My solution thus far is to lie my face off and perform an Academy Award performance of pretending to be interested in this job for the next month.

The new job doesn't start for like 52 days.  That is way too big of a number for my brain to cope with.  It sends me down a spiral of "I Can't WANT To Wait That Long!"  So I broke it down into weeks.  As of the time of accepting the new job, it was seven Mondays.  That is much easier for my weird brain to accept.

Now because it's a week later, it's only six Mondays left.  Also, I just discovered that next weekend is a long weekend due to the holiday so after that it will be only four Mondays. (keeping up? I have very creative math skills)  See? It feels better in tiny bite-sized chunks.

The plan is to give two-weeks notice in mid-July and take a long weekend prior to beginning the new job so that lessens the days also.  This is assuming that they don't tell me to get out after giving notice.  (Which begs, is that a quit or is that a fired? See? this is complicated!)  They've hired another girl to work full-time (for reasons that escape me, other than being full-time) and she is starting the week I am giving notice. 

There is so much guilt at this duplicity because I do enjoy the guys who I work with.  They really are a great group of guys and I've enjoyed working in Boy World.  But it's a job that an entry-level person can do with unfulfilled promises of being busy. It's an industry that dances on my bleeding heart liberal heart.  (military contracted)   I can go on for an hour with a list of reasons why it's not a good job for me so let's just move on.  But the guys are so nice...

I'm usually honest to the point of damage to my life sometimes so to keep this a secret is messing with me.  I just try not to think about it while I'm there.

Then, this happened:   As I left yesterday, I said goodbye to the guys.  The one that I work with the most said "Write when you get work!"  which stopped me cold.  My dad said that all the time and he is the only one I've heard say it.  I don't mind saying, it put a little shiver down my spine.  My dad has been gone for eight years. 

AND, how awkward is THAT!?!?!! 

Six more Mondays...

20 June 2017

But She's An Angel

I remember reading the advice to never let your hairdresser cut your hair while they are upset. Or was it in Steel Magnolias?  Doesn't matter, I'm here to tell you that it's true.

Now, it's not a complete disaster but it's not great.  Also, it has to be said that my hair has had some changes with aging so I may have to reconsider my hairstyle, or lack thereof but more on that in a little bit.

I've been known to cut my own bangs because I'm impulsive and impatient.  Most times, she can fix it.  She admonishes me in broken English not to do it every time.  In fact, there was one time that she fussed and combed and trimmed before finally stepping back.  Frowning, she finally said "No, no, no. I can't do anything with that." with a dismissive wave of her scissors. 

Right now, a week-ish later, I very nearly have Moe bangs.  I hadn't trimmed them myself before getting them cut so this one time it's not my fault.  I can place nearly two fingers between my brows and the bangs.  When Kevin says it's too short, it's too short.  

I have baby fine hair and because gawd has a sense of humor, two cowlicks on what would be the corners of my forehead.  So I always curl my bangs under to avoid any resemblance to Farrah Fawcett or, worse, having them plaster to my head in a very unbecoming way. (think: Cable Guy)  I am the person who has the same haircut all the time because there are limited styling choices, beyond reverting back to the 90's spiral perms.

When I try to tame these too short bangs, they can literally stick at a ninety-degree angle from my head.  Super.
I've used more hairspray than necessary, environment be damned, and have employed a little ego-checking until they grow out.

Fun fact also about me is that my short attention span makes me not think about it again after I leave the house until I catch a glimpse of myself. Depending on the time of day, it's anyone's guess which direction they will be pointing.  (think: There's Something About Mary)

And, isn't this the perfect time to be doing job interviews? 

Here's why I am not absolutely IRATE about this issue.  a) it's hair, it will grow.  2) the woman who cuts my hair is an angel on this earth.  She would be shattered if she knew I was upset.  Shattered.

She is Vietnamese and has been in the States about 28 years. She tries really had to be "American" and loves her adopted country.   Twice a year, she collects money, blankets and coats then takes them to Vietnam for the homeless, disabled and Leper Colonies. (yep, those are still a thing)   She pays the shipping and related costs, pays for the trip out of pocket, and spends two weeks each trip helping these folks.  She doesn't just drop the donations off, she spends time there.  She hugs them, feeds them, cuts their hair. 

She cuts hair at my old job for the women in crisis, for free.  She volunteers at two churches.  These are just the things we know that she does.  I'm certain there are more ways she gives.  She is an angel and I don't throw that word around.

She doesn't have children and her family is still in Vietnam.  I believe her marriage was an arranged one and not a love match.  She only has her husband and his family.  His family doesn't treat her as an equal and are always looking for an angle. 

Because she is  the way she is, the family has taken advantage of her.  It came to light, apparently shortly before my haircut, that they had withheld her husband's portion of an inheritance and had dismissed hers and his feelings of doubt and anger.  She was frustrated with her husband because he tends to obey the old Vietnamese traditions when it comes to family structure.  She was angry at his family for being so disrespectful of the parent's wishes, while claiming to "do what's right for the family."

It wasn't about the money at all, not in the least.  For whatever reason, it was the catalyst for her to lose her patience, not only with her in-laws but also with her husband.  She feels less-than and is tired of it.  Also, it seems she may have glimpsed her future with no support from anyone and that scared her.  Having had that thought, as half of a childless couple myself, I totally get it.

So, a few weeks of growing out awkward bangs will be worth not adding to her burdens in the moment. 

But if it happens again, I'm cutting her bangs the exact same way and she has beautiful hair, people will notice. 

05 June 2017

Sit. Stay.

This weekend we went to Canada because Kevin was working on our friend's racecar.  He got off a little early on Friday and we headed out.  As we were past both the American and Canadian long weekends, we didn't anticipate that it would take very long to get there.  And then the universe laughed at us.

Of course, the border was busier than we planned.  We waited for about thirty-minutes until it was our turn. We're kind of used to this part so we didn't think much of it, beyond hating on the cars who pull into the duty-free stores in order to cut in line.  (so rude and equally done by Americans and Canadians)

What we didn't plan on was that Kevin had recently renewed his drivers license and didn't have the replacement yet.  He had a print-out on plain paper that a graphic design intern could replicate in his dorm room.  By the time we realized this, we were past the point of no return in the lanes. 

Kevin pulled up to the guard and handed him our ID's.  The guard kind of incredulously huffed then said "And, what is this?".  Kevin explained to him what had happened and that he had no other form of identification. (a border guards favorite words, I'm certain)  He sighed and looked at the document then began typing into his computer.  Kevin just looked at me and said "They are so pulling us in."

Now, we've been pulled in before.  When Kevin had radiation, we went to Canada three times because that is a grown-up and responsible thing to do.  They really have no sense of humor about that kind of thing. My point being is that it isn't a big deal if you're a law-abiding citizen.  I mean, sure it makes a person a little nervous but the worst thing they will do is turn you around and send you home. 

When he was literally radioactive, we were escorted.  One guard on him and one guard on me.  So when we got out of the truck, we kind of hesitated because we'd played this game before.  But the guard just nonchalantly  waved us into the building.

Kevin went to the counter and explained his predicament. The agent looked at the paper, looked at Kevin, and looked at the paper.  "And you don't have any other ID?"   Kevin explained again that the Department of Licensing took his old license.  

This is when the agent held up the paper, gestured, and said quite slowly and not without humor, "It says right here Not a viable document for photo identification."   Kevin said "I know, right?"  (I giggled)  Then he offered to empty his wallet onto the counter to show who he was.  The agent politely declined his offer and told us to go sit down.

We waited about five minutes and he called Kevin back up. ONLY KEVIN.  They chatted and Kevin went to go out another door.  He gestured to me to come along so I started to walk with him.  The agent called out and said "No ma'am, you have to stay. I have your ID." 

Kevin, without thinking at all, put his hand out in a stop motion and repeated "Stay. You stay."  I started laughing and replied "Woof."  I heard someone else who was waiting bust out laughing and I realized that we were perhaps not taking this seriously enough.  I looked at the officer and he gestured to the waiting chairs and hid just the tiniest bit of a smile. 

Ten minutes later....and this is where I say that I left my phone and my mocha in the truck...I'm getting bored and a little nervous.  Finally, Kevin returns and waves a paper at the agent "He said it's all good!" and he guided me back out to the truck.

So now I'm Suzy Full of Questions.  "Where did you go? What did they say? Where are we going? What's for dinner, I like pizza." (totally true story. Yes, I am six.)

The Canadian Mounties are able to look up our crossings so they could see that Kevin and I had crossed many times without incident and decided we could proceed.  BUT, he advised Kevin to go back to the US office to make sure we could get back IN.  Thank you, kind agent, for thinking of that. 

Because we would have totally just gone about our business without thinking about it.  And we would have been screwed at eleven o'clock at night on a Friday if we couldn't get back in.  (and here is where we made the requisite joke of "Would that be so bad right now?")  But the US agent laughed and said he was fine.  

We went and did the racetrack thing then headed home.  Again, there was a long border wait, we had some bad border karma this trip.  So, we were sitting there hating on the American side for having only one lane open and completely full.   They opened an additional lane eventually but we stayed in our original one.   It sped up marginally but not much.  I sat there, watching the guard and thinking "Of course we're going to get a strict border guard.  They're going to pull us in."  But then I remembered the karma thing and began projecting nice things on the border guard.

Finally, it was our turn and we were loaded with information to get home again.  We had the one border guard who was CHATTY.  Like super chatty.  "Oh, I've only seen one of these before. It makes no sense does it?  How'd you get through?" yadda yadda yadda.  While perfectly charming, we sat there every bit of 5-10 minutes while he told us about things he'd seen in his job and the restrictions of having a commercial driver's license.  (Kevin has one, that was part of the weird paper copy we think) 

We could feel the frustration of the other cars waiting for us.  Kevin kept trying to do the "Well, thanks..."  and going to turn the ignition key.  It took about three attempts before we got through.  Whew.  At least we got through.

Moral of the story: they're not joking about photo identification.  And have a sense of humor because those poor guards and agents do not have a fun job dealing with the likes of us knuckleheads.

02 June 2017

This is Beyond Being Open to the Adventure

AND NOW...because I have no attention span and didn’t post the other bloggity post in a timely manner...there's more. 

I still don't have a workstation or email at this new job so I spend about three hours a day doing not much of anything.  They PROMISE that I will be SO.BUSY. once I have everything.  I'm here a month next week and lalalalalalalalalala. La.

 I've had job interviews since then and have been interested/excited about a few of them.  Nothing has come to fruition and that's okay because I'm working here so it's not an emergency that I find a job. 

I was feeling really good about not committing to this job right up until this morning. My absolute favorite guy on this crew made it a point to say how much he enjoys me and my flexibility and quick humor and isn’t he so glad that I’m here.  AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH.  Pick up a rock and kill me, save me from the guilt.

 So, adventures in job searching challenged my Being Open to the Adventure mindset.  I have set the bar so high for myself with one of these last interviews that I don't think (or hope) to ever reach it again.
It is for an office manager for a co-op. (not a non-profit but close)  Here's the thing though: it's a mobile butchering co-op for organic beef.  So, I was a little "Hmmmm..." about it but thought it was only a resume so I applied.  It's an office manager position, no big deal.  An office is an office, really.
And I got an interview.  I sat in front of their board, four of them and two of them were a married couple.  They were in their 70's and were the founders.  She had her hair and makeup did to perfection and dressed like an 80's mom. (acid washed jeans, cuffed. collar cut sweatshirt. matching socks and earrings.)  It was confusing to the brain to look at her.  To add, she spoke like you were the tiniest baby but she was really direct.  My brain was misfiring trying to talk to her.
The interview is going well, they seem to be digging me and my skills.  AND THEN, one of them says "Now here comes the really hard part..."   YEAH, the person has to be present during the BUTCHERING. 
The fact that I stayed seated and didn't cause a Surely shaped hole in the wall escaping is a credit to my fortitude.  When I was finished with the interview, I texted Kevin "All done. OMG OMG."
Of course he phoned me immediately, not knowing what to think.  I told him and he  just LAUGHED and said "EFF.THAT."
I so won't be accepting that job.  Although I suspect they saw panic in my eyes and didn't chose me anyway.
Continuing to stay open to the adventure, despite the Universe having a twisted sense of humor.

Let's Play a Game with Swistle

Our beloved Swistle has invited us to play a game.  A Song List game! In a quest to build a play list, she has asked us to make a list of one song from each of thee five categories listed below. 

I'm kind of terrible at this game because I have difficulty choosing just one.  I mean, I get hyper-specific and can't choose just one.  So, bear with me.

1. A favorite song/a song you really like. It’s ok if it’s slow, or an obscure genre, or music that isn’t generally popular.
I have two absolute favorites right now and they both are Canadian band/singers.  Beautiful Freak Show by Dean Brody.  I Be U Be by High Valley.  They're both country but probably Not At All what you're thinking of right this second, especially Beautiful Freak Show.  Click the titles, if you're curious.

2. A cheesy love song you remember from middle school/high school.
I Can't Fight This Feeling - REO Speedwagon.  This song was EVERYTHING in high school.  Followed by Careless Whisper. I hope you're sitting down when I tell you I was in choir in high school and we managed to convince the teacher to let us sing both of these songs.

3. A song that makes you feel like dancing.
My Type by Saint Motel.  I first heard this in the movie "Mr. Right" and I love when it comes on my playlist. Makes it awkward when I'm in the grocery store, for sure.

4. A song from one of the first albums you owned.
I first owned 45's (single song records for those of you who aren't old)  It was Eddie Rabbit's "I'm Alright" and Blondie's "Heart of Glass"

Sidebar: my first records were often K-Tel records....the compilation ones like the "Now That's What I Call Music" cd's. 

5. A song you enjoy, in a language you do not speak.

Belle by Jack Johnson - kind of a cheat because it's about a minute long but I love it. The only other one I could think of was Iko Iko but it's partially in English.

Okay, your turn.  Please play along!  Comment on Swistle's bloggity or her Twitter.  I'm running behind on this (big surprise!)  but it's fun anyway!

Clinging to Cliches

Well, I accepted a job I didn't want.  So now I'm clinging to cliches to quell the anxiety.

When I stopped working, I made a mental to-do list to keep myself from wallowing. I was going to:
go with the flow, not stress about the situation (ha!)
be open to possibilities,
cast a wide net,
follow a new adventure.
*see title

I wasn't going to narrow my focus on one area.  I wasn't going to stay unemployed for long.  I was going to finish projects. I was going to volunteer.  I was going to plan for the future.  (in regard to Kevin's parents and to our own)

Here is why I didn't want it:
It's a government contract job that I literally can't talk about.
It's not in the non-profit world.
It's actually less hours than I want to work.
It's a little further away than I wanted to travel.

Here's why it's a good job:
It's part-time and flexible.
It's in the morning only.
It pays hourly more than I was making. (but the less hours thing makes this a wash)
It's actually only a few minutes from my old work. (but not in a historical building, like I've enjoyed)
It's a group of guys, like five of them.
It's easy for me to do. (theoretically)

Again, in almost a parallel to the Dundler Mifflin job from a few years ago:
They seem unprepared for me.
I'm borrowing a desk and don't have a workstation.
They keep promising that I will be So.Busy.
I don't have a job description or duties list.  But I have a title: Project Administrator.

I'm trying to be Open to the Adventure. I must repeat that to myself ten times a day. I'm trying to be grateful.