Spring is maybe almost here. It was in the 50s today! I hope second winter is gone for good. I am so tired of being cold.

After talking it over, Ben suggested I look into getting a second degree instead of a mere certification. While going to school is fun, I worry about the accumulating debt...

It wouldn't hurt to look into the matter though. I am going to request a copy of my Tulane transcript and then make an appointment with the community college's transfer debt. I will see if they can recommend a plan of action if I did want to get a second degree. I think the best option would be to take as many classes as I can at the community college and then transfer to a local 4 year college to finish up. But I really need to see how many classes I would need to take total in each school.

Either way, since I haven't heard back from any internships, I am going to need to find some sort of part time job. I don't really know what I should look for. I know I definitely don't want to do food service. Did that once and HATED it. Maybe stocking shelves at a local big box store wouldn't be too terrible. Just something to bring in a little money to cover my personal bills. (Ben, the wonderful man that he is, is covering all the big bills.)

Since I have no money, I am trying to convince Ben to pay for another share from that CSA we used last year. I wasn't a fan of the long drive up there, but I really liked doing u-pick every week. It was fun. But Ben thinks it's too much food. True, we are still eating food from the summer, but that just means it's even more of a value if the food lasts a full year instead of just the few months of the summer! Plus this year I will have more practice in storing food, so even less of it will go to waste.

I guess if I get a part time job, I could pay for it myself. Then Ben can't really argue since it would be my money.

First I'll look into the second degree stuff. Then once I have a better idea of what my summer will be like, I can work on the rest.
So I was offered the job I interviewed for. It is likely I will take it.

Pros:
+ I like being employed
+ Out of all the resumes and cover letters I've sent out, no one has bothered to call me back.
+ The company has a good reputation which will likely help me in the future
+ The position is a step up and pays more

Cons:
- The commute is just as bad as my old job
- I'm intimidated by the idea of working for competent people. (What if I don't measure up!?)

The commute issue may solve itself. They mentioned they are looking for a new location and that it will not be closer towards maryland. I hope they move to arlington. That would be closer.

I feel like I should be excited but I am insanely worried this isn't the right choice. What if I'm saying yes just because I don't want to feel like a reject anymore? I slept on it last night in hopes my subconscious could work it out.Instead I dreamed a billion different possible options. A lot of them were about the regret of NOT taking the job. *sigh* I hate when my future has too many open possibilities.

In other news, I am destroying the bushes in front of my house. I don't believe the previous homeowners have ever trimmed them. (Did they do ANY maintenance on this house while they lived here!?) The insides are a solid ball of dead branches. So I've started to trim them back a couple inches smaller than I want them to be next spring and then pulled out all the dead brittle stuff in the centers. I only managed to finish one bush so far. The other, I got the entire front trimmed back. Still need to do the sides, back, and top. This second one is in even worse condition than the first. I have four more after that on the front of the house and then two giant ones on the side that ben is going to have to help me with.

They look terrible now but I know they will look much healthier in the spring. And then a quick annual trim should be enough to keep them in line.
- Super fantastic socks arrived from [livejournal.com profile] k_cat. They SPARKLE! I will need to take a picture later.

- Interview went well. People seemed interested in me. I am a little nervous because it only lasted about 30 minutes, but they were a solid 30 minutes with everyone asking questions. (Including myself!) Later, all my references started letting me know that the company had contacted them.

- Spent the rest of the day in the ballston common mall, waiting for ben to finish his class. We had lunch together, which was nice. I killed a lot of time playing pokemon.

- After ben left for his class this morning, maggie cried at the garage door nonstop. I finally gave in and opened the door to let her see he was gone. Now she's walking around in there exploring.

- Noname is a perfect angel, sitting in her bed next to me.

- It is a cold wet day. I think I shall make a batch of apple butter.
So layoffs happened and unfortunately I no longer have a job.

Fourteen others also lost their jobs and it looks like it was done completely at random. A lot of really smart competent people who did really important stuff were let go. It's going to seriously hurt the org in the long-term.

I am sure everyone feels their own job is important but I am especially baffled to why they laid me off. My (now former) boss was freaking out because he does not have the bandwidth to do his job and mine. It's just impossible. My position required an intense attention to detail. I guess in the future, expect more mistakes in defenders' mailings.

My plan for the next few days:
Today - Wallow in self pity to get it all out of my system.
Tomorrow - Go to a park or museum to burn up my last $10 of employer paid transit benefits.
Saturday - Apple picking
Sunday - Accept reality and apply to at least 3 positions.
Didn't get the nwf job. Feeling very sad right now. Not even my cute puppy is cheering me up.
Yesterday was my interview. I think it went really well!

Their office is amazingly pretty. I heard it was in an office park, but they totally had the building made to their specifications. There was a stream and a pond out front, the facade was a green wall, solar panels were set up in a nearby field, and the back of the building butts up directly against a state park. Certainly beats working in dc every day.

The first part of the interview was a little weird. They went over salary and benefits with me. Isn't that something you do after you offer someone the job? Anyway, salary and benefits were comparable to what I have now. So that's good.

Then we talked about the job itself. It seems like it could be interesting. The position is primarily maintaining all of the online ads for the organization. At first it seemed like a lot, but when I thought about it, it's probably going to be much easier than babysitting our marketing agency every day.

I asked a lot of questions about the office atmosphere. I want to make sure that it's the right place for me if they offer me the position. From what they talked about, it seems like it could be a fun place to work. I think I could be happy there.

The interview got off topic at one point, when we were discussing perks of the office like being able to bring in pets. The woman interviewing me has a pug! We ended up dropping everything so she could show me pictures of her pug. I want a pug so badly. Little curly tails!

I left the interview feeling pretty confident and excited. I really hope they think I'm the right person for the job.
Yesterday was my first real day alone since ben has been gone. When I got home, I kept busy by cleaning and gardening. Unfortunately mosquito season has begun. I'll have to limit my time outdoors until I have time to buy bug repellant.

After I took a shower, I applied for a job at NWF. I hope I get it. It would be so nice to be able to ride a bike to work instead of doing battle with metro every day. Ben said my cover letter sounded good, but he had a bit to drink last night so I am a little worried.

Ben called me after I finished applying. It was really nice to hear from him. I'm glad he's only gone a week. He'll be back in two more days!
Today ben took me shopping for an interview suit today so I'd have no excuse for not applying to new jobs. He knew if I went alone, I'd get frustrated and give up and cry.

First we tried jc penny, but everything I tried on was huuuuge. They had absolutely nothing in my size. And ben got kicked out of the dressing room waiting area by some crazy lady! I wanted to say horrible snide things about her as I left, but ben had left the store completely so there was no one to say the horrible snide things to outside the dressing room.

Then we tried macy's. Their suits managed to be ridiculously huge everywhere but the stomach. I looked like a child playing dress up right until you looked at my stomach, where I looked like a stuffed sausage. And I'm not a fat girl. I'm not model skinny, but I'm fairly proportional. There should be no reason why my stomach was pulled that tight when everything else was so big.

Finally we tried nordstroms. I figured that while the either two stores tended to cater to a more casual market where nordstroms is for people who make money like lawyers and business people so they should have a good selection of suits.

They actually did not have a good selection. But the ones they had had a NORMAL cut to them. I picked two to try on. The first one was too big all over. I asked the salesperson to check for smaller sizes for me but they didn't have any. The second one was too big in the pants and the skirt. Again, they didn't have smaller sizes. (What's with the dept stores not having anything smaller than a size 8? All of them had that problem!) But the skirt fit better than the pants so I went with that. It's just a tiny bit loose, so I can get away with it. If I lose some weight though, I will need to take it somewhere to be adjusted.

And the cost was actually not as bad as I had feared. I thought it would be around $400, but the suit was $200. Still a lot though....

I guess now I have to get serious about getting a new job. I have the clothes now. No more excuses!
Last night ben ordered pizza so I could update my resume and apply for a new job. I only found one worth applying for and I suspect I am overqualified for it.

In noname news, I can't get her to understand that the new backyard is the place to do her business. She thinks it's just a fun place to run around and sniff. For the last couple days, I have refused to take her on walks as a way to force her to start using the yard. Even with that, she's only used it twice. She has to be going somewhere in the house. There's no other explanation. I would have exploded in a puddle of pee already if I was holding it in as long as she has been.

Last night around 1am, she sat near my pillow and cried. I assumed she finally had to go, so I bundled myself up and brought her out. Of course she did nothing again. I'm going to fling that dog against a wall one of these days.

To make matters worse, she has gone into an early heat. So she's really stubborn right now. She has snapped at me several times because I stopped her from doing something she shouldn't have been doing. I hope it's just the stress of the move that caused her to go into heat so early. She shouldn't have been due for that for another month and a half or so. Stupid dog being inconvenient...
The last couple days of work have been intensely demoralizing.

Our new agency has no idea how to run a marketing campaign and it shows. Badly. I am constantly correcting their mistakes. But no matter how many times I show them what they should be doing, they still send me incorrect marketing materials. It's sisyphean...

Every week defenders has a status call with all our vendors where we discuss the status of all the current projects in the pipeline and what the next steps need to be to get them mailed out on time. The agency didn't know the status of anything. "We'll have to get back to you." What's the point of the meeting if they aren't prepared to update us? At a couple points I had to mute my phone so I could scream.

I've started looking for a new job, but very few non-profits are hiring these days. I will try looking into for-profit I guess, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from my last for-profit job. As bad as it is here, I still like that I'm helping in the world. So I'd like to try again for another non-profit so I can still have that feeling of improving the world a little.

Surprisingly, there are quite a few open positions out there for just above my experience level. If I could just gain a bit more experience, I would be good to go for those. Isn't that so annoying? I did find one that is only slightly above my experience levels. Small enough difference that if they really liked me, they'd be willing to teach me the few small things I don't know. So I'll try for that. I need to work on a cover letter. I am a bit worried though because the listing has been up since November...
Is there something going on at work that i don't know about? In the past couple months, A LOT of people have left.

First there was the executive vp, who left over a disagreement with the president of the org. Then our best database person left for a better job in nyc. Then my boss announced she was leaving to spend more time with her kid. Quickly followed by the online database guy announcing his departure for a new job. And now the online vp is leaving.

What is going on? I'm getting really paranoid. Is the organization going under and I just didn't notice? Or are other places just paying that much more that it's worth leaving.

It's making me feel like I should update my resume just in case. I am lacking confidence here.
Since I know people out there are still looking for jobs, I thought I'd mention that my dept here at Defenders is looking for a new Member Service Manager. Basically head customer service person.
Defenders of Wildlife offered me the job! Yay!!!

The only problem is I'd have to take a drop in pay. About $3000 less a year, but that's only $250 a month, right?

Benefits include good stuff like health insurance, dental insurance (my teeth rejoice!), a pension plan, and metro checks (they'll pay me to take public transportation).

I think in the end it'll be the right choice, but I'm going to talk it over with ben first. He'll probably say I should go for it, but I want to make sure.

Wheeee! Freedom!

I guess I should start writing up some stuff so that when I leave, people know how everything works in this office!
Defenders of Wildlife called today while I was at work. They want me to call them tomorrow. Ben thinks it's because they want to offer me the job. I want to remain a bit pessimistic though so that if they are rejecting me, I won't be as upset. I still do hope I got the job.

In other news, I took a nap to try to avoid getting sick. I only woke up feeling worse. Now I've got myself a big cup of tang full of vitamin c. Not sure how much that will help me if I'm already sick though...

And it's supposed to snow a little this weekend. SNOW! So there goes my cherry blossom plans. :( I was all for the late winter but I'm very upset about this late spring thing.
Lots of things were crazy this morning at work, but I think it's all under control now. A little stressful, but now I can relax and wait for things to be approved or questions to be answered.

Also, thank you everyone that gave me good references! I really appreciate it! What sort of questions did they ask?

Blarg. Everyone is eating lunch already. I'm not hungry yet.
Woke up this morning without a problem. Got dressed and was out the door for my interview. From there, everything went wrong. I shall make a list.

1. Drove in the wrong direction on way to metro station.
2. Squirrels jumps in front of car, forcing me to nearly hit a sign to avoid it.
3. Can't find a parking spot at metro station.
4. Miss train.
5. Can't find a parking spot in other parking garage. Start to panic because last train leaves in 5 minutes.
6. Realize I've been driving around for 20 minutes for no reason because reserved spaces are no longer reserved after 10am.
7. Nearly pass out in heat as I run to the train in interview clothes.
8. Get motion sick on the poorly ventilated train.
9. Run to my 11 o clock interview and make it there at 11:01.
10. Am not offered water at interview so am incredibly thirsty and mildly loopy during interview.
11. Interview lasts only 30 minutes. Call ben and panic.
12. Miss train. Wait 20 minutes for next one.
13. Motion sick on the train again. Just barely suppress need to vomit this time.
14. Realize I don't know where my car is in the parking lot. Wander several floors until car is found.
15. Stuck in traffic next to a dead, rotting deer.
16. Pass out on the couch when I should have gone to work.
17. Wake up with a headache, most likely from not drinking enough water.

So now I need to haul myself to work because I have a billion things to do there. It'll be so stupid cause there will only be about an hour left. *sigh*

Ben and I are going out for dinner tonight. That will be nice at least.
I knew as soon as the alarm went off this morning that today was going to be rough. In fact, I refused to get out of bed for nearly an hour. Instead I whined to ben I wanted to die.

I had a bunch of bad dreams last night. Nightmare )

So yeah, I wasn't in a good mood this morning. And ben was too sleepy to hug me and make the scared go away.

Then at work, my boss is back in the office. After two peaceful weeks of getting things done at a relaxing pace, everything needs to be done NOW because everything is SO URGENT. It's quite jarring after my relaxing time. I had a ton of stuff to do today but I actually got it all done. I just didn't take any breaks. I am very exhausted now though.

Tonight I need to go back to spring cleaning. I need the apartment clean before jess and tara come visit. It's so soon!

Oh, but I did get a tiny bit of good news today. Defenders of Wildlife sent me an application for employment. It's not a contract though, so I won't get my hopes up. Still, it's a good sign if they want you to fill out paperwork.
I got a second interview with defenders of wildlife! Yay!!!!!

It's next week so I should definitely be over my fever by then.

I must go wash my interview clothes!
Interview today was a fantastic success! I think they really liked me! I am definitely qualified for the position. In fact, I might be a little overqualified.

The job is a lot like what I'm doing now, but less busywork and more managing. But the best part is that there is NO micromanagement. *happy dance*

So I think if the pay is not too low, I would accept this job. It's not really the direction I want to go career-wise, but it would be good experience to help me get in that direction and it would be for a good cause. Maybe I can even move to other divisions area that will be in the direction I want to go. It's a big organization.

I've got to wait for them to interview a few more people before I hear back from them. I really think I made it into their lost of top candidates though.

To celebrate my interview and ben's last day of class, we had hibachi for dinner. It was tasty. And now it's the weekend! Yay!
Last night we went to that movie night anime club thing. I completely failed at socializing. I said maybe 20 words the entire night. The only thing I successfully managed to do was not freak out.

Anyway, I probably won't go again because it runs too late. I am old and can't stay up all night when I have to get up early in the morning.

Despite being super super tired, I have been highly productive this morning. Answered a bunch of emails at work and then compiled a bunch of samples for my interview tomorrow.

I'm starting to get nervous about the interview. I haven't been on a real one in about 2 years. :(

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