Having an end in sight has made my days at work go by a lot easier. I've even been sleeping slightly better.

They asked me to stay until the 27th instead of my original 24th leave date. I am trying to leave gracefully so I agreed. I will be training my replacement. I wonder how long before she leaves screaming as well.

It's good I come home in a better mood these days because I discovered maggie had completely destroyed the lettuce and broccoli seedlings that I left by the back door to plant this weekend. That bad dog is lucky she's cute.
I gave my resignation notice yesterday. It was scary but it had to be done. In two weeks, I will be free.

I feel like a quitter, but I also know I made the right decision. Last evening was the first one in months where I didn't feel like I needed to vomit on the drive home from work.

I feel like the position was not honestly presented to me when I was offered the job. I certainly didn't expect to work late every night. And I didn't expect such a lack of structure in the company. Perhaps I could have asked my interview questions better, but that's a lesson for next time.

In the end, I felt like I was constantly spinning my wheels and wasting my time at that job. I was in nonprofit to help people and I didn't feel like I was doing that.

I hope this was a wake up call to management for my coworkers' sake. They all work late every night too. I hope management will realize that all the frozen yogurts in the world will not bring back the hours each person has lost that they could have spent with family. They should spend less money on weekly parties and more on staffing up and properly training.

Well, freedom is almost at hand. Just need to get through the next two weeks. Then I have to figure out what I'm going to do with my life.
The last time I posted anything substantial was over a month ago. How did time fly by that fast? I hate this stupid job that consumes my life.

Really, not much has happened though.

Right after spaworld, I came down with a cold. I don't think I caught it at the bath house because colds take a few days to incubate. I probably caught it from someone at work. No one there takes time off when they are sick.So everyone ends up sick.

I took two days off though. I was determined to break the cycle of infection.

Of course no one picked up any of the stuff I had at work, so I fell further behind on everything. It was awful. I guess that's why no one takes time off when they are sick.

This ended up biting me really bad as one of my supervisors then complained to her supervisor that I don't show urgency on anything. How do I how urgency when everything is urgent all the time?

So anyway, I guess they decided I wasn't underwater enough so they gave me a 4th client - League of Women Voters. It's actually a really cool one and one of the ones I had wanted to work with before I was hired, but at the same time I am so swamped with work I worry I am going to damage them. On Thursday I had to actually ask my supervisor on that account (I have different supervisors on each account. this one likes me for some unknown reason) to help me finish the work. Thankfully she did and Friday was a lot less stressful.

Other stuff that has been happening? When ben returned from his trip, his company threw him into a super high level networking class that requires him to stay late twice a week. So he's super stressed too. The certification is like a phd in network engineering so it's a big deal. I wish it didn't take up so much of him time though. When he's not staying late for class, he's staying up late going over class materials or doing labs.

On nights when he stays late for class, I have been eating at mcdonalds in order to collect my little pony toys. I know in theory you should be able to just buy the toys if you ask nicely, but that implies the staff at your local mcdonalds has a strong command of the english language. I keep asking for "the pink one with the pink hair." So far, I've received Fluttershy (yellow with pink hair), Rainbow Dash (blue with rainbow hair), and TWO Lilly Blossoms (purple with yellow hair). I suspect the staff aren't even trying. Half the time I don't even get my sweet and sour sauce.

I need to find a new mcdonalds to go to anyway. This one is convenient because it's directly on my path home. But I worry they are starting to recognize me and my social anxiety won't stand for that.

Today is the Reason Rally in dc. It's an event for atheists. Ben and I would like to go, but we're going to wait until the afternoon. Ben had a midnight shift at work last night (after working a full day) so he's pretty tired. All the big speakers are in the afternoon anyway.

In the mean time I am going to fuss over noname. She woke up constipated yesterday morning. String beans were not helping, so I've decided to go with the big guns - pumpkin puree. I gave her a good spoonful this morning, along with a little cup of milk. If that combination does not get her pooping again, nothing will.
Work continues to be stressful. Will there ever be a week when I don't say that?

This week was more stressful than most because I could not work late to try to catch up on things. With ben out of town, I have to get home at a decent time to save the dogs.

In happy news, they are taking me off the AWF account. That account has been a mess from day 1 and I've never been able to catch up and get things back under control.

Unfortunately the account they are putting me on instead, League of Women Voters, is a very very active account with a lot of work involved. I will never catch up on anything. Ever.

I'm tired all the time.

I hope things get better in the summer. Summertime was usually a bit slower at defenders. I hope it is here too. I need to rest. Going full speed every day is killing me. I don't know ho anyone else there does it.

Other things:
- New dog walker did not kidnap my dogs. Yet. Still worried.
- Ate tiny pies on Thursday. If you are in georgetown, I recommend the tiny pies from Pie Sisters.
- Winter arrived. We have 35mph winds and wind chill in the single digits. Maggie does not understand why I don't want to go outside and play with her.
- Cleaned out the fridge. Horrifying things resided in the back.
- Bought comic books. Small child was totally blown away that you could have a subscription to all your favorite titles held for you at the store.
- Contemplating going to a korean bath house next weekend.
- Seasoning my cast iron pots today. It makes the house horrifically smoky, but it also keeps the house warm.
- I miss ben.
My job continues to exhaust me to the point of being unable to even write a lj entry. I continue to dislike this situation.

A couple big items that have happened lately:
1. The horrible supervisor that yells at me has been fired. I don't know the details but I definitely get the sense that this was a long time coming. Especially with the comment from before the holidays that I would not have to deal with her for much longer. Now we are cleaning up the mess she left behind. The most common phrase heard in the office these days is, "What was she doing all day???" She was so far behind on stuff, it was ridiculous. The whole thing makes me feel better. For not just the obvious reason that she can't yell at me anymore. Also, I as constantly behind on projects because she never had time to review anything I needed her to look at. I feel like my complaints have been validated.

2. Ben is being shipped off to Chicago for 3 weeks. We found out about this just a few days ago. We've had a mad scramble to get everything taken care of before Ben leaves. That includes finding a backup dog walker because Mario was unable to fit us into his schedule on such short notice. I'm really nervous about letting a total stranger into my house to care for my babies. Plus the whole living alone for 3 weeks thing. I'm a nervous, sad mess.

3. My birthday was on Friday. I took the day off because I could not stand being at that place on my birthday when I am most likely to cry. I kept myself fairly busy so I wouldn't cry. I got many errands taken care of. Everything except buying new glasses. Perhaps I will do that tomorrow after I drop Ben off at the airport. (I'm going to miss him!)

3a. I received many free birthday food coupons from local restaurants. I shall evaluate them a bit:
Benihanas - 30% off birthday dinner. The most exceptional of the bunch. Although it can only be redeemed Monday-Thursday, it was a very generous deal. It covered my meal, my upgrade to fried rice, and my silly drink (ramune!) with money to spare. The waiter was nice and applied the leftover credit to ben's meal even though he wasn't supposed to. In addition, they took my picture and served my ice cream with pocky and a candle.
Melting Pot - Free chocolate covered strawberries. Since this coupon required the purchase of dinner for two, it wasn't too impressive. However, we had never been there before so it was worth a try.We probably won't be redeeming this coupon against next year as it was a very expensive restaurant. The strawberries were ok.
IHOP - Free Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity. Have yet to redeem.
California Tortilla - Free burrito. Decent offer. Their food is always tasty. I got a no-meato burrito.
Baskin Robbins - Free ice cream cone. Have yet to redeem, but need to do so soon since the coupon expires in a few days. I wish I could save it for summer. Ice cream in winter is a little chilly.
Ben and Jerry's - Free ice cream cone. See above.
Moes - Free entree. Have yet to redeem.
My 3 month review was this week. It went poorly. I have not been taking it well. This is the first negative review I've ever received.

I feel like they should fire me. I am doing my very best and if that is not good enough then I'm clearly not the right person for the job.

Their main complaint was that I don't communicate well enough with my supervisors, so they feel like I am not getting my work done. I feel like that is a ridiculous complaint. If the work IS getting done, then what does it matter how often I tell them I'm working on it.I always cc'd them on the first email (showing I am on the request) and the last one (showing the request was done). I don't see the point in wasting their time with the middle stuff unless I need their help.

So after the review, I started cc'ing my supervisors on absolutely everything. Even down to the tiny one-word "Thanks" or "Yes" ones. Because my judgment on an acceptable level of communication was clearly lacking.

I really thought I was doing a decent job. I was learning things fairly quickly and my clients have had no complaints. But my best is not good enough. It's absurd.

In happier news, Maggie went to puppy school today and had tons of fun. We worked on down, leave it, take it, and drop it. Maggie got the last 3 easily. She has some trouble with down because she's already so close to the ground. When I bring her treat to the ground, she can still grab it without bending her front legs. The instructor had me force her to crawl under my legs for the treat, tricking her into getting down all the way.

Now she's sleepy from all the excitement. I think I'll take her to nap with me this afternoon.
Between my job and my commute, I have n time for anything. :(

Couple things:

Work - Has been super crazy busy. I hardly have time to even catch my breath. And I am still behind all the time. I'm getting tired of this. They clearly don't have enough people for the work load.I am trying to run at 100% capacity every day, but I'm not a robot. I can't keep this up.

Commute - Metro has been a disaster the last couple weeks. First of all, the crazy up and down weather has caused the rails to crack on several lines. Other train systems haven't had a problem, but metro uses rails not designed for this sort of weather. And then, they recent bought a bad batch of breaks, so a part on the breaks keeps cracking and falling off the trains. Add on the usual door issues and sick passengers and you have the commute from hell for weeks on end. For several nights, I've had to take the bus through dc because metro was so horrifically backed up. Best part? Metro announced last week they were going to raise fares.

Home life - Ben is wonderful. No complaints about him. He keeps me sane despite the madness during the workday.

Dogs - Maggie recently started puppy school. She seems to be enjoying it. In the first class we went over "watch me" and "sit." Maggie knew those already though. In the second class, we went over loose leash walking and sitting for strangers. Maggie is having some trouble with the leash walking. She wants to speed ahead all the time. I'm sure she'll get it eventually though. She's smart. Noname on the other hand is a grumpy grump. I wonder if she'll ever chill out. She's cuddled in my lap right now, so she's good for the moment.

Cooking - I have made a few tasting things these last few weeks, but had no time to take pictures. Thismushroom pie was very easy to make, filling, and rather tasty. It also reheated very well. And this vegetarian cassoulet was also easy to make. It was a good, filling stew to have after a long day at work and a long cold commute.The flavors are not very complicated though, so if you like more complexity, it would probably be good to serve it with some herb bread perhaps.
This past week was a week from hell. At least the first half of the week

The week before, we had gone back and forth a million times on how much renewal stock to reorder. On Monday of this past week, we finally got pricing for the pieces. Just skimming them, I could tell they were too high, but there wasn't much we could do about that because the quantities were too low to get a good price. We were already ordering out to 6 months, so we were already stretching as far as we could in terms of quantity.

So I brought my concerns to my supervisor (I'll call P) who snapped back that she didn't even want to look at it unless I could show her how these costs compare to what we've been spending. I then wasted a good couple hours trying to find a cost sheet that would break down how much we were currently paying for each component so I could plug in the new numbers. At this point it was 6pm, already way after work hours, so I went home.

Tuesday morning, my assistant took my calculated numbers to P who then yelled at him because I didn't include postage, data processing, or consultant fees in the numbers. She then called me up and yelled at me a bit about how I needed to show her we could afford to mail this package as compared to budget.

Well, I KNEW we weren't going to be able to afford this mailing if we're going by budget because P had low-balled the budget.Even the reforecasted budget! She had written the costs as $0.60 a piece when in the last six months we have really been spending about $0.90 to $1.00 a piece. And the high cost wasn't because of printing costs. It was because of data processing. We hit the minimums every month.

Anyway, I pulled together all the numbers she wanted and how they compared to budget, PLUS the actual costs for the last six months AND the actuals for LAST FISCAL YEAR. That way I could go in there and say, "No, we are not going to be able to stick to budget because the budget is too low. We are budgeted to spend less than we actually spent last year and based on actuals for this year, we are likely going to end up spending about that much again." By that point it was 6 pm again, I had worked late again, and I was tired so I went home.

And then it was Wednesday. I spent all morning trying to grab P to go over my numbers but she was too busy to see me. Finally at around 4:30, I grabbed her in her office and told her the situation. SHE TOTALLY FLIPPED OUT. Among the things she screamed at me about, the top ones were:
1. How did I let our actuals go so high over budget.
2. Why didn't I tell her we needed to reprint before she wrote the reforecasted budget.
3. I needed to fix this because she doesn't have time for this.
4. Why didn't I get these numbers to her sooner.
5. How I never did my work fast enough.
6. How I never give her what she asks for the first time.

When she was done screaming at me, she told me to get pricing for 12 months out (ignoring my earlier point that it's the dp costs, not the printing costs) and then stormed off because she was going on vacation for the holidays. (P is the some supervisor that went on vacation for two weeks right after I started working there and dumped ALL her work in my hands with no explanation on what to do.)

As you could imagine, I was pretty upset by this. I don't appreciate getting blamed for mistakes I am not responsible for. I'd beat myself up over mistakes I really made, but this situation is totally not my fault and I am doing the best I can to try to sort it out.

I stormed out of the office and walked through the hallways for a bit, then washed my face because I was starting to cry. Then I closed my office door, called ben, and vented about how much I hate P and was going to quit if I had to work with her anymore. I felt a tiny bit better after that. Tiny bit.

While I was focusing my anger towards getting stuff done, the women from HR came in and asked if she could have a private talk with me. She told me:
1. P has a history of outbursts like this so I shouldn't feel like I was being singled out.
2. Her outbursts are NOT tolerated and she has been spoken to about it in the past.
3. That was her last chance.
4. HR and the president of the company are aware and addressing the issue.
5. I won't have to work with P much longer after the holidays are over.
6. Please don't look for a new job over the holidays.

I only feel a tiny bit guilty hoping that conversation means P is going to be fired.

So on Thursday, P was off on vacation and I was still left with the ongoing disaster. Ordering out 12 months like P suggested still wasn't going to get us to budget and I felt it was stupid to order that much stock in the first place because it would cross fiscal years. (And thus tie our budget down to what we've always done rather than look for new ways to mail the message.)

The only thing left to do was to go to P's supervisor, the president of the company. I brought her all my numbers, explained the situation, and suggested we print just for the next mailing since it was in progress and incurring costs already. Then I made the recommendation that we mail this package less frequently (right now we do it every month) because the big costs are the data processing minimum charges.

The president was very understanding and agreed with my recommendations. She did have a lot of questions on why the budget AND reforecasted budget were so off, which I had to tell her I didn't know because P preferred to handle that on her own. The pres. then contacted the client and made nice with them to get them to agree to print for just the current mailing while we look into ways to reduce costs in the future. The client likes reducing costs, so they agreed. I ordered the pieces we needed and felt a huge relief until I remembered P will be back on Tuesday and will probably start yelling at me for going over her head.

Our new strategy person (who started Monday) has now been tasked with making sense of the budget P wrote so the president has a better idea on where everything went so wrong. I spent much of Friday answering her questions. Unfortunately most of my answers were, "P did not include me on this, so I don't know." She discovered that the budget differs depending on which tab of the excel sheet you are looking at. THAT'S reassuring...

I'm really glad this week is over. I want to have a nice relaxing weekend with Ben and the dogs. Hopefully by next week, I'll finally stop having nightmares about P. (Last night I dreamed she showed up at my wedding and started yelling at me because the dinner course was taking too long to get to her.)
I suspect I work with Pinkie Pie. Last week, we had three parties in the office. Next week, there are 3 more. Parties are nice and all, but I have WORK to do!

Friday's party was a lunch paid for by one of our mail shops. Many of my coworkers got shockingly drunk. Very different from defenders.

At one point our table had laughed at something and the table next to us laughed a tiny bit louder at something else immediately after us. This caused extremely drunk coworker to announce, "We have to laugh louder! Ok, go! HAHAHAHA!" It was actually pretty funny and we did all laugh very loud (at her) and all the tables in the room looked at us.

Later during dessert, the restaurant had a mishap in the kitchen and knocked over all our table's churros. They came in to apologize and offered us any desserts off the menu. (I got cheesecake.) My supervisor was a little sad and mentioned she really did want churros (her sorrow may have been increased by the number of drinks she had had) so drunk coworker crawled across the floor, reached her hand up onto another table, and stole several churros off someone's plate. Then she ran back and threw them at my supervisor.

A couple minutes after that, the waiter brought out some churros that managed to survive the kitchen disaster. In addition, word got around that we didn't get any churros so all the other tables gave us plates of churros they couldn't finish. When it was all done, our table had a mountain of the things. We had the restaurant box them up and we sent them home with drunk coworker, who promised to find them a good home in her stomach.

I thought about going back to work after that, being sober and capable of getting stuff done, but my supervisor told me I was not allowed because it makes her look bad when her subordinates go back to work after big party days. Maybe she should give me less to do then?

I killed a small bit of time at the Downtown Holiday Fair before heading home. There were actually a lot of nice stuff there. Too bad I didn't have any more gifts to buy for anyone.

When I got home, I took a nap until the dogs annoyed me back into consciousness. I woke up to a bed completely covered in toys.

In the evening, I started playing a computer game ben bought me. It's a turn based strategy game, so it had the horrible ability to make time fly very fast. I went to bed far too late.

Today I want to go to the library to pick up a book and return my current one. I also want to stop by the post office and try to get a few boxes mailed out. And if I have time after that, I am going to attempt to make squash puree for horrible horrible squash soup.
On Wednesday I worked from home so I could take Maggie to the vet to be spayed. As I was filling out the paperwork, she ran off to play the with techs, not even looking back to say goodbye. Heartless little dog.

The surgery went well though without any complications. Unfortunately the vet wouldn't let her come home that night! The vet said Maggie was "overly rambunctious" and "a wild child." She was concerned that Maggie would be too excited and hyper at home and would split a stitch. Probably a valid assessment...

Ben picked her up the next day. She nearly exploded with happiness to be home. She has been terrible at following the vet's orders to rest and avoid running, jumping up on furniture, and climbing stairs.

She seems to be healing well though. I hope she doesn't have a scar. Her cute pink belly....

Other stuff:
- Work has become ever so slightly better because we lost a client. My workload is more reasonable now. However, I am still working late every night to catch up where I was falling behind.
- I am still having nightmares about work every night. It is very difficult to function when I dream about spreadsheets and gang printing all night.
- Gave the dogs early christmas gifts this morning because they were DRIVING ME CRAZY. Now they are both quiet and focused on opening their gifts. (Ben is going to kill me if I don't pick up all the tiny shreds of wrapping paper...) Pictures later.
holytoastr: (melting panda-aurianrose)
Work is perhaps ever so slightly better. In that I am starting to know a little bit more how to do stuff. I'm still working late almost every night though.

Today I had to buy another suit for work. I only owned my one interview suit. Luckily all the christmas sales were going on so I got a $140 suit for about $50. Woo!

I did a little bit of gift shopping after that, and then came home to take a nap. I spent the rest of the night rebuilding my holiday music playlist because the old file didn't work on windows. *sigh*

Now I have two puppies happily asleep under a blanket on my lap.
It was another insane week at work. Too much to do, not though time to do it, and no one around to teach me how to do the things.

To make matters worse, on Monday metro had a meltdown that forced me to take a bus out of dc. It took me an hour. And that doesn't count the time it then took to catch another bus to where I parked my car and drive home. I didn't get home until 8. I wanted to cry.

On Thursday, I ended up working until well after 6. And I still only managed to finish half the things I needed to do. I'm not looking forward to going back on Monday.

Others in the office have told me that my supervisors do nothing but praise me. I wonder if that's true, because they certainly aren't saying anything positive to me.

*sigh* I really hope things get better soon. I'm not sure how much more I can take.
This was a tough week. So tough, one evening I came home crying that I was going to quit. It eats all my free time. I constantly have to work late. The hours don't line up my mass transit well, so I always end up having to come in early too. Plus I waste time every day doing stuff multiple times because no one has the time to teach me how to do anything. (But they do have the time to tell me I did it wrong. Thanks.)

Thankfully it ended on a good note. I managed to get one disaster in order by the end of the week and it only mailed a few days late. The other big disaster is not done, but it's in much better condition than it was on Monday.

The online department bought me lunch on friday. On the order form, I added the special direction to draw a pony on my bag. Which they did. It cheered me up a lot.

Today ben and I got our eyes examined. I'll get new glasses as soon as my insurance comes in. I was pleased to learn that my eyesight only got a tiny bit worse after two years. I also learned that my left eye doesn't focus was well as the right one. Even with glasses. Isn't that weird?

When we got home, I pulled up the last of my summer crops (now all totally dead) and planted garlic. I really hope the garlic grows well. I have found that most of my garlic comes from china. I find it crazy that I'm getting garlic from halfway around the world (in a place that has no serious regulations). Occasionally my garlic comes from california. Which is also ridiculously far. So I will try to become more sustainable by growing my own. I can save a couple bulbs every year for the next growing season too.

The variety I bought is supposed to be good for beginners. The only fault is that the flavor is very strong. I really like garlic, so that won't be a problem for me at all. I should get between 40-50 bulbs by summertime. If they are a good size, I will be set. :)

In other gardening news:
- Broccoli is growing slowly. I thinned the rows out a bit today and sprayed them with insect killer since something is nibbling on some of the leaves.
- Spinach may have been killed by the snow, or possibly may just be growing really slow. There's a few small leaves here and there.
- Carrots seemed to have really liked the snow. After everything melted, tons of little carrot sprouts popped up.
- Lettuce, which I thought was totally dead, seemed to like the snow too. The cold must have shocked the seeds awake because they have finally sprouted.
- Cucumbers died in the snow.
New job continues to be stressful. Frequently I feel like I am in over my head. I have to ask for help a lot. I try not to feel bad about it because I am new and supposed to be learning anyway, but it's hard not to feel like a failure.

On the bright side, aside from all the stress it seems like a good place to work. There were cupcakes on monday. And then cookies the next two days. And candy and cake thursday and friday. Yay plentiful free food?

Other stuff that has happened recently.....? Oh YEAH. It SNOWED today.

The weather people were saying it snows in october maybe once every 30 years. So of course it snows in october the same year we had the big snowstorm in january, the record breaking heatwave this summer, the once in a lifetime earthquake, and a hurricane followed by tropical storm flooding. So sure, let's throw a rare snowstorm on top of that. It has been a really crazy year.

This was maggie's first snow. She seems perplexed by the cold white stuff falling from the sky. She kept chasing it and biting at it. I nearly died from the cute.
What IS this stuff???
Where is this stuff coming from?
My first week of work was crazy.

When I arrived on saturday, everyone told me how happy they were to see me. Then they threw a giant pile of work at my head. :P

So apparently my predecessor left rather abruptly with a package in the works but very far behind. And no one else knew what to do with it because the woman DID NOT WRITE ANYTHING DOWN. They gave me that package to get out the door. We're still not there, but we are a lot closer than we were before and I have been writing stuff down to make the whole process easier as we get to the end.

Among the problems I've had:
- No contact info for the artist
- No status on draft or reviews of the art
- No indication if the copy was even final
- Specs for the art did not match original specs in the mail plan
- Mail plan didn't have ask build info (telling me how much money we should ask for from donors)
- Data strategy included 3 times more online activists than real donors (online activists are the suckiest type of prospects. you want to only have a few in the mix if you want any at all)

Despite absolutely no orientation training beyond "this is how you log into your computer" I have managed to keep this disaster floating at least. I hope at some point I will be given some training.

Aside from that crazy situation, the place seems nice. They threw a big welcome lunch for me the first day. And everyone has been very helpful when I come panicking to them because something else in that horrible nightmare project has exploded.

I share an office with a woman fresh out of college. She doesn't know anything about marketing at all so they have had to train her every day on everything. I didn't require that sort of training, so I was told by multiple people on Friday that I was "a rockstar" for being able to jump into the project and hit the ground running.

My clients are African Wildlife Federation, Food and Water Watch, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. It's a good mix, I think. I was afraid of getting clients with goals I didn't agree with, but these are all pretty good. (I'd be happier if that last one wasn't religious, but you can't win all battles.)

The workload is a little stressful right now (I had to work late on the first day!) but hopefully once I get more stuff written down, the madness will abate. I can't believe the previous woman never wrote anything down. How did she get anything done?

Anyway, other than that, life goes on as usual. I took Noname to the vet today. She developed a rash. I thought it might be the same rash Maggie had a little while ago, but it didn't respond to the medicine I had leftover from Maggie's treatment (just a solution to wash the region) so I made an appointment to get it checked out.

The vet said it probably started like Maggie's rash, but because Noname was licking it all the time, she introduced even worse bacteria that for some reason was resistant to the old medicine. So now she has a bottle of antibiotics and a bottle of antihistamines. Between the two, the rash should clear up and Noname should stop licking it. However, they didn't have any medicine around the office small enough for my dog! So I have to break up tiny capsules and roll them in cheese or something similar to deliver the medication. The vet even had me do a practice run in the office to make sure I could do it correctly.

After that adventure, I returned home to help stain the deck. During the summer, we only applied one coat before the heat wave hit and we couldn't work outside at all. Then came the rain that didn't stop for a month. The single coat didn't hold up well to that abuse at all. So now we have to completely start over. Ben worked on the floor while I did the tiny stupid details on the railings. I didn't finish, but the railings were in much better condition than the floor. Ben is going to apply a second coat tomorrow. I will probably work on the railings as I have time in the coming weeks.
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.
Free food was successfully achieved last night. And it was all tasty.

I got a little lost on the way to the event, which was mildly embarrassing. I wish I had a sense of direction. But I still made it to the cocktail hour so it was ok. I think that's called fashionably late.

The crowd was super fancy. I dined with world leaders and famous celebrities. Some of the people there included Jeff Corwin, Neko Case, Ed Asner, Madeleine Albright, and numerous house reps and senators. (All the congressmen has to leave early to do some congress work.)

Surprisingly, I had a good time. The food was good. I was sitting with people I knew. And most of the speeches were pretty funny.

After the dinner, Ben was sweet and picked me up at the metro station so I wouldn't have to wait in the dark for a bus. He is the best.

I am home today to get ready for vacation. I need to clean, do laundry, and pack. I'm a little nervous because rain is predicted for our entire trip, but I am sure I will still have fun. I won't be at work. :D
Tonight is a fancy dinner fundraiser at work. I get to go despite being a filthy employee because our telemarketing firm bought a table and invited me as a guest. That was very nice of them. I heard Neko Case is going to be there and may perform a song. I also saw Ed Asner wandering around the building. I hope he gets to talk at the dinner and is not just a dinner guest. He's pretty funny.

Perhaps it will be my last fancy dinner with this organization. On monday they announced they were going to lay off 15% of the workforce. Great way to start the week, right? I received a rush of linkedin requests right after that announcement.

They won't announce who is leaving until next week though. I will be on vacation at the time. It will be interesting to see if I have a job to return to. I have asked my boss to plead on my behalf to at least give me a few days to carry all my plushies home should I be one of the employees cut.

Gallows humor is strong in my department right now.
Me: Please make the attached changes that are based on over a decade of testing results.
Agency: We're going to make one or two changes, but ignore everything else you sent because we don't like your testing results.

Repeat. Every day.
Had a doctor's appointment this morning. Just a regular check up so that the doctors will renew my prescription. I hate that. I think if a person is reasonably healthy and has good healthy habits, they shouldn't have to go in every year.

Anyway, I had a nice surprise. There was a change in my insurance and now well visits are free. Woo! That was especially good because I forgot to bring cash or my checkbook and my doctor doesn't accept cards. And it makes the forced annual visits more palatable.

The nurse was a little weird though. She thanked me for being healthy and not difficult. I guess she had had a tough morning with unhealthy, crazy people. They did the usual quick tests and then I was out the door. There really was no reason for me to be there except for them to bill the insurance company for the stupid useless visit.

After that, I walked down to the bus station and began my trip into the city. On the train, I lucked out and got a car with a totally insane guy. First he took off his shoes and tried to take a nap on the chairs. When that didn't work, he alternated between laughing and wailing for the rest of the ride. Occasionally he would stand up like a prairie dog searching for danger. But after a moment or two, he'd sit back down and go back to laughing/wailing. I was really glad when I got to my stop.

I'm a little annoyed though because I learned as soon as I got in that we can leave at 2:30 today. I wish I had known sooner! I wouldn't have bothered to come in at all. It took me 2 hours to get here. What a waste.

I can't leave early anyway because I rely on ben to pick me up from the bus stop. So I have to wait until he gets out of work.

I think I might do some shopping or go to a museum to kill time. Museums might be crowded though. Shopping might be the best option. Maggie keeps destroying my clothes and I have been afraid of buying new stuff thanks to the butt stabber on the loose.



January 2015

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