My place smells so good right now.

First, I lit one of the amaretto candles when I got home from work — actually, it’s the candle with eggnog-scent leftovers in it, and Iadded the amaretto that wouldn’t fit in the sundae cups, plus a new wick. So, walking a few feet from it, you can smell amaretto… which, surprizingly, smells pretty good as candles go. Much better than I’d expected. Then, I started baking my low-carb-brownies-from-scratch again, in preparation for tomorrow’s monthly Birthday Treat Day at work. (I love my new department.) So, after you walk through the amaretto smell, toward the kitchen, you’re instantly barraged with the smell of chocolate. I’m loving it.

It’s a little early to make a prediction, since they’re still warm out of the oven, but I think the brownies are passable this time. I’m going to leave a couple home for Aaron, and take the rest to work. If everybody thinks they suck, well, that’s their prerogative, and I’ll get to take them back home after the day’s done. But I don’t think they suck. No more so than some people’s "regular" brownies do.

Oh, and did I mention that I made hazelnut eggnog this weekend? It’s surprizingly simple… as long as you don’t overcook it. Then the eggs start to cook, and it gets a little lumpy. Yes, I speak from experience. Over the past few days, it’s been sitting in a saucepan in the bottom of the fridge — "getting happy," as Emeril would put it. Tonight, I took it for a spin in the blender to smooth it out and whip it up, and am now drinking my last glass of eggnog with a dash of nutmeg. (Aaron’s glass is in the fridge with plastic wrap over it.)

I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I had a moment of weakness today at work. All I brought for lunch was two string cheeses, and I didn’twant to go to Jimmy John’s again… so I succumbed to the snack machine and bought a pack of Soft Batch cookies. Again, as with my last cheat a couple months back, I wasn’t terribly satisfied, despite thinking long and hard about my choice. The chocolate tasted too sweet, and I got a brief but powerful blood sugar spike at my desk afterward. Not shaky, but lightheaded. I knew exactly what it was as soon as I felt it. Let that be a lesson to me… again. It’s just not worth it. Heaven forbid I ever decide to "treat" myself to Olive Garden.

Anyway, they’ve got me actually doing my real job at work now. At least, when there’s enough work to split between two people. I ended up actually reading the online instructions for the web forms I use, surfing the Sky intranet, e-mailing HR about my incorrect W4, anything I could do to stretch out my time at the end of the day. Especially being new to the position, once I figure out how to do something, I can’t force myself to do it s-l-o-w-l-y just to "milk the clock," because I feel the need to prove that I can do what they’ve given me with no problems.

So, today’s schedule was:

  • 8:00am – 8:30am: Turn on computer. Bullshit.
  • 8:30am – 10:00am: Highlight reports. Ask Judy what she does with them.
  • 10:00am – 10:30am: Training session in Tom’s office. Learn how to do my job.
  • 10:30am – 12:00pm: Correct missing birthdates in client information database.
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Look through reports, filtering out non-personal accounts.
    (A company or non-profit organization can’t have a birthdate, silly.)
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Research Cash Letters for Angie in Deposit Support.
  • 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Look through reports again. Seem busy when boss comes by.
  • 3:30pm – 3:45pm: Break.
  • 3:45pm – 4:15pm: Staple reports for Angie in Deposit Support.
  • 4:15pm – 5:00pm: Read job instructions.
    Surf intranet. Look at payroll info.

And that was my day. Woo-hoo… exciting.

But, you know what? I’m OK with that. Especially since the Post Office has been fucking over Lockbox all this week, not getting them all their mail in the 9:30 mail run, so they don’t get their full work to start until 1:00pm. They stayed until 9:30pm on Monday, I’m not sure when on Tuesday, and 6:30pm last night. Loni comes in to my area every now and then, since I’m on her way to the other end of the building, where the restrooms, break room, kitchen, and all that are. She had an interview yesterday (incidentally, for one of the positions I’m helping cover for, the one where I hunt down Cash Letters), and she said it went well. I’m crossing my fingers for her and hoping for the best. She’s been with the company for something like seven years, with Lockbox for five (since its inception), and it’s about time she moved on from Lockbox.

Angie (the one in Lockbox) was hired in from temp to permanent, effective Monday. (This past Monday, I think.) I’m kind of glad for her, but then again, I kind of feel bad that she’s going to be stuck there with shitty hours. Just like I was when I was hired in, actually. I talked with her in the hallway the other day, and she said in no uncertain terms that she plans to stay in Lockbox only for the required six months, then post out of the department to another position. Seems to be all the rage lately… Mary did that earlier this year. (Remember Mary? The middle-aged woman who fell asleep and ran her car into a ditch after a particularly long night in Lockbox?) I’ve been trying to find an appropriate job to post into for the past six or seven months, ever since I was eligible to post out. Now Loni’s looking to post out, and has been for several months herself.

Remember those Ethnic Studies and Sociology classes we had to take in college? Remember the section about immigration? Push factors vs. pull factors? I think that almost every other department loses people to new jobs via pull factors—the other job has a draw to it, something that makes you want it. For Lockbox, though, people leave due to push factors — kind of an "anywhere but here" mentality. Yeah.

And in closing… as I write this entry, the BGSU/Miami game is 35-17 Miami in the 3rd. Sigh.