Random Thoughts

Today at work I jotted down several blogworthy thoughts I had over the course of the mind-numbing workday:

When the temperature in the office reaches a certain point β€” say, 75Β°F or so β€” the vents open to allow outside air to filter in and cool things down. Over the past couple of days, this outside air has smelled of a slight tinge of spring. So cruel… so cruel. Barely above freezing, and my nostrils are dreaming of the spring thaw.

Some people at my work have accused others of being resistant to change. One person in particular, by the name of Loni, has done this accusing. Since our boss has begun a transition in our record-keeping from Microsoft Excel (which Loni set up herself about three years ago) to an Access database, it’s amazing how resistant this accuser is to change…

I read an article about premarital counseling in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. It had mundane but important questions like, “will you love your spouse if she gains 50 pounds?” Then I realized how much Aaron must really love me… because I have gained 50 pounds since he met me. Literally. I’m surprized he hasn’t staged an intervention in the meantime. πŸ™‚

I’m not eating enough. (Nice segue.) I wake up too late to eat breakfast (I have to be awake awhile before I can stomach it), then when I eat lunch, I just have one of those little Weight Watchers-type frozen meals. When I’m done eating, I’m still hungry. I wait the prescribed 20 minutes after eating, for the food to “hit bottom,” and I’m still hungry. It’s easier to ignore the hunger while I’m at work, but I’m sure that it’s not healthy, anyway. Then I come home and am either too hungry to eat, or I go on an evening-long food binge. Ramen… canned veggies… hot dogs… ham… plum… all the stuff I probably should have eaten (or not) during the course of the day, crammed into a few hours of down-time at home. I need to fix this if I want to lose weight and be healthier.

Loni was telling about the wedding she went to in Chicago over the weekend β€” apparently the bride wore a scarf over her shoulder, bearing her family’s Irish colors. Neat idea. Then it occured to me… if I were to claim so-called citizenship of only one family in my genealogy, which would it be? There are certain lines I’ve been inclined to research more than others β€” some because they’re easier to find, some because they’re more interesting to learn about, and some because I’m closest to their descendants. I think I’d probably claim citizenship in the White family if I had to choose one. That’s my Granny’s mama, Maudie (which would be my mom’s mother’s mother’s mother, my great-great-grandmother). Interesting that I choose the matriarchal line; we’ve got some strong females in my family. …So what happened to me?

As far as my last blog entry, where I wondered if I’d become less of a person because I’ve ceased to struggle against my less-than-relevant job, I’ve come to a conclusion of sorts. I’d rather be sated, unruffled and relatively content in a job I didn’t intend to work than be miserable and unsatisfied in the same job. If I can ride things out, waiting in the wings and watching for opportunities, and make rent money in the process, why not?

Mary at work thinks I’ve lost weight. I was wearing my new black pants with the elastic waistband that doesn’t make my fat ooze out where it shouldn’t, and on top of that I wore a thigh-length blouse. I think it was all an optical illusion, since I’ve really only lost six pounds.

Oh, and in case you were wondering: no, I didn’t write all of this at work. I took notes so I’d know what to write later. I don’t have that kind of free time at my job…


Before I begin… the jury’s still out as to whether or not I’m a big goober for pretty much mourning Mr. Rogers. When the general sadness stretches to a second day, I think it qualifies as mourning. I think his passing reawakened the memories of my early childhood, when things were simple and I knew all the words to every one of Mr. Rogers’ songs and Daniel Striped Tiger was the sweetest thing on TV. Maybe I realized what I’d forgotten since then. Maybe I realized… I don’t know. What’s important, maybe. And that even amongst my friends, I don’t think I would be so thanked and loved and missed. Even when he was alive, Fred Rogers got “Thank You”s on the street from grown-ups who loved him as children, and appreciated him even more as adults with perspective.

But that’s neither here nor there. On to my intended topic.

A, my co-worker at Sky Bank, graduated with an art degree almost a year ago now. Naturally, she’s peeved at having to work a job that gives her no satisfaction and no personal reward. She’s on the lookout for a job in California, so she can move out to where the proverbial “action” is. And every single day, she never tires of telling me and/or my other co-workers how much she dislikes her job. β€” Well, maybe “dislikes” isn’t the right word for it. Well, maybe it is, at that. She’s disappointed in the fact that she has to work an unfulfilling job that is unrelated to her degree field, just to pay the bills. She’s frustrated that she was unable to land a job that is rewarding to her and for her, and takes that as some sort of personal failure, I think.

…Is this sounding familiar to anyone yet? Like, how I felt about six months ago? When I was in precisely her situation? That being: working as a temp, wanting to be hired on permanently for security’s sake, yet still frustrated at the scope of my job position and its irrelevancy to anything I really intend to do for the rest of my life.

Thinking on this makes me face a tough question: Am I “at peace” with my station in life now? Or, does the fact that I have ceased to struggle (for now, at least) make me a weaker person?

I haven’t seriously thought about finding a new job for a few months now. When Aaron and I went in for the credit check before we bought our new car, I was told that my nine months at Manpower didn’t bode well for my car credit, since it’s a temp agency. Also, since I’d only been working at my current job for three months at the time (now five), the short timespan hurt my credit, as well. That really shot any ideas I’d had of changing jobs. Even if I could find one. I’m currently rebuilding my poor, shoddy credit, and I need all the help I can get, so staying at Sky made sense.

Now, though… I find I’m just running on momentum. Doing a day’s work, just like every other day. I try not to complain, since it just wastes energy and ticks off everyone around me. Brings them down. One of my co-workers calls me “the perfect worker,” and I think I resent that, but I’m not sure. Conscientious, sure. Dedicated… maybe on the surface. But mainly just doing my job. Doing what needs to be done, just because it’s there.

A’s rebellious nature is awakening something in me that has lain dormant for a few months, though. A desire to fulfill myself. To remember, as my mother used to say, who I am and where I come from.

To go off on a brief tangent (it’s really related, trust me)… Back in SOC 101, the graduate student teaching the class told us about Roles. I forget if that’s the correct terminology, but it serves the purpose. Since the human race is, at its core, a race of social beings (though some of us might not want to admit it), each of us is defined by our roles in society. There are minor roles and there are major, defining roles. To find out who you are, you must define yourself in respect to others, and the activities you engage in with others. For example:

+ I am a fianceΓ©.
+ I am a daughter.
+ I am a grand-daughter.
+ I am a Sky Bank employee.
+ I am a web designer.
+ I am a drumcorps alumna.

And so on. These all define me in relation to others. But one of these (listed or not) is my major role in life. For parents, it’s usually their parental role. For corporate CEO’s and upper management, maybe their job position is their major role. For me… I’m not sure anymore. When I was a music major, and even before that, in high school, I could say unequivocally that my major role was that of Musician. When I changed majors, I changed who I was intrinsically. For a while, I almost made myself believe that my main role was that of web designer… but I still maintain that my design skills are mediocre at best. Within the design industry, at least. (Doesn’t stop me from trying.)

Finding a wedding photographer who has a day job has made me see things a little differently, though. It’s obvious to me that she defines herself as a portrait photographer. But… she works 9-to-5 (or thereabouts) in an unrelated corporate setting, where she has a 401(k) and five weeks vacation. She only does photography on evenings and weekends. And she has a decent-sized studio and an impressive body of work. She’s a photographer with a day job.

I need to seek out who I am again. I need to go out and do the things I love in my spare time. I need… I need.

And when I figure it out, I need to dive into what I love and immerse myself in it for a time. Think about it while I’m processing checks and invoices at Sky. Think about it during lunch. Think about getting home to it and doing what I want to do, instead of what I have to do. It doesn’t have to be my full-time job. I am not my job. I am me.

Whoever that is…


P.S. – To anyone who ever said to me, “we should start a business…” I’m currently considering it. I have no client base. I intend to enter the web design foray by donating my design time to local non-profit organizations. I have no immediate business plan. I need friends. If you were ever serious, let me know. I’ll do it on my own if I must. It won’t be instantaneous profit. But if you’re looking for something that may fulfill your need for accomplishment, let’s talk.

P.P.S. – If you ever read my blog, A: I’m sorry, but I found your LiveJournal a couple months back, and never told you. I’ve been reading your blog without you knowing, and I apologize for the intrusion. If you read mine without my knowing… I guess we’re even. πŸ™‚

General crap

I don’t update this thing enough. There are people out there who update their blogs / journals / diaries / what-have-you on a daily basis. Me, I’m probably one of the people who pisses off my friends during their daily blog-checks. (If you have a page linked from mine: yes, I do check your page every day to see if there’s something new.)

So… what’s up in my life. Yesterday our temp was sick with the flu and called off work. We’d gotten so used to having three people to do the work of, oh, two-and-a-half, that being one person short on a Monday really threw us for a loop. Loni and I parceled out A’s work betwixt the two of us, and somehow managed to get through the morning. I opted to skip lunch (bad idea) and worked straight into the afternoon. Loni had to leave at 6:00pm to go to a church function (as usual on Mondays), which then left me and my supervisor to run the systems. Keep in mind that my supe doesn’t really know how to run the Citation systems very well. So, by 9:00 at night, I was still processing work, along with my supervisor and the upper-middle-aged woman who was previously banned from running the systems due to her immense number of fuck-ups and bizarro computer errors.

Let’s hear it for twelve-hour days.
“yay…” </python>

In contrast, today was nice. I got to come in at 10am, and leave at 4:00pm. Super-light workload, pleasant day, sunshine streaming through the blinds. Got home in time to spend some time with Aaron before he went to work, which is always neat.

As far as wedding crap goes: I’m almost dressed. I have my dress, crinoline (aka poofy hoop skirt), veil, and corset. I still need shoes, and some sort of headpiece. I had decided I didn’t want a headpiece, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my hair if I don’t have one. I’d also thought of having my hair down, but I think it looks a little funky underneath the veil, so ix-nay on that. My Mom will have a cow, but it can’t be avoided.

Aaron and I also went shopping for accessories and color swatches this past weekend. My burgundy color has somehow morphed into a pretty cinnamon, which is OK by me. We found some ribbon for the centerpieces first.

β€” No, wait. First came Aaron’s discovery at the Dollar Tree in the small last week. He saw a shelf of nifty little vase-glasses, about 8 inches tall (or maybe six, I’m not positive) with a wine-glass stem and a curvy shape. He pointed to them and said, “Those would make good centerpieces.”

[light streaming from sky, angels singing in chorus, herald trumpets sounding]

I bought ten of them: one each for nine tables, plus one extra for when I break one.

So, this past weekend, Aaron and I got eight yards of ribbon from Ben Franklin, and three square yards of matching cloth and some pinking shears from Wal-Mart. We also discovered that Wal-Mart has a wedding supplies aisle in the crafts section of the store. I could buy my throw-away garter (in white or light blue), bits and pieces for my headpiece, even a veil. (Doh!)

Anyway, next on the wedding-crap list is a.) book a photographer, and b.) let my bridesmaids know WTF’s going on with dresses. Oh, yeah, didn’t tell you about that, did I? I’ve decided to let my bridesmaids pick out their own individual dresses. I’m sending them fabric swatches and guidelines: ankle-length dress, rounded neckline (scoop, tank, ballet, whatever). Tan hose, black flats. The end. I haven’t broken the news to Amy yet (she’s my maid of honor, for anyone who’s been out to lunch this whole time), but she should be happy, considering that she’s been politely reminding me that I’ve been slacking off in my bridal duties. I figure, with the extremes in size and shape that I have with my ladeez, doing things this way will make things cheaper and easier for them, plus they’ll be able to choose their own cut and style.

Um… I think I’ve updated sufficiently now. Yeah.

Past Imperfect

You know that introspective New Year’s entry I promised? Well, here it is, a little late. Now, where to start…?

Back in High School, I was a perfectionist and a procrastinator all rolled into one. My fear of making mistakes really didn’t help things. Being high-strung and stiffly formal too much of the time definitely added to the geek factor. Even after failing Government my Senior year, and having to take “real” summer school for the first time in my life, this still didn’t teach me one of the many lessons that I needed to learn:

Sometimes you have to deal with the less pleasant things before you get to the good things.

I still didn’t learn the lesson during my seven (count ’em, seven) years of undergrad. I regularly failed to attend classes β€” and hence, regularly failed classes. Of course, I went to the “cool” classes, and of course I did well in them. Web design, multimedia, photography, human sexuality, recording technology, sociology, all stellar grades. Math, accounting, drafting, management, all the “boring” classes… not so much. I took College Algebra three or four times, and Trig twice, just because I hated the classes and didn’t go. If BGSU had the same policy then that they do now, I would have been paying back all the financial aid money I’d gotten for the classes I failed. I’d either have learned that valuable lesson, or I’d have given up on school for lack of funds.

Only now can I begin to learn and appreciate the value of this tidbit of knowledge. Now, when I’m working in an industry completely unrelated to the one I’d intended to pursue. Now, when I’m watching more recent grads going through the same post-graduation denial I went through. Now, when credit checks on me reveal the fact that I worked for a temp agency for eight or nine months, and have only held my current job for three.

I would like to go out and find my dream job. I haven’t given up on this. I refuse to be a bank flunky until I retire or am laid off. But… now is the time for stability. Now is the time to deal with a less-than-desirable job, so I can build credit and experience and general work-force skills. I have to deal with this less pleasant thing before I can go off and seek out the good.

When the right opportunity arises, I will be ready.

Blogs and personal webpages — windows to the soul?

A few months ago, the World showed me how small it is after all, and inserted a former RCC coworker into my current employment at Sky Bank. Not someone I had ever hung out with, but someone I had always thought it would be fun to know. Did I say anything about this? Ever? Of course not. This is me we’re talking about here.

One day we were discussing our currently-unused degrees β€” mine in Visual Communications, hers in Computer Art β€” and she mentioned that she had a web page. I mentioned mine, too, and gave the URL (since it’s easy enough to remember… at least until I get married). She quietly avoided mentioning hers.

So I went on Google and I found it. Stalking? Hardly. Simple curiosity.

Honestly… I had expected more of the site. The work is cool, the text-based adventure intriguing, but I’m more of an interface person myself. At any rate, I opted not to mention anything at work about me seeking out her website, as that could be construed a number of ways. Not the least of which would be moderately creepy.

Yesterday and today at work, the people who provide and service our Citation document processing systems came up from Florida to install a new system. In the process of bullshitting with Rick and Randy from TMR, Rick gave my coworker and I his personal URL, and invited us to check it out. My coworker then mentioned that she had a website and had recently started a LiveJournal. She said she had her own server space, but liked being able to update from anywhere and not have to worry about coding. (I like not having to code, too, but that’s why I use Dreamweaver.) Of course, she didn’t mention her username or anything.

So I went on LiveJournal and I found it. Stalking? Hardly. Simple curiosity.

After reading my coworker’s personal comments, written specifically for her friends and fellow MUSHers, I discovered something about blogs. They can be quite audience-specific, and quite personal. Of course, I knew this from reading strangers’ blogs (see right), but it’s different when the subject in question isn’t a complete stranger. I can see why she didn’t want mere coworkers reading her comments. Not that her journal is lewd or vulgar or anything like that; it’s just personal. I almost feel like I’ve violated her privacy on some level by seeking this out. But, on the other hand, one has to be prepared for anyone to read anything posted online in a publicly-accessible website. I feel I also have a new perspective about her.

I wonder… were she to read my website, would she have a new perspective on me?

Worker Revolt Imminent at Sky Service Center

Ok, dudes. If I have to work one more 50-hour-plus week, I think I’m going to flip. I worked 14 hours today. Hell, I even took this past Friday off as a paid vacation day, and still racked up 40 hours before I left Thursday evening. Too bad a vacation day can’t count for time-and-a-half.

My co-worker Mary, a woman about a year or two older than my Mom, agrees that this is bullshit. (Not in so many words, of course.) We’re planning to talk to our "real" boss this week. Yes, our "real" boss, as opposed to our co-worker / boss who mainly just has seniority over us and knows more about how the Lockbox department runs.

I haven’t had a 40-hour week for literally three months, at least. As much as I’m liking the overtime, this is just getting ridiculous. I might not have social functions to attend after work like some people, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy my off-work time any less. There’s a new schedule in the works that could either save us all, or save everybody else and fuck me bad. I know what I’m guessing…

I didn’t really want to leave Sky yet, but if my hours don’t get more reasonable by next year (read: give it another month), I’m going to start actively job-hunting again. This is bullshit.

Just Another Day…

Hey, for once I worked an 8-hour day! Yeah, we were doing so well that we actually took a one-hour lunch and everything. Just for reference, yesterday I worked a 14-hour day. Seriously. My co-worker and almost-supervisor, Loni, worked an hour and a half more than me, since she came in at 6am. Damn, that sucked. Makes the normal 8-hour day seem like a luxury instead of a burden.

OK, all you people who are still in college. All you people who hate your 8:30am classes. All you people who think your life is more tedious and horrible than anyone else’s. Who hate your 15-hour-a-week job. Who can’t wait to graduate and get the hell out of school. Yeah, you. I’ve got an update for you. You have it MADE. You have about, what, three to five hours of the day max that you have to spend in class? Then go to your job for about three hours, if you’re part time? I remember that. I didn’t realize how cool it was, either.

Late this August, as I was hopping the cab to work, I saw all the collegians trudging to campus for their first day back to school. The only thing I wanted to do just then was to jump out of the cab and be in college again. Go to class, then come home an hour later and nap. Play on my computer. Go to class again. Go take some photos. IM with friends. Walk up to Timmay’s room and see his latest tech-toy. –Seems a little counterproductive, my fantasy, since I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in December 2001.

Nothing like dreaming of the past while rushing for the future.