I Did It

I finally did it. I got my hair bobbed. It is now just a shade longer than chin-length. I feel like a new woman. And I look like one, too. I can’t stop shaking my head and running my fingers through my hair.

Damn, now I’m going to have to break out the round brush and blow dryer on a regular basis.

So, today at work I got yelled at by the IT guy. See, we’ve been having these problems with the new fax program scrunching numbers or just plain eliminating columns of numbers from reports. So, someone’s report will say $1,115.79 when it should really say $15,115.79. This is ungood. Our clients very irately reported this issue to us, and we reported it to Andrew, and Andrew reported it to the IT department. And the IT guy mainly in charge of the fax software had a little bit to say to us about it.

He storms in while Loni’s on the phone, and starts ranting at me, since I’m closest to him. "I cannot be held responsible for every fax," he announces, and shows me what we already knew: that there was a column of digits missing. Yes, yes, we know. But then he claims that it’s the client’s fax machine at fault. It must glitch while feeding paper at that point. I politely explain that when we fax these same clients manually, it goes through fine. This steams him even more.

At this point Loni is off the phone, and tries to jump in. Her normal, interruptive conversational style isn’t working for her in this instance. (It rarely does.) She chimes in and says what I just said, that manually faxing works fine. Larry says that we can manually fax every client, then, and he’ll just get rid of the software entirely. Loni shoots back that we’ll have clients pulling out for lack of service, then, and that will be bad for Sky. She also mentions that BitWare (our old, Windows 95 compatible fax software) worked just fine. Larry yells back — over his shoulder, since he’s already started to storm out — that we can find fax software on our own and tell him all about it, or he can just put us back on BitWare, then, and be done with it.

Of course, the red-faced yelling and pissed-off attitude doesn’t really come through in my little transcription here, but I think you get the point. As much as I hate to admit it, I share my mother’s dislike of confrontation, and I try to defuse every volatile situation I find myself in. From my perspective, we were just pointing out a bug in the software, and asking them to look into it. From his perspective, though, I’m sure we were personally attacking this project he’d spent months working through and perfecting. I can understand where he’s coming from, though I don’t think I’d react nearly the same way.

After he stalked out, we told Andrew how Larry had treated us and spoken to us, and I communicated to him that I found it unprofessional, ill-mannered, and uncalled-for. Andrew talked to his boss, Ruth, and I’m sure she talked to HR. So, we’ll see what happens.

Oh, Loni told me later on that this Larry guy has a reputation for having a bad temper. He got a talking-to from HR once for throwing a printer across a room. Yikes.


I think that’s the term for when you’re backlogged with blog topics. Backblogged.

Mom wants me to take a road trip with her to Denver next summer. She says it would be fun. I say we would probably kill each other halfway there. Although, now that I see that the 2004 DCI Finals will be held in Denver, I say maybe I could put up with Mom if she could put up with a weekend of drum corps.

After going to the Dekalb drum corps show with corps alumni buddy Paul and his sister (who was my seat partner in ’95), I’m more seriously considering joining a senior corps before Aaron and I decide to have kids. Only thing is, I don’t think I’m ready to spend all of my summer weekends away from my honey-muffin, and I certainly don’t want to make a five-hour roadtrip one way just to march senior corps. (BTW, senior corps is like what I did in Northern Aurora and Bluecoats, except you can be any age from 15 to 60-something.)

Of course, then Paul (who sings barbershop) suggested that I find a chapter of Sweet Adelines to join. Sweet Adelines are like barbershop quartets/choruses for women. I did discover that the Pride of Toledo is the best group in the region, and I fired them off an email about membership. They rehearse on Tuesdays at 7pm in Toledo, on Holland-Sylvania, which is doable as far as getting out of work goes. We’ll see what happens.

I would also like to say that nothing quite compares with being berated for receiving accolades that were deserved by more people than just you.

See, a couple weeks ago, we received a payment for someone’s water bill that was astronomically higher than what they owed. Like, $15,000.00 for a $150 bill. The person who was prepping the work caught it, and brought it to Loni, and asked if that could possibly be right. Loni knew that the client banked with Sky, and knew their personal banker, who then said maybe we should make sure that was correct. So, Loni called the phone number on the check and left a message. Of course, Loni left work before I did that day, so when the client returned the phone call, I took it. He was soooo grateful that we caught his accounting error — his software had printed the wrong amount on his check, and had it been processed, it would have bounced a lot.

So, the next morning, Loni had me write him a note and mail the erroneous check back to him. I located some Sky Bank stationery on the intranet, typed the note on it, printed it out, and sent it off. I felt pretty good about myself, but mainly because I got to do something different. Something other than stomping a footpedal, typing in invoice numbers, and hitting return.

A few days later, Andrew hands me a card he got out of an interoffice envelope. It’s a "Gotcha Card" — Sky’s version of RCC Performance Points, or any other company’s relatively meaningless rewards system. The client’s personal banker had heard from him, and she thanked me for providing such outstanding customer service to Mr. LaRoe. I felt all tingly in my bum until Loni shot me down with "And who was it that caught it in the first place?" Not only Loni, but the prepper who did catch it in the first place both gave me shit for being the one who got the credit.

Hey, it’s not my fault that the last person to touch something is responsible for it. Take the credit or take the blame, but it’s always the fault of the last person to touch it.

I grow progressively more disenchanted with my job — if, indeed, I was ever truly enchanted in the first place.


photo by Carley AugustineThings seem to be settling down around BG, finally. The city and university are working to clean up the storm damage, most people’s power is back on, and life is returning to normal.

In case you missed the 11:00 news…

Channel 13 has photos and RealVideo coverage of the carnage in BG.

(Photo at right is of my street, two houses down from ours)

BGSU’s website has a "Campus Storm Update" link off the main page.

Got home from work today and all the clocks were blinking (except the VCR, because it rocks). Seems the power must have gone out today sometime between Aaron leaving for work and me coming home at 7:15pm. Probably had something to do with the nice city workers removing the tree from the power lines (photo above).

As for how this affected others you might know… Beth’s blog indicates that even in Columbus, the proverbial shit hit the fan. Apparently, her power was out for a while, too, though she says that having the roof blown off a nearby gas station sounds a little more traumatic. Eric went out with his BG News posse and took some photos of the insanity. (Would that I hadn’t chosen these few weeks to have my camera serviced. I missed both the Fourth of July and the kickass storm of the decade. Though I’ll be looking forward to having a leak-free, recalibrated camera.)

And if more people would update their blogs, I’d have more to report. Blah.

Seems that campus got pretty fucked up. A wall was blown out of the Field House, a tree fell on the Death Center, the roof blew out of the Moore Musical Arts Center (right above Kobacker Hall, if I’ve heard correctly), giant trees have been uprooted… sounds like a damn mess. I’d been planning to walk around campus this evening to survey the damage, but I opted to stay home like the lazy-ass that I am.

You know, I’ve been in BG for… shit, eight or nine years now… and this is the worst storm I’ve seen yet. I’ve been in a couple of tornado warnings, but nothing like this. And this one didn’t even qualify as an honest-to-god tornado.

Shit, imagine that.

One Helluva Storm

It’s nice having window space in our little corner of the Sky Service Center. We get to see all the crazy storms as they come through. Today, we got to see the sky turn from normal and sunny to dark and brooding, got to watch the clouds swirl overhead, see the rain start up, visibility drop, trees bend, etc.

Then we got to go with the rest of the employees to the interior area of the building, next to the restrooms, to wait out the storm.

At the end of it all, trees were nearly uprooted, the roof was leaking, and the parking lot was flooded in places (the person trying to clean out the drainage pipe was up to her knees in water). Called home, made sure all was well, finished out the day and went home.

Or tried to. The city had my road blocked off. I had to go around the block and just ignore one final roadblock to even get to my driveway. One house over, there’s still yellow "Do Not Cross" tape strung across the road to divert traffic away from the fallen tree limb there. I’m not exactly sure how we still have power, since half of a tree is hanging out on our power lines. Taking up the entire road, curb to curb. Almost fell on someone’s truck.

Oh, and across the street from us, a giant tree fell in between the neighbors’ houses. Right in their shared yard, on the property line. When I got home, the two families were helping one another saw it up and haul it to the curb. The branches I gathered from our yard look like plain old branches; their side looks like a freaking rainforest.

On a completely unrelated note, lookee what I made! I’m so proud of myself.

Who Knew?

You will all be pleased to know that, after a few days of wearing skirts exclusively, my previously moist and painful heat rash has now dried out and diminished to a strange dry flaky spot. Better that than the other, though.

So I’m walking down the hall at work to get myself a Mountain Dew, and who do I see coming up the hall toward me? None other than Rob "Champion of the World" Wozniak, of RCC summer fame. I tip my head in my typical ‘huh?’ gesture, and approach him closer.


"Di," he answers smoothly. "What are you doing here? — You work here. What am I doing here?" I kind of nod and say the words with him, and he answers that he’s been working in escrow for the past two weeks. Says the temp agency told him they had a clerical job for him, and here he is. I told him that’s how I got my start last year, and they hired me on after a few months. I also said that it sounds like they always need people in escrow, so they might hire him on… if that’s what he wants. He said that’s the plan, and he hopes it works out that way.

So… the world gets smaller and smaller. How many RCC people have worked at the Sky Service Center? Me, Donna, A, and Rob, at least. It seems to be a starting point. One in which I’ve stagnated and from which I have failed to successfully emerge. The fly in amber? Hmm.

FYI, next weekend is my long-awaited weekend trip to DeKalb, IL for the DCI Midwestern Championships — the midseason show-of-shows. I haven’t been to this show since I was *in* it back in 1996. This is going to be so cool.