Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Wait

After a 4-hour meeting yesterday, now I await the next step. It went well, and I would be surprised if a job offer is not forthcoming, but right now, nothing is a foregone conclusion.

I should hear something from somebody in the next couple of days. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

High Noon

Today at noon, I have been summoned back to the potential 'office' for further discussion and to meet a few team members. I can't help but think this is a good sign, although I know I will be raising some eyebrows of people (men) who will be threatened by an 'unknown player' from the CEOs past life possibly making an entrance. Not surprisingly, the organization has broken into camps of "Jim's people" versus the "non-Jim's people", with the intimidation factor high among the nJP crowd.

Still, I will go and try to be somewhat non-threatening, although I'm starting to think a little threat may be good. They don't know me. They don't know how highly (or not) Jim thinks of me, and they will be wondering 'what's is up with that'? Sometimes it's nice to be the mystery person. It can wield a lot of power, and for the first time, maybe I need to try to harness that and use it rather than relinquish it to make others feel comfortable (which is my general nature). Maybe I'll just let them sweat a little and see what happens. :)

Of course, I don't have 'the job' yet, but there are some good signs here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's Not Just a Job, It's an Adventure

Seriously thinking about going to work again and visiting the office for the first time yesterday, I am reminded of the good and the bad (besides the obvious ones) of going back to work. The peripheral things that affect your mood or your day just a little:


- Having to walk by people on break who stand just outside the building, smoking as furiously as they can. I hate walking through the cigarette smoke and the unhealthy vibe going on there just to get to the lobby. Why can't those people just kick the habit? If someone suddenly banned one of my habits from the building, I'd just give up the habit. It's hard to imagine that people will go stand in the rain just to suck down some nicotine. Give it up, already.

- Early morning traffic. Ugh.

- More dry cleaning.

- Having to tame my fear of elevators. Seems like nobody is located on a good, solid ground floor anymore. I can climb five flights of stairs daily, no problem. It's the customers I worry about -- when I go to places like New York or Chicago, it's almost a guarantee that my customer will be on the 400th floor of something. So I'll have to suck up my claustrophobia and ride into the sky again. Ugh.

- A growing office that will quickly be overcrowded. This means I'll likely get a cubicle rather than an office, which is something I'll just have to live with.

- Office politics. Ugh. Too many men vying for position, feeling threatened by a woman. What they don't know is that I don't have a political agenda; I just want to do good work to further the team's mission. But they never seem to get that, and so many of them are immediately intimidated by a tall, smart woman. They're like pathetic little boys, and I can't be bothered with most of them.


- When someone asked what I do, I will have an answer for them. Again. Finally.

- I can catch up on pop culture every morning by listening to the radio during rush hour drive-time. Amazing how behind one gets without access to that.

- Added confidence. Someone is paying me to do something, which means they must have some level of confidence in my abilities. That's always a boost, not just for career but for self-esteem in general.

- New clothes. I'll have to beef up the wardrobe again, and it'll be nice to put something stylish on every day and go forth into the world.

- Coming home at end of day. Something to look forward to and further appreciation of the domicile, a quiet respite from the world.

- Lunch breaks. I've missed those.

I'm sure that more will occur to me as time goes by, both good and bad. I'll view it as a whole new adventure and remain open to all the possibilities. Optimism makes things happen.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Step One

I'm in Florida this week. I didn't come for the usual reasons. I came to talk to a former colleague about a job opportunity. Yes, a JOB. I know, I can't believe it either. Let the hyperventilating begin.

But with the turn of events recently -- things that shall remain undescribed but keep me awake at night -- I feel like it's the thing to do -- try to go back to work. And this opportunity is a good one, so I'm thankful to have a shot at it.

I spent the morning talking to the CEO. He's invited me back on Wednesday for more discussion. I hope that's a good sign.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me. With the events of late, this is step one of the action plan needed to right the ship again.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Prepare to Choke

Bad charma. I can't help but think it comes and bites people in the ass when they least expect it, and perhaps when they most deserve it.

Right now I'm thinking about the situation with Bridget Moynahan, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen.

Bridget, having dated Tom Brady for over three years, just gave birth to their son earlier this week. It's not even clear if Brady was actually present for the birth. He seems to be very busy flitting around the globe with the world's richest supermodel, Gisele Bundchen.

About the same time that Bridget is heaving and pushing and birthing Brady's son, Tom and Gisele are announcing their intent to wed, after what seems like a rather brief courtship (shorter than the Bridget-Tom relationship anyway), and Gisele is said to have started her search for a wedding gown. (Oh My!)

Now maybe I'm just old and uncool, but I can't help but think this is an ugly situation. I feel for Bridget Moynahan. She may be beautiful, rich and famous, but I would expect that she might choose to give up all of those things to have the father of her child with her, excited about her and the new baby, rather than announcing his wedding plans to the world's richest supermodel. No matter how 'modern and independent' of a woman you are, that has to hurt in a big way.

And apparently, Tom, America's football hero and all around good guy, is not an all-around good guy. He seems to be a bit of a cad if you ask me, and I think a lot of people have lost respect for him in all this, as they should.

Bad charma. Put it out there, and you'll have to breathe it back in someday. I just can't help but think that Mr. Brady will be choking on a lungful of it sooner or later.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

All Play, No Work

People who don't do their jobs. I am inundated with them lately, and it's making me crazy.

Recently, I've hired a couple of people to provide some services that I might be able to do myself, except I don't really have the time to dedicate, and they claim to have certain expertise in their respective fields, so I figured spending the money to hire them would save time and add value - worth it in the long run. So I hired them.

So far, I've been nothing but disappointed. Their marketing pitches were great. Since then, they've basically done nothing for me, and it's driving me nuts.

Last weekend, I decided to jump in and try to bring some aggressiveness to the process, (at which I was fairly successful) but I know at the end of the day, even though I'm the one who did the work, they will be standing there with their hands out, waiting to be paid.

I just don't understand what's happened to the world. There used to be a time where people took pride in their work. They wanted to do a good job for their customers and were energized about their efforts. Now, it seems like people just want to put out as little energy as possible to do a half-ass job on something and then expect to be paid in full and move on. Work ethic has gone the way of the dinosaurs, and I wonder what it will take to bring it back.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Captain, my Captain

While attempting to continue daily life with some semblence of normality, I am still dealing with this disastrous situation we've been handed recently and am constantly trying to solve the problem in my head, even though I know I can't. And it's keeping me awake most nights.

I lay there and try not to think about it, but it's like an alarm goes off in my head if I start to drift off to sleep. Solve the problem, solve the problem, solve the problem. It's like a time bomb ticking in my brain. The difficult part is that I can't solve the problem. It's a problem with many things out of my control, and it's something that will have to run its course and go through a painful process to get sorted out. And nothing will be pretty during that process.

I really need my sleep because I need to have my wits about me during the day to think clearly and not fall apart while I try to work the part of the action plan that I can control. I do have a plan, complete with contingencies for different outcomes, and it looks good on paper, but the time spent waiting and the unknowns that eat at my psyche are pure killers. The idle times eat my brain alive.

I feel like it's something we're going to get through eventually. Right now, it feels like a dark, cold cave we're drifting through on a boat captained by someone else, in some sort of forced transition of life that is scary and uncomfortable because even though there's going to be light at the end of it, I don't know where the end of it is or how long it will take to get there. It's just out there somewhere, and I'm trying to get to it as fast as I can. But I'm not the one in charge of the ship this time.

I went and sat in a cathedral yesterday and talked to God about this. I asked Him to captain the ship, because I am unable to. I'd like to think that He has already taken over.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Infinite Incompetence

A phone line. A simple basic phone line. No bells, no whistles, just your basic dialtone. That's what I've been trying to have installed at my house for over 10 days now. I still don't have it.

I called my current phone provider, which 3 years ago was the only service provider in this area, and they won't give me a basic phone line. They're digital cable telephone, and they claim they can't strip off the special features (call waiting, caller i.d., voicemail) as required for this line. Seems odd to me, but I've been given that story by 5 different people at the company, so it must be true.

So I called good ole AT&T and asked them if they provide service to my area. Yep, they do! Finally! So last week, I scheduled them to come install this simple basic phone line. It took me over an hour on the phone with the customer service rep to get it set up, but by God, it was scheduled for installation on August 15.

Just because I'm a skeptic on the phone company, on August 14, I called to verify that everything was still good to go for August 15. I discovered, much to my dismay, that NO, things were not okay. My record had "errored out" and no installation was scheduled. I then worked with the rep for another hour to 'correct' the problem, and when I hung up, I was assured that a technician would be out the next day for the installation.

Ever the skeptic, the next morning I called AT&T again. Once again, there was an 'error', and no installation was being scheduled. This time, they claim they could not verify my address and when they called me, nobody answered. When I inquired about the number they called, it was an 877- number, which is a prefix for a toll-free number and couldn't possibly be my phone number. Nevertheless, they canceled the installation. Again, I worked for over an hour with the rep on the phone to verify my home address and reschedule the installation, however at this point, they couldn't do it on the 15th; it now had to be on the 16th. Fine.

So yesterday morning, I called AT&T again to ensure we were on track. Yes, they told me, the tech had me as 5th on his list, and he should be arriving around 11:30 am to do the install. At 3pm, when no tech had shown, we called again. This time, the tech had moved our appointment to 4:30pm and would arrive then. At 5:30 pm, we called again. The tech had arrived and looked around outside but decided that he needed engineering help from his office, and instead of knocking on our door, he called us (the incorrect 877- number again), did not speak with us and left the scene. No installation.

This morning, I got a call from a supervisor at AT&T. Seems that they don't provide service to my area. AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! So it's taken me 10 days, 10 phone calls and 5 hours on the phone with AT&T for them to figure out that they don't service my neighborhood. To say that I am not amused is an understatement, and I plan to write them a nasty, nasty letter. AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Press and a Box of Salt

They just can't wait. The press, that is.

They just can't wait for the opportunity to jump all over a tropical storm this season and completely sensationalize it in the media. Oh, yes, it's been far too quiet for them so far. They're like hurricane vultures out there just living for the next raincloud to brew up out of the tropics and blow away a mobile home park somewhere so they can report devastation and destruction. They just can't wait!

In fact, why wait? Let's just go with what we've got right now! Case in point....there's a small tropical storm moving into South Texas as we speak. It's moved in over the area where I grew up, where my parents still live. I just spoke with the folks. It's cloudy, it's not even raining, and they haven't experienced a lick of wind from it. All is calm.

But when I turn and look at the television, the national media has whipped this thing into a natural disaster. It's top headlines of the day -- Tropical Storm Erin threatening the Texas coast. Emergency crews readying. Massive flooding expected. People boarding up their homes.

And here's the really laughable part. Top winds are at 35mph. For those of you who have never been to Corpus Christi, it is actually one of the windiest cities in the U.S. Winds of 35mph would actually be a slow day for them. What a joke.

So if the press can't find a real natural disaster to overblow, they'll just jump on any ole thing that comes along and embellish it to death.

And don't think it's because it's a 'slow news day'. They do this crap all the time. The daily newspaper ought to be delivered alongside a box of salt every day, because that's what it would take to believe half the stuff they report. Vultures.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

'Tis the Season

The tropics are heating up. Yikes!

It's been a quiet June, July and August (so far) on the tropical storm front, but now things are heating up, and I'm very glad I brought my patio furniture in when we departed the Florida house in July.
My parents live in Corpus Christi, Texas, and they are gearing up for Tropical Storm Erin which is hovering close by in the Gulf of Mexico and will make landfall in the next couple of days right on top of them. Fortunately, it looks like rain and not much wind, and they think they can handle that pretty easily.

More worrisome is Tropical Storm Dean which was born off the coast of Africa (as are all whopper storms) and is now drifting into the Caribbean as we speak. Most computer models have it moving into the Gulf of Mexico in the next week while becoming a Category 3 hurricane or beyond. This one is definitely a worry and all of us who live and love on the U.S. coast are dusting off our hurricane tracking maps and hoping for the best.

Currently, I am scheduled to go to Florida for a couple of days later this month. I am keeping fingers crossed that this storm does not alter my plans. I don't need a hurricane on top of all the other storms that are going on right now.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Don't Pop Your Cork

Forget war, poverty, global warming and all the other more popular calamities in the headlines right now. Looks like we have a REAL tragedy on our hands -- a worldwide champagne shortage.

Yes, according to 'the industry', demand is threatening supply levels, and we're dangerously close to running out of bottles of bubbly, despite the 100 million bottles being held in cellars by the champagne makers for 'later'.

If we're going to have to suffer through a shortage of the bubbly stuff, it's probably good timing, since there also seems to be a shortage of things to celebrate. Seems to work out pretty well in that regard.

Forever Monday

Some days are Mondays, no matter what day of the week they actually fall on. Today would be a Monday, even if it were actually a Tuesday or Thursday or Friday. It feels like things are just piling on now, and every day of my life is now a Monday. There is no refuge in sight.

I need a bright spot, a sign of daylight out there. Surely something will give soon. I need an uptick.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Big is In

Whew!! What a relief. A BIG relief.

That's Mr. Big to you and me....Carrie's Mr. Big. He's finally signed on to do the 'Sex and the City' movie.
I mean, could they really do one without him? I don't see how, truly.

Good People, Bad Things

By nature, I'm a fairly optimistic husband far much more so. I generally have a positive outlook on life, at least giving it a fair shake of an assessment most of the time. But every once in a while...I do wonder why things happen.

I'm not really up for speaking about specifics here, but let's just say we've been dealt something recently that is potentially devastating, and we're in a bit of shock about it. And I'm trying to figure out why bad things happen to good people. I mean, I consider us to be good people -- we're not criminals, we're honest, we have compassion for others, we have good intent, and we're basic God-fearing, positive people. So why has this fallen upon us?

Believing in good charma and that the universe generally reflects back what you put out to it, I can't figure out why we've been handed this one to deal with. There must be a reason. Either we haven't been good people (contrary to my belief), or something good will eventually come of this in the end, and all will be exonerated, with us coming out as better people ultimately.

In the meanwhile, as we try to work through it, there will be many days of ups and downs, and I will try to keep my chin up and plow through it. Because....what other option do I have?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Triple Digits

For those of us sitting here in August wondering when 'summer' was going to finally's definitely here.

In Dallas, up until now, we've been drowning in buckets of rain. It's so odd to see the resulting green grass here this time of year. Usually it's all brown and crunchy by now.

But, here it comes. They're telling us it will reach 100 degrees on Thursday, and we should be seeing 103 degrees by the weekend. And dry, dry, dry.

In Florida, what had been strangely drier weather has now turned to humid and sticky (or so I'm told), the sort of weather that creates big, chaotic hair on my head. I vow to stop going there when the size of my hair doubles the minute I step off the airplane. Such is the case now. So unless there's some pressing reason, we won't go to Florida until the muggy weather begins its decline, and my hair can feel safe again.

So summer is definitely here, despite its strange delay. I wonder how long it will last now.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Hard Drive Blues

After some massive computer problems this week, I'm back online and will be posting again shortly.

Cheers to all, and I hope to catch up with my blogosphere buds very soon.