To bring you up to date

It’s been eleven days since Mom was admitted to the hospital.  For the past week they have said every day that they think she’s almost ready to transfer to a skilled nursing facility.  On the one hand we’d like to see her moved because that’s a sign that things are progressing.  On the other we want to be sure she’s ready to be moved.  Duh.

When she developed a raspy, wet cough we were concerned about bronchitis or pneumonia but she never ran a fever and her oxygen levels have remained in the normal range.  They eventually started her on cough medicine and when we visited the other evening she sounded much better.  I was still surprised yesterday to learn they were moving her to the nursing facility.  I guess I got so used to hearing they wanted to observe/evaluate her overnight that I wasn’t prepared to hear she was ready to go.

The nursing facility is not as convenient as the hospital was for visiting.  After work I would request a ride via Uber and off I’d go, arriving at the hospital within 10 minutes.  Then I’d visit a while with Mom, waiting for JD and SIL to arrive.  We usually stayed for a couple of hours, grabbing a bite in the hospital cafeteria or a coffee from the Starbucks in the lobby at some point in the evening.  We don’t make it home till nearly 9 and by then I’m ready for bed.  On top of that schedule, I haven’t been sleeping well – go figure.

No way I can visit the nursing home like that.  I understand it needs to be closer to where Mom lives with my sister and brother in law but we won’t get to visit except on weekends.  Visiting here in Seattle every night exhausts me.  No way I can travel up to Lynnwood after work, visit a couple hours and then head home.

Lest I fail to look on the bright side – this IS a good sign!

On to other news …

The other day I had some time on my hands and I was looking for a wide version of my favorite wall paper:

Not now Jack

The old one doesn’t work on my new monitors.

I couldn’t find this exact wallpaper for wide dual monitors but here’s one I did find:

imperial_stormtrooper-wallpaper-1920x1080

It looks so much cooler on my monitors than it does here!

Finally, on Tuesday we had a department white elephant holiday party.  Pizza and dessert were eaten; gifts were opened and some were even traded.  There was a lot of laughter.  Here’s what I’ll be taking home:

20151215_134217

Um, yeah, I am so ready for this weekend.  Too bad it’s only Thursday.

Work Stations

Our work areas say a lot about us don’t they? Here’s a peek at one part of Janey’s work station.

image

So what does this say about me, hmm? For one thing, I am truly appreciated by the partner I’ve worked with for almost 17 years. That’s the “AWESOME” cubed card if you couldn’t guess.

Then there’s my off kilter humor – the coffee quip illustrates it nicely.  Plus I have quotes from a couple of my favorite writers prominently displayed so I recognize that I need to be inspired throughout my day – don’t we all?

Finally, my “Is this the life or what!” sign and the reminder to breathe in AND out reflect the daily struggle to function and remain as positive as possible.

Hmm, I like that – I may have to make a new sign for my cube wall.

AS POSITIVE AS POSSIBLE.

Has a nice ring to it.

Double Your Fun!

Remember the old Wrigley’s Doublemint commercials?  No?  Okay, here’s a refresher because I’m a giver that way.

On one of the multitude of sites dedicated to lyrics I found the following posted.  While these don’t match the song track in the commercial above they were posted by someone who claimed to be one of the early Doublemint twins – for what that’s worth.

Double your pleasure,
Double your fun,
With Double good, Double good, Doublemint gum!
Double delicious,
Double smooth too.
Doublemint’s Double Delightful to chew.
So, Double your pleasure, Double your fun!
Get Double everything rolled into one.
Oh, Double your pleasure,
Double your fun,
With Double good, Double good, Doublemint gum!

Here’s where my analogy falls apart.  Everyone in those ads was always grinning like they were having the best time ever.  Double the fun!  Me, these days?  Not so much.  But there is a correlation of sorts.  Get comfy while I bring you up to date a bit.  Got popcorn?  On second thought, got bourbon?

A few months back I wrote about the upcoming changes at work, how we were going to a “shared services” model of secretarial support for some of our associates and others.  At least I think I wrote about it.  Let’s just pretend I did shall we?  Three of us staffers were approached with a request to join the Shared Services Team for the local office.  (The other two got the impression that it was either accept the request or start looking for another job.  That wasn’t my take and I’m not sure where they got that vibe, but that’s another whole can of worms we don’t need to address now.)  One secretary was already in place and had been providing coverage for all the first year associates for several months.  She would be our team lead.  Ultimately there would be a fifth secretary hired and between the five of us we would cover around 40 people.  Yeah, go ahead and gasp or gape or choke.  That’s entertainment!

We’ve been operating as a team for a few months now.  The first couple of months were a frakking nightmare.  One of us went on medical leave within days of the team starting.  That left three of us to cover everyone.  It was so busy I often forgot about lunch until well after noon when my stomach would finally realize I wasn’t on schedule and go on a rampage.  The local Powers That Be wracked their brains trying to figure out how to help us and finally recruited another secretary from the ranks to pitch in on team stuff as her regular workload allowed.  This helped some.  What helped more was that summer started.  With clients on vacation and some associates following suit things settled a bit.  Then our fourth returned from medical leave and the fifth was hired.  So of course the team inbox slowed to a crawl.  We’re still very slow but I expect that to change as summer winds to a close.

However, those first eight weeks took their toll.  We’d all been ill-prepared for and overwhelmed by the amount of work we faced each day.  People would see our faces as we passed in the halls and ask if we were okay.  Our stress levels were off the charts. Then, just a couple of weeks ago our lead, a firm veteran of 25+ years gave notice.  Maybe you can imagine the shockwaves that rocked our office.  I heard that one person even asked if they “got it” now.  “They” being our home office.  No, they did not get it.  The folks on the ground here better get it…this is the new deal.  This is the only deal.

And guess who gets to be the lead now?

If you guessed Janey give yourself a gold star!  Now if you’re a regular reader perhaps you remember that I was “promoted” late last year to be lead of my original group of secretaries.  So put one lead together with another lead and we get TWO leads!  Double the pleasure!  Double the fun!  Ahh, there it is.

Seriously, I’m going to be a double-lead at least until the HR people figure out who in my regular department might be able to handle taking on that responsibility.  Boy do I feel special!

Not.

Job Stress is at an All-Time High

That’s the note my chiropractor added to my file at today’s appointment.  In addition, he was very supportive and encouraging, telling me I had to identify those things that are out of my control and LET. THEM. GO.  Yeah, tell me something I don’t know Doc.

Not to be bitchy (Dr. G is awesome and I’d never really snark at him) but that knowledge has been engraved on my brain for a long time.  It’s acting on the knowledge that’s hard to get a handle on, even when my health has deteriorated as a result of the new deal at work.  I used to walk at least twice a week during my lunch hour.  Now I’m lucky if I get ten minutes to go get my lunch.  Granted, I’m supposed to take at least half an hour but sometimes you just can’t stop what you’re doing damn it.  Plus I’m not eating the healthiest, and while I am not abusing alcohol, it sure looks mighty attractive these days, which in itself is worrying.  Instead of the rhetorical question – “is it Friday yet?” I’ve started asking “is it happy hour yet?”

During the checkup I explained that ironically there are “All Staff” meetings next week.  Because we’re a GLOBAL monstrosity of a firm we have offices all over the world in all different time zones so they scheduled two meetings over two days to be sure everyone could participate.  I’m in a west coast office so that puts our meeting time at 4 PM, when I’m tying up loose ends and getting ready to leave for the day (on a good day that is; lately I haven’t gotten out of the office till after 5).  I don’t plan to stick around for more of the same old same old from the Poobahs.

Amusingly, the BigWig who sent the email announcing the meetings pointed out that they want everyone’s questions and they even set up a confidential link to submit those questions anonymously.  Phft!  I told Dr. G I was tempted to test the anonymity of that link by sending the following:

“This question is directed to the genius who came up with the Shared Services idea:  What the fuck?!”

Then I gasped and covered my mouth in shock.  I can be foul-mouthed at times, but I’ve never used that kind of language around any of my health care providers and I was completely stunned it had popped out this morning.  But Dr. G just laughed and I found myself laughing too.  He did recommend that if I submit the question I change it to “WTF?!” to be on the safe side.

So work sucks and doesn’t show signs of improving any time soon.  When another secretary on the team texted me last night that she was thinking of “looking” – as in for another job(!) – I felt my heart drop even further.  Oh sure, it isn’t as if I haven’t thought about it.  But I’m going to be 59 this year.  Who’s going to hire someone who might retire within the decade?  Even with 30 years experience I’m not that marketable.

Life however, goes on.

Three Beer Day

We’ve all heard of a three dog night correct?  If you haven’t heard that before, or at the very least heard the band then you’re too young for this blog so go away.  I’m just kidding, seriously haven’t I told you not to believe anything you read here?  But definitely go check out the band Three Dog Night, they were rocking it when I was in high school back in the dark ages.

I’ve heard the meaning behind “three dog night” many times and from multiple sources.  Go here if you want to see how the Urban Dictionary defines it.  What it comes down to is that when it’s very, very cold you want three dogs in bed with you.

But that isn’t the point of this post.  I’ll bet my regulars figured that out on their own.

Beginning with three dog night lets me segue to my day yesterday and its rating as a “three beer day”.  Some of you may not think that’s too bad a day and for you that could be true.  However, I come from an alcoholic mother and a Scots father and my genes are against me.  Plus?  I’m a total lightweight with alcohol.  So three beers usually puts me to sleep, and not necessarily in a good way.

Since my promotion I haven’t seen any gray hair but I’m not looking all that hard.  Also, as a former hair dresser told me once, my natural ash blonde color hides the gray quite well.  Thank goodness!  So, back to yesterday.

Well, let’s start with the day before.  You may recall that I wrote this post about a secretary leaving to work somewhere else.  Her departure was the second one in as many weeks.  And the day before yesterday a third secretary gave her notice.  I have no words.  Oh wait, I have plenty of words.  They’re just words I can’t use out loud in the workplace!

#@%*&!!!

So now we’re up to yesterday.  Not only am I supporting four of my own attorneys, but due to the recent departure I was temporarily covering two others for a secretary who now had six people on her desk!  She was in the midst of trial prep and something she called an allocation which required a lot of focus so I offered to help two of her folks or find someone to help them if I couldn’t.  Hey, that’s what a lead does, right?  Leads?  Well yesterday the work Would. Not. Stop. Coming.  And then a visiting attorney who was using the appropriately named Visiting Attorney Office on my floor needed help.  His was pretty easy and quickly finished.  But following that I needed to set up a pleading format for a filing in Florida.  We’re in Seattle folks.  You do the math.  So to speak.

By quitting time I was so done.  It was a two beer night for sure and luckily I had five left of a six pack in my fridge at home.

JD met me at our bank to get the cashier’s checks for some monthly obligations and ask why they were holding onto our tax refund check which he’d deposited the night before.  (It’s the federal government for heaven’s sake, if you can’t trust them…oh wait, never mind).  He mentioned in passing something about getting bad news and of course I had to ask.  Duh.

As you may recall, we’re due to go camping beginning tomorrow.  Murphy had other plans.  When JD went out to put a new electrical adaptor in the fifth wheel he discovered someone had broken into the trailer and probably close to $500 worth of property was stolen.

Hence, a three beer night.   Alas I only had time for one after dealing with filing the police report and calling the insurance company.

Sigh.

Lonely at the Top

A while back I posted that I’d gotten a promotion.  I soooo wish that sarcasm had its own font right now.  Because “BIG WHOOP” without any special emphasis just doesn’t do it for me.

It’s been days since I’ve been able to read anyone’s blog people!  DAYS as in multiple periods of 24 hours each!  Long damn days filled with extra responsibilities and headaches.  You know, when they offered me this position many years ago and I turned it down, I WAS RIGHT!

But on the plus side (I should be glad there’s a plus side right?) the day goes by much faster.  I have to focus on the positives or I may resort to violence.

So if you don’t see me commenting it isn’t because I don’t care.  It’s because I can’t find a freaking minute to check in and catch up with y’all.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have one secretary on vacation, another leaving early today and one who is being overwhelmed by 5 attorneys.  Please, please, please Lord – don’t let her quit!

Oh and the Poobahs, with their unlimited intelligence, are not going to fill the vacancy in our department.  Yippee.

Sigh.

YOU are an ass with a capital A!

Oh, sorry.  No, not you dear reader.  I’m referring to the rude jerk-off who cut the line at the train this morning.  But he probably doesn’t read my blog so I apologize to those of you who do.

When I called this dickhead on his rudeness his brilliant response was, “You’re not my mother or the police.  I don’t have to listen to you.”  All I could think was “Thank god I’m not your mom!”  But of course I didn’t think to say that then.  The best I could come up with was “In my opinion, you’re a rude asshole!”  That I did say out loud.  And got the last word (go me!).

On the positive side, the woman in front of me in line, who dipshit cut in behind, was sitting in the same section with me and she got my attention to mouth “thank you” to me!  How nice was that?  Especially since he didn’t cut in front of her.  I wish I knew what made this younger generation so oblivious to common courtesy.  But karma IS a bitch and I have to trust he’ll get his.

Because you all hung in there through this tirade I’ll end on a high note and share my good/bad news!  How about the bad news first?  They’ve decided in their infinite wisdom that they won’t be replacing L so we have to divvy up her four attorneys.  Yippee.

The flip side is that yesterday I was called up to HR and told my promotion is official!  I knew it was in the works that I would be named the lead secretary for our floor/department, but I didn’t realize they considered it a promotion.  Complete with a raise in salary!  I love nice surprises!

Happy weekend everyone!

 

Goats in Trees

Last year a bunch of the secretaries got together after work one afternoon and started a new holiday tradition.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to participate.  This year though I’m eager to meet with everyone, share a beer or three and exchange calendars.

Yes, calendars.

This exchange was inspired by a calendar someone saw:

Goats in Trees

Yep, those are goats.  In trees.

Apparently this started someone’s brain working and the “Goats in Trees” calendar exchange was born!  The rules are simple:

  1. Pick out a funny, office appropriate calendar.
  2. Wrap said calendar.
  3. Attend exchange; drink beer (or other beverage of your choice; I may have to indulge in One Scotch, One Bourbon, and One Beer*).
  4. Trade calendars (since I didn’t make it to last year’s shindig I don’t know how this part works).
  5. Display the calendar you receive in your cubicle for the duration of 2015.

See?  Simple.  And this promises to be loads of fun.  No, seriously, loads of fun.  Here’s a calendar I almost picked up for the exchange.

Yoga Dogs

When I went back to buy it though it was nowhere in sight and I was disappointed. 😦  But I plowed on through the display and came up with a funny animal calendar with mostly work appropriate captions.  I didn’t think of taking a photo of it to share here and I couldn’t find it online.  Now it’s wrapped up but believe me, it was pretty funny.  Panda in a tire swing funny!

And then there’s this one which I would have totally chosen if I’d seen it first!

Sock Monkey Kama Sutra

Well, except for that stupid “office appropriate” requirement.

*I know you’re thinking I got the title wrong aren’t you?  Aren’t you?  Well my source tells me the original title was One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer; it was written by Rudy Toombs and recorded for the first time in 1953 by Amos Milburn.  Of course my source is Wikipedia so there’s that.  Personally, I think they should be alphabetical, but I think that could be the OCD talking.

Voluntary? Phft.

First, thanks go to Gibber for bringing the phft back into my vocabulary!  Gibber spells it pft but I decided I wanted to make it more me.  This is my blog after all.  I’m not sure how the added letter makes it me but I like the way it looks.

And now, back to our show!  Or post, or something.

It’s that time of year again.  Leaves are morphing from emerald to topaz and ruby before falling to the ground to be crushed and shredded … sorry, um I didn’t mean to go all dark and creepy.  Unfortunately “that time of year” is also when they keep nudging us to complete our self-evaluations damn it!

In recent years the self-evaluation process has evolved somewhat.  Terminology has changed along with definitions.  One thing remains the same however and in the past few years they post it front and center – so to speak – at the beginning of the form.

“The completion of the self-evaluation is voluntary.”

Yup, that’s why I keep getting emails reminding me I haven’t done it yet. In addition, do you know what happens if you don’t complete the self-eval? Nah, me either. I always cave in.  But this year I think I’ll jazz it up a bit.

Major Accomplishments / Responsibilities

Janey started her second blog and acquired a passel of followers (waving at crazy followers). Pretty major wouldn’t you say?

She also posted new comics to the fridge almost every day of the week – someone has to boost the morale around here!

And Janey took more breaks!  That may not be major to the Poobahs, but she was spending so much time at her desk her chair has molded perfectly to her ass.  Or should that be it molded to her perfect ass?  Phft.

Training

Janey don’t need no steenking training!

Goals

Janey wants to retire one day – is that goal enough for you?  Quite the lofty goal if you could see her finances!  Yikes!

So there you have it.  I think I should sit on this a bit though before I turn it in.  I’m not so sure HR has a sense of humor.  Unlike my readers.  😀

To Blog or Not to Blog

I’m amazed at how many posts go up here every day.  Having barely enough time to manage the minimum daily effort at my salary-paying job, cope with the basic needs of my home, family and pets, I find myself wondering where everyone finds the time to write.

I’ve heard and read many times that if you’re meant to write you will find – or make – the time.  Based on that, I guess I wasn’t really meant to write.  At least not seriously.  I didn’t get online one time all weekend.  Well, not counting my brief foray on my phone to look up how to reheat an artichoke.  Other than that though?  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  No online time logged.

Between mowing our postage stamp square of lawn, baking the sweet potatoes for my hummus, pre-cooking the artichokes for later in the week, cleaning bathrooms and monitoring the laundry, I had my hands full.  Literally at times.   When I managed to take a break, I planted myself on the sofa, ice water at hand, feet up on the table and Solitaire City or my current book  in front of me on my Kindle.

Sure, I could have been writing.  Even with JD on the computer, I could have pulled out a spiral bound notebook and started scribbling.  But I didn’t choose to do that.  Makes me wonder whether writing is something I long to do or whether it’s something I wish I’d already done.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the release that I feel when I’ve poured out my angst over a family argument or my pleasure at something I’ve read or seen.  I guess I’m not all that inspired to write just for the sake of writing.  Turns out I’m not writing for other people, I’m writing for me.  Imagine that.  And that includes whenever or however I want to, even if I don’t want to for days.

In conclusion, I had absolutely no business enrolling in Blogging U’s Writing 101.  Part of my brain (the part that’s still easily convinced I can go beyond my natural laziness I guess) figured it would be a good way to develop a daily writing habit.  And I have to agree, it would be, if I actually wrote on a daily basis.  The really-real part of my brain knew better, but it let the other part have its way.  I’ll likely pop up occasionally to write some drivel, but for now I’ll be over here lurking, reading posts here and there, perhaps commenting.

🙂