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Am I Half Dead or Am I Doin' fine?
Friday, January 5, 2007
Arrgh!
Now Playing: Clocks by Coldplay
Topic: General Diatribes

Yes, I know I've said it before, I know I've bitched & complained to no end here & in the lighter blog about my job, the new computer program, the customers who are idiots, the company acting like they're doing us a favor by 'letting' us work there. All of it. 

This time though, they've done it, they've really done it, I'm looking for a new Job. I've got an application for a job some of my co-workers left to do & they say the place is hiring now. They're getting about 3 thousand dollars more a year to do something similar to what I do now, with less stress, regular 8-5 work schedule & did I mention the less stress part?

Well I'm not going to fly off the handle & quit my job. (did a lot of that as a teenager & young adult & watched Rick do it for 8+ years after that)  But I'm going to put in that application & do some online & newspaper searching. I started a list while at work of the things I hate about my job & I only got as far as the customer issues, the really bad thing about my job is that there are so MANY stresses,

1. You've got customers calling in constantly (that is what the job is about after all) call after call & they're bitching about this that or the other thing. (don't get me started on the variations on that theme because I'll be here all night) I'll save the in depth for annother post.

 2. You've got management saying you can't take too long between calls to finish your notes, but you HAVE to leave notes on every call, you can't log out more than 5 minutes before your end time & you can't log in before your appointed start time But at say, 9am in my case you're expected to have the computer up, all programs ready to go to take calls even though you're not going to get paid until 9am. 

3. You have the delicate balance of enforcing the business rules to the customers but yet, when monitored still giving 'world class customer service' BAH! Customer service includes (they tell us) never telling a customer no or that you can't do something- although if we don't follow the business rules we can get fired!

4.  Overtime, Overtime, Extra time, The last is our corporate euphemisim for over time which is supposed to make us feel better about being there more than 40 hours a week & I admit if I need money it's nice to have the option but I still feel the words Mandatory & Overtime should not be in the same sentence. Ever.

5. Add to these, the added stress since May of a computer program which is cumbersome, sluggish, crashing constantly & routinely doesn't do all the things I get asked to do in a day in which I take 55-60 calls (as in the programers just say, 'sorry, this program just doesn't do that part, you'll have to have someone with the old computer program do that for you')

 6. On top of all this my boss got called into the General Manager's office last night for a quick heads up on things which are/will be happening very soon:    1. Among other things while we're already clocked down to the nano-second they're going to start handing out write ups if we're 5 minutes late or more coming back from Lunch. Breaks, where they're still paying me  while I'm not on the phone I can understand but during lunch I'm logged out, this is my time, I'm not being paid & I hurt only myself by not logging in at 230 or whenever. -My job is NOT life & death however much management would like to think it is- if it was they should put on a graveyard shift like I've been asking them to do for the past 5 & 1/2 years so I could go on it & be home for my kids every day, not just a few of them! (of course, I know myself, I'd sleep constantly if I was on third shift!)

 2. My boss told us the being (a LOT) more careful about breaks lunches etc stuff last night (Ok, I knew he had to go see the GM, had a guilty concience & after work pressed him to find out what he was told & he told one guy who always works late & was still there & me the above) However he neglected to mention the important part until our '5 minute meeting' this morning & that is that there is an 80% chance that we will be doing a full reordering of the whole business' schedules & it will mean that we will have to choose shifts again, it means the 'well oiled machine' my co-workers & I have been for 15 months will be taken apart again, we will no longer likely have our easygoing if a little vague coach & many of us could very likely lose our schedule. IF they even have this same schedule available- if it's available it is not unlikely I could remain on it since the 4 days 10 hours a day shifts are not as popular as you might think & I'm in the second to highes tier in our rankings which determine our monthly bonuses, (oh yes, there are reason$ I am still at that job in spite of the abuse, stress & frustration I experience there) myself I love the 4x10 shifts, especially since I currently get out of work at 8pm & am home to help even mr 7 with his homework. (don't all 7 year olds have a 930 bedtime?) it is also entirely possible that I could keep the same days off but be required to be at work until 10 or even 11 at night. No one knows, it could happen as soon as the end of February or it could be the end of March, but an 80% chance is pretty big odds, I have no doubt (especially with my job experiences there) that it WILL happen. The only question is how long can we keep this nice Friday, Saturday & Tuesdays off schedule? 

  I'm already second guessing myself, maybe I should wait til the shift bid, see what I get for a schedule & THEN change jobs if I don't like it! I'm so cautious with 3 kids to feed. I told one of my more hot-headed co-workers who was going off about 'f this I'm not going to change shifts again' (he just bidded onto this shift in September) that I have 11 more years before I can just quit a job & tell people to shove it. (that's when all of my kids are grown & I am raising them with the expectation that by 18 they should be able to take care of themselves & live on their own - I was living on my own at 17 after all!  


Posted by Becky at 1:00 AM EST
Monday, January 1, 2007
Yep, Sounds like me!
Topic: General Diatribes
Advanced Global Personality Test Results

Extraversion |||||| 26%
Stability |||||||||||||| 53%
Orderliness |||||||||| 36%
Accommodation |||||||||||||||| 63%
Interdependence |||||||||||||||| 70%
Intellectual |||||||||| 36%
Mystical |||||||||||||||| 70%
Artistic |||||||||||||| 56%
Religious |||||||||||||||| 63%
Hedonism |||||||||||||||| 63%
Materialism |||||||||||||||| 63%
Narcissism |||||| 23%
Adventurousness |||||||||||| 50%
Work ethic |||||| 23%
Self absorbed |||||||||||| 50%
Conflict seeking |||||| 23%
Need to dominate |||||||||||| 50%
Romantic |||||||||| 36%
Avoidant |||||||||||||| 56%
Anti-authority |||||||||||| 43%
Wealth |||| 16%
Dependency |||||| 30%
Change averse |||||||||||||| 56%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||| 63%
Individuality |||||||||||||||| 63%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Peter pan complex |||||||||||||| 56%
Physical security |||||||||||||||| 70%
Physical fitness || 10%
Histrionic |||||| 30%
Paranoia |||||||||||||||| 63%
Vanity |||||| 23%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||||| 70%
Female cliche |||||||||||||||| 63%

Stability results were medium which suggests you are moderately relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.

Orderliness results were moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly flexible, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense of reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.

Extraversion results were low which suggests you are very reclusive, quiet, unassertive, and secretive.


trait snapshot:
introverted, secretive, messy, depressed, does not like leadership, somewhat nihilistic, observer, does not make friends easily, unassertive, feels invisible, feels undesirable, hates large parties, does not like to stand out, leisurely, suspicious, submissive, abstract, unpredictable, intellectual, likes rain, likes the unknown, negative, weird, not a risk taker, unadventurous, avoidant, strange

Get your Own!

 


Posted by Becky at 11:53 PM EST
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
When Toys Collide
Topic: General Diatribes

 I took this Picture on Saturday just because the two toys were on my dressing table & were a funny combination (not really with a 7 year old boy & a 10 year old girl around but still- together it was amusing) I sent it to this blog through my cell phone & it never showed up, I had this great idea to do a bunch of picture/posts for a pictorial day in my life - it was a pretty cool day, we went to Roanoke & the weather was beautiful!- but none of them ever showed up here either! Although my phone's delivery messages say they were recieved, the address is correct, what it says here in the set up on the blog is what my phone says it's sending the pictures to & if I send it to my email it works just fine- that's how I got this picture on here, I did this all through my vacation this year & it worked just fine! Now it won't work! I only get 50 picture messages a month so I'm not about to resend them all! Very frustrating! 

 

 


Posted by Becky at 2:37 PM EST
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
A Diatribe (you don't have to read this, it's for me not anyone else)
Now Playing: Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox
Topic: General Diatribes

    I'm here because I don't belive many people look here. My Mother & a few other judgemental people don't have this blog address & it's more private but it's still here so that I can put out how I feel, I'm feeling pretty miserable, anyone who reads my regular blog knows my work situation is becoming more & more untennable, I am getting physically & emotionally drained working there, when I started with this boss back last October I thought it would be great, he's an easy going type of guy, low key & casual, he lets a lot of things slide, for instance our attendance policy is 5 days out & you get a verbal, 1 more day & you get a written warning, 1 more day after that & you get terminated, I've had 8-10 days this year alone where I couldn't get there because of weather, or was sick, or a kid was sick, I got my verbal in september, he brushes them off, or finds a way to get it labeled something else so it doesn't count as an absence. Which is a good thing because if he played by the rules I'd be out of work now. I have a solid knowledge base in what I do but there's not a lot of call for people to do this outside of my industry, there's also a contract we're required to sign which states we will not work in the dbs industry for a certain amount of time after we're through with our job there (I think it's 6 months but it might be a year) So a lot of that information would be pretty useless to me in other venues, yes, I've gained a lot of customer service experience but most of that is negated by the fact that I see customers mostly as idiots who don't even have the sense to follow simple directions in the owners manual, sign up for 18 month commitments with out even realizing they're doing so & can't figure out that the red button that says tv is to turn the tv off & on. I have poor tone on my calls & my voice & throat are constantly stressed by talking for 40+ hours a week so my tone is not neccesarily going to get better. It's likely to get worse, this is one of the reasons I like the school term, when it's cold & my voice is the most stressed I can be absolutley silent from the time I wake up in the morning until 3pm when the kids get home if I want to, for 2 days of my week (of course it means I don't call my grandmother or mother, but that's not always a bad thing)

   Now don't get me wrong, I know I never could have done all I have in the nearly 6 years since (p)Rick left me if it wasn't for my job there, they pay more than anyone else around here unless you're a diesel mechanic or a cop or you want to work in a factory (& I do NOT want to work in a factory, Been there, done that- fallen asleep standing up from sheer boredom)  Working there has enabled me to not break down & cry anytime someone raises their voice at me or gets angry with me (something which has made it much eaiser to argue with (p)Rick over the phone & in person) It has made me smarter, better able to articulate what I say & how I tell people to do things & given me an unending store of stories about crazy, stupid or truly scary people. It has also facinated me in that I can make a good educated guess at what state people are calling from by their phone area code, I am good with telling where people are from by their accents now & can pronounce many odd street & town names & know all 50 of the postal abreviations for states & can tell you which state it is without hesitation (the more seasoned customers I talk to, who have had equipment sent to them or techs sent to their house - & have heard other reps mangle addresses- appreciate that I can read back their address with no hesitation) But most of those things are more about my own mind, I like being able to do those last few things because it keeps my brain sharper & entertains me during calls to some extent (we're not supposed to read, write or even look at the tvs while we're talking to customers- everyone does though) That's the biggest problem for me, boredom, it used to not be so boring- there were more challenges. Now out of 55 or so calls in a day I always have 3 or 4 that aren't boring in a pleasant way (as in a challenge to figure out what's going on & how to stop it) & about the same amount in an unpleasant way. (meaning really pissed off customers, or bad billing screw ups) However, that's a lot of calls to take where you could do it in your sleep & to some extent are doing it by rote. The job, as I said pays well, I started at $8.50 5+ yeas ago & have increased by more than a dollar a year since then- to change jobs now would almost certainly mean a financial hardship for me & I'm right to the wire with what I make now- I should be doing overtime, at least the 4 hours which were mandatory (we're off that for the moment but with the threat that it will come back as soon as the calls start coming in heavily again- this is always a slow time of year for us) No one is going to hire me for what I make per hour to do much of anything that I saw people hiring for in the paper yesterday (& there wasn't much there either) I'm traveling 27 miles each way now, most of the jobs which might come close would mean going to Roanoke daily & that would nearly double my commute- even for the same money it wouldn't be worth it. I could take a small cut in pay if I could stay closer to home but there's no jobs here in this county which will pay me anything close to what I make now.

  In thinking about it though, I wouldn't neccesairly want to go back to being a stay at home mom, (unless I had tons of money & could go out shopping & get home improvement projects to do while at home- I can't even afford an extra gallon of paint right now)  That was boring too, in a different way, I was so limited by money & the lack of it to what I could do & couldn't do I was miserable & of course the fact that mr working dad would stay out & drink a couple nights a week & was aparently chasing women & girls like mad didn't help, especially since I couldn't get him to keep an eye on the kids long enough for me to take a shower, let alone long enough to go do anything on my own. I did like being able to read or watch tv as much as I wanted & I was definitley a lot more motivated to get the house cleaned up, If I didn't (p)Rick would bitch endlessly, 'what was I doing with all of my time, how come I couldn't do a simple thing like keep the house clean, was I stupid? He worked all day & didn't need to come home to a messy house' personaly I feel the same way now but I don't have a housewife to do it & Lois is only motivated by her own personal needs & wants John is coming for an impromtu visit this weekend so chances are good my house will look pretty good this weekend & then back to the pit of hell. I can bribe her but the things I have to use to bribe her with are not really great things & I'd prefer not to do so. Which leaves me with a dirty house most of the time.

  I am taking the day before Halloween off next week, giving me a 3 day weekend for which I am profoundly grateful, I'm really torn about the whole days off thing, I've always loved going to Mass for vacations, last year I couldn't afford to do so & instead took a lot of 4 or 5 day off spreads, timed with my regular days off I can get a lot of those in a year & after having my vacation this year with 16 days off in a row combined with driving to MA & all over New England I think the 4 & 5 days off way was easier, I did have extra days off this year, (due to our fulfilling a challenge to get more customers & because I had saved a couple of days for Christmas & didn't need them because we were swapped off, meaning we worked on one of our regular days off in exchange for not working on Christmas day- I hope that happens again this year)  so instead of 12 paid days off I had 15 & used a total of 10 for my vacation & the rest interspersed throughout the year but it's not exactly the same, as spreading them out more evenly, especially since the Vacation did more to wear me out than relax me, I loved seeing everyone but all that driving is begining to feel more like work than fun to me. (I NEVER thought I'd say that! Man, I am getting so old) Anyway, I'm looking forward to 3 days off in a row for halloween, I'm also scheduled to have my birthday off & am still saving 1 day off to use for Christmas if we don't get swapped off

(we might not, just because we had it off last year) To get back to my original complaint, I'm just feeling really unfulfilled right now, the job sucks, the kids are so caught up in their own stuff- some of that is tv which I hate but Cam would rather watch tv than do anything else, Val's always willing to do stuff with me but so much of the time she's off in her own little world & Lois is totaly gone to me, she's always on the phone with John or her friends or we're fighting about computer use or my not doing what she wants me to or her not doing what I want her to. a peaceful hour is a rarity between us right now. (though I will admit it has gotten a little better now that we're a house with 4 people in it) Nothing is really thrilling me, I'm mostly just

escaping into books & reading stuff like other peoples blogs online, even doing things like figuring out what bills I can pay each paycheck is almost too overwhelming right now & I've always been facinated by manipulating my available funds in the most lucrative way. Part of the problem is there isn't enough funds in general right now! But I tried to fix that the other day & got a loan & even figuring out which bills to pay off completley is too much to work on right now! I'm not exactly depressed but I'm not feeling very cheery right now. Oh well, maybe putting it all out there will help a little.



 

 


Posted by Becky at 3:45 PM EDT
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Yesterday
Topic: General Diatribes
You never think, when you're out running around that the day will fly so fast! how can 24 + hours have passed already? I'll always take a bad day at home or out & about over a good day at work- Yesterday- in spite of not having much of any money was a pretty good day- The kids & I went to C'burg & directly to Target, this was the first time we'd been there since they put out the Halloween stuff so we had a lot of fun checking it all out & I got a plastic tub in orange & black to store my halloween decorations in. {thank goodness for the target card!} After that we drove to a different Walmart than we usually use because there was a Virginia Tech game in town & I try to avoid that mess at all costs. If I had had more money we would have gone to Roanoke!I was broke enough that we went home to eat dinner instead & the kids played around Lois disappeared as usual & I did laundry & went online & man do I wish I was back there & not here at work-! Thank you for using easyedgeSM Picture Messaging by U.S. Cellular. See www.uscellular.com for info.

remote Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 18, 2006 11:56 PM EDT
Today
Topic: General Diatribes
So here I am at work this is a severely messed up day! normally I work 9 to 8 & my breaks are around 1130- 230 to 330 & 545- today I came to work knowing I had signed up for 2 hours of overtime tonight. I was not exactly thrilled about that but I am supposed to do 4 hours of overtime a week & last week I didnt sign up in time & so I didnt do overtime! {I'm not complaining I don't want to do the overtime anyway- but I can get in trouble for not doing that 4 hours minimum! Even if theres no OT available when I'm not already here} So I knew my break schedule would suck I just had no idea it would suck so bad!my first break was normal but my lunch was at 1 until 2, my next break is at 4 pm & I have a third break at 6 now I am not complaining about the third break I am happy about that but at 6 pm?? when I work until 10 pm!?! Thats 4 hours without a break! & I have a bladder the size of a grape! Just annother indication that we are seen as so many cattle by the corporation!

remote Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 18, 2006 11:21 PM EDT
Monday, July 10, 2006
Not even on Vacation & Already Something to Write About!
Now Playing: My Head's in Mississippi by ZZ Top
Topic: General Diatribes

Ok, so I go to work this morning with all intentions of staying through the day, I'm not good at this, especially since we started the new computer program, I hate it, it makes me look stupid because it takes so long to load every page that I have to keep apologizing to customers because everything is taking so long & then on top of that the customers that I've had to deal with have been HORRIBLE, really impatient, hateful & actually mean to me, personally, (which is unusual, I've talked to plenty of angry customers over the years who have made it a point to say to me that they're not mad at me, just the company I work for & while, over the years I've rolled my eyes at what I've always taken to be trite aphorisms I've now seen enough of the people who are stupid enough, or rude enough to take their anger out on the person on the phone in juvenile unpleasant ways that I'll take the other kind any day.) I'm not the only one experiencing this, it seems discussing this with other people that at least 3 out of 5 customers have an attitude from the moment you answer the phone. I've left before due to this but I was determined that because this was my last day before vacation that I was going to be as nice as possible & let everything just 'roll off me like water off a ducks ass' which is a saying I was taught my first solo day on the phone there & one I have tried to keep in mind for the 5 years (On July 16) that I've been there!
I offered when we were available first thing this morning to go home though, my boss told me since I won't be back to work for 16 days that I'd be the last person he'd send home if the option was given (it never is... that's one drawback to working 10 hour days, we're there late enough that even if there's no calls coming in they won't send us home because at 6,7,8 that night there will be calls coming in & they'll need us then)Then at lunch Lois was weeping on the phone, I spent 1/2 an hour of my 1 hour lunch trying to calm her down, get them all to pick up their messes & keep people from punching each other. I seriously considered asking to go home then because I couldn't stand the idea that everyone was fighting & I was pissed because Lois was so upset because the little kids don't listen to her at all anymore. (& that the kids aren't listening) I threatened that if the house wasn't clean when I got home we'd all stay home for my vacation & I'd run the house like boot camp. Lois relayed this threat & we got off the phone & I went back to lunch & read my book.
About an hour & a half later I needed to pee so after the call I was taking I logged out & went to the bathroom, as I was walking there I remembered that before lunch my dress had felt funny in the back so when I got in the bathroom I turned around & looked at the back of the dress, this is a dress I bought back at tax time in another year, as in January 2004, & have never been able to wear, I've been too fat for it all of the time. The not eating sugar (Much) thing has helped a lot, it's been almost effortless weight loss(except for the effort expended in not eating sugar which, I assure you, is a LOT of effort - I am totally addicted to it!) so this was the second time I've worn the dress It's a black dress with big green roses all over it, it may not sound nice in description but it is actually surprisingly nice looking on. it has a thin crepey top part which has a nice flare to it & is see thru & a solid black sheath underneath which is more body fitting. (you can see the picture above, of me in it just now that miss 10 took for illustrative purposes!)The black piece underneath had split up the back seam & my butt & back were hanging out of the dress! I nearly died! Mind you, I felt the under piece shifting in an odd way BEFORE my hour lunch & then promptly forgot about it during my lunch when I was pacing around the break room yelling at kids on the phone & then eating & then going back from the breakroom to my desk to read until my hour was over! I slunk back to my desk & got the pullover shirt I keep in the drawer for when it's too cold in the building & tied that around my waist & went to find my boss. When I found him I couldn't get a word in edgewise at first, he told me we're moving from the desks we're in to other desks a couple of areas away & to pack up my stuff & take it home & he'd pick me a good desk so when I came back I'd have a good one (they're moving Thursday & I will be in Weymouth MA on that day) so then I explained my predicament. He laughed right out loud & put his head on the desk for a few minutes laughing, then he said 'you know, when I agreed to a supervisory position on one ever told me that I'd have to deal with things like this! So what do you need to do? go home?' I said 'well, I COULD wear this shirt around my waist all day but...' & he jumped right in with 'uh, I think I'd be too uncomfortable for that' I agreed & off I went! & here I am, about to go to sleep & rest up for my upcoming 750 mile drive!

Posted by Becky at 7:22 PM EDT
Sunday, July 2, 2006
Time Suckage yet Again!
Now Playing: Rock on By David Essex.
Topic: General Diatribes

There's a reason I don't like to have the computer on when I get home from work! It's because one thing leads to annother & before I know it hours have disappeared, I had asked Lois to leave the computer up for me so I could check my email, I had written emails to a couple of people in regard to the vacation we're about to go on 7/10 & wanted to see if I'd gotten responses, well, I had new comments on the light blog so I had to go see what they were & that led to the reminder that I have so few entries here where I promised myself to be honest & not edit myself & of course I had to go see how it was going at Micheles, & check other friends' blogs, Ann blogs so seldom I'd hate to miss an entry! At that point I figure I might as well play some music because I can't stand the show they're watching in the next room. Like I said, one thing leads to annother & before I know it it is 1 am & I have to go to work in the morning!
I knew I wanted to get online this morning when I got to work & found my purse was full of bottle caps, I'm saving those silly diet coke caps from the 20 oz bottles & I can never keep up with entering the codes I collect, mostly because you can only enter 10 a day from the coca cola website & because I drink at least 3 on work days, I feel a little sillly saving them but I did once 10 years ago, or so, save all the pepsi points they printed on the labels, (it wasn't me drinking the pepsi, I'm a diet coke fan all the way) but my ex loved pepsi & so I had the bottles lying all over the house anyway, No, I'm not kidding, he left them everywhere, used to drive my Grandmother nuts (we lived with her back then) I saved them, sent them away & got a pretty cool Pepsi denim jacket, the only way you could tell it was a Pepsi product was the buttons & the tag inside, no awful labels or anything on the back, I wore it to pieces, the first 3 years at my job I wore it fall & spring really I pretty much wore it until the weather hit the 30 degree range. The chairs I hung it on at work wore the denim away across the back of the jacket finaly & I got rid of it about a year & a half ago. I'm hoping for annother similar find thru Coca Cola this year. After all, I'm rotting my guts with the soda anyway, I might get something besides the caffeine out of it. I was giving some thought to limiting my caffeine intake sometime in the near future, but of course I have to drive to Mass in annother week, I'll never make it without caffeine, as a matter of fact I discovered an old 'friend' on the way up there with Chrissie a few weeks ago, got a box of Vivarin at Sheetz & found in spite of all the soda I'm drinking regularly it definitley put a kick in me. I used to, when I was young & had no kids & it didn't matter how big of a bitch I was, take 2 or 3 to get through a Friday night at the Pizza place I worked at in Haverhill. I remember I'd end up grinding my teeth like I'd taken something stronger!
I'm going to try to exersize some restraint & quit now for the night. I think, maybe I'd better see what's going on on Jody's myspace....

Posted by Becky at 10:32 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Done & I'm on to the next one!
Now Playing: I wish it would rain by Phil Collins
Topic: General Diatribes

Annother day, annother 'week' at work begins tommorow, the cell phone saga continues, the phone I bought Lois a few weeks ago which she's paying me back for out of her babysitting pay is not compatible with the system we use so I have to box it up & send it back. Lois is furious, adding to her already morose attitude now that her 10 days with the boyfriend from Kentucky has ended, I did like the boyfriend pretty well at least, good thing too since supposedly they're engaged (!) & he's going to come here to live & they'll be married when she gets out of highschool. I haven't agreed to much of anything, I insist she finish high school of course & I'd prefer they go through college before any actual marriage takes place, personaly I'm anti marriage at all, living together seems like more than enough, unless you're actualy having children. I know I wish I hadn't ever gotten married, it would have made it a lot easier to walk away a thousand times before he actualy walked away on me.
I am trying to be more upbeat & cheerful in my posts, I am noticing how grumpy & down Lois seems all the time & that Val is beginning to act similarly & I'm trying to do less of that in the hopes that Val & Cam at least will not follow my family's way like Lois & be all morose & gloomy all the time, I did enough of that 13 through 20 & have striven to not be that way since my brother & then my father's deaths. I admit to a little 'magical thinking' as if I can teach my kids to not be depressive little toads who might eventually want to kill themselve. That they won't kill themselves. Of course I never killed myself, I thought about it a lot though, I just firmly belived that if I did kill myself I'd wind up in exactly the same sort of life I'd killed myself to escape. The idea of suffering through what ever I had to to get to the next thing has definitley stayed with me over the years, also the attitude that the word 'suffering' originaly meant to 'undergo', not neccesarily in a painful way.
All of this is lost on Lois, I get the one eyed glare from behind that mane of hair she has & then, worse, she rolls the eye, as if to say 'mom, you're so simple, you have no idea how complicated my life is- you just don't get it' - see I know what she's saying without her actualy speaking the words because back when she actualy talked to me, like at 14 she'd tell me things like that & I'd press her for details & then regret that I'd done so because either she'd share things I didn't want to hear or she'd shut down completely. (it's a toss up which was worse)

As for me, I'm just going to take it easy until the next thing comes along, now that we're through with the boyfriend visit & the first summer birthday(Valerie on 6/11, party yesterday) It's time to gear up for the Vacation! we're scheduled to leave July 10th after I get out of work & drive all night. Then we'll come home July 26 so I can go back to work on the 27th. Planned stops include Anns house, My Grandmothers & Mothers apartments, Mansfield country store, The school I used to attend in western Mass, Salem Witch museum (someone said it wasn't very good but she's high maintenance & easily bored so I'm not taking her dislike of it to heart) There's been some talk by the kids of going to Whittiers Birthplace for a visit, I'm hoping to distract them from that idea, I loved living there for all those years (1988-1997) off & on. But now that we're done there & there's no going back (everything's changed in how they get curators etc & I wouldn't want the job anyway) I'd just as soon stay far away, too many memories, both good & bad. Funny, going to Rockland where I grew up doesn't bother me & being in Haverhill doesn't bother me but the idea of being at Whittiers is disturbing. Then there's Val & Lois' ideas that they can ask the curator/caretaker if we can see the rest of the house, to me that is just TOO RUDE & never mind that they lived there- it's someone else's house now too & we have no right, the girls just sit & stare at me like I'm nuts when I say this. I'll stick to the beach & the graveyard thank you. This is the first year I've had a credit card with more than $50. available on it for our trip. I hope to not max it out. I only have so much room to bring things back home in after all... I'd like to concentrate more on having a good time & relaxing rather than accumulating things to bring home. (I have a co-worker who's already requested I bring her a seashell & maybe a bottle of ocean water) The Boston trip is often an accumulation trip but really, where else can we get Boston Bruins stuff? not in Roanoke that's for sure! & they do have some of the most beautiful stuff I've ever seen at Quincy Market after all! The most I've ever taken this trip with was almost a thousand dollars in 2004, the last year we went, gas prices were still under 2 bucks then & it did not feel like enough still, this year gas is $2.67 here & I shudder to think what it's costing up there, I haven't called my mother or grandmother in weeks, they're busy, I'm busy, time flies. That's really the purpose of the vacation though, to slow time down for a couple of weeks. Let the kids get to know their family up in Mass, just because we live here & they live there is no reason they can't know & care for their extended family. The most likely reason I might spend too much on vacation because I have it available to spend is that the visiting can get a little intense, we stay with family & friends & the older the kids get the less pleasant that becomes, first we've got Lois sulking & moaning about everything from a zit on the tip of her nose to roaming on the cell phone to the lack of internet at my grandmothers. Then there's Valerie generally bossing everyone around & Cameron getting into everything, I was here at the computer the other day & he came by with a wrench, 'what's that for?' I asked, knowing better than to just let it go, 'oh, the faucet's dripping, I'm going to take it apart & see why' Oh no you're not! (turns out if we turn the faucet all the way off it stops dripping very quickly!) That sort of thing in elderly housing could be a real disaster!
So the #1 thing I'm likely to spend more than I plan on will be a motel room, I've never been able to do so before but I have wanted to... oh, I have wanted to with all my heart. to just get a place lie down & let them run free, you want a shower tonight, then again tommorow before we leave? sure go ahead - just leave enough hot water for me to do the same. The bathroom floor is all wet because you filled the tub too full & splashed it out? & you left the heat lamp on half the night? oh well. (not my well, not my electric bill & not my floor.)
yes, a motel room for a night or 2 in the middle of the family fun would be a welcome relief from the family & the crazyness that being 800+ miles from home gives you! & it might be worth it, after all, I'm still hearing vacation planning is off, that gas prices & problems like the Katrina mess are really screwing up the number of vacationers this year. Then of course there's the concern that the rain of last week etc. could continue & New England might not be a good place to be this summer. It will be for us though, beaches & mountains & sight seeing be damned, we've got family & friends after all!

Posted by Becky at 7:03 PM EDT
Friday, June 9, 2006
Time or Money Never Both
Now Playing: I am A Rock, Simon & Garfunkle
Topic: General Diatribes

Time Time Time, there's never enough time, I've been run ragged this week trying to get everything done, my lack of time (even with 2 sick days off last week- friday & sunday)has cost me at least 2 zuchinni plants & maybe a couple of summer squash- it took me so long to plant them that a bunch just wilted & died from having their roots cramped up in the starter boxes. I've got to put together a birthday party for 9 turning 10 tommorow & get she & her brother to their cousin's birthday party the next day somehow. I've had about 6 hours of sleep every night for 2 weeks (except for last night- got more last night & the silence was beautiful- only got up 2x because of my cough & inabillity to breathe because my lungs were full & I was wheezing) If it wasn't for Chrissie I would have grass 2 feet tall in my yard. I have baskets of laundry which need to be folded & more which still has not been put away (I have to stand over mr 6 to get him to put his away - not really a problem because his closet is also my closet so I put my laundry away at the same time & keep him focused (this is commonly known as nagging)
& yet here I sit, reading other peoples blogs, discusted that out of 55 emails I only was interested in reading 5 & just basically doing anything but writing here or getting off the computer & doing some of the other things which need to be done around here tonight. Now on the plus side, things are quiet around here, schools out, first full week off was this week & we're still adjusting, me to what it takes to feed 3 people just sitting around the house (well, 5 this week really) & the kids to not having to get up early or do any homework (like THAT takes adjustment) I enjoy being able to talk to them longer at night & see them on my days off more, I resent even more every minute over 40 hours that I'm forced to spend in my workplace. As I mentioned I missed 2 days, last Friday & last Sunday & on Monday my boss asked me what days I thought I'd be coming in to make up the time I missed plus the 4 hours of overtime I'm supposed to do. I laughed in his face. Then I pointed out that I had to drag myself in on Monday to work & that I still only had half a voice, 'if you think coming in here on Tuesday & Wednesday is going to improve my voice & not take me back out of work on Thursday or Friday then you've gone crazy & it's time for retirement' He laughed, my boss has a thick skin to say the least! & said he'd tell our manager that he was lucky I was there at all & doing any overtime would be too much right now. we went on to discuss how illness & absenteeisim always goes up when we're in mandatory overtime like this (I know I always get sick when I have to be there extra- even if I'm doing it because I need the money- it's just the extra stress & strain.)The whole computer mess is getting worse not better, today they told us to take the program down & put it back up, when we put it back up we couldn't authorize set top boxes any longer, just a LITTLE glitch in the system (we do that all day long in case you were wondering) But I paid my bills this week & even missing Friday didn't dent my paycheck too much (The memorial day holiday pay helped a lot- the 2nd paycheck in June won't be as pretty) so I don't feel like I should complain, they keep me well & I'm greatful in many ways (they can't teach their customers better manners, that's the world these days not my company & all I can really do is be as nice as possible when I have to deal with someone doing their job on the other end of the phone or across the counter from me. Unless they give me poor customer service- then watch out!)
I would love to be able to just do stuff like the kids & I did on Wednesday, hike around & look at pretty views, hanging out & enjoying nature. Of course, back when I was a stay at home mom & my ex worked I never even had the money for gas to go up on the parkway & hike or anything, its always time or money, never both.

Posted by Becky at 11:32 PM EDT

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