Monday, December 27, 2010

Sick, and tired

I am sick. That is all.

Notes for tomorrow: Stephen King's The Stand, roller coasters, seeing the good in a lousy situation, detailed discussion of lousy situation and how it's nobody's fault, but it's still really fucking annoying.

~N.

Writing - done
Reading - done. Note: Wigfield is a TERRIBLE book.
De-committing - as soon as I'm past this, it's my top priority
Re-healthing - have to get back to a base point first, then we'll talk.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Home from the holiday

I was so early getting my post done yesterday that I forgot about the writing until right now. We left Savannah very early because we were worried about possible bad road conditions in Atlanta due to the huge amount of snow we'd heard about. When we left Savannah, it was raining and kind of cold. It got colder as we came west on I-16 and it was snowing on us most of the way from Statesboro to Macon. From Macon on, it was cold but clear. Fortunately, the roads in Atlanta were mostly clear, so we made great time getting back. It was bizarre seeing all the snow accumulation on the yards and trees back at home.

I love my children, but it was very nice to get home, after a quick side trip to the grocery store, to peace and quiet. We unloaded the car, had a quick lunch and then I promptly fell asleep in the easy chair while SO did whatever it is he does on the computer - a restful end to a quiet holiday.

~N.

Writing - done
Reading - maybe, I'll see what's next to the bed
De-committing - found the stuff I need to close one old bookkeeping client out, I'll call tomorrow
Re-healthing - ate reasonably all day

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Savannah holiday, day 2

I came down to the business office so I could use their computer to type, which is of course significantly faster and less annoying than trying to type on the droid phone. Once I got here, of course, I had to go check Facebook, check my mail, check FB again, play Las Vegas slots, check the status updates of friends whose updates don't show up in my usual feed because they often annoy me, go play a game of Xenocrate 2 (which is much trickier with an unfamiliar mouse) and FINALLY get over here to write. It might be for the best though, because I really, really did not want to write anything even 45 minutes ago but now I have an idea I want to record before I lose it.

It occurs to me that our personalities are a compilation of our inherited traits from our parents and the outside forces we're under - family life, friends, the people we spend time with in the various places we live, etc. This comes to mind because I have a pair of people in my life who remind me almost exactly of each other, even though they live nowhere near each other, are not biologically related, and have met maybe twice. Their Venn diagrams of family members do overlap, though, so I think some of what be happening is that both of them may be the products of living in the same place (give or take 5 miles) for their whole lives. And I think that I would have been them, except for the fortune of getting to move around so much in my youth. I love to speculate on "what if," it's my favorite story starting point. I don't know if I'll do anything with this idea, but I wanted to record it in case I forget.

Snow/freezing rain in Atlanta today, sunny and 56 in Savannah. This was definitely the better place to be this weekend. SO and I are off to fancy dinner this evening, then chilling in the hotel room and back home tomorrow in time for puck drop.

~N.

Writing - see above
Reading - got the book with me, going into the lobby for a while
De-committing - agreed to talk to someone Sunday to transition out of his stuff
Re-healthing - tilapia, rice, broccoli for lunch.

Friday, December 24, 2010

In Savannah on vacation

So this is my dilemma: I'm in the hotel room; I want to write (Colette was right, of course); and I have only a teeny tiny droid phone to type on. This is kinda cool though, I'm talking into the phone instead of typing. This reminds me of the Isaac Asimov books, the Foundation ones, where the girl talks into voice recognition software to write her school paper. It seemed so futuristic at the time in the early 80's, but now I've got this basic program, or I could get the Dragon software which supposed to be the bomb.

Okay, the voice recognition is not as great as hoped. I had to edit a bunch of stuff above and now it's just faster to type. I'll try to get an earlier start tomorrow and go post from the business center downstairs.

~N

Writing - done
Reading - book is in bag, about to be done
De-committing - not yet, I have to text people on Sunday
Re-healthing - let's discuss next week

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Decline and Fall?

I don't want to write, I really don't. I want to sleep. And so, I am doing the minimum write, the just barely producing any words, just enough to say I wrote for the day. The question becomes then - will I get more motivated tomorrow, pick up the pen (press down on the keys?) and get back on the horse or other metaphor and start seriously writing again or is this the beginning of the end? Hmm, only tomorrow knows, and he's actually the backup catcher in for Carlton Fisk. Many, many points to you for getting those couple of old references.

~N.

Writing - done, see above
Reading - going to read Margaret Atwood short story now
De-committing - no progress today, but I thought about it
Re-healthing - did not eat fast food on the way home, this is progress.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Really? Really?

Did I really say every day? Did I really try to commit to writing EVERY DAY? You know whose fault this is? It's Gretchen Rubin over at The Happiness Project.

This the link that suckered me in: http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2010/12/video-do-something-every-day.html

I was going through my email yesterday and got drawn into her web of positive self-talk and reasonable self-improvement and somehow got the idea to re-commit to some personal behaviors that I want to improve. And I saw it early in the evening when I'd had a sensible dinner and only a little tv and I was back upstairs at a reasonable hour with some time to kill and was not falling asleep at my desk. (Please note that this is the opposite of tonight's scenario.)

Not to worry, I don't think it will last. I had a shelf full of diaries with one to ten entries. (Can you use reverse psychology on yourself?)

Thanks to EY for posting on my Facebook tonight and keeping me awake long enough to remember this goal.

~N.

Writing - done
Reading - will be done before bed, new Margaret Atwood short stories
De-committing - not done, but I might have a plan
Re-healthing - ate carrots two days in a row, and apple with lunch yesterday

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A New Year

I decided to be different than everyone else and start my new year this year with this winter solstice. I decided this so that I could start my new year's resolutions early - including 1) writing every day, 2) reading every day, 3) reducing my personal commitments to have time to do 1. and 2. and be with Scott as much as possible, and 4) getting in better shape so I'll stop feeling like I'm dying every morning and evening.

As I was considering how clever I was to use a natural calendar instead of the calendar one, I remembered that I used to think of my year as beginning in August - influenced of course by the start of the school year - and as I now have the children to consider it is still the beginning of our busiest time that carries on all the way through the end of May, when we have the summers to re-boot.

I just broke away to google August and it turns out the the second week of August is Elvis Week. That settles it then. August 16, 1977 was when Elvis began the last and most important phase of his own deification, so that's the beginning of my year. (It was a Tuesday. I was sitting on the floor in the apartment in Engamore Lane playing as my mother ironed clothes above me on the ironing board above me when I heard the news on the radio. I have no idea why this memory has been so persistent.)

Credit goes to Sharlys the Amazing (trademark) for observing once that with the hysteria over Elvis during and after his life that he had the potential to become the center of his own religion. If I have to choose a religion in the coming sectarian strife, Elvis seems a good enough one. Maybe more on that later.

~N.

Writing - done
Reading - done
De-committing - not done
Re-healthing - not done

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Enough's enough

"Soul-sucking" is how I describe the part time job I've been doing since March 1st. Today was the last day and here is the letter I sent to the company (and a similar version to the temp agency) to close it out. Good to know the Master of Arts in Professional Writing is getting some use.

To [Co-owner, Husband of nut-job employer]:

You may be aware that [Crazy Lady] took 6 minutes off my timesheet for last week. I saw that you *may* be aware, because she did not bother to tell me. I only discovered it when I went to look at last week's timesheet to estimate my check for the week.

When I confronted her this morning, she said it was because I took personal calls at work. I assume she means the 6 minute call that I took from the Georgia Department of Labor last Thursday. This was not discussed any time in the 3 work days since the event. There was no discussion about this being a performance issue; there was no warning for a problem behavior or plan for corrective action; and, as stated above, I was not told about this consequence - a consequence that was not [Crazy Lady]'s to adjust since I worked for XYZ Staffing, not XXX Payroll.

I have spent most of my time there being made painfully aware that I am just the hourly temp, with only a basic intelligence about how to complete tasks. I almost always had to find out about changes in wrapping payrolls and mailings - what I understood to be my primary responsibility - through J. [co-worker, permanent employee], because [Crazy Lady] could not seem to communicate directly with me. Nearly every question I asked about anticipated mailings or how she wanted a task performed - and you know she is very particular - was met with annoyance and a tone of voice that I would call disdain.

As you know, her personal tone of voice is often loud and condescending, but I managed to endure most of this. However, it is now very clear that I was only worth the work she could squeeze out of every minute of my time there. My extensive HR, payroll and accounting expertise, plus almost 20 years of business experience, apparently pale next to my needing to step outside for a short phone call and forgetting to clock out one time.

I will be sending the factual information of this event to XYZ Staffing, whom I have already called to inform that I have left. They asked me not to contact you and I do not wish to disrupt your relationship with them, but I had a few things to say to you as management. This note is sent to close this event with XXX Payroll and to let you know how deeply disappointed I am that this did not work out due entirely to the poor treatment I received. Receiving basic work instructions on a "need to know" basis and being constantly spoken to as an inferior is an impossible job situation to remain in.

I have taken a screen shot of my time sheet for this week to prevent against any additional interference by [Crazy Lady]. I worked steadily today until you arrived and expect to be paid for my time to date. I have [#] hours recorded for these two days and will be reporting this to XYZ Staffing.

~Noelle Davis

Postscript: The issue here is that the client of the temp agency is also its payroll company. There is a clear conflict here when the client can adjust my paycheck without telling me or my employer. In fact, this seems criminal. I am waiting to make sure this week's check and next's get to me, or I'll be making a field trip to the Department of Labor.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A few precious moments at work

At your request (you know who you are), I present a brief view of my current part-time, temp job at the payroll company.

The main manager/owner of the company is unfondly known by my co-worker, J., and I as Crazy Lady, CL for short. Medusa was her original appellation, when J. and I are rapidly, covertly, texting unkind comments back and forth to each other about the running of the office, although Medusa really seems like just a misunderstood, slighty frazzled demi-god compared to CL and her moods.

Lately, Crazy Husband (or is it Cheating Husband?) has been around in the mornings, too. He almost doesn't count, since he stays in his office way in the back and plays Submachine all day, except for when he has to go play golf, or take a two hour lunch, or to leave early to "run errands" that will get him home hours later. CH only really comes into play when CL goes back to his office to ask him a question. Then, it becomes a shouting match where each person thinks they are speaking English to the other, but obviously must not, because neither of them act as if they can understand what the other is saying. And, like all ugly Americans everywhere, if the other person doesn't seem to understand, their method is to say the exact same thing, only LOUDER.

Crazy Lady will repeat the same sentence three times in a row, getting progressively louder every time, in order to make her point. Today, I tried to disengage from discussion, in response to a question I did not ask, but she was already ramped up to repeat the information.

"White ACH binders are for money we collect, black tax binders are for payments out." "Okay," I said and started to move away. She got louder, "The white binders are the ACH payments we've collected from the clients, the black binders are our payments!" "Okay," I said again, trying to get down the hall. "THE WHITE ACH BINDERS ARE OUR RECORD OF FUNDS RECEIVED FROM CLIENTS. THE BLACK TAX BINDERS ARE OUR RECORD OF FUNDS PAID OUT ON THEIR BEHALF!" I hear behind me as I say over my shoulder, "Got it!" and escape away with the tax check copies that I needed to file.

This was my fault. I asked, just as confirmation, if the check copies were going to be filed in the tax binders. And for the record, I was perfectly clear that the copies were not going in the ACH binders. I just wanted to alert her that I knew where these particular check copies were going to go. This was my mistake for addressing a comment to her about an organizational tool. She can't keep two opposing thoughts in her head at any one time, but she's got organizational systems, by god, and you had better not fuck with them.

Scott says I should trying saying, "Tone of voice!" like we do with the kids, but I don't think CL would understand. I truly think she's got a wiring issue, where she has to say something out loud in every possible configuration to make sure that the entire message has been transmitted. And she's already a loud person, but I think the increase in volume with each repetition is to help power the message along.

Feel sorry for her if you like - I do late at night typing this when I don't have to be near her - but know that she is truly nuts and really you should be collecting pennies to rescue J. and I from the crazy prison camp we drive ourselves to every day.

And now I've got to go. Got to rest up for tomorrow and do it again. :~)

~Noelle

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Very, very mad

I just wrote a scathing thousand word poison pen letter to a person who said some malicious things to my brother-in-law - a situation that has all three of us wound up. I want to post it, because it is full of some really good vitriol, but I think that it would probably not be the best thing to put out in public, even with the light readership that my blog has.

Instead, I'll tell you that if you want to read it, I'll send you a copy. And I'll reaffirm here that I love Eric as a good, stand-up, honorable brother-in-law, and as the best friend to my husband that I love and that anyone who says any different is a lying, scheming, miserable...see, I have to stop. Email or comment if you want more info, or just let this lie as my space to vent.

~Noelle

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Cancelled my Facebook account

This note was to Colette specifically, but I decided it was a useful open letter to you, my friends who read my stuff. Naturally, I've edited it; I am a writer after all and the drafts are never final.

Hi. Thanks for your note asking how am I and where I've been. I'm fine. Tired from working 7 days/week doing taxes and working part-time for the crazy woman at the payroll company, but generally in good spirits.

You can't find me on Facebook anymore because I decided that Facebook was being a big time-suck. I tried doing it less, but it was still mostly a waste of time. Not willing to go cold turkey on social media, I'm still checking out Twitter, but its structure makes it much quicker to check (as long as I don't click on any links) and easier to get in and out of.

In lieu of wasting time online, I joined Bookswim. It's like Netflix for books (mostly new releases). I had done a lot of reading last week - mostly late at night - catching up to Timothy who was reading the Percy Jackson books and realized that I was wasting my reading time playing a few mindless games and on reading status updates and watching youtube links.

Worst time waster of all, I was getting emotionally involved in responding to people I went to high school/college with that I thought were idiots *then* and think are bigger idiots now. You may have had a chance to see my second-to-last post, where I actually lost my temper and called out a "friend" who was being an insufferable (sp?) bitch. I think that episode, where I got wound up about the insensitive rantings of a bimbo that I hadn't physically seen or spoken to since high school, really woke me to the idea that maybe Facebook was not bringing out my best qualities nor making me feel better at the end of a long day.

I'm overgeneralizing and being hyperbolic to some extent, but when I tried clearing out my friend list to the people I knew well, loved and wanted to hear from, I went from 154 to 34 with few qualms. Then I realized that with the exception of about 3 people, I was in contact with all those important to me people in other ways, or they are connections to Scott or my brother, so I could find them if I really needed to. I decided that the people I really want to stay in touch with can find me - or not. (NB: If you are reading this, then you are one of the special ones I want to stay in contact with. And you can assume that you were one of the few people whose status updates I *was* interested in.)

Naturally, I am leaving the door open to completely change my mind about this, but right now I am happy not to know the constant comings and goings of people who are in my periphery, or beyond.

~N.

Friday, February 12, 2010

TV is fixed, I am a domestic goddess this week

I've been on Twitter and Facebook too often apparently, because lately I've been thinking about how to write updates regarding myself 1) in 160 characters or less and 2) in a way palatable to the wide spectrum of acquaintances I have on Facebook and that 3) such that said group of people even gives a fuck what I have to say.

Side note: everyone likes to discuss weather and bad news. Comments and follow up are guaranteed if you mention the weather, good or bad, or post about what lousy thing happened to you. The rules of conversation are the same in reality and virtual reality, I guess. Discussions of politics, sex, and money are pretty much off the table in both spheres, unless you are trying to advocate, and that's not really polite dinner conversation, either, is it?

Back on point: I can do updates a la FB and Twitter, but it's not enough. I don't get to say enough or expand my point or rant, which I dearly love to do. This was emphasized to me by an email I got from Colette (*wave*), which was long and multi-subject and VERY INTERESTING, which tweets really aren't.

Meet the new plan, same as the old plan. (I love The Who, don't you?) Public updates on my status that I feel the need to share will be *here* on the blog. If you read already, you get the email reminder about updates. I've put this blog address out in the cloud in a few places, so if people really want to know about it, they can find me. And, new, is formspring, with the potential for personal revelation or miscellaneous ramblings.

Oh, yeah. I finally got off my ass and found someone to fix the big screen TV, which had been out of commission for probably 2 months. I realized I actually missed watching TV in HD, which really is just fucking amazing. Not that I want to watch more TV, just that I want to watch it in really good quality. I've done other domestic goddess things, too, but I'm saving those discussions for another post.

TTYL,

~Noelle