I’m thinking about taking up drinking.
The following is probably not something I should say on a blog that could potentially be seen by my employer, but I don’t think I care at this exact moment (perhaps I’m experiencing a lapse in judgment right now): Drinking would make my current project much more enjoyable. Wait, no. Would make it tolerable. Might make it so that I don’t mouth off to the next manager who comes by. I’d have to make sure I drink something that doesn’t give me loose lips, though (like wine does).
In related news, I still have heard absolutely nothing from my advisor regarding my application to the program, and cannot register for classes. I would like to be done with all of it, please (“it” being this “temporary” job of mine and the education I am pursuing), and start the next phase of life.
I am, temporarily, incredibly jealous of , who finished up nursing school today. Way to go!
There was another article today in the Strib, this time about Minnesota’s pension plans for state employees. Reading through the comments (42 of them, when I read the article), it became clear, yet again, that state employees are unloved and unappreciated. For the record, many of us (not all of us, just like every workplace) do enjoy our jobs and serving the public. [Editor's note: yes, I complain about my job more than I should, mostly because this is not what I want to be doing with my life, but one of the things that makes this job bearable for 6+ years is that I know what I'm doing is making people's lives better, however indirectly, and I need that, and the private sector cannot often guarantee that in any sort of non-superficial way.] We know that we’re generally unliked and that we can’t count on pay increases or even being considered “worthy” of the salaries we do make. Perhaps this is why unions are so important to us. Reading comments on articles like today’s made me feel like a telemarketer, or a SPAM emailer, or some other despised profession. All of the people I work with are fully aware that our salaries are funded by taxpayer dollars, as are the program dollars we administer. We’re not oblivious to that.
And, while I’m happy to be (someday) changing professions to one I will enjoy more (teaching), this article, like the last one, pointed out that teachers are, all too often, also unappreciated and despised. That makes me sadder than I can even articulate. Now, teachers are generally valued more than government employees, but the gap is narrowing all the time. I’m pretty sure that teachers are also aware that their salaries are paid by taxpayer dollars, and that a majority of them also enjoy their jobs and serving the public.
Need I remind people that you cannot get government services for free? Of course taxpayer dollars fund salaries and projects – no one would do them otherwise. And most government programs are considered necessary, either by law or by enough people speaking their mind to convince the legislature to continue funding them. Free public education, paved roads, water and sewer, helping persons with disabilities, food stamps to ensure that young children don’t go hungry, the list goes on.
I really wish people would stop hating on government employees. It makes it very hard to get up and go to work in the morning.
Also, I’d like to add that while perhaps I should be worried about my retirement account, I’m not. Retirement is over 30 years away, and hopefully by that time this current economic crisis will be a distant memory. I don’t even understand how it all works or how to maximize my savings or anything like that. There’s a class I can attend to help me understand planning for retirement, and I should really sign up, but I just haven’t found the time.
My last complaint was going to be about how very little sunlight we see these days. But, then I read Stefi’s post on fast-falling feathers about how little sunlight they’re getting up there in Finland right now, and I thought I had it good. Yesterday we had 9 hours of sunlight (from sunrise to sunset, according to weather.com), so that feels practically luxurious compared to 2 hours. Plus, yesterday was the first day of my new work schedule, where I get to leave at 4 instead of 4:30, so I actually saw sunlight briefly. On the downside, it’s 3* today here. Oh well, can’t win them all.
It seems that all noise is bothering me today. I succumbed to putting on my headphones to play some music today (though that’s generally not acceptable practice since I often have to answer phones), and even my beloved Botticelli-Groban mix was aggravating me (and you know that Andre Botticelli can’t really be annoying, so it’s clearly me). I think I need some white noise at work to block out the assault from all around me that has been going nonstop since 7:30.
Also, I need some non-computer work to do since my right wrist just gave out completely and refuses to assist with any more typing (or mousing I assume, though I haven’t asked). So clearly this post is going to be cut short since typing with one hand is no fun.
No, this isn’t the number for free money from Western Union.
Didn’t have the heart/time/energy to tell him that there’s really no such thing (as free money, that is), and that it’s probably a scam of some sort. There was too strong a language barrier, and he wasn’t actually listening to me anyways (I had to repeat myself several times so that he knew I’d even answered the phone).
When I get home tonight, I’m pouring myself a small glass of Bailley’s. You know why? Because today has been rough. I never do that, but today I’m going to. So there.
How does stay friendly and helpful all the time? I don’t know how she does it. People demand more absurd (and small) things of her, and she is far more important than I am.
While I am actually quite happy with how last night turned out (rescued by and battery in car replaced, successful shopping at bookstore and for winter coat, yummy dinner food), there’s one thing I really wish had happened: my visit to the chiropractor. Now, they were super nice when I called to cancel (15 minutes before my appointment), and rescheduled me for tomorrow, so all is good. But in the mean time, I am in pain. Today I am wearing heating pads (that expose-to-air-to-heat kind) and just… coping.
So, to keep my mind off that, how about some pictures?
Some plants in my cube:
Bamboo from Ikea
The pushpins in my cube holding up a memo
Much more interesting descriptors if you click on the pictures, which will take you to Flickr. I think you can even leave comments of your own on there, though you may have to have a Flickr account (I’m not sure).
Oh, and if you’re waiting for an email from me and think I’m ignoring you, you’re wrong. My personal inbox has about 15 messages in it, all of them waiting for responses. I’m a little behind in that area. And busy at work (despite what my prolific blogging may make it seem like). Tedious projects right now, too boring to describe.
They’re calling me Dubya’s speech writer today at work, because of the following I crafted for a retiring co-worker out of Bushisms:
To [insert co-worker's name],
This is historic times, your retirement. Retirement—that means to be tired again. I’m going to try to see if I can remember as much to make it sound like I’m smart on the subject. My job is a job to make decisions. I’m a decision—if the job description were, what do you do—it’s decision maker. Your job is now to be retired—you’re a retirement maker
Because of your work, children who once wanted to die are now preparing to live. You’re one of the outstanding leaders in a very important part of the world. I want to thank you for strategizing our discussions. Thank you for reminding me about the importance of being a good mom and a great volunteer as well.
About retirement, I tell people, let’s don’t fear the future, let’s shape it. This business about graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all.
I am the master of low expectations. This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating, but I’ve coined new words, like, misunderestimating and Hispanically. That’s my advice to you on this whole retirement thing.
Honestly, about thirty of those words are mine, and the rest are all direct quotes from our commander in chief. I’m not a Bush-hater by any means, I just thought it was funny. Speaking off the cuff isn’t his strong suit, and that’s OK. I’m not always that good on the fly either. And we all say stupid things on a regular basis, we just don’t have people recording our every word.
So I’m in the middle of a heinous (hehe) project involving cleaning up html code for our entire external website (OK, my section of our entire external website – to be fair, it’s somewhere in the vicinity of 500 very poorly organized pages), and I get this in my fortune cookie:
“You work best when meticulous attention to detail is called for.”
You know, this project would be a whole lot easier if people could agree on what “standard” and “clean” mean. I don’t think making up my own definition counts as helpful, either.
My office smells like Taco Bell. And not in a good way. (Is there ever a good way for something to smell like Taco Bell? I mean, I love the Bell, and have eaten it quite a few times lately, but that doesn’t mean I want my world to smell like it.)
For those of you who remember, I’ve talked briefly about a former colleague of mine who has a very rare (and progressive) form of cancer. I just got an update that they’ve found more tumors (this isn’t new… many times they’ve found new tumors in different parts of her body, which is to be expected, especially considering the type of cancer and the fact that it started in her brain). The new part is that her doctor says she can’t have chemo or radiation anymore, and that they’re basically out of options. Officially she has weeks or months, though both her and her husband are remaining positive and hoping for a miracle.
It is very sad, since she is an amazing woman who I cherish deeply. During the times that I got to work with her, she was half surrogate mother, half friend, always treating me as an equal even though she has kids my age. She has shown such strength and grace and hope throughout this whole time, and I guess that’s made it easy to ignore the probability that she was going to die. She has four kids in senior high and college, and a new husband, and I’m sure they’re having a pretty rough time right now. I can’t even imagine. Anyways, if you could pray for them all, I’m sure they’d appreciate it.
I promise to put up a “happy” update tomorrow, but for now I’m going to bed.
My computer should be here soon. The guy is installing software on it as we speak, so I think sometime tomorrow morning or afternoon, I’ll be back in business. Finally!
I’m currently debating whether or not I’m going to stay home from work tomorrow. Technically, I’m feeling much better, and if I went back tomorrow, all would be fine. I’m probably somewhere around 75%. But if I get to sleep in one more day… I think I could get that up to 95% so I could be well-rested and healthy for the weekend. And I definitely have the sick hours to use. And no one is going to die if I don’t go into work again tomorrow. You can see which way I’m leaning, right? But on the other hand… I am feeling better, and would it just be lazy and indulgent of me to stay home? I can’t remember the last time I took two days off in a row for being sick. Anyone? When I got the chicken pox in high school. When I had that really bad fever in 5th grade (I was hallucinating that the bed was trying to eat me). …I probably had strep once in elementary school.
Alright, curiosity got the best of me. According to our employee paycheck website, the last time I took more than 8 hours of sick leave in a 2-week period was last December, and that was 10 hours. Ah, in November 2004 I took 14 hours off. In fact, in the whole time I’ve worked there, I can’t find any evidence that I took more than an afternoon and then the next day off for sickness. Wait, no, in March 2003 I took 2 days off (though I can’t be sure if they were consecutive or not – it just tells me the number of hours for that pay period). So in 4 1/2 years, maybe once I took off 2 days in a row for being sick. That kinda cinches it for me. I mean, not that that’s a good reason, but just goes on the side of the list in favor of staying home. Sleep, blessed sleep.
We’ll see tomorrow morning. Who knows, I could be feeling especially perky.
I got my letter from HR today that my raise in question is effective as of last Wednesday, so it should show up on my next paycheck. Yay!
Today at work, as part of our month-long charity giving campaign, there was a plant sale. I bought three. I didn’t plan on it, but it was after lunch and they were half off, and I figured for less than five bucks, I could kill a few plants.
Other than that… not much going on. Or, at least, not much I feel like talking about. I didn’t mean that to sound cryptic. I simply mean… nothing inspiring as of late.
Really, this one is “how many St Paul police vehicles does it take to get one car towed from downtown?”
The answer, surprisingly enough, is that it takes 5 police vehicles (three regular, one “parking enforcement,” and one unmarked) and a tow truck.
That’s what I saw when I was out for coffee. What have you seen lately?
awesome!!! I think I figured out the afore-mentioned Access quandary. Sometimes, I rock.