Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Friday!

(image from

Thank goodness I survived another week. Work still stinks, but those 3-hour meetings have whittled down to more like hour-and-a-half meetings, so that's good. The 4 guys I am training are nice, they ask questions but it doesn't drag. (My boss had nothing to do with the meeting changes, and frankly I think he has just washed his hands of me. Whatever, dude.)

I am over the whole "you're taking my job" jealousy. It is what it is, right?

A friend reminded me today that a job doesn't define you (well, at least most of us). It's simply a means for you to support your family and your lifestyle. It isn't who you are.

I have already started networking and hope to have a new job as soon as we're moved. My current company gives us training money, in addition to severance, so I'm planning to take a couple of courses and enrich myself as well. Maybe work toward a Masters Degree. Who knows. But I feel good about it. God will help, He will provide, because I am a good person, and I have a good relationship with Him.

It's all good.

Today's Friday, that means Park Day. I haven't been there for the last couple of Fridays - so much going on, Jon and I have had meetings to attend, the girls have their own agendas.

Today is more carefree. I'm going to make some pigs-in-a-blanket, and take my jacket, and head to Park Day in a couple hours to laugh with my friends and soak in the April Hawaii sun.

The weekend means Jon will be home. We're planning a family day at Bellows, a dive or 2 on Saturday, and some good quality time.

I ran yesterday, first time in a month! I am ashamed to admit that, but it felt great. My baby sister is inspiring me, gotta put myself first. Remember to do it every single day, even for 45 minutes. She's been walking every day, and I want to have some of that leisure time too. I forgot how good it felt to hear Chris Daughtry at full volume on my iPod while shutting out the world for 45 minutes. It's my sanctuary.

I stopped drinking soda this week. All this time I knew it was bad for me, but it became a habit. Dare I say, an addiction. I found myself wanting soda all the time. So Wednesday I just stopped. I'm on the 3rd day, and it feels better than I imagined. I don't have headaches or cravings. I see the 12-pack on the kitchen shelf and I can easily walk right by it.

So, back to putting myself first, even for a shred of time.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Can't wait for May 27...

Work totally sucks.

Today I ask my manager if we can scale back these 3-hour daily training sessions between me and the folks that will be taking my job. I understand the importance of training, and I do want them to succeed. I mean, I harbor no personal ill will toward these men or their ability to do their job. I just think 15 hours a week is a lot. It keeps me from being able to do what I need to do, so I have to work at night and on the weekends to catch up.

His response to me: "What are the other tasks on your plate that prevent you from being dedicated to this training?"

WHAT?? Are you freaking kidding me??

Hmmm. First of all, I am dedicated. DO NOT SAY I AM NOT DEDICATED, especially since you don't know me from a hole in the wall. You've been my manager for exactly 15 minutes. Don't say stuff unless you either have something to back it up with, or clarify what you mean. I wrote over 20 &^$%@* documents, with screen shots, explaining STEP-BY-STEP how to do my freaking job. If they can't read, why am I bothering to spend 15 hours a week reading these documents to them? That's basically what we do in "training" - I write the docs, then read them aloud on the phone. An unimaginable waste of time.

Second, you are my manager, for goodness sake. If you don't know what I'm doing on my account, then you aren't a very good manager (especially since I cc: you on tons of email everyday). Oh wait, I forgot. You are the 5th manager I have had in 5 years, and you and the last manager I had don't really care about me at all. You care about shoving me out the door after I have given you all the stuff you need so that this account doesn't become your team's problem. (If I train them successfully, you'll never have to deal with it again, right?) I got spoiled with the 3rd manager, thinking that all managers were like him. He remembered things I'd told him in the past, he cared about my success on the team and at --insert corporation name here--. He had my back, and stood up for me. You don't seem to care about me at all.

Third, thanks for caring about my feelings in all this. Just because you're not being let go, you could have a little more compassion for my situation. I have given a lot to this team and to the corporation, and my performance reviews show it. ( Take a look dude, they're available online for any employee to see. I checked.)

So, I called him. (What do I have to lose? All he can do is fire me, and right about now that doesn't sound so horrible.) I said, "Don't assume I am not dedicated. That's unfair and not founded."

He responds: "You are reading something into this. When I said dedicated, I meant what other things are you working on that you don't have time to do because you are training these folks? I don't mean you're not dedicated..."

Uh, everything. I spend 3 hours a day with them and then another couple of hours writing documents for tomorrow's "lesson". I still have hours of work that have to be done when the workday is over.

And if you don't think I'm not dedicated, then don't send me another email like that one. It wasn't cool.

Too bad for --insert corporation name here--. I'm not working overtime anymore. I have 6 weeks left and I'm not gonna kill myself for this. I will train the new folks, I will write down all the information that's in my head, and I will show up to work everyday and give my best for 8 hours.

That's it. And when May 27 comes around, may the Force be with you.

Because I won't be. I'm done. (And I won't be answering my cell phone...)


Wow, that felt GOOD to write. Today's been crappy already and I have vowed that my ridiculous short-term job is not going to bring me down. It's just not...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A new week, lots going on...

It's a new week tomorrow. Lots has happened this past week, as usual...

Last week, I was asked to start training my replacements. Yuck. I have spent all week training them, writing "how-to" documents for them, thinking about all the stuff I do and figuring out how to explain that to someone with 90% less knowledge of the environment and the products than me, and whose native language is not English. I have written over 20 documents for them. Documents that I am proud of. I hope they help.

My current corporation keeps rejecting my applications for other positions within the Global Services organization. I had heard that this happens - my doomed friends say that the same thing's been happening to them, too... they "lock out" positions when there's been a layoff. I don't know what will happen. I worry about that (yes, same old song - I've been worrying a lot.) My head knows it will be OK, but my heart worries. What is meant to be will be, I keep reminding myself. Sometimes I think maybe I should just apply at Target...But then I remind myself that I have a degree in IT and that someone will see that and want to hire me. Someone will. Gotta have more confidence. I ask God for it all the time.

I went scuba diving off a boat with Jon and our friend Deanna last Thursday. This was probably my last major issue in the scuba-diving apprehension I had harbored. Some of you may recall that I went out on a boat with Jon last May. I donned the gear, I rode the boat out many yards from shore, and I jumped in the water. I couldn't do any more than that.

Well, Thursday I conquered that fear. I went down 61 feet! I saw some beautiful sights. The biggest eel I could ever imagine. (He was so large that it looked like he was stuck in the nook he'd been hiding in.) A pipe covered over with coral and sea life. A thorny cowfish. Many beautiful yellow fish (that I don't by name). I stayed calm, I enjoyed the peace, the beauty, the majesty, the unbelievable world out there in the water. If you are friends with Jon on Facebook, you can check out his pictures there. (I'm not at the picture-taking step yet.)

Saturday, Jon left (again). At least it's just a week this time. I missed him even before he left! It seems that, in my opinion, we are at the best place in our marriage. I mean, we've never been on the verge of divorce or anything like that, but the last couple of years we have really just gotten close. Spent time appreciating each other and finding things in common. I can't tell you how it feels when we're scuba diving and Jon takes time to make sure that my gear is all set up properly, that I will be safe during the dive. He helps me in the ocean, adjusting my fins and making sure we're at arm's reach, because he knows I am still nervous. He cheers me on when I step out of my comfort zone. And he checks on me every few minutes, giving me the "OK" sign underwater to make sure I am all right. Last weekend, we went on a night dive. In the dark. I was freaked out, but curious and brave.

Jon held my hand from the time we went under the water to the time we surfaced at the dive buoy. The entire time.

The house is different when he's gone. And even though we don't watch the same TV channels or like some of the same activities, I hate when he's not here. I hate it.

Yesterday the two older girls and I went to Ko Olina (Abby had a sleepover with friends). Alissa and I mostly stayed on the beach - we didn't feel like swimming - but Alex swam. And we looked for shells and walked the paths. We found the path from Lagoon #4 to the marina harbor. On the outside there was a rocky barrier between the path and the ocean. There were signs warning you of the danger, but we took the risk and walked out. We saw tide pools with small fish and crabs, shells, and even some sea sponges! It was beautiful and quiet, except for the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks. We watched the sunset and I marveled at our fortune, to be able to have this experience in the book of our life. I hope it's memories like these that my girls will remember and retrieve later in life. "Mom, remember when we walked those rocks at Ko Olina and Alex found a sea sponge?"

I sure do.

Thank you God, for that moment. It was a small moment, but most of the time those feel like the best moments.

Tomorrow starts a new week. The younger girls go back to school for their final grading period here in Hawaii. Jon comes home on Saturday. We're gonna find something to do here on Sunday (out of the house). And I will be grateful for every single day, because every day that I get to wake up is a good day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to get through doing stuff we don't want to do?

Today I am training my "replacements". The people who will do my job starting May 31, when IBM has said that they don't need me anymore.

It sucks.

I don't want to do it. It feels unfair, to have to talk to people who will be doing my work, and coaching them on how to do it well.

I didn't do anything wrong. I've had great performance reviews for my 5-year tenure with them. I've been a team player.

Some days, I understand that it's "just business", just the almighty dollar. It's not personal.
Some days, I struggle with trying to understand why I am being let go (along with more than 3,000 other good employees who I am sure were also team players).

There are good days, when I am sure that God hears my prayers and has a plan for me. A great plan that doesn't include my current employer (but that's OK).

There are bad days, when I can't imagine why they're letting me go, why I am losing a job for the first time in my life and worrying about interviews for the first time in 9 years. Where I am concerned that I am almost 39 and how in the heck will I ever find a new job? A job that is flexible for my family and pays more than McDonald's? A job in my field, where I won't have to commute an hour one way and spend so much time away from the kids.

Today is a bad day, because I had a 3-hour call with my replacements. Perfectly fine men, who are gracious and appreciative of my knowledge and my sharing it with them. But, my voice started to crack as I talked to them. Knowing in 6 weeks I won't be needed anymore. That I will just be a memory, if that. And that the documentation I am creating for them now, the foundation that will help them do a good job for IBM, will be left behind but no one will recognize that I am doing the right thing, being the bigger person.

I know. It should be enough for me to know that I'm doing what's right. I should be the only one who cares that I am being a good person and still trying hard, up to the bitter end.

I want this to be over. I know when they offered to keep me until May 31, I was originally happy. Now I'm really not. It's more like purgatory, where you know something will happen but you don't know what or when.

I want to find a new job, a better job that I like a whole lot more. But I worry that either I won't find it or it won't find me.

I know, you are all tired of hearing about this and want me to have some patience and faith.

I do, too. I want to have faith, but some days my faith gives way to fear and low self-esteem.

Today's one of those days.

It just sucks. And I had to let it out. I can't cry about a stupid job (or lack of it) anymore.

Thanks for listening. And for prayers. It means a lot, and one day I'll look back (like I always do) and wonder what I was so worried about.

I know it. But I wouldn't be me if I didn't worry it to death.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Gotta get off my butt today and back out jogging...

It's been 2 weeks. In my defense, the kids and I have been riding bikes in the neighborhood.

I know, it's a weak defense.

I'm going out to jog today if I have to kick and scream the whole way. I need it. The last couple of weeks have been busy, and the younger 2 kids are home on break from school. As much as I love them, there is no alone time for me. And I admit, I am used to being alone, in the quiet. I miss it. Plus, my idiot dive boots tore holes in the back of my heels. They hurt like the dickens. I mean, I think I lost 5 or 6 layers of skin. At least a 1/4 inch deep hole, the diameter of a fingernail.

I guess I convinced myself that running shoes would not be a good idea with those wounds healing. (And I ride my bike with flip flops, even though that's dangerous and stupid...) I don't know how my feet will react when we move and I have to wear actual shoes with heels and closed toes...

So, I'm going to jog as soon as Alissa texts me that she's done at school and needs a ride. Dinner's cooking in the crock pot (chicken soup - thanks Christy for the recipe!) and the house is as clean as it's gonna get for today. Since I started work at 4:20 this morning (long story), I am done with that for today, too.

So, my sports bra is on. That's the first half of the battle. Once I put that bra on, it's like I feel guilty if I don't actually do anything that requires a sports bra. (Weird, I know. But it's how I do.)

Well, we may know where we're moving. I won't say here, because that's not something I am supposed to do. You know, I have to maintain OPSEC (Operational Security - Army-speak). Most of you know, and if you read my Facebook (or Jon's) then you already know where the Army wants to send us. If you don't, and you want to know, you can email me. Sooner or later it will be old news. But, we don't have anything in writing so basically it could change at a moment's notice. (Who am I kidding, it could still change even with orders.)

And work. I'm still there until May 31. I don't see it getting extended. But, I am OK with that. I find more and more as the days pass that I am not happy at this job. I am sick of being on-call for stupid things, and the only really good thing is that I work at home. But, that's just more opportunity for work to intervene on my family time. And more opportunity for them to call me to work at any hour, any day, for dumb reasons. (Reasons like: there's literally no one else who can do it but me.) Even when I can manage to line up one day for someone to cover for me, for 4 hours so I can take a diving class, I still get calls because that person doesn't know what to do and the calls keep coming. I feel sad for June 1 only because they will really suffer when I'm gone. I mean, I am not the "Employee of the Year", but I give my all, and I am always here. Some things are gonna be sacrificed when I'm not there to give extra attention. Oh well. Not my cross to bear. I will do my best for the next 7 weeks and then that's it. Life will move on and so will I. I have a feeling that good things are coming...

The kids are good. Jon's good. I am good. Life is great. And we're happy, healthy, and have amazing friends here (that will be difficult to leave). The sun is shining for the first time in days, and I think I just got a text from Alissa...

Happy Monday all.