Monday, March 23, 2015

Day One

Day 1 at the new job. I am on travel for "re-education", whatever that means. I don't know why, but they told me to make sure I wore only "Axe Body Spray" to make sure the others accept me as one of their own.

TL;DR - Not dead yet.


0530 I sleep comfortably, for the first time in years. No cat scratching the door, no jolly green giant kicking me at night, and no children of the corn throwing up at 2am. I actually feel refreshed. 

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This is what being single must feel like


0600 I take a hot shower without a single interruption. This is amazing. I might never go back. I am able to walk around the hotel room and drink my coffee, naked. Maybe they'll pay me to stay in this hotel. I hear they have a fancy breakfast. That's probably better than the nutella and reese's peanut butter cup I typically have. 

0630 I go downstairs and get 5 pieces of bacon, 2 eggs (scrambled), a jelly donut, 1.5 pancakes, a few croissants, and an apple. Because I'm healthy. Meander back up to the room and walk around naked again, just enjoying the silence. 


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Sorry, not sorry


0715 HOLY SHIT, I'm going to be late for work!

0720 I pull on my pant-suit and grey cardigan and speed down the road to work. I get lost. 

0729 Walked in the door, no big deal. I can do this. Cellphone goes off, ringtone is still the theme song from the Wiggles. Now muted.

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That purple Wiggle is such a dreamboat



0730 I find the training room, find a seat at the front of the room and put the apple on the teacher's desk. I wink. I'm totally gonna ace this.

0745 The teacher finally starts. Wait, there's no test or homework? What kind of crap is this? How am I going to be the best in the class? 

0800 I finish filling out my HR paperwork. YES! I finished first! I've still got it. I look around the room, smiling smugly. Nobody seems to care. 

0830 Man, this pantsuit is giving me a wedgie. I realize I forgot to put on underwear. 

0900 Pee break. I almost forget to lock the door to the stall. So used to having people watch me while I pee. 

0915 Mingling with future co-workers. I ask them if they've seen "Frozen". They have not. 

0916 I find another person to talk to. Maybe we have something in common. She looks broken, with baggy eyes, makeup applied with an unpracticed hand, and crayon marks on her sweater. We commiserate about our toddlers, and she compliments me on the amount of pet hair stuck on my pants. I fear that I have befriended the wrong person, and might be too late to re-align.




0945 I have no idea what the instructor is talking about. I think I passed out for the past 15 minutes. I start playing Angry Birds on my iphone. Oops, the sound was on. People are looking at me. I sink further into my seat, and browse reddit instead. 

1030 I have to keep telling myself to not click on the "NSFW" subreddit, as I typically do at 1030 every morning. This whole "work" thing is going to be more difficult than I thought.

1130 Lunch break. FINALLY. I go outside and let out a huge fart. 

1135 Cafeteria lunch is delicious. It actually has flavor! I almost forget that I need to use napkins and silverware. I am sitting with some coworkers. I cut their food into small pieces with my fork. 

1145 No time for a real workout, so I just run up the stairs a few times. This is difficult in high heels, but that just makes it a better workout, because I am a glutton for punishment. 

1215 Class starts again. I have a slight sheen of sweat across my brow. Coworker notes that my back has a giant sweat mark. I am rocking this "adult" thing.

1300 I'm hungry again. I open my purse. Cheerios fall out onto the floor. I eat them anyway. #noshame 


1400 My hand is cramping from filling out all this in-doc paperwork. I have signed my name more times in the past 5 hours than when I signed for a mortgage. 

1345 The guy sitting next to me sneezes. I pull out a tissue from my pocket and wipe his nose. He says "thank you, ma'am." I knew people would finally appreciate my skills!
 
1415 I am really missing my mid-day nap. Maybe I can just close my eyes for a few minutes. I start to nod off. 

1416 My head hits the desk. I wipe the drool off my cheek and look around. I don't think anybody noticed.

1420 I start to doodle on my paperwork. Around this time I am usually sending inappropriate pictures to Kari. I take a selfie instead.



1445 I've caught up on every single unread reddit post. 

1500 I think about my kids for the first time today. (I've thought about the dog and cat a lot more)

1530 I go to the bathroom. Not because I have to make a deposit, but just to get some alone time. 

1540 The motion-activated light goes out in the bathroom.

1600 I get back to the classroom just as they're wrapping up for the day. Success! The first day of work is complete, and I survived! I stand up and start dancing the "cabbage patch". Two other people join in (one does the running-man, and the other does the robot). I think they have accepted me into the group. 

It must be all the Axe body spray.



This post was subcontracted out due to the blog author now being a urban professional.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Complaining is a resume skill

The process of looking for a job is no one's idea of a good time. I've gone through the process a few times and after my most recent six month job search experience, I've put together a collection ways in which it drove me crazy.

Online applications. Granted, I don't know how on earth people applied for jobs before the internet. Did you just randomly mail your resume to companies? Did the Help Wanted ads in the paper have real jobs listed, not just advertisements for stump removal? Online applications have the potential to be good, but most places seem to be using it as a test for how much you really want this job.

What is so bad about online applications?

When they block autofill. Why do you hate everyone?

Asking for permission to connect with your LinkedIn and still asking you to fill everything out. 

Essay questions. If you're going to make candidates write short essays, then you better at least send them an email saying "Thanks, but no thanks" instead of radio silence.

Requiring a cover letter and resume attachment while making you painstakingly fill out forms with the same fucking information. 




Requiring dates or numbers to be entered in a specific format and not providing that information until the candidate tries to submit the application. 

Rejecting the online submission for some small error and clearing all entered information. 





Online applications can really suck away at your will to continue, as most people know. Luckily, it usually gets better if you advance from the application part of the process. Unless it doesn't.

Late phone interviews. I'm sure there are tons of great potential reasons for it, but it is agonizing and infuriating for the job candidate.



Asshole interviewers. Thankfully, I've been mostly spared from this but I did have one fun experience recently. I was interviewed by an old racist guy who referred to his Inuit-owned company's use of their native language as "clickety clack." He really focused the interview on why I thought my kids should go to daycare instead of staying home with me.





Shockingly, I didn't get a job offer from that one.


I do have some (maybe?) helpful tips from my recent job searching.

Use Indeed.com to search for openings. It's really user friendly and it's a good way to stay on top of new listings that interest you.

Get other eyes on your resume. Even if they are just friends, make sure lots of people give you feedback on your resume. Often times, it's the only representation of yourself out there for people to see, so make it as good as possible.




Make sure everyone knows you're looking for a job. Using your personal network can be pivotal in getting your resume seen. Obviously this is a lot easier to do if you're unemployed and not easy if you're trying to change jobs!

Take days off job hunting. For my sanity, I found it better to not even look at job listings at least one day a week. Yes, I took days off from trying to not be unemployed just to revel in being unemployed.



Be an expert at the interview. A lot of the times, you can't be an expert on the job offered beyond what the job listing says, but you can know a lot about a company. It really helps to stave off feeling stumped and confused during the interview.




Let's hear your job seeking horror stories!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

All aboard the Struggle Bus!

Since I've been home with my kids, I've completely forgotten how to be an adult with a typical job. I asked in my last post about meal ideas to pack for the kids and someone suggested an idea for my lunches as well. I hadn't even focused on the idea that I'm going to need to bring a lunch too.




Let's make a list of the other struggles I'm about to face:

Adult conversation. I'm well versed in playground chat, but I assume (hope) that work place conversations will be different. Hopefully we won't talk about potty training issues and how little Bobby just won't eat green beans, but have you tried using a balsamic reduction on them? I'm slightly concerned that I won't remember the social norms that dictate non-children centered conversations.





Eating around other people. My kids are too young to judge my choices, so I've been living in a land of No Rules for most of my meals for years now. I don't have a typical breakfast or lunch. I just eat whatever looks easy and/or I'm in the mood to eat. Packing a lunch seems like such a commitment, also I can't just eat my usual randomness. I mean, I guess I could eat a lunch like I did today of leftover roast chicken and a bag of popcorn, but I vaguely remember that normal adults bringing shit like salads or a sandwich.




Computer use. Granted, I won't be surfing the web during the day because I'll be working (and no one at work ever uses their computer for things other than work related tasks) but currently I click on all sorts of "NSFW" links. I have a curiosity problem.




Time constraints for working out. I've worked out while working full time before. I've worked out while having kids before. I've never done both! Right now, I have no idea how this will work out and I'm going to need to come up with a way to get my whole workout done faster. I'm used to taking 90 minutes and that's just not going to work anymore. Since I'm unsure about the specifics of my schedule, I can't even make mental plans for how exercise will fit in yet.





Looking presentable every day of the week. Currently, my husband thinks it's a special occasion if I'm wearing jeans and it's not because I had to leave the house. I got lots of dresses to wear to work, which are basically like office yoga pants, but I'm still going to need to do something with my hair and slap on some make up. I'm out of practice for doing these things quickly and I don't understand why there isn't an invention yet to make this stuff faster.





What was your biggest struggle when you started working full time? Please feel free to tell me life hacks and tips to make my life easier.



I'm pretty sure that's witchcraft.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Of course

Historically, I can't be trusted with nice things. I'm not the kind of person who can't own white pants or keep nail polish unchipped for more than an hour. I held off for a long time on getting a smart phone because I was sure I'd break it. I got one over a year ago and I had a sturdy Otterbox case and everything was great! Then I managed to break it in complete and total and very public fashion.




I went to the gym on Friday night to go to a "Cardio Hip Hop" class and since I was early, I wanted to warm up first. All of the cardio equipment was taken (lame) but the Jacob's Ladder was open so I hopped on.





Because I'm a complete and total idiot, I felt like shoving my phone in my waistband was a fantastic way to secure my phone. Of course it fell out and for a brief moment, I thought I could save it since it was still attached to my head via headphones. Turns out gravity had other plans and then the machine kinda sucked up the phone and it resulted in a fantastically loud CRUNCH.



Obviously, this kills the phone. I spent all weekend like it was 1997. It was hilarious because I went to the mall with friends to get work clothes and we couldn't even split up and just text each other with a meeting spot. I don't remember how I used to live before cell phones.




Other than the embarrassment of having to spend ten minutes pulling my phone back out of the Jacob's Ladder machine, it wasn't that big of a deal because I was able to use an upgrade and get a new phone shipped to me. The only downside of that is that you have to sign for the package. Normally our FedEx deliveries come around 3pm, so I thought it was safe to take a quick shower when the kids took a nap after lunch. Of course as I'm completely covered in body wash, I hear Peanut barking and the sounds of delivery man boots on the front porch.




Because I'm even more insane about not having a phone since it's less than a week before I start work, I bolt out of the shower and grab a towel. The FedEx guy was pulling out of the driveway but I stopped him by running down the driveway in just a towel while waving the drop slip. He was so thrilled to hand me my precious box  while I was trying to balance my towel grip and sign for it.




The real tragedy of this story is that the world missed out on my Instagramming my epic work clothing shopping spree. I got so much awesome stuff and it's probably going to take a while to stop feeling like I'm dressing up like a pretend adult. The kids seem to be totally on board with the "Mommy is going to work" plan, but that's probably because they don't understand what the hell I'm talking about. Faith is convinced that Mommy's job is going to the gym and Cordelia is just two and understands that she wants a yogurt and now she's angry because she doesn't have a yogurt yet.



Tomorrow might be a different story because Cordelia will be going to morning preschool. She was supposed to start today but the main teacher was sick so we pushed back her first day until tomorrow. She's going to do just mornings all week to get used to the new people before they both go all day next week.


Working parents question: What do your kids like to take for breakfast and/or lunch? I'm looking for something they will actually eat and something that won't take 30 minutes of peeling and chopping to prepare (thanks for nothing Pinterest)

What's the most dramatic way you've broken something? I think my Jacob's Ladder phone wreckage is even better than the time I put my phone on top of my car and then drove away.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ch-ch-changes

Last fall, we enrolled Faith in a Montessori school. We were frustrated with the public school system who wanted to put her in special education for her speech delay and a standard church based preschool program just didn't have the skills needed for Faith to excel. We came into the Montessori school with measured expectations and we were blown away. After just a couple of months, Faith was testing above her age level and she was no longer significantly delayed in speech. Now she's reading books (!!) and her teacher wants to move her to kindergarten early...in a week.





Cordelia is really excited to start at the Montessori school too. We haven't sent her to the two year old program yet because it's just so expensive. Something had to change to make it work.





Six months ago, I started looking for a job. It's been a long time since I worked a full time job so it was a difficult and at times a very frustrating process. I interviewed a company back in October and it seemed like a great fit and I was excited about it. Unfortunately, they went with an internal candidate and I was back to to job hunting. This week that company contacted me again and extended me a job offer which I happily accepted.




My time as a stay at home mom is coming quickly to an end and while I'll be sad to be away from the kids all day, I am excited to restart my career. It's going to be a huge lifestyle change. Right now I don't even have an alarm in the morning and the kids are used to leisurely meal times. Training them to eat in less than 45 minutes might be harder than getting them used to getting up early.




I know my tens of readers are probably panicking by now at the prospect of the end of my blog. I'm not planning on deleting my blog when I start work, but I'm not sure if I'll keep posting. Actually, I'm pretty sure I won't have any kind of posting schedule. Since I don't really know what life will be like, I'm not making any promises. All I know for sure is that I'm excited to start this new job and to have both of my kids at the genius factory school.





Any good advice for someone coming back to work after a five year break? I'm good with the golden rule of "don't be an asshole" but I'm afraid my brain is full of dust and cobwebs now and I'm going to slip up and tell someone I have to go use the potty now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Charity Winning and Tiny Insane People

Planning the Frozen Heart 50K took months of planning and hours of work. Some people might have wondered why I agreed to be a race director for an ultra since I can't run ultras anymore. It's almost like making someone on a diet work at a candy store. I had several reasons for doing it, one of which was that I felt it was important to have a local ultra so we could spread the joy of running for hours, and I had a goal of using the race as a vehicle for raising money for the Semper Fi Fund.

By working with sponsors (thanks Gu for nutrition and Personalized Therapy for providing free post race massages!) and having awesome volunteers who donated baked goods for the aid stations, I was able to keep the costs to a minimum and we ended up raising $2,200 for the Semper Fi Fund!




Putting that check in the mail today was an awesome feeling and it makes me like all of that work was worth it. Not enough to commit to doing it again for sure next year, but I need some time to forget about the spreadsheets and endless emailing and just remember how people enjoyed the race and how much we helped a great charity.




In other news, my kids are tiny insane people. My little bruiser reportedly resorted to fisticuffs over a toy in gym childcare yesterday morning. They had to come pull me out of my class to get permission to punish her and it cracked me up that they seemed surprised that I was totally on board and wanted her in a chair facing the corner for 90 seconds. Maybe I'm the weird parent, but I put her in time out at home and it works well and even though she's just two she seems to get it.  What other options are there anyway?




Yesterday after school, Faith informed me that her name is Pam. I thought she was just being silly but since then she is correcting me every time I call her Faith. I don't even know how to handle this, so I'm going with cracking up laughing.






Did you ever try to change your name as a kid? 


Monday, March 9, 2015

This all could be improved with a margarita

I learned some really important lessons over these past few days.


Snow days can be miserable, but that's probably because you're completely sober. Normally on snow days, we spend our time playing outside in the snow.




On Thursday, we had just rain but everything was completely shut down. It was supposed to turn to snow, but I wasn't a believer. My husband was working from home and I had a headache of a morning trying to keep the kids quiet and entertained. Luckily, I spent the afternoon with friends and all of the kids could tire each other out while we could have a drink and eat a ton of chips and guacamole. It's funny how much that helped me tolerate the general insanity of little kids and falling snow.






If your fridge starts making funny noises, it's a good idea to start shopping online immediately. On Saturday the fridge started emitting this horrible buzzing noise. It was still working, but it was an ominous sound. Because we rock at adulting, we did nothing except research new fridges. It took us until Sunday afternoon to realize that everything in the freezer was defrosted. I also realized that I had four half full cartons of ice cream and some of them were on their side. Thanks Obama.





The melted ice cream mess wasn't even close to the worst part. The worst part is a tie between having to give the kids back all the toys that were in "time out" on top of the fridge or having to drink a warm Coke. At least our new fridge is coming today! I'd like everyone to admire our 2015 vacation:

So beachy
At least we'll have a functioning ice maker now. The one on our old fridge has been broken for over a year (#suffering). Until the new fridge is delivered, we have all of our groceries in coolers with ice, just like Saul Goodman's crazy brother.




The time change in the spring really sucks if you're volunteering to register people at a marathon early in the morning. It's humorous trying to function at what feels like 5am and deal with problems like "My bib says I'm a female, but I'm a dude" because the runners are all so hyped up and nervous and I'm the opposite.




If I hadn't been meeting someone at the gym, I would have run part of the marathon course. It was the perfect morning to be outside and our first spring-like day of the year.


I only lift weights at the gym, I can't seem to motivate myself to do it at home. We had bad weather so I worked out at home and I meant to do weights...but I didn't. I can do cardio at home, but I guess I need the gym to lift? It must be those giant mirrors.





What do you think is easier to do on your by yourself, cardio or weight training?

Does anyone actually enjoying buying new appliances? I was wondering if we were the odd ones who hate it almost completely. Except for the part about having new stuff that actually works.