Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Let the unemployment and frantic job hunting begin!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Last weekend among the rush and frantic cleaning out of the guest bedroom I managed to get in some sanding and plastering on the fancy new sliding glass door my mother in law bought us. Please ignore the fact that my MIL bought us said door over a month ago and that its been partially installed and looking wonky for far, far too long. Last night when I got home I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my lovely husband had done the spray texture thing so I could start painting. Don't ask why spray texture scares me. Hanging sheet rock - fine. Taping, plastering and sanding said sheet rock - also fine. Painting and trim work - fine. Spraying texture at my walls out of a giant hairspray canister - SCARY! There is no rhyme or reason to my madness.
Yesterday I cried at work. I'll give that a second to sink in for those of you who are just speed reading this post (shame!)... I. CRIED. AT. WORK. And sure I tried to blow it off like "what? these aren't tears!" But you know and I know that they knew they were tears. It was almost comical how every man in that office suddenly had to be somewhere RIGHT NOW and very far away from the crazy crying lady. Y'all. This is the peak of mortification. So I did what any grown woman of almost 30 would do... I hid in the bathroom until the red rimmed eye and blotchy cheek look faded* and then I calmly walked back to my desk, grabbed my cell phone, and escaped downstairs where I called my mommy. Ah yes... I love being an adult.
Why did I cry? Yeah well see its like this. At this new job we try to help people. With their finances. And in case you haven't heard the news lately, or haven't read a newspaper or maybe just generally have been tuning out of life, there are a lot of people out there with serious financial issues and the are having a hell of a time getting on their feet. And me? Well I'm one of those people that if you are sad, I am sad. And also I want to fix it. Because I don't like being sad and I certainly don't like it when other people are sad.
So I spend roughly half my day hearing people's sob stories about how their husband died, or they came back from being deployed to Iraq to find their wife was cheating on them and went through a terrible divorce, or how they lost their job or got ill and so on and so on and I FEEL for these people and I want to HELP them and FIX it. But I can't. Like 99% of the time I can't do a damn thing. The other half of my day I spend either talking to people's voice mails or getting yelled at. And I'm guessing that given the explanation above about how I tend to internalize other people's pain you can guess how good I am at getting yelled at. So yesterday afternoon after one particularly vehement yelling episode I lost it.
But. On the flip side an old friend from high school has asked me to help her with her wedding so I'm looking forward to that. AND when I went over to my mom's house after work last night I got a brand new pair of super cute shoes! I'm pretty sure they were meant to be a Christmas present but when I called my mommy from the parking lot of my office after bursting into tears at work I imagine she thought to herself... "I know what will make my little girl happy - shoes!" And you know what? It kind of helped. I do love shoes after all. It might have been the mom hugs that did it too. There is something about the combination of cute new shoes and a mother's love that makes things right with the world.
After last weekend I was sort of hoping to have a quiet weekend at home this weekend but once again the universe has thwarted my plans. So tonight I will be attending the wedding of one of TheBoy's coworkers. This is a fun couple who live just down the road from us here and we've hung out with them a few times and always have a blast. The guy has this fancy off road truck so the boys sit and talk about trucks and engines and... whatever men talk about and me and his coworker just roll our eyes and laugh at them. And tomorrow morning, earlier that I think we should have to get up on a Saturday but I digress, we are leaving for Chico to attend the birthday party of TheBoy's best friend. Which should be fun but also means we'll be having two very late nights and most likely won't get anything done on our to-do lists.
Which reminds me... I should get back to painting and cleaning! Here's hoping you guys have a great weekend also!
*Why, oh why, can't I been one of those girls that looks all cute and pouty and sexily distraught when she cries? Alas no, I am cursed with the blotchy red cheeks and blood shot eyes and random runny nose look. HOT!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Instead what ended up happening was one emotionally draining fight Friday night, an early morning call Saturday that TheBoy's niece needed to move some of her things in like "right now" and the subsequent frantic cleaning out of the room she will occupy when she moves in with us in a few weeks, another emotionally draining emergency early Sunday morning and relatively little to no "relaxing".
I suppose that requires a little more explanation doesn't it? TheBoy's niece (whom I adore) needs a place to live and since we are the closest family members with a spare room who also need some extra cash we're renting her a room for a few months. And by spare room I mean that third bedroom we've been storing all our crap in that we either haven't un-packed or didn't know what to do with for the past year. Also? ALL my clothes were in that closet.
And because I am a procrastinator and also because I had no freaking clue what I was going to do with my clothes, I have been putting off the cleaning of that room in preparation of her moving in. Until we got the call that she'd be over with a truck load of stuff in a few hours. We made piles for goodwill, we made piles for the dump, we made piles of things that we have to find places for, clothes were shuffled into linen closets and clothes were loaded into my car to be taken to my mom's for storage (thank GOD she lives so close!). I cleaned, I mopped, I dusted, I organized... It was a long. long, long day. Then on Sunday I woke up to my house in shambles and still more organizing and cleaning and work ahead of me.
Don't get me wrong, I feel like I accomplished a lot this weekend... I'm just exhausted and feel like I need another weekend to recover from my weekend! Also? I must be SUPER out of shape because I am sore in places I didn't even realize there were muscles! I think a nice quiet evening of sitting around on the couch and drinking a glass of wine the size of my head is in order. And the universe is sorely mistaken if it thinks it's going to screw with me this time... I WILL relax tonight dammit!
Friday, September 19, 2008
It might have something to do with this (second) new job... Let's just say I have yet to have one of those "what the hell have I gotten myself into" moments and its been two whole days. I think I had one within the first 30 minutes at that other new job. I'm just saying. The whole happiness with the job might also have something to do with the super friendly, sarcastic humor having, sports watching, shit talking, hysterically funny group of guys I am working with. Or it might be the fact that I wore jeans to work today for like my first casual Friday ever. Jeans! To work!
I'm not saying I love this job... In fact I'm still pretty sure that the mortgage industry and I are destined to part ways. But at least for now, while I figure out what the hell I want to do with my life, I'm not miserable.
That's a start right?
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
So here are my amazingly hot sister-in-law Dawn, her amazingly hot daughter Nikki and me. The three of us shared a room and constituted "Team Chris" since we were all there representing the groom's side of the family...
The first night we finally got to Vegas and checked into our room about 11:00 pm. By the time we changed and refreshed ourselves it was almost midnight. And the three of us had not eaten! In fact the last thing I had eaten was half a breakfast sandwich with my latte from Starbucks at like 10 am that morning. So we decided we needed to eat (sadly the only thing open was the 24 hour cafe - you'd think that the city that never sleeps would have more late-night dining options but no). First we stopped by the "Team Christy" room to say hi and see what their plans were for the evening.
Here are all the girls that first night. Sometime between tequila shots one and two and definitely after Dawn and I had two glasses of red wine in the room while getting ready. Y'all. We had not even been to a bar or club yet! The bride is the one in blue. I married into a family of hotness y'all. Maybe it'll wear off on me! :D
After Dawn, Nikki and I ate we decided that since it was now well after mid-night that we would just hang out the three of us at the Studio 54 nightclub at MGM because we were far too lazy to go catch a taxi to the Wynn where the other girls were partying it up. We had a fantastic time. We danced, we flirted, we got free drinks... Life was good. At one point I wandered off to find the bathrooms and somehow in my drunken state made a friend. In the ladies room. She had driven out to Vegas from LA with a friend on a whim only to find when she got here that her friend's sometime boyfriend, sometime hook up buddy was there also. At which point she promptly got ditched. With friends like those...
At some point Dawn went to bed but Nikki and I stayed out dancing until they were closing the club. She met this SUPER cute British boy there and so I walked around with her and him and his friend. All I really remember about those boys is that Nik REALLY liked the one (and he was CUTE!) and the other one's name was Alister (how British!) and he was like 12 and kept talking about how he couldn't believe that the most beautiful girl he'd met all week was married. So he was a liar - but a cute one. And a fairly good sport for hanging out with the married chick so his "mate" could spend some time with Nikki. I think I finally made it to bed about 4:30 and Nikki staggered in sometime around 6:30.
The bride, also known as my soon to be new sister in law Christy, came in and woke up sometime around 10:30. AM. In Vegas. While I contemplated throwing sharp objects at her head until she left us alone for at least 2 more hours, Dawn and Nikki both hopped out of bed to get ready for the pool. Deciding I couldn't be outdone I grudgingly got up and slathered myself with sunscreen and headed with them off to the other room where we proceeded to drink mimosas for an hour and blared music so that I am sure the people next to us were cursing. Here is the bride looking shockingly bright eyed and bushy tailed!
And this was us trying to be all artistic and stuff taking pictures into the mirror outside Michael Mina's restaurant on our way to the pool party. Okay so its slightly off center and blurry. Its hard to take pictures into a mirror while a) not covering your face with the camera and therefore not looking at what you are shooting and b) after about 5 mimosas. I said I would post pictures, I didn't say they would be good.
The pool party was SO awesome. Not quite as awesome as that time TheBoy and I went to Rehab at the Hard Rock but pretty damn fun none the less. Also? I forget how much fun Vegas is when you are a gigantic group of girls. We walked straight into the pool, past the line of people waiting to go in, right past the line of people who were sort of in but still had to pay, and headed straight for the pool. It was forecasted to be 98 degrees (hah like the band!) in Vegas last Saturday and it felt it! We contemplated paying the ridiculous extra fee to have a place to sit (gotta love Vegas) but the other girls seemed confidant that we wouldn't need it and roughly 18 seconds later they had met a bachelor party who had not one but TWO private cabanas. Shade and seating problem fixed. Those guys were fun, they partied with us all day, gave us all sorts of free drinks, let us watch some college football and generally were just good times. You know since we basically took over their cabanas and all.
At some point in the afternoon it occurred to me that we had been drinking since 11:00 am and had had maybe 6 hours of sleep and had not eaten. So Dawn and I left to get some lunch (it seems strange to call it lunch since it was like at 4:00 pm but what can you do?) and then headed up to the room to shower and nap. LOL we were the oldest I guess! Once we were refreshed and beautified we headed over the the other room to check and see what the plan was for the night where we found the girls who hadn't even STARTED to get ready! They had partied down at the pool like rockstars and were now nursing espresso and trying to catch their second (third?) wind. The three of us decided to head down and have dinner and by the time we were finished the girls were beautiful and in full on party mode again.
Yes that is an inflatable male stripper doll, complete with anatomically correct erhm... well he was anatomically correct. Also there were about a million pages of guys cut out from playgirl magazine hanging up all over the room. It was awesome. The girls also made Christy a sign for the room and they were busy putting together about a million pages for a scrapbook. Some people are just too darn creative for their own good!
The last night we headed over to the Luxor to their club which is called LAX. It was the same exact thing as at the pool party. We walked straight past the line of people waiting to be selected to go in, past the line of people waiting to bribe the bouncers, past the line of people waiting to pay to get in and straight into the club. I love being a girl sometimes! Of course this time we didn't even have to wait a minute before we were invited into the VIP area. A cocktail waitress came right up to one of our girls as were were walking down the stairs into the club and told us she had a table of VIP guys looking for some girls to party with. Score! So we met yet another group of guys, these ones were all there because one of them had sold his company for a small fortune and had flown all his buddies out from the mid-west to party in Vegas for the weekend. There was even a guy there from Kerrville, Texas! Which I know is not exciting to anyone but me but... Kerrville! That's only like an hour from where I lived!
So we danced, and danced, and drank, and laughed and helped Christy with a list of dares she had to do that evening. We met the guys in the next VIP booth over who were a bachelor party from LA. It was such a good time. All the guys we met were so fun and friendly and they danced, and we danced, and I practically screamed myself hoarse "singing" along to Journey and Whitesnake songs, and I don't think I ever sat down or stopped dancing for longer than the two or three seconds it took me to sip from my drink. Cause y'all know I can't drink and dance at the same time. At one point we were dancing actually on top of the couches and this (super hot) bouncer came over and told us we'd have to take off our shoes if we stayed up there... Done! Dancing in cute high heels is painful enough but dancing in high heels with a huge blister on the bottom of your foot from burning it at the pool earlier is pretty much torture. One other girl's feet were literally bloody by the end of the night. Why do we women do this to ourselves?
It was another late night. Dawn and I left the girls at about 3:00 and ran into the first group of guys from that night (the one with the sold company) in the lobby. We hung out with them for awhile but declined the invitation to go back and check out their suite at the Palms. Because while I wouldn't have minded seeing this fancy suite at the Palms I didn't really want to be alone the two of us with 10 guys no matter how nice they were! So we caught a taxi back to the MGM and headed up to our room to change into jammies and watch comedy on TV and eat late night room service. It was so fun! I think we finally fell asleep sometime around 5 am. Me! 5 am! Two nights in a row! I have no idea how that happened... :D The rest of the girls staggered home sometime around 7:30 am. They are rockstars.
Sunday was just sleeping in until the last possible second before we had to check out and making our respective ways home. I'll admit I was a little nervous going into this trip because we didn't know any of the girls coming and sometimes girls can be... not so fun. But there was absolutely no drama, no pettiness and I had zero urge to slap anyone (except maybe once because they were too cute and skinny, or when Christy tried to wake me up that time...). We got along fantastically well and had the best party weekend ever. And now we'll all know each other when we get together to party next month at the wedding! Definitely just what I needed to take my mind off the super funk, crisis mode I've been in the last week.
Monday, September 15, 2008
~Not going to bed until 5 am either night. Me! 5 am!
~Dancing, dancing and more dancing.
~The gigantic blister I have on the bottom of my foot from burning it on the hot as hell concrete at the pool party at MGM.
~The bride's amazingly hot AND nice friends who were so fun!
~Hanging out in the VIP areas everywhere we went because of the above mentioned HOT friends.
~Have I mentioned the dancing?
~The weather was FANTASTIC! Warm and sunny just the way I like it.
And there was so, so much more. I'll try to remember highlights later for when I post pictures. :D
Oh! Also on the whole mid-life crisis front I at least think I have found a job that will help pay the bills while I try to figure out what the hell it is I want to be when I grow up (though I do like Kate's idea of wining the lotto and become ladies of leisure...). More on that later too. Don't want to jinx anything before it happens. You know.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The logical next question is... what DO I like to do? The answer is a resounding "I have no effing clue!" Because I am a HUGE dork, and also because I am seriously desperate here guys, I went online earlier today and googled "what do I want to be when I grow up" and up came a few pages, one of which was this online test thing where you answer a bunch of questions and it matches you to some careers.
#1 Personal Trainer.
#2 Event Planner.
Now I'm not sure where #3 came from... I apparently missed the check box next to "hates kids" or something. #2 is not a shocker given I love cooking and planning parties and so on. I've even looked into that as a career path numerous times and even had my own catering business for awhile. Sadly getting a culinary degree is prohibitively expensive and it seems that to get an event planning job you either have to have loads of experience (which I am not sure how I am supposed to get if EVERYONE requires experience but that's neither here nor there) or you pretty much have to know someone in the industry who will hook you up with something on the bottom rung so you can work your way up. Anyone out there know anyone who works in event planning that is hiring?
Now #1 shocked me a little. I guess I can't see past these 20 pounds I've been adding over the past year. I mean would any of you hire a chubby trainer? Not to mention I haven't seen the inside of a gym in months and my running shoes get mostly used for aerobics tapes in the living room these days. But I was talking to BFL this afternoon and she didn't seem surprised at all. I do have a lot of information running around in my head from working with the nutritionist... And I DO enjoy being active. Plus it would fit right in with my whole, hates to sit at a desk for 8 hours, likes flexibility and to be outside as much as possible, likes to help people thing. AND in its defense it is relatively inexpensive to get certified to be a personal trainer.
I guess I should have paid more attention when I was joking with TheBoy that I am just waiting for him to make the big bucks so I can stay home and teach yoga for a living!
Am I totally crazy y'all? Cause I kind of feel like I am losing my freaking mind over here! I am actually seriously considering trying to find a waitress job or a retail job for a few months so I can at least make SOME $ while I try to figure this all out... But how do I tell me people I left a perfectly respectable industry (that I had been in for a decade) to wait tables and find a dream job?? Aren't I just a smidgen too old for this crap?
The upside to all this? Even with the no job, no money thing looming over my head I am happier now in the last couple weeks than I have been in well over a year. That has to count for something right?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
So. I’m the type of person that always has to be learning. I can illustrate this by outlining my job progress at any company I’ve worked at since I began working at 16. My first job was with a retail company that specializes in children’s clothes. I began working there part time at 16. A few months in I was getting more and more shifts and also being asked to participate in stocking shifts both at my store and at another nearby store. The regional manager knew my name.
While still working there I took a seasonal retail position with a gaming store during Christmas. When the season was over I was asked if I was interested in taking an assistant manager position with their closest permanent store which was in San Francisco. I declined. I eventually landed with a stationary store and quickly moved from part time salesperson, to a supervisor handling scheduling, training and banking aspects. During my senior year of high school and every summer I worked pretty close to full time. It was assumed I would eventually go through the management program and move up. I did not. I went to college instead.
During the first semester of college or two I held a few boring, menial jobs with absolutely zero brain power required. I worked as a delivery person for a graphic design company, I worked as a nanny (yes – this is what I blame now when people ask me why I do not want children), I worked pretty much anywhere and everywhere that offered me a job. It was crazy but I was in college and really only cared about the paycheck. I wasn’t so concerned about a “career path” at that time.
And then I took my first real estate job as a receptionist for a local high end real estate firm. I started working afternoons, then took some weekends, I helped set up and open a new office, and so on and so on. I finally felt like I was in a place doing something semi-challenging that was making a difference to my employers. And then I got bored. So I took a position as an assistant to the in house lender in my real estate office. Again I felt challenged and excited and like I was an important contributing member of a team. And then I got bored. Again.
From there I took a part-time position with a team of two high volume real estate professionals back at my original real estate firm (but in a different office). I LOVED that job y’all. I felt useful, knowledgeable, challenged. I loved being out looking at houses, I loved staging, I loved marketing, I loved that every day was different. I had left college and was working full time within the first 4 months and I was a licensed realtor in month 7. I worked there for almost 2 years. And then 9/11 happened. I sometimes wonder where I would be today if it hadn’t. Would I have eventually gotten bored there also?
Being unemployed without a college degree in the wake of 9/11 was a scary place to be. I took some seasonal holiday work at Bloomingdale’s (who subsequently asked me to stay on full time) for a few months. I eventually landed as a paralegal/office manager in a estate planning law firm. What I really was however, was a highly paid babysitter for my manic depressive boss. In my short time in that office, people were hired, they were fired (for whimsical reasons like “they didn’t have enough energy”), people quit, threatened lawsuits, books were thrown, emotional melt downs were had… It was stressful to say the least.
And then someone I had worked closely with when I was in real estate found me and began pursuing me to take a position with his company, a mortgage brokerage. It was an easy choice to leave the law firm, though the attorney (my boss) did make some crazy offers to get me to stay. This new job was supposed to be a kind of internship. I was going to work for the broker/owner, basically as his assistant, while I learned the business and eventually went out on my own to become a mortgage banker. That is what it was SUPPOSED to be. What it ended up being was a glorified receptionist position where I was stuck behind a computer or in front of a copy machine for 8 hours straight. No one offered to teach me the business, I wasn’t learning, I wasn’t challenged, and probably most importantly I was not one of the “favorites” in the office. That was the only job I have ever been fired from. I was actively looking for a new job because I was so miserable and someone I sent my resume too forwarded it on to my then boss. Apparently they frown on that.
Unemployment seems to be a common thread here among my job history. Luckily for me the job market was pretty good back then and I think I was actually only unemployed for a week or two. I took a position as the marketing director for a commercial real estate firm specializing in apartment buildings. Finally I was back in a challenging position where I felt like I was growing and learning and making a difference. The only problem? Yet another crazy boss. I seem to attract them don’t I? Only this one was also terminally ill (though interestingly enough for being terminally ill she’s lived quite a full and active life these past years) so it’s not like anyone was telling her she was a raving bitch. Even her husband tip-toed around her and if it’s one thing I’ve learned to hate it’s a spineless man. She would spread rumors about her staff, so and so had a drug problem, this other one drank, this one over here had never gotten her mental faculties back after her husband’s death… But she? Perfect in every way. Funny how her one daughter and son in law didn’t want her in their lives, one son and daughter in law moved as far away from her as they could get and still be in the US and the other daughter… well I think she actually might have had a drunk or alcohol problem. When I started crying on my way into work in the mornings and sobbing hysterically on my way home I knew I had to get out. I resigned the day before my 25th birthday. I had no job lined up. I was unemployed again.
I played around with having my own catering company because cooking had always been a passion of mine. In fact ever since I was a young girl I have dreamed of owning my own restaurant. But frankly culinary school is prohibitively expensive and the few things I catered and actually got PAID for ended up not being enough to pay the bills, so to speak. I remember one remarkable event where after the price of food and equipment and so on I think I made $200. For an event I worked on sporadically for weeks and slaved over for 3 whole days with very little sleep. You do the math, that’s not a very good going rate.
Luckily for me, while I was playing at being a caterer another position came my way. This time it was for a bank, as an assistant to a mortgage loan officer. This position evolved into the position I most recently left after nearly 4 years. And my recent posts and the last year or so aside I loved that job. Again I was challenged and felt like I was essential to a team. But, as seems to be my lot in life, I got bored. It stopped being challenging and started being mundane, there was nothing left for me to learn. And eventually having a boss I loved and work I was good at no longer made up for the heinous commute and the boredom I felt. I felt like the only place to go from there was to be out on my own as a banker. Someplace closer to home, someplace where I could have the flexibility in my schedule to be out meeting with people, to not sit in front of a computer or copier all day, to move on.
But now that I’ve done that I wonder if moving on to a banker position is really what I WANTED or if it was merely what was EXPECTED. I don’t want to look back in 5 years and have yet another string of un-fulfilling jobs behind me. I don’t want to keep finding things I love only to become bored in a few months or years. Why can’t I just find a job and stick in it no matter what like some people can? Why do I always need to be learning, be challenged, doing something new? And probably most importantly is there a career out there for me where I CAN find all of those things?
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The problem is I don't FEEL the part yet. I guess that is what is scariest about starting a new job. (Also? Hi! I got a new job! I know I owe you an explanation post - stay tuned.) Mentally I am ready for this. I've worked my ass of to get here, it is the logical next step and it could end up being better than I ever dreamed. And yet emotionally I'm still kind of like... really? This is what I am growing up to be? How did THAT happen?
So anyway. Wish me luck. Orientation at the new job starts in 45 minutes. If you need me I'll be in the bathroom vomiting.