Thursday, October 30, 2008
Posted by Janet at 2:16 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
A fellow blogger out there that I found posed an interesting question about those that do not want to "spread the wealth around in America." Not sure it completely had to deal with actual political ideal, e.g. socialism, but I thought that the question she posed was nonetheless interesting.
Apparently, the blogger must be one of our beloved food servers/waitress or a friend of a server, as many of us have been throughout our lives. From her question I believe she must have felt the economic pinch of not receiving a rightful "tip" for service. It still shocks me to this day that people do not understand that food servers only make $2.15 an hour, plus tips. Anyhow, the question posed was: if people are so against spreading the wealth throughout America (even though it has been shown to work in the past, i.e. Roosevelt's New Deal), why can't the food servers' tip amounts get melded into the cost of the food at a restaurant?
Not sure I completely agree with the suggestion, as I have had many bad food service experiences. Even my own experience of being a server has not made me think that this concept is entirely a good idea, as I enjoy paying my 15% for "bad" service and 20+% for "good" service.
On second thought,...other peoples' ideas of awarding good or bad service are not at the same levels of tip percentages, as I award.
For some, mediocre service can involve giving only a 5% tip. Perhaps, the melding of service cost into food cost at restaurants could be a good idea and could better yet, possibly help those whose skills excel in the food service industry or even help those who use food serving as a supplemental income.
What do you think?
Posted by Janet at 6:32 PM
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Posted by Janet at 8:20 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I had the most fabulous time at my two bday parties that I went to over the weekend. I love this second to last weekend in October. Every year, since I've been back on the east side, I have gotten the privilege of attending two birthday parties for two of my favorite people, both with names beginning with M. Maryanna and Molly.
As fun as these two parties are, they both couldn't be more different than they are. One is a family like event event with little kids and families and the other is a big party with some family and kids, but mostly good food and more adult beverages. Living between these two friends and these two parties sometimes makes me feel all mixed up.
At one party, I am meant to join the Moms and Dads that I could have been with had my life gone differently. I am meant to sit on the floor make crafts, talk about my favorite color, barbies, princesses, playing house and having cake all over my face like my fellow three-feet-tall party patrons. While at the other party, I am meant to feel young and single, and told by some, to have one-night stands and F buddies.
I like having a large group of friends to hang out with and am very thankful for all the birthday fun. But I would also like to be able to attend both kinds of parties and enjoy myself thoroughly without being reminded of what I don't have or what I should have. Of course sometimes, its my thoughts and feelings causing me to miss what I don't have, and other times, its my friends and party patrons telling me what I should do or have.
Either way, things like going to parties, enjoying playing among my fellow party patrons, and laughing off silly remarks from those that for a fleeting moment somehow wish to be in alternative places from where they currently reside, ALL OF IT, shouldn't bother me. Or maybe just bother me a little.... But having friends with names that begin with M, and there awesome birthday parties, that I am thankful very for.
Posted by Janet at 5:55 PM
Sunday, October 19, 2008
With Halloween coming up, I have been trying to decide what I should be for Halloween. This sparkly witch in this photo seems pretty cool, or maybe a gypsy or even a Vampire. I am thinking very strongly of going with Vampire. I always love a good bite!
But all the costume shopping and Halloween night dreaming has actually gotten me in tune with my own magical, Halloweeny skills and abilities. Did you ever realize that you could do something that you weren't entirely sure that you could do? Well, recently, last week I did find out that I could somewhat predict the future.
At work I had been known to have a particular ugly incident with SA that resulted in my resolve to use kindness. However, as I suspected from the encounter with SA at the meeting of the 4, which included at high level Program Management team member, my reputation and my work remained tarnished in this team member's eyes. I saw the future and knew that something would become of the fateful meeting of the 4. Last Friday I was removed from the program with SA and the PM team member.
Unlike my other colleagues, who mostly admit to making mistakes or forgetting to complete a responsibility during high, stressful work time, any slight imperfections that I performed were magnified by SA attempting to point out my flaws in front of those who make decisions. As I have explained, SA has also made particularly serious mistakes in her work. However, unlike with me, those who make decisions did not have SA's flubs highlighted for them.
Only my record was attacked, judged, carefully sifted through, put on display, combed through with a fine toothed comb, pointed to, spun, and written out for some to see. How did I know that this would happen? Well, when people act inappropriately, highly competitive, two-faced, and back stabbing, to make co-workers look bad in front of others, especially those who make decisions, I guess they sometimes get what they want...But as sure as I was that SA's actions would lead to my demise in the eyes of the PM's from this program, I am also sure that God, karma, pay-back, whatever you want to call it, will also return her ugliness with just desserts.
Posted by Janet at 2:02 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Posted by Janet at 8:09 PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
So it's been quite awhile since the wasband decided to come tell me he thought we should divorce. This news was of course not surprising to me at all considering all the back and forth and arguing that has gone on between us for sometime. What was considerably surprising was the reasons he gave.
Some of these reasons I cannot deny had merit. I was a depressive mess who never seemed happy or to care about anything while I lived in California. I was away from all my close friends, even though I made some great, new, really close friends.
While in Cali, I couldn't find work the first couple of months that I lived there, only adding to the depression funk. Bet you didn't know that in Cali you cannot work with a practicing attorney as a paralegal if you are a barred lawyer in another state. Jobs that I could get were not really at par with all that education that I had received and paid for.
The original thoughts of moving to North Carolina quickly faded, with the wasband's plans to possibly switch to the counter intelligence division. That then turned into the wasband's plan to possibly attend this illusive language school in Monterey and learn Arabic there. Moving to NC soon after marriage quickly turned into us living in Cali for over two years.
As you can imagine this lifestyle was not what I had signed up for. Sure I knew he'd be busy and I would have to make friends, that there would be deployments and separations, but not getting to begin my career and moving to a new city right after I was beginning to feel comfortable in the last one, just sucked. Numerous crappy fighting that will have to be broken down on future blogs happened in San Diego from time to time. But then came Monterey....
Moving to Monterey was no better for the career situation. I started temping and actually got to perform some legal prep work. Later I even got to work in the county courthouse as a paralegal in their legal self-help department which was rewarding. However, where the career situation slightly improved in the new city, the relationships, with the wasband, and with possible new friends only worsened.
In Monterey I had very few friends, and the only friends I made were work friends. In San Diego I met most of my close friends from being neighbors or through Tim's work colleagues who had wives. In Monterey all of Tim's friends in class were very single, not married, or women who were not interested in being friends. Because of the transient nature of Monterey, because most living there would only be there for school, neighbors rarely, if ever spoke or even waived in my direction. Life sucked there and my depression only deepened. This did not make me be a good supportive wife, I truly believe. But as I also believe, the depression was not entirely location related.
In Monterey we only grew more and more apart. The wasband became entrenched in his studies, as I knew he would. But studying also included drinking all night out at one of the bachelor's houses, blacking out from being so drunk, being as rude to me as possible whilst being drunk, ignoring me for the most part while sober or hung over, telling me that I should get some friends (because I didn't have tons back on the east side), getting mad at me for trying to join him on the "military party functions" because he did not want to be the only one there with a spouse (all the others were single), and screaming two feet from my face when ever we had an argument. Oh Wait....I forgot, being drunk in our mutual friends wedding (yes he was in the wedding and drunk) and grabbing the back of my scarf part of my dress and telling me that, "He could f-ing kill me" and that I shouldn't walk away from him.
I wanted so bad to be a good wife, future mother. I wanted to be supportive of him and his studies, making dinner every night, and keeping the house clean. But his weekend partying, his ignoring of me, our fights, his out-right meanness, my health issues and admittedly my depression, did not allow for awesome wife-ness to happen. Inevitably the marriage rapidly deteriorated, and despite both our intention to not completely give up on the marriage, we both decided it was best if I moved to the east coast, where I could begin my career and make more money, and he could concentrate more on studying, or more drinking, or find another significant other...whatever you want to believe.
We stayed in touch until the day in May, with every intention to continue our marriage. We talked of the future, he called me nearly everyday and told me he loved me. We still had fights, like on last Thanksgiving when he told me not to bother coming because I would inevitably piss him off. But oh he still loved me, blah blah blah. And yes thereafter, we still spoke over the phone nearly everyday and he still told me he loved me and we still spoke of the future together.
Well, in May he drove straight up from his new station in North Carolina (he finally got there, sans me) and told me that he did not want to be married anymore and gave me his reasons. It did not take me too long into the conversation to realize who of us was more rational and logical.
Part of the conversation went something like this:
Wasband - "I blame you for failing out of the Arabic class and you were not at all supportive."
Janet - "I admit that I could have been more supportive and was very depressed, but what specifically can you point to? Give me an example of something."
Wasband - "Well, when I asked you to help me study and I gave you the flashcards, you would just laugh at them and not even try to help me study."
Janet stares at wasband in disbelief.
ARABIC USES ANOTHER ALPHABET!!! It has squiggly lines and other characters (see above missing the prenunciation in english). How was I supposed to help him with flash cards when I can't read the Arabic writing on them?? And furthermore, since when is a spouse responsible for their spouse doing well in school? My mother received two Masters Degrees and never once asked my dad, or required him to provide her with learning or studying assistance. But she sure did keep up better with the cooking and cleaning. Gotta love those devoted 60's southern housewives.
Apparently, it would have been more rational for the wasband to have created a pre-nup requiring, every night cooking and cleaning, no illnesses, ignorance of alcoholism, the patience of a saint, and of course, a thorough grasp of the Arabic language.
Posted by Janet at 5:52 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Posted by Janet at 4:41 PM
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Posted by Janet at 7:42 PM
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
First Made Up Face
First VA Tech Game
So my favorite bloggist Stephanie Klein is running a photo contest for firsts. The prize is a super glitzy baby gift bag thing, which I can't completely use, but if you've read my first blog, I know many many folks with child and would have no difficulty giving the baby stuff away.
Anyhow, having no children myself, I decided to use some other recent firsts. Here are the photos that I used to enter the contest.
Posted by Janet at 8:36 PM
Monday, October 6, 2008
So last week I experienced a particular hellish work event and then decided to blog about it. Like any, story that describes how exactly a misunderstanding or fight occurs, the description can be long, unending, word vomit, as I like to call it.
The long story that was filled with confusing this and thats, was not a blog to create entertainment. I blogged about the incident in order to get the yucky, nauseous, feelings in my mind about the interaction out. I don't blog to make those that know SA think that she is evil, I don't blog to make me look better than SA, I don't blog to bore any readers with a long drown out event, I don't blog to promote any agenda, I blog for me. I don't blog for blog's sake, I blog for Janet's sake.
Posted by Janet at 5:23 PM
Friday, October 3, 2008
Well, this funny cartoon is really not completely accurate but as close as I could get to the actual situation....
Last week, I had a similar cartoon and forewarning that I was unsure if I wanted to write about a recent work incident with a back stabbing, two-faced, work colleague. If you cannot yet tell, I am still feeling a bit burnt, but a lot less sad and beat up then I was at the conclusion of work yesterday.
So my work turmoil all began in a meeting of four women, involved in the monitoring of a program and its subcontracts. Of the 4, including myself, are an assistant program manager, my supervisor, and a program control/financial analyst person. Concocting all of the necessary spells and potions that make the program and its subcontracts work and behave as they are supposed to, takes the four of us as a team. But one of the 4 in this coven were not acting of the same coven. (sorry I am feeling Halloweeny)
My program control/financial analyst who I will call SA has what I like to call, a "know-it-all" personality. She knows it all of course, but also likes to point it out when you may or may not know all, and of course likes to point out any mistakes that you may have made. Well, in our meeting of the 4, SA brings out a list of modifications that she claims that I have failed to update in my special database. She hands this list to me at our meeting of the 4 in front of my boss and the asst. PM. This may not sound as evil as it is, except for the fact that the meeting had to deal with re-checking the funding levels of the program that we work for, which has little to do with updating of the database. Furthermore, updating of this particular database is my responsibility and is actually one of the many points that my boss uses to make a decision regarding my raise and review. So basically, SA brought out an attention grabbing list of things she claims that I failed to do, directly in front of two other higher level people, without first checking with me about whether it was a simple mistake or some other reason.
Well, it turned out that some of the records that she claimed I failed to update, were in fact neglectful mistakes on my part, which my own boss also admits having similar cases of forgetfulness. However, some of the records she claimed I had failed to update were not at all my own failing. The records could not be updated because the signed documents were not yet received, or I had combined some of the records and she was off by the numbering, or there had not yet existed the time in one record to have a need to update because the record was so new. Basically, she did a half ass job of collecting information to bring me down, with half assed ammo.
Yesterday, everything came to head. I went to discuss something else with SA and actually complemented her work. She asked me to update her whenever I combined records, and I said I would, but that she could also just check the database, because that is why it is there. She of course then brought up my failure to make the updates. I asked if she had seen my follow-up post back stabbing meeting where I had written to the other 3 explaining how the lack of updating that she caught me in, was for some part, incorrect. She said she hadn't gotten to look over that email yet and then began to look over it with me right then.
More claims were thrown that I had not processed this and that and that I did not do this right. I went back to my desk and re-checked my files and brought back some evidence. I pointed out that I had forgotten to update the funding value in the particular record we were looking at and that I did however, add all the necessary information in the record that would get the answer anyone would need to proceed with any other work.
I have no problem admitting when I forget to do something by the way. This job has lots of holes, were one may begin typing and entering data and then the phone rings and you forget your place and what you were doing last and then Guess What.....the things do not get updated completely. I however, have further checks. Before I begin a new subcontract modification, I go back to the database and make sure all the info was updated correctly from the last modification. But, at this point yesterday, as well as the meeting last week, that internal check I perform had not occurred because no new subcontract mods had been issued. I guess, that may defeat the point in my asking her to check the database for information, because it may still be in that in-between time of where I began entering, but my final check had not been performed at the time she may be viewing it. But Hey! Even now I admit that my logic of asking her to review the database may have been faulted, but I do admit it.
Back to the part that makes SA truly two-faced and back stabbing, but more two-faced, at this point. I need to start by saying that I have thought SA was my friend, and although we have had some issues, I thought she would still act like somewhat of a friend, even when flustered. Boy was I wrong...
So, when I came back to her with the evidence that I had to show her that her claims of my wrongdoing were wrong themselves, as well as other misconceptions that she had, SA told me to go away and collect my thoughts and that she was not going to talk to me like this.
I admit, I may have been cocky when I brought back the evidence to show her, but as a friend described it in a similar situation with her, I was merely responding to her "know-it-all"ness and her arrogantness with a similar level. My voice was not raised. Nevertheless, I do feel guilty reacting in a similar way to a person at work.
After SA told me to go away and collect my thoughts, I stood behind her about 5 feet, trying to do just that...collect my thoughts. She then said, "Janet, you can stand there all day. I am not going to talk to you." I said, in as calmly a voice as I could, that I was collecting myself and calming down. You see, her reaction to me when I came to bring some sort of evidence to show that she was wrong, was the same reaction of the wasband and as I stood there, after being told to go collect myself, that is when I started to loose it even more, because I had felt threatened by her finding my faults, but I did not feel unwound. Having SA say to me to go collect myself made me want to scream or cry.
I thought to myself, as I stood there gripping the chair tightly, that this was silly and that I knew we'd have to continue working together. I pulled up a chair right next to SA and began to say that I wanted to explain myself and about why I might be feeling hurt by her attempting to call out my mistakes. I was going to explain how I thought the incident last week where she brought out a list of database entries that she thought I had failed to update. I was even going to point out how I had caught several of her mistakes that I had not brought to either her or her boss's attention. I wanted to tell SA that I just went ahead and fixed her blunders instead of making a big show of them because I realized that maybe she had just made a simple mistake. HOWEVER, before I could begin to let this emotional word vomit out, SA cut me off and said, "I told you I don't want to talk to you about this now." I responded by saying that I just wanted to say something that she would not need to respond, but just to listen. This was followed by an utterly hurtful comment that my boss described as unprofessional and just plain mean. SA said, "She did not want to even listen to me right now and that I should just go away." So, I did......
After talking over this situation with many a friend, my mom, my brother and my supervisor, I have decided to do what my friend did in a similar circumstance. Kill her with kindness. Not sarcastic kindness, but the kindness that is genuinely in my nature. My boss, however also decided to point out to SA one of the mistakes that I had recently pushed aside and corrected myself. My boss thought it necessary to do this not just to make a point that even, "know-it-alls" make mistakes too, but also because the mistake SA made was an auditable issue that looked as if we may have de-obligated funding under the same request because two companies were mistakenly listened on the same PR by SA.
My boss also asked me if I wanted to rearrange who I worked with so as to avoid SA. But I told her that I was going to stick to the killing with kindness. In fact, it was my job to bring in the bagels for our Bagel Friday and I made sure to bring an entire bag of SA's favorite. And no, I did not add any secret ingredients to them.....
Posted by Janet at 6:49 AM
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Posted by Janet at 8:07 PM