What a Difference…

…a few weeks makes.

I know I’ve been absent, and in absentia, you may have thought I’d retired my keyboard and blog. However, these last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for me. It’s been amazing the amount of things I’ve accomplished in a short period of time.

Let me explain.

I finished out a two week notice at the Call Center Xtroardinaire, and it was one of the craziest two weeks I’d had. Mainly because I was too excited to care much about anything other than being able to leave soon and very soon. Of course, I was professional about it. I did my job and did it well. I did everything as I was supposed to.

Even though my supervisor kept telling me it didn’t matter and I could do what I wanted.

I suppose they’re not used to caring if people do anything for their last two weeks.

Perhaps they’re not used to getting an actual notice.

Either way, I stayed the course, I worked my time, and I quit early. What? I mean, I left early on Friday, my last day, after I had my exit interview.

My exit interview went surprisingly well. I even had the opportunity to kindly mention some of the supervisors who clearly hated their jobs as I left. (Take that, Ms. Jerk who rarely smiles  and even more rarely takes questions from reps!)

Then I turned around, got up Monday, and went to the new job. And wow. What. A. Difference.

I wound up in shock after learning some silly little things.

First: I get dual screen monitors. Yes, that’s redundant. No, I don’t care.

Second: I have a laptop. Yes, I’m typing this from said laptop. It’s fun.

Third: I get to do blogging for work. Woot! Not here, of course… but it’ll be such a blast to write for the company even if it does have to do with techy things I don’t quite understand. (You know, like “the cloud” and why we need it.)

Fourth: I get to have Nerf dart wars with my coworkers. Who wouldn’t love that? And it’s during working hours.

And this is only what I’ve learned within the first two weeks of working there. I’ve trained. I’ve already started taking calls. And, yes, I’ve had clients hang up on me. I’ve had people get haughty and impatient with me. But, you know, it’s not too bad. I can deal.

And when in doubt, Nerf it out. Or, you know, just shoot a technician. Because it’s their fault if a customer’s calling back about a ticket, right?

So… this new job thing? It seems like it might be just up my alley.

As for the old job, I’m still keeping tabs on the people I worked with. I mean, they’re my buddies, and I miss them. I did find out Call Center Xtroardinaire is adding 10,000 new accounts in the next month and has decided it’s a great time to announce they’re cutting back 15% of their workforce. They announced this the Tuesday after I left.

As you can imagine, I’m rather glad I’m gone… because I’m positive I would be cut had I stayed.

I’ll be posting more updates soon, but for now, Fernando is waiting to go get dinner. And a hungry Fernando is a dangerous thing!

– RaeNez

And suddenly eloping sounds nice…

It’s been a crazy busy week.

I submitted my notice Monday. I got my acceptance of my resignation from HR today along with my exit interview paperwork to fill out and submit when I do my exit interview. My HR VP seemed kind of sad, especially after the meeting we had a couple of weeks ago.

I can understand that, but I also got the job I wanted, and it’s amazing.

However, this whole wedding thing just seems a little overwhelming, and I haven’t even been engaged that long!

How do people do this, anyway?

I think perhaps I’m just stressing a little because on top of the engagement, I got a new job and am suddenly having to complete all these tasks for the new job, my current job, and everyone else in between. I drove to the new job on my lunch break today to submit my paperwork for a background check because it can take up to two weeks to complete them and might interfere with my start date.

Am I terrible to admit I almost want the breather between jobs? As it is, I’m going to be ending my current job next Friday to turn around Monday and go to a completely new job.

It’s making me more than a tad bit nervous.

Then there’s starting to budget for a wedding. I’ve discussed things with my parents, which turned into a really interesting conversation because suddenly my parents are actually concerned about their finances. And this is rather an anomaly.

Oh, wait, could that be because they went yesterday to order my mom a new Dodge Charger? Oh, yes, and because they’re trying to pay off the last of their house this year?

Well, I can understand that. And now I feel like I’m putting a damper on their finances by being engaged and actually wanting a wedding. Perhaps it was better when I wanted to elope after all. 

If I’m being honest, Fernando and I will be starting mostly from scratch once we are married. We’ll be financially stable in terms of being able to afford an apartment and living expenses, but we aren’t exactly coming to this with lots of furniture in place and a fully outfitted home.

Maybe eloping sounds nice because I’m tired, busy, and a couple weeks off to get away would be really great right now. And it could also be because I haven’t had any chance to really sit down and work any solid details out.

You know, any solid details besides the groom, that is.

The great thing about Fernando is he would happily run away with me and elope.

But I kinda, sorta want a wedding now. I just don’t know how to do it. I guess with enough time and planning it won’t be that bad, right?

We shall see.

– RaeNez

Pending a Two Week Notice…

…I will be leaving the call center.

Yes, the final piece of news from this incredible week of things that have changed my life and turned my world upside down is that I have received some amazing news as of Friday, March 1st.

You’ll recall from a previous post that I mentioned having a final interview on the 1st with the company I was so excited about before. They had me set for an interview on Friday morning, so I took off work using holiday time I’d earned and went to the interview hoping the people I interviewed with for a second time would like me as much as the first people had.

I interviewed with three different people this time. One was the woman who is already in place in the position I’d be coming into. I’m assuming she would be in charge of training me and would likely be the person I’d report to as well. She said they were thinking about how they could change the position and add some different responsibilities to it, and since it’s a relatively new position, I suppose that would be a fun transition to come into for me.

The second person I interviewed with was another woman who was very energetic, and although I wasn’t quite sure of her role in the organization, I enjoyed her immensely. She had a great personality and was a lot of fun to talk to.

And the last person I talked to was the marketing coordinator, a young man who I recognized from a church I’d attended before. He didn’t remember me, but we had a connection through a prior job that I’d done because he knew the owners of the company. He was fun and energetic and made me smile to listen to him talk.

Overall, I actually thoroughly enjoyed my second interview and felt very pleased with how it went. I loved meeting these people and felt more than ever that the company was one I’d like to work with. No company is perfect, obviously, but it would be such fun to work in an environment with people whose personalities are big and loud and fun like this one.

After my interview, they took me to the area in the building that I’d be working if I got the job. I got to say hi to two of my friends who worked in that department. I chatted with them and was asked about wedding planning details (of which I’ve done nothing). And then I left, wondering how soon I’d hear back from the company.

I had a lot going on Friday anyway. Fernando and I were spending most of the day going out and about. I had a doctor’s appointment to follow up on my ear infection from a couple of weeks ago. I needed to pick up my engagement ring from the jeweler because they were fixing the setting since I’d noticed the diamond was loose.

Anyway, we went to IHOP for a late lunch or early dinner, and I got the call around 4 pm. It was the president I’d interviewed with offering me the job. I was shocked, thrilled, so excited I was nearly bouncing in my seat. Fernando grabbed my hand from across the booth and held onto it to keep me anchored.

She gave me the decided salary, which was well beyond what I’d anticipated and such a wonderful figure I would never argue with it. She explained they would include all the benefits of a normal package including insurance options and 401-k options. The company even has a 401-k matching plan after you’ve worked there a certain amount of time.

She asked when I could start, and since I’m being good, I said I could start after giving a two week’s notice at work. I told her March 18th would be an excellent start date for me. I explained I could submit my two week’s notice tomorrow and be done within the next two weeks. She agreed and stated she would put that in as my start date for the job. I’m expecting the offer letter this week.

And now I start yet another adventure!

I can’t even believe how crazy this has been. Within the space of a week, I’ve become engaged and gotten a new job. Now to get through the next two weeks and begin this job while working out the details of planning a wedding.

So what do you say to all that? Do you think I’ve had a crazy week after all?

– RaeNez

Digressing on Birthdays

Days after Fernando asked to marry me, it was time for his birthday.

Now a girl has pressure anyway to provide the right kind of gift for her boyfriend in the first place. Coming up with an amazing birthday gift for a fiance? That’s a whole different ball game. And Fernando’s love language has to be gifts. I mean, look at the flowers he sent me on his birthday.

Yes, his birthday.

They were absolutely gorgeous and so vivid!

So Fernando sent me flowers on his birthday after sending me a gorgeous bouquet of yellow and red roses on Monday following our engagement because Monday the 25th was the official six month mark for how long we had dated seriously.

Wow.

It’s been a crazy week, can you tell?

In any event, I was trying to prepare for his birthday the best I could. I intended to see if I could come up with a great meal to cook for him, but he sent me a text the week before saying he’d gotten reservations for the Melting Pot to do fondue on his birthday.

That took care of one item for his birthday, then…

I had a couple ideas on what I would get him for his birthday, and I’d ordered one thing from Amazon, which turned out to be perfect. We’d seen it when we went to the Lego Store on one of our day trips with another couple of friends. He’d instantly fallen in love with it and asked me if I’d play it with him if he got it.

It’s the Lego Kingdoms Chess Set!

I ordered him this chess set from Lego because he loved it so much. It got here with plenty of time to wrap and get ready for him, but I was at a loss for what else to get him. I had ideas, but I had so little time to prepare because I had another birthday party to attend on Monday, and Fernando’s birthday was on Wednesday!

So Tuesday rolled around, and I was off like a shot after work. I raced from store to store looking for something that I had in mind for him. I settled finally on an iPad cover that he’d wanted, even though I know he would have preferred an iPad Mini.

I wish I could have gotten the Mini.

Oh well.

I wrapped his gifts up for him and prepared for his birthday because I knew he’d be excited to see me and hang out as soon as I got off work Wednesday night.

My wrapping job on Fernando’s gifts… Pretty, right?

I raced home to dress up for a night out at the fondue restaurant. And it was an amazing time.

Fernando and I love going to the Melting Pot, and our waiter rocked. His name was Fred. He was a hoot, and he gave us some excellent suggestions.

When we got back to my house, I let Fernando open his birthday gifts (finally), and I think he liked them. 🙂

All in all, I hope it was a successful birthday attempt for my fiance because I know we’ll have many more to come!

RaeNez

 

 

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

Do you remember that old children’s game that you would play? Pick a flower and think of someone. Pull the petals off one by one saying, “He loves me. He loves me not.” And hope you land on a “He loves me” when you reach the last petal?

I never used to really do that game, but if I did, I would have changed it up for Fernando. My words would have been a combination of: “He loves me. He loves me a lot.”

In my last post, I mentioned the excitement of finding out I’d get to go to a final interview with a company on February 22nd.

Well, February 23rd was a day with its own set of perks.

Fernando and I like to take day trips to places far enough away that they’re “not home” and yet not so far that we have to spend the night away from home. So that Saturday (namely a week from yesterday) we went one one of our day trips I’d been wanting to go on to a city that’s a couple hours away from home. It’s got a beautiful downtown area that the locals have maintained really well, and the city is home to some neat attractions.

We settled on starting at the famed aquarium and working our way out from there because it’s so large you can easily spend a good chunk of your day there. Located in the heart of downtown, we figured it would be fun to start there and see everything and then walk around downtown for a couple of hours before eating and hitting up the mall and then heading home.

The aquarium was awesome. It’s divided into two buildings for river and ocean animals, and both are such fun to go through. We started with the river building and were surprised when they directed us to stand against a green backdrop to have our pictures taken; of course, we knew they’d try to sell us overpriced photos with different backgrounds at the end of the tour, but we stood and smiled anyway.

As we went through the aquarium, Fernando was wearing a jacket that I thought was odd. It was cool for me but not too cold for him. The forecast was calling for rain later, though, so I guess it was better safe than sorry.

We saw all kinds of neat fish and other aquatic creatures, and even though I don’t typically enjoy fish, I couldn’t help loving the aquarium. And Fernando kept grabbing and hugging me and joking with me. That made it even more special.

Some hidden clown fish I photographed and played with in Instagram at the aquarium.

It took us over two hours to go through all the exhibits at the aquarium, and when we were done, we decided it was time to get dinner. We’d left late anyway and gotten there relatively late to stand in line for the aquarium in the first place. So we went to dinner at a restaurant I’d seen on a website for the city that described it as having the best steak in town.

We were rather lucky. The restaurant was right across the street from the aquarium, and it wasn’t much of a walk for us. Though by that time I wasn’t just carrying my purse. I was also carrying some photos Fernando splurged and bought at the end of our tour. He’d given in as soon as he saw the cutesy backgrounds and said we needed them, even though the prices were ridiculous.

I couldn’t understand it, but I did love the photos, so I was game.

We went to the steak restaurant and were seated immediately despite not having a reservation since it was only 5 pm. It was excellent food, and our waiter was extremely solicitous. I was impressed with the yummy meal and service and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

After we left the restaurant with a small box of leftovers for me, we decided to go back up to the car in the parking garage to put the pictures and the leftovers away. I wanted to go for a carriage ride and be very touristy because they have $30 carriage rides around the downtown area at night that looked like fun.

Fernando’s car was up on the sixth floor of the parking garage nearby, and so we went up there. It was the top of the garage, and we put our things away only for Fernando to suggest we go to the top of the garage and take in the view of downtown. I had intended to go up there when there weren’t as many people anyway, so I walked up with him, and we took in the sights of downtown as the sun began to go down and the snowflake lights began lighting up along the streets below.

And it was there it happened.

On a relatively deserted top floor of a parking garage, Fernando proposed.

It was perfect for me. The most perfect way he could have proposed and the most perfect ring and just so incredibly sweet.

It’s not the best picture, but my ring is absolutely gorgeous. He did an amazing job!

Of course, I said yes after the shock wore off. Though I was still in shock for quite a bit afterwards. It’s not every day a girl gets a proposal, after all. We hugged and kissed and talked. And he put my beautiful ring on for me.

He picked out the ring, and he did such an incredible job. It was amazing how well he knows me and how suited the proposal and ring are to the kind of person I am. It just shows me how much I love Fernando and how much I can’t wait to marry him.

Though, I must admit… it is rather strange to say I have a fiance now.

And now I have a wedding to plan.

– RaeNez

 

What a Crazy Month

It’s now officially March, and as a wrap up to February, I just want to say that it’s been more than a little exciting, crazy, nerve-wracking, romantic, and overall exhausting.

But it has got to be my favorite month in 2013 so far, and ladies and gentlemen, we’re only in the third month now. So that is a very good thing. We’re on course for this year to shape up to be one of the best years I’ve had in a very long time.

Yes, I’m still working in a call center. Yes, I visited HR twice in the last two weeks to discuss conditions on the job that have yielded very interesting conversations with people who probably don’t know much about working in a call center. Yes, my stats are generally going downhill in a job that has frustrated me to no end.

I’ve never been happier.

The last week alone has been full of all kinds of things that have turned my world upside down, and I want to take the right amount of time to go through all of them in the correct order because it’s important that you understand just why I’ve been away so long and just why it’s been so crazy for me.

Suffice it so say, dear readers, your writer is ecstatic and busy like a bee and thrilled to bits and pieces to be involved in things that will likely leave her busy for the next several months on a rather important project.

However, let’s rewind a bit.

I think I mentioned that I’d been praying for an interview with a company after I had a phone interview with them. If I didn’t mention it, well, that’s part of what happened over the course of February. If I pulled out my calendar, I could share with you the exact date, but either way, I had a phone interview for a position that sounded relatively mediocre when I first read the details of it but would at least get me out of my current job.

The phone interview enlightened me, and the remaining details sounded more promising. That resulted in an in-person interview with the management team. Now for this particular company, they’ve been going through some growing pains, and that has resulted in something that left them without a management team for the department the position I interviewed for was in. Have you got all that?

I went into the interview and interviewed with the CEO and president of the company because they are the acting management team for the department.

The CEO and president.

Whoa.

I was a bit intimidated, but they were incredibly personable. It was an hour and a half long, and they asked me questions going all the way back to high school. (Wow!) When I began asking them questions about the company, I was struck by how much they loved what they did and how passionate they were about the industry and the company mission. Not to mention they have an internal mission to make the company a place where people love coming to work.

I can definitely get on board with that.

I had good and bad feelings at the end of the interview, and I was so hoping they’d let me know if I’d advanced enough to be able to come in for a second in-person interview, which would be the final interview step in the process.

It took a week before I heard back from them, but they emailed me last Friday (meaning February 22nd) to say they liked me and wanted me to come back for a second interview.

Can you imagine how thrilled I was? I hadn’t been so excited in a long time, and I was starting to hope for the possibility I might actually be able to get a better job.

I set up the next interview for March 1st.

And that, my dear readers, is my first update. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much news, but you’ll be hearing much, much more about this last week within my next few posts!

– RaeNez