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

Sometimes I want to run away…

Photo from when I studied abroad in Italy… Ah, Venice, how I miss you!

There are days I look back through photos and remember the adventures I’ve taken, and it’s all I can do not to want to scrimp and save every ounce of cash to run off on another adventure overseas again.

Today is one of those days.

The above is a photo I took while sitting in a gondola in Venice, Italy, during my summer semester abroad there in college. It was beautiful, fascinating, foreign, and one of the first times I really caught the foreign travel bug.

A little town called Civita, also in Italy… an incredible place to visit.

One of the places we visited while in Italy was a tiny Etruscan (pre-Christ) town called Civita. Aside from the large cities, this was by far my favorite city that I saw. It was gorgeous, old, and the views were incredible.

A view looking out from the city of Civita, Italy. Breathtaking!

I captured so many photos of times and places that caught my attention, stole my breath, and made my life feel more than normal. It made the adventurer in me surface in the worst way, and it made me want to run away again and again to these strange foreign places that we think are exotic but are really just home to another set of people.

And today is one of those days when I wish I could run away again to another foreign country… or one I’ve already visited. I’m not too picky. I’ll take what I can get. I’m saving money now for any expenses that could potentially come up unexpectedly anyway, and I’m a bit of a nut about things like this, so it’s not really that difficult for me to add a little extra on the side.

Maybe I should save a bit and suggest a getaway with Fernando? Perhaps somewhere a bit exotic for the both of us?

A view of St. Peter’s Basilica I took from atop the Spanish Steps at sundown in Rome.

Perhaps I should introduce Fernando to some of my favorite foreign places, like Rome… where you can dine on pasta and wine for hours on end and walk around at dusk to quaintly lit streets with a view of the St. Peter’s Basilica from any height in the city. I did so love discovering my traveler’s genes in Rome particularly, where I learned how to navigate a foreign subway and developed an affinity for certain parts of the city, like the Spanish Steps, which were surrounded by some of my favorite designers.

Ah well.

The point of all this is that there are moments when even trying to push through the monotony can’t keep me from longing to escape it all in a mad dash to adventure. And so I find myself perusing old photos and wishing fondly for days when I could go tackle crazy jobs in foreign countries and travel on foreign dimes and see the world in my own mad way.

Perhaps I will again someday, but not tonight. For tonight, I have my photos and dreams and the promises of tomorrow. And, as they say, tomorrow is another day…

RaeNez

 

 

 

 

I Missed The First Day, But…

…it was for a good cause, sort of.

You might have read that I have not only been sick the last week but also somewhat depressed. Well, Fernando has decided the majority of my depression (and subsequent introspection that leads to more depression and so forth, ad nauseum) has been caused by my being holed up in my house.

Thus the reason for my lack of post yesterday for the start of NaBloPoMo.

I know what you’re thinking. What good are you if you’re not posting on the very first day of the month?

You may be right. But I write for myself. Very much so. And this blog is nothing if not for myself.

That said, Fernando took me to the doctor’s office yesterday to get a note from him for having missed work Thursday and Friday (this has really taken a toll on me, hasn’t it?), and then he kidnapped me for the day.

So, in my defense, given that the day was spent with someone I quite enjoy spending time with, I suppose it goes toward the theme of “love & sex” per the NaBloPoMo theme for February. Wouldn’t you agree?

And my day was spent profitably, to boot. Fernando took me to some awesome places. We went to the mountains and had a delicious dinner, but you don’t want to hear all the details. Suffice it to say, this is my post to cover yesterday, and I hope you’ll forgive the oversight…

– RaeNez

 

The Ethics of Job Blogging

This can be a rather dicey subject, and I’d best put out my thoughts on it now before I go too much further in my blog and let you all know more about the place I work and the people I work with.

There are lots of things I want to explain about the call center, and before I start, there are some hard and fast rules I have set for myself and this blog:

  • I will not name the company for which I work, its location, or any of the people within the company.
  • I may badmouth some of the business practices of the company, but I have signed nothing that states I am not allowed to do so, and I believe I am indemnifying myself by holding to point 1 above.
  • It isn’t wrong to blog about the company I work for, the conditions I work under, or the reasons I’m seeking work elsewhere, especially considering I have yet to find something else, and if/when I do leave, I will still hold to point 1 above in an effort to indemnify myself and absolve the company of any blame.

All of that said, it’s hard to blog about your company as an unsatisfied employee. When the problem is not that your customers are bugging you but that management is constantly offering up change that seems to make the place more unworkable and expecting you to adhere to standards you cannot meet, you begin to feel it necessary to find some means of venting.

Now, many people do this on the premises at my work, which is an ethical nightmare of its own. Not to mention any rational person knows this is a means to an end: literally an end of losing your job. I’ve heard it said any gossiping reported to our VP of Human Resources will report in immediate dismissal. Given the fact I work in a gossip den, I find that highly unlikely but don’t want to test my luck too much longer by venting with other equally unsatisfied co-workers for fear of getting lumped in with the group and going down in a heap of ashes.

Venting can take other forms at home or in other places away from the office. I’ll sit at the dinner table at night and rant to my parents or Fernando about this or that change that’s taking place. Our key phrase at work that seems to define everything we do is: “Change is Good.” And my sarcastic rants typically reiterate this in the most sneering way possible, followed by the ways in which this change will likely make my life hell for the next however long until the next change comes along.

While an adequate means of venting and while both my parents and Fernando (and even some girlfriends of mine) are good sports about my venting, I always feel it gets tedious for them.

I don’t want to become the next crazy person walking into the office with a gun and blowing people’s heads off because of workplace stress. Granted, I also don’t feel it’s gotten even close to that point. But I am taking my own measures to ensure it wouldn’t get near that point.

So here I am. I set up a blog unaffiliated with any of the other blogs I host, under a different name from those blogs, attached to a different email address. The secrecy may be unnecessary, but I would like to keep my anonymity. Should someone who knows me personally find this blog and read it and recognize me from the posts, I would hope they would come to me before running off to someone else to share the surprising content of the blog. However, I’ve decided to start this blog for my own form of catharsis from some of the things my employers do, and given the number of others who do the same, I see no problem with this.

As a side note, I have made sure not to associate this blog with a Facebook page or Twitter account or any other social media I am a part of. Why? I’m sure you can imagine. The ethics of hosting a blog like this demand I be polite and maintain a distance between my personal life and the truth behind my professional life.

It’s just good sense. That’s all.

I believe the content of this blog will be a mix of funny and sarcastic, angry and amused, witty and wondering as I take the journey of life outside the box. And it won’t all be about my job. But I have quite a bit of fodder gleaned from my time at the call center, and I believe it’s worth posting for people to read.

Besides, how many people have you talked to who worked in a call center? Do you really know what it’s like behind the phones and polite “May I speak to so-and-so” tones?

This is my ethical statement of purpose for writing this blog. I believe it’s perfectly fine to write, and I am not condemning myself or anyone else by doing so. Anyone who feels otherwise is more than welcome to make his opinion known to me, but I will continue to write my posts in the interests of maintaining my sanity in a working condition that has me wishing I were independently wealthy and able to live off nothing with my dog for company in a posh apartment where I could spend my days shopping and being vain about being wealthy and having done nothing for it.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

– RaeNez

Happiness is…

…apparently a three day, unintentional vacation created by the unfortunate condition of having been infected by this lovely condition known as an ear infection.

I was writing about escapes as you’ll recall, and apparently the boyfriend noticed.

Perhaps I should give him a spiffy title. He’d appreciate that. I’m not sure what. The women at work ask me about my man, which always seems so crass. He’s not my man, and I don’t have a ring on my finger. Besides, even if I were married to him, I wouldn’t call him my man. Then he’d be my husband.

Again with the digressing. (That is rapidly becoming a theme here.)

Well, well, the boyfriend has spoken. In an effort to protect the innocent (though how innocent he is I cannot disclose), he will henceforth be known as Fernando. (Until he changes his mind.)

In any event, it came to my attention through dearest Fernando that I am, in fact, sitting here in my bed happy on a sick day. I’ve been utterly wracked with coughing, suffering from a perpetually sore throat, had piercingly sore ears, and a plugged up nose. And yet, I’m happy.

The last two or three days I’ve been happy. It’s a lovely feeling. An escape, if you will.

I watched Doctor Who with Fernando. We’re not aficionados or hardcore fans. We’re just starting our way through the series. But it’s silly and goofy, and we’re loving it. It’s relaxing and entertaining.

I’ve immersed myself in the world of Downton Abbey as well. The large, old British castle brings out my inner dream to have lived in a different time. (My mother would say I was born out of time. I could certainly rock the vintage fashions of Downton Abbey and look fabulous doing so.) I’m making my way through the free seasons on my Amazon Prime account and mourning the fact the remaining season is paid only at this point.

What else? Oh yes, I’ve been blogging incessantly in case you weren’t aware. I suppose there’s a limit there somewhere, but I haven’t been made aware, and WordPress hasn’t stopped me from posting yet. I suppose my blogging will slow down a bit soon, but it won’t fade away.

And I did some random things today, like searching for more jobs, crafting more cover letters (despite myself I can’t help loving writing in any form), and, well, looking for puppies.

I swear I was looking for a puppy for Fernando. Promise. Okay, okay. Even he doesn’t believe me. However, I did find a couple adorable faces that yearn for adoption. Even Fernando would be swayed by these adorable faces.

Madison – 3 month old Alaskan Husky/German Shepherd Mix

Now tell me: who could say no to that face? Even if she will grow up to be a rather large dog given her particular mix, she would be an adorable addition to anyone’s home. (I will say I already have a dog of my own, so I’m not exactly allowed to have another one until I move out of my house, which is why I’m looking at dogs for Fernando – besides, his birthday is coming up!)

Gary – 3 month old American Pit Bull/Terrier Mix

Have I mentioned Fernando needs a lapdog? And Gary clearly needs a lap? And the two would be an adorable couple? Perhaps I should become a matchmaker.

Needless to say, the point of all this was really due to the conversation Fernando and I had. Here’s the recap:

Fernando: “You’re so sappy today, looking for a puppy, writing blogs, thinking of love and happiness.

Me: I’m not at work. There’s a difference. I can be sick at home and happy as a clam if it involves not working.

Granted, he said “sappy” and not “happy,” but me being a sickie, I read “happy.” So put two and two together and get, well, a puppy. Or just get that sick days, while unpleasant, are my own versions of escapes because they’re better than being trapped in the world of cubes on the phones, being yelled at for no fault of my own.

What’s your happiness?

RaeNez

P.S. I promise not to post like a maniac all the time, but I do rather enjoy the inspiration I get from blogging… and, well, I’m sick. I have to have something  to do!

 

Escaping

You’ve seen this blog, you know I’m trying to escape, you know it’s an escape from the cubed life I live. But what is escape, really?

If we took this bit of advice by Ani DiFranco, we might all live this cubed life with a bit of reprieve and ease we don’t experience currently…

Maybe you don’t like your job, maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, well nobody likes their job, nobody got enough sleep. Maybe you just had the worst day of your life, but you know, there’s no escape, there’s no excuse, so just suck up and be nice. (Ani DiFranco)

There are multiple definitions for the verb form of escape. It can mean: “to slip or get away, as from confinement; gain or regain liberty” or “to slip away from pursuit or peril.” Another definition can be: “to slip away; fade.”

Escape can mean different things to different people, and that’s why it’s such a fluid and oftentimes dangerous topic. To one it means the escape from the daily mundane tasks of life to the exotic, maybe a road trip with friends across the country for a brief vacation where loads of money will be spent and good times had. To another it means cutting designs across his flesh to escape an internalized pain from years of mental or emotional abuse, substituting a controlled form of pain for an uncontrolled one in a way that makes him feel his life can be held under control. Both scenarios are forms of escape.

Both are equally different for each person.

The point may be that everyone yearns for a bit of escape from something. Whether it’s from my life of going to the office with the cubicles that seem endless, the calls so mundane, the voices shrill and unpleasant, and standards unforgiving, or your escape, whatever that is, there’s something we want to escape.

What is it? And how do you do it?

When I was escaping something else, a more personal demon, as you may put it, I escaped to a very different life in a very different world. I went far away to a job I was not suited to, teaching in a foreign country for a full year. And that changed me very much. It also taught me many things about myself, including the fact I would like to try teaching again.

But enough about that. If you’re escaping anything, if you’re like me and trying to escape cubed life, remember that many times the escape is in the little things from day to day. It can very well be the thing that keeps you sane and draws the line between manageable workplace stress and clinical depression that leads somewhere dark and dangerous.

For me, it’s a lot of little things. It’s time with my boyfriend, who makes me smile and laugh and cheers me up in all the right, little ways that I appreciate more than anything in the world. It’s reading lots of books that give me ideas of my own. It’s writing, whatever, whenever, wherever, whether it’s this blog or that book I’m working on or emails and cards. It’s going shopping or getting coffee or visiting friends. I have to make myself schedule these things in sometimes or else I’d go crazy.

They’re my escape.

Maybe someday I’ll write about a bigger, grander escape. But from time to time you’ll hear more about the mundane escapes of my everyday life, and if that’s enough to remind you of a few escapes of your own, that’s more than enough for me.

– RaeNez