Pee in a Cup

If you’re reading the title of this post, you’re likely wondering what on earth I could be referring to. Or maybe you already figured it out. If you have, you either have some secrets you like to hide or you’ve read my recent posts!

Silliness aside, I have to bring this up because I can finally announce that Fernando got the internship! By the time you read this, he will have finished his last day at the fast food restaurant of doom. In fact, on Thursday, his coworkers bought and gave him a very nice cake to celebrate his almost 11 years of service!

Can you believe it? 11 years of fast food work. That’s a long time!

He did start when we were in high school, so it’s kind of understandable, but I am thrilled that he’s gotten this opportunity to work somewhere else!

It was a huge surprise to us both that he got the internship, actually.

(Not because he’s unqualified but because of the circumstances!)

You see, he did his interview and then got an email about some things they needed from him, namely his unofficial transcripts from college. He got those sent in as soon as he could and then waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Finally he sent an email back to the contact person asking about the internship and when he would hear anything. Wouldn’t you know they’d sent him an offer May 1st via email that he never received? To add to that, it was May 6th, and he only had until May 8th to confirm acceptance of the position!

I’m so thankful he contacted them about the position! He might not have known about the offer if he hadn’t.

Well, after he got that sorted, Fernando set to work jumping through the usual hoops of new employment. If you’ve been around long enough, you know the drill: sending in information for I-9 forms, W-4 forms, even getting insurance (INSURANCE! WOOT!) information, and, of course, the drug test.

The drug test has been his last hoop to jump through, and he did that Friday morning. His last day at the fast food place was Sunday, and then all we have to do is wait for them to give him his official start date at the internship. They said it would be anywhere between the 19th and 26th.

Can I just say again how proud and excited I am for Fernando? He is going to rock this internship!

And now, you can return to your regularly scheduled blogs and Internet goings on. However, if you’d like to leave a little bit of congratulations for Fernando, I’m sure he’d appreciate it!

– RaeNezL

The Perks of Part-Time

I mentioned in my last post I wanted to share a little of my vision for this blog and where I see myself going with it in the coming months. Now it’s time to share some news and give you that information. So, with no further ado…

I got a new job!

Yes, the turnaround on that was remarkably short, and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to tell you this. And as of right this moment, I haven’t started said job. I’m still waiting for paperwork to be processed. However, I’m incredibly hopeful that will be taken care of quickly and they’ll clear me to start working within the next few days.

What does that mean for me, my work, my writing, and this blog?

Well, first of all, it means income, a huge blessing considering how low I’ve been running these last couple of weeks. Fernando is thrilled about my new opportunity because it will take some of the financial pressure off of us, and that will make things much simpler for us.

Second, it means a shift in my work-life balance. This is totally different from how I have been working in the past. Normally I look for full-time jobs and positions where I can maximize my income, advance in the company and work diligently until better opportunities come along.

This isn’t that job.

In fact, this is entirely different, and I think it will make my work-life balance so much better in the short term and long run that it will positively affect a lot of areas in my life.

I say that because this isn’t a position I pursued. Inadvertently, yes, but this time around, no. Let me explain.

I got a call from the local school system about a resume I put in before Fernando and I were married for a clerical position that never panned out. The woman worked in a different department entirely and needed clerical help, wanted to interview me for a part-time position, and asked if I was still available. I agreed to the interview.

I came in and sat down for a chat, and before I knew it, I was really interested in the position. Not only will the position be a clerical one at 28 hours per week, but I may, upon proof of my performance, have the opportunity to split those 28 hours between clerical work and a higher paying position–specifically ESL teaching!

So when I got the call that I’d gotten the call, I was pretty excited. It’s with the county school system, which means it’s through the state. So even though the state is pretty adamant they don’t want to hire anyone more than 28 hours because they’d have to pay for insurance (thanks Obamacare); there’s the potential for a higher paying job within the criteria of 28 hours per week.

I’m looking forward to this opportunity, though, because it opens the door to a number of things I haven’t let myself consider.

  • I’ll be able to spend time on my novel writing and work on publishing some of it after doing rewrites and edits, which will be a great exercise in moving towards being a real author.
  • I may get back into a full-fledged TEFL Certificate course (120-hour accredited online program) and earn my certificate to gain more traction in the ESL teaching community and market myself better.
  • Fernando and I are even talking about both of us going back to college (he for another bachelor’s, me for a master’s), which would be a crazy risk to take but totally worth it, right?

All of this said, the job will allow me to do things to promote myself as an author, explore job options I might not otherwise explore, and be present in my marriage with Fernando.

And this makes me very happy indeed. 

I think the key to keeping up with my blog is simply to have and make time for it. You’ll see in the coming weeks that I’ll be posting about the books I’m currently working on. I’ll be writing about the plans I have to market myself, and I’ll be adding news links to this blog.

Fernando is also talking about making me a real author website once he’s finished teaching himself HTML.

How cool would that be?

In the meantime, I think I’ll take Dobby the House Corgi out for a walk and work on some writing, some reading, and maybe do a bit of dabbling in photography. Because in the end, anything I do to learn how to market myself is better than nothing, right?

– RaeNez

P.S. My mood might be slightly buoyed by the fact I tried my hand at a Paleo recipe last night that turned out fabulously. I made DIY chocolate bars (similar to Hershey’s chocolate bars) from unsweetened cocoa, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and (the best part!) sea salt.

Mouthwatering!! And, yes, I chopped them into bite-sizes, just like Hershey’s… I could get used to this. 🙂

New Jobs and Diets – Working Hand in Hand

I’ve managed to survive my first three weeks of training. Or so it feels. We’ve had so many snow days our training has been interrupted on several occasions, but it’s been a good thing for me because I’ve had a bit of difficulty getting back into the swing of a full-time schedule again!

That said, I’m learning the ropes of being both a director and counselor on this new journey I’m taking. Managing an entire store sounds like a terribly daunting task when you start the training. It’s the getting the hang of it that I still don’t feel very capable of.

I’ve been learning so much about how to manage the business while also learning about the business of the diet. It’s a lot of knowledge about how to balance your meals properly while constantly maintaining a specific type of diet during the weight loss phase of the program.

I know what you’re thinking.

Diets are so restrictive. I can’t do that. And truthfully, I won’t argue any differently about this one being more restrictive than other diets you might have done in the past. Even so, it all depends on the person whether you can do the diet.

The truth is, I always find a diet a matter of where your brain is.

Anytime you change how you eat, you have to consider that you’re going from one diet to another. So the fact that I’ve been on this diet that I’ll be selling for a little over a week and a half now simply means I’ve exchanged one diet for another.

It doesn’t mean that I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve definitely suffered side effects, especially in the first three days of the diet. I’ve got to say that changing the way I eat created some really interesting effects, including how often I use the restroom. Of course, it helps that I aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day.

The upside is that in the first week I’ve seen a 5 pound loss thus far. And the really neat thing about my job is that I’ve got a machine that tells me how much weight I need to lose. Before starting the diet, my ideal loss was determined to be in the range of 18 pounds.

Now I’m at 13.2 pounds to go. I’m excited.

So my new job has created lots of anticipation for me in that I feel able to take on the task of bringing hope to people who haven’t lost weight before and giving myself a chance to lose the last few pounds that would put me at a healthier weight.

I’m going to enjoy it. At least, I’m going to try to enjoy it since I’m quite certain once we get out of training and up and running it will be a lot like work!

So, off we go into the wild blue yonder of weight loss… Wish me luck!

– RaeNez

Managing Your Mediocrity (And Moving Forward)

Hello friends! I’m your Mediocrity Girl.

Are you tired, bored and unenergized? Do your daily routines get you down? Are you unmotivated? The answer to all your problems is in this little blog post! Change and Move Forward. That’s right. Change and move forward.

It contains all the steps necessary to advance past mediocrity. All you do is take one giant tablespoonful of Change and Move Forward after every meal. It’s so tasty, too! Tastes just like raspberries!

So why don’t you join the thousands of changing, motivated people and get a great, big bottle of Change and Move Forward tomorrow! That’s Change and Move Forward!

Okay, so if you grew up on I Love Lucy reruns like I did, you may recognize the beginnings of that little monologue as from one of the more iconic episodes of the show, specifically the “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” episode featuring Vitameatavegamin as the product.

Tastes just like candy!

Now, while I’ve modified the words from her commercial to fit the theme of my post today, I thought I’d share a short message with you about my own mediocrity and the change happening in my life.

No, this isn’t a mushy, gushy post.

It’s really more about the fact that I’ve realized that losing my job was the step that needed to happen for me to understand how dependent I was on the more administrative sides of positions. It was one of the most codependent relationships I’ve ever had, and it wasn’t even a sentient relationship. Go figure.

Being in an administrative position gave me the comfort of never having to seek out anything more than a simple position where I didn’t have to do anything more than follow rules, be on time, manage scripts and notes and files and customer interaction, and otherwise achieve a rate of success determined by someone above me.

Now I have change.

I have a job as a director at a center where I’ll not only be judged by some of those same above criteria (and more, because, let’s face it, it’s sales – therefore: money and numbers are essential), but I’ll also have employees I have to manage and judge and watch.

It’s terrifying. Seriously. I’m terrified. For people out there who have managed others, done the performance review stuff, ordered and counted inventory, created and maintained sales and clients, this may sound boring to you. But to me, this is all too new and strange.

It means stepping so far out of my comfort zone I might as well be in a different time zone.

So even though I can’t say yet that I’m going to definitely succeed, that I’m focused and determined on my own success and that this venture will be the one that pushes me forward, I can say the same thing I’ve said with every job I’ve had.

This will be a learning experience. And for that, more than anything else, I am grateful.

And with this learning experience, it will give me a push out of the mediocrity that I’ve been living my life. Because realistically speaking, I can’t keep going through the same old, same old.

I don’t want stale and boring. I want spice and excitement. I want adventure and discovery. I want opportunity and newness.

Out with the old. In with the new. Even if the new isn’t the best, it is new and exciting. And that’s what matters.

Lovingly Your (Not Quite) Mediocrity Girl,

RaeNez

A Time for Change

I’ll admit it. I’m not great with posting here.

There, I said it.

I want to get better, though. I’d eventually like to use this as a means to both blog and tell you more about who I am, what I’m doing, how Fernando and I are doing in our first year of marriage, and where else you can find me in the wonderful wide world of the Web.

So you may start seeing some changes in the coming weeks. I can’t promise anything new right away. That would be too much too fast, right?

I’d like to revamp my blog, change the background and style and make it more me.

There’s a reason for this, of course. Are you ready?

I’m hoping to start a new job Monday (Yay!!) where I’ll be training to be a director at a prominent weight loss clinic that’s moving to town. It’s new to the area, and if you know me or the area, you’d be able to figure it out fairly quickly. I’ll start training Monday and be in training for two weeks until I’m able to take on the role of director of my own facility.

It’s a challenge, a change, and a scary endeavor.

I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

However, I also want to start posting a story to Wattpad. If you haven’t heard of Wattpad, it’s one of the easiest posting forums on the internet today for writers. The website is an online venue for posting stories, whether they are original fiction, non-fiction, or fanfiction. Thousands of stories are posted there on a regular basis and are available for public consumption.

Why do I want to post a story to Wattpad?

Well, there are a few reasons.

First: I would like to get some feedback on my fiction. Now, I understand that I might get nothing, no feedback, no comments, no reads. But I might get some feedback, and this is what I’m looking for. I also understand not all feedback is useful, but if I can get even a glimmer of useful information and criticism to work with, then I feel it would be worth it.

Second: I’m writing a story in a totally different vein from any of my previous novels. It’s written in first person, which is nothing I’m comfortable with as far as fiction goes. It’s about something I’m not comfortable writing (specifically super powers – which borders on the realm of sci-fi if you ask me). It covers subject matter and a message I haven’t quite captured yet and am not entirely certain of the direction, which makes me somewhat nervous. But I want to put it out there and see what I get out of the experience.

Third: I’m planning to be like every person who writes on Wattpad these days and use the website as a tool for building a platform where I can gain traction and a readership. If people like me and follow me, then I feel confident they’ll be more inclined to follow me should I choose to self-publish at some time in the future.

So there you have it.

I’m going to be on Wattpad. When I start posting, I’ll probably feature my author page and the actual book here for potential reads, but I don’t want to put anyone off who wants to read about my escapades as a new director at a weight loss clinic, either!

And, in fact, let me dish a bit more on that before I end this post. In the interest of change, I’ll be undergoing my own bit of personal change with the clinic. Because they want to have all employees familiar with the program, I and the other director and counselors will be weighed and measured as part of our training and given a “healthy weight loss” that we can achieve as part of the program.

For the first two weeks of our employment, we’ll all be participating in the program in order to better help our clients understand the ins and outs of the program and to tell them, “I’ve been there, too!” Sooo, I guess I get to start my own weight loss program on Monday or Tuesday as well! You’ll get an updated post about how that will be going here shortly since I’m certain to share all the fun details with you about my weight and what I lose on the two weeks that I’m on the program.

Since I’m being honest, I could probably stand to lose a good 15 pounds to get down to a nice goal weight that would make me look incredibly sexy.

Yep, you read that right.

I’d be sexy.

Fernando would approve either way since he tends to think I’m sexy regardless. But the upside is that I’d also be able to fit into smaller clothes (in theory), and I’d feel a little less like a sloth.

Right now, I’m about 5’6″ tall and roughly 160 pounds of awesome.

So give me 5’6″ and 145 pounds of awesome, and I could do some serious damage.

But come Tuesday (I think – depends on when the equipment comes in), we’ll see where I measure and what the company thinks I can stand to lose.

I’m kind of looking forward to it!

Onward to change,

– RaeNez

You Are Hereby Invited…

…to help me plan an amazing wedding.

No questions asked.

In fact, it would be better if you didn’t ask any questions. Because, my friends, I’ve been away from my beloved blog too long, and I’m so sorry to have done this to you. It’s a completely tragedy.

Honestly, I can’t even begin to tell you all the craziness that’s happened since I’ve gone to the new job. It’s been a roller coaster ride of figuring out my place in a new company and wondering if I’ll ever get the hang of things. And guess what? I haven’t even been there three months yet. Wow.

Now I have less than six months to plan a wedding as well because Fernando and I are getting married on November 2nd. So since we’re all friends here, and I’m sure you want to help me plan an amazing wedding, let’s tick off the things I do have finished:

Got the dress – It’s the ultimate no-brainer and the first thing I ordered.

Scheduled the venue – We’re getting married in the mountains at a beautiful, lofted barn that’s decorated with antiques and has a vintage feel. It’s right up my alley and will be perfect for what I want.

Arranged for the officiant – My pastor agreed to marry us and has us booked on his schedule. It’s a good thing since apparently he’s a hot commodity at my church… Who knew the senior pastor would be difficult to book?

Agreed on a photographer – One of our dear friends is an amateur photographer who happens to work with me. He asked about being the photographer at my wedding, which I was opposed to at first until he told me how much he would love to be a part of the wedding and how special the role is. His photography is always beautiful, and since he’s willing to make a good deal with us and give us all the photos in whatever format (disk/hard drive) we like, I caved. I think he’ll do an amazing job and be a hoot to have around, and as he always makes me laugh, it’ll be hard not to be smiling in any photos where he’s the photographer.

Found a florist – My florist is going to be amazing and, most of all, affordable. In fact, after going over my vision for the wedding with her and what kind of flowers I wanted, we narrowed down my estimate to a cool $125 with tax for the whole kit and kaboodle. And I do mean the whole thing. Granted, that will change a bit as my mother has to have her say, but with prices like that, is it any wonder I asked her which dotted line I needed to sign?

Snagged bridesmaids and dresses – Here’s a fun thing to note. When I say snagged, I mean the bridesmaids. The dresses we only just decided on. We haven’t exactly gotten them ordered yet, and as it stands, we’re on a time crunch to get that taken care of. So we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that it all works in my favor… (Okay, ladies, let’s order our dresses yesterday, please!)

Started a registry – Seriously, why has no one ever told me how ridiculous starting a registry is? I’m pretty sure I just registered for all of Bed, Bath & Beyond, and the “Beyond” part will cost about $5k. Just saying. I’m two stores (almost) down and still haven’t even begun my Target registry yet. But can someone please tell me why every single bridal magazine in existence seems to think that three is the magic number in registries?

Tasted cupcakes – Yes, you read that right. I had no intention of ordering cupcakes from the vendors. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was my time of the month that week and I just wanted an excuse to go to two different cupcake places and order cupcakes. So I did. That said, I’m also talking to the wife of a coworker who has her own at-home cupcake business and has promised to someday, maybe, if-I’m-lucky send me samples of her banana pudding (with a vanilla wafer on top) cupcake and other flavors for me to try to see if I want to use her for my wedding. Soooo, that’s kind of still up in the air. The cupcakes I bought that week were still really delicious, though.

Coerced some guys into being groomsmen – We actually have groomsmen. This is a big one cause I was beginning to think we really were going to have women walk for Fernando. (Just kidding.) Seriously, though, he did ask two of his buddies to be groomsmen, so that leaves two more to find. We still aren’t sure on the best man, and since this whole best man thing has become a bit of a joke that three of my bridesmaids (maid of honor included) are contingent on, I’m only halfway hoping he doesn’t pick the guy that will make all three quit.

Is that it? I’m pretty sure that I’m forgetting something in there. Either way, I still have to accessorize. I don’t have shoes or a bustier, which are both somewhat necessary for whenever my dress comes in for me to be fitted. After visiting the wonderful world of Victoria’s Secret, my hopes and dreams were dashed when I was informed they no longer sell traditional bustiers.

It’s sad when a girl can’t even find a good, old-fashioned corset anymore.

Just saying.

As far as shoes go, I want something pretty and fun, but I’m not sure exactly what to go for yet. One of my girlfriend’s had bright blue pumps as her wedding shoes for her “something blue,” but I’m not certain that’s a tradition that really matters to me. And blue isn’t in my color scheme.

We’ll see. Maybe some smoking red ones instead… Fernando wouldn’t mind. And they’d be perfect for wedding photos.

And what about our invitations? I mean, those are kind of important. And I suppose those should go out soon-ish. Yeah… I don’t have those either. Oh well. I guess that’s next on my list.

Can you say “work in progress”? Because that’s this wedding in a nutshell.

The good thing is Fernando is patient enough to wait and willing to deal with me when I start getting antsy about the details. I’m not so much right now. Right now I’ve had enough of wedding stuff to last me a while. I just want to ignore it and hope it goes away, but I know the invitations have to get done.

Anyone out there have a good website or design idea for an invitation that’s simple, sophisticated and incorporates the colors cream, black, and red? Oh, and maybe one that’s cheap. That would help, too. Cheap to print, that is.

I keep thinking I want to go shopping for some new shoes and clothes. And then I remember I have a wedding coming up. And an apartment I’ll eventually be buying furniture for. And a fiance who’s going back to school in the fall and going to be learning some amazing things to become an awesome computer science engineer guru (which is a totally technical term – look it up).

When I think about that, I remember why I don’t want to go shopping anymore. It’s a great way to save money! Perhaps I should write an e-book… What do you think?

RaeNez

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