Sunday, September 30, 2007

Eek! It's coming!

Today was our last day at work before we leave for Wasilla. Yes, I know, we're coming back for a week and a half in the middle of October, but still. This is the big start! Eek, squeal, shriek!

And guess what? We've already found an apartment! We did some calling around to some complexes in the area and talked to one lady who sent us pictures through the email of one of her available apartments. All hardwood floors and very clean. Only things that aren't nice about it; no covered parking and no washer/dryer in the apartment itself. There are coin ops on site, though, which won't be too bad, I guess.

We've faxed her an application and we're going to see it first thing the morning after we arrive. I can't wait!

We'll be leaving around 8:30 am Tuesday morning. First we'll be dropping off the cats at the kennel, then we'll be heading for the airport. We're going to leave our car there so we have the luxury of leaving the moment we get back. Our plane leaves around 12:30 or so. We change planes in Seattle and should arrive in Anchorage around 5:30 pm (which I'm guessing will be 4:30 for them). Then an hour to Wasilla.

The apartment complex we're applying for is about a five minute drive from where the new store is going to be. Wow, that won't even be enough time for the heater to get going in the car before we get home from work!

We'll be returning late on October 8th, probably around 10 or 11 pm, judging from the time change. We'll be packing our container through the 11th, then leave again for good on the 17th.

Boy, this month is going to just zip by. I hope I notice some of it.

Bet your boots that we'll be posting pictures of Wasilla during this first week.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hippo birdie two ewe!!

Though she was dragged kicking and screaming into her 3rd decade of life, my bestest buddy held herself with quiet dignity and grace as we sang the Hippo Birdie song in celebration.

Too true, it was a small party, but it was huge in significance. I loved her expression when she saw what I had put on her cake to replace the age old torment of candles to be put out by an extinguisher:

Firefly figurines that my brother had found. Mal, Jayne, and River in her Reaver ass-kicking pose. One for each decade. Bwah!

Many happy returns of the day, Melly Bean. I love you so much, I'll never be able to express it, even in a million blog posts. Gods all bless and may you be forever surrounded by idiots.

I just can't look...

Facing reality is like seeing a 90 year old woman pretending to be Marilyn standing over the sidewalk grate as the subway goes by; you wish you had been looking the other way.

I've noticed something as we get closer and closer to the send-off date and it leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth. I've hardly gotten the opportunity to spend time with the people I love and I'm fully aware that this may be the last time I see some of them for a very long time, and yet I have the same problem with all of them:

I can't really look them in the eye.

Why is that? I find myself looking in a non-direction most of my recent waking hours, even when talking with customers at work. I wonder if it comes off as rude or weak or whatever, like I'm too self-absorbed or wrapped up in my own pathetic woes that I can't focus on any one person. When I do look someone in the eye, it's very brief and uncomfortable for me.

Is it that I don't want to face the reality of leaving, like witnessing Grandma Marilyn's dress floating around her nose?

Am I a subversive snob just now coming to the forefront because I have "authorit-ay" over people in my new job? There's a dreadful thought.

Is it that I know I'll miss some people so painfully much that I simply can't stomach meeting their gaze because I'll burst into tears and blubber like a baby whale?

I'm betting the last one is pretty accurate (because who wants to admit she might be a snob?!)

Here's another thing I've noticed as we roll on toward the Alaskan cliff. I've gotten real tired of people asking me if I'm excited about going to Alaska. It's gotten to the point that no, I'm no longer excited. This new job sucks up so much time and energy that all I want is to have the move finished and be settled into my soothing routine rhythm. I want all my stuff to be spread out in my own space in my own special psychotic way.

Logan and I have discovered recently that we have forgotten how to have fun. The things we used to do we can't really justify anymore, so they no longer sound fun (going shopping and just buying stuff to buy stuff, for example). We don't have enough time to do the things we think we'd still enjoy (like camping, hiking, bike riding, etc.) And the traditional stuff that most people do for fun hold no interest for us (going to clubs and bars, partying with alcohol, etc.)

I actually miss the old arcades that were so popular in the '80s. Sure, it's a big waste of money, especially with home video game systems all the rage now. But they always had other interesting things, like prizes you could exchange tickets for, old fashioned candy, the old psychic lady in the booth.

And feeding quarters into a machine made the game all that more precious because you had to make that quarter (or quarters) last as long as you could possibly manage. Air hockey was my particular favorite because if you and your opponent were well matched, one game could last an entire afternoon!

Sigh. What a gripe fest. Maybe I am that self-absorbed snob after all.

Hey, it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.

I'm going to get some cheese to go with it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What is it with the water bowl?!

I'm sitting here watching my cat Dusty paw at the water bowl. He always has to move it an inch or two before he'll drink out of it. Logan says it's because he can't see the water when it's still, so he moves the bowl to move the water and then he can see it to drink it.

Guess he's too diginified to stick his nose in there and get it wet. Does the word "dignified" belong in any sentence discussing Dusty?!

Finally finished my week of intensive training. I learned a lot and I had to learn it real fast because I only had my trainer for five days, which turned into four days because the Reno store is having a few problems that she needed to bail them out of. Besides, we were pretty much done.

It's wonderful being trained by someone who acts like she has so much confidence in you. Heather commented that with the reams of paper I covered in notes during that time, she has no worries about my ability to handle the job.

Yes, her name is Heather. We also wear the same kind of glasses. And if my hair was as short as it was a few years ago, that would be another thing we have in common, as well as body type. Our styles are different. (Do I even have a style? My mother buys my clothes, for the love of [enter chosen deity here]!)

On rambles the Heather Train. Hop aboard for a trip to nowhere!

Anyway, now I'm making my own schedule (well, sort of) and trying to learn other things, like opening and closing procedures, ordering name tags, making tabs for the files in my imaginary filing cabinets, which will be reality come the end of October.

I'm more confortable with this idea of being a manager now, but it'll be so much better when I get to my own store. Right now I feel like a shadow or an intruder.

The taste of fall in the air yesterday prompted me to put on a sweater before leaving the house. I left it on at work all day. If I hear one more person comment on what the weather will be like where I'm going, I shall utter a piercing shriek as I plunge a Sharpie pen into his or her eye socket.

Let's do the Big Damn Shindig on your actual birthday, Melly Bean, if you aren't all booked up with rehearsal. That is the start of your Hell Week, isn't it? Are you guys having Sunday matinees? Are you having one the last weekend in September? I need a theater fix. All this corporate-ness has sucked away my creativity.

I can't even find my special fountain pen that I use for writing novels. Grrr.

And why the heck won't my spell check work?!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Time flies when you're working your ass off

Wow, I can't believe a whole week has zipped by since my last post. I've just been working, eating, and sleeping for the most part.

A few more details are stepping into the light as we roll along to our big Leaving California date. We'll be leaving in the afternoon on October 2nd for a week in Alaska to find an apartment and conduct the interviews and whatnot. We'll be coming back on October 8th, probably in the evening. We've decided to board the cats at the kennel I used to work at instead of taking them with us. We don't want to put them through more than one plane flight.

Then we'll be staying in California until October 17th. The pod for shipping all our stuff and our car will be delivered to the store's parking lot around the 10th or so. We'll be working the rest of the time.

I'm very frustrated with how much time we've been putting into working. I was wanting to do all kinds of things and see all kinds of people before we leave, and right now it looks like none of that is going to be happening. We spend too much time working and commuting to do much else. We have to plan to take the cats to the vet, reorganize all our stuff and repack it so it can travel in the pod safely, and to top it all off, the last weekend in September will be spent working because they're having some big weekend celebration at the store and will require every employee to be there.

I miss my friends so much, and I haven't even left yet. Does that seem right to you?

Tomorrow kicks off the intensive training for me. I only get today off and then work for the next five days. No telling how many hours I'll be putting in, since the lady training me is only going to be in town those five days and I want to learn as much as possible before she leaves.

Got my first paycheck finally. It's more than I've ever made on my own before. Too tired to really appreciate it, though.

Let's have a party next Saturday. We can celebrate Melly Bean's 29.95 birthday and have a mighty fine big damn shindig. That's the only day off I know I'll be having next. Or maybe we could wait and hope I have the Sunday after that off, since that's Melly Bean's actual birthday. If someone can plan things, I can supply the money for the supplies! We can watch Firefly and Serenity and repeat all the best lines right along with our favorite characters.

Did you ever have the feeling that you wanted to go... and still have the feeling that you wanted to stay?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Interview with a ... Blonde Blogger!

Just completed an email interview with another blogger who ran across mine and wanted to ask me some questions about my career (such as it is) in Customer Service. I happily agreed since I love talking about myself. Didn't feel comfortable giving my picture though, even though I have one on my own blog.

But then again, how do you know it's really me? I could be just be a piece of bad shrimp coming back to haunt you in the night! Wah-hah-hah!

Okay, so my evil laugh come out sounding like a puppy playing a kazoo. Keep you smart comments to yourself, peanut gallery.

Anyway, I checked out this other blog, called Payscale. It's chock full of interesting info and interviews for all kinds of different careers. Here's the link:

I kind of felt sheepish because these people all seemed to love their careers and I don't. In fact, I'm only promising to stick with it for the contract year, but you know I'll be checking out the local colleges for teaching positions the minute I'm up in Alaska. In all brutal honesty, this job is just a method of getting to a place we've always wanted to live in, but didn't have the means to get there.

In a nutshell, it's a career for Logan, but a means to an end for me. My real career is teaching martial arts.

Though sometimes I still think I want to be a performer. Singing, dancing, etc. I'm just too scared I'll either fail or lose the good things in my life if I try to pursue that too much.

Um, maybe I'm getting a little too deep into my own psychosis right now. Hit the backup beeps.

Also, I felt like my own personal journey towards Office Manager was rather odd, though I was able to give a little bit of info about Customer Service itself. But I have a six month chunk missing from that particular "career" before being offered management, and that kind of thing just won't happen for a lot of people. Oh, well. I hope someone finds my experiences helpful.

Anyway, thanks to Michael for catching my blog and showing interest in my currently lackluster life. Can't wait to see how my entry turns out!

My training in Office Management is getting stepped up a bit more. I've spent some more time up in the office learning new things rather than down in the Customer Service area. I also got my first taste of what it's like working a 12 hour day. That's simply crazy.

What happened was that the counting of cash drawers for the first shift of cashiers ending their day got dragged way out of control. I was the last one to get counted out and that was an hour and a half past the time I was supposed to have left. It was the day before dove season opened, so the Customer Service line was very long and stayed that way.

When I came out, I saw that the two in Customer Service were never going to get a chance to sit down and have lunch if I didn't stay, so I did. I covered their lunches and their tens and helped keep the cashiers on their schedules as well as we could.

I could not in good conscience leave with that kind of insanity. What kind of manager would I be? The worst part of it was that Logan is still hourly, so those extra five hours of work that he put in while I covered my team were unpaid. But he didn't complain (well, not about that, anyway.)

Wow, this entry got a lot longer than I had thought it would. G'night folks!