Friday, May 29, 2009


And all I have to pay is my car note and my cell phone bill!  I got paid all my back pay at my weekend job a couple weeks ago and I took all that money and paid off all my winter utilities, over paid on my electric bill, paid up my land line through the end of June, paid my health insurance, car insurance and last homeowners insurance payment for the year.  It was a lot of money in my account and a lot of money out of my account, but it is sure nice to have no major bills due. I do have about $250 on my credit card that I have to pay. I am getting a reimbursement from work for $145 that will be applied to the bill next week and I'll pay off the remaining $105 on Monday. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Weekend Looms

3.5 hours and counting until I am off for the weekend. AND I really need a weekend off.  My to do list is long and lengthy, my budget tight, but I have things that must be done.   My big plan for the afternoon is to take a nap on the couch.  We went from a glorious sunny super weekend to grey, cloudy, overcast and chilly.  It was a chore to get out of bed this morning. It was the type of a morning that called for pulling the covers over your head and hunkering down for a few more hours, not to hop out of bed raring to go.

I've not brought my new laptop to work to take advantage of the high speed internet to download the last few programs I want and I forgot to bring it to my weekend job last weekend. I'm hoping the WiFi connection at the local coffee shop is strong enough where I can spend an hour or three and download the last few programs.  I have to boot up my old lap top and save the files I want saved to a thumb drive. I was dead cert I had sooo many files that I would need a super capacity external hard drive. Imagine my surprise to find out I can fit almost everything I want to save on one large capacity thumb drive.  So the old files will be saved on the thumb drive and when the funds get a little healthier, I'll get that new external hard drive and save them there as well. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just Call Me Anti-Social

I took my own advice and acted like a hermit while I was home this weekend. It was glorious and I got a lot of work done around the house and yard. I did get two messages on my mobile phone, neither urgent and I will return the calls this evening.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Graduation Advice-Wash Your Hands, Wear Sunscreen

It's graduation season in New England. Every time I turn around, the news is showing another commencement address. The US Coast Guard Academy is had it's graduation yesterday, it's commencement speaker was Janet Napolitano, Secretary of US Homeland Security. Living in Southern New England and near a ton of colleges, we are "blessed" to have some great and not so great people give commencement speeches. Yale is having Christopher Buckley, Harvard is having Matt Lauer, Brown Uninversity does not have a commencement speaker.

For anyone graduating this year, I can only offer this to you these two pearls of wisdom.

1) Wash your hands


2) In the immortal words of Mary Schimich, Wear Sunscreen. There are some great words of wisdom in this speech. Click here to see it, or read it below!

Wear Sunscreen
By Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '98: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing every day that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Way Too Much Information!

When I went on vacation in March, a couple of my friends helped me out by taking care of some of my animals. I, in turn, am reciprocating by taking care of their animals this week. Over the weekend I met up with said friend to pick up her dog. We had a nice visit. The problem I had all weekend was getting way too much information from people.

Friend 1: As I was getting my dog sitting instructions, the conversation turned to Friend 1's new boyfriend. And the active sex life the two of them have. Honestly, I really don't care about Friend 1's active sex life. I'm happy for her that she has a new man in her life, but really folks, I don't need to hear that you are at it like rabbits. Please, keep that information to yourself.  The other half of the conversation centered around how she was finding it a bit of stretch to live in her new home that her parents gave her financial assistance to buy. I found the second half of the conversation annoying since I also know how much financial assistance her parents gave her,which was significant both in terms of cash and helping with the house, what her mortgage payement is, what her take home salary is and what bills she has.  How do I know all these things, Once again, she told me and I really don't want to know, nor did I ask. From my perspective, she should not be stretched on this houses' upkeep, but, hey maybe she has not told the world EVERYTHING. 
Friend 2: I stopped by Friend 2's  house on my way back home and was given an earful about a mutual acquaintances' impending divorce. I knew said couple had been going through a rough patch, I did not know it had escalated to divorce status. Again, since these folks are not in my immediate circle of friends, I really don't need to know the gory details. I'm sorry it's happening, they have teenaged kids and I know there are some assets in the relationship that will have to be divided and or sold, but you what, not my business. Even saying "Oh, that's horrible" and trying to change the conversation did not work. I got the full low down on the breakdown of the marriage. I felt helpless to stop the monologue and left Friend #2's with a slight headache.
Nice Neighbors: Stopped over quickly on Sunday to say hi to the neighbors and got an earful on their latest financial struggle. Not very surprised to hear what has transpired, I could see this train wreck coming for a while. I am very sorry that this is happening to them, but as I've posted before, if you are having a problem paying your bills, you don't go out and buy 52' flat screen plasma TVs (or 40' or 42) or pay for your 20 year old daughters apartment because she still does not have enough money to pay for it and or refuses to get a job to pay for it. They have totally maxed out both credit cards (less $400 they are keeping for a trip they are taking next month), their HELOC and limited savings. They also told me they just paid their mortgage 20 days late so they could give money to their kids. I just don't get it. 

You get the picture. I don't know, maybe there is something tattooed on my forehead that screams "Tell Me Everything!" along with "Doormat". I don't have any answers to most of the above problems and when asked for my advice and opinion, I gave it and I could tell it was not the answer folks wanted to hear. I told Friend 1 that maybe she should cancel one or two of her weekend mini breaks with the new boyfriend especially if she was paying or paying half and put that money towards her new house. They could have "staycations", instead of taking trips like they were taking this week to some resort for 4 or 5 days.  I told nice neighbors that I thought it was time for them to cut the money cord to the 20 year old. The 20 year old has a few choices, move home, get a cheaper apartment or get a real job.  They could not continue to spend upwards of $700-$800 out of pocket on that apartment and it's bills.  Yup, last month nice neigbors spent $750 towards daughters apartment, phone, and utilities and they paid their own mortgage 20 days late.  The landlord bitches at them in person, the bank just sends them a letter, they can avoid the bank phone calls.

I'm going to go into super hermit mode this upcoming weekend so I won't have to be told things I really don't want to hear.

Passing On The Offered All In One

I looked at and priced out all in ones as part of my research for getting a used one.  The unit I was offered was a Canon Multi Function, scans in color, but only prints in black and white.  The company that was selling it offered it to me for just slightly more than I could buy a refurbished one (which would also come with a warrenty). The wanted to sell it to me for $200. It is barely used, but I can and have found cheaper.

So, I'm passing on this unit for the time being.  I'll save some pennies and I've bookmarked a couple on line sites that sell them and in a few weeks, I'll make my purchase. Prices range from $145 to $393 new. I had hoped to spend part of the weekend scanning the piles of paper in my filing cabinet and on my desk, but tis not to be at the moment.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Weekend Update

It was an interesting weekend to say the least and gave me some ideas for PF blog posts.  Why people feel the need to tell me things I have NO interest in hearing is beyond me, but they do anyway.  Over the past few days I've heard way too much information on an impending divorce, one persons sex life, another couples PF issues, another persons hysterectomy, the list goes on....

I am looking forward to a quiet night at home, me, the new computer that I've only half set up, some TV and an early bed time. I'm bringing the laptop to work this weekend, will complete my transfer of files I need/want from the old laptop and use the high speed cable to finish downloading some programs. 

I also got the remaining pay due me from my weekend job on Friday.  I dropped the check into my account, wrote out checks for the last of my winter propane bill, mobile phone, land line, electricity, car insurance, student loan. I did take about $150 over the course of the weekend and spent it on myself. I got a haircut, bought a pair of Crocs, and got some other little things I wanted, but did not need for the house.  It felt good to my wounded little soul to spend some cash on wants and not needs.  I do need a couple summer tops and pants for work, but I just did not want to face a clothing store this past weekend.

Anyway......hope you all had a great weekend and I'll be back in a day or two.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Taking Advantage of Free Classes

I live in what an ex-boyfriend called New England's equivalent of "Hooterville", a small town in a rural area of New England that has a lot of green grass and hayfields, but not much else. I'm still known almost 9 years later, as the lady who bought the Smith house. And like a lot of New England towns within spitting distance to more suburban and urban areas.

Two towns over from me is a more "upscale" town. It has the typical New England Town Green, overlooked by the large white Congregational Church and a very well supported public library that runs some amazing free programs. I will admit, I don't think to take advantage of programs that neighboring towns offer. I sometimes read about them in the local paper, I also get the library bulletin delivered to the office (our office places ads in the various library newsletters). I've started to actually READ the bulletins that cross my desk for the other towns.

This other local library has recently offered a bunch of programs on home based businesses. Everything from how to navigate the Secretary of States web site to set up a corporation, to a course on the fundamentals of Quick Books, to a course on the fundamentals of a small business management. Did I mention these classes were free? Actually one cost a measly $10 and that $10 benefits the library, a local bank sponsors many of the small business seminars (and it happens to be my bank as well, I'm glad my overdraft fees are going to good use!) I'm happy to spend the $10, heck each program also offers light refreshments and sometimes those light refreshments are my dinner or post dinner snack.

The timing on the small business seminars is great for me. I attended the Quick Books seminar a few weeks ago and while I don't have the budget to upgrade my Quicken to Quick Books at the moment, I think I will upgrade, it goes along with my philosophy that being prepared for an unknown opportunity can only be a good thing!

I spent some time early this morning and did a little research on free or almost free classes and seminars and was pretty amazed at what I found within a 15 mile radius of my home. The chamber of commerce occasionally offers classes and seminars (usually put on by chamber members), the various libraries have classes, two local banks are offering business, budgeting and money management classes, the local board of Realtors has offered a class open to the public on landlord tenant fair housing laws. I will admit I am very selfish about my off time in the evenings given the fact I work most weekends, but if I can take a free or almost free class to further my professional and personal goals, it is so worth the couple hours of my time!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Planning Ahead-Sort Of

Is life really 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration? I think it is. One thing I think folks need to do is help themselves be ready and available for that great opportunity that can come at any moment.

While I am trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life, or at least the next few years, I do know that one goal I have is to work for myself. And I'd like to do that sooner rather than later. One reason I bought my new computer was so that I could scour sights like Elance for virtual assistant projects, both long term and short term. In order to be a self employed person who does anything and everything from admin work to research (which I've done before, verifying facts for a writer and this particular writer paid really well.), I know I need certain tools. In no particular order....
A decent laptop/computer
A fax
A printer
A scanner
Cable at home
plus the usual office supplies, paper, envelopes, etc

I have the decent lap top, and I will probably get a decent all in one fax/printer/scanner-the early versions of the all in ones were horrible, the more recent models seem to have better ratings and work better. With space being a premium at my house and my home office literally my small desk, a file cabinet and some shelves on my book case, I can't have tons of office equipment. I just don't have the room.

I may get an all in one from another business if the machine is in good working order. I have my eye on two units, one a color unit, one a black and white unit, both scan in color. If the slightly used unit is in good working order and the price is right, I'll probably take it. If not I just have to get off my lazy arse, prioritize the money, do my shopping research and buy a unit.

The cable I am waffling on. I know that right now my lap top picks up my neighbors WiFi, but I can't rely on that and that's just not ethical anyway. Plus if I can pick up the WiFi, it means it's not a secure connection. I have a modem on the computer so I can use my dial up, but it's slow and oh so 1990's. My local cable company is offering a one year package, cable, internet and phone for $69. I can keep my current phone number and get the basic cable. I just don't know if I want to make that jump yet. I have no idea how long the promotion will last or what the fee will be for the bundled package once the year is up, I did not look into that part of it yet and I should. I will admit the lure of my own high speed internet is tempting, but do I really need it NOW? Do I need it now for a variety of reasons? Oh the decisions one has to make!

Setting Up The New Computer

I've been slowly setting up my new computer with e-mail, downloading the programs I need for my personal web site and all those other fun things one likes to have on a computer.  Open office is a huge program and the download said it would take 4 hours to do. I think I'll down load it on Friday when I'm home and can keep the computer from going into sleep mode and disrupting the download.  Thanks to all who suggested it!

One thing I will be setting up is Quicken to my computer. I've noticed that I am not that diligent in manually tracking my spending.  I've used Quicken before and it forced me to track my spending and categorize my expenses.  I've made the decision that I'll start using Quicken again. I get to the end of the month, go to recap my expenses and sort of wonder what, why and how I spent money.  Even by keeping all my receipts, I still shake my head in wonderment over my own lack of self control and sense of spending justification. For what ever reason, holding myself accountable to Quicken's reports seems to keep me on a smart money track.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Performance Review-Sort Of

Last week I posted that I had a meeting with my boss at my "full time" job.  It was a very unexpected and short notice performance review.  Like I had all of 5 hours to prepare.  I was dead certain I was going to get the proverbial boot from the office because of the slow down in our work.  I did not.

The reveiw was to tell me that I still had a job, no return to full time hours, no increase in salary, but I still had a job.  I got some feedback on my job performance, none of which was a surprise to me. I pretty much know where I "lack" and what I do well.  Thankfully, there was nothing major thrown at me that was negative.  My job description stays the same, my pay stays the same, he is happy with my work, our vendors like working with me, etc and for now I will have reduced vacation hours based on my working hours. I did in turn tell my boss I was not happy about the unclear notification on my vacation time and he acknowledged that he did not flat out tell me my vacation time would be cut.  To be fair, I did not ask flat out if my vacation time would be cut,at the time I was more focused on my health insurance.  A majority of my time off in 2008 revolved taking the odd Friday off, I did not take a "real" vacation in 2008 like I did in 2009. Since I was no longer scheduled on Fridays, neither of us really thought about it until I decided to go to the UK in March.  Oh well, live and learn. When I go back to full time hours, I will get more vacation time. I don't have any thing planned until fall anyway.

I guess what I have to put some serious thought into is what I want to do with my working life.  I feel like I'm in a limbo stage. Can you say Mid Life Crisis?  I know that the next few years are crucial to me, personally and financially.  The decisions I make in the next few months will impact my life going forward.  With the reduced hours at the "full time job" and the reduced hours at the weekend job, I have to decided what I'm willing to give up or change. I have given up certain work perks because one decision I've made is to work no more than 20 miles from my home.  I used to commute almost an hour by car to a job and the quality of my life suffered.  It did not help that the job also did not offer enough "perks" for me to put up with the commute. Jobs and perks are a whole 'nother post.

I have almost no savings, my small Roth IRA got hit hard in the stock market downturn and my house, while retaining it's value barley, really is not going to provide me with any sort of a nest egg if I decide to sell it. In fact, one of my goals going forward is to pump up my income and qualify for a new mortgage and maybe I can move into a larger home. My current home is very small, like large studio apartment small.  I do know that a person with a discharged BK can get an FHA loan, provided you have kept your credit clean, are gainfully employed and meet the other lending criteria set up by the FHA. 

Ah well. Like I said, I have a lot of thinking to do in the next few months about where I want to go,what I want to do and if the BK will affect any of it. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Weekend Update

Having a full, sunny, sort of warm day at home was a good thing. I got to sleep in (until 7:15 AM if you call that sleeping in), I got to make myself a nice breakfast and I got a boat load of little things done around the house. I had forgotten that 'normal' folks use the weekend to do chores like this!

I picked up my new computer, dismantled the old one, dusted off my desk, put all my clean laundry away (still have some ironing to do), cleaned out my tiny garden shed, tuned up the lawn mover (thank you for starting AGAIN this year, best $89 I ever spent!), moved the lawn, organized a pile of stuff to go to the town dump, made it to the town dump and did not have a bulky waste disposal fee (my town charges for large bulky items, the dump guy did not charge me), weeded some flower beds,emptied out and consolidated three boxes of my 'stuff" I can not quite get rid of yet, swept the patio, aired out both feather duvets and made a Home Depot run for grass seed to repair the patches in my lawn. I don't look quite like the white trash neighbor, at least this week I don't!

The upside to cleaning out my garden shed was finding some concrete patching mix. My patio suffered what is known as "flaking" of the concrete and each winter, I lose a chunk of concrete, the top layer 'peels" off. I found two boxes of concrete patch I had forgotten I had. I was able to mix them up and level off the damaged concrete. Not quite a perfect match to the rest of the patio, but it is at least level. It looks fine to me!

I'm getting my last "big" paycheck from my weekend job sometime this week. Ive got some bills I want to pre-pay and I'll take $100 for some new clothes (the consignment shops have yielded nothing good) and about $100 for plants and paint. I might as well take advantage to the extra time off and become more motivated to do the items on the to do list. Some are standard spring chores, some are spring projects.

I've also been telling a few people that I have some extra availability and who knows? Maybe I can pick up an extra days work here and there. Last fall when my hours got cut, I did the same and ended up with my weekend position. I'm keeping my options open and my outlook positive. I was upset with the change in schedule, especially since I had formulated a new budget/spending/saving plan that is now shot to shite. Hey, one has to roll with the punches as they say. Who knows? Maybe my weekly lottery ticket will turn out to be a winner!

New Computer is Home and I'm Loving It!

My new computer arrived on Thursday to work after I left for the weekend. I ran to the office Sunday morning and picked it up. I've been slowly playing with it. I dismantled the old ancient desk top I'd been borrowing, dusted off my desk and set up the new lap top. It looks very spiffy! I am pleased.  I just have to set up my two e-mail accounts so that they can both download to one e-mail program.  I have my old earthlink e-mail address that my family still uses, despite me giving them my new e-mail address tied to my personal web site.  The really cool part is it has picked up the neighbors wifi and I shamelessly surfed the internet last night on the wifi. 

As I get motivated and organized, I'll boot up the old lap top, tranfer over the files I need and I have just ordered an external hard drive that I'll use to back up all my old photos and files.  I want to keep this laptop "clean and organized".  Heck, I probably will toss half the photos and the files. 

The other exciting part (or at least to me), is I may be getting a really good all in one fax/scanner/printer, either for free or at least at a deeply discounted price.  An aquaintance had ordered an all in one for an employee who was working from home and they no longer are employed by that company.  The unit is about a year old, in really good shape and the offer was made to see if I wanted it. If the price is right, I'll take it. I just have to do some research on what the units cost and what the toner costs.  If it fits into my limited budget, I'm going to bring that puppy home this weekend.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Job Update

It's 8:30 am on Saturday and I'm already back at the house for my second cup of tea. The barn is about half full, but for some reason, the morning chores flew by. After the animals and I get a chance to enjoy our breakfast, I'll start on the rest of the chores. The weekend staff person is busy doing what they do.

I had dinner with my weekend boss and his wife yesterday. The solution he has come up with will be for me to work every third weekend for two days. Not ideal in any sense of the matter, but honestly, I do have some personal stuff to do at home and this may be the best solution right now. Plus if the person I replaced is really as limited in their mobility as Jill says, I may be back for more hours sooner rather than later. I'll have my time to do my personal things, he still has coverage for his facility. He has also asked me to set up a schedule for the staff (paid if I do it at home on my time). His wife refuses to do it and he admits it's not his strong point.

I agreed to the above for the time being and I will see if I can find something to do local to help make up the dollar difference. One of my old jobs was photographing houses for mortgage companies and that has dried up this winter.

I'll leave here this evening after I get the animals done, do a last walk through and leave an updated note for "my replacement". The good part is ALL my laundry is washed, dried, folded, and in my car for the ride home. I'm looking forward to a Sunday at home, I've not had one since sometime in February!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Love On Line Tracking

I just love Fed Ex and UPS on line tracking!  I've been tracking my new laptop's trek across the country like some kids track Santa and his sleigh on Christmas Eve.  It's taken a week since I purchased the laptop for it to arrive on this coast. It originated in California and when I logged on to UPS this morning, it said the package was out for delivery! Yes, a whole day early! It was scheduled to arrive tomorrow to my office and I won't be here, I'll be at the weekend job.

In fact, I hear a truck outside the office right now, could it be my trusty UPS man? Or the charming Fed Ex lady? Or non of the above? No, right now it's just one of our vendors pulling up in a large noisy truck.

Ah well, I have an exciting weekend planned of doing laundry and settting up the new laptop. Any suggestions for an e-mail program that is not Outlook or Outlook express? I did not purchase the wildy over priced  MS program pacakges that were offered (since I know from past experience I only use two out of the 5 or 6). I'll just purchase Word and Excel after my trial period ends. I get a 60 day free trial period of the various MS programs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What's In Your Wallet?

Actually several gift cards and one to a place called Macaroni Grill.  Where did I eat this past weekend for one meal? Macaroni Grill. How did I pay for my meal? With cash. Why? Because I forgot I had said card in my wallet until I stopped for coffee and pulled out my Dunkin Donuts card. Wa La! A card for Macaroni Grill that I could have used.

Oh well, the moral of the story is to check the wallet more carefully the next time!

Hey It's A Job! Part ?

I spoke to my weekend boss last night. He called and I'll be working two days this weekend.  He told me (again), he wants to keep me on staff, blah blah, the whole conversation we had before.

Being in a bit of a less than forgiving mood, but trying to be nice. I said coming over for the two days was NOT a problem, I was happy to do it.  BUT (and there is always a but), I fully understood that he hired me as a replacement for someone who had been injured and that this was a temporary position. I also told him that I fully understood that the person I replaced is the primary worker, AND his primary responsibility should be towards his facility and how to best staff it to cover the needs of the animals and clients. I also told him that I'd be happy to work a rotation of weekends, BUT I needed notice or a schedule or something better than what happened last week as that was uncool in my book, more so given the fact I had asked about the general health and well being of the person I replaced several times.  I also shot out the comment I knew the person I replaced was not as functioning as they should be.  Lack of mobility means lack of work getting done in a timely fashion and what if there is an animal issue out in the field?  His response was I know, I know. Does he know that the way he told me my schedule was changing was uncool or that the person I replaced was not functioning as well as they should. Honestly, he is just covering his own arse just in case this person can't work again, he wants to have someone in the pipeline that does not need the "training" so to speak. He's not a bad person, just trying to juggle a staff, a schedule and keep his business running as smoothly as possible.

Sigh, non the less, it is what it is. He will be around in the evenings, so I'm sure we will talk again.  The good side to all this is I'll be able to get ALL my laundry done. Two weeks of my clothes, a bunch of sheets and towels and I'm going to wash my winter blankets before I pack them away for the spring and summer. I'm planning on arriving a little early on Thursday night so I can start on the laundry.  It's the little things that really make me happy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekend Work, What Weekend Work?

I got home a little early from my weekend away (it was raining cows and pigs where we were and all outside activities cancelled on Sunday, early drive home!). I ran into my weekend boss at the local coffee shop and we are supposed to touch base on a schedule this week. He was in my area of the state for an event and both of us surprised to see each other. Neither of us felt like talking yesterday. BUT what did not bode well with me, was the look on his face when I said, lets catch up this week about the schedule. I think he was not planning on a schedule for me.

My friend Jill rang me up over the weekend to give me an update on the person I was replacing.  Jill was in a gossipy mood and I was very careful about what I said and what I asked, you know, the high school gossip thing is very unattractive in your 40's!  This staffing change also affects her as well. I found out she had been happily doing one to two days of work during the week in exchange for a reduction on her bill since January. It seems the person I replaced was back and finding the work difficult on the supposedly healed injury. Ummmm, No surprise there! When you shatter a few bones and tear some ligaments, you'd better be dammed sure you are healthy, able to be upright and using all your appendages. Which from what I gather they are not. It's my understanding that the barn was not that busy, it was very quiet, and the person I replaced still had to take multiple breaks. Jill also told me that the person I replaced needs to go back for additional surgery, rendering them unable to work for a period of time unknown, at least two to three weeks and complained to Jill that she really needs the money this job pays her. Don't we all?

I told Jill the following things:
1) I was hired as a temporary replacement for the injured worker. I knew that from the get go. The timing to get this job was good for me, the opportunity was there when my primary job cut my hours.
2) My weekend boss in not responsible for my fiscal well being, I am.
3) I'm most upset with what I perceive to be a lack of notification about the schedule change, especially since it directly affects my bottom line. I would have liked more than a week's notice, given the fact I had asked for a weekend off for some much needed mental R&R.
4) I am grateful that I was given this opportunity to have a steady weekend job for the length of time I did.
5) I'd be happy to continue on in the position-provided I get definitive start and stop dates if my help is needed while said person is out of action for this supposed surgery.
6) And I reminded Jill that while both of us might not like the change to our schedules, we really did not have a big say in it and the trainer has to do what is best for his budget and facility. We need to swallow our big girl pills and get on with it (easier said than done while I’m feeling a bit torqued about it all.)

Ah well, I don't even think I'm supposed to be at the barn this weekend. Which does stink more than a bit and really craps out the budget for May. I am supposed to get a paycheck this week and am owed some reimbursement money for some supplies I purchased. I'm using part of that paychecl to cover the new laptop, will take $100 for some new work clothes and drop the rest into my E Fund account.

Like I said before, I'm not having a total freak out just yet. I'm going to wait until after we have our conversation and take it from there. When my hours got cut at my primary job, I took a deep breath, drank a bottle of wine and gave myself some space to think about what else I could do. I ended up with this weekend position. I'm going to adopt the same approach this week. Relax, breathe, drink some wine and maybe do some long overdue spring cleaning of the house.

I think I will miss the use of the washer and dryer most of all. I'm planning on spending my Friday AM at the Laundromat getting my piles of laundry done :).