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All posts for the month January, 2016

Going Wool Gathering

Published January 30, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

3d rendering of signs with "PAST" and "FUTURE" pointing in opposite directions

Now that I have a lot of time on my hands, my mind has been misbehaving and wandering off thinking about things other than how to manage my next set of bills.

One of the things it has been thinking about is dating again. That very thought of that makes me shudder. I don’t want to go through that again. It’s a miserable thing, dating is. I live in an area where the outdoors, 4 x 4 trucks and hunting are alive and well. Doing dorky, nerdy things like dressing in Victorian clothing isn’t so popular.

Now there is nothing wrong with the outdoors. I love the outdoors. I just want a real toilet and a hot shower at the end of the day. I am not a camper – happy or otherwise. It has never been my thing. Of course the ill-fated 1968 (ish) camping trip didn’t help my love of camping at all. The group hiked down the mountain in grand weather, then hiked up the mountain in pouring rain, rising rivers (which we had to ford) and eventually snow. We arrived wet, cold and exhausted to find all of the vehicles snowed in at the top of the mountain. Hot chocolate at the ranger station never tasted so good. Camping, however, made to the do-not-do-again list.

So yeah. I’m not a camper.

The other things are fine as well, if you are into those types of things. I am not. This means that looking at dating sites with the photos of happy men and their kills are not going to entice me to date them. If they are looking for a woman who enjoys hunting and fishing, it may be a grand way to find her. Otherwise – no. I’m not interested in seeing your dead deer or the fish your caught. But thanks for sharing.

Then of course there are The Pie Guys (yeah, go read THAT little adventure), the guys my age who want kids for girlfriends (really guys? a twenty or thirty year old when you are 60?), the guys who think they are still above women in general (news flash – it’s 2016, not 1816) and I just throw my hand in air and say NO. No thank you.

I don’t need that kind of depressing activity. I already know I am not the prettiest human on earth. I already know I am ‘old’ (*snort* – as if I think I am old), and I already know I am no longer skinny. I don’t need to be rejected on a regular basis for things I already know about myself.

If I do run into that guy that loves to play dress up, go to re-enactments, and create alter egos, I may give him a shot. Until then, I believe I will sew more historical garments and keep preparing my new venture for public performance. So shut up mind, we aren’t going there any time soon.

I’ll worry about the bills later. After all, the Regency corset isn’t going to make itself.

Questions About The New Working World

Published January 23, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

talk to phone

At one point in time, talking about the New World meant what would become the United States. For me, it’s about the way the working world now works.

Companies now use web crawlers to ‘read’ resumes. No one actually interviews you until the computer has deemed you a perfect fit. This means if you didn’t use all the right key words, you aren’t going to get past the online application. Who decided a computer program was better than a human at choosing candidates for job openings? It is no wonder unemployment continues to be high. I have been told by the computers of Fire Mountain Gems, Home Depot, Staples, Office Max and Jo Ann Fabrics that I am not a candidate for their stores in any capacity. I find this funny about Jo Ann Fabric since I sew and help other beginning sewers on a regular basis. Not the mention that Jo Ann Fabric has recently began hiring male clerks who know nothing about fabric or sewing. But, of course, they know all the right key words.

Next big puzzle to me, even more so than the web crawlers, is the use of text messages to hire, fire and lay off workers. How is this even remotely professional? How can any boss be okay with letting their workers do that, even still, doing it themselves? Is this the new chicken? Has it become so uncomfortable to sit down with another human face to face and talk about what is happening with their future?

I have been laid off via voice mail. I have been told my hours were cut in a rather cryptic text message. Honestly, the way the text was written I had no idea it meant cut hours. It sounded more like a re-shuffling of hours that resulted in different days off. And now I have been denied a face to face meeting and let go (okay, fired) on the telephone in conference call.

None of this is a professional way to manage people.

I have no idea if my former bosses boss knows how it was handled. There is a lot of don’t ask, don’t tell when it comes to managing employees. Unless I raise a stink about what happened, I am quite sure the mucky-mucks of my former employer will be told nothing about how it was handled.

I am not going to raise a stink. I find it a release to be free to develop my own business. For some odd reason I am not worried, or scared. I feel calm and ‘right’. It may fall on its face, but it feels like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. It is an odd feeling. Even watching my precious few dollars shrink, I am not worried or scared.

I do know I am confused about how the so-called professional world is now handled. I don’t know if this new use of talk, text and voicemail is going on elsewhere, or if is only in my little part of the world. But I find it unfathomable that people will call themselves professionals and use these tactics on their employees. To make it even more confusing, they treat their employees in this manner, then wonder why they can’t keep people. Good employees do not stay where they are not treated well. How others are treated is an indication of what to expect. But it seems that message does not get through. Even when stated bluntly, it is ignored.

So I am glad to be leaving that world behind giving myself the chance to grow and prosper on my own. I am thankful for the people who are helping me. Even the fingers crossed are appreciated.

I may need all the luck I can get.

Foul Ball!

Published January 18, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

After getting pelted with curve balls, I was promised a sit down meeting at a table with my supervisors to discuss what had happened. I knew they would wait until the end of the day to make their point that they were in control and I was not.

Piffle.

While they made me wait, I worked on things to move my life forward. I was not raised to be stupid. The fact is, my father made sure his daughters understood how things worked so we could manage on our own. While that often makes relationships difficult, it does make life easier overall. I knew darned well they were going blah, blah, blah me into unemployment. After all, how dare I stand for myself and refuse to put other people in danger by driving a large, top heavy vehicle in bad weather (this is a twelve passenger bus, just under CDL requirements) while under emotional duress.

What they did do was call and fire me over the telephone, citing that I should have simply taken a deep breath and done as asked. After all, they had been put in a similar situation and they never refused their bosses. And this was said after stating that they knew it was a huge, emotional blow, and they were afraid I would react in this manner. It is nice to know that I didn’t feel as emotionally slaughtered as I did. I’m glad they pointed that out to me. I feel so much better now.

So why wasn’t I told the three days beforehand and given a chance to internalize the news? And when did using text messages and phone calls become professional responses to any employer/employee situation? Why wasn’t I given my promised face to face meeting? A lot of what happened could have been avoided with a little common sense.

The funny thing about this situation is I am not really upset or overly worried. Which is kinda weird since I will be broke in about the end of next month, if not sooner.

What I am is rather happy to be able pursue my own thing. I have made steps towards doing just that. I do have to spend a little money to reach that goal, but it will be worth it. I will probably need another job, but that will come.

It’s nice, for once, to not feel worried.

 

Getting Smacked With Curve Balls.

Published January 15, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

My life, at the moment, is full of uncertainties. I very recently received a text (yes a TEXT) from my place of employment telling my that due to staff changes I now had a different day off. And enjoy my three-day weekend. When I replied with a query I received no answer. So I spent the next three days wondering what happened, or what was going to happen. It was not a relaxing three days.

I was informed on my next scheduled working day that my hours have been cut back. This puts my already precarious new life in the toaster. I can not afford a place to live, food or keep my car with fewer hours. It does not matter that the hours the big ‘them’ look at are attached to real humans with bills and responsibilities. We, the employees, are simply tools to used and cast aside when it suits them. And no, this business is not in any jeopardy. In fact, they are making more money than they have in the past.

My emotional distress at the news was pretty much ignored. I did say I would have liked to have known three days earlier to have time to internalize the news, rather having to try to deal with it at work. I found it almost cruel to have to have had to try to do my job (which is a front and center type of job) while trying work through this huge emotional and financial blow.

To add insult to injury, I was asked to something I simply could not do under the circumstances. My emotional state was not in a place where I could what was asked in safe manner. I declined to do what was asked. Instead of asking me why, I was suspended for insubordination. Thanks guys. It’s always nice to get punched in the gut twice. To be honest, I was happy to escape the day and have my break down in the privacy of my now temporary home.

Now I wait to the called in to have a meeting with my supervisors. I know darn well they will wait until the day is almost over to do so. It’s all a part of ‘teaching me a lesson’, I suppose. The longer I wait more I will be willing to agree to anything they may ask of me. I have written my letter of apology and sent it off, so I have nothing new to say to them.

I know a few more things.  I know I will not work in this particular industry ever again. I know I will work harder to move forward into my own business interest. I know I am stronger for standing up for myself. The job be damned, I was not in a place to what was asked in safe manner.

While others may think I am being left to twist in wind once again, I am not letting it be that. I am working on my next move. There are better things in life for me

All I have to do is survive this blip on my radar.

 

 

 

New Year, New Me

Published January 5, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

 

new me

It’s a new year and I am hoping for a new me. The me I am right now is someone I do not like so well. She is too negative and often complains about too many things that she can not control. Who wants to hang around with her? I certainly don’t.

So it is time to re-evaluate life and things I would like to be in it.

I have found that I do not care much for my job. It is in a difficult industry. One must have a lot of patience and not mind being yelled for pretty much everything. It matters not if it is your job to fix it or not, nor even if is in your power to do anything about it at all (think things like newspaper delivery). You are there to listen to it all. I find it wearing. It is making me be a person I do not like. I am grumpy at home and have little patience for things going wrong, even a little bit. So it time to re-think things.

I have an idea of what I ‘d like to do. It will take time to set it up and get it going. I’m not going to be self-employed anytime soon (unfortunately). A friend of mine put in touch with a gal who does this for a living. She has been sent from heaven. She has shared every thing about how to do this from how she started to what she charges. I am amazed at the information she gave me. She has been so kind and warm to me I am almost speechless. She has invited me to meet her if I am ever in her area. You bet your boots I will look her up if I am ever there, or even near there.

In the meantime, I need to address my current employment situation. I need to find something I like better and that pays better. I currently make a tiny schooch above minimum wage.  I have never this type of work for so little before. So a new job is in order.

For now, I live without internet at home. I have TV via antenna only (my only real channel wish is BBC). My grocery shopping includes very few, if any, treats. I have to be very careful where my money goes so all of my bills can be paid on time. At least I do not drink coffee and crave a $5 cup of some fancy blend (I often wonder how people can afford that everyday).

I close to getting back to sewing. While I can’t access my online video class very often,  I can still read the handouts and work from there. Sewing again will help ease the day-to-day unhappiness and stress.

I found a yoga class, but I can’t afford the fees. So I will have to make due with what I remember from before, and make time to meditate. My body will be sore for a while, but it will be happier in the long run.

Yup. It’s time to shed the old skin and break out in a new one.