Friday, November 05, 2010

random things...

My boss stopped by my cube today to compliment me on two reports that I'd sent him to review yesterday. He'd approved them with no changes, and I'd forwarded them to the safety doc, who also approved them with no changes (clearing the way for me to submit them, which I did), but my boss stopped by and said "Those 2 reports you sent me? They were really well written!" I have to say, that meant a lot to me. Bette never compliments or thanks anyone; she's more of the "Beatings will continue until morale improves!" school. It was nice to get a compliment for a couple of things I'd worked hard on.

I came home at a decent hour for me: 8:30. I was wiped tonight, and Mike has been sick with URC (upper respiratory crud) so no walk, and dinner tonight was tuna melts on sourdough toast.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

raise high the roof beam...

I'm addicted to the NY Times real estate section. I can't afford anything in it, but that doesn't stop me from looking. In this economy, to have articles titled, "What you get for...$1.1 Million...." really amazes me. There's a range of prices; to be fair, today it was "What you get for...$275,000..." However, that's as out of reach for me as $1.1 Million is. I want to downsize (and thus my compulsive looking) but everything appealing seems incredibly expensive.

What do I want? I'm trying to figure that out. Tonight I was talking to Mike about it, and I said, "Well, there are two things that I absolutely want: a steam shower and a bidet." I thought about it for a moment and added, "And of course, a fireplace..."

I prowl IKEA, trying to imagine if I really could live in 762 square feet of space. I think the answer is YES. When I was younger (i.e., in my 40's) I thought I'd stay in this house forever. I love this house, but I no longer want to stay here. This is a wonderful house for a family, but not for a woman on her own. I used to think I wanted to keep it so the kids could always come home for visits, but I've decided that's a poor reason to stay here, plus, it's exhausting, playing hostess all by yourself!

I'm ready for a change, and I'm ready to downsize. I don't think I'm the only one. Architects and builders of America, are you listening? I don't think so. I find these wonderful living spaces that are under 1000 square feet at IKEA, but they don't exactly abound in the real estate section of the NY Times, or anyplace else I've looked. There are lots of little tiny houses filled with tiny rooms; that's not what I'm talking about.

Take one of those houses and gut it. Raise the ceilings, so it's open and light. Rip out the wall to wall carpeting and put in hardwood and stone. Make the doorways wide, so they can accommodate a wheelchair, if it comes to that. In the bathroom(s), install a bidet and a steam shower, complete with a bench and old fart bars: Note: in addition to feeling like HEAVEN, 20 minutes in a steam shower uses about 7 gallons of water. In the kitchen, I want gas to cook on, and stone counter tops. I want a patio where I can have pots of flowers. There should either be public transportation near by or the place must be within walking distance of grocery stores, etc., because the day will come when I can no longer drive (and since I currently drive 25,000 miles a year, that's a day I look forward to!). And oh yes, ideally, this place should be near at least one of my four children...

That's what I'm looking for. Does it exist?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

and the beat goes on...

Tonight I worked until 11:15, then walked across campus in a light rain, got in my car, drove like a fiend and arrived home at 12:30, just in time to pull on some sweats so Mike and I could walk (albeit the short route tonight).

Back home at a little after 1AM we sat around in the kitchen and ate delicious, leftover-from-last-night cold lemon chicken, followed by slices of a Granny Smith apple and a little white stilton with apricot and mango. Then I said goodnight to Mike and took a long, hot bath with nice scent added to the water, and now I'm writing rather than sleep because I have to go back in in a couple of hours.

Here's to finding a job I can do anytime, anyplace, so long as I have a laptop.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

this 'n that...

So I handed in the performance eval with the observation, hmmm, I get it, this job is a DEAD END and I need to be looking around if I want to develop my career plan. Alright then, that's what I'll do! Not in those words, of course. Dunno what the response will be, and frankly, don't really care.

On to happier things. Mike has been living with me since late July and I'm happy to say he's a really good influence, in so many ways. I now have an iPhone, and what's more, I know how to use it. Since he's arrived, I hardly watch any TV (I've seen all the Law and Order reruns anyway) although I have to admit the two of us do watch lots of movies, which we then endlessly analyze...I've FINALLY perfected a frozen strawberry margarita, and managed to do so without buying one of those $350 margaritaville machines...except for the margaritas, I'm eating healthier...we do a brisk walk on one of three routes (short, medium and long) through the neighborhood every night (we've only missed 2 nights since we started)...and I'm beginning to think seriously about leaving Dallas. All of which is GOOD...

Monday, November 01, 2010

End of Year Performance Review - raaaaggggghhhhttttt....

So it's time to submit my end-of-the-year Performance Review. Ugh. This time, to add insult to injury, there's a new question, no doubt thought up by some Harvard educated MBA: Where do you see yourself in 1-3 years? I have to make up some suitable BS to answer this inane question, and I will, but what I really want to say is this:

Listen, you dweeby bean counter, I've been a permanent employee now for almost 4 years. In that time, although my caseload has increased by almost 50%, I've never submitted a single late report (this is a big deal at the company where I work). Furthermore, I've taken on many additional responsibilities since I started, some of which have been assigned to me, others that I've initiated, e.g., I created a training manual, complete with screen shots, that's now used internationally to train new employees on our pharma database, and I'm expected to keep it current. Yet I haven't received a raise or a promotion, or even an overall EE (exceeds expectations - word is that management doesn't like anyone to receive that rating, because an employee receiving that rating might expect some sort of financial reward, e.g., a raise or promotion). And so I'm still working at the same grade at which I was hired, as are those employees hired at the same time as me whose idea of work is pretty much to show up for 8 hours a day, period. Furthermore, in spite of my putting time and effort, twice a year, into writing these performance reviews, I have yet to have a one-on-one or to receive any sort of feedback on the work I'm doing from anyone who's supervised me. I'd say writing these is sort of like pennies down a well, except that I know someone reads them, because we get them back to redo if what we've written falls short of the rah-rah spirit with which they're supposed to be once again, I'm writing and submitting mine, but oh, what a colossal waste of time.