Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hopping My Broom to Reno!

Right now I am in the midst of packing for what once was my Annual Trip to Reno for Halloween. Because of money I haven't been able to go the past two years which has been VERY depressing. I'm SO excited that I'm going this year!

Why so excited, Dave?

Well, let me tell you. The reason it's Reno is because my dear friend Andrea lives there. Actually, she lives in Sparks, a suburb of Reno, but nobody ever knows where Sparks is. She lives there with her husband and two boys, Cody and Zack. Andrea loves Halloween as much as I do, if not more. Andrea also loves Bewitched but I'm gonna say not as much as I do, but she loves it enough to care to post on Bewitched boards, which is how we met way back in 1999. Oh wow! I just realized that's 10 years ago! HOLY COW! Anyway....

In 2000 some of us on the Bewitched board decided to have a get together to meet face to face. Andrea wanted to host it in Reno since she was the only one with kids and couldn't get away. The get together was set for August. I had never seen a picture of Andrea before so I didn't have any idea who to look for when I got to the hotel where she was going to meet us to take us out to her house. However, when I saw her shiny eyes and red hair I knew immediately it was her. She hadn't seen a pic of me before either but she said she knew immediately who I was and this was before I ever had a Bewitched shirt. We all had a great time and she said that I must come back in October for her Halloween party that she throws every year. I accepted and so Heather and I did go back that October.

I was blown away by how much all of her friends went all out on their costumes! Even more so by all the decorating she does. It was just like in the movies where there are tons of people with awesome costumes, games and tons of dancing. In fact that night Andrea and I danced from about 7 PM to 2 AM with maybe a bathroom break. We were both so tired and crippled from dancing but we had so much fun! And so every year after (with the exception of one where she was mad at her friends and decided not to throw it) I've been.

Aside from the awesome party, I just love hanging out with Andrea and her family. I feel as though I've known them my whole life. They are part of my family and I definitely feel a part of theirs. Our friend Jone also joins us and I would be remiss in not mentioning that I also get to see her as she flies in for it too. Jone and I have always been room buddies on our get togethers.

But the past two years, money has been tight so I couldn't justify going and it was really depressing.

So tomorrow I will be flying to Reno for five days/four nights and I can't wait!


So Maybe "Deplore" Was a Bit Much...

I have to say that when I last blogged I was in a frightful mood. What you saw there was the equivalent of an emotional HUGE zit that popped - satisfying, yet disgusting. It was the culmination of many days of frustration and just over all raw nerves.

The following day I was shown how to do something at work that I hadn't been doing because I felt there wasn't an effective way to do it. This is because I had either been misinformed or misunderstood. I choose to believe the former as there were several others in my training class who believed as I did. Now that I know how to do the particular task, which leads to more money for me and happiness for my customers, my mood has improved considerably! Do not take this change in mood for my actually liking my position, cause I don't. However it is much easier to deal with.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I DEPLORE my job!

There is no other word for it...well, yes, there are, like "detest", "loathe", and the not-so-violent "hate". Honestly, I cannot remember the last time that I hated a job as much as I hate this one. Actually, yes, I can...when I worked at McDonald's when I was younger, but since then, this one takes the cake.

I work for a major telecommunications company known world wide. I will say that I love the company, I like what they stand for, and they do have great benefits. However, all of that is being over shadowed by my current position as a customer service representative. Of the five days a week I go there 4 1/2 of them are absolutely awful. There always seems to be that 1/2 day that comes where people are pleasant and things just go right which gets me thinking, "You know? Maybe you really don't hate this job." But then it delves right back in to days like this. I spend most of my nights having panic attacks about what I should do about my job and if I'm going to last there and that's just not right. I HATE every minute that I'm there and I hate the hours leading up to all those minutes. I work an evening shift so my sleep schedule is all messed up. I get up around 11 - 11:30 AM every day and for the couple hours before I go to work all I think about is how much I would rather be hit by a train.

Today I went to lunch with a good friend (who incidentally is not enjoying her job either) and I told her that I've decided I'm going to write down everything that happens that leads me down Crazy Town Lane. And I did...I only wrote down the first HOUR of things that absolutely drive me nuts and lead me to believe that I MUST find other employment. Here is the list:

1. 2:30 - 11 PM shift, working on Sundays.
2. First call of the day: I was told that I'm the reason that companies outsource their work to other countries because I'm so incompetent. And when I responded to her that I didn't appreciate her talking to me like that she asked for a supervisor. Keep in mind, I am NEVER to respond to customers berating comments. I'm supposed to move on.
3. When trying to find a supervisor there were none on the floor so I had to call the Escalated Calls team, which looks bad on my stats, and though she was very kind and understanding told me that she couldn't help this customer with what her original reason for calling was, that a supervisor should take this kind of call.
4. A customer's phone has been breaking down the past couple months. He is eligible in two weeks to upgrade to a new phone with a discount in addition to the all ready discounted prices. When I ask my supervisor who had just returned from wherever he was, he said it was too bad, he'd only approve the all ready discounted prices but not the huge additional discount. He'd have to wait the two weeks.
5. Tried helping aforementioned customer troubleshoot his newest problem which was that the ringer had stopped working. One of the troubleshooting steps is to take the battery out. After we did that found that because of one of his previous problems with his on/off button no longer working his phone no longer will turn back on.
6. Tried using the application on the computer to call a customer back as it looks better on my stats rather than the buttons on my phone and ended up getting another phone call, delaying my call to the customer who I had just told I was going to call right back.
7. Received an email saying a meeting was cancelled meaning more time taking phone calls.
8. Supervisor comes around after said email was sent saying to log out to the meeting and he disappears like earlier. So we sit around wondering if we're supposed to go to a meeting and end up taking calls again but it has now ruined our availability stats as well as our schedule adherence stats.
9. Late for another meeting because of problems mentioned in #5 and #6.
10. Customer calls because his bill was sent to some stranger's address who opened his bill and called him to tell him about it. When looking at the comments on his account found that a request for the change had come in on a remittance slip. He said he had no idea what that address was and hadn't moved so why would he do that? He was concerned about security and when I ask a supervisor (who wasn't mine because of course he isn't at his desk) she tells me, "He made the request because there's the remittance slip." I advise her he didn't and she just looks at me blankly and says, "He did. It doesn't matter what he's telling you." So I have to go back and tell him that I honestly don't know how that happened but it looks like he requested it.

That was all within an hour period. And, truly, you multiply that by eight, which gives you a day in my work life. Is it any wonder I hate my job?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who Once Was Lost...

...now is found via Facebook!

The "Who" to whom I am referring is quite possibly my Uncle John, my mom's youngest sibling and Snoop Dogg look-a-like (white edition, of course). We have not seen nor really heard from John in about 10 years and if you know my mom and her family, this is HIGHLY unusual! You see, throughout the course of John's life he made some very bad choices leading him on a very rocky path which was lined by monetary loans from my Grandparents. When my Grandma passed away in 1999 (Grandpa having died in 1994) my Aunt Irene was left as executor of the estate because of her aptitude in finance. She discovered that Grandpa had written receipts, some of which were signed by John, of how much the loans were and when he would pay them back. However, he never did. He had borrowed upwards of $40,000.00 with no attempt to pay back. Irene held a family council with my mom and the rest of the siblings to discuss the impending inheritance all of them were to get. She brought up the fact that John had borrowed all this money and the fact he had never made any retribution. It is true the rest of them borrowed money from time to time but it was always rendered back. So it was unanimously decided that John had all ready received his inheritance and that he would not have to pay back to the estate.

This did not sit well with John's wife at all and in fact she wrote a nasty letter to Irene accusing her and the rest of the siblings of malice. And that was it. We never heard John's feelings on the subject and any phone calls or letters to him have gone unanswered.

Keep in mind my mother was like his second mother. There is 20 years difference in their ages and when John was little their father had to have massive surgery in Denver leaving my mom to take care of her brothers and sisters. I remember John telling me when I was younger that he thought of my mom as his mom more than his own mother. For John to cut off contact with my mother has been devastating to her. But that's the weird thing...we all think that it's not so much that John has cut off contact so much as it is that Kimberly has all control of that household. My mom has sent them birthday cards and Christmas cards every year and she'll call him on his birthday but her attempts are never acknowledged.

A couple years ago I found John's son Stephan on My Space. I didn't really know him that well but I thought it would be a good "in" to see how his dad is doing and possibly get him to call my mom. But Stephan was very evasive when asked about his father.

Just tonight, as I was looking over my cousin Greg's Facebook, I noticed that he recently became friends with Kimberly!! Greg and John were best friends growing up as they were the same age and John hasn't even tried to contact Greg. So this was a shock! Of course, Kimberly's profile is set to "private" however she does have an old photo of her and John. I also noticed that Kimberly has posted comments on Greg's Facebook that make it seem like nothing is wrong.

Maybe so much time has passed that she's not bitter anymore and hopefully this will be the "in" that my mom and her family so desperately want so that they can re-kindle their relationship with their long lost brother. I certainly hope so!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

God Loves Even the Pizza Girl

Yesterday I had a hankerin' for Little Squeezers (that's what I call it) $5.00 Pizza! Pizza! so I rolled on into the establishment located in what is considered the ghetto part of town. As I was entering I was first thinking, "I can't wait to eat some pizza! I'm SOOO hungry!" and the second was, "Look at these people working here! I'm glad I'm not one of them."

Yes, it turns out I have a shallow side and I can be judgmental. But I just looked at them having their kinda greasy hair and their seeming lack of hope cooking up my pizza and taking my five bucks. The cashier was a middle aged woman and I kind of had pity for her working in Ghetto Squeezers and for the possible fact that being the cashier in Ghetto Squeezers is her lot in life, when out of nowhere I heard/felt, "You know, she is one of my daughters and I love her more than you can fathom. And the same goes for the rest of her co-workers... and you."

Keep in mind, I haven't done anything more spiritual than watch an hour of General Conference in the past two months because of my work schedule and quite frankly I've been feeling further from God than ever, though I do pray every day. For me to have that prompting, something which I haven't experienced in a long time was overwhelming to me in the fact that I kind of felt since I've forgotten God in the past little while he may have forgotten me. How silly is that?!

I almost started crying there at Little Squeezers and thankfully they are good workers so our transaction time was quite minimal thus allowing me to leave with my composure in tact.

But it is true. I know that God loves me more than I can fathom and that he loves all of my brothers and sisters here on Earth even if I don't know why. And I hope that you all know this too and keep it mind. Though we may get bogged down in the crap at work, the crap at home, and the crap in the world, one thing remains, and that is God loves us!