Archive for December, 2007

Strange Days, Indeed

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

I keep meaning to get over here and post this, but the past two days have been fabulously crazy.

You all will never guess what happened on Thursday. I was sitting on my couch in my pajamas, it was already around 11:30 in the morning and I was just planning on taking it real easy my first day of being laid off when the phone rang. It was my boss. She said, “Do you want to come back and help us close this place down?” I said, “Are you kidding me???”

Apparently there was some web stuff that the owner needed done and he asked Rob why it wasn’t being done. Rob said to him, “Um, because you laid off Amy???” The owner was like, “What? No! She shouldn’t have been let go! Can you get her to come back in??” So I was mistakenly laid off early. Is that a trip or what? Which meant I had to get up and get dressed and stuff to go into work Thursday afternoon. Good times.

In the meantime, I was also working with three different recruiters as well as a couple of other prospects, one of which asked to see my portfolio. Portfolio??? Ha! I had nothing of the sort, so I had to put that together. It was hard finding a few of the things that I had worked on over the years to give screen shots. And after I completed it I realized I had at least 2 more things I could have added to it before sending. I guess the next company will get to see those, if need be.

Everything is so surreal right now. Going into the office is like walking through a ghost town with all the empty offices and cubicles – and the few remaining employees’ office contents are all boxed up, too. It’s weird to be at work and openly talking about the job search. “Did you get any calls today on your resume?” “I’ve got an interview!” “Oh, be right back, this is a recruiter calling!” Strange days, indeed.

I’ve got my first interview on Monday at 10 am. I didn’t have a suit in my size since the last time I had to wear business attire was 3 or 4 years ago and I’ve lost probably 20-30 pounds since then. Thankfully my mom’s next door neighbor is an expert seamstress and has time to alter the suit for me. I ran it over to New Jersey last night and got fitted so I won’t look completely frumpy on Monday. I haven’t been on in interview in over 8 years. I’m nervous! But, I’m also really, really, really excited. Having been in the position of interviewing lots of people for jobs over the past 5 years, I think I have a fair shot at this. But, wish me luck anyway, okay? What I really want is to have a few different jobs to choose from so I can make the best choice for me. I want these employers fighting over me, damn it! And they should. Because, well, I rock. HA!

Stay tuned.

Laid Off

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Well, the unthinkable (and some might say – inevitable) happened today: my company announced it is closing its doors January 4th, and I was laid off. Since I’m the Internet Marketing Manager, there really isn’t a big need for my position as they close up shop. Rob and my sister (yes, we all worked there!) will remain there until the end, helping them liquidate all of their supplies.

I’m remarkably okay with the events of the day. Sure, there is an underlying feeling of fear, but I’m concentrating on not focusing on that. I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire and I’m confident that I will land on my feet. Perhaps something even better will come along! I’ve got an impressive skill set and resume thanks to the last 8 years at this company, and any new company will be lucky to have me.

Some of the positives right now are that I’ll be able to be home with the kids on their holiday break, I’ll get to finally go visit my friend and her triplets that were born in September that I haven’t had a chance to see yet, I’ll be able to get to daytime meetings, I’ll be able to get some much-needed exercise and meditation time in, I’ll be able to decorate and wrap for Christmas without stressing over the lack of time to get it all done. I’m going to enjoy these last few weeks of December in the hopes that I’ll look back on this experience with fondness.

All that doesn’t mean I’m not filled with an overwhelming sadness, though. I am so sad. So sad. I loved my job. I loved my boss. I loved what I did. I loved my office. I loved the people I worked with every day. I loved the short commute. I loved the flexibility I was afforded. I loved all of it. Sure, there were rough days and there was a pervading sickness in the company’s high-level management, but I was able to get past all that because of my love for the day-to-day things. I will miss that job. Hopefully when I’ve moved on to my next career choice, though, I will realize that I should have left long ago and I won’t hardly miss it at all.

I’m remaining positive – for today, at least. There might very well be an entry here tomorrow where I’m freaking out. I’m told my emotions are going to be all over the map for the foreseeable future. I guess that’s your fair warning!

Taking Shoes Off at the Door – Practical or Pretentious?

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Growing up, we always had wall-to-wall carpeting in our house. With the exception of the kitchen/dining room combo, the two bathrooms, and the garage, our entire house was carpeted. Then when I was 9, I became best friends with someone whose entire house was hardwood floors. They weren’t the cleanliest people, and so I grew up thinking that having hardwood floors meant that whenever you walked around in bare feet, you’d get stuff stuck to your soles. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized my friend’s parents were slobs and that having hardwood floors doesn’t necessarily equal getting heebed out every time you walk around sock- and shoe-less.

A few years ago, we had family members who required us to take our shoes off every time we entered – they didn’t want us tracking in stuff all over the house. It kind of annoyed me because it wasn’t a rule I grew up with, and it certainly wasn’t one we enforced at our own house. I figured cleaning the floors were just part and parcel of household tasks and they were being a bit pretentious by not allowing us to keep our shoes on.

Fast forward to today. The majority of our main floor is hardwood and tile, our living room being the only exception. Yesterday the boys swept all of the floors – there was quite a bit of debris. And today? Today, in the fifteen minutes between the time I got out of the shower and got dressed, my feet felt like they did when I was a young girl at my friend’s house. I was so grossed out that I swept before I left for work, even though I was running late. I swept up all of this:

Dirt

How gross, huh? So now I’m rethinking my stance on mandatory shoe removal in the foyer. We are obviously tracking in way more dirt than I thought we ever could. And I definitely don’t want to sweep every single day this winter. By the way, isn’t my snowman cute? It’s a holiday Wallflower from Bath & Body Works.

So what say you? Is asking everyone who enters to take their shoes off pretentious or practical? I’m thinking even if it is pretentious, we might be enforcing the rule anyway. Who wants to spend all winter sweeping and vacuuming? Not me, that’s for sure.

Cell Phone Tower Possibility

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

I’m so excited! You know how we want to move to Virginia to live out in the country on my parents’ property, right? There are three major stumbling blocks in our way right now.

1 – Cost. It will cost approximately 200K to build there, including digging for septic and wall water. While that is a great price, we want to move there and not maintain the same lifestyle we’re leading now with both of us working full time.

2 – Internet and cell phone connectivity. Catawba, Virginia is pretty remote which means the closest cell towers are about 15-20 miles away. Since this is mountainous territory, the signals from the towers in neighboring Blacksburg and Roanoke don’t always provide enough signal strength.

3 – Connor doesn’t want to move.

Well, I just discovered something that might be an answer to the first two stumbling blocks. My family and I have talked about how to get a cell phone tower on their property, but none of us had any idea what to do to make that happen. Enter the Wireless Landlord Association. They are an advocacy group that can help us secure a lease with one of the big cell phone companies like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. With their free promotional and marketing support, we’d be more attractive to the cell phone companies. Since we’re so uneducated about this whole venture, the Association could also be a great source of information to help us from start to finish.

I’m not sure they can provide much help where are third stumbling block is concerned, though. How do you convince a teenager that moving away from all of his friends is a great idea, anyway?

Inside Out

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

All afternoon and evening, things have felt a bit … funny… in my pants. I wasn’t sure what it was, and it wasn’t bothering me or anything. In fact, in retrospect, I think I kind of liked it. Imagine my amusement when I caught a glance of myself in the bathroom mirror while pulling my pants up … and I noticed my panties were on inside out. I guess in my haste to get dressed after the ultrasounds today, I didn’t get things done quite right. Woops! Just another day in the life of Amy!