Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Call

Yesterday morning around ten o'clock, I got the call. No working parent wants to get this call, but I think most of us have. It's the call where your childcare provider says, your child is sick.

It's a sinking feeling when you realize your child is feeling bad, and you didn't realize it. Maybe it's Mommy Guilt in overdrive, but I feel like I should have a better instinct for when my kiddos are sick.

L. had spiked fever at daycare that morning and refused breakfast. These are typical signs for when S. has strep throat, so I asked if any other kids had been sick. There was one in L.'s class who was symptomatic, but tested negative on the strep test. He was being treated anyway. A second kid in a different class did have strep, so I thought for sure L. was dealing with her first case of strep throat. Confronted with strep cases in the daycare and L.'s panting while breathing, I decided to take her in to see the doctor.

When we got to the doctor's office that afternoon, her temp had spiked to 103.7 (rectal), and her panting was worse. Her breathing sounded clear and she wasn't coughing, so the doctor didn't think she needed chest x-rays. However, she has one well-infected ear. Probably the result of her chronic runny nose.

Side note. Did you know that like dogs, people will pant to try to cool themselves off? I did not know that until the doc explained it to me. L. was panting to try to bring down her fever. Once we had enough Motrin and Tylenol in her, she stopped panting.

On the even more stressful side of things, I am sitting at end of quarter and Mr. W. is sitting at big project needing implementation. It's hard for us to take off right now, but our backup sick-child care (grandma & grandpa) are unavailable today and tomorrow. Timing...


Busted or Thank Goodness for Needlenose Pliers

Honestly, if my head wasn't so firmly attached, I would have lost it somewhere.

My supervisor asked me to keep some software stashed in my desk for a couple weeks since she is currently working in the corral where she is unable to lock her temporary desk. This is all well and good, but I am not accustomed to locking my desk at night. If anybody wants to steal feminine supplies and post-it notes, let them, is my philosophy. Since Mr. W. and I commute to work together, I'm also unaccustomed to ensuring I always have my keys (you know where this is going).

Monday morning rolled around, and just as I hopped out of the van at work, it dawned on me. I had left my keys at home. Supervisor had not asked for the software in over a week, so I thought I could not say anything and just run home at lunch for my keys. Ten minutes before lunch hour, I get a phone call from supervisor asking for the software so she could do her installation. Oops!

I had to fess up that the keys to my desk were at home, and that I had planned to use my lunch hour to go get them. She seemed to be okay with that, but I knew she wanted to spend her lunch hour getting her computer updated.

  • the drawer where the envelops with the CDs opens about 1/2 an inch when locked
  • the software was the last thing dumped in that particular drawer
  • I had forgotten to put my ruler back in my desk on Friday
  • Mr. W. keeps needlenose pliers with him
  • I have really skinny fingers

After much wriggling around, I was able to extricate the CDs through the little gap in the drawer. Supervisor got a good laugh, but I think I'm going to make a copy of my desk key and have Mr. W. keep a copy on his key ring. Just in case.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Admitting Defeat

I was given a data analysis project back in the latter part of April. My department head (and I!) expected it would take me a few days to complete and then we would be on our merry way. As of five minutes ago, I am giving up on a perfect data analysis.

This is killing me. For the first time in a long time (as in, I cannot remember this ever happening to me before) I am unable to clear up all data inconsistences and I cannot explain them fully. A 3% error, and I have no earthly idea how to explain it. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

I hate this. However, life must go on, so I have punted back to the department head, giving him my results thus far and asking if he wants me to continue to pursue the inconsistences. Half of me wants him to say 'Three percent? No sweat.' The other part wants to figure out this ###### problem.

M.W. Why yes, I am a perfectionist. Whatever gave you that idea?


Maybe I am just a little bit too short tempered, but I am becoming very annoyed with my internet provider. I pay them a monthly fee in order to have e-mail and pitiful dial-up internet access. They have recently begun posting banner add garbage all over the place. It is burns me up that I am subjected to ads from a paid service when all I want to do is read my e-mail. Ugh!

I do not mind the ads that come with my Yahoo! e-mail accounts. Hey, I have even clicked on one or two. Nothing in this world is free, and I understand advertising helps foot the bill for my 'free' e-mail. I'm just irked with my ISP.


To Whom It May Concern

To Whom It May Concern:

Lost: One brain.

It used to do things like remember to bring diapers, food, formula, changes of clothing, etc. to daycare. L. is now down to about 2 ounces of formula for the entire day. I have forgotten to bring a new can for 3 days now!

It would also remember that we went to Target for in order to buy me a hairbrush, and not a bunch of other junk that we don't really need. I'm reduced to using Mr. W.'s comb, the girls' hairbrush, or using my own while carefully holding the side down where the rubber has torn so the bristles don't pop out altogether.

Additionally, brain was good at problem solving and could write a query for any data request. I'm a month into what should have been a relatively straightforward request. What do I have to show for it? 10,000 blankety blank duplicate record counts and absolutely no explanation for them.

If found, please return brain before I lose a kid and/or my job.

Thank you,


Bad Joke o' the Day

Q. What's the difference between a mechanical engineer and a civil engineer?

A. Mechanical engineers make weapons and civil engineers make targets.


Q. What did the skeleton say when he walked into the bar?

A. I'll take a beer... and a mop.

Ba dum dum!


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Coming Out - Part 2

Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad! I hope you enjoy my rambles. This has been a good place for me to let off steam and store my thoughts. Now I've got more incentive to write stuff about the girls. Don't I?


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Night Frights

S. has started with the 'I'm scared' chant at night, and I don't know what to do exactly. Mr. W. is willing to lay down on the floor in her room until she falls asleep, but I think that's a bad habit to start. On the other hand, if this is a short little phase, perhaps sleeping with her is okay.

Last night it was her closet. We've got a lot of junk stuffed in her closet (including a futon mattress), so I can understand being a little intimidated. She wanted her closet door open, then cried because she was afraid. She wanted her closet door closed, then cried again because she was still afraid. I finally closed the closet door and shoved her play table up against it. That soothed her for all of five minutes.

Then, she wanted to know where daddy was. Daddy was working on painting her new big girl bed. Next it was the thumping noise. The kids next door were playing basketball. Finally, it was all out wailing because she wanted her daddy (the same daddy she refused to say night-night to 45 minutes earlier). We had the lamp on. We had the lamp off. After talking with my sister, I got down and tried to teach S. a little 'God is with me all the time, and He will protect me' prayer. Still got a lot of crying and 'I'm scared' even with me still in the room with her.

Finally, I called Mr. W. in so he could give her a hug and a kiss. He stretched out on the floor in her room until she fell asleep. Ugh!

To top it off, L. didn't exactly sleep through the night, either. I am so looking forward to June 30, which is D-day for moving L. into S.' room and moving S. into her big girl bed.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pictures of the Gigglies

The gigglesome twosome!

Feel free to post comments about how cute they are, LOL.


Friday, June 16, 2006

My Daddy!

My Dad turns 60 years old today! Yup, he's among the first batch of baby-boomers (Mom's in that group, too, as she turns 60 in November). Even though I really don't like his decision to go to Afghanistan for work, I still have a tremendous respect for my father.

My dad is the person who taught me to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing. He always gave up his seat on the bus or train to any person older than he or any woman. This was not an act of condescension, it was out of respect. I have seen him help many a woman get her baby carriage over a curb. Just last week, he stumbled across a poor sick little puppy. Instead of calling the humane society, Dad took the dog home, cleaned it up, took it to the vet for shots and a checkup. The puppy has been placed in a good home (Mom's glad the puppy was not there to stay, LOL).

My dad is the person I once split an entire large Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza. I was a freshman or so in high school, and somehow we wound up spending most of a day together just the two of us. At lunchtime, we ordered a large pizza and ate the whole thing. I still feel bloated when I think of that, but boy was that a good time talking and visiting with my father.

My dad is the person who taught me to care for and respect my body. Up until his 'little' accident where he smashed half the bones in his ankle, my dad ran regular marathons. When I was a very young child, he gave up smoking (he was a bear during the initial cessation as he went cold turkey, but I digress). Because of his teachings, I never had a desire to pick up smoking or to experiment with any sort of recreational drugs.

My dad worked and continues to work hard. Dad's job took him away from his family (shoot, even out of the country) on a very regular basis. He also taught Sunday School, served as a Deacon, coached T-ball and participated in other activities my brother, sister and I joined.

My dad is a terrific reader of character. I knew when I brought Mr. W. home to meet my folks, and my dad liked him, that I truly had a winner.

Happy birthday, Dad! I hope you're safe and sound.


Heads Up 7-Up

We're well into day 2 of the pre-construction destruction, and my desk, computer, floor, etc. is covered in little bits and pieces of the ceiling. A co-worker commented that we're being sprayed with 30 year old dirt. Now, the dirt and crap in the air bugs me, but I have an air filter at home that I'm going to bring in on Monday. This is unless I come in this weekend to finish putting my office together and hang pictures.

It does concern me that a few years ago, a chunk of concrete the size of my fist fell out of the ceiling just a tiny bit down the hall from me. They were running cable at that time. I have to wonder what all the banging and pounding is going to shake loose... Meanwhile, I'm keeping my drinks covered with napkins and/or kleenex.


Can You Picture That?

So construction began yesterday, a whole day early too, and I believe I'm the only displaced person who is happy with the move.

Picture, if you will, an auditorium large enough to hold 200 or so people comfortably. Picture the chairs removed and replaced with 9 desks. Wires hang from the ceiling to provide phone and network access for the souls whose offices are in the current construction zone. I have been referring to this auditorium as the cattle corral for the past year as various departments have been remodeled. My company is showing its communist side right now. The cattle corral consists of 3 vice presidents, 3 senior-type employees, 1 middle-type employee and 2 secretaries. The most senior executive VP has been given rather more consideration and has a biggish closet complete with folding table from which to work for the next several weeks.

What a hoot!


Two points to whoever can name the movie for 'Can You Picture That'

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The fumes, the fumes

I'm mostly settled in my new office. It still smells of fresh paint, but I can live with that for the next few days.

Blessed peace and quiet at last! I hear road noise from the highway, but it isn't too bad. Between being 3 floors up and the huge tree outside my window, the road noise has been dampened considerably.

So long printer, fax machine, photocopier, electric stapler, secretaries, conferences, meeting attendees, elevator and general chit-chat noise. I'm tucked away in a little corner far from the madding crowd.

Hello windows! One whole wall is all windows. I missed you windows...

When I first started working for this company, I had the office right next door. At that time, I could look out over the top of the tree. Trees grow quite a bit in 8 years... I look forward to the spring when the squirrels will perform their annual acrobatics again.

I am technically out of the executive wing, and this office is a tiny bit smaller than my last office. However, I feel like I've been handed a choice prize. In fact, I may actually put in some nails and hang some of my pictures and certificates. Since I've yet to last more than 2 years in the same office, I've been reluctant to go through the effort to actually hang stuff. I'm feeling the urge to mark my territory this time, though.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Who Lit the Fire?

Timeline at work this week (so far):

Monday, 8:00 a.m.: Mover dudes show up with carts for loading stuff out of our wing. Secretaries start hauling stuff off broadsides and out of desks.

Monday, 8:30 a.m.: Two co-workers plus me get together to find out what anybody else knows about impending move. Secretaries know some stuff but don't know what they can tell and what they can't. Mover contractor dude mimes that the entire area is going under construction.

Monday, 10:00 a.m.: Multiple VP's finally get out of their weekly planning meeting. Co-workers and I corner our VP to ask him what is going on.

Monday, 10:15 a.m.: Our VP sits down with two co-workers and me and announces that he and one co-worker will be moving up to the 4th floor auditorium (along with several others) during big construction project. Second co-worker will move to my current office, and I will move to another vacant office (with a window and view of a huge tree). VP has no idea when, but I am to be ready to move first thing Tuesday morning, just in case.

Monday, 1:30 p.m.: Our VP calls a quickie meeting with the entire department. Construction announcement made and additional announcements regarding company restructuring also made.

Rest of Monday afternoon: Files are cataloged and boxed. Decisions are made regarding what is going and what is staying. Speculation flies.

Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.: People with tape measures and clipboards all over the place. Overhead discussion indicates upscale entryway is to be constructed right outside my current office.

Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.: Building guy and phone guy come around getting pertinent info for office moves. Building guy decides my future office needs paint.

Tuesday, 1:00 p.m.: My future office is painted (no more footprints on the wall, yes!). The plan is for me to load up my stuff on carts late this afternoon for a first thing Wednesday morning move.

Construction is scheduled to start Friday.




I'm really missing my girls today. This has been a tough day, and all I really want to do is grab my babies and spend some time together playing.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Girlie Gigglies

I love having two daughters. When we found out L. was a girl, I actually received condolences and was repeatedly asked if we were going to try again for a boy. I always laughed it off, because from the second I had that second pink line, I was desperate for another girl. We toyed briefly with the idea of not finding out the gender ahead of time for our second child. However, I wanted to have time to be sad about having a boy before the baby was born. When the ultrasound tech announced we were having another girl, I cried with relief.

We had one of those precious, precious girlie giggly moments yesterday. L. and S. had been sick with a nasty little tummy bug Thursday through Saturday. By Sunday, they were pretty much back to their old selves. L. was still a trifle clingy, so I started tickling her on the floor. She giggled and giggled, and then S. joined in on the fun. I now have some fantastic pictures of both girls lying side by side on a blanket on the floor giggling their little hearts out. I have got to make some time this evening and upload them. My girls are so very different from one another, but they both have the exact same giggle (reminds me of their father).


Top Three Stupid Things My Company Has Done

  1. So a few years ago, my company spent a ton of money building a rain cover thingy that covered the walk way from the curb up to the front door. At the same time they built the rain cover thingy, they also built a ramp to allow people to by-pass the stairs up to the front door. You know, like, if you're in a wheelchair or on crutches or something? Anyhoo, they constructed said rain cover thingy so that it did NOT cover the newly constructed ramp. Yeah, we've seen people on crutches slipping and sliding on the soaking wet ramp. Smart, huh!
  2. The company refuses to believe that a part time employee can be a valuable asset to the company. When I put together a job-share proposal, I was shot down. When I went to the big cheese responsible for turning my proposal down, I was told (I kid you not), 'You are too valuable an employee to have here on a part time basis.' So, if I were a slacker, I would have had a better shot? In the past couple of years, this company has lost a significant number of high-achieving women who would rather quit the work force altogether than stay with this mentality. My stampin' buddy Mrs. K turned her notice in yesterday. I wonder where they’ll find the three people it will take to fill her over-exhausted shoes.
  3. In a fit of insanity, our then-personnel director thought that women would rather walk down to personnel to request feminine supplies should an emergency come up. The dispensers in the ladies’ rooms were emptied. Fortunately for all of us, Mrs. D. pitched an unholy fit to her (male) boss, and the pads and tampons were returned to the dispensers.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Timing, as they say, is everything

Well, we're supposed to be on the road south right now. Instead, I sit here ablogging waiting for Mr. W. to get back home.

I had four quickie errands to run this morning:
  • Get the oil changed in the van
  • Fill up the gas tank
  • Run through the drive-thru car wash
  • Buy a bag of ice

The oil is changed, and that's all I accomplished.

The van started right up, and I drove to the quick-lube joint with no problems. The guys told me it would be a few minutes before they got to my vehicle. Ten minutes later, one of the mechanics came in and asked if my car had been making clicking noises when I tried to start it. Uh-oh. I half laughed and told him no. He looked serious and told me that when they tried to start it, all they got was clicking. Uh-oh! I laughed a little nervously at that and commented that was highly unusual. When the mechanic looked at me rather strangely, I told him that usually the funny noise happens only when the driver is driving and goes away for everybody else.

The guys there suspected that since I was driving an '04 model vehicle that the battery might be kaput. They were correct as a jumpstart got the engine up and running. I thanked them profusely and said I was glad the battery died there and not in the middle of the wilderness.

There's a rest area we stop in halfway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi. It's gorgeous, it's quiet, it's the only thing for miles and miles and miles, and our cell phones do not work there. I can just see us stuck on the side of the road like some bad family travel comedy. I'm crossing my fingers that the new battery Mr. W. is picking up right now solves all our vehicular problems.


The Rest of the Story

It pays to make friends with the secretaries and supervisors. I talked to one of our secretaries and wound up at a stamping night with the woman's supervisor, and got the full story behind what happened at work yesterday.

The woman had been living with the man. The man regularly beat her, and she showed up at work with black eyes on more than one occasion. The woman broke up with the man and moved in with her parents. The man has since lost his freaking mind in a desperate attempt to regain complete control over her.

At lunch time yesterday, the man waltzed in the front door, signed the little guest book and walked up one flight of steps directly up to her desk. She is one of our clerks, and sits out in an open area with 15 other clerks. Man got into it with her and there was some yelling involved. Then, in an attempt to quit making a scene, she got up from her desk with him and went down the stairs with him. There was some yelling, and she went outside with him. Here's the part that floors me. She walked out to his truck, got in, and he drove off with her!

20 minutes or so after the woman disappeared, her co-workers became very worried and went to their supervisor (my stamping buddy). After Mrs. K. heard the full story, she went to personnel. Personnel (understandably) called the cops. Shortly after the cops arrived, the woman returned back without the psycho ex. Statements were taken. The woman said she was okay, and psycho ex did not physically hurt her. Mrs. K. told me she was torn between wanting to give the woman a hug or scream at her for putting herself in such danger while trying to avoid making a scene.

The woman was scared to death that she was going to lose her job over this. I can't see my company firing an employee over the misbehavior of an ex. They have not done so in the past, and as of last night, her supervisor has no intention in letting her go.

In an interesting ironic twist, our company implemented an Employee Assistance Program this week. We now have our first participant in the program. I hope she gets the psychological and legal help she needs. If you're the praying sort. This woman could really use it. She does not have any paid leave remaining and will be back at work today.

I freaking hate abusers. I hate what they do to their fellow humans. I hate it!


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Just a Little Jumpy

I work in a building that is in a constant state of remodel. It seems every month there is a new project to build, tear down and/or re-do offices. Someone is hammering on something right now, and it's got my heart in my throat after the excitement from earlier today.

Off to find some chocolate. Between pms, stress about my dad's traveling and then the attempted kidnapping, I am in desperate need.


What is Wrong With People?

Mr. W., a couple co-workers and I went to lunch together today. When we got back to the office, there were cop cars everywhere, and we saw one of our fellow employees sobbing hysterically in the parking lot (why on earth they couldn't have just brought her inside for a little privacy is beyond me). Apparently, her husband (or ex-husband, details are sketchy) tried to snatch her when she was walking out to her car to go to lunch. I haven't heard if he's been captured.

I'm so grateful she is physically okay, but now I'm nervous about a psycho forcing his way into the building or waiting to go after some other employee in some warped vengeance scenario. All I know for sure is that if I hear a lot of noise, my door will be shut and locked and I will be under my desk in a flash. I'm also glad I won't be here Friday and Monday while we are vacationing in Corpus Christi with my family.

I don't understand how anybody can feel they have such ownership of another person, that they can do these things. I cannot understand it at all.


Update: Woman in question has gone home with her parents. Man in question is apparently at his home (and is not running around inside/near the building). I'm still diving under my desk if I hear a loud noise.

Dad's Home

I got a phone call from my dad around 8:30 last night. He had traveled something close to 28 hours straight but was finally home. Now I can quit snarking and sniping at Mr. W. and everyone else who comes near. Stress does terrible, terrible things to my temper (and the volume of my voice).

While Dad was gone, mom got a new dog named Rowdy. When I spoke to Dad, he and Rowdy were engaged in a battle of wills to determine dominance. Apparently, even neutered male dogs feel the need to establish top dog status. I'm curious to see how that particular battle of wills turns out when we go visit this weekend.