Monday, July 19, 2010

Pass the Mayo

So I found out today that the month of July is supposed to be dedicated to those of us that are part of the "Sandwich Generation" - yippee!!  I'm a couple years short of being a full-fledged "Club Sandwich" -- those in their 50s or 60s sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren.  I haven't heard anything about it so I'm guessing those of us who would be planning events around the month are too busy taking care of parents, kids, and grandchildren while trying to keep our own heads above water. 

I must not have enough mayo on my sandwich.  As soon as I get one layer of filling situated, then another falls out.   I finally got situated in a job that I can be happy with in a company that I'm very happy to be a part of and now my home life is falling apart. 

My mom needs some help with transportation to some medical appointments (nothing serious) but being two weeks in on a new job is not the time for me to be taking three or four hour breaks right now -- the training is intense!  My granddaughter is going through a phase -- that's the only explanation I have -- and is driving the house insane.  My daughter doesn't like despises having to live with me but for now I'm it.  Do not get me started on money.  Let's just say I need some.  My house needs some fixing up before I can even think about selling it, the brakes are squealing on my car and the dog needs her teeth cleaned. 

Don't misunderstand.  I consider myself extremely blessed and fortunate in my life but I'm so tired of juggling.  I think if all aspects of my life were balanced at the same time, I'd literally fall over. 

To my fellow sandwich generation members, I salute you.  I can't even begin to imagine how those who are dealing with a parent who is seriously ill manage.  It's a tough job.  Even tougher if you don't have a spouse, siblings, or have siblings near enough to help out.     

I'm thinking I don't want any more sandwiches.  I think I'd like a nice big salad ... all the ingredients tossed in a bowl and held together with a touch of blue cheese dressing. 

In the meantime, pass the mayo.  Please.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Oh Lawd - Not Another One

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I love and I mean love my TV shows.  I watch them all -- game shows, dramas, news, reality shows, documentaries, and I even still record a soap opera (about time Phyllis left Nick).  You name it I'm pretty sure I've tried at least one episode.   But there is one genre I absolutely cannot stand -- reality dating shows.

The popular and the most recent include The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, What Chilli Wants, Omarosa's Ultimate Merger, and our newest entrant - Chad Ochocinco's The Ultimate Catch.  True to Gamma's nature, I watched my first (and last) episode of The Ultimate Catch last night.

I find these shows awfully demeaning, especially when there's a group of women willing to forget every lesson their mamma ever taught 'em to "win" the #1 spot with a guy.  It bothers me when I see men doing it as well, but it really hurts to see women in that "I'll lose every drop of my self-respect and dignity to be with you" role.  Maybe it's because I see so many young women doing it in real life.  Maybe it's because I think the premise is just downright unrealistic.  It's hard enough to develop a strong relationship without the intrusion of the TV cameras, and there's nothing in me that believes a lasting relationship can be "won" on a reality show.  Maybe it's because these shows emphasize how much we're willing to do for a buck and 15 minutes of fame.  Naw, I'm going to stick with option one -- too many young women are sacrificing their dignity in real life for the pleasure of saying they "have a man".    

I'm all for my hot mess in TV shows (doesn't Real Housewives of DC start soon?) but let's draw the limit somewhere.  I keep my rose colored glasses on the tip of my nose (like Whoopi wears her glasses on The View).  There's just enough color remaining to keep my belief in real love in tact and that my granddaughter won't grow up and think acting a fool on TV and allowing a man to "grade" her against other women is her only path to love.

So why are the other hot mess shows acceptable to me?  Well, truthfully, they're not but they're so dang entertaining.  Besides, I like to think I can counteract all that mess with the lesson's I've taught my daughter about being a lady and hoping she passes it down to her daughter. Plus, we don't usually see a group of "housewives" acting the way the Housewives Series behave.  Unfortunately, we do see young teenage girls engaging in totally unladylike behavior to "get" and "keep their man" -- it's just too much.  I'm not so naive to suggest that these shows are the sole reason for the behavior of young women these days, but it sure doesn't help.  Let's stick with racing around the world, living on a deserted island, and eating slop and let's ease up on the whorish behavior to "win your man". 

Now let me turn into Real Housewives of NJ.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes

I had a FANTASTIC week at the new gig.  The training was seriously on point ... no not the specifics of the job I was hired to do but the introduction to the company overall.   A crucial step that so many companies fail to perform.  

There were eight people that went through the training.  Interesting for the simple fact that not many companies are adding any staff at all and they added eight people on the same day.   All eight of us were hired for the same company but in very different roles. 

The week was spent getting a real orientation on the company.   The first day was spent on the big picture ... what we were about -- our reason for being.  Yes, you can learn about products and brand names during the research phase of prepping for your interview, but you will never find out the little details that are only communicated once you're part of the the organization. 

The rest of the week was spent with a representative or two or three from every area of the company.  They gave us a very detailed picture of what they did, some of the steps it took them to get there, and how each of us fit in the picture.  That kind of week-long overview has been rare in my professional life but I think the time they took upfront will really pay off in the long run.   I can't speak for everyone in my group, but I think the consensus was it made us all feel truly a part of the bigger picture.  Regardless of what role we were hired to fill, I think we all felt our positions were valued and important to the company.  There was none of that inflated sense of importance based on a job title.  I liked that.  My philosophy has always been we're in this together.  If the mail room staff doesn't deliver, it impacts everyone in the organization.  Likewise, if the CEO hasn't empowered his/her staff or clarified his/her vision than to the troops then that also impacts everyone.  We spent the whole week in this training and it has been somewhat of an overload but I think it was necessary and I appreciate them taking the time to do this for our new hire group.  

Next week we all report to our somewhat spacious cubes and prepare to jump in.  They haven't left us hanging ... a dedicated trainer has been assigned to everyone at every level.  That person is our  main resource as we begin this phase of our careers. 

I feel energized, excited, and anxious ... I'm ready to "do this".  I hope the rest of my work relationship with this company is as good as the first week has been. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independence Day - Gamma Style

WOW!  I can't believe it.  I actually escaped the job that I lovingly referred to as "Hell".  Friday was my official last day in the office but I delayed writing this post because my outstanding work ethic, need for cash, and the desire to leave a nan nana boo boo - damn she knew what she was talking about moment -- had me finishing up a data source they could use to load the Access database I saw the need for during my first month.  I emailed it early Sunday so I'm officially done. 

Last week was exciting because I knew as each day passed, I was closer to my Independence Day.  Friday I was just plain giddy with joy.  I actually skipped down the hall at one point.  No lie.

A lot of things were said last week that had me giving quite a few side-eyes but I let it pass because frankly I don't care.   I realized that people were going to say and think whatever they needed in order to rationalize my leaving in their mind.  Last week just confirmed what my body and my soul had been trying to tell me for months -- this was not a good fit.  I've tried to analyze what went wrong in the interviewing process.  What questions did I fail to ask and/or answer but then it dawned on me that wasn't my lesson from this experience.

My lesson was learning to trust my instincts again.  For reasons too numerous for a blog posting, I had really started to doubt myself over the past few years.  In a strange way, I believe the messages I was receiving from this job was a way for me to get back in touch with my gut.  With every WTH experience, I questioned myself rather than the bull-shiggity I could see around me.  It was as if the Universe was bound and determined to make me trust myself again.  I'm glad I listened.   

I don't mean to bash the company.  It's a very reputable company that's been in business a long time.  The employees, for the most part, are very dedicated and they deliver an outstanding product to the market.  The culture was just not a good fit for me at this stage in my life.

I started my new job today and I must say I got very positive vibes from the environment.  The employees are very busy but there's a positive energy flowing through the organization that I'm sure I'll thrive on.   The phrase "that's how we've always done it" is not acceptable and I get the impression they mean it.  I met a lady at the elevator who just celebrated her 18th anniversary.  Her unsolicited comment was you're going to be very happy here.  I believed her.  New ideas are welcomed and encouraged.  The Director of my new group made a point to repeat it in our orientation.   If the HR Department is representative of the rest of the company than I'm going to be very happy.  (Note to HR Staff -- NEVER, EVER underestimate your importance in setting the tone for new employees). 

This was truly an Independence Day for me.