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How am I supposed to answer that?

Work is getting to me (and yes, I’m working on the solution to that).  Actual question I got from someone today:

Do you have the issue [specific customer] wanted fixed by next week?

Do I have it?  I don’t know what that means.  Do I have a ticket for it?  Maybe.  What’s the issue?  That customer has a lot of open tickets.  Which one are you referring to?  Or maybe you mean, do I have it for action by me personally?  Maybe, but I can’t answer that until I know which one you’re referring to.  I don’t know of any issues that have to be fixed by next week.  (And that’s not how we operate, and you know that.)  They had two issues last week that had my attention.  One got resolved (it was a problem they caused and could resolve), and the other has a workaround and isn’t that urgent.  Was it one of those?

Protect me from vague questions.

Single-minded and annoyed to boot

You know how when one thing in your life is acting up (it’s usually work), you can’t think about anything else?  It’s this constant irritation (and it’s usually work), and much as you’d like to think about other things, more pleasant things, this ONE THING (usually work) takes up all available brain space.

Oh, you’re telling me a funny story?  I’m sorry – I was distracted by thoughts of the big annoying thing that isn’t going the way it should (work, most likely).  We’re going to watch TV?  Let’s choose something I don’t have to pay much attention to because my mind will be going in circles about how to solve a problem like Maria (except no singing, no dancing, no love story because it’s almost certainly work).

Actually, The Sound of Music might help.  “How you solve a problem like Maria” might not solve my problem (with, let’s face it, work), but it might be the most effective distraction.  If only it weren’t raining and I had a handy hilltop or convent to spin around in…

Feeling feisty

I’m in all-out fight mode today, but I’m pretty sure no one has noticed (at work – John knows).  This is a good thing; the person in charge of customer service should never start fights, fight back, or even appear to be anything other than angelic.  Not exactly, of course, but I never lose my cool in front of my customers.  Never.

Repeat after me:

I am at peace. I am as one with the world!  I want to help everyone, even if one person just threw me under the bus.  Oops, I mean this person clearly needs my help and just didn’t know how to ask for it.  Let’s help him out!

Deep breaths.  Smile?  Yes, smile.  My friendly voice is back, and…into the fray I go!

(This is a good reason to continue the boxing workouts.)

I’m a loser, baby

Who knew that fake gambling could be fun?  I don’t like real gambling.  It’s too stressful.  You know you’re going to lose money, and even if you’ve set aside money you’re okay with losing, who wants to lose it?  Not fun.  But gambling with fake money is much more fun.  No stress, no stakes.  If you’re winning, hooray, and if you’re not, who cares?

This was for last night’s mandatory fun event for work, and I’m happy to say I actually had fun.  The dealers were super nice, answered all of my questions and taught me how to play various games (it won’t stick, but it was nice of them), I think they enjoyed themselves, too.  A couple of them told me it’s a relief to work an event with fake money because no one takes it seriously, no one’s losing real money, everyone has fun, and that means they can relax and have fun, too.  Yay for everyone having fun!

Now, I’m at work, and I have a headache, so I’m going to take something and try not to be super-annoyed with this one super-annoying client.

Missed it by one

We managed to do every single thing on our list for the weekend except one.  I still need a pedicure.  But I can probably get that done after work some night.  Clearly not tonight – I had to work late, and now that I’m home, I’m still waiting for someone to get back to me so I can do some more work.  Boo. But everything else, we did this weekend, including a trip to my favorite store.  I am the proud new owner of two new pairs of running capris and two new pairs of running shorts.  I will be happy to weed out some of my older workout clothes.  I love that place.  It wasn’t busy, so I had three sales people helping me.  I needed all three of them; I must have tried on half the clothes in the store.  Too bad I couldn’t buy them all.  Ooh, maybe that’s my new life goal.  Redo my wardrobe so it comes 100% from Athleta and Ann Taylor.  And then gets updated regularly.

I would like to stop having such long days

It appears to be Crisis Week at work.  I spent hours on conference calls with one client yesterday, and hours on conference calls with a different client today.  Also, I went in early to help wrap up yesterday’s problems, but couldn’t do that (someone else did) because of the new crisis, AND I worked until 8pm because we’re short-staffed and I didn’t want to screw anyone on my team by making them work the late shift more than once this week, so I just finished an 11-hour day.  Half of it was productive, much of it was annoying.  But it’s over now.  John just watched Atari: Game Over (which appears to be an episode (the only one?) in a series called Signal to Noise that maybe failed, based on the IMDB results), and the music over the end credits was happy enough to make those couple of minutes the best part of my day so far.  Of course, Google is failing me – I can’t find the song.  Don’t ruin this for me, Google!

But hey – I feel much better than I did, and it was super-duper nice to work the afternoon from home.  My twice-monthly meetings with my boss start next week, so I plan to make this a regular thing and let everyone get used to the idea.  I want to talk to her about it before I do it, but it’s going to happen.

Reading is next, and bed, and tomorrow is Thursday, and you know what?  I really like Thursdays.

Not from concentrate

Today was not a good day for getting anything complicated done.  Or anything easy, if it took more than 30 seconds.  I’m sure it would have been different if anything had been interesting or on my list of things I want to do.  The music from Pirates of the Caribbean (the film score, not “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”) was going through my brain (just that one snippet – dum dum de-de-dum-dum de-de-dum-dum de-de-dum), and I think that was part of the problem.  Maybe if it were longer, I could have focused for longer on one thing.  Instead, I’d get to the end of that one bar, decide I must be done with whatever I was doing, and move on to the next thing.  Except I WASN’T done, and then I didn’t get through the next thing, either, and wouldn’t it be nice if I could just go home and read my book?  I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t have had trouble focusing on my book.

On the other hand, I had plenty of bite-size tasks, and today was the perfect day to get those done.

I guess I’m not in control of my own destiny

Remember how yesterday I was going to leave work early and enjoy some sunshine?  Yeah…I shouldn’t have said it out loud.  The universe didn’t take it well.

“Oh, you want to leave early?  You’re a little frustrated with work?  Looking forward to some nice spring weather?  Need a break?  Oh, ha ha ha.  That’s so cute.  Tee hee.  That you should have such aspirations – oh, it’s too much.  Really.  Pardon me while I wipe away tears of hilarity.  Oh, ha.  Hum.  Hee.  YOU WILL BE PUNISHED.”

A three hour conference call began at 3pm.  I left work at 6:30.  I might need to placate the universe somehow.  I’m sorry!  I didn’t mean to offend!

Update: It JUST occurred to me that yesterday was April Fool’s Day.  Was this a cosmic joke?

Where’s my list?

I used to be organized.  I think.  Or at least I felt organized.  This is mostly about work, not home stuff, but I could do better about the home stuff, too.  Work has been nothing but crisis management for me for weeks.  Months, maybe.  It’s getting old, but I could handle that if I could stop feeling like I’m dropping everything else.  And I don’t know what “everything else” is anymore.

This is manageable. I can fix this.  I just need to put everything back in order.

I’m not sure how I’m going to do that.

Maybe it’s an excuse to buy office supplies!  That might make me feel better, but I don’t think it’ll solve my problems.  A better to-do list might actually help.  A better idea of what should be ON my to-do list would help a lot.

I can DO this!

I have no idea what I have to do

I need a better to-do list for work.  I’ve tried a rolling spreadsheet (I had a macro that would create a new tab with the current date and include all of the items from the previous tab – then I could just delete completed items), I’ve tried random text documents (I lose them or forget about them), and then I moved on to using my Outlook calendar.  That worked for a while. I either add an appointment early in the day with a reminder, or I mark something as an all day task, with or without a reminder.  Every time I look at my calendar (which is a lot – I have a lot of meetings), I’m reminded of the things I have to do.  If I don’t finish a task, I can move those from day to day, or if they have reminders, leave them (as long as I don’t dismiss the reminders) and they’ll continue to appear in front of my face when the reminder thing pops up.


  1. I start ignoring the popups.  I get so used to seeing the same tasks (because I have to keep putting off the low priority ones in favor of the crisis of the hour), and the list keeps growing, and it keeps growing with low priority issues…so I just ignore the popup reminder.
  2. If I ignore the popup because I don’t want to look at the long list of tasks I’m being reminded to do (because I don’t have time to do them because crisis of the hour has my attention), I miss ACTUAL reminders of ACTUAL meetings.  Today, for instance, I was 20 minutes late to a meeting because I paid no attention to the Outlook reminder thingy.

So this isn’t working anymore.  Maybe I’ll try the Excel thing again.  I’ve never actually tried Outlook’s task list – maybe I’ll try that first.  I just know that what I have is failing me.  Or I’m failing it.

Complete lack of focus

I’ve lost it completely.  I can’t concentrate on work because I want to work on packing and moving.  I can’t concentrate on moving and packing because I want to focus on last-minute things (like packing) for next week’s vacation.  I can’t focus on the vacation because then I feel guilty.  For one, John isn’t going (it’s just me and Min), so it doesn’t seem fair to think only about that.  Second, I feel guilty because I should be paying attention to house stuff and only house stuff.  And work.  But mostly house stuff.  The end result is that I can’t pay attention to anything.  I’m like a goldfish.  Or Dory.  Who are you again?  I’ll just keep swimming.

Friday couldn’t get here fast enough

Four-day weeks are the LONGEST weeks because you still have to do five days’ worth of work.  I think all I’ve done this week here is complain about work (why? see previous sentence), so maybe I won’t do that right now.

What will I do instead?



Hmph.  I guess I don’t have anything to talk about tonight.  Actually, I do have things to talk about (a thing, anyway), but I want to talk about it tomorrow.  It’s crowding out everything else in my brain, so I’m at a loss right now.

Okay, I’ll tell you.

We have a date!  A closing date!  A moving date!  And holy shit – it’s only five weeks away! !!!!!!!  Life just got very busy.  And stressful, but in a good way.  We made some lists tonight and sent a couple of emails, and now we’re going to beat the stress by having some tea (decaf – I’d like to sleep tonight) and cookies and watching TV.

More soon.


Losing my mind

Today has been nuts.  I haven’t focused on one thing for more than ten minutes at a time all day.  Someone just came over to ask me if I ever got an answer to a question I asked in an email I sent no more than 2 hours ago, and I had no idea what he was talking about.  He had to actually show me the email before I remembered it.

Yoga tonight.  Deep breathing.  Mind clearing.

I don’t want to fight

I just had a work conversation with a friend of mine that nearly turned into a fight.  Verbal, of course.  I’d never hit her.  (Hard.  I mean, at all.)  We were discussing an issue, and I told her people were looking into it, and then she started going on about how we were really going to have to tell our customers something because if we were going to do it this way, they need to know.  I agree with her, except that in this case, we’re most likely NOT going to keep doing that thing.  It’s not correct, and I’m sure the people who are looking into it are coming to that conclusion.  So we don’t NEED to tell our customers every time we do it because we’re going to STOP doing it.  I started to say we don’t need to warn our customers every time, but she interrupted me before I could say “because it’s a bug and we’re going to fix it” and got very heated about how it’s not okay NOT to tell them, and I couldn’t get her to stop long enough for me to finish my sentence.  Then she stopped to breathe, I was able to get a word in, and we’re fine.

Yeah, okay, it wasn’t anything close to a fight.  But it was annoying and unnecessary, and it’s a good thing she’s far away and this was a phone call.  Or maybe that made it harder…

I don’t like to fight with people I know.  I don’t really like to fight with anybody, but if you’re on my doorstep (or on the phone) and not listening when I tell you I’m not interested in what you’re selling, I will be direct and I will tell you to go away.  Are you supposed to be providing me a service and you’re doing it badly?  I will not roll over and let you (I am my father’s daughter).  It’s situational, of course.  How annoying is the problem?  How seriously does it affect me?  I usually don’t go all confrontational in restaurants out of worry that someone will do something to my food, and I don’t do it while driving out of fear that the nutjob tailgating me has a gun or something.  Just about anything else is fair game.  I work in customer service, so I try to be fair when I’m talking to someone else in customer service, but that also means that I know how it SHOULD work.  I will switch companies based on that alone (and I have – I’m looking at you, Bank), but I will also let supervisors know when I get really GOOD service.  I emailed United about the super-helpful ticket agent after their fiasco with the canceled flight to Orlando a few years ago, and Navy Federal and USAA provide consistently wonderful service.  Why can’t everyone?  I love ThinkGeek’s customer service, and I’ve heard wonderful things about Zappos (but I’ve never needed to deal with them).  It’s really not hard, people.  Is it telling that I started talking about fighting and moved on to customer service?  Calling customer service shouldn’t have to be a fight!

I’m sorry.  A small annoyance with a work friend turned into a mini-rant about customer service.  It’s IMPORTANT, damn it!

Fake snow is fake

We have a decorating contest at work every year.  I never participate (I don’t even decorate at home, most years), but some people go all out.  It’s amazing.  I share an office with one of the contest judges, and she likes to decorate (we can’t compete, but still), so I now work in a winter wonderland.  Sort of.  It’s like a winter-ish okay-land.  She put fake snow on a couple of shelves and on her desk, added some plush snowmen and a snow globe, and she hung little ornaments on my fake plant.  I think the fake snow looks like clouds, like we should have Care Bears instead of snowmen.



There’s a remarkable resemblance, right?

On my fake plant, the fake snow looks like fog.


My plant is hidden in the mist.  Very mysterious.

And then we have South Park snowmen frolicking on the window.


So festive.  (Such fun!)  Our office is NOTHING like the cubes belonging to the people who take this seriously.  One guy built a gingerbread house around his cube.  Roof, walls, and a door.  It looks great.  Another guy painted 12 pictures, all Christmas-themed but patterned after famous paintings, and turned his cube into an art gallery.  It’s incredible.  This guy goes all out every year (he recreated the Grinch Who Stole Christmas last year, complete with security video of the Grinch stealing Christmas), but I think this year is his best.  The paintings are REALLY good.

Wiped out

Today was a long day.  It wasn’t long in actual, objective time (it was normal), but it felt like it was going on forever.  It was nonstop, no  breaks, and the whole week is going to be like that.  It’s only Monday.  I’m home now, and I’m going to put on soft pants, sit on the couch, eat my dinner, and watch TV.  And go to bed early.  Grump grump grump.


I’m so not getting into the details, but let’s just say that I pointed out to a new-ish employee something that he didn’t do quite right the night before (nicely – I’m ALWAYS nice), I heard a tone in his response that was shrug-it-off/I-don’t-care/I-hear-you-but-I’m-not-going-to-do-that, I was a little sharp in my reply, and he didn’t like it. So off we went to a meeting where he told me he didn’t like being treated that way.


We discussed it, and it’s resolved, and we’re back to behaving normally, but what a way to ruin my day by 9am.  And to make me be extra-special careful around this one person and second-guess every interaction.  Ugh.

Going a little batty

I need to get my eyes checked.  Or maybe I just need a vacation from work.  Or maybe both.  I was logged in to a database at work, looking for which columns in which tables hold the data I need, and I saw a column called BATCHID.  No exaggeration – it took me a full 30 seconds to identify that column as “Batch ID”, not “bat child”.  I was sitting at my desk, almost scratching my head in confusion over why on EARTH we had a column to store data about bat children.  Was it a joke?  Did “BAT” stand for something and this is child data of some sort?  I’ve worked here for nearly five years – how could I have never heard of it?  Eventually, the light bulb came on, and now I feel stupid, but man – I was really puzzled for a bit there.

The update

Our house is still on the market.  Riley is still with us (he’s doing okay – still excited about going upstairs, eating (he’s eating pretty well – better than ever, actually), and walks).  We still have the same jobs (although I have finally updated my resume – progress!).  I get to puppy-sit for Emily this weekend, and John has to go to a bachelor party.  Emily is getting married in less than three weeks, and I haven’t taken my bridesmaid dress to get hemmed yet.  But I will tomorrow!  I ordered flats (I decided my sparkly peep-toe heels need to go back for the following reasons: 1) I’d take them off for dancing, anyway.  2) I don’t NEED to be the tallest bridesmaid (but I really really want to be the tallest bridesmaid).  3) No one needs to be peeping at my poor toe.), and they finally arrived today, so tomorrow I can take my dress and get it hemmed to the right length (to go with the shoes I’ll be wearing).  And not a moment too soon.

Open House #2

Lots happened last week, everyone.  We had our open house last Sunday (from noon to 5), and we had a whopping TWO people come by the whole time.  We were a little disappointed, but the second person stayed for a while, asked a ton of questions, and seemed fairly serious about it.  (Also, I kind of know her through the gym.)  That night we got a call from her realtor – boom.  An offer.  Her realtor was god-awful and terribly rude to us (we’re doing a FSBO for a reason – we’re willing to give 1% to the buyer’s agent, not 3), but the offer came in anyway.  It was a little low, but dude!  An offer!  So we panicked.  Kind of.  We were SO not prepared for that.  We had planned on using a real estate attorney to help us with closing, but we hadn’t even begun to find one.  Also, the buyer only gave us 18 hours to respond (the offer came in at 9pm Sunday – she gave us until 3pm Monday), so we spent Monday morning frantically trying to a) find a lawyer and/or b) figure out how we should counter.  Because we wanted to counter.  It was a reasonable, very fair counter.  Anyway, I found a real estate lawyer (through my gym again) who gave us great advice, and then at 2:45 (because that’s when I heard back from our new lawyer) I printed out the offer, made our changes, initialled and signed everything, scanned in the signed copy, emailed it to John, who printed, initialled and signed, scanned it in, and emailed the whole thing back to the agent.  At 2:50, I emailed her to let her know it was coming.  She got it by 3:15.  We gave them until 5pm Tuesday (a whole 26 hours) to get back to us.

Silence.  Just nothing.  No response.  Wednesday morning, I emailed the agent to confirm that their lack of response meant they weren’t interested in countering or accepting.  She replied quickly to tell me that was correct, and that was the end of that.  Except that we plan to email the buyer directly (because we have her information and I kind of know her) just to check in and be friendly.  There’s really no reason we haven’t done it yet.  Anyway, even though it didn’t pan out, it was exciting, and we feel good about it.  We do NOT regret not taking her initial offer.

Tuesday night we showed the house to a guy who seemed positive but is in no hurry whatsoever.  We made a deal with an agent we really like (he’s given us all kinds of advice on how to sell on our own, how to deal with buyer’s agents and the whole commission thing, and lots of other things) to have him list our house on the MLS for a flat fee, so we’re out there for agents to find us.  We’re having an open house right now (and clearly so overrun with people that I don’t have any time to write….oh, wait a minute), from noon to 3, with a showing between 3 and 3:30 and a guy who’s going to come by around 1.

It’s been busy.  We’re still homeowners, Riley is in a slow decline (his x-rays Monday morning were not positive), work sucks and is about to get suckier, and it’s the one-year anniversary of Roxy’s death, but hey – I had a milkshake for dinner last night and the weather is beautiful.  It’s not all bad.