The Longest Week

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So! Cheesecake City Restaurant Week has begun. We have tentatively scheduled a culinary adventure for every night between yesterday and next Sunday night. I say “tentatively” because we’ve given ourselves an out if work is too busy, too stressful, goes too late etc or if we’d rather just stay at home and eat pizza. Considering that we skipped Restaurant Week altogether in the winter this is definitely progress.

Last night we started the week at the Melting Pot. We’d recently gone there so it was interesting to compare the food and service during Restaurant Week against during the week. Bottom line, the food is always delicious (there’s a course entirely dedicated to cheese, what is not to love??) but during Restaurant Week we definitely felt rushed. Also our waiter was not as accommodating as the guy we had last time. I suspect that the staff is used to people getting the food off the Restaurant Week menu (I know a couple that splits a meal off the Restaurant Week menu. WTF?? Am I wrong to think that is really cheap?) so they don’t do a lot of extras that are always nice and add to the experience.

Anyway, we started with a mixed cheese with the usual bread, fruit and vegetables. Yummy. The the salad course. Then, blah blah blah entree of chicken, shrimp, beef. I described the vegetable portion of the entree as being the socks and underwear part of the meal because you eat it out of duty. Finally chocolate! We had the s’mores chocolate, with graham crackers and marshmallow fluff.

Typically we decide whose food was better at each restaurant but we ordered one of both entree options and tried everything so it is a tie.




Indiaaaaana, you old banana….

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So! I just got back from my visit to Indianapolis. I cannot even put into words how wonderful it was. I hadn’t been home in so, so long. A ridiculously long time. How did I go nearly 2 years without seeing my family in Indiana? And it wasn’t enough time, even though I could have crammed more activities into the days.

Friday, I worked all morning and then Gene took me to lunch at PF Changs and then to the airport. My original flight was delayed (due to weather?) and if I’d taken the flight from Cheesecake to NYC I would have been stuck for the night in NYC (which wouldn’t have been bad except for the whole no hotel reservation thing there) so Delta rerouted me through Minneapolis. (Wrong. Damn. -Apolis Delta!!). If the original flight was delayed due to weather I don’t know what they expected to find in Minnesota but it was snowing hard and blowing sideways.

Eventually, I made it to Indianapolis and figured out that my GPS from home was slightly outclassed by whatever-the-heck was done to the freeway. (Well, it was either my GPS or my natural ability to get lost driving places and I didn’t have any trouble getting to the airport this morning using the GPS…sooooo!!). And then I made it to my parents’ house. And my mom was all “YAY” and I was all “WOOHOO!” and I was home.


Do Payroll

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(This is one of the reasons why I don’t write here as often anymore…almost my only topic of conversation is work. Good days at work, bad days at work, promotions, hating my job, loving my job, the devil known as year-end, etc. Boooooring).

Anyway, today was a crappy day. Really, the last week has been fairly tough due to a client with technical difficulties. At work, we deal with various types of clients. We do payroll (ugh, Do Payroll) for companies and we provide technical solutions for companies who (ugh) Do Payroll for companies and we provide software for companies who (ugh) Do Payroll for companies who (double ugh) Do Payroll. The problematic client is both of the last two categories.

First up, clients who do payroll for companies are supposed to have Certain Technical Abilities. We don’t expect greatness but we do expect them to install software for themselves. At the very least I shouldn’t have to spend an entire afternoon downloading Windows Updates so we can move forward.

Second, clients who do payroll for companies who do payroll for companies should be Payroll Technical Demigods. Their IT guy should not be a frat buddy of the company’s owner who refuses to get involved (and also has an hourly rate). Their IT guy should know what the fuck a server is. They should not point the client at a drive and say “Yeah, your database is in there somewhere, I think…”

(A Small Aside… why am I always dealing with servers? Waitresses…computers…servers! Pfffhhht).

Third, I shouldn’t have to spend days of my time trying to get software to load and then install. In the real world, these people are at least payroll geniuses and don’t need to involve us at all when they need an installation. These people are (twirls finger in tight circle at ear level – this doesn’t count as defamation does it?) and I spent most of the day trying to fix them up.

All the while, I’m just dying inside. I could be helping my team. I could be trying to fix the time clock client’s time clock (client is now threatening to pull their business). A major direct client’s payroll was FUBAR and I didn’t have time to research it. I could have been working on my 80+ cases. I have a million and a half things to do but instead of sitting on a fucking web conference being this company’s IT bitch. And questioning my technical abilities. And my time and problem management abilities.


Okay, so lately

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So, here’s what’s new

1) In Indiana 3/15-3/20. YAY. No special plans, just spending time with my family. (And yes, I’m also going to spend some time alone. I need some time alone.)

2) Mom and Dad visit 4/1-4/3. Waaaait. Is this an elaborate April Fools prank? Uh oh! No one’s coming to town are they? 🙁

3) Work is…work. I vacillate between wanting to be a Big Payroll lifer and wanting to be an Anything Else lifer. Some days I feel like I own that place, I have all the answers. Other days, I sit at my desk and wonder why on Earth they hired me and when they’ll come and give me the wave off so I can go home.

4) Friday was both. In the morning was my job interview for my new role, which I know I’m going to get (for them, it’s an airline food vs hospital food decision, and I’m the airline food AND the hospital food). But interviewing still sucks. I mean, do you have to wear a suit for an interview for a job that you’re 99.999% guaranteed to get? I thought the upside to the internal posting is not having to go for pomp, circumstance, sturm, drang and bullshit. Did they seriously have to get HR involved in this one? Couldn’t future boss S and future boss/God of Payroll D just taken me to Starbucks (or better yet, lunchtime drinks!) and skipped the stupid “Where do you want to be in three years?” line of questioning? I once again stated that my heart does not lead me to be a manager of people*. I couldn’t politely explain it’s because I hate meetings, authority and spreadsheets, because HR was in the room and I think those 3 things are how HR people are made. In three years, I want to doing this exact work. I just want to be 10,000 times better at it. I want to be a God of Payroll and S and D are the people to help me with this.

Anyway, and then this afternoon I ran a study group for colleagues taking a certification exam this season. My topic was on benefits – 401k, imputed fringe wages, relocation expenses, de minimis fringe benefits, etc. The only thing more boring than writing that last sentence was helping my colleagues study for an hour on this topic. What’s impressive (to me) is that I knew all the answers.

Sometimes, maybe I do have all the answers.

(* I instead said I wanted to be a manager of ideas. Note to self: Sometime in the next three years figure out what the fuck a manager of ideas is).


More random thoughts…

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1) Why do they even bother to make single stuf Oreo cookies? Who says “Gosh, I couldn’t eat all the frosting in the middle of a Double Stuf Oreo!”

2) I really worry that someday they’ll rename psoriasis “Kardashian disease.” Is it not bad enough that I have itchy flaky spots on my elbows, knees, HANDS, etc and get the “what the hell is wrong with you?” side-eye from the guy behind the counter at the fast casual Mexican restaurant? If the medical community pulls a Lou Gehrig’s Disease with this…ugh, I have got to figure out a way to become legitimately lifelong famous so I can be the most famous person on Earth with psoriasis. Maybe I’ll luck out and she’ll get the plague sometime instead.

And in better news…

1) Best Picture Showcase is coming up on the next two Saturdays! Movie nerd Paradise!

2) Still going to Indy right before my birthday!

3) My parents are coming to town in April! YAY!!! So so so excited.

4) Applied for a promotion at work. Is it possible all of my work dreams could come true?


Phone-y

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As an aside, there’s a Stevie Nicks song whose lyrics include the word “phony”, spelled “phoney”. Hyper-critical me, even as a 14 year old, totally saw that in the CD liner notes, brushed the black tulle out of my face (don’t ask), and thought, “Stevie, please! There is no E in phony!”

(Actually, let’s go even further aside and discuss the hat, which looked a little like the hat on the cover of Stevie Nicks’s album Rock A Little but with a foot of black tulle protuding from the back. Saw it in a hat store at the mall back in 1992-ish, spent my Christmas money on it, was scared Mom would think I wasted my Christmas money, got it home, Mom thought it was the most badass hat in the history of millinery and to this day refers to it as a chapeau*. The hat has retired to either Indianapolis or the closet in my home office, but if it’s retired to Goodwill, that’s OK).

Anyway, bought a new cell phone because it “was time” (psst, it wasn’t quite time yet, don’t tell anyone). Have spent most of the last 24 hours trying to get all the saved phone numbers from old phone to new phone (next time, I will do this before activating the new phone). It actually rang while I was out picking up dinner tonight. AT&T has made it very difficult to answer a ringing phone while driving, but…not made it any harder to dial the phone while driving. I also haven’t bought a case for it yet so I’m considering keeping it in a Ziploc for right now or maybe just not using it yet, but it feels silly not to use it as I was all “I’ve been eligible for an upgrade for 3 hours let’s order a new phone for me RIGHT NOW!” but then again it will feel far far worse if I drop the damned thing. Shudder.


Renaming myself

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And I know this can be done because another blog I used to read, all of a sudden the blogger added a bio that said something like “Suzy Blogger, recently nicknamed Dreamy McSteamy, has been blogging about walnuts since 1997” and I was all “What the hell? YOU chose that nickname! You can’t nickname yourself! It’s like how you can’t throw your own bridal shower. This is bullshit!” and before you ask, I’ve been Lainey since I was a wee little pain in the ass and I’ve been LaineyD for ten years. You can’t give yourself a nickname. That shit is thrust. upon. you. (Preferably by your grandmother and a marriage license).

Anyway. I wasn’t really going anywhere with this, I just felt like venting about when people make up their own nicknames.