So, what else is going on?

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Hmm, apparently I started this post at least a week ago. Except, I thought I’d finished it and posted it. In reality, I only wrote the post title.


Anyway, things here at home are pretty good. Ups and downs but nothing that makes me want to load up the car and flee.

Today I replaced our clothes dryer. The old model wasn’t entirely broken or anything but it was definitely fading fast and I wanted to replace it to take advantage of a pretty good sale at Home Depot.

A week or two ago we replaced the HVAC in the house. Apparently 13 years is a pretty good lifespan for it.

Mentally trying to prepare for the party known as Year End. So far all I can think is “OMG why does year end keep happening??” My coworker pointed out that this year we didn’t really have the lull one expects after year end. That plus a very stressful summer leads me to feel that there’s just no respite. I have enough time in my time off bank to take a week off, but my other coworker is a robot and never takes time off so I don’t want to look bad in comparison. (It doesn’t help that kicks way more ass at work than I do).

Summer 2013

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So, I didn’t mean to disappear. I didn’t really disappear at all, I was always here in the odd phone call, a random text, Facebook status update, or sometimes by showing up on your doorstep late on a Sunday with two bags of dirty clothes and no toothbrush.

I’d started to live by the edict of “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing” except my version was “If you can’t say something that won’t worry your mother, say nothing”. And I had nothing to say that wouldn’t worry my mother, so I said nothing.

And, well, there was a lot of pressure here at home, a lot of stress. We weren’t communicating as we should. I injured my back, felt uncomforted, he felt deep stress and anxiety and felt uncomforted. Some yelling. Some leaving. I literally took a bag of clean clothes, a bag of dirty clothes and my laptop and took off for my parents’ house. The dogs were so wigged out they literally wouldn’t leave the back yard.

At mom and dad’s, things were good. Low drama. Low stress. Just being near (most of) the people who love me best, talking, watching cable TV. But I couldn’t stay forever so I left a few days later and came back home to Cheesecake City. And we talked. Not tons, but we talked. And things were so much better. We’re so much happier. We hold hands. We laugh. We take care of each other.

True Story.


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?