Posted in Musings and Mutterings

In Anticipation of my Review

Tomorrow, I have my first annual review. I had to rate myself – of course I put OUTSTANDING in every box because I *AM* so wonderful – and now I have to go and see if either my boss agrees with me or just how far outside the mark I actually am!!

Personally, I think that reviews are the secret tool the management pulls on you to keep you on your toes and make you think you’d better toe the line and be sure to keep productive. In my case it’s the necessity of the paycheck that makes that a “no-brainer” for me.

Still and all, I think I’ve done a pretty good job, but you just never know how someone else will view it and I tend to take criticism almost too personally, coloring everything in my world by one ugly comment, real or imagined. Gotta stop that… That’s not to say that I haven’t had to deal with REAL ugliness because I certainly have, but it does mean that I don’t have to feel like everything isn’t good because something isn’t PERFECT!!

Perfectionist, thy name is Sharon.  lol

Funny how I’m always being told and people are trying to convince me that I should stop trying to be perfect, which for me equates to stop trying my hardest to make sure it’s a right as I can get it? I’m encouraged to be a slacker!!

I’ll remember that tomorrow at my review. Should there be a negative thing said, I’ll just know that I have achieved a success because I obviously wasn’t perfect and thus, I wasn’t trying my hardest.

Like Grandaddy always said, “Only give them 90%. that way there is something left to give when they want more from you.”

For anyone interested, I survived my review. There were 12 points of review and 5 levels of accomplishment for each point, ranging from You totally suck, you kinda suck, you’re ok, you’re great to YOU ROCK!!

I got
* two you’re ok (I was told that’s what EVERYONE gets)
* five you’re great, and
* five YOU ROCK!!

I also got complimented more than I can handle and when I got out of my review, I was so razzed, all I wanted was a beer and some fish. Which I did get,and they were certainly yummy!
Whew! Done with that for a year!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Rocking a Blog Baby

A rocking chair
Image via Wikipedia

I feel like writing a blog; giving birth to a snippet of myself and placing it out there for the world to see, but sometimes blog babies don’t want to be born. And you know what they say about forcing mother nature.. that’s a no no.

So I sat in my office chair and rocked back and forth, back and forth while I listened to my music on my profile page. (Gotta make sure all those links work, right?) Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…considering rocking chairs tend to freak me out, I was surprised I rocked for so long!

When I was a little girl, about 5, I was in my grandparents basement rocking in a chair. My grandfather was sitting on the couch watching me. I remember rocking so hard that I flipped the chair backwards and slammed my head up against the wall, my dress all around my ears, tulle skirt everywhere. My grandfather just started laughing. It seemed like an eternity before anyone came to help me disengage myself from the rocker, or to acknowledge my distress at having whacked my head, or the immodesty of having my dress around my ears and my legs, encased in my white tights and black Mary Janes waving madly above my head.. oh no…just my grandfather laughing!!

That’s the ONLY memory I have of that grandfather, because not long after that he died of a heart attack, face down in his bowl of ice cream. I always wondered if his sense of humor would have allowed me to laugh at that, or if he would have considered it poor taste.

Wocka wocka wocka….

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Well, What the Heck

I was in the car the other day and I thought of this song.. when I listened to it, it seemed to fit so well. Especially the part where he talks about feeling like “his old bony self again”.
Since there are no extra things this spring, this winter I have had more time to just hang out with friends and family than I have in quite a while and I must say. I feel frisky, and happy and… well… like my old self again. And I do mean quite a while ago.. like in my twenties. I used to sing and laugh and write and I felt bouncy and joyous and mischievous and wow, that’s how I’m feeling now! I’m not sure what lifted off of me, or if it’s just that my thyroid meds are right for a change, but I sure do feel like a million bucks nowadays. Lol  I like being sunshine again!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Un-Happy Hour

Last Friday, I went out with some friends to a bar they frequent every Friday and during football season, every Sunday. Needless to say, they are regulars and spend enough money there to be recognized as such. Hubby and I happen to be drop-ins now and then.

On this evening there were 8 of us at two tables that one of us had reserved in advance. When taking a reservation, they ask you what time you will be there, but they don’t ask you when you’ll be leaving… I mean, why would they? You’d think they’d want you to stay and eat and drink and spend as much money as you want. This group typically stays from 5-9 or so, but we’ve been known to hang out and change configuration (gain a few or lose a few people) longer than that in the past

Hubby and I had been there about an hour when the owner starts flitting about looking antsy. He came to our tables and surveyed our situation.. food and drink were still flowing, so it’s not like we were being squatters. He told the couple next to our table that for sure he’d have all the seating they required. I looked over and only saw two people…so that wasn’t  much of a stretch! I happened to be sitting at the end of the table closest to this couple. The owner, let’s call him Mr. Rude Man, came up to my chair, put his hand on the back and started moving it a bit while interrupting my conversation with the person next to me and said, “I need you to move.”

“Excuse me?” I wasn’t sure if he meant I needed to scoot in since the place is packed with tables and you do have to maneuver to get around in there. God forbid anyone ever fall.. they’d be skewered for sure, or walked on as just an extra lumpy part of the carpet!

“I need you to move so I can put this table at the end of yours.”

Um, ok, but it was only the 8 of us and we were all fitting perfectly around the two tables we have. I gave him a very confused look, as did the other 7 in my group.

” I have a birthday party coming in and I need to set up the tables now.”

Ok, how rude can you be??!! I’m a paying freaking customer at a reserved table and you want me to move so an EMPTY table that has a reserved sign on it can be moved to where I am sitting, thus shoving me into my neighbor and leaving the new table to dig into my side?? It’s EMPTY… it’s not for our group and it’s reserved….. FOR AN HOUR LATER!! WTF?

Are you for real, Mr. Rude Man??  I mean talk about anal retentive. I too like to have everything set up for a party, but I certainly don’t ask a current guest to move so I can set up their table for someone else. The effect was that I felt completely “in the way” and like he was ready for us to move along, even though some of us were still eating dinner!!!

I did move, grumbling the whole way and as soon as he left, I pushed the table that he’d shoved into my ribcage back a bit. (These are high round tables) The SOB pushed it back into my ribcage and I turned and gave him the most shriveling you-should-die-and-if-you-don’t-back-off-you-will look I could muster. Ask anyone who knows me.. it’s kinda scary the evil that rolls off of me when I’m that mad. Needless to say, he backed off and slide the table back a bit.. only to go around the table and shove a chair into my leg, which of course I shoved back out of the way.


But UN-Happy hour didn’t end there. After coming over and looking at our table with the evil eye a few more times, I saw him talking to some new patrons. He pointed at us and told them they could SIT AT THE TABLE NEXT TO ME… effectively join a group of strangers, until we all left and the birthday party they had booked into that corner had the entire section!! Remember, earlier I mentioned that one of our group had RESERVED THIS TABLE in advance, so it’s not our fault he’s double-booked the space.

Now a good owner/manager would have apologized, found us another table, offered some kind of comp for us to leave early or for the inconvenience of having to move… not him. He comes over when two of our party decided they’d had enough and were leaving to ARGUE with the girl who reserved the table, trying to make this whole issue HER fault. OMG… He flits off again.. and then comes back and tells us we just HAVE to move. And he’s so Mr. RUDE MAN about it that I wanted to swat him. Now we lose another one of our group and we move to a table near where the band is setting up.

The girl next to our table is talking furiously with the waitress, who comes to our table with a free pitcher of beer.. on HER, not the house, because Mr. Rude Man had gone and told her that WE were mad and her and since most of the group are regulars and tip very VERY well, she’s afraid we won’t continue to support her and feels the need to buy us a round. At least she’s got some sense of customer service, but how dare he put his screw up on her head and make her feel bad. Now I KNOW he’s a suckey manager if he makes his employees feel like trash. Now, some of our group feel annoyed by his behavior but think it’s kinda fun to mess with him because he is a hovering micromanager. (And I’m REALLY glad my daughter no longer dates his son!!) So the girl at the table next to us tells us that we have taken over one of her tables for a birthday party that she is having, but that she’s going to mess with Mr. Rude Man and have a fit. She’s not really in need of the table right that second, but she will need it soon and since we told her we weren’t there much longer it was all good. Isn’t it sad when customers have to work out deals amongst one another because the management was so messed up? This girl has been going to this bar for 11 years, so it’s not like she’s not a regular too.

She goes to Mr. Rude Man and tells him she’s annoyed about the table situation and you can see the man practically pulling his hair out. He doesn’t say anything to us, but assures her that he’ll move the table into her grouping as soon as we leave. I’m not sure, but I think the round of shots that came next, to both our table and hers were from the waitress, again, in celebration of the birthday party. Without her, the evening would have really tanked, to be sure.

Now I know my friends go here every Friday, (only because Rocky Run in our area closed down) but if I could find a more welcoming place to hang, I certainly would, because Sonoma’s in Columbia really made my stay there an UN-Happy Hour.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Workout Warehouse

I went with #3 to his new gym today. It’s MASSIVE. He joined Lifetime Fitness, which has two floors, 3 pools, a cafe, a spa, ball courts and rock climbing and is totally and absolutely TOO BIG for me.

I think I’ll keep my little gym in the ‘hood.

We walked into the marble foyer and went to the front desk and got a guest pass and a key card. After walking past the very busy cafe where you can buy sandwiches, candy bars (really? candy bars??) and coffee drinks, we went to the locker rooms which was connected to the pool, put away our items and then I stood outside waiting for #3 to come out.

Oh the variety of people there were!! There was a man who had on his puffy coat, and a towel on his head with a stocking cap over top of that. He was a black man, with a black coat and a black hat, so the white towel sticking out of his had made him look like he was wearing a terrycloth wig. It was so…. wrong looking….

Then there was an extremely petite woman who was dressed in designer sweats, (oh, they had to be) who just ooozed money and attitude who adjusted her glittering bebe hat as she walked by.

There was an elderly man who was wearing a pair of dress pants, a sweater vest and a paperboy cap, looking like he’d just come from a few rounds of golf, who got on a stationary bike and pedaled away. (Not sure he was really dressed for the gym, but like the man and woman I saw before him, whatever floats your boat!)

Upstairs, we walked into a sea of bouncy humanity. There was row after row of machines with people on them. I chose a treadmill in the last row, in the sunny corner, away from everyone. I don’t need to hear the grunts and groans of my fellow workout people. I’m just fine in my happy little corner.

I think the most ironic thing we saw was a little girl sitting on equipment and playing on her PS2.

When we had finished our time in the main gym, we decided to try out the climbing wall. Oh ok, I admit it, HUBBY and #3 tried the climbing wall and #3’s girlfriend and I sat and watched the boys, the whole time laughing while they tried to put on their climbing harnesses. Hubby was having some troubles putting his harness on and was failing miserably at not committing indecent exposure. I had to have #3 adjust his drawers to save his modesty. How do men wear those harnesses?? I mean, everything was just so THERE and OUT LINED for the world to see!!  *I* enjoyed the view while Hubby climbed for a bit and then it was time to leave.

It was definitely an experience, but not one I really want to repeat. Like I said before, I’ll keep my little gym in the ‘hood where we all look like normal people, we have simple equipment and Hubby won’t be tempted to show of his package again. I mean, hey!! I have my priorities you know.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Biopsy or Bicycle

I’m baaaa-aaack!

Yesterday, I wrote about my youngest and her biopsy today. I drove the 2 hours to take her to the hospital where we waited about 2 hours for her appointment. She was cranky and tired and worried, so in other words, she was not so nice to be with. They called us back and did a preliminary ultrasound, asked a few questions and then looked again. They called the physician down who was going to perform the procedure and had him look at the scans. Everyone had a furrowed brow.

I could see that her thyroid was riddled with holes, but we already knew that. After some consulting each other and a radiologist who confirmed that everyone was on the same page, they told us that they had decided to NOT biopsy her cysts. They said she looked good, for someone with swiss cheese for a thyroid and that they didn’t see a need to do a biopsy. I was ecstatic. She was pissed.

She wasn’t angry that she wasn’t sick or that she didn’t have anything wrong, that probably didn’t even cross her mind. She was pissed that she had worried and lost work, and “wasted her time” and money on something that she shouldn’t have had to worry about. She didn’t want to hear that now we know that she’s going to be fine, she was just annoyed that they had riled her up for no good reason. Heck, I’d rather her get riled up and have not good reason than to have them tell me my baby was malignant ANY DAY!! Where do I sign up?!!

Since she hadn’t eaten, a VERY LARGE part of why she was so cranky, I took her to get some BLinner. (Breakfast/Late Lunch/Early Dinner) Once we got some food in her, she was much improved. (He who must not be named once called her a mini-me…lol, it’s so true!)

She’s moved into a townhouse and doesn’t have a dresser, so since we were right next to the Walmart, I suggested that we go in and look around. She was non committal so I figured she was just tired and wanted to go home. We got all the way back to the townhouse before she spoke up about wanting to look around at the store for a dresser and a bike. (A bike?? That was a new one!) So, back to Walmart we went with her car and about 45 minutes and multiple “discussions” about helmet laws and how I WOULD NOT buy her a bike unless she promised to wear one, we came out with a bike, a lock and a helmet so she can ride to classes. Her thoughts were that it would be cheaper, she could use the exercise, and she wouldn’t have to fight for parking. Good points, which is why she got the bike.  Heck, it used to be that when the kids had to go to the Dr., they were assured of getting a Slurpee!!

I skirted black ice and freezing fog, but I’m home again and I’m ready for a worry-free snooze knowing that like I was told two days ago by a very wise man, everything was ok.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Positive Thoughts

I have always said that thinking positive thoughts and trying to find a solution to any situation was better than sulking in a stew of your own making. I’m guilty of making that depression stew, I can’t say that I’m not, but so far the things that have really thrown me into such a state has been the death of a friend, an uncle and then both of my parents in a pretty short time frame and recently, when the Drs were extremely slow in updating my thyroid meds and I felt like I was living in a dream state.

Otherwise, I really try to be upbeat and work towards fixing things instead of dwelling on the “Why me” and finding excuses.

This is not to say that I don’t worry about things. I worry too much about things, and I’m really trying to let go of what I can’t control and just be more accepting as I go along. My son told me I was too much of a push over, but I told him that I don’t feel the need to avenge myself at every turn, or that I need to fight about, and for, everything. It’s a choose your battles kind of thing.

Tomorrow, I’m going to visit my youngest. She’s moved off campus and moved into a townhouse with two friends. (She would have had to do this before next fall anyway, so I’m glad she’s getting a taste of it now.) The reason for the move? She is paying for her college by working and with academic scholarships. No handouts for that girl, she’s earning it all the way, but the room and board was too much for her this semester and although it will be close to the same amount living off campus, it’s a different payment structure that will allow her more freedom and teach her money management.

Since she got into her Athletic Training program (we are so PROUD of her!!) she now has some additional time constraints due to sports rotations, but she’s still upbeat about making everything work.

That’s why I know that tomorrow, when I take her to the hospital for a biopsy, everything will be ok. She’s had nodules growing in her thyroid for a year now and they finally decided that they had grown large enough to biopsy. They will take 5 samples tomorrow and we will know the results within 3-5 days.  Hubby said that no matter what, it’ll be ok. I believe him.  So positive thoughts, upbeat attitude (she’s afraid enough already, no need for Mommy to look worried) and the knowledge that no matter what, it’ll be ok, and I’m off to see my baby.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

General Gibberish

Mid-January… time to get back into the groove of all things that are pre-holiday, like exercise and work. (Aren’t they the same thing? One is for the mind the other is for the body, tho..)

I got a set of 8 lb weights for the house so I can work on toning up my arms and such and I got a new pair of walking shoes. Now if I can force my warm and comfy butt to go outside to walk,  or to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill, I’ll be halfway there. Most of the junk is outta da house now and even #3 complained that he hates it now that Mom is back to eating healthy again.

I have a goal. I’m leaving for an overseas trip in July and my goal is to be one pant size smaller before I go. I don’t care about the numbers (although they are dropping) on my scale, I care about being fit and healthy, so I chose to make smaller clothes my goal. I’m already 3 pant sizes smaller than last year, so that’s a good thing, I guess.

I cleaned up my files and my desk and made a list of all the stuff I need to do to help me get it all done. Now all I have to do is find that can of insta-focus and then I’ll be set! Anybody got a spare can?

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

I Want Money

I called the company this morning and they told me that I actually do have an option. I can either convert my APR, which is currently at 4.8% since I had taken advantage of promotional offers, to 7.99% and they’d drop my repayment calculation to 2% of the total balance from the current 5%, OH and drop the monthly SERVICE FEE of $10.00 they are now charging me as well, which they actually charge interest on at 9.99%. Yep, they will CHARGE ME and ADDITIONAL $120.00 a year at 9.99% unless I bow and change to their new terms. And if I cancel and close the account??? They will STILL charge me the $10.00 service fee until my balance is paid in full. Ain’t that some kind of poo?

And the criteria for this change?? As stated in their change of terms (which I finally got by asking AGAIN for it) “The key factors we considered when making these changes include the current APRs and revolving balances associated with your account.”

So, because I had consolidated at their OFFERED reduced APR and played by all their rules and never defaulted, THAT was the criteria for changing my terms. They didn’t want to uphold their end of a deal and did this to force me to change since the greedy pooheads need every penny they can get from me in the new economic climate.  I smell class action suit… man I hope a lawyer can figure out how to do that.. I’d be on the bandwagon right away.

And apparently so does my credit card company.

I got a voice message from my credit card company saying that the change in my account would begin with the next billing cycle. Funny, I hadn’t seen any change of terms notifications in my billing statements… hmmm. I figured they were going to raise my payment but wasn’t really too concerned, since I always overpay my account anyway. I’m *trying* to pay off the silly thing, but since I used it to consolidate a few others, it’s not the smallest balance.

Today I got the statement. They didn’t raise my payment by a little bit, they raised it OVER 50%. Now my payment is the equivalent of renting an apartment. WTF?? I’ve paid these guys more than my minimum for years now, never missed a payment and they sucker punch me like this?  I got online so I could see the change in terms page I must have missed. They said I had to agree to paperless statements to now be able to look at my account online… um.. no. Then I called to see if I could get a copy.

The woman who answered does not speak English as her first language and must have taken a nasty pill that day. I asked her about being able to see the change of terms on line and she insisted I had gotten a letter in the mail. First off, I’m really an organization freak and I look at EVERY piece of mail I get and I actually READ all the stupid change of term notices they send because I KNOW if you don’t pay attention they will screw you. So I also know I didn’t get a letter. She tells me that there is a notation in my account stating that I got the letter. I asked her how it was possible to have a note in my account, and every other person who go this letter, to positively confirm that I got the letter. I mean, did they have tracers on these letters? Did the postman have to sign a form insuring that the letter got into my mailbox? Ridiculous.

Next, I asked why I can’t get to my statements on line anymore and why did I have to agree to go paperless to look at information online. She said it didn’t matter, the letter had come to me. Ok, I’m getting angry now… I told her I still dispute having gotten the letter, but I want to see it online. She says that the opt out period is over, so I don’t need the letter anymore. I tell her that’s my business and just to answer the question.. why can’t I see it online? She says, AGAIN, that the letter was in my mail and it’s too late.

Deep Breathe….

Ok, then I ask her to tell me why I had the terms change on one account I have with this company, but not on the other. What was the criteria that triggered one account? I still have the same credit rating and payment history no matter which account you are looking at, so why punish me on one account and leave the other one alone? In the beginning of the call, she had verified my info, but now she asks for my credit card number again. Huh? Um no, she should have it there, wasn’t she looking at it? At this point, she’s VERY nasty so I asked if I could speak with her manager. She says that since it’s the weekend, I’d have to wait until Monday, but if I would JUST GIVE HER the information, she’d put a note in my account to have someone call me.

At this point, I gave up. I told her I was not at all happy with her customer service skills and that I would prefer to call back on Monday and speak with someone who didn’t have an attitude and hung up.

Not only was it an ugly experience, but now I have tons of questions as to what and how they base their decisions on how they adjust their terms… it seems like it’s discrimination of some kind if it happened to one account but not the other and there isn’t one negative thing on my account.

I guess I’ll just have to transfer everything off this account and close it. It’s a shame, because I’ve had an account with them for over 20 years, even when they’ve changed banks numerous times. I had consolidated because they had great rates and I NEVER defaulted on any of my payments, so I’m just so ANNOYED.  So, now, I WANT MONEY!!  And I guess because they’ve made some stupid choices, now they do too!!!