B/W K (from KR daily)

That's loco, Neo!

I have no response to that.

Spring vacation
B/W K (from KR daily)
stell266
A. and I have made plans to go to FL to see one of the last shuttle launches.

Needless to say, I am worried since the last storm went through there. I don't know what the outcome is yet. They said the shuttle sustained some hail damage. But I have not seen if it will affect the launch.
I mean, our other time eater is seeing "The World of Harry Potter" at Universal...
I also had to ask for the time off from work too.
I don't officially have any FPT (Family and Personal Time) yet..according to my paycheck and the company intranet---the way you ask for time off--and still get paid.
Luckily it is also during Passover, so they think I am asking for the time off for religious reasons.

A. is paying for most of it...since I am broke on this retail job. I can barely pay my lowered rent and basic living costs.
I am pretty much making the same as I was in 1999.
I am make just about the same per hour.
But my rent is almost double. Plus my Mom was sending me some money each month.

I feel like I am moving backwards...
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connection
B/W K (from KR daily)
stell266
I just got an email reply from my old boss, M. We had not been in touch since the holidays. I had filled her in on how the job is going, and some of my concerns. As always, she had good advice for me.
I had also asked her about what to do with the specialized equipment I have stored since the business closed (almost 2 years ago!). She told me that they had just finished Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in California, and that I was free to do what I like with it. She also has equipment to deal with...but thinks it will take her a bit longer decide what to do with it.
M. had been working in this business since she was 17. She started her own company at 21, and raised 2 children in the office with her, wrote her own software, and opened up offices in Sydney, London, LA, Chicago and NY. She had 40 years in total of doing a job she truly loved. I guess it will take her a bit more time.

At the end of the email, she told me that knew the couple (owners of the boat) that was killed by Somali pirates back in February. A couple of years ago, M. joined the choir at the Santa Monica church they belonged to. M. has a great voice, she was in a back-up singer for a fairly well known pop band in Australia in the 80s. [There is a great liner pic of her in those black fingerless gloves, a la Madonna.] She joined to sing for the Easter holiday, but she was not a real member of the church, she just did it to have a chance to sing again. Anyway, during the time there, she became friends with the wife. About 6 months later, at the end of October, M. and her husband were on a 3 week trip sailing around French Polynesia.
To help cover at work, I came to LA and stayed at M.s house. Work was stressful with crazy deadlines, but I did enjoy staying at their little 1/2 remodeled bungalow in west LA all on my own.

Of course, M. ended the email saying..."Just shows that we need to make the most of everyday."

That's what *I* thought!
tired? panda
stell266
This morning, after seeing another interview with Charlie Sheen, I had this thought.
And I guess other people did too!

Sheen vs Kaddafi (Or however you spell it.)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/quiz/2011/mar/01/muammar-gaddafi-charlie-sheen-quiz


Sad to say, I only got 3 out of 10 right!!!

7 months?
B/W K (from KR daily)
stell266
I can't believe it has been 7 months since I posted something. I know I am not a big blogger, but still, I thought I had posted at least once, in the summer.

Well, I lived through the census. The pay was good, but the hours lousy. The beginning was especially hard, since they didn't pay overtime, and the first 2-3 weeks I was definitely working about 60 hours. Then it settled into just under 7 hours, 6 days a week.

My team was 2nd to last. We had a mix of people. Some were excellent in any situation, and others were only one hit wonders. They worked well in only certain neighborhoods. Others were just barely working the minimum hours, and they did just barely the minimum work. And I also had 2 people who were out right liars. I only say this, because this job allowed people to fill in their own time sheet. They could say they worked 8 hours, but how could I challenge them? The work they did was either non-existent or so minimal that I could send a 5 year old out there to get the same amount of work done. BUT there were 'certain' issues that didn't allow me to get rid of those people.

Anyway. When the next phase started in July, I was demoted, due to the slowness of my team's progress. Did I mention I had the largest area with the least amount of people? And that's not even including the fact that of 20, only 10 were competent...
In the second phase, I ended up being an assistant. There was so much paperwork and procedure that the crew leader needed to add me as an unofficial assistant. So, I was basically doing the same as I was last time, but I didn't have to sign my name to everything, and I didn't have to do the discipline. The team consisted of 3 different areas combined. I chose my top 4 people and then there were 10 from the other 2 areas.

By August I was unemployed again...Collapse )
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(no subject)
tired? panda
stell266
Just post-posted my 1st day of training and I will update with more soon.

I am posting specifically because I just got a call from CA EDD about how my 1st run of benefits ran out. And they need me to check with NJ about claiming there, since it is indicated that I worked here. I know I can't claim here because it was only a holiday job, but CA requires me to ask NJ before CA can file an extension in CA.

I feel like crap, that I have to call up the NJ HR person--but I guess they will know it is all part of the process.

Start of census training
working with numbers
stell266
I just came home from my first day of Crew Leader training. It was quite interesting. Not too much was accomplished. We were first sworn in as federal employees and had to fill out several forms for employment, tax withholding, and direct deposit. Then we spent almost 2.5 hours just finger printing 10 people! And that was with 2 advisors doing it--but we did have to have it done twice. I was the last to get done, so I either read the manual, or chatted with the other trainees while I waited. Then we broke for lunch. After lunch, we went over the fact that the census is confidential and you need to respect peoples private information, etc. Then we signed some more forms indicating that we will respect peoples private information. We did get a little nylon briefcase that has "US Census" on it. And we got two medium size boxes. One was our training materials for learning how to train the enumerators, and the other was supplies we will use to actually train the enumerators. So, it does look like, if I pass this training, I will not be going out door-to-door, I will be assigning that to enumerators, and helping them fill out the paperwork--census paperwork, and just the basic "getting paid" paperwork.

The training is "verbatim", meaning all we will have to do is read, verbatim, out of a training notebook and try to answer questions the enumerators have. Help them fill out the same forms we filled out today, and finger print them.
My training is all this week. Friday will be a half day, spent learning and practicing how to finger print.
Next week, I believe we have Monday off, then on Tuesday, I think we will be up at our local office, doing the enumerator training...still not clear on that.

They really stressed that this is a fast paced situation, so we (and the enumerators) really have to be on the ball, right out of the gate. Any problems with performance will only have one chance to correct. If it isn't corrected within a day or two, then that is it. Someone from upper management gave us a bit of a pep talk. Stressed that we need to "pump up" our enumerators as to how important accuracy is. How our county is in danger of loosing a representative if we can't "find" the "missing" 150,000 residents needed. We were also warned, that there will be some enumerators who are just trying to milk the system for the good hourly pay, and will fabricate answers to questionnaires without actually doing any proper work.

I will keep you up to date, as my training progresses.
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Laundry List of the past few weeks
B/W K (from KR daily)
stell266
It looks like the 2 purple astor mums are also returning. I wasn't sure, since only one had "something" growing in between the dead branches. But now it looks like the same "something" is growing in the matching pot. So, I am assuming they are both returning. I checked on the large orange mums, and those still look totally dead.
I need to check on what the sprout of a purple ornamental kale looks like, because that might be coming back too.

On the job front:
I had submitted my resume for a job that I kinda really wanted. It was a lateral and 1 up move for me...at least I think that is what it would have been. I wasn't really sure I would get it, because of the lateral part, but I had hoped my specific experience would have been an extra check in my column. It was with a big company, so I suppose it could take more than 2 weeks to hear back from them.

In the mean time, the US Census got back to me. I really did think they were passing over me, since it had been more than 4 weeks since I took the test. So, I accepted the temp job. I will start on crew leader training next week, and it is paid 40 hour training. The rate is pretty good, about twice as much as I got for my holiday retail job. And if I am hired as a crew leader, I will get an extra 1.50 more per hour.

All this is great, since I had an unforeseen car repair last week. And of course, I also had to get my emissions test this week, and failed it. So, now there will be another bill for whatever that will cost to get it fixed.

Glass half full, glass half empty?

Should I be glad I have a temp job to pay for the repairs? Or should I be pissed that I have to pay out for them?
I really thought that with my tax return, I might be able to breath a little this month, but I guess the cosmos has other plans for my tax return.

Feeling Positive
ein
stell266
2 of my fall mums are regrowing!
Since I am lazy, I didn't bother to toss out the old dead plants during the winter, and now it looks like I will be partially rewarded for that!

These 2 of the original 6 are just plain white. The other 4 were 2 large bushy orange ones, and the other 2 were purple Astor mums. I had never used the Astor before, but I had them to coordinate with the purple and white ornamental kale tried. They were more green from the leaves, and the flowers were rather small, but pretty.

I think I need to move them soon, since they are currently in the "showcase" rail pots by my front door. In the spring and summer, I plant my herbs there. But I have some cheapy pots (that come with the plants) from last year that are big enough for them.

In addition, my good old chives are coming up, already 4+ inches tall.
Also my cat mint is returning.
Alas, it looks like my normally hardy 3 year old spearmint didn't make it back. I actually had some issues with it last summer and fall, a bit of the rust got to it I think. Overwatering? or just too humid?
The sage is also coming back, but it is a bit leggy--not sure if I should I have trimmed it back over the winter. Right now the only green leaves are at the end, so maybe I should just leave it? Need to look that up.

Others lost:A small Lemon Thyme. A Rosemary bush and 2 basil plants--all of which probably should have been brought in over the winter. I might hold off on tossing the Thyme and the Rosemary, just in case there is a miracle in the next month or 2.

Hoping to grow more baby lettuces in trays this year. Last year I had limited success with 2 year old seed. Though I think my problem was drainage, not the seed.

Job Search
film in sync
stell266
I saw a job that I was possibly qualified to do on the company's website. It spurred me on to work on my resume as if I was really trying to get that job. My previous resume was focused on getting a retail job, so I glossed over the specifics of my job, and concentrated on the basic idea of being able to handle multiple projects, meeting deadlines, and dealing with people. This time, I listed all the projects I had worked on in the past 3 years, and felt a bit accomplished for a few minutes. Especially since 2 of my largest projects happened concurrently.

Since this possible job is more like a lateral move, I started to write out a cover letter to address my skills and achievements how they would be relevant to the position in question. I know I have over thought it, and will need to carve it down. But it's a start.

Has anyone used Openoffice.org? It is an open source alternative to micro soft word office suite.
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CA EDD
ein
stell266
Well, EDD came through with the rest of the checks, and my original estimate was only half of what I will end up getting. But I did make another error, so there is another check coming. I have to say they were fairly quick about it--only took 7 business days from mailbox to mailbox.

The last form I filled out had the first week of the new year "X" out, so I don't know what that means. That was also the form I made the most recent error on, so maybe once that is cleared up, I will get the new year forms?
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