Friday, March 23, 2012

One Week Left

Here's what I know.  I officially know that our office has been rolled under the existing Chenega contract.  There are two positions in the office, which is good.  One is an information analyst/techno-geek position, which is basically mine after I go through the pro forma application/hiring process.  My boss "Alan" was, apparently, not even being considered for the position.  He doesn't know this and basically gave me permission to apply.  I'm not going to comment at this time about that little fact.

The other position is a data entry person, which is up in the air.  If they hire someone from off-campus, we are looking at a possible 4-6 month time lag due to the insane amount of time it takes for the Fed-E-Ral Gubment to make their way though the background check required for someone to work on campus.  Ahem.  Which is why all the contractors on campus seem to be doing a round-robin type of contract-hopping because the managers don't want to hire off campus, and I can't say I blame them.

I have made contact with the manager and applied, but I won't be meeting with her until at least Monday, which gives Chenega one whole week to do the paperwork, etc, to hire me.  She told me on the phone that she was told by K, the fed, that I "had walked in, cleaned house, and worked circles around everyone."  I think I said "wow" after a pause.  K is not one to give praise much, so hearing that meant a lot.  I knew he was happy with my work, but I hadn't realized he thought all that.  

He's also told me if I don't take the position he will hunt me down and kill all my chickens.  He asked me "You.....ARE planning on applying, right?  RIGHT??"  and I said to him, "Gosh, I just don't KNOW!  I mean, the position description says I need to know fractions!  FRACTIONS!!!  What will I *do*??"  He just looked at me over his reading glasses and told me I was giving him gray hair.  :D

In the meantime, I found out that he will be at a conference in Phoenix the first week of the new contract.  This is giving us both heartburn since it means I will be basically running the show all by my lonesome for the first week, assuming I will be hired on by the end of the month.  If I'm not, it looks as though I will be cross training another fed to do what I do in the event that it is needed. 

And then there is the question about my boss.  He still doesn't have another job lined up and he'll be out of work in a week.  Even though I know all this isn't my fault, and I know I am not responsible for our budget being cut (all over the government, not just us), and I know I tried to make him see the light about which way the parade was going, and I know he doesn't have the computer skills or the ability or desire to learn them, I still feel a more than a bit responsible for him being ousted.  I know this shows I have a conscious and that's a good thing.  If I truly didn't care I would be more concerned.  If I felt vindicated and happy about it I would be horrified. 

I also made the very difficult decision to go ahead and have a phone exit interview with the HR people and tell them about the questions about my marital status and motherhood status during and after the initial job interviews.  Even though I decided not to do anything about it, they need to know he does these things if they ever consider him for a management job (or any job, for that matter) again, because he is a HUGE liability for them and I want them to know it.

This has been a really emotional and stressful past few months.  Matt has been hanging in there really well, he's been incredibly supportive of me during this time and forgiving of my short fuse and mood swings.  I know going forward some of the stress will be alleviated, but some will be transferred to other areas, like OMG I'm going to pretty much be on-call 52 weeks a year 6am-10pm.  I'm going to have to hob-nob with some bigwigs.  I'm going to have to smooth over some of the relationships that Alan soured. 

I told someone recently that when I get worried about unknowns in the future, I try to look at it as and exiting new thing I get to learn.  I've been referring to it as my Golden Retriever Suit.  Like OH BOY!!  SOMETHING NEW!!!  MY FAVORITE!!!  So, I'm working on the Golden Retriever way of life right now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meet the Flockers!! Part 2

 Most of the chickens in this batch are no longer with us.  Just want to get that out of the way before I continue. 
In our first batch of eight, we had two Marans and 6 Easter Eggers. Three of the EEs were reddish brown, so I named them Crystal, Ronnette, and Chiffon, after the three backup singers in Little Shop of Horrors....who in turn were named after the girl groups from the doo-wop era.  Crystal and Chiffon are above, eying up a blackberry.
Not sure which this one is

 Crystal and Chiffon again, and I still don't know which is which.

Crystal is no longer with us.  She disappeared one day.  We went looking for her, not knowing she'd found a nice, dark place to lay an egg and couldn't get out.  It is heartbreaking, but we walked by her for days and she never made a peep.  We eventually found her when it was too late.  It was a lesson I had to learn, though.  One, when you have livestock eventually you are going to get deadstock.  Two, these animals are domesticated, not wild, and they do depend on you (like a dog would) for safety and keeping.  I still feel bad about Crystal. 

 Larry and Ronnie.  Ronnie used to be known as (you guessed it) Ronnette, but turned into Ronnie when it became obvious that he was not a she.  Ronnie was beautiful.

Eagle was also gorgeous.  I mean, LOOK at that rooster!  Wowzers, baby. 

The problem with having chickens is that the hen-to-rooster ratio has to be like 10:1.  20:1 is better.  Too Many Roosters has become a mantra of mine....especially at work, but that is for another post.  (It has actually become a joke with the women in the hallway I work in, we say "Too many roosters" and when someone asks how our day is going).  We wound up de-roostering by taking them to....our local wild animal rescue.  Because, you know, chickens are wild animals who deserve a second chance.  Or the tiger likes to eat live food.  Either one works. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Garden Grows

It has been very unseasonably warm here, in the 70s at least during the day, etc, so I am kicking myself for not starting my onions, cabbage, and lettuce seeds a month earlier than I actually did.  Oh, well.  No one is saying it will stay this warm, but still.  The Magnolias are blooming. 

I put my first round of peas and beets in the ground yesterday, and I'm hoping to get the rest in this weekend.

I bought a 50lb bag of Yukon Gold potatoes and 4lb of All Blues.  They both do really well for us here. 

My main thing this year will be getting the flower bed in better shape.  I'm planning on getting a hosta grab bag for under the maple, then planting some flowering things with them.  Also some bugleweed.  I need to weed and mulch desperately in the sunny side.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

We're Down to Three Weeks...

The latest LAST week was that we should have been hearing from the company.  We didn't.

But I know who it is now.  K name-dropped (on purpose, not accidentally) to me someone that was involved, and I know who it is and what he does, so I know who the company is.  I am happy about it.  It is an Alaskan Native Corporation.

Alan, my boss, still isn't "in the know." And I realized this week that IF the company in question had contacted Alan (since he is project manager) on behalf of both of us, I wouldn't trust him to tell me. 

I'm feeling pretty secure right now, though.  I am curious (with a bit of concern thrown in) wondering WHY the company has not contacted us.  Three weeks isn't a lot of time to get 1 or 2 new employees signed up, paperwork in, etc, with a potential start date of Monday, April 2. 

Alan is the type of man who is quiet but firm, and he is quietly but firmly freaking out over all this.  I'm torn.  He has IMHO been holding the entire program back with his inability to change, single handedly torpedoed the contract so the current holding company couldn't get it, and I learned recently made some very powerful enemies (including one undersecretary in DHS).  But he is also a very sweet man who means well, who served his country with honors, and I don't want to see him completely deflated.  He's effectively priced himself out of the market (any market) in his own mind, so he won't even thing of applying for jobs under a certain $ amount.  In this economy, and again IMHO, he should be applying for everything and anything.

This situation with Alan is falling right in line with a lot of things I'm seeing with a lot of people: we seem to find ourselves back in situations that we've been in before but didn't learn what we needed to learn.  Each consecutive time around gets more sticky and difficult until we "get it."  I think he's back in such a situation. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Things I've Gotten Recently & Love

DHC CoQ10 Gel Moisturizer

I first picked this up as a sampler (DHC includes samples in every catalog and you can get 4 samples with every order), and loved it so much after 4 morning uses that I bought a tube. Not sticky, definitely not greasy, just perfect.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

The thought of rubbing oil on my already oily face didn't make sense, but again I got this as a sampler and loved it. My face is smoother by far. The only thing I did notice is that unless I use a toner to remove the residual oil I do get breakouts, but I should be using toner anyway. In short, between these two products I can't stop touching my face!

A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings

My friend Angie invited me to a Rumi Festival in December (?), and it was wonderful (thanks, Angie!). I had been meaning to get a book or two of Rumi's writings, and while people were milling about I went around picking up people's books and writing down the titles. This seemed like the best one for me. A poem a day. Perfect.

When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put

This has been on my Amazon wish list for something like two years, and I'm SO glad I finally got it! Beautiful art, fun writings. It is a difficult book to describe. It is written by month as the author talks about the 10 years she has Stayed Put on some small village town on Long Island. She mixes in how Januaries are there, for example, while reminiscing about Januaries she's spent elsewhere. I was concerned that getting and reading this book would make me want to travel more, because I am a wanderer at heart and it is killing me staying-damned-put for this long. It is actually quite the opposite as it is making me look at things differently and not feel so trapped. This is a great book.

Vasque Velocity VST Trail Running Shoes (For Women)

My new walking sneakers (mine are in blue), purchased from Sierra Trading Post. If you sign up for their emails (and yes, they do send a LOT of emails), you can get up to 80% specials, which is how I got these babies for $37 when they retail at $110. I also got 2 tank tops for $1.79 each. You need to sign up for these deals, people. The sneakers walk like clouds.