Friday, April 12, 2013

People You Meet While Working in an Office

Since I was 17 years old, I have always worked in some kind of office environment.  Fifteen years later, I am still working in an office, this time at a hospital and no matter where I go, the same kinds of people work in the office.

The Mole/Tattletale: This person’s responsibility is to make sure management knows everything everyone is doing.  It doesn’t have to violate company policy.  The Mole is there to make sure all facets of your life are exposed to your boss.  Nothing is sacred with this person.  Your funny story about your family vacation?  Before you have said, “The End,” the mole has not only given your boss the detail, for bonus points they make sure you didn’t take “unauthorized leave” for the aforementioned vacation.  To find this person in the office, do what celebrities do.  Plant a fictional story, and if you hear about it then you have found your mole.

The Chronic Party Planner: Don’t get me wrong, I love office potlucks as much as the next person, but sometimes it gets to be a little excessive.  Potluck for Christmas, I can get behind, but a potluck for Groundhog Day?  No.  The party planner spends their time thinking of the next new party and then spending every day forward badgering everyone in the department about what they are bringing to the party.  Some good advice: Don’t tell them you are bringing cups or dessert unless you want to be yelled at about that being a “lazy choice.”  Also, they will make sure to send out passive-aggressive reminders that “if you don’t bring anything, you won’t be eating.”

The Nosey Posey: This person is usually also The Mole.  They must know EVERYTHING!  We all have an element of nosey to us, but this person will take it too far.  They listen to all of your phone conversations (if this person is The Mole, a non work related conversation will be transcribed and reported to your boss) and want to know a lot about your life outside of work on a really uncomfortable level.  In a hospital setting this gets taken to a new level.  In a medical setting the Nosey Posey may even look you up the computer. HIPPA be damned, they NEED to know why you were absent from work for!  I remember when a fellow co-worker went into labor and another co-worker spent all day tracking this poor woman’s dilation via her medical record.  

The Overachiever: I know this one well because this person is me.  The OA is at ALL the meetings and ALL the seminars.  Matter of fact, OA’s LOVE meetings because that is their time to let everyone know how out of the loop they are.  This person has four different job titles and can be found holding a notepad, pen, and a cup of Starbucks at all times.

Miss/Mr. Fake it Till You Make It: This individual can usually be found in management.  They can be found flailing about asking their staff how to do their job.  I had a director that called a meeting once to find out what it was we all exactly did in our department. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Things Done Changed.....

I was driving home in Cherry Blossom traffic yesterday *shakes fist* and I realized that a few weeks from now will mark my one year anniversary of my relocation to the DMV.  Time has really flown and so many things in my life have changed.

How to be independent of my parents.  Before I moved, I was dependent on my parents for my financial and social life.  I made a great deal less than I do now, so anything I wanted to do, I had to have my parent’s financial assistance for.  Don’t get me wrong, they help every now and again, but I am not dependent on it.  I can have a conversation with my mother without it being a precursor for a loan.  This has helped improve my relationship with my mother since there is now a boundary between our relationship and my finances. 

I have reestablished a relationship with my daughter.   Miss Beasley and I have spent the last 5 years experiencing periods of separation ranging from two weeks to six months.  There was a time when I never thought that I would have a chance to repair my relationship with her.  Since the move, she and I spend more time together and I am learning so much about her that I missed.  She is a wonderful young lady with a great sense of humor and love of music, like her mama.  She is also a sensitive soul so I am learning I can’t talk to her or joke with her the same way I do with her brother.  She is going to spend the summer with my mom, and there was a time when I wasn’t necessarily bothered by her being gone that long, but it occurred to me last night I am REALLY going to miss her, so I don’t think I can do the whole summer.

Way better work ethic.  Man listen…..before I got here I had a HORRIBLE work ethic.  There I said it.  There were times when I would go to work and do eight glorious hours of nothing work related, and I reveled in that.  I was the “slacker.”  As I have gotten older, I am realizing that shit is not cute.  So when I got here, I hit the ground running.  Anything at work I was asked to do, I did it to completion.  All the assignments my co-workers turned down because it wasn’t in their job description, I jumped on it.  One year later, I am being promoted.  Someone believed in me enough to let me put together a Diabetes and Vascular Disease Education program.  Yesterday I had the honor of doing rounds with one of the surgeons.  I thank God for all the opportunities that have been placed before me, and I thank God for maturing me.

Financial Responsibility.  Back home, I would spend money like water, and my income was way below the poverty level.  I never really had to be responsible because as stated in #1, my parents were a phone call away.  Gas is low?  Call mama to fill up the tank.  Can’t afford the sitter this week?  Ask mama to pay for the sitter.  See the running theme?  My financial irresponsibility was running my parents into the ground.  So, I have something I call the “magic number.” The Magic Number is the lowest I will allow my bank account to go at all times.  I have to be ready for emergencies, like missed days from work, medications, doctor’s visits, car repairs, etc.  If something goes wrong up here, there will be no Papa Page rolling up in the F150 to save me. 

A unicorn is just a horse with a horn on its head. My mama always told me, “Never put someone on a pedestal so high they can piss on you.”  I never understood what she meant until now.  I really like J, and I fell into a bit of a “hero worship.”  It was bad.  Anytime he disappointed m e, it hurt the most because I had him on this pedestal. J is just a man.  He is going to fuck up, he is going to make mistakes.  I believe I did this same thing with Rev.  I held both of these men to impossible high standards that they were just not realistic. 

My sister swearing off chain restaurants.  When my sister came back home to visit after living in Atlanta, we were going to take her to dinner and she replied, “No chain restaurants, please.”  I thought she turned into the Queen of all things bougie.  Well, if she is the Queen, I am the Princess, because I too, am not a fan of chain restaurants.  Before you all drag me in the comment section, let me explain.  There are a MILLION places to eat up here, and some of my favorite places to go, are the only location….in the WORLD Craig!  I could not imagine having a Ruby Tuesday’s brunch when the Carlyle in Alexandria or Crème Café on U street  make some of the best brunch food on earth.

There is an actual Five Year Plan.  Five years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do.  I did, but it was just a bunch of clicks and whistles.  I have taken the time to sit down and think of where I would like to be in 2017.  There is power in writing down your plan, because when you feel unmotivated, it is a good tool to help keep focused.

The Art of Being Humble. If this past year didn’t teach me humility, I don’t know what will.  I have had some highs, but there have been some low, low, low points.  Never knock people when they are low, because you will never know when it will be you couch surfing.

Appreciation for Little Things.  Simply put, because I know what struggle is, I can appreciate abundance.  I almost broke down crying in Children’s Place when I was buying spring clothes for Miss Beasley, I haven’t been able to do that in the last three years.  Every day, I am appreciative.  I hope I never start feeling jaded or entitled.

I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me!  Enough said.


Friday, April 5, 2013

I Didn't Even Know It

As I type this, I am searching for words to describe what happened today on my commute home, but I'm going to do my best.

I was taking the Metro home like I normally do, and when I go off at the Chinatown stop to switch to the Huntington train, while I was listening to my podcast and waiting for the next train I felt a man behind me and what I thought was the corner of his bag on my behind. As I got on the crowded train, I noticed he was behind me again, the corner of his bag bumping me. I felt uncomfortable so I scooted up a little but I noticed he scooted up too. By the next stop, a seat became available and I quickly sat down. He sat down next to me. I didn't think anything of it until I glanced to my left and there he was pleasuring himself right in front of me. I was speechless. I didn't know what to do. I looked at him through sunglass covered eyes and he stated right back never once stopping what he was doing. This shit was NOT ok. I repeated in a quiet voice which got louder, "This man is exposing himself to me!" A woman standing near our seats heard me and frantically began to ask other passengers for the metro police number. The man kept on stroking while they searched for numbers and I sat there with tears of embarrassment and anger rolled down my face. As we approached the Pentagon I called the metro police but I was unable to get a signal so the operator did not hear me. The man pushed past people in the crowded car and make an exit, I stumbled off the train nearly missing my stop and I stood on the platform crying. I have never felt so powerless in my life. I was violated and there was nothing I could do. The man was gone. Disappearing into a sea of people. On my ride home I tried to shake it off, but I couldn't. I blamed myself for wearing snug pants. Maybe I should had a longer coat on. Why was I the target? What made this ok to happen to me? Will I ever ride the Metro again? I'm just full of anger and sadness. When I got home I threw my entire outfit in the trash, and took a long shower which I spent the majority of the time crying hysterically. I won't let this ruin my weekend, but I can't pretend I'm not hurting tremendously. For any of my readers in the DMV the number to call for Metro police is 202-962-2121. Save this number in your phone, as the poster with it is not in every car. With that being said, a glass of wine and mindless television is in order....and definitely some therapy on Monday.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Egg Rolls in the City

Yesterday I took the Goonies to the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll and here are the highlights:

1) My son was so proud he dressed himself and I did not discover, until we were on the Metro, that he had no underwear on. Just freeballin....

2. My daughter may have officially aged out of these types of activities. When we arrived on the lawn she looked around and said, "This is stuff for babies." Shade. I did manage to get her to dye an Easter egg or two and look at the First Lady's garden, but that was it for her.

3. My son got his LIFE!!! He met Barney, Wowow Wubzy, and Jake the Pirate. He pretended to be a beekeeper and went crazy for the gymnastics team.

4. There were a lot of decisions out that day too. While it was a high of 63, it was colder my the time our time slot made it in and I could see parents who simply brought their kids for photo ops because there was too much Sundays best going on. Little girls couldn't run or participate in crafts because of their Easter get ups. I was glad I dressed the kids in what we would call "Friday Casual" look.

5. No President Obama but I did see Jordin Sparks and B Smith so I was somewhat pleased.

The event was put together beautifully an ran smoothly. I was happy we were able to be a part of that.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gather 'Round Hustlers

Things have been so hectic around here, that I have not really had a chance to blog the way that I want to, but I have a quiet moment before I take my exam tonight, so I am going to try to catch you all up as much as I can.

I have officially survived my first winter in the DMV, and it has been something else.  Last year when I was making a million trips up here to see J and to find a job, it did not snow.  Not once.  It was never crazy cold either.  But this year, as a welcome to the DMV gift, I have experienced more snow than I ever care to.  This past Monday I woke up to an inch and a half of snow on the ground AFTER the official start of spring.  That was just bizzare.  Today was a nice 60 degrees, and I am praying that Monday was the last snow that I will see until next year....or maybe the year after that.

My career is taking off, and I am learning very fast, that it pays to network.  Now, I suffer from social anxiety so, networking was hard for me when I first got here, but closed mouths don't get fed.  Nasty attitudes will leave you stuck.  I want to tell you all a story of how a nasty attitude almost held me back from something that turned out to be a huge blessing.  I was assigned to work on contacting patients that have had certain types of vascular procedures in order to get data on how they were doing post procedure.  The nurse who heads up the project, came to my office and that day I had THE stankest attitude.  She made small talk and I gave one word answers and just acted like an ass.  She continued to be polite, and while we were working she commented on how nice I am on Excel.  Again, I have a short "Thank you" and kept going.  Then she asked me if I would be interested in learning SQL programming with her and a few other people from the department.  My ears perked up.  SQL?  I needed that.  I wanted that.  So I adjusted my tone and she gave me all of the info, and I am proud to say that I have just completed my first SQL class through Stanford University.  Having this experience has given me more experience in data collection and credibility as I am trying to construct an education program in my department.  It is also helpful that during every business meeting she throws my name out and mentions how helpful and knowledgeable I am.  The lesson here, is don't let your attitude make you miss a blessing.

In the world of running, I am kicking butt and taking names.  Two weeks ago I achieved a goal that I never thought possible.  I ran a 5k in one setting, for free, on a weekday.  I was in the gym, on the treadmill, just feeling it and I looked down at my Nike Plus app and saw I was approaching 3.11 miles.  I felt so good when I finished.  I wanted to run through the gym hugging everyone, but because I want to continue working out there I didn't, but it was a major accomplishment.  And it was nice that I came in eight minutes faster than less than a year ago when I ran my first and only 5k.  My race season is starting back up again next Saturday and I am hyped.  My first race will be a 5k, then a 8k, three more 5ks and then.....a half marathon.  Yes, your girl is going to finally tackle that 13.1.  It was something about surpassing that 3 mile mark in one run that gave me the confidence to say, "I got this."  My first half marathon will be the Diva's Half Marathon in DC Wine country, and I am approaching it more like a party versus a race.  I get to wear a tiara, boa, and a tutu and did I mention there will be wine?  A bunch of us from the running club I am member of are going and it is going to be a blast.

Speaking of running, I am finally realizing the importance of good running shoes.  Last year, I was not going to spend more than 40 dollars and I didn't care about what said shoe would do to my feet.  That was still my attitude, until my mileage began to increase.  I am an overpronator (google it) and my ankles and knees were starting to feel the effects of running in a shoe that was built for flexiablity versus stability.  Today I headed to the Nike store where they were having a huge sale, and for 80 dollars, I was able to get the Lunarglide +4 which is supposed to be Nike's stability shoe.  I cannot wait to break them in this week, I may sneak out early tomorrow morning and grab a few miles to see how they feel. 

There is one subject I haven't touched on in a while and that would be J.  J is still around, and the last post I put up was in regards to him.  I am not going into the whole story, but dig in the crates, find the story about Vegas, replace Vegas with wedding, and we have a ballgame.  Here is a fun fact about me, I hate lying.  My ex-husband STAYED lying to me about the dumbest things. The worst type of lie is the "lie by omission," which J is famous for.  When you lie by omission, it raises red flags, because the question will always be, "If it wasn't that big of a deal, why did you leave that part out?"  When you omit parts of your story it alters the person who is listening to the story's reality.  If I told you all half truths about how I got to DC or hell, my life in general, wouldn't everything else I said be questionable?  Where J and I bump heads is he doesn't think things like this are considered lies, and that is a problem for me.  In a relationship, above ALL else, I have to be able to trust you.  If I can't trust you then there is nothing to stand on.  I will constantly be on watch mode, and that is not healthy. 

Tomorrow will be our first Easter in DC, and we are ending the weekend off by going to the Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn.  I entered the lottery a few months ago, and I was sure I was not going to get picked as I rarely win anything.  But lo, and behold, I won and me and the Goonies are headed to the White House...lawn.  I intend to take a million pictures and I am hoping to see the President, but I don't know how realistic that is as we are in the last time slot of the day.  The real joy is going to be seeing both of my children's faces when they realize where they are.  Earlier that day I am surprising my son with a trip to his dream workplace, The Pentagon.  I have not said anything to him about it, I just want to bring him there and let him be surprised. 

I hope you all have enjoyed this update, I don't know how long it will be before I update again, because I have decided to go to school during the summer as well, because the goal is to get this IT career popping by the end of the year and I am on the victory lap toward earning my degree.  If I stop to take a break for the summer I am afraid I will lose my momentum and fall into complacency.  Onward and upward!!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When Words Were Not Enough: My Day Told Through GIF's

I have no words....just GIFS to describe my day....

I woke up like:

I had a pretty good day at work.  Good news all around, had me feeling like:

But then......I got a call, and the whole time I was on the other line my face looked like:

So now I am feeling like:

Jesus be a run this evening........

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Homebuying: The Ultimate Grown Up Task

Between my school work and my day job, I am just slacking on my blog hustle.  You can still keep up with me on my Facebook Page

After all of my wok, duvet, and tea kettle purchasing, I am embarking on my largest purchase of all: a house.  Precious Lord take my hand is all I can say.  I thought I was over the biggest hurdle by getting a pre-approval, but I still have a long way to go.  After my divorce, my credit was a wreck.  I worked very diligently the last few years repairing it by paying off lingering debts.  I got all of that done, and I am still in "pay for delete" negotiations with one of my former creditors, but last month I FINALLY hit the 650 mark, which cleared me for my first ever FHA loan.  I am horrible with keeping records, and it turns out that the home buying process requires you to be able to account for your financial history for the last 2 years.  My loan is hanging in the balance due to my lack of sufficient income in the previous years.  Sure, I am making almost three times the amount I did at my former employer, but that is not consistent, so my ace in the hole is my 401(k) and my savings account.  Well this week I did something foolish, and moved money from my savings, thinking they were done verifying that information.  Wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG.  I got a call from the realtor AND the bank asking what happened to my savings balance.  Guess what?  That savings was proof of my ability to pay, it vouched for me.  I let the bank know it would be back by Friday, and my realtor told me not to touch a dime of any money I put on the loan application because I could end up blowing this whole thing.  I think I had a heart attack at my desk.

On the house hunting front, it has been a bit better than I thought.  Initially, I thought that I would not be able to find a home in my price range with all of my must haves.  What are my must haves?  Garage, basement, stall shower, separate bathtub, kitchen island, walk in closet, fireplace, single family home. No short sales. I looked high and low, and my agent even suggested taking my search to Maryland, but I just don't know enough about Maryland to put roots down there.  So, while boo-hooing to J about not finding a place, I went on Long and Foster website, and there is was.  Three bedrooms, shower stall, separate bathtub, garage, basement, walk in closet, Two thousand two hundred and eighty square feet of lovely.  It was missing a few of my "must haves" but it was in the same area, in my price range, and the builder was throwing in a free room and closing cost assistance up to five thousand dollars.  I went last weekend to check it out along with a few other properties, and I think this is the one.  I stood in the Master bedroom and imagined my nights there.  I could see myself relaxing after a long day in my big bathtub, doing my make up, hogging up my two sink counter.  I looked out at the "just right" backyard and visualized my children playing, while I grilled and sipped margarita punch.  This would be our place.  Our home.  No leases, no more moving, stability.  So, keep me in prayer during this time.  My sister and a friend of mine had the LONGEST closings in history, and I watched them and prayed for that kind of patience when it was my turn.  I'll keep you all posted on the progress!