Crossed Fingers Time

Job Interview:

I have had a commute of half an hour for many years. I was trying to stick to that. But I have had to change my parameters, or else, apparently I ain’t getting a new job. The commute for the job I interviewed for this morning is in the 45-minute range. Not great, but possibly I can listen to lots of e-books and podcasts?

I left this morning, but not early enough; maybe 10 minutes later than I had intended. And it was raining. The two made a deadly combo of delay, so that the journey took well over an hour. And I cannot do without coffee. So that plan had been, drink coffee early. Pee before leaving. Drive to Starbucks near interview. Pee and primp, then show up for interview all chill. What really happened was, drink coffee, pee, leave. Drive, and have to go again way before I got to Starbucks. Barely make it. Mutter repeatedly, “This isn’t going to work.”

And I kept thinking, They are going to have to wow me, because I am feeling pretty unenthused.

When I got there, things didn’t initially improve. I rang the bell as instructed, but no one answered. I rang again, and still, no answer. A car drove into the parking lot and a man got out and let me in. “You’re the interview? No one answered the door?” “Yes. No.” He then said his name, and I realized as we were entering that he was, in fact, the company president. I wish I’d been more polished, but really, that’s not my strong point. I didn’t even introduce myself at all.

He left me in a small conference room that had chairs and a couch, but no table, and exited. Eventually, he and the two other interviewers appeared, and we got started.

I think it went well. There were a few unexpected, but not whacko questions (no “How many windows are there in Manhattan”; these were more work-related). I answered one question rather stupidly, when I couldn’t think of a great answer. Oh, probably not catastrophic. I was stumped and babbled a little, and came up with a dumb example. For other questions, I think I did answer well.

I had spent plenty of time trying out their application, and had a lot of feedback that seemed to be well-received.

Toward the end, they asked me if I had any reservations, and I mentioned the horrendous commute and my concerns about being able to take my kids to the dentist. They were reassuring and affirmed that they are flexible and do allow some WFH after a few months.

The job actually sounds fun and energizing. The employees appear happy. They were all wearing jeans! The culture seems healthy. I think I’d like working there.

So now, we wait! I should know by the end of next week.

Also, driving home, the rain had cleared and it wasn’t rush hour. It really did take about 45 minutes (more like 43).

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Countdown to…?

The day of my interview is swiftly approaching (Thursday). I am trying to psych myself into a mindset of: whatever happens is great. For example, if they don’t offer me the job, or if we can’t come to an agreement re: salary and benefits, or if I just don’t want to work there for some reason, well, I already have a job! And it has great benefits. It’s just claustrophobic and limiting. My career trajectory is flat, flat, flatlined. I’m bored to death, withering away…no! no! Start again.

It’s a great job, with a prestigious organization (at least to some people). I have a lot of freedom, and some of my coworkers are great. Others, of course, are boorish, arbitrary, closed-minded, power-hungry…Stop! Wrong!

Etc.

I tend to over-think things, so I’ve been Planning Trips on Waze every hour of every day, to see what my commute would be like if I worked 8:00 to 5:00, or 9:00 to 6:00, or what have you. Unfortunately, the best time to commute is 1:00 AM; at that hour, it’s about 40 minutes [emoji making ‘bleah’ kind of face].

P.S. I resolved to post every day, and I’ve been doing that. Tomorrow, however, might be the exception. I have a rather full evening planned, and might not have time when I get home, since I’ll need to get up early the following day. I will report back by Thursday afternoon, however!

Brace Yourself

I took my kid to the orthodontist today, to talk about braces. This day has been a long time coming, since we had to wait extra-long for the baby teeth to fall out, and my son has been teased for having buck teeth. But finally, all the pieces were in place, and we found ourselves in the orthodontist’s lair.

They had the whole spiel down pat. First they sat us in a consultation room and the orthodontist came in, rubbing his hands and chortling “Money! Money, money, money money! How are you! Ready to give me lots of money?” After I assured him I was ready to fork it over, they took kid into the back room for X-rays.

When they were done, they brought the kid and the X-rays back to the consultation room. The orthodontist popped his head in for a moment more to say, “Great job! I’m really looking forward to getting the money!” A technician then explained the types of braces available, and the unpleasantness that would ensue by selecting each type.

My son has said he wanted Invisalign for years, and I figured his compliance was likely to be better if I allowed that choice. Having indicated that we would be able to make a decision when the time came, we then were ushered into to the financial chamber.

There, a young woman recited in a sing-songy voice the different schedules we could select to part with our money. The entire cost will run in the $4K range, and we have the delightful option of paying the whole thing up front for a discount.

I guess the visit was mostly what I expected, except for how annoying the orthodontist was. The guy makes me shudder.

Loose Ends

The bottle of pills showed up in a Yahtzee box.

The 24-hour animal hospital counted the nail-clipping as a tech appointment. The cat actually had two ingrown claws. They clipped them all and charged me $45. A bargain! Probably cheaper than my vet would have been!

I already feel less terrified of hitting that Publish button. Nothing bad happens! Nothing much happens at all, but I suppose my biggest fear was derisive, insulting comments.

A Tale of Two Shitty Events, Sandwiching a Generally Shitty Day

What a crappy day it has been.

It started out with my husband and kids leaving earlier than usual to go to a soccer tournament, leaving me with the dog chores that they normally would have done. The dog, shortly after they left, started barking and swatting at me with his paw, a pretty clear indication that he wanted to go out.

I hate taking him for a walk, because he pulls strenuously and continuosly on the leash. It’s quite unpleasant. He’s not trained, and we don’t seem to be able to train him or get someone else to do it. We’ve tried, and we’ve failed, but that’s a different story.

When I take him for a walk, I need to bring at least three poop bags, just in case. And my phone, and my keys. I usually put on a jacket with pockets, so I can be hands-free and hold on to the leash better. He has a new harness, and I guess I must have put it on backwards. I myself am remarkably backwards when it comes to putting harnesses wrong. I always screw it up.

Out we went, and it was much hotter than I’d thought. Way too hot for my faux-down jacket. He was particularly anxious, and was pulling with all his might. After a short time, my back started to hurt. I have a couple of herniated discs, and it doesn’t take much to exacerbate them.

I decided to go the short route, partially because the pulling and the heat from both the too-warm jacket and exertion were a drag. Then, suddenly, he leapt so forcefully that he got out of the harness. At first, part of it was still on, and he didn’t know he was free, but as I tried to sneak up on him he got wise and ran away.

I can’t run fast; in fact, can hardly run at all. He’s young and spry. And mischievous. I couldn’t catch him, and he didn’t want to be caught. He was cavorting through my neighbors’ yards, sniffing and exploring and reveling in his freedom. I was huffing and sweating, twenty paces behind, calling his name and promising peanut butter. I already know that peanut butter is only a lure when he’s on the leash or in the house. It means nothing when he’s free. But I had nothing else.

Eventually, he ran into a gated backyard and I followed him, latching the gate behind me. He ran near me but not near enough, and I panted and jogged breathlessly behind him. I was terrified every moment that he would jump the fence (he easily could have) and be lost forever or hit by a car. But, just as suddenly, he plopped himself down on the back porch and allowed me to refasten his harness, this time correctly. By this time, I was dripping with sweat and my back was killing me. And I was pissed off, pretty much at everyone. I dragged him back to the pile of poop we’d left behind when he got free, cleaned it up, and managed to get home.

That essentially ruined my day, though. I know it shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t shake my bad mood. My back still hurts and probably will for a few more days. I was too agitated to follow the loose plan I’d formulated that morning. I guess I don’t bounce back very easily. I eventually managed to accomplish everything, but I felt grumpy the entire time.

Things got slightly better by nighttime. I made a quiche that was well received at dinner, and was just about to try to write my daily blog post as I had resolved to do, but took a moment to pet my cat. It was then that I discovered one of her claws was so long it was piercing her foot pad. Poor thing! And then followed an episode of complete ineptitude. I had my husband hold her while I tried to clip the claw, but I couldn’t really tell where I was supposed to clip. She was growling and even biting me, which she does not do. It was unclear whether I was hurting her or just scaring her. Eventually, I gave up.

Bad medical situations have a way of happening when the doctor isn’t open. It’s just one of those Murphy’s Law things. The vet certainly isn’t around tomorrow, and possibly not even Monday due to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But I can’t bear to make her wait that long anyway. It must be so painful! So I guess I’ll take her to the animal hospital. Yes, I am the idiot who will pay hundreds of dollars to have my cat’s claws clipped. But I am also a softhearted idiot, and I don’t want her to suffer any longer than necessary.

Time to end this crappy day, and hope things aren’t this bad tomorrow!

Early Fall Resolution

For better or worse, I am going to post every day. The intent is to conquer my fear. Every day, all day, I think of things I want to write. Most of the time I don’t write them at all, and when I do I don’t post them. But I’ve decided: no matter what, I will post every day. At least until the end of this month; then we’ll see. So here are the topics that have been rattling around in my mind:

  1. I have invented a new diet, and so far I have lost about four pounds. Though that doesn’t sound impressive, I am one who loses weight slowly, with great difficulty. Four pounds is amazing for me. I’ve been on this diet for about forty days, actually, so the weight loss isn’t even insanely slow. It’s been so successful I think I’m going to write a friggin’ e-book. Seriously. I can’t figure out what to call it, though. More later!
  2. I have a job interview on Thursday. I obviously haven’t been offered a job yet, but I’ve been struggling mightily with myself about whether I would accept it, if offered, since this is the closest I’ve gotten in months. I passed an initial phone screen, and passed a “technical phone screen,” the title of which makes sense only marginally, given my prospective job role (which is in no way a software developer).
    1. The cons are:
      1. Pay is going to be less, undoubtedly. It won’t be less than I can live on, but it’s a different kind of company and the salary bands aren’t quite the same. Of course I will try to negotiate, but there’s no point in being unreasonable.
      2. It’s farther than I really want to commute. If I leave at a reasonable hour, I might double my commute time.
    2. The pros are:
      1. My research indicates it’s a happier company, with a clear purpose. The employees seem happy. They appear to be making a profit.
      2. Their product is good, something I’m at least not ashamed of, and there’s plenty of room for growth.
    3. The unknowns are:
      1. How much paid time off would they give me?
      2. Do they allow work from home?
      3. What’s the 401K matching situation?
      4. What’s the healthcare situation?
      5. What could my career trajectory look like, if I stayed there?
    4. And, of course, the other unknowns:
      1. Would I like it there?
      2. Would they be happy with me?
      3. Is there going to be an age gap problem?
        1. Will I seem like grandma to them?
        2. Will I be expected to go to happy hours all the time, when all I want to do is start my long commute home?

Anyway, this all may be moot; but I feel that despite my awkwardness and lack of self-confidence, I did pretty well at the interviews. And I am actually qualified.

I have more thoughts, but I’m going to avoid the risk of forgetting to publish this since there is chaos around me right now, and constant interruptions. See you tomorrow.

 

The KellyAnne Conway Photo

I’ve been too chicken to tell anyone what I think about the famous KellyAnne Conway photo that caused a stir a few months back; the one with her kneeling on the couch in the Oval Office, which was at the time full of presidents and leaders of historically black colleges.

But I’ve finally decided to lay down my burden. So here goes:

First, I don’t believe KAC had to kneel on the sofa in the particular way that she did in order to get a good photo. I think she could have gotten a good photo with her feet on the ground. Also, as many have pointed out, professional photographers with professional equipment, such as the ones who took the picture of her, were in the room taking photographs. I think the photo op excuse was just that: an excuse.

There’s an idea, an idea I believe is not only false but disgusting, but nonetheless an idea that exists, that black men want white women. Particularly, blonde white women. I think KAC buys into this idea. I know she also thinks of herself as quite a dish. I think she thought she was teasing those black men. There she was, just feet away on the couch! In a vulnerable position. It would be so easy to just hike her dress up and nail her. Only, too bad, the Secret Service was there so no one could do that.

Let me add that I highly doubt any of those men actually had the slightest interest in a foolish, deluded, mean-spirited women such as KAC. All she did was embarrass herself. I don’t know if anyone else has actually voiced the same “theory” as me, but I suspect it was at the back of at least some people’s minds. That’s why it was such an uncomfortable subject for everyone. People said they were uncomfortable with her showing disrespect to the Oval Office by having her feet on the couch, but, I don’t know…I just don’t think that’s it.

It’s an uncomfortable idea to commit to words. Yet it occurs to me all the time. Just now I realized…what the hell do I have this fucking blog for, if not to voice an idea that nags me all the time?