It’s Not Everything

Reminder:

Easy-Peasy — Easy-Think-of-Your-Own-Description,-For-God’s-Sake

X is everything — No, it’s not. It’s not everything.

This construction? Don’t use it.

Because sentences.

OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move back to the job offer.

When we last left off, I had just gotten word that an offer was coming. What’s happened since then is that I’ve had a preliminary, pre-offer discussion with the guy who would be my boss.

He said that, because of my experience, they were going to offer me the very top of the salary range for the position. He kindly cut to the chase and gave the numbers everyone wants to know the most.

Now, I have a friend who is a master negotiator. Months ago, when I thought an offer was coming from a certain company, but instead I was just being strung along for months, she had worked with me to develop negotiation scripts for a variety of scenarios. Because I had a heads-up that the potential boss would be calling me, I’d reviewed the scenarios just before the call. That was key. Without that, I don’t know if I would have been able to do any negotiating. Oh, I know it’s what everyone does, or at least is supposed to do. I know employers expect it. But it doesn’t come naturally and I haven’t even had the opportunity to negotiate for many years.

So I said, “That’s great! I’m so happy to be getting an offer from you. I’d love to join your team. My current salary is X; is there any way we could get closer to that?” There is a 12K difference between what he offered and what I’m making, and I felt that there was no harm in telling him the my actual salary, so that he’d see I’m not being greedy or extortionist, but that it’s a significant pay cut.

I also asked for more vacation. The salary, he said he’d have to ask the president of the company. The vacation, he said he thought he could do.

He will get back to me. Of course, I’m terrified that they will decide to rescind the offer based on my audacity…but I hope not.

Many things about this job are worse: the commute is longer. The pay will be less, even if they give me a few thousand more than the initial offer. They don’t give nearly as much toward the 401K. Even the health benefits may be more expensive. But, the job itself is better. The company is better. I think I will like the work better; in fact, I think I will love it. I think I will finally look forward to going to work again, and enjoy the day rather than getting through it.

After all this time, it’s a huge step to take. But I’m thinking, if I don’t take this opportunity, I am choosing to suffer. It would be so cowardly as to be shameful. Why am I living? Is it just to have a large amount in my 401K? And the fact is, things aren’t so bad. It’s a perfectly respectable salary that they’re offering. Some companies don’t give anything toward the 401K. I do have something in there, after all these years. So, not taking this opportunity would be disgustingly timid.

So I’m going to do it.

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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).

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!