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You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby…

Like many others, I suffer a bit from anxiety, but it is mostly situational. Meeting new people, starting a new job, going to a new place, etc. Recently with the change in my employment status (as of tomorrow) it has brought a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. One coping method that I have found to work for me is to focus this nervous energy into something positive and rearrange something or organize something. For me, a sense of order goes a long way and makes me feel like I am just a little more in control of the situation, not to mention it helps alleviate some of the stress of something out of order. I find that when I have a messy desk, or clothes on the floor, or a messy inbox that it does nothing but add more stress to my current load. Sure all of these are trivial in the grand scheme of things, but when compounded with other situations, sometimes it is enough to really put you in a foul mood.

With that said, I am no clean/neat freak. My bed is never made, there is always at least one item of clothing on the floor and a stack of receipts on my desk. I do however tend to keep certain things in order all of the time and one of those items is my case of body jewelry. Some girls buy shoes or purses or regular jewelry, personally, I buy body jewelry. Aside from the 3 rings that I always wear, my body jewelry is really the only thing that I never take off (with the exception of places like work, etc. when needed) Previously working for a company that sold body jewelry has allowed me to amass quite the collection.

My collection consists of my jewelry divided by type in little jars that fit into a container meant for beads. I think I picked this up at Walmart or Michaels or something for a pretty low cost. This would also be a great idea for people who own a lot of rings and would like to keep them organized and visible. I find that this is the easiest way for me to have all of my jewelry in one place and see everything at a glance for those days where everything MUST match. Also not pictured that I keep with my collection are a pair of nitrile gloves that I use to loosen or tighten jewelry and a small bottle of tea tree oil used for cleaning.

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

How hard do you think you work?

Early on in my working career, I established a personal goal to always put as much of myself into my work as I can. This sometimes can be a fault, due to the fact that I will agonize over something that is not worth it, solely because of the high standards I hold myself to. I also learned early on that you are at work to work, that’s why it’s called… WORK. Sure I will have a casual conversation with a coworker, or take a moment to look at a funny picture or video. I think all of these things are important and make more productive people, but you will never catch me with my stuff in my hands, jacket on, waiting for the time clock to tick over. When I was in HR this was one of my biggest pet peeves as the time clock was right in front of my desk. How does someone justify being paid for the 10 minutes they stand there waiting for the end of their shift? Of course you wouldn’t want to start a new project to turn around and call it quits for the day, but there is always something that can be done that can occupy the last few minutes of your time. The same could be said for the first 10 minutes of your day. If I want to make a cup of hot chocolate or a bowl of oatmeal, I will arrive early to do so.

Depending on my workload, I will usually go above and beyond when it comes to tasks, mostly to satisfy myself. Sure I could just write out that quick list that the boss wanted throw it on his desk, but if I know that I don’t have other urgent items needing my attention, nicely formatting the list in Word and taking that extra second to do usually goes a long way. For example, at my current job, I deal a lot with equipment lists for various locations. Sure it is easy enough to have one big list for each location and look through all of it when I need to find an answer for either a technician or client, but in my down time I have managed to break these lists out by building location (ie. Building A has 1,2,3, & 4, Building B has 5, 6, & 7, etc.) I like to think that by working a little harder right now, I am saving myself hard work later. Instead of searching through one giant list looking for an answer, I can now quickly find it. Work smarter. Not harder. Probably one of the best things I strive to do everyday.

6 December, 2012

Pretty in Black

As usual I am late to the new album game. If only there were an app that would allow you to see all the new releases coming out each week. What makes this situation even more sad is that I follow The Raveonettes on various social media outlets and knew that this album was coming out, yet neglected to actually figure out when. I was introduced to The Raveonettes in 2007 by my friend Chris. He worked at a local coffee joint and I would spend my nights hanging out, drinking soy peppermint hot chocolates and we would talk music. We were introduced through a mutual friend and our common bond musically made for awesome conversations. One band that he introduced me to were The Raveonettes, a indie rock band from Denmark. The Raveonettes could best be described as a two part band with duo-harmonies mixed with electric guitars mixed with heavy distortion mixed with the 50’s and 60’s rock vibe meets a hint of surf rock. I had the pleasure of seeing them at a small venue in San Francisco for my birthday in 2008 with Be Your Own Pet (who you should also check out).

Their newest album Observator falls right in line with their previous stellar works. I think my main draw as to why I love this band so much is their vocal pairing and subtle electronic elements. Despite the usually dark lyrics most of their earlier albums have a rather upbeat vibe to them versus the more mellow tone of this album. This album was created after a few day bender by Sune in Venice Beach where he spent his time people watching. “Young and Cold”, the opening track on the album happens to my favorite mostly because I can identify with how he is feeling, each year of my life passing me by faster and faster.

If you like groups like The Bird and The Bee, Blonde Redhead, Mew, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Velvet Underground, you will probably enjoy The Raveonettes.

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

Do you enjoy teaching others? Talk about a time you taught someone how to do something.

Do I enjoy teaching others? Short answer, No. But I don’t think this question is so black and white, or maybe it is and I choose not to see it that way. The reason why I say no is because I am somewhat of a control freak coupled with a slight compulsion of OCD and sometimes get frustrated easily. Sometimes I forget that things that I find easy are not easy to others, this especially rings true when it comes to technology. When it comes to a menial task such as teaching someone how to use Word or how to send an email or take a screen capture on their computer, if they don’t pick it up quickly, I find myself getting slightly frustrated because these are all things I can do without even thinking about it. One thing I learned from my Mom was teach people by doing. Instead of completing the task yourself and asking them if they understand, have them complete the task and guide them. I find this yields better results.

A time that I had to teach someone was actually a time where I had to teach over 200 people. When my former employer added a department to the store, all of the employees had to be trained on all the various procedures, safety precautions, etc surrounding that department. Because I had been promoted to take over this department, I was in charge of ensuring that everyone was trained within a 2 week period. I started by reading over all of the information that I had to cover, because not only did I want to be informed and ready to answer any questions pertaining to the training materials, I wanted to see if there were any portions that I could change or omit to keep my audience engaged. After jotting down key points of all the topics that I needed to cover, I broke the entire building up into small groups that would be more manageable. I engaged the employees by asking them what prior knowledge they might have of the subject and then proceeded to break things down in visual way with props and whiteboards instead of standing in front of the room and reading from my notes. I felt that this approach was more effective than dumping a ton of information on them and expecting them to pass a test in 45 minutes. In the end most absorbed the material and passed the test and I was able to spend time with those who needed a little more help.

5 December, 2012

The cats out…

Posted in Inspiration by

Sort of.

I guess now that all of the proper channels have been notified, I can let the cat out of the bag. (Who keeps cats in a bag anyways, seems really inconvenient). No I’m not moving (again), or pregnant, or really a man. I am being laid off at work. This is due to no action of my own, but the relocation of the owner and their choice to close the business permanently. I have known for a couple of weeks, but chose to keep things somewhat quiet until all of the employees and vendors had been notified. As much as I have tried to look at this as an opportunity to focus on finding a job closer to home, getting back into school, and putting more energy into my art and blogs, I am terrified. I have spent a lot of time in bed, trying to keep myself from slipping into a pity depression because of the timing – Hello Christmas! but it hasn’t been easy. Every night I have had dreams of drowning. They are not reoccurring dreams per say, as I manage to drown in a different way every night, but it does not make for a good nights rest.

But before this turns into a ‘woe is me’ post – there are many things that I am thankful for that cannot be overlooked. First and most importantly I have had massive support from my Mom & Dad, as well as Richard and his family. Without them, this new transition would be much harder than it already is. This past year and a half has been the absolute, hands down, most trying time of my life, and without them – well, I can’t even imagine. Secondly, my boss. There were definitely times where I felt that I was not the right fit for this job. I knew nothing about the heating and air trade which made it even harder when trying to speak to vendors and technicians without sounding like a complete idiot. My boss reassured me that I was doing my job just fine, and by the time that the busy season hit, I would be a seasoned veteran, and he was right. Also switching from almost 10 years in retail to an office job presented a whole new set of challenges. I was thrown into book keeping, mileage tracking, dispatching, call routing, and all kinds of other scenarios with little or no training before hand. I had to become even more resourceful, ask questions, be patient with myself, and fail.

The last part was the hardest for me, because in my previous roles as management at two well known retail corporations, I hardly ever failed. I had the answers, I was in charge, I was the person people turned to for guidance and questioning. Suddenly I was in a role that I had never really been in full time (of course I did of my current roles at my previous jobs but not in this capacity) without floaties. The girl before me was let go on a Friday and I started on Monday – nobody to show me where the vendor lists were, how to look up previous work in Quickbooks, what the passwords were to various accounts, and what jobs were currently open. But this was a true test of my ability to turn on a dime and make it work. Did my desk look like an explosion most days? Yes. Did I get the job done? Yes. So now that my time is coming to a close at my current job, I really need to remember to stop and give myself a pat on the back.

So what’s next – Good question. I have started applying for jobs. I am also eligible for unemployment, which is definitely a breath of fresh air because I won’t be struggling to pay my bills like when I left Target. During my (hopefully short) time off, I plan to complete the process to starting college to work on obtaining my nursing degree, my ultimate goal. I also plan on spending some time to really hammer out the direction of what I want to do with this space. Unlike Spoil Your Dinner, the content doesn’t write itself and some days I find it hard to put together something to post here.

In an effort to become more inspired, I have been really digging into the blogging community. I have joined BlogHer, which I have found to be a great place for women bloggers and will be participating in this months NaBloPoMo (which stands for National Blog Posting Month – don’t worry, I had to Google it too) which of course is themed around Work this month. Check back tonight to see this past weeks “My week in an instant” and todays first NaBloPoMo entry.

3 December, 2012