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Four Months Later ….

Much has occurred since the last post.

The layoffs were done in such a distasteful manner that I decided I was going to seek employment elsewhere.  I had my resume updated back in January but didn’t really have a sense of urgency.  As such, I just idly checked for open positions.  The layoffs were the last straw for me.  If a company could disregard a good employee’s expertise and loyalty so easily, then it didn’t make sense for me to pour my life into it.  I started my new job on April 30 and am enjoying every last bit of the chaos (IT dept of a large hospital system in our area).

I had interviewed and, by mid April, was waiting to hear back from the HR department.  In the meantime, my friend also had an interview.  After some doubtful first impressions, he took the job offer.  Turns out it was the best thing he’s done in a while.  He is loving his new job as much as I love mine.  Unfortunately, it will mean relocation for his family once their house sells (job is two hours away from here).  Neither I nor my husband are looking forward to the day our friend’s house sells. However, a two-hour car trip is not out of the question.  We’ll still be able to get together … just not as often.

God is faithful.

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No Stages, Just a Flood

Back in 1969, Elsabeth Kubler-Ross proposed that there are several stages of grief and/or loss:

  • Denial and isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

You move from one to the next until you’re finally out of the hole and able to move on with life.  I don’t know about that.  My experience in the last few days is that the stages come flooding over you all at once, which adds to the chaos and confusion of the situation.  There’s barely time to get another breath before the next wave comes.  Sometimes, you just have to hold your breath that much longer and pray that you don’t drown while waiting for the next chance at air.

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Insanity, Part Trois

It’s been nearly a year.

I have gone from enjoying my job, to outright loathing, and on to tolerance. Management has made some very interesting decisions – some are ok, others were poor and we’re seeing the consequences of those decisions now. My client is a nightmare of the spoiled-rotten-temper-tantrum-throwing-3-year-old variety. The demands were ridiculous and our team was forced to comply with everything – even requests that were clearly against the contracted agreements (why bother with a contract then?). Of course, management finally decides to examine our complaints 9 months after the nonsense began and is realizing that their injunctions to “keep the client happy” were just a corporate cave-in to the tantrums. Trying to undo 9 months of spoiling is not going to be easy.

On the up side, management has noticed one of my stronger abilities (writing) and plans to use me across multiple teams. On one hand, I’m thankful that I can stand out from the crowd (not be another cog in a very large machine). However, it destroys my attempts at flying under management’s radar. Management is extremely fickle and you can go from being the golden child to being the bastard child in a matter of minutes. So much for incognito… :)

Hubby got a job offer from a very large, recognizable company. It was a “spur of the moment” decision to apply to a job posting that he saw – he wasn’t actively seeking a different job. This came through (there’s a funny story in here I will have to tell another time) and he should be starting with them in the beginning of July. The salary offer was amazing. He is nearly doubling his current pay! (Finally, a company that is willing to pay him what he is actually worth.) God is sooo good! If things get really ugly where I am, we can afford to have me quit and search until I find something I really like instead of :

a) staying where I am until I find something

or

b)settling for something I may not like just to get out of a bad situation.

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Why?

 

Why is it that, at age two, we fight nap time tooth and nail but when we become adults and could really use a nap (even 15 minutes in a cubicle), we can’t get one?

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Insanity, Part Deux

I survived the two weeks I was doing split duty between two offices.  Only by the grace of God.

This is my second full week at the new office and, as I’ve commented to several people, I hope that my husband’s health insurance covers traumatic brain injuries because my brain is going to explode.  Processing a lot of new information quickly is one problem but, of course, there are others.  There are three major systems I need to know in order to do my job effectively (and a handful of minor systems).  One is pretty self-explanatory.  I’ve been struggling with the second one for two weeks and I think I’m getting the hang of the basics and some of the intermediate stuff.  We haven’t even touched the third yet.  From what I’ve seen, they’ll need to send out a search party to find me when I get lost in the bowels of a mainframe.

Today, we just skimmed the surface of another mess.  It seems that my predecessor chose not to do much work and, when she did, it was done rather haphazardly.  I spent the bulk of the day today trying to figure out:

  • the specifics of a project
  • where she left off on the project
  • where she left the pieces I would need to complete the project
  • what to do with the leftover pieces (did I miss something or did she grab something unnecessary?)

This ongoing project, depending on constant incoming volume, needs to be done at least twice a month, if not more.  Finishing the piece of the project today was all well and good but it doesn’t bring us up to date.  There is still 6 weeks of catch-up work to do before we are current. Ick.

Overall, though, I think I’m pleased.  I was worried that some of the rote-ness might bore me.  While this isn’t the job that I’ve lived my life to get, I don’t loathe it either.  It’s not a bad way to spend my day.  The people at the company, for the most part, are friendly and willing to help.  While the basics of the job are on the boring side, enough nonsense comes through the pipeline that force me to use creative measures to get things done. I like that.

Now, if only someone would assign me my own network ID.  And get me my own desk. And computer. And phone…

:)

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I Don’t Suffer From Insanity – I’m Enjoying Every Minute of It!

Frantic.jpgIf someone had told me everything that was going to transpire between January and now, I would have either worried myself into an early grave or just lost my mind on the spot.  I’m very glad that God doesn’t typically let us in on the future.  Very few of us could handle it.  I sometimes wonder how the prophets were able to process and cope with the knowledge of the future that God gave them.

Besides the heart blip, I ended up with another physical issue.  Without going into details, I’m hoping and praying that my body will resolve the problem on its own.  If not, I’ll be in the doctor’s office in about two weeks for an interventionary procedure. **sigh**

Now, on to the good stuff.  Of course, none of it is simple – God doesn’t want me to get bored. ;)

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The Update Needs An Update

Checklist.jpgFirst things first – thank you for your prayers concerning my niece.  The headache she developed was a direct result of the spinal tap that had been performed several days prior. We still do not have an explanantion for the symptoms that put her in the ER – I suppose it will remain a mystery for now.

The other bit of news is that my job hunt intensity has increased.  We were just informed yesterday that, instead of closing the office on June 30 (as originally planned), plans have been stepped up.  The office will be closing on May 31.  I just lost a 4-week chunk of time to find a job.  I’m beginning to feel the heat.  While I have applied to several jobs in a variety of industries, I hoping that one of my two favorites comes through: production assistant in a multimedia department or tech support role for one of the local universities.

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Quick Update

Busy.gifNo, I’m not dead or otherwise incapacitated.  So many things have happened in the last few weeks that I haven’t had much time to think about a post, much less actually posting the thought. Sorry! I get involved in so many different things that I’m astonished I actually have time to sleep.  I may have to do something about that!  This is a general recap of what’s been going on:

  • After much running between a variety of medical offices, I have a definite diagnosis – it’s called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). In a nutshell, the electric signal that is supposed start at the top, go down in, through and around the bottom of the heart to create the contraction gets screwy. Instead, it starts at the top, goes in and gets caught in a loop, causing the heart to beat faster and faster in an attempt to pump out the blood. Test results have shown that I can go from 80 beats per minute to 165 and not even be aware of the change. This is not good since the overly rapid heart beat causes the heart to pump inefficiently. Thankfully, I’m on a baby dose of medication and it’s completely under control now.
  • My brother-in-law, Rick, and his family have finally moved into their home here in PA after a long and grueling search for a job and a place to live. We’ve been helping out on weekends, doing some minor repair work and helping set stuff up.
  • Earlier this month, we managed to take a day off from work and went to the Philadelphia Flower Show with hubbie’s sister and her husband.  This year’s theme was Ireland.  I have a bunch of pictures from that – some really beautiful displays – but I haven’t had time yet to post it to my Flickr account.  Maybe I’ll get some down-time this afternoon…
  • Our niece, Shannon, had a scary medical incident the other day. While at a friend’s house, she became incoherent, began mumbling strange things, broke into a cold sweat and started to drift in and out of consciousness. After a really long night (we’re still catching up on sleep) and a lot of nasty tests, the doctors came up with nothing. Fortunately, the tests ruled out a lot of very serious conditions that might bring on those symptoms but it isn’t very comforting when you still don’t know what caused it – or what might inadvertently bring it on again.
    Update (3/24/07): Got a phone call today around 11:30 AM – they’re taking her back to the hospital.  She quickly developed a horrible headache and is vomiting.  We’re praying that the doctor’s figure out the cause soon.
  • I’ve been busy working on a website re-design for someone else. I’m not about to toot my own horn, so I’m not linking to it. If you know where/what the site is, enjoy it when it comes out (soon) – I’m really quite pleased with the way it has turned out. If you don’t know, oh well! ;)
  • The company I work for was sold and we merged another Local Company a few months ago. Prior to that event, the Local Company had become a partner of a Very Large Company, based south of here, that wanted to expand their territory into our area – a good business move. To consolidate things, Local Company let us know that our current office will be closing sometime around June or July and we were all going to move to their main office a few miles away. I would be moving out of my current position (receptionist/secretary) to a more tech-oriented position. However, Very Large Company has been downsizing in their region and now has asked Local Company, their partner, to consolidate the workflow and do the same. The responsibilities of the position I was supposed to take has been given to someone else at Very Large Company and the position was eliminated. I got that phone call yesterday.Now I have to start the great job hunt. While it is not likely that my current position will be cut prior to the office closing (someone has to answer the calls and keep things running smoothly), it always is a possibility. God has given me complete peace in this situation. I know that the right opportunity will turn up at the right time, as per His plan. One of God’s fingerprints is clearly visible : I have approximately 3 months to find a job instead of 3 days or weeks. This is a blessing that I know doesn’t happen very often – most times, you’ve got a couple of weeks at best – and it’s a blessing for which I am immensely thankful. He’s provided perfectly in the past and I know He will do so again. I just pray that my eyes will be open to see the door He’s opening rather than stubbornly staring in the opposite direction at a closed window, willing it to open itself.

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Connecting the Dots to Jesus’s Tomb

Tomb.jpgAs a kid, I loved “connect the dots” puzzles. There was something very satisfying in drawing one line segment after another until a picture emerged. There was one rule: you had to connect the dots sequentially. Otherwise, the picture you ended up with would, in all likelihood, not be the right picture.

It seems that James Cameron, Simcha Jacobovici and their cohorts have spent the last two years connecting the dots to a puzzle that revolves around the 27-year-old discovery of a tomb. They didn’t stop to make sure that their line segments were drawn according to the right sequences. Frankly, it appears that the dots they connected don’t even belong to the puzzle in question. The picture they have ended up with is not the right one.

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Review: Children of Men

“Children of Men”, an adaptation of the novel by P.D. James, is Alfonso Cuaron’s best movie to date. If you’re looking solely to be entertained, this movie is not for you. This movie makes you think. Hard. It is a powerful depiction of the true colors of human depravation when humanity is faced with the realization that there is no hope of a future.

The technical aspects of this movie do not disappoint. As noted in many reviews, the camera work is very different and contributes a great deal to the story. For many scenes, the camera was handheld, giving you the sense that you are walking/running along with the main characters. That effect could have potentially caused a theater full of motion-sick individuals, but it was handled carefully and does not detract from the scenes. Also in many of the scenes is the presence of spattered blood on the lens as you are trying to look through it but it is accomplished in such a way so as not to be a distraction. The one description of that world that keeps coming back to my mind is the word “grey”. Though the movie was filmed in color, you’re left with the distinct impression that it was devoid of it, which goes to underscore the bleakness and gives the movie a gritty feel to it.

The story starts in 2027 with the announcement that the world’s youngest human (18 years, 4 months and 12 days old) had just died from injuries sustained when he refused to give an autograph to a fan. As details emerge, you find out that, for an unknown reason, women have become infertile – no known cause and no cure in the foreseeable future. The world has collapsed into chaos with Britain as the only country left standing. Citizens of other countries abandoned their homes and their now uninhabitable countries to illegally immigrate to Britain. The increasing chaos causes Britain to become a police state, imprisoning the illegal aliens and abusing/torturing some of them before deportation – that is, the ones that survive the abuse.

In the midst of this very hopeless world, a woman named Kee is keeping a secret – she is eight months pregnant. She is also a refugee, destined for deportation. An activist group, fighting for proper treatment of the illegal aliens, wants to use her – and her soon-to-be-born child – for their own purposes. Theo, a disillusioned man and an ex-activist, agrees to help Kee to safety.

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