Miss ya Mom!

A year ago today my life changed forever. My beloved mother passed away and life hasn’t been the same since. My mother was the most loving, kind, amazing individual anyone ever met. She loved everyone. When she passed, a light went out in this world.
Ironically, today is World Adoption Day.How appropriate! My older brother and I are both adopted. (We have a baby brother who isn’t, but that is a long story for a future post, maybe.)
My parents were unable to have children of for a long, long time. In the 50’s it couldn’t possibly be the male’s problem, so women would undergo surgery to try and figure out why they couldn’t conceive. It had to be her fault.
My blessed mother had fifteen (15) exploratory surgeries between 1950 and 1957 trying to figure out why she wasn’t conceiving. My parents had been married since 1946 and this was incredibly frustrating for both of them. She was diagnosed with severe case of endometriosis in one of her early surgeries and the medical community rectified that problem, probably extending her life. (Thank you!)
It has been interesting growing up as an adopted child. My parents never hid the information and actually went out of their way to make sure I knew it. There are a lot of mixed emotions as an adoptee. You can’t help but wonder why didn’t my biological parents want me? Was I rejected at birth?
Roe v Wade changed the thought process. Never again did I have a negative thought about being giving up for adoption. I began thinking about what a blessing it was that I ever took a breath. Thanks Bio-mom whomever you may be and wherever you are.
My parents are a shining example of what adoption could/should be, so I find it interesting that World Adoption Day is today.

Windows, windows, windows

The window installation was finished, supposedly on time, but in my book late. If you are supposed to start a 2 day job on Monday and don’t bother to start until Tuesday, it is impossible for you to finish on time.
Add to it we were supposed to have a Project Manager who would be our ‘go to’ for everything. We were told he would be here everyday the workers were and that he would be responsive to any of our questions. LIES! All lies!
To begin with, he never came to the house prior to the job start to see what the job really was all about. Bad practice dude! The first time we heard from him was a half an hour after they were supposed to be here for the job when he was calling to tell us they wouldn’t be showing up because of the inclement weather. Ironic is the fact it wasn’t inclement at our house. The weather was bad at their office which is almost 50 miles south of our house. I was upset. I called his boss, I logged a yelp review and provided them with a google review letting the world know how lousy this experience was becoming.
Fine, that is water under the bridge. The crew showed up on Tuesday morning. If I were in charge, they would have been here earlier to show a good faith effort to please the customer. They showed up, but it was after 9:00 am! To add to my frustration, this fictitious PM wasn’t with them. Really? That is not how you provide good customer service. The PM finally showed his face around 1:00 PM, but not until the lead called telling him he needed him to make an appearance.
This PM was here a total of 30 minutes. Okay, I will bump that to 31 so that I can say he was here for 1 minute per window we were having installed. This PM should be FIRED!!!
Day 2, the crew shows up around 9:00 am. Again it caught my attention that they really don’t start very early, even if they knocked off mid-day the day before. Not impressed with the work ethic exhibited here. To be honest, the slippage and the lackadaisical approach to the schedule screwed them out of a tip, which I had budgeted to give them if I were impressed. As frequently happens when you have a set of tasks that must be accomplished before a job is done, they ended up working into the night to complete all of the windows. They got it done, but it was definitely cold and dark before they were finished with the install.
Now comes the time for us to sign off on the work. Well, first, it is dark outside, we cannot possibly see. We refused. We liked the crew and the lead was a reasonable guy, so we negotiated to sign off enough that they could go home. If we had insisted on waiting for the PM, they would have wound up staying overnight for a lot of nights because as of this writing I still haven’t seen the assigned PM again since the day we started. Again, this PM should be FIRED!!!
As happens, eventually the office is going to want to be paid. It took about a week, but the office realized that we had not signed off on the install and were still waiting on the PM to get his lazy ass butt to our house to do a walk through. These guys did a decent job of installing the product, but I had noticed a couple of things that weren’t right and I expect them to be fixed before we sign off and pay. I have left my house torn up so I can show someone who cares the things that need to be fixed. I have forged ahead with ordering new window coverings as I knew there would be a lead time before delivery and I would really like to have all of this done before Christmas. Crazy talk to have a project that I started in June done by December!
I have other things to do in my life than wait around for a non-responsive PM to schedule to walk-through. Wednesday morning I went for a pedicure. Trust me when I tell you I needed on. No way could I wear winter boots without getting this done. I guess since a week had passed we triggered something in their system as lo and behold, all of a sudden the elusive PM started calling both my landline and my cell phone every 10 minutes. So glad I was having a pedicure and I always, always, turn my ringer off for my personal appointments. Saved this jackass a ton of grief as if I had picked up the phone, he would have gotten a piece of my mind and some serious instructions on how to do his job better.
Later Wednesday afternoon, I was at home working on things for a party I have wound up doing this weekend and here comes a knock at my front door. It was Ben from the company who we hired to do all of these windows. (For the record, I really like Ben! Ben has the kind of customer service skills that I appreciate.) I was thrilled to see him. For the first time in a week I felt like we might actually get something done!
Somehow, someway Ben had found out we hadn’t signed off on the contract and since he was in the area to do another measurement job, he thought he would stop by and see if there was something he could do to help. God bless Ben! He spent two and a half hours walking through the house with me. Taking pictures of every little nit and damage we had identified. Ben is a man of action. By the time he left, I had a date and time that the correction crew will be here to fix things. The job is not completed, but at least we have a date and Ben was smart enough to not try and push me for payment. Stay tuned.

“Raindrops on Roses…”

Yep, lyrics again. These are very poignant for today. You see, this song reminds me of my mother, for many reasons. My mother passed this morning and I am sad. I am beyond sad, but I don’t have the vocabulary to more accurately express how I feel.
“My Favorite Things” was one of my mother’s favorite songs. She taught me to sing it when I was wee little and she took great joy sitting down to the piano and accompanying me while I sang it.
I remember practicing this song day and night as my audition song for a musical in our local theater. She was precious taking her time to record the music on the great, big, old reel-to-reel for me to use as I practiced.
She worked with me on timing, breathing, choreography, the whole bit. It was special time we shared together. When I didn’t get the lead, I felt like I had let her down somehow, but she never would tell you that, she was always in my corner.
My mother was an artist at heart. She took great pleasure in making the world happy. She had this desire to perform and was disappointed when I didn’t share this talent.

I anticipate there will be more rambling entries like this as the next few days pass and I get a grip on the whole situation.

“Wake me up when September ends…”

Thank you Green Day for some of my favorite lyrics and expressing such emotion in your work!
DISCLAIMER – what follows is a random stream of thought that provides a deeper view into me.
For the first time in my entire life, I am allowed – er, encouraged – to learn about pop culture. That is kind of awesome.
Just a quick catch up, as I got busy doing life again, rather than pondering about it, the following things happened:
– Started the new job. Like it? Love it? Opportunity? How am I handling it?
– Driving a lot. Long way to work. How am I doing on the interstate?
– Daughter is getting married soon. How’s that going? Wow!
– My beautiful grandbabies are back in school. They are growing up way too fast!
To sum it up: there’s a boatload of things happening in my day-to-day life. In my mind’s eye, I see my mother repeating her mantra about how to handle life, “That’s life, it is so daily.”
To be fair, she probably said it with a great deal of enthusiasm.
I heard this my whole life. I interpreted it when I was about 17.
I have reassessed the meaning, recently.
My mother? Well she isn’t really capable of communicating long distance anymore. This saddens me. What I wouldn’t give to hear, “Honey, that is life, it is so daily.” just one more time.

I started the job!

Kind of knew I would. Not being arrogant, it is one of those things. You get it when you ‘click’ with the situation. The hardest part is locating that situation. I got lucky.
This last week has been a whirlwind.
Onboarded officially last Thursday.
Went to Colorado for the weekend.
Started the new job on Monday.
That is a lot of activities in a very short period of time!.

I am figuring out my secret sauce.
Today – I truly became comfortable with the tools I need to do my job.
That is pretty good. I have only had the machine for two full days. I haven’t been provided a map to the environment, I have had to just do it on my own.

So technically, I work for 3 Directors.
Director of Digital Innovation. Don’t get it. How does it fit?
*Director of ERP – got it. We do a lot of ecommerce.
Director of Operations – this is the most overworked, under-valued member of this team. We are finally going to meet tomorrow. He has been that damn busy!

* The only one who has given me the time of day. He appreciates my value. Sometimes I feel like his assistant, but that isn’t all bad when he has only been here for about a month. We are building this together.

Thank you for closure

I have to admit, that interaction the other day was impactful. It forced me to not just ‘think’ about the job, but work through the emotions that were attached to the thing.
It was painful.
Not the work. The disrespect.
It wasn’t something that happened overnight, it took years. But the seeds were sown early on.
It was a good thing to run into my former team member.
It is nice to be moving forward with something new and exciting with an entirely clean slate.

Get over it!

So being laid off earlier this year was devastating. Much more devastating than I wanted to believe. To be honest, I thought I was completely over all of the emotional baggage that comes with such an adventure. That is until I ran into one of the people that I used to manage. Since I was laid off, the slimy little creature who had weaseled her way into being our manager has since converted this person to an FTE role.
I was upset. I am trying to understand why it upset me, but it did. It was nice to have her tell me how much they missed me. Apparently, they have realized how hard it truly was to do the things that I made look incredibly easy. (Duh, that was in the job description – ‘make this happen’. I guess I was really good at that. She went on and on and on about how hard it was to onboard new people and how much they miss my expertise. She said they brought on a few people the beginning of July and here we are 6 weeks later and those folks still aren’t fully productive.
This is one of the processes and procedures I had mastered. When the challenge was tossed my way to ‘solve it’, our onboarding was normally 90 days before someone was fully productive. Rising to the challenge tossed my way by our previous manager, I was able to create a process and a set of checkpoints that would have a new hire fully capable to be productive within their first 5 days on the time. Indoctrinating them into the environment and getting them to full productivity was entirely dependent upon the person, but overall, we reduced the time from 90 days to less than 2 weeks.
When I left, I was asked to make sure the process documentation was updated and in place. It was. What I couldn’t get the juvenile who had been promoted from graphic designer to be my manager to realize is that it isn’t always the steps in the process that matters, as much as it is how you execute those steps. The reason I could do it so quickly and effectively is that I had taken the time to build the relationships with the folks who actually execute the steps that our outside of my control. I did things in a specific order because there is time in back office processing that has to happen. I have a wee bit of knowledge about access management and networking, so I get what is happening and timed the required manual interventions accordingly so that when we were ready to do the next thing on the list, the systems would be ready too.
This morning, I am over the disappointment and any jealousy I might have had has passed. I am truly blessed to be out of that dysfunctional, unprofessional coffee clutch.