Archive

Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Brother J Visits

July 9th, 2018 Comments off

I took last week off from work because they are renovating the office which includes redoing the floors and installing new cubicles with much shorter walls (which I’m seriously dreading). I didn’t want to spend all week displaced so I decided to use some of my accumulated time off to hang out at home. Since I only work Tue-Thu and Wednesday was a holiday, I only needed to use two vacation days.

Monday (7/2) I went out to lunch with my friend C and cleaned the house Tuesday (7/3) to prepare for my Brother J to visit for a few days.

Wednesday (7/4) morning Joe and I drove to my parents house to pick up J. We stopped at Savers on the way back and then came home to start grilling some ribs we purchased at Costco over the weekend, as well as burgers. Wookie was thrilled to see J and was comfortable enough to let him rub her belly. It was really cute. She also would run over and lick his face at random times throughout the week. He’s become a lot more comfortable around her (he’s always been a bit fearful of dogs in general) which is nice because we might be able to have him dog-sit for us occasionally as long as we’re willing to do a bunch of driving since he’s not comfortable driving on expressways and taking side streets from his house to ours would take over two hours.

Anyway, here’s what we basically did the rest of the week:

Wednesday night – Watched Maximum Overdrive. I stayed up until midnight with Wookie until the fireworks stopped and she calmed down. Joe had to get to sleep since he had work the next day.

Thursday (7/5) – Joe at work. Called around to check on driveway progress, of which there was none even though this project was due to be completed on June 28th. Played Wii games (Mad World & Simpsons). Took J to Half Price Books and Chick-fil-A for lunch. Played Jeopardy & Song Quiz games on Alexa. Had baked spaghetti for dinner. Watched Dead Snow (so, so bad) and then Blockers (which was much better, but we had seen it before).

Friday (7/6) – Went to Taco bell for breakfast. Saw Antman and The Wasp at theater. Awesome movie! The trailer didn’t do it a lick of justice. Took Wookie for a walk at Armstrong park. Watched Pacific Rim: Uprising.

Saturday (7/7) – Joe made Waffles for breakfast. J and I played Wii (Donkey Kong and Raving Rabids, then Let’s Tap). We all went to McDonald’s for a late lunch, and then visited Brother B for an hour and a half before we dropped Brother J back at home.

Sunday (7/8) – Joe and I went on a morning bike ride at Armstrong park. After coming home and showering we ran to Kohl’s where I paid $3 for a pair of shorts since they gave me $15 in Kohl’s Cash. Then we did a little grocery shopping before coming home to relax.

Today (7/9) I’ve just been cleaning and calling around trying to find out when the hell our driveway apron is going to be filled with concrete. The village informed me that the concrete company had inspections scheduled but they were cancelled since they haven’t paid the village a re-inspection fee. I called the association and demanded to speak to the property manager (who never gets back to us when we call) and of course she wasn’t available. I was at least given her voicemail and left one for her that I am hoping she returns. I think at this point they need to fire these idiots and get someone else to finish the work. What a nightmare.

My boss texted me this morning to let me know the renovation at work is behind schedule so I’ll be sitting in a conference room tomorrow, and possibly Thursday, until our new cubicles are set up.

I like things neat and orderly and I have neither of those things at home or work so I’m feeling very stressed. On top of that my new glasses are too heavy and despite multiple trips back to the clinic to have the nose pads and temples adjusted, they are still hurting my face. I am going there today to have them put on the new silicone nose pads I ordered from Amazon as a last ditch effort. If that doesn’t work I’m going to have to pick out a different pair of frames which sucks because I really grew to like the ones my optician had chosen for me. They look much nicer on me than my old glasses. Too bad they aren’t comfortable, ugh!

Categories: Family, Fun & Games, Health, House & Home, Work Tags:

Glasses & Haircuts

June 18th, 2018 Comments off

Another four day weekend is almost over. I dread going into the office more and more these days, not because I hate my job but because I just hate sitting at a desk all day under bright florescent lights listening to other people make annoying noises. It’s only going to get worse in less than a month when they finish an office remodel which includes replacing all our cubicles with new ones with much lower walls on them. Kill me now.

Friday (6/15) for dinner we tried a new Chinese place that opened recently very close to home and between their price, portion size, and taste, they are a winner. I just finished the last of my Pad See Ew (they do Thai dishes as well) for lunch today, in fact.

Saturday (6/16) morning we headed to the Wheaton Eye Clinic so I could look at their frames since the ones at Visionworks sucked so bad I took them back for a refund. They matched with me a woman named Michelle since she specializes in helping people find suitable glasses. I explained what I was looking for and learned that the reason I’m having such difficulty is the latest trend is over-sized frames. Well, normal frames are over-sized on my face face as it is so that sucks.

That being said, she listened to what I was looking for and went around their showroom and pulled several frames for me to try on. Most of them were duds but we did find a pair I liked that she, another woman, and Joe all agreed suited my face better than the pair I’ve been wearing. They are larger around my eyes which she explained will help make the prescription more consistent through the viewing area, but are small enough that my eyes are more centered in the lens. The bridge is 1mm shorter and the temple is 5mm shorter than my current pair which should help stop them from slipping down my nose.

My only reservation is while they are labeled as purple/rose by the manufacturer, it’s more like maroon and I really wanted black. I trusted Michelle when she said they come in brown, blue, and this purple color, but when I was googling the style online last night I learned they also come in black/orchid which is totally up my alley. Now, it may be that they don’t carry that color combo in their store, and even though I like that color it might not look good on me, but I’d like to at least try them! I called over there this morning but no one is picking up the phone so I left a message and have yet to hear back. I already ordered my glasses but I’m thinking since it’s just the frame that I could be potentially changing, it shouldn’t be a big deal to them. Oh, and the total price was less than $30 more than I paid at Visionworks but at least these people actually work with you instead of leaving you to pick your own frames without verifying how they look or fit on you. I don’t think I’ll ever shop the retail vision places again because every last one of them (Lens Crafters, Four Eyes, America’s Best) were the same way.

After the eye place we went to the Subaru dealership to pick up some touch-up paint for my car since I messed up the mirror months ago when I got too close to our storage racks in the garage. At some point we’ll have to try using that. I know it won’t look perfect but better than it does now. I’m just glad it’s on the passenger side so I’m not constantly reminded of the damage I inflicted on my poor car before it was even six months old. This is why I can’t have nice things. ;)

Speaking of nice things – I found a pair of grey Addidas running shoes at Kohl’s a few weeks ago that I really liked. They were rather pricey at $60 but would go with a lot of my summer outfits. Well, I tested them out today by wearing them for a few hours and I’m disappointed to say I need to take them back. They were causing pain in my left foot and then it started vibrating, perhaps from a nerve being pinched or something, I don’t know. Back to the drawing board I guess. I hate shoe shopping! I just want something affordable, comfortable, and pretty basic. I thought they were going to be it but no.

Sunday (6/17) we finally saw Solo: A Star Wars Story which I thought was just ok. It wasn’t great, but not terrible either. There were a few boring parts but the ending was interesting at least. Afterwards we had lunch at Red Robin since I had earned a free burger. We spent the remainder of the day watching TV because it’s been crazy hot all weekend.

Today (6/18) I went to Great Clips for a haircut and am already wishing I had gotten a little bit more cut off. I asked for three inches and the woman made it sound like anything more would put my hair at my shoulders which turned out not to be the case so it could be shorter. Oh well, this is what I get for not wanting to drop $50+ at a real salon. I went to the same location where they fixed my hair after the woman I usually like screwed up my hair at a different location. The woman who did my cut today was the same one who fixed it last time so at least the ends are even. I had her round the back and do face framing with some feathering in the front/sides and for the most part I like it. At least it doesn’t look super choppy like the time I went to The Hair Cuttery and the stylist was just not getting it when I explained what I wanted. It took her three attempts before it came out right and I almost cried. Ugh!

I also stopped at Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee I plan to nurse all this week but they overcharged me! I put together my order in the app and then picked it up during happy hour. It should have cost $1.50 but they charged me full price which I didn’t notice until I left. Usually the app shows the full price because they don’t know whether you’re actually going to pick it up during the discount period so I wasn’t too worried until I checked the app and see they charged me more than they should have. I tried calling the store and no one picks up. So I tried calling Dunkin Donuts corporate and the wait time was over thirty minutes so I ended up emailing them instead. I hope they get back to me and make things right. I usually don’t go to that particular location so I’m not sure if the mistake was caused by that store or if something went wrong in the app.

Update: Got a call back from Michelle at the eye place and she ordered the black/orchid pair of frames so I can try those too. I hope I like them just because that’s my favorite color combo but she said no big deal if I end up sticking with the original color. At least one thing is going right today.

Categories: Food, Health, Shopping, Work Tags:

Great News

December 10th, 2016 Comments off

I’ll just come right out and say it – Joe got a job! We are both so happy and relieved. 

The past nine months have been stressful, probably more so for me than him since I’m the worrier. Luckily with the help of unemployment, cutting back on our expenses, and the marketplace insurance, we didn’t end up having to withdraw too much from our savings to cover expenses and I’m very thankful for that. 

I did our finances the other day and even without contributing much to retirement this year the balance has still increased, just not as much as it would have had Joe not lost his job. The new place has a 401k but no match since it’s a newer company, but it’s still better than nothing so we’ll take it. There’s a lot of potential for him to rise through the ranks if he so chooses so we’re focusing on the positive.

Since he starts on Monday we’re going to try and enjoy our last extended weekend together. Also starting Tuesday I will be taking a full hour lunch at work (as opposed to the half hour I’ve been taking) so I can run home to feed and walk the puppy. I’m not exactly thrilled with the gas that will waste, plus the rushing around, but short of me quitting there’s not many options. Maybe it will be a welcome break in the day. We shall see.
Oh, and in true Nicole fashion, take a guess what I decided to splurge on at Target after receiving the good news? Cuddl Duds and leg warmers. LOL! I probably would have gotten them regardless since I live in them in the winter but now I won’t feel guilty about spending the money (plus they were on sale).

Categories: Life, Work Tags:

Weekly Work Happenings

July 9th, 2016 Comments off

Monday night I took a half dose of the ZzzQuil I got from Influenster and even though I took it at 9:15 pm which gave me over 8 hours of time to sleep before my alarm went off at 5:30, I just could not crawl out of bed. I ended up sleeping until 6:20 and getting to work a half hour late. No biggie, since I just stayed late to make up the time, but what sucks is that I ran over a Robin on the way into work. He landed right in front of the car and I couldn’t swerve quick enough. I’ve never killed a bird before and it made me sad. When I got into work there were three live Cure shows burned to CDs sitting on my desk courtesy of a coworker who recently learned I am a fan. That was so nice of him and made me feel a little better about my crappy morning.

Wednesday was bring your dog to work day. Only four people brought dogs and they all went home at lunch time, but it was nice to see them. One was a huge Mastiff who got drool on my jeans when he placed his head on my lap. Totally worth it (and I just washed the jeans the next day)! I brought in my stuffed dog to be funny. He was the most well-behaved of them all.

Categories: Work Tags:

Joe’s Unemployed

March 18th, 2016 2 comments

Last Saturday we hosted a get together with people Joe used to work with. I enjoy this group of people, although it does tend to get a little boring by hour three when they are still gossiping about people I don’t know. And that was the gist of the entire night; for a little perspective – people began arriving just after 6 pm and left around 2 am. Even though I used to work at the same company as everyone else, it was a long time ago and not in the same office so there was very little I could add to the conversation. Maybe that’s why I had a mint vodka shot before they got there and a mixed drink during which is two drinks more than my usual. I’ve learned from past get togethers how to help myself. Interestingly enough, even though I don’t know the people they spoke about, I did recognize quite a few stories because they’ve been told before. Oh well. I did have a few side conversations with the only other person who didn’t know any of the people being gossiped about so that was a plus.

So yea, Joe has no job at the moment. We were completely blindsided by that “development”. There wasn’t any indication upper management was unhappy and so when they let him go out of the blue on February 29th we didn’t even have time to schedule any wellness exams since our insurance coverage ceased that same day. As it stands we’re currently uninsured as we wait to find out whether or not he’ll be getting unemployment. All signs point to yes, although it still won’t cover our bills (plus insurance) so we’ll be dipping into our savings account every month to get by. I guess I should be thankful that we at least have savings, right? Especially considering the fact that more than 50% of Americans would be hard-pressed if they needed $500 immediately.

I have to admit, I’m kinda bummed that no one is that worried about the situation we’re in. I guess you have to be a screw-up for people to sympathize with you when your main source of income suddenly disappears, but if you’re financially responsible like we are people just assume you’ll be fine. And it’s not like I want them to say “oh you’re screwed” but it would be nice to hear “I’m really sorry you’re going through this” instead of platitudes about how we’ll be fine. They are probably right, but it seems rather dismissive.

Besides, who knows what the future looks like? I’m freaked out! It could be well over a year before Joe finds another job. Considering how much his last job was making his miserable, there’s very little chance he’ll accept a similar role which means our annual income will take a hit which will affect the rate in which our net worth will grow. Obviously I’m making assumptions here, but I’d be (pleasantly) surprised if we’ll be able to continue maxing out our retirement accounts plus sock away money every month.

I know, boo-hoo, we’ll no longer be able save what amounts to the equivalent of many people’s annual salary. What a whiner, right? Sorry, but I got used to not spending our money freely so we could save like gangbusters. The plan was to be able to retire early.

On top of that, I was just about to pull the trigger on two big purchases – a new iPad and a new car. Those will have to wait. I cancelled my monthly subscriptions (Birchbox, Graze, Ipsy, and Walmart Beauty Box) because I’d rather be very strict with my non-essential spending than run through our savings too quickly. Better to be safe than sorry!

Other cost-cutting measures we’ll be taking soon – dropping our cable service and switching to all streaming services. We already have Netflix and Amazon Prime and I think we might add Hulu so we can still have access to some of the shows we enjoy watching. In addition we are probably switching our wireless service from AT&T to Ting Wireless which will cut our bill in half. I’ll lose my unlimited data but I rarely exceed 3 GB monthly anyway so it’s no big loss.

We were about to plan a trip to California with E as a graduation gift but that’s on hold. I guess the good news is we only have two more months of child support payments so that will reduce the amount of money coming out of savings which will help with my anxiety.

I’ve also been cat-sitting pretty regularly which will help with the bills.

You’re probably wondering why *I* don’t just go full-time at my current job. Good question. I know they’d be ok with it, but if I did it would be permanent and with my anxiety and depression I’m really hesitant to go that route unless absolutely necessary. It’s a struggle just to get through three days a week because I realized not too long ago that I’m an HSP (highly sensitive person) with Misophonia which means my coworkers unwittingly drive me crazy and make it very difficult for me to focus on work. Basically I’m on edge the entire time I’m at work which makes for a pretty miserable three days every week. If I could work from home I’d be more inclined to increase my hours but finding such a job hasn’t proved fruitful, although I continue to search. Unfortunately my company is too paper dependent to make it possible in my current role or I would have already pursued that option. And getting insurance there would wipe out most of my paycheck because it’s a small company so there’s not a lot of incentive in that respect either.

It’s weird having no alone time anymore. In the past two weeks the only time I’ve had the house to myself was on Friday the 11th for three hours when Joe was having drinks with his old coworkers. That was a pretty satisfying conversation for him, by the way. Basically, everyone is going crazy trying to cover what he was doing there. THREE people, no less. Serves them right. I really don’t know what they were thinking, or expecting from ONE human being, but to then let him go without any warning is one of the shittiest and most unfair things I’ve ever experienced. He literally worked 18 straight hours one weekend trying to make things run smoothly but there’s only so much one person without the necessary resources can do. It makes me so angry because there was literally nothing he could have done to prevent what happened. Needless to say, I can’t stand the company he worked for and have nothing good to say about Joe’s former boss. I hope he learns the hard way like we did that working hard doesn’t necessarily mean squat at the end of the day.

Despite all my fears, I am trying very hard to focus on the positive:

1) We aren’t in fear of losing our home because we have enough in savings to last us a good while thanks to our obsession with saving money.

2) Joe is no longer at risk from having a stress-induced heart attack. Seriously, I never saw him more stressed than in the past year.

3) We are getting along better now that he’s not at that place. We don’t really fight, but in the past year we had more disagreements than in all 14 preceding years combined.

4) We have already pre-purchased tickets for some fun things coming up so we won’t go crazy with boredom.

5) Warmer weather is on the way which will offer us more free things to do to keep us entertained. Going to the library is only going to keep us entertained for so long.

6) In conjunction with the above, we have already paid-for memberships to Cosley Zoo and Morton Arboretum of which to take advantage.

7) Joe has taken over all the cooking and cleaning which at first was hard for me to deal with but now I’m liking it. He even packs my lunches for work! Shit, he makes me look bad.

So yes, things could be worse. I’m worried, but I’m not. I try not to think about it too much now that the shock has worn off. Now, if we’re still bleeding money a year from now I will be in a panic, but no use in jumping the gun.

Categories: Life, Work Tags: