Workdays Like Today Are My Reward for the Shitty Ones

I had to go back to Nashville today, but this time the main reason was for a training class for work.  We don’t have to do that often, but I always kind of enjoy it.  Not so much the class as just the opportunity to do something DIFFERENT!  To get out of the office!  And an excuse to dress in something a little cuter than uniform khakis and a company tee.

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The class only lasted slightly over two hours, but when you factor in the drive there and the drive home, that made it a 6-1/2 hour workday.  After the class was over at lunch, I checked in with my office to see if they needed me for anything.  They assured me everything was fine, so I took the rest of the day as personal leave and hung around Nashville a while!  Woohoo!

First thing I did was head to The Wild Cow, another vegan restaurant I’d heard amazing things about.  I ordered a chickpea salad wrap with a side of garlicky kale.  OMG, that kale.  I’ve never had it that way before.  Must. Copycat. Recipe.

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With a full belly and time to kill, I headed to one of my most favorite shopping spots and hit up a store that I’m often too cheap to shop in–LULULEMON!   But thanks to my travel pay for today, I was feeling a little less frugal.  haha  I’ve had to toss out a couple of running bras lately.  My favorite running bra that I’ve ever owned is a lulu, so I wanted to get another one like it, and try to find another pair of versatile, comfortable, black running shorts.  My favorite go-to Under Armour shorts have seen better days, so I wanted to scout out their successor.  I found a pair that I really like–the Run Times.  They are super comfortable and flattering… in the dressing room anyway.  Let’s hope for the same when I take them for a run.

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From there I went around the corner to Trader Joe’s!  I LOVE that damn place but so very rarely get to go!  I got a few grocery things hat I needed anyway plus several Trader Joe exclusives.  The jalapeno cilantro hummus alone is worth the trip.

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And I couldn’t leave without hitting up the beer aisle for a “build your own” six-pack!

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I’ve never tried any of those before, so I’m excited.  Especially so about that chocolate one.  Color me intrigued.

Pretty good practice for all those vacation days I’m gonna take this year, huh?!  🙂

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My Weekend Mini Vacation

Okay it wasn’t an actual vacation, but it was definitely a much-needed break!  I was off work for MLK day today, so I had a three-day weekend!  Woohoo!!  I started it off right with a nap when I got off work Friday afternoon.  We’ll say it was for the sake of health, trying to rest up and finish kicking that cold… but really it was just because I stayed up too late Thursday night.  haha  (In my defense, I wasn’t up late doing anything fun–our damn heat had gone out!)

Saturday my sister and I went to Nashville for a belated birthday celebration day.  Although it occurs to me now that she called most of the shots Saturday and it was supposed to be for MY birthday…. hmmmmm… I think I got swindled!  On our way into Nashville, we stopped at McKay’s because Kim is a book/DVD/CD whore.  While she built up an armload of stuff, I’m not much of a reader, so I perused the DVDs and found these.  Total impulse buy, but maybe they’ll get used.  Eventually.  A little bit.  Maybe.

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Then we headed over to Blackstone Brewery for some lunch and brews.  (HUGE thumbs up to Blackstone’s pumpkin ale and St. Charles porter, a regular size thumbs up to the nut brown ale, and thumbs down to Stephanie’s Dubbel, and their APA.)  They had their pumpkin ale on sale half off for $16 per case as it’s going out of season, and just as my luck would have it, they sold their last two cases shortly before we got there.  DOH!  Then there was lots of shopping.  Mostly window shopping for me–all I bought was a new pair of black boots, a MAC mascara, and some body spray from The Body Shop.

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Then after all the shopping had closed down we met up with a friend of Kim’s that lives in Nashville for appetizers and desserts, so that put us about 1:30am getting home.  That was a rough two-hour drive home for this early bird!  There was lots of driver’s seat singing and dancing and one stop about half an hour from home to get out and wake up!

The “vacation” continued yesterday as I slept in until nearly 9(!!!  except for one feline “FEED ME” wake-up call at the usual 0500).  I didn’t get in any hurry about getting dressed or doing anything, but I finally made it out the door around lunch for an eaaaassssssyyyyy 5 miles to gauge how I was feeling to see if I stood a shot in hell at hitting the 15 miles I had planned for today.  I do try to run through stuff above the neck, but I’d only run 5.5 miles during the week to that point because I was getting dizzy on the treadmill.  Just fluid behind the ears I’m sure.  Well, I must have blown all that fluid out during those 5 miles Sunday.  Good Lord, I was disgusting.  haha  But I felt great at the end, so I let my planned running partner know I was a go for our run date Monday morning.  After my run, I grabbed the pups and drove them to a town about 30 minutes from here that has a dog park.  It was a simply GORGEOUS day, and I couldn’t let it go to waste for them.

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So many butts to sniff!
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Harley checking in with me
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Back at home, resting from their dog park shenanigans, and milking the sun for all it’s worth on this very spring-like January day!

Right after the dogs and I got home, D had to leave us to go to Nashville for a couple of days for a paint certification class.  All painters are required to have the certification, but effective this year all body shop owners must also attend the class too.  The weekend already felt like a vacation but with D gone now too???  WHOOOOBOY, Katie bar the doors!  Shit got wild up in here!  Snoring dogs, fleece lounge pants, Maleficent on DVD (LOVED IT!), vegan mac n cheese and smokey sriracha kale for dinner… LIVIN’ LARGE, I tell ya.

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What’s a vacation post without a sunset pic? Beautiful end to a beautiful day.

Today wasn’t quite as vacationy.  I met another local runner with plans of getting in a long run with her.  I was going for 15, and she was going for 16.  It was a pretty hard run.  I feel comfortable saying that because she’s a much stronger runner than me (unless something goes terribly wrong, she’ll be going sub-4 at her marathon debut in March) and she even cut it a mile short.  We ended up with 13 and 15 miles.  It was another beautiful day, but that gorgeous sun drained us.  We were both dressed for the 37-degree start rather than the 62-degree finish.  Oopsies!  But we came away from it with another long run under our belts.  And I had the lovely added bonus of a sunburned face (I guess I sweated off all my 50 SPF!) and a jacked-up pinkie toe.

You're welcome.
You’re welcome.

I had just enough time after we got done to run home, make a smoothie, hose off, and get back to town for my 1:00 hair appointment, so I did manage to get a little pampering in on the last day of my “vacation”.  And then I bestowed a little pampering on the dogs.  haha  They got kind of dirty at the park yesterday, but there was no time for anything more than a wipe-down with a wash cloth after we got home, so they both got their full-on baths today.  I was again grateful for the warm sun so that they could go dry off outside!  And so I could leave the doors open to let fresh air in.  It’s amazing how a clean wet dog still makes the house smell like… well… wet dog.  haha

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Squeaky clean, dry, and smelling like roses.

So now my little three-day break is almost over.  I’ve done some grown-up, responsible adult things today like laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, blah, blah, blah, and now I’m sitting here enjoying a glass of wine, just winding down and relaxing.  Maybe this weekend is over, but I’ve come to a realization recently.  I NEED to do this more often.  I have so much vacation time banked at work.  Like 14 weeks worth.  Now that I’ve got my new clerk, I’m really going to be getting my money’s worth from her.  I’ve got a lot going on between now and the end of February, but come March I’m gonna be burning the hell out of some vacation days.  But between now and then–President’s Day in four weeks!!!  Woohoo!

Five Things Friday

1.   Back during the summer, I bought a few winter things on clearance from Road Runner Sports.  One of them was this shirt.  Of course it didn’t get cold enough to wear it until November, and then it sat in a heap on the laundry room floor with all my other running gear waiting to be washed until sometime in December.  And it came out of the wash like this!  It disintegrated!  I know it was just a fluke as I’ve ordered tons of stuff from RRS, but WOW.

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Back
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Front

2.   On a similar note, I ordered some really cool bookends from Amazon to use in my kitchen with all my cookbooks.  They arrived broken.  Heavy-ass wrought iron and UPS broke it.

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3.   I’ve had a nasty head cold this week.  I had fever with it the first couple of days, so that kind of cut into my running a bit.  I’m all for running through anything above the neck but not when fever is involved.  Thankfully it seems to be subsiding pretty quickly.  Usually when I get a winter cold it hangs around for freaking ever.  I attribute its early exit to my recent discovery and use of essential oils.

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4.   Work is reallllllllly looking up right now.  I’m finally getting a replacement for the employee that was reassigned back in November, so my life is about to get a LOT simpler.  You know.  Once I get her trained the way I want her.

5.   On the running front, I’m on par for 100 miles this month for the first time since December 2012!  I was on the road to it in November and then work happened and derailed me a bit.  Starting The Goofy Runner has given me the motivation I need to keep moving!!!

The Suckage

Every job comes with responsibilities you may not like. I encountered the worst part of mine yesterday. I had to let someone go. I’ve been struggling with it for a long time, knowing that something was going to have to be done but not wanting to do it. Honestly, as bad as it sounds, I have been putting it off on the chance that I DIDN’T get that job. Then it would be someone else’s problem. But I got the job, so I had to be the bad guy.

I’ve given this cat every chance to straighten up. I’ve talked to him countless times about his job performance. There were times I thought things were getting better, but then he would always revert back to his old ways. He’d been with us for a year, and as I told him yesterday, he was no farther along one year into his employment than he was at one month, and that if things were going to get any better, they would have by now. I did everything I knew to do to try to keep it from coming to this. I’ve trained and written out S.O.P.’s and given one-on-one job instruction, and I have asked him what else we could do to help. I’ve gone in on my days off to work with him. I’ve put more effort into him than most people ever would have. It seems he knew what was supposed to be done, but he just chose not to put the necessary effort into it. I’ve taken complaints from customers and from his coworkers, and I just couldn’t put it off any longer. I couldn’t rightfully hold my other employees accountable if I continued to make exceptions and excuses for this guy.

So I did it, it’s done, and there’s no going back. It sucked, but it was the right thing to do, and sometimes things just suck.

And this really sucked.

10 Random Things

With no prompting by me WHATSOEVER, Adam from I am Boring tagged me to do a 10 Random Things Post!

Without further adu…

1 – I was a band dork in high school. I played the clarinet, and I was darn good at it. I came in my freshman year and beat a senior for first chair. She challenged me for chair placement, and I beat that ass again! I also took up the sax my senior year and joined the jazz band. I wish I had done it earlier. And I wish I still played. I haven’t touched a musical instrument (except for a plastic guitar with five colored buttons) in ten years or so.

2 – I have never interviewed for a position and NOT gotten the job. My jobs have included video store clerk (at my parents’ video store when I was a kid), car hop, bank teller, medical transcriptionist, Postal clerk, Postal supervisor, and now Postmaster.

3 – For years I wanted a Corvette. I bought one last summer. It’s freakin’ sweet. It’s been fun, but now I want to sell it and get an SUV. Maybe an H3? It’s hard to haul around two dogs in a ‘vette. And my husband also drives a regular cab truck, so it only seats two people also. If we ever go anywhere with anyone, we have to ask them to drive or just meet them somewhere. I WISH I could afford to keep the ‘vette AND buy an SUV, but that’s not an option right now. So the car is for sale! Interested? (I’m including a photo so you know exactly which car to steal from the Tractor Supply.)

4 – I have one tattoo and want another one. The one I have is a bouquet of blue daisies on my lower back. The one I want is a yin-yang sign with a hand print on one side and a paw print on the other side.

5 – I love rock music. Looooooooooove it. I subscribe to Sirius/XM radio, and it doesn’t budge from the Octane 20 station. My sister and I have concert tickets to see Three Days Grace, Chevelle, and Adelita’s Way next month.

6 – I am perpetually cold. Unless I’m outside in the 90-degree sunshine, I’m cold. (Unless I’m running, of course.) It’s 70 degrees in here right now and I have on a fleece jacket. My nose is cold, and I just blew on my fingers to warm them up. I ALWAYS take a jacket into a restaurant, theater, etc., with me, even in the summer, so everyone doesn’t have to listen to me bitch about the air conditioner. (Seriously, WHY do they keep it SO COLD in there?!?!?!)

7 – I still don’t know if I want kids. I thought that some sort of maternal instinct or something would have kicked in by now, but it hasn’t, and I’m wondering if it ever will. I still really don’t even like kids. It’s weird because I’m such a good dog/cat mom. But kids? Ew.

8 – I have depressingly few friends. Not facebook friends–REAL FRIENDS. Part of my reason for questioning whether or not I want kids is that I have seen what it has done to the lives of the people that I used to consider my friends. The people I used to be close with are now acquaintences at best because they don’t have time for anything other than dirty diapers and teeball practice. It has literally been years since the last time my phone rang and it was a friend calling to chat. It’s like once they had kids they forgot about who they were before that and forgot the people that were at one time a big part of their lives. I know lots of people and have lots of acquaintences, but as far as having that friend I can call on Saturday and say, “Hey, let’s go to Nashville today!”… nope. Not anymore.

9 – My husband and I got married in the Virgin Islands. We had both had big church weddings with our NOT-so-happily-ever-afters, and neither of us wanted to do that again. We wanted something small and intimate, so we got married at sunset on Magen’s Beach in St. Thomas. Just us, the preacher, and the photographers. It was so very special, and those memories will last me a lifetime. And if I ever have amnesia, I have some beautiful pictures to look at.

10 – I am a cry baby. Jesus, I just teared up typing out #8 up there. I don’t mean the kind of cry baby that gets her feelings hurt easily or pouts when she doesn’t get her way. I cry when I’m feeling sentimental. Or happy or sad. Or if I’m really pissed off. Or if I’m watching a sad movie. I’ve even been known to cry at commercials. (You know the ASPCA commercials with the Sarah McLaughlin and Willie Nelson songs? Yep. They get me every time.)

So there you go! Ten completely random little tidbits of information about what makes Pam!

Like a BOSS!

That’s right! I got the job I interviewed for!

*Insert ridiculously dorky happy dance here*

I’ve actually known since last Monday that I had the job, but my boss asked me to keep it quiet until all the other applicants got their rejection letters from HR. I told my hubby and my parents, but I have been about to BUST wanting to tell everyone else!

Someone that doesn’t work for my company doesn’t understand what a difference there is between a large office’s supervisor job and a small office manager’s job. So let me just tell you that the difference is unbelievable. There is soooooooooooo much less stress. When I was supervising, I knew I was stressed, but I honestly didn’t realize how bad I felt until I was sent on a detail assignment as manager all those months ago. The job change is actually a one-level downgrade, which comes out to be about a $3,000 top-out difference in my annual salary, but it is absolutely worth every penny and then some to feel good again and not have to work 50- to 60-hour weeks.

2010 is really looking up. 🙂

That does it. I’m moving to Barbados.

I’m watching the weather and cringing. It seems there’s a winter storm a’brewin’. If I haven’t made it perfectly clear before, I HATE SNOW. And ice. And sleet. And freezing rain. And all that other slippery shit that we get here in the south once or twice a year that sends every little blue-haired lady in the tricounty area running to the The Walmarts to buy a year’s worth of bread and milk. It would be fun if I was an average person with an average job and could just build snowmen and ride the four-wheeler with all the cool kids, but snow makes my job in the delivery industry a lot more stressful.

You know what else snow is not good for? Running! It’s the first week of my official 12-week training program, and guess what! These feet haven’t touched pavement since the race Saturday. I am off to an AWESOME start, eh? I can’t blame solely the weather for my lack of running this week, but I was hoping to have good running weather this weekend. My nonrunning excuse? I started feeling a little achy after Pilates (at least I did get that in this week!) Monday night, but I thought it was just from the workout. By last night, I knew that it was not. Fever, aches, chills, the works. I’m pumping myself full of vitamin C and starting my chicken noodle soup IV tonight because, again, guess what! I have an interview tomorrow! Damn, can I pick a good time to get sick or what? My saving grace is that it’s a telephone interview, so at least I don’t have to worry about coughing, farting, and blowing a snot bubble on my boss all at the same time. I’ve heard that doesn’t make a good impression.

I KNEW IT!!!

What’d I tell ya? Monday showed up about 3:00 yesterday afternoon, bit my ass, and hasn’t let go yet! The ONE DAY that I have plans after work and need to get out on time is the day that our retail system goes down. And, lucky me, being the boss, I can’t be like, “Okay, see y’all tomorrow! Good luck with that!” I get to stay and battle the IT help desk over the phone. So I was way late for my dinner/drinks/shopping date with my friend, which just burned me up because I so very rarely get to do anything social with any of my friends, but that’s another post for another day. But we had an awesome time anyway. 🙂 Then I came back to work this morning and the fun started all over again. Ugh. I found out that I’ve got some competition for this job that I’m in the process of applying for. I still think that I’ve got a pretty darn good shot at it, but I was handling it better when I thought I was the only really qualified person applying for it. This other woman that I found out about yesterday is already has the same title, but it’s at a really small office, and if they award her this office it would be a pretty big promotion for her. Whereas if they give it to ME, it’s a downgrade from my current position. I hope that makes them more inclined to go with me. But who knows… I’m trying not to worry too much about it. It will be what it will be and there’s nothing I can do about it.