Tuesday, February 28, 2006
We interrupt this blog-ram to bring you a very important message!
The funky timestamps you have been seeing have been corrected.
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because I have the POWER to put it back on again.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog-ram.
Decision - I am not going to dress up in my 'executive wear' and hand out resumes randomly at that job fair at the Titans stadium. I have several things to follow up on today from my Career Center visit, and other important duties to attend to - like cleaning my car and swimming. After all, I can wait and go to the SENIOR job fair on the 15th. I do have to plan ahead regarding my 'interview wardrobe'. Something not too conservative, not too flashy, cut down on the bling-bling (which I call 'spark-el-age' with three syllables) and 'leavage the cleavage' at home.
Plug: It has been mentioned that I talk too much about food on this blog, (insert whiny voice here) but it's MINE and I CAN if I want. Have you tried Sturm's Whole Grain Cranberry Oatmeal? (Why, no, Karen - I haven't. Is it good?) It is THE best oatmeal I have ever eaten. MMMM. Try to ignore the somewhat unappetizing 'Heart Healthy Plant Sterols and Flaxseed' description on the box, I can't taste those. ;-) Wal-Mart superstores carry it. I prefer the cranberry over the blueberry, BTW.
More later, dear diary.... (pretend there's a spinning clock here till I come back)
Back! (Clock vaporizes with a cork popping sound)
It is SIXTY-FIVE delightful degrees outside. I have the sliding glass door open with the screen across it. I can feel the air in motion, even in the middle of the house, where I sit at the computer with FLIP FLOPS on. ;-)
I've been swimming (aquacize class was there too - they had 16 people, 2 of them men!), then to have my car cleaned inside and out, then a stop at the store, then home. It is 2pm and I haven't had lunch yet. I was on more of a schedule working! I've been playing phone tag a little today too. One note about my car wash trip - when my car was finished, they waved me over and I got in, and started to drive off. About the time I noticed that my right front floor mat was missing, I looked in my rear view mirror to see a 'flying attendant' - chasing after me waving my 3 foot long car mat. Quite cute and I am especially glad I fed the tip can. ;-)
Lunch is calling - too bad I have to go make it myself but that's a burden I bear for not working!
Monday, February 27, 2006
Today - reporting to unemployment for a consultation. The closest office (via mapquest) is about 19 miles away. I am gathering up all my goodies (paperwork) to bring in with me, 2 photo id's, the packet and letter they sent, etc.
Yesterday - went to see 'Firewall' with Harrison Ford. Enjoyed it very much except for some grimaces about their portrayal of technology. ;-)
More later, wish me luck!
Correction - Where I reported to is the county 'Career Center' - they don't take unemployment claims there anymore. I was there approximately 2.5 hours, spoke to 2 people, looked through paper and online job listings, etc. I had to fill out several new pieces of paperwork, all containing most of the information I had already submitted on my application, or on my resume. The people I spoke to were nice enough. Some of the other applicants around me appeared to be on a first name basis with the receptionist and counselors. I imagine it wasn't their first visit. :-)
I have a couple of followup phone calls to make, and one piece of info to get from my former employer.
When I came home, I had received an automated voice mail from the Dept of Labor reminding me to report to a Career Center. Mission accomplished.
Confession: I actually brought home an ad for a job fair sponsored by SENIOR CITIZENS, INC for people over 40 - do you see that? FORTY! FOUR-O! It is called 'Maturity Matters'. Ouch. I'm old but nobody can say I'm mature. (Can't make me, can't make me!).
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Day 6 (Sunday!)
We've just finished breakfast after reading the paper and drinking coffee. I do the cooking and Charlie does all the dishes - he's just a peach that way!
Charlie's breakfast - 3 slices of bacon, one sausage patty, home fries, 2 eggs over medium with salsa, 2 biscuits, lots of butter and honey (thanks to the Quinns who keep bees).
Observation - Every package of bacon is completely different. Don't all pigs look the same inside? What gives? This morning's package of bacon was PERFECT. Hallelujah!
My breakfast - orange slices, eggs with low fat ham 'n cheese, salsa on top.
I received paperwork yesterday from the Dept of Labor (unemployment). I need to report for a consultation by March 2nd, so I may even go tomorrow. I am eligible for $275 a week.
There is a job fair Feb 28th at the Titans stadium - sounds big! I may go to that. I need to redo my resume's format - I used the Word resume template but there is too much whitespace on the left hand side and I don't like the 'table' format either. The content? It's fine, I wrote it!
We might go see Harrison Ford in 'Firewall' this afternoon. I'll let you know if we liked it.
Ta for now!
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Day 5 (Saturday!)
I've had a voice mail from my friend Tiff in England. My former employer has several offices there and I was thrilled to be sent to England a few times, walk to work, spend pounds and pence, and say 'cheers'. ;-) I have many 'global buddies' who I will miss very much. I've also received emails from other friends in England. Thank you all! It's so nice to be able to stay in touch across MANY miles via blogging or email, though from now on I'll have to pay my own way if I go 'across the pond'. (Demotivating factor!)
Here's a favorite photo from England - notice the hand-woven fencing above the elaborate brick wall with stone inserts! Isn't it beautiful? I love all the attention to detail.
We're on our normal weekend schedule, just as IF I had a job. Sleep in a speck later than normal, coffee and paper in bed, then up for a big breakfast.
Charlie's breakfast - loaded scrambled eggs (with sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, green onion, cheese and ham), 2 freshly baked biscuits, 2 sausage patties, loads of butter, maple butter, honey and jam. Can you tell he is 6' 3" with a hollow leg?
My breakfast - loaded scrambled eggs (same as above) with salsa and an english muffin.
I've done a load of wash and will put in another in a minute.
Accomplishment - I requested, received, completed and mailed off an application to transfer my auto insurance from payroll deduction to bank draft. I will have to do this for several items to 'unplug' myself from my former employer. Insurance, LTD, long term care, retirement, credit union, so many things!
Research needed #1- Do I buy short term health insurance or go on COBRA? I need to research this PRONTO during the weekend because my insurance will run out the end of the month. EEEK! I am cheap (frugal) enough to want to compare costs, but I have to do it FAST!
Reseach needed #2 - 401k rollover research - where and when and how. I am also holding off putting money in my ROTH this year until I know I can afford it. I am lecturing myself like Gollum and his devious alter ego - 'Contributions are after tax and can be withdrawn at any time, my precious!' Well, I don't want to put it in and take it back out, I would feel like I hadn't planned properly! 'Orcses don't taste very nice' - neither does poor planning. ;-)
Ah, Ten-thirty and I am still in my robe. Time to run errands then research insurance plans! By the way - we live approximately 20 miles away from shopping and civilization - my 'running errands' will be a 40 mile round trip!
Friday, February 24, 2006
- Made Charlie's lunch and he's off to work now
- Unloaded the dishwasher
- Made the bed
- Completed the first draft of my resume (roars of applause)
- Enjoyed wonton soup again for breakfast (obviously I made a lot of wontons and froze them. For the 'soup' part I use a packet of Lipton cup-a-soup, watered down)
- Received a phone call from the Dept of Labor (unemployment) while I was in the shower. ;-) So, dripping and soapy, I confirmed for them my SSN and answered a question. To answer the question, I had to drip all the way across the house and make a puddle in the kitchen while I read my paperwork. The representative thanked me and said they would proceed with processing my claim. I didn't ask any questions myself, so I don't have any check schedule yet. :-(
I have lunch plans (Cracker Barrel) with some gals from 'former-work', then swimming, so I'll close and write more later. Have a nice day!
--- Transition to afternoon --- lights dim, curtain is drawn, Peter Pan and Wendy are talking....
Ok - back to reality (even though I want to say I love Mary Martin's original broadway soundtrack of Peter Pan FAR better than any other, and she was also superb in Sound of Music)
Observation - I am not used to being outdoors in DAYLIGHT on a weekday. The good news- I did NOT turn to dust! I am used to leaving for WORK at 5:45am, eating lunch at my desk, leaving work, swimming, and getting home between 6:30 and 7pm.
Observation - I was behind an actual school bus (yes I recognized it) at 4pm this afternoon - don't kids get home earlier than THAT? Jeepers!
Observation - I saw REAL, LIVE, OPEN Daffodils outdoors for the first time this year! Yes, here in the south they really do open this early. If I had only known about my upcoming layoff I could have planted some bulbs last fall and seen them this spring during the day! (yeah, right - I can't even speak of my gardening prowess without thinking of death and destruction).
Soul-Search - Might I be depressed about this life-changing event? Nope, but I am a tad concerned about accepting LESS money and LESS vacation days! Am I gonna be OK? Yup. Am I going to find something bigger and better? Dunno! But I'll let you all know when it happens!
And so, gentle reader, adieu and hasta la pasta!
What? Are you still here? Why? Ok, I have a couple more things to tell.
CONFESSION #1 - I just took my Christmas wreath off the door. The daffodils made me do it.
CONFESSION #2 - I am a melba toast addict. I'm heading to that box shortly! The more decibels in the crunch, the happier I am. My mother can crunch corn flakes and shatter glass, and I mean that in a very loving way. It is a talent I can only hope to aspire to. ;-)
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Accomplishment today - REALLY cleaning the coffee maker (for once) - 'You know the crud that collects at the top of the machine?' Use Rosanne Rosanna-Danna's voice for that. Level of difficulty - moderate.
I am sitting at my home computer with my brand new fuzzy slippers on. I figured I needed some to truly feel like I'm working at home and increase my chances of success.
More later - I have errands to run and swimming to do - must be FIT for WORK once I get a new job!
(transition here to 'later'...)
I had to redo my blog postings to add Day 1 and Day 2. I hope everyone is keeping up!
My sister wrote that she gets a lot more email from me now that I'm unemployed. She's correct. Oops. Sorry!
The checkout clerk at Target was wistfully saying he wanted to be outdoors on such a beautiful day. When I mentioned he could IF he was unemployed like me, he thought differently about his priorities and decided he wouldn't trade his job for enjoying the day.
Number of lines written on my resume so far - ZERO. I did make a glossary ('borrowed' from a website) of action and power words to use ON my resume WHEN I write it, and have a JobHunt folder on my C drive.
Blog on, dudes and dudettes!
Day 2 (of Unemployment)
I haven't slept late yet! I've been getting up with Charlie to fix his lunch (I know,I'm sweet) and chat before he goes to work. If I don't fix it he doesn't bring a lunch!
Email, email, email - I have received or sent probably40 or 50.
Last night just before midnight I was online, pounding the keys to beat the midnight deadline for applying ONLINE for unemployment! Can you believe that you can apply online in TN? I actually had to do it twice because it kinda bombed on me midway the first time. I can't wait for that $275/week max payout.
I had homemade wonton soup for breakfast, there wasn't anyone around to tell me I couldn't. It was wonderful. ;-)
I did some things around the house during the morning and finally took my shower around TEN. I also took my nearly-antique can of Easy-off oven cleaner out of storage and placed it on the counter to remind myself that I am going to clean that *&^%$$ oven before getting another job.
I realized I need something more to help myself get inthe resume-writing, work at home mood, so I drove into Cool Springs and hit Kohls clearance sale. Here is a photo of my important purchase (if you can't see it - it is new fuzzy slippers!)
I also bought one of those pasta pots on clearance that has drainage holes in the cover so you can tip the pot over anddrain the water.
I also stopped at the grocery store, then came home and had lunch around 3pm. A successful trip!
A reminder to all - Wednesday is senior day at just about every store. I won't do that again! I got some looks like 'you don't have a kid in tow - what ARE you doing here?'.
Day 2 was pretty easy!
Day 1 (of Unemployment)
I got lots of nice emails from lots of nice people, and appreciate everyone's kind thoughts and words.
I sent some emails out and discovered that it isn't a hassle to sign up and collect unemployment, and doesn't affect severance if you have it. The only bummer is that the MAX in TN is only $275 a week. I'm going down there tomorrow and sign up.
I also found out that Blue Cross has a short term (3 month max) health coverage that I might get while I am switching over to Charlies (my better half) health insurance. Cobra will cost a lot more than the Blue Cross.
I did a load of wash.
I went to the dump (Charlie will be happy). I asked the old man that punches the button on the dump compactor if there are any openings for that job - he said you have to 'know the governor' to get such a job. I guess I'm underqualified.
I drove to Nashville and swam like a woman of leisure for an hour and a half - I've never stayed in the pool that long and I was very pruny when I got out. Not as pruny as the senior citizens aquacize class that was there though! I'm sore now!
Came home and wrote a lot more emails. Then I used up most of my pots and pans making myself homemade wonton soup - even making the wonton filling and folding the wontons myself. Not bad for a first attempt!
That's about it for today! Tomorrow - unemployment office!