Posts tagged “Work

Astrobits II

School

(Astrology school, of course, not grad.)

I haven’t done anything. (*sigh*)

Partially because I’m lazy and forgetful (wonderful side effect of depression, that last one) and partially because I think I’m hoping in the back of my mind that we get another stimulus check in the next few months. Why start up with the cheap program at the Centre of Excellence if I can hold on a little longer and get the money I need for Chris Brennan’s program?

Oh and apparently because I also said last time that I was going to wait. (*facepalm*)


Very Important Question: why is it “Hellenistic” instead of “Hellenic” astrology?


Work

Fiverr clients? Nope. But I got a…well, I don’t know if you want to call it a job offer…it was a “we’re looking for people like you!” message.

A site wanted someone to work for them as a full time astrologer doing general and love horoscopes, earning a decent fee per month.

That’s great, but you really need to read the listings before you message people, or you’ll completely miss, “I’m doing software-generated reports to earn money for astrology school” and that I can’t yet do what you want.

(Not to mention that amount of money might start making SSA ask Awkward Questions About My Disability, since Fiverr is actually doing tax reporting now.)

I mean, if you want me to fake it for a few weeks while you pay for me to go to school…? (*snicker*)

That’s okay. I did the right thing by telling the truth, so hopefully an opportunity that works better for me will come around when I’m actually ready for it.


“It is the Wheel of Fortune that can throw you up very high, or bring you down very low.
Its message is to be indifferent to victory and defeat, as they both come on the turn of the wheel.”
~Jacquetta St. Pol, The Lady of the Rivers (Pippa Gregory)


Fun

Megan Thee Stallion is apparently my bitcoin bae. (I don’t usually like that word, but it seemed appropriate here.)

Last night, she was handing out $1m in bitcoin through Twitter and CashApp to encourage people to invest

I chose this one because it has the original tweet + her talking about bitcoin being a good investment

and since my amount matched what I was seeing on trending topics

I figure I was one maybe 100,000? And who knows how many people asked!

Turns out there was an astrological precedent for that! (I didn’t just stick this in here to brag…though my Leo side is probably making me do it! Haha)

Let’s hear from Geminihilist about what the planets were doing last night:

My mom says, “What are you going to do with all that money?”

Yodel if you hodl!

(That’s not a spelling error, by the way–it’s a legit crypto term.)
(One of the commenters said that the gal in the video no longer likes yodeling, because America’s Got Talent pigeonholed her and that’s all people want to do these days.)

I don’t hold as long as I probably should, but for a little, anyway, as I’m following an astrologer specializing in crypto on Twitter and he(?) said prices are probably going to go up in the next few months. So Meg’s little munificence will be stowed in a crypto wallet as soon as CashApp releases it and I’ll add a little more (and some ethereum) in a few days.

We’ll see what happens.


Last Week Right Now

Ordinarily, I'd fold a video a little further into my post, but I think it's important to start off with this one from John Oliver for a little background. The entire clip (eighteen minutes) is about standardized testing in general, but it's only the last eight or so that specifically pertain to me.

Last Week Tonight? Mmm…no. Try Last Week Right Now.

I hope you've never been under the impression that the people scoring your children's tests are experienced educators because—at least at Pearson—you'd be sadly mistaken. All they ask for is a bachelors and (probably) proof of citizenship. (I don't even remember if they ever interviewed me the first time.) Oh and the degree has to be in hand…I tried signing up in 2010, but since Everglades wasn't going to mail me my degree until after the project was over, they couldn't hire me.

(I'm not trying to put myself down by including this picture…just using it symbolically to mean "no one special". Incidentally, this was taken eight months after I finished my bachelors.)

John isn't wrong about how Pearson sources their staff, either. When I signed on eight years ago, it was after seeing an ad in the classifieds. (What is Craigslist other than a massive global classified section, anyway?) Despite the fact that I ended up leaving before the end of the project (more on that in a bit), they drew me from the lottery two more times, most recently at the beginning of the month.

 

I don't remember if I ever got a chance to state my preferences the first time. I'm guessing I did, because otherwise, I probably would've ended up with math a lot harder than third grade. I didn't get a chance to say I didn't want full time, though (I didn't know there was a part time option until I was actually there), so I had the wonderful luck to pry myself out of bed so I could be there at eight. I don't know how I ever made it without my anxiety freaking out, but maybe that's because it was saving itself for later…

We were packed almost elbow-to-elbow in what I think was a converted grocery store, because it still had the hydraulic door mats. I'd say there were five rows of five computers each, and then the sixth had three laptops for the supervisors, who sat facing us. The cafeteria—such as it was—was packed even tighter, and we had to take our breaks/meals in shifts because there were so many of us. We didn't have to ask permission to go to the bathroom, but that's probably because they kept it refrigerator cold (undoubtedly so we wouldn't linger).

I spent six. Fucking. Hours staring at triangles! It was supposed to be eight, but the guy to my right was a Pearson vet and warned me that if you didn't do things just so, they'd kick you to the curb so fast, your butt wouldn't have time to blister. My anxiety reared its ugly head so bad that I went home early and never went back.

 

My name came up in the lottery again in 2013 for the same fucking third grade Maryland triangles. I told them to get bent, but stupidly kept updating my application…which is how I got into this mess.

(The picture is a link to the relevant deviantArt page, by the way.)

(Also, new rule: if I use a permutation of “fuck” more than twice in a post where I’m relating something that happened to me, it’s automatically a rageblog.)


I got an email from Pearson April 2, with an offer to score ninth grade writing for the Texas STAAR, but I had to accept by the end of the day on the third. Thirty-two hours (or so) is a little tight, but I knew I wanted to take it, so it wasn't a problem. (Heck, I was so excited, I was doing a sort of "NO TRIANGLES!" dance! 😂)

Next phase was to get the usual paperwork done. I think they were a couple of days in getting my "onboarding" stuff to me, and even though it violated their deadline, I didn't think it was a problem if they didn't. I ran into a problem doing my i9 (a citizenship form) and I emailed them about it, but didn't get a response. Called scoring support, decided I didn't want to wait on hold and eventually found the place to raise a help ticket. It took them at least forty-eight hours to get back to me. At that point, I was a little concerned because it said I had to have the form filled out by the time I worked for them three days with pay, but I hadn't done that yet, so I didn't think it was a big deal.

In the meanwhile, I was supposed to "certify" (read: prove that I could see/grade papers the way they see them) between the fifth and the tenth. I didn't get the login info for that until the twelfth…and it was only when they said the deadline had been extended to the fourteenth did I realize they were running behind. (Again, no worries, because them being off track means they're not going to dock me for delays…right?) It took me two tries to pass certification, so even though I was originally supposed to do training April 11-14, I wasn't approved for it until the last day. Oh and I was supposed to do live training in one of four sessions…that ended Friday.

"Oh well," I thought, "I'll just do training as quickly as possible and catch up to the live scoring when I can." (The project was supposed to start yesterday and run to May 9.) "If they still want me to do live training, I'm sure they'll arrange something for me."

Sunday afternoon, I signed up for the 3-7 shift for yesterday (April 15). I login to the workspace…"we don't have anything scheduled for you."

Okay, fine. Maybe I dreamed booking myself for this shift.

Went to the booking site…yup, still there. (If you want to work that shift, it will say "submit"; if you change your mind, you hit "unsubmit".) Checked back in the workspace…same thing.

Went to raise a fresh ticket…"your login information is incorrect."

After just responding to the i9 ticket earlier? Ohhkay. Fine.

Called scoring support. After being on hold for a while and the rep taking forever to figure out what was going on, she announced that I'd been terminated April 5.

WHAT?!

THEN WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST DO THIS WEEKEND, WORK FOR FREE?!

 

Terminated. Less than forty-eight hours after I hired on and before I could do any sort of training or anything.

What. The actual. FUCK?!

That rep said she was going to check into what happened and call back. She never did. (No surprise.)

Got a response to my ticket late last night:

Upon further review, this is to confirm that there is no action needed from your end regarding your Form I9 completion as of now.

Know what I said?

(No, not “your English is terrible”, though I sorely wanted to.)

Yeah, because I found out you fired me approximately 48 hours after I was hired and no one ever told me why.

It was very nice of all of you to string me along for two weeks and not have the gall to tell me until I couldn't login anymore.

If I believed in hell, I'd tell you to go rot in it.

 

I don't expect to get paid.

Or get answers.

Or anything, really.

I'd hire an attorney to go after them for my money, but it's so little that it's not worth it. (I was booked in for eight hours, but only worked a grand total of fifty-five minutes for certification purposes. So that's $96 before taxes at best and $12 at worst.)

Probably going to tell the attorney general, though. She'll want to know, especially if it turns out Pearson is still running scoring centers in the state.

I'll let a month lapse, though, just to be on the safe side. Stay tuned!


P.S. from September: Yes, I got paid, but this fiasco will ensure I never attempt to put up with their bullshit again. (Shame, though—if the certification papers were any indication, some of these kids have thought-provoking answers that would be [and were] a pleasure to read.)


Some Idiots Never Quit

In the ten weeks I’ve worked at HoH, I’ve had a few upset customers. I’ve even had one that Lóng Nǚ¹ pissed off even worse, causing us to lose her as a customer forever. But I think this one might have been beyond the pale. (Fortunately, I don’t know this woman’s name, so I don’t have to worry about getting in trouble. And the way she treated me tonight, I don’t care if I do!) I’ll call her Latina Bitch, or LB for short.

I’ve seen LB before. She came in a few weeks after I started, mention she’d worked there for fifteen years and greeted Lóng Nǚ warmly when she brought out her food. Not so, this time. (LB didn’t even come in…she sent someone else. But when she called to complain, I knew it was her because of her accent and the way she trotted out the fact that she worked there for fifteen years.)

I’ll spare you the inane chat that usually brings us up to thing point (yes, even complaint calls involve a few traditional lines from each party) and bring you right to: “There were only two [teriyaki] chicken sticks in my order.”

“Only two come in an order. How many did you order?”

I don’t remember her response, but I think she said something to the effect of, “I remember when four chicken sticks came in an order.”

“I sympathize,” I said. “When I was a little girl, six potstickers came in an order. Now there’s only four.” (Lóng Nǚ has slowly decreased the number over the years…it didn’t just jump from six to four.)

She then complained that the person she sent after her food was told “fifteen to twenty minutes” and had to wait an extra half hour. I apologized, saying that it was only Lóng Nǚ and I working and we could only go as fast as the cooks would let us. I told her that we only had two cooks, as our prep cook had quit two weeks ago and hadn’t been replaced.

“That’s not the customer’s problem!” Blah blah blah, something about needing to fix things…blah blah blah, “I worked there fifteen years”…blah blah blah. (I’d directly quote her, but I honestly can’t remember what she said. Nor am I entirely sure I heard everything in the first place.)

So I went straight to my go-to line: “Do you want to talk to [Lóng Nǚ]?”

“No. I tell her what’s wrong every day!”

(Awkward ending that closes with me hanging up on her.)

Squeal tires on pavement² for a moment. You worked for Lóng Nǚ for fifteen years. You know how she is. You also (must) know I’m a hostess. Exactly what do you expect bitching at me to accomplish? You know I can’t do anything for you! Either bitch at Lóng Nǚ or bite the bullet!

The next time she tries to pull that shit (and she just might, if she’s that much of a disgruntled former employee), I intend to say something like, “You know I can’t do anything for you. So unless you’re willing to talk to [Lóng Nǚ], go tell somebody who cares!” and hang up.

(L, one half of a darling, darling couple that works for us, suggested that next time, I ought to hand her over to C. C’s not nasty in any sense of the word, but I’m sure she’d be delighted to take LB down a notch, given half a chance!)

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¹ Chinese for “The Dragon Lady” (a nickname more than a few customers have given her!) [Long Ny-eew] I almost used “kunoichi”, which is Japanese for “Dragon Lady” (and also the term for a female ninja), but I decided that since I work in a Chinese restaurant, I have to be linguistically appropriate.

² That’s what my Grandpa Prescott used to say the “stop” on stop signs meant: Squeal Tires On Pavement. Sometimes I use that instead of just saying “stop”.


Life on the Run

@TheCrowandPheonix has been blogging like crazy and I…have not.

So. Something must be done about that.


When last we left our heroine, she was embarking on an intrepid (potential) career, the likes of which she had never attempted before.

Yeah. Like that worked out!

I’m not going to go into the details. Too painful. Too annoying. Too…I don’t know…is redundant the right word?

Let’s fast forward to where I’m working at my favorite Chinese restaurant and only have ten calendar days left before I’ve been there a month.

 

I have a love-hate relationship with my job, but my mom tells me that’s normal. (I figure as long as the “love level” is 50% or better, I’m in business. It’s when it drops down to forty-nine that I’m in trouble.)

I’ll be the first to admit that my boss isn’t easy to work for. In fact, I’d wager that if I hadn’t been eating at the restaurant for about twenty-three years¹ before starting, loved the food, the atmosphere and everything else, I wouldn’t have the “armor” it takes to work for Ms. H. Somehow, even when she’s being strict(ish) or disagreeable, I always seem to know just when to shut up and stop trying to get her on my side. And I know it’s not just me–S quit yesterday, because he felt like Ms. H was nitpicking him to death and even C asked me last weekend if I was okay² after Ms. H was disagreeable about something. (I gather I had [to use something my mother said once], “clouded up” and looked like I was “about to rain”.) But so far, the only tears I’ve shed have been at home, over the stress of the job in general. (I think the bulk of the stress comes from the fact that–in addition to two weekdays–I work Friday through Sunday and even though the weekend slows down day by day, it still tends to wear to me to a frazzle.)

I have a partner, D, for weekends; but D tends to put her leisure activities (especially her boyfriend) over showing up for work, so I’m often alone. (Which doubtlessly contributes to my stress levels.) Ms. H doesn’t seem to care…in fact, last night, she seemed envious of the kind of man D had landed!

And somehow…somehow, in the melee of all the jobs I’ve ever been in, I managed to attract the attention of not one, but two guys! G is easy on the eyes, but quickly goes over the top with flirting–always calling me mamacita, making kissy faces and saying that he loves me. (It’s amazing that some of the other guys in the kitchen haven’t tattled on him/us, to be honest.) About the time he began to crank it extremely high, I noticed F. I’m not sure if F had paid much attention to me before, but I kind of wiggled my way into his good graces. Last night, after I walked out, he actually came out from the kitchen entrance, walked around the building and came to say goodbye to me! I thought he might hug me or even kiss me, but he settled for shaking my hand (safe move!) and asked me for my number. I gave him my cell and landline and told him he could text when he asked, but so far, nothing. (I feel like a lovesick little schoolgirl waiting for him to text. And I’m not even crazy for him!)


I am so good at putting writing projects on hold, it’s not funny.

 

Last November, I put Breathless on hold for a prequel to The Blessing Way, called Broken Road.

I got tired of Broken Road earlier this year (and was getting frustrated), so I went back to Breathless.

That only lasted a few weeks before I wrote a fan fiction piece called League of Lost Souls.

No sooner had I finished that, then I started the push to finish what I needed for my poetry anthology, entitled Barefoot on the Couch.

Until the other day, I was plugging away on the anthology. I had placed all the accompanying photos, decided which ones warranted notes/explanations, had written the first few notes pages…and then I decided to take a giant leap and release Meet Ophelia to the general public. (I think it was inspired by a dream I had the other night…which kind of gave me fuel for a sequel…but I am so far from that, it’s not even funny!)

About the time I re-uploaded Meet Ophelia and was ready to re-release it, I decided to release Broken Road the way I’d written it, only with some minor corrections and in paperback.

 

So that’s where I am now…formatting Broken Road for paperback (and later, Kindle) while I wait for my brain to churn out the last few paragraphs needed for the epilogue (or to decide that I can leave it where I was when I left off a few months ago).

That done, I’ll go back and finish Barefoot on the Couch and format that for hardcover and Kindle and publish both of those editions.

Then (and this is only a maybe), I will finally be able to finish my massive revision of Breathless and try to get it to a traditional publisher!

 

 

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¹ A customer tried to tell me today that I was too young to have been eating at my workplace for twenty-three years. I said, “I’m twenty-six. My parents started taking me here when I was three or four.” (She admitted that I looked about twenty!) When I mentioned that to another customer, she said, “So basically, you’ve been here your whole life.” I’d never thought of it that way, but yes. Yes, I have.

² Not too long ago, after Ms. H said something to me, C had a moment and asked, “What did she say to you?” My (honestly) bewildered reply: “When? Ms. H tells me so many things in one day, I can’t remember them all!”


I Ran Out of Mustard Jokes

Hello, hello, hello!

I have a new Twitter follower who is actually having conversations with me (yay!) and has been reading my blog, so I thought I’d write a new post to update on everything…just as soon as I reviewed my most recent entries.

(Sidenote: My new follower’s name is Mari and for about thirty seconds I thought my mother had joined Twitter, since she spells her forename the same way. But only thirty, because my mom would never join Twitter [it was enough of a hair-pull to get her to join Facebook!] and even if she did, she’d have a handle like “HikerLady” or “StorytellerLady”.)


Re-reading my statement of support for the SAG-AFTRA merger, I’m still incredibly glad I wrote it–especially since the merger went through. I don’t know about the National Writers Union (maybe sometime in the next few years), but I’m already pretty excited to join the United Utility Workers of America and I know that if I ever teach psychology one day, I’ll join the professors’ union in a heartbeat.

Book Notes: Broken Road is in development hell and I haven’t gotten Breathless off the back burner since finishing League of Lost Souls. (More writing updates shortly.)

The Top Nine Women I Think are More Beautiful than Julia Roberts kind of started the ball rolling on my crush. I mean, it was already rolling to some extent, but I think that kept my mind on the subject. (And it only took two months after Eric’s first appearance on The Finder for me to sit up and take notice! *headdesk* (Oh, yeah…and I tweeted Maddie that she’s on my list, so she probably thinks I’m a psycho, now. xD )

On Words with My Words: It worked out. I wrote a crappy song and then trashed it. Then I tried not to write poetry and came up with I wish...Despite “breaking up” with Eric (more on that in a minute, too), I’m keeping the poem and it will appear in my upcoming poetry collection Barefoot on the Couch.


Work

Tuesday, I went online and filled out approvals for my background check and my drug tests and received the paperwork for the latter the next day. There was a lot of stuff to sign or look over (mostly PDFs that I saved to read/skim later) and I was even able to submit a picture for my employee ID via email. (I never received a response, so I guess the resolution was alright.)

I had to do a urinalysis and a hair test and the company gave the poor nurse? Technician? about a billion things to package everything up with, chain of custody forms, you name it. And this is all for working in a call center! Funny, I don’t remember it being a quarter of this level of complication the last time I had to do a drug test…but there’s a huge difference between working for Walmart and working for Consumer’s Energy, too.

 

Mari told me that she’d been reading my blog and that she was sorry that life seemed to be leading me away from my goals. It seems like that at the moment, doesn’t it? I replied that all I knew was that I didn’t want to end up like my father–he spent nearly thirty-five years at General Motors because he felt like he couldn’t leave the pay/benefits/etc. that came with being an employee. (But he also dropped out of community college whereas I have a bachelor’s degree and I’m pretty sure he never cherished an ambition to leave the state, much less the area.) (I can walk to where my dad grew up. It’s a mile away or less. Does that tell you anything?)

But it’s something I can’t give up, either. I’m four months into my twenty-sixth year, I live with my dad (as I have been for the last seven and a half years), I don’t own my car and I’ll all but broke. Conversely, CE is offering me $12.27/hour (with merit raises every six months, plus shift premiums and extra money for overtime–and there is overtime right now), medical/dental/vision insurance, profit-sharing, 401k, tuition reimbursement and having me join my first union. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I call a “big girl job”. And since I lost my first chance at a big girl job last year, I can’t do it again. I don’t know how I can convince myself that I have to stay on whenever it is that I decide that I hate it (and at the best jobs, I usually do), but I have no choice. I’m less than two years away from my ten year class reunion–I can’t not have a big girl job.

To paraphrase my mother, I just have to “let go and let Goddess”. It’s a lot on my mind right now, but I know it’s all part of the gods’ plan for me…just like when I spent time in the hospital last year.


Eric

I kind of went crazy over him.

Like “saving a few pictures to my computer and watching every music video he’s ever been in (except that hard rock one)” crazy. (I was even going to clip out his lines from “Smack That” so I could watch/listen to it repeatedly. (Even though I’ve recently discovered that I have his voice memorized.)

But the other day, it finally crashed. And I let it crash publicly:

Now that the sad news is out, I don’t mind shouting: HEY WORLD! I HAD THIS GIANT CRUSH ON ERICROBERTS AND I DON’T GIVE A FUCK IF ANYONE KNOWS! ‘Cause the flame is fizzling…and just when I decided to ignore him and leave well enough alone, Fox announces that they canceled “The Finder”. Great…that will make my recovery a whole lot easier!

(Unfortunately, Finder’s cancellation left three separate cliffhangers; but on the other hand, I have the comfort of knowing that Shadrack will never succeed in forcing Willa to marry Timo!)

 

When we’re younger, I don’t think we take our crushes quite so seriously. If they’re hot, then we latch on and swoon over them and so on and so forth. But I guess now that I’m an adult, my policy is “if I can’t imagine dating him in real life, I don’t want to have a crush on him”.

Let’s see…he’s vegan, the quotes on his website are confusing (but that may just be the person who wrote them!) and we don’t like the same actors or movies. (I don’t think I’ve seen any of the movies he lists, to be honest.) We probably don’t like the same music or television shows, either. (I know that he watches The Voice based on his tweets…I dropped out after the first half hours of auditions in season one.) Not to mention that he’s crazy as hell for his wife. (Look around…Eliza is everywhere!)

I know whether or not they’re married doesn’t matter when you have a celebrity crush, but the rest of that stuff does–at least to me. I don’t know…I guess just thinking about all that stuff (plus one other thing that I have no proof of validity for) is a turn off.

Oh and one last little nitpicky thing? He never said shit when Finder was canceled. I know he was only on two of the episodes, but come on! Show some respect! Nice to know that that was just a “gig” for you! (This may only be intuition talking, but I bet if Jamie was on Twitter or Facebook and a show he was on was canceled shortly after he was on [Numb3rs comes to mind], he’d say something!)


Writing

Mondo revise on Breathless…that’s probably why I’m procrastinating.

I went through what I’d written before and made a new outline (and I hate outlines!) with all the corrections/changes/additions and everything else I wanted to do to the manuscript…and then I started fresh.

But it’s going to be better. I know it.

 

I’ve been collecting my poetry for a couple of years now. Most of it has been culled from the web (I posted my poems on a few different sites from junior high until  halfway through high school), but there are quite a few new pieces that I’ve written since I started the collection. Anyway, it’s called Barefoot on the Couch and I’m getting close to being…okay, halfway ready for publication.

My goal was fifty poems. I have forty written, seven more planned (about the different sabbats, to accompany the one I wrote last fall) and three more to come up with before I can publish. Not to mention deciding whether I want pages discussing/describing the poems, pictures or both. (And all the other self-publishy stuff.) And I’m also going to look into making the move from Lulu to CreateSpace. (I’m thinking of doing half and half–hard copies from Lulu and digital through CreateSpace. That way, at least one version of it is on Amazon.)

 

When I had “Words with My Words”, I mentioned League of Lost Souls, but I never went into detail on what it was about!

LLS is the first fan fiction piece I’ve written in nearly two and a half years and it’s in the Finder universe. Willa meets a “cousin” who tells her that she was able to escape having an arranged marriage because she was the heiress to her clan. Obviously, LLS strays from the normal realm of “finding” and goes off on a side course to find Shadrack’s missing brother (and introduces his not-so-missing brother) and prevent Willa’s marriage to Timo. I won’t go into detail, because I hope y’all will eventually read it (http://www.fanfiction.net/~JamiesFanGirl is the address to get there), but someone dies and Willa’s ending is bittersweet.