Category Archives: Life of a Corporate Wage Slave

Currently….

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Currently: Discussing why I owe out my ass to the IRS on Twitter and getting some guidance.

Watching: This Excel spreadsheet on my computer screen that I’m supposed to be working on. I have been on this particular project for some months now and I am OVER. IT.

Listening To: “Feels Good” from the album The Revival – Tony! Toni! Tone!

Planning: How to revitalize my job search. I need to take a new approach to targeting companies I want to work for so I’ve been doing some reading and some research.

Thinking About: How I need to make doctor’s appointments for a mammogram and with a dentist.

Looking forward to: My bestie’s happy hour  for her birthday TONIGHT at this place.

Reading: Payback In Panama by Noel Hyde. I’ve read all the books in this series. The first 3 are the Russian Trilogy. Last 3 are the Cuban Trilogy.

Making Me Happy: emailing with my husband and his silly jokes that make smile. Helps to get through the work day.

The View From Here – 2013

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I think I stopped blogging in August. I turned 40 this year and though I was not depressed or despondent about doing so..I think I ran out of words. I felt like I didn’t have anything to talk about and the blogging mojo was gone. So I took a break…for about 5 months..LOL!

But the thing about writing is that it’s just like riding a bike, you never forget how, you just get back on and start pedaling.

2013, in retrospect, was better than 2012 (which totally sucked ass BTW). But it was just average, no razzle dazzle or pizazz, just kind of lackluster. I felt somewhat meh about this year, like I was just in a holding pattern so to speak. I don’t feel like I made the progress towards some of the goals I wanted to accomplish, so I plan to do a reset and attack them again in the new year.

I entered my third year of marriage in 2013 with my husband being in the hospital which was a scary reminder of our mortality. He’s a LOT better now thank God. Lifestyle changes are in process, slowly but surely. And my husband is still truly a blessing in my life. I am lucky to have married such a great guy.

I ended 2013 still working on a contract basis at my current gig but immensely grateful to have gainful steady employment and work at a company that treats me decently and doesn’t work me too hard. I’m still looking for the right opportunity on a full time basis, but I have a measure of comfort knowing that I have somewhere to go each weekday morning to earn a living.

My family is healthy, my niece and nephew are growing like weeds, and my brother found some gainful employment that suits him. They are happy which makes me happy. Many of my friends had personal triumphs this year such as new jobs, new homes, new marriages and new babies, which is always a good thing.

So more than anything, I’m grateful for being able to have a 2013. Some folks will not see this upcoming new year. And I look forward to 2014, where I have another chance to get it right. Another chance to go get my blessings and what God has for me.

With that being said, let’s do this. Allow me to re-introduce myself…

Thirty Nine

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Today is the last day of my fourth decade on this planet. I turn 40 tomorrow. I’m still unpacking that in my head. I. AM. TURNING. FORTY. YEARS. OLD.

I feel some kind of way about it ..I think.

It seems like yesterday that I was graduating from college, then hustling to find a job, then moving to Dallas for said job, then hating Dallas and running back home after 6 months, leaving my college boyfriend in the process. Then I dated a good friend that I’d known since college, then broke up with him, started and finished grad school, bought a house, ran the streets with my sorors and other girlfriends, traveled out of the country for the first time, had good dates and horrible ones and suddenly I was 30. It’s like my twenties were a blur.

At 39, the memories of my fourth decade are more crystalline, more frozen in time, more focused. I guess as you get older, you want to trap more of those memories in your subconscious.

In my thirties I:

• Sold my house
• Moved to Minnesota for my then boyfriend
• Proved to myself I could live somewhere else and have a good life
• Left a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and moved back home
• Dated an ex (for the second time) that I shouldn’t have
• Got therapy when I needed it
• Went to the Bahamas and swam with dolphins
• Saw Prince in concert
• Bought another house
• Got laid off/fired a couple of times
• Lost my final remaining grandparent
• Met the coolest dude on the planet
• Planned and pulled off a wedding for 150 people
• Married that really cool dude
• Got a lesson about who is a true friend and who wasn’t
• Saw the Grand Canyon
• Became an aunt to my brother’s 2 adorable children
• Put my feet in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico
• Supported my spouse in the loss of his dear mother
• And really for the most part came into my own

I’m sure my life event list could be longer but those are some of the ones that really stick out to me. And that’s what is so wild, that’s just ten years’ worth of stuff. Now that I read that, I guess I don’t feel so uneasy about turning the big four oh after all. It might be just another day, but it’s another day I get to learn, growth, evolve and LIVE.

Now that’s worth celebrating, don’t you think?

The (Almost) 40 Year Old Toddler

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So yeah I had a tantrum today. Straight up clowned.

I had to go meet a recruiter today on my lunch break. I suggested meeting at a Starbucks instead of fighting Galleria mall lunchtime traffic (normally hellish). She countered with meeting at her “satellite” office (some shared office suite) that was even further NORTH of where I am currently working. *sigh*

I got turned around trying to get on the Beltway from here because my job is where two major highways intersect so it’s not all that intuitive where to get on the road. We are supposed to meet at 11:30. At 11:30, I’m just now figuring how to get on the highway. Google Navigation is just totally effing me over right now.

I’m hot, frustrated, and mad that I have to meet this recruiter so picture a short black woman in glasses in her car just going off. Straight meltdown. I know folks thought I was INSANE. I was cussing, trying to listen to the GPS tell me the wrong azz way to go and trying to avoid all of the folks driving slow in the left hand lane. Then I start fussing with God. I told him this is for the birds and it’s getting old and these recruiters are getting on my nerves and a whole litany of grievances I had. I almost said this was some bullsh*t, but I’m too scared to cuss God and get struck down. LOL!!

But yeah, me, myself and I methophorically laid on the carpet and kicked and screamed. Felt good too. You can call me childish all you like. I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care!!

There is a happy ending: I made it to the meeting, calmed down and met with the recruiter. I apologized to Jesus on the way back to the office though.

I may be unruly, but I’m not crazy! :)

Ya’ll still having tantrums every now and then or are you too grown??

Hunker Down

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I think that when humans are going through a period of stress, instinct kicks in. Our natural reaction is fight or flight. And thus, you will face your stress head on and fight through  it or you will do like I did, turn and run away and withdraw.

I probably talk about my work life a bit too much on this here blog. It’s been a stressful point in the almost 20 years (!!!) I’ve been in the corporate arena. I’ve made some choices early on that are starting to affect me now and because I am married now and have another person whose welfare I must consider, I’m a bit angry with myself. But that’s neither here nor there, at this point. God has blessed me yet again. My contract at my current plantation ends today and I start another one on Monday at a new plantation. But getting from point A to point B has been difficult this time. It has been stressful. I have been worried and my faith has taken a tremendous hit. My normally cheery personality has not been so cheery. It has affected me, it has affected my husband. He doesn’t like to see me upset, but at the same time he cannot carry my burdens for me. He can encourage me, but I also have to encourage myself.

And so I haven’t been writing, mainly because I haven’t had all that much to say. I’ve been hunkered down in my little hole in my mind, stressed out. When you are in your feelings, whatever it may be, it’s hard to see that it will pass. But it always does.

I blog because I like to get things out of my head and into a written format and to share a bit of my life with the people who read my small corner of the internet, because in a sense you are my online family. And while I like to put up pretty pictures, recipes and funny stories, it’s important to share, to some extent, that I am human and have my own personal struggles.  My struggle may not be your struggle, but no one person’s  issue is bigger or smaller than another else’s.

I would submit to you to not hunker down in the depths of your mind and wallow in your stuff. Talk to someone, get it on paper, cry it out, do what ever you need to do to make yourself whole again.

My coworker sent me this video one day when I was particularly in my feelings and sometimes I just have to put this bad boy on repeat:

Mary Mary – “Go Get It”

Don’t run away from whatever it is that you may be dealing with. Fight through it. You are going to come out the other side just fine. I promise. :)

(Shout out to Tazzee and Jeanine for checking on me.)

Ambition

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When I first graduated from college, like most naive kids I thought I was going to be much like Pinky and the Brain, and take over the world. By the time I was 40, I thought I would be a big time bank branch manager with a staff, making long money. I never aspired to be CEO, but I’d be damn close to it! :)

Of course, life never turns out quite like you expected. I’ve got quite a bit of good experience in my years in Corporate America and I am definitely a senior level professional, but I’m not in management. Part of of that is circumstance, I’ve worked at several different companies and my tenures haven’t been particularly long but part of it is by design, I’ve seen what my friends who manage people have to deal with and I’d rather herd cats. Managing people and getting them to execute is more than a notion. I wouldn’t mind being a manager, as long as managing people doesn’t come along with it. I do have friends who have those titles. But as long as I can continue to get paid well, I’m good with being on the professional track. I guess I adjusted my level of ambition over the years. *shrugs*

What about you? Are you where you want to be career wise? Are you a manager? Or are you pretty good with what you are doing and where you are at??

Muddling Through

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This post has been in my head for a few days but I’ve been struggling to get it out and on the screen. As I’ve alluded to and if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve made mention of being back on the interview grind. I’m not ready happy about it either. I am working and I am certainly grateful for full time employment and weekly paychecks but this role is just a means to an end. It’s contract which means when I don’t work, I don’t get paid. When I sick, I don’t get paid. If I have a dentist appointment, I don’t get paid. Notice a pattern there?? When I took this role, I decided that I wouldn’t get comfortable again, and I haven’t. But I still don’t like the grind of interviewing.

 I was talking to my mom the other day, and she knows I’ve been interviewing and we started to talk about my old job and I realized something. I am still very angry about being fired. I really thought I had processed and unpacked my feelings about that entire situation but after I got off the phone with her after venting about a job that I haven’t been to in almost 4 months, but apparently I haven’t.

 So I’m mad. I’m mad because I have a lot of movement on my resume in my 20s and early 30s and I think it’s hindering me somewhat as I stare age 40 dead in the face. I’m mad because I had a job that I really liked and people that I liked working with that at a decent company, with decent benefits and a really decent boss (well before I ended with the demon that fired me). I’m mad because I got fired and even the HR rep knew it was some bullshit and said as much. I’m mad because this company was supposed to be my last stop, at least for a while, where I could build some tenure and perhaps move around to a few different roles and now I’m back out here in a still somewhat down economy, grinding.

 I’ve actually had several interviews and phone screens in the last month or so, but I’m mad that employers are assholes and don’t even have the decency to tell you if you have gotten the job, especially if you took time off to interview (recall that don’t work, don’t get paid thing, right).

 I’m mad at myself because the folly of my youth is catching up with me and biting me in the ass. I’m mad because I’m ashamed to be complaining when there are folks who still need jobs. I’m mad because I shouldn’t be comparing myself to some of my friends who have been at their companies for 10 years and I’ve had multiple jobs in that time, but I do. I’m mad because I thought I knew what to do next and I don’t.

 So yeah, I’m kind of muddling through right now. And I’m kinda mad right now. Sorry.

 But not really.

Odds And Ends: The Tuesday Edition

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  • I’m really wishing this recruiter would call me back about scheduling this second interview. I gave her dates and times I was available on Friday.
  • Myron and I were both sick as dogs about a week ago. Two sick married people in the house is no fun. We were both very stabby.
  • The weirdest thing about being sick (we both had upper respiratory crud) was that my ass hurt. Like I could barely walk hurt..pain all in the hip bones hurt. I started to break down and use Myron’s crutches. My booty is fine now though, thanks for asking.
  • The Z-Pack is your friend.
  • We finally saw Django Unchained this weekend. The scene with the Ku Klux Klan members arguing over the pillowcases…funniest shit ever. It got 2 thumbs up from the Macks. Next up for us: Zero Dark Thirty
  • Nerd Girl is hosting the book club over at her spot again this year. Since I was a lame and didn’t participate ANY last year, she made me pick the first book of 2013. We’ll be discussing on February 11th.
  • Taking hubs to a co-ed baby shower this weekend. THIS should be interesting.
  • Looking to go to Puerto Rico in the fall. I think the 52 week savings challenge will be the vacation fund.
  • We’re back in the gym tonight after an absence. Pray my strength I don’t pass out on the treadmill.
  • Myron cooked yesterday’s and today’s dinner last night. Today’s dinner is going to be SO good that I’ve been quietly seat twerking about it all day. What??? You don’t do the happy dance for good food? Just me? Oh.
  • I had a meeting with one of the managers that I support yesterday to make some changes to his financial model. Why hasn’t he sent them to me yet? Why do I have to chase down people who need me to do work for them? The joys of Corporate America.
  • I really wish I was independently wealthy.
  • That’s all I got, what’s going on with you??

Three Strikes

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I mentioned that I started a new gig at the beginning of November. So far, so good on the job itself. I’m getting acclimated, getting training and meeting people..all is well.

As a part of my on-boarding here at this particular plantation, there is an orientation about the facilities and whatnot and the usual spiel about safety. Before I went to the orientation meeting, my manager impressed upon me the need to pay particular attention to the parts about driving in the parking garage as my plantation was is rather ANAL about garage safety. I mean they ARE DEAD. ASS. SERIOUS about it to the point where there are “safety ambassadors” skulking about who can give tickets and speed monitors that light up if you exceed the speed limits, stuff like that.

So, I’d been trying very hard to stay within the confines of the law, as any infraction would result in an email from Security to you and your manager and would necessitate the need for a “refresher” talk about the safety policy. So imagine my consternation and dismay to receive an email last week, after being employed all of 3 weeks, stating that I had a garage violation for speeding!!!! And to add insult to injury, it was actually my THIRD violation but because they couldn’t find my name in the database (they were looking under my maiden name and how they are linked in with the state of Texas database is both baffling and scary). I dutifully forwarded the note to my manager so that we could have our talk.

So that unsavory bit of business was done and finished with right?

Wrong.

The next day, I tried to turn into the garage to park and imagine my cracked face when the gate denied me entry!!! Better yet, imagine me with a cracked face and a line of cars behind me trying to park and get into the office…*sigh*. I pushed the call button and the security officer let me in so I wouldn’t keep backing up traffic. I parked, and made a beeline to the security office where I was informed that since this was my third violation I had been banned from the garage and sentenced to park in the surface lot across the street for 30 days…say what now?? Only scofflaws have to park over there and I had joined the ranks of those forced to make that walk of shame. *shamed*

But I was not to be denied my chance for appeal..I couldn’t go out like that ya’ll!!! I pleaded my case to the Security Manager (who was quite easy on my felonious eyes) about how could I be penalized for THREE violations when I didn’t know about the first two?? I smiled, batted my eyes, and had it not been cold that day I would have perhaps shown a little tittay meat in order to not have to walk from that surface lot in the elements. Sweet little baby Jesus was on my side that day because the Security Manager graciously decide to wipe my record clean and let me start fresh!! *praise dances*

So now I’m paranoid and I drive in the garage like an 80 year old lady but I guess that was the intended effect right?? Such is the life of a corporate wage slave, feel free to laugh at my pain.

Odds And Ends: The Monday Edition

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What’s happening?? *in my TI voice*

How was ya’ll’s weekend? Mine was very busy and I am tired so I am happy to be at work, where it is slow and quiet so that I can rest up from it. LOL!

Let’s see, Friday morning I took a few hours off to go an interview for a perm gig. I ended up in the wrong building, hauled ass across the street to the right building, was late to the interview and then got in there and talked for 3 straight hours to 3 different people. That interview was painful and I’m sure I didn’t get that job but I will survive.

Friday evening started off a lot better. Hubs and I went on date to have dinner, see my baby daddy Daniel Craig in Skyfall and to have drinks at Dave and Buster’s with our favorite bartender, my BIL, Tony.

Saturday morning, we got up to run to the bank, run by the store and had lunch at our favorite Indian buffet then came back home to watch nap a little college footbal before our evening activities. As usual, we double booked ourselves for two birthday parties at the opposite ends of Houston. The first one was a 30th birthday party for Myron’s cousin. It was really fun, she had a craps and a blackjack dealer at her house and plenty of food and libations. We also got to see some cousins and their new baby. A time was being had by me but alas, it was time to make a move to the west side (yeyah yeah!) to the other party we’d be invited to. This party was for the birthday of the ghey guy who works at our neighborhood Kroger’s who we have struck up a friendship with. He’s actually a really a cool guy so we had to show our faces or else we’d never live it down. So we stopped by, had some drinks and were entertained by a 49 year old ghey dude in heels getting his boogie on to Whitney Houston. LOL! There’s never a dull moment when you roll with the Macks!

Sunday morning, we were up early (well 10 AM is early for me on Sundays), to get ready to go watch the hometown team, Houston Texans play the Jacksonville Jaguars at noon. We met my BIL at a sports bar and proceeded to see the Texans pull out a squeaker of a win. It shouldn’t have even been that close. After that, we had a fabulous ribeye dinner and got ready for the short work week.

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And I still haven’t gotten my ingredients for my dish that I’m bring to my mom’s for Thanksgiving: my dear MIL’s sweet potato crunch. I suck, but I’m going to the store tonight, I promise!

So that was my weekend, how was yours? Big plans for the holiday??