Sunday, August 30, 2009

What I Have Learned: Weeks One & Two

I have just finished my second week back at work. Since my schedule will alternate, we'll be in a constant state of flux with J's pick-ups and drop-offs; something I hope he learns to roll with.

I am already learning some important lessons, both on the job and at home. I thought I might share some of these with you.

1. I have wasted a good amount of time in the past four years folding pajamas, socks and underwear. None of this is necessary. Wrinkles on your feet, underpinnings and bedclothes are rarely noticed and if they are, points are rarely deducted.

2. Few things beat the first time you share un-baked batter with your kid. Nothing like raw sugar mixed with a possible salmonella scare to heighten the taste of goodness. Jack and I baked brownies together this week and, although he was leery of the batter at first, the look on his face when it passed his lips was something akin to pure bliss.

3. "Scrubble" is an incredibly fun word to say. It is a new cleaning product one of our stores is using for cleaning and I swear I want to ring a bell and shout "SCRUBBLE!" every time someone orders it. Now, let me also say that the people in charge of loading the information into our system are idiots, or at least not user friendly. When a customer is looking for "Scrubble", it comes up as "pad, cleaning, steel wool." Come on, folks. Work with a sister, will ya'?

4. I have forgotten the general mentality of the stereotypical mass cubicle dweller. They are paid to push a button and follow the rules. Not to think of NEW ways to push said button or to think of ways to improve the button. Also, they will get upset if you suggest that you might be thinking of these newfangled ideas. Push the button, get the treat, man. Don't rock the boat.

5. There are just not enough hours in the day. I knew this as a stay-at-home mom, too, but working outside the home has given it a new dimension. Work has a very strict Internet/personal e-mail policy as well and I get 30 minutes for lunch at 2- 10 minute breaks (they are not mandatory, said my trainer, so I can choose not to take them). So between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. I am pretty much on information lock down. I respect that this is a business, but it also means that there is no checking personal e-mail during lunch, which means that, on average, I have 35 e-mails to be answered (generally Sisterhood-related) when I get home. I don;t have time to do that because Jack and Osi are m priorities, so e-mail has to wait until 10 pm, which means I am not in bed until almost 11:30. Here's what I am saying: If I could just check personal e-mail during lunch, I would be a more well-rested, ready-to-go employee in the morning because I wouldn't have to be up until midnight taking care of stuff I could do in my lunch half-hour. Just sayin'. For my birthday I am asking for a phone with a QWERTY keyboard and Internet access. Booyah.

6. My crock pot has become my new best friend. If you have any tried and true crock pot recipes, I BEG OF YOU, please send them my way. We can only eat post roast, brisket and BBQ chicken so many days of the week.

So, that's what I have learned this week. How about you? Anything new?

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I have survived my first week of work. I find that, while I am not catching on as quickly as the other 2 people in my training class, I am enjoying learning new things. While the "things" I am learning may be mundane, I am still learning. Feeling useful and helping a company - which is locally owned - do a decent business. I feel that if I put my best into it every day, I can be proud of it. I am having actual conversations with adults and using my brain to earn income. PLEASE - how am I not paying them???

Osi stayed home with The Prince all week, as the JCC was closed for teacher training and general cleanup. I am happy to report that everyone came through with flying colors. Osi is sad to go back to work on Monday and Jack has been in his glory hanging with Daddy all week. They've been to the grocery store, the post office, Target and McDonald's. Everyone was happy. Jack has been mad at me all week, but that is to be expected. It hurts my feelings, but we'll get into a groove, I'm sure.

I am finding that I very little time for ANYTHING else, though. I leave the house at 7:30 in the morning, have 30 mintues for lunch, am not allowed to use the company computers for personal e-mail or Internet use and get home at 5p.m. Between 5 and 8 there is dinner to get on the table, laundry to do and all the Jack and Osi time I can squeeze in. I find myself turning in shortly after Jack does, at 9:15. I have no energy left for anything left.

So the Blog, Sisterhood e-mails and responsibilities and all other non-mission-critical items have been put on hold. Hope you'll all bare with me as I transition...

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I may be in the midst of an existential crisis. Or a panic attack. Or, I may just be freaking out a little. Either way, something is going on with a) my tummy, b) my blood pressure and c) my tear ducts (as in, they are leaking frequently this evening).

I start work on Monday. At a job. Outside of the house. With adults. Who expect me to LEARN STUFF. And then answer questions for other adults in a clear and concise manner. WTF? Have they met me? OK. The job outside the house I can do. Probably. At least, I won't get fired in the first month or so. That's a goal, right?

But then there is my OTHER job. My ACTUAL full-time, always-on-my-mind, on the clock even when I am sleeping job. You know the one: Mom-Wife-Maid-Cook-SupplierOfAllThingsAnyoneNeedsEVER. That one. THAT is the one I am freaking out over.

My husband comes home every night and, after a dinner I have, 90% of the time, made, promptly begins dozing on the couch. I mean complete with snoring. How many, by show of hands, believe that I will be able to get away with this?

Right. That's what I thought.

Because if I come home and - after a meal has magically appeared on the table - I start snoring on the couch, several things will happen. Well, several things will actually NOT happen:

1. Jack will not be bathed.
2. Laundry will not get done.
3. Floors will not get vacuumed.
4. Sheets will not get changed.
5. Dishes may or may not get done.
6. All potty-training and discipline ceases to exist.
7. Stories will not be read.
8. Songs will not be sung.
9. Middle of the night calls for Mommy will not be answered.
10. Groceries will not be purchased.

These are just the things I can think of while continuously typing. As you can see, my mind is reeling a bit.

I understand - in my addled brain, that women work every day all over the world and you know what? Their kids are fed and bathed and their homes do not fall down around them. Many of these heroic women are single mothers. I swear to you right now I do NOT undersand - just plain do not comprehend how these women do it. Hats off to you, ladies.

But this is new. And I am scared.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I am officially employed. Well, I will be, anyway, when I start in the customer service center at The Wassersrtom Company. I am calling it a starter job. It is my first job out of the gates of the stable that is stay-at-home momhood.I am extremely thankful that we wil once again be a two-income household. It also likely helped that we not only know the president of The Wasserstrom Company, but that we reguarly attend his daughters' birthday parties. There is a fmaily entanglement there that is too complicated to explain here, bu I will say it again - I am very thankful.

I was a finalist for a job in Zanesville, 45 minutes away. The title - admittedly NOT a starter job - was Assistant Executive Director. As fantastic as that title tasted in my mouth, there was much more travel involved than I could stomach and I could spend 1.5 hours on the road three days a week, 45 weeks a year. Those other 7 weeks? Travel to the West Coast and elsewhere. So I swallowed my pride and took my name out of the running when Wassestrom offered me a position.

The down side is that this is a one year temporary position. But is it really a down side? Ideally, I would like to work my way up and be management again someday. Well, let's face it - ideally, I would like to be a director of membership somewhere, but I have apparently done irreparable damage to my career by staying at home with J for 4 years.

I would not trade a minute of it. For as much as I have second-guessed my ability to make a serious decision NOT having to do with family matters or dinner, I would do it all over again. I would stay home and be here for Jack as long as I could, and just keep volunteering to activate my "non-Mommy brain."

When I call this new job a "starter job" it isn't a dig. It really is. It is a job where I can do a great job in a familiar environment - I have excelled at customer service several times before. It is a job where I can regain my professional confidence. Where I can decide where we go from here. I am indeed, very thankful.