So, OK, update in miscellaneous areas.
Today I got email telling me that I just won the Set Game weekly contest. My prize, the Xactika game, will be shipped to me shortly. How cool is that? BTW, for those who don't know, you can play the Set Game on-line (actually, it's just a puzzle - here are 12 cards, find the 6 sets) at www.setgame.com. Once you find them you can enter the drawing.
I recently bought the card game Star Munchkin. I'm still trying to figure out how to play. I suppose actually reading all the rules might help. :)
I was on vacation two weeks ago (see later, under Love Life) which was great. It meant, among other things, that I wasn't at work during the big blackout. However, I did get to experience some of the aftermath. Papers that couldn't be dealt with during the blackout were now piled up. Getting hit with a computer virus Monday (I think, maybe Tuesday), didn't help matters.
On Tuesday afternoon, "we" let go of all our temp workers. Note that let go means "It's now approximately 2 PM on Tuesday afternoon, don't come in tomorrow or anymore." Never mind the fact that some of them had been with us through the temp agency for a year and a half. Never mind the fact that some of them had previously been full time salaried workers for YEARS but were demoted to temp workers because they couldn't pass the test. Never mind that temp workers were 40% of our staff, and it's not like we were getting any less work. I should, however, point out that we had to let them go because the Board of Legislators didn't approve the budget.
Meanwhile, most of the temp workers worked in the Land Records division. I had worked there years ago when I was a temp worker. It is probably one of the most psychologically oppressive environments you can find. Take the worst aspects of Junior High (the cliques, the gossip, the backstabbing, etc) and multiply them by several decades of practice. When I was offered a full time position, I told them that if it was in that department, I wouldn't take it, and I would quit if they transferred me there. So now here we are, Land Records is immensely short staffed (whereas Legal, where I work, lost some people but not as many), and I am one of the few people who has been trained to do that work who isn't currently doing it. I was terrified I would be transferred there.
So now hours have been cut, schedules have been changed, and everyone is under pressure. Fast forward to 5 PM Thursday. My boss calls me into his office. He then looks at his clock and says "Oh, it's 5, you have to leave." I told him I could stay. In my opinion, unless you have an appointment with an ambulance, if the boss wants to talk to you, you sit your ass down. He begins by closing his door. He then puts his thumb and index finger on the bridge of his nose, right where glasses sit. I commented "Oh that doesn't look good." He assured me it was fine. I was trying to figure out what was up. Was I being let go due to budget constraints? No, probably not, there were people hired after I was who would be let go first. Was the skirt I wore today too short? Well, maybe, but considering the scraps of fabric one girl wears as clothing, I figured I was probably OK. Was I being transferred? Oh please no, not that. "I need you to be open and candid with me," he began. OK, how does breathing work again? "I need to teach someone how to do judgments." At this point, I began to breathe again. My boss is the only one in the office who can do judgments, which means that if he is sick or on vacation or tied up in meetings, they sit. And SIT. And by the time he gets to them the pile is 2 or 3 feet high. So, after years of not having anyone else know how to do them, he has decided (realized? been informed?) that he needs someone else to know how to do them. He needs someone who is bright, careful, meticulous, who pays attention to detail, and who doesn't assume anything but ASKS QUESTIONS (and is not afraid to ask questions). He also needs someone who is going to stick around. The training process is a minimum of 6 months, and he doesn't want to waste his time and the county's money paying him to train someone who is leaving. I was his logical choice, but the second part was the question. I told him the truth. I was looking to get into the court system. I had taken the test for Court Assistant, and I had a few Availability Inquiries and interviews. Nothing had panned out, but one had interested me, one that had supervisory capacity. He told me that there was room for advancement here, and I take tests well (promotions require passing the promotional test - let's hear it for Civil Service). He also suggested that the court system wasn't what I used to be. I told him that I had volunteered in Surrogate's Court (NY's version of Probate Court) for a few years, working on decisions and memos of law, and had loved it. That was where I wanted to end up. I wasn't sure if the Court Assistant position would help me or hurt me. On the one hand, it would get me into the system and get me known. On the other hand, I would be known as a glorified secretary. He told me it would hurt me. He's probably right. He asked if I was looking "outside." I said I wasn't, which is true. He asked if I intended to. I told him, "Only if you transfer me to Land Records." He'll be on vacation for a couple of weeks starting Wednesday. He'll start my training when he gets back. I am thrilled. I have job security, I have job security IN MY DEPARTMENT, and I have been told I can get promoted. Overall, a pretty good meeting. Not bad, considering the start.
So, overall, work is going well.
Curt and I spent our vacation together. He came down Friday night, August 8, and stayed until Sunday August 17. We spent a couple of days in Cambridge, MA, went to a NICE dinner in Jersey Wednesday night, spent the blackout night at his friend's place in the city (and oh, what a day he and his friend had), relaxed Friday, went to the wedding on Saturday, and he (*pout*) left on Sunday. We decided to take this weekend apart to deal with our own stuff.
My poor sweetie and his friend (the groom from Saturday's wedding) were in the city getting their tuxedos when the blackout hit. They WALKED from Grand Central (42nd Street and Lexington) to 204th Street and Broadway (where the groom and his fiancee, now wife, live). For those who don't know NYC geography, that's about 9 miles. Carrying tuxedos. In the heat. In the crowds. Ugh. I drove down to the apartment, planning to meet him and then go to the hotel room I reserved in New Jersey so I could have air conditioning. I called home, and my machine picked up. I had power, so I canceled the reservation. He was too tired to move, even to the car so I could drive home, so we stayed there.
At the wedding, I was the only woman who was there early and wasn't there to help the bride, so I got to help the groom and his groomsmen get dressed. Oh relax, I mean put on cuff-links and studs, pin on boutonnieres, and fold the handkerchiefs. I have no idea how to fold a tuxedo handkerchief, but it looked ok, and they all matched, so I guess that's what matters.
As for now, I need to do some cleaning. This place is even worse then it was. On the plus side, I'm still losing weight. 35 pounds to go. Have fun!