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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Today, I am angry...

and honestly, if I thought I could get away with it, they would never find the bodies. I want to scream, kick, hit, and throw things at them. LEAVE ME ALONE!!! And if my email doesn't stop dropping 10 emails into my inbox every 2.5 minutes, I will seriously THROW THIS THING OUT OF MY WINDOW.

And everyone else, SHUT UP!

(and co-worker Brian--if you read this and say ANYTHING about it to anyone in the office, can just imagine what will happen to you.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Home for the holidays...

This past week, I took vacation time from work, and traveled "home" for the Thanksgiving holiday. In this case, home wasn't to my parents farm in the western highlands of Virginia, but to Michigan where I went to college, lived, and worked for seven years (or 1/4 of my life).

Compared to Richmond, Detroit is a Siberian wasteland--cold, dirty, gray, and clouded with the remnants of failed industry. The roads suck, and traffic is horrible. The economic forecast is bleak--last year there was -2.6 percent job growth (this being the main reason that I now live in Virginia). And even though I love Michigan, the entire time I was there, I waivered between my desire to return to the life I led, and the desire to try to find that new existence I'm struggling to establish now. It's very hard to find yourself again.

A home isn't necessarily a physical place you go--though in some cases it can be. I think that home is where you go to see the people you love, and who love you back. So to my friends, confidants, and partners in crime--I love all of you guys, and I began missing you the minute I crossed the state line into Ohio.

And I hope that I always have a 'home' with you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Why I love my job (sometimes)...

I know I sometimes complain about the boredom and monotony that comes with being saddled with an office job, but sometimes it's a great thing. Here are my top two reasons why selling out to corporate America isn't always a bad thing.

2. Medical/Dental/Vision/Life Insurance provided with payment of small pre-tax payroll deductions. Insurance is NOT cheap, and the company absorbs massive amounts of the cost associated with providing these benefits to employees. For this, I am thankful. I may not make alot of money, BUT I have terrific health and dental insurance with reasonable co-pays, prescription coverage, vision discounts for my contacts, and the ability to have an accident and go to the emergency room without the fear of being saddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Oh, and those pre-tax deductions also reduce your taxable earnings at the end of the year--giving me a small tax break, too.

1. Paid Time Off ROCKS! Every year I get 10 paid vacation days, 6 paid sick days, and 9 paid holidays off from the cubicle that is my life. The best part is, if I don't use my sick time by the end of the year, it's paid out to me. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, it pales in comparison to the 3 months of unabashed freedom alloted to college students and school teachers. But in my college days when I worked retail, if I didn't work on that day, I didn't get paid.

Since I am currently being paid to do nothing--I'm off to do more of that now. Hope that you all have a terrific Turkey Day!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Ok, so it's the weekend...

and I look forward to not having plans in place. I rarely have plans on weekends anymore. A year ago, this bothered me. Six months ago, this still bothered me. Lately, I have come to appreciate the two days of the week that are mine, and mine alone.

Five days of my week are controlled by "the man". My days are regulated by a clock, and the subsequent paycheck that results from my time spent in a cubicle. I breathe recirculated air, and suffer through temperature changes instituted by the thermostat nazi. I watch the world, or at least the parking lot, from my window for eight hours a day. I answer a constantly ringing phone, and reply to never ending emails.

On Saturdays, I look forward to sleeping past the six am alarm. I relish in the ability to laze away some of the day in slumbering bliss. When I do decide to drag myself from my toasty cocoon, I watch cartoons and eat Lucky Charms, and for a brief moment, I return to my childhood. Later, I force myself to have an intense workout until my muscles are fatigued and I'm drenched in sweat. And later after that, after I've taken a long, hot shower, I venture out for a drive in the waning sunlight, maybe to TJ Maxx to look at purses, or perhaps the Dollar Tree where I score new hardback books for cheap.

On Sundays, I do all the errands that I tell myself I should do on Saturday--laundry, dishes, vacuuming. By 10 am, I am done, and spend the rest of my day watching movies on tv, reading whatever books I have left unread, and almost wishing I had somewhere to be. Almost. Or at least wishing that I could find a movie on television that I haven't seen 27 times previously.

To an observer, my weekends seem extremely quiet and mundane, and in truth, they are. Compared to my life BR (Before Richmond), I have become a social hermit. Where once I spent weekends running myself ragged, and occupying every single minute of the 48 hour period, I now start the new week relatively rested and refreshed. I'm not necessarily ready to return to the office, per se, but I do look forward to removing myself from my self-imposed prison, and the return to the world of the living, breathing, and grossly underpaid.

So, here's a toast to me.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I have been violated...

or at least, that's how it FEELS.

This morning, I log into Gmail, and I have a letter from Amanda C. from my banking institution. Since I had just received an email from my bank last week warning of the "phishing" attacks that were running rampant, I immediately questioned the validity of this email. The following is the email I received (I have blanked out information that reveals too much information):

This is in regards to your Visa card account you currently have with MXX Credit Union. We were contacted by our Falcon department that there are authorizations that are pending on your account. It is important that you contact the Visa department to verify if the charges were made by you & if your card is in your possession. The Visa department can be reached Monday-Friday from 8:30-5:00 p.m. at 517-XXX-XXXX or toll free at 1-800-XXX-XXXX ext 2585 however, if we are unable to take your call please leave your name, account number & a phone number of where you may be reached.
Amanda C.

Visa Specialist

Wary of being "phished", I log onto my banks actual website to verify that the phone numbers provided in the email are the ones that are publicly known. I call my banking institution, and I spoke to the woman that answered the phone. I explain that I had received an email from Amanda C., and wanted to know if she was an employee of the credit union. The customer service rep verified the information, and I was informed that there was a pending charge on my account. My credit union wanted to verify that it was my charge, as it was suspiciously large. She also inquired if I had my Visa check card in my possession.

Since I had just made a purchase at Target last night, I was fairly certain that the card was in my purse. When I inquired about the "suspicious" charges, I was asked if I had made a purchase for $970.00 at a Wal*Mart in North Miami Beach, FL, yesterday. Since I had been nowhere in the vincinity of Florida since 1998, I assured her that it was not my charge.

Thankfully, I am not being held responsible for this charge, or any others that may come in afterwards. Of course, now I am without access to my checking account until I receive my new Visa Check card in the mail in 7-10 days. However, I feel almost as if someone walked into my home and was digging through my underwear drawer. Even though they haven't physically assaulted me, I'm now paranoid that maybe more than just my bank card information was stolen--maybe there's a fake Ruth walking around out there, but without my keen sense of style and significantly fewer shoes and bags... and she's giving me a bad name.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Thoughts for the day...

In happy moments, praise God.

In difficult moments, seek God.

In quiet moments, worship God.

In painful moments, trust God.

In every moment, thank God.

I didn't write this, and I don't know who did. I just thought that others might enjoy it.