Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Coffee machines and busy-ness

It seems that my last post may have given the impression I was singing a litany of wrongs. It was merely a comment on the fact that ALL of us forgot to do something. The same night. MOTH even walked right past the front door and never noticed it was still open. All of us. *shakes head* And that night, the cats behaved themselves and didn't even scatter the scraps. Proud of the ginger kitty I was.

This last week has been busy at work, tying up loose ends, getting stuff finished for End Of Year processing, trying to do two jobs. Admin2 always takes time in December for holidays and the membership mailing list always seems to get busy then. I don't know why. But this week I never felt rushed or swamped or that I was losing it. Perhaps it was the knowledge that I only had to endure 4 weeks of it instead of 5? And although there was some end of year prep thrown in that I don't usually get, I didn't have to worry about doing her invoicing for January, trying to do her work while mine picks up. It's a little quieter for me during December.

I think I've finally finished all my Christmas shopping! Whee! And wrapped them all! Yes!! Now I just have to get myself coordinated *or is that MOTH* to get them posted.

All posted away and I think I am finally ready. I've worked out what to have for Christmas lunch, just a couple more things to get and all the food is sorted too.

Nearly everything at work is done, along with finalising my Performance Review. Today is my last day at work and I'm ready for my break. I'm set for a cruisy day. I ask my supervisor about something and she mentions that today is a half day. What? There were rumours but no-one in management has actually come out and said. Not a word.

The General Manager comes around and presents everyone with a bottle of wine. I appreciate the gesture but it's easy to give someone a gift when it's left over from a conference a couple of years ago. Or maybe I'd appreciate it more if it is something that I might actually drink. Management here is big on wine. Big enough to make a bottle of wine *admittedly not the cheap stuff* speaker's gifts for the conference.

Twelve o'clock comes around. All my work is done and I've left a list of things that Admin2 needs to know on her return. I'm first out the door.


Froggy's Christmas presents arrive in the mail. *for those who don't know, Froggy and i are siblings* and as I open the box, I find the present for MOTH and I. I know what it is because I've been told. MOTH had been talking of buying a coffee machine so Froggy and Moose have chipped in together and funded a voucher at Harvey Norman. I know that one of the machines is on special, Froggy knew this and the value of the voucher should cover it.

I grab MOTH and we head off for a look. Yes, I know it's early but I don't want to miss out on the special. I've already checked the website so I have an idea of what I'm looking for. And which one I would prefer but I can't afford that one. And it turns out that I really didn't have any idea what I was looking for. The image of the machine I had in my mind was totally different to the reality. The lass working the machine display gave us a sample. Not bad, not bad at all. We have one of the sales assistants check the price for us. Just in case. The store is busy and I don't want a surprise at the register. Yep, the price is correct. We grab some pods to go with it - the machine uses the coffee capsules - and we're out of pocket at the register by $2.50.

Nicely done, I say. One coffee machine and about 60 pods for $82.50. Yep, the machine was reduced from $129 to $49.

And it makes pretty good coffee too. Mmmmmm. Coffee......

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hypervigilance. Is that the word for today?

Hypervigilance. There is a lot of that happening at my house. Not...

There were two extras staying the night last night. Somewhere around 9pm, I left them to it and retired for the night. This morning I noticed ...

There are still cups and glasses on the bench which could have made it to the dishwasher with the rest.
The kitchen scraps didn't get taken out to the bin.
The apple pie is still sitting on the kitchen bench.
The fan and airconditioner are still on in the rumpus room.
I forgot to make up the second guest bed last night.
The rear roller door to the garage is still open.
So is the front door...

And I can't even say we were all drunk!

It's been a busy week this week. I've had my performance review for work. It's a big thing here, all to do with determining if you've met your performance objectives for the year, what objectives get set for the next year, what your career goals are. I know I should use this for something but I've hit a plateau in my job. I can't advance any further so what do I say my goals are? Leaving? My supervisor knows I'm ready to move on as she knows I can't advance where I am. Part of this process is also looking at strengths and weaknesses - something I find very difficult! My supervisor suggests my weakness is not using my judgement skills. This brings on a discussion *which i find very difficult* saying that I have those skills but it's very hard to use judgement when you don't know where the boundaries are. I am given a task but I don't know how much leeway I have *sometimes what is inferred is often different to the reality!* so I ask a million questions "down to the nth degree" so I know where she's coming from. She makes a note.

On a side note, we were asked to complete a survey to determine workplace culture. The "organisation" was supposed to be the whole place, but it's very hard to judge when you don't have much interaction outside your business unit. I wrote mine on the business unit. It wasn't necessarily wholly complimentary.

Admin2 is still away and will be until early January 2013. It's been a rush getting things ready for end of year. I'm hoping that I haven't forgotten anything!

Still time to put up my decorations at work though!
There have been comments about how fine the fishing line is ... so fine it's actually invisible. Non existent even...

The girl GT is leaving for the south this week. Today is her last day so we are off to lunch. I rob Peter to pay Paul and take $20 out of my bank account. We're off to the local Thai restaurant. I have a laksa but it is not as nice as the one I buy from my local takeaway. I'm disappointed, but it's not expensive at $9.90 for a large bowl.

Work Christmas lunch today. Staff are lunching at Hog's Breath Cafe, then around 4pm partners and family are invited to attend a get together at the office. The idea is to let them see where we work. Something else comes up which will be the same time as the afternoon session. I ask MOTH. Want to go here, or shall I go there? Go there he says without hesitation. SWEET!

I'm at the tail end of a customer call when everyone begins the exodus from the office. Too bad if I had been at the start. I would have missed the Christmas lunch. No one really stopped to wait or see if I was coming. Ah well. I wouldn't have minded. Really. Lunch for me was a ceasar chicken wrap. Tasty and only $9.90. Well done. Change again.

The afternoon arrives and I finally get to leave to attend the function I've been waiting for all day. The Travel Bookers Christmas party. Each year the travel agent hosts a fully catered Christmas party for the people who use their services. I love it. I get to catch up with some familiar faces and meet new ones. I'm usually by myself though so this year I am determined to talk to other people. I arrive early, it doesn't take as long to find the venue as I thought it would. They're still setting up.
The waitress pours me a glass of bubbly and I find somewhere to sit and wait...
I chat to a couple of ladies who have picked the table next to me. They are from off campus as well. Eventually Eileen rocks by and she's brought her boss with her. This is the only time I ever see her and we sit and chat for the rest of the evening. They do the prize draws, but as usual, I don't win. Eileen's boss, however, does!

I manage to catch up with my travel agent briefly. He's taken a new position within the company which will mean a return to full time work for him and a relocation to the city office, but he will still be looking after our account. Whew! He's very experienced and has great customer service.

Elder takes me out to finish my Christmas shopping ... and ... those two $10 are not in my wallet. Missing! Where the heck did they go? I certainly don't recall spending them on anything and I've only taken my swipe card out of my wallet since lunch on Thursday. Several of us were back to the office at the same time and no one mentioned having dropped anything... Where the heck could they be? Gone to join the $100 that MOTH missed last pay?? They are still missing...

The rest of the week pans out quietly. Just as well as I think I'm all socialled out. Except for the two extras... but that's ok! Elder has given me my Christmas present early. We've run out of wrapping paper, heh. I've spent a little time setting it up and we've christened it last night. Alas, only one game yet, but hey! It's Mario Kart so it's a lot of fun!

Think my wallet is going to take a bit of a beating as I work up my stock, yes?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nervy. Already.

I have a video meeting this morning. I'm a little nervous as this sort of thing is quite new to me and I shall be on my own, having to talk. *gulp!*

Two more weeks and I can take a holiday break from work. Whoo!

I've been busy again this last week at work. When Admin2 is away, I always seem to be busy doing her work and little of mine. However I did manage to get one of my tasks finalised for the end of the year.

It was a close run thing though. I discovered that one of our GTs was away for a work gig. Which no one it seems had sought the necessary approval for. Now seriously folks, they should well and truly know the drill by now. The GM put it down to the new manager not knowing it had to be done, but I was thinking that a GM worth their salt would have known what was going on and rectified it immediately instead of blaming them for not doing it properly.

But hey, they should have twigged that I would pick up on it and make a fuss.

I have a very responsible position here you know *anything goes wrong, i'm responsible, right?*

I've finished my reading and now I'm lost. What am I going to read now? The online book group I have through Good Reads has begun reading "The City of Bones" for December. But I read that in November. I've finished the series now. I guess I could go back and read City of Bones again? But wait! What's this? I've found a book in Elder's possession. "Assassin's Creed: Revelations". Looks good.

I'm now half way through. One disadvantage is trying to keep a paper book open while eating your lunch is a bit of a bother ... but I'm sure I can manage!

I am chatting to one of the GTs. He wonders about Christmas decorations. Maybe we should look at decorating the office? Sounds like a plan but I doubt anything will happen. The office doesn't stock decorations and if I recall, no decorations have been put up for a couple of years since the Canadian left. Wonder if we have a step ladder here?

It's rained a little today. Enough to leave the windscreen spotty and for the dust etc to blow over and stick. I can't see out of that! I'm going to have to clean it. *MOTH says the water pump for the wipers is underneath everything and he can't fix it. i can't pay for a fix either* Back into the office and fill the empty water bottle. The water may (or may not) be potable, but it's plenty good enough for a dirty windscreen. Don't start the engine but flick the wipers about 5 times. Jump in, start her up and .... whirrr irrr irrr irrr click. DAMMIT! Flattened the battery. I get MOTH to phone RACQ. It will take them 90 minutes to find where I am. Provided they can find me. They couldn't even seem to find the street. It's 2 hours till gate close and then there is no way to get the car out till Monday morning. Eventually after some back and forth, MOTH and Elder come to my rescue. One of the GTs is looking under the car bonnet as well while he waits for his walking buddy. He and MOTH determine that the safest way would be to swap out the batteries and clutch start the manual. Thank heavens one of them is a manual. It works and eventually I'm on my way. Why does this happen on a Friday afternoon???

Elder tells me that there is no code for the radio and it's a musicless trip home. Oh no, it isn't! The little iPod has speakers so we rev them up as loud as they will go and yeah! Music for the trip home.

A lazy weekend for me. Nothing different there. MOTH asks if I want to come up the street with him. I should I guess, just so I don't become a Hermit. I am forced into other's company during the week so I like to spend time in solitary on weekends. He tells me it's not a requirement as he knows I don't like to sit in one place for too long. And he's right. I don't. I need to get up and move around; he likes to sit in the corner with the Babysitters Club for a couple of hours every day. I beg off ... as I knew I would. Sigh.

It's quiet this morning, everyone is still abed. Except the cats. And me. I notice Jerome is doing his something-is-different-and-I-am-very-wary creep toward one of the bedrooms. I look and ... really? How did that happen? Somehow, one of the cats has managed to get at their dry food. The packet is supposed to be on a shelf around my chest height. Ok, so not that high, but certainly not on the floor. There is a shelf below and nothing close by they can use as a step up. Nothing beyond the shelf below. I think Sheldon has been practicing his ninja skills.

I put the remaining food into plastic containers and back on the shelf.

That night, the kids are out at Elder's work Christmas party and we've packed up and retired for the night. Suddenly I hear something fall. Never mind visions of sugar plum fairies and things Christmasy, visions of spilled cat food race through my mind. Luckily the container has landed on it's lid and nothing has spilled. That's it, I shall have to find somewhere else to store this stuff. For now, it's into the already overcrowded pantry. MOTH decides to place his souvenir bowling pin on that shelf and we go back to bed.

In the kitchen next morning I see that the bowling pin has hit the floor along with the dog treats that had been left there. Bloody cat. Is nothing sacred? I never heard the pin crash but thankfully there is no damage to the tiles.

So, the cat food is in the single door pantry and I've had to move the mixer and food processors to the shelves. Hopefully the little bugger won't be interested in pulling them down.

I'm prepping dinner. And there's Jerome, sitting in front of the cupboard where the food is now stored. Sometimes I wonder who is actually running this household....

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Sedimental water

That's water. With sediment. Which is what we get through our pipes at work. Not enough people on site anymore apparently to keep the water in the pipes flowing...

The last week was ... last week and kinda boring. Nothing happened. Really. I'm sure of it.

Admin2 is on leave so work has been busy, busy, busy trying to do my work and parts of her job. There is a lot of her work that I just don't do, but a lot of it this year is kinda crazy and I'm not sure what to do with some of it. Too long between drinks and I forget. Sometimes the procedure changes slightly and she tells me at the time, but chances are pretty good that was, like, six months ago.

MOTH has been spending time with the Babysitter's Club. They've been plotting among themselves about the bbq. Wombat and his wife can't come. Stan's daughter isn't coming now either. She's playing with the Black Dog and says she'll be bad company. We aren't able to persuade her otherwise.

MOTH goes out to get the food while I'm at work. I come home to find two large tubs of potato salad and one of coleslaw. Two. Large. Tubs. I ALWAYS make my own potato salad. Elder knows this too, but didn't think to question his decision. I shake my head. Well, he says, it was on the shopping list! Yeah, but, I was supposed to come with you. That was the menu and not an exact shopping list. Ah well. There will be plenty of that left over!

John and his daughter arrive a little early. I give her a hard time. She's arrived early to help me get things ready. Everything already is. I'm always up early so it's no bother to make the salad and the beans. By the time they arrive, the beans are cooking in the oven and all systems are go.

She cracks open a bottle of red. Sure, I'll have some too. Stan brings a lovely looking bottle of white, and I have a bottle of moscato in the fridge. He shares a glass of red with us.

MOTH heads out to the bbq to begin cooking. The rest of us stay inside and debate whether to eat in or out. The day is stinking hot. Suddenly, Elder comes indoors looking for something. Apparently, MOTH has run out of gas. He's sending Elder out to source some.

I told him to fart in a bottle. Cause I'm classy like that.

He laughs at me, apologises to the guests, and we wait for Elder's return.

Lunch was late but there was plenty of it. The company was great and we laughed, ate and talked for several hours before everyone left. Oddly enough, I have heaps and heaps of potato salad and coleslaw left over...

Add to that, a bottle of white wine and a bottle of moscato. Ah well. Something to look forward to. Especially at Christmas. If I can make it last that long...