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  • babbling in public

    May 25th, 2010 she Posted in It's a Living, Learning & Education, new leaf   No Comments »  

    Last week I went home to SJ to attend the CNIE conference. It’s been a few years since I’ve been home so I spent an extra few days in the city and crashed at my mum’s place.

    CNIE 2010 was special for me this year. It’s not the first time a paper I’ve been associated with has been presented at a conference, but it was the first time that I was involved in the presentation. Needless to say I was a bundle of nerves and Dr. D might have expressed some concern thet I’d become a babbling idiot during the presentation. I may have babbled a bit, but I certainly didn’t go off the rails and both Dr. D and N should have nothing to worry about career wise. Well, at least not due to being associated with me at this time.

    Eating and exercising was a real challenge at home. Once the convention was over it wasn’t as difficult since I mostly ate at mum’s. Eating out can be a veritable mine field. Sometimes the healthy options can be filled with hidden fat, calories, sugar, etc. I decided that if I was going to go overboard on a meal or two then I’d best enjoy myself.  And with that decided, all was right with the world. Lobster stuffed cheesy mushroom caps found their way onto my plate.

    I think this attitude really helped keep me on track while I was away from home. Rather than going overboard all the time, or denying myself constantly, I had the special splurge meals and the standard lifestyle change type meals. When all was said and done I returned home 0.8lbs lighter. I likely would have lost more weight over the time I was gone if I’d been less indulgent. But I think the important thing is that I continued to lose weight and still managed to do the social eating (lunches, trips to restaurants, etc.) that would have easily derailed me in the past.

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    September 4th, 2009 she Posted in It's a Living   No Comments »  

    The FedEx tracking site tells me that my Adobe eLearning suite is somewhere in the city. Actually, it told me it was out for delivery this am and back at the FedEx depot this afternoon. Drew was home all day and says no delivery attempt was made and that the doorbell never rang. Boo-urns! I was really looking forward to installing it this weekend. At least I know I’ll have it before I head into my Flash level 1 and 2 classes over the upcoming weekends…

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    Doubting my sanity

    September 2nd, 2009 she Posted in It's a Living, Learning & Education   1 Comment »  

    I must be crazy.

    I’ve registered for three classes this semester. Obviously I’ve learned nothing from my experience last semester and am doomed to repeat the experience. Panic. Stress. Too many papers. Not enough me time.

    I’m still deluded enough to think that school is the perfect way to spend my time while Drew’s away (And back. Then away again). What better way to fill up my time than to work through a bunch of 4th year classes like a maniac? Since I no longer need to complete a degree in order to convince the powers that be that I have a clue what I’m doing in the workplace, I need to tell myself something to motivate me through ’til completion. 

    If that weren’t enough, I’ve signed myself up for two back-to-back weekend classes at the college I used to work at. Bye-bye Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I might as well get used to the loss immediately so I don’t feel like it’s snuck up on me while I wasn’t paying attention this semester.

    Why did I think I could manage this? Well, for starters the weekend classes are running over the first two weekends of my university courses. I figure that’s the only time that my work load will be low enough for me to give up an entire weekend. I won’t have any papers due and I’m delusional enough to think I’ll get my reading and weekly assignments done during the work week.

    Secondly, for the first time in years I don’t work in a job where I have to work crazy OT hours in order to pull-off a project committment at the last minute. No more mad dash heroics that, in reality, benefits my employer greatly and me least of all.

    And, of course, it wouldn’t hurt for me to get a better understanding of some of the software I use now. At the moment I stumble my way through editing existing Flash files. What I’d really like to be able to do is develop basic interactions on my own without having to spend hours digging through help files and watching tutorials. Since I just spent a minor fortune and gifted myself with a (student) copy of Adobe’s eLearning Suite I better get off my tush and start taking classes to ensure I can do more than just flounder around in Flash and Photoshop. If all goes well, I’ll take a class in Illustrator through work next month as well. 

    Just call me crazy.

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    Almost that time of year again

    August 27th, 2009 she Posted in It's a Living   No Comments »  

    School starts back up next week. I’m a glutton for punishment and have registered for three classes again this semester. On the bright side it looks like I won’t have to write exams for my two 4th year classes. Lots of large papers to write but I prefer those over exams any day.

    I was excited to see that I’m taking yet another class (this will be #3) from my favourite Psych prof. I know we’re supposed to vary the profs we take classes with in order to be exposed to different points of view but since the profs aren’t listed when I enroll in my classes it’s a bit of a crap shoot as to which section & prof I’m assigned to each semester. That said, I really enjoy the way this prof runs his classes, delivers very detailed and specific personal feedback, and challenges me to think through arguements in class and in my papers. I’m thrilled to be spending another 13 weeks under his wing.

    I have only good things to say on the work front. I’ve been working in my new position (new employer as well) for five months now and love what I’m doing. We’re a small team who mesh well and the immediate leadership is awesome. I especially love the opportunity to contribute fully to my team and continue to hone my eLearning development and instuctional design skills. I don’t fell like I have a job anymore. I have a career I can feel passionate about and it feels wonderful!

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    Thursday random burbling

    April 16th, 2009 she Posted in It's a Living   2 Comments »  

    Haven’t been blogging a lot lately. It’s getting close to the end of the winter semester at school so I’m frantically trying to finish assignments and prep for exams in two weeks. I’ve a nice solid A in my Mil Psych course pre-exam and feeling pretty confident about the subject matter. Wish I could say the same about my other two classes. Stats and Experimental Psych are somewhere in the realm of B going into exams. I’m hoping I don’t mangle the exams in those two classes. I have an extra few weeks before I need to start worrying about them though. Only bright side about the courses.

    There’s a lot of subject matter and new systems to learn at work so I’m pretty busy there. The overall environment is very different from the college but in a good way. Everyone seems more relaxed and laid back. Kinda like our office was when we got into giggle fits back in the day. Oddly enough, for a government office, there seems to be a lot less politics here. Then again, everything is still so shiny and new.

    One thing I have noticed off the bat is that there’s more opportunity for me to do the things I enjoy and to offer input. It’s nice to be heard and appreciated :)

    And everyone talks like the 12 month probation period is just a quick formality to walk through. My new boss is already talking about upcoming raises in Sept. and April! Raises always make a girl happy.

    I do miss my former co-workers. We had talked about getting together for drinks or dinner after it was all over but I haven’t heard anything yet. Maybe it’s all still too soon. Then again, Dr. D and Big Momma R do no where I live so there’s no excuse for not dropping by for a beer on the back patio some day. They just can’t come in the house. Tornado puppies have done quite a number on it lately *sigh* That goes for everyone, you too D.

    Last thought of the night surrounds my glasses. Now that I have my new prescription I’m thinking about taking my old frames in to get new lenses put in them. Over the years I’ve learned that you can never have too many spare pairs of glasses. I just need to check out the pricing before I commit to anything. Considering what we paid for these frames, I think it’d be a shame not to reuse them. I couldn’t get new lenses put in them when I got my new glasses because I needed them to see so I could drive while I waited for the new ones to arrive. At the time an old weaker prescription was better than no glasses at all…

    Weather is beautiful. Think I’ll go enjoy dinner on the deck before I tackle more homework. Hope everyone else is taking the time to enjoy the evening as well.

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    Day Three

    April 8th, 2009 she Posted in It's a Living, Random Burbling   5 Comments »  

    Day three is the new job and I’m really enjoying it. I dunno. Maybe I was cut out to be a gov’t employee :)

    I know it still has that “new job smell” and I’m still in the honeymoon phase but I’m loving what I’ve learned about my new position and department to date. I think that’s an auspicious start.

    I’ve since learned that if I’d accepted one of the jobs I turned down an interview for I would be working with whoever would be doing my new job. I’m wondering if any of my former co-workers interviewed for or accepted the position. This may end up giving us an additional opportunity to work together. Could be fun.

    Last night I went to the #yegtweetup with Loxley. I met some new people and am surprised at how easy it is to relate to everyone. I am always thankful that Loxley comes with me since I’d never attend these events alone. When Drew comes home I need to drag him to one. People have heard of him and want to meet him. apparently you don’t need to tweet to drink beer *w00t*

    The trains to work are often crowded but I’m learning to be patient and wait for a less cramped train on the way home. I’m looking forward to claiming the tax credit for using public transit next tax season. At 70+ $$ a month for passes the tax credit is a big incentive to take public transit to work. I’ll admit it. I’m bribable with me own tax dollars.

    Lots of studying left to do. Off to do homework. Have a great night everyone.

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    First days

    April 6th, 2009 she Posted in It's a Living   6 Comments »  

    Managed to wake up nice and early for my first day at work and I now know that to get to work on time I need to leave the house by 7:30am. The trains on the way home are packed like sardine cans but if you wait another 6 minutes you can usually hit a train that’s less scary when it comes to invasion of personal space. Home by 5:15pm. Not bad.

    I had to cancel my P&B meeting this afternoon to attend a meeting related to one of my portfolios – ooh, I have portfolios – so it’s been rescheduled for first thing tomorrow am.

    I don’t have any IDs or a computer yet but hopefully that will be sorted out in the next day or so. Until then I have lots of reading to do.

    My new boss and co-workers are very upbeat and friendly. People seem to enjoy what they’re doing which is always a good sign. I’m the only external hire in the group so others have a really good grasp on the services offered in the department. What I bring to the table is a lot of software and development experience.

    My summer vacation is approved as is an upcoming day off to write my final exam for my Mil Psych class. The other two exams are written in the evenings so I have nothing to worry about there.

    The office is downtown which will take a bit of getting used to. I’ve never really spent any time downtown so I don’t know my way around well. However, since the gov’t offices are spread out everywhere, I’m sure I’ll learn quickly. If I do get lost my phone has google maps on it and can help with directions.

    Overall it was a very nice first day.

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    Sunday prep for Monday morning

    April 5th, 2009 she Posted in It's a Living   6 Comments »  

    Tomorrow I head off to begin my new job. I’m alternating between really excited about the new opportunity and shaking in my boots from fear and anxiety. The whole ‘what if I don’t measure up to expectations’ bingo that plays in the head on occassion. I’m sure I’ll get over it after I survive the first day. After all, I’m good at what I do. I have knowledge, skills, and experience to fall back on.

    I still haven’t managed to reset my sleep cycle so I’ve set every alarm clock in my house to 6:30am so I don’t sleep in. I’m so excited about the new job that I’m afraid I won’t be able to get sleep. Big Momma R has volunteered to give me a wake-up call at 7:00am to ensure my butt’s in gear. Have to be on the LRT platform for 7:30am to get to work on time.

    I’ve already made my lunch – roast beast on rye, carrot and celery strings, plum, and tomato juice – but am still waffling over what I’m going to wear. At some point during the day I’ll need to hike about 10-15 blocks to visit the benefits and payroll office so whatever I choose needs to go well with comfortable shoes!

    Time to do some homework and then I’ll spend more time trying to determine what to wear. See what an exciting life I lead?

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    What goes around, comes around

    April 4th, 2009 she Posted in It's a Living, Lighter Side   4 Comments »  

    Once upon a time I had a very incompetent co-worker. One who spent hours each day talking to friends on instant messengers or surfing the internet, took 3-10x longer to complete assigned tasks than her brand new co-worker, and couldn’t follow written or spoken directions. My boss, co-workers and I did everything we could think of to get her work to meet the bare minimum standards. We were unsuccessful. Finally, my boss had a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with her and discussed her performance. She quit immediately. We could say it was in a fit of pique but honestly it was probably to pre-empt being fired by the boss.

    So, now that my office mates and I have found new jobs and my former boss is gone, who does the department hire to fill in for D for the final few months of the project? If you guessed the sweet but clueless former co-worker treat yourself to a cookie.

    I feel for D who must spend the next few weeks trying to train her. The re-hiring justification is that since she used to work with us she knows the software and processes. For the moment, let’s ignore the fact that she never learned much beyond the basics of the old LMS we were using and took weeks to complete a 4 hour assignment with less than 70% accuracy. The program converted to a new LMS a few months back. One that she’s never seen before. Every process in place when she was working for the dept. was refined or replaced with the advent of the new LMS.

    I think they’re in for a rude awakening if they think she’s capable of doing even 10% of what D or Big Momma R used to do.

    None of us should be surprised by this hiring decision as it’s a perfect representation of all that’s gone on in the past, but I have to admit, the absurdity of the situation is making us giggle on our way out the door.

    You just can’t make this stuff up.

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    One down, many more to go

    April 1st, 2009 she Posted in It's a Living   2 Comments »  

    My former office mate D has accepted a new position today and will soon be moving on to bigger and better things. It’s still at the college so she doesn’t have to worry about having to learn her way around a new office. I’m very excited for her as I know she’ll do awesome in the new job.

    Two of my former co-workers ended up resigning a few days before the layoff date. The rest have less than two weeks to go before their time in their current positions ends. I hope they all find something soon.

    I head into my first day at work as a gov’t employee on Monday and am really looking forward to it. The contact I’ve had with my new boss and dept HR is well beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my working life before. It really makes a person feel wanted and appreciated. It’s certainly motivating and making my desire to excel in the new job even stronger.

    Things are slowly starting to look up around here.

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