Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tools of My New Trade....

I actually had to go back and read my own blog to see what I've posted since I made my career change back in August.  For 30+ years these were some of the tools of my trades:

I applied for and got the "new career" back in August and exchanged nailers, screw guns, saws and job sites for a new set of tools and a cubicle.

Yes, that is a Dunkin Donuts bag on the desk, with a "chocolate glazed" in it. It is 30 cents more to get TWO donuts and coffee than one donut and coffee and I can't resist a deal.  They just opened a Dunkin Donuts 4 blocks from my house and work.

And yes, that is a two monitor set up (my school provided laptop and a second monitor). I NEVER imagined I'd be geeky enough to require two monitors, but after getting a good case of carpal tunnel from cutting and pasting Excel Spreadsheet info on 65 students all day on a single laptop screen, I'm a convert.  FOUR monitors might even be better.  It is unbelievable how much data I have to keep track of.  After 5 months I still have some learning curve left to navigate.

Anyway,  the main problem for the past 5 months has been that once I got the new job, construction picked up.  Someone told me that I should have an estate sale and get rid of all my construction tools because if I didn't I'd always go back to it.  They were right.  I've ended up working "side jobs" every night after "work" and every weekend for the past 5 months.  16-18 hour days have been pretty common.  It has been a mixed blessing because we owe the IRS about $10,000.00 and a lot of back medical bills. The other issue is, I'm still not comfortable with the career change.

I had my 90 day evaluation and I know I'm "IN".  I know I do a good job because I put my heart into it and the administration has recognized that in a performance evaluation.  Everyone in the office likes me.  I bring some new skills and talents to the organization.  Job security is not an issue.  But 30+ years of self-employment dies hard even if you are going broke doing it.  When I'm self employed my destiny is in my own hands.  If I work for an organization I can lose everything on a whim of an administrator or a budget cut or an ill-worded email or a lapse of judgment, and I'm on the street.  I like being at the mercy of my own devices than being at the mercy of what, in the end, is a corporation that makes decisions on factors that are out of my control.

So the new career is going well all in all. I like the job. I like the people I work with. I like the kids I "guide".  Not to mention every two weeks money magically appears in my checking account.  It's not much, but it is more than I've seen in three years regularly.  There's a lot to be said for that these days.

I don't have a whole lot of deep thoughts about all that right now because I just got home from work and work and I had a donut and coffee 14 hours ago and I'm hungry.  Hunger trumps philosophy.  And maybe that's deep.....

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm Back....

Well. It has been a while, hasn't it.  Time flies when you get sucked into Facebook.

Seriously. I started out on FB a couple years ago as "Moo Turtle" to have some anonymity and keep the "friends" list down. I'd heard of FB overload. I avoided the "number of friends competition bug". But, I couldn't turn people down who found me.  Before long I was spending hours a day commenting on wall posts of dozens of people I'd never met.  Yeah, it was fun, but it eventually consumed me.

A couple weeks ago I had to confront the reality that Facebook was virtually my "community".  I disabled Moo Turtle. I have to admit I didn't abandon FB entirely.  I now have an account with nothing recognizable except my name. I won't "friend" anyone I haven't met face to face, and even then it has to be someone that I have enough connection to that an email once in a while won't do.  We'll see how that works. I know now I can click a delete button and not look back.

So. I want to get back to what I loved doing BFB (Before Face Book): writing, cartooning and podcasting.

A lot has happened the last 6 months.  It will take a few blog posts to chronicle and comment about.  The basic outline is this:

1. New career:  screw guns, hammers, ladders and saws to Excel Spreadsheets, email, cubicle and reports.

2. Old career: as soon as I got a new job, construction picked up. Can I leave my old lover?

3. Family: Parents are aging, health issues, uncertain futures, children with new horizons.

4. Goofodoxy:  Church related issues, transitions and hard decisions about Church.

5.  General observations on life, cancer, cars, ice cream, TV's, carports, dogs, turtles and stuff.

If you used to follow closely, I hope you will check in once in a while again.  It may take me a few weeks to get back into the swing of blogging (which, by the way, has been deemed "old school" by the Twits). There's a lot going on and in between dealing with what's going on, I hope to chronicle it here and make it worth your time to check in.

Lucy! I'm home!