Leaves of Change

October 24, 2013

I very recently made a huge change in my life – I quit my job and moved.  I’ve been wanting to leave Florida for quite awhile, I don’t know that I can explain the feeling of “I really don’t want to be here” that I was feeling.  It had nothing to do with the people in my life or even some of my favorite haunts (like Revolution Ice Cream that is a MUST try for anyone going anywhere near Tampa).  in fact, I’d be thrilled if I could bring those haunts/people with me.  But it was just this feeling, this desire to be anywhere but that state.  It probably had a lot to do with roasting my butt off the minute I wake up in the morning.  I didn’t even have a specific place that I wanted to go to, well, actually, I did.  I would have loved to found a job in Colorado.  But that didn’t happen.

This past spring J and I were discussing our jobs and he actually was ok with the idea of me looking for a new job in another state.  I was so happy that I started looking right away.  We actually almost ended up in Delaware, but that didn’t happen.  Instead I somehow ended up back in Minnesota; and just in time to go from roasting my butt off to freezing it off.  My last day at GAC (gigantic ass company) was two weeks ago, I took a week off to rest a little and pack what I could and last Thursday I left Florida and headed to Minnesota.  When I left Florida it was 71 at 7:30 in the morning.  When I got to Minnesota it was high 40’s and in fact on Monday, my first day at my new job, there were flurries.

J will be joining me as soon as possible; first we need to find a house and he’s currently looking for a job (anyone got one for him?).  In the meantime I’m crashing in the basement of a friend wonderful enough to let me.  My drive was pretty interesting; I’ve never driven through Tennessee during the day before and I was thoroughly enchanted by the beauty of the state.  While my timing sucked regarding the temperature differences, it definitely did not suck when it came to the fall foliage.  It was stunning!  The hills and mountains of Tennessee are just starting to change so there were gorgeous pops of red and orange among the greens.  And the drive through Wisconsin was even more beautiful.  As I drove along I had to constantly remind myself to keep my eyes on the road and drive the speed limit instead of letting it drop.  I’m looking forward to next year when J will finally be up here and we can take some trips to see the fall colors together.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and emotion.  I left a job I’d been at for almost 7 years to go to a job that I honestly wonder sometimes if I’ll be able to do it.  I know that right now those feelings are stemming from the fact I haven’t really gotten into what I’ll be doing and seen the systems or the process.  I keep reminding myself that I felt this way when I first started at GAC and had no idea what anti-money laundering even was.  I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll look back at this and scoff at myself.  But at the moment, I’m definitely wondering why I left something I know so well for something that I feel lost in.  And missing J and our mini zoo and everything and everyone else in Florida like crazy.

On the other end of the spectrum though is the contentment I feel being back here.  Even though most of the time I’m busy shivering and trying to stay warm while waiting for the train, there are still times I step outside and enjoy the chill in the air, that scent that makes one know snow is right around the corner.  I’m re-discovering the state I grew up in; and in some cases completely discovering something new.  Earlier tonight I took a road I’ve never been on before and was surprised to see so many historic markers.  I was actually feeling like playing tourist and checking them out; something I’m sure I’ll do in the near future.

On my drive up I crashed with my friend Jimmie who is a beautiful hostess.  We had dinner at Cock of the Walk, given the name, we had to! And then after we played tourist and she took me to the Grand Ole Opry hotel.  The hotel is a part of the same family as the Gaylord Palms in Orlando which I’ve been to several times, so it was interesting to see the differences between the two.

My feet are now set upon this new path and I can’t wait for J and our zoo to join me.  I’m looking forward to re-discovering so much with him by my side.

Excuse me while I bang my head against the pillar

November 29, 2011

Disclaimer – I’m not an IT person. I do have basic knowledge of stuff and a lot of what I’m upset over right now I’ve picked up from working here.  Also, AWS refers to working from home and remotely accessing the work computer.

I got a promotion in September just before my surgery.  Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to bring my existing computer into my new role, which would make all of these issues null and void if I had.  Our computers are assigned to us, that means if I’m having computer issues, I can’t just go log into the computer of my co-worker who is out sick. It just doesn’t work that way around here.  For about a month I actually had two computers assigned to me, which had been a blessing in disguise as it helps support my argument.  When I first got to my new role and new computer assigned to me, I couldn’t remote into it from home. I kept getting a “cannot connect to server” error.  One of the IT guys got it fixed just before I went out on leave, which meant I was able to log in on occasion to clear out emails and keep in touch with my supervisors. 

The last week of leave I was able to successfully log in from home and I emailed my supervisors to let them know of my date of return, Monday November 7th.  That week I came back was a short week, I work for a big bank and we get Veteran’s Day off.  We also usually get to leave early the day before a holiday.  J was driving me to work and I didn’t want to try and figure out getting back home on the 10th when we got released early, so I was going to work from home.  Except I couldn’t get logged in.  I was getting the same “cannot connect to the server” error message.  Called in a ticket and the local IT guys have been attempting to fix it ever since.

When AWS first started 3, 3 1/2 years ago our IT people tried having us on dynamic IP addresses (a set address wasn’t assigned to a computer, the computer just grabbed whichever was available at the time).  This resulted in lots of problems, primarily people getting kicked off suddenly.  It wasn’t unusual for someone working from home, had been logged in for several hours to get disconnected suddenly when someone in the office suddenly logged into their computer.  And vice versa.  So the decision was made to give everyone a static IP address, one address per computer, the address doesn’t change. And it worked.

With the problems I’ve been having, the IT guy discovered that the IP address on my new computer changes everytime I restart my computer, which I do every night.  It’s not supposed to do that.  Apparently our computers are supposed to have a “leased” IP address for a 90 day period and then it changes for the next 90 days.  Or something like that.  Mine doesn’t work that way.  So local IT guy escalates the issue to the remote IT people (lost yet?).  I get a call this morning and the remote IT guy says that it must be my computer at home, because he’s able to access it with no problems.  This is where I get upset and tell him no, it’s not my personal computer.  I know this because remember I said that for about a month I had two computers assigned to me? During that time, before my new computer got fixed and I had surgery I had no problems remoting into my old computer but I couldn’t access my new computer at all.  And now I’m having the same problem I had then.  So sorry, no, you can’t lay this one on me folks.


August 19, 2008

I got an unexpected night off of work! 

I moved to Florida October 2003.  I left Minnesota almost three years to the date after my parents and I lived with them for awhile when I first moved down here.  They choose Lakeland because it’s about halfway between Tampa and Orlando and it was far enough inland that it should just get wind and rain in the event of a hurricane.  The following summer Polk County got hit by not 1, but 3 hurricanes. 

The first one, Charlie (which I still think should have been Clyde, after all, Bonnie was the B name that year!), was projected to come ashore at Tampa.  Instead it decided to visit Punta Gorda and Ft. Myers.  Fay decided to take the same general path as Charlie and came ashore at approximately the same area. 

So my day has been pretty quiet, there’s been a bit of wind, but no rain and it has been cloudy.  That meant I was working today.  And I was scheduled to work 6-midnight at my part time job tonight.  But, the company apparently decided to have only essential personnal in as a precaution.  Of course, I figured that since none of us got hit by Fay, we were still business as usual.  So I took a nap, hauled butt to get dinner and logged in.  I’m going through my different programs and on our intranet see an update regarding Fay.  An update that says no one is working today! 

So while it sucks that Fay couldn’t have just fizzled away, I am happy I’m not working 😀

Time’s Flying

July 22, 2008

I know, I’ve been a bad blogger.  But life has been pretty much the same lately, so there really hasn’t been anything to write about. 

Oh, wait!  There is something new!  My day job is running out of room to put people.  Seriously!  We keep hearing about all these other departments laying people off, and we have too much work, not enough people and more in training every time we have a department meeting (which is usually once a month or so).  That meant something had to be done regarding our space issues.  Apparently we can’t just take another department (or several) and put them in an area more suited to their size(s) and take over their area.  Instead, management has decided to pilot work at home (AWS)! 

So I’m on my second week of working at home.  It’s been very nice because I’ve actually gotten a bit more sleep.  I’m still working on my determination to get up and walk my dog in the morning.  That hasn’t happened yet this week.  But other than that, it’s been pretty good.  I don’t have to worry about getting up to get dressed and drive to work.  Gas hasn’t really been much of an issue for me yet, I only live about 4 miles from work.  But I’m getting more sleep now!  Today I even took a short nap at lunch time. 

The down side of this, we’ll be sharing desks with someone else at work along with the cubicle.  The desk won’t be just mine anymore.  Everyone is taking home all personal items since it’ll just be easier.  Another down side, infomercials.  Today there was one on for the Pasta N More.  This was a slightly longer commercial placed in with all the other commercials.  But this thing seemed pretty cool and I want one!

So three days a week I get the chance to sleep a little longer, love and pet the animals anytime throughout the day (they spend their day crashed out wherever they feel like it) and work in my pj’s.  Not a bad life 😀

When a door closes, you’re stuck?

June 3, 2008

An email was sent out at work yesterday regarding some internal positions.  These aren’t a surprise, we were told that more opportunities were coming available soon.  At the time of the meeting, boss man indicated that one of the positions coming available would be in training.

I was a semester away from graduating with an elementary education degree.  All I had to do was my student teaching.  But I realized that while I could teach children, I wasn’t the right type of person to teach them the way they deserve.  So instead I graduated with my English degree.  But in the years since at my jobs I’ve been put into an education role.  Usually it’s as a mentor, getting paired up with new employees to help show them the ropes.  Or existing employees will ask me questions about curring stuff, stuff they should know but for whatever reason they don’t.

So the email yesterday has several internal positions listed.  One of them is a Training Manager.  I’m all excited about this.  This is a chance for me to learn something new, to continue to grow.  I would prefer to start off as more of an associate, but it’s not an option.  And even though I don’t have any formal experience as a trainer, I know I could easily do this job and do it well.  I sent an email to my team lead to discuss the positions that came available and we’re meeting later this week.

However, I sit here now under the realization that I really cannot do this job at this time in my life.  Not because I don’t think I could do the job.  I know I could execute it very well.  No, the problem lays with my MS.  Previously I’ve had to come to terms with physical limitations. And yes, that plays a small role in this because I do get fatigued so easily some days.  But that’s not the reason why I can’t do this job.  No, this time the limitation is mental. 

I need to take a quick step back here. About mid-April I was approached by my team lead and informed that I was volunteered to test a new program at work.  It’s a case management program and is what we’re all going to be using shortly. But before it can go live, we need to test it and make sure it works the way it’s supposed to, do what we need it to do and make any changes and then test again.  Yesterday the testing process completed.  Today was the first day of training.

Four analysts were selected to participate in the testing.  All four of us were split into the different training sessions, so there was one tester per training session. I was in today’s.  As I’ve worked in this system almost daily for the last month, I had things to contribute to the training.  It was during this that the I realized I won’t be able to pursue a career in training.

Why you ask? It’s simple.  MS can cause cognitive issues.  Overall that’s not a major problem.  For the most part.  Think of a time when you were trying to think of a word.  It was there, on the tip of your tongue.  Since the onset of my MS, that’s started to happen more frequently.  I’ve gotten good at describing things.  Sunday for example we were talking about musical instruments. I couldn’t remember the name of one, so I described it “It’s round, wooden and has small cymbals around it”. Yeah, a tambourine.

While it’s one thing to have that happen on a casual basis.  It’s not going to work so well in a professional setting when trying to train people on something they may have never experienced before.  And in that case, describing things probably won’t work so well.  Sooo, no trainer position for me.  But that’s ok.  Because one of the other positions sounds right up my alley.  And hey, my English degree should help light the way for it! So I guess having this door close is ok. There’s other doors that will open for me.  I won’t be stuck.

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