Posts Tagged ‘coworkers’

So, today we celebrated the service anniversaries of folks in my department.  I started working for the company 13 years ago this month, in 2004.  My name wasn’t on the list though.  The names of two people who’d started with me and had been in my training class were listed.  11 years ago, I went to another job and was gone for about 3-1/2 years.  Came back to this place in 2009.  Every month we celebrate the anniversaries with goodies — today I had a piece of carrot cake, my favorite!

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dream

I was dreaming I was at a dinner party, talking with several coworkers and I began having a heated discussion with one of the women at the table.  She said I’d missed my skinny chance to ask her out once, and I challenged her to tell me when she’d ever given me a skinny chance….

Then I woke up.  It was 7am, but I didn’t want to get up yet.  I thought a while about the dream and my thoughts drifted to the movie Searching for a Friend at the End of the World.  I thought about who I’d want to spend my last few days with.  Of course I would want to be with my daughter, but what grown woman?  I know who I’d choose, and wondered who she’d choose.  Based on how our relationship had developed after we’d met, I figured her choice wouldn’t be me.  It was depressing to think that at the end of the world, I’d be on my own.

I fell asleep for a while.  When I woke up, it was time to get up for church, but I lay there in bed, refusing to crawl out from the covers.  When I woke up again, it was time for my daughter to get up for church, but I still lay there.  For a change, I decided I wouldn’t be waking her up.  Someone has sold her on the idea that Jesus’ story has no meaning for her life.  Lately I’ve wondered how forcing her to get up to sit in a pew and listen to something she’s closed her mind to would help her appreciate Jesus.  I hope she’ll realize one day how beautiful His message is, but for now, she’s listening to someone else.

I got ready for church and left her a note saying where I’d be.  At church, I had my usual two cups of coffee, so I was all jittery (as usual) by the time the sermon started.  This Sunday, one of the congregation talked about the importance of community.  He talked about how he’d remained part of the church community because he didn’t want to end up alone.  Sigh — didn’t really make me feel any better about being on my own, but his sermon was a good one that made me think.

Well, I went home and woke up my daughter.  We had lunch and I took her home to her mom’s.  I took a long way back to my apartment — one of the things I like doing when I’m feeling down is driving.  I watched the Chiefs game at home.  Their victory made me feel a little better.  After the game, I worked out.  And then after showering, I started watching the Denver game.  At half-time, I drove to Applebee’s and had the Fiesta Chicken Chop Salad, one of my new favorite dishes.  After dinner, I drove to the grocery store and bought a few things.  Then I returned home to finish watching the Broncos lose their game.  By bedtime, I was back to my cheerful self.

Usually, being on my own doesn’t bother me  — I’ve even arranged my life so my chances of meeting and spending time with new friends would be nil.  I’d rather deal with the occasional pang of loneliness than the recurring beat-down from rejection or even worse, never being able to tell where I stand with someone.  Relationships have caused me pain, and they’re something I just don’t want in my life right now.  I’ve written earlier, posing the question whether I was a rock and an island.  I think for the time being, I’ve become both.

Zombie

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Last week, I landed in Detroit.  I worked there for two days, then moved to Owosso, then Kalamazoo.  Then, in a move that occurs often, the decision was made by my supervisor to take me away from Michigan and send me to Illinois for the rest of my work rotation.  I first worked in Wheaton, then St. Charles, and finally Chicago.  I’m spending my last night of this trip at a hotel near O’Hare airport.

I’ve worked in these areas before.  Last time I was in Detroit, it was the middle of winter, and it was snowing.  It was snowing last time I was in Kalamazoo.  i don’t remember what the weather was like the last time I was in Chicago, but I have been here in the winter several times.  I’m glad the weather’s been a little warmer on this trip.

Since July, I’ve spent so many nights on the road, after this trip, I should reach the top level of my rewards program.  Normally I would need to spend plenty more nights in my club’s hotels, but they give you a break on the number of nights needed if you stay at five of their hotel chains.  Before this trip, I’d only stayed at three.  This trip, I stayed at the other two.  The next time I go on the road, I should be at the top level.  One good thing about reaching the top tier is it’s easier to maintain that level with fewer stays.  Why do I care about being in the top tier?  Now I can reserve the cheaper rooms at hotels and get free upgrades to the nicer rooms, and I get more points as a reward for each night’s stay.  I love points!  I pay for my rooms while on vacation, using points.  The more I have, the more free nights.  Right now, I have enough points for 3 to 5 nights, but by the time I’ll be taking my next vacation, I could have up to two weeks’ worth of points.

This is when I get excited, and begin to think about all the places I’d like to go.  Before my money ran out, last spring, I’d wanted to bring my daughter here to Chicago.  Had to cancel those plans.  Maybe this spring….

In a way, I’m glad I’m here in Chicago the night before going home.  Guaranteed direct flights home — no layovers.  I’m hoping to get back home in the afternoon, so I can attend the going-away party for the guy who trained me when I started with the company nine years ago.  I went on the road with him on my very first rotation.  He was the senior guy and showed me how to maintain my company’s robots, and showed me how to take care of all the paperwork we had to fill out.  Later, he became a technical trainer, and I went to a few of his classes and watched a few of his training videos.  Well, he’s decided to move on after ten years with the company, and I’d like to help see him off and show my appreciation.

 

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Yep — that’s me.  I’ve fallen victim to short-timer’s syndrome once again.  I swore I’d try to avoid it, but today when discussing a project with a coworker about the reluctance of another coworker to respond to my e-mail messages, I heard myself say, “If he doesn’t get back to me, what do I care?  I’m out of here in a week.”  I’m trying to keep on task, but finding it harder and harder to stay motivated.  During the times I feel no desire to work on projects, I’ve tried to complete on-line training that will help me when I return to Field Service.  Preparing for the next job….

Things are going to change in a week and a half.  Though I’ve been a field tech for ScriptPro twice before, I’ve never been one as a single man.  What’s it going to be like, going back to the hotel room at night without needing to check in with someone at home?  What’s it going to be like, being able to start rotations early to make more money, without having to check with someone?  What’s it going to be like?  Even though the job will be familiar, this will be a new, strange chapter in my life.  I’m looking forward to finding out what’s in store.

I’ve always been a person who embraced change, sometimes voluntary and sometimes forced upon me.  I’ve been first on the plane or in the car when it’s been time to move.  I’ve quickly shifted gears going from one job to another.  In my personal life, I’ve adapted to unfavorable conditions and worked to change my conditions into something more favorable.

In this next phase of my life, I’m hoping to find happiness again.  Happy traveling.  Happy work life.  Happy singlehood.  But it’s a week and a half away — hope I can keep focused until then….

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A good weekend, if I may say so.

My challenge for the weekend was trying to get MediaShout working on a loaner laptop.  Someone broke into our church’s office and stole the laptop we’d been using.  Our loaner laptop was donated by someone in the congregation.  Better than nothing, but I soon found out it had limitations.  First, the laptop didn’t have Microsoft Office installed, so I was unable to load PowerPoint slide shows into the MediaShout program (it uses PowerPoint to open the slide shows).  The laptop had Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, and MediaShout had the ability to show .pdf files, so I converted all my slide shows to .pdf and put them into MediaShout.  However, the processor speed and memory in the laptop kept MediaShout from processing and displaying the slides in a timely manner.  So, I downloaded OpenOffice, which is supposed to be able to process PowerPoint presentations, but when I opened up the slide shows I’d created, hoping to make .jpeg images, OpenOffice didn’t correctly convert the slides and they didn’t look right.  So, I was left with no choice but to convert all the slide shows on my personal computer and load everything onto the loaner by flash drive.  I received some more files on Saturday night to add to the show.  One was a video file.  It seemed to work out fine, at home, but on Sunday morning when we were using two screens at the church, we found the video took forever to load and looked like it’d been made on a cell phone (jerky).  The audio was fine though, so after we got used to the jerkiness, that was OK.  oh yeah, I also found the loaner crashed every time I started it up from a powered-off state.  On the second start-up though, it would work fine.  The loaner and software were so buggy, I could tell it made the person doing MediaShout next week nervous, so I volunteered to do it again  There are a few more things I need to test out, to get a real idea of how things will work in all the situations we need MediaShout.  I don’t get frustrated by the problems we’ve had — I look at them as opportunities to troubleshoot and learn!

On Saturday, I went to the Royals home game against the Angels with my friends Steve and Cindy.  My coworker Diana let me park my car in front of her house, so we only had to pay to park Steve’s car at the stadium.  (Thanks, Diana.)  It was great talking with Steve and Cindy again.  I had a great time at the game.  Our seats were in the sun for most of the game, so Steve and I were both pretty pink on our way back to the lot afterwards.  We decided to have some barbecue for dinner.  Picked up my car and drove to Big T’s BBQ, where we each had a sandwich and fries.  I had the sausage, which was spicy like I like it.  Steve had a two-meat sandwich.  Cindy had a kiddie meal.  We all liked the food.  However, the air conditioning must have been broken, because the restaurant felt like a sweat box.  Steve had bought my ticket to the game and then bought my dinner.  Thanks Steve!  Next time we do something here, it’ll be my treat.

On Sunday, I went to church and ran the MediaShout presentation (as discussed earlier).  While there, I was reminded I’d volunteered to help serve dinner to the homeless on Tuesday night at Neighbor2Neighbor.  I needed to buy some food for that, so I stopped at Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee on the way home.  Then, I spent the rest of the day watching the Futurama marathon on Comedy Central.  And taking a nap before dinner….  In the evening, I walked over to the fitness center at work and exercised for a while.

Yesterday I slept in, watched war movies all day long and Frasier all evening long.  And ate….  I gained four pounds in one day.

Today, I’m back at work, but tonight I’ll be at Neighbor2Neighbor, shopping again for enough food to last me until Friday (payday).  And most likely, I’ll work out again.