Friday, February 18, 2005

Some things I didn't feel OK posting from work. The part-timer who got the job I was going for is the lady who I've mentioned in prior posts. I have to check, but I believe I've referred to her as JT.

I can't bring myself to be mad at her. She had mentioned some months back that her husband, a preacher, might be losing his position and was interviewing at other churches. I don't know if his employment status is still up in the air, but if it IS, his benefits will go away if/when his job does. So I can see where JT would want to get a full time job.

I'm disappointed in one thing, though -- no matter what happens, when I've applied for jobs, it seems there's ALWAYS a reason to skew the decision in favor of someone else. Always. If I have experience in the job, someone eles without experience has seniority because they were a prior employee of the company. If I've already been with the company as a temp, someone with experience gets hired from the outside. People that I WORK directly WITH pulling for me means nothing: see this current job and see the receptionist's job I didn't get two years ago, about two months prior to my starting to blog.

If (*IF*) they open up JT's part-time job instead of cutting it, I'll apply. What the hey. Maybe between that and the unemployment compensation, I'd get by until I get a full-time job. A REAL job, not this temp stuff where the only thing that happens to you when you've got your foot in the door is that someone SLAMS the #$%&@ing door on your foot.

What I EXPECT them to do, of course, is cut JT's part-time position. Nothing else job-related has worked in my bleeping favor in the past four years, so why should this?

I brought home all my cubicle decorations today. Tuesday when I go in, I will make a last-ditch sweep to make sure that I'm leaving NOTHING behind that I brought in. The only stuff remaining will be whatever was already in the cubicle when I arrived, plus whatever notes I've taken on the various aspects of the job process. Someone might as well get some use from those.

Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, when I leave for the last time, the cubicle will look like I was never there.

My freaking lower back is KILLING me. At least with the long weekend, I can vegetate for the next three days if I need to. Other than my lower back, I just feel numb. Inside and out.
One of the internal applicants got the full-time job. They're giving it to someone who already works here part-time.

It's unknown at this time if they are going to make that part-time job available or cut it. With my luck, they'll just decide to do without the part-time position so I wouldn't even be able to apply for THAT. Because that's always how it seems to go, in the past four years.

My final day here is likely to be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on whether they decide I'm needed for the remainder of the archiving project or not.

Every desk decoration is now packed in boxes and ready for me to bring home tonight.

And I am in the third day of a migraine which got bad enough for me to not come in yesterday. Wednesday and today, I judged my condition to be "not sick enough to stay home".

If I'm not here on Thursday, and it's likely I won't be, my paycheck will go in the mail.

And the soonest I can call in to unemployment and claim a check will be February 27. So they'd better finish getting my date from NJ by then. Right now, they're going only from the PA data I accrued in the final months of 2003, and that's not enough to warrant an unemployment claim. So I called the PA Unemployment office yesterday. They reviewed my application and said that within a week, I will be receiving a revised statement of benefits, once they receive my data from NJ (where I've worked since October 2003).

Whatever. I'm out-of-it, I can't concentrate on anything, my head hurts, my eyes hurt, my back spasms hurt, and I have other pain I won't describe except to say "my large intestine is sensitive to stress".

I slept most of yesterday and I have a feeling that I'm going to be able to say the same for this long weekend coming up. Migraines bring intense fatigue, or at least in MY case they do.

I wish I could just go home right now and play with the cats for the rest of the day. That's one of the few things I enjoy anymore. That and going to Phantoms games are two of the few things that are a GUARANTEED pick-me-up.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Buon Giorno di San Valentino! (That would be, "Happy St. Valentine's Day", for those who are curious. ;o) )

Thank God for the cats as a diversion and as something positive to focus my mind on. Because on the job front, I have been meeting frustration after frustration.

My employer finally has received permission to create a PERMANENT job to do the tasks that I've been doing for the past 16 months. I applied for it. So did two other people who are employees here, and one external applicant.

I had my interview. The other three persons, as of Friday afternoon, had yet to be interviewed. As my supervisor's boss is out all this week, it's not certain when the other candidates will be interviewed, nor when the decision will be made.

It's absolutely not known whether my 16 months of experience already doing the work will be outweighed by the fact that two of those other candidates are currently employees of this company. Even though those other people might have to be trained, from scratch, to do what I already know how to do.

Two things are certain. One is that when this permanent job is filled, my temp job will MOST DEFINITELY be phased out at that time. I'll either be here for good or I'll be gone for good.

The other thing is that I might not even be here THAT long. They might not be allowed to keep the temp job open while they wait for the permanent job to be filled. As of Friday afternoon, I am here on an as-needed basis, not as a continuing temp worker.

So I filed for unemployment today, giving Friday as the "end date" of my job, because that's when my job status changed. Right now I'm not in a long-term temp position. I'm a temp who's only here because there is a project being worked on. When the project is over, either I'm outta here forever, or I'm outta here until they say, "Congratulations, you've been selected to fill the permanent job". One or the other.

I can't believe I lost my long-term temp job EVEN THOUGH there's work to do. The higher-ups (not people I work directly with, I believe) won't assign me the duties that the worker in the permanent job would be performing. They're going to let the permanent people who are CURRENTLY doing those things keep on doing them, even though they have work coming out their ears, instead of restructuring the jobs NOW to let me ease their workload.

Interestingly enough, one of the hiring considerations for the permanent job is that they DON'T want someone who'll come on board and then move on in no time. I can understand why a company would want a certain level of commitment from the people who are working for it. But I wish I could get a crumb of that kind of commitment in return... such as letting me continue working here, doing the tasks that I not only am already trained to do, but COULD be doing to make life easier for the permanent employees, between now and the time that the permanent job is filled for certain.

As for that special project that is the only reason I'm even HERE today: it's stalled temporarily by the lack of archiving boxes. Those should have arrived today, but so far they're not here. Once the boxes arrive, it's a question of working hard to get the archiving done, knowing that the better I do, the faster I'll be putting myself into the jobless limbo until I find out who is getting the permanent job. To quote Dean Martin, "Ain't that a kick in the head?"

I think I'll un-decorate the rest of my cubicle today. I have some boxes I could keep the Bobblehead Committee and other items in. Then I'll be able to take them home on a moment's notice.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

I accidentally discovered the easiest way to get Captain out of the underside of our sofa. This is easily accessible to the CATS from the back of the sofa, but jolly well impossible for Mark and me to get at. The sofa has built-in recliners on either end, so the only way to get underneath it is from the back, not the front.

Scenario: I am stretched out at one end of the sofa. Stanley is curled up napping at the other end.

Suddenly I feel little paws poking at the underside of the seat cushion. Stanley was accounted for, so the cat-paw-induced version of Bed Mice must have been caused by Captain's exploring under the sofa.

Instead of having a fit, demonstrating to Captain that going under the sofa will get him LOTS of attention, I just leaned over to the other end of the sofa where Stanley was snoozing. "There's my little boy! Let me give him skritches."

[skritch skritch skritch]
[PURRRRRpurrrrrPURRRRRpurrrr...]

Captain could hear that somekitty other than HIM was getting fussed over. Oh, no. That would never do. Out he came from under the sofa in a matter of *seconds*. He came out behind the sofa and leaped up to the top of the sofa back, mrrrrping for attention.

I got to dote on one of my cats, AND got the other one to come out from inside the sofa all on his own. I'd say that worked out well. :o)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Captain and Stanley get along wonderfully. "Inseparable" is not too strong of a term. They stalk one another, chase each other, groom each other, and use one another for pillows at nap time. Sometimes they cooperate when attacking the fishing-pole toy, There's one that's got a long fuzzy cloth ribbon on the end, and sometimes they'll attack opposite ends of the ribbon so they can share the burden of "killing" their prey.

And yet, sibling rivalry still makes an appearance now and then. Take this morning. The cats stay in the basement during the workday -- there's plenty of room to play, and nothing for them to damage or get hurt on while Mark and I are at work. They spend the night down there, too, for the same reasons.

So this morning, I went down to check on them. I got greeted at the cellar door by Stanley, whom I picked up and doted on. He was all happy and purred away.

Captain happened along a few moments later, but my hands were already full, so his morning dote had to wait.

Now, normally, when one is carrying a cat and said kitty starts to look at the floor, that's their signal that they want to get down. So when I noticed Stanley looking down, I thought he wanted to be put back down.

Then I realized he WASN'T looking at the floor. He was looking at CAPTAIN. Stanley kept watching his brother to make sure Captain could see that he was getting cuddled and doted on.

I burst out laughing. :o)

And, of course, when I was finished fussing over Stanley, the next thing I did was scoop Captain up for HIS morning dote session.

Cats. LMHO. :o)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Hey, all! Captain and Stanley here. Since our Meowmy is busy watching TV, we thought we'd stop by and say a few words.

We just want to say how glad we are to find a human tradition that makes sense to kitties!

All over the USA, humans are holding Supper Bowl parties as even as we type. Purr-sonally, we love the idea. We celebrate OUR supper bowls every day, especially when Meowmy puts cat food into them. We think it's high time that humans a-purr-eciated the glorious SUPPER BOWL for what it is and what it stands for. Supper Bowls deserve, not only a countrywide celebration full of parties, but their own worldwide holiday, in our humble opinions. In fact, we'd like to propose a parade for...

What's that you're saying?

It's NOT a bunch of parties for Supper Bowls?

It's about some human game called football, and their championship called the SUPER Bowl?

Oh. That's different. Never mind.

Purrs,

Captain and Stanley

P.S. So we thought we'd watch TV too, since everyone was talking about how this Supper Super Bowl has Eagles and Birds playing in it. But try as we might, we don't see any eagles or birds in the game. Just a bunch of humans.

Although, they're also chasing a ball, running around, and pouncing on each other. We guess that humans really DO know how to play proper games after all!

Tell us, is there any game that involves humans chasing a piece of string? We might like to watch that one next.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

All three of my previous cats lived to be senior-citizen kitties, and I
never had a problem storing the cat food in a bag in a place that was
easily accessible.

Captain and Stanley, on the other hand, are Mighty Hunters. No cat-food
bag is safe from them, as I found out yesterday to my chagrin.

I thought they were ignoring the bag, as did my previous felines. Nope.
They were studying the cat-food bag's habits for two weeks, that's what
they were doing. They ascertained that its resting place/den was on top of a tool
box, and that it retired there at all times when Meowmy wasn't doling cat
food from it into kitty dishes.

And sometime yesterday when I was at work, they attacked the cat-food bag
in its den, hauled it to the cellar floor, and disembowelled it. Never
mind that there was plenty of the very same cat food in their dishes...
they wanted to have a go at the treasure chest with ALL the cat food in
it.

I suspect that Captain was the ringleader of this particular hunting
expedition, given that he's nearly always the cat who's first on the scene
to examine anything new. However, Stanley probably helped out when it came
time to actually tear open the side of the bag and eat the cat food.

Since we haven't got a proper canister to use at the moment, the remaining
cat food is now stored in a 1/2 gallon Rubbermaid pitcher. It seals
tightly and there is NO way that kitty teeth and claws will be able to
tear it open.

So much for storing cat food in bags with this pair of Mighty Hunters.
I've learned my lesson, lol.

Friday, February 04, 2005

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, until one of the cats detected the Stereo Greeblings. We were playing a rousing game of "chase the fishing pole toy" last night. Captain mistimed his jump and ran into the stereo, hitting the "on" button for the CD changer. It promptly lit up in yellow and red, and whirred to life with its quiet little motors as it performed a self-check to determine how many CDs were loaded in it.

Captain jumped back about a foot, standing broadside (but not fluffed up) and staring at the stereo with an "Aaah! What the heck is THAT?" expression.

I couldn't help laughing. :o)

I wonder what their reaction will be when actual MUSIC emanates from the stereo.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Well, it's crunch time.

They're creating a permanent position here, FINALLY, that incorporates
ALL of what I do, plus a few extra things that I don't do now (ie, data
input for another department that I haven't worked with yet).

I put in for the job.

Today I found out that one other person, a current employee of this
company, also put in for it.

So, does Other Person get preference over me because they're already an
employee here? Or will the fact that I've actually BEEN DOING this job
for 15 months count for something?

In the past four years, I've seen a lot more of "the person with the
'in' gets chosen over the outsider with the experience". Every freaking
time, in fact. And I've always been the outsider, the temp who's
actually been doing the job and trying to become a permanent worker
while the company looks for someone permanent.

You'll notice that I'm no longer AT those other places.

You'll probably surmise that I don't have tons of faith that ANY amount
of hard work I've put in will outrank the fact that someone who already
works here wants THIS job instead of whatever the heck it is they're
doing now.

Which makes me wonder what, exactly, they ARE doing now? What in the
flying blue blazes could their job description possibly be, that they
would consider an entry-level position (IMO) to be a step UP from it?

I guess I'll find out soon enough, if they take this job, because then
I'll have no choice but to apply for THEIR old job if I want to stay
with this company in some capacity.

On a related note, I had a migraine yesterday. Gee, what a surprise.
Not.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I brought home a couple of cat harnesses and leashes from PetSmart on
Monday night, and harness training has commenced. Basically, my intent
is to get the cats used to wearing harnesses, and then add the leashes.
Once they're leash-trained, as they will have to be if they're to
become therapy animals, then we can go exploring and socializing in
places like PetSmart.

In the meantime, every day I'm going to spend some time letting them
wear the harnesses and having a ROUSING play session. I want them to
get the impression that harness time = play time, so they'll know that
there are new, fun things in store when the harnesses ae brought out.

And as I discovered during their first harness/play session on Monday
night, the radio-controlled Flyers Zamboni is a big hit with the cats. :o) They haven't
attacked it yet, but they follow it around and never stop watching it.
Sometimes they follow it along while trotting out in the open, and
other times, they're observing it from behind cover. But the moment it
rolls out of their line of sight, ZIP! they quickly head to a new
vantage point where they can see it again. :o)

They also love chasing their "toy on a fishing pole" cat toys, so I
make sure they have plenty of THAT game while the harnesses are on.
Basically, they pretty much forget all ABOUT the harnesses once the
fishing pole toys come out. They're too interested in stalking the toys
to notice that they're wearing anything new.

Oh, and I also make sure they have a good dose of Lap Time pets and
skritches when the harnesses are on. If they're going to be visiting
any hospital, nursing home, etc, they're going to be getting doted on
while wearing the harnesses, so they might as well get used to it ASAP.
Plus, they LO-O-O-O-OVE attention, so this is just one more way to
reinforce the connection between wearing a harness and good things
happening.

At this rate, I think I can get them to graduate to having the leashes
on within a few more days. Maybe over the weekend will be good, since
I'll have more time to work with them then.