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Parental Visits!

Well, Bren's folks came in on Friday... so I guess I should start there.



As has become my habit, I've been jotting down all the mistakes RB's been making at work. I hate feeling like a tattler, but I'm afraid that if Judy doesn't know that this idiot is still making horrendously stupid mistakes, she'll think that everything's fine. And I really really want RB to be fired. I guess she's my version of gen's JW.

So anyway, by the time RB goes to lunch at 4, I'm on a slow boil. Judy keeps assigning her to monitor pages, I suppose in the hope that she'll eventually get the right idea. What has been her habit is to let the queue build up with nastiness; calls that have to be escalated, then go on a break and ask someone to cover for her. I've stopped doing so. See, part of my job is, we don't take long breaks. Get up, go to the restroom, come back. Get up 30 minutes later, walk around, come back. We don't take 10-15 minute breaks. RB can't grasp this concept. She takes 3-4 15 minute breaks a day... goes and sits in her car and smokes. She doesn't seem to care if someone's at lunch (and we're therefore shorthanded), she just.. doesn't care. Anyway.. I had lots of things to report after backing her up for lunch, the queue, as usual, was a mess of calls that hadn't been escalated properly, and I had just spoken to two HP consultants that called back after talking to her, because she couldn't give them the information they wanted. (They wanted to know which technician was running a call. It's not rocket science to figure out, and I must have showed her a thousand times how to find out). So I fixed things as best I could, but left the majority of the crap she dumped in my lap there. I am tired of doing my job and hers as well.

Just before I'm getting ready to leave, she asks CH to back her up on pages so she can work the next day calls. First of all, CH wasn't her backup. I was. She kept asking CH all day, and never bothered to look at the schedule that was placed on her desk that morning. I am definately getting the impression that she doesn't want to talk to me, because I am constantly on her about her mistakes. Anyway, I had had enough, and started in on her about how the pages were more important, so she snapped at me that they'd get done.

When I get in to work this morning, going to talk with Judy about that. Everyone in the department is complaining about RB, and no one is willing to be ugly with her, which is what she needs. She's turned it into a huge joke with everyone else, and she never listens to what we have to say.

It's like an accountant that constantly makes mistakes, and his clients are getting majorly angry. It's bad for business, and it's putting our department in a very bad light.

And yes, I do feel like a real bitch for hassleing her. But I've tried cajoling. I've tried being nice. I've tried subtle little reminders of how she needs to do the job. But she's ignored all my efforts, and gotten hostile with me. Being harsh is the only thing that seems to make her at least listen... even if it goes through one ear and out the other. CH told me that one of our leads out in California had a serious talk with his Field Manager about the situation. I'm hoping it helps.

Anyway.. so I was in a pretty foul mood on the drive home. I knew Bren's folks were there, I was a mess, I was tired and frustrated.. so I plunked up stairs and walked in to a chorus of 'Here she is!!'. I certainly didn't feel like Miss America. My first impression of Bren's parents was that they looked nothing like what I was expecting. His mom came over and gave me a big hug, and said she loved anyone that made her son this happy. Yay for brownie points for me.

We chatted a bit, both of his parents were, understandably, quite curious about me. We finally decided on Chicago dogs for dinner, so hoofed it over to Portillo's, where I had a burger, and everyone else had dogs and beer. The food, as usual, was delicious, and afterwards, the parents went back to their motel, and we came home. We cuddled for a while, talking about first impressions, then went to bed.


We woke up early, and I logged into EQ for a bit to goof around. Bren was playing with something else, so I tootled about for a few hours, barely getting through my shower and getting dressed before his parents called to let us know they were coming over. We had plans to head over to the Jelly Belly factory for a tour, since his mom is evidently a big fan. The factory was actually a warehouse, but was still quite interesting, since they had videos of the jelly bean production process. We got free samples of the regular JellyBelly line for taking the tour, and they had samples of all the Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean as well. Bren's parents tried all the flavors except for spinach, since they didn't have it up. Both Bren and his mom bought a 1lb bag of the different beans, and I have to say his expression when he bit into the sardine one was priceless. ;)

After the tours, and we made our purchases, we started making phone calls to see who was going to join us for dinner at Crawdaddy Bayou's. Everyone we wanted to invite had other committments, so it was just us, his parents, and his cousin Lori. We drove back to Gurnee, and stopped at a Chili's for a light lunch (we had appetizers), then hit the Gurnee Mills mall. I normally detest malls, but walking around with Bren was surprisingly pleasant and enjoyable. We did a lot of window shopping, and I picked up Diana Gabaldon's two latest books for under $10 each at a bargain bookstore. The hardcovers. Bliss.

We met back up with his parents and headed homeward, the plan to rest and relax a bit before dinner. We sprawled out on the couch, enjoying the air conditioning and doing nothing much.

When all our dinnerguests had arrived, we caravaned over to the new location of the restraunt. Finding parking right out front was surprisingly easy for the popularity the restraunt enjoyed before, and once we walked in, we discovered why. Our favorite restraunt has been turned into a country western bar. The menu was cut almost beyond all recognition, the drinks selection was heavier on beer than the mixed specials, and... the food itself wasn't as good. They evidently had different suppliers. Instead of feeling like you were sitting on the shores of one of the bayous, you were surrounded by neon signs advertising one beer or another, and the jukebox kept cranking out country music hits. There was a billiards table in the middle of the room, and a dartboard right by the entrance. Sucks to walk in at the wrong time, I suppose.

We enjoyed the meal, I don't want to say it was inedible or anything, but part of the attraction of Crawdaddy Bayou's was the incredible ambiance, the live Zydeco and blues, and the scrumptious food. They didn't give us the dinner rolls until they delivered our food, and that in and of itself took forever.

I'm not too interested in going back. It's as if a favorite high quality steakhouse was turned into McDonalds.

We did go through two pitchers of beer, the 5 of us... I think we did a pitcher of Bass, and a pitcher of Harp, both of which were delicious.

There was a rather disturbing incident for me in the restroom... I was scratching my leg idly and found a scab that I remember noticing before, but I don't have the foggiest clue how it got there. I scratched it, and it began bleeding. Profusely. I'm not one that's squicked by blood... after all, I've had to deal with it more than most women. :p But when it's my own blood, pouring out faster than I can sop it up with a paper towel, I got a little freaked. Finally it scabbed back over, and I tried to mop up the puddle on the floor. Unfortunately, it just smeared all over, and since I was using the last paper towel in the restroom, it ended up looking as if someone had cut themselves and let it drip all over.. oh well.. a good mopping should take care of it.

I was afraid to scoot back into the booth, and kept a napkin pressed against my leg as best I could on the drive back home.. I was terrified of bleeding all over Lori's car. As best I can figure, there's a vein that's right under my skin there.. and I just happened to scratch the wrong way. It still squicked me.



I had decided to make chicken gumbo for his parents... and it was somewhat of an experiment, since I had never made it before. Sooo.. after much stressing out and so forth, I did make gumbo, cornbread, and a blueberry type dessert. Lori arrived just as we were ready to serve the food, then the 5 of us crowded around the table and dug in. The gumbo turned out beautifully, and while I'm not that happy with the cornbread, it was still quite good.

Unfortunately the parents had a flight to catch, so we hurried and served the dessert, then sent them off to O'Hare full of food.

We lazed about through the rest of the afternoon, and even curled up in bed and napped for a while. Overall, it was a really nice visit. I like his parents a great deal, and look forward to seeing them again at Christmas.

We borrowed some movies from them.. The Godfather trilogy and Manhunter, none of which I have seen. I also caught bits of Evolution last night, which was... an interesting film. Reminded me a lot of 'Mars Attacks!'... it was the same sort of campy, crude humor. Fun movie, but no overwhelming urges to see it again.

So that was the weekend. Didn't get much of anything done.. although the apartment is sparkly clean, and we have this nice stock of beer now. I really enjoyed the thunderstorm we had this morning.. even if I was half asleep during it. Was a bit annoying when the car alarms started going off though. grumble.

Time to drag my sorry butt to work... I am sooooooo tempted to call in sick... but I need the hours. This week, at least.

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