Kinda wish more people had a bit more of a sense of propriety in their journals, but... at the same time, some of them are like watching human train wrecks. It's highly inappropriate, but you can't help but read juicy details. :p
Human relationships are funny things... and I've noticed a lot lately that I don't relate very well to a lot of people I associate with on a daily basis. I think it's most noticable at work- My office has something like 10 people in it. We're a small department in a very very large corporation, and have our own little cubefarm tucked away on the 2nd floor of the corporate office. The reason this is important is because with the exception of two people in my department, the others all do things together.
I noticed last Friday that EV was inviting people over to his home for... the boxing match, I think. Everyone but myself and VC was invited. VC.... well... I don't think anyone really cares for her. She's petty minded, and if you make the mistake of showing the slightest bit of interest in what she's babbling, she plops herself down on your desk and prattles on for the next 15-20 minutes about NOTHING, ignoring the fact that you're trying to work. She's the reason that CH and I have had such a hard time with our boss- VC sniffs out the slightest mistake then runs to Judy with it instead of coming to us, or just quietly fixing it. Me... well, I haven't bonded with any of my coworkers. For some reason, I have a really hard time making friends among the people I work with. I've always been like that. I remember my first serious job - I worked for Wal-Mart before I got married. I made a tentative friendship with one of the other cashiers, who happened to have gone to my old high school. She and I hadn't traveled in the same circles, but we recognized each other and chatted on our breaks and when we saw each other around the store. I suppose you could say it was a work friendship, since we never saw each other outside of the job.
I've never really had friends that I worked with that I would do something with...outside of the job. I remember when I lived in Shreveport, after Mike left... I was working as a temp for Reliant Energy, and two of the other women at work invited me to come work out with them at the gym. I didn't go... I was too shy. I have a very hard time, I think, relating to people on a person to person basis. I feel safe behind a keyboard, and so can express myself and make friends online much easier... and if/when I eventually meet them, I have it a little easier than if they were a perfect stranger on the street.
Twice I've made... well, I'd say it was a real friendship, even though it didn't extend outside of the workplace. Once at Reliant- I was moved to another department, and made good friends with the woman that shared my desk (it was a long desk with two computers on it), but sadly, I can't remember her name. I believe it was Sandy. She celebrated her 20 year anniversary with the company while I was there (she was barely 40, I think), and that made a huge impact on me. I've always wanted to find a company that I could start in... and expect to be there 20 years later. If Reliant had hired me full time, I likely would be there still. The second friend I made was in Traverse City.... her name was Barb, and she was.. a surrogate parent for me. We became rather close in the short time I worked there, and I sometimes wonder if God had a hand in me meeting her. Barb told me a lot of her life... she fled an abusive marriage and lived in her car for two months until she found a women's shelter. Shortly after, she was in a car accident that gave her severe head injuries that she had to overcome, relearning to do everything; walk, talk, feed and dress herself.... About two years after her recovery, she met her current husband, and life was easier for her.. but she never forgot. And she helped everyone she came across. I remember her loaning one of the other girls at the office $300 she didn't have to pay a car loan. Barb was just one of those people that would gladly give you the shirt off her back, then try and find you a pair of shoes. I was truly blessed for knowing her, and she has affected my life in a... very big way.
Other than those two... I guess I've always been the outsider at my jobs. I'm quiet, I'm professional, I do what's asked of me, then look for a way to do it better. I suppose I can thank my father for the work ethic he instilled in me. His favorite saying was, 'You're there to do a job, not to make friends'. I don't think he ever expected it to become such a part of my life that I can't unbend enough to make friends at my job, and I have a hard time meeting new people.
I suppose other portions of my past make it difficult to make new friends as well. High school experiences make me suspicious of compliments, wary of the invetible foot sticking out to make me trip and fall for the amusement of others. One of my coworkers, NH, always reminds me of the snotty cheerleaders that would feign interest in what I was doing, then snicker about my sincere explanations. I think NH does find my idiosyncrasies amusing, but... I don't think she means to be hurtful about it. She's just... odd. I have a hard time relating to her, despite the fact that we do have a few things in common.
And my bosses... Ahh, my bosses. Gwen is one of those hearty women that is constantly saying hello and smiling and loudly cheerful, but is a real hardass if you don't do exactly as she wants you to. She's the type that will tell jokes and laugh immediately before telling you that you're fired. Her expressions and mood transitions are hard to follow... quick as lightning. Or perhaps a snake striking is a more apt description. Judy.... Judy I cannot relate to in the slightest. Short, about my height, and too curvy for the tight clothes she wears, she honestly strikes me sometimes as a bimbo playing at the corporate executive. She knows very little about technology; her knowledge is limited to logging into our novell network and running the database software we use. She has huge fake nails that look grotesque (the long squared off ones.. I can't see how she types), and long kinked blonde hair with bleached streaks through it. At least NH and VC are natural blondes. However... her appearance and seeming ineffectiveness do mask a brain, and more than once she's surprised me with compassion, other times with a stern discipline regarding mistakes. I hate having to talk to either of them; since I always feel like I'm skirting a quagmire of quicksand... one step wrong and I'm done for.
That feeling isn't unique to them, though... I've always preferred jobs where I was free to do my job without a supervisor hovering. I like the occasional performance review, mostly because I want to be sure that I'm doing a good job. I take pride in my work. I haven't gotten a review since I came to work at ARC, just meetings about mistakes I've made; and now that I'm moving into a different department, meetings about training and the like.
It does seem like I'll have a lot more responsibility in the new position; and more interaction with my supervisors. bleh. However, I will have less time on the phones... which is a good thing, in my opinion. I hate phone work with a passion. My dream job is one where I don't have to work with people, and I don't have to work on the phone. Give me paperwork to do, give me animals to work with, I'm happy. I like the small tedious jobs that most people despise. I'm comfortable with organizing and micromanaging, and I guess I just have a hard time working with people. I've worked in customer service in one form or another for the last 6 years... and I guess I'm a little tired of it. ;)
I find myself looking forward to the next few years... I am hoping to stay with ARC until such time as we leave the state, but I'm not sure if that will be possible or not.. I suppose it just depends on how well the company does. I have so many goals that I want to see fulfilled... Repair my credit, buy a car I'll enjoy driving... get married... So many things to think about and plan... I just wish I could get them done NOW. I'm bad at waiting, always have been.
I am beginning to think that I might take the 5th of July off, even if it's unpaid. I need downtime, and I need it where there are no other demands on me. Just time to flop and relax. (I say that now... like as not I'll be bored out of my mind by the second day) The only down side is, if it's unpaid, it'll fark up the budget I've worked out. Oh well... I suppose we'll see.
I have budgeted myself through 2004, giving myself goals to reach. Of course, there are things that aren't factored in... I don't know how much my share of rent will be at the new place... so that might change, my insurance will go down next year, (and even more after I get the truck paid off) and I NEED new clothes for work... that'll be $300-$400... since my goal is to have two weeks' worth of clothes that I can wear to the job, and pants are outrageously expensive. I also want a new computer, which will set me back $1500 or so.. and at some point this year, I do need to put the truck into the shop. (Ye gods, I need to get the oil changed on that thing soon... and new windshield wipers. whimper)
I get paid on a weekly basis... so I managed to set aside a certain amount for food, for gas, and for entertainment each week.. I just need to set up something in quicken that will let me track how I spend that money. For anyone trying to budget, Quicken and excel are two tools that have helped me *immensely*... I keep track of the money I've already spent in quicken, and use excel to forecast the future. If I have $400 and want to spend it, for example, can punch it into excel and see how it affects my planned spending 5 months down the line. It's really neat. =) If anyone wants a copy of the database, lemme know, I'll be happy to make one for ya.
But anyways... I have been giving the new car more thought. As long as my expenses don't exceed what they are now, (and the repairs and clothes and such will change this somewhat, but I don't expect it to be a drastic change) by the end of 2004, I'll have $13,000 to put towards a new vehicle, without trading in the truck. The thought occured to me yesterday as I was driving to work that when we move, we're going to be looking for places that have the capability to have horses. That will mean horse trailers, 50lb bags of feed, bales of hay... not to mention that we want dogs... very large... dogs. That kind of tells me that getting rid of the truck might not be such a good idea. I can't imagine hauling hay in the back of a car. It would not be pretty, even if I had a tarp laid down. I figure by the time that I'm ready to get a new vehicle, the tradein value of my truck will be around $2000 or lower. (right now it's just under $3000 according to the blue book values)... I think that when the time gets closer, I'm going to call my insurance company and see how much damage it would do to my insurance to put the truck on the policy as a 'seldom driven' and a new car as my primary vehicle. I've never owned two cars... and I'm not sure this is a good idea... but I want something that's less ungainly for my regular driving, and yet.. I know that if we move into the country, a truck will be invaluable. Oh well. I have time.
(I like to plan things out in great detail, in case you hadn't noticed)
And now, I think I'm going to finally close... I need to do a few things.. I'm still tired and logey, but the work most assuredly won't do itself, and if I do it now, that means there'll be less to do next week before folks get here.