I feel the need

I feel the need

Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to Embarrass your Child at a Stoplight...without being in the same car.

Good evening!

Well, the satellite went out because we are under tornado warnings and super thunderstorms.  So instead of watching a rerun of "Criminal Minds"  I'm going to share with you a fun little  moment Hubby and I had with Peaches and her boyfriend recently.

Oh yeah, Peaches loves it when I blog about her.

It's not that I go out of my way to embarrass my kids.  It just sort of happens every now and then, and usually it's completely an accident.  But sometimes it's more like...well, like fun.

This past weekend Hubby  and I were out and about running errands.  Nothing exciting. I think the highlight was we stopped for coffee at our favorite coffee chain place.

Happily sipping over priced legalized liquid joy juice, Hubby pulled the sedan up to a red light.  Across the intersection, waiting to make a right hand turn, was the Boyfriend's vehicle, Peaches in the passenger seat.

What do you do when you see someone you know and you're stopped at a light?  You wave!  And what do you do when you see your child with her significant other and you really want to be sure she sees you?

You wave like a maniac until she notices.

And you continue waving as they make that right hand turn, passing five feet from you.

Now, Peaches is a good sport, and her boyfriend is a cool kid.  At first they waved back. 

"Oh she's embarrassed,"  Hubby said.

I'm sorry.  I couldn't help it.  "She thinks she's embarrassed.  Wait until I do this!"  And that's when I really started to wave.  I think I broke out in a sweat.  It was a workout!

Hubby loves a good chuckle, he waved with me.  Boyfriend waved back. He's a polite young man.  Peaches, on the other hand...well Peaches looked a lot like a starlet who's been out a bit too late and doesn't want anyone to see her looking disheveled.  She pulled her jacket up and hid her face and they drove past us.

Which just meant one thing:  Success!

Like I said, it's not like I go looking for chances to embarrass the kids.  It just sort of happens.  Skippy, being older, has taken to ignoring me, but Peaches is still in that sweet spot age wise...

As a side note, let me tell you, the first Elsie W. book is coming along swimmingly, the outline for the second one is done and I just have to sit down and flesh things out.  And, while she's gone (and my blood pressure proves it)  Noelle C is definitely NOT forgotten.  NBM found a note...and epic opus really, in some file.  It's 14 handwritten pages and my only question is:  Do I scan it right to the blog or hold on to it until I get to her book?

Yep, it's just that good.  Aqua Girl, as I've decided to call the new one until she gives me reason to give her a different name, starts Monday.  I've begged NBM for one thing:  Let the next one be normal.  I don't even care if she's smart, good looking, friendly, whatever.  Just please, please, please, let this one not be insane.

We'll find out on Monday.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Return of the Cacti: Noelle C's final farewell...sort of!

Hello all! My apologies to the Star Wars franchise.  Hubby came up with the title of today's post and I love it.

Maybe Noelle C posed for the
cover art of THIS sci-fi
series.  What, too soon?
So it's been a couple days now since Noelle C bid a fond farewell to Stuff Installed, and I feel enough time has passed and I can view this final chapter with more humor than I felt in the last two weeks.

I've regaled you all with the outbursts, the mental games, and the partial nudity that has ruled my life since April 2 of last year.  How innocent I was back then, to think that no one, NO ONE, could possibly do as much damage to my brain, or make me laugh so hard at how ridiculous my life is, as Elsie W.  And, after almost 13 months of living it along with me, I'm sure you feel the same.

There are two things I have not shared with you in this forum.  Those who friend me on Facebook, and seriously, why aren't you, have heard this, but now I can, as they say, tell you the rest of the story.

So Noelle C gave her shocking notice on May 9.  It was a Thursday.  A solid two weeks notice, as is standard in the US, would have meant her last day was to be the 23rd...tomorrow. 

Nothing, I repeat nothing, with Noelle C is standard.

The first few days after she gave notice, Noelle C was pretty normal...for her.  She was weirdly quiet, focused, and efficient.  Seriously, if she'd worked like she did that week, Lumbergh would have made her employee f the month.  She didn't even talk to herself all that much.  It was weird and uncomfortable.

 In those first few days she started moving out some personal stuff, that's normal.  Everyone who has ever held a job and then quit it knows you need more than one box to move all the stuff you bring to your work so that work seems less like a prison and more like a mini home away from home. 

Then, right about Monday of last week, we started to notice something:

All those things, the paintings, the wall clocks, things she'd put in the office when she started, things she'd given AS GIFTS were vanishing.  See, the first two weeks she worked at Stuff Installed, she shopped every day.  Wall clocks for her office and the wall in front of my face.  Flower vases.  A Nesco.  (Which we never used, a fact that infuriated her to no end.  But in an office were 90% of the employees are on the road all day...what are we going to cook in a NEsco?  What, I'm going to keep my Lean Cuisine hot in there?) 

Then she started painting.  Lordy, she loaded those walls with her stretch canvas artwork.  Flowers, birds, one pumpkin, she hung everywhere.  "Here," she said, "I painted this for you."

She gave Lumbergh a painting of a big white flower, and she gave me a similar one in hot pink.  She painted pictures of pets.  She painted a picture of a cheetah for Lumbergh...because he likes cheetahs.  "Whats' your favorite flower?"  She asked me this the first day, right before she pulled her pants down to show me her pants size and brag about her weight loss.  (Man, have I survived a lot!)

She painted me lilacs...and a daffodil.  And she hung them over my desk.

So right about Monday, we started to see things missing from the walls.  Oh, the thumbtacks we used to hang everything were still there.  It was like she was the Grinch, and she was stealing Christmas....if Christmas was made up of somewhat pretty, yet only really charming because it was done by someone we worked with, art. 

She didn't speak to me on Monday because on Thursday I made the mistake of asking her why she'd given notice.  Silly me.  Her response to that, as I've mentioned in previous posts, was fairly epic and required not only a tongue lashing, but a seriously nasty email from her.  So on Monday of last week we didn't speak.  And we didn't speak most of Tuesday.

Tuesday late, however, she started talking and one of the things she said was, "I'm asking everyone for their paintings back."

"Um, what?" 

"I'm asking everyone for the paintings back.  The ones I painted.  I want them back."

I didn't want to point out that normal people do NOT ask for gifts back.  I couldn't, since I'd already played the "normal people" card when I asked her about her job.

So on Friday I shared this with Lumbergh, who'd been out of town most of last week.  (Nice, He was out of town the first week of her two weeks' and PM was out of town the second week.  Meanwhile, I used up my vacation time sitting in the ER with back spasms last fall and couldn't escape this horror.)  He said, "Ok, fine."  Then he set about to retrieve any and all paintings she hadn't already removed, including the big white flower in his office, and he set them on her desk.

It was the first thing she saw on Monday.  She was overjoyed, apparently NOT getting the message he was sending about how cheesy it is to give a gift and then take it back.  Why would we think she would get that? 

No, she was not upset by the return of the paintings.  She was furious, however, that someone had stolen a pen from her desk.

Okay, see, this is why I lock my desk at night.  It's not really stealing if you use a company pen taken from a company desk, not in the eyes of the people I work with.  So I lock my desk because if I didn't, I would never have any pens. Noelle C has never figured this out and so when people borrow pens from her desk and don't return them, it sends her into fits.

"Well that person who stole the pen is just going to have to live with his guilt because my soul is clean and I'm taking my heart, and I'm taking my soul, and I'm going where they can't get me anymore."

Like a mental ward?

She then stomped out to my desk and plunked something on it.

The cactus I'd given her as a Christmas present.

Okay, to be fair, it was a plant I had in my house.  I have four cats, so it's not like I can keep a lot of plants, but she likes plants, so I gave it to her.  It made her so happy...she sang to it, she sang about it, she commented, loudly, on how much she loved it.  She even decided it was a boy, and he talked to her.

That was January.  This is May.  She plunked it on my desk.  "I'm giving it back."

"You don't have to.  It was a gift."

"I'm moving into a smaller apartment, so I have to get rid of all the crap in my life."

Which, I guess includes a perfectly nice cactus plant.

I'd like to say it didn't matter, that it was just another step in her whackiness, but ya know, when you give a gift, no matter how simple it is, if someone calls it crap and hands it back to you, it hurts.

So that was Tuesday last week.  Let's move on.

Monday of this week, Lumbergh decided to dodge her as much as possible. Her final day had somehow moved from Thursday to Wednesday.  I had the hours counted down.

She got to the office, and, noting he wasn't in, said, "Tomorrow is my last day," meaning Tuesday.

"Does Lumbergh know?"

She smiled this weird little smile, the kind I think Satan gets
sometimes...."He will when I tell him."

Now, she might have been in love with Lumbergh at some point in her life...but I knew this one thing better than she did:  Lumbergh won't be played.  He won't let you get one over on him.  No sir.  The last person who wanted to leave without doing the proper 2 weeks was shown the door that morning.  You play by the rules or you leave.  That's Lumbergh's deal, and I knew it.

So about an hour later, she dropped this nugget of news and I waited for him to tell her to pack the last of her things...and whatever gifts were still there  (The Nesco, it should be noted, was still sitting atop the fridge, unopened, unused.)  He didn't.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed, and she was entirely too gleeful.  She was getting her way one final time with him. She was winning.

At the end of Monday I said goodbye, she said, "one more day,"  and I said, "See ya tomorrow."

Yesterday I arrived at work and all seemed normal.  Around 10, PM came up to tell me he was leaving on vacation.  I said, "But you'll miss it."

"Miss what?"

"Noelle C's last day."

He smiled a funny smile. The kind of smile teachers usually wear on the last day of school.  The type of smile parents wear on the first day of school.  "You don't know."

"Know what?"

"Lumbergh had me come here last night and get her key.  He said if she can't do her full two weeks, she can leave right now."

Yep, that's the Lumbergh I know, right down to making PM drive in at 7:45 and take the key from her.

"How'd that go?"

He shook his head.  "Not well."

Apparently, she didn't see this move coming.  And, for reasons no one can fathom, she's always disliked PM.  So when he arrived and explained in his very soft voice, what was happening, she didn't look at him, she didn't speak to him, she didn't answer his questions.  She ripped her key off her key ring  (I would have thought she wore it on a chain around her neck...like the Precious) tossed that on the desk, then scribbled out her time sheet, threw that in Lumbergh's basket, then she stomped out the door in silence and drove away.

I felt for PM.  He's a gentle soul.  But I should note...the Nesco is still there.

Maybe I'll make a celebratory egg bake for everyone.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The customer isn't always right. Sometimes the customer is mean and stupid.

I often wonder, when people call me to request a sales call or some service work, and I go through the process step by step with them, why they feel compelled to try and change the rules by which we do business.   Every business is in the business of making a profit, but every business has rules they must follow.  And I'm always amazed when someone calls and gets combative and simply won't listen when I try and explain how we operate as a business.

In my position as a customer service person for a bath installation business, I get my share of abusive phone calls.  Most of the time, though, I'm able to calm the irrational down to a mild roar and charm them with my calm demeanor and wisdom.  (Yes, I am completely different at work than I am in real life.) This week, however, I took a call from a man who simply was not interested in my explanation of how we did business.  He wanted o talk to someone who was going to let him have his own way...preferably someone with boy bits.

This is how this went:

Man:  I want a picture of the display you have displayed at the mall.  I can't find it on your website and I want a picture of the exact display you have at the mall.

Sarah:  (Wondering why he didn't just TAKE A PICTURE of the display)  Well, I'm not sure which of our displays we have at the mall, but...

Man:  Well, can you find someone who does know?  Surely there's someone who knows what you have displayed at the mall, if you can't tell me.  (Imagine this said just dripping with condescension.)

Sarah:  I was going to say, I'm not sure which of our many examples of our work we have on display at that mall, but I'll be happy to check with my events coordinator and see if SHE can tell me.  Meanwhile, if you'd like to come and see what we have in the showroom...

MAN:  I don't want to see what you have in the showroom, I want a picture of the display you have at the mall because that's the one I want.

Sarah:  Well I'll be happy to have a consultant come out and give you a price for just that set up.  Where are you located?

Man:  I live here in town, but I want this for my cabin way up north.

Sarah:  I'm sorry, we don't service that area.

Man:  I want to buy it from you , put it in my car and take it to my cabin and install it myself.

Sarah:  I'm sorry, we don't do that.  We install all of our products.

Man:  Really.  Well that's very interesting.  So you're not in the business of making money?  I would think you would want to make money, and I have money I want to spend.  (Again, liberally smear condescension on this statement.)

Sarah: I'm sorry, sir, we have a specific process we go through from meeting the customer for the first time to installing the products in one day.

Man:  So you're telling me you're turning down a sale and you won't sell these items to me?

Sarah:  I'd be happy to send a consultant to you to do a free in home estimate for the items you selected, but no we are not going to sell the products to you to install yourself.

And then he hung up on me.  Seriously...where did manners go?  I get hung up on a lot.  Did we banish the word "Good-bye" from our collective vocabulary and I missed it?

By the way, want to check out my real passion, what I really want to do with my life?  Head on over to Amazon by clicking here and check out my three books!  The more you buy, the more you read, the closer I get to my dream of leaving abusive phone calls and condescending strangers behind forever!

Think of is as my own take on "Two Broke Girls"  but in real life, and without the cupcakes.

Oh man...now I want cupcakes.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Five for Friday: Things that make me go..."Ummmm, what?"

Good morning!

I haven't done a five for Friday in a while, but I do believe this one is well worth the wait.  And I know it's only Tuesday, but I can't wait to share this with you!

So as you may have read, or sensed from the songs of joy blasting forth from my desk this week, Noelle C has given her two weeks' notice, and will not be with us much longer.  In fact, after breaking down the vacation days she is cramming into her final two weeks, and our differing schedules, I have roughly, from this moment, 18 hours left with her.

And I do mean suffer.

On a normal week, when all is well with the world and she's not making gigantic changes in her life, Noelle C, as we know, is a bit quirky and emotional.  Now, she's changing jobs, leaving her beloved Lumbergh, and I guess, moving out of her apartment. 

This leads us to the top five whackadoodly awesome things she's said to me in these her final days.

5)  "It's not your business where I'm going, what I'm going to be doing, what I'll be paid, how far my drive is, what my hours are, or anything.  I told you I didn't want to talk about it now stop trying to pump me for information."

Her response to the question, "So I hear you're leaving us.  What's your new job going to be?"  And I'm not the only one she sang this sweet song to in the past couple days, either.  This statement was followed by seven working hours of icy, but unwhacky, silence.

4)  "What's the point of paying for any kind of insurance when you're only going to use it maybe once a year.  I heard about this doctor in Minnesota or maybe Georgia who charges $35 a month and $15 a visit no matter what your ailment is and then you just pay reduced lab and treatment fees. So I'm just going to start seeing him.  Car insurance, health insurance, vision, dental, you'll just go broke paying for insurance."

I didn't ask for the silence to be broken. I was perfectly happy honoring her request to be left alone.  But today she decided to drop as many pearls of wisdom on me as possible, and this one was a head scratcher.  Read her statement closely and think about this:  She's paying $50 a month for very good medical coverage.  Yes, there's a copay for office visits, and yes there are charges for labs and that sort of thing.  One would say...it's a reduced charge because of the insurance.  Oh, and since the insurance is taken out pretax, we don't pay income tax on it, so if I'm doing the math right...having health insurance is probably less expensive than, you know NOT having health insurance and going to this one doctor in Minnesota...or Georgia...or where ever he is.

Oh yeah, and, um, she lives in Wisconsin.  So there's that.

3)  "Lumbergh probed me to learn all my secrets, and took away my soul, and used my car to spy on people, and stole my very heart and by quitting, I got my heart and soul back and he can't abuse me anymore."


I don't use the word "delusional" nearly often enough for this woman.  Lumbergh, honestly, has been a model of patience with her, as far as he is able.  He's not the most patient person.  But the whole deal with this is pretty much all in her head...and very, very icky.  It ranks right up there with the time she told me she was the inspiration for the cover art work to the Dungeons and Dragons magazine.

2)  "I'm going to work two jobs until I'm 62 and then I'm going to work part time and kick back and I don't care what happens in this world or in this planet because I'm going to a job where I'm going to be making a lot more money, A LOT MORE MONEY, A LOT MORE MONEY, and I'm going to be training inside sales people and I'm going to be management and I'll be making a lot more money, more money than I can every begin to imagine."

This was blown out at me a couple hours after I got a very nasty email from her saying it was none of my business what she was doing with her life, and that I knew she and I had no relationship at all and therefore I should leave her alone and not talk to her.  Then she dumps this stream of consciousness on me...and seriously it was one sentence.  So let's analyze:

Working two jobs...okay, I can respect that. I do that.  But the whole thing about the new job where she's going to be made training management and she's going to make more money than she can ever imagine...

Does anyone else think maybe she's just gotten sucked into one of those schemes were they promise you all kinds of "potential income?"

I think I was happier when she wasn't talking about it.

1)  "It's just like what happened to Amanda Berry."

Now this is going to take some explaining.  She went to lunch today, I guess to the Golden Arches, which is down the street and across the road from our office.  She went inside to get her order.  When she came out, according to her, a very large  ("9 months pregnant times 2") man in a pick up truck was pulling out of his spot next to her car.  He stopped his car "to watch her walk to her car and get in."  She nodded to him "Like normal people do."  (What would she know about what normal people would do?)

The truck then pulled out of the parking lot ahead of her.  They both stopped at the lights  (the one where I was crushed by a guy running a red light).  She was behind the truck.  He went forward across the road and she followed, but something in her brain decided to switch on because she suddenly believed he was stalking her.  So she pulled into the nearest parking lot on the right side of the road and waited. 

She said the truck was out of site for a few minutes, then came back out and approached the lights again.  The truck got to the lights and stopped.  She pulled out of the parking lot and said, "Then he turned around in his seat to look at me."

And then this is where she really goes off the rails.  I was trying to figure out what she was so freaked out.  The guy worked for a messenger company, according to the sign on the side of his truck.  My guess is he drove up to an office at the end of the block, delivered something, then came back to the lights.  Or maybe, with all the construction going on in the area, he got turned around and was looking for a street sign.

"Why do you look like you think I'm crazy?"  She asks.

"Well, because I'm thinking there was no need to worry.  He didn't get out of the truck, he didn't approach you.  He didn't talk to you."

"Yes, but I nodded to him and then later he looked around in his seat.  It's just like what happened with Amanda Berry.  That guy that kidnapped her said she got kidnapped because she got into a car with a stranger."

I don't think my expression changed one bit.  I didn't see the parallel between her driving behind a messenger who turned around in his seat while at a red light and Amanda Berry who was locked in a basement for ten years.

"Did you get in the car with him?"

"No.  I got the hell out of there and came back to work."

Now I'm worried, because when she starts using salty language, that's when her bra makes an appearance.

"Okay then, well, I guess you' can't be too careful."  And that's when I got out of there.

18 more hours....


Monday, May 13, 2013

There is a certain etiquette to quitting a job...and Then there's Noelle C.

Good afternoon!

So the news was for real last Thursday when Lumbergh walked to the back office where I was processing payments and minding my own business.  "Noelle C has given notice, " he said, "Do you know anyone who needs a job?"

I know a ton of people who need a job.  And if you need a job, email me a resume to my work email and I will happily pass it on.  It's full time, with benefits, and your task is to make around 100 outgoing sales calls to established leads a day. That's it.  And you'll probably get paid more than I do, because pretty much everyone who had that job does.  If you live in the Milwaukee/Wauwatosa area, it's a good gig.

But let's back up...Noelle C gave her notice?  This was something I thought would Never, ever happen! She's threatened, but sort of in that, "I'm going to quit if you don't eat my candy" and no one takes her seriously.

Now working out your two weeks' notice is a bit of a dance and there is a certain etiquette one and one's co workers should follow.  Inevitably it boils down to a conversation like this:

"Hey, I heard you gave notice.  Bummer.  So, what are you going to be doing once you bust out of here?"

This is a completely acceptable question.  It's lighthearted, it's polite, and it gives the impression to the person leaving that the people at work do care at least a little about what your future holds.

Knowing this, because I have quit a job or two in my time, I called Noelle C when the men folk had cleared the building.  She prefers talking on the phone because she can hear a bit better.

"Yes?"  She says.

"Hey, Noelle C, what that what?"  (Cuz, I like to talk street with her.  Sometimes it makes her laugh.)

"What do you mean?"  (And sometimes she pretends to not understand me.)

"You gave your notice?  What's up with that?"

"I'm not talking about that."  And she hung up.

Now, I could have been insulted.  But I figured she was just in one of her moods because Lumbergh hadn't gotten down on his knees to beg her to stay.  So I let it rest.  And I counted down the hours to the end of the day.

That was Thursday.  Then we don't see each other until Monday.  So today, when she came in, I greeted her, but boy howdy, she was frosty.  But she was frosty to everyone and I figured it was all part of the separation process.

However, when she started to do things that made me think of Elsie W, I had to call her on it.  Literally.  But here's what happened:

I called a new lead in the morning. The woman I talked to said that person I needed to talk to wouldn't be in until 4:30 PM today.  So I made a note in the database for Noelle C to call this woman and set an appointment at 4:30.

And the very first phone call...and phone message...she made was to this very customer. 

This is exactly what Elsie W did every day.  So I called Noelle C, because that's how she prefers to talk to everyone, and I asked if she saw my note.  That's all I said, "Did you see my note about this customer?"

"Yes,"  she said, "But I don't care.  So I left a message in the morning.  Who cares?  I'll call her tomorrow at 4:30.  It doesn't matter.  You're not perfect either, you know."

Ummmmm, believe me, I realize that.  Just read this blog.  Oh wait, don't.  But calling someone multiple times when they gave us a specific time, well, that's not...good.  So I said, "I know I'm not perfect.  I didn't say that.  I just asked if you saw the note."

"I did.  And it doesn't matter.  Not to me anyway."

"That's because you're leaving." 

Sorry, it had to be said.  One of my biggest peeves is someone who is about to leave a job and does a terrible job because they won't have to answer for it later.

"Yes, I am leaving, so you'll have to deal with it because it will become you're job.  Just like everything else is."

Yes, and I'm oh ever so happy at that prospect because I know, I KNOW that while I'm absorbing your job even more than I already do, I'll get paid what you get paid....oh wait, no, that won't happen.

So I let it go, but the frostiness continued, but my Mondays are too busy to be worried about everyone's feelings.  I barely worry about my own on a Monday.

Still, I wanted to be pleasant and make peace. So I waited again until everyone else had gone for the day and she was pausing at my desk.  "So,"  I said in a casual tone because mostly I was just being polite.  She can go work in a cannery or a school or at a big box store, I'm just so happy she won't be tormenting me anymore, but I still want to be polite.  "So what's your new job going to be like?"

She looks at me as if I'd just asked her to sacrifice her firstborn.  "I told you once I'm not talking about it.  I never, ever tell anyone where I'm going or what I'm going to do or how much I'm going to make when I leave a job."

Let's review:  Did I ask any of that?

She storms into her office and continues the conversation, which I continue as well, but at a volume she'll never be able to hear.  Whatever her new job is, I hope it doesn't involve needing to hear people talk.  She then storms out of her office and plunks a cactus plant on the empty desk.  "This will stay here, I'm not taking it with me."

Um, I gave her that as a gift.

"How come?"  I ask, because I'm an idiot.

"I'm moving."

Now, I want to let this go.  I really do.  I don't want to care about where she's going.  But I can't help it.  "You're moving, like moving moving?"

"Yes, and I'm getting rid of all kinds of crap, so that plant has to go.  It can stay there."

I gave that to her...as a gift.  She couldn't stop singing about it for days.

"I'm moving into a smaller place so I can afford food and gas."

Note:  I didn't ask her that.

"Okay, hey, I wasn't trying to pry.  I was just trying to have a conversation like normal people would when someone gives their notice."

"Well, I never tell anyone when I quit a job and I don't appreciate that you're asking me all these questions.  I'm not going to tell you about how much I make or what I'll be doing or where I'm working.  And you just keep trying to pump me for information."

"No,"  I said in the voice I usually reserve for annoying children, "I was just having a conversation like a normal person.  When someone gives notice normal people show they care about that person by expressing an interest in their new jobs.  I don't care what you're going to be making or any of that."

"Well I don't appreciate that everyone knows I'm going. Lumbergh went and spread that all around and I didn't tell him he could.  It's no one's business but mine when I'm quitting."

She's got that crazed look in her eyes, but this time I figure, it's 4:26.  I'm four minutes away from freedom, and I've already shut down my computer.  So I say, "What did you think you were going to do?  Just leave one day and no one would notice?"

"That's exactly what I wanted.  But he had to go and blab it to everyone."

For the record.  The boss came in and told me she was leaving and asked if I knew anyone who needed a job.  That was the end of the conversation.  What he did or did not tell anyone else, I have no idea.

"You know what, "  I say, pretty much at the end of my rope, "I wasn't trying to dig for any information.  I was trying to be polite.  It's what normal people do.  But hey, you've been so snarly to me since you gave notice, and that's really not fair since none of this has anything to do with me."

"I didn't say it did have anything to do with you."

Her imperious tone just made me madder.  "I'm just trying to be friendly.  I don't know you well enough to know that you NEVER tell ANYONE anything about a new job."

"Well I told you on Thursday I didn't want to talk about it, that should have been enough."

"You're right,"  I said.  "It is."  And I left.  She's not going to have to tell me a third time.  Game on, woman!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sarah's Mother's Day rant!

Good morning!

This has been a tremendous week for me.  My son, Skippy, released his first book A Collection of writing from under my sheets, Noelle C gave her two weeks' notice, and it's Mother's Day!

Yes, you read all of that.  Noelle C is less than two weeks away from being gone out of my life.  I'd like to say it'll be the end of my book series that I'm working on, but I said that when Elsie W left in a cloud of divine fury, so we'll just have to see what Lumbergh hires next.

So it's been a good week, which should translate into a good Mother's Day weekend, right?

Not quite.

In true, "It can only happen to Sarah" fashion, my Mothers' Day weekend went from a dream weekend of writing and napping to, well, let's see if you can keep up with the time line.

As some point about a week ago, my mother sent me a text asking if we could "all be together." This is a very typical mother guilt technique.  I've used it myself on my kids when they say, "What do you want for -------"  I say, "I just want us all to be together."

Which is fine when you're four people who live in the same house and can manage to get your schedules to connect for a couple hours.  Not so easy when you're three family units living in four houses  (my brother's kids split their time with their mother.) and have that many more schedules to clear. 

Now, Hubby and the kids and I had plans to go to brunch at my favorite brunching place.  I directed my mom to talk to him.  He invited her, and therefore also his mom, who lives a couple hours away, to join us.  All was well, it was going to be a nice brunch at a nice place.  No muss, no fuss.

Except...well, Brother's kids were going to be at their mother's for , you know, Mother's Day.  So then we wouldn't be "all together."

So my mother sent Hubby a text saying that Brother had wanted everyone to come to his house in the evening when his kids could be there. 

Problem one:  My kids were both going to be WORKING in the evening.  So then we wouldn't be "all together."

I won't go into family dynamics with you, I'll let you draw your own conclusions about what's happening. 

So okay, Hubby sent a text back saying he and I would be there.  And that satisfied Mother. It doubled up our plans, since we still had Mother in Law driving in, but that's fine.

And then we got a text from Brother, who expressed confusion...he was looking forward to BRUNCH AT THE BRUNCHING PLACE.

Are we drawing conclusions yet?

But we aren't done.  Hubby and Brother worked out the menu, and all was still well.  Since my kids weren't going to be there, we wouldn't be "all together" but I guess it was closer than not having Brother's kids there, so it was fine.  Hubby and I would make half the meal, then drive across two counties on a Sunday evening for dinner.  Our plans for brunch?  Scrapped. Mother in Law will be eating at our house...after we do four hours in church because my Sunday School kids are singing in both services.  So now we're cooking for two meals and DRIVING.

But we're not done yet.

I get a phone message from Brother late this week saying that we don't need to bring any food, but that as a housewarming present he'd like us to buy him a butcher block cutting board.  (Oh, did I fail to mention he moved into a new house?)  Now, my typical housewarming present is candles because, while I have NO MONEY, I have millions of very nice candles.  But no, he wants a butcher block cutting board.

But we're not done.

So Hubby says he's still making what he was going to make because he's a vegetarian and Brother never met a dish he didn't want to dress up with meat of some kind.  So now, we're cooking for two meals, we're driving across two counties, we're SHOPPING FOR A GIFT, and yes, we're cleaning the house because Mother in Law is coming TODAY in the early afternoon.

But we're NOT DONE.

Hubby then asks if it's okay if he WORKS TODAY 8-1.  The extra money is nice, but ummmm....well, he promised last night he'd clean the house.  Well, he did do most of it, but the bathrooms are still a stink pile mess, and I have to get the office in shape for company. ( I love my mother in law, and she always says she's not coming to see the house, she's coming to see up, but frankly, if she saw the squalor we live in she'd run screaming from the house.) Plus now the shopping errands fall to me this morning, alone. And since she's coming in the afternoon, my one shot at a nap is gone.


Hubby also mentioned he has a YOUTH GROUP event tonight.  He'll be bowling with the church youth group until very late tonight.  Meanwhile, I'll be watching TV with Mother in Law, when what I really want to do is work on the Else W. book. And I won't be able to do THAT because Mother in Law will be sleeping in the office.  (Hey, I suggested she sleep in our room...I was overruled.)

So let's review:  My mother's day weekend started with gift shopping for my brother, cleaning the house my mother in law.  Today I get to run errands, clean some more, cook something, (I have to bake a pie for a choir thing on Monday...) Tomorrow I have four hours of church, brunch at home with mother in law, clean up after that, the drive across two counties to Brother's house where we will be "all together" except for my kids.

We'll be done right about the time I have to go to bed to get up and face my work week again.

To ease the blow a bit, Hubby and kids had roses delivered to me at work.  That was very nice and I like the flowers very much, but that should tell you a lot about the mood in our house right now. We are not a flower buying couple.  Hubby is doing what he can to sort of smooth over the fact that my simple weekend of writing and napping has turned into a rant on my blog.

So happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there who will get to celebrate with your kids.  And none of you better say one word about your family doing NOTHING special for the day.  I will trade with you in a single heartbeat!

Fun Fact Friday: Now that it's dead, Sarah reveals a childhood dream.

Happy Friday all! What do you want to be when you grow up? That's a question we ask little kids...and I haven't a clue why....