Friday, September 29, 2006

*blink* *blink* TGIF?

Where in hades did the week go? And how can a week go by so fast and still be one of the longest in my life at the same time? I am not intentionally neglecting you, my darlings. But duty calls, and if I want to continue recieving the paychecks that keep us in gift shop underwear and fast food, then there is nothing for it. 18 hour days of computer work are taking their toll. My hands are becoming numb clubs. I tried peeling an apple this morning and I think I would have had better results tossing it at an upside down lawn mower and hoping for the best. Good thing Ruby could care less what her apples look like, as long as breakfast isn't late. The human child was even less lucky, her breakfast was a granola bar. She is going to turn into an individual serving packet any moment, at least if we truly are what we eat. Do I get extra points for the cup of milk she had with it? Probably not. I made her get her own cup and pour the milk herself ;). Slave driver. DH is starting to whine about his lunches. I think he should feel blessed that they are like the ONE thing I haven't cut out of the schedule (and that list includes potty breaks, TV watching, meals, hair brushing, laundry, housework, and changing into clean clothes - see "laundry" entry earlier in the list). Sure a single slice of fat free balogna on almost-stale whole wheat wonder bread isn't exactly inspired. It could have been worse, it could have been a granola bar. In an effort to help my hands and reduce some stress and give me something to do when I have too many things running and one more thing would crash the laptop but I am so wired up I have to do SOMETHING....there has been some progress on the poncho-turned wrap. Not a lot of progress, but progress just the same. There is a lot of counting, and for counting I need quiet. And in a happy turn of events when I am working during the day or up late (working) it also so happens that it is quiet. Nothing but the rythmic snores of a pug sleeping at my feet. Next week the day time silence will be shattered because DH will be on afternoons and insist on chatting with me and watching daytime TV. He has no interest in politics, religion, or any other tasty topic. But boy is he interested in every word Kelly Rippa says. He hangs on to her every word, laughs uproarously at her banter with Regis Philbin, and constantly stops and rewinds the show to SHARE with me her wisdom and wit. It is times like those that I am so sorry I bought that darn DVR system. I have decided in the interest of saving time and breath and DEADLINES that from now on I will not scream or yell or get upset when I am interrupted while working. I will simply rattle papers at him. Doesn't that sound fun and effective? If he tries to talk, I will rattle my papers at him. If he asks a question, rattle. If he requests that I look at the screen because he has a comment about Rippa's dress - RATTLE! It doesn't work on DD, she was my first paper-rattle test subject. Luckily screaming the word DEADLINE! or hissing "Can't you see I am working? Go ask your father!" are effective about 25% of the time. The other 75% I am pretty sure she is just toying with me to see if I really will have that stroke I keep threatening she is going to give me. Tonight I have given myself permission to do some "retail therapy". Not really shopping, in that I most likely won't spend a dime. I just need some time to wander around someplace aimlessly. Looking at and touching things with no real goal or intention in mind. That is what I need. No husband, child, or pet needing anything or wanting anything. No work demands. Just some time to amble and clear my head. This can be done at the mall, but I don't think I have the energy for that. Someplace smaller and less crowded. Like Canadian Tire. Or the dollar store. Walmart is not really right for this, because I will end up grocery shopping and picking up useful things like water pitcher filters and girls pajamas and men's socks. No, Walmart is not right for this at ALL. Sure, I don't really have the time and deadlines are starting to pile up. But something has to give folks, and I think right now that "something" is my sanity. I think of it as my one last chance to breathe before October is here. The first week of October we have a project go-live (and we are so not ready). Nothing like rolling out a program to employees that don't want it and resent your very presence, when really you agree with them and think the whole project is a waste of time but hey, it is your job and we are all just following orders, right? I anticipate lots of bugs, because we are behind and testing is not complete and the employees are so resistant to any change whatsoever to their routine. Then we have the week of Thanksgiving. I have to fit some baking and cooking in there somewhere or else there IS no thanksgiving, know what I mean? If I survive that week, the next is busy in a personal-life way. Every evening has a birthday party, dinner, event, or committment of some type. That weekend DD and I will be gone to the Brownie Camp and Activity day. I am going to help out, and DD wanted to go but would not unless I went. She accepts the fact we will be in different groups and she has to sleep in a cabin with 5 other girls and I can't be in there with them, she just wants to know that I am there. And that is fine. Doing things like Brownie camps builds character and reminds me of a)why I only have ONE child and b)why we never camp. The next week I am travelling on business. We are testing a new type of arrangment for DD while I am gone. DH isn't going to be able to just dump her at his mom's this time. Not sure if he is going to make the week LOL. The weekend after that I am going to be busy getting things ready for halloween. Now there is a quandry. DH is on afternoons and cannot get the evening off. While he is available to help me put up our display, we are lacking one vital person. We need one adult to hand out candy and watch the house, and another to bring the child trick-or-treating. And she is at the age where she wants to go wandering for hours, not like when she was littler and content doing four houses. Still working on those details. Thank goodness for halloween candy, I might not make it through October without it ;). Now. Where did I put those miniature chocolate bars? Oh. Yeah. I didn't buy them because I would just eat them. How rude am I?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Four letter word

This "work" thing just sucks. Imagine that they actually want me to DO STUFF to earn my pay. How rude. We are entering "the busy season". Now don't get me wrong, I always have enough to do thank you. But the last few months of the year are usually pretty crazy. It's the time when all projects need to be ramped up so they can be closed before the new year. All the things that were cancelled or put on the back burner or promised but not yet delivered, well, they are UNcacelled, put back on the front burner, and now we have to put up or shut up. Everybody is in the same boat, and we are all panicking trying to keep our keels above the waterline. That is the collective and euphamistic "we" of course. Because we all know where the work is being dumped and who is drowning, don't we? My household is showing the sure signs of my overwork. The counters are loaded with dishes. Which is odd, considering I haven't been cooking or serving for the most part, and fast food comes in paper and cardboard that gets tossed out. Where are the dishes coming from? Are the neighbours sneaking in their own food, eating it from our plates, then departing before we even knew they were here? Must be. Because I ain't be shopping, either and the cupboards they be bare. Poor DD muttered last night (when I directed her to get her own snack rather than whining to me that she is starving despite a gigantic fast food dinner that no doubt is clogging her arteries and ensuring my 'mother of the year' unaward) "if I eat one more cheese string or yogurt I am going to throw up". Apparently I need new variety in the line of snacks I supply that she can rummage for herself. I caught DH as well, wistfully eyeing the package of plain tortilla chips and wishing for some cheese dip - the kind I whip up, not the kind that comes in jars - before submitting and eating them with plain salsa. He was acting like he was a torture victim, or in a prison being subjected to swill, for goodness sake. Like he can't throw in a handful of shredded cheese and work the microwave by himself. Even Ruby gets in on the act, casting glances at her toys and heaving great sighs then plopping herself down on my feet. Occasionally she'll go get one (usually her bear, which is hilarious because it is almost as big as her and she carries it by the nose), then place a plaintive paw on my leg and stare right into my face with those adorable, bulgy, and normally irresistable eyes. But I really don't have time to play, unfortunately. In fact, just to write this small snippet I have given up a bathroom break. See what kind of sacrifices I am willing to make? I won't get my own daughter a snack or make dip for my husband or play with the dog, but I will sit and fidget for the next hour in the name of a few minutes of blogging. My sister is getting quite perturbed with me, because if she calls early I am working and if she calls later I have already gone to bed, exhausted. "You tell that girl to call me or she is in BIG TROUBLE", is the message that has been relayed to me. But tonight won't be her lucky night, because if I want to be caught up enough to watch my Thursday lineup of shows tomorrow I have to work basically nonstop until bedtime tonight. More fast food for the family I guess. DH and I had a bit of a spat last night, he is sick of fastfood burgers and burritos and take out chicken. I snapped at him "Did it ever occur to you that YOU could make dinner once in a while?". But what was I thinking. How can I expect the guy that won't stir cheese into his own salsa to cook an actual DINNER?!?! Oh the horrors of it all. I don't need a real name, just call me "What's for dinner?". Or more appropriately "What's eatin'?" because they bug me for other meals and snacks too. Again, Ruby gets in on the act. At the stroke of four (sometimes a bit before) she starts her menacing ways. First she stares through the spindles of the stair case. Then she gives a regular "oof" to let me know she is there. Then she starts true barks, which means I get wet because she spits when she barks. Sigh. No respect I tell you. When will that dog grow thumbs and start scooping out her OWN dinner. So that is my life right now. Working my arse off, stinging and tingling and aching arms and numb butt and sleep-buzzing legs and tired eyes and stiff back. Taking a few moments here and there to scream the word DEADLINE in answer to any request for food or attention. Forfeiting pee breaks to blog and eating only portable foods that don't mess up the keyboard because I have to take meals while I work. The circles under my eyes darken each time the phone rings or an email comes careening in...I can feel them. Fall is busy time. Fall is mucho travel season. Fall is ugly time because I sleep even less and work even more and traipse hither and yon as managers direct, while still manageing to keep the house (somewhat) together and my family in fast food and clean underwear. Even if that means buying MORE underwear in an airport gift shop because who has time for laundry when one can BUY clean undies in an airport gift shop and save some time for, you guessed it, more work. Stack the gazillion family birthdays and anniversaries and fall holidays on top of all that and....yeah. Ugly. Maybe this is why I always buy all new make-up in the fall, the wear it every day for two months before going back to my slovenly naked faced ways. Hmmmmm.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Cough. Sniffle. Snork. Want a kiss?

Didn't think so - tee hee! DD and I have a touch of "the cold". She is worse than I, coughing and sneezing and watery eyes and runny nose and all. I am a bit snuffly and coughy but nothing serious. I kept her home this morning because she sounded so bad when she got up. I always forget it's the worst when you first wake up, but then clears a little. She started off sounding like she was on her deathbed, but by 10:00am she had requested several meals and was running circles around me. Know what is worse than an over-active bottomless pit? An over-active bottomless pit that is home sick from school, that's what. And even worse? An over-active bottomless pit that is home sick from school and is a PICKY EATER. I have deadlines today and wasn't getting anything done, so when she asked to go to MIL's house (so she could play with the dog and get waited on hand and foot of course) I didn't balk. No guilt about spreading the sickness either, because that is where we GOT these sniffles in the first place. So I bundled her off, then hot-footed it home to get back to work. Very busy last week, and more to come this week. It is getting closer to the end of the year, and people are suddenly realizing that they don't have their projects done. And if they don't get them done, they don't get points for them. And no points means NO RAISE. So all of a sudden, every employee in every department has an urgent thing that needs doing, and of course none of them can do it themselves. These are all projects that have been delayed, pre-empted, pushed back, or forgotten but NOW they need to be done. And there is no relief in sight from the department heads, because if their employees don't get their points, then the department heads don't get points either. Which means no raises and bonuses for THEM. I can always tell I am speaking to one of these managers, one that has many employees with many projects about to miss their deadline, by the odd screech-monkey quality of their voice over the phone when they find out I don't have time in my schedule for them. See, I am the fall back queen. These projects are not mine, these people are not in my department. But the department that is SUPPOSED to be completing these things has either denied them, or pushed them back so far that they are in danger of being missed. And if the completion date is past the deadline (even by a day) they get no credit for having done the project at all. All projects must be completed, but to get credit they must be completed on time. It is finally sinking in that "Hey, wait a minute, this isn't going to make it!" and they panic. Back scratching and hand washing goes on, and my managers manager pimps me out to the highest bidder. Not because I have all this free time, not because I am some kind of miracle worker. But rather, I am hidden in the budget so free for him, he gets something he wants out of it, and they know I won't let a deadline pass if I can help it. The fact I am willing to work around the clock (including holidays and week-ends) when I don't get paid overtime makes me an idiot asset. Until next year when they forget I exist and freeze me out of the flow chart, because I am hidden in the budget and if they say my name out loud somebody might remember I work there and try to figure out who is supposed to pay for me. And that would be bad, apparently. So here I am, being forced to live against somebody else's horrific deadlines as well as my own. This blog break alone is going to set me behind (especially after this morning, and the three-breakfast-child) and I started at 4:00am. I'll be lucky to unfold myself from this computer chair by 6:00 tonight. Guess DH is making dinner, huh? I'll be busy bringing home the bacon, this time he can fry it ;). But make it turkey bacon - cholesterol, you know.