Friday, November 30, 2018

Losing jobs before Christmas is sad

It's always sad to hear about colleagues and people losing their jobs. It's even worse when it's just before Christmas.

The biggest news story just east of where I live is that General Motors (GM) has decided to close its Oshawa plant in 2019, which means that all workers at this plant will be unemployed. It's sad, as Oshawa is the home of so many GM employees who moved to this city to work.

I used to have a Pontiac Grand Am. I thought that my next car would be a Pontiac G6 until the entire Pontiac line got canned. GM hasn't fully recovered since the late 2000's.

This week, my company found out that pink slips have been issued to folks out of our Montreal office. On my team, we are losing three decent people, two of whom I have met and trained. It's just a sad situation and I can only offer to help if they need any references from me.

It sucks that they are losing their jobs right before Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bubbles, my loyal pet betta fish

I haven't written much about my betta fish, Bubbles. He got that nickname because he liked making bubbles on the water's surface. He is also fascinated by bubbles that form in his tank if I have added water in there and it has been there for a while before I transfer him in.

Although he is a fish, he's greets me whenever I walk into the room. I noticed this greeting of his when I first saw him at the pet store. He's sweet. He's kind of like an aquatic dog.

My betta fish in the past have either been all blue in colour, or all red. Bubbles is different. He's green, blue, and red.

Yesterday, I changed the water in his tank and he seemed so happy when he got back in there. I'm glad that he's happy.

I used to think that it was unfortunate that he has to live alone. He can't live with another male betta. It would not end well.

I haven't tried getting a fuzzy marimo plant ball for Bubbles to play with. Apparently, they clean your tank, provide oxygen, and make the betta play with it. That's on my shopping list.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

407 ETR survey rant - poorly designed and delivered survey

Tuesday was a crazy and, at times, stressful workday. I technically have three rants, but I will go with the one that has nothing to do with work.

Just before dinner, I got a phone call from a person doing a survey on behalf of 407 ETR, which is a toll highway. I take this highway going to work, but don't coming home because it can get expensive.

By doing the survey, I would receive 100 km of free travel on this toll highway. This woman pointed out that it would take fifteen minutes to complete this survey. Cool.

Well, the more I got into the survey, the more I found so many issues and flaws. This survey actually took over thirty minutes to complete. This woman sounded older. She had a British accent. She couldn't type, attentively listen to my comments, or form a simple sentence.

This survey was biased. It was really to find out what customers thought of 407 ETR after an employee who used to work there stole a list of customer phone numbers and names for his own political needs.

I frankly wanted to voice how expensive rates are getting to travel on this toll highway. I have been taking this highway for over eight years. I used to take it both to and from work. Since it's so pricy these days, I only drive on it going to work. I didn't get to express the increase in rates and how I cannot afford to travel on it to and from work.

There were a series of questions where I had the option of rating the statement as great, somewhat great, somewhat poor, and poor. I said to this woman that I wished there was a rating between somewhat great and somewhat poor. She revealed that there was. What?

There is an apparent neutral option. She didn't disclose it until I had made my statement. As a person who declared math as a major and switched it to a minor during my undergraduate days, I was outraged. Why hide this option? You are skewing your survey results.

That's when I realized that this survey was biased.

She said later on that it would look bad to her manager if I answered a bunch of questions with a neutral response. I frankly told her that I didn't care what her manager thinks. I was here to voice my answers and I felt that this survey was rigged.

On a ballot, would you hide a candidate's name? Why would you hide a neutral option on a survey question?

To add insult to injury, she called me a "he" at the end of the survey, when we finally got there. I pointed out that she was rude. I made sure that I got my free kilometres of travel and hung up.

I like doing surveys, but I will never do one for 407 ETR again. The free kilometres isn't worth the insult, time, and aggravation.

Oh, and I disliked when she would say periodically to me, "Moving swiftly." Um, you aren't. You have spent twice as much time to get me through the survey than you had initially promised.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Strong support and laugher help get me through missing my guy

As crazy as work is these days, it's nice that my students and I get along well. We spent the day working on various tasks as a group and got a lot done.

Hanging out with them and being able to make one another laugh was wonderful. We all needed it.

It's nice that I am back to being my happy self. I will always miss my guy when he is away, but having a good support group helps ease the temporary pain.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Missing someone that it hurts and dealing with work madness

Have you ever missed someone that it just hurts? That, for a brief moment, a sense of sadness and panic set in? After all of that passes, you're then okay?

I am feeling all of these emotions. I don't know why I am experiencing such a mixed bag, but I do miss my guy a ton.

I suppose that it doesn't help that there are issues with an upcoming, major software release. All weekend, I simply saw e-mails flooding my inbox on various issues, and what needs to be fixed in both the code and documentation.

About that job that I had interviewed for several weeks ago, it turns out that the position is on hold. I frankly didn't think it was a good fit for me. However, I have heard through the odd, contracted human resources woman that they have a different position in mind for me come January.

I don't have a favourable impression about this company. I will hear what they have to say, but I won't hold my breath.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

BAD girl is still sad girl

I am still down about not being able to see my guy for a month. You would think that I'd be used to these long periods without him. I'm not.

I do like when he writes e-mails to me while we are apart. It helps.

It's nice when he starts off his e-mail by calling me BAD girl. Yes, BAD is in capital letters.

It's sweet. It's his version of a love letter that I gladly accept.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

A long wait - missing my guy already

I'm bummed out right now. My guy's flight is early today, which means that we won't be able to see each other.

Like last year, he is away from a month on business. It seems like an eternity.

Although he has reassured me that we'll chat while he is away, I'm still sad that we'll be apart for such a long time.

Friday, November 23, 2018

A compliment that came out of nowhere

The other day, I got a compliment from my manager that was completely unexpected. It happened during a conference call.

To make an extremely long story short, we have a group of employees in another country that had questions. A handful of us in Toronto were on this call. They want to set up a similar structure that we have here.

The problem is that these folks want to have a team leader, but none of us in Toronto feel that any of them can handle this position. One of the tasks would be training new employees.
"You would have to train every new employee that joins us. Frankly, I think Cutiebootie and her team should continue training new folks. Cutiebootie is the best trainer that we have," my manager said.
Wow. I'll take it.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Teasing my guy and wanting a hard spanking

My guy is funny. I like teasing him about driving his car. He is adamant that he is the only person who can drive his car.

He has caved in the past. I managed to drive his car from work to our favourite Chinese restaurant.

Whenever he goes on a business trip, I ask him for his car keys. Sometimes, I playfully try and get his keys from him. He ends up spanking me, which I love.

We had this exchange the other day.
"No, I will not leave my car keys with you," he said, cheerfully.
"I look forward to driving your car," I said, playfully.
"You are such a bad girl," he said to me.
"I hope that you'll do something about it," I said.
"Of course. I like spanking you hard," he replied.
I like when he threatens to spank me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I'm back and am doing laundry

I had a long travel day on Monday. It was pretty uneventful, considering that I drove through pouring rain and a bit of snow. I cut through three states and ended up in my home province.

I got back at a decent time. It was enough time to pick up my friend, have a bit of a chat in her living room, and head over to a restaurant for dinner. It was a nice evening.

After work on Tuesday, I went home and did laundry. It's exciting stuff! I have always been the type of person who needs to do laundry as soon as I can after some time away from hom. I find it relaxing.

My guy and I share that same love for doing laundry. He is preparing for a business trip and leaves on Saturday. I am hoping that we can squeeze in some time together before he leaves.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Concert, movie, and road trip home

I attended a wonderful concert on Saturday. I was on my feet for over four hours.

Today, I spent part of my afternoon at a movie theatre, legs reclined, watching Bohemian Rhapsody.

I drive home tomorrow. It will be a long drive, but I hope to return to Columbus again soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Road trips and hugbutt hugs

I have made it to Cleveland. I cut across three states with varying degrees of snow, rain, and cloudy skies throughout the drive.

I have had good eats so far on this road trip. I have a couple of hours left to drive before I get to my final destination. I get to do that later on today.

Changing the subject a bit, I saw this artwork on Instagram.

It reminds me of my guy when he hugs my butt. The only difference is that he's far from being dead!

Friday, November 16, 2018

First major snowstorm of the season

Ah, snow. Just when I am planning a road trip, our first major snowstorm hit late afternoon.

The timing couldn't have been better. It started just before rush hour. It took me 2.5 hours to get home.

The snow is supposed to subside in the early afternoon. I will assess and see if it's a decent time to head stateside.

The good news is that my vacation starts now. Fortunately, my schedule is pretty flexible. I just need to be somewhere on Saturday night.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Busy day dealing with incompetent colleagues

It was a crazy day at work. I'm exhausted.

I lost count after 43. This number represents how many e-mails ended up in my inbox from roughly 10:00 till 17:00. My guess is that I hit 60 e-mails easily.

I find e-mail to be a distraction. Today was a heavy inbox day. It was full of self-absorbed folks who think that my small team is there twiddling our thumbs, waiting for work. We have a ton of work to do, on the contrary.

One software developer provided two documents to us late on Monday. He asked me on Wednesday whether they were ready for him to share for his final review meeting on Thursday.

I took exception to this comment. First, my team isn't so free that we jump on his late guides and complete them. Second, we didn't know about his meeting. His expectation that we would edit them in time for his meeting was a tall order. Third, it seems ridiculous to send us what was dubbed final documents when he is having a final review meeting days later. Technically, these documents are not final. My team has another stab at making these not-so-final documents final.

I also take exception to the assigned project manager. She can't do her job. I have been doing most of her work by making sure documents get to me on specified dates and following up. Most deliverables have been late. I chase after folks because this project manager doesn't.

I have informed her that she needs to chase after folks. She should not be asking me two weeks in advance for documents. I flat out told her that I am not her problem. She needs to focus on other folks who are late with theirs. I don't see her chasing after them that way.

Then, there was another document that came two weeks late on Monday. I was not informed that this document would change. So wrong. Again, I spoke up.

I am sure that these folks do not enjoy dealing with me. Frankly, I don't care. They are not making my working life easy and are not respecting established deadlines. They are causing grief for my team.

I decided to call it a day just before 17:00. Luckily, today is my final workday this week. I am looking forward to my well-deserved mini vacation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Naps, road trip, sleep - sounds perfect

My road trip is coming up. I hit the road on Friday.

I worked from home yesterday. I was exhausted from Monday. I took a couple of naps. It was all good.

I am looking forward to a bit of a break. I'm off to jot a few items down on a list of things to pack. I'm then off to bed!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The network is down - a perfect storm

It all started on Friday. Our content management system to author content was down just before lunch. We got database errors. My department seems paralyzed when such incidents take place. I got one of my students to report the problem.

Unfortunately, our helpdesk support is halfway around the world and doesn't look at off-hour issues. Ugh!

On the weekend, I had to do some preparation work. My team needed to create two documentation projects and requires all folks to not be working. I planned on doing this work on Saturday. Sure enough, I tried doing some copying work and database errors took place.

There errors were intermittent, though. I logged in using my regular account and I got tons of errors. I tried copying smaller sections with another administrative account and that worked. Weird.

Yesterday, I had my regularly scheduled 8 am meeting. I drive to work on the call. This meeting was delayed by half an hour. I called in about fifteen minutes from work. I couldn't connect to the network.

I walked into a meeting room that I had booked for my little team. My students told me that every network connection was down. It now made sense why I couldn't connect to my conference call. 

I walked over to the lunch room to get some hot water for my tea. I found out that there was a Canada-wide outage. Nice.

I headed back to my students to relay the news. I found out later that it was a global problem.

E-mail was down. I loved it. I didn't have any distractions. I didn't have to respond immediately to my manager's questions due to his incompetence.

Slowly, the network came back up. My team was able to log in to most of our applications and continue with our content projects. Others on my team weren't that lucky.

It was a trying day. My team handled it with grace and humour. We are good with teamwork, fuelled by cookies.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Dopey conversation at the office

My guy told me what had happened to him once he got back to the office. We had just had lunch and I had given him a handjob afterwards.
"I met your colleague's husband when I picked up my new laptop," he said.
"Yes. How did it go?" I asked him.
"I was so dopey that I was talking slowly and he problem thought I was high on weed," he recounted.
"I'm glad that I did a good job. He probably thought that you were tired," I noted.
"I hope so. I was dopey. I probably didn't make much sense. I didn't want to talk," he replied.
"You still had cum on your black slacks, right?" I recalled.
"I did. Luckily, my coat was long enough to hide it," he said.
I love when he's dopey.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

USB C cable for charging his phone and punishing me

When my guy and I had last met for lunch, his cell phone had died. He didn't have a USB C cable in his car to charge it.

I had a USB C cable and a battery pack in my purse. I never thought of having his phone charge while we were having lunch. Oops!

We talked about it the other day.
"How did you get to the restaurant?" I asked my directionally challenged guy.
"My phone died across the street from the restaurant, so I was okay," he admitted.
"How about leaving to head back to the office?" I asked him.
"I knew roughly where the highway was. I just took a major street north and found it," he said.
"Cool. I'm so glad," I replied.
"I was directionally skilled," he said.
I laughed out loud.
"You're just making fun of me because I'm directionally challenged," he pointed out.
"I'm teasing you because you're sweet," I replied.
He liked that a lot.
"I now have a USB C cable my car after that incident," he said.
"That's a relief," I noted.
"I can also use it to punish you. I like red lines across your butt," he hinted.
"I'm a good girl, though," I pleaded.
"No, you're my bad girl," he said.
I like being his bad girl. I also like the thought of having him tie my hands up for a good spanking.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Parting colleague and social awkwardness

I'm not sure why I end up installing an operating system update before I blog, but I did just that last night. The update took longer than I had anticipated. I decided to skip blogging.

Friday was an interesting day. It was my colleague's last day with the company.

My team isn't the best in organizing a decent farewell for a fellow colleague. I tend to do it because I care. I got the greeting card. I collected money from everyone to get a parting gift and got it. I handed over our gift to her and made a quick speech.

My manager is horrible at saying something heartfelt. It comes out socially awkward. I asked him to sign the card. He asked me if I could write something for him. Um, no. It needs to come from the heart, unless he doesn't have one.

He did eventually write something. My colleague and I talked before she exited, stage left. She let me read what he had written. It was standard. Nothing special. It's the effort that counts, I suppose.

She clued in that I put everything together. She thanked me a ton of times and asked if she could hug me. So, we did. It was cool.

I'm thrilled that she has found a new career opportunity. It's just sad to see a decent, competent colleague go.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Chatting with my guy about stick shifters

My guy called me as he was driving back from a small town forty minutes away from where he lives.
"What were you doing there?" I asked him.
"I'm getting a shifter for my classic car," he said.
He explained that he can't shift between gears well on the existing one.
"The shifter needs to be tight," he explained.
"Yes, I have lots of experience with your shifter being tight," I teased.
He was telling me that he found some in the States, but duty and shipping fees would kill him. I reminded him that I was driving over the border in less than two weeks. I advised that he could ship it to the hotel where I am staying and I'd drive back with it.

He loved that I would do that for him. I just asked him to let me know when he has completed his order. I'd then drop it off to him when I return from my weekend getaway.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Donating shoes and clothes to folks who need them more

At work, there is a drive to donate gently used shoes for those who are in need of them. I learned about this drive late last week and was hoping that it would stick around. It did.

I found a pair of sneakers that I have never worn. Rather than having them sit at home, taking up space, I donated them.

I felt good placing my shoes in the bin, hoping that someone will put them to good use. It was an uplifting feeling of doing something good.

I need to donate more. I went through this phase several years ago with clothes. It's probably time to do it again.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Productive day with a new laptop

Monday was quite a busy workday. It was nice that my manager was away, which should be the norm!

I had a conference call on my way to work. There are three of us on this call. Two of us have something meaningful to contribute each week. Our third colleague has little to contribute that is of value on any given week.

At the office, I spent my first half an hour on the phone with my cell phone provider. I got my employee discount applied and got reimbursed $32 CAD for the difference this month. Yay!

Moments later, I spent time collecting money towards a farewell gift for a colleague who is leaving the company. I find that if I don't organize such events, no one does it within our department.

Twenty minutes later, I received an e-mail indicating that my replacement laptop had arrived. I went to turn in my old Windows 7 laptop for a new Windows 10 one. The IT folks were helpful and pleasant under the circumstances. Every employee is getting a new laptop, so to orchestrate such a massive change takes a ton of patience.

Naturally, my configuring everything ran into bumps. I needed a new cable to connect one of my existing monitors to the new HDMI port on my laptop. The folks who had those cables were unavailable. Luckily, I bumped into my colleague in the washroom who had an extra cable. It made a huge difference trying to do work on a 14" screen for most of the day to a larger 32" one!

Of course, I couldn't download all the software applications that I needed from our company portal. I spent some time with an IT person over the phone to troubleshoot the issue. Ah, fun!

Tonight, I let my laptop run, sync, and sort itself out at home. Magically, everything works now. I can download the software programs that I need. My connection to the company's intranet works. I'm almost shocked.

I also managed to spend an hour late this morning reviewing documents and answering questions that my students had. We also had a relaxing lunch together with good conversation.

I love a productive day, especially when I chat with so many different folks.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Cell phone plan and corporate discount

Every two years, I have to renew my cell phone plan. I am on a corporate discount. 

It's always an event to get the discount reapplied every two years. I'm at that stage again.

I normally have to get a special passcode. I got mine. Apparently, being able to apply it online is supposed to make it easy. It's not the case. It claims that my cell phone number isn't eligible.

I'll need to give my cell phone provider a call in the morning. Ah, what fun.

This minor hassle ties in with my budget and debt reduction. I save 25% with the corporate discount. I decided to keep the same plan that I have been with for now over two years. I don't need more data. This plan works for me.

Here's hoping that getting this billing issue fixed goes smoothly.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Road trip, food, and plans

I am doing a road trip to the States in a couple of weeks. I am away for four days.

I like planning such trips. I have already done my hotel reservations. I have been researching places to eat, which is fun. The downside is that I have more places bookmarked than meals to eat!

Variety is good. It's also nice to take a break from my hectic work schedule and relax.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Sleep and snoring

I didn't sleep all that well a couple of nights ago. Muscle spasms in my toes on my right foot would not cease for a couple of hours. I took four Ibuprofen tablets during this period and I finally went to sleep.

I only had three hours of sleep that night. On Thursday, I had a full day of work. I came home and was fine. I didn't need a nap.

On my phone, I have a sleep app that I use. It monitors how long I'm asleep, when I'm in a deep sleep, when I snore, and more. I like when it records my snoring. I am not a loud snorer and I tend to snore when I am exhausted.

Sure enough, I looked at my snoring statistics from last night. I was snoring for 25 minutes. I was snoring louder than I typically do. It's fun hearing my snoring!

I felt absolutely refreshed when I woke up on Friday morning. It was wonderful.

I get to set my clocks back an hour on Saturday night. I love getting an extra hour of sleep. 

Friday, November 02, 2018

Departing colleague who thinks I'm Yoda

Another colleague in my department has decided to leave the company. She has been with us for 1.5 years.

I have been pretty busy at work with various software releases. She had a question for me and wrote an e-mail. I answered it a couple of hours after she had sent it, as my team was still trying to get our deliverables out the door.

In my response, I decided to wish her the best with her new job. I indicated that I was going to miss working with her, while still happy about her moving up in the world. She is the person who did not properly lock a washroom stall that she was in and I walked in, thinking that it was free. My guy still teases me now and again about it. It's funny, but we both have moved on from that odd moment.

My colleague wrote back and expressed pretty much the same thing -- that she wished that she could continue to work with me. She went one step further by saying that I am her Yoda. It's sweet, as she feels that I have an answer to any question that she has.

Another colleague and I are organizing her farewell lunch. I am also collecting money towards her parting gift. It's nice that we are all a thoughtful bunch and we get along.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Odd dream

Last night, I had an odd dream. It involved this brief exchange between my guy and me:
"I have these final words to say to you," he said in my dream.
"No, I don't want to hear that you're leaving!" I replied.
I woke up startled. I don't know what the dream means, but it was upsetting.

In a fog, I didn't know if he meant that he was breaking up and leaving me, or if he was leaving for a business trip.

I had to think for a moment to realize that it was a horrible dream. I went back to bed and was fine. Weird!