Archive for February, 2011

Moving Up the Technology Ladder

I’m posting this from my iPhone. I like the “on the go” access for almost everything. But man, I’m really bad at typing! Who knew my fingers were so “fat”?

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O spring, where are you?

This was taken at 11:30 p.m. today. There was NO snow on the ground at 2:30 p. m. And it’s still coming down! (Along with some freezing rain … should be fun tomorrow.)

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It Still Stings

Tomorrow marks two full years since I was laid off from my job at the Borders corporate office. I loved that job, loved my co-workers, and was absolutely devastated when I was let go. Looking back, of course, things couldn’t have turned out better – Tim and I had a new baby and I was able to stay home until she was more than a year old; the big kids got nearly two years of a stay-at-home mom, including two fun summers; we never hit a financial crisis; and I ended up with an excellent new job working for my excellent former boss, with better pay and better benefits.

Yesterday, Borders filed for bankruptcy. It’s been a long time coming, and no one was surprised by the move. And as I said, I’ve been gone for two years. Heck, I really don’t even shop at Borders anymore – after I was laid off, I had neither an employee discount nor any money to spend on books. I was a little surprised at how much the news stung. Yes, I was a devoted employee for more than 10 years (Tim used to tease me and call me a “company girl,” which I suppose I was, in a way) but really, it’s been two years. I’ve moved on, most of my friends from Borders have moved on – some of their own accord, some not.

Based on my friends’ comments on Facebook, it seems they have had similar reactions.

I wonder if it will always be that way? (And I wonder if I will ever stop having frequent dreams that I work in the bookstore again. I only worked in an actual Borders store for a year, then in a similar independent store for four years. I often have dreams that I work at both stores. Must be because I really loved both jobs.)

Anyone else have similar feelings about a former employer? Tim likened it to an amicable divorce – it hurts at the time, but you still want them to do well. (“Though it certainly helps that your new spouse is a nymphomaniac that likes to cook.” ;))

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A Clean Bill of Health

My nephew was born last St. Patrick’s Day with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. He had open heart surgery in late June, when he was just three months old. He seemed to do quite well post-surgery, but we didn’t know for sure until he had his six-months-post-op checkup yesterday.

He got a clean bill of health! The pulmonary valve that the surgeon replaced is functioning well, and the three holes in his heart are sealed. They may need to put a stint in his pulmonary artery when he’s around 3, and will probably need a full valve replacement once he’s done growing (which we’ve always known), but he doesn’t need to go back to the cardiologist for a full year. My brother and his wife are thrilled with the report.

He is such a typical little boy now – he crawls/rolls all over, eats as well as his 6’3″ dad did, is getting close to walking, started saying Mama last week, etc. He’s gonna be a bruiser, too – at not quite 11 months old, he’s 32″ and 27 lbs. (For comparison, Book Baby is 15 months old but only 29″ and 18.2 lbs. He’s in the 95%ile for height and weight, she’s 37%ile for height and 1%ile for weight, skinny little thing.) I can’t wait until they get old enough to really play together.

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Seriously … Again?!?

Book Baby is sick. Yesterday it seemed to be croup – today, her cough is less croup-y and more junky (and OH the snot – I must have wiped her nose a hundred times today – but at least it’s the good clear kind of snot). She missed two days of day care, which means that Tim and I each missed a day of work. I’m still going on the assumption that we’re just having a bad winter in terms of sickies … that has to be it, right? Right?

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Last week, we had an all staff meeting at work. One of our most senior staff members talked about an employee survey that was done last year (long before I started). Apparently compensation was one of the big issues that came out of the survey.

So, they hired someone outside our area to evaluate compensation and compare wages to those of employees in similar positions throughout the university and the local market. The outside team found that most wages were in line (i.e. no more than 10% above or below the average) with the university and the local market.

What really surprised me was what they did with the salaries that were more than 10% ….

below the average. They actually gave those people raises so they would be more in line with the marketplace!* I was shocked – what a wonderful thing to do.

I love my job.

*(And no, they didn’t give anyone a pay cut if they were making more than 10% above the average for their job.)

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What It All Boils Down To

Because the “blizzard” was anticipated, we pretty much knew yesterday that school would be canceled for today. Book Boy’s teacher sent home a “snow day” assignment, to be done if school was canceled. The assignment included questions about the weather forecast, what ended up happening, etc. One last question asked each student to describe what he or she had done when school was out.

Here’s what Book Boy actually did today:

Watched 90 minutes of TV
Played DS for an hour (note that screen time was COMPLETELY over before lunch time)
Read throughout the day – at least three books
Went outside and explored the snow in the back yard
Played checkers with Tim and Book Girl
Played with both sisters
Read books to BBaby
Took a long bath and played with BB in the tub
Did his homework

And how did he answer that homework question about how he’d spent his day?

He listed what he had for lunch and dinner, and then said “I mostly watched TV and read all day.”


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Get Ready …

… for some snow!

We’re at the beginning end of a blizzard. I have no idea how much snow is currently being forecast – first it was 8-12″, then 12-18″ (!!), then 10-12″. It’s cold and extremely windy, and I can see that the snow coming down is wet and heavy. The kids’ school had announced a snow day by dinnertime, and Tim and I won’t be going to work tomorrow (at least not if we get the kind of snow they’re predicting).

So, we’ve got our “hunkerin’ down” clothes on, are well-stocked with hot chocolate and marshmallows (no worries about the rest of the grocery situation either, of course), and two big bags of books from our visit to the library yesterday.

Bring it on!

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