Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Friday Night

After Thursday and Friday's roller coaster, I decided on Friday night that I needed beer. What I really wanted to do was go smoke hookah, but i couldn't find anyone to go with me, so i came home without plans. Barry was hanging out with the guys, and my roommate came home with nothing to do as well, so I pulled out Tyler's Ultimate Book and went straight to the dessert section. Nothing like baking desserts to unwind after a stressful week. I settled on Chocolate Cracked Earth, so we trekked to Winn Dixie for some ingredients (and beer!). Well, lo and behold! Edy's ice cream was on sale. We get to the check out counter, each with a 6 pack of beer and a 1/2 pint of ice cream in our hands. I know the sweet cashier must have seen the desperation of a woman on a mission to de-stress on my face, because she carded me! WOOT! I thanked her and proudly showed her my ID.

After we got home, we made the cake together while drinking and enjoying conversation and listening to music. (It reminded me of my college days with Angelle and Laurie -awww). It was the perfect solution to a stressful week: beer, baking, conversation, beer, music, then delicious chocolate cake, beer, and ice cream.

The End.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day from Hell

Thursday afternoon was probably one of the worst. days. EVER.

After boasting about how ready I was for my project to go live, we invited our president and CEO to attend Thursday's weekly meeting for a demo of the wonderment that was created under my supervision. I was a little nervous, but I had gone through my checklist and confident that I have done all I could.

Things were a little shaky from the start. My nerves were showing. Then the first person on the agenda to present was late. No biggie, we'll go on to the demo, then catch up when he gets here. That just started a snowball effect of all the items on the agenda getting all over the place. Without my knowledge, another committee member invited members of the operations department to the meeting as well, from which brought on a bazillion questions. The questions were all very healthy, but, as to not bore you with banky details, spawned MORE questions to implications that I thought I had reconciled, but apparently did not. It became, for lack of a better term, a complete cluster fuck. It felt like my whole project unraveled before me, all the while my boss, the CEO, and CFO watching. The meeting finally ended (an hour later than normal), I got back to my desk, and sort of just sat there in shock. I was certain that I was ready. I didn't know what happened. I felt like I got punched in the stomach. I knew I wasn't an idiot, but I didn't know if they (Exec Management) knew that. The issue was one that I, coming from a retail banking background with no back-office experience, could not have known about unless someone had informed me. It was like, "how am I supposed to know to carry an umbrella when I've never even seen a rain cloud before?"

I came home and could barely speak. I laid on the couch and kept mumbling in a whisper. I got a few tears out, and finally got an appetite enough to cook something for dinner, which got my mind away from work, which allowed me to enjoy the rest of the evening.

I woke up Friday morning with a knot in my stomach. If you read my previous post, you understand how important the success of this project is to me and my career. When I got in the office and opened my email, there was a message waiting for me from my boss. "Let's meet at 9:00." It was about 8:43. I took a deep breath, went over my notes from yesterday's meeting, and met with him. I kept telling myself to keep it together, which probably just made it worse. I sat there while he spoke and just let the tears roll. I was frustrated, embarrassed, and without the right words to express how I felt. The tears and my inability to stop them just got me more frustrated, which caused more tears and embarrassment.
What he had to say was much better than I was expecting to hear. Luckily, it was realized that if I had pulled off this project by myself, that it would've been nothing short of a miracle. SO they decided it be best to move my department (all one of us) to operations, gaining access to the rest of the back-office team for support. It will now be a group effort. This was great news for me. They realized I wasn't an idiot (thank God).

I am sad that I won't be under my current boss anymore. He is a great tell-it-like-it-is kinda guy and I really appreciated him and his guidance. But, I am comfortable with my new boss, however, and look foward to working with him. This new road I'm on feels a lot less bumpy. It may be a bit winding, but at least now i have GPS.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Question to my Non-Bankers

Hey all! I have a question for all of my non branch-bankers:

If you were to shop for a bank online, what words would you “google”? What if you were looking for a specific banking product or type of bank? Your input is very important to me.

I look forward to reading your comments! Thank you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

With These Powers Combined...

I decided on a small tactic to help curve my after-lunch craving for sweets. I brought some tooth brush and toothpaste to work and keep it in the bathroom. After I eat lunch, I brush my teeth instead of popping a mint. Hopefully my minty mouth will prevent me from eating the almost always prevalent sweets around the office.

So it's a win-win! No extra sugar PLUS the gingivitis-fighting power of Crest! My dentist would be so proud...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Landfill Lubber

I know it sounds strange, but it's a pretty cool place. Lemme 'splain.

We live a half mile from an old landfill (closed in the 80s) that they decided to turn into a golf course, as most landfills seem to find their fate. The decision was made a way back in 2002, and eventually a sign was posted that Sunbeam Hill Golf Course was coming soon - Fall 2008.

Well, Fall 2008 has come and gone, and what we have left is a beautifully landscaped landfill complete with half-paved golf cart paths, 2 sand traps and a few greens. It looks like the economy, coupled with some erosion damage from last year's tropical storm delayed the opening of Sunbeam Hill.

What's great for us is that it's a great place for a good workout. There's a small fence, but it ONLY covers the bridge to prevent vehicles from crossing. There are no "No Trespassing" signs and seems to be pretty much left alone. Because of the hills and the golf car paths, it makes for a pretty strenuous jog. We've been out there 3 times so far to walk/jog the path. Barry had his heart rate monitor on and recorded burning over 500 calories in 30 minutes!

On Friday, we used it for a romantic place to lay under the stars. Its slowly becoming "our" landfill. :) I'm hoping the owners of the property take their time in opening.

Playin' Hookie

Because of my awesomeness at work, paired with TPC in town and most of the 10th floor execs off anyway, I decided to take Friday off. It was the first day in the history of my working career that I took a day off "just because".
Thursday night I purposefully turned off the alarm clock and proceeded to sleep in until after 9:30 on Friday. Ahhh..... that felt good. I had made mental plans to go to Wal-Mart (*shout-out to Garret!) and buy fabric and a pattern to make a business suit. Well, the choices weren't what I was really looking for as far as patterns for suits and fabric, so I opted for a cute sundress and a pair of slacks. (I don't think my talents are up to par yet for a business suit, anyway.)
Now, before you go and think I'm all Martha Stewart, hold it right there because I haven't really made any clothes since Jr. High Home Ec. I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas because I decided that I really enjoyed sewing in Jr High and thought I could pick it right back up again. So far, I'm doing pretty well! I've made 2 snuggies (THAT'S RIGHT!) and decided that it's time to step it up for some real clothes. I got excited when ALL of my clothes making supplies for a dress and a pair of pants totaled under $20. I could get used to that!

I came home to my hubby working on his homework and started rummaging through my goodies. He started making lunch, and then realized that we had the perfect trifecta: it was a weekday before 4:00, we were both off from work/school, and it was Star Trek's opening day. Sold! I put down the bobbin and hung up my Suzy Homemaker hat. After we ate lunch we headed to AMC Theaters and got 2 tickets for the 2:30 showing of Star Trek. $10.00 total, woot! We were full so we didn't have to buy snacks, and because all the rug rats were still in school, we got great seats. It was awesome! As we were leaving, we realized that Wolverine had *just* started and decided to make it a double feature. We liked Wolverine too, but not nearly as much as Star Trek.

When our movie date was over, we came home, quickly grabbed our togas, and headed back out the door for our friends Bozz and Robin's "Greco-Roman Let the Good Times Roll" party. :) We wore our sheets, ate spanakopita, and watched Troy whilst enjoying the company of our friends. There was beer pong going on outside, but we opted to stay in to avoid the skeeters. It was a great idea for a fun party - thanks Bozz and Robin!

As we started to head home, we noticed the full moon. I decided i wasn't ready to go home and wanted to enjoy the moon light. We headed to "our" landfill**, laid out our "togas" and enjoyed a wonderfully quiet moment under the moon and stars.

It was a great start to a mostly** wonderful weekend!

**Explanations forthcoming - one blog at a time!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jesus, Hair Loss, and a Hot Box

Work, lately, has been quite stressful. It all came to a head last Wednesday when my boss called me into his office for what I am dubbing a "Come To Jesus" Meeting. He explained that if my project succeeds, that I'll be rewarded, but if it doesn't, I'm pretty much gone. He basically said "shit or get off the pot". I didn't really realize I was on the pot in the first place... I left his office confused and frustrated. I didn't know whether to cry or scream. The rest of the day I was pretty quiet. I came home, ranted to my hubby and roommate and went running. (Literally RUNNING to get rid of some steam.) After a few days to cool off, I came to a few conclusions:
1 - I was PMSing last week and got emotional - which i am usually very good about not doing at work.
2 - The shit seems to be running downhill and maybe I'm getting the brunt of it.
3 - it's getting close to go time and everyone's probably getting a little nervous.
From my Jesus Meeting, a fire was lit under my ass. The "go-live" date is meant to be June 1st. After creating a list of things that "need" to be completed before we go-live, my boss asked on the 30th if i could get it all done by Fri, the 8th. I gulped and said "yes". *YIKES!*
Of course, as I was working the items on my list, it ended up growing instead of shrinking. Once one thing started to get done, 2 more things took its place.
Finally yesterday, I sucked it up and sent my boss another email with the updated list and explained that I will be more realistic with a due date of the 15th. (remember, Go-Live was SUPPOSED to be June 1). As you can imagine, my hair was falling out.
Today, however, was like a new day. The sun was shining, and even though my A/C is out in my car, the drive to work wasn't that bad. The first task of the day was to tell our processor (the people who host all of our 'stuff') that we are not paying for something that should cost the bank $$. Well, not only did I get them to give it to us for free, but I also go them to agree to refund over 3X that amount in fees that I thought were unjust.
GO ME! You have not idea how much I was dreading that phone call and it went so well! I emailed my boss and he was very happy. That little boost must have really got me going because by 4:00, I had completed everything that I could on that list. Every item was either completed or pending approval. Oh...what did you say? "What day is today?" Why, today is the 5th! Hells yeah.

I walked out of the building shortly after 4, a bird gave me a beautiful whistle, and my hot box of a car didn't even bother me for the first 1/2 of my drive home.

Today was a good day.