February 2012


I’m feeling really anxious at the moment, and I think all I need to do (hopefully) is process this a little bit here and I should relax…

Tomorrow is the final step in the drawn-out process that is the Getting Unemployment Payments. It takes a surprising amount of time and effort to get unemployment benefits. And even more work if the state initially declines your request.

Unfortunately, that’s what I’ve had to deal with for the last 3 months. I lost my job at the beginning of December (Merry Christmas…), and this final hearing is exactly three months later to the day. I’ve had to submit tons of paperwork, log-in weekly to prove that I was looking for work, and then had to fax in my reason that I believe that I deserve to get unemployment. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to make people put some effort in to get  the benefits– it shouldn’t just be handed to them– but it sure makes the entire process really long and uncomfortable.

Thankfully I have a hefty savings account that I was able to draw from and pay my bills, but if I didn’t have that, I don’t know what I would have done– probably move into my parents house…

So far, it’s been a relatively streamlined process. Submit paperwork, wait, get forms in the mail, fill out forms, wait, get more forms, etc. And most importantly, I  haven’t had to interact with any of my former employers.

However, tomorrow will be the first time I have had to interact with them and it’s really getting to me. I fully blame my supervisor for getting me fired, so I hold a lot of resentment towards her. But I have to interact with her and our supervisor to get through the final hearing.

I submitted my paperwork with the mantra: “I’m doing this for myself. I believe I was wrongfully fired and I need to stand up for what I believe.” But that was easy to do when all that required was writing a (somewhat long) letter defending myself and sending it via fax to some government office.

But now I will need to verbally defend myself in the presence of the two people who most resent in this world. I will need to stand my ground and essentially tell the court that the decision to deny me benefits was wrong, that their information is skewed and tell them that my employers were WRONG.

I don’t mind confrontation in my personal relationships, but if it involves telling someone that something they did was wrong or bad, I end up feeling bad that I feel bad and don’t want to deal with it any more.

And that’s what terrifies me about tomorrow.

I have to stand my ground, on my own, and let a judge (or whoever) make the decision as to whether or not they have to pay me > $2,000 in unemployment.

I’m nervous and anxious, and just thinking about it raises my heart-rate up to uncomfortable levels. Even talking about it with a friend at lunch today made me fidgety and nervous. Talking it out did not seem to help squelch my anxiety.

I thought talking about it would help ease my pain. But what I think will ultimately help is when it’s all over. I’ll probably have another terrible night sleep worrying about it tonight, but then I can sleep soundly tomorrow, knowing that it’s all over.

Wish me luck, because at tomorrow at 3:00, I’ll be standing up for myself like I never have before.

I fully plan on waking up that way in the morning! If only I could find someone like Marshall who would give me a tiara and breakfast in bed…

Zak graciously let me steal this idea from him, and I wanted to share it with you all. I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, because they all seem cliche and I forget all about them in about 3 days. However, when it comes to my birthday, I seem to have no trouble contemplating my future.

I want this next year, my 26th year, to be one of the best ever! I want to do and see things that either A) I’ve never done before or B) should do more often. I live in one of the best outdoor-activity states and I rarely take advantage of having the mountains less than 30 minutes from my house.

So, without further ado, here are my 26 to-do’s for my 26th year:

  1. Hike a 14er
  2. Canoe/kayak Dillon Reservoir
  3. Go to the Sundance Film Festival
  4. Snowshoe in RMNP
  5. Fall in love
  6. Get the full bonus amounts at work each quarter
  7. Go to Cheyanne Mountain Zoo
  8. Have brunch at the Broadmoore
  9. Grow a lush garden
  10. Learn to roast a chicken
  11. Travel somewhere that requires my passport
  12. Travel somewhere outside of the state
  13. Eat at least one thing a week from our CSA bag
  14. Learn to grill the perfect steak
  15. Throw at least one party/get-together a month
  16. Have a reason to wear each of my three LBD’s
  17. Go on a full-moon snowshoe hike
  18. Treat myself to a shopping-spree for new clothes for work
  19. Go to at least one concert
  20. See fireworks in DC
  21. Go hiking with my parents at least once this summer
  22. Jump in a pile of freshly-raked leaves
  23. Ride my bike every day to work in the summer
  24. Make limoncello
  25. Go to a game for each of the Denver professional sports teams (except the Nuggets– I hate basketball)
  26. Write my 3rd NaNoWriMo novel in November

Come February 28 (ONE WEEK!!!), let the games begin 🙂 I’d love it if I could cross off every single one of these– wish me luck!

I just got back last night from a 3-day stint in North Dakota… it was for work– I would never go there voluntarily!

I spent the entire time praying my fingers and nose wouldn’t freeze and fall off. The high yesterday was -1 degrees if that gives you any indication of just how freaking cold it was!

However, it was one of the most informative trips I have ever taken! I got to see first-hand what it is that my company does and what each person does. I had a vague (and inaccurate) idea in my head, so it was good to see everyone in action and get explanations of what each person was doing and why.

My company does fracing, which is necessary to produce oil and natural gas from the ground. I’ve spent the last three years at a company who pays companies like mine to do their drilling and completion (aka fracing), so being on the service side of everything has been very educational. I got to see first-hand what my friend, and ex-coworker, did when he was sent to Texas for months on end a few years ago.

The other great thing about my trip was being able to put faces to names of people I work with. At my old company, I worked with (and interacted via email or the phone on a weekly, if not daily, basis) our superintendent in Utah who I never met– not once! To this day, I have no idea what he looks like. But with this trip, I got to meet every single person I’ll be interacting with. It’s amazing how knowing what someone looks like helps you connect with them more.

I also got to tour a drilling rig while we were out there. The guy took us on an extensive tour (including showing us their break room… yeah, I don’t know why either…) but then we got to stand on the platform where they were tripping— I felt smug about being the only person in our group who knew what the hell he was talking about and knew what they were doing and why.

Writing out drilling reports was the first thing I did when I started helping the engineering department (more specifically, the drilling engineer) way back when. So, of everything I saw and did, seeing the drilling reports come to life was probably the most exciting thing I saw. In all fairness, fracing doesn’t give drilling much competition– besides touring the drilling rig and trying not to freeze to death– I spent my days in the frac van watching a giant monitor with a bunch of squiggly lines, the tubes and lines already placed at the wellhead so there was nothing to watch outside. So watching guys grab 40’+ lengths of tubing and placing them in a machine to be drilled miles into the earth was waaaay more interesting!

I’m loving my job and  have learned more in the last 3 weeks then I could have ever imagined! I have the drilling and completion engineers to thank for my initial education. I’m also getting a more education from the completion engineer, even though I don’t work with him any more– I have about a dozen emails from him with things to read about fracing and the process of completing a well.

I’m feeling so light and happy about my life and work right now. I know part of it is based on the fact that I’m no longer unemployed, but the fact that I was offered a job at a place that respects and values their employees so much is such a strange phenomenon to me, that I didn’t realize just how unhappy I was. I only hope my friends at my old job can find work at different companies that make them just as happy as I am (because my old company is a soul-sucking vacuum of egos and assholes).

Life is so good right now, I’m excited to see what the next few months have in store for me!