Life has been absolutely crazy lately, and I want to take a moment to breathe and express my gratitude about where my life is right now.

At this time last year, I was in a job that I loathed. The office was described by my fellow-coworkers as toxic, crazy-making, and just downright miserable. But now I am in a job where my boss regularly acknowledges my contributions, I’m respected by my coworkers, the new engineer’s manager even said to all of the engineers that he was so glad that I was a part of that team because I bring so much value to it! It still makes me smile just thinking about that. Towards the end, I never smiled at my old job. There was nothing happy and my contributions were never acknowledged. It’s such a breath of fresh air to finally be in a place where I’m treated like an adult and respected as a valuable member of the office.

Plus, they sent me to Williston again to continue learning about what the engineers do on a day-to-day basis and to learn more about what our company does. I went in February where I nearly froze to death (and coinsidentally is the first time I met Company Ink!) but I had just started at that job 2 weeks before– so I was still pretty unfamiliar with the intricacies of our work/company and I didn’t know any of the engineers yet. But I was reminded that I take quality half-way decent restaurants in Denver for granted…

While The Roommate is gone for the next month and a half, which I miss her so much so I’m packing my life full of other things so I don’t have to think about it too much or be at the house by my house too often (denial really is a beautiful thing), I’ve been spending quality time with friends, family, and Company Ink.

I’ve gone to Chicago to visit my old college roommate, I went to Balboa Island in California with my family (no one wanted to kill each other by the end of it, so that is a definite success!), and got to spend an evening while we were there with a few of my cousins who I only have interaction via facebook, but don’t really know them at all.

Company Ink and I even spent a weekend up in Beaver Creek to look at the foliage. It was our first weekend getaway together and it was so much fun (although I got a little drunk… stupid altitude messing with my already lightweight-ness!). So New York for a long weekend is definitely in our near future… 😉

And I’m getting ready to go to Florida for a week with some friends to go to Disney World the day after my BFF’s little sister gets married (congrats TJ!) Wow, the wedding is a week from today and I leave for DW a week from tomorrow… I have a lot of packing and shopping to do! Hopefully my friends’ children behave relatively well and we all walk away still being friends. I went to Disney World when I was 6 and I have a vague recollection of it– plus, I’ve heard it’s completely different so it doesn’t really matter! Watch out Mickey and Minnie– here I come!

I know I can take the simple things for granted in my life, but taking a moment to reflect on where my life was only a year ago really takes my breath away. Now if only The Roommate would get back from Europe– then things would be perfect! (P.S. Roommate, in case it isn’t clear, I really really miss you! I cannot wait for you to get home so we can have normal face-to-face conversations and have major, quality boy-talk!)

Anyone have any positive things going on in their life they’d like to share?

 

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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 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!

I started my new job this last week and it was so nice to get back into a routine. I’m excited to get back to work (not just because I need the money, but I was becoming one with my couch cushions), and I am really excited about the potential that my job has for my success in my job. It’s going to teach  me a lot and I’m going to be at the ground floor of implementing procedures that will be used for the company’s future. I’m highly organized (when it comes to data– my desk on the other hand…) so this kind of stuff really interests me.

But the best thing so far– my coworkers!

To say that my old job was “toxic” would be an understatement. The VP of land is the boss from hell and even though he really holds no seniority over any of the other management (or anyone not in the land department), everyone catered to his every whim and temper-tantrum. I had a couple of friends in the office, as well as some allies, but to say I enjoyed my job or where I worked would be a lie.

The breath of fresh air that my new coworkers bring is so incredibly rejuvenating, I can’t even begin to describe how amazing they are. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after the simple act of one of the upper-management guys joining my other coworkers in taking me out to lunch on my first day. It’s small things like that which shows the true character of an office and people in general.

It’s a VERY small office, but everyone seems to get along and like working together. And that is so foreign to me– it’s taking me a while to get used to it. I never realized how closed off and stuffy my old office was until I started at my new job.

I’m now looking forward to going to work and seeing my coworkers (instead of counting it a good day if I only had to interact with the VP of land once that day).

This new chapter is going to be AMAZING!

I start my new job tomorrow.

I have never felt so anxious but excited about something in my life– and I’ve walked down the aisle…

It’s strange just how true the sentiment is about this being the next chapter of my life. It’s amazing how much my life can be easily broken into “chapters.”

This new job has my mind going in a million directions and I can’t seem to focus. It’s been a while since I’ve had to squelch the overwhelming desire to be perfect. I feel that I’ve gotten a better handle on dealing with it in a romantic relationship, but it’s a new sensation to be feeling this in regards to my job.

I want this new job to be perfect, I want my coworkers to be perfect, and I never ever want to let them down. I want to be the perfect, best, most awesome engineering tech they’ve ever seen.

But I know I’m not perfect, I will end up letting them down at some point, and I’ll build relationships with my coworkers just like I did at my old job.

Wish me luck on my first day of work in 2 months. It’s going to be a very interesting and refreshing ride!

Writing was light during the month of November, because I was busy accomplishing this:

I wrote a 50,000 word novel in 30 days!

It’s the second time I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I’ve won both times.

I like my book a lot more than last year’s (projection much? omg!), so I’m actually looking forward to having other people read it. I got really emotionally involved in the story, and felt overwhelming emotion over the death of my characters. It was the perfect ending and it was symbolic and deep– it’s perfect. I was excited to get to the end before I even started, and I got annoyed that I had to get the story to the place where the ending was epic and fully understood. The rest of the rest of the story needed to happen to have the ending make sense. I’ve titled my story “Suit of Lights” which is what a matador’s costume is called (traje de luces). Oh, I guess I should mention that my story is about a matador in the 1930s. He was a bit of an asshole, but it made him dynamic and a bit more interesting. And my lead woman was spicy and fierce, so of course she was fun to write!

Speaking of endings… I have some bad news, which has also added to the reason I haven’t been as present.

Last Tuesday, I opened a letter sent to my office that was being sent back from a woman accepting my job, starting today (Dec. 5). I of course burst into tears and found out I was losing my job. It’s dramatic and frustrating– I never had a formal reprimand and got all of my work done. But that doesn’t matter, because here I am, sitting on my couch without a job.

So there’s that.

I have a lot of job prospects and a lot of people helping me look for jobs and talking to people. I’ve already applied to at least a half a dozen jobs and I’ve only been at this for 3 days. I’ve already been in contact (for at least a couple of months) with two recruiters for 3 different jobs, one of which I’ve even interviewed for, so hopefully something comes from those. I have my fingers crossed that I will have a new job by the beginning of the year. It’s the holidays, so I can’t expect to get any sort of job, or even an interview, during this time… but we’ll see.

Please send positive job vibes my way, I could really use them. But at least I got paid through the 15th, so I’m technically being paid to sit in my sweats on this snowy, freezing cold day 🙂 It’s all about the silver lining, is it not?

I’ve been doing some career-soul-searching lately, and I realized something today when I was reading a book on what to do next with my life. What has been missing, what I desire for work and for everything that I do, is SIGNIFICANCE.

I want my work to mean something. My job as an admin is only significant in that the VP of Land doesn’t have to worry about printing out his own projects. My significance in my job is per project, not necessarily in the functioning and success of my company. The company would still function if our office manager answered the phones, did all the ordering of food and supplies.

I should clarify that I have worked extremely hard over the last three years at my job to build up the projects and responsibilities that I have within the different departments. I’ve proven myself to be a hard and meticulous worker who will do things right and ask the right questions to get things done well.

I look with envy into our war room in our office at the people who are in there for various meetings. They are helping make decisions, they are listened to by the higher-ups in the company, they tell the president of the company what decisions to make. I’m lucky if I can reserve a car for one of our VP’s upcoming trips to Texas.

I know an admin job is not one of central importance or a role that people will ask my opinion on where to drill– I haven’t been trained in that, and I have no reason to be in those meetings… however…

I want to be significant.

I want to be someone who is not just in the background, getting miscellaneous projects done so other people don’t have to, but someone who people rely on, look to, and RESPECT! I want to play a central role, even if that central role is an assistant role– I’m actually an excellent assistant! But I’d like to know that my work really does have significance to the overall success and value of the company/organization.

I’m still searching and reflecting on what I’m wanting out of work and my job, because I get the sense of meaning by volunteering with various organizations, so I don’t necessarily need to change the world with my job… I just want to leave a lasting impact on my job and the people I work with and interact with.

Is that too much to ask??