Friday, March 31, 2006

It's 2:15 am, where's Mr. Sandman?

This always happens with surgical procedures. My sleep gets all out of whack. Not good, since Ed's got to work, and I'm on school detail with the boys in the morning.

At least I can nap during the day...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Recuperation

The foot looks like normal today. Well, if having yellow crap on it is normal, then it is. The swelling has gone way down, but I suspect that once I am back to standing on my feet all day, it'll look like an elephant leg again. Pain isn't too bad, tolerable. I've been following doctors orders and basically living on the couch. (I am so glad we got these couches. They are very comfortable.)

The lady came to do the fence quote today. Simple math...11 panels at 47.50 each is 522.50. Two gates should be about 200 each. The quote is for $1900.00. I think we'll go back to plan A. That plan is that we buy our own fencing materials and we call the guy who's number we got at the home show. He'll charge 4o0 or 500 bucks and we'll still come out ahead. I suppose I'll get three or four more quotes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

If it's Tuesday, it must be another surgery

Well, the foot is now minus a superficial vein. Today's procedure went easier than yesterday's. I have to tell you that when the same doctor is doing a repeat procedure, you get a lot more leeway. I was asked if I'd like to have it done under a local, which was my preference. That wouldn't have happened if I had been a first timer.

I was feeling well enough for us to go pop into the fence outlet the neighbor got their fencing from. We'll have measurements taken and get a quote. Based on the 70 feet I think we need and two gates, we should be around 1000 bucks. Not bad.

In the meantime, I got a good idea from one of the nurses at the hospital. When I said I'd probably be in a lounge chair in the backyard this week, she suggested a super soaker at the ready for the kids who cut across the yard. That sounded hilarious, so I have to dig in the garage for it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Two hospitals in one day...

I had that 'female' procedure this afternoon. It went well, now I'm vegging at home. Probably going to sack out very early.

This morning, I went over to Tampa General to do my pre op stuff for Thursday's surgery. The admitting rep asked me when my surgery was. I said Thursday, she tells no, it's tomorrow. So two surgeries in 24 hours. Lucky me!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Two out of three ain't bad

I awoke Saturday morning to the thudding of my neighbor, hammering stakes in to mark off where he'd be putting up a fence. Woohoo, now we only need to do one side and the gates! Awesome.

Later, on my way to Lakeland to exchange supplies for work (they needed trash bags, we needed shopping bags), I got a call from the company I really want to work for. She was emailing me the application so they could do my reference checks. I quickly called the neccessary parties to let them know the call was coming! Great!

Decided my luck was so good that I needed to get a Lotto ticket. Not one single number matched. Oh well, decided the stuff that matters is already in the works.

Friday, March 24, 2006

And the answer is...

The recruiter and I spoke yesterday. He apologized profusely for the experience. I was thanked for taking the time to detail what happened. He also thanked me that my letter was clear and concise, because it was passed up to the VP to handle.

He assured me that it WILL be addressed with the two of them. This was unacceptable, and he said they're kind of off on their own there, so the behavior could have been going on for a while. No applicants had informed them of these issues before. He's calling other applicants that ultimately didn't accept the job there.

I was offered another location, but I think the other propect is looking good, so I told him that there was something else in the works. He asked me to call him if the situation changed.

Professional to the end. Too bad their dealership hadn't been that way.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How long does it take to get a reply to a letter?

So, I sent that email early Monday morning. I finally got a call back today, but I was out. I'm about to call the recruiter back-this should be interesting.

Foot hasn't been all that great, the pain has gotten worse. Monday afternoon, I called the doctor's office and they decide they want to see me. The vein has to come out. Yay. I've got percocet in the interim. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Names have been changed to protect the guilty, but the letter is real

Dear "recruiters",

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me at the job fair and interview me for a sales position with your company. I regret to inform you that I will not consider a position with your company, and I feel you should know why.

You both were extremely honest and polite in representing your company. So much so, that my original plan of seeking a position with the service department was swayed to sales. The conversation with "D" at the recruitment center solidified that decision. The demands of the job and realistic earning potential were addressed and I felt my reservations about a commission role were overcome.

However, I was then turned over to the "Hoo Haa" location and things fell apart. Originally, "D" had set my interview up for 1:00pm on Monday, March 6th. I arrived at 12:50 and checked in with the receptionist. At 1:15, "J" came over to me, introduced himself and took me into an office for an interview. I was told that "Mr. GM" was not in, that they hadn't known I was coming and given the impression that I was interrupting his day. Fortunately, by the end of the interview, I'd felt that "J" was probably caught off guard and I just caught the flack for it. He lamented that the other managers were not on site, as he would have liked for me to interview with them as well. I offered to come back.

I arrive at the dealership Tuesday at 12:45 and again check in with the receptionist. No one comes to speak to me until 1:15, when "J" comes up to me and says "I didn't realize with the Tent Sale that the other two managers would be off today. There's no one else here to interview you." Okay, I've waited again without apology and offer ANOTHER time to come in, this time Thursday at 1pm.

Now it is Thursday. I call ahead of time to make sure someone will be available to meet with me and "J" assures me that there will be. I arrive at 1:10 and one of your salespeople informs "J" that I am there. I wait another 20 minutes before "C" comes up and introduces himself. The same "C" that was walking around, conducting business on Tuesday when I was told that the other managers were off. Excuses I can tolerate, lying I cannot. Was "J" thinking I was so oblivious to who was there that I would not recognize this person as being there Tuesday afternoon?

It gets better. "C" seems to prefer the confrontational style of interviewing. The first statement made to me is "Selling cars is HARD work". Not a question, not even a query into why I might think I'd be a good candidate for this position. He continues on, "You can't pick your kids up from school," "its not as cushy as your job in the AIR CONDITIONED mall," "Its an 80 hour week," "It's hot out on the car lot," "You'll never have Saturdays off," and after asking how much I expect to earn, proceeds to tell me he has salespeople who make 150 to 200 thousand dollars per year.

I don't know if any of this bothers you, but it sure made a negative impression on me. It makes me wonder if "C" recieved any training on what is acceptable to state in an interview, with regards to EEOC guidelines. My kids are not to be mentioned (I sure didn't), I never said that I expected Saturdays off, and I sure as heck understand that if the cars are out on the lot, the minimum expection is that I'd be out on the lot to meet clients as they look at the vehicles they're interested in. After a few minutes of this, "C" then asks about my employees. He then states that I could probably move into management rather quickly. While all of this is going on, he keeps staring at my chest. I am not kidding. I would stare at him, waiting to see how long it would take for him to make eye contact. You really don't want to know the answer.

You mentioned that you provide one week's training for new sales people. My suggestion is that you offer a similar program to your management team. In it, you should address honesty, integrity, EEOC guidelines, and how to conduct oneself while performing interviews. A concern that you had was that there were no women at this location. I think the experience I relate to you is a good indication why you haven't hired any women. If you've sent women over in the past, and they encountered what I did, they would NOT want to work for your company. Part of me wants to accept a position to show "C" what a true professional can do, but I can't bring myself to do that.

It is only because I would like you to succeed in placing individuals that I bring this to your attention. The professionalism that you showed in our interview won me over to selling cars. Unfortunately, I cannot in good conscience accept a position with a company whose managers display this kind of behavior to prospective employees. If this is the way they present themselves to a job applicant, what is the customer getting?

If you wish to discuss this with me further, feel free to call me. Perhaps both of these managers are accustomed to "Mr. GM" conducting all sales staff interviews. If that is the case, please make sure they understand what they can and cannot say in an interview. Most importantly, let them know that a reasonable excuse can be forgiven, but a blatant lie cannot.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and to meet with me. I wish you much success in staffing this location.


Sincerely

ME

Yes, I did send that!!!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

It's A Small World, after all

The inlaws took us out to dinner last night over at WDW. 50's Prime Time, which is probably my SIL's favorite restaurant on Disney property.

So, we're heading over there and I pass an SUV with a pink tink decal on it and I notice the antenna topper, the Pot of gold Mickey, perfect for St. Patrick's day. I always notice the antenna toppers. I tuck this info in my head. The SUV and I leap frog for about 20-25 miles, until we hit a backup on I4 and I dive off at a road that I can use to go in 'the back way' to property.

We get to MGM with 5 minutes to spare and meet Mema and AJ. After a 10 minute wait, we're seated. Food was great, server was good and the Mowie Wowie with the blinky blinky ice cube was yummy. We get out of the restaurant five minutes before park closing, which kills my thought of doing the Narnia walk through. Oh well, we can do that next time-it's really neat. I think the kids will love it.

When we get home, I fire up the computer to see if I got an email. I'd emailed the owners of the company thanking them for interviewing. I did, but I also got an email from someone on the boards I 'live' on. Ends up she passed us on the interstate and recognized my antenna toppers! She even went so far as to make a sign with my screen name on it, but her daughter wouldn't hold it up.

Then she posted to the boards and one of my good friends replies that she wants my car so she can put the toppers in the vase. Too funny.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Lucky day

From the crappy to the incredible...

Today's interview was brought about because I sent an unsolicited email and attached my resume. It's for a start up company (2 years young) that provides a product/service. I'd heard of this enterprise elsewhere in the country and lamented that we didn't have them here...well, we do. The owners are opening a second location nearby.

It wasn't so much an interview as a conversation/brainstorming session. They get many offers to franchise, and don't want to. They DO want to grow and I gave a few locations I'd consider. While they're not going to franchise, they like the managing partner model used by several companies. So, eventually, a financial stake would be made. Sounds reasonable to me.

It was amazing in that I spent three hours talking to the owners and it didn't feel like I'd been there that long. A very good sign, in my opinion.

Yes, I'll still look for something else, but this combines a passion with the management and a healthy dose of creativity. What's not to like about that?

Dealership stupidity...

I will recap in list form, because it is laughable how stupid they must think I am...

FIRST INTERVIEW
*Show up 10 minutes early, but wait until 20 minutes past the designated time
*Interviewer (Manager A)acts as if he has no clue I was scheduled for interview and spends first ten minutes acting as if I'm interrupting his busy day and he doesn't want to be there
*Ask the right questions and by the end, "A" is lamenting that the other two managers aren't there to meet with me
*Offer to come back Friday to meet with them and score massive points

SECOND INTERVIEW
*Called a day early to reschedule due to conflict, and "A" and I agree on Tuesday at 1pm
*Arrive 15 minutes early and sit around until 1:20
*"A" then comes over to tell me he hadn't looked at the schedule and the other two managers are off today
*"A" and I agree to Thursday at 1pm

SECOND INTERVIEW, part deux
*Call the dealership and ask to speak to "A". Get disconnected.
*Call back the dealership and speak to "A" to make sure today is a good day, as I don't want to dress up for a wasted trip (not that I said that part)
*Arrive on time, wait 25 minutes
*"Manager C" then introduces himself and brings me into his office. Realize later that "C" was there Tuesday when I was the other two managers were "off". Hard to miss his distinctive accent.
*The first thing "C" says is "Selling Cars is HARD WORK". My response was something like "and your point is...", but far more tactful
*"C" then proceeds to throw out all sorts of confrontational statements...
"It's not as cushy as where you are now" (well, Duh)
"You can't go pick your kids up from school or go to their little league games" (not a surprise, Ed's figuring on part time, anyway)
"It's an 80 hour week" (knew the hours were long, recruiter says 50-60)
"It's not air conditioned" (to sell the product, you have to be NEAR the product...cars. outside. no brainer)
"It's not easy" (hello, if it was EVERYONE would sell cars)
"You can't go home when your kids are sick" (why does this guy keep bringing up the kids that I HAVEN'T mentioned? For all he knows, I've got three cats)
"It's hard work" (did I not make myself clear when I said I am NOT afraid of hard work)
Asks how much I'd like to make, not realizing that the recruiter and I had discussed realistic expectations, then tells me he's got guys who make 200k a year (no F'ing way he does)
Goes on a tangent and asks me about MY employees. ( kinda confusing, do you want to hire them, too? Package deal, since you're down five salespeople?)
Then tells me I could move up into management really quick, because they need good managers (Why am I not surprised at this statement?"
*Asks when I can start, and gets pissy when I say I need to give two weeks notice
*STARES AT MY CHEST THE WHOLE TIME!!!!!

yeah, the recruiter complained that they haven't got any women at this location...now I know why. The shame of it is that the recruiter is really good, got me around from pursuing service department to sales. The recruiter will probably ask me to go to the OTHER location they have in my area, but I hate the three makes that they sell-every time I've been in any of them, the ride was horrible. Shimmy (in a brand new car), loud and cheaply made. I cannot in good concience sell a product I myself would not own.

Everyone else has told me that they'd have bailed after interview two...part deux would not have happened. So, tell me, would YOU take a job at this three ring circus? Part of me wants to do it so I can show the guy what a REAL salesperson can do and show him up. That's the GIRL in me, bucko!
Back to the drawing board

observation, sort of a personal mantra now "if you've got to lie to do your job, then you suck at it"-fits "A" to the T. Damn it, tell me the other manager is not able to meet with me, man, don't lie that it's his day off when I saw him conducting business.

if you're in a position of hiring people, keep your personal stereotypes to yourself and your eyes off the chest!

It sucks to be right...

I was right, there's a clot in my foot. Nifty. Hot compresses three times a day for three weeks and if it doesn't get better, I have to have surgery. Oh, joy!

Tomorrow, the wonderful story of my confrontational job interview at the auto dealership...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ten Places I'd like to visit

Fluff day! I'm on vacation, so I'm dreaming of places I'd go if I had the time and the money.

1. Hawaii (the big island, the small islands, all of it)
2. Australia (I want the month long trip to Ayers Rock, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra-the works)
3. Ireland/Great Britain
4. Germany (specifically the wineries)
5. France
6. Grand Canyon
7. The Caymans
8. New Orleans...been before and loved it. They need our tourist dollars now
9. Japan, for the best Disney Parks.
10. California. This one is actually on the agenda, unfortunately, a week won't be enough to see LA and San Francisco.

One word to describe me

My friend Liz, my almost OLD friend Liz, sent me an email this morning. Pssst, why the heck were you up at 4am, anyway? In it, she asks her friends to describe her in one word.

Interesting concept, eh? One word has to describe all of the zany, quirky, silly and sweet things about Liz...and I can only choose one?

The email will go back to Liz, but I'm going to ponder all day...and break out a thesaurus.

One word to describe me? Can YOU do it?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Things said to me today at work...

"Don't worry, my kids are well behaved. I beat them if they don't" This was said with a completely straight face. Hoookayyyyy.

"You can come visit my house in Dothan, Alabama" by a 5 year old girl. She then describes her house as white with a green roof and a big red car in the driveway. She made me promise I'd come look for her! (awwwww)

The 'perfect person' (a/k/a down syndrome) who bought a CD and in conversing about it, told her mom she likes me a lot. Her smile could cheer up anyone.

These exchanges sure made up for the people who cussed or chewed me out for system difficulties beyond my control. So sorry that the three minute credit card authorization time has screwed up your day-multiply it by the 50 other people that I had to call for authorizations and you get the idea that the day wasn't fun. Those young ladies sure felt like angels sent to make it better.

Oh, and the interview I was supposed to have today didn't happen. Seems the other managers had today off! Back to them on Thursday...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday morning

I head back to the podiatrist in an hour. Let's see what he thinks of my adventures with cortisone. Stomach still feels like someone's punching it. Headache is completely gone, thank God.

We went to the Florida Home Show yesterday. It was good to get out. Noticed that many of the exhibitors from last year were missing, but PRP was in attendance. Woohoo, more wine. Actually, the wine samplings helped minimize the tummy troubles. The plan was to look for fence places, but there were only two companies there, one that only does vinyl. Unfortunately, we don't have enough in the budget for a vinyl fence right now.

Yoohoo, Ed McMahon, can you and the prize patrol come bring me some money? I don't want a lot, just enough to put in a fence, pool, pirate ship play apparatus and spa and get Ed his turn with a new car! ;) 100K should be sufficient, lol! Yeah, after a home show I'm always looking for the prize patrol-I think they missed the forward notice!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Day two of feeling crappy

So I must really be allergic to the cortisone. I've had the headache and another side effect that the monograph states "discontinue use immediately and consult with your doctor".

Tummy hurts big time, as if someone is punching it over and over. At least the 500 lb man has decided to stop sitting on my head. Went for the good old non drug remedy, a big cuppa java. Within a half hour, the headache subsided dramatically.

I'm wondering how long it will take for all this yucky stuff to stop...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lesson for today is...

Don't take Cortisone on an empty stomach!

I had my echocardiogram and stress test today. No food after midnight. I needed to take the meds, so I did-on an empty stomach. Within 5 minutes, I was feeling crappy. Vomited twice on the way to taking the boys to school.

Vomited two more times on the way to the doctor. Again, several more times throughout the procedures I had, although they were very helpful and I was able to get through.

Somehow, I got my sorry ass back home and into bed. Took some Tylenol, which did squat. Finally called back the pharmacy and found out that I could use the Imitrex, so I did. It's taken the edge off.

It's now 6:30 and I'm hungry, but afraid to eat. Ed was a doll. I called him in my misery and he went and got the boys and stopped at WalMart and picked up Goblet of Fire. They're still holed up in the bedroom watching it...house is quiet.

So, trust me, even if the package says you can take the cortisone on an empty stomach-DON'T.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ugh

Day two and a half of cortisone. The headache is lovely. Initially, the foot seemed better. I wasn't sure if that was the cortisone or the day off Monday. Now it seems as if it was the day off that minimized the pain. Ugh.

So, I have an echocardiogram and non stress test on Friday for the surgery I have in April. I got the call today to remind me and the secretary tells me no caffeine, no chocolate, no coffee (decaf or regular) after midnight tonight. Yikes! 36 hours with NO coffee and NO chocolate. As soon as I walk out of those tests, I'll be making a beeline to Indigo for a grande mocha!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mmmmm, strawberry shortcake

We went to the strawberry festival and had not one single strawberry. As a result, it was in my head that I absolutely HAD to have strawberries. After all, it is the peak of growing season in these parts, and if you drive 5 minutes from the house, you see all the workers in the fields picking the good stuff.

So, strawberries were mascerated, cream was whipped and shells were bought. (Still need a good shortcake recipe). It's been nice going and getting this treat elsewhere, but if you've got ripe strawberries, they deserve fresh, homemade whipped cream. So tonight was shortcake night. All while watching Cosmos. Yeah, in June, those of you in MD/VA can gloat all you want- there won't be a strawberry to be had down here for under 5 bucks a quart. Then again, flats are about 7.50 right now, I'm thinking the foodsaver will be busy soon, and the freezer full of my favorite fruit.

In other news, podiatrist has confirmed plantar fasciitis. In addition, I apparently have an inward rolling foot, so my feet were molded for custom orthotics. I'm on cortisone pills as a stop gap while waiting for the orthotics. Doctor cannot do injections due to the vascular issues in that leg. I can tell you I was quite pleased-cortisone shots are probably the most painful thing I've ever had to endure. The doctor also thinks that I have too many unusual things wrong with me. Okay, so where do I find the doctor that can piece all this stuff together?

I met with one of the sales managers at the dealership yesterday. Which is to say, I interrupted his day. He didn't know I was coming, the GM that I was supposed to meet is out sick. So the first ten minutes was spent being interviewed by a guy who didn't really seem to want to be there and gave off the vibe that I was wasting his time. Until we got into the nuts and bolts of things. He liked my questions and my answers to the stuff he threw out at me. We ended with him lamenting that the other two managers weren't there to meet with me.

Today, the recruiter called me back...they really want me to meet the other two managers. Also, one of the companies from the job fair left me a voice mail. Expect those reference check calls, everyone! :)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

time to catch up!

Well, once again, things have been busy here.

Thursday morning involved a visit to the car dealership's HR office. That went well, they want me for two brands I would want to sell. Monday afternoon, I meet with the GM of the dealership. Still on the fence whether I want to sell cars. General concensus is that I'd do well. Commission still scares me.

Saturday, went to work and then off to a coworker's wedding. I'd been told weddings are different down south, and just got first hand experience. We had a good time, though. Table full of my fun coworkers will do that! Ed found great amusement with the dj's and their sad attempts to put up the lighting display. Hearing the music made me think I could do a MUCH better job. If I went back to being a disc jockey, I could probably make a killing in these parts

Today was a shortened day of work, and then we headed over to the Florida Strawberry Festival. We didn't consume one single strawberry, but that's because the fair food was so good. We didn't know that the admission also included seats for the concert, but we took a pass on Larry Gatlin. Friday night is Jo Dee Messina, and that's a show we'd sit in the bleachers and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Cross your fingers

I have an interview today and was asked to come fill out an application and speak to the car dealership recruiter. I had not one, but two messages from them. What the heck, you never know what they'll have to say. Still bummed that they don't have Ford or VW under their umbrella.

This seems to be the way it goes for me when I'm fed up and put out tons of resumes. I'll get lots of calls and have to sift through a couple of job offers. Now, I need those Monday to Friday type jobs to start calling for interviews!