Monday, June 23, 2014

My Eye...

Is jacked up.

I started feeling some tenderness Friday, but it wasn't really red. I was thinking it was a chalazion, which I've had a couple of times in the past (think stye, they're like that). No crusty stuff, so this isn't pink eye. It's sore like I strained my eye, but no clue what is going on.

At least my doctor is close to my new job, so if they can fit me in tomorrow afternoon, I'll get to the bottom of this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Prior Engagements

When I interviewed for this job, I told them I would be unable to work the 19th and 20th as my family would be going out of town The ability to book such travel would be really narrow, so I told them before I knew for sure. Alas, the travel opportunity window isn't going to open for this week.

Last Friday, with three days on the job, my boss and I talked about the situation and how it was somewhat tenuous. She told me that she's selfish and hoped it wouldn't come through, mainly because all our client contacts wanted to have meetings on one of the days I would be out of the office. She's also rather snarky and funny, so when I shared the news that I wouldn't be going, and thus, would be there to have these meetings, she turned away, then turned back trying to hide the grin 'I'm so sorry you won't be going on your trip', failing miserably at a pout.

Informed her of plan B, she liked the alternative date I came up with to try again.

Haven't even been there a full week and she doesn't want me to leave? What a difference a new job makes!

Monday, June 16, 2014

"Are You Watching..."

Game of Thrones. World Cup Soccer. Nascar. The baseball game.

Well, me, probably no. However, it seems that lately, there are more people crying foul over the immediacy of information, the fact that they cannot avoid finding out the results of something before they return home to the DVR to see what was being taped while out living or working.

Sometimes, there is a courteous 'spoiler alert', but other times, not so much. The person who texts 'Wow, can't believe the Rangers didn't win', or 'Hey, that Jimmy Johnson stunk up that race," or "they killed off the KING" doesn't get why the other might be upset. To them, I say put yourself in the other person's shoes.

So, if you're excited about the outcome of an event, and want to share, how about prefacing the news with 'Are you watching...?" and if the answer is no, hold your words. You just may save a friendship.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Starting Anew

The Friday before last, I accepted a new job as an instructional designer. While the interview left me guessing, the structured environment that they offered did not, so I accepted the offer and started Wednesday. My rationale is that Mondays are usually hectic, and it's best to give the new boss time to get a game plan together.

After the last job, where my coworkers in my immediate office rarely talked to me (only if they needed something, it seemed), the experience there left me very gun-shy on what to expect at a new job. However, it seems that I've landed in an environment that is a complete 180 of where I was. There is a project management timeline, there is an established protocol for how we develop content and there are defined roles for each member of the team. It seems my boss really likes some qualities I bring to the table, as they balance out with hers. This is good.

I came to find that my strategy for building knowledge about what I need to know about the client is not typical, and resulted in my boss sharing some very complimentary worlds at the end of the day Friday. What, people don't go onto their client university's website and pore over all the content they put there for prospective students? To me, it is simple-learn what they consider important to know, so that I can have a better partnership with the instructors I work with.

In the interviews, I was told that there may be travel. The first meeting I had with a client, I found out that yes, there will be travel, and for this program, it sounds like it will be all mine. (My team will get two more instructional designers, but they haven't been hired yet.). I haven't traveled for work in ten years, it will be nice, and because I'll be with the same school for a while, it means repeated trips to the same area. Bonus is that it's one place I've been through, but never in.

The workspace is a cube farm, and I hit it nicely with mine-they are all Disney freaks. However, the geeks and nerds are everywhere, and I'm finding common ground with just about everyone I've met. Probably the funniest thing is that my shoes have a reputation-a few others were looking to see what I had on Friday (the Alegria owl shoes). I run out of different Allegrias on Tuesday, and then the jig will be up on my 'cool shoes' title.

It will probably take a while to relax, after the time in the toxic environment I left, but so far, so good.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

For the First Time

I am just past the midway point of the semester and I am NOT behind on anything. Thank you, Strattera.

Mind you, the ADHD meds are good at helping me to focus and stop chasing squirrels, but it is NOT good at getting rid of all those pesky bad habits and coping strategies that were ineffective for dealing with ADHD. I'm slowly learning how to be a better student and manage my time better. Some days are good, but some are rife with procrastination. Part of that is due to thinking I had so much time to get things done because I wasn't working.

The irony is that now that I'm back to work, it's easier to budget time and get things done.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How NOT to Sell Your Item on eBay (and A Way to Sell More)

Ed has been compiling a rather massive database of auctions of musical instruments on eBay for nearly a year. He spends an hour or so every day adding items to the listings, indicating condition, list price, whether it sells, for how much and shipping costs.

It is this meticulousness that resulted in him scoring a six-keyboard lot last fall, vintage keyboards, he just had to drive a couple of hours to collect them. If he relisted the ones he didn't want of the six, he'd quickly recoup what he paid for all six. So, he's gotten very good at appraising keyboards and whether they'll sell.

However, he notices a couple of strange patterns:

1. Item is listed as a one day auction. When it doesn't sell, they relist it for a few more times, then stop, item does not sell. For a large purchase, people need time to mull it over, so a 5 to 10 day time frame is the shortest one should go to allow a person to do their research and make sure it is the item they want.

2. Item is listed, item does not sell. Item is then relisted for a HIGHER starting bid. Hello, if it didn't sell at $200, what makes you think that now listing it for $400 is going to suddenly sprout a buyer?

Now me, I'm selling much smaller items on eBay, and I use the golden rule: setting auctions to end between 8 and 9pm Sunday night, Pacific time. Most people are home, getting ready for the work week, so they're willing to watch and potentially bid in the last few minutes on your item. If I go to list, I do it on a Sunday (7 day), Tuesday (5 day), or Thursday (10 or 3 day) evening, to ensure it ends on Sunday night.

Since I've done that, I've had much better results. If I was selling a lot more, I'd probably do the same thing as Ed, but there isn't enough rationale for my 20-30 auctions a year.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Back to Work

Wednesday, I return to the world of the working. After several really good interviews, I actually went with the job where the interview started off with NO energy.

You know what I mean, right? The interviewers are not apathetic, they're engaged, they're just not extroverted, bubbly people. It doesn't happen very often, but when faced with that situation, I always assume the worst and think I'm the bench filler applicant, the one that helps them fulfill their quota to say that they interviewed 'people' instead of 1 person for a job. Still, I had been brought in after they gave me some flawed course materials and I had 48 hours to fix it. So, they liked my work enough to bring me in.

The last half of the interview was a lot more energetic than the first, and I left with an okay vibe, but the next interview at another company a few hours later really excited me-even though it isn't directly in my field. Still, the first company came back with an offer and after touching base with the three other companies I'd interviewed with, I found that none of them were close to making their decision yet. I was.

It is a large company and instead of being one of two who do my role, I'll be among at least a dozen people doing the same thing. From the gist of the interview and questions asked, it sounds like they're purchasing a product that isn't used in my field, one that I'm very familiar with. Either one of the clients uses it, wants to use it, or they are contemplating it in-house. Which makes it sound like I'll have the variety I crave.

Now, to juggle a ton of philosophy reading, a contract role for 5 to 10 hours a week, and a full time job. It should be lots of fun.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Really, Facebook?

Facebook gives you ads targeted to your browsing experiences. For instance, I just got this one:

The problem?

It is my picture for an auction I had up for bid last week!

I couldn't buy it if I wanted, it went to North Carolina!