Thursday, April 27, 2017

I took the job!

Yep, I decided to take the offer.

It is a pay cut, but it's in a growing industry in this area, the benefits are better than what I'm receiving right now, and they are going to train me in the terminology and technology needed for the position, which will be transferable to another position should I move on.

And honestly, I think the twelve-hour shifts are going to okay, because it will mean having days off in the middle of the week, and I went to Treman State Park in Ithaca today, and the weather was glorious, and I had the park practically to myself because NOBODY WAS THERE because it was the middle of the week.  Sold!

I should be starting in mid-May. 

I got a job!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Oh,.maaaaaan ....

I did not get the job for which I did Interview #3 yesterday.  To make it that far and then not get the position is a little disheartening.

I may, however, be receiving an offer on the other position I interviewed for yesterday.  HOWEVER, that is the one involving 12-hour shifts and repetitive responsibilities (I'd be doing the same thing all day long), and now I'm in a quandary.  (Also complicating things is the fact that I'd be working with someone I currently volunteer with at the rescue.) Do I take the job (provided they offer enough money to make it worth the 12-hour shifts), or do I hold out for something else?

Decisions, decisions ...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

One Day

One day,

Two interviews, in two different cities, one of which was a hundred-mile round trip, one for Interview #2 for a position (a peer interview), and the second of which was Interview #3 for a different position,

One trip to the allergist's to get my injections,

One trip to the grocery store, for the first time in over a week, to buy some food,

Several calls and juggling to find foster homes for the two kittens who were trapped Sunday evening, because I simply cannot handle any more fosters at this time (they are currently in an EXCELLENT foster home and are doing fine),

One trip to the rescue to pick up Albon for my own fosters, who have coccidiosis (ewwwwww),

And one tired person who is ready for bed but can't help feel like she is KILLING it right now. :)

Medal, guys.  I am ready for my medal!

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Weekend

Saturday was a trail clean-up day at a local state park, so I spent the cold, soggy, cloudy day cutting back brush and marking trails.  Somehow I managed not to freeze to death, so that was a plus!  Plus I got free lunch and a free t-shirt for my efforts, so it was all worth it.  I guess. :)

Saturday night I got a call from a woman who had a feral cat in her neighborhood give birth back in the beginning of March.  I had told her to call me when the kittens were six or seven weeks old so that we could trap them and get them into rescue care, and it was time.  So on Sunday afternoon it was trappin' time yet again.

That's the mama cat.  Isn't she pretty?  And wild as the day is long.  Once we get this litter of kittens into care, she, along with another litter she had last fall, will be TNR'd. (Trap-Neuter-Release. The cats are altered and then put back into their home environment, as adult feral cats cannot be socialized and are happier staying where they are.)

Hmm ... would I rather trap in a cow barn or a flower garden?  haha.

I did have SOME time to get out walking this weekend.  The mayflowers are up:

My never-ending quest to get a good shot of mergansers continues:

 This one ain't bad - these were taken in the creek right by my house:

And does anybody know what this flower is?:

I got a call this morning - two of the kittens were trapped last night!  The property owner is keeping them in her bathroom until I can get out there this afternoon, at which point they'll come live at my place for a few days until there's room for them in another foster home.

And tomorrow is Interview #3 for one of the positions f0r which I have applied, so wish me luck!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Foster Camp Update

The kitties and their mama are doing well.

 "Look into my eyes, laydee.  Look deeeep into my eyes.  Now cluck like a chicken":

Where's the best nappin' spot?  Why, inside the fishie, of course!:

"It's catnip, kids.  I'll tell you all about it when you're older."

Baby's first solid food:

And the kittens are starting to go in the litterboxes!  And next to the litterboxes, and under the desk, and behind the dresser, and ... well, you know how it goes.  Potty training, man.  It's a bitch.

Show 'em how it's done, Mama!

And the family now has names.  The mama is Rio, the boy kitten is Duran Duran, and the girl kitten is Cinderella Ride.  What can I say?  I watched a lot of MTV back in the 80s.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Some of the weirdest interview questions I've had so far

1.  "On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least and 10 being the most, how much do you want this job?"

haha what the hell was I supposed to say to THAT?! I mean, I can think of a lot of answers that would tank you right there:  "Zero.  I LOVE being unemployed".   "Depends on if I can bring my cat to work with me."  "Eleven.  I will kill all the other candidates right now to get this job."

I mean, it was a pretty basic desk job.  How much do I want it?  Um ... enough?  I want it enough?  Jeez.

What did I say?  I gave it an 8, mainly because I was fairly meh about the job in general. So I'm sure that that put me behind someone who answered 10, but why lie?

2.  "How would you feel about working with millennials?"

What?  Um, the same way I feel about working with anybody else?  I just went with "I like working with all different kinds of people, because everyone has something they can teach me".  Or something like that.

3.  "Thinking of yourself, personally, in your personal life, what is a shortcoming you are working to overcome?"

This one actually stumped me.  I mean, I was prepared to answer questions about what needed improvement in my professional life, but personally?  WTF?  What was I supposed to say?  "Well,  I'm a raging crackhead, but I'm heading to rehab real soon."  "Well, everybody says I'm kind of an asshole, but I actually think that I'm pretty cool."  In the end I said something about not taking small things too seriously, but I kind of lamed it because I really didn't know what they were getting at with the question.  Looking back, I'm wondering if I was supposed to tie a personal shortcoming to a professional situation, like, "I have a problem with punctuality", but why would I want to admit to something like that, esp. since I'm NEVER late?  haha.

 Okay, your turn:  How would you have answered the questions above? And do you have a doozy of an interview question to add?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I found a little-bitty door ...

... in a big ol' tree out in the woods ...

... so I opened it up!

Monday, April 17, 2017

The weekend

Saturday, I attempted to GIVE away the bad art I can't bear to THROW away:

and took a little walk:

then I picked up some traps from the farm and scrubbed them up:

Sunday morning, I picked up some wee kittens from the farm and took them to the rescue so they can start their journey to being housepets:

It's hard to get a good shot of wriggly kitties!

Then I met up with a friend for a walk and some ice cream.

SOMEbody forget their shoes - their horseshoes, that is!  But look, I ALMOST got a ringer:

Someday I will get a good shot of a merganser.  Yesterday was not that day:

But we did see a bald eagle sitting on its nest!  Plus, there were snakes:


And of course, there was plenty of time with these guys:

And this morning?  I received word that I have moved on to Round THREE of interviews for the bank job.  They LIKE me!  They really LIKE me!  haha.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

That moment when ...

... your boss, who has recently cut your hours in half because he says he can't afford to pay your full-time salary any more, calls you at home on a Saturday afternoon to ask if you would happen to know if his favorite golf putter is at the office, because he can't find it anywhere at his house and is about to play a round.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Oh ,just hand me the goddamn medal already, would ya?

So far today, I have

- transported four barn cats that we trapped last night to the spay/neuter clinic this morning.

- did two job back-to-back job interviews.

- grabbed a spare pair of glasses from my glovebox when one of the lenses in my glasses popped out IN BETWEEN interviews, and then stopped at the eyeglass place after interview #2 to get my glasses fixed.

- finally, FINALLY, after several on-line attempts and a call to a claims administrator, successfully filed an initial unemployment claim.

- stopped by a local temp firm about a temp-to-perm job that I'm interested in.  

- stopped by the local labor dept. job center because an online application I was filing needed a browser I did not have and did not want to install on my own PC.

- grabbed lunch at McDonald's and justified it by saying it was a "treat".  *snort*

- completed some bullshit online registration process that was necessary for a different online application and took an inordinate amount of time.

- did a load of laundry to get the barn cat crap off my jeans.

- took one of the permacats to the vet for his annual checkup.

- took a call from a woman I spoke to a month ago about feral cats in her neighborhood, who is now ready to start the trapping process.

- spoke to the barn cat farm owner.  27 CATS SO FAR THIS YEAR!!!!

- collapsed and died.

OKAY, not that last part, but I swear to GOD I am now going to veg out.  Until tomorrow, when I have a full day at the office PLUS a big interview.   Now where's my medal? 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Just sloggin' along

I had my first in-person interview yesterday, with a local medical facility.  I think I would like the position just fine, but it would involve three 12-hour shifts a week, plus one 4-hour shift, which ... uck.  I dunno - unless it pays really well, I'll probably give it a pass.

I've got two interviews tomorrow, plus the bank interview on Friday.  I filed for partial unemployment, which - maaaaan, they do NOT make it easy to collect unemployment in this state.  After struggling with the on-line application and then finally calling the claims center (fun!), I THINK I'm all set for partial unemployment, except it's going to take at least four weeks to start collecting, and then I'll only be eligible for one day of benefits a week, and heaven forfend you screw up any of the paperwork.  GOD.

I continue to apply for other jobs as they pop up on Indeed and the Labor Dept. website.  I did two more this morning.

I attended a registration seminar for on-line learning through the local job service yesterday, and as soon as I get my password, I'll be able to take some software refresher courses, which will come in handy.

PLUS I'm trapping cats tonight for spay/neuter appointments in the morning, AND Ponyboy's got a routine vet appointment tomorrow, AND I'm still working part-time, now trying to compress a 40-hour workweek down into 20 hours. 

This stuff is exhausting, yo. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

More kitten pics

You asked for it, you got it!


You're welcome!

Friday, April 07, 2017

On to Round Two

So!  I had my phone interview yesterday, and got invited to move on to the next step, which is meeting with one of the regional managers for whom I would be working.  That's set for the 14th.

As with any job, there are pros and cons with this one.  The benefit package is excellent, but it would involve travel (100 miles round-trip) two days a week, which is fine in the summer and ... not so great in the winter.  I'm hoping to get more information about the position in the next interview and see if it would be a good fit.   In the meantime, two other applications I submitted are moving forward, so we'll see what happens.

I volunteered again yesterday at the rescue.  We took in three owner-surrenders, two dogs and a cat, which were ... difficult.  The one woman brought her CHILDREN with her when she surrendered their puppy, which ... NOT A GOOD IDEA, LADY.  Jesus.

The other surrendered dog was an eleven-year-old dachshund with no recent vaccination history and some pretty daunting health issues and a temper.  He will be taken to a vet today to see what can be done with the health problems, and then placed in foster care, possibly for the rest of his life.  Our foster homes are excellent (ask me how I know!) and he will have the best quality of care for his remaining time, but it's still sad.  Of course, it would have been sadder if he had been taken to any of the other local shelters who would have euthanized him on the spot, but still. 

The surrendered cat was friendly, if filthy and bewildered, and she will be vetted as well, spayed, and then put up for adoption once her vaccinations are up to date. 

I found out yesterday that our all-volunteer rescue is taking in and adopting out almost TWICE as many animals as the local Humane Society, which has a budget seven times ours AND paid staff.  PLUS, we take in many, many sick or injured animals and bring them back to health, while the Humane Society euthanizes for something as simple (if time-consuming) to cure as ringworm.  Jeez. 

Okay.  Stepping off the soapbox.  *ahem*.  In other news, we got enough rain over the past two days that the park next door to me flooded, which is always a little unnerving.  But when I got up this morning the water had receded and now we're getting SNOW, which, just shoot me now, okay?

Mama and her babies are continuing to do great:

They grow up SO FAST!  

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Tuesday at the Rescue

Yesterday, I helped out at the rescue with cleaning in the morning, and then assisting visitors in the afternoon.  The other volunteers were friendly and welcoming, which was awesome, since I usually volunteer on the weekends and didn't know any of the weekday crew. 

Here's just a few of the animals waiting for homes:

(I took that pic through the door - that's why it's so funny-looking).

Don't worry, guys - your people are coming!

Monday, April 03, 2017

What's Up

Let's see ... this will be my first week part-time at my job.   I have worked full time since I was 17, so this is going to be a little bit of an adjustment.  I'm going to be helping out at the rescue's adoption center, and applying for more jobs (I've got a phone interview on Thursday!), and I hope to be taking some online software refresher courses as soon as I get approved for them.  Keeping busy.

What else?  Today is the EIGHTH anniversary of me quitting smoking.  Eight friggin' years!  Go me. 

This past Saturday I helped out at a bake sale/hot dog sale at the rescue.  An OUTDOOR sale.  It was forty-flipping-degrees out and cloudy and windy.  It SUCKED. 

Sunday was sunny and beautiful, so I got out in the woods.  There's still snow on the ground, but at least it's warmer!

 The frogs were croaking away in the vernal pools:



When I got home, I got some pics of the bees in the crocuses (croci?) in the front yard:

And foster mama and babies are doing just fine.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Recently Read

Yeah, I KNOW, posting's been light.  This whole "job search" thing is taking of more of my time than I though it would.  Go figure!

As always, skip it if you wanna.

1.  Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy - Giant novel about the people who stayed behind on the home front in World War II.  I only got about thirty pages in, because every. single. character. was an insufferable twit.  While I understand that the author was probably making the characters really, really vacuous in the beginning, so that she could show how they matured after experiencing the horrors of war, I just couldn't with these people and gave up.  Ech.

2.  Spellbound:  Growing up in God's Country by David McKain - Memoir of growing up in central PA in the 1940s and 1950s.  I read a TON of childhood memoirs, and most of them are along the lines of, "Sure, times were tough and we were poor but we loved each other and we had a lot of fun!"  This memoir was ... not that.  The author's father was unstable and the home life wasn't the greatest, and the author was not shy about discussing it.  Interesting.  We tend to sugarcoat the "good old days", and this book helped me remember that good old days were not good for everybody.

3.  The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis - Novel about a young woman living in the Barbizon Hotel for Women in NYC in the fifties, and another, modern-day woman researching her story.  I liked the part of the story set in the fifties, but I had zero sympathy for the modern-day character, and stopped reading about halfway through.

4.  Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones by Ann Head - Novel, written in the sixties, about a high school couple who "have to" get married.  Kind of quaint, and the way it ends is a copout, but still a good read.

5.  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor - Novel set in Mississippi during the Depression about a rural black family and the struggles they faced.  Technically for younger readers (it won the Newberry Medal), it was an interesting and involving book.

6.  Miss Jane by Brad Watson.  Novel about a girl with an unspecified gynecological birth defect growing up in the Depression.  This book got glowing reviews, but I found it kind of meh.

7.  A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter - Century-old novel about a young woman who catches moths to fund her schooling.  It was interesting in the beginning, but by about halfway through I just felt sorry for all those poor moths.  Did not finish.

8.  Intensive Care:  The Story of  Nurse by Echo Heron - Nonfiction about the author's years in nursing school and her career as a critical care nurse.  Interesting. I also enjoyed her book Tending Lives.

9.  My Old Neighborhood Remembered by Avery Corman - Author's recounting of growing up in the Bronx in the 40s and 50s.  A quick, interesting read.

And that's what I've been reading lately.  How about you?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Foster Room Update

I realize that I've been remiss in keeping you updated on the foster situation.  Things have been a little unsettled around here; what can I say?

After Alex's last kitten passed away, I took her back to the center so that she could be paired with a couple of orphan kittens someone had been bottle-feeding.  But in the time it took me to get her to the center and for the bottle-feeding person to pick her up and take her to the orphans, the orphan kittens' mom ... showed back up?  I guess?  That's the story that the rescue was told, anyway.

So.  The woman who had been bottle-feeding, and who now had both the kittens and their mama (?), was not able to continue caring for them (?), so it was decided that Alex, who was ALSO now at this woman's home, would go back to the center to be spayed and put up for adoption, and the now-not-orphaned kittens and their mama would come to me. 

Got it?  Me neither.  ANYway, this happened:

A mama and her two babies.  Their eyes opened a few days ago, so I'm thinking they're about two weeks old at this point.

There's a little cow kitty boy:

And a gray and white girl:

(At least, I THINK it's a boy and a girl.  I am decidedly NOT THE BEST when it comes to determining the gender of kittens.)


 Have you ever SEEN a kitten who looks more like his mama?:

Everybody's spending a lot of time in the (open) carrier right now - It's easier on Mama to keep the kittens confined to one spot, although they're already able to crawl over the rolled-up towel barrier across the front, so I predict chaos soon.  Mama comes out to eat and stretch her legs and get some petting from me - she seems to be quite shy, so I've been letting her decide that on her terms. 

Now I've just got to come up with some names.  I really like "Rio" for the mama, because she's so pretty, but that's subject to change.   AND I've got two kittens to name!  Suggestions welcome.

Monday, March 27, 2017

So far ...

I've received leads on possible job openings from
- my company's insurance agent
- the woman who runs the rescue for which I volunteer
- one of the volunteers at the rescue
- a friend of the woman with all the barn cats
- facebook friends

I'm not going to count the "bakery manager" job my one friend sent me, bc she only wants me to apply so she can get free pie. ha.

I've filled out a bunch of applications, and will continue to do so.   I know logically that I will be fine, I'm not going to starve to death, I'm not going to be put out on the street, but the moments of sheer panic keep bubbling up out of nowhere; hopefully those will diminish as I start to get called in for interviews.  Every time I start to have a panic attack, I just go on line and fill out another application, so at least the fear is productive.

In the meantime, guess what?!  The babies opened their eyes.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Losing Our Job

Yep, it happened to me.  As of the first of April, I'm officially downsized.