Saturday, November 30, 2013

Private School

Earlier this week we went to one of the private schools in the area to meet with the director, have Jena tested for placement, etc.

It was the school that was at the top of our list for private schools, and we're satisfied that they would provide a quality education and try to work with Jena at her level.

The testing was a little... unclear. The way they do testing is to review work that the students are currently doing. So for Jena the teacher reviewed both Kindergarten work and 1st grade work.

Kindergarten work, no problem. But they are small classes, they believe in advancing the student as they are ready, etc. So sounds good.

1st grade work... well, everything they covered is something that I know Jena knows how to do. But... how it's delivered confused her.

For instance, for reading they asked her to identify which words follow the "mb" combination sound rule. Things like "lamb", "climb", "plumber", etc. She couldn't answer.

But here's the deal. She can read all of those words. She knows how to pronounce "mb" in combination. But no one has taught her that it is a "rule", that it's a "combination sound", etc. So to ask her to identify words that follow a "combination sound rule" doesn't make sense to her. But if you asked her a different way, I know for a fact she knows that information. Does that make sense?

So probably if we were to send her there we would go ahead and start her in Kindergarten, so she could catch up on the way they teach there. Does that make sense?

We haven't made a decision yet, but I'm glad we went. It gave us a lot of good information.

One issue we have to look at is finances. The private school tuition, plus after school care for over 3 hours a day, means a significant chunk of my paycheck would be going just to her schooling.

Plus, since this school starts earlier, but I still can't pick her up till after work, she'd be either at school, or in an after-school care center for roughly 9.5 hours a day. I know she's already in preschool for 8 hours a day, but that extra 90 minutes just makes it sound like a lot. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with that.

We're keeping our options open, and continue to gather information. I'm sure we'll figure it out in the end.

We're also considering the possibility of homeschool. Any readers care to share their experience / knowledge on the subject?

As always, thanks for checking in!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I'm here

Sorry I've been MIA. You have no idea how much I'd rather be blogging, LOL.

Lots of drama, very busy.

Baby is good. 13 weeks. I'm doing well.

Work sucks. More details than I can go into now. Or maybe ever. Confidentiality and such.

Biggest news is we're looking into private schools and homeschool options for Jena. Long story, but that's consuming much of our personal time right now.

Hopefully I can get back on here for real in the near future.

As much as I miss writing, I miss checking in on your blogs too. Hope to be back soon!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Work Struggles

So lately I've been really struggling with my work situation.

As you may remember, we went thru a major organizational change nearly 2 years ago, and as a result the entire culture & environment I am working in has changed drastically as well.

And I'm miserable.

First of all, and probably most serious, here is advice / tidbits I've gotten from people who have long-term been in the group we merged with:

Trust no one. I've seen too many people stabbed in the back by people they thought they could trust.

Trust no one.

Welcome to the fishbowl. Where everyone's watching you, either to feed on you or to hide behind you.

Watch what you say. Everyone's listening, and they will twist your words and use it against you.

This is completely out of character to everything I've known during my 10 years with this company. Sure, I've had my issues (who doesn't?), but I could always trust my co-workers. Heck, I know many of their spouses, our kids play together. After 10 years, a lot of them feel more like family.

I've already experienced some of this first-hand. And so has at least one of my co-workers / friends.

It's really sad.

You wouldn't think the culture in a company could change that much from one division to another, but obviously it can.

Another big difference is that now there is a much bigger emphasis on appearance. You see, since being here I've always worked in an engineering group. There's a huge focus on productivity, results, etc. Now that we've merged with an administrative group, it seems to be all about appearances. It's not enough to do a good job. Now you have to spend ridiculous amounts of time making a pretty report to "prove" that you did the work. And if your report isn't pretty enough? You might as well not bother doing the work at all.

It even translates into personal appearance. Which I find interesting considering we're all under the same dress code. Here we have a business casual dress code.

My guys tend to dress in a polo, slacks, and steel toed shoes (they're cuter than you think). Now that we've moved (oh yeah, our office moved to another building - ugh)? Women in heels & dresses nicer than I wear to weddings, men in ties. It's even different in the bathroom. In the other building, you did your business & got out. Here? Women spend copious amounts of time preening in front of the mirror.

It's sickening how much emphasis is put on appearance over function now.

Add to that my actual work situation. Due to the org change, the vast majority of my projects were handed over to another group, because it better fits in their responsibilities. I was supposed to be backfilled with new projects.

That has yet to happen. It's been brought up to my (new) manager multiple times. But there's been little to no development, and the work he's given me to try to fill my time is rote administrative tasks. Which I don't mind doing, to a point, but...

I realized the other day that I am in exactly the same position I was 10 years ago.

Ten years ago I started here, in this building, on this floor, surrounded by people I barely knew, spending the vast majority of my day doing data entry.

I did well, they gave me more responsibility. I did that well, they gave me more. Rinse, repeat. It took seven years for them to max out my capacity. I led multiple projects on a regular basis, led cross-functional teams as needed for special projects, presented to the entire division regularly. And I loved my work.

Now? Ten years later? In the matter of about nine months, because of handing off projects that weren't backfilled, because of an office move made due to corporate politics over business need, I am in exactly the same position. Nine months has made the difference. It has been a huge step backward in my career.

I am in the same building, on the same floor, surrounded by people I barely know, spending the majority of my time doing data entry.

I've repeatedly told my Manager I want more: more work, more responsibility. Teach me. Develop me. Let me do more. He seems to listen, but nothing happens.

My husband thinks I should go over his head, to the General Manager, who came from my old group and with whom I've had a good working relationship. Maybe he's right, but I'm reluctant to pull the go-over-your-head card.

But I am miserable.

I feel trapped.

Because, let's face it. I'm probably not going anywhere for a while.

Jena's tuition is subsidized by my employer. So until she graduates Kindergarten (in May), I'm not leaving. Oh, and my due date is in May, so then there's maternity leave, so... basically I have a year. And let's face it, even if I were willing to leave before then, no one wants to hire the pregnant lady. Oh, they legally can't list that as their reason, but we all know it's true. So that leaves a year. A year to find a way to improve things.

Sometimes I think I just need to improve my attitude, my outlook.

All I know is something's gotta give. I just hope it's not me.

As always, thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013



I don't really have a blog post put together, but I hate that my blog has set un-updated for so long, so here's some ramblings.

We got Ashes her puppy shots last weekend at a shot clinic held by a local rescue. Discounted shots, and $$ goes to help a rescue? Yes, please.

We also bought some flea treatment, because of course, now that we bring old dog and little dog in for the cold, NOW they have fleas. Which means the cats now have fleas too. Aaaagh!

We had a bad infestation of fleas at our old house. So I may or may not tend to over-react if I see so much as a speck of dirt that might possibly resemble a flea. Just sayin'.

Luckily we appear to have caught it early, and we're going into Winter, so we're hoping a one-month treatment will knock it out.

Ashes is roughly 30+ lbs now, at just 4 months of age. And her paws are still disproportionately large. Can't wait to see how  big she gets.

Old dog (Buddy) is definitely less tolerant of the cold. We now bring him in if it gets below 50 degrees. The good(?) news is that his hearing appears to be going as well, so he's not as gun-shy as he used to be. You know, because he can't hear them as well.

Molly is getting more friendly. Lately she's taken to finding me when I first get up in the morning and go to the bathroom. She literally runs to the bathroom and rubs my legs while I'm peeing. Hope that wasn't TMI. Not sure why she's picked that time to want affection, but it's kinda nice to have a friendly kitty good morning routine.

There are multiple co-workers who are sick right now, but who keep coming to work. And I don't mean a tiny little cough sick. I mean hacking all day, runny nose, red eyes, visited the on-site clinic sick.
Now, this bothers me usually. Why spread the germs? Why would  you do that? Go home. Rest.

And our company provides really generous sick leave. So take a day. Or two. Or five. Go home. Get your germs outta here!

But now that I'm pregnant (momma bear about protecting this tiny baby) and pregnant (can't take any medicine if I get your illness) I'm a getting more & more upset that they're not taking off. As in, not one of them has missed so much as one day. Grr!

Jena is doing really well in Kindergarten. She knows all of the sight words they're doing right now, so her teacher has altered the assignment so that instead of practicing reading her sight words every night, she's to practice writing the sight words every night.

By the way, I don't know why they teach sight words anyway. But that's a whole 'nother post.

Okie dokie. I gotta get going now. I'll try to write a real post as soon as I can.

As always, thanks for checking in!
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