Thursday, November 16, 2006

Appraise THIS . . .

Well, it's annual appraisal time, and I thought this year was going to be a good one (in terms of my compensation), but, alas, I was wrong.

So my raise ended up being substantially less than what I felt it should be. And I have a couple of choices: 1) throw a fit, 2) be patient, or 3) start looking for a new job.

Throwing a fit: basically, all that will do is make me look like a jackass. It's not going to change anything except my boss' perception of me. I think I will pass on this option.

Being patient: although a much more mature response than throwing a fit, the outcome will probably be much the same . . . nothing will change.

Looking for a new job: Ugh. Double UGH, even. New jobs suck. Mostly because you have to meet a bunch of people and try to figure out who you can trust and who you can't; who is good to have lunch with; who you should stay away from; etc. Then there are the new routes to work that you have to learn, including the best ways to avoid traffic during inclement weather. Oh, and proving yourself all over again. One more time for effect . . . UGH.

I guess the real question here is this: Is it really worth it? Is having to deal with all the stuff/ drama that goes along with a new job really worth a few thousand dollars a year? I mean, all in all, I love my job. Yes, I work exceptionally long hours, have a lot of responsibility, and report to more "managers" than I can count. But the work is interesting, and most of the people I work with are exceptionally nice. And even the ones who aren't "exceptionally nice" are at least "relatively nice." And I have a few select people that I deal with daily who I know would be lost without me. One, in particular, who has been going to bat for me since I first started here three years ago. And knowing that by leaving here I would be letting him down, it makes the decision to go that much more difficult.

So, for now, I will stay. And hope (with fingers, toes, and eyes crossed) that my boss will realize just how irreplaceable I am and give me some more money in a few months. Because ultimately, job satisfaction is way more valuable than money. But money is always nice.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I can't EFFING believe it . . .

So, the web is abuzz with news about Britney filing for divorce from K-Fed. Wahoo!! Girl finally got smart.

Let me just say this, I'm 31 years old, and Britney came a little "after my time" but the girl has made a mint doing her thing, so you have to give her some credit for that.

But then she started her white-trash downward spiral . . . first there was the whole marriage/ annulment from her high school friend, then she got involved with Kevin Federline. Geez. It seemed like she was doomed. But just when you are about to write her off, she goes and does something smart like this!! Brilliant.

Oh, and speaking of brilliant . . . that pre-nup her lawyers convinced her to have him sign: PURE EFFING GENIUS. Because seriously, how much would it have sucked if Britney had to continue paying child support to Shar Jackson for her two kids even after she divorced Kevin!

But seriously, here's hoping that Britney will use this as a launching pad to get her career back in gear, and also that she doesn't forget that, while Kevin may get 1/2 of the house and $30k a month for the next year, she got the best part of him . . . those adorable little boys!! (K-Fed may be a nasty, skanky, piece of trash, but he makes some cute children!!)

Good luck, Brit-Brit . . . I wish you the best!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A New Lease (On Life As I Know It)

Things in my life have changed a lot lately. And I must honestly admit that they have changed for the better.

On September 30th, with some help from my most reliable friends, I moved into a new townhouse in Arlington with my co-worker, Ship*. Ship is so far turning out to be a pretty good roommate. There are some things that we are going to have to get worked out before too long, but nothing major (e.g. – just because I’m the girl doesn’t mean I should have to be the one who always empties the dishwasher, and my dog can be a big, giant, attention-starved pain in the arse). But all-in-all, things are going pretty great.

One of the most important things about having a new roommate is compatibility, not just between the roommates, but between the roommates and their extended circles of friends. The good news is that Ship gets along extremely well with my best friend JoZaff and her boyfriend, Bergle, which makes it nice when I have them over for dinner. And we both spend a lot of time with mutual friends from work, which is great. (Although some of us spend more time with certain co-workers of the opposite sex than others!)

So, life is good at home. And that makes me happy, because it is a new concept for me, and I really think I could get used to it.
*Just so you know, all names are changed to protect the innocent and to keep the fools anonymous.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Story of the Magical Lime Green Linen Pants . . .

In the past 6 months or so, I've found myself addicted to the show "What Not to Wear," so I've been trying to make a concerted effort to buy clothes that aren't black or charcoal grey (mistake number one, apparently). And trying to stay away from things that are bulky and oversized just because I'm not nearly as thin as I used to be. (Turns out I've got a nice rack, apparently, but who would have known under all the turtlenecks and other crap I was wearing!)

But honestly, I think my fashion catharsis all started with a pair of lime green linen pants that I bought last spring. If you'd ever told me that I would own a piece of lime green clothing, I would have laughed, but when I saw them hanging in the store I just knew that I had to buy them!

First of all, let me fill in those of you who didn't know me in my earlier years. When I was little, I was a tomboy. In fact, I still kind of am, but I just don't dress the part as much. I was never happier than when I was wearing some outfit that was handed down from my older brother (which is a good thing, because that was about all we could afford). Dresses were the enemy. I would occasionally put on a mini-skirt in high school, but always with an oversized t-shirt and Keds (hey, it was the 90's), but I mostly just wore Levi's and Umbro's with Stussy t-shirts and flannel shirts. (Yeah, I know how awful that sounds!)

And then came college. Although I did have a few shirts that looked sort of girly, that was about the extent of my fashion sense. I was the girl who always wore flannel pj's to class with an oversized sweatshirt and my hair in a ponytail. For me, dressing up meant wearing a pair of khaki carpenter-style cords (hammer-hanger and all) with a bulky sweater (probably purchased in the men's department). And the day I graduated, my mother was mortified that I had failed to mention that I didn't own a dress or skirt (except a VERY short jean mini). Her embarrassment was tenable when she saw me just before the ceremony in jean cut-offs, Birkenstocks, and a ratty old white v-neck t-shirt that was about 4 sizes too big! After all, even my brother the mountain-biking, tree-hugging, Frisbee-tossing Geology major had worn a tie to his graduation!

Anyway, back to the pants . . . I think, at first, that it was sort of like my fascination with extremely ugly shoes. If I see a pair of really God-awfully gaudy shoes for a decent price, I have to buy them. (This led to the addition of a pair of tangerine orange platform sandals with lime, yellow, purple, and white flowers to my shoe collection a few years ago. I was tempted by a pair of electric blue glitter-covered shoes just this weekend, but opted for something a bit more sensible.)

Quite honestly, I think it was the shock factor that first drew me to those linen beauties. But in a really weird way, those pants represented the beginning of a new period in my life, Shortly after I bought them, I turned 30, buried my grandmother, and ended a 3-year relationship (all within one week). Now, all of these things were inevitable . . . I can't control my age, my grandmother was 84 and had cancer, and not all relationships are built to last . . . but something changed in me when I put on those pants, and I had this new sense of confidence that I had misplaced many years before. And I handled all of those things much better than I would have pre-lime green pants. Those pants aren't magical, but they are a symbol of what lies within us all . . . this hidden ability or strength to handle anything that comes our way, whether we think we're prepared for it or not.

Since the pants, I've been buying other items of clothing that I never dreamed I would, and trying on things that frighten me a bit when I first see them on the rack. Gauzy tops with long flowing sleeves, "Going Out" shirts that show off the girls. And one skirt that is definitely not for the faint of heart. Even things as simple as jeans that really, truly FIT. And with each item of clothing, I have found that my confidence grows. I don't worry about standing out because I look like a reject from the Salvation Army when I go out to DC, Arlington, or Old Town anymore. Yeah, I still stand out, but now it's because I want to. (And as a girl measuring 5'11" it's a little hard not to!)

And because of their significance, I imagine that those pants will probably be tucked away in the back of my closet long after they've outlived their usefulness, no matter how much weight I gain or lose over the coming years.