Thursday, May 24, 2007

Time flies when you are not having fun!

Sorry to have disappeared for so long. What a crazy hectic week it has been. Last week I may have mentioned Glenn had his shoulder surgery. Rotator cuff surgery is HUGE! Anyway, we went to the doctor yesterday and it seems that the recovery time is totally slow. Four more weeks in a sling, then 4 weeks of not lifting over 10 pounds, and then rigorous physical therapy to get back over this. He is being a trooper, I can't even imagine. He can't drive for another 2 weeks, and he can't work. He is allowed to try typing now and again at the computer but when his shoulder hurts he should stop. He is stuck in the house each day all day while I"m at work, and mostly at night we don't go out. I would not do well at that plan.
Meanwhile I've interviewed some nanny candidates, trying to figure out what to do on that front. About a week ago I found out that my son was being harassed and physically tortured by another child at daycare. This same child has done it before, and I had been assured he'd be removed if he did it again. Well, that assurance wasn't worth squat. My intention is to get my kids out of that situation.
Our long anticipated trip to southern Oregon has been busted for now. We instead have booked a place in Ashland in a couple of weeks to go down for my nephew's graduation. Unfortunately his actual graduation is on a weeknight, so we won't get to go to the high school (wah, I'd love to go back!!) They are having a party in Ashland, and I found a cute little house to rent that will accommodate all of us for the weekend. Hopefully we can drive up to Grants Pass and kick around our old stomping grounds. I'm looking forward to letting the kids try Lithia Water at the park as well!
Had a blast from the past looking at my old high school sight. It seems one of my old teachers, who was a young slim blond girl with great long hair who married another teacher, is now a huge women who seems to have the spiked short lesbian hairdo going on. Funny what a couple of decades can do to a person! She was always a strong woman, I guess some things have changed though.
All from the grass seed capital of the world!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


So one of my jobs at work is interviewing potential new employees. Today was one of those days - I brought in a small parade of job candidates and spent 45 minutes getting to know each one.
I have to say that a statistic I read many years ago pops into mind at times like this. I think I read that something like 20% of the population has a mental illness. It is never so apparent to me as when I do interviews.
With the age of the internet, with information literally at your fingertips, people aught to 'know' how to interview. There are some conventions to it. Wash your hair. Put on clean clothing. Brush your teeth. Think a bit about your life, and what you would like to tell the employer. Maybe live on the edge and do a little research on the place. Look interested. Remember that it isn't a test to see how good you interview, its a chance to talk about who you are and who the company is and see if it would be a nice fit.
of course the interview process is fraught with difficulties on both sides. I am the middle-man - the person who helps other people find good candidates. I am constantly asked why they have to do two interviews, why they need to talk to soo many people, why they have ot invest so much time. When I tell them it costs half a year's wages if they screw it up, they look doubtful. They minimize the work these people do for them. They don't think about what they really need and want. They tend to try to hire people they would like to go out to coffee with and discuss a great book together.
We survived today's intervews only to be left with no clear winner. So the process of elimination began with us trying to contact references. This is another area where people mess up. Make sure you have good #s for your former employers. Today I made 6 phone calls, and I got not a single reference. I did find two numbers that worked, but both people were out of town for the week.
Hiring season is at hand. This is the beginning of lots and lots of interviews, reference checks, coaching and discussion. After having sounded so negative above, I wills ay that people do do it right. Unfortunately out of the 2 dozen applications on this job, only a handful did. Then again, I only need one great candidate to say 'yes'!
And on a personal note, today is Emma's day to fall down. Two is getting more and more charming by the day. Today Emma stood on my bed and when I tapped her just barely on the chest with a finger she fell into my pillows laughing hysterically. She would get back up and wait for me to do it again. If I didn't comply, she'd fall anyway and laugh hysterically once more. It was terrific therapy! There is nothing better then the clear free laugh of a two year old....
Good night!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Long week and its only Tuesday!

Whew, what a week. Sunday was Mother's Day, and it was a fine one although probably not what I had envisioned. Kids were cranky, Glenn was nervous and we couldn't find a movie to go to. Ended up puttering around the house and cleaning the garage. Not exactly a dream day of relaxing but it had to be done.
Yesterday I drove Glenn over and he had his rotator cuff reattached. That was a charming surgery. Got there at 10:45, he didn't get in to the surgery room until 1:19 and I didn't see the doctor till closer to 4pm. The orthopedic surgeon brought out some beautiful color shots of Glenn's shoulder which he said were crap because they were just little peep-holes into it. the good news is that he got things reattached, although it took longer then he intended.
Luckily I had planned for them to run over (they always do) and so I ran home, picked up the kids, and met my friend Cynthea at my house. I even ordered pizza so no one would starve. Then back to the hospital to wait for them to discharge the patient. Sometimes hospital planning baffles me. they have a pharmacy in the base of the short stay unit. They give me 3 prescriptions that he should start immediately, but they don't give them to me until they give me his discharge paperwork at 6:10 pm. I go downstairs. The pharmacy closes at 6pm, so no luck. We can't spend the night without the prescriptions. Glenn is cranky and doesn't want to go home and sit with Cynthea (who is my friend but only an aquaintance to him really) and so I end up with him in the parking lot at Bi-Mart for an extremely long time waiting for them to fill our prescription. Bi-Mart doesn't care if you are in pain, if you just had surgery, if you are dying in thier parking lot. They fill prescriptions in the order they come in, whether people are there waiting or not. So we waited 45 minutes after they told me 20, and finally got to go home.
Today I had to 'watch' Glenn all day. That was fun. He mostly slept and so I did a few chores and not much else.
I did get some exciting news. It seems that the preschool has changed it's mind on transporting to kindergarten. When we were planning everything early this spring they assured me that they would go to any kindergarten within a reasonable distance if 2 or more kids were going. Since I have twins, I figured I was scott free. Well today I turned in my 'reservation' for next year and she said, 'oh, I don't know that we go to that school. What???? So now I'm scrambling trying to figure out how to take care of Jakey and Violet in the fall. This is not funny. I'm tired, I'm not good when Glenn isn't functioning to begin with, and having my plans all toppled really stresses me out. Blech.
As an added bonus we all slept terribly last night as Glenn was in a lot of pain, and the stomach flu that the rest of the family enjoyed for the last 2 weeks seems to have landed on me today. I have to interview 3 job candidates tomorrow and sit in on a construction conference call, so I can't not go to work. Weee.
Guess that is all from the middle of Oregon....

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wild and crazy weekend

Thursday night the fun began. You see, this weekend we had Emma dedicated at church. That meant that family would come up, which in turn meant that we needed to get through Mom's stuff before they arrived. We sent a set of photos down to the distant realatives to see if anyone wanted anything. Most everyone said, 'nope, Mom gave us what she wanted us to have' but not my sister in law. She of course had to have a different approach - she wants us to hold everything while she darts off on another international adventure. I am not sure how to act around all this. She wasn't my mother, and she isn't my sister. I mostly resent the fact that she is being so greedy. Doesn't it seem strange. In my world normal people want things to remind them of the person they lost. They don't worry about net worth. This woman is wanting things appraised. She actually wants to come into the house when we are not home, which makes me wonder what else she will take. I feel very uncomfortable with the whole thing.
Her daughter came up with her husband, and we gave them a few items. We had a nice weekend with them - had pictures taken, went to the fairy festival, had a nice time. Sunday we had the dedication and then we all went to lunch. Emma as a bonus got the stomach flu.
Guess that is it for tonight.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Why are manners and ethics dead?

This weekend we are throwing a little party for our latest addition, Emma. We never properly got the chance to welcome her to the family when she arrived last fall. When you are dealing with adoption of orphanage infants you are dealing with attachment issues. We were told to do something called 'funneling' where you don't let anyone hold the baby but you for months, allowing time for the new child to bond with you as parents. With 8 months under our belts now, it seems appropriate to celebrate Emma coming into our lives.
We are having her baptized at church on Sunday. Aftwards we will all meet friends for lunch. I've reserved a private room at a local chinese restaurant on the river. We sent out invitations and we put RSVP on them.
We are now getting close to the time when I have to call the restaurant and confirm. I have heard very little from anyone. When I've said, 'so, do you think you are coming' they all say, 'oh yes'. But if I didn't run into them and ask I wouldn't hear a thing!
Honestly though, this is just one example of a far bigger problem. It seems manners have pretty much died off. Thank you notes after job interviews never happen anymore. It actually dates us to write them. People under the age of 40 do not write them in my experience.
Putting 'regrets only' on the invitation does no better. People just don't follow up. They either show up or they don't and somehow you are supposed to plan for it.
Meanwhile work today was full of fun information. I have an employee whom I suspected had poor judgement for quite a while. Today I confirmed that. Her judgement is far worse then I expected, and now I have to do something about it. She violated a university policy and a state administrative rule. I started the process of gathering the documentation I need to mount a progressive discipline case against her.
I hate these. As a supervisor I can't talk about what she has done to anyone. I'll be slayed by her with her coworkers because she is free to say whatever she wishes. Most of these cases say plenty. Meanwhile management follows all the rules and carefully backs up their case. In the 10 years I've done this I've terminated 3 employees. It has taken me well over a year each time to go through all the documentation and hoops that are required. At the end I have never had a single doubt about my decision to terminate them. We shift employees, we retrain and rework employees, we do a lot to make their jobs work with their lives. When they choose to fail, it is a long process that in the end shows the worst of everyone.
I rarely have these quite frankly, and when I do I am forever amazed that people don't take their jobs that are paid for with taxpayer money more seriously. I've always felt that if your behavior was not something you'd want on the front of the state newspaper, then you should not choose to do it. People over the years do continue to amaze me with their choices. We have an obligation to behave ethically at work. People trust us with their children and their money. I'm baffled why some employees don't get the gravity of the situation.
All for tonight!