Just the randomness that is my life.
This is my first video using the game recording software on my new computer. This is World of Warcraft and I just flew around Shadowmoon Valley a bit as test.
Now the microphone picks up all sounds, so at one point you'll hear me talking, feel free to ignore. :p
This morning the Law office is holding a huge hearing regarding the Fire Union contract. They are using the commission board room down the hall as well as our two conference rooms to hold people. It's quite the mess and I have no clue really what is going on. But you would think as the receptionist and admin person for the office I would be kept in the loop about the plans. But no, I guess I'm just supposed to sit here and look pretty because nobody has told me jack shit about what the "plan" is. I thought our two rooms were just going to be for over flow, but no they actually have specific people they want sitting in them. So any effort I could give to be helpful is wasted because I don't know what the "plan" is.
More and more I wonder what the point of my position is. It seems I'm just here to answer phones and direct traffic on the floor because for the most part I don't have anything else to do. I have my odds and ends that come up here and there but nothing critical. I'm not really kept in the loop about anything that goes on. If I don't watch everyone calendars, I don't know when people will be showing up for meetings. When stuff like this is set up I'm barely told about it. The manager's Tuesday morning meeting location was switched to being in our office but I wasn't informed about it. And even if I had been I would have had no clue who was coming to it as the calendar didn't say and commissioners come to that meeting apparently.
I just really feel useless. Normally an admin runs the office, I just sit in waiting for someone to need something. Half the time when people come to the office they just walk past me like I'm not even here. For the most part I like the people I work with, but I'm not friends with any of them. I seem to just be the weird person in the hall to talk to once in a while but that's about it. I'm not included in anything that goes on in my office and the people in the law office all do their own thing. They've been working together for years and are actually around each other. But a hallway and a locked door separate me from them so I only see them when they have to leave the office for something.
It seems this really turned into less of a rant and more of whine. But it is what is I guess.
So yesterday I answered a phone call from the CFO who asked to speak to the manager. I ring the manager's phone and it rings and rings and rings. I know he's back there but he isn't answering. Suddenly he is right beside me and asks me what he can do for me. I let him know that the CFO is on the phone and would like to speak to him. He goes back to his office and I transfer the call.
The silly part is that he was in his office when I rang him. He heard the phone, looked at it, saw that I was the one calling and decided to walk up to my desk to see what I was calling about rather than just answer the phone.All I could do was laugh and shake my head.
I mentioned in my background post that I work for a local government, it is a county government to be specific. Where I live the county handles all 911 (emergency) calls. They dispatch for both the county and all of the cities within. They also handle all EMS, though the major city has first responders on their fire department. The county has its own fire department also to handle calls that occur outside any city limits.
Because the county has such a large force of emergency personnel, it was decided long before my time that the county would never close outside of weekends and holidays. 20 Feet of snow won't close our offices. The reason being that it would cost the county half a million dollars to close down for one day. This is because any time we close outside of weekends/ holidays we have to pay emergency personnel at minimum time and half (though more likely double time) and pay over time. If an employee feels that conditions are unsafe for them to travel to work, they can work with their supervisor to take a vacation day. But each employee has to work this out with their supervisor. There are no paid snow days for us.
Now the reason for this explanation is that today I received a call from a lady who works at the local office of the Department of Revenue (State office). The DOR has decided that each satellite office will only close when the local county offices close so she was calling to inquire about our policy for closing and how we notify employees that we are closed. I had to explain to her that we don't have any such policy because we don't close. Sure the Chairman of the board could decide to close (perhaps if we ever did get 20 feet of snow) and that the media would be informed but it has never happened as they are aware of the extreme cost to do so.
She wasn't happy with my answer and said she would be calling the major city in the county to inquire about their policy. I'm sure this is in hopes that they close and she can convince those above her to allow them to go along with what the city does rather than the county. Only thing is, I don't think the city ever closes either as they are in the same boat as us cost wise for the most part.
After I finished talking to her, I found out that she had called two days ago and spoke to my supervisor (because she happened to be the one who answered) and was told the same thing then. I guess she thought she would get a different answer today.
If she really wants to find a way to make sure she can close the office for snow days, then she should look at going off what the District Court does. They are a state office and the head judge is allowed to close down if he sees fit, which means they close a lot more often than we do.
I don't know what she'll get to do. I'll probably never find out as it really isn't our concern if they are open or closed. We'll just keep doing our thing and they can do whatever.
Two years ago when my office was remodeled to put my desk in the hallway, the then Manager struck a deal with the then Head Lawyer in regards to coverage of my breaks and vacations. Because the Law office was able to eliminate their reception position and have me answer all of their calls and greet all of their guests they would be responsible for providing someone to cover my lunch breaks and my vacations. Pretty good deal right? They don't have to pay me yet their calls still get answered and all they have to deal with is someone losing a small bit of productivity for an hour a day.
That is unless I take a vacation or I'm sick. In that case they have two options. They can all work together to split the time that I'm gone or they can hire a temp. When I went on vacation over the summer and I was gone for a week, they choose to hire a temp.
I am taking a vacation day on Christmas Eve. This is something that I've done every year that I've been here. In the past the coverage time has been split between my boss, three interns and the ladies in the Law office. This year though we only have 2 temps and one of them will also be gone that day. That means that more coverage needs to come from the Law office this year. My boss, realizing this, let their office know so that they could plan a rotation of who would cover.
They decided that they don't want to cover and that we should hire a temp. Um, no. If they don't want to cover and would rather have a temp, that's fine, but they need to be the ones who pay for it. That's the deal.
My boss told me about this all at the end of the day yesterday. She's rather frustrated with it. Mainly because she's having to work with a middle person. The way the Law office is set up is there is the Head Lawyer, Deputy Lawyer and multiple Assistant Lawyers. The Deputy Lawyer is over the office manager who is over the 3 admin ladies who cover my lunch breaks. The office manager is the one my boss is working with, but she is saying that Deputy Lawyer is the one who doesn't want her people to cover and wants us to hire the temp. Hard to say if it is really what the Deputy wants as the office manager has been manipulative in the past. She decides she wants to control or change something and goes to the bosses, tells them that something should be a certain way and manages to get them to go along with it.
I'm really not sure how all of this will play out. My time off will be covered one way or another. My boss says she will probably schedule a meeting with the Deputy Lawyer after the start of the year to talk about it and include the Head Lawyer along with the Manager and Assistant Manger. If they want to change the deal it needs to be discussed. Because if they don't want to cover for me anymore we'll be more than happy to no longer answer their phones. Because really, it isn't just me that answers the phones. When I am already on a call or otherwise indisposed, my boss and the interns are the ones who are back up and answer when I can't. So I'm sure all of them would be more than happy to no longer have to deal with calls that aren't even for our office.
On Friday I went with my family to the local botanical garden here which is simply called Botanica. Every year at this time they decorate nearly every inch of the gardens with lights and call it Illuminations.
The weather was perfect on Friday. Mid 50s and no wind. So of course everyone and their dog was there. Traffic was backed up on three different roads trying to get there. We didn't even try to park close and went straight to the over flow parking a mile away which was already overflowing also! The line for the shuttle was long so we walked the mile over to the garden. I didn't take as many pictures this year but I did take quite a few.
This tree is always so fun with all of the stuff hanging from it.
This large screen is actually made up of thousands of color changing Christmas lights. They had a bunch of different song clips from movies playing on it.
Just some of the fun lights from around the gardens.
And this was really neat. There was a peacock statue and they put lights behind it to give a huge glowing tail. It was hard to get a good picture though.
This is from the front...
And this is from the back.
Over all it was a really fun night and the lights were fantastic!
Yesterday the Board held their annual Holiday Open House at work. It last for two hours in the room down the hall. It's just a meet and greet with cookies, pretzels and punch.
My office for whatever reason always buys the refreshments for the party and this year I was in charge of ordering. Not a big deal as I just pull up the invoice from last year, call the caterer and order the same as before.
When the cookies arrived I wondered if I had made a mistake as the cookies were not up to the quality that I would have expected for $2.50 a cookie. I took a few pictures.
But this isn't really about the bad cookies, its about what happened to them today. After the party we had tons of left overs as per usual. We pack up the cookies and send them off to departments that have 24 hour staff that aren't able to come. But we always keep a few for our office. This year we kept 1 large bag of cookies, maybe 2-3 dozen and a large bag of pretzels. These were placed on the break room table. The catering staff were supposed to be at our office first thing this morning to retrieve the equipment they left (we don't have they stay and serve) but they didn't show up until I was on my lunch break, though even then I had called at 11:30 to let them know that no one had showed up yet.
When I got back from lunch the lady who covered for me said that the catering staff had showed up to collect their stuff and mentioned something about leaving leftover something or other. She didn't catch all of it as she was on the phone. I head to the break room where we had piled all their things and sure enough it was all gone.
BUT...so was the bag of cookies. Not only had this person taken the equipment but they took back a bag of cookies worth at least $50. I was more than pissed. The cookies were not that great but we paid for them. If the person wanted a cookie to eat I would have gladly given them one. But I would not have let them walk out with $50 worth of cookies!
It just blew my mind that someone would do that.
This is just a quick update on the newspapers that disappeared from my desk. As I mentioned in another post, the PR Director has decided that she will just take care of these herself. I can only assume she got tired of seeing the pile of them on my desk.
From what I can tell, she is cutting out the articles and then just saving them in folders. She isn't scanning them, not sure that she could even if she wanted to because as far as I know she doesn't know how to use the scanner. So all the articles are just sitting there. I'm fairly certain that they will come to me for scanning at some point, but so far they haven't.
The main reason for this update is because of something I've observed over the past week or so. A huge pile of newspapers on the table in her office. There is at least a week and a half worth of papers sitting there. It may be more than that as the pile looks to be a fair bit larger than anything I ever had sitting on my desk.
So she has taken the papers from me only to leave them sitting. At least now she only has herself to blame for it.
On Friday I had my annual performance evaluation. I am pleased to report that my boss had nothing bad to say and I even talked her into giving me a couple more easy responsibilities. She's been so swamped with the start of the new manager that many smaller things are slipping past her and I made sure to remind her that I'm here to help.
We also discussed the PR Director a bit in regards to the news papers. My boss spoke to her about it and all she could get out of her is that she has decided to take care of the papers herself. She didn't give any other explanation. There probably is another reason, but since she didn't disclose it, nothing to be done. My boss let me know that she is intimidated by the PR Director also. So it isn't just me that feels like she looks down on them. So I'm in zero trouble there.
And because I had a good evaluation I'm guaranteed a % increase to my pay for next year. Probably no more than 2% as is the normal, but it's better than nothing.
The new head honcho boss officially started work yesterday. Not a bad guy so far. He comes to us from the Military where he was a Brigadier General.
This title was apparently a huge selling point for him getting the job from what I can tell. I'm certain he is qualified, but the chairman of the board has made a big deal out of the fact that we've managed to hire a Brigadier General. This has become apparent to me though the fact that the chairman insists on using the title even though the Manager does NOT want to use it anymore. He has left the military and just wants to be a normal guy with a job.
To welcome the new manager to the community, a reception has been planned for Dec. 1 and invites have been printed to send out to the local community leaders. It is my job to print labels, stuff envelopes and make sure they get sent out. I was working on this yesterday. Around 3pm I started sealing the envelopes and as I am about halfway through I'm told to stop, wait.
The invitations say Brigadier General on them per the orders of the chairman but of course the manager doesn't want them used as he doesn't want to use the title. Luckily the invitations that did not have the title on them were found in a recycle bin. So I start carefully as possible unsealing the envelopes I've already sealed in order to not have to reprint labels as I am out of the fancy clear ones I printed the addresses on. So I'm working on opening them back up when I'm stopped once again and told to just not do anything with them. They realized that they should tell the manager that the title is there by the request of the chairman and ask that he talk to him about it. I don't know when this will happen or what the result of it will be.
I was originally told to have the invitations in the mail today. When this all happened yesterday I was told to no longer worry about that thankfully. I have no idea when I'll be able to finish up the invitations or even which one will be in the envelope. I might be simply resealing the ones I've opened and finishing up the rest, or I might be opening up the rest, pulling out the invite that is there, re-stuffing and then resealing.