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When Spam Repeats on You

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No, not that kind of Spam. Although, that also tends to cause stomach upset on occasion.

Everyone thinks technology is so great.

Except when it isn’t.

I had a job at the end of 2014. It turned out the job was not a good fit (in every conceivable way) for me, but I tried to stick it out for a short while. During that time, I got an email to go to a website and look at documents regarding benefits. Benefits I wasn’t going to enroll in, but since I got a reminder in my personal email about every third day, I wanted to take care of it. But my password didn’t work. I tried to contact someone about it. They reset it. It still didn’t work. The emails, with a due date of 8/4/14, wouldn’t stop coming. Then I left that position to become a famous author (I am still working on the famous part).

I thought, “Well, at least those emails will stop coming.”

I was wrong.

These tasks were due in 2014. It is now 2017!!!

These tasks were due in 2014. It is now 2017!!!

Censored not to protect them, but to protect ME from getting sued by them.

They still come, every three days, over two years after I left that job. They still have a due date of 8/4/14. It is an international Fortune 500 company. You would think that they would purge that stuff every now and then. It makes them look very bad.

There is no way to opt out or stop the emails from coming, since I have no way to log into the site they come from. I am no longer an employee, so I wouldn’t have access to any inside way to stop it. And that didn’t work even when I was still an employee. So, I set them to go to my spam.

Which is probably bad for that company, which happens to be in retail, when they want to send advertising to actual customers, and I have marked them as spam. But I had to.

But it doesn’t stop there. When I periodically check my spam, there they are, all sitting there, mocking me. They remind me of a very unhappy, unhealthy, and chaotic time in my life that I would rather never think of ever again.

And they force me to think of it weekly, putting me back into that horrible state of mind, even if just for a few seconds. I should sue their asses for mental anguish. I have PTSD from that position. I wanted a clean break, and it was in every way EXCEPT FOR THE EMAILS!!!

It bothers me so much to still receive them that I am writing a whole damn blog post about it! Using up my personal space just to rant about their stupidity!

Interested in spending time in my headspace during that time? Check out this flashback post:

iNsTaBiLiTy: a poem

Eight days after that post, I put in my two weeks notice. And I really only gave them eight and a half more days; I could not even make it to a full ten.

troll-gurl-teaser-2

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

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2nd Shift is a Cruel Mistress

My husband has big dreams. But for now, the draw of a steady paycheck keeps him tied down to the manufacturing industry. That means he doesn’t get to pick his own hours. So, he is stuck with the three shifts offered, which are pretty similar across most plants.

But, you do have more energy because work hasn't had a chance to wear you down yet today. So there's that...

But, you do have more energy because work hasn’t had a chance to wear you down yet today. So there’s that…

Before we were married, I worked 9AM-5PM hours, while he worked 2nd shift, usually a 3PM-11PM situation. He liked not having to get up early. He likes to stay up late. So, it worked for him. If I wanted to see him during the week, I had to stay up past 11:30PM when he got home, which, seeing as I left for work at 7:00AM, left me sleep deprived. But I was in my twenties, so who wasn’t, right?

Then we got married, bought a house, and could finally have the dogs of our dreams. I worried about them having to cross their legs for long periods of time. But with our work schedules, they were only alone for typically 4 hours a day. We were being good parents to our canine kids, even if we still never saw each other.

After 10 years of service, he eventually got laid off when his plant closed. He is a hard worker, always shows up on time, doesn’t constantly play on his phone. Since then, he has been steadily employed for the last 4 years, but not at the same place. See, for those unfamiliar, manufacturing is not a real steady business in Michigan in the 2010s. He did have the opportunity to get on first shift at one place (it was even a 4 days/10 hours schedule), but then shortly after that they went out of business.

So, once again, we are stuck with this second shift shit. Which, at this point, isn’t completely horrible because it is good for our childcare needs.

But, it still sucks.

Sometimes it feels like we lead separate lives. I feel like I have no support. When you live with a 2nd shifter, you can always count on them not to be there. What is even worse, is that you know how much they want to be. They miss sports, parent-teacher conferences, events.

Don’t even get me started on 3rd shift, which my husband has also done for limited periods of time. It totally fucks up your circadian rhythms. And should a bat choose to fly around your house in the middle of the night, you have to have your BFF and her husband drive a half hour to exterminate.

troll-gurl-teaser-2

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

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What I Learned This Week – 3/20/16

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This week I learned that GOOD CHARLOTTE is coming out with a new album!

The Good Charlotte boys, back in the day.

The Good Charlotte boys, back in the day.

Have I ever told you the long story about my Good Charlotte obsession? Well, it’s long and will have to wait for another day. Suffice to say, they are my boys! More specifically, the Maddens who, even though they bulked up, I still love.

I have all their previous albums. The still-untitled new album will be out this summer. This is great to hear, but, um, could you be more specific? Why not wait to announce it until you have a title or a date? That would be like me saying, “Hey, I have a new book coming out Fall of 2016. It is similar to my previous writing, but also new and different.”

Well, they got me to write about them, didn’t they? ❤ Those boys. I think I have seen them in concert at least four times.

This week I was looking for an item that is very special to me and that I thought would help inspire me while writing my latest book.

Of course, I couldn’t find said trinket (Jack Sparrow’s voice says that in my head), but I did find a collection of bookmarks I have had for 30 years. I’m sure for other people bookmarks come and bookmarks go. But to me these are special, especially an Amelia Bedelia one and one from my local library.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

I think I was in 4th grade when a real live author, Peggy Parish, came to our school and talked to us. I had never heard of her and I didn’t read her Amelia Bedelia books. But she was maybe the first celebrity encounter I ever had. (For more, please check out my page When Stars Align. You will find GOOD CHARLOTTE there.) It didn’t matter that I wasn’t her fan. I was a fan of what she did. SHE WROTE BOOKS. Words she wrote were in libraries all across the country (I was kind of clueless about bookstores back then. That would change in time as well.) with numbers on the pages, bound inside of covers with pictures on them, printed by some publishing house.

It is not a memory that I regularly revisit, but maybe it placed the notation into my head somewhere that it was a possibility for a career someday.

Speaking of possible careers, the bookmark from the local library was the winner in a bookmark contest many years ago. I kept it all these years because it was created by my asbestos friend! She has a book coming out September 2016 (the cover is featured below). Obviously she took the sentiment from her bookmark to heart: books can brighten your life. At a young age it also must have been imprinted into her that writing was a worthy pursuit.

I surmised (correctly, as it turns out) that my asbestos friend no longer possessed a copy of the bookmark herself. I decided to frame it, so that it would survived the coming years better than the previous ones. I decided to add a few of her other writing achievements into it as well. I think it turned out nice. She seemed happy with it, even hanging it on the wall. Now even if she doesn’t like it, she will have to hang it back on the wall every time I come over so my feelings aren’t hurt. Ha. (I think…)

The Evolution of E.A. Comiskey's writing life

The Evolution of E.A. Comiskey’s writing life

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It CLICK HERE TO WIN!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

My 3 Jobs

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I think of myself as having three jobs right now:

1. Writer

2. Maid/ Mom

3. Customer Service/Retail

A pictograph of my life right now.

A pictograph of my life right now.

As a writer, I am working on like 4 novels at once. I hope to have once finished soon. I am also trying to keep up my blog, as I do not want to lose views just as I might have a product (my future book) to hock to them (THIS MEANS YOU!). I don’t want to abandon my only marketing tool. I have also learned that I write because “I can’t not write.” So, I might as well try to find a way to use that to move toward a goal.

Making a little money from it would be nice as well.

Fame and fortune would be AWESOME!

3 JOBS-meme

I am not a stay at home mom, because I work part-time outside the home. But when I am home, I am chasing my child, trying to keep him clean and fed and happy. (The “happy” part is almost impossible.) I am also trying to keep up with the laundry and dishes and sweeping. I aspire to complete a thorough spring cleaning someday…for 2011. We also have two large dogs. So some days I feel like a zookeeper as well.

I work about 15-20 hrs per week in a retail customer service job. So, I spend all day waiting on my child’s beck and call, then I head off to get paid to do the same thing for strangers.  I have an hour commute one way. So, if you figure I usually work 3 days per week, that is 6hrs I am gone from home and not getting paid for them, plus gas. It cuts into the bottom line. I know it sounds silly, but you have to understand that we love our house and want to stay close to our family. Therefore, we live in the land of very few good jobs. To get a job similar to the one I held for 12 years prior, we would have to move closer to Detroit, or a different city. We don’t want that. So, we make due.

I know that my husband does not see it this way at all. I try and throw the “three jobs” thought out there once in a while, but I don’t think he understands what I am getting at. He just sees my small paycheck and thinks I should get a different job. He views my writing as a hobby.

But I looked for a job for a year and a half, before I found this one. And where I am at now, I am actually making more than minimum wage. If I got a different job, that might not be the case. The minimum is the new maximum, me thinks. And with this job I have thus far avoided daycare for my son, which, could lead to additional costs.

I don’t think he realizes that in 2003, we tried to run our own business, because he wanted to. I supported him, because I knew a version of that had always been his dream. We were also planning our wedding at the same time. It was highly stressful. It was one of those businesses that only thrives if you sign up people to be under you. We never got any. We gave up on it. The info and motivational tapes from that are still sitting in our attic. Like a big sign that reads “failure”.

When we were both out of work a few years ago, he tried a self-employed venture. Once again, it wasn’t exactly his big dream, but it was something he would enjoy doing more than factory work. I supported him. The market was not real good at that time, and it was a hard business to network. It was hard for a new kid on the block to get word of mouth, when there were so many established people in the field available. He put that venture on the back-burner after a year. The advertising from it is still sitting in our driveway, a literal “sign” that makes me sad.

That is two years of my life of letting him take his chance on a dream. So, I am looking at 2014 as my year to pursue my dream. I am just not sure that he has realized that yet.  We might not have a lot of food in the cupboards, but we are not going hungry. Working part-time allows me more time to work on my writing.

I have not reached my goals yet, but I AM GETTING SOMEWHERE!

I AM CLOSER THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN!

Will my goals cost a little money to get there? Sure.

Did my husband’s? Yes.

Will my writing pay out big dividends? Most likely not.

Did my husband’s? Not so much.

Were his ventures important to him? Of course.

Are mine important to me? Damn straight.

Imagine the wonderful harmony in our household if at least one of us was doing something they enjoyed as a part of a career?

Imagine if we BOTH were.

I don’t want to walk by boxes of my writing upstairs and have it remind me that I failed to meet my goal. I have been doing that for 20 years already.

I am done with failure. I want some success.

Suck Up!

I have a confession to make. And I also have to admit that I am rather proud of it.

I am a big giant suck up.

Teacher’s pet.

My mom refers to me as a “brown noser”. (I hate that term.)

SUCK UP-d bag

I have always been his way. Through school, college, and even my first job.

I almost always make the impression to my superiors that I am 100% reliable and hardworking. And that is not a total lie. But it is probably more like 85%. Which, in my head, is still probably more of an effort than 50% of the other people in the world put forth. (If you are a reader of my blog, I am positive that you fall into the hardworking 50% category 😉

And there is a lot of hard work at the beginning to establish that reputation. You have to be reliable, dependable, dedicated. You have to go above and beyond when you see chances to. And I have this thing that when I work somewhere, especially if I work primarily by myself, I tend to think of the business as if it were my own.

SUCK UP-motivational

No. I don’t mean that I go out and order 500 reams of copier paper or do lunches on the company credit card. I have never had a position where I was important enough to have a company credit card.

I mean that I try to keep my desk/store clean and tidy. I respect the resources/equipment that are available to me. If I abuse them and they break, that just makes my job harder in the long run. I try to capitalize on any chance to fill in dull times with busy work.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my “sit-around-&-do-nothing” time as much as the next guy. In order to be a proper suck up, you must always complete your work promptly when there is actual work to be done. And the quicker you get it done, the sooner you can do nothing. I don’t ask for more work. Instead, I try and appear to be busy all the time. Looking busy when you are not can be work too.

So, I guess what it boils down to is, it is a lot of work to be a suck up.

But it can pay off. If there is a fun task or free stuff, sometimes being a suck up, you are the first person to pop into your superior’s heads. You get watched less. You get more freedom, because they believe you will not abuse it. And you can abuse it a little and usually no one notices. (Of course I don’t mean things like taking money. In an interview, I always list one of my faults as being “too honest”.) But I mean things like standing around talking a few minutes longer than I should. If you are on someone’s mental goody-goody list already, it does not seem as though it is as big of an issue.

I guess being a good worker somehow got ingrained in me. So even when I think that I am goofing off, other people probably don’t see it that way. I am very internally judgmental of my co-workers who are habitually late or slacking. They are not playing my game. They are not putting on a show.

Maybe sucking up works for me because I don’t just put on a show. I actually back it up with real work.

If I am such a wonderful worker, why did it take me so long to find a new job?

Maybe I interview badly.

Maybe it is that “too honest” thing.

Maybe no one believes it.

Or maybe only a person who was “too honest” would ever use that awful line.

SUCK UP-frye

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