We all have pressures in our lives — it’s part of growing old.  New pressures replace old pressures.  Society puts pressure on us.

In 2000 I stopped working.  The economy was decent & hubby’s job was going well.  We had just moved into a condo near the beach.  Fast forward to 2004.  Hubby’s phone business was starting to suffer, a little.  By that time we had moved inland, but in a golf course country club environment — all was still pretty good.  2008 – we sold the house to move into a 55 & over community — no golf course or country club.  We had downsized and hubby’s phone business was going rapidly downhill.  Clients he had depended on residual revenue were closing up shop or going bankrupt.

By 2010 I had started to look for work.  My skills had started way back in the late 1970’s with DOS computers, then word processing ‘computers’.  I did some programming (DOS) & then data entry.  As a typist, I could do statistical typing & of course, the typical letter or memo.  I didn’t have to be a ‘team player’ & worked independently.  I had a job to do & didn’t need someone looking over my shoulder.  I could go to the bathroom when I wanted & knew that my breaks were 15 mins in the morning, 15 mins in the afternoon at an assigned time.  I worked 9-5, 5 work days a week.  Technology & I progressed together; I learned how to use a PC & even got my first home desktop computer back in 1991.

It quickly dawned on me during my job hunts that my personal, not computer skills, were outdated.  Yes, I was proficient with the latest computer software.   But I interviewed with people much younger than me.  Interviewers told me work weeks were now 7 days a week, with your ‘off’ day during the week.  Work hours were no longer 9-5.  Sure, I had done overtime in the 1990’s, but not a lot.  However,  this wasn’t overtime — this was working at so-called ‘odd hours’ & on weekends.

From 2010-2012 I worked (briefly) at different jobs.  There was always a frenzied pace.  Younger people could work circles around me, and not just physically.  There was a backbiting atmosphere; every person was out for themselves.  In my younger work days the workers worked together as a unit, helping each other out, giving out work tips.  It was ‘us’ against ‘management’.

Today’s work management encourages this gladiator environment.   We are pitted against each other; whoever is more successful at their job gets to keep their job.  Most workers no longer ‘give out’ helpful tips to guide the newcomer.  The newcomer is perceived as invading the work turf & is a threat to the oldtimer’s job.  This has created a cutthroat work environment.

At my present job  I have to ask ‘permission’ to go to the bathroom.   Fellow workers my age do not adapt well  to raising their hand to ask a younger supervisor if they can can take a bathroom break (as in, can I go to the bathroom?)  Most of the workers my age just get up & go to the bathroom.  As for breaks, we also have to raise our hands to ‘get permission’ to go.  If the phone lines are too busy, we have to wait.  That is fine with me.  What isn’t fine with me is that you have to raise your hand every 20 mins or so to remind the supervisor you still haven’t gotten a break.

I’m 59-11/12 yrs old.  I don’t mind doing the job but I do mind being treated like a child.  As for my fellow workers (young & yes, some old) in order to get the best leads (sales) they resort to methods I find beneath me.   This was not the work world I started out in back in 1975.  It is a hostile world with constant pressure on your back.    Making money has always been a company’s goal, but present times have created a world of pitting worker against worker.

I may have dread turning 60 but for the first time I wish I was of Social Security age.

Yesterday at work I spoke with a woman whose husband is deployed — for the second time.  I told her to thank her husband for his service for our country.  I added, ‘you probably hear people like me thanking you and your husband at the time.’  She said, ‘we never get tired of hearing it.’  She also told me she was on maternity leave.

 

For those of you who felt your Valentine’s Day didn’t go  the way you thought it would

For those of you who didn’t get what you wanted for Valentine’s Day

For those of you who had to wait for a table at a crowded restaurant last night…

stop and think about this woman

After I got off the phone with this woman I had tears in my eyes.  And I couldn’t wait to later tell my husband this story.  And to tell all of you too.

Growing up in school I used to like the shock the teachers on this day by saying “HAPPY VD”.  I know venereal disease is nothing to laugh about but what do you want, I was just a kid (certainly didn’t know anything about sex in those days!)
Hubby & I both work till 8PM tonight, so we will be meeting for a casual dinner nearby.  Since it’s still snowbird season & always seems to be tourist season here, we’re avoiding the busier (& pricier places).  Valentine’s & New Year’s Eve seem to be the worse nights to go out!

Work is going fine, though sometimes I look at my watch & say “another 2 hrs?”  One call did consist of an older gentlemen asking me out (from IL).  I laughed it off & rapidly continued to finish the appointment  (hopefully, leading to an eventual sale).   I have to get 2 leads (appts) an hour & I checked the stats sheet & I’m above the percentage needed, at least for this week.  However, last night wasn’t the best of nights.  So it goes.

My knitting is going oh so slow.  I come home, eat fast & really just want to go to bed.  But I don’t cause of hubby.   So I veg out in front of the TV, catching up on taped shows that are filling my DVR hard drive to the brim.    On the knitting front, I see that one of my supervisors (a woman older than I who has more energy than most of the young people in the call center) wears classy ponchos.  Since we have to dress ‘business casual’, I’m thinking of knitting some ponchos.  I normally knit shrugs or long cardigans, but with the office thermostat variations, I think a poncho might be a good work choice (I could then wear a sleeveless top underneath).

I hope your day is filled with love with a loved ones — doesn’t have to a romantic type of love, any kind of love will do!

9 I insert this photo from the nearby Morikami Japanese Gardens, as I find the scene very soothing & serene.  AND CALMING!  I emphasis the latter, as yesterday I found myself, the newbie, trying very hard to show the supervisor I could do the job.  I know they want us to stay on the phone with each customer on the average 6 minutes, allowing for language barrier & questions this will, of course, take longer.  I inputted one customer’s information & abbreviated her comments.  The supervisor came over & read back the comments to me.  To me, I knew what I WAS TRYING TO GET ACROSS, but to the next person in line (which normally is the person who confirms appointments; I’m the appointment setter) it would read like something else!  So haste does make waste.

Yesterday I also forgot my wristwatch.  I will never do that again!!  I had to keep twisting my head to see the running marquee on the wall till it showed the time.  I’m rubbing my neck now as I write!!

I’m almost 60 years old — when will I learn that if the job ends tomorrow it is not the end of the world?  (note:  I read that on 2/16 an asteroid is suppose to pass very close to the Earth, possiblly hitting some of our satellites.  So even that isn’t the end of the world!).   If I want to think about stress, I can think about both my mother & MIL who have Alzheimer’s, about my husband who is constantly unhappy in his job.   We all have stress in our lives; it is how we deal with this stress that makes the difference.

So today at work I intend to think about the photo above.  My own kind of Zen.  We all could use a little Zen everyday.

 

My first day off from work!  I’m going to have to get some new clothes cause I have to be at work 6 days/week.  I would be more thrilled about this if I had lost weight.  I think I’m at my heaviest :(  But I need clothes & closed toed shoes (since I usually live in sandals yr round).  I didn’t want to spend $ this early on in the work process, but I don’t have a choice.

As for work, so far, so good.  It helps there are some people there my age.   After 5 hrs of talking to people on the phone I come home & don’t want to TALK TO ANYONE!  Any errands that need to be done need to be done before work.  The house is starting to show neglect.  My dog misses me :(   These are the times we live in.  My work hrs are 29, not 30, so they don’t have to pay me benefits (oh, thank you Obamacare).   I wish I had had a crystal bowl growing up (yes, we all do).  I would have pursued law school & maybe by now I could be thinking about retirement.  Instead, like the other people my age or older, we have to work.

I haven’t touched my knitting since Stupid Bowl Sunday.  We were planning on going to the movies today, but I’d rather sit home, catch up on my DVR viewing & yes, KNIT!

To everyone else off today (or not) try to have a Happy Sunday

cupcakes

My husband & I never seem to be on the same page.  He had one horrible day at work today, mine went very well.   This has happened before.   I feel for him at the car dealership.  He stayed late, once again, to sell a car.  Only this time when he went to fill up the new car on-site the gas pump was broken.  The manager had already left for home.  So my husband had to take the new car (for the new owners) to a gas station, fill it up AND PAY FOR IT HIMSELF!  He says he will be reimbursed, but it isn’t the first time he had to shell out $$$ (often his boss asks him for loans!!!).  No, his boss isn’t a young, struggling new worker but a 61 year old man!

Hubby has only been a car salesman for 18 months.  His career was being the owner of a telecommunication agency.  When the economy went in the gutter, so did most of hubby’s income.  Who thought in our so-called golden years we will both be working harder than ever?  Ok, I gripe here, as if we are the only couple suffering in these times.  Sorry, guess I’m very tired.  Can I further complain that both hubby & work 6 days/week?  Oh, I’ll move on here.

Spoke to my MIL today & she was trying to remember her son’s name.  We are used to her getting confused with the other sons, who live far away.  But hubby & I are the ones who handle most of the caregiving duties.

OK – by now you want to hear some good news, right?  I live in S FL & the weather couldn’t be better.  So NEMO or whatever, I don’t miss the Middle Atlantic States at all, especially in the winter.  Anyone reading this from that area, I do hope you & yours are safe.  And by the way, NEMO = blizzard?  Does Pixar get a kickback from The Weather Channel???

Yesterday was Day 1 of training.  The people seem nice, even offered us pizza.  When you know a company offers you free food, you’re on to a good thing.

Got a lot to study before Day 2 of training starts today.  Got to learn & ins & outs of their product lines before I start on the phones.  Call Center Representative, that’s me.

So, I got a copy of the employment ad.  It says I’m going to be working sometime after 4pm (they close at 11pm); 28 hrs per week.  I also have to work a weekend day (either Saturday or Sunday).  Remember, I said I have a copy of the ad.  Note:  I have to work a weekend ‘day’.  What would you interpret that to mean?

Turns out their interpretation of weekend ‘day’ is different than mine…or even yours.  I work either weekend day between the hours of 9am-8pm!  Yet the trainer mentions that many new employees, unpon getting theirs hours, mention the ad said weekend ‘day’ & they interpreted it to mean one works during the daytime!  Yet said trainer feels their ad wasn’t misleading in any way.  Well, like most people there, I need a job & can’t say squat.

Nope, that wasn’t the part that was politically incorrect.  Now imagine a room of four new employees, ages 20’s-59.   Yes, I’m the 59 11/12 year old.  Yes, the others are way younger.  I later discover the trainer was 50.  The trainer was stating that the main corporation was created about 60 years ago.  He then states “Linda and I have been around almost as long as the corporation has been.”  You could tell from the other new employees’ faces that they knew the trainer had crossed the PC line.  Me, I had to laugh it off, saying something about a birthday coming up.  Inside I’m thinking ‘oh boy, that was doozie.  Embarrass people much?’  I figure there’s more doozies coming from said trainer & no one will be immune (age, gender, race, color).

And they said being politically incorrect was dead.

Image

Took this photo on a Cozumel trip.  For me it should read “If I don’t meet your quality standards, PLEASE!  Lower your standards!  LOL

Today starts training on the new job.  I don’t have the best track record when it comes to jobs (hubby & son can easily attest).  I’m an almost 60 yr old woman who really doesn’t want to work anymore.   I’m tired.  Tired of dealing with crises like my MIL coding 6 times in a hospital, tired of being alone in a hospital with said MIL while my husband is working.  Tired of MIL going in & out of hospitals.  Tired of fighting with my sister re: my mother’s state of health and need of Alzheimer care.  Just plain tired.   Aren’t YOU just tired of reading this??

Last night was my last night of knit club before I start working (at night).  It was bittersweet saying goodbye to fellow friends & knitters.  Speaking of knitting, thanks to the exciting Super Bowl (power outage & the appearance of Dan Marino/aka Father of the Year, I was able to finish the sleeve.  I’ve started the 2nd & yes, final one.  Already plotting a new Sweater Wizard pattern for a long cardigan for me…

Have an awesome Tuesday.  I’ll report back on the job…

My family & I moved to S FL 1985, after the sudden death of my father. I may have had 7 houses since then, but I never moved far from my mother. Three months ago my estranged sister moved up our mother North. My mother is in Stage 5 of Alzheimer’s. It’s not the same not seeing her or having my son & DIL visit her. I used to take my mother to visit my MIL, who also has Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s stinks for my mother & MIL & also for the caregiver. Today I spoke with my mom & told her my birthday was coming up. She was surprised & did ask how old I’m gonig to be. Sad when your own mother doesn’t remember your birthday, let alone a big one. As they say, what can one do?

In honor of Super Bowl, we went to a tailgating party/concert last night. It helped we had free tickets, thus we got free food. The 1972 Vince Lombardi trophy was there, representing the one & only Super Bowl win for the Dolphins (& yes, their undefeated season).

Tonight the wings will be on the grill, salad, celery with ranch dressing will be waiting for hubby when his work day ends. I usually get a lot of knitting done during ‘Stupid Bowl’.

Our not almighty Dolphins aren’t playing, so the stakes aren’t high on our end on who wins. It’s just a day we get to celebrate as Americans & that’s always a good thing.

My friend calls it the Stupid Bowl, cause every Super Bowl her husband & his friend fly out to Vegas to watch the game in a bar. They could stay local & watch it in a bar HERE but nah, they want to go to Vegas…yeah, I knew you knew they’re more interested in Vegas than in a football season finale that never involves their (Dolphins) team.

Already bought the fixings for watching the game from home – wings, celery with ranch dressing. Hubby always says he won’t watch the game unless his Dolphins are in it…then watches the game anyway. Our closest interest in the Ravens is that Ray Lewis used to live (off season) in the condo where we used to live. Heard he had some wild parties there – now he no longer lives there. I do have a Nook friend who lives in Baltimore & she hasn’t caught her breathe since it was decided the Ravens were in it.

After going to many a high school game & those that involved my son’s high school’s band, I still don’t understand football. Oh, the players have nice tushes & they love to pile up on top of each other, that part I understand. I figure knowing the ins & outs of Yankee baseball (I was born in the Bronx) & having a little working knowledge of Florida Panther hockey is more than enough sports for me. I played high school volleyball as a server; there aren’t too many TV opportunities to watch volleyball, unless you count the Olympics – which did made for some great viewing.

Anyway, tomorrow it’ll be cooking & knitting while the game is on. Yes, I stop knitting when the commercials come on.

To ‘kick off’ the weekend we used our holiday gift card at the local Bonefish Grill (even with reservations quite a wait — these snowbirds can’t get out of town fast enough for us). The snowbirds are good for business but horrible on traffic. Here’s a photo of my Bang Bang Chicken Tacos that I savored with a glass of Chateau Michelle Riesling.

20130202-162325.jpg

Afterwards, we strolled to a new Le Macaron location – there are two in our area. Guess cause we are so heavily populated we need two of them. Drool over this photo…

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