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Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
8:55 pm - 5 Years Later... I swear it's not a TV sitcom plot
So, five years after my last post, much has changed.

I've had good things (eg.paid off most of my bills, have a new job and am more marketable now, had one of the people I tutor win top prize in an area they used to struggle with) and bad (eg. been severely disappointed in myself with regards to not being there for friends and have yet to forgive myself for it) happen.

What has led me back to livejournal is that, even after 15 months, I'm struggling to understand and fully process my current workplace. Some of what happens there... Really, I never believed it happened in the real world and I'm the one who lived it.

It will take more than one entry to begin to explain and process everything, but don't worry, I'm heeding the advice of family, friends, co-workers, strangers I meet on the street (just kidding on that last one) and dusting off my not-so-dusty resume to look elsewhere.

Please treat this as a cautionary tale and a warning for those who may not know better.

As for this current drama (cue wavy image to lead into a dream sequence)...

How We Got Here - The beginningCollapse )

current mood: restless

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
9:44 pm - Random memories surfacing...
That's our Opus! That's our Opus!

--But only at Sting concerts at Lake Compounce. ;-)

current mood: amused

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Friday, January 29th, 2010
12:30 pm - Relief
I got the job!

Right now the sense of relief is overwhelming every other emotion.  She gave me the option to start on the 8th, but I told her I could start Monday the 1st.  Benefits are included and aren't bad at all. The position is essentially inside sales and there's a gainsharing program in place, so if we exceed the monthly goal we'll earn a bonus that month paid out on the 15th of the following month in our paychecks, so, hope of earning a bit extra.

Set hours will be nice - 8am to 5pm 5 days a week. 10 holidays a year. Vacation and sick time once earned.

It really is a good company and I can't wait to get back to work, though I'm sure I'll be grumbly about it the first few mornings and afternoons when I'm facing traffic again. LOL

Thank you for all your support and encouragement.

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Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
10:59 pm - Nothing new on prime time television...
Though it's probably really old news, it's new to me since I rarely watch prime time television anymore.

Anyway, I saw an advertisement for a new series called "V".

Now, I remember, very clearly remember, that miniseries from the 80's staring Marc Singer, I believe. I also remember reading the books, making jokes with friends on it, etc.

Just weird to see it recycled. Then again, they've been recycling tons of other stuff as well - 90210, Knight Rider, etc? I'm still waiting for the redo of "The A-Team". Nothing like a show where everything under the sun got shot, blown up or destroyed and no one (good or bad) ever died.

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Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
12:11 pm - Reading List
Finally got around to looking at the "top mystries" list from shesingsnow. There were only two I've never heard of before and a few I've been meaning to read. A few I have no interest in and a few that I know I've read, but please don't ask me for details abou them since I've forgotten them over the years. LOL

Anyway, for a list of what I've read, you can click hereCollapse ). I have to admit that I always knew I read a lot, especially growing up, but I never really appreciated how much I read until I started trying to remember what books I read and when I read them. Some of these date back to junior high (ages 12-14). It might be interesting to go back and read some of those again to see if I feel differently about them now.

Ah well, I have enough reading yet to do. I wonder how I'd match up on some other "top book" lists... hmmm...

current mood: contemplative

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Monday, December 7th, 2009
6:55 pm - The exception, not the rule...
I've decided I need a radio in the kitchen when I cook. Without the TV there for background noise, my brain starts wandering as I cook.
the weird ramblings (rantings) of my mind while cooking dinnerCollapse )

current mood: annoyed

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Friday, November 20th, 2009
4:54 pm - Good News / Bad News
~~~~~~ Potential Primerica Job ~~~~~~

Good News: I've got the job at Primerica Financial services
Bad News: I'm not sure I want it

Good News: Many if not all of my questions will be answered tomorrow at Orientation
Bad News: It's in Orange.

Good News: There's no rush-hour on Saturday
Bad News: My car needs an oil change

Good News: If I stick with them, they're paying for me to get a number of licenses.
Bad News: If I stick with them, that will make me feel obliged to stick it out even if I hate the job.

Good News: If I stick with them I'm off unemployment.
Bad News: If I stick with them I'm an independent contractor with no benefits.

Good News: If I stick with the job, it will only take me 3-5 weeks to get up to speed so I can train others
Bad News: If I stick with the job, my pay will depend on their performance

~~~~~~~ Miscellaneous ~~~~~~~
Good News: I know what I'm making all my nephews, two of my sisters and my brother-in-law for Christmas - hand-knit sweaters, fingerless gloves and slippers (in some combination)
Bad News: Tendonitis is acting up

Good News: I have enough yarn to acomplish all but one of the tasks
Bad News: I have to try and find more of the last color which means going to JoAnn's where all the rude people live.

Good News: Ohio State / Michigan game is tomorrow
Bad News: ... well... none, unless Ohio State loses, then I have to put up with my cousin's bragging for another year (weren't the Cooper years enough?!? stupid Michigan... bad enough the state is out to get me... grumble...)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
All in all, the good outweighs the bad, but the unknown is freaking me out just a bit.

current mood: tense

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10:38 am - Rabid Fan Moment
GO OHIO STATE!!!!

That is all... :D

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Thursday, November 19th, 2009
4:18 pm - Not what I was hoping for, but about what I expected
Had the very brief job interview. Scratch that. It was a recruitment.

Tuesday I received a call out of the blue asking me to come in for an interview. The company is Primerica Financial Services. They're expanding all over the place up here and are looking for people.

I went and met with the person. Things went well, I liked her, she seemed impressed with a lot of what I had to say and with my experiences and skills.

The down side, I didn't find the article until I got home. They don't hire people to work for Primerica, they work with independent agents. Not that it's a bad deal, they would pay for all the licensing I need to go through, but I'm not sure I'm ready to do the sales side of the job. I'm really hoping I'll be hired on to do the training side of things. Training agents isn't nearly as scary a thought.

Of course, I forgot to ask the important questions - will I work for Primerica or will I work for myself, will there be benefits - medical, retirement, vacation, etc.

Fortunately she's going to call tomorrow to review some information on training. There's an orientation class Saturday I'll be attending.

Hopefully, between the two of these things I'll have a really good idea if I can do the job or not.

I'm torn about what I want the outcome to be. I'm not really geared toward cold-calling referals and building a client base that way, but, on the other hand I like helping people and I really want to get back to work.

I'm also questioning the compensation. The figures she gave me were, I assumed, monthly incomes for part and full-time people. When I read the release from the company, it almost sounded like those were ANNUAL incomes. I really don't think I could live with working full-time and only earning $4-5K a year. (edit - had month there originally, could definitely live off 4-5K a month )

*sigh*

Oh well. Best write down these questions/concerns and ask tomorrow. Hopefully things will be more clear then.

current mood: confused

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Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
11:10 am - Surfacing...
Takes deep breath...

Still alive. Still job hunting. Decided to hold off on the temp-agencies until unemployment was no longer an option. Still hoping for a job before then, though after all this time finding hope is becoming more difficult.

I haven't been idle, though. Aside from having whittled down my job-hunting skills so I only spend about 6 hours a day on them instead of a full 8, I've been taking free-online college courses. There are far more of them out there than I would have thought offered at all levels from introduction to master level courses.

I've discovered that I hate business courses no matter what college offers them - be it Stanford or Open - know way more about computers and such than I thought I did (it took breezing through at 12-hour intermediate computer course in 4 hours to figure that out) and still enjoy my humanities - english, history, archeology, anthropology.

Next up on my syllabus, once I finish with the International Business Culture class I'm forcing myself to suffer through, it Babylonian Mathematics. I fure I haven't had a true math class since college and this one will involve history and archeology, so it could be of the good. At least I hope so.

If you, too, want to look for free online courses, there are a number of colleges who offer them. My favorite format is at OpenLearn from Open University. My next favorite is at the Purdue free class website - at least for the courses I took. MIT's were the hardest format for me to go through, but that could have been influenced by my lack of love for business courses. ;-)

As far as other things, everyone's healthy, I'm still not getting the exercise I need. My craft projects have gotten a bit out of hand, but at least they're finished and a new one doesn't start until an old one has ended.

Decided to try my hand at NaNoWriMo yet again to see what sort of amusing drivel I could produce. It's coming out strangly this year, but at least the words are coming quickly. For some reason everything in this latest brain dump is coming out divided by location, so I've started with a list of various locations and then proceeded to fill in what happens at each one. Wierd, but effective. I'm about 15,000 words ahead of where I normally am and there are vague (very vague - sort of like the little heat wave things that come up off tha asphalt when it's hot outside) inklings of a plot coming out as well. I don't think anything actually readable will come of it, I don't think anything readable, or at least anything I'd be willing to share, ever has, but the challenge at least lets me get my brain working in new and interesting ways. What more can a person really ask for. :-)

Anyway, I can feel myself being pulled back under, so I'll go poke around Career Building since I haven't been there this week and see what I can see.

current mood: discontent

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Thursday, March 19th, 2009
12:56 pm - Surfacing briefly to ramble and pout...
It's been two months since I became the victim of a "workforce reduction". And, as expected, there has been very little movement on my resume. I've even taken to calling the HR people a week after I submit my resume and have yet to hear from any of them. I get a lot of voice mail and "I'll call you when it's convenient" then I get the "you aren't qualified" email eventhough I exceed the qualifications they listed. You'd think they'd at least say "you're over-qualified".

I was sincerely hoping to avoid signing up with a "placement" agency (read temp-service), but I don't see that there are many options left to me. My 26 weeks of unemployment will run out in mid-June and I'd be much more comfortable working well before I reached that point. The unfortunate part of temping is that I won't make as much money temping as I do on unemployment. Most temp jobs barely pay minimum wage and my personal experience (and that of many people I know who temp) is that "Temp to Perm" is a cruel, sick joke. The 'employer' just keeps you for about 9.5 weeks, giving the impression that everything is sunshine and roses and they just can't wait to hire you full time and then they tell you "sorry. There's the door, don't let it hit you on your way out" when it comes time to deliver on hiring for the job. *sigh*

I had to laugh when I heard one report on the job situation. They said it was the worst job market since 1993. I graduated college in 1993. Seems to be my fate, I suppose, to live in this job market. I never would have guessed that my professional life would follow the directions on my shampoo bottle "rinse and repeat". :-P

In other news, since I decided not to add $20K to my debt by taking out a Stafford loan and going back to college to work on a Master's just yet, I've been taking a number of free on-line college courses and enjoying them. If nothing else, they're keeping my brain working while leaving me surprised at how much knowledge is tucked away in my little gray cells. It's also nice to be able to shore up places where I'm weak and intersting to discover what format works best for me when it comes to on-line learning as opposed to on-line teaching.

I actually had to sit down today and remind myself that I have accomplished something in the two months I've been unemployed (mostly involving finishing projects I started a long time ago and the on-line classes). I also made a list of things I want to accomplish and deadlines for them. I'm not really a deadline type of girl, but hopefully it will keep me motivated and more positive. So far the only thing I've truly failed at is going outside and walking for 30 minutes a day just to have a break from job-searching. I've been getting too caught up in trying to find jobs and applying for them that I forget to take a break.

Anyway, that's the general excitement in my life at the moment.

What I really, really want is to fly out and spend a week with my sister and nephews, but that won't happen until I have a job. That way I won't miss it if someone calls for an interview. *sigh* I miss the little guys.

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Saturday, October 25th, 2008
4:27 pm - World's most obedient cat
Yesterday I discovered that my cat, Connor, is the world's most obedient cat.

When the temperature drops, he likes to curl up under the blankets on a bed.

So, Friday, he was curled up under the covers when my sister spotted a mouse in the house.

She went into the bedroom, woke up the cat and said, "Connor, go kill the mouse."

After stretching, Connor went to the family room, spotted the mouse, immediately attacked, bit the mouse and killed it. He then proceeded to bring the dead mouse up to his food dish, dropped it in, sought out a new bed and crawled under the covers to sleep for a while longer.

How many cats that you know will kill on command so promptly?

current mood: amused

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Monday, September 29th, 2008
1:57 pm - Lack of sleep = a touch of paranoia
Currently I'm blaming my lack of sleep, but this thought has crossed my mind before. Actually, it's probably my fault for not paying enough attention.

A friend of mine recently commented that her brother was being deployed to Afghanistan for the 4th time.

When I read that, I realized that I knew very little of what is going on over there. It almost never makes the news and when it does, our troops over there are hardly mentioned.

It leaves me with the feeling that someone's trying some slight-of-hand - "look over here and ignore what I'm doing over here". The words that pop into my mind when I think of Afghanistan and how it doesn't get even 1/8th the coverage Iraq does (not that Iraq isn't important, it is) include "misdirection", "slight-of-hand", and "secret".

Most likely, I'm just overly tired and slightly paranoid. If I bothered to look, I'm sure I could find tons of information on our troops in Afghanistan.

Today, I'm just too tired to look.

current mood: exhausted

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Monday, September 22nd, 2008
3:10 pm - Today is a good day.
I have pockets!

current mood: bouncy

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Thursday, September 18th, 2008
7:33 pm - There are the uninformed and the truely clueless
All I have to say is that it's the Libertarian Party and NOT the Librarian Party.

*sigh*

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Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
8:20 am - D-What? (a sport moment)
Apparently there was a lack of defense recently in both women's hockey and NFL football.

The few minutes of the game between the Eagles and Cowboys that I watched was enough to make me wonder if the offenses of both teams had pulled a prank on their defenses and sent them to a different stadium. I mean, yes, I have seen higher scoring games and yes, I have seen instances where it was even more evident that the defense didn't show up. But, last night was a pretty good example of a lack of defense.

Another example of a lack of defense (and offense in this case) happened in women's hockey. I heard about it on the radio.

I'm not an avid hockey fan, but I know most of the basics - three twenty minute periods, two goals, the number of players, the names of the positions, etc. What amazes me is that there was a game where the final score was 82-0. That's right. One team scored 82 and the other scored nothing. That's an average of about 1.367 goals per minute. Was the whole game penalty shots? Was one of the teams a pee-wee league and the other professional? I know that's being unfair, but the mind boggles at that score.

Anyway, hopefully everyone will find out what happened to their defenders.

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Monday, September 15th, 2008
7:51 am - Mini-rant on political discussions in general
Normally I say diddly-squat about politics. I feel it's no one's business but my own how I vote and for whom I vote.

But I just have to say this because I've been hearing the most ridiculous comments coming from people the year on races at all levels of government. This is actually addressed to them, though they will never see it.

Your candidate, whether they are running for local, county, state or federal office is human. That means, by default, that they are not perfect. They all have flaws and they all make mistakes.

Acknowledging that your candidate is imperfect should not lessen the strength of your arguments in support of that person. If it does, you need to do a little more research and argue the correct issues, making sure to know and understand your candidates position on them.

If you persist in spouting how flawless your candidate is and how there has never in the history of the country been anyone who was a better fit for the job they will be filling, you will be sorely disappointed.

OK. That's it. I'm done. That's my political statement for the next lifetime. :-)

Now back to reality. *sigh*

current mood: irritated

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Friday, September 12th, 2008
9:20 am - Pondering...
If I bribe a modem with extra electrons, will it connect like I need it to?

current mood: thoughtful

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Thursday, September 11th, 2008
8:37 pm - Beware the soprano cooties
I have no illusions about my singing abilities. I'm an alto. I'm not a high alto or a particularly low alto, though my range does tend toward the mid and lower portions of the range.

As for quality? Get me on the right note and I can add quite a bit of volume. I generally leave it to others in the section to make it sound pretty. I'm not a singing soloist and I never will be.

Given the option, I'd rather play my flute than sing, but we need all the altos we can get, so I sing more than my preference.

My biggest problem with singing is that, when we flip parts, a lot of the notes are right around where my voice breaks.

For years I've thought it was my fault that my voice would crack on those notes and I'd have to sing them in a falsetto.

Tonight I had an epiphany. Tonight I realized the problem didn't lie within me, but within the notes themselves.

You see, those notes, where my voice breaks, they are notes frequently used by sopranos and therefore have soprano cooties!

Somehow, I missed the class where you learn to create the cootie catcher for soprano cooties, which means I have no way to pick the soprano cooties off of the notes and make them singable.

Now that I've realized this, I am much relieved. I'm about to launch my internet search on how to create the appropriate cootie catcher to remove the soprano cooties from the notes.

Wish me luck. ;-)

current mood: silly

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Wednesday, August 6th, 2008
7:57 am - Good thing it was a red light...
As many people know, Connecticut has some of the most expensive gas in the nation.

Last night as I was driving home, I was stopped at a red light and am pretty sure I was so shocked by what I saw that I lost a few seconds of time.

What did I see?

Regular Unleaded (Credit) : $3.89/gallon
Regular Unleaded (Cash) : $3.81/gallon

Yeah. Took me a minute to collect my jaw from my lap and replace it. I thought I was doing well Sunday paying $3.87/gallon (Cash), but it dropped again!

Here I was all prepared to never see it below $4.00/gallon except when I visited other states. It's nice to have that expectation blown away. :-)

In other news, German police are testing a bullet-proof bra...

current mood: shocked

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