Friday, February 10, 2012
OhMyFreakin'PetesSakeGoshDarn'Em

Sometimes, it might feel good to cuss a bit.

I don't usually swear--it's so white-trash to have four-letter words pouring out of your mouth under any circumstances and at my age it would be doubly inappropriate.

The Piggyback Corral was back in my inbox this morning--asking in all innocence if I saw a reason why they shouldn't delete the X-thing that was no longer working well. I saw a bazillion--but I contented myself with pointing out one--that the X-things are where the locations' business comes from so deleting the X-things means eliminating the lead flow.

So. You know. Don't do that. It would be bad.

An email back-and-forth ensued, where they generously offered to pay me to teach the newbie how to do it all. They offered to pay me for an hour.

They really didn't understand or respect what I did, did they?

I mean, is it me, or does this offer pretty much confirm that?

One of the 'Nuts is also in my in-box, asking me to call them about taking over management. I haven't done it yet--but have decided it's worth making the phone call. I mean, they thought my fees were too high back when I was offering them a special deal, right after I left. I can't wait to hear what they think of what today's 'list' prices are.

The Playground Monitor thing turns out, I'm happy to say, to be intermittent and largely virtual. Maybe one web meeting a month and maybe traveling once a year. I can live with that.

Another behind-the-scenes thing I can't talk about is happening and the advance prep is taking up a fair share of my brain this week. Suffice to say that top of this weekend's to-do list is writing articles. It's been a long time since I wrote to order and I've never written anything that might pass for a "professional" article.

I'm a tad concerned. My syntax is idiosyncratic (and how impressed are you that I spelled that right on the first try?), my punctuation intermittent, my vocabulary pretentious, and my attitude flippant. Doesn't seem to bode well, does it?

(Which, for some irrational reason, reminds me that I promised Gidget a month ago that I'd go do some work on our company website. Must really try to be more productive.)

It's 2:24. What with one thing and another, I have not yet even started the to-do list that faced me at 8:00 this morning. Maybe if I dig in now, I can get at least one thing checked off in the next three hours.

I need to start working more hours each day, that's all. If I take my contacts out, I'll bet I could keep going another two or three hours before my eyes blazed red from monitor burnout.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:24 PM | Comments (4)



Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Dear (Whoever):

Dear Bunny:

I saw you.

I came out to stand there and enjoy a minute of warm weather and there you were, sitting six inches from the spot I was headed for. You loped a lazy step sideways, then stopped to watch me to see if I was going to give you a wide berth but I, tired of--to mix a petting zoo of metaphors--being buffaloed by brazen bunnies, kept on coming.

So, you scooted under the bush and sat there, smugly certain you were hidden from the Dangerously Tall Creature.

I could still see you. You got your head under the bush but your butt was still sticking out. If I'd have been a hawk, you'd have been a dead rabbit.

Just sayin'. You want to live to be an Old, Gray Bunny, you need to learn to tuck your butt under.

Dear Residual Readership:

I am still alive. Working a lot--first to get caught up before the stupid conference I got back to the office on Aug 30 and was instantly reburied under the avalanche of things that had accumulated while I was gone and the projects I heard myself insanely volunteering to take on during the trip.

Also, end of month reporting last week and NewerBoss Peter has me on a deadline now--I have until the end of the workday on the 2nd to get it all done. That's not normally going to be a problem but having been out the week before meant I didn't get the preliminary reports done, so it was a scramble last week. I was doing EOM reports with one hand and checking on accounts with the other.

Next week I'm out again, all week this time, so this week I'm playing catch-up-in-advance again. Already. (Schedule-wise, I'm losing 30 minutes today to get my hair done--it needs it--and two hours tomorrow morning for a mandatory "post-conference staff meeting" that needs my attendance as much as the pre-conference staff meetings did, which is to say, not at all.)

Four new accounts in the last couple of weeks--three freelance for Louie Louie and two for the Corral. Added to that workload is Webstrainer, rolling out new data views that not only give me appalling insight into what's going on but that each require about 15 minutes more management time (per client, per week), meaning that I'd have been tearing my hair out, even if I weren't leaving town again.

Still. Visiting Webstrainer should be fun. (I hope it's fun, since I'm using every minute of my accumulated vacation time on the trip.) Educational and interesting, which is more than the Corral conference promised (or delivered).

From all reports, they're going to have netbooks available for us all, too. What that means is that I might be able to travel without hauling my computer along! Only those of you who travel can understand what a luxury that would be.

There was a bunch of advance info and prep stuff they wanted--none of which I got around to doing. I feel badly about that but I learned today that the 25 accounts I handle for the Corral are, in the estimate of a bunch of agency managers, the maximum they think any one person can manage with any degree of success--so if you add the half-dozen freelance accounts to those--well, I'm not just whiny, I'm busy.

I had so many things to blog--random adventures, boring thoughts, passing complaints, even occasional triumphs. Sigh.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:36 PM | Comments (2)



Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Wherein My Head Is Exploding

Too much going on!

That new client meeting with Vela tomorrow at 11 (Seriously. Must do the prep work for that this evening.) and then Louie Louie has yet another new client he wants to talk about so I scheduled that call for tomorrow afternoon.

Tomorrow's gonna be a day I need to work from home--I can start early and work late to make up the time.*

Another account I'm handing for Louie Louie goes live later this week, and let us all hope it performs better than the one I'm already handling for him. (Performance metrics are fine--it just doesn't produce sales.)

Gidget and I met with OldBoss Anais Friday morning so she could explain that that account is a gross disappointment. I agree--but at the moment I simply don't have the brain cells needed to do the kind of analysis needed to figure out the problem.

I've got the coming weekend earmarked, though. No play, no going out running around doing random things. The entire weekend has to be spent on freelance stuff. Between performance diagnosis for my two under-performing freelance accounts and monitoring performance on the one going live the end of this week, and whatever work comes out of the Vela meeting tomorrow--I just don't have time for a day off.

Corral-wise, things are equally as active.

Remember that training session I was going to produce some stuff for that I thought was taking place in early September? It's happening on August 1. Better put something together.

The presentation for the Corral conference? Is going better, now that I've stepped back, stepped back, and stepped back, to focus on preschool-level information. I'm kind of stuck at the moment but I'm sure something will come through my brain eventually.

The Corral is corralling yet another group in a week or so. Although it ain't got nothing to do with me, I keep getting dragged into 'information' sessions to tell me all about it. I don't care. I've spent 3-1/2 years with the Argonuts without finding a need to know anything about them so I think I can get along fine without a lot of extraneous information about people whose lives will never affect mine.

Webstrainer is driving me nutso. Not only are they changing things again (still) every two seconds, but they're providing more insight and details around performance--details that have shown a lot of us that things are not as good as we'd thought.

Also, they're very needy. I like being one of Mother's Little Helpers--it's fun to be recognized and have people think I'm smarter than I am--but not at the expense of my sanity. It's a volunteer gig--I can't commit to spending X numbers of hours a week on it. Some weeks I have time for XX hours and others I have time for 1/3X or less.

Also, I can't do a lot of calls and meetings and I certainly don't have time to check out and become expert on ten other Webstrainer programs. I have a job, people. Two jobs, in fact. If Webstrainer would like for formalize our relationship with some $$, I'll give up one of my current jobs and work for them. Otherwise, they get what part of me is leftover after my other commitments are met.

And then a microvolunteer site I post to occasionally is nagging me to be more involved and do more. I visit a couple of those from time to time. It's all an industry name-recognition thing for me, of course but I'm helping folks so I figure it's a fair trade. I like spouting off so it's not a trial but, again, I don't appreciate being nagged to give them more time than I can actually spare.

Professionally, I belong to three or four forums, have three 'professional' social networks to maintain, and a list of about 25 websites that offer analysis and insight and that I should be reading at least once a week, if not more often.

And then there's my actual life, such as it is. I haven't touched my quantum physics course in three weeks, I spent a scant 10 minutes crocheting and knitting one evening so I'm behind on those projects, I'd promised myself I was going to get back to sketching practice--that was six months ago and I haven't touched a pencil yet.

Fortunately I have very few friends, at least locally, so I'm not often tempted to spend time in that arena. *sigh*

I don't know how people who have, you know, family--kids and stuff--manage to get through it all. All I have is me and keeping my life under control is almost more than I can handle sometimes.**

I have a lot of life but not enough time to live it in.


________________________________

* I need one, or maybe two, work from home days anyhow. I need to run some massive reports and study the resulting 25k-line Excel spreadsheets in minute detail.

Those changes I mentioned that Webstrainer has made--I need to understand what they mean.

** Okay, if I didn't require 3-4 hours a day for reading, I could get through a lot more, but reading is what makes life worth living and I ain't giving it up.

Maybe I go to bed too early?

Posted by AnneZook at 10:00 AM | Comments (4)



Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wherein I Am Enraged

The office did not NEED a new network and certainly we didn't need to be 'virtually' part of the new corporate office's network halfway across the country.

And we--or at least I--absolutely and positively did not need to be so-called "upgraded" to the latest disaster Microsoft Windows is foisting off on the brainless buyers of software for companies.

I've been beating my head against a wall--and my fists against the computer--for two weeks, trying to make this new software STFU already, stop popping up memos and reminders to do things I'll never want or need to do, and let me actually open the only three programs--and five documents--I really actually need to use on a daily basis. As too often happens, the people at Microsoft have decided what users want to do, how they want to see things, and what they should not be allowed to change--and those decisions seem to have been hard-coded in to the most recent version of their lousy Office suite.

Add to that the joys of having every, single document, report, and piece of data I've been accumulating for the last three years mysteriously wiped out in the migration to the new network and you can just imagine the kind of rage-induced psychosis I've been suffering from today. Given anything remotely resembling a weapon, I would have joyfully beaten this stupid computer into confetti. (Okay, it's not fair to blame the box, but software is ephemeral and can't be clubbed into rubble.)

OMG, do I hate Windows. It astonishes me, how strong this hate is. Especially considering that a recent version of the OS, the XP one, was really quite a pleasure to use.

Anyhow.

Crabby.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:41 PM | Comments (1)



Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wherein I Live In Fear

NewBossman, potentially hereinafter referred to as TroublemakingDipshitMan just called me up.

For reasons he didn't seem to feel needed explaining, he came to the conclusion that the code for the lead tracking system on the fifty connected 'Nut websites was badly out of date and in need of updating. So, he "fixed" it. Then he called me to say I should keep my eyes open for anything 'strange' over the next couple of days.

It's entirely possible I'm having a heart attack at the moment--I guarantee I'm going into a panic attack tailspin that's going to take me hours to pull out of.

Why would a non-technical, non-programmer, internet newbie take it upon himself to rewrite automatically generated code that is functioning perfectly?

I'm afraid to go and look. Literally afraid. My hands are shaking, my head is spinning, and my stomach hurts.

Heat. Of A Thousand Suns.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:58 PM | Comments (4)



Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Huffy

Apparently our new management instituted a sign-in sheet.

You're supposed to write down what time you arrive in the morning--note if you leave during the day (with your destination)--write down when you come back--write down when you leave for the day.

For some reason, I wasn't informed until I overheard a conversation about it today.

So I went over and wrote, "Are you KIDDING me?" on the first day and left the blanks next to my name on the other days blank. (I took a moment to note that our in-house management, who marked herself "out for business" for the afternoon--at 12:30 for a 2:30 appointment--was also taking a portion of the afternoon for personal business, going to her kid's school.)

My co-workers are disappointed in me. They all assumed I was striking some kind of blow for independence or freedom or something. I was getting a rep as a maverick when what I really was was uninformed. (Story of my life.)

I might be reconsidering, though.

I mean, if they're going to start monitoring us to make sure we're giving them 8 hours a day, I can legitimately decide that the eight hours is all they're entitled to, right?

I can go back to taking a lunch break. An hour every, single day sounds exciting.

And I wouldn't have to feel obligated to mess with any "work" accounts on weekends, which would save me at least an hour a day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:46 PM | Comments (2)



Monday, March 7, 2011
P.S. Even Stupider

NewerBoss Peter called this am and wanted those bonus numbers by Thursday and so I did them and sent them to him.

The arrangement, in case I didn't explain before, involves a shiny dime for only one kind of lead, a written one, so I get a bonus on 40% - 60% of what I actually produce each month. (The call-to-email ratio varies monthly.) For what it's worth, this year in Feb I doubled the number of leads we got last year in Feb. Actual bonus amount? $60. (Are you getting why I'm not excited about the bonus plan?)

Then, just now, NewerBoss Peter called again and said I am not getting bonused on 40% - 60% of what I produce with my work.

No, no, not at all. I am, in fact, bonused on that 40% - 60% of what I do plus a whole chunk of other leads that I have no control over and no involvement in generating.

I know I'm still feverish, but I'm not wrong in thinking this is patently absurd, right? I mean, I can document what I actually produce. I can support my data on the number of leads my work actually produces each month. Why am I not being bonused on that number? (No, they're not being cheap. What I produce is a slightly smaller number than the total that includes things outside my control.)

I don't think it's nice to mess with a sick person.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:33 PM | Comments (3)



Done at noon

It's precisely 12:00 and I think I'm done working for the day.

I mean, I say, "working" even though what I spend most of my days doing any more is barely related to the actual work I'm supposedly paid to do. I spend my time answering lunatic questions from Webstrainer or Corral people or 'Nuts who know we got bought but who don't 'know' the new people and prefer to keep working with this office--even if there's no one left here who can answer their questions.

Also, lunatic questions from Louie Louie. I'm still regretting my decision to expand my freelancing. This morning, a scant three days after our first project together went live, he was in my email asking what I thought and what it all means. It was my expectation that working with an experienced account manager would save me from that kind of idiot inquiry.

Also, Gidget, whose questions were sensible but gave me a raging case of guilt over things not yet accomplished. She wrote me a lot of new ads and then I realized I had to change a lot of stuff in them (JasonWife's account) and I just couldn't face the mental strain yesterday so I didn't do any of it.

I did a lot less work this weekend than I should have. I tried but I was just too tired and didn't have enough functioning brain cells. (You don't have to be a rocket scientist to do what I do, but it's not something that can be done mechanically. A certain amount of thought is required.)

Even now, I'm not entirely sure how coherent this entry has been so far. I know it's been whiny.

Friday's 'Nutcase, the one with problems telling time, is back in everyone's face today. The network is up and I've been able to confirm that, as I suspected, the phone number he didn't recognize was a routing number. Now NewerBoss Peter is jumping through hoops and writing a dissertation to explain this to the 'Nutcase.

NewerBoss Peter is also bothering me today--he called to discuss how needy and high-maintenance the 'Nuts are. If I felt better, I'd have pointed out that when I warned him these people were incredibly high-maintenance a week ago, he scoffed at me dismissively and said it was okay because they're all high-performance. Clearly today--not so much with the okay.

Also if I felt better I'd warn him against the dissertation. The 'Nutcase won't read it and even if he did, he wouldn't understand it. Just tell the guy it's a routing number we use to get inquiries to the right location--that's what it is, after all. (On second thought, I did email and suggest bypassing the long form explanation in favor of the simpler and entirely accurate one.)

I don't feel really passionate about any of this, mind you. Passion takes more energy than I have at my disposal. I'm just finding my overall exhaustion increases slightly every time something new comes up.

I really need a working thermometer. I think I'm still running a fever.

Also, cold, gray, snowy.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)



Friday, March 4, 2011
Having A Dink-around

We've been having Network Issues for the last 3-1/2 hours. First the network was down, including the internet. Then Bert got the internet working, but we don't have access to the network.

Apparently, for whatever reason, the Corral wants a copy of everything on the shared network drive and sucking it all down to the external box the Visitors brought in is eating up 95% of the network's resources. (It occurs to me to wonder why this couldn't have been done after hours or on the weekend but silly me, being all logical and productivity-oriented.) Anyhow. Currently 3:00 and he says another 90 minutes, which puts us at 4:30 and makes me wonder why I'm bothering to stay in the office.

So, when I was in CA I look out the hotel window and there is a woman in a wedding dress standing by the ocean to have her picture taken and I'd just seen a video where newlyweds were standing by the ocean to have their picture taken and they got swept away by a big wave so I watch this woman but a wave did not come up and eat her so that was a waste of thirty perfectly good seconds.

Watching the nesting eagles is still the most fun I've had this week. decorah-eagles. Right now, Mom is on the nest. She's sitting in a cold wind, so she's tucking the bits of twigs and stuff closer to her body, to keep the eggs warm.

I have a weirdball problem going with one 'Nut account but in spite of the hundreds of hours I've donated as one of Mother's Little Helpers on the forum, I don't seem entitled to any help myself. This is about the fourth question in a row I've asked that has been ignored. I'm a tad bitter about that.

Earlier, a 'Nut called up and asked about something he saw while ego-surfing and I told him the network was down and it would be at least 30 minutes before I could check into it and less than five minutes later he called back and complained to the receptionist and then demanded to be connected to my boss to fix this huge problem he has. As far as I can tell, his real problem is that he doesn't know the difference between five minutes and half an hour.

Ready for this work week to be over.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:41 PM | Comments (8)



Almost Out Of Options?

OMG, that was some kind of virus. I spent most of Wednesday gripping the edge of my desk, desperately trying to stay vertical. Eventually I went home and fell into bed. If the phone hadn't rung, I probably would have slept until Thursday morning but I managed to sleep for 15 of the next 17 hours anyhow. I did not have a sore throat, a runny nose, the sneezes, or more than a slight cough. Just sleeping sickness.

Yesterday I was better but still only managed to work a half-day.

Today I'm in the office, reasonably secure in my verticality (probably not a word), and largely occupied in sending emails of apology to everyone I attempted to communicate with on Wednesday.

On another unhappy note, I think my head is utterly and finally broken. The Corral finally handed over the nine campaigns they want me to manage and eight of them are funded at the munificent level of six dollars a day. (weeps) When I realized that on Wednesday, I very nearly gave up on life completely although, as I've said, there were other factors as well.

I know no one here really understands what that means--how can I explain? It's like someone demanding you drive a car that has an empty gas tank. If you're lucky, there's a bit of a downhill slope and you can roll for a while but eventually you're just going to stop and sit there blocking traffic until a cop comes by and has you dragged to the impound and gets your license permanently suspended so that you're never allowed on the roads again and probably locked up in a baggy orange jumpsuit.*

There is no one left in the world I can whine to about these things.** Gidget and Anais are ex-employees and have moved past caring. NewerBoss Peter is still a stranger and anyhow these aren't the kinds of whines that work well over the phone or in email. I need an office I can stomp into and someone in a chair I can wave my arms at.

Also, update on bonus plan. Every month, I can have an extra dime for every written lead my campaigns generate. (Step back! A shiny dime each? Gosh, I'm just--whelmed.)

I'd be feeling very irritated right now if I hadn't made them give me a bigger actual salary up front but I did and thus can roll my eyes and forget about it.***

sigh And I'm glad it's Friday. I intend to get a lot more sleep this weekend.




________________

* It's possible I'm still a little light-headed.

** Obviously there is you, the population I think of as blogworld, but although you're all very polite, it would be stretching it to say you care deeply--or even understand what I'm going on and on about most of the time.

*** It would take me longer to put the numbers together for them each month than the bonus would be worth. They have the data, if they care that much about their bonus plan, they can put the numbers together themselves.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:26 AM | Comments (2)



Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Odd

The remaining member of the Café's TeamChaos, previous pseud forgotten because I rarely mentioned her so hereinafter she will be referred to as CougarNot, came over to ask if I'd seen an email inviting me to a purely optional cocktail-and-dinner event that she admitted she knew I wasn't going to care about.

If I had cared, there was something about a shirt (logowear) that I didn't really listen to. They'd repay me if I found a shirt I liked for $30 or less and mailed it to the west coast to be embroidered, I think.

CougarNot has always been nice to me (although her direct reports aren't impressed with her) but of all the members of TeamChaos, she's always struck me as the least professional.

I'm not sure, but I think she was just trying to be make contact, let me know I'm still 'part of the team' (people always assume you want to be), etc.

Still. An odd little interlude.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)



Friday, February 18, 2011
Grrr

If a training call is scheduled for 3:00 and I call you at 3:00 and you say you're busy and will call me back in ten minutes and then you call me back 40 minutes later, do not be surprised if I am crabby.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:40 PM | Comments (2)



Tuesday, February 15, 2011
And Then There Was Sunshine

At long last, blue skies and balmy temperatures have returned to Denver. My disposition improves with each successive day of radiant sunshine.

So, what's new?

("Briefly, Anne," I hear you say. "Don't go on and on about it. We really only asked to be polite.")

("Shaddup," I tell you rudely. "My blog, my rules. This is the only place on the planet where I can talk about this stuff--no one I know understands or gives a rat's a-- about it.")

("But readers are a gift, Anne," you remind me gently. "You've said so yourself, many times. You should treat them gently.")

("Certain readers," I say bluntly, "Are going to find themselves re-gifted if they don't shaddup and let me ramble on.")

Well, on the freelance front, business continues to boom. Louie Louie's "one test campaign, maybe in a month or so" has already turned into "these two and I need numbers within the week."

Gidget's Titanic guy hasn't resurfaced yet, not sure what's going on there.

Sal O'the North is climbing out from under a big project of her own and still wants to talk to me about overflow--I'm hoping it can wait until next month, when my life should settle down a bit.

In other words, still very much afraid a tsunami of freelance work is about to land on me. I spent most of last weekend working and was a tad bitter about it on Monday morning. I have grown used to having leisure time.

Back at the Café Corral, all the usual suspects are quiet. Café campaigns have already produced as many leads this month as they did all month last year, so the rest of this month is gravy for bragging rights. (I find some of the data Highly Suspect and am beating on Webstrainer from two directions, trying to get a definitive answer around which of two conflicting data reports to believe.)

I had a chance to review the posse of Corral campaigns in some depth yesterday and am happy to report that any change at all, even just adding a smiley face to some random ad* would be such a major improvement they'd all pass out from shock and awe.** (Very briefly - two metrics that should be 80%-20% are, in these campaigns, 20%-80%. As so often happens when I review someone else's work, I find it difficult to believe that someone could accidentally produce such appalling results. They always ask, quite anxiously, for my suggestions and it's hard not to say, "A lit match.)

Have now absorbed enough coffee to do a bit of work. Back later! (Perhaps much.)


______________


* Not actually allowed

** Morons

Posted by AnneZook at 08:17 AM | Comments (7)



And Then There Was Sunshine

At long last, blue skies and balmy temperatures have returned to Denver. My disposition improves with each successive day of radiant sunshine.

So, what's new?

("Briefly, Anne," I hear you say. "Don't go on and on about it. We really only asked to be polite.")

("Shaddup," I tell you rudely. "My blog, my rules. This is the only place on the planet where I can talk about this stuff--no one I know understands or gives a rat's a-- about it.")

("But readers are a gift, Anne," you remind me gently. "You've said so yourself, many times. You should treat them gently.")

("Certain readers," I say bluntly, "Are going to find themselves re-gifted if they don't shaddup and let me ramble on.")

Well, on the freelance front, business continues to boom. Louie Louie's "one test campaign, maybe in a month or so" has already turned into "these two and I need numbers within the week."

Gidget's Titanic guy hasn't resurfaced yet, not sure what's going on there.

Sal O'the North is climbing out from under a big project of her own and still wants to talk to me about overflow--I'm hoping it can wait until next month, when my life should settle down a bit.

In other words, still very much afraid a tsunami of freelance work is about to land on me. I spent most of last weekend working and was a tad bitter about it on Monday morning. I have grown used to having leisure time.

Back at the Café Corral, all the usual suspects are quiet. Café campaigns have already produced as many leads this month as they did all month last year, so the rest of this month is gravy for bragging rights. (I find some of the data Highly Suspect and am beating on Webstrainer from two directions, trying to get a definitive answer around which of two conflicting data reports to believe.)

I had a chance to review the posse of Corral campaigns in some depth yesterday and am happy to report that any change at all, even just adding a smiley face to some random ad* would be such a major improvement they'd all pass out from shock and awe.** (Very briefly - two metrics that should be 80%-20% are, in these campaigns, 20%-80%. As so often happens when I review someone else's work, I find it difficult to believe that someone could accidentally produce such appalling results. They always ask, quite anxiously, for my suggestions and it's hard not to say, "A lit match.)

Have now absorbed enough coffee to do a bit of work. Back later! (Perhaps much.)


______________


* Not actually allowed

** Morons

Posted by AnneZook at 08:17 AM | Comments (7)



Friday, February 11, 2011
Excuse me

I had random things to complain about today, but the files for the newsletter we aren't doing any more just landed on my desk - at 3:15 on Friday afternoon - and the person in charge wants it to go out today.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:14 PM | Comments (4)



Thursday, February 10, 2011
An Excess of Success

One of the Eastern 'Nuts has decided to bring his advertising back to the Café, a Southern 'Nut I've never had a campaign for wants to move in at the same time.*

The half-dozen or so Corral (i.e., not Café) campaigns NewerBoss Peter wants me to take over are disasters. The Corral websites are really dreadful and I'm in no way qualified to design or even suggest improvements--in my position I only know "works" from "does not work." Fixing the latter is a skill set I don't possess.

I have too many people wanting to give me freelance work, including Gidget's latest guy who has made such a mess of trying to do it himself that it brings inevitable Titanic references to mind. Also, he wants to cover half the country and is only willing to pay a nickel for the privilege.

The weather and the bad roads are interfering with things I need to get done on weekends and after work. I'm halfway into the "grace period" month for my licence plate renewal with no idea of when I'll be able to get halfway across the city to stand in line for hours before the end of the month.

I worked from home on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and got too used to it--coming back to the office computer and the laggy network here is infuriating me this morning.

I have a vacation to pay for at the end of this month, the new website for the Gidget Co has to be done (and paid for), I haven't billed any of my current freelance clients in over a month because I can't find time to write up the necessary notes I send with the invoices, etc., etc., etc.

At the same time, I have to come up with an extra $400+ a month to pay for COBRA until I'm eligible for the Corral's insurance plan.

Things just seem to be getting on top of me at the moment.

Which explains why I ate half a pizza for breakfast and am sitting here waiting on my deli sandwich lunch to be delivered and writing blog entries, instead of working.


___________________

* I'm just sayin'. I knew sending out those year-end reports was a bad idea. Random 'Nuts always clamor at the door, demanding to be invited to the party, when they see those year-end overview numbers.

_________

P.S. And! It was suggested today that if they hire someone, even just part-time, I can teach them and it will help me. I have squashed (folded, spindled, and mutilated) such a ridiculous suggestion. There is no one on the planet I dislike enough to subject them to that kind of trauma.

It was then suggested that this hypothetical person can just sit next to me and somehow absorb what they need to know.

!

And, let me add, !!

I am not a jelly roll. I do not ooze--not even for educational purposes.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:24 AM | Comments (2)



Tuesday, January 25, 2011
OUT!

My time of incarceration in the Corral may be limited. I just don't know if I can navigate this particular teaching/learning curve again, okay? I just don't have the strength.

Sigh.

Today I received my first communication from BossPeter, a response to an email I sent him asking a simple do it/don't do it question. When he responded?

Strike 1 - He didn't answer or even address the question I'd asked him.

Strike 2 - He misspelled the Café's name.

Strike 3 - He displayed an appalling ignorance of even general principles of internet marketing although his job until now has included all of the i-marketing for the Corral. (And, so I'm told, he has an Actual Degree for the M-word.)

He also asked me why the Corral should continue to run ads for the Café when organic listings are all over the internet. (Is he KIDDING me?)*

(a) Because the ads are cheap and they WORK, and,
(b) Anyhow, you're not paying for them, the Argonuts Afield are paying for them, so what do you care?

I was contacted yesterday by yet another small agency looking for a good, reliable freelancer to take overflow clients. I may start accepting some of these offers.

_________________________

* NewBoss Anais is, of course, gone. CEO Jason is stuck here transitioning so I marched into his office with my IS THIS GUY KIDDING? rant. I like to think I'm making it a little easier for him to leave us. :)

Posted by AnneZook at 02:42 PM | Comments (2)



Friday, January 21, 2011
OMG

The weight of Being Nice to people all day long is wearing on me.

Hard to know for sure how much weight to give their opinions since none of them were on the Keepers list, but the Café employees I've had a chance to talk to aren't impressed with the BOWG. Apparently as the BOWG team has been calling up all the Argonuts Afield, they've passed uncomplimentary remarks about the way the Café has been Doing Things. The people responsible for much of that Doing are, understandably, ticked off.

There seem to be some other details about the sale--whose responsibility it would be to clean up, clear up, and straighten out some ongoing projects--that Those Apparently In The Know feel have been handled unfairly.

Me? I just sit here and do my job.

On a more exciting note, NewBoss Anais let me know that CEOJason is firming up a deal for her future employment. He wants her help with JasonWife's website and related advertising--if it goes through, she'll be the person I have to communicate with when I want them to change things. I am thrilled that it's going to be me who reaps the benefit of her last two years of intensive training in paid online marketing. Since I just spent two years teaching her how to understand what I say, I'm equally thrilled to be able to work with her and not have to start over with CEOJason. And, last but not least, I'm thrilled at the opportunity to keep working with someone who is really just an incredibly nice person.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)



The Money Just Keeps Rolling In

Today I got two, count 'em, two bucks back from the staff's recent investment in the Big Lottery Speculation.

(Okay, we all had to chip in $5 originally, but I'd forgotten all about it. Just like I'd forgotten I spotted someone here $6 last week for a lunch burrito--a $6 that he repaid today.)

Also, the Café is paying out our last checks and our unused vacation time on Monday. The interim paycheck will be useful since the Corral is on a twice-a-month (5th & 20th) schedule.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)



Thursday, January 20, 2011
Oops

Filled out the employment paperwork this afternoon and tried to pass it along to the wrong BOWG. Must watch that.

Received notice the new new pay takes effect on the official sale day which was Tuesday, so that's nice. Also received word that they're grandfathering in our tenure with the Argonuts so that we don't start as newbies on the vacation scale and stuff. Also nice.

The people I've met? Very nice.

But my personal time is my personal time. While giving them full credit for meaning well, I'm not best pleased to be told that the Corral Crew are taking their new-hires out to dinner tomorrow. If they want to buy us a meal, they should have lunch catered in on company time.

Hmph.

Other things are happening in my life.

I met with Bernie last week and we discussed that I am serious about the free-lance work and then we exchanged info on the client he has coming up. Brain too frazzled to deal with that this week, though.

Posted by AnneZook at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)



Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Further Bulletin #4

The Café has been sold.

I countered their offer of a 15% 'increase' with a suggestion that 25% is a nice round number.

We shook on 25% (plus bonus plan TBD) and my employment will continue.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:30 PM | Comments (4)



Peter, Paul, & Mary and the Piggyback Corral

Well, it's still today. Although various members of the new company (hereinafter referred to as the Piggyback Coral) wandered back to my desk this morning and made a point of mentioning that they'd heard about me (!!).

Peter, Paul, and Mary each came back to eyeball me, with a couple of high-level groupies in tow. The Piggyback Corral certainly did us proud with a transition team. There are five or six of them. Even the Big Boss Albert introduced himself (although that was more accidental than not) and said how pleased he was that I was joining them. ! And, let me add, !!

I haven't had a chance to chat with Peter, my potential new boss, about their offer.

Without at least intending to be derogatory, let me start by mentioning (Mary aside, of course) that I've been seen such a homogenous group of B(ald) O(ld) W(hite) (G)uys as the senior management of the Corral. I spent 30 minutes talking face-to-face with one of them yesterday and this morning I can't quite remember which of the BOWG faces he was wearing.

I went to annoy NewBoss Anais, asking her if she'd sneak into accounting and double my ad budget quick before she left. She just laughed at me. Then we chatted for a while and I pointed out that since she's the only person in the office I ever speak to, having her leave will leave me in a solitary wasteland.

She's gonna miss me wandering into her office and being randomly weird at her. (Or, you know, not at all.)

Posted by AnneZook at 03:10 PM | Comments (2)



Further Bulletin #3

The Café has been sold.

I forgot to add!

I met one of the other stayers in the parking garage this morning--the woman (previously introduced as Skylla) whose personal license allows us to actually do what we do--and she said she has rejected their offer. I don't know if she's negotiating or what, we got separated right about then, but if they don't get her, the value of this whole deal drops significantly.

Verrrry interesting.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)



Further Bulletin #2

The Café has been sold. Offers have been made.

I got mine (after the face-to-face meeting with my potential new supervisor) yesterday afternoon. It was--less than impressive. Not overwhelming. More sort of whelming.

I mean, don't get me wrong, the idea of continued employment pleases me. I like a regular paycheck as much or more than the next person. That whole "eating and buying books" thing is very important to me.

On the other hand, don't offer to roll back the 15% pay cut imposed on me 12 months ago and expect me to turn cartwheels of joy over the increased income. I was grossly underpaid even before the pay cut--this job is easily worth $15k more than I was getting. My work directly provides something like 60% of the sales leads for the entire network of Café locations. I don't think it's unreasonable of me to want to be compensated accordingly.

Anyhow, I said straight out that I'd hoped for more money and that I had to think it over, took the packet, and said I'd sleep on it.

Sheesh.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:37 AM | Comments (2)



Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Further Bulletin #1

Yes, the Café has been sold.

Of the remaining ten or twelve employees, only four or five are being asked to stay on.

One member of the management team (I'm sure it's a coincidence that it's the woman married to a man on the executive staff of the purchasing company), the individual who personally has the particular license we need to do business with other countries, Bert the IT/in-house sales guy, and the in-house sales department admin (odd choice but as someone suggested, maybe they've decided to keep someone to answer the phones). That's four. Oh, and me.

Offers will be made to the five of us--reportedly by the end of the day

Posted by AnneZook at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)



Cafe Kicked To Curb!

We bin sold. That rumor management was squashing so firmly last month was the rumor of reality.

Further bulletins as events warrant....

Posted by AnneZook at 11:35 AM | Comments (2)