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The temp agency that sent me here just called. Another department at BWH wants to talk to me today. I'm not an internal candidate, but I'm the next best thing to one.

Cross fingers for me? Thanks.

[EDIT: It seems to be me or nobody, providing they can afford anybody at all. They won't know that until tomorrow. So maybe I'm employed again and maybe I'm not.

The guy I talked with used to subscribe to RATTLE, so he was impressed that I'd had something published in it, even though it wasn't an original poem. Small world syndrome strikes again.]
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Today was a questionable day. I spent it training my permanent replacement. So now she knows what the voicemail password is, and I don't (the telecommunications office reset it to a default this morning, and I had her reset it again to something she'd remember). She can't get into the calendar she needs, and I can, so we were giving the poor computer schizophrenia logging each other out all day. (She can log in as me, because I gave her my password, because I knew she'd need that calendar before she had her own access to it.)

On top of it being oddly disassociative to have somebody else doing half of my job, which isn't even my job, I got to stand up for about half of today because there's really no room in there for an extra chair. The woman who trained me last month has severe arthritis and uses an electric scooter, which doesn't fit in there very well either, but at least is more mobile than the waiting-room chair.

When I got home, I discovered that Dartmouth Place thinks I owe them $15, but they won't tell me what for. They say it was listed on the move-out form, which it wasn't. I'm inclined to call them up tomorrow and stay on the phone until I get a detailed answer as to why exactly I owe them $15 and why they didn't take it out of my security deposit. I'm in one of those moods where I'm either going to get depressed, or I'm going to get mad. Neither mood is particularly productive, and getting mad isn't particularly satisfying, because I know that it isn't going to get me what I want. It never does.

In case of actual unemployment on Thursday, I have a whole list of things I should do. I wish I felt like doing any of them.

Bazz fazz.

Two more random observations:

1. The heat definitely works now that it's on.

2. If I dislike metallic embroidery floss, I LOATHE blending filament.
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I decided that today I wanted an actual sandwich for lunch, so I went downstairs to the cafeteria outpost and ordered a pepper and egg sub. While I was waiting for it, the radio station that was on down there started playing "Here Comes the Sun". Wishful thinking on somebody's part, because it was pouring.

If the radio station my alarm is set to has to play commercials at 7:10, at least I find some of them funny when I'm not quite awake yet. The one this morning was for canned tomatoes, and it was channeling the Stan Freberg Show, which is why I was laughing about canned tomatoes at 7:11 this morning. I certainly wasn't laughing about much of anything else. Isn't this weather pattern EVER going to go elsewhere?

My brain, in its infinite whatever-it-is, has decided that taking up archery would be good. I wish my brain would consult with my budget before it decides things like that. Come to that, I wish I had a budget beyond "don't spend any money unless you absolutely can't avoid it".

My living room needs an archaeological dig again, because I need to find the floor in order to vacuum it. I wonder if I'll actually get that done tomorrow?

Completely random question: How would one rephrase "unfooled around with" so that it doesn't end with a preposition? That's been bothering me off and on for at least three months now.
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OK, so I snuck (after a fashion) out to an interview with another temp agency in lieu of lunch. Unfortunately I was starving before I even left for the interview, which was downtown, and I was in Brigham Circle. So I probably did worse on all the silly tests than I could have if I hadn't been hungry.

Anyway, I got the interview done with and came back to work and picked up the mail, and stuck my head in the kitchen. And there were leftover potato chips. Guess what I inhaled in about two minutes, between phone calls, by way of lunch? (Shame on me.)

So now I'm running around trying to catch up with the screenful of email I got while I was out.

HUNGRY, dammit! And tired, because I didn't get off the computer and go to bed at a reasonable hour last night. And if I don't have something else of better nutritional value before I get home, I'm going to crash hard, and be grumpy all night.

The weather today has all the appeal of the bottom of a cast iron frying pan. It's about as heavy, too. And it's windy as all hell downtown, and it's cold wind.

But now at least I have a third temp agency in case the other two don't come up with anything next week.
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It's mildly ironic that for the last two days, it's started out foggy and turned into a nice day. Today it's supposed to rain, and the day is starting off sunny.

I sorted out three of the four current work headaches by palming one off on somebody else, having a cancellation come up so I could fix another one, and confirming and ordering food for the third. The fourth is still being impossible, but it's Friday before a long weekend and I don't think it's going to be utterly awful if I can't fix it by the end of the day (she says, hoping it won't come back and bite her next week...).

This morning the radio was playing music when it turned itself on, and I was all excited about it until I woke up enough to actually listen. It was an Outback Steakhouse commercial.

I don't know how I made myself late this morning, but I did. I didn't realize it until I was brushing my teeth and looked at the clock and lo, it was 7:58. I'm usually on the way out the door at 7:58. I left in such a hurry that I forgot to unplug my phone and bring it with me, so anybody who calls me today is going to have to wait until Tuesday if it's job-related. Shame on me, I know; these days everybody is supposed to be perpetually reachable and instantly on top of everything. Sorry, I'm still human, and therefore subject to doing things like forgetting my phone.

I had to go to the grocery store yesterday and was about to be annoyed with the Halloween candy everywhere until I remembered it's October. All right, I'll give them that. At least it wasn't Christmas candy (yet). Come Halloween, the Christmas candy will have been out for at least a week.

So passeth Friday. If I knew what the Latin for Friday was, I could say it in Latin, but I don't, so I can't.
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Even though that probably wasn't it, I choose to believe that the reason two different complete strangers told me I was beautiful last Saturday was because I was outdoors enjoying the weather and looking happy.

Apparently I just have no luck with radio stations. When my second alarm goes off in the morning, what I want is music; what I get is commercials. Every music radio station I can get in my bedroom seems to run commercials at 7:10. Which I suppose is good, because it means I turn the thing off and go run through the shower as soon as I get my contacts in, but it's the principle of the thing.

I really wouldn't mind if it decided not to rain on Sunday.

That spider is still on my back porch, in the same spot.

I've been trying for three days now to remember to pay bills when I get home. Yesterday I had a legitimate excuse for forgetting to do it, but it still annoys me that I forgot. These are the bills I absolutely can't not send out on time, too.

When I bought my favorite pair of dress sandals years ago, I had them stretched a little in a couple of places since I have wide feet. They're getting overstretched in some different places now; how do you unstretch leather? The only idea I've had so far is get them wet and wear them until they're dry, but I don't think it's a very good idea.

I wish I could get paid for Monday. Unfortunately you have to work for most temp agencies for at least 1000 hours before they'll give you any benefits at all. Given 40-hour weeks, that's slightly over six months of solid work; given 35-hour weeks, it's slightly over seven months. The nature of temping being what it is, I wonder how many people actually get to that point? Oh well, at least I think I've got rent for November now. I don't have money for anything else for November, but at least I've got rent.

This was a good morning for "Bleecker Street" by Simon & Garfunkel. If the Pru had been a person, everything from the collarbones up would have been lost in the fog. Now the sun is out.

Here endeth the brain dump, which, with one thing and another, has taken me over an hour to type.
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I really don't understand why making work-related travel arrangements has to be so difficult. If I want to go somewhere, I look up the fares, put in a credit card number, print off the ticket and that's that. I've never understood the office-politics dance that always goes on. The current one involves figuring out which end of this trip is responsible for booking the flights in the first place; me, or the people who said they would and now won't. This is before I even get around to figuring out which forms have to be filled out in what order and signed by whom.

And I'm trying to arrange a meeting with several people with nearly impossible schedules, and I still haven't found any time to reschedule a meeting that can't be next week. Since the next iteration is November 1, I'm sorely tempted to ask if they can't just cancel this one and make it up in November (even though I know before I ask that the answer is No, it has to be rescheduled).

And there's this conference call that has to be done before the end of October, except that one of the four people who has to be in it can't do it any time the other three can...

I'm almost positive this is going to be one of THOSE days. Just let me get one of these things dealt with today and I'll feel like I've actually accomplished something.
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It's being rather like a Monday, except it isn't actually raining. It's not as bad as last Monday, thank goodness, but I'm keeping busy.

Last night I sat down and got the second draft of the longer TSF translation sample done. In the course of doing term research for the second sample, I discovered an English version of it, and I wish I hadn't, because it used a term that was exactly what I meant, but not what I had used, and now I feel guilty about co-opting their term. (It did answer my original question, though. I was trying to find out if the name of a place I'd never heard of was spelled differently in French than in English. It isn't.)

This computer screen is very dark. I have it set as bright as it gets, and white is still showing up as sort of medium-light grey. On sunny days I don't mind; there's a window behind me, so the screen gets more light that way. Today, I'm finding the grey tremendously annoying. Then again, this whole computer is about a step and a half up from Civil War surplus, wood-burning, steam-powered. If it knows what USB is, I'll be shocked.

What's the point of email alerts for job board postings if the job gets closed so fast that the alert hasn't even gotten to me yet? (And why is the board sending me an alert for a job into Korean?)

Never mind. Time to resume wearing my Calendar Arrangement hat.
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Getting unsolicited email from the federal student loan people is right up there on the list of things that make me nervous. It seems that somebody on their end used my information for somebody with the same last name, or something like that. I got a "notice of correction", but it didn't say what they had corrected or what, if anything, I have to do about it. I really do not want to end up owing them money for their own error, thank you very much.

Today, compared to Monday and Tuesday, is absolutely dead. Which doesn't mean there's nothing going on; it just means I was caught up by 9:00 this morning. I'm waiting for a minor explosion from some people who have been calling me for a week, because they want me to come up with both a date and a location for a lecture. The last email I sent them (with the blessing of my boss) said, in effect, "Sorry, it doesn't work like that. This was your idea, so do your own planning." Of course, I've told four different people from their office the same thing since last week, so apparently they don't talk to each other. On top of which, the first person I talked to gave me the wrong number to call back. I tried to call her and got a carpet cleaning company. You really should know your own phone number if you're going to be leaving it for somebody to call you back...

The temp agency I'm not working for at the moment is catching up on its messages from two weeks ago. I guess they don't talk to each other either, because last week I told them not to call me until October. These are the people who keep telling me about jobs that require "excellent oral and written communication skills", which I find ironic.

I could swear I've been speaking English this week, but nobody seems to understand it when I do. Is Mercury in retrograde again, by any chance?
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Today seems to be somewhat more sane than yesterday, thank goodness. However, this morning I was enough of a slug that I forgot to make tea until I didn't have time to do it. (That's what I get for going to bed at 9:30 last night and sleeping straight through until my alarm went off.)

On Saturday I went and bought most of what I need to finish my current embroidery project. I'm working on a section that's all metallic gold, which is of course giving me fits, but at least I expected that of it. Satin stitching with it works fairly well, at least. I'm trying to figure out how to get a queen stitch in metallic gold to look good on both sides; it's supposed to be symmetrical, but the left side doesn't come out correctly. (I almost said "the left side doesn't come out right", but I'm sure some helpful person would have told me it's not supposed to.)

I also bought the pattern for the next project (Spanish Wine Sampler), which is on 36-count linen. It's going to be gorgeous, but I'm going to go blind in the process. At least there isn't any white in it. (Hmm, I wonder how it would look on black? Does 36-count black linen exist? I should look that up.)

Half of me wants to prove I can do this job on a permanent basis, and the other half wants to wash its hands of it as soon as possible and hopefully go on to something that doesn't involve having to reschedule meetings for three months from now because that's the first available time.
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I'd rather be busy than bored, but this is ridiculous!

I got in at 8:30 as usual, and discovered a 4" pile of paper on my desk, and fifteen email messages. Fortunately, the pile was less fearsome than it could have been. However, in it, there was a dictaphone tape. Have you ever tried to transcribe a letter and answer the phone at the same time? Don't. It doesn't work at all.

On top of that, we had a fire drill this morning, so my train of thought got rather severely derailed for half an hour.

I've broken myself of the free coffee habit by bringing tea in my water bottle. I make tea first thing in the morning, and it's cool enough to drink by the time I want it. Today I have discovered that four Bengal Spice teabags in a quart of water makes VERY strong tea, particularly because it has pepper in it.

My back aches and my brain hurts, and I suspect I'm forgetting something, but I have no idea what.
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If today had theme music, it would have to be "Keep the Customer Satisfied" by Simon & Garfunkel. The last half of this week feels very like an uphill battle. I keep getting burned by things that I've actually done correctly, but done at the wrong time, or done and not advertised that fact. For instance, I really did have all of today's stuff assembled for my boss before she left, early, yesterday. But because it was still on my desk and not hers and she didn't ask me for it before she left, she didn't have it, and therefore it was my fault anyway.

The problem is, I don't know what I don't know, until somebody else realizes I don't know it, and by then it's too late and I get asked not to do that again. The learning curve has caught up with me. I write down the really useful stuff that nobody tells me, so that (for instance) the person who gets the permanent job won't go through eight sheets of letterhead trying to get the margins right and get the paper not to go through the printer upside down, but I keep getting blindsided by little things. It's not a comfortable position to be in, at least not for me. I do tend to dwell on my own insufficiencies, though.

Oh well, as I said earlier this week, the worst that can happen is they call up the temp agency and ask for somebody else. And that won't happen until Monday if it happens at all, so I get paid for this week, and that means I can afford rent for October. That makes me feel somewhat better.

And it's Friday, which is good too.
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It is extraordinarily difficult to schedule things for somebody who's never here because she's always in a meeting somewhere else, which therefore makes it impossible to ask her what meetings are expendable for the sake of everything else that has to get shoehorned in somehow. I wish I could nail her to the floor for half an hour. Maybe I'll just stick a meeting with me in her schedule for sometime next week, if I can find fifteen minutes in her schedule next week. (Why am I bothering, when I probably won't be here any more the week after that?)

Last night I managed to get three of the four things I wanted to do at home, done. (Well, I got two and a half of them done, anyway, since I didn't really clean the bathtub properly.) I've got a whole other list of things to get done, but I probably wouldn't be doing any of them if I was home. I'd be sitting around being lazy.

I have an idea rattling around in my head for a graphic, but I can't seem to get it out of my head and on paper the way I want it. (And the problem with paper is getting the idea off the paper and into Photoshop, where I can get it closer to how I want it. A scanner is on the Rampant Materialism list.)

It feels like it should be Friday, but it isn't.

bazz fazz

Sep. 13th, 2005 06:58 pm
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The rest of today, after this morning, didn't do anything to make me feel less useless. Now I look like an idiot who doesn't know how to operate a fax machine. Granted, it wasn't entirely my fault because somebody else was sending 75 pages of something or other to the same fax machine, but still, when you've got somebody breathing down your neck to send the thing and you get a busy signal for half an hour, and you call up and tell them you're getting a busy signal, and they tell you why and keep breathing down your neck, it doesn't help. I suppose the worst that could happen is that BWH calls up the temp agency and tells them they want somebody else.

At least the hot water seems to be back in the bathtub. This would be a night for a bath, except the last time I tried that, there was only enough hot water to fill up the tub halfway, and a half-lukewarm bath just doesn't do it for me. Besides, the tub needs cleaning.

I need somebody over here to complain at and to keep me company while I clean things. Since I don't have anybody over here to do those things, I'm complaining at the world in general.
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I don't know where my brain was this morning. I know that the cereal does not live in the refrigerator, but that's apparently where my brain wanted to put it. The sugar does not live where the cereal lives, but that's where I wanted to put the sugar. The milk does not live in the drainboard, either. I think I was distracted by the enormous spider who seems to have set up housekeeping across my screen door, such that I can't open it without letting him in. He can stay where he is, thank you very much, and I just won't go out on the back porch.

I'm glad they were right about the weather, because if not I would freeze to death on the way home. As it is, I'm freezing to death in here, because the A/C is on something fierce.

This is an interesting job, in that it seems to be an unwritten rule that if you want to get ahold of anybody's secretary, you do it between 12:15 and 1:00. The other two ladies in the space with me seem to get in at about 7:00, because one of them leaves at 3:30 and the other leaves at 4:00. I get in at 8:15ish (supposed to be 8:30, but the bus schedule doesn't work that way) and stay until 5:00, because the temp agency told me to, but by 5:00 it's deserted enough that the cleaners start showing up and give me odd looks because I'm still here.

I drink way too much coffee when I'm here, due to it being cold, my having a rough throat (it's not sore, but it doesn't sound right), and the coffee being free. I could stop the habit instantly if I stopped resigning myself to putting powdered or artificially flavored creamer in my coffee. I hate the stuff, but I don't like black coffee either.

Since this weekend got co-opted by other things, I have to clean my apartment and go grocery shopping and all like that there over the next couple of days. I'm sure nobody needs to know that, but if I don't write it down, I'll forget.
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Now I understand about kitchens at work, since I've never had one around before. It doesn't help terribly much that the kitchen here is on the same floor as the executive offices, and therefore has decent coffee and good leftovers (when there are leftovers) in it. Fortunately I'm staying out of the leftovers, because it's usually fruit and involves pineapple, or it's muffins, which I don't really want. I can see where it would be dangerous, though.

It's interesting how this job is different for me as a temp than it would be if I had actually been hired for it. I have more spare time as a temp, because if I knew I was staying here, I'd start rearranging things so that they made sense to me. For now I'm following somebody else's system, because inheriting bits of several different people's ideas of how things should be is a guaranteed headache. So I can get away with spending my spare time writing journal entries, because I'm not spending the time revamping the files and rearranging things. (At least not much; the secretary I replaced is taller than I am, so what was within reach for her is just out of reach for me.)
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It figures that on the day the bus arranges to get me to Brigham Circle in time to get coffee, I brought my own coffee. This was a definite coffee morning, though. That's what I get for being out late and having to haul myself out of bed early. (And what I get for being lazy and taking the bus uphill. I walk home, but that's downhill.)

I'd say I wished it were Friday, except that's silly because I've only been here for three days and this is a short week to begin with. Mostly I wish I had a nap room available, or more than half an hour for lunch so I could go find a sunspot to sit in for a while.

Tonight I have to do what I didn't do last night, which mostly consists of cleaning my kitchen and doing something with the peaches I bought last week, which have finally decided to stop being like rocks. Too bad I don't have any more pizza dough...although I could fix that...

Peaches and ricotta and cinnamon and cloves, I think, if I'm going to make pizza.

Drat, now I'm hungry.
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The job I'm currently at would be a lot easier if I actually had access to the calendar I need access to. OK, well, maybe it wouldn't be easier, because I'd have more things to deal with, but it would be nice to be able to deal with everything I'm supposed to deal with. It's also slightly harrowing to look at a completely full calendar I didn't fill up, and have to work with/in/around it. It feels like it would be awfully easy to forget things because I didn't know they're on the schedule, because I didn't put them there. (Can you call it ignoring something if you didn't know it existed?)

At least the commute is easy. I walked home, albeit downhill most of the way, in 20 minutes. I don't know what the commute will be like, uphill, first thing in the morning. I always feel like I'm dragging in the morning.

It amuses me somewhat that I couldn't tell my grandmother how to get accents out of a non-US-International Windows keyboard, until I tried it at work today. But now I can get accents out of three different keyboards.

Speaking of accents, Traducteurs Sans Frontières sounds like something I should look into. On top of which, they've got a nifty list of translation problems and other FR/EN linguistic peculiarities.

My cough is better. It's still there, but it doesn't hurt any more.
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