Apr 212019

When I found out that I had to go through chemotherapy the nurse doing the “chemo class” (yeah, they make you take a “class” before you start) looked mournfully at my thick hair and very long tail (braid) and said “You’re going to want to cut off the braid and you have to understand that when you get your hair back after chemo it will never be as thick as it is now.”

Yeah, that was real encouraging. I wanted to punch her. Instead I simply said “Not having hair this thick will be a blessing.” and she just shook her head at me as if to say “You’ll see.”

Everyone struggles with something about their hair. Too much, not enough, too curly, too straight, too thick, too thin. It’s easy to look at the other side and think how much easier they have it but, really, no one does.

Thick hair is my curse but one I gladly bear because it could always be worse… it could be curly like how it came in after chemo – thank the goddess that it grew out of that!

Also, after not having any hair through the chemo I came to appreciate just how warm my thick hair keeps my head. I spent months having to wear a toque, all day (and night), every day, because my head was so cold all the time.

Anyway, the nurse was wrong. My hair not only is as thick as it ever was but I swear it might even be thicker.

The hardest part was not losing my hair – okay, it wasn’t easy by any means, but the hardest part was losing the braid. I spared Keli from cutting it off – I did that myself and it nearly broke my heart to do it. But I couldn’t let cancer take it from me so I did it.

After the chemo and after my hair grew back Keli asked if I was going to grow the braid again but I didn’t have the heart. By then I was so used to the short hair that I couldn’t stand to grew it long enough to even have the start of a braid. I thought about it many times. So many times! But every time it got just a little bit long I would give in and have it cut.

That is… until December. Keli had cut my hair back in October and by December it was starting to bug me again but it was around Christmas when I thought about asking her and decided against it. It could wait another month – besides, I rarely get it cut in winter because the thick hair insulates me in the winter – I don’t know what to tell you, it just seems like all the heat in my body escapes through the top of my head.

I thought about asking her in February but it was still so cold here I figured I’d leave it for another month.

By the time March rolled around I seriously thought about finding someone else to cut it so I wasn’t bugging Keli but by then my hair was so much longer than it had been since the chemo that I decided to let it ride because if I could hold out another month then I could have my braid back or, well, at least the beginnings of my braid back.

April finally arrived and when I text Keli she was on vacation but that was okay, I figured if I had to wait another two weeks it’d just be that much longer and that it’d be better for Keli to be able to figure out how to cut it for the braid.

Finally, yesterday, I went over to her place and she cut my hair – the section that she carved out for my tail is going to take some time to grow to the appropriate length for me to braid. It’s got some shorter hair mixed in to make it thicker than my last one and all that has to grow far enough to be mixed in with the longer hair.

She had just enough to be able to french braid it (it was the only way to get the shorter hair into the braid) but there’s no way I could braid it myself from behind my head. It barely reaches to the end of my neck and, I admit, it looks a bit ridiculous at the moment because it’s so short but she says that my hair tends to grow faster than most people’s and thinks that it’s not too optimistic to believe that it’ll be long enough in 6 months that I’ll be able to braid it, normally, by myself then. I think it will take more than that but we’ll see. Maybe she’s right – I hope she is.

It’s just going to take time to grow it out and until then I have to find some semblance of patience. Meanwhile she wondered how many people would comment about my hair dresser “missing a spot”. Meh. Whatever. I don’t give a shit what other people think.

For the first time, since the cancer and the start of chemo, I feel like myself again – or at least on the way to feeling like myself again – and it’s been too long.

 Posted by at 2:23 PM
Apr 182019

That pharmacist that’s doing the NYC marathon? When she sent that email thanking me I thought she didn’t know me. It’s pretty unbelievable that she wouldn’t because, over the last 10 years, I’ve interacted with most people in some way or another. But because she addressed me by my full name in the email I assumed that maybe she didn’t really know me at all.

Then on Monday Jeanne and I were sitting at a table in the breakroom when she walked in, looked straight at me and then turned on her heel and walked out. Jeanne spotted it and was pretty angry she didn’t come over and thank me but I dismissed it and said “Maybe she’s shy? Maybe she doesn’t really know it was me who donated?”

Nope. As Jeanne and I passed by her Wednesday morning and she addressed me by my nickname and said hello. Again Jeanne was furious on my behalf, which I appreciate but I’m not upset over it. I donate to a lot of causes and usually anonymously – I wish I had this time, honestly.

Speaking of Jeanne – I feel bad for her – they are gunning for her job, hard. They deny it, of course, but she had an external class 2 the other day so she was pulled in to talk about it with the supervisor. She flat out confronted her about how she’s stressing her out (Jeanne is my hero!) and her supervisor denied it all.

Then, today, she was called in to a meeting with the woman who deals with class 1 errors – this one was caught before it went out the door so an internal error. Jeanne said that it never showed up in her report (we have to review and accept all errors in a program we are obligated to check once a week but Jeanne and I check ours daily, sometimes twice a day). When Jeanne told this woman that the error never showed up in her report this chick said she DID acknowledge it. Jeanne is not a liar – she says she didn’t get notified of it then she didn’t but this woman got rude and stopped just short of calling her a liar.

She’s had some system issues – she’s reported them to her supervisor time and again but nothing has been done about it. Sometimes her program shuts down and submits orders – this woman and her supervisor insist that that doesn’t happen but neither one of them do our jobs. Of course it happens!

It’s infuriating to watch them go after her. She told her supervisor “If you’re going to fire me I wish you’d just do it and be done with it!” but she insists that they aren’t looking to fire here.

I did, however, hear that one of the members on my team was fired for quality and that another couple are on final written for quality – Melly being one of them.

The person that told me this said “I don’t know if you’ll be happy about this or not but…”

For the record… I’m not happy that Melly is on final. Sure, I think she’s a jerk for no longer talking to me without an explanation, yes, I think it’s childish for someone 2 years older than me to act this way and act like I don’t exist – but glad that she’s about to be fired? No, mostly because I know she’d be hard pressed to find another job. She’s a data entry tech but she can barely open the programs – completely inept when it comes to computers. She is slow to learn and just slow all the way around. She’s ignorant and no very bright – she dresses like a beach bum. She’d just never get another job. She came from a waitressing background but she can never go back to that – not now – because she’s not healthy enough to be on her feet all day. No, I would take no pleasure in her being fired.

Now, CL on the other hand… yeah, I’d love to see that. She calls out every other week, she cheats (and management knows she does it but let her get away with it), she lies. But she’ll always land on her feet so I am not worried about her – she’d easily get another job – but heaven help the company that hires her.

Our site just did a fundraiser for the “kindness cart” – it is a cart that gives out free things to kids in the hospital – necessities along with fun stuff, I think. Anyway, management wanted to raise money for it but not to pay for the things to give away but the huge draw was if we raised $1,000 we’d “get out company name on the cart”. That annoyed me to no end.

They raised the money. I say “they” because I did contribute to the basket for our team but I did not buy any raffle tickets this year like I did last year. I really just hated the attitude for this one. Also, I have my money tied up in my own charitable endeavors between donating to that pharmacist, and donating to the Great Cycle Challenge, DonorsChoose, and giving the money to Decaf to fund buying scratch off tickets for birthdays for our entire team… I have done my bit.

Oh. The scratch-offs… you see… my idea was for Decaf to make the birthday cards and I’d buy single scoop ice cream cone gift cards from a convenience store we have all over NY. As it turns out the cards would have cost a lot more than what I planned so Decaf suggested scratch off lottery tickets. I agreed and said I’d pay for them for the team but I would not buy them, Decaf would have to do that herself.

I just can’t bring myself to do it – it’s not because it’s a gambling thing or because I think it’s a sin (my parent’s church thought that) but it’s just – I don’t know – I just can’t bring myself to buy them. I have a general dislike of the lottery. Sure, it’d be great to win a few million dollars but, meh, I never will because I’ll never throw my money away on tickets… and that’s exactly how it see it – as throwing my money away. It’s fine for other people to do it but it’s just not for me.

I may have my share of vices but gambling is clearly not one of them.

Now, if you managed to make it through this post down to this point then I’ll tell you one of the better bits of news from the workplace…

Apparently we won some business away from another PBM (Pharmacy Benefit Management) to start in January 2020. It will add 2 million people to our business which means that will add a projected 35 million rxs a year to our work load. This is, of course, a good thing for our company. Maybe they’ll hire more people at our site. Who knows? Guess we’ll see what happens but I have a feeling it’s going to be a hectic end to this year and definitely crazy for at least the first 3 months of next year.

 Posted by at 8:11 PM
Apr 142019

Back at the beginning of March I started a new hobby – ink painting.

I admit that some things I’ve done have been more successful than others which is okay because I’m learning. Also, ink painting is all about being abstract and that’s something I struggle with which is one of the reasons it appealed to me so much. Maybe that doesn’t make sense but I see value in forcing yourself out of your comfort zone, creatively.

I have been posting my efforts on Facebook and Twitter because that’s another thing I’m trying to learn – to not be hung up on what other people think. So far everyone has either been supportive or silent and I’m okay with both.

Anyway. I’m posting what I’ve done so far – in order from the first to the most recent. I’ve watched a few videos to show me how to do some of the first ones I did – although, I got bored with the videos most of the time and just skipped to the end and tried to reproduce what I saw and did it my own way. *shrug* It’s who I am. I have very little patience for people to take forever to get to the point.

 Posted by at 9:40 PM
Apr 142019

For the last 2 years every time I have brought up that I want to do one of the DNA testing things my sister informs me that she’s already done it so there’s no reason for me to do it too.

She also says our oldest brother did it so, again, no need to do it.

I’m not afraid to admit it’s making me a little paranoid…

Why doesn’t she want me to do it? Is it really all about the $$ that it costs, as she claims. Or is there another reason?

I was joking with a friend the other day saying that maybe that joke my brother’s told me as a kid, about me being adopted, is really true. And then I made the observation (and it’s true) that The Twin is really the only brother who doesn’t look like our father.

Of course I don’t, for a minute, believe that my mother would have had an affair (while completely believing my father did on at least a couple of occasions) but why is my sister so resistant to me doing the DNA test? It really feels like she’s trying to keep me from finding *something* out.

I have had misgivings about the test, initially because while it’s great that law enforcement is catching criminals this way it’s also a slippery slope. You are, basically, registering your DNA, voluntarily and that bothers me a bit. But since my sister and brother have already done it they have my family DNA already… unless I really am adopted or a half-sister. #justsayin

In the end – I guess I’ve already determined to do it. I’m not sure when – I don’t really want to order one online because shipping things to my home is still annoying as hell. I suppose I could have them send the kit to O’burg when I visit there in a couple of weeks.

I’m thinking of using 23andMe with the complete medical crap thrown in. I mean, in for a penny, in for a pound, amiright?!

 Posted by at 8:19 PM
Apr 092019

As previously stated in another post, the asshole pharmacist at work is going to run the NYC marathon and is raising money for a good cause.

Even though these people haven’t supported me or my causes I’m not an asshole. My brother and his wife gave to my cycle challenge and matched my own donation so I decided that I’d pay that forward and donate something to her’s (even though she hasn’t donated to her own cause).

I normally donate anonymously but I didn’t this time. I didn’t do it for recognition – I just wanted to to be a community/work thing – like “look at us, all pulling together, even though you all act like my family I’m still going to be supportive.”

It was kind of funny because I see this chick every morning and wondered if she’d thank me like she’s been thanking the pharmacists – loudly and repeatedly, to the point of gushing. I mean, I sit 4 rows down from her and can hear her thanking them, she’s that loud.

I won’t keep you guessing… No. She did not do that with me.

But today she did send me a thank you email saying that it was “so so sweet” of me.

You have to understand that not only do I see her every morning in the breakroom before we clock in but she, literally, walks by my desk multiple times a day to get to the breakroom…

But she emailed me.

Well. I guess that’s something – far more than I expected and far more than I needed.

People are weird.

 Posted by at 5:14 PM
Apr 092019

For three years I have always parked on the other side of the street at the end of the block (and I mean, at the very end of the block). There’s an apartment there but they have a TON of parking because they are on the corner so they can park on either side of their apartment building there’s a lot more space on the other street because their apartment building is just so long. They have space for 4 cars on that side of the street before their nearest neighbor.

But, one day, they decided to park at the end of the block right where I parked. Only, not at the actual END of the block… they park a good half car length back. It’s dumb, people. I get not parking right up to the curb as it’s a busy intersection but, really? A half a car length (sometimes more)?

Fine. Whatever. So I started parking behind them. This has been going on for a year now. All of a sudden they’ve started parking their second car behind the first one (with *at least* a quarter of a car’s length between them) taking up 3 parking spots with two cars and pushing me back even further.

Old me would have just said “Meh, whatever. It’s fine. I’ll just park behind THAT car now too.” but this me? Not. So. Much. Why should I give up this spot too and just let them dictate the parking? No. They stole one spot and that’s more than enough.

We now compete, on a daily basis, for that second spot. I still leave the spot right in front of their apartment building for them, even though I’m not obligated to, but the next spot down? If it’s empty it’s mine.

The funny thing is… where I parked behind their first vehicle – if they parked closer to the end of the block there’d be more than enough room for their second car.

I’m not responsible for their terrible parking.

I’m the only person who doesn’t park right in front of their apartment building because the apartment next door has several people who live there and they all, apparently, have cars. No, not just cars, but massively huge vans. And they compete daily with my downstairs neighbor who parks right in front of our apartment building because goddess forbid that they walk more than 10 feet to get in the apartment.

Someday I will have a driveway or an assigned parking spot… until then? There’s a war waging out there and I intend to win.

 Posted by at 6:47 AM
Apr 072019

I’m fairly good with my money, which is why I have money. But there are times when I’m a bit too cavalier with the nickels and dimes and even though it’s small change stuff it all adds up after a while.

That last time Netflix raised their prices I just went along – didn’t even check the other options. This time though – I mean, you’re going to raise it another $2 then we need to chat because I still remember a time before the last big hike, ya’ know?

I discovered that I’m paying for HD and to use 2 devices at the same time. I don’t need either. I have no reason to run two devices at once nor do I need HD when I’m not using a TV just my old iPad Air most of the time and only sometimes using my iPad Pro. SD is fine. I bumped myself down to the “basic” membership and, after this month, will be saving myself not just the $2 a month that I normally pay but $4 after their price hike.

In the spirit of saving even more money – I pay $15 a month for a data plan on my iPad Pro which I rare use, to be honest. Not the iPad, I use that all the time, even at work, but I barely turn on the wifi connection. I use it if I’m at work and I need to download something from The Cloud but that’s it. I think last month I only used all of 3MB of data.

No. Seriously. That’s it.

So why am I paying $15 extra a month for this? I called AT&T and apparently I needed to talk to the “loyalty” department so that they could “woo me into keeping the line”. I thought for sure there was no way in hell they’d talk me into keeping it.

The woman I spoke to kept saying that I called at the exact right time and day to get a special offer which, I do not believe for a second but whatever. I listened to her pitch.

I have have been with AT&T for 10 years now – well, close to 10 years, mostly because I get a bigger discount through my workplace with them than with Verizon or Sprint. I’ve never had an any issues. My account has been in good standing since day one and she even mentioned that a number of times so, yeah, she looked my shit up.

In the end she offered me a $10 a month discount on my phone bill every month if I keep the iPad line. After I asked all my questions, like bottom line, how much will my bill be a month AFTER taxes, and to make sure that I wasn’t going to be losing anything in the process like my unlimited data on my phone! – and to make sure this wasn’t a Verizon DSL stunt of giving you a discount for a year and then you have to call them again for another discount (it’s not, she’s permanently lowering my phone bill $10 a month), I decided to keep it. At least for now. Maybe in the future I’ll change my mind but she talked me into it and that’s a minor miracle in itself.

Add to that the fact that Hulu just *lowered* their monthly fee on the basic plan by $2 and the fact that I managed to lower my internet down by $10 a month (at least until October)…

So what am I up to now in savings? $372 a year.

Okay. so that isn’t a mountain of money but, well, it kind of is.

Sure, if it were crunch time I could just do away with things like Netflix and Hulu and WoW altogether – and this website too, that would certainly save *some* money but in the end it’s not all that much. I think I figured that only 2% of my income goes to extras like this. All the rest is actually things I can’t just cut like food, rent, utilities.

For now, this is good. Saving just the $10 a month on the cell phone bill and adding that to whatever my raise will turn out to be…

Oh. Did I not mention that before? Unlike times past, this year they refused to pay us our merit increase until the first 2 full weeks in April so I have no idea what my actual new paycheck will look like until 17th when I can view it the day (or two) before it’s deposited into my bank account, bastards.

 Posted by at 3:36 PM
Apr 012019

A week ago Friday Jeanne called out. She told me the following Monday that she was about to leave for work when she had a smallish vertigo spell and decided to be safe and stay home.

So, clearly she was at work on Monday and said she felt fine. But then Tuesday came around and that’s when some shit went down…

Apparently the resource management people contacted her supervisor and questioned whether or not she had been scheduled “communication credit”.

How do I explain this? Communication credit is the 25 points they give us for 15 minutes of email time – to check your emails or respond to emails. No, we aren’t just sitting there for 15 minutes just reading emails but we are obligated to keep our email client open all day and keep up with whatever business emails we get and to compensate for this time we are given 25 points toward our 800 we need for the day.

For some reason they thought that Jeanne hadn’t been scheduled her communication credit and they asked her supervisor because she’s the only other person who can change the schedule beside themselves. She, in turn, lost her fucking mind and out and out accused Jeanne of changing her schedule to not include it.

First of all – Jeanne can’t change her own schedule. Secondly, if she could why would she take away 25 points that she’d have to do extra work to get back? and Thirdly, she showed me her tracking report – it was on the report clear as day. When she tried to say this to her supervisor the woman wouldn’t listen and, again, accused Jeanne of doing something to her schedule.

As I said that was Tuesday. Jeanne already had Wednesday off. But on Thursday? Apparently she got up in the morning and suddenly couldn’t breath, her heart was pounding – so she called out and had her husband take her to the ER because she thought she was having a heart attack – turns out it was an anxiety attack and who can blame her? Would you want to go back to work and deal with a supervisor who is that determined to get rid of you that they’d accuse you of doing things you are not even capable of changing?!

Her doctor took her out of work on Friday as well. She offered to call Jeanne’s supervisor and tell her but Jeanne opted not to give a reason to anyone but me and maybe she’ll tell a couple of other people but she’s not about to give her supervisor that much knowledge and power to be used against her.

Although… I say she should get FMLA from her doctor for emotional distress situations and that would make it VERY hard to fire her because you gotta jump through some serious hoops to do it. Hell, that’s what The Liar did which is why they never fired her and why they sure were glad when she quit.

Thankfully Jeanne has a breathing space for the next few days. My supervisor and hers are on a business trip for “training” today through Wednesday. Which means it’s a possibility that neither will bother showing up Thursday either. One can only hope! And she took 3 hours of VTO on Friday so hopefully she’ll be done with work by noon at the latest that day.

 Posted by at 6:11 PM
Mar 302019

I don’t remember if I mentioned this but…

There’s a pharmacist at work who is just a total jerk. She never says hello or has a nice word for the techs but she’s all good with the pharmacists.

About 3-4 weeks ago she and I were walking in at the same time and she raced me to the door so she could walk in first and then she let the door close in my face.

*Who does that?!* Even if you’re in a hurry? Or fine, say you’re in a hurry and apologize… but not this chick.

This is not the first time this has happened – she’s just so goddamned rude to us techs, like we’re beneath her.

The year I did the Make-A-Wish fundraiser and did the bike tour the only people at work who supported it were those that wanted to win a chance at the three photos I was raffling – they wouldn’t have given any money at all if I hadn’t done that.

Last year when I was raising money for the Great Cycle Challenge not one person at work donated.

I am doing the GCC again this year and, again, no support from people at work so far…

So I’m on Facebook the other night and I see my friend JJ, another pharmacist at work, promoting and donating to this rude chick because she wants to run the NYC marathon and donate $2,500 to a Cerebral Palsy because her son has CP.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I think it’s great that she’s raising money for it and doing the marathon (it’s nice to see that she’s not a complete asshole) but what annoys me is JJ promoting and donating to it and the fact that he specifically mentions people at the company we work for and says “Support one of our own, we’re a family.”

This is the same guy who runs a spin class and last year (and this year too) I mentioned the GCC to him and asked if he (and maybe his class) would like to form a team and do the challenge together and I got no response. Not even a “no thank you”.

It’s so frustrating to me that they all jumped in to support her and here I am… I’m just as worthy of being supported in the fundraising that I do.

But, yeah, we’re all “family” – I think they’re actually comparable to my real life “family”.

Fine, whatever. I’ll raise the money for my ride just like I did the year before and what I don’t raise I’ll donate myself (yes, even though it will put me behind on saving for a new car) because I gave my word and I won’t go back on it. $500 and 500 miles. That’s what I promised and that’s what I’ll deliver – with or without these people.

 Posted by at 10:20 PM

Annual Merit Review: 2018

 The Job  Comments Off on Annual Merit Review: 2018
Mar 192019

I finally got my annual merit review for last year.

With all that’s happened at work last year and all the lies that my supervisor has been involved in and has told me I figured I would just be getting a high target review and that other people would beat me out for stretch. As it turns out she gave me stretch, as well she should because I earned it, just like I do every year.

She even made a comment about that – about how often I’ve been given a stretch rating and I told her it’s because I work hard at it all year and she agreed.

The big takeaway, on her end, was the fact that I always volunteer or fill in when someone needs it, even if it’s not a job I normally do. I’ll jump in with both feet and she told me that that goes a long way and it is noticed and appreciated.

So my raise is 3.5% – basically an extra 59 cents an hour. If you can figure out what I make from that, mathematically, go for it – I will applaud your mad math skillz.

The other thing she said was that if she could have said “Ditto” to my final conclusion about the year I’ve had on my self-evaluation she would have because she said I was dead on.

She asked if I had any concerns about my job or fellow techs or anything really and I took that opportunity to tell her about something CL said and did last week and it confused me. I only really brought it up to her so she could tell her the proper way she should be handling a situation instead of trying to pawn off her work on me. My supervisor told me that that was partially her fault because she didn’t really flat out tell her how to handle the situation but implied it in every way – clearly CL ignored the inference and just decided to do it her way. Not cool. She’s going to follow up on that next week.

This lead to a discussion about CL because – here’s the thing. I sit there and do my goddamn job the best way I know how and CL just cheats her way through it all and the supervisor knows it. She’s even told her numerous times to stop doing it and the conversation I had with CL a month ago was me saying “the supervisor said we shouldn’t be doing that” and her shrugging at me and saying “I still do it”. Are you fucking kidding me??

As it turns out she had this conversation with CL in her review in which she told her (nicely) to cut the bullshit and just do her job, properly, and CL’s response was “I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong so I’m just going to keep doing it my way.”

Two things…

1. My supervisor had no right to tell me this because it’s inappropriate for her to talk about my fellow tech, but I also get why she did because she knows I see it and it’s frustrating. I have to stay and put in 2 (or more) hours more a day than CL because I do things the right way while she cheats and gets to leave early, WITH PAY. How is that fair to me?

Also… she really wasn’t telling me much I didn’t already know. I knew something had happened in that review because right afterwards my supervisor went to Jeanne’s supervisor and they had a very lengthy conversation about CL – Jeanne had no idea what they were talking about but she knew who and she knew it had to do with her review.

2. Who the fuck looks your supervisor dead in the eye and says that?!

She confided that she is just over it with CL. She told me flat out that CL is a hair from being fired but she knows I already know this. CL is at 11 1/2 points for attendance. You get fired at 12. She’s on performance review. She’s been written up for behavior. She’s right there, on the cusp of being fired and all I could think is “Why the fuck haven’t you done it then?” She’s had it coming for a long time.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure CL was threshold and didn’t get a raise – not with all that going on. But don’t feel bad for her, she knows how to “work the system”. She gets all sorts of assistance through lies and manipulation and not getting a raise will only get her more assistance.

We’ll see how that all plays out.

Meanwhile I’m going to bank my extra paycheck $$ (starting with the first paycheck in April) and save up for a new car. I’ve seen what’s out there after driving that loaner for a week. I don’t care about the keyless thing but I did really like the backup camera and the heated seats.

 Posted by at 7:16 PM