Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Good Day

I am very thankful that through much hard work during the past work week, we managed to get ourselves in position to actually take a TWO DAY WEEKEND this week! *happy dance* It's been awhile since we were able to take both Saturday and Sunday off, and this feels a little like a vacation!

I didn't sleep very well last night, and woke up much too early....4:00 am! I stubbornly refused to get out of bed at that hour. So, I reached for my Kindle and finished reading "The Thorn Birds". Not a bad way to start my "long" weekend. :-)

I did a few household tasks....nothing very strenuous. Then I decided to knit a bit on a pair of socks I'd started earlier. This afternoon I went to visit Mom and Dad for awhile, then came back home and called Kris (my daughter, for those of you who might not know).

So now I'm fed, kicked back in the recliner with my netbook in my lap and my knitting nearby. I have a Netflix movie I've not watched yet ("Hereafter" with Matt Damon), so I foresee a restful evening. Thank goodness.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I don't think I'd mentioned it before, but when writing a blog entry, I actually do the writing in a little freeware program called WriteMonkey. A neat little word processing program, it eliminates all other distractions on your screen and provides you with a clean, uncluttered environment on which to type out the thoughts rattling around in your head. You can choose from several different background colors and font styles and colors. (Mine is currently a deep purple background with a pale lilac font that is strangely similar to the appearance of my handwriting when I'm printing instead of using cursive.) Each time I open WriteMonkey it greets me with a bit of cute WM wisdom in a little message box. When I opened it this morning I was greeted with this message: "The light at the end of the tunnel is usually the oncoming train." That's strangely appropriate for the way I feel this morning.

I'm not prone to depression, and am honestly not depressed. But I'm so very tired. The project we've been working on in the office since February seems endless. Our training for this conversion was woefully inadequate and was started (by my estimate) at least six months later than it should have begun. They began training us in February for what was at that time a March go-live date for the system. They quickly realized that March wasn't going to be possible, so they delayed it until April.

Much of the training they provided was in the form of webinars. Don't get me wrong; I think this was a great move. Because the individuals being trained are spread all across the state, this is an economic (in both time and money) means of training a large group of employees.

Here's the problem: these webinars (along with web-based strategy meetings) have been tying up anywhere from 4 to 6 hours of each workday. Honestly. FOUR TO SIX HOURS. Now if we didn't have voluminous amounts of data to validate for this conversion, that might be more doable. And Tuesday is the deadline for the data validation. Keep in mind that our department was already understaffed and we were struggling to perform the full-time jobs we ALREADY had before this conversion began.

I can't remember the last time I worked an 8-hour day. In fact, from Sunday morning through Saturday afternoon last week I worked 73.8 hours. I'm exhausted.

Our department head, bless her, announced that we were going to take Sunday off, deadline or no deadline. So, I looked forward to getting a good night's sleep last night and spending today resting and recharging my batteries.

Unfortunately, I was so tired last night I had trouble falling asleep. When I did fall into a fitful sleep, I had nightmares of keying data into an unfriendly user interface with poor procedural instruction. In my dream, I returned from a brief trip to the ladies' room to find the project manager standing behind my desk glowering at my computer monitors (I have two). He looked up to see me entering the room and snapped "Where have you been?" I explained that a brief trip to the restroom had been necessary. "We provide catheters for that," he snarled, snapping his fingers, causing a nurse in a starched white uniform to appear, pushing a cart containing necessary equipment for the surely unpleasant procedure to follow.

I guess that's an indicator of how I feel about this whole thing: an unpleasant procedure. To put it mildly.

I think WriteMonkey got it right. At this point, if I ever DO begin seeing light at the end of the tunnel, I'm convinced it will be an oncoming train.

I'm hoping for a better week....and I hope yours is good!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

A Post in Less Than Ten Minutes

I'm lying in bed, netbook at my side, and have been Facebooking and Tweeting for the past little while. Because I went to bed pretty early last night, I woke up pretty early this morning and decided to spend some "quality" time on the internet. :-)

At 5:30 my alarm clock chirped at me. I tapped the "snooze" button and continued happily netsurfing. Ten minutes later it chirped again. I tapped again, treating myself. When it chirped again a couple of minutes ago, I had just opened Blogger to begin this post. So, I tapped the button one more time, deciding to post until the alarm chirps. Then I must get up, shower, dress, and prepare for another glorious day in the employ of the Commonwealth.

The computer conversion is proceeding in the way a root canal procedure proceeds. Slowly and painfully. Work hours are long and frustrating, home hours are spent trying to recover from work hours. We muddle through, hoping that the next day will be better than the last.

At my age I have already adjusted to white hair and wrinkles. But lately the hair has begun to look dull and wrinkles appear deeper than usual.

Stress sucks.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Long-Awaited Sunday

I've not posted in a couple of weeks.....why, you may ask? Because I'm tired of hearing myself whine about how tired I am.

March was a train wreck of a month, and I was not at all sorry to see it go. We're going through a disastrous computer conversion at work; I won't bore you with the hideous details, but trust me. It's a disaster of Hindenburg proportions.

Because of the avalanche of extra work caused by this disaster, today is the first day I've had off since March 20.

So, what do I plan to do with this much-needed day off? Good question. I'm one of those obsessive list-makers who usually has a check list on my computer screen at home of things I intend to accomplish over the weekend and checks them off as I get to them.

I'll be the first to admit that not everything on that list gets checked off. I often run out of energy before I run out of self-assigned tasks. An acquaintance from years ago told me that she always makes the first item on her task list "Make a list". That way she knows that when she's finished making her list she has one task she can already check off, giving herself a sense of accomplishment. At the time I thought it was a cute idea. I did that for awhile, then for some reason dropped it off the top of my ever-present lists.

The way things have been going lately, I think I need to start that again. Item 1: Make a list. I've spent so much of my time in the past couple of months beating out brush fires that it's easy to lose track of the monumental amount of work that's been accomplished.

Okay. Feeling a little better now.

So, what's on today's agenda? Make a list. *LOL* Then, seeing how as it's nearly 8:30 on a Sunday morning and I'm still in my flannel jammies, I think I'll have one more cup of coffee (which is unusually delicious this morning, for some reason), then a long, hot shower.

I have a few household-drudgery-type things to do....for instance, I can either do laundry today or face having to do it after what's shaping up to be an ugly Monday in the office. Today will be easier. And there's a bit of picking up to do in the apartment, since not much of that got done this past week.

But basically here's the way I plan to spend my long-awaited free day: a half-hour of "must do" tasks followed by a half-hour of something enjoyable. I'll do that until I get tired, then get into the recliner with knitting and a Netflix movie I've not watched yet.

I already feel more relaxed. Sometimes you have to PLAN to make things better.