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The Hardest Part

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First and foremost, I must present you with not only one of my favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers songs, but also the incredibly awkward music video that comes with it.  Please enjoy as you read this post.

I meant to write this when everything first happened. But things got crazy. Everything happened so quickly and then continued to happen at such a rapid pace that this is the first time I’m able to sit down and write about it.

A little over two months ago, I started a new job. It’s an amazing job for an amazing company. I am now an Academic Formatting Specialist for a company called Research Square. I get to work in the middle of downtown Durham, the office itself is really cool and has free sodas in the kitchen, and I get to help people publish their findings in the US. It’s pretty much everything I could ever want in a job—plus I get to work from home whenever I want!

Last summer was very difficult for me. I had been let go from what I then considered to be my dream job and then, once again, I was unable to find work. I had to resort to unemployment benefits for a few months until I could find a job. One of the requirements to those benefits was to search for jobs on a consistent basis and provide proof of your job search. It was through one of my job searches to keep the benefits that I first met Research Square.

The photo taken of me on my first day!

I originally applied for an editing job there. I was called in for an interview last September, and, although I didn’t end up getting that job, I instantly fell in love with the company and the office and my would-be coworkers. I was absolutely crushed when I didn’t get the editing gig because all I wanted at that point was to work at Research Square.

Around the same time, I had applied for a job through a temp agency. I was able to begin work there very shortly after my RS interview, and the unemployment benefits stopped. I worked at the temp job until February of this year, and I actually really enjoyed it. What was supposed to be a two-week stint turned out to last over six months, and the pay was incredible. But, I knew going in that it was a temp job, and eventually those have to come to an end. I’d made enough money at that temp job to keep me afloat for another few weeks before it was absolutely essential that I find more work.

I thought back to RS and wondered, even hoped, that maybe there was something there waiting for me. I wrote an email to Amy, the woman I had interviewed for back in September, who also happened to be the hiring manager. I figured if anyone knew of any open positions, it would be her. She wrote back and was delighted to hear from me. Sadly, she said, there were no open positions available. However, she did advise that I set up a lunch date with a couple of people that were out of town when I interviewed in September.

So, I did. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had lunch with the woman who would be my boss in less than a month. There was very scant talk of a position that could open up down the line. After lunch, and for several days after, I constantly refreshed the open positions page on the RS website, hoping to be the first to apply for the new position. When it finally showed up, I applied immediately.

It wasn’t long after that that an interview was set up. Then the interview happened, and I was sure I’d made a fool of myself.

Things got tense, because the same temp agency I’d worked for earlier in the year had been working to get me another job—which I was very grateful for. The timing was very inconvenient, though. I was waiting to hear back from RS regarding the position I really wanted, but I couldn’t just say no to a job that was being offered to me. Justin and I decided that I would accept the temp position and then, if RS offered me the job, I could quit. That’s what I did.

Then, the night before I was to start the temp job, I got my offer email from RS! I don’t know if I can put into words how filled with happiness I really was. There was an email, staring at me, telling me that I was not only wanted somewhere but could start on this date for this much money. It was as official as it gets. I screamed, Justin screamed, we jumped up and down, he told the guildies. All the official stuff.

I began work on March 16 and it’s been going like a runaway train ever since.

Sometimes, work got to be too much to handle. I was working almost 70 hours a week, and I hadn’t even had the job for more than a month! Thankfully, this was addressed, and now my workload, at least to start since I’m still learning everything, is much more manageable.

I love who I work with and what I do. It’s not exactly editing, but it’s another form of editing. Not to worry, my meticulous nature is still being catered to. 🙂 This job is a big deal to me, not only because of what it is and who the company is, but because this is the first time I’ve been given an in on the ground floor. Every other job I’ve ever had through a temp agency or was part-time work. This is official from every side, and that’s amazing!

I got my square…because now I’m a Square!

So, that’s what’s going on. I’ve had this tab open for several weeks, trying to find time to write about my new job, but sometimes life is hectic. I haven’t had much time to read or edit my second book, either, so don’t worry—it’s not just the blog that has suffered.

I’m hoping that I can continue updating this blog again now that I have more time to write. Thanks for following along, even in times of uncertainty. I know that the waiting is the hardest part.

Turn, Turn, Turn

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To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sow
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late!

-The Byrds


Right now, there is a blog post that never got published sitting in my Drafts folder.  This post was written as a tribute, even a celebration, to my job.  I have the most amazing job on the face of the earth.  I work with the most amazing people.  I love getting up every morning and driving to my office.  I could not be happier.

Or, at least, I was happy.

I was very unceremoniously let go yesterday, along with eight other coworkers.  I was sitting at my computer editing a blog post, when a knock came.  I turned around and was informed that Jason, the CEO, needed to see me in the conference room.  Up until this point, I had been very intimidated by Jason.  Ever since being brought on my the company officially in March however, I had started coming around to him and not letting myself feel so afraid.

I was hired in June of 2013, through a temp agency.  I was also paid through the temp agency, until I worked a certain number of hours — at which point, the company could bring me on officially and I would be hired and paid through them directly.  That process took a long time.  I reached my hourly requirement around October 2013, and proceeded to tell anyone who could do something about it.  I was finally pulled aside and told that even though my requirement had been reached, the company just flat-out didn’t have enough money to hire me at that point.

This lack of funds was no secret.  At several company meetings, we had been told about the money situation and about how things like Christmas bonuses were suffering as a result.  I didn’t press the issue, it made sense and there just wasn’t anything they could do.

But, around February of this year, two new full-time hires were brought in back-to-back.  Figuring the company must have gotten back on its feet enough to hire new people, I started pushing the issue again.  That finally got a response, and before I knew it, Jason was sliding an offer letter across the table in the same conference where he would let me go two months later.

When I was finally brought on to the company, my happiness level grew even more.  Up until that point, I didn’t think it could.  I was official.  I was part of a real company, part of a real team.  They wanted me.  It was all I’d ever wanted.  Plus, it was a job I knew I could do, and was good at.  It couldn’t have been any better for me.

That sort of happiness was short-lived, spanning not even two full months.

On May 6, at 2:30 p.m., Jason told me that the financial situation was so bad that they had to start letting people go and that unfortunately my position was one of them.  I was then told that I would be allowed to grab my keys/purse/any immediately needed things, and I would be escorted down and asked to leave.  The office would then clean out my cube for me and mail my stuff.

My entire body went numb, the way it does when you receive any sort of bad news.  I was certain it was a joke.  I had seen a huge crowd amassing at the front of the office, and just knew that once I left that conference room, that crowd was going to jump out and surprise me.  I originally thought the meeting had something to do with insurance.  The company just switched insurance providers and with my recent full employment, I was doing double duty with insurance forms.  There was paperwork on the table, so I still didn’t think anything was amiss.

It was such a depressing bomb.  After Jason dropped it, nothing else he said mattered.  I don’t even remember anything else he said.  I just sat there with a mix of emotions on my face.  All I could think to say was, “This sucks.”  Jason agreed, and then opened the door.  Eric and Michelle walked me to my cube and I grabbed my phone, keys, purse, and my paperwork, and we got in the elevator.  There were very heartfelt goodbyes on the front steps, and my legs barely walked me to my car.

I immediately drove to Justin’s lab, thinking of student loans and grocery bills.  I surprised Justin at work, and he was nothing but supportive.  He instantly hugged me and told me it was going to be alright.  That we were alright.  That everything was going to be okay.  That he was so sorry.

I’ve gotten so much support from my friends and family.  Everyone knows how much I loved this job, and how sad I am to be without it.  I have already contacted the temp agency that originally found this job for me, and am waiting to hear back from them.  I have offers from nearly everyone I worked with for referrals.

So far, I haven’t broken down.  I haven’t had a huge cry fest with ice cream and pizza.  It hasn’t really settled in yet that I’m not going back to work.  That I’m not going to pack my lunch and drive to the office, where I’ll take the elevator to the 4th floor and walk to my happy cube and have a cup of coffee while I start on my work.

That’s not my life anymore.

Ultimately, I’m not upset that I was let go.  I’m upset that I was let go from something I loved so much.  I learned so much through this job.  Both about life and work, and even about myself.  And I will only take good memories with me from it.  I hope I’ll find something else sooner rather than later.  But, in times like these, my mantra that I needed while beginning my first full-time job certainly comes into play: Just Keep Swimming.  And, like the Byrds said, now I just need to turn, turn, turn.  Preferably in a pink tutu. 🙂

Sometimes, the roughest roads lead to the greenest fields.
-my mom

Changing Things Up

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Hello, all!

As you may have noticed, the little blog got a makeover today!

The blog is no longer C is for Caty, it is now Frazzled Editor.

I loved the old blog name, and thought it was really cute, but I feel like the new title is a little more hip (we’re all about being hip around here) and also more relevant to my life right now.

The same is now true for the blog address as well: frazzledformatter.wordpress.com.  The old address directs to nowhere, and is still available should I want to revert.

This may not be a well-known tidbit, but my husband is an MTG player (and judge, represent!).  Back in August, he gave me this card:

I thought it was possibly the most awesome thing to ever happen in the history of ever.  It’s currently up in my cube at work where I can see it everyday.  And now that I’ve been looking at it for the last 2 months, it has become clear that I was meant to own this card.

I don’t talk about my line of work too often on this blog, but all you need to know is that I edit a lot of materials – from graphics to reports to Word documents and, yes, even blog posts.  Editing is something that hadn’t been a daily part of my life since 2009 and not as a career since 2007!  Getting back into it reminded me how hard it can be and also how nerve-wracking it can get.  Trust me when I say that frazzled is a good adjective!

And so, here we are.  Change is good, and I’m already loving the less-cutesy-but-still-awesome header.

Thanks for following along; here we go on a new adventure!

What A Difference A Year Makes: Part 2

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Today, Last Year

Job where I was unappreciated, unwanted, and had to share my office with a cleaning lady and hide my pictures at EOD.


Today, This Year

Job I love, where I love my coworkers, where I am wanted and acknowledged, encouraged, and appreciated.  And I share my office with no one.  I can put my feet up and be myself.

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photo

At Work With Caty

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I have officially been at work for over one week.

imageOn my first day, I sat in my car in the parking lot and applied lipstick I never wear and then took this picture:

image_1(You’ll see a lot of thumbs-upping in this post.)

I took the elevator to the 4th floor where my suite is, and then had Judy – my supervisor – show me around the office.  She showed me my cubicle…yes, you read that right.  I have my own cubicle at work!

It started out looking like this:

image_2Then I ran out to Target after my first day of work to buy a prophetic Eiffel Tower clock, and brought back a few college items…

image_2 (2)…and it looked like this:

image_3 (2)But now, it looks like this:

image_5It’s been fun decorating it.  The small calendar to the right of my monitor is now next to the football helmet flag on the left under the light, to make room for a future X-Files mini poster. 🙂

On my first day, I was also shown my phone…my own phone…with my own extension!

image (2)I’m still figuring out how to use it; apparently, my cube has been dormant for a while and it’s still taking time to get things working like they should.  All in good time!

Judy had also taken the sweet liberty of buying me a pencil holder, with new pens in it, and a Scrabble Slam game to keep at my desk.

image_1 (2) image_4I was also given the official manual for my position, with my correctly-spelled name on it!

image_3It made me deliriously happy to be anticipated.

I think it’s finally happening.  I’m finally becoming part of a team, part of an organization, part of a purpose.

And it feels so good.

 

As for Justin and I though, we’re having a hard time adjusting to my new job because it demands such a drastic schedule shift.  We are looking into getting Justin a Vespa and then maybe things will settle down in that department!  But for now, everything is really great.

Gotta go, gotta get back to work!

Never thought I’d say that…

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This Just In: Saturday Breakfast is Back!

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Man oh man, have I got an announcement to make!

I got a job!  A real job!  A big-girl job!

It was a very fast process, and I’m really excited to get this whole shebang started.

Here’s how it all went down…

After nearly 3.5 years of job searching, I finally took what I always considered to be my last resort – going through a temp agency.  I found a list of agencies through the Durham County (DCo, since Durham is so hip) website, and contacted two of them on April 16.  Express called me and set up an appointment to come and talk to them about finding a job.  I went in on Friday, April 19, and met an angel named Jensen, who has been my constant contact through this process.

There were two jobs that were readily available for what I wanted to do: a temporary data entry position, and a Product Launch Specialist for a secret company.  The Product Launch was a full-time position, one with actual hours of pay and benefits and direct deposit.  I remember telling Jensen that day that I really wanted that job and to definitely send them my resume.  While I was there, Jensen had me take a few tests for the data entry position.

On May 6, after not hearing anything from Jensen for two weeks, I wrote an email to check in.  She wrote back and said that although she hadn’t heard anything about the data entry position, the people hiring for the PLS were hoping to schedule interviews that week.  That got me really excited, but past experience told me not to count my chickens, so I held back.

It was several days before I heard from her again, but she called me and told me that the secret company wanted me to take an editing assessment for them!  On May 20, I was given 4 hours to complete the assessment.  I completed it and turned it in.

The ball just kept rolling.

On May 30, Jensen sent me an email saying that the company wanted to meet me for an in-person interview.  We spoke on the phone a day or two later to discuss details.  I received an email on June 3 to confirm the date/time/location of the interview, which was June 5.  I arrived much earlier than I had anticipated, and spent nearly 20 minutes in my car rehearsing my brilliant answers for all of your general interview questions, none of which were even asked.  A few laughs were exchanged during the interview, and I felt positive afterward.  I headed home to decompress.

IMG_1382

The very next morning, Jensen called to let me know that I had been offered the position.  She said that my interviewers had come out of the interview room after I left and told her I was the one they wanted.  They were impressed with me and liked my personality.  And my assessment was the best one they received!  She said she knew the night of the interview, but wanted me to have time to process everything before telling me.  I hung up and started screaming in excitement at Bonnie.

I proceeded to call everyone and tell them that I had actually gotten the job.

Yesterday, Jensen sent me the direct deposit form and the time card for Express.  I am technically their employee until I have worked for Cutting Edge Information for the first 3 months; afterward I will be brought on as a permanent employee.

I have incredibly mixed emotions about all of this.

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This was my “test shot” for my makeup the day of the interview.

I am so used to being put in a corner.  I am used to being a second thought, even a nuisance.  Everywhere I’ve worked in the last 3 years, ever since I graduated from college, has sucked.  My paychecks have been forgotten, I haven’t been offered very many hours, I haven’t been appreciated or included as part of a team.  It’s almost as if they forgot I was coming to work and had to scrounge for a 2×4 and two cinder blocks to set up for me so I have somewhere to work.  It’s been hard and really shitty for my self-esteem.

I’m hoping this job is going to change all that.  I want so badly to feel like part of a team, to feel like I am appreciated, like what I’m doing matters.  So far, I haven’t felt any of that.

I’m so tired of having to ask Justin for money to do everything – including money to buy him things with.  I don’t know how other housewives do it.  It absolutely tore at me.  When I told this to my mother, who was a housewife while my father was the bread-winner, she didn’t really seem to understand.  I tried explaining it this way: when you are a parent, you are responsible for your child in every way possible, including financially.  So every Christmas, every Mother’s Day, every birthday, your child is only able to buy you anything because of the money you give them.  At some point, presumably, the child grows up and wants to earn their own money and buy their own things.  I’ve never liked other people buying things for me, and even as a teenager I would request that my mother give me a project or chore to do to earn the money for whatever I wanted.  I like having my own money and being able to buy other people things and not have to save so hard at the grocery store to keep within a stricter budget.  I’m so excited to be able to get my own paycheck every week.

But one of the things I’m most excited about is Saturday breakfasts.  The last time I had a job, May through December of last year, I would get up every Saturday and drive up to Biscuitville to grab breakfast for Justin and me.  It was one of those little things that make the weekend so enjoyable.  It was one of our things.  And then it got snipped, right before Christmas.

But now, Saturday Breakfasts are coming back!

IMG_1385

The place where I work now.

I start in the morning, and I’ll receive my first paycheck next Friday.  And then, hopefully and God willing, things finally won’t suck so hard anymore.

Cool Mint Oreos and Other Ramblings

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It’s been a while.  I’m sorry.

As of my last post, the position that looked promising with Tara turned out to be a dead end.  It looked like I was going to get the job.  Here’s what went down: the hiring person emailed me on Monday at 4 p.m.  She said she’d like to talk to me about the position, and I took this to mean a pre-interview.  The next morning at 10:30 a.m., the woman called me and told me she had already offered the job to someone else and that they had accepted.  But she told Tara she would still talk to me, so here she was.  Man.  Professionalism just oozes out of people here.

I teamed up with a staffing agency called Express and there are currently two positions on the table that I could be offered.  One of them is called a Product Launch Specialist and it’s with a pharmaceuticals company.  It’s a big girl job and I’d be delighted to have it.  The other is a Data Entry Specialist that I had to endure 5 different tests for.  It’s temporary, starting at only 4 months, but I’d still take it.  I’m certainly qualified.  I had an appointment with Express on April 19 and haven’t heard anything from them; however, they called Molly earlier this week for a reference call, so that’s promising.

Aside from still looking for work, I’ve been in an awful mood lately.  Justin and I keep fighting over stupid things and taking forever to make up for them.  Money seems to be getting tighter which puts more stress on the job situation.  However, from fighting comes making up.  And from making up comes Cool Mint Oreos.  So, all is well.

I discovered Skype last week.  I am very late to the party on that one, since Skype is as old as Justin and me.  I was always under the impression that Skype was expensive, under the false pretense that you had to use a data/phone plan with it.  This is not the case if all you do is video chat, which my mother and I are now pros at.

Dolly decided to say hello!

Luke dropped by, too.

Haha, my mom and I were in the same talking position!

It was great fun.  We’ve Skyped several times over the last week and it really helps to soothe the ills of not being able to see each other as often as we’d like.

I watched a few documentaries this morning, “America the Beautiful” and “America the Beautiful 2” about body image.  I recommend the first one very much.  The second one was good, but I didn’t like it as much as the first one.  I also recommend “Let’s Talk About Sex.”  That documentary is about how young people are subjected (or not, rather) to sex at a proper age and how it’s contributing to the STD and pregnancy epidemics.  One more I really liked was “Mansome” which is about society’s perception of male grooming and appearance.  Very provocative.  All of these are on Netflix.

If you’re a big Netflixer like myself, don’t bother with Hemlock Grove.  I waited with bells on for that show, and once I made myself finish it, I wasn’t very impressed.

I bought my mom’s Mother’s Day gift yesterday.  I was absolutely stoked that they still had this item (I’ll explain after MD.  I don’t want her to randomly see this post and know what she’s getting!).  She’s going to love it.

I believe this is where my ramblings come to an end.  Happy Friday, and I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Working Girl (aka, A Call for Help)

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This morning, I was in a very depressed mood.  Following the absolutely tragic events of the Boston Marathon yesterday, I slept way too hard and had awful dreams.  I woke up feeling miserable.  It got worse when I realized the gas light in the car had come on and that Bonnie was low on food.

I need a job.

I’ve needed a job since January.

This time last year, I was introduced to a girl named Tara who was stepping down from one job in favor of another and looking for someone to fill her spot.  After an interview, I was hired by my boss, A.  I worked here for just past 7 months, from May to December of last year.  A turned out to be a rather incompetent boss.  Tara had worked for the company as their Marketing Specialist and had also worked off-site.  One of the stipulations of me working for them was to work on-site, something I was fine with at the time.  I think A expected something different from having the marketing person on-site.  Fireworks actually exploding from the computer monitor, perhaps.  Because it seemed as thought nothing else gave him any satisfaction.  I’m still not sure, nearly a year later, what he was expecting from the new, flashy, on-site Marketing Specialist.  What I do know is that after the 3-month mark, I wasn’t delivering.  A became increasingly disconnected from me.  A also had this insane grammar deficiency which grated my nerves like fresh Cheddar.  I figured putting up with his stunts would only prove me more worthy of my position, like graduating from a hazing.  No dice.  A had two sons, and one of them had just graduated high school and was bored over the summer and decided to hang out at his dad’s company.  This included getting to work before I did, like A did, but added the confiscating of my work computer to listen to music or watch videos.  I almost started to bring my own mouse because the office-issued one would go missing.  The company moved locations and I was told one week before we were supposed to move.  It was all highly unprofessional in my humble opinion.  I was incredibly thankful for the job, but having to put up with crap like that really got on my nerves.  Eventually A got to a point where he would text me in the morning to tell me to stay home that day, or to only work specific hours so he didn’t have to pay me for a whole day.  I knew at that point that my job wasn’t going to be in effect much longer.  He was just stringing me along as long as he could before he finally let me go.  Upon sending me a curt email stating that “we” (not sure who “we” is since I was technically the Assistant Marketing Manager and he was Senior) had decided to terminate my position, A offered me a consultant job in place of my current employee position to start in the “first quarter” of this year.

You can get a sense of the grammar deficiency here.

I’m considering that offer null and void since we are officially past the first quarter of the year and I haven’t heard anything from A.  And I’m SO okay with that.

Anyway, I said all of that simply to release passive aggression, as well as reintroduce Tara and talk about today.

I went on a sort of binger this morning and wrote to anyone I thought could help me get a job.  I worked at a place called Intab for a while as well, from 2011 to 2012.  I quit that job for numerous reasons (see here), but while I worked there, I worked under a boss named J.  I emailed J this morning to see if there was a job available at my old stomping ground, but I haven’t heard back.  It was a lot of crow that I wasn’t hungry for.

Onto Tara.  Because she is also an old work-acquaintance, I messaged her to see if there was a job she could offer me/alert me to since she works for a job placement company now.  She said yes and I am currently working with her to understand the details and apply properly for the position.  Maybe something actually is about to happen.

This is a call: if someone knows about a job that is somewhat close to me, let me know!  I’m available!  And I’m awesome!  Can’t beat that combo, seriously.