{October 7, 2014}   Professionalism is dead

In the ongoing saga of leaving my job, I’ve decided that there’s no such thing as professionalism anymore. I keep being told that I’m unprofessional and didn’t do my job correctly, didn’t notify the owners of the business of issues with other employees. And I can not for the life of me figure out what the f***. Sorry for the foul language, but that’s exactly how I’m feeling about it right now. I was given a position and told to run the shop as if it were my own; the owners want to be “hands-off” and leave everything to me. Yet I was never given the strict authority to manage it the way I would have liked to, and when I expressed concerns about employees to the owners, my opinion was brushed off. I was exceptionally thrilled about this style of management with one employee who was given free reign to steal as he liked for several months after I told the owners that tools had gone missing, and then I got chewed out for not saying anything in the beginning of his employment about his klepto habits. I’m being extremely sarcastic about that statement, in case you were wondering.  In terminating my employment, I was informed that I would be paid the accrued vacation time that I was never able to use because the place has a revolving door of employees. Not only was I not paid that amount, I was also shorted for the hours I worked during the last pay period I worked. So in exchange for working 45-50+ hours per week, working while sick, missing events with my children, and dealing with verbally abusive employees, I am expected to settle for less than my full last paycheck. Since I’ve never been in this position before, I have no way of knowing exactly how to handle things. So I notified the state’s Department of Labor, to make them aware of the questionable business practices that I’ve been exposed to and to hopefully get the last of the money that I am owed. And lo and behold, minutes after talking to a Dept. of Labor Rep about the amount owed, I received a text message from my former boss. I deleted it without reading the whole thing, I just know from the notice my phone gave me that it was something about being too unprofessional to make a phone call before calling the Dept. of Labor.  That’s rich: sending a text message to tell someone they’re unprofessional for not making a phone call. This from a woman who has admitted in the past to holding paychecks beyond the time allowed by law because she can. My final paystub is inaccurate and the pay I received was short and I’m unprofessional for notifying the State about it. All this after dealing with the prick who’s only problem with me is what I have to assume is the fact that I’m significantly younger and female. And I’m the unprofessional one.  I can only assume at this point that there’s been a sudden change in the employee manual, effective as of two weeks ago, that former employees are not eligible to receive unused vacation pay upon separation.  Whatever. I’ll continue to work my butt off and be my awesome, honest self. There are plenty of other jobs out there that I can get.


{September 26, 2014}   Horrible People

I quit my job on Monday. Well, it’s not really as simple as it sounds. I had a great job doing what I love: working on cars. Been there 2 1/2 years. I’ve worked my butt off for the owners of the business, starting from only having a basic knowledge up to being the General Manager.  When the manager who trained me left in a huff, I kept the business going. Literally. It’s a tiny shop in a tiny town with only 2 employees at a time for most of the 4 1/2 years it’s been open. There were occasions when I was the only employee, because good help is hard to find, especially when you live in an isolated area.  I’ve worked when I was sick, I missed field trips with my son, I’ve worked 50-hr weeks without any over-time pay.

And this week I was forced out of my job.

We’re getting ready to move so that I can go back to school. We made the decision a few months ago and I notified the owners so they would have plenty of time to find my replacement and get him trained. Well, last week they came in and told me that my replacement would start the next day.

My replacement turns out to be a guy that I had reservations about when he applied. And I tried to keep an open mind about the guy all week, even though my gut was screaming that this guy was bad news. Turns out, my gut was right.

On his fourth day of work, he made a huge mistake. It’s a little bitty shop, one bay. And there’s no lift, it’s got a pit that cars drive over for service. That pit is off-center so anyone driving in HAS to have a guide. He was standing front and center when the truck started coming in and then moved out of the way, leaving no guide so I had to dive from where I was standing and be the guide. If I hadn’t been right there and the driver had been coming in faster (and some of them come screaming in) we could have ended up with a vehicle stuck in our only service bay.

When we had a moment I had him come with me to run the regular shop errands so he would know what all has to be done outside the shop. I figured we could talk it over in the car. My mistake. Instead of a rational, adult-level conversation about what happened and what to do in the future to prevent it, I got the ass-chewing of a lifetime. From a guy who doesn’t know anything about me.

I work my ass off for my employers. I do my very best and am an honest and upfront person. Doesn’t matter where I work, I’m an adult and having the responsibility to do a good job is something I pride myself on.  But something I will not tolerate is having someone in a lower position (I know he’s my replacement, but until I stepped down, he was only a trainee) or even someone in a higher position talk to me like I’m worthless. And that’s exactly what this man who doesn’t know me and who had barely started his training did.

I was called manipulative (shows you what hard work and honesty is worth these days) and impersonal. I was told that he has loads more experience and training and it’s obvious that I have neither (he’s never worked in this kind of shop before). And I was told that nothing I had to say mattered because I was leaving and he would be changing everything. And I was informed of all this in a tone of voice that I would never consider using with fellow employee, let alone a superior.

I was so angry about everything he had to say that I was shaking. But I held my composure long enough to get all of the errands run and get back to the shop where I could take care of paperwork and stay away from customers rather than have them know that there was a problem in the shop.

All of this happened on Friday, and I notified the owners right then so they would know what was going on. We all had the entire weekend to think on what to do going forward and while my husband and I decided that the best course of action was for me not to continue working with this guy, the owners decided that they’d talk to him and try to start things over.  My replacement did not come in on Monday, they talked to him at another location. When they talked to me, I informed them that there was no way I could mentally or emotionally handle working with someone if I was going to spend every day wondering if I was going to be yelled at again for no reason. And they told me that they wanted to keep employing him and that they were sorry to see me go.

So yes, I quit. But under duress. And 4 days later I’m still angry that a man who seems to me to be as manipulative as he called me has forced me out my job before I was ready to quit. I don’t understand how the world can work this way. That someone who’s loyalty and hard work can be so easily brushed aside for someone who is arrogant and uncouth.

On the bright side, I now have plenty of time to get my house cleaned and packed and be ready to move.

{May 28, 2012}   Scones ‘n’ Things

I love cooking. I also get bored easily and there’s not much room in our new place to do much in the way of my normal crafty stuff. And since Sarge was telling me that he was still kind of hungry after our rather unusually small dinner (I got lazy when making dinner tonight), I broke out my favorite cookbook and dug through it for something new to try. I have several cookbooks. But my favorite one is easy to tell apart from the others: the pages are warped from moisture after being set next to my cooking so many times, there’s several recipes bookmarked, and if you look through it, there’s pencil markings where I’ve made notes and tweaked recipes. This cookbook didn’t get packed with everything else when we moved, I stuck it with the necessities that got loaded in the car with us. That’s how much I love this book. It’s also not your normal cookbook. This one was put together with recipes and stories written by sci-fi authors; probably the reason why I loved it so much in the first place. I’ve tried several of the recipes in it, including one of the chili recipes, and everything so far has been delicious. Not everything in it is recipes: there’s the Parable of the Cow and the Sofa, for instance, or Spotting UFOs While Canning Tomatoes. The whole book is educational and entertaining, besides nutritional. Talk about one well-rounded collection of pages! The title, by the way, is ‘Serve It Forth! Cooking with Anne McCaffrey’. McCaffrey has long been one of my favorite authors and I had no idea she’d done a cookbook until the delightful day when I unwrapped it (either Christmas or birthday, can’t remember now because it’s been so long). She’s done two actually, I believe the first is out of print now, but you can still find ‘Cooking Out of this World’ for sale online. I’m rambling on about this, I know, but I do dearly love my very strange cookbook. Back to tonight’s dilemma: bored and hungry, with a hungry husband to boot. So I thumbed through my book, stopping to read through some favorite anecdotes and recipes, and stumbled upon a recipe for scones. My sister, the Brit, has lived in England for years and when we visited several years ago I swore I was going to try clotted cream and scones while in England; alas, I never did. The scone recipe in my book had the advantage over several other recipes that I already have all the ingredients on hand, which meant I wouldn’t have to make a late trip to the grocery store after all. And I found out this evening for the first time that my dear hubby of 9 years loves scones. So I made them. And they were delicious. And my presumptuous tweaking of a recipe for something I had never made worked out pretty good too. And since I did tweak the recipe, I’m pretty sure writing down my version here doesn’t infringe on copyright laws, even if it does, I’ve named my source 😉

Drop Scones:

2 cups flour

2 heaping tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp sugar

1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (the original calls for a dash, but I like my cinnamon)

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 egg

1 cup milk (I used whole milk, since I’ve only made these once, I don’t know what difference using a lower fat milk might make)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (200 C) Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Drop spoonfuls into well-greased muffin cups. (Original recipe says not to use muffin papers because they will stick. As long as you grease your muffin tin well, they do pop right out easily) Bake for 10-15 minutes (I only baked mine for 10 and they came out well done and slightly browned, we’re also up in the mountains so you might need more or less time if you live closer to sea level) until well-risen and slightly browned. Makes 10-12, depending on size. Serving suggestion is hot with butter and jam, and clotted cream if you can find some. These are delicious and hearty, and pretty easy to whip up. And even got Sarge’s approval! 🙂

{May 27, 2012}   A Whole New World

So I have not been as diligent about writing as I thought I’d be. I’ve thought plenty of times of things so post and just haven’t gotten around to getting the words from my head to the page. Shame on me. Since my last posting, my fur baby has passed away so we are now pet-less, the Monster is now 1, Sarge is now a civilian, and the whole family is 1500 miles from where we lived when I started this page. Lots of changes, let me tell you. I’m not even sure what to write now, honestly, because so much has changed. I suppose changes and how to deal with the bad changes makes a good topic to start with. Our family has gone through a lot, as I said. Last spring our family dog injured his hip. Within a month or two he started wheezing. We never found out if the two were ever connected, or even for sure what the cause of the wheezing was. The hip injury occurred when the neighbor’s chickens decided to start exploring our backyard and the dog decided they’d be fun to chase. Chickens can turn a corner very quickly, dogs not so much. After consulting with my vet, we decided that the wheeze was a bigger concern than the hip injury, so we put treatment of that one on hold and the dog on couch rest while we monitored him. The unfortunate part about owning a snow dog when you live in a warm climate is that you have to be conscious of temperature and make sure that your dog is comfortable year-round. Our air conditioner began having issues and our landlord refused to do anything until it finally cut out completely, on a Friday of all days, when the temperature outside was around 100 degrees. This caused the temperature inside our house to rise to a stifling 97 degrees. Since dogs cannot sweat, they cool themselves off by panting, and with our dog having breathing issues, he was unable to cool himself and by the time I realized that he had to be moved to somewhere with air conditioning, he had begun to overheat. I dropped my pups with my parents and spent the entire night at the vet, first sitting in a bathtub of ice water to cool the dog’s fever, then monitoring him for hours to make sure he was in stable condition. I’m sure that many people would question why on earth I would stay at the vet’s the entire night to monitor my dog instead of just letting the vet handle everything. I am very much an animal lover, my dog’s vet is practically family and my pets ARE family, so my calling at 10:30 at night, showing up, and personally overseeing treatment for my dog was not surprising to a vet who’s been practicing for over 30 years. The heat stroke was severe enough that the vet thought we would lose him, but the dog surprised us and pulled through, and didn’t even seem to have suffered brain damage, which can occur with the high fever he had endured. However once you suffer from heat stroke once, your system is permanently compromised. I had to pack ice in the dog’s crate to take him home once our A/C was fixed because my car couldn’t handle keeping the temperature cold enough to keep him comfortable for the trip home. We managed to get x-rays done before the dog got heat stroke, but they showed nothing. When we did x-rays again after it was on another hot day and the dog took a downhill turn. X-rays still showed nothing and the dog was wheezing and not doing well so the vet told me the options I had were to put him down (not an option to me), do nothing and let him suffocate, because he would eventually with no treatment (also not an option to me), or to operate, with the possible results of either losing him on the table, or having him live a long happy life and endure another surgery later for his hip. Obviously I opted for surgery. Because of the heat and the stress of having taken him out to do x-rays, the vet did an emergency tracheotomy that night so that he could breathe, and another surgery to open his throat and fix whatever the blockage was would be done the following day after he had rested and his system had a chance to relax and recoup. You might ask why not just go straight to the second surgery to open the throat first. Since nothing showed on the x-rays, the second surgery would have be partially an exploratory surgery, to find whatever was blocking his throat and would possibly be several hours. With the stress the dog was already under, it would have certainly resulted in death from system shock without doing the shorter surgery first to allow his system a chance to get the oxygen he needed from breathing and to get some very much needed rest. The first surgery went well and he slept peacefully, and probably the best he had in a while since he could breathe normally again. I had opted to go home and leave the dog in the vet’s care for the night and the following morning and planned on going back the next afternoon before the second surgery. The vet reported that he had been awake that morning and been back to acting his normal, goofy self and that he was doing very well. Early in the afternoon however, he spiked another fever and this time it went too high, too fast and the vet could not save him. It was quite a blow for both of us. He felt terrible about it and was afraid that I might be upset at him for loosing the dog, but I know he loved my dog too and did everything he could. In the end, I made the decision to do surgery, knowing that it was a 50/50 chance to save my baby. Any other option would have meant certain death, either immediately or long, drawn-out and painful. Instead, my dog had a peaceful night of sleep, a comfortable happy morning, and passed with no pain, as the fever he spiked knocked him unconscious too quickly for him to feel anything. Even now, months later it still makes me cry to write this, because of how much I loved my dog. But he was a wonderful, smart and entertaining dog while we had him, great with kids, friendly and for the most part well-behaved, with the exception of diving into bed once in a while ~wink~

So where am I going with this long, sad story? He was a wonderful dog, loved by everybody who met him. He was a hard worker when I asked him to be, as I had him trained to pull the small wagon we have. He brought smiles to the faces of young and old alike. But when we moved a couple of months after he passed, I have no idea if we would have been able to keep him, or what we would have done with him if we had. Our move involved sending most of our belongings via a packing company halfway across the country and following in our own cars on a trip that takes approximately 25 hours worth of driving. As much of a great traveler as he was, it can be difficult to find hotels that allow pets and that much time in a car can be hard on even humans. When we arrived in our new home town, we stayed with family for 2 months until we had found work and our own place to live. Living with them was cramped and a large dog would have made it even more so and our new landlord doesn’t allow pets. I’m sad that he left us, but happy that he passed as peacefully as he did and grateful that we didn’t have to worry about what to do with him before or after the move. My best friend helped me bury him out in the country under a nice little shade tree. I found out later that the area that we buried him in holds the remains of several pets that the previous owner had had over the years, so he is not alone as well. As sad as some changes can be, sometimes they can be for the better in some ways. My dog is no longer sick or in pain, and I didn’t have to handle the pain of worrying that I’d have to give him up to someone who might not treat him as well as we did. Eventually we’ll get another dog. I think when we do, we’ll adopt an older dog to live out its life the way our’s should have. Pardon me while I go have a little cry now; I’ll catch up with you another day.

{August 13, 2011}   Happy Saturday!!

I spent my week cleaning. To an exhausting degree. When we moved back in November I was pregnant, and the move itself was all kinds of disorganized so it took a couple of months to get everything here. The result is that my downstairs den and garage ended up filled with boxes that never got unpacked. So a girlfriend came over for the week and we went through most of the boxes in the den and sorted out what needed to be put away, what needed to be stored, and what needed to just go. Between rearranging both pups’ rooms, and cleaning in the den and garage, we ended up with a pickup truck full of cardboard that we took to the local recycle center, 2 boxes filled with packing material that my dad asked to be kept for him, 3 or 4 bags of trash, 3 trips to the local thrift store to donate stuff, and a den clean enough that I could blow up our air mattress to see what size it was (my husband got it years ago, I’d never seen it out of its bag).

Break Time! Sorry, got up to go do yet more cleaning. Am going to sit down for some coffee and a triple berry blossom pastry while I write some more. Anyhoo, I’ve discovered that getting motivated to clean by myself doesn’t really work unless I’m mad. Every once in a great while I’ll look around, realize the house is messy, pop on some music and go to town, but those times are few and far between. Generally I clean the kitchen because I need counter space to make dinner, I clean the living room because the dog hair needs to go, and i do laundry because somebody’s out of clean underwear. You can see where cleaning is on my priority list: at the bottom, lol. So I’ve already admitted that I clean when I get mad or when it really needs it. So I got to thinking: how does one get motivated to clean more often? When I was younger and still loved with my dad we cleaned every Saturday. Laundry was done, everything got dusted, swept and vacuumed, stuff got picked up, the yard work was done and trash was collected for pickup on Monday. But there were two of us cleaning, and as a divorcee and bachelorette daughter we didn’t have a lot of stuff. Now as a mom in a family of four with a husband and son who don’t like getting rid of anything (I’d group myself with them, but I can bring myself to throw away or donate things we don’t need anymore) and the sole organizer of cleaning duties in the house, I find that one day a week dedicated to cleaning doesn’t sound appealing, especially when I have 2 pups to look after. I imagine that cleaning wouldn’t be as difficult if I did stick to doing it thoroughly once a week, but I’ve always hated cleaning. I’ve heard of strange people who dedicate an hour or more every day to cleaning. I really don’t think that’s for me though. I clean better with a buddy. Someone to keep me on track, talk to, and share the chores with. The Sarge doesn’t do any cleaning outside the kitchen or laundry. He could care less if his clean clothes are left all over the floor, I know because that’s how he used to keep them, lol. He tried doing that when we moved in here and I finally put my foot down and said he wasn’t allowed to do it anymore. It’s impossible to get on top of laundry when all of it’s on the floor. By the way, while cleaning today, I discovered something that absolutely amazed me. My husband has more clothes than I do. Is that even allowed? I know why it’s happened. As he’s gained weight over the years, he’s bought more clothes. As I’ve gained weight, so have I. The difference is, I’ve gone through my wardrobe and gotten rid of the stuff that doesn’t fit me or I don’t wear anymore. My husband refuses to go through his clothes and get rid of tshirts I know he hasn’t worn in years or pants that don’t fit. It boggles my mind. Of course, this is the same man who had both an N64 and a Sega Genesis, neither of which he’d touched in years, and who got upset when I got rid of them. I live with a pack rat. Maybe when my in-laws come to town next week I can enlist my mother-in-law to help me get the last couple things organized here and figure out a regular duty-list. In the meantime, of to more cleaning!!

{August 9, 2011}   Kids Eat Free?

So my cousin posted a link on Facebook that I had to steal. (It’s up in my Mommy Resource Links as well.) It’s a website that allows you to locate deals on kids’ food at local restaurants. Awesome!

{August 9, 2011}   Why Momma B?

So.. You’re wondering why you’re here and who I am. You’re here because of curiosity. Momma B? Who is she and what is she rambling on about? Well, I am just another mom, writing yet another mom blog in hopes of spreading the things that I’ve learned and sharing nifty resources and fun websites that I find. Why do i call myself Momma B? Well, I was raised with dogs. If you find it offensive that I identify so much with a dog-pack mentality that I refer to myself as a b****, so be it, this blog is probably not for you. I am the Alpha-Female of my pack (actually, I’m the only female of my pack, lol). I’ve got 2 wonderful pups, ages 12 weeks and 7 years. And my husband, The Sarge, is a prison guard. I also have an actual dog, a siberian husky who is goofy and wonderful.
And I’ve lost my train of thought. Hazard of watching Jersey Shore and blogging at the same time. Sadly yes, I find Jersey Shore fascinating. I have no idea why. It’s utterly stupid. But I just can’t tear myself away from it. Frightening, I know. But I don’t watch it alone, I got my friend V addicted too. Bwuhahaha.
Hopefully you’ll decide to come back and read more. You can love me, hate me, whatever. I do like some criticism, I need it to improve. And I know the trolls will come eventually, they always do.. maybe I’ll even feed them now and then. Let’s see where this goes.

{August 8, 2011}   Howdy ya’ll!

Greetings and Salutations!! I’m still learning how to do all this, so bear with me here while I get things settled. I’m hoping to bring you some laughs and information you can use on this site. I’m short on time at the moment, but I’ll be back later to introduce myself. Adios! 😀

et cetera