"Your words have no power to alter the truth. Your perception does not affect any reality but your own... it is your words and deeds that cast your reflection. "

~Luna Jade, musician

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Still at Carrollwood...from the school to TRU

That night when we got home, I fired up my computer and started looking for another job. Of course idiotboy couldnt be bothered to cook or do anything to help out while I was trying to find a job. All he could do is whine that I lost my job and that we wouldnt have our summers off together anymore. So I started supper and scanned positions when I could sit down for a couple minutes or so. Nothing. I spruced up my resume and did a coverletter so we could go out and fill out apps.

One of my stops while we were out was at Toys R Us. I dropped off a coverletter and resume packet at the service desk. It was a Sunday afternoon and they were kind of busy but the clerk at the desk called the manager on duty so I could hand it over to him. I remember thinking he was a grouch and a half and figured my chances werent good if that was the manager of the store (thankfully it was an assistant manager). The next evening I started looking online to see if I could narrow my job hunt down some and lo and behold I found an ad on Monster for Toys R Us. The store I was targeting was hiring bigtime...all department manager positions. I took the time to fill out an app and emailed the coverletter and resume to the store. Within 30 minutes I got a call...from Toys R Us. It was the store manager wanting to talk to me....could I possibly come in for an interview tomorrow? Hell yeah. The next day I go in and meet with this 6'3" black guy in a clown wig. My first words? "Wow, umm, I feel completely underdressed now... I knew I should have worn my big red nose and floppy shoes..." It was so good to have my prospective boss laughing already. We hit it off famously and I was invited back for a second interview with the district manager the following week. I was told, however, that if it was his choice I'd be hired now. *WHOOT*

The next week I walk in for my interview and end up in a room of 8 other prospective associates. Hmmm. Needless to say Im worried and beginning to think Im not going to get a job here. I didnt realize they were hiring for so many positions. Nearly everyone that was in that room got hired on that day. Anyhow, I get called in the office to meet the DM and the store manager. Yet again I hit it off with them. I had to laugh because the DM looked at me strange when I opened my mouth the first time. I asked him what was wrong and he said.. "you aint from around these parts are you?" LOL I told him nope...I'd only been in state since 1996. He goes "I thought so...you sound like a Yankee....New England maybe?" *laffs*I said yes. Once I said yes he fine tuned it to New York, central New York. I just looked at him and figured he got it from the resume but Mr J (the store manager) looked just as baffled because the DM hadnt seen any of the paperwork, it had been locked away until the meetings. The DM smiled and explained he was from Syracuse, NY (infact he still had the NY accent from that area) and said I sounded like home to him. aww *tear* After another lengthy conversation, I was informed I was hired for the receiving area. Cool. Plus I was making a good $3/hr more than I was at the school....even better.

This new job meant things lightened up on me at home for a couple weeks. When school started back up though, it was a different matter. I was still expected to type all his crap up for him and cook and clean as though nothing had changed. It didnt matter that I was pulling 40 hours a week. Things got rougher still when Mr J started giving me a few more hours during the week. It got to 45 hours then 50 hours and idiotboy was still wanting stuff done around home. I told him he needed to pick up the slack some because obviously I cant do it all. This comment fell on deaf ears. It didnt matter that I was going in every day at 6am and then not getting out until 7 or 8pm.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More Memories of Carrollwood Village Drive continued

You can imagine how unhappy my bosses were that I was going to be laid up that long. Thankfully that year almost everything closed down during the week of Mardi Gras so I was only going to be missing 1 week of work. I spent most of the time either in bed or at the computer with my leg propped up on a couple milk crates. Needless to say I spent ALOT of time at the computer (when my hip and knee werent bothering me from being in an unnatural position while seated). Thank goodness we were on the ground floor as Im sure my moving around would have bothered any neighbor that was living downstairs. I tried my best to just roll around as much as I could in the office chair but plush carpets arent really conducive to easy rolling around (well really no carpet is except the cheap shit the school used).

During the week when igmo went back to work, I was on the computer all day. Mostly for the company but also mostly because it was easier to get out of the chair and hop to the bathroom or kitchen if I needed something (thanks to the post at the corner of the kitchen being close to the refrig, sink and bathroom doors). I remember as igmo was going out the door the first day tossing him the keys to my office so that whomever that was filling in for me could get in to do the work. By midweek, around 10am or so I got a call from my supervisor (southern momma) to ask how bad I needed to stay home. I asked why and she said that they were very short staffed to start the day but then another teacher went home sick. Is it possible I could come in and sub if she provided students to help move the books and stuff I'd need? *ugh* As it wasnt a day that the nurse was due in (if she'd shown up and I was out and about the insurance wouldnt cover the expenses becuase I was *supposed* to be homebound) I told her ok but I HAD to stay seated. She said she'd send her D-I-L (who was covering me) to come pick me up. Great...I had 30 minutes to get ready. About 5 minutes later I remembered that I'd sent the keys off with igmo and the house key was on the same chain as the office key. SHIT! So I called back to tell her to send the ride with the keys so I could lock up. The girl had already left and was on her way so I had to think fast. There was no real lock to the frontdoorhandle and a deadbolt that you needed a key for to lock it (gotta love the hotel rooms with those automatic locks....). When the gal showed up the only thing we could think to do was have me climb out the window because that DID lock automatically (go figure). So here I am, with an injured leg....in a DRESS (I didnt have any pants that were "legal" work pants) climbing out the window which was about 5-6 feet off the ground. I ended up bumping my leg on the way out and of course it started to run again (thank goodness I had presence of mind to pack extra bandages and saline). *sigh*

We got to the school and I had to butt scoot my way up the staircase (aint no way I coulda hopped it). It took me 15 minutes to get up that staircase. I got to my boss's office and immediately asked for a bucket. The boss lady got a real good look at what I had when I unwrapped and rebandaged myself. Once I was set, I hopped to the classroom that I was covering and relieved the staff member who was sitting in. Thank goodness it was a upperclassmen class and not a jr high one. At least these ones wouldnt give me any lip and all I had to do was shoot "that look" to shut em up. Of course, that didnt happen because alot had been worried when I didnt show up for two days and had questions as to my leg (it had been hard to miss it getting worse and worse up to Mardi Gras). So we sat and discussed that (nothing better to do than for them to work their homework and most were done already anyhow). They had the usual questions...what happened...how long was it going to take to heal etc etc. About 5 minutes to the end of class, I sent one of the more responsible ones with the teachers books to my next classroom. I stayed in that first class while the kids were changing classes and kept watch while the next teacher was on her way. While I was there the teacher in the class next door to the one I was going to watched both her class and mine. When the bell rang I quick hopped to the next room. *ugh* A jr high class *bleah*. Ok this group was the 6th graders and for the most part werent too bad. They were used to the one teacher (who was very strict) and didnt give me much hassle. Most classes usually didnt. I expected they follow the rules, but was more lenient than most staffers. Why? Because although I love paperwork...I dont really like to generate it unless the kid is truly out of hand and I'd seen some really petty shit come through the office.

The day was a breeze the rest of the day as I had the same classroom and students for the remainder of the day (it helped that there were several in there that had known me for a few years and I knew some of their quirks and could head off trouble before it could begin). It also helped that a couple of the senior kids had periods free and were sent to check on me off and on.

The rest of the week and all the following week went the same way, if the nurse wasnt due...I went in and things were made as easy as possible. I healed up nicely....well if you can call a huge scar measuring nearly an inch- inch and a half in diameter nicely. To this day I still dont wear shorts or certain skirts in public.

That was my last year at the school. Stupid putzes kept me in limbo the entire summer before telling me I wouldnt be working for the same lady. A real shame because I was really liking working for my southern momma. The excuse was that I wasnt "professional enough". Yeah great. Wait until the end of summer and worse yet the only way I found out is because I confronted the headmaster himself. I was told that they could put me in the kitchen staff...gee thanks. Four years of hauling my ass up and down the stairs covering everyone else's asses and Im only good enough for kitchen staff? No thanks. I can make more in the retail industry. When I left the building that day I heard a door slam in my mind and my last thoughts leaving the property were, well that's ok because this place aint lasting much longer anyhow. On the way home to the apartment, we passed a Toys R Us and I pointed to it and said that that's where my next job was. Turns out I was very correct.

Monday, October 1, 2007

More Memories of Carrollwood Village Drive

There for awhile, after that one hurricane hit and our eldest cat pissed on my computer, all Jim's tests had to be handwritten as there was simply no other way of getting them ready for the kids. He attempted ONCE to handwrite a quiz for his classes and so many complaints came in because of his handwriting that the head secretary called me in and said she understood why the tests and quizzes had to be handwritten but if they were going to be done like that, it had to be in my writing. *insert huge eyeroll here...and here and.......here* It would have been a whole lot nicer if she'd found an old not in use computer at the school for me to take home and use for said projects. Unfortunately, no one thought of that and I spent a few months writing everything out (and people wonder why I always type everything out...I dont think I've actually handwritten much of anything since then...except that diary...)

After 3-4 months went by, Jim and I saw a cute little computer at WalMart. It was going to run us about $400-$500 for the whole works. Thankfully, it was back when they still had layaway. It took 10 weeks but I finally had my first computer. There was only one problem with it. The discs that I had saved all the previous works on....wouldnt work on the computer. This meant everything that I previously had typed couldnt be salvaged for any of the fututre classes. *sigh* Yeah, it meant I was back at zero for the test and quizzes....AGAIN. Ah well.

Shortly after we got the computer I discovered this thing they called online and email. Oh was I ever thrilled that I'd be able to contact my friends and family without having to handwrite a letter and snail mail it. So long as I kept up with the tests, quizzes and worksheets for his classes AND so long as I wasnt bothering him during his tv/reading/alone time, Jim didnt seem to care. I was much like I am in chat now, talk to anyone that wants to talk and cut up really good when Im with friends. I made several friends in no time flat. Sad that my only true friends existed in my online world. They were always wondering why I was online all the time if I was married.

~smiles~ There was a group of us that always managed to gravitate together no matter what nick I was chatting under. They always said that I radiated this certain something and they could find me a mile off with the way I talked. There was a core of about 6 guys that managed to stay in the same room I was in and would make sure the scums and players werent harrassing me and my female friends. There was the Brit that was living in Saudi (who was old enough to be the granpa of most of us), the guy from Indiana (he was married, 2 kids and I was on speaking terms with his wife), the guy from Florida who was a single parent, a guy from Boston and a few others I dont remember. This was back while I was in CheetaChat. I remember a voice chat of sorts going on there...Indiana dude sounded like he was from Bama and the Boston guy...holy cow what an accent. My best times then were in chat with my friends. The Brit was in the process of teaching me some Arabic and was helping me brush up my french somewhat. It was funny watching us talk because we'd end up in Franglais (french and english) or Frarabic (french and arabic). Our damn sentences never were the same language all the way through. He had 2 sons all grown up and living far from him and he rarely got to talk with them. In a way I became a daughter that he'd never had and it made him happy. There was a several hour difference between us though so he got so he'd get up a little earlier in the morning on days he knew I'd be online and I'd stay a little later at my nighttime just so we could talk. I miss him. Last I knew he'd had to relocated to Taiwain due to the hostilities in the Middle East. I havent heard from him since.

During the time I knew him as a friend, I managed to get hurt at the school. It started out as a silly little wound but turned into something extremely serious. One day while decending the metal staircase outback of the school and heading for the multipurpose building (it was built to be used as a gymnasium/ cafeteria/ after school holding tank for the elementary/ summer camp rec hall) to get my then supervisor's lunch (southern momma) so she could keep working. Well I was talking to a friend and my then husband and misjudged a step. Damn I'd been down this set of stairs a hundred or more times and never once an accident. Of course the other hundred or so times I had been alone and not trying to hold a conversation at the same time (ok, so, I cant walk and chew gum at the same time...*sigh*). This time I caught the heel part of my sneaker on the edge of the metal stair and slipped. No I didnt go down completely, but I did manage to nick the back of my right leg. It didnt look serious so I figured I'd get it looked at in a bit when I got back in. Mind you a good 75% of the year down there is unbearably hot and you can break a sweat just thinking about breathing. It was one of those days where even standing in the shade made you sweat. Needless to say the 30 second walk to the air conditioned multipurpose building had us all drenched in sweat. Sweat which trickled its merry way down my back and over the wound and into my shoes. It burned like hell but sweat has alot of salt in it and I thought nothing of it. I got my boss's lunch and something for myself, then headed back to the main building (more sweat into the wound). When I got to her office, I cleaned up the nick with warm water and applied a bandaid with neosporin to it. The rest of the day went without major events. I got home and the wound was hot pink all around but this is normal for me and I thought nothing of it so I cleaned up the wound again...more neosporin and a bandaid. The next morning was about the same. Over the course, of the week it seemed to get worse though so I tried hydrogen peroxide to bubble the infection out. I figured it had worked before and it should work now. Several days of this and nothing worked so I tried Benadine solution to clean it up. Nothing. It got hotter, larger and more weepy with each day. Southern momma's friend got worried that I could be diabetic so she used one of her lancets and tested my blood on her glucometer. Even after 2 sodas that day I still was reading normal in the blood count. The wound got so bad I was using large gauzes and wrapping the leg with an Ace bandage to keep them from slipping. Nothing worked and the wound got worse and my leg went hot and pink all the way around from the knee down to my ankle making walking extremely uncomfortable). Southern momma finally had it and told me to call a doctor and get an appointment or she was going to toss me down the stairs and get me sent to the emergency room. *sigh* The only reason why I hadnt gone up to this point is because I didnt have a dr because the one I had been going to quit his practice and the office he was working out of no longer took our insurance. I hadnt been overly ill and no doctors that I knew of in the area were taking new patients at the time. Thankfully southern momma had connections and told me to call her dr. *whew* Her dr told me to come in right away. I was really lucky she took me so soon as it was the Friday before Mardi Gras and not much was open at the time (most locals played smart and would leave town during that time because of the crowds that come from out of state). Good thing I went. Turns out it was a nasty case of cellulitis. The dr ended up telling me I needed to do a wet/dry bandaging twice a day and take antibiotics. I also needed to cut out the salt from my diet (to this day my salt intake needs to be watched because even the slightest extra salt can bloat my feet). She put me on bedrest for 2 weeks and assigned a home health nurse to come by every other day to take my vitals and check on the wound. Wet/ dry bandaging is no fun and hurts like hell. What it entails is rinsing the wound with a saline solution, placing a gauze on the wound, soaking the gauze with more saline and then placing another dry gauze on top. You wait for it to dry and you pull it all off. The saline draws the infection to the surface and it gets removed (along with any dead skin) when you pull the gauze off. *ouch* Having this type of bandaging also means no getting the wound wet by other methods (ie baths or showers) so showering got to be a pain in the ass as I'd have to dangle my leg outside the tub to get cleaned up. Bed rest meant I could either be in bed (which was still in the livingroom at this point) OR at the computer with my leg propped up. Trips to the bathroom were a chore as I couldnt walk on the leg for the first week and spent the time hopping to the toilet (thank goodness for small apartments). During one of the nurse's visits she told me it was a good thing I went to the doctor when I did because I could have lost my leg because of this and worse yet if I'd waited too much longer it would have spread and become fatal.