sunflowery's Diaryland Diary

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Tornado Weekend 2005 Interrupted

I interrupt my own recollection of tornado weekend 2005 to bring you this rant on Workplace Stress 2005. Before I launch into the rant, let me say that I like my job, I enjoy my coworkers, my duties are just fine. What has been stressful is that the phone calls coming in to the phone team have been steadily increasing to the point that there is usually someone on hold at all times throughout the day, yet our phone team has been steadily dwindling. First, we lost Prima Donna to a downtown Big Bank Co job. Then we lost the Tiny Romanian Chick because her husband got a job in Cincinnati. Boy from Downtown replaced tiny Romanian Chick. He has been here a month and next week he is going back to his job downtown. Then we lost Passionate Democrat who got a job at his brother’s BMW dealership. Then, we hired Mature Guy to replace Prima Donna and he was here until he up and quit yesterday in a decidedly immature gesture. That leaves us with The Rev, Gal Who Knows Everything and Mr. Manager on the phone team. In a little over 3 months, we went from a phone team of 6 to a phone team of 3. In addition, because of the new banker program, our workloads have increased threefold AND we rolled out a brand new annuity product last month that no one really understands nor have they had much training on. The company that owns this annuity has been difficult to deal with and less than helpful when we run into issues. PLUS the form we came up with that was supposed to comply with them AND our other insurance company has now been rejected by Other Insurance Company for being out of compliance. Never mind that months and months ago their compliance department approved it. My Big Boss keeps asking her higher ups for help. First, she asked for an administrative assistant and they said no. Then she asked for our forms and paperwork supply to be outsourced and they said no. Then she asked for temporary workers to fill in the gaps and they said no. It just keeps getting worse and worse as far as amount of work there is to do versus the available people to do it. Morale is dwindling and everyone is on edge and sassy. Not good when your job revolves around service and help. Finally, the annuity side of our business has been doing quite poorly lately. In the past, we’ve been used to 4 million dollar days. Today, we had a one hundred thousand dollar day. Granted annuity rates are lower than CD rates right now and this is a cyclical business, but still…not good for Big Bank Co. I actually went to talk to Big Boss today about the future of our department and she was surprisingly upbeat and positive. She said lots of stuff that gives me hope and then slid some more work my way. So I guess as long as there is work, our department is OK…for now.

Things at home are going well though. I have started packing up our apartment. A couple boxes a night. Bob was surprised I would pack for a move 2-doors down the hall, but it is easier to hall things in boxes and this way I can go through everything and get rid of stuff we no longer use or need. Moreover, it clears out the furniture for easier moving. I have been bringing home a half dozen boxes per evening. When they are packed, I am done for the night. I can see that we will quickly lose space as we gain boxes and that might drive me mad for a little over a month, but oh well.

Tuesday night after work, Bob and I drove just over the Minneapolis border to St. Paul to pick up a free wood file cabinet from a fellow co-worker with Big Bank Co. This thing is HEAVY! It’s 2 drawers and uses hanging folders. It took 4 of us to get it into the truck even though the thing is made of pressed wood particle board. We left it in the truck overnight but last night, one of Bob’s friends needed to borrow the pick-up for his own move. So I went down to the garage with Bob’s manual wheelchair and managed to slide the behemoth of a file cabinet into the seat of the chair and wheel it up to our apartment. Then I emptied our crappy metal filing cabinet and loaded everything into the nice new file drawer. All our files from the ugly metal 2-drawer file cabinet fit into one drawer of the nice new (to us) cabinet. Check it: I put the drawers in, shoved the thing into the corner, and took our old ugly cabinet to the dumpster. We can use the second, empty file drawer for storage! Yay! We have envelopes, file folders, printer paper and the like that I would LOVE to get out of sight and into that drawer. Score. I will post photos later.

I came home Tuesday from work to find our tiny apartment filled with seating. Bob had found a very nice sofa and loveseat near the dumpster. He hired 2 local youths to haul them to our apartment for $10 each. They agreed to haul the new stuff up but not to dump the old loveseat we had been making due with so when I got home, it was sofa city. Bob and I managed to haul our old ugly loveseat downstairs and then looked over the new set. They are a light silver/blue with a light rose pattern. They are a sturdy set made by Levitz and seem to be sound and safe, if just a tad bit threadbare. (This is Daisy checking out the new sofa) (and here is the loveseat.) They have the high back I was looking for and the overstuffed armrests. I really like them and am now looking for slipcovers to fit them. I wanted new, but hey, you take what you can get and when what you can get is free, well so much the better. Some day I will have new stuff, I guess. Then I think of the people that went through the tornado and how all their stuff ended up as rubble and it did not matter what was new and what was not. So, I will slipcover this set and enjoy it as long as I can. So in the better part of a day, we ended up with a new file cabinet, sofa and loveseat…all for free! Living in an apartment building where people are constantly moving in and out AND Freecycle.org are your best bets for free stuff. As long as you aren’t proud and don’t require brand new designer items, you can outfit your life quite comfortably. Plus, I have to say that both pieces are extremely comfortable. The coushions are firm and don't separate when you lay on them and the back is supportive. We really scored on these.

The cats have been spazzmatic lately. I think it’s the new furniture combined with the boxes and packing. They zip around the apartment like their tails are on fire. They hide under the new sofa and loveseat and reach out with their little paws to thwap whoever happens to be walking by. The other night Maisey attacked the new loveseat armrest as though it were a wildebeest on the Serengeti. Then she dug her paws between the cushions as though she needed a pack of cigs and all the money she had was what she could find in the couch. It was hilarious to watch but seemed so unlike her usual mellow sassy self.

Bob is off today helping the MDA with a lock-up event. He was so excited. I asked him to see if MDA has a booth at the fair and if so, do they need help staffing it because we would love to. The fair starts today and ends on Labor Day, so maybe with the MDA telethon that weekend, they are not so concerned with having a booth at the fair. Who knows? However, he will ask them and see. I really want to go to the fair this year since I missed last year due to being sick with the kidney failure and all. Here’s hoping!

My next entry will continue with Tornado Weekend 2005.

12:32 p.m. - Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005
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