Archive for the 'My job' Category

Unemployment enjoyment

My first full week being unemployed.  Honestly, it hasn’t been badit’s actually been quite enjoyable.  I’ve spent everyday hanging out with friends, working out, and getting caught up on odds and ends.  I’m continuing going into “my” old building, attending various career center workshops too.  They help to sharpen the skills and keep you connected to other people going through the same thing.

I also filed for unemployment.  It seemed a little daunting at first, but after several “tutoring” lessons from various co-workers who have already gone through it, I think I have it all down.  Applying is actually very easy.  And then making your claims seems easy as well (my first claim won’t happen until this Sunday).  You need three job contacts a week to get your weekly check.  I can definitely do that…check that, I HAVE to do that.

I am learning to appreciate that taking a little time off is a good thing.  After going through the ups and downs of WaMu for the past year, it really does take a toll on you, both physically and mentally.  Time to move on…and just relax a bit.  Happy hour anyone? 🙂

My last day…

Well, technically Wednesday, April 1st (Happy April Fool’s Day) is my last day of work at WaMu, but today is pretty much it.  I will turn in all of my equipment and then head to the nearby Pike Place Brewery for a final farewell happy hour with my work friends. 

With the craziness of moving the past couple of weeks, I haven’t spent much time thinking about being unemployed.  I’ve been attending several career workshops (e.g. resume writing, interviewing, etc) to sharpen my skills in that area, but I haven’t taken many steps towards finding work.  And I find it a bit challenging to find a full-time job when I may be leaving the country in six to eight months from now.  Just doesn’t seem right to me.  But on the flip side, I can’t imagine being unemployed for that whole time.  At least I will have unemployment to help bring in some money, but of course, I would rather not rely on that. 

Plus, I get bored quite easily.  If I don’t have something to do…I drive Micah crazy. :-)  I do plan on running around the lake often, resuming my daily yoga, reading like crazy, catching up with friends, and just taking advantage of the Seattle summer.

Oh and we are taking a couple of trips soon.  The third week of April, Micah and I are headed to Hawaii to help his mom with some house renovations (painting rooms, moving furniture, etc.)  It’s going to be hardwork, but she needs the help.  I’m going down a couple of days earlier than Micah (since he doesn’t have many vacation days) and will get a head start on the numerous projects she has for us.

And in middle May, we are cashing in on our free United flight vouchers and flying to Boston.  We both have friends living over there that we plan to see.  Plus, we haven’t been there before, and that time of the year is apparently a great time to visit the city.  We would like to catch a Red Sox game, but they are playing the Mariners…in Seattle that weekend.  Funny.

Dazed and confused

Ok – so I’m starting to feel “marginally” better, but the worst is my headache!  My head feels like an overfilled balloon ready to burst.  I feel dizzy at times, lightheaded, and I’m also not sleeping well.  I went to the doctor yesterday morning (which was an adventure of its own considering I switched health insurance at the beginning of the year and no longer have a primary doctor).  Anyway, the doc thinks I could possibly have a sinus infection so he gave me some antibiotics and told me to take some sudafed. 

My other theory for the headaches is stress!!!!  I have 4 weeks left until I am officially laid off – and I actually can’t wait.  Going into work each day, when there’s 3 of us from my department left, well, that’s not the greatest feeling.  So I’m on a mini-mission to do some stress-relieving activities.  This includes daily yoga (even if for 10 minutes), using a heating pad to relax my tense muscles (ahh…), getting a massage (did this already – and it was totally worth it. I have the best massage therapist.  Not talking spa here, but clinical massage), oh..and trying as hard as possible to get some sleep.  Wish me luck!

The good, the bad, the busy

My past few days have had split personalities – they have been good, and bad, and of course, busy.  Let’s start with…


THE GOOD: Got to see nearly all of my Research co-workers at the final farewell happy hour.  It was SO great to see everyone and speak fondly of the good memories together.  (And of course, speak harshly towards the bad ones). 
BAD:  I happened to start off this happy hour with a “few” (ahem…4) shots of tequila with my fellow WSU alumni.  (With WSU winning Apple Cup this past year, the UW folks had to buy and serve us tequila as part of the bet).  My head hurt well into the next day.  
BUSY: Had to stay late the night before to finish up some work, so that we could start our festivities on time…that being 2 in the afternoon.


THE GOOD:  Micah just finished up a week long training session (training classes every day).  It was a success, and so I joined him and his fellow project members for a well-deserved happy hour.  It’s nice to meet more of his co-workers and get to know them a bit better.  He knows nearly all of my co-workers very well (perhaps due in part to the vast amounts of happy hours we had). 
BAD: Spent the earlier part of the day with a nice headache (see Thursday). 
BUSY:  In between waiting on approval on work stuff, I was cleaning out cubes of my co-workers who apparently didn’t clean them all the way out. Fun.  I found alot of crap…alot of useless crap.


THE GOOD:  Got to finally see my friend Karen (who’s been holed up in Barrow, Alaska for weeks for work) and finally got to meet her boyfriend.  She planned a surprise birthday party for him up at Tulalip Casino.  I actually played blackjack and for the most part, knew what I was doing (and didn’t get yelled at by other players for making dumb moves).   I did pretty well..only lost $45, for about 2 hours worth of playing.  Let’s not talk about Micah’s losses.
BAD: Micah’s losses; super far drive to and from casino
BUSY: Spent the earlier part of the day running errands and doing laundry, and making these amazingly delicious peanut butter cupcakes (for the Superbowl party).  They were a three step process, and required using the freezer in between steps.  They aren’t a ton of work, just require alot of total time.


THE GOOD:  Superbowl Sunday!!!  Spent the entire day and well into the night at our friend’s Anthony and Tarah’s house.  They had a ton of people over to watch the game (many of the ladies went upstairs and did some arts and crafts).  There was alot of yummy food, a great game, and good hang out time.  Very fun!  My cupcakes were a hit!
BAD: Well, I eventually decided I wanted Arizona to win…and they didn’t. 
BUSY:  Wanted to sleep in, but had to get up early to make another delicious appetizer for the party: spam musubis.  They sound gross, and they have spam in them…but it’s a Hawaiian snack – and OH SO YUMMY!!   They were a huge hit at the party.  (The key is: you can’t tell people it’s spam until after they try it)

Latest updates…

Update #1:  I am seriously bored at work – some days there’s a lot to do (which is actually kind of nice) – and then the next day there may be nothing to do.  But thus far, I keep coming in…just waiting for when a project comes my way.  And b/c I am still waiting with no work to do at the present moment…I post random updates on my blog.  Nice.

Update #2:  I just got back from meeting up with Micah for lunch.  He works about 9 blocks away from me. We try and meet up at least once a week for lunch – we like to call it “heat and meet” – since the majority of the time, we just bring leftovers from home (rather than eating out).  We take turns of who has to walk to the other person’s building, but again (see update #1) I’ve been doing more walking recently.

Sorry – back to the update.  I can cross off 2 more “best desserts” off my list.  I took a detour to Dahlia Bakery on my way to Micah’s building.  I picked up a Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie and a Coconut Cream Pie (relax…it was just a small two-biter…not the exact one described in the magazine, but it will suffice).  I, of course, shared with Micah.  Both were delicious.  The PB cookie was like a Nutter Butter on crack (I say that in a good way)…and the coconut cream pie was light and delish.  Thumbs up.   Sorry, no pics of the desserts – they were gobbled up too quickly.

Update #3:  I played basketball last night…1.5 hours of basketball.  Each Thursday night there is a women’s open gym.  It’s nice, fun, and it’s exercise!  A relaxed, non-competitive environment where we can just play ball with other ladies (sorry – not that fun playing with guys who are most of the time, just ball hogs!)  Anyways, I was exhuasted!  I am SO glad I did some playing yesterday, since the winter basketball season starts in about 2 weeks.  I need the practice! 

Update #4:  I haven’t been so good with book club lately.  I did not read the current pick for my girl’s book club The Road.  Honestly, I heard it was really boring – yet it was named by Entertainment Weekly as one of the top 100 books of the last 20 years.  I probably should read it…but I won’t even be around for book club in January b/c of the Sister’s Getaway trip (i.e. probably won’t read it). But I am almost done with the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  I have found it to be quite interesting and fascinating.  If you read Freakonomics and liked the concept of taking an idea or a statistic and finding alternative ways of explaining it through research – then you would like Outliers.  One idea talked about in the book is that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery of something.  And this idea holds true for sports, musicians, businesspeople, chess players, etc. etc.  If that little tidbit has intrigued you…then read the book!

Update #5:  This isn’t really an update, more just news to share.  My friend Martha (who I’ve been friends with since my first day of setting foot on the WSU campus) is getting married!  And she not only asked me to be a bridesmaid, but her maid of honor!  I was really surprised and very touched by her request.  I, of course, said yes!  I did tell her I was a little worried about being able to fulfill all the MOH duties because of Micah and I potentially living abroad when she gets married.  But no worries, one of the other bridesmaids will help out, and has such, been promoted to Matron of Honor (sunce she’s married already)!

The end is near

Today was an interesting day.  It was weird, sad, fun, depressing, and happy – yep, all of those things.  We had our annual…and final, department holiday party.  In previous years, this has always been a really fun and exciting day.  There’s always the fun of the Yankee Swap gift exchange.  And in year’s past, we usually go someplace fun – we did a cooking competition one year, or bowling and pool.  This year, since we are all getting laid off (granted some of us are getting laid off a few months from now) the mood was much different.  Not suggesting everyone should have been jubilant or anything like that – but it was just SO different from all the fun and laughs we’ve had before.  But we still made a good time of it.  I am still pretty sick, but I didn’t want to miss today, so I came and shared my germs with everyone.   We had a huge ol’ potluck with plenty of food.  And then the Yankee Swap – with plenty of stealing (the alcohol is always the first to go), followed by a series of team challenges and games, and then a slideshow (which normally is just the end of year slideshow, but not this time).  Major kudos to my friend and colleague Lisa (“the other lisa”) for putting it together.  It definitely reminded us all of all the great friends we’ve made and the great times we’ve had.  We all left a bit somber – but many headed towards the bar to change that around (I had to go back to work though).  It will be really hard to find another company or department that has as much feeling of family and fun like ours.  Major thumbs down to layoffs!

Job update…

Thursday, Nov. 20th was a very surreal day.  I came into work early to finish up some last minute things for a project I’m working on.  I also had come to work knowing that later in the day, we would be officially hearing that our dept would be laid off.  That information – is really no surprise.  We have talked openly about it around the office, but nonetheless, we still wanted to get the “official” word. 

What did come as a surprise was – that morning – I was asked to stay on as a “transition” employee until April 1st.  Five of us were asked.  I, of course, said yes.  It means that the five of us continue to do research and work – but it also means that there’s about 20 others that don’t get to.  I had really mixed feelings about it.  I accepted the offer, but not without feeling really bad about everyone else and wishing that it wasn’t just the five of us. 

I am really grateful for the opportunity.  It should make for a very interesting work environment for the next few months.  It’s going to be quiet and lonely.  We are a pretty tight group, and it’s sad to think of people going their own ways – but it’s also something that inevitably has to happen.  I hope everyone lands in even better jobs and that we don’t lose touch.

Where in the world…

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