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Catching Up, Again

December 3, 2004

So, yeah, it’s been another two weeks, hasn’t it? Work sucked up most of that time. One of my December 1st go-live dates got moved to January 1st–but not until the afternoon of November 30th, by which time I’d done all the programming needed, so that didn’t really help my stress level at all. The other go-live ended up going a bit soft, too–they’re using the system I worked so hard on, but they haven’t turned off their old system quite yet. I’m a little annoyed with that customer. Yesterday, their project manager called our implementation department to find out why I hadn’t been onsite the day before. I would have thought if it were important to them that I be there that they would have oh, mentioned it during one of the regularly scheduled and lengthy meetings we had leaded up to go-live. Or, you know, called me when I didn’t show up to find out why I wasn’t there. They’re only an hour away–I could have gotten there in plenty of time to still have most of the day. But they didn’t mention it and they didn’t call. Nothing bad happened as a result of my not being there (exactly what they were hoping I’d do is still not clear–wave my magic wand? do their jobs for them?), so I’m not feeling guilty about not being somewhere I didn’t know I was expected. I am feeling annoyed that they didn’t call me to ask what happened but instead tried to stir up trouble by calling someone else. Fortunately, the stirring didn’t work.

There was Thanksgiving in there, too. I worked late the Wednesday night before, which was just as well, because we got our first snow of the season that day and that always means lots of accidents as people re-learn that snow is slippery, and we left Thursday morning for Chicagoland. The drive was just fine through Michigan–there were some people sliding off the road, but they were on the shady side of the freeway and we were on the sunny side, so that didn’t slow us down–and the first part of Indiana, but turned into a big wad o’ frustration when we neared Chicago. The signs warning of long construction delays on the Tri-State led us to the Indiana Tollroad to Skyway route. That was a bad, bad scene. We crawled along in one backup after another, bailing onto surface streets at one point, arriving at Mom’s way later than planned. It would have been even later than that, but Mr. Karen caught the express lanes just as they opened up in our direction–the sign said “closed” and I was frowning at the traffic jam ahead but then the sign changed to “open” and Mr. Karen noticed that while I was still frowning and we sailed by a lot of stop and go traffic in the local lanes for a few blissful miles.

Dinner was at my brother Scot’s again this year–I think this makes three years in a row, which pretty much qualifies as tradition in my family–but we had to stop at Mom’s first, because she really wanted to have appetizers and Scot did not want her to bring appetizers. We remarked at how the niece who used to be the smaller one is now the taller one, petted the dog that Mr. Karen likes to call “Fish Face” (or maybe it’s “Fish-Face”), ate appetizers, laughed at the cat who stole toast from the table while our attention was diverted, and after one of the nieces called Scot to either let him know we were leaving or make sure it was okay to come just then, we headed over to what used to be Dad’s house. Then we ate more appetizers, and I got my neck kneaded by the cat that Mr. Karen experimented with called “GEBE” for “Green Eye Blue Eye” because he has one of each (the cat, not Mr. Karen, and I may have the name wrong but you get the idea), and we ate turkey and all the trimmings and then rolled back to Mom’s house for a little while before leaving her to get some rest before she had to go to work.

Yes, work. She’s now a check-out clerk. She’s usually at the store 4 p.m. to 10 or 11 p.m., but she’d traded hours with someone and was doing a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift that night. The job doesn’t sound like any fun to me, but she genuinely seems to enjoy it. She especially likes talking to all the different people that come through her line, which would probably be my least favorite part. We met her for a late breakfast on Friday after she’d worked her shift and slept a few hours and she was bubbling with stories about all the interesting things that happened–the post-Thanksgiving sale started at 5 a.m. and there were so many customers there that all the carts were in use, so there were plenty of people for her to talk to. After breakfast, we drove back to Michigan–taking the Tri-State and experiencing no delays–so I could work Saturday. Busy, busy.


One year ago, I was annoyed by my bank’s new logo. I still don’t like it. I still miss my the ATM card I lost back in June–it had the nice old logo and color scheme while its replacement has the new look.

Two years ago, the topic was winter.

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