Archive for May 25th, 2012

May 25, 2012

Task Mistress Day 45: 101 tasks in 1001 days

by Janie Jones

So, I’m finally officially setting up my 101 tasks for 1001 days.  I began my process a little tongue-in-cheek here, but I think it really is a valiant effort, so I’ll keep these tasks and add to them.

I’ll keep my list on the 101/1001 page which I’ll be adding to my page bar.  If we count April 11 as my starting date when I accepted the challenge I’m up to day 45 already.  While I haven’t put a ton of thought into this since then, I’m very excited.  I’ve even got a few to cross off already!

1.  Prepare and give a 5 minute speech on mole for Spanish class, all in Spanish, of course.

Well, this is one I’ve done!  And it went well.  It was actually kind of fun.  I made a Powerpoint presentation and put in a few video clips of me cooking the mole.  Then the day of the presentation I brought in chicken tacos to put the sauce on for everyone to try.  My teacher was tickled pink.  My philosophy?  The way to a man’s heart, they say, is through his stomach.  It works for “A’s” in Spanish class too.

Well, more on this to come!

Happy Friday.

May 25, 2012

Updates from the Working Jane world

by Janie Jones

So, it has occurred to me that I haven’t really regaled you with any tales from life at the greenhouse.

What can I say.  It’s a joe job, and remarkably devoid of any interesting happenings.  The most fascinating thing I can say, and believe me, there is a significant amount of tongue-in-cheek when I say fascinating, is that we sell a variety of marigolds named “Janie.”

The weather is still somewhat dodgy up here, so there has been several days I’ve stood around picking dead blooms off flowers in pouring rain, 30 mile an hour winds and 50 degree temps.  I suppose it might seem odd, but people still shop a mostly out door greenhouse in thunderstorms.  Besides from that, I really can’t complain about the customers, as they just want to talk about plants.  Well, mostly they want to talk about plants.  There was that one guy the other night who if he wasn’t old enough to be my grandfather I’d have sworn he was hitting on me.  Then again, he still might have been.  But I digress.

The job isn’t bad, and my coworkers are all remarkably fun to chat with in the down time.  We have all remarked how refreshing it is to not have those personality conflicts that so generally happen in workplaces.  And the manager knows a lot about plants.  Can you sense the but coming?

But, when I call her manager, it’s in title only.  She is a very nice person, who I like, but she has absolutely no skills for managing people unless you consider avoidance a management technique.

It’s just a minimum wage job, and I do need the dough, so I’ve tried to pretend like this little problem doesn’t matter.  I’ve been able to ignore not being trained on anything except how to water plants.  I can ignore being left alone to work the last 3 hours and close by myself.  I can even ignore seeing her miscount a stack of one dollar bills and her ignoring me when I mention that the singles have been counted wrong and the drawer won’t balance then heroically biting my tongue when she tries to blame the problem on some one buying pennies and not paying for them, despite the fact that a roll of pennies is only fifty cents and we’re off a dollar.  However, I started getting a bit put out when she was calling me in early for shifts and asking me to work my days off because she hired people knowing they were waiting to hear back on other job leads, and after just the first week they quit.  Not one person, but two did this.  But, I finally threw down when she began adding me to cover other people’s shifts without so much as a “Oh, Janie, I needed someone else tomorrow because Sue quit.  You can cover it can’t you?”

The first time she added me without saying anything I happened to notice several days before.  I mentioned to her that I noticed I was added to the schedule and said that I could work but I would appreciate her asking first.

The second time happened Monday.  I noticed when I sat down to steal a break at around 5pm that the schedule had me written on for Wednesday.  She hadn’t bothered to communicate this to me so if I hadn’t just happened to glance at the schedule while on break I would never have known she expected me to show up on my day off.  Apparently someone else quit so she just added me on earlier that day.  Well, I was pretty pissed that she’d done it to me again after I specifically told her to tell me if she was changing my schedule.  If I agreed to work the shift then I would end up working 9 days in a row with out a day off, and on top of fighting of the last bit of this cold, I needed that day off.  So I called her up and we had a throw down.  I tried to be polite, but she just wasn’t getting why I would be mad.  She said, “Well, you never told me you couldn’t work that day.  You should have written on the schedule “No Janie” so I’d know I couldn’t add you on.”

So, you never would bother to consider a person might have made plans on a day they weren’t scheduled on?  So you’d never bother to think a person might not want to work 9 days in a row?


So apparently in her world staff need to go through and write down all the days they can’t work or she’ll assume she’s free to make use of you even at the last minute and without telling us she put us on.

Well, that just doesn’t fly with me.  Nor apparently with other employees, so we all demanded a fixed schedule.

Then yesterday I noticed she had done it to me again without asking.

Once, twice, three strikes, you’re out

And so, that’s hopefully the end of that.

May 25, 2012

Final week, part 2: The Spud winds down

by Janie Jones

So I had my final week of school two weeks ago.  Now it’s the spud’s turn, and with it comes all the joy of end of the year happenings.

First, it’s the first graders performance.  30 minutes of listening to children mumble through readings and singing off key.  Who ever thought school performances were a good idea should have to spend all eternity in a special Hell where they listen to children perform 24/7.  But, we love our kids so we dutifully video record the whole bit and act suitably thrilled and impressed by the whole thing.

Then, there’s the sending home of all art projects, left over craft supplies, and summer activity forms.  More paper and materials have been sacrificed to the gods of grade-school education than I can fathom.  How many macaroni art projects does one 7 year old need to make?  How many laminated certificates of achievement does one need for reading, losing teeth, or the penny drive?  How many times do we need to be reminded on a full color 8 1/2 x 11 memo that there’s no school on Memorial day and the last day is Thursday next?  Good grief.

And, when it’s finally all said and done, there’s the fashion show to determine what clothes from last summer still fit and how much needs to be replaced.  Add to the scene this year is a new tradition: pack what ever fits and replace what doesn’t in a hurry because the spud is going to spend the whole summer with Daddy.  I think, I hope, that this will ultimately be good for everyone.  However, Daddy insisted she arrive not one moment later than necessary.  I think he’d have had me leave town with her the second school was out if I’d have agreed to that.  I’ll miss out on some things that were Momma/Spud summer traditions.  That’s sad.  But, I’ll have a chance to relax and recharge, which I desperately need.  So, we put on the happy face and begin packing on Saturday.  Clothes, toys, books, videos, portable DVD player, MP3 player, alarm clock, cell phone, swim suits, and renaissance faire costume.  Oh, and don’t forget, somehow Momma has to find money to pay for said trip to meet Daddy for the summer…  So it’s off to the bank to cash in bonds and empty savings accounts.

The spud is one year older.  She’s down to her final week of first grade.  One week to go, and I’ll have an empty nest.  I’m happy and sad.