Tuesday Hodge Podge

This is about to be all over the place. Oh well, that’s what random posts are for, right?

I’m currently LOL’ing that WordPress is auto saving this blog every 4 seconds. I typed 4 words and it was determined to save. Alrighty, then. I guess I can appreciate that feature. Lord knows, I’ve typed a novel at work, only to lose it due to a system error.

Speaking of work, I met an Olympian today! And we had like 47 56 rules and regulations re: sharing it on social networks. Mofos even had a specific hashtag. Isn’t it funny how smart phones, twitter and FB have changed the world? So, I tweeted the pic from my account I use to talk to celebs, athletes, and businesses. I don’t care if co-workers follow me there. They ain’t neva getting added to my real twitter and IG. LOL!

My cousin in ATL was in charge of planning the family reunion for my mom’s side of the family. Which is basically the oldsters and then a few cousins in our age range. I was not planning to attend this year. Between my 20 year class reunion, HH’s family reunion on his Dad’s side, and Capital Jazz Fest, I was already stretched thin. However, people have not been responding so our family reunion is cancelled. I’m ok with that. I had a blast at HH’s family reunion in 2011, and ours was probably gonna be a let down. I’m ready to hang with the Jamaicans and the Jamericans again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am writing this blog while sitting in deer pose. Yoga and blogging, simultaneously. This is a good stretch for my super tight hips, since I can’t do pigeon pose.

This is deer pose:

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photo courtesy yinyoga.com

Speaking of my hips, I have been getting on the treadmill every other day. My knee issue puts extra pressure on my hip. I foam roll and stretch but it’s just a body mechanics issue. I have learned to live with it. I never thought I’d be learning to live with pain and soreness at 38. HH was asking me why I don’t go to the gym every day (instead of every other day). I tend to suffer in silence. I finally let him know that I hurt EVERY. DAY. I simply don’t say anything about it. I think he was shocked. Even when I just do elliptical, I’m sore. If I sit too long, I’m sore. I’ve been to PT three times. I’m just…tired. So, I’ve learned to ignore it and to rest more when it passes a certain threshold.

I think that’s about it in my world. Oh, CH finally got his Xbox and tablet back this week. We’ll see how long that lasts. LOL!

What’s going on with you? Seriously, holler at me in the comments. Especially if you’re a newbie and you’ve never commented before. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bish, BOO. Bye!

I’m trying to do 2013 a little differently. I have some friends who have been really rubbing off on me, with regard to choosing to be happy and looking for the good things. One of the things I resolved to do is not post a lot of negative things on FB. Not that I posted a ton, but I’d rather use the page to joke around, catch up with old friends, and the like, rather than a “woe is me” platform. If that’s what someone else chooses to do, that is their page to do so. I won’t go on there and try to change their minds. I will hide them from my feed, or if its too much I will just in-friend them all together.

When I say I’m happy about something, I truly mean it. This morning, I was reflecting on the current status of my life and I was pretty darn happy. Great husband, great job, great friends. Shoot, this morning when I left the house, I didn’t even get stuck in traffic and the hammer lane stayed relatively clear for my whole commute. AND I got to work and a space was open in the first row of parking spaces! Winning, right?

So anywho, people are replying to my status (I had asked folks what they were happy about today), generally having a positive experience, and then here comes Evilene.

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Someone I went to school with years ago, who rarely has anything positive to say, the few times she is on FB. When she first posted her comment, I took it in a negative way. However, I asked her to explain what she meant, in case I was wrong.

I wasn’t.

I had a lot of snarky stuff I could’ve said to her. Seriously. I coulda lit her azz up. I took the high road, told her I was done, and then proceeded to block her.

Bish, boo. And goodBYE.

Why, man? I’m convinced there are some people out here who are so entrenched in negativity, they don’t know any other way. When they see people being happy, it’s a totally foreign concept, and they think it’s fake. That’s pretty sad. And also not my problem. I’m only responsible for what I post. I’m not responsible for your reaction to it – you are.

And the thing is, I would not have been upset or offended if she removed me from her friends list. Hell, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed (it’s time for another culling of the friends list). You have control over what you are exposed to, online and in life in general.

I will not be surrounded by the Evilenes of the world. I hope you choose not to be, either.

Yearly Review

On Thursday, I had my yearly review with my unit leader. Of course, my review wasn’t based on a full calendar year, but from 3/26/2013 to 12/31/2012.

The review was made up of objective goals, like closing ratio and quality review scores. Most every insurance company I’ve worked at looks for a 100% closing ratio. For every new file you get, you need to close a file. Since I was a new employee, we knew I wouldn’t meet this number. I got a lot of bulk transferred files, and it was a few months before I started getting new files.

My quality audits were around 96%. If I remember, the goal is 92%. I won’t bore you with all the details and numbers, but that portion of the review went fine. I met my goal of attending at least one local mediation and/or trial (I went to three mediations), and I met my goal to pass at least one CPCU exam (I passed two).

I think, the most exciting thing about this review, was my manager’s enthusiasm and attitude, and his willingness to help me develop and grow. He said, “I’m perfectly fine if you want to stay in my unit, but my goal is to help you develop skills so that if there is a position you want to post for, you are able to do so.”

He also told me that I am thriving in my current role and a very good fit. I guess I’ve been at other places that were so tough on their employees, that it’s nice to hear some good feedback.

We discussed future goals, and whether I’d like to take a path towards management or towards developing my technical skills. I’ve been thinking about that for the past few weeks, and I decided it would be best for me to develop my technical skills. I look around at all these younger reps around me, and they are so much more advanced than I was at their age. I blame that on a few things, some external, some internal. I hit a period in my career where insurance companies were merging and closing, and I got tossed to and fro. At that point, it became about maintaining employment, not developing my career. I spent quite a few years being stagnant, because I was afraid of the next layoff.

Not this time. I have a manager who is willing to help me and I will take full advantage. I can’t go back and change those former years, I can only control what happens from this day forward. We’re going to come up with a formal plan and objectives in the next few weeks. We talked about shadowing more senior reps, which I think I would love. I have gone to reps in our office to ask questions, and the amount of knowledge these ladies have in their heads is mind blowing. They can rattle off statutes and case law with the greatest of ease. I love it. And that’s why I chose a “technical knowledge” path rather than the “management” path, for now.

I’m looking forward to what this next year has to bring.

Friday 5: Criticism

Want to play along? Check out Friday 5 for links every Friday. This week’s theme is Criticism.

  1. How well do you receive criticism?

    I think it depends on what the criticism is related to, and who is giving it. Like, I can receive constructive criticism well at work. For the most part, I already know what I need to be working on, and usually that criticism is just a confirmation. In my personal life, I probably don’t receive it as well. It can feel like an attack, even when it’s not meant to be.

  2. When did someone elseโ€™s criticism of you result in growth?

    I think I’ve learned to do a better job with communication in my marriage, based on past criticism. Some was constructive, some was not. But all of it caused me to look inward, which is a good thing.

  3. What do you think of film critics?

    What’s that Hall & Oates song? “Out of Touch?” LOL! I rarely agree with the film critics when they bomb a movie. There have been movies that have receives critical acclaim and I’ve just been like, “eh.” I know they have a trained eye, and are looking more deeply and at more aspects than I entertain, but for the most part I go with my own gut when it comes to films. Especially films with predominantly black casts. I don’t even read the reviews.

  4. Whatโ€™s something youโ€™d like to make a critical statement about right now?

    Former San Diego mayor Maureen O’Connor and her embezzlement of charity money for gambling. How do you get that far into it, and nobody knows you’re doing this? I appreciate they want to help her get treatment for her addiction, but her punishment appears to be a slap on the wrist. No bueno.

  5. Whoโ€™s the most critical person you know?
  6. Hmmm. Good question. I honestly don’t have an answer. I don’t think I have many overly-critical people in my life, so it’s hard to say.

And that’s my Friday 5!

Nobody’s Perfect

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Least of all me.

I try to remember when someone comes at me and commits an egregious error, that I should extend to them the grace that I would like in return. I try.

One of my hot button issues is for someone to come at me in an accusatory tone, without asking me for clarification first. Seriously. Cooks my grits and sticks them to ALL sides of the pot. One such incident happened to me back in 2008, and it was work related. Flashback with me. Picture it: Sicily…1942…

Well, Charlotte. 2008. Anywho…I was handling workers compensation claims at the time. I had this file which was reopened after being closed almost 2 years, because this guy was complaining of pain. There is a process for everything, and we can’t just open a file and start handing out checks.

One thing about me, as a rep, is that I am very detailed in my notes. Might be too detailed, but when you read it, you are going to have a grasp of what’s going on. If the system doesn’t document the time I’ve made a call, I make sure to put it in the notes. If I get a voice mail from you, I put in the notes what time I got it and what number I called back, etc.

This particular injured worker had the patience of a 2 year old. He would call my phone 6 or 7 times while I was at lunch (we had caller ID) and not leave a message. Or he’d finally leave one, and then I’d be able to call back and answer his question.

One day, he decided to play the victim and act like he was leaving me messages and I wasn’t calling him back. He kept zeroing out to people, and somehow he got to someone in underwriting, who sent my supervisor an email with this guy’s sob story about allegedly trying to reach me. In turn, this supervisor, who had the people skills of a blind gnat, didn’t go into the file and read the file notes to see where I’d been conversing with this man damn near every day. He just forwarded the underwriter’s email to me, with the following note:

Why haven’t you called this injured worker?

When I tell you that I felt my ears get hot when I read that email. Livid. So, you’re not going to read the notes? You’re just going to ASSUME that this man is telling the truth? If I was a lighter skin tone, I’m sure my whole face would’ve been red. I woosah’d a few times, and then proceeded to fire back a very professionally written email, wherein I noted all the times and dates I’d talked to this person, the status of his claim, and the fact that he’d left me no messages on this date. I ended it by telling him I would call the guy, but I’d appreciate if he would just ask me about a file instead of sending me emails with an accusatory tone. Because as we all know, sometimes email, text messages, and the like do not convey tone very well.

He got all flustered and claimed that’s not what he meant, and we could discuss it after lunch. Sir, I don’t have anything more to discuss. I’ve said my piece. That’s exactly the way you meant it, and now you’re back pedaling because you didn’t think I’d respond to your snarky-ness. That was his M.O. Of course, I didn’t say that to him – I like being employed – but I let it be known that I didn’t have any more to say on the matter. Not to mention, I liked to do everything with him in writing because he was crazy. Straight foolio.

He never sent me an email like that again.

It felt like that scene in The Bodyguard, when Rachel’s old bodyguard was fighting in the kitchen with her new bodyguard (Kevin Costner). And after Frank kicked his azz, he said, “let’s not have this discussion again.” LMAO! We didn’t, and I politely found myself another position to transfer into, because it was gonna be him or me. Later he got demoted. Ha! Karma kicked that sorry sucka right in the booty.

Back to today. Someone ASSUMED (there’s that word again!) that something I wrote was related to them and it totally was NOT. Instead of asking me about it, they ran with the assumption and sent me a nice-nastygram. A nice-nastygram (to me) is when you call yourself chastising someone, but then you end it with something like “love ya” or “thanks!” You weren’t really trying to thank me, you were just trying to mask your snarky. I see you.

My first instinct was to go off Oran “Juice” Jones style, but instead I just asked this person, why would you just make that assumption, instead of asking me for clarification first? Does that really make sense to you?

I received an apology, but was (and still am) miffed. Like, WTF? Don’t you know me better than that?

I got the apology. I need to just ‘cep it (that would be “accept it,” lol) and move on.

Nobody’s perfect.

Extend grace.

Will add this to the list of things to work on in 2013.

*scraping grits off the side of the pot*

100 Things That Make Me Happy

My friend Kelley (yes, Choices and Consequences Kelley, lol) has a great blog. You should check it out when you have a moment.

The other day, she did a post based on a twitter hashtag, #100thingsthatmakemehappy. I decided I’d go ahead and give it a whirl.

  1. my husband, HH
  2. spending time with family
  3. hanging out with friends
  4. watching my nieces/nephews grown and change
  5. workouts without knee pain
  6. Smoothie King Peach Slice plus (sans turbinado and milk)
  7. cute shoes
  8. NY & Co sales
  9. Friday afternoons
  10. Sleeping in on weekends (is 8:30 sleeping in? lol)
  11. looking at old photos
  12. catching up with an old friend
  13. making new friends
  14. learning new things
  15. making Shea butter mixtures
  16. my locs
  17. Capital Jazz Fest
  18. the smell of fresh baked cookies
  19. Starbucks lattes
  20. helping people
  21. good deeds/paying it forward
  22. surprising people
  23. the 2 solar Dancing Flowers at my desk
  24. chatting with folks on Twitter
  25. holding hands
  26. losing weight
  27. cupcakes from Pink Cupcake Dreams(yes, I listed this after losing weight)
  28. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
  29. scalp massages
  30. pedicures
  31. word games
  32. playing on the iPad
  33. free iPad/iPhone apps
  34. celebrating my birthday
  35. talking to my BFFs
  36. hanging out at Revolution EGO
  37. sunny days
  38. SiriusXM 80s on 8
  39. SiriusXM Backspin
  40. when the house is neat and clean
  41. Bogey’s purr
  42. watching Bogey sleep in a sunbeam
  43. when a plan comes together
  44. when friends drop a word of wisdom I truly need
  45. reading interesting blogs
  46. exercising
  47. reading that is NOT work related *throws CPCU book across the room*
  48. being around positive people
  49. laughing so hard my stomach hurts
  50. saving money
  51. that GEICO commercial with the antelope (we can TOTALLY see you, Carl.)
  52. blog comments! ๐Ÿ™‚
  53. falling asleep without effort
  54. warm water on my scalp
  55. maxi dresses that aren’t too long for my 5’2″ frame
  56. when I put out into the universe that I need something/need help, and my friends and eFriends come to the rescue
  57. dancing with HH
  58. when CH does something nice/helpful without being prompted
  59. watching HH and CH interact or tell stories about their adventures together
  60. when HH gives me a foot rub
  61. reading about Serenity23’s and InspiredThought’s kids.
  62. seeing my new last name on documentation
  63. words of wisdom/calls from my father in law
  64. being alive and relatively healthy
  65. giving/receiving hugs
  66. checking things off a “to do”
    list
  67. when friends successfully reach their goals
  68. a nice glass of Riesling
  69. a nice glass of Piesporter michelsberg
  70. a home cooked meal from my mom
  71. HH’s famous spaghetti
  72. looking at houses for sale and dreaming of the possibilities
  73. Friday night QT with the family
  74. when my friends “get me” without explanation
  75. the smell of fresh laundry
  76. gaining daylight minutes
  77. turkey wings baking in the oven
  78. watching HGTV
  79. watching the new Dallas
  80. when friends bounce back from adverse situations
  81. looking back at what I’ve overcome
  82. visiting my auntie in Savannah
  83. lounging in my bed without worrying about a “to do” list
  84. treats from Trader Joe’s
  85. honey crisp apples
  86. Ben & Jerry’s “What A Cluster” (although I haven’t had any since December)
  87. when my sisters still look out for me like when we were younger
  88. settling a difficult case at work
  89. Boston Baked Beans candy
  90. talking about the good ol’ days
  91. watching One Tree Hill
  92. reminiscing about growing up in Syracuse
  93. getting surprises in the mail
  94. rainbows during/after a storm
  95. figuring out logic puzzles
  96. when I’m having such a great time, I pay no attention to the minutes as they pass
  97. summer breezes
  98. feeling the sun on my skin
  99. watching snow fall
  100. the color blue

Your turn! Leave me a link in the comments if you make a list on your blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

Choices and Consequences

Last night, my friends Kelley and Kenya took me to dinner for my birthday. I really have some great friends in Charlotte. I’m glad I moved back here. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m sure the wait staff was like, “anytime these chicks want to leave…” LOL! We stayed and chatted well past 10:00pm. We got there at 7:00. We talked about some of everything (variegated stripes, anyone?), but somehow we got to talking babysitting, nannies, and just kids in general. That’s when Kelley dropped the classic gem:

Life is about choices and consequences. If you are making bad choices, then you have to deal with the consequences!

And how apropos, because I woke up this morning to find that CH had not done something I told him to do yesterday. I don’t know if he thinks my instructions are optional, but in the words of Kevin Hart, he “gon’ learn today!”

Consequences, dude. He might not be happy, but you know what I say to that?

Oh well, Jingle Bell!

I think that’s pretty much how the universe treats us. We’ve all done something we’re not supposed to do, but as adults we’re more aware of the consequences. We weigh the pros and cons and we make our choice. So, life is like, ok – is that your final choice? And then it slings all those consequences at you and you just have to work it out.

You wanna spend the bill money on new shoes? OK, well now your power is out and you can’t watch tv, surf the net, none of that stuff.

You want to cut the fool at your job? OK, well now you’re fired. Run tell dat.

Yep. Choices and consequences.

I don’t ask for perfection, but something’s gotta give.

20130205-103224.jpg (photo courtesy Horse Hollow Press)