Blog Archive

Friday, May 14, 2010

I don't know how you people do it.

So I'm working in a local greenhouse.  Given how much I adore color, this is kind of like turning a kid loose in a candy store.  With a paycheck.  The problem is, I work enough hours that I don't actually seem to have time to even weed my flower beds, much less plant anything.  (Oh, but we have plans, my precious, yes we does.)

Embroidery happens on my lunch breaks.  I leave it in the van, and then drive somewhere to pick up a quick bite, and use the remaining time to listen to music and add a few more stitches here and there.  At this rate, if I'm lucky, I'll have the piece finished in time for, oh, August or something.  Certainly by the time it's done, the portrait itself will no longer be accurate because it shows me with my hand on my teeny little daughter's head as she stands next to me.  She's already outgrown the pink dress depicted.  By the time I'm done the height won't even be close, either.

Outbound email is still not working on my regular account, although I've finally gotten my account set up to access through my regular email.  So at some point I might be able to call tech support, again, and convince them to pass me along to someone who doesn't read from a script, and won't try to tell me that the problem is my software.   My regular email leaves my inbox just fine, hits their server, and vanishes.  My Gmail leaves my inbox just fine and actually arrives at its destination, so now I have proof that it's them and not me.

Not sure when I'm going to call them, though.  At this point I'm not quite sure when I'll have time to run a load of laundry without it going moldy before I get a chance to toss it in the dryer.

In other words, kids, I'm still adjusting to life back in the Land of the Gainfully Employed, and at the moment I have nothing like an established routine.  The rest of you may laugh as much as you like, but for now, I'm still trying to set up some kind of daily pattern that allows me to do all those things that are not-the-job.  Like put clean underwear in my dresser drawers, for instance.

Hence the title of this post – after five years out of the workforce, and never having had both a kid and job before, I don't know how the rest of you people manage.

On the other hand, I seem to be doing all right at the job itself; probably the best part, aside from all the pretty colors and windchimes, is not getting penalized for using my brain and thinking for myself.  As opposed to those jobs where you're supposed to do what you're told, and if you show initiative you are clearly a threat to someone else's job security.  Bleah.

To those of you living in cubicle hell, I don't know how you do that, either.

One thing that's different this time around?  I'm going to be thirty-eight years old at the end of this month.  I've gotten hired into what is ordinarily a seasonal/summer job, among a mob of high school and college students, and I find that I'm carrying a little bit of Attitude.  Nothing rotten or snobby, I promise; it's more… how do I put this… I'm approaching the work as if I've been hired as more than just a temp.  I think, and often behave as if I'm one of the permanent employees.  I do a little more than just stand around and wait for orders.  I expect not to be treated like one of the kids anymore, and I carry myself accordingly. 

And it works, too (although to be fair, a lot of that is that I have an excellent boss): I don't get ordered around, I get asked to do things; I volunteer to help with work outside of my official department and people thank me rather than asking if this is where I'm supposed to be; that sort of thing.  It's nothing gigantic, but it makes a world of difference to me and my willingness to show up in the morning, let me tell you.

Speaking of showing up, I need to tomorrow as well, and since I'm still figuring out this whole scheduling thing, that means I don't have time right now to tell you about the nifty art commission I've just been asked to do, by someone from the Farmer's Market staff.

Perhaps next time.


  1. Have you ever been a waitress? The rule for waitresses is "never travel empty." So, if you're going to the kitchen to get table 1's appetizers, you grab table 2's dirty dishes on your way by. If your hands are empty, you're wasting energy.

    I use the same philosophy at home. If I'm walking from the dining room to the bathroom, for example, and I see a toy out of place, I pick it up. Then, on my way back to where I was, I put it in the right place.

    I never go up or down the stairs without an armload of stuff that needs to be put back where it belongs.

    I've already told you about how I use laundry baskets. :)

    I also let things do double duty. There's no reason why I can't wipe down the sink top with my washcloth when I'm done washing my face at night. My face isn't SO dirty that it's going to contaminate the sink, and it gets all the stray hairs and whatnot off the surface, giving the "illusion" of clean. :) Of course, I do a good wipe down a couple times a week with cleaning fluid and rags, but we're talking maintenance here. When it's time for a new bath towel, I'll wipe the bath out with the old one. It's MOSTLY clean - clean enough to pick up the stray hair and soap scum, right?

    Same in the kitchen. If you grab a towel to wipe up a mess, go ahead and wipe the rest of the counter down. It takes 20 seconds.

    Small habits like this are how people keep a clean house. They're not doing Grand Cleaning Rounds every day. It's all about small habits and 30 second increments throughout the day, as you do the things you have to do anyway.

    I also multitask. I check my e-mail while I'm waiting for noodles to boil. I sort the mail as I'm walking from the mailbox to the house and I pitch the junk before it even gets inside. I fold laundry while I'm watching TV.

    Oh, and BJ cleans the kitchen every night because I cook dinner. :)

    But, lest you think I'm perfect, I'm sitting here looking at three baskets of laundry (two folded, one unfolded) and I'm choosing not to give a shit that they're not put away, because life is too short for perfectionism, and I'm tired.


  2. For gardening, I developed a Flylady habit. When I get home from work, I circle my house and take a look at things. I'll pull up any little weeds, pick ripe fruits / vegetables. Then I get my stuff and go inside.

    Alas, the last time I worked on my BIG cross stitch project was... I think it was while the Pitocin was doing nothing.

    I do have a little embroidery going. I pick very tiny sections of the fabric, and work one "ornament"-size design at a time. Ten minutes a day can do a lot in a year, I hope.

    Brian's looking for a job too, now. Something part-time, flexible. We'll see what he finds.