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Channeling Suze

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Since I started working my second job, I've also started working on how to balance everything that goes on in my life. To do this, I had to find a framework, and I did, in Suze Orman's motto:

"People first, then money, then things."

So before I go and take extra shifts at the new job, I have to make sure I don't have plans with anyone. And I can't buy extras with my new income--it all goes straight to my savings!

I'm a little behind on other, organizing things, my reading. And I'm okay with it. The thing I'm most bummed about is the reading, but I just couldn't seem to fit it in.

Then I realized something. People first.

And I'M people.

So I changed my framework a little bit. Me first. Then people, then money, then things.

Is it selfish? Nah. Me first doesn't mean I buy extras for myself instead of putting my new income into savings. Me first doesn't mean that I blow off plans with friends and family. Me first doesn't mean that I skip out on work because I'd rather sleep in.

Me first means that the "Object Me" is taken care of. My body, my mind, my spirit.

Exercise comes before people, money and things. I don't skip workouts to hang out with friends, take an extra shift or go shopping.

Sleep comes before people and things. Granted, my shifts are in the middle of the night, but I go to bed very early, and I make sure I get my eight hours every other night. Naps on weekends on the norm.

Food comes before money and things. It is still my Untergang every time, no doubt about it. But I've begun buying things that I wouldn't have in the past because they were too expensive. I started splurging on healthy foods and buying certain fruits and vegetables only organic. I'm cooking a little more on my own. I make good, informed choices when I go out. I drink less alcohol.

Reading comes before money and things. It's one of my favorite things to do, so time for it must be made. I also multi-task and do it with the exercise, which is also cool.

Me first was an important thing to add to my two-job framework, and I've felt much more in control since I added it. Suze gave me a good start, but I improved on it. Now, if only I had her financial savvy, and her financial resources, I'd be set!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMREITE 8/16/2011 12:42AM

    i like watching suze's show. she has a lot of good advice, but she also has the logic to back it up. i think when we focus on "People first" we tend to think about what needs to be bought, instead of what we we can do (quality time, learning about ourselves)

spending more on fresh produce still costs less then going out to eat,

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/8/2011 6:35PM

    Good for you! I love Suze too!! What a great blog.

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AMYLONGHORN 8/5/2011 9:29AM

    I love Suze Orman! This sounds like a good plan...maybe I can implement something similar in my life...I feel like I need it!!

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RUTHXG 8/4/2011 11:44PM

    You have thought this out really well--& you're doing it! I'm so proud of you!


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KAREN_NY 8/4/2011 9:29PM

    Sounds pretty savvy to me... remember that's how she got there. :)

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Just Felt Like Writing a Little...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

These are just rambles. Move on, nothing to see here.

I'm tired, and I'm bummed out, because I have to work AGAIN tomorrow morning from 2-4. I normally work M-W, but my supervisor keeps adding Thursday in ALL THE TIME, and I email her and tell her NO, I canNOT handle four days of not sleeping through the night...this is NOT what we agreed to, and then she fixes it, but they just had a big launch, so when I emailed her, she didn't respond, and I figure she's not going to give up a shift that's IN WRITING already, but that's crap. I MAY do it next week (because she did it AGAIN for next week), but I may not. And if it happens again, I may have to be a little more direct and a little less nice about it, because it's starting to look like an issue of competance.

So for this week, I'm doing it four days in a row.

And I have a voice lesson tonight. I GUESS. I haven't had a voice lesson in over a month. I cancelled twice, then she cancelled once, then I showed up last week and she didn't answer her door, so I emailed her when I got home (to keep a written record), and she never wrote back. What's up with that?

Maybe I should quit voice lessons and take up the banjo.

And I haven't seen the Peru/Uruguay game, so I have to stay away from the news. Not that it made big news, I'm sure, but I also try to stay away from really sad news, so sports is usually a safe (albeit mostly boring, to me) bet. I'd've liked to have watched it with my husband, since he was rooting for Peru and I was rooting for Uruguay, and that would have been kind of fun. I guess I'll see when I watch the game if it actually would have been fun for me or not!

That's it for now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKPORT9 7/22/2011 3:35PM

    I am so sorry that you are being treated so poorly at work. You deserve better and it is worth it to put yourself forward and make a stand! I hope you start getting more support and respect at work soon. - hugs, Laurel emoticon

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ANNASBF 7/21/2011 1:34AM

    Liked the banjo part... randomly cool. The other stuff, ugh. If I tried to do what you describe my brain would be fried. I hope you get some sleep soon although it does produce some interesting blog entries when you are on half sleep mode.... :)

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AMYLONGHORN 7/20/2011 12:22PM

    LOVE the idea, Kristen! BRENDA! You, me and Anna should do a TRIO for the Starfish team! Go all old school church youth choir on SparkPeople! LOLOL!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 7/20/2011 11:48AM

    ouch I don't know how you do that! 2-4 are like my BEST sleeping hours I think! hope that your voice lesson happens tonight. you should record a little song for the starfish... haha.... pretty please?

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RUTHXG 7/20/2011 10:43AM

    People's inconsistencies that cause hardship for the rest of us are VERY frustrating. I hope you have some encouraging moments today--& I hope you stick to your guns about the middle-of-the-night work gigs!

Peace & refreshment to you . . .

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMYLONGHORN 7/20/2011 10:29AM

    That's not cool about Thursdays...I'd start getting frustrated with that, too. And your voice lesson situation is funky...I hope you're not having to pay for these things when you're not actually going!! Weird that she didn't answer the door last week. I hope you are able to watch that game to get a sound like you need it! HUGS!!!

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Cryptic Statuses Explained...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I know that I've posted some status updates recently that weren't very informative, and perhaps, they may even have been enticing in their mystery. I've been wanting to blog about this situation since it first erupted (Oh, God) four days ago, but with my work schedule and Copa America and Judge Judy and Jem and going to the gym and trying to keep up with all you beautiful people just got away from me.

Well, now the situation is (more or less) resolved, and so I'd like to share it with you.

I'm going to warn AMYLONGHORN right now that, if any of this looks familiar, it's because I'm taking quite a lot from the first email I sent you about this. I'm just going to remove all the f-bombs (this'll take awhile), other curse words and information that are too identifying as to where I work.

I have a client that needed to get a bunch of documents taken care of through another department within my organization. And the process is so DUMB. I can't just take the stuff down to the necessary department and say, "Here, handle these," and have them call me when they're ready and I can go pick them up. NO. I have to get my translator to write a cover letter, then the documents go up to the top floor, where they get registered and signed by the second-in-command at the organization (who, by the way, is a bully, to use a Spark-friendly word--in real life, I'd use something more colorful to describe this piece), then they get sent down to the appropriate department. When they're finished with the documents, the same thing happens to get them back to me. Ridiculous.

Anyway, so on Monday, I sent these documents with the guy who walks stuff around the office. And I'd forgotten to get the cover letter signed by my boss.

So I get called later on Monday by my boss's secretary, and she's saying that I forgot to get it signed, so the guy called her and chewed her out and demanded to know who had sent this letter. Like, what's the big deal? It's not like these documents are soooo hot-button that I had to slip them past my boss, right? I mean, I OBVIOUSLY just FORGOT.

So apparently, before the secretary gets to say this to my boss, he heads up to the top floor, where I believe he gets a butt(?)-chewing from this guy, too, or Tuesday wouldn't have happened. Because my boss is a smart and nice man, and he wouldn't normally make me cry.

And so his secretary was telling me all day on Monday that he wanted to talk to me about it, but I thought, whatever, fine. I'll take my butt(?)-chewing, but I got to get these documents back so I can take care of the client. My boss is not one to actually discipline people, so my "little talk" with him would probably entail him saying, "So next time, do your best, yes, and okay." And anyway, my boss is smart, so I'll tell him that this is RIDICULOUS, and exactly what I think of the temper tantrum had by our little friend upstairs, and it'll be fine.

Then, there was an emergency with one of my colleague's clients, and I'm covering for her. I talked to my boss on Tuesday, and thought, okay, well, OBVIOUSLY this guy has bigger fish to fry than something so small as a STUPID, UNSIGNED LETTER. Right?

Apparently not. Because, maybe, 20 minutes after I talked to him about the client, he calls me up to tell me that I embarrassed him. And he told me that he is always available to sign things when they're urgent.

And I totally buckled, because he didn't say, and second-in-command said this. He just said he was embarrassed. So instead of telling him that second-in-command has too much EFFING time on his hands, I told him that I was sorry, and that it wasn't like that, that it wasn't because I was in a hurry so I just decided to skip getting his signature. That I JUST FORGOT. And I told him twice I wasn't trying to slip anything past him, and he said he knew. And I mean, REALLY?

WHY THE EFF do I have to explain this? WHAT THE EFF is the big deal? And second-in-command wrote all over the letter, so it was destroyed. I had to ask my translator to write a new one.

PLUS, the hold-up on this is ridiculous, because second-in-command decided to dress down my boss, instead of just sending the documents back downstairs with the guy that walks around the office, it took more than A DAY to get the documents back to me. And my client NEEDS this stuff taken care of! It's not supposed to take A WEEK to do this!

So that's why I was weeping at my desk, because my beloved boss was mad at and disappointed in me, my client's stuff still wasn't done, and, in this particular office culture, one mistake just negates all the good you do, so I'm basically worse off reputation-wise with my boss than I ever have been.

So, I get the new letter signed, and give the documents BACK to the guy who walks stuff around the office at 9:00am Wednesday morning, and I tell one of my friends what had happened the previous day. She told me that second-in-command is far too stupid to have noticed the letter by himself, and that he doesn't open the envelopes anyway, so who opened the envelope? When I tell her, it was this lady, because second-in-command's secretary was out, she said, "Oh, that lady likes to start trouble. I bet she noticed it and told him about it." When I asked my boss's secretary about it later, she confirmed that indeed, this person, whom I've never met, was the one who spotted the error at first.

Come about 90 minutes before the end of business, I call the guy that's doing the work downstairs, and he says, "Brenda, where are the documents? I don't have them." And I said, "OH, MY GOD, I sent them upstairs at 9am. WHY don't you have them yet?" So he said, "Calm down, I'll go get them."

A few minutes later, he calls me. "Brenda, I got the documents, but there's something missing. The money orders for processing the certificates, they're missing."

"The hell they are! I specifically remember putting them in the envelope, because my translator started to write the wrong information on the envelope, and when he pulled the stuff out of the bad envelope, I reached across him, grabbed it, looked inside, took the two money orders out, and put them in the new envelope. I SPECIFICALLY remember doing this. Now someone is MESSING with me, and I don't LIKE IT!"

"Okay, okay, calm down. Are you sure there was an envelope?"

"No, there wasn't AN envelope. There were TWO envelopes. One for the certificates, one for the authentication."

"Okay, I have the one money order for the authentication, but not the certificates. And I didn't get them in envelopes. I got them in a loose folder. I'll call you back. I'm going upstairs."

A few minutes later, I get a call. "Bad news."

"Oh, no."

"She threw them away." And by "she," he meant THE SAME WOMAN WHO GOT ME AND MY BOSS IN TROUBLE!


"Yes, she forgot to check the envelope with the certificates for the money orders, so she threw the envelope away with them inside. She's looking through the trash right now. And Brenda, you know, they pick up the trash in the morning, so she isn't even looking at the trash, you know, under your desk. She's looking downstairs in the basement."


A little while after that, she found them. But this b-woman, WHOM I'VE NEVER MET AND NEVER DONE ANYTHING TO, had to make a big deal to second-in-command about the lack of signature, then she turns around and throws away money. So, tell me, who made the bigger mistake? I guess Ms. Perfect isn't so perfect after all.

I went home with something on my face. What was it? It seemed so foreign...I think it was a smile! When you dig a hole for someone else, you will fall in. Ha!

Now I'm trying to decide whether or not I should devise a strategy to ensure second-in-command is notified of this development. After all, I didn't set the rules of this little game--she did when she tried to get and succeeded in getting me and my boss in trouble. On the other hand, I imagine her digging through the trash and FREAKING OUT because obviously second-in-command is very volatile, and if she hadn't found the money orders, he would have had to have been told, so there's the double-whammy of her wallowing like a pig through garbage and the fear, and I wonder if that's enough. In these moments, for a fleeting second, I feel sorry for her. But on the other hand, I had the second worst week in that job on account of her. So I don't know.

If you're still reading, you're a total champ, and can you tell me, what should I do?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 8/2/2011 2:46AM

    Well, I found out who she was, which just kind of made me even madder about the situation. Then, I told everyone about it, making sure to include "wallowing like a pig through garbage," so I hope it gets back to her that I'm calling her a pig, because that would really piss her off.

The problem is that the second-in-command guy left town shortly after all this, so I didn't get a chance to finish my strategy. I thought about telling his secretary, "Oh, I'm so glad you're back, because you know, I don't mean to criticize, I'm sure she's a REALLY nice lady, but while you were gone, she threw away money orders for one of my clients..." and hoping she'd spread the word, but then he was gone. For now, I'm just glaring at her whenever I see her and try to stare her down. Not working so far, I'm not sure she knows who I am, but it makes me feel a little better.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/1/2011 4:24PM

    Hey, I must have missed this blog over my anniversary weekend, and just discovered it when looking for your Ramadan blog. Sorry this comment comes so late, then. I don't recall you addressing this again--- so what did you do?

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CYNDIDAVISUSA 7/22/2011 10:56AM

    Karma is such a b!tch! Take the high road and be like an elephant. REMEMBER.

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KKINNEA 7/20/2011 12:54PM

    Definitely high road. And if you ever meet her, remind her in a subtle way the day she had to dig through garbage :)

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HAKAPES 7/19/2011 6:09PM

    What you should do is track your food, and squeeze in 10 min exercise every day!


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ANNASBF 7/19/2011 1:16PM

    I have nothing cogent to add to that experience or to the advice you received from your other Sparkfriends.... I just know of all the people contained in that event you described in your blog above.... I like you best.

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KAREN_NY 7/16/2011 11:43AM

    It sounds like a pretty large office, so maybe you don't have to talk to her. If you expect she could be involved in future scenarios, or if you suspect she'll now be in a cycle of resentment, I'd go talk with her. I'd ask her for her side of the story, get her motivation. You might learn something for dealing with her (or keeping her out of it) in the future... and have the opportunity to remind her that you're both there to take care of the company's clients. High road. ;)

Otherwise, I agree with ASHL and Ruth... Karma.

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BETTERJULIA 7/15/2011 5:04PM

    I'd say go talk to her - make sure she KNOWS you know and that you are the one she made a HUGE deal about a missing sig for and not say anything to the bosses. I mean is she new in the position and just trying to show her boss that she is detail oriented? But by talking to her she'll sorta be indebted to you so if you have a little mistake that she sees next time she'll probably give you a heads up instead of making heads roll.

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KRISTA64 7/15/2011 12:06PM

    I agree....the thoughts of her digging through garbage is funny!
Being the "better" person is harder but in the end shines brighter! Keep shining!!!!

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AMYLONGHORN 7/15/2011 9:29AM

    Let me know what you decide to do, but I just wanted to commend you for the edit! You did a GREAT job of removing the foul language!! LOL

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MUNCHIE718 7/15/2011 5:08AM

  When you say trash, do you think there were coffee grounds involved? or banana peels? For some reason, it would be much better if it involved a little food trash, not just paper. emoticon

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RUTHXG 7/15/2011 12:15AM

    I agree: you're bigger (in the GOOD sense) than she is, so you can leave it to karma, which seems to be doing a pretty good job thus far. Heehee!

Sounds as if 2nd-in-c & the never-met lady deserve each other, you know?


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ASHL_84 7/14/2011 10:24PM

    LOL I'd say just let Karma take care of it. No need to sink to her level. The thought of her digging through the trash makes me laugh though! Hope your workday tomorrow is less stressful than the last few!!

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Cups of water yesterday. Holy geez.

I wish it were water week on 5% Challenge!

So, apparently, that's what happens when I quit drinking soda. I drink an aquarium of water. And for substitutes, if I get tired of water, I just don't drink, I guess. I saw in the cupboard that my husband has some packets that are kind of like Crystal Light, but I guess they're flavored-tea flavored. I don't know. Could work in an emergency.

This is my third day with nothing carbonated. We only have one Splenda-sweetened soda left in the house, and it was seriously injured in an accident involving paperboard and rainwater. It's sitting in the fridge, and maybe once I have the courage to attempt to open it, I'll drink it. But for now, I need to let it rest. =)

When I was putting on my make-up this morning, I noticed my skin looks a little better. Maybe it's my imagination...or maybe it really does.

I haven't weighed myself yet, and I'm not totally convinced giving up a calorie-free item is going to make a difference, but I read an article the other day to that effect, so I'm a liiiiiittle hopeful.

What else? There are some other good changes. I FINALLY got a new exchange student. He's from Niger, and he's super-cool and super-TALL. What's nice about having students from this particular organization is, we're required to provide host-prepared meals, which means, sitting at the table and eating together like a family. I LOVE it, but I never do it if it's just my husband and me (or an exchange student who gets to fend for himself, like my German kiddo that I had for 10 months).

I've been dragging at the gym, though. I guess it's just hard at the beginning of the week, because I'm breaking up my sleep, and it wears me down just enough to make a difference. Yesterday, I tried to focus on my fat crying, and pictured REBEKAHJOHNSON kickin' serious butt on the elliptical, but even those images just got me through another 10 minutes. Last night, I got to sleep through the night, and Little Sammy didn't even bother me, so hopefully, today, I will be fresh and ready to rock!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBINVA 7/11/2011 7:48AM

    Wow 21 cups. That is far more than I. If you use the crystal light packets don't use a whole one. Just enough to give the water a little flavor. I used about 1/3 a packet for a water bottle that holds 3 cups of water.

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HAKAPES 7/9/2011 7:49PM

    Any healthy Nigerian menu options?
Way to go with the water! I switched long ago, only water, and sometimes cola light!

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GOLOPTIOUS 7/7/2011 12:48PM

    Wow. 21 cups in one day? You are my hero!

Make that fat cry!!


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 7/7/2011 12:18PM

    Great job on the 21 cups! that is crazy!
I've been super slacking at my workouts too, but I think I'll be better now that our house guest is gone. Glad to hear your transition to no-soda is going well and that you have a new guest to cook for! I love family meals at the table, which John and I rarely do!

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AMYLONGHORN 7/7/2011 9:07AM

    OK so you drank 21 cups of water yesterday (which is AWESOME BTW), but all I can think of is how many times I would go to the bathroom if I did that! LOL

Oooohhhh I am glad you got your new student! That is very exciting!! I have been dragging at the gym/exercise, too. emoticon DOH!! I *need* the challenges to stay on track!!! Anyways, I'm glad you got a full night's sleep and I hope that makes for a great day!! *hugs*

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

I haven't gotten the headache.

I've been off the aspartame for three days. After one full day, I expected to have the terrible headache I'd gotten in the past when I was unwittingly off aspartame.

But, nothing.

I can't imagine why not, but I sure am thankful!

It kind of makes me feel a little regretful that I waited so long. How much money could I have saved!

I have had one side effect, namely, I've been quite tired since I gave it up. I've been offsetting that with the Splenda-sweetened soda my husband has. It works wonders! I've only been having one a day, and only when I'm feeling very lethargic.

So, so far, so good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Congrats on the no headache. When you need some fizz, sparkling water is your friend. If you read the labels, you'll see that some brands (not all), like Pelligrino, have small amounts of calcium which will help you replace the calcium that sodas deplete. emoticon

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AMYLONGHORN 7/4/2011 10:20AM

    No headache?! Wow!!! That's GREAT!! WTG on sticking to it so far!!

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JMCADE 7/3/2011 6:10PM

    WTG getting off the aspertame. Congrats on no headache. Go forth and conquer!!!!!

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JECKIE 7/3/2011 1:21PM

    Yay for no headache! :) That's great news.

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JSPEED4 7/3/2011 1:00PM

    I tried a few of those things at times, short-term. The only one I feel right on is stevia powder. It helps in a lot of things--not much in others, so I just ignore the others in my diet now.

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