Friday brain-melt

The job interview was yesterday, and… I have no clue about it. Here’s the run-down:

* 3 separate interviews with 3 different members of the team. – Those all seemed to go pretty well and I think I made a good impression on all of them.
* Writing test. – I think I kicked ass. (Actually, Dave’s boss told me that mine was way better than the other candidate’s that he saw. Nice to have the affirmation.)
* Lunch with Dave, his boss, and another engineer. – Fun. And the food was awesome. (Japanese, one of my favorites.)
* Teleconference interview. Singular: interview. With 3 people at the same time. Yeah. Three engineers in two remote offices (two guys in Texas, one guy in California), who btw were all asking me questions at the same time. – Holy mother of God, that was intimidating. For one thing, since it was on the phone, I couldn’t read anyone’s facial expressions and see if they were responding well to what I was saying. For another, two of the three guys aren’t native English speakers (one guy is French, and the other one is… I don’t know, maybe Indian? I couldn’t place his accent), and the conference room speaker phone was fuzzy, so I think some things might’ve gotten lost in translation. But besides that, some of their questions just threw me because they were completely not “technical writer”-y questions and it was just really, really strange.

The whole interview process took about 7 hours (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and was unbelievably exhausting. I was showered and in my pajamas before 6:30 last night. It kicked my butt, to say the least.

So, honestly? I have no idea how it went. I just hope I find out one way or the other soon, because I hate waiting. Patience is not one of my virtues, to say the least.

Moving on! Guess what we’re doing tomorrow?

(Apologies if this song gets stuck in your head for 10,000 years. We’ve been singing it around here for days.)

So, yeah. The North Carolina Zoo is in Asheboro, which is about 60 or so miles from here. It’s about the halfway point between here and Charlotte, so my brother and sister are going to drive over and meet up with us there. Catie is unbelievably psyched. I can’t tell if she’s more excited about seeing Tracy and Chris, or if it’s going to see all the animals, but either way, she’s practically bouncing off the walls about it.

You can expect about a million pictures when we get back. Should be fun! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

How many engineers does it take to hire a technical writer?

I mentioned a while back about how I was interviewing for a job I really want? Well, it’s been a slow process with this company. I applied for the job way back in early August, and I had my first interview with them before Labor Day. And tomorrow, I have my fourth – and hopefully final – interview.

Here’s the one sort of weird thing: this job is with Dave’s company. (If you know who he works for, good for you. I’m not outing his employer on my site.) So even though we’d be doing different things – he’s an engineer, I’m a technical writer – we’d be working in the same office building. Which could be really cool, or really weird. I’m not sure which, but I’m leaning toward cool. Especially since I already know from his experience that the people who work there are generally really awesome, and they’re flexible about letting you work from home when you need to (i.e., if you have a sick kid, etc.), so it would really be an ideal set-up for our family.

Of course, since Dave is an engineer and not in management, he has no say whatsoever as far as whether or not I get the job, which is why I’m now getting pretty nervous. (Where’s the nepotism when I need it?) All I know from him is that they’re interviewing at least 2 other people, so my odds are in the 33% range. I wish he had more “insider info” to give me. Instead, these are the kinds of exchanges we have:

Dave: So, they’re interviewing another docs guy.

Me: They’re interviewing someone named Doc Guy?

Dave: No. A docs guy. You know, someone who creates documents? As in, a writer? That thing you do for a living?

Me: Oh. Right. Well, it would be pretty awesome if there was a tech writer named Doc Guy.

**Both of us die laughing. Nerd humor FTW!**

The HR person who set up the interview told me to allow at least 6 hours for the interview because they want me to meet with several members of the team. I’m taking that as a positive sign. Also, I got the heads-up that at some point, Dave and his boss are going to take me to lunch, which’ll be nice.

So, yeah. Big interview tomorrow. I’m nervous. Cross your fingers, send good vibes, say prayers, light candles, what-have-you. I’d appreciate it. I really, really, really want this job.

in which I get offered and lose a job in the same day

Trust me, this story is not nearly as tragic as that title makes it sound.

Ok, so the week started like this.
* Tuesday – I had an in-person job interview for a job that I really felt totally indifferent about. It’s a short-term contract job that’s way the hell across town, the hours suck, and I didn’t really care for the place. (Call it a personal bias, I’m not a fan of working in places where I have to go through a metal detector to enter and leave the building, as well as let a security guard rummage around in my purse. Not a fan at all.) On the positive side, though? The pay for that job was sweet. Like, a week’s salary would’ve covered a month of daycare, with some left over. But you know, a short-term contract job means no benefits, which is why they usually up the pay rate.

One of the annoying things about that job was that they didn’t know how short-term the job was going to be. They said the contract was “one to four months.” During the interview, I asked for a more specific timeframe, and I didn’t get an answer. Just that they had this project that had to be done, and they estimated it would take somewhere in that range. Kind of hard to make plans around non-specifics like that.

* Wednesday – I had a phone interview for a job that I WANT I WANT OMG I WAAAANT SO BAD. I don’t want to talk too much about that one for fear of jinxing it, but as far as the combination of salary range, hours, commute, and work/family balance? It’s pretty much the most perfect scenario I could ask for. And the phone interview went really well. So well, in fact, that they’ve already contacted me about doing a follow-up interview with a different manager; however, the manager won’t be able to interview me for two weeks due to scheduling issues. Which, hey, that’s FINE. I just really, really want this job.

* Yesterday (Thursday) – I got a call from the recruiter from Tuesday. And they offered me the job. The job I don’t care about. I asked if I could have some time to think about it, and I called Dave in a panic.

Here’s the deal: I don’t want the crappy short-term contract job. I’m holding out hope that the job I DO want (which, btw, is a permanent gig, not a contract) will come through. But I also know that it’s going to be at least two weeks before I do a follow-up interview, and the crappy job wants me to start on Monday, and wouldn’t it be nice if I could be making some money in the meantime?

So I told the recruiter that I could commit to the project for one month (the minimum time on the contract), but since I’m currently interviewing for a permanent position, I can’t commit to the full four months right now. I thought that was reasonable, and you know, HONEST.

Over the next couple of hours, my anxiety at the thought of accepting a job I didn’t want kicked into overdrive. I freaked out. I don’t like starting something when I know I’m only going to be putting in a half-assed effort at best, and let’s face it, my heart was not in this at all. Quite honestly, my only motivation in accepting the job was the money.

But the main thing I worried about was Catie. The hours for this job meant that I’d have to leave for work before she wakes up in the morning. I’d get to see her for a couple of hours in the evening, and on the weekends, but that’s it. And you know, lately, mornings are my favorite with her. That’s when I get all the best snuggles and kisses. The idea of missing that, even though it was only going to be for a month, made me want to cry.

A little while later, the recruiter called me back. He said that he spoke with the managers, and while they certainly understand my wanting to pursue a permanent opportunity, they want someone who can commit to the full four months. Even though they have no idea if the project is going to take that long. So they’re going to keep looking for candidates. Basically it was a “thanks, but no thanks.”

Honestly, all I felt was immense relief. I think that was a sign that this was definitely not the right job for me.

Now, in light of this crazy week we’ve had, we’re off to the mountains to celebrate Dave’s birthday weekend. (He turns 39 on Sunday. Old man.) I’m planning on leaving my laptop at home and enjoying the time with my family. I mean, I’ll still have my iPhone, though. It’s not like I’m a total cavewoman.

Hope you all have fun-filled weekends as well.


Even though I gave two weeks’ notice at my job? My boss did what I sort of expected, and said that Friday was my last day and we’re done. It’s fine because financially we’re ok for a while (and I still get my commission check later this month), and I wasn’t really looking forward to the next couple of weeks anyway.

SO! On that note, here’s a list that I call “Things I’ve done this week while being unemployed”:

* Maintained a clean house. Which is a much bigger deal than you might think.

* Washed, folded, and put away approximately 18 million loads of laundry. (Ok, probably more like 8. But still.)

* Cleaned out my closet. I doubt it would meet Jen’s standards, but I’m still proud of myself.

* Cooked a couple of lovely meals for my family.

* Got Catie’s room ready for winter. Between my sister and my parents, she already has an entire wardrobe for fall and winter, so I sorted through it, and got it all folded and put away. Then I packed away all the clothes she’s outgrown – which makes me unbelievably sad because holy hell, I want another baby girl to wear all of this stuff again. I’d be happy with a boy too, of course, it’s just that whole general-baby-need thing that’s getting me.

* Cleaned up 3 (THREE!!) puddles of cat puke in 3 days. (Seriously, Teenie, WTF?)

* Went for a run this morning. (Side note: I haven’t run for a while, so I thought I’d go back to week 3 of the Couch-to-5K program, and it almost killed me. Clearly, I need to get back to working out more often. On the plus side, though, even though I’ve kind of been slacking on the whole diet-and-exercise thing lately, I’ve still kept off the 8 pounds I lost earlier this summer. I realize that isn’t a huge deal to most people, but I’ll take maintenance over gaining weight ANY DAY.)

* Caught up on almost all of my DVR’ed shows. (LOVE this season of Project Runway so far.)

* Been a hell of a lot more patient with both Dave and Catie, which made me realize that when I’m not happy with my job, that resentment creeps into the rest of my life and manifests itself in really ugly ways. I think I’ve been a LOT nicer this week.

* Bought a new job interview outfit, since my pre-baby dress slacks no longer fit, and wearing maternity pants is just embarrassing.

* Got some pretty encouraging news about two possible jobs. I kind of want one more than the other, but I think I’d honestly be really happy with either one. So y’all cross your fingers for me!

without a net

I gave my two weeks’ notice at my job today.

I have a pretty strict policy about not talking about my job on my blog, because it just doesn’t seem like a very wise thing to do. And I’m still not going to get into specifics about it now. But I’ll say this: I started this job back in January, and I liked it at first because it was all new and I was learning about a side of the IT industry that I’d never worked in before. Sure, it wasn’t my intended career path, but it was a work-from-home job so it worked with my lifestyle/parenting choices, and it was kinda fun at first.

But once it stopped being all new and exciting? I got bored. And it showed. I’ve definitely been putting in a half-assed effort because this just isn’t something that interests me. It’s just a job. I don’t hate it and I don’t love it, it’s just… neutral. But it’s a really small company and my boss feels like everybody needs to work together and feel like an invested stakeholder in the company in order for it to be successful. I get where he’s coming from, because this company is his baby, but at the same time? This isn’t my passion. I don’t want to be a primary stakeholder in any company. I have enough responsibility in my day-to-day life as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, etc… I have no desire to be a CEO of anything.

Because my job performance has been pretty sub-par lately, I was put on probation this week. This really just reinforced to me what I already knew: I’m not very good at this job, I don’t particularly like it, and I want to go back to tech writing. So my resume is out there, I’ve got a couple of different job possibilities cooking, and I turned in my notice.

I’m a little scared that I quit without having another job already lined up. But I also know that I’m doing the right thing. There’s no need to continue in a job that I suck at. My boss actually sounded relieved when I told him I was quitting.

So, that’s what’s going on here. Now I just have to scramble like hell and hope that the perfect job shows up in the next two weeks. Wish me luck!


I’m guessing that most families with two working parents settle into some sort of a routine. It took us a pretty long time of floundering, but I think we’ve finally found our groove.

Dave goes to work really early in the morning – like, crazy early. I think he leaves around 6 a.m.? Maybe earlier? I don’t really know because I’m always asleep. He gives me a kiss goodbye – on the forehead, because I’m usually sleeping with my mouth open, such a sexy little minx am I. And I try to wake up and say a proper goodbye, but it usually comes out like this:

Mmmrrph? Bye, haff a good d… *honk* *pshew*…

What can I say? I’m a heavy sleeper.

Anyway, Dave likes going to work early because he’s the first one there and he can get at least a solid couple hours’ worth of work done before everybody else gets there. Honestly, the extra productivity wouldn’t be worth the early wake-up call for me, but I’ve never been an early bird type.

Meanwhile, Catie and I usually get up around 7:30 on average. We snuggle on the couch and watch cartoons for a little while, then I get her dressed and we set off for daycare. I usually get her there around 9:15 a.m. Then I come back home and get to work.

The perk of Dave heading in so early, is that he can leave work around 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon, and pick Catie up from daycare on his way home. He helps me out with the childcare stuff in the evenings (dinner, bathtime), but then he goes to bed around 8 p.m. so he can get up early the next day. Catie doesn’t go to bed until about 9:00 p.m., so I usually handle bedtime on my own. I suppose this means that overall, I do more of the childcare “work” than he does (getting her dressed in the morning, the bedtime routine at night), but he makes up for it by getting up with her on the weekends and letting me sleep in, so that trade-off is fine with me. There was a point, sometime when Catie was 2 years old, that I thought I would never be able to sleep past 9 a.m. again, ever, for the rest of my life. I now often sleep until at least 10 on Saturdays. Which, for the record, is freaking awesome.

I suppose it wouldn’t work for some people – the fact that we all have different bedtimes and wake-up times – but it’s fine for us. Yes, I’m a little jealous of the people whose kids go to bed at 7 p.m. and sleep peacefully all night, and who get to hang out watching prime-time TV with their spouses. But that’s just not how we roll. And that’s ok, we make this work for us.

Still, there are some mornings when Catie wakes up, and she wants her Daddy. And I tell her that sorry babe, he’s already gone to work. She looks out the front window into the driveway, sees that his car is gone, and then she cries that she wants her Daddy. Talk about heart-breaking.

Catie seriously working on the iPad

Dave had some insomnia last night so he slept late this morning. Catie was so excited that he was still here when she woke up, she climbed into our bed between us and snuggled up next to him with her head on his pillow. It was so sweet.

Dave got up to shower and get dressed for work, and I told Catie that if she wanted Daddy to take her to school instead of Mommy, she was going to have to hurry and get dressed in the next 5 minutes, or else Daddy was going to have to leave without her. And my normally sleepy-headed child who takes forever to get ready in the morning was dressed with her sneakers on and pigtails up in a heartbeat.

She went to daycare over an hour earlier than usual, and she was delighted to do so, because her Daddy was the one taking her. She kissed me good-bye, and with a “Love you, Mommy, have a good day!”, she was off. The house was completely empty and quiet by 8:00 a.m. That never happens. I actually got to exercise before starting work for the day. That’s a pretty rare occurrence too.

Since Dave was later than usual getting to work, he’s going to have to stay later this afternoon, so I’m going to be picking Catie up from daycare. I already can’t wait to see her. Sometimes a little change in the routine is just what we need.

where I've been

I haven’t blogged in a week, which is practically unheard of for me, so y’all will have to indulge me here and let me do one of these recappy things to cover what’s going on here at Chez PooBou.

* Catie hasn’t had a single potty accident since last Friday (as in, April 23rd). That’s 9 days ago. I think, I mean I’m reasonably certain, that this means she’s… potty-trained? Like, we’re done? Quick, somebody knock on some wood for me!

She still wears a Pull-Up to bed, but she wakes up dry every morning, so we could probably ditch that as well. But she asks for the Pull-Up at bedtime, I think it makes her feel more secure. And that’s fine. We made a BIG DEAL out of putting her diaper pail in storage the other day (no more putting stinky poops in here! All your poops go in the potty now, right? Right! YAAYY!), and she was pretty excited about that.

And on the one hand, I feel like, wait, that’s it? We’re all done now? That was too easy! But then I have to slap myself and remember that we started this process a full freaking YEAR ago. So, no. It has not been easy. At all. But I think she’s got it down now. Finally. Praise the lord.

Future's so bright...

Also? She is so proud of herself, y’all. Last night we went to TGI Friday’s for dinner, and she introduced herself to the waitress. “Hi! I’m Catie W[last name]! I poop in the potty!” Dave and I almost died laughing. (And thankfully, the waitress seemed to think it was funny too, she didn’t look horrified.)

* I’ve been exercising like a maniac lately. It’s bizarre because I’ve always hated working out, but now I’m finding that I actually look forward to it. The exercises for my knee that the sports medicine doctor gave me have really helped, and I’ve been able to really push myself to work out hard, which feels great. I’m doing the couch-to-5K (although I’m stuck on week three because no matter how hard I try, I cannot run for longer than 3 minutes without feeling like I’m going to fall over and die; I’ve tried to move up to week 4 on a few different occasions, and nope, sorry, my body cannot run for 5 minutes; hopefully I’ll get there someday?) and I’m doing “The 30-Day Shred” in there on alternate days.

Yesterday, just to mix it up, I did my “Weight Loss Yoga” DVD, which I haven’t done in ages (btw, that’s another “Biggest Loser” by-product, and I do not understand why I’m suckered into buying these things when I don’t actually watch the show!). And it was a great workout, so I definitely need to start working that one in more frequently.

So, yeah. I’m apparently becoming a workout nut. Bizarre. The diet part is trickier. I’ve lost about 5 pounds and I’m holding steady there. I know the foods I need to change in order to amp it up. I’m just having a hard time making myself walk away from the junk food. As usual.

* My job is busy. Trying to balance working full-time along with taking care of the house and the kid and all of that? It’s kind of kicking my butt. I think there are probably a lot of areas in which I’m failing right now – like, say, in the housekeeping division. But hopefully I’m going to be getting some help on that front very soon, because there is just no way I can keep this whole house clean on top of parenting my kid and working 40 hours a week. And Dave works even longer hours than I do. So I think a housekeeper is definitely in our immediate future.

* Spring means getting to hang outside more often, which probably accounts at least partially for my lack of blogging. Catie wants to spend every available moment playing outside with the neighborhood kids. And she’s too little to play outside by herself, so that’s where I am too.

Spring also means the return of Drum Night. The last Friday of every month, we go to see a band called Rhythmicity that plays at an outdoor mall near us. The kids love it.

Catie rocking the tambourine at drum night

Elizabeth boogies down with the belly dancer
(Catie & her cousin Elizabeth both liked the belly dancer, and I have to admit that she was pretty awesome. I admire anyone who can get up in front of a crowd and shake their stuff the way that she did.)

So, yeah. If you don’t hear from me as much on the blog here, don’t worry about me. We’re all good.

t-shirt headdress

In fact, I think we’re better than good.