A Look at 2005

Everyone always takes a look back at the previous year when the new year is about to start. So I figured I’d do the same because I can.

January of 2005 saw me move to a new department within the company I was contracted to. That meant more pay, challenging work, and a boss from smeg! ^_^;;; Still, the pay was nice and the work was what I wanted, so I tolerated the boss, who to be fair, is the most intelligent people I’ve ever worked for. He knows the inner workings and infrastructure as if he built them. Because he has this gift, it is extremely difficult for him to deal with the fact that no one else will know it as he does and that no one will learn it to that degree because knowing it doesn’t really help us with our jobs (even though he can make a good-sounding case that knowing it is key to our jobs). But at least I have a job!

The spring of 2005 saw me have a bloody nose event that lasted for well over 24-hours, sending me to the emergency room by ambulance from work the first time, then two more visits the next day from home. I learned what it was to pass out from loss of blood, what it was like to be fed by an intravenous tube, and how great it is to be able to drink something without mounds of packing in your nose. I also learned how terrible my insurance company was. To this day, I’m still fighting with them to try to get them to pay something. However, since I’m still responsible for the bills, the nearly $10,000 I owe, I have to pay. If the insurance company ever does decide to pay, I’ll get refunded.

Because of this, I decided to try my luck at selling things on eBay. I’d sold a few things before, and in addition to selling DVD’s and stuff that I had owned, I attempted to try my luck at selling new things. Since anime is a very popular item, I figured I’d sell anime DVD’s. I scored several titles I knew were very popular and a few test titles, all which I paid 40% or less of retail. I figured that if I sold them for half the retail price, I’d be making a good profit. So, even though I had nearly $10,000 in medical bills, not counting my car and one other bill, I spent $1000 and bought some anime.

At first, it was a success with my first sales mostly doing well, some well enough more than cover those few titles that didn’t sell as well. However, as time went on, titles that were selling well started selling for less and less with each auction. Other test titles were selling, but for only a few dollars. By the time all was said and done, I broke even. Actually, since I never counted my gas expenditures (since when I went to the post office, I took care of other business), the cost of labels (since I also use them for personal things), ink, and my time, I lost money on the venture. I don’t know how folks make money on eBay, but I can tell you that it isn’t easy, no matter what the scammers tell you.

By August of 2005, my unreasonable, irrational, impatient, berate and belittle you in front of the whole command center, etc. boss converted me from contractor to “long term supplemental” at the company. That meant more money, great insurance, and a chance to be a full-time employee down the road. While it wasn’t a total surprise since he had stated that he wanted to do that, to that point, I really wasn’t sure where I stood or if I’d even have a job after six months. So I do appreciate him doing this for me and a few others, but that doesn’t change the fact that he needs some SERIOUS work on his management/people skills. ^_^;;;

Now that I was in the door of the company, I decided that I’d had enough of the 96-mile round-trip commute from my apartment to work. So I moved to a town near my company and to an apartment complex that takes about 6-minutes to get to work and 8 to get home (because of a couple of left turns). So while gas was up around the $3/gallon mark, I was VERY thankful to live so close to work. Of course moving was a complete and total nightmare. I had a bookshelf which I don’t think I’d looked at in 5-years (it was in an odd spot) and the dust was…well, there was a lot of it.

Also, I discovered that I had way more stuff than I had even imagined. As the boxes began to pile up in my living room, I began taking stuff to the Goodwill when I went to see my folks. And still the boxes rose and there was little sign to show for it in empty space. I even took an entire week off to finish packing. Good thing I did because frankly, I barely got done. I was so worn out by the experience that I just gave my deposit over to my old complex and asked for forgiveness.

Further adding to my stress that week was a call from my boss. He wanted to know if I were interested in a support job, which would mean more money and to work from home. I asked him for his opinion on the matter and he said he thought is was an excellent opportunity. I thought so too, not just because I would escape from him, so I told him to put my name in. The night before my move, I get a call telling me I need to have in my resume now (Thursday) but by no later than 4pm on Friday. That way my boss could get it to the other manager. Now the last thing on my mind was finding my resume. My computers were all packed up and I was desperately trying to get the last of my things packed for the movers to come in the next day. Because my boss can be very unreasonable, my team lead and I attempting to figure out some way to get a copy of my resume. Unpacking my computer was clearly not an option. Had I been thinking clearly, I would have remembered my resume on Monster.com and sent them there, but I wasn’t.

I called my boss and asked him if it would be OK to get it in Monday. After all, I was in the middle of a move and I wouldn’t get my computer unpacked until very late Friday night at my new place. Well, that wasn’t going to cut it. I asked if he could just explain to the other manager what was going on. Reasonable people would do that and assuming the manager at the other end was reasonable, waiting until Monday wouldn’t be a problem considering my situation. My bosses response? “Excuses are like horse shit.” Nice! That’s REAL helpful, boss!

In the end, he did accept my resume on Saturday and forwarded it on to the hiring manager. That being the case, why give me such a difficult time over it? No wonder turnover is so high in my department. Those people my manager doesn’t fire are deemed acceptable material, yet all of us want out badly! *sigh* At least I have a job, right?

Also during that week, Granddaddy died. He was my dad’s dad and was the man who taught me to fish, the joy of laughter and a good joke, and more. I did not get to attend the funeral and I had planned to write something about him here, and I will do so sometime, just not today. I had been blessed with both sets of grandparents and Granddaddy was the first to pass away. I know it won’t be that much longer before Grandmother departs, as well as Grandma and Grandpa.

Because work kept me busier than normal, I didn’t have as much time to study Japanese. Indeed, when I had free time, I ended up goofing off to blow off steam from work. That’s kind of sad because I’m sure I would have learned quite a few Kanji by this point and would have had a greater vocabulary. This year I’m going to have to force myself to carve out time for study!

By years end, work had become a nightmare of sorts. I didn’t get the support job, but several others in the department did and left. A few more found jobs in other departments and left. This left us very short handed, just in time for the month of December and all those Christmas vacations. To make it more interesting, my boss let two contractors go as “their services were no longer required” while bringing in a couple of others. So I ended up working nights a couple of times, working six 12-hour days in a row, and getting frantic phone calls on my day off about how they need someone to come in and help. But at least I have a job.

So while 2005 wasn’t a great year, I do thank the Lord for it, for my job, and even for my boss. Seriously! I may complain bitterly about him (helps me to release stress, you understand), but I’m sure it will be for my good!

I want to wish you all a Happy New Year! May 2006 be better for you all than 2005!

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