2.09.2009

A device which alerts others to self-centered idiots

Ok. So I'm not sure how many drivers are out there on our streets, but with each drive to work and each drive home, I come closer to the conclusion that our world is in the sorry shape it's in because of the lack of use of one KEY function of each of our cars, motorcycles, and scooters. Hey, even bikers can use them in a modified form.

Folks, I present to you this:

turnsignal51

I understand if some of you need a second to catch your breath, absorb the meaning of this photo. I'll give you a few seconds to do so.

......    ......    ......

Done? Good. That my friends, is what we alert and responsible drivers calls a "turn signal." Every car has them (2 in fact!) and they are easy to operate. With the quick flick of the wrist you can alert other drivers what your plans are for future movements of your car. See (and this might surprise you non-signalers), contrary to what your mind believes, PEOPLE ON THE ROAD CAN NOT READ YOUR MIND. I know, right? It's crazy, but true. I swear.

[caption id="attachment_451" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="They even make them like this now so you, yourself can see your own signal in action! oooo!"]turnsignal2[/caption]

I just don't get you people that don't use your turn signals any time you're going any direction other than straight or in reverse. If you see another human being anywhere driving a car, you need to signal. This is especially true when you have drivers BEHIND YOU or drivers waiting on your turn so that they may make their next turn safely. See, for those drivers who are aware that the rest of the world is also using the roads (no, they don't belong to YOU Mr. Me-Monster), the turn signal is an essential communication tool and pretty much the only one that comes with your car in addition to the horn, brake lights, and back up lights.




[caption id="attachment_452" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="Here, Two-fingers McGee demonstrates how to operate the turn signal. ahhhh"]Here, Two-fingers McGee demonstrates how to operate the turn signal. ahhhh[/caption]

Just today, I was on a busy road going straight with traffic. Homeboy in front of me puts on his brakes and comes to a complete stop before turning ever-so-slowly into a parking lot. No signal, no nothing. And he could clearly see me behind him. I just don't get it. I don't get the non-signalers. I seriously can not think of anything ruder that people do on a daily basis in their cars.

Non-signaler: Who do you think you are? Why do you think it's not important for you to let others around you know what your intentions are? Is it that you wish to get flipped off? Do you secretly hope to be rear-ended so you can cash in on an insurance claim? Are you being tested by the Self-Centered Jerks Society before they'll give you your special club jacket? What gives? Use your freaking signals people!!!!

I'll leave you with this full-tail view of a signal in action!

[caption id="attachment_453" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Way to go VeeDubs! Way to signal - even in the garage! "]Way to go VeeDubs! Way to signal - even in the garage! [/caption]

2.07.2009

Job Interview Recap

It's 7:43am on Saturday and here I am providing the internet with a recap of yesterday's big job interview. I'd rather be sleeping, but when you hear your dog wretching repeatedly in her crate at 6:50am and you went to bed at 9:30pm the night before, it's sort of hard to get back to sleep.

So here goes. Yesterday, I had the biggest interview of my life. I interviewed for a Research Assistant/Paralegal position. This is a for real job that requires me use my brain! and skills! and paralegal certificate! It came at the perfect time - before I knew if I could stay on in the Governor's Office and after I had gotten the good ole Lexapro into my system. I applied and had a few things on my side that made me feel confident that I could get an interview at the very least. Prior experience at this agency, a paralegal certificate, and a pretty good grasp on all things state/local/federal government. At least to the extent that I could carry on converstations with people in the know and at the same time continue to learn loads.

I was invited for an interview and scheduled it for a Friday. I was sent a packet of information in the mail including information on what the division was responsible for and a little bit of information on each staff member. I was asked to come in one hour before my interview time to do a writing sample and after that would be meeting with 6 staff plus the interim director for a one hour interview. I was immediately freaking out after reading this information and knew the day would be a challenge to get through. I used to never get nervous for interviews mostly because I knew all I could do was present myself and if I wasn't who they were looking for then I was fine with that. I understand that companies need people that can do what they need done and if I'm not the person for the job, I'm just not and I have always been OK with that (not to say I've not had my heart broken to pieces before, but still).

So I show up, Xanax in my system, and I get started on my writing sample. Turns out it wasn't that hard and I had to write a memo based on a hypothetical situation. I was given an hour to do this and probably finished in about 30 minutes. I was back in an office by myself and it had WINDOWS! and I think that gave me time to focus on something else other than my nerves. I had hoped all along that the writing time would do just that - help me ease into the interview and shake the nerves off. I was so thankful that it happened. Before leaving the room for the real interview part, I took another half Xanax and whether or not it was the key to helping me stay calm or not, I don't know and I don't care. I just wanted to feel normal for the interview.

I was taken to a large conference room where 6 people were waiting for me and stood upon my entry (how nice!). I shook all their hands and introduced myself to them. I knew one of them from my previous time with the agency, so it was nice to see a familiar face and know that someone was here who know a bit about my work ethic even if it was in a completely different context than what this job called for. The first part of the interview consisted of your basic questions regarding work history, why I chose to do certain things, why am I interested in this job, what are my strengths/weaknesses, etc. I felt like I did well in that part. The second half - they threw a bunch of hypothetical situations at me. I was honest and myself about each answer and while I'm sure there are WRONG answers to the questions, I don't think I gave any. There are far too many to really detail, but from my answers I couldn't get a good reading on whether or not they thought I'd be a good fit for the job. Luckily for me, I have prior experience with the kinds of folks I'd be working with and for, and I have a good track record. They can't ignore that and certainly, it has to be a leg up on my competition who may or may not ever worked around elected officials.

Overall, I think my interview went very well. I was calm, at ease, confident, and I made them laugh a few times. I think I came across as a real person and not too stiff and serious. I was, after all, interviewing with a bunch of attorneys and they can be a colorful bunch. I enjoyed meeting each of them and hope I get offered a position. There are 2 open slots for this same job so that at least doubles my chances. I think this could open a lot of doors for me and I could take this experience anywhere should we ever leave NC (which I doubt, but you never know).

I'll update when I know more!

2.05.2009

Troof is Kewl

As I was drying my hair this morning, it occured to me that my recent honesty with myself and my friends & family has been a valuable means of human connection that I've been without for quite sometime.  It's not that I was ever intentionally cutting myself of from sharing things about myself, but I didn't bother to share things that I either felt somewhat embarrassed about or self-conscious about.

Example. If you read this blog, you may know that I started taking Lexapro about 2 months ago to help control the massive anxiety I was feeling at pretty much every turn in life.  Once I got over the initial first week hump, I started feeling better and have notice a difference in myself. Prior to being on Lexapro, were I to receive emails from my friends from Salem, I wouldn't respond. I felt like everyone else was saying how great and wonderful and happy they were and I had nothing positive to say about myself so I just opted out of the email reunion. Recently, a new email update chain went out and I fessed up. I admitted why I had been MIA for the most part and told about my new meds and recent troubles with anxiety and panic attacks. To my great surprise, but also excitement, my honesty allowed 3 of my friends from Salem to also fess up. It's amazing what a little honesty will do! I think the others might have gotten some relief from being able to spill the beans as well, and if I could help them feel less alone then all the better. I'm happy to do it. With this - I suddenly felt back in the club, part of the group, and eager to see them. I hope our talks of a girls only (no hubbies, no babies) weekend at the beach works out!

Example. I've also had 2 people who read this blog contact me to tell me they, too, are taking medication for similar problems and that I should not be embarrassed or feel like I've failed because I'm on medication. People I would not have guessed were on medication, but it was so nice of them to reach out to me and tell me they understood.  I can't even begin to describe how I felt when I read their emails extending a hand of support. I appreciate it beyond measure. Had I not been documenting my struggles on this blog, those folks wouldn't have known and we wouldn't have been able to make a connection. I'm glad I've at least been gutsy enough to write this stuff for the internet to see. It's been hard, but rewarding all the same.

Example. Most recently, I've had a family-member go on the same meds that I'm on and while she's still in the initial stages of getting into her system, we had a brief IM chat about it and I could sense the same relief from her that I felt when first talking to someone else who had already been through it. A support system is some of the best medicine when you're going through a health issue other than the common cold. It's scary and unclear what's going on, when you'll feel better, or how you'll respond to a medication. I'm glad to have found people who have helped me through it, and I'm glad I'm not sort of that person to someone else. I'm so glad I put myself out there for the world to see. It's paid off not only for myself but for others as well.

There's beauty in the truth and if being truthful and honest and real allowed me to rekindle friendships with those I had distanced myself from, then I'm glad I took the plunge. I've felt lonely over the past few years since I have no close friends in the area. I've needed to make connections with people, but my anxiety and (probably some depression) was causing me to dislike many people and pick them apart rather than enjoying them and forgiving their faults. I hope things continue to improve and I hope that I can start becoming the person I always knew was inside of me, but that was blocked by my fears, worries, and anxiety. I see now that I was afraid of my fears and that's one of the worst places I've ever been.

2.03.2009

Long Time, No Write

It's been so long since I've posted, I really had to force myself to take a few minutes to write something this morning even though I'm up to my eyebrows in work. Things have been a little nutty recently and I've felt a bit overwhelmed with posting because I felt like I had fallen so far behind. I never wrote about our Christmas trip to PA and have yet to update about my job. I'll get to PA in a later post, but for now, here's the 411 on work.

We're in week 4 of the new administration and while things are still really scattered and unorganized, we're coming together little by little. For now, I've still got the same job I had before, although our section has been shaken up a bit and none of us are totally sure what we're doing yet. We've got 2 new people, helping out, but one of them refuses to help us answer the phone, but she's taken all my special letters so I'm not writing letters for the Governor any more. The other new person is great with phones and while he's not on the official rotation yet, he picks them up all the time and that's a breath of fresh air. I wish he'd answer them full time. :)

We're all still learning new faces, new names, new policies and rules, it's weird. It's hard to break out of old habits, but it's also frustrating to try to convey to the new staff how much MORE work and correspondence a Governor will receive over at Lt. Gov. We have yet to be visited by our boss so we're all just doing the best we can until we can be given more direction and approval to go full steam ahead.

Aside from work here, I've got an interview at the NC General Assembly on Friday. I applied for a position as a Research Assistant/Paralegal back at the beginning of January. I feel hopeful about this job and there are actually 2 positions up for grabs so that doubles my chances of getting the job. I'm nervous about this interview. I have to show up an hour early to do a writing sample and will then have an interview with a staff member. Luckily, I know this place and some of the staff since I worked there before, so I'm hoping have that level of comfort will help with the nerves. I'm anxious to get this interview behind me. At this point, I'm starting to get comfortable with the new administration, and if I were to get the NCGA job, it wouldn't be so easy to decide which direction to go. I like the people I work with here (for the most part), but I think that the other job would really expand my skill set and really open me up to opportunities and jobs anywhere doing a whole lot more than administrative paper-pushing.