Monday, February 07, 2011

Jane Harmon to step down

Jane Harmon leaving Congress to become the next President of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. I'm sort of surprised, but it's quite a prestigious position. So, once it's done and official, Governor Jerry Brown has 14 days to call a special election - perhaps finally Marcy Winograd will win the seat as a true progressive. Just hoping is all.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Start Close In


Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step you don't want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
give up on other
people's questions,
don't let them
smother something

To find
another's voice
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don't follow
someone else's
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don't mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step you don't want to take.

~ David Whyte ~

(River Flow)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I want to go to the North Pole

I want to go to the North Pole. Seriously, I do. I want to be the official blogger on this expedition cruise, and need your support. I'm way low in the standings, so please go to the link, sign up, vote for me, and then tell all your friends to vote for me too. I might take one of you with me.

Friday, December 24, 2010

There's also my other blog, all travel

Would love some traffic there, if anyone's still checking in here. Lost my political voice for a while. Might be coming back. I'm mad as hell about a lot of things, but not sure how to voice it anymore. But the travel thing is good.

It's called Walkabout by Design and would love your visits. Happy holidays.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I have fantastic friends

So, last night at my Monday Women's Drive Through Meeting, my peeps just poured the love on me. One gal gave me a check to cover the December Cobra payment. Two others stuffed cash in my hand - and while I was crying, another gal came over to me and said that the day after I told them I'd been fired for insubordination, SHE got fired. For insubordination. I stopped crying because it was so flipping funny.

Okjimm, you're right - plan the days. Network. I'm sending out resumes daily, have been since it happened. I've been talking to everyone, from unemployment to attorneys to travel people - just putting it out there, and it's not just me. I've been looking daily to see if they've started hiring again at the place, and it appears that I was just part of the November/December housecleaning that they do every year. They'll post again in January. It sucks, but oh well.

And it appears that I qualify for the reduction in Cobra payments that Obama signed into law last February: as I am not eligiable for any other kind of health coverage, and have no income, I qualify for an 80% reduction in my payment - so the check my friend gave me will actually cover 3 months of Cobra. Full benefits, too. And if I have to move back to Chicago, I'm willing. Not happy, but willing.

These are tough times. But at least I'm nearly at my goal weight, and my hair looks good, you know? It's all about looking good, not feeling good...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Depression would be a step up

Seriously, I have become immobilized. I can't seem to function well at all. In August, 2008, when I left SlavesRUs Travel, it was on my terms and I knew the risks. I managed to stay afloat but it was difficult. Eventually I began working at MicroManaged Cruises, and was doing well - catching up on debt, getting ahead, and doing my job very well. I felt some degree of hope.

And then, Friday, November 6, 2009. I was fired for insubordination. Why? Because I was frustrated that the slackers got rewarded and people like me, who actually answered the phones, were punished. Let me explain:

MicroManaged Cruises is a Call Center. Reservations Agents are paid a salary and earn commission, but the commission is based upon a very peculiar two-fold system. That system makes people afraid to answer the phone. Here's how it works: to earn commission, you must sell a minimum of $250,000 gross each month. For me, that's a slow week. The second part of the system is that you must convert 30% of the calls that come in on the "new call" line into bookings.

So, if an existing booking comes in on the new line, it counts against you. If a brochure request comes in on the new line, it counts against you. If a caller calls in looking for a bus trip to Arkansas, it counts against you. I had a person call in who only spoke Russian, which I don't - could not communicate. It counted against me.

The slackers in the office manipulate the phone system to stay off the phone queue: they put people on hold for an hour while they check Facebook, Twitter, and text their friends. They call Travel Agents they work with to chat about the Twilight Saga, and how they can't wait for the new movie. They avoid calls.

On Thursday, Nov 5, my co-worker was on the phone from 5 PM until 7 PM, on one call, chatting with a Travel Agent about a particular actor she'd had a crush on since she was 11. I ended a call and took myself out of phone queue to send an email to a client. My supervisor asked me to get out of revision and take a call - I said sure, as soon as I finish the email. The Director came to my desk, told me to get out of revision - I copped an attitude, but did it. And yes, it was an existing call on the new line. Meanwhile, Slacker Girl is still chatting away.

I finish the call, phone rings again, and it is another existing on the new line. I put the agent on hold and walked over to the supervisor and expressed upset that my coworker was avoiding calls - the supervisor told the director I was yelling at her. The director called me into her office and said that I was wrong. Meanwhile, coworker has moved on to the Twilight movies, same call.

And then, on Friday, I was fired. For insubordination. For doing my job.

It is 11 AM, and I am still in my pjs. I can't seem to function. I feel defeated. My Cobra payment is going to be $451 per month, and I have no income. My unemployment is not enough to cover my mortgage. I feel humiliated, and unable to move.

So, now what? In this economy, now what? I'm 61, no savings, negative equity in my home, debt, now what?

I am so bloody sad.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Well. Back to the drawing board

So, apparently, I am not suited to work in a company which micromanages employees.

Me: "Please, Ms. Supervisor, may I sign out to go to the restroom?"
Supervisor: "No, Diva, you cannot. There are too many calls waiting."
Me: "Actually, Ms Supervisor, you legally can't tell me no, and it's rather humiliating to have to ask."
Supervisor: "You seem to go to the restroom a lot. Try not to drink so much water."

It seems they think I don't respond well to being told what to do and when to do it. So, back to square one.

Will probably get to visit folks again, assuming there's anybody still out there.