Friday, April 22, 2011

Shit Happens

So probably not a politically correct title, but it pretty much sums up my trip to Dallas. Everyone has wanted to know how the trip went and I want to be pretty frank. I suppose most of you know that I was interviewing for a job, not a lucrative job and not a job that would have me relocate, but a writing job that I would have done from the comfort of my home and most likely in my pajamas. Anyway, the process has been long and drawn out and the field of applicants was at almost 1500, so the fact that I was chosen as one of the final 50 to be selected for a face-to-face interview. So, I headed off to Dallas for what would be a very long day of people basically deciding if my opinions were worth printing and even remotely entertaining enough to be read. I was able to arrive a day ahead of most of the rest of the applicants and was able to rest up and get mentally ready for some of the biggest debates I had ever been involved in. On arrival evening, our agenda consisted of a cocktail social/meet and greet to get us all more comfortable with each other. Ridiculous to me. I used it as an opportunity to scope out the competition, anyone worthy of competition would have done the same. What I found is that about 20% of the people there were similar to me. However, I found the other 80% absolutely fascinating. Don't confuse my fascination as actual fear or intimidation, because I was neither of those, in fact, I didn't find that 80% remotely worthy competition. I mingled, listened more than I talked and paid close attention to all the unspoken things. I went to my hotel room feeling pretty good about the process. On the day of the interviews, I woke up early, got a good cup of coffee and got ready to show that I was much more than just some housewife and mother. I left my individual interview feeling on top of the world. The next part, not "listed" as so on the agenda, was basically a lunch/round table discussion. Two of the interview team joined us at my table, so I know that they were mentally filing away information about how we responded during the lunch "conversation". The conversation focus was current events, no problem for someone who keeps up with things pretty well. What is more current than Air Traffic Controllers falling asleep on the job? Of course, I have plenty to say from all angles due to my lovely hubby being one and having spent the last 12 years of my life surrounded by controllers, lingo, etc. Once we reached the end of the lunch, the pretty young twit of an assistant tapped me on my shoulder and asked that I come with her. This is where my day turned to shit. Apparently I was being released from the remainder of the interview process due to false information provided on my application. This is where I need to mention that the job was for an airline magazine. I say that only because when asked on my application whether anyone in my family worked for an airline or any of its affiliates, I said no. The minor flaw with this is that APPARENTLY they have decided that my husband, who is ATC in the Air Force, actually works for the FAA. Trust me when I say this, HE DEFINITELY DOES NOT! Just because my husband holds a pink card of certification with FAA credentials, that in no way makes him an official employee of the FAA. If they felt this way, I really wished they would share that information with all concerned parties because we apparently were owed a large sum of back pay for all the years of service because our pay stubb was definitely not that of an FAA controller! I was still sent on my merry way after being told that this was not an easy decision for them either because I was a top contender. I got to speak my mind. Of course I would never leave without having my say. So, as I said...shit happens! I said when I was getting ready to leave that I would see if God's plan for me was the same as my plan for myself. I guess I got my answer. There were some positive things about the trip. I got to reconnect with an old friend and spend some much needed time alone. The good news is spending time alone allows for plenty of soul-searching and the opportunity to really think about what it is you truly need and want in life. It is amazing what can happen when you remove yourself from your daily life and all the things that includes. I hope this answers everyone's questions. Shit may happen, but life is good!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Good Woman

As the good woman that I am, I spent the day paying bills, balancing our accounts and working out our "what if" budget. In case there is anyone who has not heard my latest rant, here it goes....if they don't come to an agreement on the federal budget and the government shuts down, my husband will be working without pay. Yeah, you heard me right. He will continue to show up on time, work his day and maybe additional hours, but we won't be paid on time. The current budget goes through April 8th, so essentially we will get a check for half of the work period. After that, no one knows. We are assured that we will be paid later, so it isn't that we won't be paid, but just not on time. I am not 100% sure, but I doubt that most creditors will like the idea of getting paid "sometime" for what is due right now. My questions is this... will welfare recipients receive their checks on time? Will those who are on disability checks but aren't actually disabled (we all know these people) get their checks on time? Probably so! The assistant to the assistant of the executive assistant of the White House Public Relations Director will probably get their check, but my husband who has served his country for almost 14 years and is in a legal and binding contract with the United States and Department of Defense may not be paid on time. This is the kind of things I thought about as I listened to the constant rhetoric about the government shutdown while managing to pay my bills (paying those on time to avoid late fees), balancing my checkbook (down to the last penny) and budgeting what remained in order to make it to the next paycheck (if there is one). Now, maybe the government just needs ONE GOOD WOMAN! How is it that most Americans manage to live paycheck to paycheck, taking care of the necessary expenses and sometimes managing to put a little away, donate to a good cause or buy something nice, but an entire room full of people supposedly elected to represent the average American can't seem to do the same? Could it be that these people are overpaid for their job? Maybe so overpaid that they have lost touch with the real world? Once this budget crisis is over, we will head full steam into an election season. The television will be inundated with interviews, speeches, debates, commercials, etc. I hope that everyone remembers what is happening right now when they go to vote. Don't listen to just what candidates say, but pay attention to what they do. We are a country in crisis. We are broke and we are indebted to countries that we have avoided crawling into bed with for decades. Yes, most Americans are in debt and mortgaged out their asses, but how can we really expect any better? With the example of our leadership, how can we really expect anything different? If Suze Orman is helping people get out of debt, maybe Obama should call Suze for some advice for the government? At this point, the one thing I find to be certain, is that the men and women who put their lives on the line for this country should be given some sort of governmental preference. Instead, they are getting a crash course in juggling funds, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and how to put off creditors. None of these are lessons that I want to ever teach my children. It is time to take a stand and say enough is enough. We have to remember that this is our country and none of them could be in the positions they are in if we don't put them there.