I've been putting off writing these posts for a few weeks now, mainly because I'm lazy, but also because I wasn't sure what to write. I started regularly blogging again in the second half of the year, so the first half of the year was a blur. Luckily, I have my Facebook Feed, Twitter Feed and my Google Calendar to remind me what happened during that time. So without further ado…I present to you the first installment of my 2011 year in review (better late than never). I decided after writing out the first few months, it would be easier to break it down in 3 month chunks. It's too overwhelming for me to write it all out at once. I will continue with April-June tomorrow.
I was working at Kraft at the beginning of the year, and I just accepted a new Customer Service Coordinator position in December. I was learning slowly that I hated the job and started looking for employment outside of the company. I had an interview at a local paper company in Moosic on 1/14. This was my second interview for this position at this company. The last time I interviewed for the job was after I lost my job at Commonwealth/Frontier. They passed on me then and passed on me again. Oh well…their loss, not mine.
I also got my performance review, in which I did really well, except Kraft restructured their rating systems, so I was only given an "average" review. The company also did "average", so my yearly bonus was going to be next to nothing.
I started taking my Spring semester class at LCCC – I only took one course – VB.Net. However, with the stress of the new job, and all of the snow days that occurred, I ended up falling dangerously behind in the class. More on that later.
I also started my Penn State SCM course which was something that was taken though Kraft at the office. The latest course in this certificate program was "Transportation Systems"
I decided to join some of my former co-workers from my old department in a "Biggest Loser" competition at work. Every Friday we'd pay 5 dollars and get weighed in. Here's the problem: I never seriously watched what I ate. I think the first week I lost two pounds…anything after that, I stayed the same or lost maybe a pound.
Oh yeah, and I thought I should maybe make the big switch to contacts from glasses. I went to my doctors office to get fitted for contacts, which ended up being a complete nightmare the first time around.
From my count Lake Lehman had 3 snow days, which means I worked from home 3 days – Jan 18, 21, and 31.
Another mainly boring and quiet month…this changes soon, I promise.
There was a snow day to start off the month on February 1st.
Owen's Kindergarten registration started in February. I took off time from work to take him to the programs, and before the end of the month he was ready for the fall.
I had lunch with a "Senior" manager at Kraft….because I was forced to…not because I wanted to. It was one of the "requirements" as a an employee new to the department that I moved to. Don't get me wrong, the manager was nice enough, but I really hate eating lunch with people that I don't normally associate with. I get terribly nervous that I'm going to say something stupid, spill something on myself or get stuff stuck in my teeth. I made it out without any embarrassing incidents, thankfully.
I continued plugging away with my SCM class, the VB.Net class and the biggest loser competition.
It snowed again on February 21st. Yet another Lake Lehman snow day. I usually like shoveling, but this was getting out of control. On one of the snow days (although, I can't remember for sure which one…I interviewed with the Craft Oil company in Avoca for a Sales/Marketing Analyst position, I didn't get that job either)
I began to express how overwhelmed I felt with my new role to my supervisor and manager, we had a meeting on the last day of the month to discuss my concerns.
This is where things start to get interesting..
I took off 3 consecutive days on March 8th, 9th, and 10th to take care of some outstanding doctors appointments and also Owen had another Kindergarten Registration. Owen's KG registration was on my first day off at 9am. I was exhausted because the previous night, I had to pull an all-nighter because I needed to play catch-up with my VB.net course. I think I maybe slept for 3 hours tops. I got Gabby off to school without a hitch, and got Owen and myself ready and we went to the KG registration. We were some of the first people there, so we got in and out pretty quickly. After I returned home, I was called for a job interview at Geisinger in Danville. It was a job I applied for in January, and they were just calling me….IN MARCH…to interview for the position. After talking with the hiring manager, I decided it would be best if I drove down THAT SAME DAY to interview for the position. Aye aye aye. What is wrong with me? During the drive, I was pretty sure that I was lost even though I had the GPS with me. It took me through Millville and Iola, an area to which I've never traveled through. If you haven't traveled through there, don't worry, you aren't missing much. You could blink and be out of the town. I felt the interview went positively, but I ended up not getting the job. It was a shame, I really liked the hiring manager.
In the 3 day span that I was off, I also went to a hockey game. Yay, I love going to hockey games!
Also, I decided to take my MOS 2003 exams, I passed the Powerpoint and Access exams with no issues. Microsoft (those assholes!) decided to change the test requirements to get the MOS Master certificate. Previously, you had to pass Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Access or Outlook. Now you had to pass Word Expert and Excel Expert to get the MOS Master certificate. I didn't think that this would be an issue…WRONG. The expert test versions were extremely difficult and I failed them. You can read more about it on my blog post here.
In March, I signed up for 2 workshops at PSU for Adult CEU's. They were taught by my VB.Net teacher!! The first class was a Windows 7 overview, and the next class was a Transitioning into Office 2010 class. I needed the training so I could prepare to take my Office 2010 MOS exams.
I marched with Kraft Foods in the Wilkes-Barre St. Patrick's Day parade, which was televised on WYLN TV. We had several costumed individuals, including the Kool-Aid man. I suggested that we should have the Kool-Aid guy jump out of a brick wall, like he does on Family Guy. We got some banner paper, drew a fake brick wall on it, and had him do that right near the mayor's judging station. OH YEAH! We also got the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile to show up. Here's a photo with me and Gabby in front of it.
After the parade, I put in my two weeks notice with Kraft. I couldn't take another 10 hour work day and the stress that went along with having the work load of 2 people. I did not have another job to go, but my mental sanity was at stake. I left with the hopes that I would eventually find something better. I had my fill of cookies and crackers.
I came to terms with the need to drop my VB.Net class. I fell too far behind and there was no way to catch up. I called my advisor and she understood my situation. I made plans to stop on campus and meet with my advisor in person to formally drop the class. I felt like a big fat failure.
I also scheduled surgery for women-related issues I was having, the surgery was to happen in April, but before that happened, I had to go for a slew of lab work before that could happen. If you didn't already know, I FREAKING HATE BLOOD WORK. You can read more on how much I despise it here.
On the last day of the month, I had a job interview with the Topps Bubblegum/Baseball card company which ended up never materializing. I was really starting to feel like something was wrong with me. I kept going on all of these interviews and not a single solitary job offer. I was seriously getting depressed.