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Learning Experience — Part VI

February 25, 2016 1 comment

This is Part VI, the final part of a 6-part series of posts. To start from the beginning, click one of the following links:

An opportunity for another job presented itself shortly after our conflict. I had already had one foot in the door as a former freelancer, and I was eager to get the other foot in, simply to get away from Karina. I took a day off, interviewed, put my best foot forward, and left it in God’s hands. I later learned that the team loved meeting me, I aced my editing test, and that a job offer would be coming soon. I asked for a pay raise but didn’t care if I ended up with the same salary with a city tax that would cut into my wage. I simply wanted to be away from my boss.

I was offered the position on a Friday, accepted the offer over the weekend, and was giddy to hand in my resignation on Monday. My boss said she’d be in meetings all day but I told her I only needed 5 minutes of her time.

When I finally caught her, I closed the door to her office and handed her an envelope with my resignation inside. I said, “I wanted to talk to you to let you know that I am resigning from my position, effective 2 weeks from now.” She looked at the envelope and looked up at me. Then she said, “Thank you.” She opened the envelope and read the letter that said the same thing I had just said out loud. She looked back at me and said, “Thank you for this.” Read more…

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Categories: Careers & Jobs, Personal

Learning Experience — Part V

February 24, 2016 5 comments

This is Part V of a 6-part series of posts. To jump ahead to Part VI, click here. To start from the beginning, click one of the following links:

The next day, she pulled me into her office in a much calmer manner. I had hoped that she would apologize for her overreaction and that we could settle our differences. She never admitted that she was wrong for anything and we went around and around in circles until I finally declared that we were at an impasse and wouldn’t be able to resolve this issue. She agreed and on my way I went.

We both approached Sarah from HR, asking for help to mediate the conflict between us. Our first meeting seemed to be going well. Until Karina dropped a bomb that I had a history of “overstepping my bounds” and “being difficult” before she arrived at the company. I looked at her questioningly. Who had said this? went through my mind but I was keen enough not to ask. But Karina offered a name anyway: Jane. Read more…

Categories: Careers & Jobs, Personal

Learning Experience – Part IV

February 23, 2016 5 comments

This is Part IV of a 6-part series of posts. To jump ahead to Parts V and VI, click here and here, respectively. To start from the beginning, click one of the following links:

I figured that evening would be a night where I would get out around 7:30 or 8:00. Again, shame on me. At 6 pm, a 40-plus slide PowerPoint with text-heavy slides and speaker’s notes was dumped in my lap . The sheer amount of work before me had me estimating a 3-hour job to get the work clean and out to client. Wondering why such a text-heavy job needed to go out the door tonight, I went to my fellow editor and asked if the job had been on her radar. She looked at her list of jobs for the day and said that it was going to the client without editorial review. I asked my boss if this was really necessary to do tonight and she said yes it was. I couldn’t resolve the conflict in my head that the project manager in charge of the job said it was with the client and my boss who said that it needed to be done right away. Having no idea that I was making a major mistake, I asked the account supervisor—the person who would know best—whether the job needed an editor’s eye. To my dismay, he confirmed my boss’s assertion. Satisfied that I had heard the answer from “the horse’s mouth,” I sat down to complete my job thoroughly. Read more…

Categories: Careers & Jobs, Personal

Learning Experience — Part III

February 22, 2016 5 comments

This is Part III of a 6-part series of posts. Parts I and II can be found here and here, respectively. To jump ahead, click one of the following links:

Karina, to her credit, was incredibly supportive during this time. She texted and emailed me to see how I was doing and said she would support whatever decision was best for me: to bow out of my job and take care of my health or to make a slow return to work. I told her that I wanted to return to my position.

Constrained by limited days and hours set by my psychiatrist, settling back into work was difficult for me. I worked from home for a few weeks, a pain in my rear end in which I grew lonely and missed being around coworkers. Not only that but the agency was not set up adequately to easily work from home. My fellow editor had to run between her desk at the back of the office to the scanner at the front of the office to send me paper-based work all day. Electronic comments were relegated to workers off-site. Track changes in Word docs were something only external clients did; without anyone saying anything out loud, it was frowned upon internally. Employees rarely did it.

From the end of September to the end of January, I took leave and made a slow transition back into a normal workweek. Once I made the transition back into the office, coworkers were extremely glad to see me come back. The comfortable working relationship I had longed for since the beginning of my tenure there was finally realized. I came back to hugs (from the women) and emphatic, friendly hellos (from the guys).

However, I did have one concern about my leave and it was something that I obviously could not control: that my temporary departure would give Karina the upper hand in determining what I could and couldn’t do. She was finally the one in the dominant position now because I was not “up” on what was going on in the agency. I feared she might leverage this against me now that I was in vulnerable position. Read more…

Categories: Careers & Jobs, Personal

Learning Experience — Part I

February 18, 2016 5 comments

This is Part I of a 6-part series of posts. If you’re reading this after all posts have been published, you may jump ahead. To do so, click one of the following links (links will become active as available):


The past year has been a serious learning experience for me. I have tried, and failed, to work with someone whom I consider to be extremely difficult to work with. Lucky for me, many other people within my company consider this person to be extremely difficult to work with as well.

Let’s refer to this person as Karina for the remainder of this post. Karina is my boss. She’s been my boss for the past year. She’s essentially a newcomer to the company while I am old hat. New employee for a year but I’ve had a long history with the company as a freelancer for 7 years. I’ve seen many people come and go but have had the privilege of staying around.

Now, it’s time for me to depart. Read more…

Categories: Careers & Jobs, Personal

Job Description for My Role as Chief Home Operations Manager (CHOM)

September 14, 2011 1 comment

Image from apartmentwiz.com

In August, life handed me a job description for the important role I’ve been neglecting since I got married 6 years ago: Chief Home Operations Manager (CHOM).


Congratulations! Upon marriage, you filled a part-time position for Chief Home Operations Manager averaging 30 hours per week, including evening and weekend hours as needed. Schedule is flexible based on other pressing needs and hours required may fluctuate depending on life circumstances.

The apartment seeks an energetic, motivated individual who can work well alone, is adept at managing household duties, and does not mind delegating tasks to a significant other. Candidate is a self-starter who should function well in a quiet environment without children. Detail-oriented is a plus. Primary responsibilities of the position will be:

Image from realsimple.com

  • Caretaking of significant other as circumstances require
  • Cleaning the bathroom sink, toilet, and shower
  • Vacuuming the carpet
  • Swiffering the bathroom and kitchen tile floors
  • Washing dishes and putting clean ones away
  • Wiping down the kitchen countertops
  • Dusting
  • Taking out the trash and recycling
  • Overseeing the washing, drying, and folding of laundry
  • Organizing out-of-place items on surfaces or other disorganized items
  • Running errands outside of the household as required such as refilling stock of perishable and non-perishable groceries

Secondary activities include:

  • Creating edible meals (original, appetizing, or enticing are optional)
  • Scheduling of appointments and other activities
  • Managing the household budget including balancing checkbooks, paying bills, overseeing responsible spending, and quarterly reviews
  • Administration of insurance and medical claims
  • Adept negotiation with vendors to secure lower costs on utilities, credit cards, or other other services
  • Sifting through postal mail to determine junk and distribute important documents
  • Occasional reorganization of closets and cabinets to make sure all items are accessible, active, and not expired
  • Maintaining an pictorial archive of memorable moments

High school degree desired. BA or BS preferred. MA or PhD is ideal. 18 years life experience required; compassionate emotions, computer skills, and driving ability essential. Prior experience accomplishing household chores, using a calendar, reconciling a checkbook, and interest in home organization a plus. Good photography skills optional; will train on the job.

Wage begins at $0, regardless of experience. No reimbursement for travel. However, many hugs, kisses, and thanks are offered daily for a reward.

Affirmative Action Employer

Resume and Cover Letter: Starting Point; Interview: Selling Point

June 17, 2011 1 comment

Image from smallbusinessonlinecommunity.bankofamerica.com

I recently reviewed the resume that I used to obtain my current library position. After reviewing it, I realized that my resume wasn’t really all that impressive for position that I applied. What probably got the hiring manager (my current boss) to pick up the phone and call me for an interview was my cover letter.

The ad, from what I can recall, wanted an “enthusiastic, friendly, outgoing, and motivated” person to apply for the job. Trust me, I am all that and a bag of chips. (One of the few areas in which I am confident.) I had dreamed of being able to help patrons at the library desk since I was a library page at the tender age of 14. (smile) But my resume excelled in nothing but journalism and editorial experience. How in the world could I convince a hiring manager that someone who had a mostly solitary work experience background could translate into an energetic person who would “relish” (yes, I used that word) the opportunity to work with the public? Read more…

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