Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Okay, so apparently, I am The Place To Be at work. I don't know how this happens. Lemme tell you a little story.

The reason I have a hard time getting to my regular auditing at work is both because my daily processing has increased exponentially since I started two years ago and because every five minutes or so, someone else needs something. Where is this? Where can I find that? Can you sign this for me? Can you look in the computer for? How do I? Do you have? Can I can I how do I gimme gimme gimme.

Seriously. Even my supervisor commented on it when she came over to ask me a quick question and took two hours to get to it, thanks to all the interruptions. Yes, and that she was asking me a question is nicely ironic.

At any rate, our yearly audit starts Monday, and I asked said supervisor last week if I could lock myself in the conference room to audit as soon as we got the list of charts to pull. She said absolutely. In fact, she'd come over and help me pull.

Of course, I already had them pulled and started by the time she got there, but the offer was appreciated.

Now, if I could have stayed just me locked in the room with no interruptions, I would have been done with my part of the audit by noon. Maybe 1:00, as some of the charts needed work. But, since my supervisor (who wasn't my supervisor this time last year, keep in mind) came to sit with me and wasn't as familiar with our chart order as she'd like, I slowed down a bit to describe and explain. Not much, but definitely noticeable.

And then a caseworker joined us, wanting to "help". I gave her a chart I'd already done, as -- no offense -- the caseworkers really have no idea how to audit, and let her play. And then another caseworker joined us. And then we got the billing sheets and five more caseworkers joined us.

Now, the original idea was that I'd get all the charts audited for content, and then know, NOT TODAY...the caseworkers would audit the billing. By 3:00 in the afternoon, the conference room that had started out such a good place to hide and work had office all over again.





And it's useless to point out to everybody that this is hardly the locked-door isolation I'd been promised, as they were all "just trying to help". The fact that they kept interrupting for me to explain this billing code or that entry or why does this say I need to do this when and and and and....

Yeah. Over their heads.

So, I stayed late and finished the last couple of charts when everyone finally left me the hell alone. It, again, took me three times as long to get something done because of all the interruptions. I really, really, really need my own office. With a door. And a padlock to which only I have the key.

And no phone.

Man...I am so tired....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Okay, so I don't officially do the Thursday Thirteen lists like my beloved sister. Mostly, it's because I wouldn't have time to run around to everyone else's blogs to see their lists and comment, and it's rude to expect people to do that for me when I can't do it for them.

However, I do have a Thursday Thirteen list for everyone today. It's called:

Thirteen Signs of Being Too Relied Upon at Work

1 - You call in sick Monday morning because you're throwing up and still end up putting in 8 hours when you go in anyway later that day because it's two weeks before the annual state audit.

2 - The providers all panic because you're ill Monday morning and start calling your house to make sure you aren't quite dead yet. And to make sure you are "resting". Call. To make sure you're resting.

3 - Everyone winces when you walk in Monday noonish, but no one says a word about how bad you look because they're afraid you'll leave again and there are only two weeks until said annual audit.

4 - You receive a "Thank God you're here!" card Tuesday morning when you drag in again, stomach protesting.

5 - You finish a two-week 100% audit (on one provider) in 6 days...and still have 2 more to go...and no one doubts you can do it on top of all the daily billing/filing/fire-out-putting.

6 - You manage to get four providers' charts (five for each provider) in order on the correct day, despite it not being your responsibility and in spite of not getting the e-mail reminding the providers of said responsibility.

7 - You just finished a two-week 100% audit (on one provider) in 6 days...and everyone asks why you haven't brought cookies in almost two weeks.

8 - The secretary finishes any statement or question beginning with the words, "I know you're busy, but--"

9 - Your "lunch hour" -- euphamistically speaking, of course -- consists of snatching three bites of a sandwich while answering eighteen questions from three different departments, signing in a half-inch worth of filing, agreeing to help out with four difficult phone calls, and writing a page-long e-mail about a provider's ill-timed rude behavior toward the secretary. (True story. Did that today. I kept count.)

10 - You go to the bathroom, and someone sees your empty desk and freaks out.

11 - You return from the bathroom and get a talking-to for scaring someone like that. (Again, true story.)

12 - You're told, only half-jokingly, that you're not allowed to be sick for another two weeks, at least, and that you can't be sick for another two weeks after that until things get back to normal. When asking, again half-jokingly, about vacation, you are laughed at.

13 - Your supervisor calls you up out of the blue while you're in the middle of three different tasks and gives you her home and cell phone numbers, then casually asks for yours. This always means trouble. It means you're "on call". Never wise. Trust me.

Now, don't take this that I'm complaining, per se. It's never fun to be the records person at audit time, especially when you've done what I did -- made yourself indispensible to too many departments. It's because I cheerfully take on other duties that have nothing to do with my actual job. Because I like a challenge enough to want to learn new things which add to my overall responsibilities. And because I can't stand watching someone else flounder when I can help.

So my woes are my own fault. And I do find them amusing most of the time, even when I'm swimming in too much to do...but sometimes...I wish I weren't so damn versatile.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


As I have trained myself, I've allowed a couple of days to pass between The Experience and The Write-up of Said Experience. I am, of course, talking about the watching of Transformers and the reviewing of it.

See, I've found that if I review immediately upon getting home from a movie, I don't really have anything constructive to say. I usually just gush. I love movies. Even bad ones, so long as they don't completely crap all over the credibility line. I mean, I'll buy a lot. I can so suspend disbelief right out of this world. But really. There is a line, and some have crossed it.

At any rate, I've just learned to let a movie sit a few days. Watch it again, maybe. Read some reviews to see if I jibe with any of them.

Then, I'll work up a review in my mind. Then, I'll sit down and look for links and even images, on occasion. Then, I'll say what I really think.

Unfortunately, in this instance, what I really think is pretty much the same as what I thought upon exit from the theater. This movie RULES.

I can't help it. I was of the Transformers generation, but I'm flexible enough to think the new designs are how the old designs should have been. They're more practical, I guess, even though they're more complex. They look like moving parts, like interlocking pieces, like if you took an Autobot apart piece by piece, you could actually put it back together again as a truck. I love it.

I'm also easily entertained enough to get a kick out of the dialogue and some of the visual humor. Apparently, a lot of people were really bothered by the scene where Sam's parents get into a low-scale disagreement about masturbation, but it didn't bother me. I thought it was a hilarious look at how parents approach that particular discussion. Sure, Sam's a little old to talk about jerkin' the gerkin with his mom, but his dad's reaction is spot-on. It's a guy thing. Heh.

As far as the reviewers go, I've read the good and the bad, the positive and the negative, and I think this is the best. It comes closest to pegging my own feelings on the matter. Sure, this flick probably shouldn't be as rioting good fun as it is, but I love it anyway. I can't wait to watch it again. Seriously.

Pure entertainment. God love it. Bring it on.

And just for the record, I never watched Pearl Harbor because I don't do dramas, and I severely disliked Armageddon except for Bruce Willis, but I got a huge kick out of The Rock. So sue me.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Okay, now I want a little dangly bumble bee thingy that says Bee-Otch at the bottom to join my Chiefs fuzzy dice in dangling from my rear view. Seriously.

Yes, just watched Transformers. Yes, loved it. I mean, how could I not? I didn't even care what it was about when I first heard they were doing a Transformers movie. I just said, "I'm there." No questions asked. I am so easy to please.

Saw the trailer, and that became, "I am SO there."

Saw the movie? Yeah. "I was SO there! Dude! I'm seriously!"

No, I won't do a plot rundown here. I will, however, step outside my usual box and say that anyone who doesn't like this movie is a spoil-sport who either never watched the Transformers as a kid or takes themselves entirely too seriously. It's fun.

So, if you go, be prepared to enjoy the hell out of yourself.

And...though I'm a Mustang girl through and through...*sheepish*...I gotta say that that Camaro looked pretty sweet. Especially before it upgraded. *nods* What can I say? I'm a sucker for a well-muscled rustbucket. Especially when they rumble like that.

Oh, yeah. BUMBLEBEE is the new LOVE. Ya'll know I don't say that lightly.

My only regret is that, tomorrow, on the drive back to the hometown for the weekend, I'm gonna be disappointed when no Decepticons touch down on old 71 and my Taurus doesn't transform to fight them. *sigh*

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Dear Charlie:

You know, if you ask me right out if I like country music, my answer will be a resounding NO. I like rock, thank you very much. I like hard rock, heavy metal, classic rock, alternative, even some grunge. Hell, I'll even listen to rap in a pinch, but only Eminem. God, that little guy is funny.

But country? Hell no.

Except for Willie Nelson. And Hank Williams. Oh, and Hank Williams, Jr., of course. And Johnny Cash. And Charlie Pride. Love Charlie Pride. Merle Haggard. And Randy Travis. And the Oak Ridge Boys. And Alabama. And the Charlie Daniels Band. And Clint Black and George Strait. And some Garth Brooks. Little Patsy Cline. Dolly Parton. Etc.



But see, there's this big swath of country music that I don't like. A whole generation there. And I think it's all Shania Twain's fault. Isn't that weird?

I mean, seriously. Someone asked me just the other day if I liked country, and I replied, "God, no!" without skipping a beat. And then I remembered that I got my friends listening to country in high school. I won a singing competition imitating Patsy Cline, for God's sake. I actually love country music.

Real country music.

See, that's the difference right there. I love real rock, too. But put on some of that girl-group-bubble-gum-pop crap, and I'll turn the station faster than I'm driving. Britney Spears? Please. Light doesn't move faster than my finger on that button when that little tart comes on.

And it's the same with country. I like a lot of country. A broad spectrum. But you get that recycled, wanna-be pop country booming out the speakers? Pass. And no line-dancing, either. I got enough of that crap in high school and the first year of college. Geez.

But you put on some John Anderson? I'm there. I'll even sit through some Toby Keith.

But the all-time BEST country song ever done? The one I'll stop in a store to listen to all the way through?

The Mississippi Squirrel Revival. Frackin priceless, man.

Ironically enough, there's a rock counterpart to that. A song that, no matter when, no matter where, I will stop stock-still to listen.

Everybody Was Kung-fu Fighting.



Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My Dearest Charles:

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

I love this holiday. Not only for the potential of blowing stuff up, but because it's patriotic. In a world that's increasingly more integrated, it's becoming harder and harder to announce how proud you are to be an American without catching flack from other points of the globe.

But you know what? I don't care. I love my country. I couldn't be me anywhere else. I don't love everything we do or everyone in charge, but does anyone, really? Can any country claim to be perfect? No. My country is as good as it gets, and I love it.

And Independence Day? Well, hell. That's just got me written all over it.

Now I'm gonna go blow stuff up. Woot!