August

July was a crazy month for me. I began my job as a child protective services assessor for my state. The first 12 weeks of the job are strictly training and shadowing other workers. Plus, a majority of the training is in our state capital in an effort to centralize everything. On the whole the centralization of the training is a good thing, but it means a 3.5 our commute for me and it is becoming harder and harder to remember where I have been and where I am supposed to be!

Of course, this job came at a point where I had made the decision to put social work behind me and move into librarianship, but things seem to be working out the way they should. I am a big believer in things will always work out the way they are supposed to, but the path to get to that point may be hard, frustrating and confusing. That has certainly been true for me in my employment quest since being laid off last October!

I don’t have a lot to blog about since I sit in a classroom for training most of the time, but I thought I better do a check-in for the 3 faithful readers I have. 😉  I started with the easiest section to update: Book Bag and found out I’ve read a total of 39 books already this year! Go me! Here’s what my August looks like:

August 3-7: Training in state capital ALL WEEK

August 3: Started a new class at JessicaSprague.com on using Photoshop brushes. I will be posting my work on my art page.

August 5: Niece’s 4 year birthday. Ahh!

August 6: My parent’s anniversary- they have been married for 32 years and have been great role models for me. It is also my sister-in-law’s birthday.

August 7: Julie & Julia the movie starts! RR – we need to make plans!

August 8-9: Our library is having a book sale M. and I plan to attend. M. is hoping to scope out some cheap war books that he will probably never read. I will just look for some interesting books at a good price.

August 10-14: I get to work in my home county ALL WEEK and sleep in my own bed!

August 17-21: Back up to the state capital <SIGH>

August 17: New season of Flipping Out on Bravo!

August 23: Nephew’s 7th birthday

August 24-28: A mixed week of in county and at state capital

August 31: My little brother’s birthday. Happy Birthday J. Back up in the state capital…
And, just for fun, here’s a photo I took recently. What do you think it is?

Can you guess what this is?

Can you guess what this is?

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Curious as a Cat #176

It seems like forever since I’ve done a Curious as a Cat meme!

1) Describe the worst job you’ve ever had? And your best?
I’ve felt pretty good and accomplished about most of the jobs I have had, but the worst was probably a hotel maid for four years while I was in high school. Drudge work is never fun, plus some catty, snotty girls from my high school worked there as well. One day I was approached by our supervisor and was told that one of these girls claimed I had cussed her out in front of hotel guests. Not only was this totally untrue, it was ridiculous as well since I really was not a cusser. I still have no idea why she decided to lie about this.

Even though I complained about it a lot, my best job thus far was probably my last one. Most of the people I worked with were terrific. Plus, I was in a line of work that helped bring families together. I am thinking the job I am currently training for is going to be pretty good too, but it’s too early to tell.

2) Name the most terrifying moment of your life so far.
I think of myself as fairly fearless  😉
But I can think of a couple times I was terrified. One Halloween when I was young but what I considered too old for trick or treating, I was home alone and someone was shining a flashlight around the edges of our yard. Typing it now, it doesn’t sound too scary, but I had myself pretty spooked. I think I even called my best friend at the time to tell her about the spooky light.

The other time was a different kind of scary. My first year of college was at a school 5 hours away from home. I spent a lot of time in my dorm room, being a very shy freshman. My connection to the world outside was the internet. I met the guys I dated that year online, including M. Because internet dating didn’t seem to really equate to real life, I ended up dating a couple guys at the same time. They both thought we had an exclusive relationship and they eventually found out about each other in one of the chat rooms I frequented. Facing them was a pretty scary prospect, but I ended up making the right choice in the end.

3) What are you wearing right now?
My zip-up terrycloth robe. M. calls it wearing my “towel.”

4) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
Ahh, relaxation! I could use some of that right now with all this training and driving!

The man and the fondue set

Yesterday was my first day actually in the office I will be working out of. After meeting people, it was a lot of sitting, listening, organizing my desk, you know, the first day stuff. I met my supervisor and she is great. Now I have to drive back up to our state capital for more training up there and won’t be back in county for three days. The entire 12 weeks of my training will be this back and forth stuff.

After work I made a run to Target to pick up a couple items I will need before I make that drive back up north. I ended up in a checkout line behind a husky guy. Because it was getting off work time, the lines were somewhat long and I had plenty of time to examine the contents of his cart. Among the other sundry items, he had a big box containing a chocolate fondue set. But then, in the little child seat section of the cart he had a hardback book on transforming your metabolism. Chocolate fondue and metabolic transformation? The two did not seem to go together.

So, I had just had a full day of training and my mind was working on the dilemma of why husky guy was buying a chocolate fondue set and a book on slimming down at the same time. Husky guy must have had this dilemma working around in his brain too because when he finally got up to the cashier, he handed over the book and told her he had decided not to purchase it. I guess the chocolate won.

Photo Editing: Frame-ups & Special Effects (Days 4,5,6)

Here are the photos I completed for the last few days of the free class I am taking on JessicaSprague.com.

using clipping masks; adding texture and frames

using clipping masks; adding texture and frames

combining techniques

combining techniques

The first day

I had my first day of training for my new job today. Yesterday I made the almost 4 hour drive up to our state capital, found my hotel, hauled all my junk up to the 3rd floor, did some Zumba and then crashed early since I had to get up early (4:30 am home time) to make it downtown in time.

I made it downtown with no problems, but then had a bit of trouble finding the parking garage I was supposed to use. After some stressful circling in downtown big-city traffic, I found the garage, but pulled into the wrong entrance lane. The lane I pulled into needed a government-issued badge. I ended up backing out onto a very busy street – and I’m not all that great at backing up in the first place.

After the driving/parking debacle, the day went fairly well, although it was LONG. And not all that exciting. It was all the first day, general HR stuff – forms, benefit review, sexual harassment training. The highlight was the swearing-in as a state employee.

In the job offer letter I received it  was stated that we’d have this swearing-in the first day and we were to wear “professional business attire” because we’d also have our picture taken with a judge. So I wore my cream colored suit which is pretty professional and put-together looking. Apparently, the interpretation of “professional business attire” varies greatly. We got a chance to check out each person’s outfit as they received their certificate and had their photo taken. Of the 30 or so state employees being trained, only a handful wore suits. Most wore what I would call “business casual” – khakis, polos, nice blouses, etc.  Then there was the handful that wore some interesting “business attire.”

One lady was wearing some denim outfit. All stonewashed and elastic-waisted. Oh, there was also a lot of flowery embroidery. Another lady appeared to have done nothing with her hair this morning (perhaps she had to get up even earlier than I to make it on time). Her outfit was made up of clothing that was too big for her and made her look decidedly slouchy. And the best “business attire” was the bright pink sweats and yellow polka dotted shirt. All the guys looked pretty put-together, even the ones not in suits.

After the day was over, I followed the herd back out to the parking garage, and then had some more downtown driving confusion before finally making it back to my hotel. Exhausted!

The rest of the week we’re training in a facility closer to the hotel, so hopefully the driving stress will be eliminated. We are also going to start focusing on the actual job of a family case manager. Now my social worker education needs to be reactivated…

Time for some tea and then early bedtime!

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