Friday, January 27, 2006

It's Official - I'm Insane

It's 10:34 on a Friday night as I start writing this post. I am at the office with two other adults. And 14 preteen girls. We're having a "Lock-In" for our Girl Scout troop since we couldn't afford to go camping. My broker was generous enough to allow us to use our meeting room at no charge.

One of our Moms had a taco bar catered from Qdoba restaurant. Mmmmm... Each girl had to bring a snack, a 2-liter drink, a sleeping bag or blanket, pillow, favorite CD, favorite movie, and a game or craft (if they volunteered). So far everything is going fairly well. One of my co-leaders has a table set up and is painting fingernails. The other is keeping the coffee flowing. Thank God! I just get aggravated when the girls get lazy. You have to ask them 20 times to pick up a mess. Some jump right up and help, but the majority just look at you like, "But I'm a princess and don't have to do anything." Grrrr. One of my prerequisites when the parents dropped off their daughters was to make them sign that they would stay and help clean the room before taking their girls home. I get VERY tired of staying an extra 30 minutes to clean up after these little piggies following our regular meetings.

But my favorite Smyrna police officer who happens to be an agent at my company may stop by and say hello if he gets our "zone" to patrol tonight. :-) I'd love it if he did! He's such an awesome guy! He was in the office earlier today (out of uniform). I poked him with my toe in his leg and said, "Can you arrest me for that?" He just laughed. So I (lightly) punched him in the shoulder and said, "How about for that?" His wife (another agent - one of the sweetest women ever) said, "It gets fun when he gets the handcuffs out!" HAHA!

Okay, wish me luck tonight. It'll be a LONG one. Parents have to be here at 8:00 a.m. for their daughters. That gives us an hour to clean everything.

... Later ... It's now 2:24 a.m. About half the girls are sleeping, but there are three who are beginning to annoy me. I think it's because I'm very sleepy and they won't settle down. I'm going to have to kick their butts if they run down the hallway one more time, or have to go to the bathroom again. Grrr... I can barely keep my eyes open.

k... I'm posting my photo here so I'll have one to add to my profile.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Karma - Is it for real?

I have enjoyed the new sitcom, "My Name is Earl". As you may or may not know, the storyline is based on Earl and his "bad karma." Earl figured out that if you do bad things to people, bad karma will follow you. So the show is about him rectifying mistakes and misdeeds he's done throughout his life so he can get his "good karma" back.

This weekend, I experienced firsthand bad karma vs. good karma. I sit once a week or so at a model home - a job that I don't get paid for unless a buyer comes in. I've been out there for over a year (one year, four months to be precise) and have only had one closing from it. I've stuck to it, though, because this builder is getting ready to offer affordable homes in what I believe will be a fantastic subdivision and I want in on those model homes.

So I go out to the model home on Saturday (when I'm scheduled) and another agent shows up. I took the high road and told her since she had to travel farther to come to the model home (she was there a day early - was supposed to be there Sunday), I'd let her have it Saturday, and I'd come back on Sunday to cover her shift. She agrees to this generous proposasl. Then she says (and I kid you not), "Ha-ha. I get the sunny day and you'll be out here tomorrow in the nasty rain." Now that's BAD karma on her part.

Sunday. I go out to the model home. It's raining cats and dogs, lightning, windy, nasty day. At about 3:00 p.m., this little couple walks in (a mother and son). They want to look at a couple of homes in the back (the more affordable homes), so I drive back there and show them around. Them: "We want this one. Can we write a contract today?"
ME: "Yes ma'am, we can. Are you working with another agent?"
Them: "No. One agent we tried to work with never called us back."
ME: "Have you talked with a lender?"
Them: "No. We pay cash."
ME: "Great... ."
Them: "We want to close in 9 days."
ME: "Please sign here."

(It was a bit more complicated than that, but....) Now I have another closing at the end of this month! Yay me! Yay them! We're all happy! I'm heading out to the model home in about 35 minutes to get them to finish signing some miscellaneous paperwork.

In other news, my mother-in-law is back home. So far so good. Fingers are crossed. :-)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Depressing News

My day has been filled with depressing news. I found out my MIL is coming home tomorrow. Weeping. Weeping. I don't blame her - I'd want to come home too if I was gone for over a month. I'm sure she is sick of being at her sister's house, but I was still hopeful to have another couple of weeks.

Richard and I have been worried sick about his best friend who lives in Atlanta. We haven't heard from him in three days and last time Richard spoke with him, he was absolutely stoned on his prescription meds his doctor is pushing. Well he called us this morning. He's been in jail for two days - was hauled in for DUI after running into someone's car. Richard is going to talk with him tonight and see if he will consider rehab. He really needs it.

Otherwise, I've been helping some new agents in my office. I was asked to mentor one by my broker, and the other came to me for help. I don't see a prob with helping both and hope my broker feels the same way.

Richard took Melissa to a birthday party/sleepover. On his way home, he's picking up Hillary from another sleepover. I wish they could have both been gone to a sleepover on the SAME NIGHT. Sigh.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Girl Scout Cookies

Hooray! I've finally finished entering my troop's cookie orders online. And it isn't even midnight (my deadline). My girls didn't do too great this year... I didn't push because I just don't give a crap. So much of it already goes to the national and regional office, then they've set up a new rule so that we stand to lose even more money per box that I care if they sold 200 boxes or 0 boxes. Some sold 0. One sold over 200. Between my girls, we sold about 100.

I had a big meeting today at the office, then after I helped another agent from our Gallatin do some computer work. She was so sweet - hugged and hugged me for setting some basic preferences that she had no clue how to do. I love helping people when they are truly appreciative.

Tomorrow I'll work for awhile, then have to pick up Hillary from school to get her eye exam. Afterwards, we'll come home and then the family is going to the OUTBACK for dinner. Ivy! We got gift certificates from Mom and Dad for Christmas, so are going to use them.

Hmmm-kay. I got nothing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Not Enough for a Snow Cone

For the first time since we've lived here, it SNOWED! There may have been one other dusting last year, but it wasn't enough to cancel school like today's snow. Actually, it was the ice that closed school. At 5:00 a.m., the announcement was that school was being delayed by two hours. To my joy, they changed it to CLOSED shortly thereafter. :::::::happy happy::::::::

I went to the office for floor time early and the sweet, considerate guy agents put my new office chair together, scooted my desk against the wall, and hauled down two filing cabinets (one was very heavy). I was so relieved and grateful they did this. After that, I came home and picked up Hillary & Melissa for lunch. We took their framed school pics and the "money tree" Richard brought me as an office warming gift. Lunch was delish - Rocking Chair Cafe at Gil's Family Center in Smyrna. It's a "Meat and Three" as they say around these here parts. I had never heard that expression until about a month ago. Melissa especially seemed to love the food there - she ate everything but the plate. I think she would've licked it clean had we not dragged her away.

After lunch, we went to work and the girls helped me lug the rest of the stuff downstairs. Why does it take so much longer to unpack than it does to pack? But the office is just about done now and I LOVE IT. I left room on my wall for more awards ::nudge nudge wink wink::. I really really hope I get the Rookie of the Year. I know it's so 6th grade, but I still crave it. There's only one other agent who might get it over me, but I don't think so. I'm always there to help other agents - for example while moving today, I also helped another agent design his new business card online. I sent him to the place I got mine: When I got mine in December, it was selected as "Design of the Week" - a great way to feed my conceit!

I brought the girls home at 3:30, then had to be back at 4:00 for more floor time. Unfortunately, it was uneventful. Got home and the idiot dogs had gotten out the front door. Melissa got Cocoa inside (she was attacked by the enthusiasm of Jack, our neighbor's Jack Russell the Terrorist - aka Kangaroo Jack). Melissa has a couple of big scratches on her leg. I told Richard I want him to talk with our neighbor about keeping his dog from running loose. As I drove up to my driveway, I saw the other dog Libby furiously digging a hole in my other neighbor's front yard. That damn dog was neck-deep in that hole and she's a decent sized mutt! She stopped, looked up at me in the car, obviously thought "Screw her! I can do what I want." and then turned back to her digging. Unfortunately, I was on the phone and very inconsiderately yelled "NO!" at the dog. I feel embarrassed about that because I yell "NO!" in a very ugly voice and it probably shattered my caller's eardrum. We ended the conversation, but I did call back to apologize.

Other than that, I've still been on the phone with girls this evening reminding them to turn in their cookie orders. I have to have the orders entered in the Council's computer by midnight tomorrow and still have three out. It's just another thing to add to my "to do" list.

As for tomorrow, it'll be a new day. I'll try very hard not to yell "No!" at my dog while talking with someone on the phone. Arg. I have a meeting in the morning, then hope to meet up with the new agent I'm mentoring at some point. I plan to come home early to be here when Melissa gets home since Richard is still working in Nashville.

I'm close to bedtime, so I'll sign off and go dream of more snow!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Brrrrr.... I'm COLD today

I am usually sweating like a horse walking by a glue factory, but I am FREEZING today. Someone told me that we're expected to get snow on Monday or Tuesday night, so I'm bracing myself to get colder.

Richard broke it to the kids today that Grandma will probably move in with her sister if anything happens to her sister's husband. They didn't seem too terribly upset. My mother-in-law has lived with us for 11 years this month. I love her, I miss her, I enjoy talking with her. But I'm ready for her to move out. Our house has been so much happier with her gone these last 3 1/2 weeks. I think it's because she's always so NEGATIVE about everything. And it's always all about her. For example, after my sister's husband died three years ago I commented that I was sad that my nieces and nephew had to grow up without their Daddy. My MIL's reply, "Well at least they had their Dad longer than I had MINE." Excuse me? What the fuck?!?! I think a reply such as, "I know how they feel. It's going to be hard." would have been much more appropriate. So that's why I've enjoyed her absence.

Our little puppy is the bone Nazi. If the older dog has a chew bone, the little one steals it from her. If she can't get it back, she barks and growls until she does. I have to put her in her puppy cage to give Libby a chance to chew on a bone. But she doesn't fight over food, so there's no food aggression (thank God!).

I did an open house today and not one single customer walked in. I sent 400 postcards to an apartment, advertised in the Tennessean, and put it on No one. Nada. Zip. Nothing. That sucks. I think I've spent $400 on trying to sell this house. Anyone want to buy a GREAT house for a very affordable $158,900??? Let me know!

I did start to move offices, but only brought one box downstairs. I don't want to do more until someone helps me put together the new office chair and move my desk (I can't get it pushed against the wall by myself). I also need help to move a filing cabinet down. I sure can't do that alone. :-(

I've babbled long enough, so will end your misery now!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

What Leader Are You?

I took this test that Joel had on his blog. Good times!

I don't think anyone can say that I am emaciated, though. Everything else is accurate! ;-)

My Big Fat Geek Ego

I couldnt' think of anything clever to rhyme with Wedding, so I cut to the chase and acknowledge it's my ego at work. About four years ago, I left a job I'd had for 15 years because the boss was a power-abusing, hateful, unfair bitch. After years of threats to be fired for reasons such as I took a lunch break once, the constant nagging, the constant belittling, the standing over my back telling me what to say while I was having a phone conversation, etc., a straw broke this camel's back.

Except for the boss who had two walls of windows in a private office, the rest of us were in cubicle hell. We had two offices open up (Finally!). Instead of giving them to someone based on salary (me), length of service (me), employment classification (me), she made us draw from a cup. Two slips of paper said office, two said cubicle. I refused to draw, and in fact, told her I thought her "fair" way to pick offices was grossly unfair. The remaining paper in the cup (mine that I didn't draw) said cubicle. So one guy who'd been there 1 year got an office and another woman who'd been there 2 years got one. After that, I got my ass out of there and into another job where people would actually value your contribution to a company.

Bringing the story back to the present, my broker offered me a private office this week. There are three of us agents who work pretty closely together and one said he didn't want to move because he enjoyed the camaraderie (is that spelled right?) of the upstairs three. Well, I took the office. Now these other two dudes are teasingly calling me a traitor. But I don't care. My broker said it's rare that offices downstairs open up, and I like having the "prestige" if you will of having a private office. Besides my old office was across from the lady's bathroom which could get pretty icky at times. So I'm heading upstairs to pack my office and am giving up the tightness of the friendship with two other agents. But I think we'll remain friends and continue to work closely.

The moral of this story is for any bosses reading this: find it in yourself to be the one to make a decision if you have an office to dole out. Don't make your employees draw from a hat - that's assinine, cowardly, and your employees won't respect you ever again. You will always be labeled a loser.

Friday, January 13, 2006

LaVergne Lake SUCKS

I had lunch with my friend Amy this week and we've hatched a plan. We started discussing how much we HATE the name "LaVergne Lake Elementary School" which some misguided decision-maker selected as the new name for the new school to be built next year. I was actually consulted about the name last year by our wonderful county commissioner, Doug Shafer. He sadly reported to me, though, that all my ideas for a school name were poo-poo'd because these chicks on the committee (a 3-person committee if I remember) were determined to include the name "LaVergne" in the school name. How they came up with LaVergne Lake, I'll never know. It's stupid. There is no LaVergne Lake or Lake LaVergne. There is Percy Priest Lake, but there's already a Percy Priest School.

I really liked four of my suggestions:

  • Stones River Elementary
  • Lake Forest Elementary
  • Sand Hill Elementary, and
  • Oprah Winfrey Elementary

I felt like the first three actually represented our community (unlike the fictitious LaVergne Lake). But I liked Oprah Winfrey since her career kicked off here in the Nashville area and since she's a philanthropist who might think about helping to support the school (since no one else supports LaVergne schools) (a big sarcastic shout-out to Bridgestone Firestone for dumping Waldron Elementary as a sponsor and opting to sponsor a school OUTSIDE of the town you're located in - asshats).

So saying all this, I asked James Evans, the PR director of the county schools, what it would take to change the name. He said we'd need to start a petition, and if we got several hundred signatures, the school board would take a vote and okay the change. So let's all figure out how we can get a petition started to change the name to anything except "laVergne Lake". Any thoughts?