Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Change of Scenery

I sit here typing this on my new couch and in my new apartment.  I've been here a little over a week and (for the most part) everything is unpacked. Oh sure, I have towers of boxes in my spare bedroom...buuuut I don't have to look at those, lol.  One of my bookshelves didn't survive the move and I still need to get a dining room table, but both of those aren't at the forefront of my mind right now.

No, I'm not going to talk about it.  Yes, I'm fine.  We're on good terms.  Anything else isn't your business, so there.

Ben is acclimating well.  He is currently laying on the carpet next to the coffee table upside down asleep.  He sleeps in bed with me every night and is a total bed hog :)  I think he likes having the run of the place.  With all the boxes and random pieces of furniture around, it's like one big cat playground in here.

I miss my dad and stepmom though :( I miss the dogs.  I miss Monkey (one of Susan's cats).  I don't miss Fu (Susan's other cat) because he's an asshole.  A cute, plush, loud asshole.

I'm 15 minutes (ish, depending on traffic) from work now.  Holy balls, it's nice to be this close to work.  Yay more sleep!  I love work.  I love that every day I learn something new and, in turn, I get to help others learn something new as well.  I am incredibly blessed that I get to work with such amazing people.  It's an amazing melting pot of different people, but I wouldn't trade them or what I'm doing for anything right now :)

It's bedtime for this Bonzo.  Hopefully, I'll start updating this more regularly.  We'll see.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Spreadsheet and Folio: Part Two

Ok everyone, where was I?  I had survived my two phone interviews and had been asked to come in for two different face-to-face interviews the week I returned from visiting California.  Fast-forward to this past Monday (July 22nd) evening.  After work, I went and helped out with my friends' kids and got home around 9:00ish.  I was exhausted, but I had to do my interview homework.  Homework? Yes, homework.  The sales job wanted me to bring in a typed-up research assignment.  This particular company is a logistics company that is essentially the middleman between trucking companies and the companies that make whatever products.  It wanted me to find three different carriers (one each that was primarily flatbed, dry goods, and refrigeration) with more than 50 trucks, headquarters address, and phone number.  Not terribly hard, but still a pain when I was super tired, and had to get up early to get ready for my other interview.

I found everything I needed and eventually got to bed pretty late (~midnight) when I had to get up at 5.  Not fun at all.  I was worried I was going to get up late or leave the house late, but I was fine.  I got down to Pasadena for the first interview of the day 40 minutes before my scheduled interview time.  Since I didn't want to be "that" person, I drove around and found a gas station parking lot to kill some time on my phone waiting.  I figured 15 minutes early was good.  I was so nervous.  The drive down was fine (about 45 minutes from my house) and the gas station waiting was fine, but once I pulled into the parking lot and started gathering my purse and folio (which, by the way, Andrew's awesome sister and brother-in-law gave me for Christmas, and was perfect!), I was inwardly a nervous wreck.  I could feel my hands starting to shake as I took the keys out of the ignition.

Don't forget, this is the job I really wanted.  I wanted this job because I felt like I could do a really great job at it.  At Irelan Hargis, I created and implemented their entire closed file network system, helping them go from storing physical documents in storage rooms to (almost) completely digital.  The job I wanted was similar, but also drastically different.  Not a law firm and I wasn't doing the actual scanning.  The company is an engineering consulting company that does inspections of and creates risk management plans for assets at oil and engineering companies around the world.  The job I was applying for looks at the scanned documents from the inspectors, extracts important data from each doc, compiles the data into a streamlined fashion, names and organizes the documents.  I was intrigued.  It sounded like it was something I could reasonably do, but also, was foreign enough to where I wasn't going to get bored anytime soon.  I wanted a challenge.  I love learning and this sounded like the next step I wanted to take.

When I first got there, I was taken into a conference room for preliminary testing before I had my interview.  I took an abbreviated Wonderlic test (only 15 questions, 7 minutes) and stumbled on the last math question.  I hate math, but whatever.  I figured I got everything else right, so I didn't worry about that part.  After the Wonderlic test, I was given a laptop with a Word doc open that was a set of instructions.  I had 20 minutes to finish the tasks.  It was super easy.  Copy some folders to the desktop, in folder 1, make a new folder, move file "aiudgf982etrksjf" into it (there were about 50 files with all similar gibberish file names and I had to pick the right one), open the file and rename it with the revision date found in the doc, open folder 2, make 3 new folders (receipts/invoices, inspection reports, drawings), open the 3 docs in folder 2 and place them in the corresponding new folders.  The last task was to recreate a simple table in Excel that was on the Word Doc.  Thinking back and I literally just now as I'm typing this, I realize I probably could have copy and pasted it...oh well.  I legitimately recreated it to a T with time to spare, even with the battery dying on the old ass laptop I was using.

Then came the interview.  Even though I was nervous, I wasn't as nervous as when I first walked in...if that makes any sense.  As I was waiting after the testing, I managed not to psych myself out, which, honestly, is a massive improvement for me.  The interview was pretty standard.  He asked me open-ended questions that specifically pertained to me, which allowed me to kind of ramble (in a good way) and not have to give boring stock interview question answers.  I was able to describe the work I do at Irelan Hargis, how I started the closed filing system, and what I'm doing right now as a file clerk.  

Like I said in my previous post, I was able to use my Kappa Delta leadership experience in my interview.  The interviewer asked me questions about my various experiences on my resume and I got to talk extensively about KD.  Between talking about how I became treasurer and VP - Standards and all my various duties (including being everyone's favorite person before and after events), I think he was pretty impressed.  For everyone out there doubting right now, you try being the Standards chair of a frat or sorority at a dry college campus and then try to tell me it's not that hard.  
After the interview, I asked what the next step was and they said I should I hear from someone in the next few days.  As I walked back to my car, I instantly started second guessing everything I had said in the interview.  Crap, I didn't ask enough questions, did me rambling about KD hurt my chances, did I seem too nervous?  All I could do was go home.  There was nothing else in my power to help me get that job.  It was a waiting game from then on.
Then came the next interview.  Well...

It wasn't enough time.  I woke up nauseous and even more tired than I was before.  I made the executive decision not to go to the second interview.  I didn't want that job.  I'm not a sales oriented person.  I don't want to work a job based solely on commission.  So I didn't go.  
It turns out.  I made the right choice :)  Typically, I don't like being woken up from naps.  I mean, seriously, who does?  So when my phone started ringing AND it was a weird number, I was pissed.  After my eyes came back into focus, I realized the number was from the area of my first job interview.  I cleared my throat and answered.  It was the awesome woman who had phone interviewed me!  I didn't get a chance to meet her during my face-to-face that morning so she was calling to touch base with me and see how I felt the interview went.  I told her that I thought that it went well.  I like Taylore and Pedro and really enjoyed the young vibe of the company in general.  She said she was glad that I liked the company and thought the interview went well because she had spoken with Pedro (the person who interviewed me) and he thought the interview went well too and the company wanted to extend the job to me.

I got a job.  I got a job!  I GOT A JOB!!!! I was happy and excited.  I still am happy and excited!  My last day at my old job is August 9th.  It's going to be extremely bittersweet.  I have learned so much and gained invaluable skills from working there over the years.  I'm going to miss everyone too :(  
But, more than anything, I'm excited!  I have a job!  I know that most people wouldn't spend two giant blog posts breaking down their quest for a particular job, but I'm not most people.  I have had a really rough year and, if I get down to the nitty-gritty, a rough few years.  I've felt a few times like I hit rock bottom, felt so bad that nothing ever seemed like it would ever be good again.  This past spring, as I fell my furthest and decided to leave grad school, I realized that "rock bottom" didn't have to such a bad thing.  Life could only get better from where I was.  My awesome counselor helped me get to that point.  Leaving school was the best decision for me and it's only going up from here.  THAT'S why me getting a job is such a big deal. 
Of course, now I just have everything else to worry, I'll just enjoy this while I can :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Spreadsheet and Folio: Part One

B*sigh* This past week has felt really long, really short, and really busy.  A week ago, I got back from California where I spent time with my mom, stepdad, stepbrothers, and the cutest, sweetest nephews a girl could ask for.  While this is a tangent from my original train of thought, I definitely contemplated taking some stowaways on to my plane.  I miss those little guys, but I digress.  Between traveling, getting back to work, job interviews, and helping out friends with their kids here at home in the evenings, I'm a little tired this week.

At work, I came back to a boatload of newly closed case files that all need to get scanned into the system.  It wouldn't be so bad if one of them alone didn't have six boxes...but I'll get a lot of it done before the new girl starts.  I don't want to leave her with as big of a mess that I was left with.  It'll probably be a manageable mess :)

You probably read "job interviews" in the first paragraph and are wondering why I haven't talked about them yet.  Since I got back to Houston, I have known that I was not going to be staying at Irelan Hargis forever.  I was either moving to wherever Andrew got a job once that happened or getting a permanent, full-time job in Houston if Andrew moved here.  Because I hate not having a plan, I started looking for jobs right away at the beginning of the summer.  I poured over Craigslist, Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder.  I made a spreadsheet of all the jobs I applied to.  Forty made it on the list and at least 10-20 others did not because of applying through Craigslist.  Needless to say, I applied for a few jobs in the past few months.  You're probably asking yourself, "Lizzy, what do you want to do with your life?" and "What sort of jobs did you apply for?" In response to those questions, I say, "STOP PRESSURING ME!" and "Clerical type jobs."Out of all of those, I got 3-4 confirmed denials.  Straight-up "thank you for applying, but no thank you."  I wish I had gotten more of those.  Knowing those said "no" meant I didn't have to wonder and could just move on to the next one.

A turning point came at the beginning of July.  The day before I left for my 4th of July weekend vacation in Austin with Andrew I did my daily ritual of perusing the job sites and applying for applicable jobs that I had a chance at getting.  I don't remember all of the jobs I applied for that day, but the two that stand out are the ones I got contacted for interviews! Insert "Muppet Flail" here!  I finally had good news!  They didn't think I was some pathetic applicant that had her sorority leadership experience on her resume so it wouldn't look empty.  (Turned out, it helped in my interview, but more on that later.)

I had two phone interviews scheduled for the week after I got back from Austin.  I was super nervous. Pit in my stomach, chest wrenching anxiety-type nervous. I really wanted to impress and dazzle them with my fantastic personality and charm over the phone so I could get a face-to-face interview.   Well, actually having the phone interviews took way more effort than I originally thought it would.  The first day of attempts started with one woman not answering when I called so I had to leave a voicemail with my info.  Not the end of the world.  Nothing was planned yet for a conversation, but I had been really hoping to get that one out of the way.  No dice.  After that call, I was supposed to have the other potential job call me.  Well...that didn't happen that day.  She never called.  I was discouraged, but wouldn't let it get me down.  That afternoon, I emailed the woman who was supposed to call me, asking politely "WTF?"  That evening, before I went to bed, I heard from the other job (the one where I left a vmail) and set up an actual phone interview for the next day! Squee! I was so excited because that was the job I really wanted (descriptions to come later, I promise).

That morning when I got to work, I was super excited because I heard from the one job the night before and got an email from the other one apologizing for calendaring the wrong time for our call and rescheduled for two days later.  Understandable.  She was calling from a different time zone.  Lunchtime rolled around and I got myself all set up in an empty office to take my incoming call.  Ten minutes later (ten minutes after she was supposed to call), there was nothing coming from my phone besides frustration and Candy Crush.  I went back to work but had my cell next to me for the next two hours.  Nothing :(  I WAS SO SAD.  That phone interview was the one I was really looking forward to.  That afternoon, I emailed this lady with a polite "WTF?" email as well, but added in this one how much I liked the position and how I thought I would be great fit and since her schedule seemed crazy she could call me at any time that she was free.  If the position had been filled, so be it.  I would move on, but I wasn't giving up until I heard something concrete.

The next day was the phone interview for the other job that I was less enthused about.  The reason I was less enthused about it was a sales position.  For anyone who has met me, I probably don't seem like much of a sales person.  I sure as hell know I don't think of myself as one, but regardless, I applied for the position because it said no prior experience necessary and it would come with a lot of training.  Once I heard from them through email, I figured I would do the phone interview and see what I thought after that.  If I got an in-person interview, sweet! I'd go to it and go from there.  Surprise surprise, she ACTUALLY called! I was nervous, but once I started talking to her, it was very easy and I calmed down.  The job was very sales-y and sooooo not me, but I was offered an in-person interview. Score!  Since I was going to Cali the next week, I set it up for the next Tuesday the week I got back.  It gave me time to prepare and hopefully hear from the other place.

I was riding high.  I had this surge of self-esteem and was just generally happy after the call.  Afterwards, I set my phone down to charge at my desk and went to get my lunch together.  It took about 5 minutes or less, but in that f**king five minutes, THE OTHER JOB CALLED ME.  She left a voicemail, THANK GOD, but seriously?!?!? I MISSED IT?!? UGH.  Luckily, the voicemail essentially said, "sorry, call me at this number 555-555-5555, and we can do your interview. kthxbai."  I pressed pause on my lunch, and scurried back into the empty office for the call.  I gathered all my notes, made sure I had a pen to write with, took a deep breath and plunged into it.  It went really really well.  I really liked how the job sounded.  The original job title was "Project Administrative Assistant," but had been changed to "Asset Integrity Technician." Identical job, just different job title.  We talked for about 20 minutes or so, and at the end of it, she asked me to come in for a face-to-face interview! YAY!  I set it up for the morning of the same day as my other interview.  No sense in missing too much of my current job if I could avoid it.

And that's where I leave you. Yes, I know, it's a cliff-hanger, but FFS, this post is long.*  Stay tuned kids for the next episode of "The Spreadsheet and Folio."  How will the job interviews go?  Will I get any job offers? Will I remember to actually write the part 2 of this story? Tune in, next week? Eh, just check Facebook/Twitter and I'll let you know when it's up. <3

*"FFS" is an acronym where the middle "f" is a curse word. Related to, "For Goodness Sake." *The More You Know*

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's Been A While

It's been a little while since I've posted anything.  The past several months, since December really, have been quite tumultuous, but everything is falling into place...kind of.

First off, I need to change the title and name of my blog since I'm not in Aggieland anymore.  I made the very difficult, but ultimately the best for me, decision to leave Texas A&M without my Masters.  I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for a while, but it has always been relatively manageable and never got in the way of school or any responsibilities I had, like work.  This past spring, however, it manifested in my school work, or lack thereof, I guess.  I physically couldn't work on my thesis.  I had an office with all of my stuff set up, but every time I thought about going in to work, I would get nauseous, my chest would get tight, and I would start having a mini-freakout.  I thought that if I switched from a thesis to a non-thesis, it would help solve my problems, but it didn't.  It affected all of my schoolwork.  After I switched my degree path, I started going to counseling at A&M.  For all of my friends that are still at TAMU and for my friends elsewhere, go talk to someone if you need to.  Don't be afraid.  It really helped me.

Through counseling, I had to come to the extremely hard conclusion that my choices had to be what was best for me, and stop worrying about the "what ifs." What if I disappoint everyone?  What if I let everyone down?  What if I fail?  What if I regret it?  What if, what if, what if.  They plagued me, but through the counseling and my awesome counselor, I was able to get to the place I needed to be: the place where I had to do what was best for ME.  Not my parents, not my friends, not my family, not even my boyfriend.  I had to take care of myself for once, and not worry about everyone else.  It was hard.  My boyfriend is the most supportive person on the planet, so he was behind me 100% no matter what I decided.  I was most worried about letting my parents down, but they love me and support me no matter what as well.

I was miserable, depressed, stressed, and anxious and had to make the decision, and I did.  I left A&M.  I'm back in Kingwood for the time being, working downtown for a while, while I look for a permanent, full-time job.  I eventually want to go and get a business certificate, but I have to know where we'll end up first and still unknown.

Andrew and I are still figuring out where we are going to end up and what we're going to be doing.  The only definite we have going for us is that we're together and love each other.  Where we end up is completely up in the air.  If Andrew doesn't hear from any jobs he's applied to by August 1st, then he's moving to Houston with me and we're going from there.  I'm pretty stressed that we don't have a definite plan yet, but I haven't let it consume me.  I can't.  I don't ever want to feel like that again.

So, there you have it.  Most people knew, but not everyone.  I'm still running into people that I haven't told yet, so hopefully, this post helps.

Also, if you can think of any good blog names/titles, please let me know :)

Friday, February 22, 2013


Sad alone trapped angry tired weak exhausted anxious stressed distracted confused Why me? Why can't I just be happy? Why am I sad? Why won't the counselors email me to make an appointment? I don't want to be like this. I want the energy to face the day. I want to be able to concentrate. I want to be able to get my work done. I want to stop being angry for no reason. I want the nightmares to stop. I hate how I feel all the time. Can I just be happy? Please.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Year, New Semester, New Office


Well, the Mayans were wrong and we're still here.  Guess that means I should work on my thesis.  With this new year and semester comes new classes, or, to be more specific in my case, class.  Yes, ladies and gents, I'm only technically taking one class this semester.  My other hours are research hours.  That means, I have ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE NOT TO WORK ON MY THESIS.  I'm not screaming at y'all, promise.  I'm screaming at myself because I am the world's worst procrastinator...or so I thought.  I love my boyfriend, but holy crap, he's worse than I am.  But that's not my story to tell.

The other reason I have NO EXCUSE is that I was super lucky enough to snag an office on campus.  Our department head said there was extra space.  I threw my name into the pot, and voila! I have an office! I share it with an awesome girl who completely saved my ass in Stats last semester (seriously though, would have failed without her). The office space itself is a little "rape-y," but we have strength in numbers and well-lit areas.  We have no windows (yay artificial lighting), a giant X-Ray machine is in the middle of the office corral probably giving us cancer right now, and the building is right next to Kyle Field aka a million years from everywhere else we (Anthro people) need to be.  I'm just looking at it as extra exercise.  I need something to keep me motivated.

2013 is going to be one of those important years I think.  Lots of major changes are coming up for my family and friends so I have no doubt that most, if not all. will impact me in some way.  My mom and stepdad are moving to California at the end of February after only being in Pennsylvania a little over a year and a half.  Gotta love job transfers...One of my best friends and her husband are expecting this summer so a baby will only add awesomeness to my group of friends (Team Baby!)  One of my other best friends is finally moving her and husband's butts back to Texas sometime this summer too.

I think the most important one will be my boyfriend graduating in May though.  Once he graduates, he may end up anywhere.  Where ever a job takes him, he will go.  Even though I'm behind on my thesis work, I want to try and graduate in December so I don't have to be away from him so long (tentative graduation for me is May 2014).  Yes, that's super sappy, but I'm in love with him, what can I say?

So, here's to a new year.  May it be full of happy times, good food, fun, and wonderful company. Cheers!