Sunday, March 24, 2013

First Day at Work

It was a successful first day, but a little weird.  In theory, the office has been around for almost 10 years.  In practice, I think the office has been up and running less than 4.  It has also had a lot of turnover and seems to be finding its legs in the past year or so.  They are trying out new structures for keeping everything working smoothly, which means some people (ie me) are kind of sitting there like "what am I supposed to be doing?"

Someone mentioned that my job description and duties had been sent around to everyone...but not me, so she forwarded that info on to me.  Quite helpful!  I looked at all my responsibilities and wrote up questions for each one.  And then, since it didn't seem like the training or supervision was going to come to me I emailed the person listed on the office flow chart above me and scheduled a meeting with her for tomorrow morning.  I also managed to somehow teach half the office how to file non-client assigned documents in the system properly and how to use the firm specific formatting, which has it's own custom ribbon in Word.  Apparently that isn't something anyone teaches you, but I was bored and watched about 5 hours worth of IT training video tutorials.  I definitely felt like a rockstar!

I was also given the backstory on the office, who has moved up, out and been newly introduced.  It seems that they are happy to keep good people as long as they can and move them up whenever possible.  The person who had my job before me is now the finance manager for this office and another one in the region.  All in all it was a good day.  I was even treated to a lunch at a fancy restaurant next door.  The only bummer was a 30 min drive back home, which would normally be 15-20 min, but I am at the mercy of taxi drivers until my new car arrives on the 10th!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Great Shipping Expedition

I have the beginnings of a work wardrobe sitting for me between my mom's and grandmother's houses. These are things I've bought over the ast year when I'm on the lookout for great sales.  $100 blazer for $15, thank you very much and so on.  But now I have to get all this over here.  Which means shelling out $100 in shipping and stupid customs forms to try and get everything over here.  I'm not that upset considering an office shirt here runs about $80, but I'm just hoping I'll be able to piece some kind of work wear together for the first week or so.  I literally have 2 pairs of work pants, 3 shirts, 2 cardigans 1 pair of work shoes. I can only mix and match that for so long.

So I've filled out all of the customs forms and hope that everything makes it hear safely.  In the meantime I'm playing with the girls, trying to get meals together for next week on.  I'll also be easing Boo into nursery school starting tomorrow.  Melody has Tuesdays off during the week, so we needed a solution for Boo.  I'm glad she's starting now because she really does need some more socialization and to be around more kids.  I think she'll like it and have fun and a week of hanging out there should be good.  If worst comes to worst, she only has to go once per week, but we'll start at 2 days and work up to 3 or start at 3 if she's a happy camper.

It's so weird to see her walking around now.  She reverted back to crawling for a day once we put shoes back on her, but now she's a little shoed walking demon and it's so weird.  She's so like a little person now and I'll be going back to work, it's all happening so quickly!  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Starting in 10 days

They wanted me to start Monday!  I told them I needed another week.  Everything worked out, salary PTO (26 days sweet!), and the other things all look good.  I'm super super nervous.  Like oh my god what am I doing? nervous, but a friend managed to talk me down.  Her advice, don't talk yourself out of it, you'll do just fine and if you don't like it it's easier to look for a job while you're in a job than not.  We're trying to work on figuring out hours, they wanted 9-6, but said some people work 8-5 and they are flexible.  Since the girls are in bed at 6:30 and we try and do dinner at 5:30, I asked if 7-4 would be possible or 7:30-4:30.  They assured me we would give it a shot at 8-5 and see how pick up, drop off and bed times went and we would re-evaluate with everyones needs, including mine.  So I guess that's something.

Now I just have to get all of my work clothes I bought on Black Friday over here to actually look the part of a professional.  So nervous!  We only have one childcare hiccup, since Melody has Tuesdays off, but we think we can get Boo into Z's school for 2 or 3 days a week.  Next hurdle, visas, new drivers license and get another car.  Yikes!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Got It!

I still don't feel like it's real.  The HR director called me and we spoke for about 10 minutes and she told me they wanted to make me an offer.  She said she would email the official offer.  But I totally blanked and didn't ask about salary, paid time off, hours (I know the number, just not the when), and other benefits.  I just kind of blanked.  This whole process has taken so long with everything else that I didn't even think to ask any of these questions!  I'll wait for the official letter and then I can go over it all and make my changes or just gladly accept.  It's all happened so quickly with this position. I went from first contact with the recruiter to offer from the firm in 7 days.  

Is my recruiter serious?

So I contacted a recruiter through a contact given to me by a neighbor.  Things have moved pretty quickly.  I emailed her late last week, she called the next day and I had an interview yesterday.  It was with a firm and it looks like I'll be getting an offer.  I spoke with two partners, who were 40 minutes late! but they both apologized and were really nice.  My recruiter said that they loved me and told the managing partner he doesn't need to interview me, they want to make me an offer.  So now I'll be talking with the HR director to discuss salary, hours and get the actual offer.  I'm still not really believing it because there have been so many rug pull moments over the past year.  It's not an associate position, but the pay is pretty freaking great, the hours are good, it would have a good amount of responsibility and the ability to build systems from the ground up and everyone keeps saying how nice everyone is in the office.

I'm still holding my breath until I get the actual offer, but it's looking pretty good.  I just have to stand my ground on salary, which isn't really negotiable, so that should be easy.  Exciting times!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cancelling Summer Vacation

As of right now, we're not cancelling because of financial reasons, although that may be the case later on, we're cancelling because both of our families are pissing us off!  Maybe it's an out of sight out of mind thing, but my family isn't the best at communicating.  Although I have a US number they can call/text whenever they seldom do.  It's all on my end to call, set up Facetime chats, etc.  My grandmother would do it more, but she doesn't have a computer/ipad to do the video chats.  I'm sick of calling, getting the kids together to talk to them and then just having my family walk in and out of the room, sometimes leaving it completely empty when we're trying to talk to them.  It's annoying and disappointing because we would like to kids to be able to speak with them, get to know them and their voices, etc.

And then the kicker comes with Liam's dad.  He's been bouncing all over the globe, visiting Liam's sister in Hong Kong, then a golf trip to South Africa and another in Thailand.  We asked if he would pop over after a layover in a nearby city, we would pay the difference, but he said no because we would have to get up at 2am to pick him up, etc.  So we left it.  Then we find out that his trip into South Africa stopped in neighbouring country/city (30 min flight away), but his flight to Thailand stopped HERE!!!!!!  Are you fucking kidding me?!  He then has Liam's sister contact him to ask Liam to track down a book he left on the flight a week ago when he flew through here.  I mean seriously.  Liam sent her a pretty scathing email, letting her know he wasn't directing it at her, but just pissed off that he's so nonchalant about not seeing his grandchildren.  I mean he was less than 15 minutes away at the airport and he just kept right on flying.  At this point, I say f*ck them all.  I'm not so sure we should be paying thousands of dollars to fly all over the world for people who don't seem to have the slightest inclination to make time for us and spend time with us.  We can just do a weekend holiday close to home and if they want to see us, well they can come here.  Sorry for the rant, we're just so pissed right now!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Friend Dating

I've been friend dating for a while really trying to find some good friends over here.  I was definitely tired of hanging with Liam's work friends and their wives and wanted to branch out to people with/out kids more in an in between age for the both of us.  I've gotten to know and frequently hang out with two women, which is nice, but I think we've finally hit the couples jackpot.  A woman, Amy, I met through a California coffee group (grew up there for a few years) and her husband are awesome so far.  I've hung with her a few times and it's always fast talking, laughing, slightly inappropriate chatter that kind of sucks when it ends.  We're all hugs at the end and set up our next hang out pretty quickly.  We've done a family hang out at the beach once before and the husbands hit it off as well.  Now we've scheduled the first couples only dinner and I'm definitely looking forward to it!  It's exciting, it feels like dating all over again.  

The only tiny issue is that their one older daughter has a slight case of the "I do this better, Z's picture/cookies/whatever is messy, I'm taking my time."  She's 4 and Z doesn't notice, but so far I've kept the meetings to the babies to keep that to a minimum.  It's just nice to have a friend in the same time zone where I don't really feel like I have to censor myself, be on best behavior or explain all of the intricacies of American culture in every conversation.  So let's hope our group date goes well!  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tired on the Teetertotter

We went to a park yesterday...covered in litter.  That's a big issue over here.  People just expect someone else to clean up after them, so leaving your trash everywhere just happens.  We've made sure Z knows she isn't to do it, but it's still disheartening when a playground is covered in chip bags, bottles, and other pieces of trash.  It's such a shame because the actual playground equipment was nice, but yeah, not going back.

Liam's car battery died after Z put the keys in the ignition while Liam was bringing in the groceries.  We had to wait for one of the non-hungover friends with jumper cables to bring them over in the morning.  Boo has also been walking more and conquered the climbing up onto the kid Ikea wooden chairs that we have. This is fun because she can now pull herself up to sit in them, but what it actually means is she stands up on the chair backwards and attempts to sit down completely missing the seat part of the chair.  So needless to say, those don't come out unless I'm around to play spotter.

We had a date night during the week at a steak buffet.  We were kind of shocked at how much we got for the price, plus the mom group I belong to got us another 30% off of our bill! Score.  We will go again at the end of March, but this time I'm not going to fill up on salad.  But the Yorkshire puddings were freaking amazing!  I'm also trying to decide which hobby I should undertake to keep me entertained while the little ones are napping or otherwise occupied.  Sewing? Finally learning Arabic? Guitar? Project life?