Sunday, June 23, 2013

Flight Anxiety

I'm starting to freak out about the flights...a lot. Our first flight is leaving around midnight, so we'll put the girls to bed at their normal time of 6:30 and 7 and then head out to the airport at 9:30. They might sleep through the car ride there, but no way will they stay asleep in the bright, crowded airport.  Between check in, security and hanging around they are going to be two crazy cranky messes. At least that's what I'm preparing for. This will be our first long flight with Boo since she was 2 months old, so we'll see how she will fare.  I guess the worst thing about the night flight is that people expect to sleep, so if they are freaking out people will be even more missed than regular crying baby time. It's making me anxious just thinking about it. I think this flight is the one I'm most worried about because it's the only one so late at night. And to think I used to lament long flights pre-kids, ha! I didn't know how good I had it just being bored on a 14 hour flight or them running out of my meal choice. Oh the luxury!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gearing up for vacation

We're leaving next week to head to Ireland and then onto the US. It's going to be a crazy trip and I just wish we could be there and cut out all of the actual traveling. We're going to look like gypsies at the airport with our carseats, strollers and tons of bags. We're borrowing a carseat in Ireland from friends and traveling with one, then in the US we'll buy one on Amazon and have my family bring that to the airport, so we can bring back an extra carseat for over here. Carseats will run $180 easily over here when you can get one for $40 in the US. Our Amazon list is also filled with random things you can't seem to find over here, such as Mod Podge, Sesame Street Fizzy Tub Color Tablets , balloons (melted unblow-up-able messes over here), vanilla extract (can't find due to alcohol content), Scrunci hair bands. It's little things that you definitely take for granted!  

On the job note I'm so glad to be leaving and getting away for 2.5 weeks! The now Non-supervisor is still being crazy and making everyone crazy. One of the partners thinks she must have bad pictures of the Senior partner or something. It makes no sense. They still haven't given me an official offer for the office manager job, but they have also relieved Non-supervisor of all of the administrative tasks she was meant to do and now she's just sticking to the job she already does terribly.  The issue is that all of the administrative tasks are now being tended to by no one and Non-supervisor has no qualms about saying it's not my job and not even providing any guidance. So nothing new...

Today was the breaking point for one of the other admins, Lily, who snapped after we all received invitations to webinars for organization, time management and not procrastinating...right. So she's moving desks away from the constant yelling of Non-supervisor and moving next to me. One of the Partners called me into his office to talk about what was going on with Lily and just how much Non-supervisor sucked. A friend emailed me to let me know one of her friends thought I might be interested in a position coming up soon. I'm praying the posted job will be as great as the one she described where the salary will be in a range that will allow us to put more toward my loans.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hot becomes cold

Just a tidbit about living in the Middle East. Around this time of year, generally a bit earlier for most people living in houses hot becomes cold when it comes to water. Our "cold" water tanks are on the roof. Well what happens when I giant tank of water sits on your roof in 120 degree weather, it's no longer cold. And our water heaters are all located in each bathroom and in the kitchen, which we can manually turn on and off via a switch in the room. So during the summer our "cold" water is super heated, like can become scalding very quickly and the water in the water heaters is cooled by the AC in the house, so it's all reversed. One friend doesn't have the water heaters/now coolers in each room and has to set a bath for her kids about 2 hours before they want to take a bath so it will cool down enough to put the kids in it. It also means that we can't let the kids wash their own hands all willy nilly and have to supervise so that they don't scald the crap out of their hands!

It's also a fact of life that every building you are in is super cooled to the point of chattering teeth and frozen fingers. People will often bring in space heaters for beat the cold in office buildings. Go figure, 11 days until vacation begins! I'm so excited and dreading the travel at the same time. We also need to get out of this country, short of the 12 hour visa runs back last year we haven't left the country since August. This is not normal for here, people get serious cases of "I need to get the f*ck out of here or I'm going to hurt someone" and I'm almost there. I'm not looking forward to the flights (more than 48 hours of transit), but the trip will be great!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I'm alive! Barely...

Two sick kids, plus two working parents is a real nut shot! Z was puking all night and Boo is coughing so hard she's retching. We've been having a sandstorm for the past week that makes it feel like someone is sitting on my chest.

I have officially shut the door on the university job I was offered.  The HR manager asked to mee with me after I said I wouldn't be able to take it at the salary they were offering. She was blunt said that they wanted me and what would they need to offer to get me. I gave her a number and she was like, "Wow, we can't do that, but here's what we can offer." I told her I would think about it. It would be a great job, but essentially impossible between the two trips we have coming up.  It would only leave about 3 weeks to plan, coordinate and execute a new student program, handle students graduating in Sept, start all the research grant work and jumpstart 2 new programs, which haven't even gone through the admissions process for August.  I would kind of be setting myself up for failure and working through both vacations. So that definitely colored my feelings about the position even with the bump in pay they counter offered  Then the HR Manager told me she thought I was awesome and outside of this whole work thing would I like to get our kids together! Haha, I said sure, she seemed nice and it's so hard to find friends around here, so we're hanging out next weekend and getting the families together.

The office manager position is still a nebulous thing, but they keep trying to give me the responsibilities without the official offer. I've been pushing back and will continue to do so. I have also been warned off of taking the position by everyone who has brought it up to me! I don't know how that makes me feel. I think it just boils down to the office is such a mess that it would be nearly impossible for almost anyone to fix it. Pretty essential things aren't being monitored and I'm not sure what kind of job I would be in for. I was also told that they pay most likely won't be that great. Quasi-supervisor received a 3% raise for a promotion and taking over a major function at 2 offices. Not to say the job Quasi-supervisor is doing is well done, but I mean that's pretty bad.

If taking over the position means a minimal bump, plus a sh*t ton more responsibility and more time away from my family...not going to happen. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Job Prospects

So there have been some new developments.  I was offered 2 jobs.  One at a university and one as the Office Manager at my current job.  I really wanted the university job, it would have been amazing, a lot of responsibility, a lot of freedom to create programs that I wanted, but it was paying less than I'm making now.  The very next day I was asked if I wanted to be Office Manager. I ask about the salary and I still haven't heard back about that one...it will determine whether or not I take the position or stay in my current post.  At this point, we're making double payments into my student loans and I want to keep being able to do that while still leaving work at the end of the day promptly at 5 and coming home to the girls.  I like being able to leave the office in the office and I like not being tied to the office via a Blackberry.

The thing that scares me about the Office Manager positon is that no one really seems to know what it entails; this includes the person who is currently doing it.  I'm a little afraid that there will be a LOT that hasn't been done over the past 2 years and I'll have to sort it all out as I've done with other tasks that have been handed over to me.  One task was given to me, which hadn't been done since August 2012 and a vendor had cut the office off.  I managed to sort it out in a month, but that was a fairly small task. Just imagine what might be lurking for me in one of the Supervisors boxes of doom.  This is where papers go to die in order to maintain the appearance of a clean, tidy and organized desk!  I was warned by some of the senior associates that previous Office Managers have been completely overwhelmed, had to come in on weekends and just seemed to be drowning.  That's not what I want at all. I also don't want to work in a completely dysfunctional office.

It's also weirding me out that I'm getting so excited about creating an office manual in my down time during the day.  The outline is already 9 pages long, I have plans for a Complete Guide, Fee Earners Quick Guide and an Admin Quick Guide.  Did you know you can create an index for a document using a concordance document? Amazing! I can't wait to start compiling all of the content.