Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dysfunctional Demands

Today's society has gone down a very crooked and crazy path. Morals are thrown out the window while caution and care are things of the past. We rush through life. We blame others for the shortcomings we face.
In the business world, its all about money. Push until they collapse, is the business motto I think my own employer should embrace. Better yet, maybe companies should compile personnel requirements outside of work. Here's what I mean....
I work for a sales company. 8-5, Monday - Friday. Sales is all about money. The more, the merrier. For the owners at least. Doesn't matter how much I bring in to the company as I'm only an administrative assistant to one of their Million Dollar Producers.
That life doesn't compliment the personal side of my life. I have 4 kids. Oldest one is 8 years old. His school expects me to read to him every night, do several pages of homework every night, have him read to me, while also getting him to bed by 7:30 PM so he won't be too tired for school the next day. Normally, I get home a little before or right at 6 PM. I have an hour and a half to do the  following:
Reading (most nights my fiancé has their homework done before I get home)
Serve dinner (same as above, my fiancé tries to have dinner made by the time I get home)
Cleanup the dinner mess
Brush teeth and get everyone bathed
Make their lunches/snacks for school the next day (they have to tell me what they want)
And a final bedtime story.
This is not how it should be. And then I still get notes from the school that my oldest is failing first grade. That I'm not helping him enough. I need to read more and work harder with him at his homework. I'm sorry that the teacher isn't getting these done enough with him while she has him for 8 hours a day, but I also don't have enough time to cram more into him. Besides, by time I get home, he's dead tired and ready to eat and sleep. That's why its a fight to finish his homework.
I know I'm not the only parent out there with these issues. More studies are being done that show how this is a failing system. Kids aren't getting time with their parents. If they are like my kids, they probably watch their parents run errands or clean house on the weekends since they had no time during the week to. Studies also show that business people these days are burnt out from 8 hour days at work by the time they reach Wednesday. They also quit at an alarming rate because of the demands from their workplace. Taking time off is considered a hardship on the company and is frowned upon. My employer doesn't allow you to call in on the first, 15th, or last Friday of the month. My supervisor even told me that I needed to avoid taking off Mondays and Fridays. Understandable for business reasons, but it adds stress of trying to fit outside life into those guidelines. Job burn out causes people to stress more, have higher likeliness of illness, depression, and ultimately throwing in the towel. Some companies are seeing that lessening the workweek, say a 4 day workweek, has increased their productivity and overall happiness of their employees. Less vacation and sick days are taken. People have that day to take care of doctors appointments, take longer weekend trips, and spend time with loved ones. Amazon is one of those companies. I loved working my 10 hour days 4 days a week. If it weren't for my back problems, I'd still be there. The environment was great. They pushed everyone to care for themselves and well-being in order to, not care for the company, but to care for those they provide a paycheck for. Amazon leaders told their employees to watch themselves and do all they could to stay healthy. Not so that they would not miss work so much and cause hardship on the company. They did so while reminding everyone that if we missed time, we lose pay. We lose pay, we lose out on providing for our families. That is what companies are failing to do these days. Forget about telling your employees that they are a burden if they miss a day. Your employees don't care about that. Especially when you rake in millions-billions every year regardless. Remind me that my family is depending on me. Tell me that my paycheck is important to keep us afloat. That's what I need to hear to push myself. Give me one more day during the week to take care of those needs I otherwise have to avoid... and you have yourself a happier woman who is willing to drive herself to exhaustion to make it work.

So here is what I suggest. Companies should reevaluate the demands and amount of time they make people work each week. OR only hire single individuals, with no children, no outside life, and a love of money. Because people like me just don't fall into the guidelines of success they write otherwise.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Winds of Change

To pirates, that meant something good or bad was about to happen, depending on the feeling in your gut. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it means:

Forces that have the power to change things – used generally to mean change is going to happen.”
For me, the winds are bringing good change. It is time to admit that my current job has run its course. I gained what I needed from it to build up my knowledge and skills. I've also made connections. And now I’m ready to take them with me and make the next company I work for all the better for it. In addition, I’m going to use what I know in building my own business ideas. I have two in the works that I would love far more than anything I could do otherwise.

When you go home so depressed that you can’t even find the desire to have a normal conversation with the ones you love, when you find that you feel completely drained once you reach the weekend instead of feeling relaxed, and most importantly, when you feel that you have no drive to try for anything anymore… its time to realize that you need a change. The past few weeks have been just that. I felt hopeless. I was ready to quit. Ready to cry. Ready to scream. In my head, “I’m done” was all I could think about. Done with everything. That’s how bad my work weeks were.
They did great things, and yes, I might feel like they were amazing once, but that “once upon time” has ended. What I once loved doing, I now dread arriving for. I feel so burnt out. So lost in the tasks that are thrown my way by all corners of the office. I have read so many articles lately on how the younger generation in sales and growing businesses are losing energy. They are dropping off the grid of competitive goals. Why? They just can't keep up with demands. Demands that are unrealistic. France actually had to pass a law that employees CAN ignore work emails when they are off the clock. Seriously? My lead, not a manager, has clients calling, texting, emailing her, calling her through Skype - at all hours of the day/night. She works all day, goes home and works some more and then some on the weekends. But all she gets compensated for is the 8-5 work day. I can't live like that. I want a life outside the office. I have a family with multiple small children. I want to have that perfect life with lots of money saved up for future goals, but not at the expense of missing what I consider important now. My kids. My soon-to-be husband. They mean the world to me. I'd rather be poor with them, than alone at work and swimming in money.
So I'm now preparing for the changes to come. I'm looking to better the world around me. And if that means moving forward, then so be it.

7 wonderful years so far

This past weekend was my little man, Allen's, 7th birthday.
Time flies! He has grown taller than his older brother. He is also sharp-witted and mathematically inclined. So, I'm one proud mama. We took him to Main Event. For the past couple weeks (weekends), we have been trapped at home. Everyone had some kind of ailment. My oldest son had severe allergies, Allen had pneumonia, my older girl had a perforated ear drum and allergies, and the baby was showing signs of congestion for unknown reasons. I had something that ended up in allergies. And my fiancé also had his allergies flare up. We were miserable. I missed work. All the kids missed some school. It was quite the time. So this past weekend, my fiancé and I decided that we had had enough of being trapped indoors. It was time to venture outside while we were feeling a bit more on the mend. We had some friends join in and got a small cake to share. Everyone ate and played and had a great time. He had all kinds of Lego and Minecraft gifts to love. It was wonderful. And it made me so happy. They are growing up so quickly. I want to treasure the moments while I can. Before I know it, they will be grown and gone.
When we got home, we had these little gemstone kits I got on clearance at Target a while back.
 
You chip away until you find your "gem".
Some of them are supposed to be real and valuable. Like one that I opened had what is supposed to be an actual diamond.
It was so much fun for all of us. And the smiles we all shared will be memories I keep in my heart. Happy Birthday, little man. Mommy loves you!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Its almost here!

I have a love/hate relationship with my email inbox. They send little teasers about the new Beauty and the Beast movie that is coming on March 17th. On the one hand, I can't wait! On the other... I'm too poor to get the cool extras. The Alamo Drafthouse has pre-order tickets for the movie. Buy the tickets and you can also get the special edition pint glasses.
How cool are they?!

In addition, I'm on a review list that sends updates on certain movies. Everything from news on the progress to release, previews, and kid activity pages. I love seeing things before others, but this ones previews have me apprehensive on how the movie will be. My expectations are high. Belle is my Princess of choice. She's the nerdy one! How can I not expect something awesome from that??

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Celebrating 29 years

I'm not a big party animal. I don't go out much, I haven't had a drink in a year at least, and I don't like the crazy scenes. So this year, my birthday was spent doing things I love. Mostly. I admit that I spent part of it at a clinic being seen for an ongoing illness that caused me to miss work last week.
It is no fun being sick on your birthday weekend. Coughing until your back hurts and a migraine kicks in, is nowhere near my idea of fun. But it is what it is. Outside of that, I made the most of my day. We had a friend watch the girls while we took the boys to see the new Star Wars movie finally. Rogue One was worth the wait! I loved it and I really do need to watch the original trilogy as finally fit together... Then we came home to have a quick and easy dinner AFTER cake and ice cream.
My fiancé grabbed a chocolate cake with strawberries, my favorite! Then we all gathered while I opened my presents. I'm blessed to have so many who love me. I am reminded of that daily. Everyone wished me well and also checked to see how I was doing.

Despite being sick, I think this was the best birthday so far. I had my children, who are all getting over their sickness.
I have my fiancé who goes out of his way to make every day special for me. And I have two sides of my growing family that loves and cares about us. Nothing could be better than that.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Only 4 more months to go...

My wedding day approaches quickly. I have just about four more months left to finish the preparations. I do have the cake toppers and he put on a custom engagement ring to show this lady is his.
He knows me so well. A diamond would've disappointed this nerdy girl. He created a ring with the Star Wars rebel symbols holding the ruby.
The cake toppers will look great on the cake we plan to have. He has Captain Picard and I have Queen Amidala.  
The invitations went out too. My future mother-in-law and her brother created the perfect blend for us.
And for my birthday, my Mom sent us our cake cutting set. A little polish and it will be beautiful!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Emerald brand review via Shoplet

I’m all for healthier living and environment protection. I’ll try anything at least once to   determine if it is something worthy of its cause. This is one such product I took a chance on. Shoplet.com is partnering with Emerald Brand to build up awareness of their 70% tree free paper products.
A few facts to consider when thinking about why this product is unique.
Using Tree-Free products would cut back on the amount of hardwood trees that are cut down every year. They utilize agricultural by-products that would otherwise be burned. These by-products are rapidly renewable, so its incredibly wasteful as well as harmful to local communities that inhale the smoke.
Emerald gets their hands on these by-products to take them out of the wasted piles and put them into use. They are BPA and chlorine free. I like what they are trying to do. Creating less waste and making healthy living a reality.

Now for the gritty part. I've used the Facial Tissues. I took them to work where everyone around me was sick. My supervisor and myself are the go-to for tissues, paper towels and Lysol wipes. Not sure how that happened, but it is what it is. The first person to use the tissues had an immediate response against them. They are course. Thick as a regular tissue, but lacking the softness that the raw human nose needs. I could actually use them as napkins. My suggestion to Emerald would be to add a little softener or lotion to them. These come in a case of 36 for $76.63 making each box about $2.12 a piece.

I also received the pocket pack. These come in pocket sized packs that are easy to carry. You can buy a case of 240 for $90.01 making each one about .37.
I have the Bath Tissue in my downstairs visitor bathroom. They are very similar to regular brands of toilet paper we have used. Maybe a little thinner than the local brand. They work just as well. The top side is soft, the underside has a pattern that makes it feel courser. I do like how they are septic safe. You can get a case of them from Shoplet.com for $95.80. It comes with 96 double rolls of 500 sheets each. This makes them about $1 a roll.
Overall, I suggest the toilet paper. The tissues need work. What do you think? Would you try them? Do you think their cause is worth it? Don't forget to look for yourself around Shoplet.com. They are the largest e-tailer of office supplies. They also have office furniture, medical supplies, and cleaning supplies.