Exercising My Right to Freely BBQ

I am so off schedule, it’s up there with completely ridiculous. Obviously, my posting at this blog has suffered greatly, and most of you who follow along on my writing journey know that it’s due to the recent publication of my alter-ego’s first book.

Quick update: Going great – seems like a good response so far. No reviews or royalty statement, so I am currently in Wonderland as to how many units have sold and whether or not people love or hate this thing. For my impatient demeanor, that has been frustrating, yet to be expected. I am moving to phase 2 of promo; after the virtual blog tour for the anthology, I am now setting up – or supposed to be setting up, sigh – the next blog tour for the standalone release on June 11th. More on that later.

That actually brings me to the present, and why I’m even more off-schedule. It’s been a non-stop drama-fest at work for the last week or so with more ch-ch-ch-changes. Some of you will remember that my position was eliminated in a corporate re-structuring (paste my name and face on thousands upon thousands of Americans around the country) blablabla three months ago. Due to my friend and co-worker’s enormously wise decision to escape from Hellhouse, my job has just become available again. Which would mean going back to salary exempt, staying up all hours to write, being exhausted, and not getting to make homemade potato salad and Sopapilla cheesecake pie (thanks for that recipe, very wise co-worker) on a holiday Monday that I get to spend with my family. The financial reward? A few hundred bucks. Not that I don’t need that few hundred bucks (I do), but I still haven’t seen that royalty statement yet. Will it replace that money? And haven’t we survived these last few months without it? And if I don’t make up the money now, won’t a few months down the road (and more completed writing) replace it then?

Enter my boss who swooped down on our little beach hamlet last Monday to grill us all like day-old grilled cheese sandwiches ( I have no idea what that means) on what our workplace intentions were. And to ask if I’d like my old job back. Uh…….hmmmmmmm…well….NO. I need to stay true to my writing path, and my sanity. And, okay, I confess; I did have a little bit of a “HA! NOW you want me! Forget it…” moment. But hey, I’m human, and I have been taking it in a part of my anatomy that shall remain unmentioned, quite a lot lately at this job.

I am now officially the trouble-maker. Or, the worse than ever before trouble-maker. But I need to stay true to my path here, and to my family that is also along for the ride. However, it’s been stressful because since I didn’t make it easy by neatly filling in the gap at work just as we go into our busy season, the boss is not thrilled. I did leave the position available for others – one in particular – who would do great and really benefit from it – but not according to the corporate rules and regulations. In other words, the expected and proper line of ascension up the corporate ladder. Such nonsense. So I say – they are bringing it on themselves, which is why all of this happened in the first place. Had well enough been left alone, my wise co-worker and I might have just stuck it out. But once she got my job – in addition to the essentially two jobs she was already doing – dumped on her, well, there’s only so much one person can take in the name of corporate down-sizing.

But here we are, it’s a nice day, and we’re all celebrating (those who don’t work retail anyway) the freedoms we have because others sacrificed and fought for us. I haven’t had a holiday day off like this in the four years since I took this job, so I’m going to exercise my right to BBQ – and to be with my family for a change. Happy Memorial Day to my American friends out there!



Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes….

So – I’m interrupting my trip down psycho lane with dear ol’ Billie – to share a little tidbit regarding my current status here on planet earth. It is the Wren State of the Union address. Yesterday, we had a little visit from our District boss to our retail center. We have two sister stores there, and I am the manager of one of them. Or should I say, was the manager of one of them.

Do not gasp too loudly – I still have a job. Just not the same one. Because of the delightful economic climate that all of us are dealing with across the country, the company I work for had to make some decisions, and in several centers where there are sister stores (such as my own), they chose to eliminate one of the manager positions. In this case, mine was the one eliminated. So, it was offered to me to step down into the Assistant Manager position, and go from being salary exempt to hourly, and taking a small pay cut.

The ramifications of this soon set in. You mean, I no longer have to work overtime and not get paid for it? You mean you are tearing away my ability to work ten to thirteen hour shifts to save money on payroll? You are forcing me to get paid for the actual work I do? What? How dare you!

Ironically, since my alter-ego’s writing career has taken off, the amount of time I typically put into my job – an average of 45-50 hours per week, with the occasional 60 -70, coupled with writing deadlines, blogging and promos – has created a lot of stress for me and my family; so hubby and I had already been discussing me stepping down. Now, knowing that I will only be able to work 32 – 40 hours per week, has just created a huge amount of wiggle room that didn’t exist before. The slight dip in income will be unwelcome for a few months, but I am counting on my newfound ability to crank out some more writing to make up for it. This could actually be the best thing that could have happened for me.

Yeah, I’m not the big cheese anymore, but I still have a decent paying job and all my same benefits. It could’ve been MUCH worse, as it has been for me in the past, and is for many, many others.

Alrighty – off to do some more writing and get ready for my last couple days as manager before the big shift change. Tomorrow is my last open to close shift, and we are celebrating with pizza. Go team!