Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You know you work in government when...

So today the manager of the office, the building not all the people, announced that our lease on the building is up in March 2010 and DWS has decided to lease only half of the building from now on. All eligibility specialist, that's me, are going to be moved to the Provo Regional Center (PRC) , located on Center street in Provo, in either March or April. I'm ok with the change as I already live in Provo and it isn't the Provo North office. I remembered this joke list that was given to me when I worked in the Logan DWS office, which was June of 2001. And I had to laugh at how many of them were true for me. I put my answers in White

You know you work in government when..
  • You sat at the same desk for four years and worked for three different departments. Well it's been six years at the same desk and two divisions. First one didn't really have a name the second one is Eligibility Services Devision which was just created this past year.
  • You worked for the same department for four years and sat at more than 10 different desks. Eight and a half years and four different desks.
  • You've been in the same job for four years and have had 10 different supervisors. Again six years at the same job, 1. Noral, 2. Mike D., 3. Dave, 4. back to Mike D., 5. Matt, and current 6. Emily. My record is three supervisors in the same day. I went into work with Dave is my supervisor, got an email at 11 am and Mike was my supervisor then at about 4 in th afternoon Matt called and introduced himself as my supervisor.
  • You order your business cards in "half orders" instead of whole boxes. (note a whole box is 1,000) I've had three different business cards and all of them were half orders of just 500. I also need a new set as we changed our numbers and so forth so no current business card at all.
  • When someone asks about what you do for a living, you can't explain it in one sentence. This is the shortest way I've come up with explaining what an eligibility specialist is/does. I determine eligibility for food stamps, financial, medical and child care assistance. Even after I say that people look at me with blank stares and say, "what does that mean?"
  • You get really excited about a 2% raise. Last time I got a 2% raise was 2005 and they don't call it a raise they call it a cost of living increase. We haven't had a cost of living increase since 2007. So yep, if I got a 2% raise I'd be totally excited about it.
  • You use acronyms in your sentences. Not such an unusual thing in this day and age, what with text messaging and all. Yes we do use acronyms in our sentences. They have only increased over the years. I used to work for DWS. Now I work for DWS in the ESD, under the ESO on the CBT.
  • Your biggest loss from a system crash is you lose your best jokes. Well I do have some funny emails on there but I'd be more bummed about losing my music.
  • You sit in a cubicle smaller than your bedroom closet. My cubical is smaller than my bedroom closet right now. I have a fear that it will be even smaller come April or May.
  • It's dark when you drive to and from work. In the winter this is very true. The only way I see the sun right now is if I go out to my car on a break or lunch. It starts to get a little light when I arrive at the office at 6:30 am. Currently I leave at two different times on the days I leave "early" the sun is setting and on the days I leave "late" the sun has been down for over an hour. In the summer it is only dark in the morning. Daylight savings time really does give you more hours of daylight in the day.
  • Fun is when issues are assigned to someone else. Anytime I can pass of a nasty case oh you bet I do. For the record I fix more than my fair share of nasty and stupid.
  • The words "challenge" and "opportunity" makes you shiver in fear. It's so true.
  • You see a good-looking person and know it is a visitor. Yep they are either there for a job interview, consultants gathering information, or top brass of the department.
  • Free food left over from meetings is your main staple. To bad most of it is chocolate. Maybe that's why I weigh so much. ;) Most of it isn't from meetings though it is from treat bowls in Julie's cubical. I had to change the route I take to the bathroom to avoid the temptation of her treat bowl.
  • Weekends are those days your significant other makes you stay home. Not a problem for me. But I have worked overtime the past few weekends. The last time they even offered over time was about 4 years ago so that doesn't happen offer.
  • Art involves a white board. Yep the white board is by my cubical and the makers are at my desk. I put up a quote for the day every day. It used to have drawings but I can't draw and Jennifer moved to the Provo office so there hasn't been much art recently.
  • You're already late on the assignment you just got. Happened on Thursday of last week. All applications have to be worked with in 30 days. I got the case on the 30th day and all of the stuff for it had been for about 3 weeks. Then on Tuesday I worked a case that had been lost in limbo for a month so I issued it back to October.
  • Dilbert cartoons hang outside every cube and are read by your co-workers only. Actually my co-workers don't understand the humor of Dilbert. I know Dad, it is shocking but they just don't get it. One of the consultants that stopped by about two weeks ago laughed out loud at it. I do have three Dilbert cartoons on my cubical, some Peanuts, Garfield and Maxine.
  • Your boss' favorite lines are "when you get a few minutes" or "when you're freed up." Actually it's, "when you are caught up." Which is funny because my version of "caught up" is a little different than hers. I work on other peoples stuff pretty much every other day.
  • You read this entire list and understood it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Junk mail changes

Junk mail is a constant thing in life but I've recently noticed how it can change from time to time. Have you ever noticed that your junk mail changes after you make a purchase of about $200 or more. When you buy a house all of the sudden you get all of these home loan applications and information. What's the point of sending out that stuff after you've already got a loan and bought the house? At lease the home improvement store junk mail makes sense after a home purchase. You've made this major investment and now you naturally want to sink all of your money into fixing it up.

So I flew for the first time in a few years and now instead of just credit card applications they have miraculously changed to flight reward credit card applications. If I buy camping stuff then I get outdoor/sportsman credit card applications. My favorite with the buying camping stuff was when I bought a tarp to put under my tent years ago at Cabellas and the next month I was an official member of the North American Hunting Club. Got an bright orange hunting license holder and everything. When I signed up for that at Cabellas I'm not sure but there must have been a check box I didn't check somewhere.

Then there is the you buy one thing in our store you naturally you are a fan and want to get rewards here forever, right? Yeah, how many of us spend all our spare time at furniture stores or electronic stores. And the stuff they send you is discounts and coupons for what you just bought because naturally you will need another 52" LCD television or a $1,000 digital camera a month after you just purchased one.

"These days are crazy!"

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Me trying to be a nature photographer again

So here are my favorite nature pictures from my vacation.

A rain storm from above.

New Jersey the Garden State

Five Mile Point Light

Lighthouse Point Park

stream by Lake Wintergreen

Lake Wintergreen

trail around Lake Wintergreen

Cleveland rocks

Ok so I was on vacation from October 1st until October 18th. Which was has been the longest vacation I've ever taken to date. It used up all of my vacation time so I won't be going very far for a while.

First stop was Skye's in Ohio. We went and checked out West Side Market. Which is like Pike's Place in Seatle without the flying fish. Then mostly just hanging out around the house. Which is totally fine with me as I got to play with Kaelyn and Kylie. I think I read The Pokie Little Puppy about 40 billion times.

We went to the museum of natural history where we saw lots of animals and dinosaurs. Kaelyn and I got to be Blue Footed Bobby Birds. The picture of the actual birds is above me on the right. Apparently this is one of Kaelyn's first things to do at the museum.

After which we had lunch in Cleveland's Little Italy. Which is by Jon's campus. We took a lot of pictures on Jon's campus including some of playing in the fountain but they are on Skye's camera so I don't have them yet. During General Conference we did our hair.

Then I rented my first car and went on a little road trip to visit the Taylor family in Connecticut. It was a nice 8-9 hour drive to get there and cheaper than plane ticket.

I saw my very first in real life lighthouse, Five Mile Point Light.

Being with Elizabeth of course we went for a little hike. However, there aren't any mountains so we hiked, took a long walk, around Lake Wintergreen.
I also got to have lunch with Sarah A. Kandil. Whom I haven't seen since just after high school. I got to meet her husband for the first time and he is pretty cool. Love being able to still hang out with my high school buddies.
Then back to Ohio, where Kyle and Tyler joined us. We went to Kirtland and toured some covered bridges.

A Halloween family tradition that we used to have was that we would go to Grandma Averett's house and decorate the cookies she would pass out for Halloween. Since Grandma's passing we haven't done it very often but I insisted on it for Kaelyn and Kylie. We don't pass them out on Halloween any more but it was still tons of fun to decorate them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Today in Primary...

we learned how to pray to Heavenly Father. We taught them the opening, "thank Thee, ask Thee" and closing parts of prayer. The kids pretty much got to say what they were thankful for during most of the lesson and then I came home and my roommate Jennifer was on the couch studying her scriptures and listening to piano church music. Well she is asleep now and the piano music has changed from church to just classical. And I was sending out my traditional weekly email and thought I'd check out blogs. While doing all of this I couldn't help but think how greatful I am that I get to have quite moments such as these. Also that email, blogs and Skype exist. I got to talk and see Sonya on Friday because of Skype. It was awesome that even though she is half a world away we could chat like always. It is amazing to me how much the Lord has given us to keep our families strong and close. And yep friends count as family for me. So I'm thankful for it all and most importantly the reason I need this technology, you my family and friends. Love you all!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Computers are down at work.

Ok well maybe not the computer as I'm obviously using one right now. But the system I use is down so basically I can't do anything. Normally this wouldn't be so boring as everyone in has the same problem so I have a deck of cards in my desk that we can play with while we wait for IT to fix the problem. Since I'm the only one in my office using this new system I am unable to pull out the cards so I thought I'd post a blog about how boring it is to be at work and unable to work. I wonder how long it will take them to fix it.

In other news, my life is boring at the moment. I have decided that I have a lot of unfinished projects, like that cross stitch that I started 8 years ago, sitting around the house so I'm trying to finish them up. Not very social but hey stuff is getting done. I also feel less guilty while watching TV if I'm doing something.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just Stuff

So Tuesday night a few friends went to April's concert. It was fun to be in that kind of an enviroment and hear her songs. I can't wait until her CD comes out. Probably more excited about the fact that when it does she can once again hang out and go hiking and stuff.
From left to right: Krishna, Mia, Jennifer, April, me and Jessica.

Then on Friday Jessica and I hiked Stewart Falls. I had forgoten how much up and down there is on this trail so I didn't bring my trek poles and paid for it. Well Jess more than me as I made her stop a billion times for me to catch my breath. I love that trail. I has a lot of hike through the forest, shade and grass lands. We saw two doe dear and lots of different birds. Made for a nice day.

Yeah I stopped and didn't get any closer to the upper falls.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Driving in the rain with the windows down

I am loving this summer rain. It doesn't normally rain this much in Utah but I have been loving this. I don't think I'd like it all the time but this has been nice. I once wrote a two page journal entry about how much I love rain. It tends to bring back great memories and fun times. Puddle jumping with friends, friday night football games, playing soccer and just walking in the rain and not caring that you get soaked. I love the smell of rain. My favorite rain smell is in the mountains after weeks of heat then it rains one day. I love that smell. Ever notice that everyone in parking lots and such are all running to get out of the rain. I actually walk slower in the rain enjoying it all. And yes, I drove with the windows down today while it was raining.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Arches National Park

This camping trip was to Arches National Park. Jennifer and I left on Friday morning to get a campsite as the camp ground in Arches only has 25 reservable sites and the rest are first come first serve. Since check in time is noon we were down there by 1 thinking that there might be a site left. Little did I know that they start giving away the sites at 7:30 in the morning at the visitor center and they are all gone with in an hour. But they had a list of campsites around the area which were all first come first serve. It took us about an hour to find a site just south of the Colorado River. It even had a little beach. Arches is going to 100% reserved sites next year due to the high demand. Jenn and I set up camp and then met up with Jess, Melissa and Rome, who is a friend of Jess and Jenn's. We hiked the Park Aveanue trail that night. It isn't an official trail but a "primative" trail marked by carens. It was sometimes a challenge to identify the carens from just other piles of rocks.
Next day we started with Delecate Arch. I didn't like the last 200 yards of the trail but I finished. As any of you who have hiked with me know I don't make happy faces while on the top of the world so sorry for not smiling in the picutres. Also the last one of these is the canyon I never saw, the last 200 yards of the trail.

Then we did lunch where there were some flowers for Mom.

Then more hiking, the Windows trail passes three arches. North Window, where I lost my footing and hit my knees big time ouch.
South Window
and Turret Arch Turret Arch is where you really see why the other two arches are called North and South Window.
Then we went back to camp to rest, play in the water whatever. At this point the group split up again. Jenn, Melissa and Rome went into Moab and did whatever whild Jess and I went hiking again. Devil's Garden trail, we didn't do all of the hike due to my knee and "primative" trail issues but it was nice. We also discovered that that is the trail to do in the heat of the day as it had a lot of canyons and was green. Hiking it at sunset was still great though. Then we did the Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch Trails. Where the real excitement took place.
Boys if you are easily embarrised by girl stuff stop reading now.
You have to drive in between some of these trails so when I got out of the car at the Sand Dune trial head I suddenly felt this great freedom. And I realized one of two things had happened. One, my bra strap somehow became undone or two, my bra strap broke. So I checked things out and sure enough it had broken. After Jess and I stopped laughing I had to come up with some way to fix the problem, I'm all for being in nature but there are limits specifically when wearing a Camelbak. So I thought for a minute then remembered that I keep a 72 hour kit in my car which includes 3 days of clothing and that included underware so I took out the bra and put it on as discreetly as possible thanks to the help of a lady who was keeping watch for us. After this excitement we continued on with our hiking.
OK boys welcome back.
Sand Dune Arch really did mean sand. The start of the trail was a normal gravel path then we got to this canyon. Jess is sitting on a rock and the path to the right is pure sand.

After this point it was a slot canyon where the ground was nothing but sand. The further in we hiked the more sand got in my shoes. I was wearing my running shoes which are great for air circulation so your feet don't get hot well not so great because sand can get in too. I told Jess this and she said that it couldn't be that bad. We kept going until we got to Sand Dune Arch. I really need to buy a tripod because some of these angles are not so great. Jessica and I didn't see other people on the trails that night. Rocks and sand aren't the best photographers. Back to the story, when we got back to the trail head and out of the sand I showed Jess how much sand really was in my shoes.

Our last arch was Broken Arche. It was pretty cool as the moon was rising right as we got there. I'm the dead body under the arch.

We went back to camp then Sunday morning drove home and I went to my old ward as I had missed my ward. That was really fun as I got to see all of my friends I don't run into very often. Overall a great break from reality and I can cross off another National Park.