Friday, August 31, 2012

Doings, Happenings, and Goings On

After a week or so of radio silence from Ruttville, I thought it time to bring you up-to-date on what's been happening, follow up on some previous posts, and just generally present the report from the home front.  Those of you who already follow my personal accounts on Facebook and Twitter know most of these things, but for the benefit of those who do not, here's the recap of a whirlwind week or so:


Yeah, I suppose that's the biggest and best news - after hitting about rock bottom both in finances and in spirit during a hellish 15-month job search, gainful employment is mine again! Well, it will be, starting September 10 when I begin a roughly four-month temp position with a leading national employee benefits plan administration company.  They're heading into their busy time of year, and need to do a temporary ramp-up of customer service folks to soak up the excess business.  Having spent much of the past fifteen years working directly with clients and managing a call center, while also being successful in sales, training, recruiting and strategic planning, customer service is practically my middle name.

I landed this gig through a regional staffing service, who have proven to be excellent at placing people like myself in paying positions quickly.  In fact the process of signing up with this service, getting scheduled for an interview, and being offered the job all happened in under a week - whereas on my own 15 months had garnered me little more than a collection of rejection letters, an interview with someone who actually responded to text messages while interviewing me, and the growing dread that I would soon be carrying a negative net worth.  I have gained a healthy respect for this type of service, and highly recommend finding one to work with if you're still out on the job hunt.

Granted, the job doesn't pay what I'm used to making, but it's reliable income and a foot in the door with a good company.  If I prove my worth, this could lead to a permanent position more in line with my skillset and value.  Plus, I continue to do freelance work which, while it couldn't support me in itself, goes a surprisingly long way to make up the difference in income I'll be experiencing.  Also, it'll be nice not to be the one in charge for awhile.  I'm pleased, as are the electric company, the gas company, and the bank who holds my mortgage.


Also making my world a happier place are the two newest arrivals to Ruttville, Edison and Amadeus - two of the coolest cats (pun intended) you could ever hope to meet!  In a world often divided into "dog people" and "cat people," I am a card-carrying member of the latter group.  My family has always had cats, and once I had settled into my own apartment back in the 1990s, I had a wonderful Siamese named Napoleon.  He was an incredible cat - very social, very friendly, a favorite among my circle of friends at the time.  Unfortunately, Napoleon succumbed to kidney disease after many years of being a true friend and companion, and making the decision to put him down was, to this day, the singularly most difficult decision I have ever had to make.  For many years I thought maybe I'd never be ready for another cat, but I knew that when and if that day came, I wanted another Siamese.  Ideally two, so they could keep one another company while I was away at work.

Of course, I wasn't about to jump back into cat ownership without a job, and Siamese are often quite expensive to adopt.  It's not uncommon to see ads asking $250 - $400 per kitten!  Well, sometimes things just come together because they're supposed to:  just two days after finalizing the job with CoreSource, a friend posted on Facebook that her mother was looking to place a 12-week-old sealpoint Siamese - $20 to a good home!  After talking with her mother, I also agreed to adopt an 8-week-old Siamese/tiger mix, and last Monday, Ruttville welcomed Edison and Amadeus.

Edison, the Sealpoint, earned his name by being the immediately inquisitive one.  He is smart as a whip and investigates everything.  Amadeus, meanwhile, was so named for his constant joyful noise.  As he follows Edison around like a big brother (they are not actually littermates, but sure act like it!), he mews and chirps happily.  He is also the troublemaker of the two, regularly instigating the whole-house chases and ball-of-fur wrestling matches which he invariably loses, being 4 weeks younger and not nearly as big as Edison.

They often say that having pets can be a calming, healthy thing for people - especially anxiety-prone folks like myself.  To a person, my friends and family have said they can already see the positive difference these two have brought to my psyche. Sure, they can be exasperating as they play-fight loudly, knock things over, and generally get into typical kitten mischief.  And sure, I find myself wondering already why I invested in various catnip-filled balls, fishing-pole mice, and other assorted cat toys for them to play with when their favorite toys have turned out to be, in ascending order, a cardboard box, my feet, and each other.  But they are the greatest companions in the world, unfailingly entertaining comics, and will undoubtedly become regular blogpost fodder around here.


One bit of forward-looking news to report, although I don't want to go too much in depth because it might be a few months off.  But, the seeds have been planted for what just might possibly turn into a That's What I Was Going To Say podcast!  Tossing some ideas around with a few folks as far as what the structure and frequency of such a podcast would be.  I need some feedback from you:  what would you want in a TWIWGTS podcast?  Would you want something weekly? Twice a month? Once a month?  Would you even listen?  Want to be a part of the fun?  Let me know in the comments below, or at the Official That's What I Was Going To Say Facebook Page and/or Twitter Stream.

OK, that's it for now.  Looking forward to hearing from you guys!

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