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Changing Perspective

Published August 16, 2016 by lynn k scott

It’s an eye-opening experience when you take a moment to evaluate what you want from life.  Over the last few years, my life has changed more than I would have ever imagined.  I know life isn’t fair, bad things happen to good people, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, it will get better….yada yada yada.

At this point in my life, my youngest daughter is everything to me.  She’s the one who’s still at home with me and my world revolves around her.  When I was transitioning my daughter from homeschooling to small, private school, I checked with my boss, who said I could bring her to the office before and after school.

She is a good kid, sits and watches tv (yes our office has that in a large break room). Doesn’t bother anyone.  She used to sit in an unoccupied office prior to that.  One of the owners said, she could watch tv; if she wanted to.

Lately, the main owner has been fixed on some issues that are not the most pressing in the company.  After 30 years of business, and eight months into the year, he wants to change things, see details that take meticulous calculations to obtain and doesn’t understand how the information is calculated.  Unfortunately, I am wrapped up in this data mess, as I administer part of what he is complaining about.

While I only lend my opinion, based on my experience, I do not make any final decisions. However, apparently, because I’m involved, I’m now “public enemy number one” in the eyes of the owner of the company.  Now, my daughter is no longer allowed to watch tv for the two hours after school, while I finish my work day.  I will add, my work has not been negatively affected with my daughter at work.  If anything, I have been working even more to quell the mighty giant who would rather slay me than listen to reason about how his business practices have brought him to the current mess we are cleaning up.  When he chooses to punish me, by taking it out on my daughter, we have a problem.

That being said, the entire situation has caused me to re-evaluate my position within the company.  While I make a decent salary, I am underpaid for all that I do.  My daughter’s education and happiness are paramount.  I realize, no matter what they claim my position is, I’m a glorified paper pusher.  I am great at my job, so I don’t let that discourage me.

Yet, through all of this, I have realized, the job I thought I would probably have for the next decade or so, isn’t the job for me.  I want to be more available for my daughter.  I want more memories of us.  I still have to make money; sadly.  My family still expects to eat, daily, with the lights on, have hot water, clothes, etc…..so I continue to work in the hostile environment of my job.

I told my friends yesterday, I want to go back to wedding planning.  I want to be my own boss.  I enjoy making people happy by working behind the scenes so their special day is full of memories that will make them smile for a lifetime to come.

I enjoy doing walk venue walk-throughs.  Making notes of what will or won’t work for a particular client, attending the wedding rehearsal, ordering dishes, making sure the banquet room tables are set just right.  That the chairs gently “kiss” the tablecloth and aren’t pushed all the way in.  I like making sure the bar is set and ready for when the guests arrive for the cocktail hour, following a timeline.  All the details that the average person doesn’t realize that have to happen to pull off a successful event; is what I enjoy doing.

Over the next year, I will work some freelance events, maybe do some day of coordination for ceremonies and work at building my business so I can work for myself, this time next year.  That’s the goal!

I am currently looking for another job that I can keep my daughter in her present school. If we have to change schools or return to homeschooling, so be it.  Her education and happiness are important and I am over pleasing a male chauvinist who views my job as a necessary evil of having to do business.

Look out Bay Area and Sacramento, a new wedding planning business is on the horizon!

I speak like a child

Published November 19, 2015 by lynn k scott

As I wrap up another year of Open Enrollment and all the chaos that has ensued, I have to seriously consider if I want to take on the challenge of a Spanish for business course.

While I have strong feelings about English in the work place (definitely another post), I can’t help but feel I’m not helping my employees enough because some of them have a definite language barrier.

I have tried to learn Spanish in the past.  I will say, when I worked in the restaurant industry when I arrived in CA, many moons ago, my Spanish was the best it ever was.  You can’t work in CA restaurants and not pick up some Spanish; it’s near impossible.

Alas, time is not my friend and has erased much of the Latin-based language that used to roll off my tongue as easily as a trilled “r”.  When I attempt to remember how to say certain Spanish phrases, I feel like I’m speaking like a child.  I know a four-year old has better grammar than I do.  I miss words, context, etc.  Heck, I’m lucky if they get the gist of what I’m trying to convey.

I know what’s holding me back, besides money, is my lack of ability to practice.  I know I’m a perfectionist and I don’t want to sound unintelligent when I’m speaking with employees.  I’m still considering a course or two.  It can’t hurt and if I can make my employees understand the importance of what is required of them, while accurately informing them of their options, so they can make an informed decisions about their health-care, then I should be willing to give it the old-college-try, right?

To learn or not to learn? That is the real question!

 

Adventures in Homeschooling: the 4th grade year

Published September 10, 2015 by lynn k scott

Yesterday, I stopped by to pick up my daughter from a friend’s house.  I had given her some words to look up in the dictionary. Her assignment was to find the word in the dictionary, write its page number she found it on and a quick definition.  That’s sounds fairly easy, right?  WRONG!  To a reluctant fourth grader, I just assigned her to climb Mt. Rushmore, free-hand!

Back to that in a moment.

I walk in the door and I see my daughter gathering her things.  It was then I noticed her hair.  My daughter’s hair goes down her back and is just about to touch her buttocks if it grows much more.  She often pulls it up.  Let me tell you…she got creative!

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Every item she had in her pencil box was in her hair!  I couldn’t stop laughing.  I’ve never seen anyone do this.  My friend hadn’t seen her do it and the expression on his face was priceless.  I told her, “don’t get in the car.  I NEED a picture of this”; knowing I just found my next blog post.

We begin home and that’s when I find out she didn’t do her dictionary terms.  Well, that became her first order of business upon arrival at the house.  I should have gotten out the climbing gear for that mole-hill that she made into a mountain.  “It’s too hard!  Who needs to learn how to use a dictionary anyway?”  SLAM!  That would be the dictionary.

*EXASPERATED MOTHERLY SIGH*

“Ok, put it down, for now.  I’ll have you work on something else”.

“Mom, we need to talk.”  That’s really code for….I’m not happy and I’m about to tell you why.

“Ok, let’s talk.  What’s on your mind?”

“Mom.  You should just accept the fact I’m going to be a failure.  I’m ok with it.  I’ll live a life of crime.  I’ll go to prison, get released, steal something and go back to prison.  That will be my life.”

Ah, my over-dramatic daughter.  Have I expressed how fun nine year-olds can be?

I assured her that wouldn’t be the case.  She wasn’t cut out for prison.  I then offered to switch her to a language program to work on reading and comprehension.  Oh, that went over like a lead balloon.  But guess what, she did it anyway.

My princess settled in and started the computer work.  She didn’t do half bad.  I sat with her while she read aloud.  She stopped during her reading, looked at me and said, “I’m sorry for my behavior.  You know, girls and puberty, right?”

Heaven help me!  I bit my lip to stifle a laugh, as she was dead serious.  I agreed she was hormonal or something and the rest of the evening went off without a hitch.

My husband wanted a little girl.  I warned him that boys were A LOT easier.  He really didn’t know what he was asking for, as this is his first child.  There’s a reason they say to be careful what you wish for.  This child is going to give both of us a run for our money.  I only hope she gets a well-paying acting job because she’s got talent for drama!

Did you know…?

Published July 10, 2015 by lynn k scott

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Stages of Grief”, but did you know who came up with them?

I, myself, didn’t know until December of last year.  The final day of my human development class; we passed a piece of paper around the class.  On this paper, was a variety of quotes from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  Each student chose a quote that got their attention and read it aloud.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a psychiatrist and journalist and the stages were for terminally ill patients:  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  Those stages apply to the majority of people, whether they themselves are terminally ill or they have lost someone close to them.  She spent a good part of her career observing, talking and being with those who were dying.

We had studied a bit of her just a couple weeks prior to the end of the semester.  I found her work very interesting and comforting.  I believe part of that was due to the fact I still had to write my final paper on “death and dying”.  As it was about my sister, my emotions were reeking havoc and I was an incoherent mess; to put it mildly.  One might think it’s a morbid topic, yet to read her work and observations is very enlightening.

I have posted two Quotes of the Day for today and tomorrow.  Both are by Kubler-Ross and they just seem really appropriate.  If you’d like to learn a bit more about her, I’ve provided a link for you.

Precocious Miss M

Published May 26, 2015 by lynn k scott

Yesterday, the lil miss accompanied me to my job.  She was so excited to come into work with me.  She was able to hang out in the office next to me, played on my phone, listened to music, was thrilled to stamp envelopes for me and then watched TV in the drivers’ room.

She was adorable and cordial to everyone I introduced her too. Everyone told me how cute she was and what a personality she had.  They engaged her in a variety of conversations.

Last night, the lil miss, was telling me how much fun she had at my office.  I let her know everyone enjoyed meeting her as well. She responded with, “Well, how could they not like me?  Make sure you just tell them I said thank you.”  I bit my lip and thought, she’s her mother’s daughter.  I was like that at her age too.

This morning on the way in, I thought to myself….Bette Midler is known as the ‘Divine Miss M’.  Since my daughter’s name begins with an “M”, I have dubbed her the ‘Precocious Miss M’.  I never know what my little, dark-haired beauty, will utter that will render me speechless.

Graduated to being a Californian

Published April 30, 2015 by lynn k scott

Eighteen years ago, a 20-something woman, wearing a new $17 Levi’s jean jacket, holding one small piece of luggage, said good-bye to her mother at 5:00 a.m. on a brisk April morning.  Departing on a Greyhound bus, bound for Northern California, it was a move of desperation to protect herself from an abusive, stalking, estranged (now ex-) husband.

She would travel for four days by bus, stopping in a variety of bus stops along the way; in towns she never knew existed, as she ventured further toward the West Coast.  She was befriended by a couple of guys during her journey.  The trio quickly became friends and to be honest, it was nice not to be so alone.

A time came when she had to make the choice to continue onto California, for a sales job, or accept the offer of one of her new friends and continue on with him.  She eventually chose her original path and was in awe as the bus made its way into California.  Sacramento was the first city where she saw palm trees and she thought of the movie Beverly Hills Cop. Granted, that took place in Southern California, and she was no where near there, but that was what came to mind.

The bus made its way to the Greyhound station in the East Bay.  The woman had no idea who she was meeting.  It was dark out when the bus pulled into the station.  Luckily, the party she was meeting, found her.  So began her new life in the Golden State.

Fast forward a bit…the sales job didn’t work out, esp. when she learned she’d be moving back East as the company was headed to Chicago.  Back East?  Back to being closer to her husband?  No, not possible.

Three thousand miles away from family and friends and faced with the possibility of being on the streets because this job wasn’t didn’t turn out as she thought it would. After making some calls,  she found a homeless shelter in Newark.  She was able to live there for a month to figure things out.  It wasn’t ideal, but it was an option.  Part of the rules was that the residents had to be out of the facility for a certain number of hours each day.  Some went to group counseling, which was free, as many of them were substance abusers.

The groups weren’t a bad place to be; killed time after all.  There was coffee and some food, so she didn’t need money to eat.  The shelter also provided bus tokens.  She would use those to go to the local unemployment office.  Back then, you could go in and search for work on their computers.

As it happened, she found a live-in, housecleaning job.  Having grown up in a tourist town, she was familiar with picking up after strangers.  She’d been employed, several times, as a chamber-maid.  Yup, that was the term before everyone switched to “housekeeping”.

She was earning $1500.00 a month plus a small room, which held a twin bed and had a small closet.   It wasn’t much, but it was a safe, warm place that provided a paycheck.  Working for those who come from money is an experience.  The wife/mother of this family was very out of touch with reality.  She treated people as if they were beneath her.  The husband, a heart surgeon, grew up poor and had a different perspective on life.  By their interactions, you’d be surprised they were married.

That job lasted several months until the woman expressed interest in continuing her job but living in her own place.  She was fired, by the secretary one afternoon, because she refused to take a spoiled teenager shopping at the mall, during rush-hour traffic, for her birthday (3 months away).  The woman was in the middle of doing her job, which was cleaning the house.  The teenager was calling her mother and complaining about not being at the mall.  Welcome to the life of living in excess and no boundaries.

So there she was, homeless again.  This time she had a little money but not enough to get her a room anywhere.  She called the guy she had met and had been dating.  He came, picked her up, and paid for her to stay at a local motel.  Back to looking for work.  She found a waitressing job.  The owner, upon hearing she was from NY, hired her immediately. It seems New Yorkers have a good worth ethic, even if they are abrupt and blunt in their interactions.

She would have to take the bus and walk a couple miles each day, but at least she was working again. She was able to rent a room in about a month with what she was able to save.  She still didn’t have access to a car, so more walking and bus riding.  It wasn’t ideal, but it was what needed to be done.

That waitressing job led to other hospitality jobs, including working formal catering jobs.  Working in some of the finest venues and homes in California was an experience.  The highlight of the catering jobs including meeting Wolfgang Puck, working a wedding for a local chef, working parties at the home of the Chancellor of Berkeley, working in a Senator’s home and being a bartender on Alcatraz.

Fast forward many years later, the woman is now married, has a beautiful daughter, a house, a good job and has defied odds that would have crippled many.  While I, yes me, the woman in the story, will always remember my New York roots, I have graduated to being a Californian.  This is my home.

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