Thursday, March 26, 2009

more job/interview drama

For someone who hates interviews so much, I sure seem to be going on a lot of them. And they don't seem to be getting any easier really. Oh well, I guess it's good experience. At least that's what everyone says. And "everyone" is always right, right?? :)

I don't really know what to think of this interview. I would love to get the position, but only God knows. I'd say my chances are about 50/50, and it probably depends a lot on the candidates they are interviewing next week. I would have to say that this was by far the most challenging interview yet. They asked lots of tough questions and wrote down pretty much every word I said. I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the questions, and pretty stupid really. I mean, come on, I'm a nurse -- I should know these things!!! I felt like crying, but willed myself not to. The interviewers told me to relax and that I was doing fine, but it just didn't seem like it at the time.

On the way home, I analyzed (over-analyzed?) everything I had said in my mind, and thought of about a bazillion other things I COULD have said and yet didn't. I beat myself up mentally for a while, and then decided it's out of my hands now. They said they would call towards the end of next week. And they are going to call either way, so at least I don't have to make myself sick over wondering whether the phone is going to ring.

Hmmmm, I just reread this post, and I sound like such a mental basket case. :-) And I guess that would be a pretty fair assessment.

Hopefully this will be the last interview for a while......

Friday, March 20, 2009

proud of us!!

God has blessed us so much financially. Many times, I am ungrateful -- thinking we don't have enough money for this or that -- but the truth is we have way more than we can use, and much more than we need. Honestly, we aren't the most frugal of people. Sure, I'll use coupons here and there when I can, and I always take advantage of good sales, but when I see how frugally some people (have to) live, it almost makes me feel wasteful.

Anyways, even with our not-quite-frugal/not-quite-spendthrift lifestyle, we have managed to save quite a bit of money during the time we have been married. During the last 3 1/2 years, these are our major financial milestones:

  • Paid off about $12,000 in debt (basically from my college tuition)
  • Paid off about $2,500 worth of dental bills from when we didn't have dental insurance
  • Bought a car, which we are currently making payments on
  • Saved over $20,000 toward the purchase of our new home
  • Consistently given 10% plus of our income to God's work at our church
When I think of how much income we have earned over the past few years, I am impressed with the amount of money we were able to save, and I am so proud of us!! But I think it is the last point that is the kicker -- giving back to God. I confess that many times I am so tempted to let that slide. Skipping one week of giving probably wouldn't hurt, right?? And I could sure use that $200 elsewhere -- maybe pay the cable bill or the car insurance. But then I slap myself and remind myself that it is the least we can do to give some of our earnings back to God. He has never failed us -- not once -- and He's not about to start now. And I firmly believe that God blesses those who give back to Him.

Now, after living in a small apartment for the last three years, God has blessed us with the means to purchase our own home. We both have good jobs. We also have two cars that are insured, and we always have money to buy gas for them. We always have food in our refrigerator and in our pantry, and there are more than enough clothes in our closet. We have nice furniture, two computers, a TV, and a ridiculous amount of "extras." Thank you, God, for consistently taking care of us!!

"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto HIM be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

oh the trials of life.....

So, last week (or whenever) I was whining (yes, whining) about a situation. A situation that I interpreted as bad, long before it even had an opportunity to manifest itself. In short, I cried (a lot) about not being able to get a job after TWO interviews. Poor little me.

Well, soon after I cried about it, I received a phone call in which I was offered one of the jobs from said interviews. Yippee for me!! Regarding the other interview, I also whined (only a little) about how I wished they would call me even if they didn't want to hire me. I didn't mind that I didn't get the job -- just that I didn't KNOW.

Well, God has a sense of humor.

Today, I received another phone call. I got the other job!!! Wowee, now what to do?? Both are casual positions, and as far as I can see, that does not entail any set number of hours. I could very possibly accept both positions, but it depends on a number of factors. First, I have to attend orientation at position #1 to find out the particulars of the job. That will be on March 31. Then I will have to call position #2 back and see if their schedule could possibly mesh with my new one. Position #2 seems very understanding about the other position and told me to call them back when I had more of an idea about hours and such. Complicating matters further is the presence of my current job. While NOT my dream job and not really what I went to school for, I feel some sort of attachment to it, as I have been there 2 1/2 years. I don't really want to give it up entirely just yet, as I may need to pick up a few shifts here and there while I learn the ins and outs of casual work. It's a job where I basically schedule myself, so there's that bonus.

Other factors are (of course) money and location. We are relocating to another town in about six weeks. Position #1 will be about 5 minutes from our new house. Position #2 will be about 40 minutes from our new house. And my current job will be about 25 minutes from our new house. I, quite obviously, am keeping the casual position #1, as its location is supremely ideal. I don't know yet if position #2 will offer enough hours to make the drive worth it. And about the money -- positions #1 and #2 are similar, if not identical, in salary. My current job earns me SIGNIFICANTLY less than either of these other two would. Its only "perks" are its familiarity, my attachment to the elderly lady and her daughter, and its consistency. My schedule rarely changes unless I want it to, and the hours are dependable.

So therein lies the irony. Instead of crying about not getting jobs, I am now wondering what is the best route to take now that I essentially have three jobs in my lap. Take one new position?? Well, that's a given -- I've already accepted one. Take both new positions?? Quite possibly. Keep my current job or leave it?? Still undecided. And I can't really decide anything until orientation starts at the end of the month.

Oh well. I'd much rather be in this "predicament" than sit by the phone crying about my apparent lack of interview skills. Oh yes, I am the woman!! :) :) Time will sort this one out, and it will happen quite soon, I think.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

to rock or not to rock

I have many thoughts today. For your convenience, I shall put them in a numbered list. :-)

  1. Yoplait yogurt -- cranberry-raspberry crumble variety: This stuff rocks!! I am so in love with this flavor. Unfortunately, the only way I seem to be able to buy it is in a 16-pack with three other flavors (4 of each flavor). While the other flavors are okay, I find myself just dutifully slurping them down in anticipation of the cranberry stuff. I hope I can find it soon in its own individual pack, or in a big tub, or something.
  2. RRRoll up the RRRim contest: This stuff does NOT rock. I guess one could make the case that we go through the drive-thru at Timmy's an awful lot. I probably wouldn't contest that fact. Even more so during February and March, when they have the (in)famous RRRoll up the RRRim contest. It's just like it sounds -- after you're done drinking your coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or whatever, you roll up the rim to see if you've won a prize. Prizes range from gift cards to money to new cars to computers. However, free coffee and donuts from Timmy's is supposed to be the easiest prize to win -- after all, they're only giving away 31 MILLION food prizes. I remember from last year winning a donut almost every time I rolled up the rim. Not so this year. We. have. not. won. ANYTHING. You would think this might be enough to make us stop buying our favorite beverages. Again, not so. Apparently, we're suckers for punishment.
  3. The hair-dying saga: This stuff does NOT rock. I decided in a LAST effort to try the hair dye my sister recommended. If it didn't work, then I was done and stuck with the wonderful color God gave me. :) Well, let me tell you -- this dye is potent stuff. My eyes were watering and I was feeling a bit faint as I combed it through my hair. James said he was getting a headache from it, and he wasn't anywhere near me when I was doing it. Ah, I thought, this is the stuff. Anything this powerful has to be clinging to (and chemically destroying) every single strand of my hair. It said to leave it on for 10 minutes, so due to my hair's non-compliance in the past, I left it on for 30 minutes. Work, baby, work!! Well, I have to say I *think* it worked. Immediately after, my hair was dark. Really dark. I did it on a Saturday night, and I got LOADS of comments about it at church the next day. But!! There's always a but!! Even though it's supposed to be a permanent dye, I believe it is slowly washing out every time I wash my hair. It's still darker than normal, but it's definitely lighter than the first day. And from day two, my lather of shampoo ends up with a purplish tinge to it. That's ok though -- after all this trouble I've been through, I don't even think I liked it dark, although everyone else sure seemed to. I think I'm gonna stick with my dark dark blonde. Although I would love to add some pink or purple streaks -- anyone got any advice on that??? :) :)
  4. Job interviews: this stuff does NOT rock. Honestly, the mere mention of an interview sends my stomach into spasms and me into a nearly full-blown nervous breakdown. Usually when I get to the interview, I am completely fine and able to be polite, outgoing, and maybe even charming. I had an interview last week Wednesday, and it seemed to go okay. She said someone would be contacting me soon. It's been a week and a half, and no one has called. I'm guessing that means they passed on me. Totally fine, but I almost wish they would call and say so, so my stomach doesn't have to be in knots all the time wondering. The second interview was this past Tuesday. There were three of us, and only one job available. Part of it was a group interview, and part of it was individual. I had the last individual interview, and honestly, I thought it went GREAT. I felt like I really clicked with the two interviewers, and it left me with a very happy feeling. She said they would be making a decision by the end of the week. Yikes. The next three days were anxiety-ridden. I couldn't even sleep at night due to feeling ill, and when I finally would fall asleep, I would dream that they had called me. Then I would frantically wake up, grab the phone, and realize they hadn't. All day yesterday, I assumed I would hear something. The phone did not ring. Instead of feeling sick, I now started to feel upset that I probably hadn't gotten the job. I did all this worst-case scenario stuff in my mind, and then ended up sobbing about how I was never going to get a job. You would NOT have wanted to be at my house yesterday. Finally, I let it go (with a lot of prodding from Jamie). I thought, maybe they're making a decision today and then calling everyone on Monday. Yeah, that's it. Job interviews and waiting are definitely not for me!!!
  5. Getting a job: now this stuff totally rocks!!! After all my whining and woe-is-me-ing (great word I just made up, hey?) that I did on Friday, the director called me very late Friday afternoon and said "would you like a job?" Ah, music to my anxiety-laden ears!! It felt amazing to have my hard work finally pay off. And it made me feel a lot better about my interviewing skills -- maybe it really had gone as well as I thought. I don't know all the details yet, but she is going to call me back Monday and tell me more. When I see her again, I will have to give her a huge hug for letting me know before the weekend so I wouldn't have to be sick about it. Then again, that might not be the best way to impress a new employer. So I'll just be happy about it here!!! Thank you, God.
And so concludes my list of thoughts for now. :)

P.S. Is it just me, or has the standard of dress for interviews gone WAY down?? I've always thought it was appropriate to look professional, clean, and well-polished for an interview, even if you're applying to be a cashier at a supermarket (I did that, so I know!!). I usually dress up (not ridiculously so -- no ball gowns or anything lol). I figure if you are trying to sell yourself to a company, it's important to look your best. In these group interviews, however, I get to see how other people are dressing, and let me tell you, it's scary sometimes. In this last one, a not-very-skinny woman was wearing a very ill-fitting blue suit that looked about a hundred years old. And she paired with that white athletic socks and very casual shoes. Hmmmmm. That may or may not be as bad as the last group interview I had last year. There were nine of us, all female. Three of the nine were wearing jeans!! And two were wearing shirts/blouses that left an awful lot of them hanging out and not an awful lot left to the imagination. Another was wearing scrubs -- I guess maybe she had just come from work?? Still, take the time to change!! Maybe employers just have to take what they can get these days. If I'm ever in the position to do the hiring (not very likely), I would certainly not hire someone who couldn't even bother to look appropriate for ONE day.

Sorry, pet peeve...... :) :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

swag bucks


Search & Win


Now I'm certainly not an expert on these sorts of things, but this one seems pretty good to me. It reminds me a little of Mypoints, but so far it's been easier to get points (bucks) and it looks like the rewards are cheaper.

What am I talking about??? Swagbucks.com. It's a search engine that pulls results from Google and Ask.com and brings them to you in one convenient place. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, here is the best part! You can also earn "Swagbucks" while searching the web, and redeem them for prizes in the Swag Store. Prizes range from $5 gift cards to Amazon.com all the way up to iPhones and electric guitars! So you are not only getting two of the best search engines pulled into one, but you are also earning Swagbucks for doing it. You don't find Swagbucks every time you search, but you never know when you will!! Usually, you will get 2 Swagbucks just for your first search.

There are other ways to win Swagbucks -- like shopping through their site, finding hidden codes on various websites, trading in other merchandise -- but so far I'm only using the search option. I made Swagbucks my default search engine, and so far I have earned 26 Swagbucks just doing normal every-day searches. 45 Swagbucks will buy you a $5 gift card, so I'm not doing too badly, since I've only had my account for less than a week.

So here's where you come in. I want you to sign up for Swagbucks too!! You can get free stuff, and if you use my referral link, you will help me earn more Swagbucks. It's not a scam, and all you have to do is use their search engine to win a buck or two here and there. Who doesn't Google every day anyways??

So SIGN UP USING THIS LINK, or click the banner above!! Hopefully, you (and I) will be earning lots of Swagbucks soon. :) :)

P.S. If you're interested in joining Mypoints, let me know and I'll send you a referral link.