Have you ever?

Have you ever been "talked to" at work because you're too much of a "perfectionist"??? Been told that you do a fantastic job but that admittedly, the system used by the company is extremely flawed and that you should just accept the flaws? That you should just go with the flaws and stop trying to improve the way you do things? Oh, and don't take it personally when you are repeatedly attacked for trying to do a better job?


Well, this is a first for me.

Smarten up!

Let me first start out by saying that I like what you're doing for yourself. Eating healthy and on a regular exercise program and hence, losing some weight. You should be proud of yourself for the significant changes you've made.

However, you need to be careful that you don't overdo it. You know that you have a tendency to get somewhat obsessed about things and can get carried away with whatever project you are currently undertaking.

Case and point: While it is a great idea to combat your stress and depression with exercise (as opposed to eating and drinking for comfort), I hardly think that you need to take it to the level that causes you muscle pain, extreme fatigue - to the point where you have difficulty focusing your eyes - and a headache which eventually turns to a migraine. Not only is it not healthy for you to exercise to that level, it is also very unhealthy for you to follow that up with not eating anything for dinner just because you don't find anything on the menu that you find suitable for your "diet". It certainly didn't do you much good to be laid up for a day trying to recover from such nonsense, did it?

This is a dangerous road to go down and I trust that you have learned your lesson and you won't do it again. Don't let the stress and difficulties get the better of you. Pay attention to your body and know your limits!

You need to take much better care of yourself than this, and I think you know that. Let this serve as reminder.

What I Learned Today #4 ***UPDATED***

Today I learned that my phobia of germs at the gym is indeed warranted as I was woken very early this morning with a sore throat and a headache. I have been regularly attending the gym for about 3 weeks now even though I am creeped out by the abundance of disgusting people-germs that are flying around the place just waiting to attack me. I am sure that my recent ailment is from the germy gym because any time I have re-started visiting the gym in the past I have gotten either a cold or the flu - and aside from the odd hangover and the odd mental ailment – oh, and that one migraine a few weeks back, I rarely get sick.

My suspicions have been confirmed that the gym is full of 20-25 year old girls with stripper bodies and lots of icky disgusting germs.


***UPDATE***

I'm pleased to report that I am feeling much better this morning and slept much better last night. My sore throat seems to have almost gone completely away. This means that you all can stop worrying about me!!! I could tell how concerned you all were by the over abundance of comments, emails, phone calls, and the ton of "Get Well Soon" flowers that I started receiving only moments after posting this. It really warms my heart to know that I am loved by so many people...



assholes

And the saga continues... ***UPDATED***

I have never been one to have good luck. If something bad can happen, it will happen to me. I’m not saying this because I feel sorry for myself (except maybe I do a little bit), no I’m just stating the fact that Steve and I have the worst of luck.

Some examples:

When we finally saved up enough money to buy a purebred Boston Terrier, we had her for a week before her eye was torn open by an attack from the cat. She had to undergo expensive surgery and numerous medical treatments (thankfully, Steve's parents came to the financial rescure). She almost lost her eye. It was a terrible and tragic time for us. She has a permanent scar on her eyeball and we will always have to watch for health problems.

When we got married, I planned and planned and planned (as everyone does) and made sure that every detail was taken care of. Steve and I even took dance lessons for weeks before our wedding so that we could look good when it came to our first dance. I had also bought the most beautiful (and expensive) pair of Steve Madden shoes that I could not wait to wear. Well, I got married on a Friday and on the Wednesday night before the wedding, I sprained my ankle. BADLY. I could barely walk. So no fancy dance moves, and no beautiful Steve Madden shoes (I still haven’t worn them outside of my house).

When we remortgaged our townhouse to get a line of credit – the bank employee mistakenly had us sign the wrong documents, but didn’t tell us until a week later when we were wondering why we still didn’t have our line of credit. It then took another MONTH before we actually saw our line of credit – except every day that it was late and we phoned to complain she told us - no, she ASSURED us it would be in our account “tomorrow”. In the meantime we accrued interest on the accounts that she was supposed to pay off for us and close.

We leased a brand new car because we were tired of my old car continually breaking down and costing us money. Except after only having the car for 3 years, it broke down. We were told it was under warranty until the dealership decided that it was going to be expensive to fix. It ended up costing over $3000 to repair (thankfully Steve’s parents once again came to our financial rescue). And we were without the car for over a month while they took their time repairing it. All the while, I had to take public transit and walk to and from work – thru construction, over a bridge, in the rain.

And people, I won’t even get into what happened when Steve and I decided we wanted to start a family...

These are just a few examples. There are many, many, many more hard luck stories that I could tell but I'm sure your tissues are damp enough already.

So the latest incident with our new table, chairs and barstools should come as no surprise to me. The furniture store FINALLY called yesterday to say that our furniture order was in and we could come pick it up. On the way to pick it up, Steve mentioned to me that the guy told him that the table is slightly smaller than the one I ordered. What? Why is it smaller? Not sure, but the guy says it’s the same table, only a little smaller.

Already this is starting to go bad...

So we get to the store and I ask our salesgirl why the table is smaller and she feeds me a big salesy line of bullshit. “It’s what everyone wants these days, smaller tables. Because everyone lives in condos they need smaller tables to take up less space.”

Ummm, but I don’t live in a condo and I want the exact same table that I have already bought and paid for. And as it turns out, the table I ordered is 42” x 42”. The table that was sent to me is 36” x 36”. Quite a big difference actually.

The box containing the table is sitting outside ready to go. The girl tells me to just take it home and if I don’t like it, I can return it. I explained to her that while it might be easy enough to fit the box of dismantled table and chairs in my jeep – once I get it home and put it together, it’s not going to fit back in the jeep. She keeps saying to me, “Oh don’t worry about it! Don’t worry about it!” Okayyyyy....?

Finally Steve says he’s opening the box and looking at the table before we take it. And good thing he did. We open the box and the table is not only way too small but it is a different color! Upon further inspection it is not even the same table!!! Completely different style. I refuse to take the table and ask for my money back. But it is late and the two girls who are working are “not allowed” to give credits.

Riiiiiiiiight…..

Besides, they are sure that they can get the actual table I ordered to their store by 10am today. They assured me that if they can’t get it by today at 10am, then they will give my money back.

If they could get the right table why would they try to spoof us into taking a smaller, uglier, cheaper table in the first place??? (Bait and switch?)


Why couldn't we just simply see a table, like it, buy it, take it home and live happily ever?



****UPDATE****

After speaking with the manager today, Steve was told that they couldn't actually get our table and chairs in for at least another 4 weeks.

Fine, then I want my money back.

And that's where the story get's even longer and our luck gets even shittier....

They are fully prepared to refund my money, but they want me to bring my Visa in to put a credit on my Visa account. The problem with this is - I didn't pay for the stuff with my Visa, I paid with my debit card. I thought this sounded a bit fishy so I called Visa and they told me that if this is the ONLY way to get my refund it is "ok", but it is certainly not recommended and I should demand that they put the money back on my debit card - like every other retail outlet in the world!!! Besides that, I don't need a $520 credit on my Visa, instead I could really use that money in my bank account - where the money came out of in the first place.

Anyways, I phoned the store myself because I didn't want to make another trip there for nothing. The manager asked that I bring in my Visa and he would happily credit me but insisted that his debit machine does not have the capability of giving a credit. I called bullshit on this but he wouldn't relent. Finally after arguing with him for a few minutes he said that if I wanted to come in tomorrow he would write me a cheque. He couldn't write me a cheque today because he doesn't keep a cheque book in the store.

This is not what I prefer, but this is what I'll do to get my money back.

Now, you might think that I went to Shady Bill's Basement of Bargains but actually this store is fairly large and has a couple of locations. Not that I would recommend going to either one of them after all this.

Now, does anyone blame me for experiencing Post Purchase Depression when this is the sort of shit that happens to me on a continual basis?

Let's hope this is the end of the story.

What I Learned Today #3

Today I learned that when you are about half way through your cardiovascular workout on the elliptical trainer at the gym, and you are sweating so much that you look like you fell in the pool with your clothes on, and you are wheezing like a 90 year old man with emphysema who smokes 6 packs a day, and there are certain parts of your body that are jiggling and moving so much that you can't help but wonder if Bill Cosby is still doing Jello commericals because he may want to recruit you to star in one, and you feel like your fat ass resembles that of the A&W Bear - it is at that precise time that no less than four 20-25 year olds with perfect hair and makeup and with the the bodies of strippers and who are wearing little more than bras and panties, will gleefully take up occupancy on the elliptical trainers around you. And it will take all the strength that you can possibly muster up to not give in to the urge to jump off your elliptical trainer mid-stride and make a bee-line for the door, pausing only 4 times to kick out 4 stripper-esq kneecaps but instead lifting your chin up, sticking out your much larger chest and continuing on with your workout.

Post Purchase Depression

One of the things that can send me into an emotional tailspin is money – or lack of it. I’m very careful where and how I spend my money. I wouldn’t say I’m cheap but I am cautious. When I spend money foolishly I feel just terrible, sick almost. I will get depressed, guilty, anxious and irritable – I refer to this feeling as Post Purchase Depression (PPD). Even with the most careful and fully thought out purchase, quite often I still experience PPD.

This weekend was filled with PPD.

We’ve needed a bed for some time now. Our queen sized mattress and box spring have been stacked on the floor. We have had no night stands and our ‘delicates’ (socks and undies) have been sitting in laundry baskets on either side of the mattress'. Am I painting a picture of a college flophouse? Good, because that’s precisely what it looked like.

So on Saturday afternoon we decided to go wander through a furniture store. No sooner had my eyes adjusted to the lighting inside the building did I set eyes on a piece of furniture that I LOVED. Was it the bed and night tables that I needed??? No, it was a kitchen table set. It was unique and very "Tarable".

(did you know that "Tarable" is a style? I'll bet you didn't).


And the price? A steal at only $399 for a table and 4 stools, no GST, no PST. I REALLY wanted it but felt that maybe I should wait and save my money for the bed that we needed so badly. (I didn’t like any of the beds in this store). So what do we do? We buy the table and 4 chairs but we don’t stop there. Steve suggests maybe we should try to get some matching bar stools for our bar. The salesman was happy to throw in a couple of 29” bar stools for a mere $60 each (again, no tax).

I think that the PPD kicked in when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to take my new purchases home with me THAT DAY and instead I would have to wait to pick them up until sometime this week. I walked out of the store with a $519 dent in my bank account and nothing to show for it but a stupid yellow receipt.

When you are experiencing a bad case of PPD - it can sometimes be eased somewhat by actually having something new to look at each time you feel the pangs of guilt. I had nothing to look at but the bright yellow receipt. AND...

- I could not rearrange my kitchen to make the yellow receipt fit in.

- I could not eat dinner on the yellow receipt.

- I most certainly could not sip a cocktail with my friends while sitting around the yellow receipt.

So what did I do instead? I worked myself into a mental frenzy. I had a big old anxiety attack, I felt sick to my stomach, I got grouchy (Steve may use a different word to describe my mood - like psychotic) and I spent the evening trying to rearrange the money (debts) in my bank accounts to try to make the dent appear as minimal as possible.

*sigh*

But it seems I must take the class a few times before I pass the course.


The very next day we decided to take a wander through Ikea. You know, just for something to do. I had no intention of making any major purchases – after all I was still recovering from a serious case of PPD. So I'm not entirely sure how THIS happened:







You might have guessed that I found the bed and night tables that were just perfect. (Coincidentally I also found some neat wall decor to throw in). They were exactly what I wanted. And for just a few moments the PPD was gone (just long enough to load the stuff in a cart, pay for it and cart it home)

I can justify it. But the PPD is still there - alhough it wasn’t quite as terrible last night as it had been the previous day. Maybe because I was kept busy by helping Steve put the new bed and night stands together and then rearranging furniture and making the bedroom look pretty. I’m pleased with how it all looks and I’m happy to not be sleeping on the floor anymore.

Speaking of sleeping... Somehow the new bed didn’t do much for sending me into a restful snooze. I had a flury of dollars signs, yellow receipts, barstools, and sneaky furniture salesmen flying around my head.





On another note: Quincy likes her bed just fine...



Charmer

I recently made a little change to my hair. I added some blond chunks around my face. I did it myself at home - a risk, I know - but since I did spend a few (miserable) years of my life as a hairdresser, I figured I could pull it off and save myself a few bucks. It took me a few different processes and some tweaking before I got it just so I like it but I am now pleased with the final results.

This morning I walked into the cafeteria at work and there were a couple of guys from the plant sitting in there having coffee.

Dude #1: Good morning.

Tarable: Good morning.

Dude #1: WHOA!!!! You got your hair done!!!!

Tarable: Yes..... I did.....

Dude #1: What a difference! It takes 10 years off your age!!

Tarable: Oh it does? Umm, thanks??? I didn't realize I had 10 years that needed to come off!

Dude #2: *laughing* Wow, Dude #1 - you just know all the right things to say.



Some guys just know how to charm the ladies.

Good Deed... sorta (not really)

As I was driving into work this morning and turned onto the little road that leads to our office, I came upon a man standing next to his Harley. It was an odd place to be stopped and since he was walking around the bike and looking down at it dismally, I figured it had broken down on him.

Now, my father rides a Harley as do some of his friends. I myself have spent a good deal of time on the back of Harleys and so I know what it’s like to be broken down and stranded. It’s not fun. Also a family friend recently was in a hit and run accident on his Harley and he lay on the side of the road with many broken bones while people just drove by him without stopping to help.

Clearly this man had not been in an accident and he also didn’t appear to be too terribly distressed but the biker in me kicked in and I thought I should just briefly pause as I went by him to make sure he didn’t need any help. I slowed as I got to him and he looked at me – I mouthed, “You ok?” He smiled but didn’t respond to me. So I rolled down my window and asked again, “everything ok?” He kept smiling and walked over to my jeep.

Stranded Biker: So, do you make it a habit of stopping to help strange men on the side of the road?

And I thought that that was possibly one of the cheesiest lines I’d heard in a long time so I replied with a little cheese of my own…

Me: Only when they’re riding Harleys.

Stranded Biker laughs and goes on to explain to me that his brother took his bike out for a ride yesterday and ran down the gas without telling him. So he was simply out of gas.

But he was also chatty - possibly flirty (ok, definitely flirty).

He went on to tell me that he is in charge of building the casino next to my work and how he’s responsible for all the grief that their construction site has caused our company over the past year. He said he’s not just one of the guys, he’s THE guy. He then went on to ask what I did for a living and how I liked it. I chatted with him for a few minutes before he finally admitted that some of his employees have jerry cans and they will be able to bring him some gas to get his bike going again – but he thanked me very much for stopping and wished me a good day. And I went on my way.

So clearly a simple nod or wave that yes, everything was fine would have been sufficient when I first slowed to make sure he didn’t need any help. Not that I could have provided any mechanical or even medical assistance should he have needed any.

But his bike was pretty.

And I have a weakness for Harleys.

But it still counts as an attempted good deed.... right?

Mistake

I was having a good day. A good couple of days actually. My mood was cheery and positive. I felt relaxed and happy and at peace with myself. But then I found out this afternoon that I made a mistake at work - or to be more specific, I made a mistake on someone's pay cheque. And right away my mood came crashing down. Immediately I felt panic and I had an anxiety attack. A knot materialized in the pit of my stomach. No longer relaxed, I felt terrible inside and it wasn't long before a tension headache crept it's way up my tense shoulders and into my temples.

Now, you might think I had done some terrible, irreversable, illegal, life threatening mistake on this person's pay, when the truth of the matter is that the mistake is not anything more than a mere oversight by myself (who is extremely overworked) and an slight inconvenience to the employee (who was not upset in the least). In fact, the error will be rectified by tomorrow.

So what's the problem? I can't let it go. I HATE making mistakes. Granted, nobody LIKES making mistakes, but I really have a hard time accepting that I have made a mistake and moving on. I will beat myself up terribly for this. I will worry about it. It will ruin my mood for days. I will lose any confidence that I have built up in my work. I imagine that people will say that I'm stupid or slack or incompetent. I worry that they will think less of me as a professional. There is a good chance however, that it is probably mostly just me that thinks and says these things.

I know that I am only human and that humans make mistakes. I know I'm not perfect. *gasp* I know that I do a great job at work 98% of the time. But the voice that beats me up is louder than the voice that encourages me.

Why do I feel so guilty? How do I not let this bother me? How can I let it go and move on and get my relaxed and cheery mood back? I would never treat someone else this way if they made such an error - so why do I do it to myself?

Perhaps it's time for some therapy.

What I Learned Today #2

Today I learned that when you are at the grocery store and the cashier is in the middle of ringing through your groceries and you look in your wallet to find that you do not have your bank card or any other means to pay for your groceries - that the cashier will still bag your entire grocery order and put your cart full of groceries at Customer Service while you drive all the way home to find your bank card. And then when you return to the store with your bank card to pay for and retrieve your groceries, you see your cart sitting at Customer Service with nobody around to prevent other customers from reaching in and helping themselves to your block of aged, light cheddar cheese or your bag of low fat potato puffs that taste remarkably like potato chips yet have considerably less calories and fat - despite the fact that the clerk at Customer Service previously assured you that they would personally make sure that your groceries are kept "very safe".

I also learned that even if you are having a relaxed and leisurely day - this little exercise is a sure and quick way to vanish yourself of those relaxed and leisurely feelings and replace them with anxiety so that you need to retreat to your home and not come out for the rest of the day.

Camaraderie amongst the red potatoes

I was in the grocery store this afternoon and was standing in front of a mountain of red potatoes. I was picking through the mountain, trying to find a few that weren't bruised or sprouting. As luck would have it one of those damned potatoes rolled off the mountain and onto the floor.

I had my arms full (shopping basket, purse, potatoes) but I looked down to the ground to try to locate the stray potato so I could retrieve it and put it back on the potato mountain. Just then, the obnoxious couple who had been having a one-octave-too-loud conversation in the produce area walked by me. The male counterpart of the couple looked at me - saw my full arms and saw me looking for the potato that he had just watched fall to the ground. He and I both saw the potato at the same time. Instead of helping me out and maybe picking up the the potato for me - he walked right on by and his big black boot stepped only an inch from the potato just as I was bending down to pick it up.

These situations are hard for me. My tongue bleeds from my teeth biting down to hold in what I really want to say. I want to tell him off but I have to weigh the pros and cons of causing a scene.

I opt for my old stand-by.... Laser Eyes.


Just then I feel a nudge. I turn to see a friendly blond lady smiling at me. This conversation ensues:

Blond Lady: It could be worse, he could have stepped on it.

Me: Ugh. No kidding. It's so hard for me sometimes to keep my mouth shut.

Blond Lady: Like every time we leave the house?

Me: Yes! Exactly. I'm better off to stay in my safe little house and never leave.

Blond Lady: Even then - we still have to greet the mailman...



Ahhhhh..... Thank you Blond Lady. It feels so good to be understood.

(It almost takes away the urge for me to follow this dude home and slash his tires when he goes to bed)

Dumbing Down

Being an intelligent, young woman is not all it’s cracked up to be. And yes, I AM referring to myself as being both intelligent and young. Now let’s be clear about this and don’t get me wrong – when I refer to myself as intelligent I am not talking about rocket-science intelligent, or cancer-curing intelligent. I only refer to myself as the average day-to-day intelligent.

Lately I’m starting to wonder if it is worth it to be a smart person, as I am not reeping a whole lot of benefits from it. Instead, I see some serious downfalls.

People expect a lot of you when you are intelligent and you expect a lot of yourself. When I make a mistake either at work or in my daily life - I feel just terrible. I sometimes get crucified both by the people around me and by myself. And why not? I am intelligent and I should know better, after all.

Sometimes I don’t sleep well at night because my mind won’t shut off. I lay awake thinking of the things I need to do, the things I should have done, the things I need to remember to do tomorrow. I think about and analyze the day’s events. What does this get me? A shitty sleep, that’s what.

I read books that challenge my brain. Books that make me think about that which I am reading. Books that sometimes haunt me long after I have put them away on my bookshelf - where they sit as “intelligence trophies”.

I try very hard to be a respected person in my workplace. I sometimes work long hours or on weekends. I take on extra when I know there is a shortage of people to carry out tasks. I offer to do more when I feel that my workload isn’t challenging me enough. Does that get me a better salary? No. Does that get me some well deserved perks? No. Does that even earn me the respect that I so desire? I’m not sure, but probably not. What does it get me?? Tension headaches. Stress. Frustration.

Well I’ve had enough of it all! I’m officially dumbing myself down. I’m trading in my intelligent books for comics. Archie and Jughead – we’ve got some catching up to do. As for television? I’m switching off the Discovery Channel and heading straight for the Simpsons. Homer – I’ve missed you. Doh!

As for my job? Our company is currently looking for a receptionist. So I may trade in the daily strain of making sure 200 people’s paycheques are done absolutely perfectly without a single error – and I’m going to fill my days with filing, faxing and photocopying.

Instead of worrying about cooking balanced and nutritious meals – we’re going to start driving through McD’s. I don’t want to know how many calories or artery clogging fat are in that McChicken – it’s got to be better than trying to think up creative ways to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 servings of calcium, 4 small protein servings and 4 servings of whole grain carbs! Or something like that… (see! I’m getting dumber already!) Lettuce on the burger counts as a veggie right?

Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about!

I’m also thinking of selling my computer and buying one of those X-box thingys and a bag of weed. I can sit in my house and play games, smoke pot and eat Cheetos all day long. Maybe that will help dull the brain cells and I should get better sleeps at night too.

If I start to dumb down then people will learn to expect less of me. And everytime I make a mistake – nobody will notice. And when I happen to do something right – I’ll get a big pat on the back because nobody was expecting it from me! The things that happen during the day won’t keep me up at night because I won’t do anything exciting so that I wouldn't think about anything for more than 10 minutes after it happens. I won’t get in arguments with people because I won’t have an opinion on anything anymore. I’ll just smile and nod.

No more tension headaches, no more stress!


Note: Once the Dumbing Down process starts you should see a difference here on my blog too. My speling and puntuashun will probly start to deterioreight. And the post topics may be abut what I had 4 lunsch