What's gone on today? Well. Let's see here. First of all, as of today, I'm official at work. This will mean nothing to the rest of you, but it's a big deal to me. I've been moved around quite a bit since I started with the company. I was hired to work debit card disputes right after September 11th, and then got stuck doing menial work when people started panicking and disputing every little charge to their debit card in anticipation of a failing economy. There just wasn't time to train me the workload suddenly quadrupled. Eventually, I did get trained, only to see the work come to a halt. Being the new guy, I got moved to another department temporarily. When it was time for me to come back, well, things hadn't changed in the debit card area, so I was unofficially moved over to credit cards. Credit needed the help, but couldn't get approval for an extra person, until now. Actually being part of the department is fantastic because I actually like my job, my coworkers, and my boss, which is more or less a first. I don't expect to be with the company forever, but I've spent the last eleven months worrying about moving to another department, or simply losing my job altogether. I'm still one step away from expendability, but if I get "let go" (don't you just love that term?) tomorrow and apply for a job with a competitor, the records will state that I'm actually qualified for this all stuff.
But I'm not planning to apply at a competitor anytime soon. Especially with the other cool thing they just did for us at work. A few days ago we got this e-mail from the CEO of the company stating that we'd be receiving something special in the mail within the next few days. That afternoon we ordered Chinese for lunch, and the fortune cookie that came with my hot and sour soup said that "a letter in the mail will set you free." I joked nervously with my coworkers that we're all getting fired.
Alas, the cookie was wrong (or maybe it's just a cookie), because today the special something turned out to be a stored value card worth $250. I am now $250 richer. In the grand scheme of things $250 isn't enough to pay two car payments, but that's not the point. The point is that I just got an unexpected $250. And so did all of my coworkers. At least one person I know has temporarily suspended her job search because of this, and I just know that somewhere in the corporate office, the Untouchables spent all day giggling and exchanging "Dude! We rock!" e-mails, as they rampantly tapped the peons' phones to hear us jizz all over how much we suddenly love the company. Next week we'll all loathe our jobs again, but the bonus was a very good move for all sorts of reasons.
Anyway, Mom and Dad were Christmas shopping tonight, so I met them with my sister at Panera and had supper. It's nice to talk to the family once in awhile, even if it means committing myself to going home on Saturday to help pick out a Christmas tree (and we're not even Christians!). On the way back, Mom suddenly started craving cappuccino. My mom generally avoids caffeine. It makes her really irritable. She has an occasional Coke, but that's it. The best place to stop (given where we were and how much time we wanted to spend) was the drive-thru at McDonald's. My sister had the raspberry white chocolate flavor. The rest of us had vanilla. Ever had McDonald's Cappuccino? I hadn't. The rest of my family knew what to expect. My mom likes this kind of stuff, and dad and sister (who works in a coffee shop) resigned themselves to drinking thick, sweet, syrupy para-pseudo-quasicoffee. I could barely stomach it, and ended up dumping most of it down the drain when I got home. If I have to go outside the realm of plain, black water, I can stand the flavored crap the AEOG makes, but that's about it.
Finally, I got home, threw some clothes in the washer, and got a phone call from Ellen. Yes, that Ellen. We're having coffee (no! Really?) tomorrow night after she gets off work. This is a good thing. This is a really good thing, since I'm not sure when I would have gotten around to calling her otherwise. It's not that I didn't want to call her, and it's not that I'm not a puss ('cause I am), but we live totally different schedules and I just knew I'd call while she was working. "After work" for Ellen means "after 11:00 PM," and if this goes beyond Friday night coffee, I'm not sure how to make it work. We can address that subject if and when it actually needs addressing. For the moment, I'm just happy to be having coffee.