Back at my desk, I place my Easy Button in front of the computer monitor, log in to the exam website, and press the button - "That's Easy" it says. Okay. I start taking the exam. Why am I fussing over this thing. I was just told it was easy and the damn test is open book. I get through an exam that says will take 1 hour and 30 minutes in under 40 minutes. WHAM! I got a 97. WOO HOO. I press the button again - "That's Easy!"
If you don't have one - you gotta get one. Look Ma - no hands. "That's Easy"
Thank You Terri for the wonderful and fun gift. You made my day.
Hell, I feel like the information came straight through a fire hose. But it is all good. I haven't had this much fun and enjoyed myself at work (as well as the people around me) IN FOREVER! I have met and will be working with some of the brightest, interesting, and fun people. Just in my group we have
- A physician who still holds an academic position in TX
- An RN who lived in Saudia Arabia with her husband who was a pilot for a Saudi prince and she also taught Business English in Thailand
- A woman who was in hospital sales for 21 years with the same company before they gave her the "bend over and take it dry treatment"
- MBA's, PhD's, Black Belts, 45 year old snowboarders and a woman who rescues Boxers (Terri - I thought you would love this woman)
- And then there is just ordinary ME!
I know these things have nothing to do with work but they are some of the most interesting people that I've met in a long time. Most of the people I was working with at Pfizer were brain dead and/or useless, self-serving, backstabbing, CYA-ers. It was so refreshing. Even more interesting were the Regional & National Directors that were SOOOOO young. I looked at one of the National Directors for Hospital Systems and thought he looked right out of college. It was nice to see young people in leadership positions. One drawback is that Schering is pretty Lilly white - at least at the Managers Meeting. I was sitting in the room with our group and was wondering if anybody else noticed that I was the only "Colored Girl" in the room. I don't think so. We went to a Hospital Division Meeting and out of approximately 85 in the room - only two. Not much different from Pfizer in that respect.
I have a week of home training (while they finish getting us on payroll and "on-boarded") and then off to formal training the 1st two weeks in February. Gotta mail my Separation Information in and call HR to tell them I'll be official next week with another company and SEND ME MY DAMN CHECK. I don't want to hear that bullsh*$ that the check is in the mail. FEDEX it damn it. They use FedEx for everything else. Oops. I digress.
Let me share with everyone so more travel drama that only can happen to The DIVA....I'm on the plane from LAX to Denver minding my own business when this homely lady sits down next to me and VIOLATED A TRAVEL RULE!!!! - DON'T BRING SMELLY FOOD ON THE PLANE. For cryin' out loud woman - did you have to get the sandwich that was mostly made of onions and some spicy smelling dressing. JESUS, please. She proceed to consume the thing before takeoff and I wanted to say so bad "If you don't shut the lid on that thing, I'm gonna hurl all over it and in your lap." This time I just turned to the windowand practically press my face up against it in hopes that some fresh air is coming thru the cracks. She didn't get the hint when I turned on all the air vents above us - just looked at me puzzled with her mouth full. STOP the MADNESS. So, I managed to doze off and we arrive in Denver (the plan is not delayed - YEAH) and I hustle to the bathroom. I pick the large stall since I have my industrial size Franklin Planner Purse/Luggage and a carry-on. I get everything situated in the stall and proceed with the hover maneuver -
- engage thigh muscles, assume the squat position
- look down and make sure you got the right angle (don't want to miss and hit your shoes)
- hold your undies out of the way (you can't pull 'em all the way down, I don't know where the floor has been- and you don't want to miss on those either)
- proceed with the extraction of fluids
Just as I was about to let the fluid go, this lady practically kicks in the door to my stall and stands there. She had to go BAD and was now in a quandary. I look up, startled yet calm, and say "can you give me a minute?" She backs out of the stall (leaving the door open - it's really tough when your in hover position to also close the door without starting again) and goes her merry way to another stall. No apology. No nothing. What is a Diva to do? I manage to recover and we board the plane to BWI. Once again, I am in the middle seat of the last row of the plane. I've got my NON-OFFENSIVE plain garden salad and water in my lap, trying to mediate and calm my nerves since I'm not in 1st Class and I don't have $5 dollars to buy a drink. I look up and there is this young girl with a 8 month old baby who is going to sit right next to me. OH LORD, PLEASE JUST KILL ME NOW! We start the take-off and what does this baby do? SCREAM at the top of her cute little lungs for the next hour. At this point, I'm practically hyperventilating - trying to drum up some empathy again - and its not working. I snatch my iPod headset out of my purse and turn the volume up so high that I was sure my eardrums were gonna explode. At least I could not hear the screaming. I would have KILLED someone for a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. Travel Tip: Don't leave home without them.
I'm back home safe and sound and trudging through 100 emails and snail mail. Whew!
So I hang out, play on the computer, watch the game (kinda), eat the free snacks, drink the free soda and wait for the plane. It arrives at 9:20 (so much for the 9:30 take off) and we hustle onto the plane. IT IS PACKED. Not an empty seat and I get the window seat in the last row of the plane. HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY. I hunker down for some shut eye, wake up for the food I had to buy, try and watch the movie (All The Kings Men) which was just WAY to heavy of material for a plane flight, fell asleep again and woke up just in time for the last hour of intense turbulance as we make our approach to LA.
In the row across from us, I notice that the middle girl pulls out the airsick back and I immediatly have flash backs to my recent airsick incident (AKA - my exocist moment). She managed to warn everyone in the last row that if the plane does not immediately land or stop shaking - she's gonna blow. Just at the pilot makes a nose dive for the deck, she BLOWS. Oh Man! You just never get used to that sound. I mustered all the empathy I could, put back on my iPod despite the NO TECHNOLOGY WARNING (and the plane did not crash) and looked out the window.
We landed at LAX at 12:30 am West Coast Time (3:30 am EC), it took an hour for the luggage to get the belt, 30 min to get the the hotel. I finally put my head down at 2:30 am with a wake up call for 6:00am. Thank God for a Heavenly Bed.
I've gotta run for a group dinner, but I'll be back with some observations of Day 1 & 2 on the newly re-employed diva.
There are Vagrants Everywhere...
Sometimes when I out on my adventures, I tend to get oblivious to my safety surroundings and just wander with this attitude of awe and wonder and a bit of "What? I don't belong here? Why?" That bit of I can go anywhere I want, touch anything I want, do anything I want where ever I go, tends to get me in a bit of trouble (on occasion). Luckily, I rarely travel alone which is usually how I get saved from myself. One evening after dinner in Dominica, I decided I wanted to go for a walk in the opposite direction of town (since I've been there done that) and perhaps get a close look of the shore line under the mountains. We are walking along and are beginning to get in this residential district when we are stopped by one of the locals. He asks in a very kind, gentle manner - "Where are you trying to go to?" The conversation goes like this:
Lisa: "Oh, we are just walking and looking around."
Local: "Well, miss, you really would have a better time in town, see the shops, the bay."
Lisa: "I've already see all that, I want to go this way" Pointing down the road
Local: "Pretty Lady, you really want to go in town."
Ron: "Yeah, Lisa, lets go back in town."
Lisa, pouting: "I've already been there."
Local: Sir, there are vagrants everywhere."
Ron, guiding me back up the hill: "Thanks for the time man."
Lisa, pouting again: "Okay, but I'm really disappointed."
We relate this story to our host later that evening and he tells me that I just have a sign on my back saying "Rob me, please." What do I know.
Shock & Awe..(or maybe just downright disgust)
Monday afternoon, after getting back from my hike, Ron and I go back into town to pick up a few souvenirs. We are standing at this craft booth (AKA: tourist trap) looking at this cute little dress made in China but "from Dominica" when a homeless man with no legs in a wheel chair, wheels up behind me and starts saying something in Franglish. When he doesn't capture my attention, he rears up on his stumps, whip out his wee-wee and proceeds to piss in my general direction. Ron has to snatch me out of the back splash area. It was unbelievable. After he waters down an entire block of the street (I didn't know that such a small instrument could produce so much pee), he says to me "Lady, give me" GIVE YOU WHAT? You piss in my general direction, almost splash my bare skin (the very thought make me want to hurl) with local pee AND you want me to give you something. WOW!
Travel Dont's That Everyone Should Adopt:
1. Body Odor. You should always travel with your armpits enclosed in a shirt, no matter how hot it is. Especially me. NOBODY wants a birds eye view of a man's hairy armpits when putting your luggage in the overhead bin - EVER. It's disgusting and no matter how much deodorant you put on, that hair abomination is going to smell after a few hours of air travel.
2. Personal space - don't violate it. DON'T lean over into my seat. DON'T try to look out my window from the aisle seat. DON'T fall asleep on me - my shoulder is not your pillow unless you are married to me and then I'll have to think about it. Short, small bursts of conversation - me and my book, iPod, video machine are going to become one - I don't want to chit chat the entire trip. There's more personal space violations but this could go on forever.
3. Eating - Don't smack your gum on the plane, don't suck your teeth (Ron does it and it drives me insane). Don't bring smelly food (tuna fish sandwich, Chinese food, the local delicacy - spices and all) on the plane - unless of course you would like for me to use the airsick back and pass it your way. DO bring gum - YES your breath stinks after eating a bag of Doritos and falling asleep.
These are just a few violations I've experienced on my recent trip. I keep you posted on other Travel Violations as the year progresses. We are hanging out in the Puerto Rico airport waiting for our connection. Check ya later.
Tonight, a really gregarious guy with a tow truck pulls up to the house, stands in the middle of the driveway and says "Wow, this place is like a castle. My apartment would fit in one of your garages. Doesn't look like this layoff is hurting you much." and then proceed to jack my Chrysler Concord Company Car onto the tow truck. "No need to sign anything, ma'am. Have a great night."
And there you have it. I have so much space in my office now I'm thinking of redecorating - well, at least putting some paint on the walls. We will see. We have our "Official Notification" conference call on the 17th. Stay tuned.
I always get a kick out of reading this poem - especially lately in light of Pharmageddon at Pfizer...
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain
- Why the early bird gets the worm
- Life isn't always fair and;
- Maybe it was my fault
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6 year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. He declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Calpol, sun lotion or a band-aid to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility, and his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers: I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm a Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
Just some food for thought.
I just walked in the door, coming home from an evening of interviewing candidates for a nomination to one of the service academies for Congressman Elijah Cummings. I just don't think I can do justice to expressing my sheer disgust and disappointment in the fact that out of 12 candidates from District 7 that we interviewed tonight (..and the 10 more I have to go thru on Saturday), than NOT ONE from Baltimore, District 7 was a diverse candidate. I sat there tonight, interviewing kids who were mostly ambivalent about going to an academy, had no idea what they wanted to do after they graduated....
- "I want to focus on business/economics." What kind of freakin' answer is that?
- "My first choice and only choice is the Naval Academy and I want to go special forces." Did you know that the Navy doesn't have a Special Forces?
had no plan B, where not interested in anything else but one Academy or even thought of ROTC. All of these kids were bright, good grades, above avg SAT scores, but only 1 or 2 made you go WOW. WHERE ARE THE DIVERSE CANDIDATES?!!!! There have got to be some diverse kids (I don't care if they are Native American, Black, Asian, WHATEVER!) Where are they? Why are we not attracting these kids?
You know who's fault it is? It's partly our collective fault - EACH ONE GET ONE!!!! It's partly WP fault - obviously we are doing a DISMAL job of advertising and getting the word out in the communities where the MAJORITY of our soldiers come from. It's partly the Dept of Admissions fault - why did Congressman Cummings staffer tell me that they could only get someone from NAVY to do their school visits. NO ONE from WooPoo came to any of the schools in his district last year. We have got to beat the bushes; we must start grassroots; and we need MORE PEOPLE doing it.
I will continue to do my part - whatever it takes and I've committed to Congressman Cummings to help him with his school visits if Ron and I have to go ourselves. I ask everyone else to reach out to Admissions and Project Outreach and put these guys to work. Force the Academy to increase the budget so they can go more places or if you have money that you are giving to the Academy, don't let it go into the general fund - DESIGNATE it for Project Outreach. I don't know if that is even possible, but its worth a try. The Academy won't change unless we scream loud enough with some dollars to back it up.
Lisa Steptoe, '87
Chair, Communications Committee
AOG Diversity Leadership Council
CHECK OUT RECENT CAREER POSTINGS http://www.theblackknights.org/careers_employers.html
My best friend in the whole world lost her husband to cancer on New Years Day. My heart just breaks for her loss. I know how much Floyd loved Pattey - it is so wonderful to be married to your best friend. I just can't even imagine losing Ron - who else in the world would love me the way that he does. I am unable to be with my friend at this moment, so I put together this video slide show as my tribute to Floyd and out of love my my best friend Pattey.
The eyes are on the sparrow...