My Wife was Eminently Qualified; Still No Dice!

Like many men I know, I am married to a working woman. Society has made great strides towards ensuring that women aren’t “wasting” their time raising children, and are instead, in the workplace where they can put their significant talents to work making money driving this grand economy. I personally feel that we can thank today’s real-estate prices on the dual-income family, but that’s another topic for another day.

At any rate, my wife has been very successful in the workplace. She’s educated, having gotten her Master’s degree and then after college, when we got married, she went to work for a fairly small pharmaceutical company and has been there ever since.

The company is really close to where we work, which for Atlanta, is a God-send. That’s also been a bit of a curse, since, despite it being a huge “good ol boys club”, the location makes up for a lot of downsides. However, in her 7 years there, she’s gotten 3 promotions, which, if you compare that to how many in-company promotions I’ve gotten (zero baby!) is pretty darn good.

Other nice things about where she works:

  • no cubicles. Even as a newbie, she shared an office. Now has one of her own. I, on the other hand, have always had a cubicle and it looks like I always will
  • close to our daycare so she can drop off/pick up kids at will
  • they throw a decent Christmas party every year
  • yearly bonuses

So, all in all we can’t complain.

While my wife was on maternity leave, a position came open as Prod. Manager of a new drug they are coming out with. She was fully qualified and decided to go out for it. So, she went back to work two weeks early, prepared a full launch plan for this new drug (took a week), interviewed yesterday and didn’t get the job. The person who did get the job is, not surprisingly, a District Manager whose job is getting eliminated AND did I mention he plays golf with the VP? Yeah…

But here’s the deal…she really wanted this job even though it would have meant a good deal more travel, which is strange cuz she’s always going on about wanting to be here for the kids. Now personally, I’m a bit relieved she didn’t get it. Yet ANOTHER promotion aside, I wasn’t looking forward to schlepping the kids 8 miles (one way) to daycare on the days that she’s traveling. So, part of me feels bad that I don’t feel bad for her, but part of me is pretty thrilled.

Unfortunately, the excuse they gave her, if you choose to believe it, is because she never worked in the field as a lowly Sales Rep and he did. However, she has an MBA and significant marketing experience launching another product (Androgel), neither of which this guy has. So the question that she posed to the hiring manager is, “So, you’re telling me that in the future, if I want to go for a promotion, and anyone with field experience also goes up against it, I won’t get the job?” The answer was pretty much “yes.” So basically, she’s done at this company, unless they come back later and admit it was a bullshit reason for not giving her the job and they really just wanted to keep their golfing buddy eating at the family trough.

Could it be the end of the good locale job? We’ll see…

When is a Vacation…not REALLY a Vacation?

There are times in every man’s life, when he just has to suck it up and take one for the team. I understand that…even expect it as part of having a family…I just didn’t expect to have to do it so often.

Ok, so here’s the story. My wife’s grandmother is in her 80s and her health is fairly rapidly deteriorating. However, despite the best efforts of her local parish to milk her out of every dime her deceased husband left her, (“Um, yes we went ahead and signed you up to donate $20K this year, OK?“) she still has a good bit of money left. With more children and grandchildren than she can count, I figure she thinks she should just spend the money now and have fun, rather than try and figure out whom to give it to when she passes on. So, about every year or two, she pays for the core family to all get together for a vacation. When Megan and I got married, she paid for everyone to go to Disney. We did a beach house a couple of years later. The trend continues this year. Last year it was Disney again (we opted out along with a couple of other siblings) and lo’, this year it’s a beach house again. This one to be more precise.

But wait! A fairly free vacation at the beach…what could be so bad about that? I dunno, let’s see:

  • This house sleeps 34 people. We’re going to fill it up and overflow into a second condo down the street (folks, that’s 34 people, including several crying babies and more than a dozen grandchildren all in one house!)
  • The 8 hour drive with two children in a car-seats
  • Usually, we all take turns cooking for the night. What? Am I running a restaurant here?
  • There will be no rest. There will be no one who wants to help watch our youngun’s cause they’ll all have their own.
  • Logistics, logistics, logistics. OHMYGOD! You mean all four of us are going to have to sleep in a single room for a week? Seriously? You do know that newborns (by then he’ll be 4 months old) don’t sleep well at night.

What makes it even worse is that instead of it just being the core family (her children and their families), they’ve also invited cousins and families. Seriously, I can’t see this being fun at all. In fact, I remember a couple of years ago when we first did this, my being in a decidedly constant bad mood and my wife and I getting in fights over it. She knows I hate crowds, yet again, she asks me to participate in what can only become a major problem for me. And it’s not like I can just go home and get away for a while. At the beach in July, there’s no getting away. Even a walk on the beach won’t be getting away. There’ll be hundreds of other people…

I know I’m just complaining here, but this is a week of vacation I’m blowing to go do something that I’m not just “not” looking forward to…I’m physically dreading this “vacation.”

Roxanne!…You Don’t Have to Put on your Red Light…

Landscaper Update: After having a heart-to-heart with my landscaper on Sunday morning, he finally admitted that he wasn’t holding to the letter of our agreement, which was that, once started, the job was finished in sequential days. Not this, “show up one day, skip a day and show up at 2 p.m. the next day.” He “feels really bad” about his behavior and I’ve given him another chance to make it up. As if me and the $2,000 of mine that he has really has a choice.
And now a Haiku:
Generation “Y”
There are things that you must learn
About your MySpace

After a rather revealing conversation with one of the few daycare workers that we actually like, we learned that she only makes $8 p/hour. My wife and I immediately looked at each other and thought, “Damn! We pay more than that for our childcare each week.” This immediately prompted a conversation about, “Can we afford a nanny after all?” Which led inevitably to the Internet.

Now, apparently, we aren’t the only people to have this brilliant idea as there are literally dozens of Nanny sites out there all claiming to have “highly qualified WhiteBread Nannys for Hire.” Ok, I made up the “WhiteBread” part, but really, it’s in there between the lines if you look closely enough.

However, not wanting to shuck out $150 for every Nanny for Hire Web site, we turned to everyone’s favorite “Craig’s List” here in Atlanta. I posted an ad and within a day I’ve gotten two replies. The e-mail were both very lucent and they seemed like good candidates. But being the savvy techno-Taurus that I am, I went a lookin’ on the Internet.

A Google search of the Web revealed minimal details…mostly just their e-mail with some generic correspondence. No images to speak of either…what would I do? Then, in a flash of Gen-X brilliance, I remembered, “Ah, MySpace.”
GOLDMINE! I found them both!

Let’s review them as a group shall we?
My comments in yellow Italics

The first potential Nanny…
Name Witheld
Orientation: Straight
Here for: Friends
Gender: Female (yeah, sorry guys, wouldn’t hire ya)
Age: 21

Opening line in her Intro: “Wuz good ya’ll this Ashley aka Goldie. Im 21 years old and I live in Stone Mountain. I have a 1 year old son… Carson aka Nuk that is the love of my life.”

Hmm, she didn’t say in her e-mail that she has a child. I might be willing to overlook that though. A playmate for my sons might be welcome.

Some answers to those random questions that apparently MySpace posts:

Q. Are you close to any family members?
A. My Little brothers (aw, that’s sweet!)

Q.What’s the best feeling in the world:
A. Being a Mommy (good answer for a possible Nanny!)

Q. Let’s walk on the:
A. WILDSIDE ha ha (um, what?)

Q. Ran away from home:
A. Yes (ok, you were probably young…whatever…)

Q. Done a drug:
A. I plead the fif (wait what…what just happened here????)

Q.What makes you scream?
A. Bad Ass Kids (Ok, I think that’ll just about do it…)

Folks, I can’t make this stuff up…it’s all true. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll post the 2nd one’s details. They are equally interesting I promise.

Ya’ll come back soon now, ya hear!

No really, I’m gonna replant!

I’ve been going on to people at work–because they’re the only people I talk to other than my in-home family–about my errant landscaper. He’s fairly young and inexperienced, so yes, the term “landscaper” is a bit generous. Let’s call him “my yard guy.” That might more appropriately represent his help to me.

At any rate, he did show up after not showing up the first day and then not showing up until late the second day, oh and then not showing up yesterday despite having told me that even if it rains he has covers he can work under. Riiiiight.

Here’s pretty much all he’s done this week:

See all that blank area in front of the house on both sides of the door? Well, if you look closely, you’ll see stumps from the shrubs that were there previously. He hacked those out with some power hackers that he was very proud of (“These cost $400!”). He said he’d return the next day with a stump grinder, but I’ve not seen him since.

However, I do have my plant material that he’s purchased for me (below). I’d have hoped to have something a bit larger on the Japanese Maple, but they do get pricey. I got a “Waterfall’ variety for in front of the house and a Sango Kaku for the top of the yard and a Seiryu for the far right side.

Can you believe that tiny little pile of rocks cost me $70? I had to go get those myself from Pike Nurseries Stone Center here in town.

So, work is being done, just not too often. The dirt is supposed to be delivered today, but he has to build a small timber retaining wall before he can place all the dirt, so I’m sure I’ll be looking at a big pile o’ dirt for a few days.

But I’m confident it’ll look good when he’s done and if not, well, at least I’ll have all the materials there to fix it myself. 🙂