Feb
18
2009

One Year at USC

bya Gabrielle at 5:47 PM

One year down, a half a billion more to go before I can retire.  :)  And only four more years until I am vested!

Time flies by so fast.  I look at my calendar and I know it has been a year since I started working for USC, but it sure as heck doesn’t feel like it.

For the most part, I think my job has been pretty good to me.  It’s not real stressful, and my co-workers are nice.  Like everyone, I wish I got paid more, but oh, well.  Maybe one day. Not this year, though.  Not even a percent.  :(  It’s the economy’s fault and the fact that I work for the State.

Perhaps the coolest thing about my job is that I can take one free class a semester.  I have yet to take advantage of this – mainly because I can’t decide what I want to do yet.  I debating if I should take ballroom dancing in the fall.  Anyone want to do it with me?

And actually, my one year at USC was on February 13th, but I was too lazy then to blog about it.

Oh, and I’ve finally scanned in all of my postcards, so I hope to start doing an Ana thing, soon.  People seem to like it.  Plus, it will give me something to blog about and I will learn in the process.  :)

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Oct
08
2008

First For Everything

bya Gabrielle at 5:56 PM

I’ve heard a lot of strange names in my life, but I think this story tops them all.

At work the other day, I had to call and see if an applicant would be interested in applying to a position similar to one she had applied to before.  The name was normal enough – Tiffany.  I called the number and let it ring a few times.  A moment later, a man with a rather deep voice answered the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hi, may I speak to Tiffany?”

“This is he.”

I nearly fell out of my chair.  Never in all my life have I met a male Tiffany.  I’m still trying to figure out if it his parent’s hated him, or if he changed his name as he got older.  Either way, it’s weird.  Very weird.

Another thing that I never imagined happening occurred this week.  Holy(pronounced Holly), who attened the high school that Phil taught at in Fuyang, China, decided to take his fall break and visit us for the week.  He is attending Troy University in Alabama this semester.  Well, instead of taking the bus to get to us, like we would have in China, he actually drove.   Holy bought himself a car and passed the Alabama driver’s license test.  I must say, it was very strange to be driven around my city, by a guy I met in China and who has only lived in the States for 9 months.  I guess it would be like me moving to China, buying a car, and driving Holy around where he grew up.  I dunno, I guess i just find it weird – and a bit funny.

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Jul
28
2008

Work Is Never Dull

bya Gabrielle at 5:45 PM

A few days ago at work, I had to call and ask someone on campus a question.  The conversation started like this.

"Hello, this is Gabrielle from the Employment Office.  How are you today?" I asked.

"I’m drunk."

It was not the answering I was expecting.

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Mar
23
2008

Office Decorations

bya Gabrielle at 4:03 PM

I don’t think I ever intended for my office to turn into a Chinese office, but slowly, that is what is happening. Not that that is a bad thing or anything. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of my other Chinese things I have on my wall and what not, but I will later. I’ll take my tripod in one day and take a panorama shot of my office. That should turn out pretty neat, I think.

I don’t have much to say today, but I thought I would at least let you see the two things my Aunt Beverly gave me a week or so ago to help decorate my office.

Lucky Bamboo

Bamboo.

I’ve thought about buying a whole lot of these and turning my office into a jungle of sorts.

 

Office Fountain

I thought this little fountain was cool, but the batteries died on me – twice. I think I’m going to have to buy one that plugs into the wall or something if I want the white noise of trickling water calming me as I work. Even though the water is not running right now, it still looks cute on my credenza.

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Mar
10
2008

My Spacious, Sunny Office

bya Gabrielle at 7:00 AM

For those of you who did not believe me that I had an awesome office, here is photographic proof! I couldn’t get everything in the one frame. To the left there is another chair and a shelf. To the right, right in front of my desk, is another pair of windows. In the afternoon, my room turns into a little sauna, but it isn’t that bad. I’ll just have to buy a desk fan or something. So what do you think? Is it what you imagined?

My Office

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Feb
24
2008

Working Woman Part 2

bya Gabrielle at 11:34 AM

Well, I have now been at my new job for one week and three days. I’d say things are going pretty well. I’m starting to pick up on things and slowly, I am getting more responsibilities. This past Wednesday, I got to run a booth at the Career Fest job fair with two of my co-workers. It was pretty fun. From 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, I greeted students and told them about our website and how to use it. We were provided with a small breakfast, and a boxed lunch. It was pretty good, too. I was impressed. Because I had to shake a lot of hands, I made sure to keep slapping some antibacterial gel on.  I didn’t want to take a chance with all the germs I was probably touching. The only thing that sorta sucked was that my feet hurt toward the end.

This next Friday, I will have my benefit orientation. I’ll finally be able to sign up for health insurance, and I won’t have to worry so much about getting sick. I’ve been without insurance for a good long while now. Also, I’ll be able to start saving for retirement. I’ve never had a job that offered any type of retirement plans.

I wish I had something more exciting to write about, but other than working, I haven’t been doing a whole lot. I mean, I get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch some TV, and go to bed at 9:30 pm Monday through Friday. I don’t have a whole lot of time to get caught up in something blog worthy really.

This weekend though, Phil and I went to Lowes and bought the makings to plant some seeds for a little garden. We are going to try and grow some cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, green beans, green peppers, and cantaloupes on his patio. If we run out of room on his patio, we will just move them to Phil’s house where his Dad has a yearly garden. I sure hope that the seeds germinate. I haven’t had a garden since I was about 8 years old.

Well, if I want to enjoy what is left of my Sunday, I better get. I’ll try to think of something interesting to write soon. I know reading about me sitting in front of a computer all day can’t be exciting for you.

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Jan
28
2008

Job Offers Galore

bya Gabrielle at 2:28 PM

People always say that once you’ve been offered a job, and you’ve accepted it, a half a dozen more will be laid at your feet.  Since being offered the job at USC(University of South Carolina) on Friday, I have been offered two different DSS(Department of Social Services) positions.

One was a Human Services Specialist in the food stamps department and the other was also a Human Services Specialist working in the Adult Protective Services department.  The one in the food stamps department only offered $20,248 a year.  I probably only would have taken that one if there were no other offers at the time.  The one in the ADS department was offering $28,000, a fairly nice sum of cash, but I don’t know how much I would have enjoyed old people with dementia trying to fight me.  I am all about helping people, but I don’t know how long I would have been able to do that.

USC hasn’t gotten my background check back in yet.  That should be coming in in the next fews days.  Once they get it, they will give me a definite start date.  I’ll be curious to hear whether or not I got the Blue Cross Blue Shields job.  I don’t really want it, I just want to find out what the salary is for the position.  They didn’t tell me in the interview and it wasn’t listed on their site either.

Well, I better get back to my cross stitching. I want to have this done before I start working. I’ll try thinking of another interesting China story.

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Jan
25
2008

Update: Employment

bya Gabrielle at 5:11 PM

I’M SO EXCITED, AND I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT!!!

I’M ABOUT TO LOSE CONTROL, AND I THINK I LIKE IT!!

Are you sitting down? Well, if you aren’t, plop your butt on a chair or a couch or something that has a surface. Float if you can. I don’t care.

I’ve been wanting to say this for a very, very, very long time, and today, I finally can.

I’VE GOT A JOB!!!

Go ahead, read the last sentence again, just in case you missed the key words. That’s right, I’ve got a job, and the best part is that it is the one job I really wanted. I can now shout from the roof tops that I am now an employee of the University of South Carolina as a Human Resources Specialist. That is of course, God willing, that my SLED background check comes back clean. There is no reason that is shouldn’t, but my friend Shaun said that a long time ago he got arrested and told the cops he was me. Since I know that was him just being funny, I know that come February 1st or 4th, I won’t be sleeping in like I’ve become accustomed to. Instead, I will be in pretty business attire, trying my hand in the employment office.

I’m so excited, I really am. When I got the call,I knew it was the University calling because my caller ID gave me the prefix of 777. I closed my eyes and said, “Please, God, let this be good news.”

The woman, who is soon to be my supervisor, I think, didn’t come right out and say that I had the job, so I thought it was going to be bad news. I couldn’t read her voice at all. And then those magical words filled my ears. “We would like to offer you the position.” I probably sounded way too excited. “Are you serious?!” I said. She informed me that she was, and I started screaming internally and jumping silently up and down on my couch.

When I closed my phone, I literally screamed, and then I cried, and then I screamed some more. And then I reopened my phone and started calling every human being I knew.

I’ll close this in saying thank you to all of those who wished me well. I really appreciate it. Now, I can start writing my own version of “The Office”. :)

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Jan
23
2008

Update: Unemployment

bya Gabrielle at 12:43 PM

One of these days, this update has to end.

Early this morning, I had an interview with another DSS location, this time for the position of an Adult Protection Services worker. The interview went fairly well and the pay isn’t bad. I could definitely live on $28,000 a year. I had to sign yet another SLED background check form. By the time I get a job, SLED is going to know me on a first name basis. They also wanted to get fingerprints, but the woman that does that sort of thing wasn’t there.  I’ll have to go back to have that done.  Before they can even offer me a job, they have to get the results back on the background and my fingerprints.

Well, I guess I passed my writing test because tomorrow, I have an interview with Blue Cross Blue Shields for the position of Instructional Writer I.  I was a little nervous when I got the call because the woman on the phone was a bit hesitant when she began talking to me.  I thought she was trying to figure out the best way to tell me that I failed and that I could retake the test in six months if I wished, but she was only double checking whom I would be interviewing with and where.  At this point, I have no idea what the salary for the position is or when they expect to fill it.  I’m just psyched that I have the opportunity to interview for the position.  I mean, I don’t know many other jobs that I qualify for out there that are directly related to my degree in English.  I just hope they don’t expect me to have a lot of professional writing experience.  I can write all day on just about anything, but my writing has never been my bread and butter.  I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.  I’ll be interested in what they have to say.

Hopefully, I’ll hear from USC this week and the news will be good.  I’ve got every finger, toe, and hair crossed.   If there is a psychic reading this post, can you please leave a comment telling me how all this is going to work out?  Thanks!

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Jan
18
2008

Update: Unemployment

bya Gabrielle at 4:41 PM

As I see it, I am the closest to landing a job since I first started looking in September.  I had my second interview with University of South Carolina today, and I think it went about as well as it could have. It was a rather interesting interview.  I met the woman I had my initial interview with and she drove me to the office where I was to meet the person who would be conducting my second interview.   It was a first for me, having someone drive me to another location.    It wasn’t very far.  We just had to drive a few blocks down the street.  Basically, she wanted this second person to talk to me and the other remaining candidate before she made her final decision.  We talked for about 50 or so minutes about my strengths, weaknesses, why I wanted the job, a little about my past jobs, a little about my China experience and a few other odds and ends.  He had me sign a few documents.  You know, the one that says if you get hired and we find out you lied, we’ll fire you, and we are going to do a background check on you, if you are hiding anything, we’ll found out about it!  Heh, I’ve got nothing to hide. I have a blog for crying out loud.  :)

Yesterday, I went and had my interview at the Agape English Language Institute.  The guy is not even sure whether or not he will need someone, but if he does, he’ll find out in the beginning of March.  It would only be for 21 hours a week and he may be able to pay up to $15 an hour.  If you do the math, that would be $16,380 a year before taxes.  I just don’t know if this option is going to work out or not.  Plus, I don’t think there are any benefits.  If it was a full time position, it would be a completely different story.  Also, he asked me a question that I have never, ever been asked in an interview.  He asked me what my religion was.  I wanted to say, hey, that’s illegal, you can’t ask me that.  I really didn’t care though.  It didn’t offend me or anything.  I just thought it was a very awkward question.   I told him that I was raised Christian, and then he wanted to know what denomination I was.  I said that I was a Baptist and thought his religious questions were over, but no, he wanted to know if I had a church home in the area.  I was like, gees, do you want to know when I was baptized, too?  He was asking all of these questions because he wants all the students to be surrounded by people with good values and morals.  That’s understandable, but that question is still illegal!  Grr.

I haven’t heard back from any of the DSS locations or Blue Cross Blue Shields.  I guess I’ll hear from them one way or another soon.  I feel really good about the USC position though.  I haven’t felt this positive about a job yet, so maybe it’s a sign or something.  I’ll supposedly find out next week who they chose – me or the other girl.  I’m gonna attach my phone to my hip and jump each and every time that it rings.  If I get the job, I’ll start either February 1st or 15th.  Things are looking up, though, I guess.  Now, if only things will fall into place.

Well, sushi is calling, I better get going.  Thank you all for your words of encouragement and good wishes.  I appreciate it.  One of these days I’ll get a job, and I’ll be able to change the title of these posts to Update: Employed.  Heh.  That would be nice.

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