Friday, November 21, 2014

So, a lot can happen in a year!

I'm at home today, sick tummy, you know, the "I'd better not stray too far from home" sorta tummy.  And I thought that I'd spend some time looking through my pictures.  Well I couldn't find what I wanted and I remembered that I'd posted some of those pictures on my blog ... go blog!  I've never really looked around behind the actual posts, and today I see that 41 people have visited my blog, just today.  Whaaaaaaaa?  So I decided to post something new ... actually it's a bit of old and new.

So, it's been a bit of stop and go with my layouts.  Admittedly, I'm overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I want to do.  After a bit of messing around I decided to stick with one sketch only and play with it ... so I choose one of my favorites from the old Sketch Support days ... 2 Page Sketch #6.  I've got 6 layouts on the go with some pretty interesting variations.  I'll finish 3 of them on the weekend and post them.

And I've wasted a ton of time looking for stuff ... the electrical cord for my Cricut, the plates for my Cuttlebug, my sanding block.  Then I ran out of adhesives.  I went looking for inspiration at 2Ps and to my horror, it's gone!  So, in time I'd like to have a gallery on my own blog ... that's for another day.  I headed over to Scrapbook to look at their site for sketches and hey, they have a hole new monthly magazine ... CREATE.  That was a very happy surprise.  I have not looked at them all, but I will.  And each month they have free sketches, so I'm going to do some of those soon too.

But right now I'm going to go back a year ... to last fall ...

Oct 2013

Well, as I said in an earlier blog post ... I worked throughout the summer to move our pilot plant, labs and offices to another building.  I took 2 weeks off in October.  On the 2nd, I celebrated my 51st birthday.  Steve gave me different card than the usual, not the flowery, wifey-type birthday card, but this one .....

... I loved it ... but rumours of another deep layoff were circulating at work, and I wondered ...

Well, I enjoyed my vacation at home, spent largely in my gardens.  My order of bulbs came from Vessey’s.  First the garlic, Jean and I worked some organic matter and fertilizers into our old potato patch … and then we planted more than 200 garlic cloves!  Truly a labour of love!  Then I planted more butterfly weed roots, hosta and bee balm into the back gardens.  Finally I planted dozens of tulip bulbs, daffodils, foxtail lilies, crocuses, dwarf  iris, dwarf blue iris and something called glory in the snow into the front garden.  OK, Jean helped.  It was a lot of digging.  We covered the entire garden in chicken wire to protect the bulbs from hungry squirrels. 
And when I returned to work, well … the rumors were raging!  Some went so far as to say that everyone would be let go … and still I wasn’t too worried.  That is, until our Department Head called a meeting to confirm the rumors.  Yes, more layoffs were coming and they would be just as deep as those in June.
After the meeting the speculation began again … who would get chopped this time.   We figured that our department would lose at least 3 more people, out of 9 left. 
You know, I love my job …. I’m good at it, and I work with some really good people, but the constant fear of layoff, it isn’t good for us, it’s not good for productivity either.  I started looking on the internal posting board … something I had never-ever done before.  It was time for me to jump, while there were still jobs to jump to.  But there was nothing.
I worked to get the lab up and running, and then ran some priority lab tests.  My new office was huge, and I had more than enough to fill it … but I had no time to unpack, there was so much to do in the labs.
I let the stress get to me, and having all that Halloween candy around didn’t help!  I started to gain weight …
November, the Next Adventure is Revealed
Well, at least we didn’t have to wait too long; on November 7th the axe fell ... again.  This time, I was on the chopping block … but not really. 
Thankfully I was given a ‘heads-up’ a couple of hours before it actually happened.  My Department Head showed up in the lab and asked to ‘chat’ with me in my office.  I looked up and asked outright, “Are you going to fire me?”, and marched to my office.  We sat down, and he told me that later in the day I would be escorted to the HR offices and that I would be offered a transfer to Long Harbour, Newfoundland.
Whew … dodged that bullet! 
So after he left, I sat in my messy office … unpacked boxes stacked 4 high all around me … and I felt strangely calm.  Eddie, a long-time friend, poked his head in … he had also been given the ‘chat’.   He wanted to know my plans.  It's a funny thing, in just a few minutes I had decided on my path forward.  I had until the end of the year to transfer, and I was going to stay right to the end … December 31st … but with my outstanding vacation my last day of work would be mid-December.  Eddie too had made his plans, he was going to leave in a month for Newfoundland.  We chatted about moving our families and animals.  And we both lamented that our colleague Danijela was terminated, not transferred.
While I waited, I called Steve.  He was shocked, and really angry that I was transferred … and that upset me.
So, as promised I was called into HR, escorted by my Department Head.  It was awful.  All the offices were in use, and a line had formed … A LINE!  Not everyone would be given the chance to transfer and people were upset, and yes there were tears.  Finally I was lead into an office.
Now that the moment was at hand, and even though I thought that I knew what was to come, my heart started pounding, I worried that I would have a heart attack right there!  I didn’t expect the termination letter, but apparently that’s how it’s done!  First the termination, and that was a shock, and then I was given a second letter … an offer to transfer.  I wanted to talk to Steve before I signed, but I left with the promise that I’d get back to them the next day.  Meanwhile, more of our friends were terminated and left that very day. 
I sat in my office … truly it would be a relief to get out from under all the responsibilities, all the crap.  Steve called me … he had given it more thought was he was OK, he understood that it was a good move for me.  I turned to the boxes piled all around and spent the rest of the day unpacking and getting rid of files that I would no longer need and filing the files that would be needed by my replacement.
That night, while the dogs enjoyed the snow outside, I told my friend Jean, she wrapped her arms around me and we both cried and cried.  When she finally released me from her embrace, she laughed and said “What am I going to do with all that garlic!”
Long Harbour Operations … I know many of the people there and I’ve worked with them many times over the years, in fact I had a hand in training some of them.  The Plant Managers were very happy to take me … saving a job in research for someone else.  The next day I signed the offer making it official.
So, we needed to move to Newfoundland … The Next Adventure!  Geez I hated doing that to Steve, and our pets!  Newfoundland … in the winter!  Figures. 

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