This week was particularly hard at work, I was totally incapable of doing anything right. When I go on interviews and am asked about my strongest quality I usually answer my ability to understand what needs to be done and to figure out how to do it. But not here. For example last Friday just before I left the estimator had given me a change to send out, this was on a bid that we had received and now the general contractor was saying "okay how much if we change it and do this instead?" Now I have done probably about 100 of these in the 5 months that I have been there, you send it on to the general contractor and file a copy in pending change order section of the job file. While I was filing it Patti came in and asked why I was filing it in the pending as opposed to approved change orders. I said that I did not know that it had been approved since I had just typed it up and sent it to the GC. I was then told that since it was a deduct (the change would cost less than the original plan) of course it would be automatically approved. I asked "what if it is not enough of a deduct?" and was told "that makes no sense." Having been there 5 months I had learned not to try logic (I hire you to do my floors we agree on a price of $1000 for hard wood, I then ask how much for linoleum, you quote me a deduct of $5 - I don't think so, but what do I know) so I put it with the approved change orders and do the rest of the paperwork necessary for an approved change order. I leave and dwell on this all the way back to West Branch. Monday morning I come in to a change on my desk, another deduct for a different project. I treat it as an approved change order only to have her come in and question why I am doing that. I said "because it is a deduct" to which I am told "that makes no sense." For once she was right. Oh well, the week went down hill from there. Until around noon on Friday when she told me that this would be my last day that she had hired someone with um a little more knowledge, and since I wasn't doing anything productive I might as well go home and she would pay me for the full day. It took me about fifteen seconds to complete my timecard, give her the office key and grab my sodas from the fridge, I wished her luck and sang all the way out the door. I know I needed the job, and it is not in my character to quit a job without another one, but boy am I glad to be out of there. Unfortunately I did not pack up at Mommy's as if I wouldn't be back for a while so Erika is going to have to Jackson proof the room next weekend, if I don't have something new before then. Which if that is the case then maybe we'll come down on Saturday to swim with Jack.
In other news there is a lot to do around here, on Monday as Megan told everyone we lost part of a tree in the backyard that needs to be cleaned up. The only time Gordon had to do it this week was Thursday evening during which we had another major storm that took down more trees all over town. Our neighbor's house (as you look at the front of the house to the right) lost a tree in the front on Monday that fell on both of their cars and made the papers. The other side of main (Houghton) street lost power both Monday and Thursday for several hours. We didn't thank goodness or Megan would have been a wreck.
We have been going to the beach whenever we could on the weekends. Beach is really a relative term. Some of my relatives might consider this a boat launch since that is what the sign reads, but most of the kids I take can't read and think it is a beach. There is no sand. Just a grassy slope followed by large rocks and then water with a very rocky bottom until the bottom becomes mush. But it is not crowded and close enough to home to go for a couple of hours, I don't feel like I have to make a day out of it. I bring a lawn chair, cooler with soda, and book for me. Since it is a boat launch area we get a lot of boats going by usually pulling a tube or skier so they're going fast enough to cause some motion in the water. Just enough wave for the little ones, each time though the world-weary traveler Megan must explain to them what real waves are. Since I have all of the kids today and not enough room in the car I don't think we are going to make it there today. Tomorrow is laundry, and hopefully Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then maybe my meeting in Saginaw that I haven't made it to in 5 months since I had to drive down state on Monday mornings.
The H.O.G rally was last weekend (did you know, and you probably didn't since I didn't and I live here, thank goodness I had Patti's knowledge to inform me, that West Branch has only had a H.O.G. rally for 5 years, I'm not sure where her knowledge comes from but I think she was on a Harley once, but all these years I've been living here and thought there was a motorcycle parade down main street I must have been mistaken and it was listed in the paper as the 22nd annual but they probably didn't check with Patti first, rookie mistake) the Clydesdale horses were in the neighborhood for the All Star Game in Detroit so they made it north for the Rally. What a great mix Budweiser and Harleys. The horses were awesome, the parade of motorcycles great, and the economic boost to the city incredible.
Melody has been requesting a picture of Heather's belly so here it is. She is due October 24th, the baby in keeping with the preferred pose it's generation crossed it's legs for the ultrasound so we have no gender knowledge, Heather feels pretty certain it is a boy, so that may be a sure sign that it's a girl, but it's a 50-50 shot. I try really, really hard not to try to understand how she is going to be able to take care of another kid, but to put myself in the frame of mind that it is not my problem all I can and should do is love her and the baby. But OMG that is hard. Sabrina turns 8 tomorrow, she is so tall and skinny. And smart, not necessarily school smart although she is starting to get some of that stuff, but turn your words around on you smart. She was on some type of "calm your kid down" drug but her hair started falling out so Heather took her off and she is going back to the doctor's this week. Bryan and Sean are doing great, although I hear all kinds of commotion out in the living room right now, they spend the first half of their week with their dad (another baby is expected in that household also) and then Robin has them the last half including the weekends. Her household now includes Josh pretty much full time as his mother has decided that she is too young (19) to be burdened with 2 kids, she has given Jeremy Josh and her mother has her other baby. I am so glad to be just a spectator in this.
I just got good news, my mail came and with it a letter from the State Department of Treasury saying that they had changed my tax return due to an error on my part. My state refund was only $12 and I didn't remember getting it, but that was a long time ago. So I double checked my bank stuff and there wasn't a deposit. Now of course, the letter does not say if I've landed on Luxury Tax or if an error was made in my favor so as I was calling the 800 # listed for explanations I panicked slightly that since I was only getting a $12 refund if I owed them money chances are good it was more than $12 and I would not only have to come up with money for them but whatever interest they wanted to charge. Communicating with the 800 # was difficult, they now have the option to say or press a number which means they pick up all background noises and just keep repeating "I'm sorry I did not understand what you said" - I didn't say anything, I hadn't even heard the options yet. So I yell at the kids to be quiet and call back desperately digging through my filing box (definitely something else to work on while I am home) for my return. Finally getting through and putting in my social and adjusted gross income, the error was in my favor and my refund of $300 was deposited in my bank account yesterday (although it is not showing up online) of course they don't tell me what I missed so that I don't miss it next year but it is good to know that they are checking for me.
Things I found interesting over the past few weeks:
The Amber Alert for the 7 year old boy from Ingham County has been cancelled as it is presumed that he ran away - WHAT? (This was heard on an Monday going down and that Friday going back was reissued as he had been seen in Genesee county. Ingham county is Mt. Pleasant, Genesee is Flint. Over a week later I heard the father on the radio pleading for info on his son as the Amber Alert had again been cancelled, the boy apparently had "run away" before for approximately an hour and was found in the tree in their back yard. But having a "record" of running away...)
Product Safety Notices have contributed to the dumbing down of society. The idiot that previously would have expired while blow drying his hair in the shower is now warned of such danger and as such allowed to procreate.
Department of Redundancy Department - T-Shirt Kaysar was wearing in BB6 (don't get me started on that show - all I would like to say is Good bye to Eric - what an arrogant jerk).
All right I think I'll go ahead and post this now. If I can find the ticker place maybe I'll update that too.