Thursday, August 11, 2011

Working to the Limit

Two minutes ago, I logged off of what became a 15 hour work day. There were a few breaks in there. I ate dinner, left the office, and exercised, but where my day job is concerned, my eyes have been glued to a computer screen for about 15 hours.

My brain is fried.

I don't consider myself a workaholic, but I do like to work. I like having a job, I like having the 8 to 5 stability, and I like getting things done. Right now I'm in overtime mode, which means I also like the extra money the work brings in, especially dealing with Jon going back to school and some recent doctor bills that were not covered by my Cafeteria plan (the year I lower it is the year I actually use it...go figure).

I sometimes straddle that fine line between a good employee and burn out waiting to happen. Right now, I have to admit that I'm not even thinking in terms of being a good employee. I'm not trying to cause trouble or anything like that, but there's alot of stress going down right now, and I'm feeling a little hurt about some recent decisions that were made around me.

Mostly what's driving me is this need to get things done. We implemented a new system and there's loads of work and it never seems to go down because we constantly have more coming in. Yet I feel like if I work hard enough and quick enough I can get it to a manageable level. Then I'll feel awesome.

What I need to try to remember is that even if I can do it (and really, it's going to take a lot of overtime and some miracles), I need to do it to satisfy myself, not anyone else. Because it's doubtful anyone will pay attention and because I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be the person who does everything for a pat on the back and who constantly tries to win the approval of others.

I just want to be the person who does her job well, accomplishes something everyday, and can just be happy with the little things. And of course, brings home a little extra in the paycheck.

I just kind of hope I figure out my limit before I really burn out.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Second Time Around

I started a post a few days ago, one that was filled with excitement and optimism and the promise of pictures from GenCon. I saved it, never finished it, and am now sitting in a hotel room on the last night of GenCon with a completely different mood from a few days ago. It's not necessarily a bad mood. It's contemplative and a little bit disappointed.

GenCon, the second time around, didn't live up to what it had been in my mind for the past year.

It wasn't horrible. The fun times were really fun. I got to spend time with friends, and I got to see old friends I hadn't seen in years. I got a chance to see how far I've come with my ability to walk. It wasn't as far as I wanted, but it was definitely an improvement from three months ago. I made alternate player in a gaming tournament (even though our team didn't advance) due to some crazy rapper skills I didn't think I had. I got to try out some new games and Jon even won a game for us to take home.

This year's con, though, had a distinctively different feel than last year's. From the start, we had problems with misinformation from the hotel we stayed at, so money ended up being a factor. While staying downtown seemed like a great idea (and part of it was), I missed the frugality and lack of stress of the cheaper hotel room outside of the downtown limits.

GenCon itself should have been easier to move around due to the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center. But there were places I never even saw, and the walk to get from point A to point B was longer. The movie and panel options were less than thrilling. The dealer room was definitely improved and actually gave me three great hours, but True event that I thought was fun last year...was disappointing and annoying.

Another disappointment? The people. Last year we talked to so many people. Everyone was friendly, everyone wanted to chat. People would say hi to you and strike up a conversation anywhere. This year was definitely lacking. Don't get me wrong, there were some good people. We talked to a guy in the Will Call line who was nice, and conversation made the time go by quickly. During the first couple days we were in Indy, Jon and I walked around the convention center and several people said hi. But once the con started, there seemed to be a general coolness that I didn't remember from last year. In some instances, people were downright rude.

I'm fully aware that all of this could have been simply my own perception based on my own moods. Admittedly, the issues at the beginning of the week had me down and a little worried. My levels of frustration were high when I thought I should be able to walk further than I could and had to sit down or avoid certain situations because I was in pain. I felt bitter and let down, and it's likely I projected some of that into my overall experience.

However, the con gets some blame too, because I'm not the only one who felt this way. Others I talked to were disappointed in True Dungeon. Several people complained about general rudeness, and people who heard me praise GenCon to no end seemed to be disappointed in their first experience. While I know my adverse moods can effect those in my immediate vicinity, I'm not taking credit for everyone's disappointment.

Will I go to GenCon again?  Probably. I feel that it needs another chance, a tie breaker to decide if this year was a fluke or if things are going downhill. I only have one year and a bunch of testimonials from our friends as a basis for comparison. I don't want to give up on it because there are some good times to be had here.

Next year I hope to be in better shape and better able to do more events. I'm hoping that by making some more frugal choices we can splurge on some things we haven't yet been able to do. Do I regret coming this year? Not at all. I still have some good stories and new memories and quality time with friends is never something I regret.

But I will be happy to get back to the real world.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Suzuki: The New Cool Hangout

Several weeks ago, Jon and I went to Wichita to get the car serviced before Travel Season 2011 in the Felber household. We had a good experience with Suzuki when buying our car and I felt comfortable taking it back to them for the oil change.

I'm not some weirdo who likes to hang out at car dealerships. In fact, I know some people who go when they're having free food days with no intention of buying anything, and I'm not even into that. But I like going to this one. I trust them to do the work right, they're all friendly, and the environment is really comfortable.

The recliners are comfortable, they have two TVs, they have an XBox 360 with Kinect, and they have several tables and chairs for people to sit at. Around the corner, they have fountain soda and snacks and real food. The day this was taken was hot dogs and hamburgers, so for the price of a full service oil change, we also got free lunch.

Of course, getting heckled by the Suzuki shark was a little unsettling, as was appearing in the video on their website a few hours later, but if I ignore the fact that I hate being on camera, it was actually kind of funny. I even reposted on my FB for the heck of it.

It's not every day I can say I look forward to getting an oil change in my car, but now it gives us a chance to go visit family and chill out somewhere strangely fun.