Sunday, July 31, 2011

an afternoon of sorrow

This afternoon has been filled with many burst of anger, frustration and tears from nearly all members of my household.  You may not believe this but I hate my situation.   I hate poverty, I hate living in the semblance of middle class only to be too broke to actually get the time the middle class has to enjoy my children. I think that is the worst part about being poor, not having the time to cherish your children.

So maybe there are those that have large incomes that are poor in that way too, but at least they could change it this afternoon if they wanted too.

For the rest of us being poor is actually a bi-product of something else, lack of drive, acceptance of servitude, comfort in accepting welfare, or mental disease.  Mental disease is mine.  Many people may not put this together, but that is because they rarely find the cause of the effect.  For me and my family, being poor is the effect ADHD has caused.  I didn't always know I had ADHD.  I retrospect, I believe someone somewhere in my life knew, or at least suspected it but refused to help.  And that makes me angry, because knowing is more than 70% of the battle.

Why would knowing about ADHD earlier been beneficial to me?   Well, as an adult a lot of things like being on time, or impulse shopping, credit and debt management, choices in employment, choices to start and stop education, failure to prevent unplanned pregnancy, lack of direction and many, many other "little" things can be attributed to ADHD.  Knowing the problems that others suffer from could have prevented years of suffering and bad choices.  I believe I may have been able to lessen the suffering of my family and even averted many things.

Being on Time:  I know it's important to employers, but you may not realize how important it is to other things in the world of a girl.  Yeah, friends like it when you are on time, and I have lost friendships because I couldn't be on time.  One that many people don't realize is: Being on Time or lack of it can lead to unplanned pregnancy.  After all the directions on all Birth Control pills say to take at exactly the same time each day, and warn that a pregnancy can result when it is not.  It happened to me, twice. This is also a financial thing; you and I have bills and they need to be paid on-time.  Consequences of not being on time for bills can be, late charges, overdraft fees, added interest and other weird penalties that happen after these snowball like not being able to get a better job because of poor credit.

Impulse Control:  well, well, this is big too!  This encompasses how I met my husband, (a good thing, but caused by lack of control), blurting things out, speaking out of turn, following something shinny instead of what your supposed to do, of course shopping, eating, sex, things that Catholics claim will send you straight to hell and finances.  If you lack control, you may do things like quit a job, tell off a friend, threaten someone, file for divorce, or decide to redecorate a room when you don't have cash to pay rent.

Just these to traits have lead to some catastrophes in my life.  I can't change what I did.  I can now know why these choices made absolutely no logical sense and have an idea on how to prevent them.  No knowing I have impulse control issues did not stop me from buying an iPad 2! or some clothes 2 weeks ago for my new job( something I did need, but really should have prioritized other things over it like rent).
But knowing does give me and those around me a little bit of advanced notice, kinda like knowing a kid may dart out in traffic so you can save them before they do.

Hopeless?  I think not.  Angry and tired!  Embarrassed at my lack of anger management this afternoon! Embarrassed that my situation played such a huge factor in forcing my family into welfare.  Damn that welfare is so hard to get off of.  Damn that finding a new job with a bankruptcy is so impossible!  Angry that I quit a good job years ago because I thought I was depressed, when if I had simply known it was ADHD frustration and confusion I could have found someone to help me manage my way.  So tonight I instead hope that impulse buy of Juicy Fruit from the grocery store with the Win $100,0000.00 pays off.

Dog Days of Summer

Well, duh it's hot here.  It is a tad too sticky to sleep well and the air conditioner refuses to turn off.  The kids are grumpy, and eating everything in sight.  The dogs refuse to go for a walk and the cost of food seems to be higher this summer than last.

For some reason I am out of shorts and had to wear jeans this morning.  I was supposed to do a lot of things this weekend and last weekend but failed  for many different excuses.  Mostly it is time to buy, buy, buy for back to school; and since I lack the cash to buy it myself I must do it on my Mother's schedule and with her money.  Sucks.  Not that I have ample time during the week due to learning a new job.

So the new schedule my family is learning is challenging.  I went back to work, my husband went back to college and kept a full time job, my kids are on summer vacation and my mother's friend has been kind enough to babysit my kids for nothing.  I was going to say nearly nothing by to be honest I did not pay her last week and did not pay this week and there is little hope of being able to pay her next week too.  Sigh.

So now I need to focus on building my business practice and I am quite shy.  You may not think so, but reaching out and offering help, let alone asking for it is a huge road block for me right now.  I am self conscience and overly worried about everything.  I need to ask for help but don't know how...

I also don't know how to stop talking or keep to a schedule very well.

Anyway.  The house looks slightly better than last week.  It smells better too.  Unfortunately the building here is going to be painted and the windows have this apocalyptic plastic covering them.  Every window in my home has been covered since Tuesday and they still haven't painted the building.  I am not sure what they are waiting for.  The plastic reminds me of the time people over reacted to the threat of biological terrorist attacks.  I have a picture.....  Somewhere.  Anyway it is making me crazy, I feel so tense.  I don't like it. Resisting the urge to rip it from the building!  I want to see the sun.  Maybe that is why the kids are so disgruntled this week?

About to tear it down.  I also don't like having all the things that belong outside, inside.  The kids bikes are all over the house and they keep trying to ride them in the house.  They are all covered in pine needles, spider webs and dust from last weeks dust storm.  Disgusting!

Someone please help me.  I don't know what I should do next.

Fun and exciting!  I finally got an invite to Google+ that works.  I set that up this morning instead of doing things I had intended on.  It took awhile.  It is now up and I am happy to have it.  Something about being a techno geek and needing to be and early adopter of things.  ooh look a kitty thing, sift and toss, if I had a kitty I would buy it.  So if you want an invite let me know, I think everyone should be invited to something so cool.  I like using it on my phone, ipad, mac book and I am sure I will like using it on my husbands boring pc. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ancient Alien

I am I bored or avoiding doing important things?

It has been an unusual day.  It was supposed to be simple, after all I had a plan.  But like all good plans it went horribly wrong.  1st I slept a bit too long.  Not so long that I was going to be late, just very rushed.  I slept an extra 20 minutes.  I got myself and my kids all dressed.  

I called my Mom onetime!  We prepared to be picked up.  Waited and then found that it was not going to happen.  Why?  My mother started her truck only to find that it was suddenly loud like a hog without a muffler.  What had happened?  

Turns out a thief had taken the trucks catalytic converter.  Sometime during the night a thief had slid under the truck and taken a power saw to the trucks environmental capture systems and exhaust system.  Now my mother heard nothing and the car alarm which is so sensitive that it goes off every time a hog goes by, wasn't triggered.  

A neighbor heard a racket, but by the time he was curious enough to look the noise had stopped.  The noise lasted just a few minutes.  

It changed the plan, instead of hitting the local IHOP, we had to wait for police to arrive, then the insurance company to open for business, and finally for a tow truck to take the damaged truck to the dealer.  It took hours!  We finally had to take my mother to pick up a rental.  

In an attempt to get back on track, we took the kids to the toy store, where they bought a Mater tow truck and some Lego ninjas to defend their toys.  We dropped off the two younger kids and hit the drive thru for some grub and went to Kohl's for school clothes.  

So instead of being on this great schedule where school cloth shopping was done by noon, we were not finished until 4:30pm.  So we ordered take out at 5 and now the kids refuse to sleep.  

Instead of calling prospective clients and washing all the laundry as I had planned to do this afternoon I am behind.  So why didn't i call before I wrote this?  Well, dang, I was tired.  In order to relax I turned on Netflix and found a new documentary series to watch.  It is strange~  it is called Ancient Alien.  It is a story about how the ancients on earth built things like the pyramids and how every culture on earth seems to have the same stories.  The same tales and similar images of extraterrestrial beings and flying crafts that supposedly didn't exist in our past.  The series challenges the idea that we were stupid and that we were alone in the universe.  Are they right?  Does our past show we were not alone?  Does our past show that we have been influenced and enjoyed visitors from other places?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Are they connected?

you know when your crazy?  I don't!  This learning new insurance products for my new job is exhausting, risky and thrilling.  Oh, yeah, most people don't find insurance that exciting.  In fact I probably just put you to sleep by saying that....  But, you know what...  not sure what I was going to say my mind is a bit fried.

So, I am certain I like the people in my new office.  I think some of us are very much overwhelmed.  A weird fact of 7 new hires, a total of 3 are confirmed ADHD patients.  Weird, I wonder if normal people with normal habits, study skills and time management skills just don't like commission only jobs.  Perhaps it is just too much risk to take on.  Maybe you absolutely must be capable of thinking in weird ways and connecting seemingly unconnected facts to find the products.  Maybe its because we are not always aware of how intimidating selling is or because we get a shear thrill from the challenge of meeting a new person and convincing them we are the real deal.

Why is it that certain jobs seem to attract ADHD people?  Why are so many sales people also ADHD?  Why are more people in the entertainment industry ADHD than the general population?  I don't know, that would be a problem for some other ADHD person to figure out.  After all more scientist, doctors and lawyers then general population have successfully managed the super powers of ADHD!

Yes, ADHD does give me super powers.  Sure, I can't remember to take the trash out or change the oil in the car, but I bet I can get through that technical manuel faster than you and retain more of it and recall it when it is needed.  Something about Hyperfocus abilities, like when Clark Kent could get through that book for English class faster than you.

Other super powers are available to me too!  Like creativity, honesty, and likability.  You know I am likable.  I am creative.  I am honest, if I weren't those three things in such an organic way, you wouldn't read this and you wouldn't remember me when I left your presence.

These super powers give me the extra edge to actually have you remember what I said, feel like I had your best interest at heart, and like I was completely truthful and would tell you what I thought even if you weren't going to like it.  If you felt that way you would be right!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Give a dog a bone

Then be prepared to sweep, vacuum and mop up after!  I thought it was a good idea to finally give the dogs the bones that have been sitting on the fridge for months, but forgot how my dogs like to hide and eat them in strange places.  I now have hickory smoked bone crumbles all over my new suits!  I guess that is my fault for throwing em on the floor.

Today, I look for some balance.  This new job has a lot of "Studying" that must be done before I can actually earn money.  I know my husband was getting very annoyed Friday Evening that I was online completing a tiny bit of the required coursework, but I fixed that when I pointed out that I had to finish this stuff before I could actually make some money.  So he let me study Saturday too, and even took the kids to the dentist.  It was nice, I dislike taking the kids there, and I wouldn't have been able to study because the coursework requires a Windows PC and my iPhone and iPad are definitely not that!  I did consider reinstalling Parallels on my Mac, but it would not have made a difference because I haven't jail broken my iPhone or iPad, so i couldn't have tethered my laptop.  Kinda makes me wish I would jail break it, but I worry about security issues, and I am not going to put other peoples information at risk like that, even if it only increases the risk by 1%.  It would be just too dangerous.

So, I go back to studying later this afternoon.  The kids have eaten breakfast of pan fried Spam, and I ate my Pops.  Right now I am going to get a long workout in, because the workweek is going to be long and  start early.

Wondering if my thoughts are making much sense.  I woke up last night and was deciding whether my imaginary family should have an annuity or life insurance instead....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Advice to give...

So a friend asked me about a place I enthusiastically left, because she has taken a new job with them.  I think I did a bad job.  I left and I am glad I did, don't get me wrong.  UOP can be a horrific place to work, but any place where you have endured a hostile work environment combined with Broiler Room like politics is bound to leave you with a bad taste.

UOP was also a good job.   I loved what I did.  I helped others find a way to make those New Years Resolutions and wishes become a reality.  I still am friends with many of my students today.  While I  was generally bad about sending out cards on Christmas, it wasn't their fault, I still loved them, I was just broken down by lots that happened in my life and at work.  And that happens to lots of good people, its what that good person does after, how well they find the old them, and how much they incorporate new growth.  I hope my friends, old co-workers, family and former students can all say I have grown into a better Pam, a more giving person, the kind of person I have always desired to be.

So what Advice to I have to give to people facing a new job, not just one at University of Phoenix?

  1. Don't listen to all the negative things that happened in the past.  They did after all happen in the Past.  Perhaps that change that makes something so much more than what it was has happened.  One negative experience is not the whole story, so ask the satisfied people what they think.  
  2. Do what is best.  Don't ever just do what you need to get your paycheck.  Don't meet the minimum standard of acceptable achievement with your employer, your friends, your family, your customers or yourself.  You are better than a minimum effort!  Do what you know is the best thing to do, in customer service that is not just selling your product, but being man enough to not sell it when appropriate, to even suggest a customer go somewhere else because your product or service is not the best for their situation and goals.
  3. Do it.  What ever it is, do it.  If it is reading a book to help you understand your market, volunteering for a charity, or just helping your customer accomplish what they set out to do, even when it is not in your job responsibilities.  Yes, government regulations require certain things like licenses, but their is nothing that states you can't dial that number for your customer and transfer their call to the right qualified person. 
  4. Be Thankful.  Gratitude is among the hardest things for me to give, and even harder for me to accept.  This comes from that old illogical society quid pro quo nonsense.   God doesn't work that way and neither do true friends.  It may take a few more weeks to beat that out of me, but it is quickly being replaced by that more logical thought process of I do it for me because it makes me feel good, so what if you got some great gift of time, money, or other tangible thing, I don't need you to owe me because of it.  I did whatever I did for you because it made me feel great!  And I will probably do it again.
  5. You've got what you want.  I learned this from Larry Winget.  "People talk about what they want. We talk a lot about the things we want.

    I want more money.
    I want a better relationship with my spouse.
    I want good responsible kids.
    I want a promotion.
    I want to be healthy.
    I want to be smarter.
    I want to retire.
    I want, I want, I want…

    But do you know what people really want? They want what they’ve got. It’s a simple formula: You have what you want because your actions produced your results. Not your words and certainly not your wants."-People are Idiots and I can Prove It!    So I believe this.  If you don't want what you have, you will do something differently to get what you do want.  After all the definition of insanity is doing the something but expecting different results.  So if you don't got what you want, do something different.  
  6. Failure is one way not to be successful it is not the end all be all.  Going back to Larry Winget You may need to try a lot of something difference before you get that change accomplished.  Successful people know that failure is just one way not to be successful and that is what you need to learn.  Weird, but true, you just try again, and again, and again.  Eventually you will be successful, it is a statistical fact, like in baseball, if you keep swinging eventually you will hit the ball, but you do need to keep trying.  I mean you are a failure if you just decided not to decided anything else, if you decide not to get up and try ever again, you have failed. 
  7. Exercise and connect with people.  Okay you don't have to do both at the same time.  But exercise does things to your brain, and it makes your ass look great.  Connect with people, either go out with friends, go to church or try a new activity that frightens you like joining your local Toastmasters club.  Just know that connecting with people is a great way to make you feel good and it affects your brain in a good way.  

On the fast as molasses in Phoenix

Wow. It is so easy for me to be frustrated and overwhelmed right now! I am learning and growing, sometimes at what seems light speed, then you hit your proverbial platue, which right now seems more like trying to climb the Great Wall of China.

I studied like crazy and passed my AZ Life and Health Insurance License Exam. (Bragging right here: I did better than most of the adults in my initial orientation class that I attended on Friday.) :) It was very nice. However, all the adults in the orientation class, and I say adults because I was a kid, by at least 10 years, okay maybe 5, but many of them were at least 45 and male; but they have been working for at least 2 weeks on passing Online courses required to begin selling insurance with Bankers. Still glad I passed my test. A bit frightened that I seem to be so much younger than my new co-workers.

Orientation Class was literally 4 hours after I passed my exams, and the office was very enthusiastic and warm about meeting the first major milestone. I like that. An office were people are allowed to be friendly and open. How many places do you know where your new co-workers will congratulate you with a smile, hand shake and even a great big pat on the back? Most places any physical contact is just plain against company policy. So orientation class gave me a great big box of things to read, learn and prepare with for my first week of training, which begins on Monday. And it is a whopper of a week! The training program for the first week looks intense.

That is a bit overwhelming. But I have a family friend that will be helping us get onto our feet for the next few weeks. My friend, my Aunt Vivian will watch my kids for ridiculously low sums of money up front. Which is a big help, though I feel awful about not having an appropriate sum of cash to give her immediately. So, eventually I will give her what child care pays for 3 kids all day, It will just probably take me 2-3 months to finish paying here. Definitely disappointing.

Still overwhelming is the number of things that need to be done, but haven't been done since I started looking for full-time work that will actually pay our bills and get us off of welfare. I still need to clean the bathrooms, wash more laundry and well dust. We all keep sneezing, and that dogs are just plain filthy. I really should wash them before I clean the tub.

On to what is so dang frustrating. I was told during Orientation that I would be provided with a user name and password to access my online training materials and so I could spend some time playing "Catch Up" and finish the things I need to get done so I can actually go meet customers. I didn't get my email. Annoying, yes, possibly a set back of a day or three, another yes. Avoidable, unknown. I know that it was Friday and who doesn't want to leave on time on a Friday night, so maybe they typed my email address wrong and didn't notice, or maybe things that generate income needed to be done first and time just ran out.

So what did I do instead? Well, Friday I spent time with my husband, just sitting. Saturday, I got my FBI fingerprint card done, and then listened to an Audio Book called: God is a Salesman, by Mark Stevens. Funny title. I checked the book out of the library without knowing what it was about. Okay, I know the title says Sales, but that was not really what it was about. It was more about relationships, long-term relationships, Christianity, God, happiness and something University of Phoenix calls the Platinum Rule. The audio book is short. It is only 3.5 hours so I finished it in a day. I like the book, I think Mark Stevens has gotten it right. God can teach you how to sell. I mean God can teach you to treat people the way they ought to be, and you to act the way you should. The book was a bit about you ought to not settle for doing your best, but being exceptional and giving people the respect, time, investment and generosity they deserve. The main moral of this story was that people deserve no less than your pure acceptance and full and unbridled generosity. Similar to the lesson that is taught by Mr. Keith Ferrazzi in Never Eat Alone, is that if you give to people without accepting something of equal value in return, you will receive more given to you than you ever "paid out".

So based on my personal belief and what I have read, the cut throat sales approach that involves closing, so often declared the way by greedy corporations is just not what works, not for me and not for really successful and happy people. So when I worked for University of Phoenix, I always wanted to be open, honest, and help in every way imaginable to my students, and I did. I helped new students cope with anxiety, work on finding a way to balance work-family-education so they could be what they needed and wanted to those around them. No that was not accepted by my corporation, and I know my immediate supervisor was torn by doing what was "right" with what the company wanted. Troubling, made for a bad experience, no person, or boss should ever have their hands tied in way that favors immediate gains, while sacrificing the long-term relationship. Never understood that why University of Phoenix encouraged immediate gains at the cost of a longer-term business relationship-which actually is much more profitable.

Treat people they way they need to be. Guarantee people that their trust is not misguided, that you will always watch their back, the same way you would your kid brother. Guarantee that not only will you do your best, but you will go above and beyond what we have come to accept as acceptable customer service, and do it the way you know it should be.

Friday, July 8, 2011


First I am tired. Very bad bags under my eyes. My husband keeps telling me that the cure for bags under the eyes is Preperation H. Funny and weird. WHo knows where guys read about beauty and health remedies....

I passed my exam. Better than most people. I earned an 86%. 70% is considered passing. Basically it is a pass fail test. Ate lunch. And now it is time to get ready for my Orientation class today. Yeah.

I think I need a nap. Also have a dinner party today.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

a job and an iPhone

So I can't remember what I said last on this blog. My head has been snapped at least 5 times in the last 10 days. I have a hard time believing it has been a week since I accepted the tentative offer of employment at Bankers Life and Casualty as an Insurance agent.

I signed up for a cram class that was suggested by the managing agent at Bankers. I picked up the book the same day I had my interview, after all I did not want to waste anytime. I wanted to have read the whole study guide and go to the cram class prepared and ready to ask for clarification. It was supposed to be easy to accomplish. After all there was a plan, my husband was supposed to be home on vacation from his last week of work. So he would watch the kids, I would go to my mothers quiet house and study, study, study. Sounded good and it looked easy.

HA! God has a terribly sick sense of humor. First I got sick eating a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli. (I was so concerned that I had eaten recalled food, I called ConAgra Foods, they sent me a coupon that I got today.) That sucked. Then my husband went to work, for what was supposed to be the last day.

He got home late that day and told me it was not his last day after all... unless I wanted it to be. He had been offered a split shift in the back room as a back office receptionist/warehouse manager. It paid better than anything else part-time. In a panic about how we were going to pay rent in August, I told him to accept it. Even if the boss man tried to lower the payrate he offered.

Anyway that was nice, but it started right away. Bummer is that ment I would not be able to escape away from the kids and go study. It meant I would be forced to try and read this crazy technical study guide while the kids, screamed, cried, laughed, made a mess, peed on the floor, chased the dog, complained about being hungry and made piles of dirty laundry and dishes. If you are wondering, I never got past the first page!

So I went to the Cram Study class, thankfully without the kids; and now I owe my sitter for her time. Bummer, more cost and not enough income. So I got past the first page and all the way to the last chapter I needed to read. I remembered some of it.

If you did not go to high school with me then you simply don't know how anal-retentive I am. Just knowing a little bit about it, or knowing enough to maybe pass was not enough. So I rescheduled my test which was supposed to be on Sunday. So glad I did. My brain was so fried by Friday Evening that I had failed to check emails or voicemail messages. I missed seeing my step-sister who was in town. Kinda Annoyed about that, but it happens when people assume you are unemployed so you can be called last minute!

So I missed seeing my sister. I missed my Mom's birthday, and I who knows what other fun thing or great opportunity was missed because I had my head so deep in a book that I couldn't tell you if I changed my underwear. Okay, Okay, the point of this tangent?! I realized how much I really did NEED a cell Phone. Not the one I have set up on my iPad, but a real one, that rings when you are in class, or on the loo. So now I have one.

I could have done the responsible thing and found my missing pay as you go Virgin Mobile phone, but after a few quick searches I started looking instead for a better replacement. I looked at other pre-paid services, I looked at all kinds of family plans. I tried to convince myself and my husband that we could get a non Apple phone. I am an elitist snob. I know. I know I didn't need another mobile Apple product. I could have just gotten some crappy phone that only makes calls and sends text messages. It might have saved me the data plan and perhaps a few dollars on the hand set, but I would never have given up my envy, love, and downright obsession with the iPhone I have always wanted.

I know it is too expensive. I know it is a want and not a need. I know it just puts one more nail in the Elitist Snob sign, but hey I don't drink wine and tell you how this one is better than that same one that is grown 2 miles to the north. Nor will I tell you how great I am.... Then again, if I continue on this path and make the type of money I intend on with my new job, no telling how Snobish or Elitist I might become.