Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Adventures in living with grandpa...

Fair warning.

If you are easily grossed out, stop reading now. REALLY.

(Because I am not easily grossed out, and when these events transpired, even I was seriously wanting to vomit... Holly, you'll like this one.)

I had a little break in my workday today. I had meetings from 8AM to noon. From noon until three, I had a break. I like having this break. It gives me a chance to do whatever I need to do during the day, because I know that after three, I'm pretty solidly booked... And by solidly booked, I don't mean for just the rest of the day, I mean this is really my only genuine break all week. This break aside, I get the occasional fifteen minutes here and there, but even those breaks are hard to come by. (Most days I don't get lunch.)

This is ok by me. I accept it as a part of my job. And I like my job. Really I do. But when you think about it, I go to my office, I do social work all day, and when I come home at night... Oh, yeah, I get to have social work time too, only this time it's with my own family. So it's basically social work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for the Lizzle. I've grown accustomed to it with remarkable speed, if I do say so myself.

But I digress.

In my little break today, I decided to go to lunch with a few co-workers, (including the less-hot, albeit single male). After lunch, I came home to "clean my room" because the old man in his passive-aggressive way decided to tell my mom that my room was not quite up to snuff. He never said a word to me, but from what I heard from a reliable source, he was very unhappy.

Now let's keep in mind that I am a night person. I don't function well in the mornings. This makes me VERY unlikely to ever make my bed. EVER. This alone is enough to drive the old man up a wall. (He's a military man. He's kooky about stuff like that.) Add in a pile of clean, but non-folded laundry, it's a recipe for a meltdown.

He is a stickler for these stupid things that don't really matter. I mean as long as I don't mind crawling into an unmade bed at night, who is it going to hurt? And as long as I can find something that is clean, wrinkle-free, and presentable to wear in the morning, I could give a rat's pink ass if the rest of my clean laundry has been folded, stacked, and sorted by color.

What gets me, is that while he is a stickler for these stupid things that have NO impact on him, or anyone else for that matter, he apparently lets a noticeably bigger issue slide.

(I'm serious about the easily-grossed-out people stopping now... I'm not responsible if you keep reading from here on out.)

So today, after my lunch, I came home, made my bed, and I folded my laundry to appease the old codger. And before heading back to work, I thought I'd go into the bathroom and pee so that I wasn't forced to hold it for the next five hours while I was with a client.

I went in. I closed the door. I looked down, and much to my horror, what did I see?


Some of you are thinking "So what?"

Well, I'll tell you so what.

These were not your typical "I dog-piled it, and then flushed" bottom of the bowl skid marks. No. These were something a hundred thousand times more vile.

These were skid marks ON. THE. SEAT.


As in there was POOP ON THE PART WHERE I SIT DOWN... And I knew it wasn't mine.

I don't even know HOW one could or would manage to leave skid marks where he left them. I don't understand the physics involved, and considering we're talking about my 86 year old grandfather's dookie, I DON'T (REPEAT: DON'T) WANT TO KNOW. I don't want to think about it. I am not equipped to handle old man poop. Especially when I don't work in a nursing home, and it's not enclosed in a Depends undergarment.

Sure. You can theorize about how it got there. But I don't want to know what you come up with. I DON'T WANT TO KNOW.

All I can say is that I can't possibly understand why my unmade bed is such a HUGE issue, when someone can't be bothered enough to make sure that he cleaned himself off enough to not only ensure his own comfort, but to ensure that the shared restroom facilities are friendly to the rest of us who use them.

And just so you know, I held it in, (meaning, I held in the pee, and controlled my gag reflex enough to hold back the vomit,) drove out to my office, and went there instead. Yes, I share the facilities there with 68 other people, but the fact is that I have never encountered seat-skid out there.

The clean-up has since been handled, the toilet seat disinfected with a Clorox product, and all is technically right with the world... But I don't know how long it's going to take me before I can ever sit on that toilet seat again.

She remembered... kinda.

So I went and got my "welcome to spring" pedicure.

I went to the same pedicurist I went to back in my high school days. And she remembered me... kind of.

She told me she missed me, and that she hadn't seen me since she was at her last store location. (She's seen me a couple of times since then, but that's OK... She sees a lot of people, so I don't hold it against her.) She asked about my mom, and why I was back after 6 years, and all that other good stuff.

And as she was doing her thing, she said the one thing that no respectable girl ever wants to hear while getting a pedicure.

"Oh my god! When was your last pedicure? Have you had one...EVER?"

Ok, I know it's been a WHILE since my last pedi. I freely admitted that. But hey, 8 months of unemployment and winter will do that to you... You wear shoes that don't show off your neglected feet, and you save the money. But since I am not unemployed anymore, I knew I couldn't hide behind that excuse and that I needed to start taking care of them again... And that first trip back is never pretty.

But seriously, she asked me if I'd EVER had a pedicure.


Do you all grasp the gravity in that statement? That means that in 8 months my feet had gotten gnarly enough to look like I'd totally neglected them for 24+ years.

Let me make a point in noting that I don't have seriously gnarly feet. I don't have corns, or hammer toes or anything of that sort. My heels weren't cracked or bleeding or anything like that either. They did have some admittedly gross callouses though. (But hey, I leave the treatment of callouses to trained professionals. I've seen amateur jobs go seriously awry, and I know better than to press my luck by putting a blade to the sole of my own foot... I'm sometimes dumb, but I'm never THAT dumb.) And pumice stones are great and all, but unless you're willing to commit yourself to an hour of soaking and scrubbing, those bastards are limited in their powers.

But I suffered the embarrassment of letting someone else take care of my feet, and from here on out, the embarrassment should be vastly reduced considering I plan on keeping up with them. Because really, I know I don't want hobbit feet, and I know that nobody else wants to see hobbit feet doing anything other than picking mushrooms or saving middle earth by scaling Mount Doom, so really we're collectively working for the greater good here.

So that's that. (Pictures to be posted later.)

In other news, remember when I told you that one of my friends dropped a serious bombshell on me the other day, but that I couldn't really talk about it? Yeah, well, now I can.

My best friend in this neck of the woods (I've got a few closer friends, but they all live elsewhere, in more rational parts of the country...) informed me that she is completely unexpectedly pregnant. She is 23, still in school, and was on the pill at the time of her conception. (So when those bastard doctors tell you that it's only 99% effective, you can now say that you know of an actual case that falls in that 1%.)

She's handling it all very well. Much better than I would in that situation, I must say... But then, I don't have that worry since the hot co-worker is married, and well, we just won't get into the Lizzle's pathetic excuse for a romantic life. That's a whole other can of worms. (Though returning my feet to an acceptable condition is a step in the right direction! So is waxing... but I'm pretty good about staying up on that one.)

So now it's going to be my duty to help pull off a kick ass baby shower, (Debbie, I'm looking to you for hot tips on this)! Help pick out baby names... (She likes some odd names, and I'm more of a classicist, so I don't know how much help I'll be in that department.) And make sure that this kiddo knows (s)he's got a hot momma, and that Aunt Lizzle will fight a bear for either one of them! I think I'm up to the task.

Since the revelation of this pregnancy, I have come to find out that something like 9 of my friends from high school (who I pretty much disavowed any and all knowledge of upon leaving after graduation) have had babies, or are currently pregnant. (Those are just the ones I didn't know about. There were a lot of marriages and babies in there that I did know about.) It's a lot to process when you find out A LOT of people you knew have reproduced under your radar!

I only hope that they don't ever find themselves in need of my services... Because that would be a sad day for both of us.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Grateful for a weekend...

I was working on Friday morning. I was touring a facility that will soon become the home of one of my clients. We were there for her orientation. Coming down a flight of stairs, my stupid ass missed the last step. I landed hard on my left knee, and heard/felt a serious popping in my right ankle as I fell.

I got up and began by standing on my left foot only. And then I gingerly put my right foot down, prepared for the worst. Fortunately it could bear weight... But it sure as hell let me know that it wasn't happy.

As I stood there, I could literally feel the blood draining out of my head and rapidly rushing to the areas which were soon to be swollen and angry.

I wrapped things up with that client, and went back to my office. I was going to tell my supervisor about my fall, but he was taking a day off. SONOFABITCH.

So I talked to another supervisor. He told me to go and have it checked out. I told him I needed to work the hours I had scheduled for the rest of the week, or I'd fall short of my weekly minimum. He said go get it checked out anyway. I said I was hurt, but I was not disabled. Another supervisor chimed in, "Well, if you're going to get it checked out and file a worker's comp claim, you'll need to go ahead and have a drug test scheduled today too." I told them that I didn't have that kind of time. I had work to do.

I worked. I supervised 2 visits with 5 kids. My ankle and my knee were not pleased.

I iced the ankle and tried to stay off of them both as much as possible.

Today I was supposed to have two visits. I only had one, and since the other one cancelled, I used the opportunity to get my paperwork done early. My ankle is less pissed off at me today, but I can still tell she's going to hold a grudge. My knee is another story.

My knees are rotten, grinding bastards to begin with. Landing hard on one and pissing it off is never a good idea. My knee is swollen, and a little bruised... less bruising and more swelling though. Oh, and any time anything, even my pant leg, even so much as brushes it? Yeah, that's when it decides that my whole leg needs to feel like it's on fire. Lovely.

Basically I'm looking forward to a nice, quiet Sunday and Monday off. If only so that I can give my lower extremities a chance to forget why they are so hateful towards me!

I feel like there ought to be more melodrama involved...

I have made my minimum of hours... I did that like two days ago. But the boss gets mad if we don't have "full workdays" every day of the week... so basically if you have a couple of 14 hour days early in the week, you're not going to be able to take the last three days of your work week off... You still have to bill at least 4-6 hours minimum on all those other days. (You'd think they would like to get out of paying us the overtime, but apparently not.)

Anyway, I had just put in three hours on one of my cases, and was grabbing a quick lunch before putting in three to five hours on another case when I got a phone call. It was the client I was due to see this afternoon. She was cancelling on me.

Now let's keep in mind that it's a Saturday morning... A BEAUTIFUL, eighty degree, sunny Saturday morning. Part of me was REALLY glad she called and cancelled, but the part of me that realized that she just cut into my overtime pay, and put me under the minimum daily hours requirement(which will surely irritate my boss, and be a little suspicious given the GLORIOUS weather,) yeah, well, that part of me was a little bit irritated. It was that part of me that wanted to get all melodramatic and say something on the order of an angst-filled teen... You know something like, "WELL, FINE! I DIDN'T WANT TO WORK WITH YOU TODAY ANYWAY!" But then I'd have to find a door to slam... and I'd have to cry and listen to emo music, and that's not how I want to spend my Saturday.

And once I wrap things up here and get my paperwork all finished and turned in, I think I'll go and get my "welcome to spring" pedicure, because quite frankly, my feet are still that lovely shade of winter white, and aside from being clean and thoroughly hair free, they look like they should be scaling the rocky terrain of Mount Doom... And I am the first to say that NOBODY wants to look at that mess! So I'm getting it taken care of before wearing sandals becomes a serious daily issue!

And here it is, the return of the QOTD!!!!

Victoria: I think they had something like 9 kids... and they were living in a hotel room.
Kendra: Where do you even put 9 kids in a single hotel room?
Liz: Oh, you just stack them in the drawers and let one sleep in the closet, and one sleep in the bathtub... The others can find floor space to sleep on.
Kendra: How would you even check into a hotel with 9 kids? "Excuse me, sir, I'd like a single room, but we're going to need 11 pillows and 14 blankets!" Seriously, is that how you'd do that?
Victoria: Well, then you have the sex-offender thing thrown into the mix...
Tarita: It sounds to me like to need to make a couple of phone calls... One to a case worker, and one to the fire marshall.
Liz: You know, I'm betting that once the fire marshall found kids in the drawers in a room registered to a sex offender, he'll probably be calling the case worker for you... And that'll save you minutes on your phone bill!
Tarita: Liz, that's genius! Now that's thinking ahead!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hello from Panera Bread!

I am sitting in a Panera Bread restaurant on an ill-gained lunch break. I had a little time to kill, and I didn't want to go back to the office because I have a feeling that I have a VERY angry client waiting for me there. (Admittedly it's my fault, but she doesn't know that I plan on making it up to her yet, so she's still mad now.)

As for other news, I picked up a new case, and fortunately everyone keeps telling me that it's SUPER EASY. I'm totally ok with that.

And then there are my co-workers... More specifically my two hot male co-workers. I found out yesterday morning that one is married. (He didn't have a wedding band on last week, but he wore it this week.) I was VERY disappointed by this. Is it bad that I was upset that my hot male co-worker is married? Shouldn't I be happy that he found happiness? Yeah... Well, I'm not. Because that's one less hot guy that I get to ogle and delusionally imagine ever having a shot at actually dating. The other one is (to the best of my knowledge) single, and we chat with one another in passing. I was really more focused on the married one.

I feel like a total lame-ass talking about the weather, but I must say that around these parts, it's been BEAUTIFUL! Warm enough to roll down all the windows in the car, sunny and bright, and well, that's just fine with me. Please note that unlike Brenda I am not making any weather forecast, and therefore and change in this gorgeous weather cannot be attributed to me.

I have to go back to work and face the wolves now, you are now allowed to resume your regularly scheduled day. (And I hope it's a good one.)

Monday, March 19, 2007


(This gets a little scatter-brained, but just run with it... It's all I can muster.)

It's been a week packed with drama here at the happy hour. In the past week, I've gone to court and given sworn testimony against a client, my bracket has fared crappier than in years past, I've started getting along a little better with grandpa, I took mom to see 300 at the IMAX theater, (her first IMAX experience ever,) I worked a ridiculous number of hours, and I found out something about one of my friends that I can't really share here just yet, but trust me when I tell you it's big, and it threw me for a loop... Oh yeah, and the refrigerator broke.

Yeah... I've been a busy bee. So I apologize for the lighter than average posting lately.

First off, let me tell you something. If you have ANY interest whatsoever in seeing "300"... And I do mean even the slightest little teensy weensy bit of interest, GO. SEE. IT! LIKE NOW! It's absolutely awesome. If you're a nerd for computerized effects, GO. If you're a nerd for classical studies, GO. If you're a nerd for Frank Miller graphic novels, GO. If you want to see a bunch of ripped men with six pack abs in leather underwear, GO. If you want to see some boobs, GO. If you want to see epic battle scenes, GO. If you just want to see a good movie, GO... It's an epic not to be missed! Thank me later.

Moving on.

Yeah, in the short time I've had my job, I've already been called to court. According to my boss, this is not a good sign. He told me that in his experience the sooner someone gets called to court when working my position, the more frequently they will have to go to court throughout their time working there. That's what I get for having one of those personalities that people just open up to... Dammit! While we're on the subject of my job, I should note that the majority of the people I work with, myself among them, are supposed to get 30 billable hours a week... You are allowed to bill more, but not supposed to fall below 30 if you can possibly avoid it. Anything over 30 is extra on your paycheck, but hell on your personal life. (Basically to work 30 billable hours in this business you're really WORKING for closer to 40-45.) This week I had 45 BILLABLE. Which means I probably worked closer to the 60+ range. That's a lot. Especially considering I've only been on my own for like two weeks. An epic billable week.

As for grandpa, well... I can't really explain it. I think it has something to do with the mail. (The mail is the only thing that has changed in the last week, because I have finally started getting the forwarded stuff from my old address.) All of a sudden he has decided he wants to be civil and talk to me. It's weird. Are we on the best of terms? No. But if I heard him take another tumble down the stairs, I'd most likely come running a hell of a lot faster than I would have last week. This isn't so much EPIC, as it is just a monumental step in the right direction.

My bracket... Well, we're just not going to talk about my bracket. Most of you don't care, and for those of you who do, let's just say that I HATE WISCONSIN. They shouldn't have lost so soon. Stupid badgers... Fearsome woodland creatures, MY ASS! I've still got some hope, but I'm pissed off at a few teams... LIKE EPICALLY PISSED OFF!

The friend thing? Stop moaning. I told you I wasn't going to talk about it. It's not my place.

And then there is the epic with the refrigerator. It's dead. We discovered it when grandpa wanted ice cream and when we got it out of the freezer it was soup. Since then we've been icing down our perishable food supply in coolers. It's been like a camping trip, but without the smores, the lewd behavior in tents, the lewd behavior not in tents, and the mass consumption of beer. (I've been sticking to wine lately.) Supposedly the fridge will be fixed tomorrow. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting on the repair man though. But the whole icing-down-the-food process, that's been an exercise in utter ridiculousness... I won't bore you with the details, but seriously... WAAAAAAY more complicated than it needs to be.

I guess that's all for now. You kids behave, and I'll see about getting you a lollipop. (Oh, and I'll also try not to neglect you so much.)

Oh, and if you remember this post, where I launched my attack on anyone who has ever hired David Caruso for an acting job, (Jay, I'm looking at you here,) then you might want to have a gander at this stupid little cartoon. It made me laugh. But then again, it might be the exhaustion and my disdain for David Caruso talking.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spin control...

After the unfortunate events of September 11, 2001, we were told by our government to have no fear, because if we were afraid, the terrorists would win. And then we were told to go out and spend, because spending strengthened our economy, and that a strong economy would prevent the terrorists from winning. And then we were told, "DON'T DO DRUGS! Because drug money supports terrorism!" ...They left out one tiny little detail.

Apparently when you were going about your morning routine, just trying to get a little daily dose of potassium by eating yourself a heart-healthy Chiquita banana...

(No, seriously, click it! If you don't click it, you're STILL supporting the terrorists!)

You should be so ashamed of yourself! I can't believe you! What? What's that you say? You say you had something like 2 bananas a day? You say your family might as well be a bunch of chimpanzees flinging poo on the walls for the sheer amount of bananas you go through in a week? I am ashamed to call you a reader! You and your banana habit probably financed the purchase of a rocket launcher, or a scud missile, or some anthrax... OR A TANK! You're despicable! DEPLORABLE!

So I ask you, was it worth it? Did you really enjoy that banana SO MUCH that you're ok with being a traitor to the ideals of democracy? Because you know, the CIA has been monitoring your phone, your mail, your garbage, EVERYTHING... All because they knew you were a potassium fiend! And they knew you weren't content to get your potassium from just anywhere! You weren't about to take Centrum! You weren't about to shop the aisles of your local pharmacy for a daily dose of vitamin K in pill form! NOOOOOO. You had to have your fancy terrorist banana!

You probably club baby seals and drown puppies too!

Your banana habit makes poor sweet lil baby Jesus cry!

I hope you're happy.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Fair Warning...

I'm going to go ahead and let you know right out of the gate that this post is largely about me being a huge nerd when it comes to the NCAA Tournament... If that doesn't particularly interest you, click away now. It was nice seeing you today, even if it was brief.

Ok, now that we're down to those of you who already know where this is going, let's just jump on into things... (Oh and if you're looking for deep analysis, don't bother... I'm not going to go into the details of my bracket with the likes of you! Mostly because I know few (if any) of you would give two shits about what I think about the 12-5 upsets, or who is going to be a "Cinderella" this year... Anyway, moving on.)

First off, to those of you who don't already know, I need to explain something about March Madness. It is understood by those who know me well, and/or those who spend any considerable amount of time around me, that March Madness, and the very prospect of the big dance looming on the horizon, is the main thing that gets me through those horrid grey winter months. I am honestly NOT kidding you when I say that I look forward to bracket day more than I look forward to Christmas. It might seem sad to you, but I am really not joking about that.

Some of you are re-reading that last bit in total disbelief because you are personally irritated beyond belief by all the hullaballoo surrounding the tournament. (You are certainly entitled to hold this opinion.) You hate listening to co-workers and all the sportscasters talk about their brackets and their picks. On this point I will agree with you. I hate listening to sportscasters talk about their picks. (That's another reason I am not going to go into my picks... because I know you don't give a dead dog's nose about my elite 8.) But my main reason for hating the sportscasters is that they were able to land in a cushy job where all they have to do is postulate about sports scenarios all day every day. They have their little lackeys to look up stats for them, and they have handlers and makeup artists to make sure they look good on camera, even when in reality they look more like they should be living under a bridge anxiously awaiting the arrival of some billy goats or Goldilocks, or whatever. I also don't like listening to random people I don't know talking about the tournament, because it's mostly men who I find engaged in this conversation publicly, and when I as a woman interject a point I am viewed one of three ways A) I am thought to be some kind of blathering idiot, and because I have ovaries my outburst of basketball fact is written off as something tantamount to a Tourette's outburst, initially acknowledged but then later written off as some kind of social anomaly to be gawked and laughed at upon my departure. B) I am looked at as though I have three heads... Because I have sports knowledge and a uterus I obviously belong in a freak show with a travelling circus. Personally if I could manage to parlay that into some kind of a paying gig, I would not be opposed to it. Or on the very rarest of occasions, C) I am lusted after uncontrollably because I have a great rack, and I could quote shooting stats of teams I follow, or argue the pros and cons of playing man-to-man defense versus zone defense. This usually turns into my knowledge embarrassing the guy in front of one of his friends for knowing something he didn't know, and thus calling his manhood into question, thus making any further contact undesirable.

I also hate the incessant car commercials aired during March Madness. Everyone offering up crazy deals because "the boss" (not to be confused with The Boss) has gone crazy with the March Madness and is offering up HUGE SAVINGS, it makes me ill... If I was a true basketball fan and I wanted to buy a car I sure as hell wouldn't run out and do it because I saw a commercial during a game. Hell no. My ass is going to remain firmly planted watching every last second of that game in all its glory. March Madness comes but once a year, car dealerships are always trying to sell cars, and they will always have some little sales event going on... and even if they don't, it's time for your stupid ass to learn to haggle. But I digress.

So a lot of you out there hate the tournament... That's fine. I respect that. I understand that you are upset that for roughly 3 weeks you can't tune into some of your favorite prime time shows... Hell in the early rounds, depending on what you like to watch on a daily basis, and who has the broadcasting rights to the tournament in any given year, unless you're really into Lifetime movies you can't tune in for much of anything but basketball for the first four days or so. I totally get how this might upset you. I just hope that you are understanding enough to make the allowance for me to have these two or three blissful weeks in March, because really, what else have I got to look forward to? Really, it's this and my family reunion... That's about it folks. My life is made tolerable by these few sparse annual pleasures.

And so after the brackets were set yesterday evening, I drafted an e-mail to my primary tournament confidante... As it is a long-standing tradition, Kirsten "The Admiral," and I had our regularly scheduled 6th annual conversation regarding the brackets. These conversations have stretched into the six hour range in past years. (We are big fans of sidebar notes, and we both love a hearty debate about the merits of anything, so the tournament gives us AMPLE opportunity.) We go through our brackets, we debate our picks, occasionally one of us will sway the other on a particular game. This year we managed to stay on task for most of the conversation and pared it down to a two and a half hour conversation. Though when one or both of our brackets end up in the proverbial (and in one instance LITERAL) toilet, we reserve the right to have marathon consultation calls. These conversations are a given. We save up rollover minutes specifically for this very reason.

This year we're officially putting Kansas "on notice" a la Stephen Colbert. And we both hate Duke, and North Carolina. We might be wrong in allowing these personal feelings to color our judgement when picking the outcome of certain games, but there is a method to our madness. We've been burned before. We bear the scars. For better or for worse, if you're stuck on a late-round game, when most of the bullshit teams have been eliminated, you go with your gut, even if your gut is only forcing you to lean a certain way because you dislike a certain team for whatever reason... (Cough, cough Krzyzewski, ...gesundheit).

I know that the few of you who didn't click away in the initial paragraph are probably bored out of your mind right now. My apologies. I'll wrap this up.

But for those of you who are interested in what I have to say about the tournament, I would like to add a little something so that you can enjoy a few of the games just a little bit more...

Maybe it's just me, but I can't watch a Florida basketball game anymore without chuckling to myself... It's something about Joakim Noah (probably the hair) that reminds me of Spanish from Old School... And then I have the mental image of Will Ferrell in a leotard, jumping around like a spaz, twirling a ribbon. It gets me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Who the hell are you people???

Since I'm speaking in generalities here, I can get away with this... I think. So here's my first real post about my job.

I, in all my experience doing the job that I now do, was gifted with only two cases to occupy my time. Some of you are thinking that number sounds a little low, and under ordinary circumstances, it would be... But these are certainly not ordinary circumstances. And trust me, two is enough!

One of these cases is something of office lore, if only for the longevity, and the consistency of the "Woops, I didn't know I couldn't do that" behavior of the parents.

The other is something of a new case. It only began a couple months ago. In that short time, it has had ample opportunity to build itself a reputation. First off, it's a HUGE case as far as billable hours go. Usually in our office, unless there is a therapist involved doing intensive therapy or something, most cases are going to have somewhere in the region of 2-6 billable hours per week. While I was talking to my supervisor, he noted that he found it odd that I could handle this entire case myself, because this case alone occupies somewhere in the neighborhood of 28 billable hours per week. (He said he would have to check, but he sincerely thought that 28 billable hours on any one case in a single week might be a record.) Yeah, you read that right. I am doing somewhere between 5 and 10 times the normal billable hours on one case alone in any given week... And when you spend that much time with anyone, and you're allowed to ask probing questions for the sake of your paperwork, you get to know them VERY VERY well. And when you have a case with the reputation that this one has around my office, other people get curious as to what's going on, and how the hell you are coping with it, while managing to not pull a Britney and go get yourself tattooed and show up with a freshly shorn pate. And most days I have new stories to tell... And most days the stories I bust out have even the most seasoned of counselors cringing in horror, and rapt with a blend of interest and total disbelief.

The other day, I went to lunch with someone who has been doing the equivalent of my job for over 8 years. She worked one meeting with this family and instantly said that she would NEVER, EVER, EVER handle this case again, EVER.

It's that kind of a beast.

It figures that as soon as I mention to my supervisor that we might want to think about having someone else around to help wrangle a couple of these meetings, I was thrown a curve ball.

A number of factors changed in the meeting I had tonight. And for the first half of our time together, you would have thought it was a totally different family. You'd have been fooled into thinking that these were perfectly normal people who were just being observed as a control group for some kind of study. For that first half of our time together, you'd have been totally deceived. I know that for the first half of the meeting I looked at this family and thought to myself, "These are NOT the same people that I spend all this time with! THIS IS NOT THE SAME FAMILY! Who the hell are these people? Someone has kidnapped the the crazies I usually deal with, and replaced them with clones who simply have normal personalities!"

But after a while, the guise wore off. The real people in that room decided to show up and rear their ugly psychotic heads. And at that point, I remembered why I had to be there, and why my company is involved. And I remembered why I talked to my supervisor about having another person handy for these meetings.

And now I don't really know what to do with myself. I can handle the meetings if they decide they want to be normal now. Hell, I can handle the meetings if they decide they only want to be normal HALF of the time. But what if they go back to the way they used to be on a full time basis? I can't do that alone! I JUST CAN'T! Someone will get hurt!

I don't really know where to go, or what to do with this!

At least until they decide that they want to be normal long enough to fool a judge my job is secure!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

OHHHH, You asked for it!

Well, I suppose when I originally got all excited about my job a few weeks ago, I probably got a little too excited a little bit too prematurely.

Before you all ask, no, I don't hate my job. Actually, I do still like my job quite a lot. But when I told you all a while ago that they were giving me cases and that it was sink or swim time, I SOOO wasn't kidding. Though at the time, even I had no concept of just how much my patience and fortitude would be tested right off the bat. (Even some senior staff members have said, "Oh, wow, they gave you some doozies right out of the gate, didn't they!?") I've got a couple of the most ridiculous cases, (and that assessment is coming from other people in my company, not just me!) I wish I could tell you all the gory details, but because of privacy laws and such, I can't. But suffice it to say that these folks are keeping me busy to the point of running me ragged. In fact, despite all of my efforts today, and running around trying to get things done, and trying to keep all the appropriate people in the proverbial loop, I only had about two hours of billable time with a client... And this is SOOOO not good, because it's company policy to try and have AT LEAST 4-6 billable hours in any given day, if not more... But Tuesday I had over 9, so it's all a very delicate balancing act.

The fact is that I think my very first statements about my job, (before I really knew anything) should be written off as "excited utterances" and thus, while they might be admissible in court, they don't necessarily carry the same weight. Because now that I know more about the job I'm doing, I know just how hard I'm going to have to work in order to get things done... Especially considering I don't now, or won't in the future, have the some of the most willing or compliant clientele.

It'll be interesting to say the least!

And finally, after several days of waiting, we have a picture of our brand new peanut!

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm happy hour welcome (as only you can) to the newest member of the Lizzle's crazed family, Mr. Keegan Ashton. Pictured below with his big brothers Brandon and Parker. (Parker is a total ham for the camera.) As Debbie refers to the young'uns in her family, these are a few of my meatballs!

In other news, I know that I promised that once I got my computer back that my commenting would increase... And I know for a fact it really hasn't. I blame my insane work schedule right now... So basically if you all decided to get mad that I wasn't reciprocating comments, and thus boycotted commenting here, it wouldn't surprise me in the least. I am genuinely hoping that in the coming days/weeks that my schedule will calm down a little bit, and that I will fall into a nice little groove, so that I can squeeze in my regularly scheduled blogging, blog reading, and commenting regimen! Please don't hate me! (Oh, and Brenda, please don't quit!) And know that I appreciate you. You are the most fabulous eggs ever, if for no other reason than you stop by and see what the hell my retarded ass is up to!

Thanks, y'all!

Sunday, March 04, 2007


(Please keep in mind that this conversation transpired at the dinner table, where grandpa was most assuredly present.)

Liz: "Why do green beans squeak when they rub together?"
Mom: "I don't know... Maybe it's because they are excited."
Liz: [Laughs] "They are excited?"
Mom: "Yeah, don't you get excited when you rub yourself on something?"
Liz: "That entirely depends on what it is that I'm supposedly rubbing myself on."


We've got ourselves a spankin' new member of the family!

On Friday morning, my cousin Kara FINALLY delivered her third issue. A six pound ten ounce, nineteen inch baby boy by the name of Keegan Ashton. We don't have pictures yet, but as soon as we do, I will most definitely post them so that you can all see the latest addition to my crazy-ass family.

As for my work, it's official. I am totally out of the training program. I have handled my first case... And I have since met with that family a few more times. And I have officially turned in my first REAL paperwork... (Which, from what I gather, is the one real bitch of this job because we have to document ANY AND EVERY teeny weeny little thing that transpires in our sessions.)

Now I am still officially a probationary employee for the next couple of months, but based on the speed with which I was moved out of the training program, I feel like I've begun to establish myself well enough to think that the probation period is really more of a time when I'm just waiting on my health insurance to kick in, rather than having to wait for my job to be secure. I mean if ever there is any doubt about anything, EVER, we call our supervisors and let them decide what to do... There are therapists and other employees who have been there for YEARS and still call supervisors for a course of action, so my occasional calls to a supervisor for advice would totally fit right in. Basically I'm going to be a rockstar at this job, and everyone knows it.

(I work with a couple of cute boys too... but that's something for later discussion.)

(Oh, and for those of you out there who have a penis, and object to me calling the males that I work with "boys" I have only one response, so read it, learn it, live it... You males are all* boys from the day you are born until the day you die. Thus the sustained level of popularity and giggles when discussing any topic which falls anywhere near the vicinity of "toilet humor." Face it, your body may have aged, you might have grown some additional body hair, you may be a little more well-traveled, and you might have gained a little more insight on the world, but deep down you are all perpetually twelve years old. The fact is, we women love you anyway, so if we find a flaw in you for being a boy, we are flawed for loving you as you are.)

[*The exception to the scope of "All" males is limited only to those who actually go to the surgical and hormonal trouble of being altered to the point where they are no longer male, (I can't get a definitive answer as to whether or not Alexis Arquette would be a clinical example of this. Though I'm pretty sure (s)he finds toilet humor funny as well.)]

God, I just explained way too much for having only noted that I think a couple of my male coworkers are attractive.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Somehow it snuck up on me...

Ok, so it's Friday... In a few hours my cousin will evict her baby for overdue rent (payable in obscene levels of cuteness) and for being bad tenant and a general pain hoo hoo. Literally.

Despite the fact that I knew she was going in to deliver on Friday, it still managed to sneak up on me.

My computer was supposed to be finished weeks ago. After repeatedly checking on it, and repeatedly being told that they would call when it came in, I went in Thursday night after work to see when they expected it to show up, because nobody had called as of 8 PM , and it was there! So that snuck up on me... Because after all the delays, I never expected to go in unannounced and have it actually be there.

And then there was the most unexpected event of them all.

Late Thursday afternoon, while out on a ride-along with one of the other counselors, I got a phone call. It's my boss.

Boss: "Hey, Liz, how are you?"

Liz: "Fine. Although I'm admittedly a little alarmed hearing from you in the middle of the day. How are you? What's going on?"

Boss: "Oh, I'm fine... But I had a quick question for you."

Liz: "Ok, shoot."

Boss: "Well, how do you think your training is going?"

Liz: (Mentally: "UHHHH, this is going to go down one of two ways... Don't blow it!") Verbally: "I think it's going pretty well. I've certainly learned a lot!"

Boss: "Well great. We think it's going pretty well too. That's why we're cutting your training short... If you're ready, we're going to go ahead and start giving you cases beginning tomorrow instead of next week like we'd originally planned."

Liz: "Wait, so I'm done? You're tossing me out of the boat and now I've got to swim on my own?"

Boss: "Well, yeah. If you're ready, we've already got a couple cases that were due to be assigned to you, and you are already familiar with one of them, so we figure based on what we've heard from the people training you that you are ready to make these your own... Just a few days early."

Liz: (Mentally: "HOLY SHIT, I hope I don't fuck this up.") Verbally: "GREAT! Just leave the case notes in my in-box at the office and I'll pick them up when I finish tonight."

So yeah, that one REALLY snuck up on me. Four days earlier than anticipated... I understand that what I am doing is important, and that I have to know how to handle myself, but at the same time, they know I'm new, so I'm expected to call my supervisors and ask a lot of dumb questions... And really, since I'm the one trying to fix things for these people, there really isn't much I can do to fuck it up, because they wouldn't be our company's cases if they weren't already a little fucked up to begin with.

It's sink or swim time baby.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

My POOOOOOR dear cousin! (And my chunky butt.)

My cousin STILL hasn't given birth. The doctors told her that if this baby doesn't decide to make an appearance all on its own by Friday, then they are going in! So until then, it looks like my pooooooor teeny weeny little cousin will be waddling around utterly miserable because she can't function with this kid being all lazy and putting off it's birthday until god only knows when.

Friday should be the day though!

As for me, my recent hangover isn't the only thing telling me that I'm getting old. I went out for a mentoring visit today, and after finding some other kids to join in, we played a rousing game of hide & seek/tag. I'll be the first to tell you that the lizzle does NOT move like she used to. The lizzle tried to duck under a suspension bridge made out of chains on the playground, and well, not only did I bruise a rib or two, I aggravated an already irritated muscle in my neck and shoulder. I might be in my mid twenties, but I felt like I was fifty. (At least I didn't get all winded and wheezy though, which was something of a marvel given the amount of running around I did, and the ever-increasing size of my ass. Though I still have winter weather to blame for my ass at the moment... If it keeps up in the next month or two, I will have no excuse, and this will be a problem, because let's face it, the lizzle scares off enough men with her abrasive personality, and she didn't have much better prospects when her ass was smaller, so increasing the ass factor is not a move in the right direction.)

Being out of work for (more or less) 8 months (not counting that month long respite right around my birthday as anything,) and thus not being able to afford any kind of gym membership certainly didn't help matters. (I say that like I'd have diligently been running 2 miles a day 6 days a week, but we all know that isn't the truth, but still, I like the gym...)

But I am hopeful. Not unrealistic, but hopeful about reducing the ass factor in the coming months. I am just incredibly grateful that for this job I will not have to don my old customary lifeguarding swimsuit and whistle this summer, as that was the last job I had here in my hometown, and well, now a swimsuit just AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!

I have already been informed that upon completion of my training (which will end on Saturday,) I will already have a full case load. GREEEAAAAAT. I'm all for a challenge, but this kind of sink-or-swim right out of the gate is going to be a true test! I guess we'll see what the lizzle is made of next week! (I am praying that we don't come to find out that the lizzle is made almost entirely of something pathetic like butter and Nilla Wafers... I couldn't handle that! I at least want to be made out of something like chicken breast... Because we all know I am breastacular, and I have the potential to be a bit dry, tough, and rubbery...)

I'll let you kids know.

Be good eggs today!