Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Yeah, so you all have been around long enough to know that when the Lizzle isn't happy, NOBODY is happy. And let me just say that at the moment, the Lizzle is super salty. And I don't think I have to tell you that super salty is FARRRRRR from happy.

Let's get through this quickly so that I can get back to ruminating on my saltiness.

Ok, so for some reason, upon closing out my biggest daytime case, NO NEW DAYTIME cases are coming in... which means I sit on my ass ALLLLL DAYYYYY. And then I work for a few hours in the evenings. This sounds kind of nice in theory... You can sleep in, you can run errands all day, you can sit on your ass watching daytime television because you're salaried... But then there are the resulting problems. One - The supervisory staff gets pissy because you're getting paid a full salary but you're underbilling. (They really don't like this.) Two - It comes back to haunt you come payday because you're not getting compensated for bonus hours you're ordinarily working. THIS BLOWS.

Then there are my other cases. One case is a juvenile mentoring. The problem is that she doesn't want a juvenile mentor, so when I show up, she shuts down. This makes it hard to pad your sagging hours by extending mentoring appointments. THIS BLOWS.

Another case is a dirty house. I go in, I tell them to clean up, I point out what it is they need to do because they are too stupid or to lazy to do it, I leave. This case is in no way pleasant. I am currently waiting to hear if it is also going to close... While it would be nice to not have to go in there every day, the loss of the case would also hit my hours hard. THIS BLOWS.

Another case requires me to drive to another county to supervise visitation. Unlike other visits, for some stupid reason, I am not allowed to bill for my drive time. This ALSO impacts my hours. THIS ALSO BLOWS.

Then there is the HR department. The last time I took a couple of days off, I got a sheet of paper indicating how many vacation days I had left. I scheduled my Chicago trip based on this information. I got the approval for my Chicago trip time and it indicates that I have NO vacation time left... and in fact that I am "overdrawn" one day, and thus will not be compensated for my time off... THIS REALLY BLOWS. Sure it's probably a clerical error, and if I go in and talk to the HR lady, it will probably be an easy fix, but if it's not an easy fix then I am shit out of luck and I have no vacation left...WHICH WOULD REALLY REALLY BLOW... Plus, I don't like going in and arguing with HR... They have control over the personnel files... I don't like to tangle with someone who has control over my personnel file when my hours are in the toilet.

To top it all off, do you kids remember how I told you about fighting about a bogus loan charge from my institution of higher education, and how I won and they dropped the bill? Yeah, well, they've decided to renege on their end of the deal and they seem to think that I owe them money again. This displeases the Lizzle. So when I go to Chicago I will be forced to spend a portion of my (apparently non-paid) vacation time arguing with these asshats trying to get them to realize that I am right and that they are wrong... Just like I did a few months ago. Clearly it was time well spent the first time around.

The combination of all these factors has the Lizzle really simmering just below a rolling boil in her saltiness. It is not a good scene. It really isn't.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Meet "model employee" Lizzle... and "Daddy Issue" Lizzle...

Just like Barbie, I have a definite basic model, but with every life change, and every so often the occasional perfectly selected outfit, I get the chance to fill various other roles. I would hardly say that I should be in any regard a role-model for the formative young minds of the world's youth like Barbie has supposedly been over the years. But then again, among a boat load of other jobs, Barbie has also been an astronaut, a dentist, a paleontologist, a stewardess, a pilot, an Olympic gymnast, a skater in the ice capades, a veterinarian, a movie producer, a WNBA player, and she's been in the military, meanwhile the Lizzle graduated from college with a few jobs on the resume, floundered in a lousy job market for a while, and then out of necessity and the desire to actually use the degree I paid so dearly for, became a social worker. Personally, I think that Barbie must have spent a fortune on her education because it costs a whole lot of money to switch majors that often! (I just picked the one that most suited me, and I stuck with it all four years... But what do I know?)

Anyway, in recent weeks I've been modeled on what one would call a "model employee" I've been appropriately dressed as always of course, but I've kept up with my paperwork throughout the week, I've had my paperwork turned in early or (at worst) on time, I've answered every call and every question from every case worker and supervisor, I've taken coverage on cases when other workers weren't available, I've billed well over what I am expected to bill, and if my weekly meetings with my supervisor are anything to go by, I've served my clients flawlessly. I'm not trying to over inflate your perception of me, and I'm not trying to over-inflate my ego, because in all honesty, I have NO CLUE as to how I've managed to do this. If you've known me for very long, you know that organization has never been my strongest suit. Procrastination is where I excel in spades, it's been that way for YEARS. (Dear god, please don't say that this is an indication of growing up, because I don't wanna be a grown up! And I sure as hell don't want to be a "model employee" cog in the conformist machine as a grown up!)

I blame a sag in my social calendar lately. Less time out boozing with my friends, and with friends doing dumb things like getting married and/or having babies, I've had fewer opportunities to do any proper boozing. We won't even touch my love life because that sag is taking on epic, near-mythic proportions... But then again, I'm content to suffer the extended love life sag at the moment because I would never forgive myself if I found a guy, got comfortable, and ended up trapped in this midwestern wasteland of suburbia forever.

Things are picking up now that the holidays are in full swing. A few holiday parties, family get-togethers, and the overall improved mood and demeanor of folks greatly improves things. The impending trip to Chicago is also bound to provide certain liquor fueled entertainment, and is bound to take some kind of toll on the perfection at work. I mean my monthly reports which so often become the bane of my existence will have to be turned in BEFORE I go to Chicago. Which means I'm going to have to work on them this week instead of on the night before they are due (when I will most assuredly be drinking in one of my favorite old haunts where I pray the managers, owners, and/or bartenders will still remember my name.)

In other news, now that we are properly past the forgotten holiday of Thanksgiving, I bought and set up my Christmas tree. It is four feet of glorious, silver, cheese-tastic, Christmas tchotchke hotness, and despite being cheap and garish, I love it.

And in a final unrelated note, I would like to take a few moments to address something which has bothered me and quite frankly been proverbially "stuck in my craw." My father, with whom I've had a somewhat exasperating and turbulent relationship over the years, recently visited my apartment for the first time since I moved in, despite many previous trips into town. After giving it a quick once over, he noted it "looked nice" and departed. He was inside for a total of less than five minutes, including some time in the bathroom. He did not take particular note of any of the decor details, didn't note the furniture which is (in all honesty and not at all debatably) nicer than the stuff in his house, and he did not even mention the rather prominent items which he should have recognized, largely because he owned a few of them when he was still married to my mother.

Being a man, I attributed his lack of interest to the typical male response to any mention of "decor," (which is a general malaise or disinterest,) but knowing my father, and how he has always thought of himself as having taste (despite most evidence to the contrary,) I was kind of bitter at the overall lack of response. And when I visited his home for Thanksgiving, and the venture into my home came up in conversation, his only response was, "It was nice... And it was just neat as a pin!" To which I had no choice but to respond with, "Umm, now would be a REALLY GOOD time to stop sounding like my apartment being clean was something of a shocking surprise!" An awkward silence followed. The subject was changed. And while I'm not using this forum to hash out my "daddy issues" I think you more observant readers can now see, based solely on these seemingly inconsequential remarks, some of the deep under current which provides the unstable foundation for our often adversarial relationship. It just bothered me... I mean the only time my dad ever sees me is when we grab a drink at a bar when he is in town, or when I go to visit him at his house and I'm living out of my luggage... This should in no way be a representative sample as to whether or not I should be living in filth. I went through a messy phase in high school, but since my first semester at college, I've been a cleaner, and well, after four years of college and a couple more years since graduation, that cleaning habit hasn't changed. I'm not really going anywhere with this bit, but it just really rubbed me the wrong way for a while, and I couldn't write about it before since I was sans computer, so I decided to just run with it for a little while now.

Feel free to resume your "Cyber Monday" at this point.

That is all.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

In the immortal words of Elton John...

"Oh the bitch is back! Stone cold sober as a matter of fact!"

How lovely to see you all here!

And by "you all," I mean the paltry few of you who haven't quite given up hope of my return. I salute you in your faith and fortitude.

So much has happened since I last posted for you fine folks... Of course, nothing of much interest happened to me because aside from work, I am living the spectacularly boring life of a relative recluse here.

Here are the bullet points to catch you up in a hurry:

  • My best friend in this neck of the woods had herself a beautiful baby boy. Caden Matthew weighed in at 6 lbs 11oz.
  • One of my very best friends (one remaining in Chicago) got engaged. So now I'm on a diet timeline... Because you've gotta look good at your best friend's wedding.
  • I went to my dad's house for Thanksgiving. I saw my eldest sister get WILDLY intoxicated on a concoction containing Mountain Dew and copious amounts of vodka among other ingredients. She was HIGHLY inappropriate, and it was HIGHLY amusing.
  • I am currently planning a trip to Chicago. For those of you who are arbitrarily tracking this sort of thing, yes, this will be my first trip back to the city since my shameful departure. And trust me when I tell you that bawling in defeat while attempting to pilot a u-haul on the by-ways in and around Chicago is shameful, and is not pleasant or easy. I look forward to the opportunity to redeem myself, my driving prowess, and quite frankly, to drive around looking hot, instead of driving around looking like a hot mess.
  • I obviously got my computer back, and much to my dismay, they didn't really fix it. Fortunately the IT guy in my office provided me with a few helpful answers which didn't take three weeks nor the loss of my computer.
  • I made a grown man cry the other day. Apparently my technique for closing a case is so good that I can elicit tears from a relative stranger who knows little if anything about the case... It's not every day that I make a grown man cry, so I thought it warranted a mention.
That pretty much brings you up to speed. It's good to be back.

Questions, comments, observations?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Miss me yet?

So the computer has been in the shop for about a week now. I anticipate another week going by before I get it back, and I'm hoping that's all there is to it, but judging by past experiences, that won't be the case.

I miss reading and commenting on all your blogs, and I'm hoping that I'll only be absent for the next 7 days, but since I'm at the mercy of the geek squad, I know that nothing is assured.

Please know that I'm not ignoring you in an intentional or malicious manner. I'm only posting now because I'm at my office avoiding a client who may or may not still be out in the parking lot waiting to yell at me... I just love my clients.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monthly reports make me want to gouge my eyes out with a dull object...

It's once again time for the monthly reports to be turned in. This means I stress out for a couple of days, and stare at computerized paperwork until my eyes bleed. It also means that my Dr. Pepper intake goes through the frickin' roof. (It's one of those stress-related indulgences.) I mean I can keep my intake in check most days, but when it comes to monthly reports, I am not at all responsible for my massive Dr. Pepper-related caloric intake. It gets kind of ridonk.

In unrelated news, I was very pleased with myself and my shopping prowess (another stress-related indulgence) this weekend. I found, much to my surprise that a local retail establishment had 100% cashmere sweaters at bargain basement prices. And being a person who LOVES finding what would otherwise be considered a totally unnecessary luxury-type item, on sale during the peak of my retail-therapy stress spending, well, I indulged. Twice. And when I showed my mom the fruits of my endeavor, her first comment was, "Oh, that's really pretty... And it makes your bazoombas look incredible!" You really can't argue with reasoning like that.

In other news, since I don't post QOTDs like I should anymore, I'm going to try to bolster the morale here by more frequently quoting myself in a feature known as, "Lizzle's inappropriate remarks" ...We're opening with a killer.

My mom and were driving along, and when I made a comment about her driving, she threatened to kick me out and make me walk home.

Mom: "You can get out here and walk home. It'll take you until dark!"
Liz: "No it won't! I only live right over there! And besides, I could totally hitch a ride home and pay the guy off with a blowjob... It wouldn't even have to be a very good one, because I'm not going very far! [Skip about two beats while my mother was nearly soiling herself with laughter] ...God, I can't believe I just said that... And that I said it to my mom of all people. I really am the most inappropriate person in the world!"

[I published a post I'd neglected to finish last week. You can see it below.]

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Ok, so the National Enquirer broke a story the other day stating that Dog the Bounty Hunter was a total racist. (Shocker.) I got my news from D-listed, but since Michael K. lists sources, I know where it came from and that he's not just making stuff up.

Ordinarily I am not one to buy into the level of tabloid reporting done over at the National Enquirer, but since they had audio to back it up, and that the story itself was not totally far fetched made it an easy sell. I mean it's not like they were pitching up a meatball like, "OJ Simpson DNA Found in Berlin; Remorseful OJ Admits Responsibility for WWII Holocaust" -- I mean yeah, OJ is responsible for a couple of deaths, but not 10 million.

Anyway, back to Dog...

While I don't watch that mess, I am familiar with his program, and I think we all know even with the TV on mute and rapidly-formed opinions based on sight alone, the odds were going to be pretty strong that something as trashy and backward as racism would be something for which that ol' Dog would totally be a plausible fit. (I hope that sentence made sense... I'm not going to go and diagram it to make sure its all grammatically correct... You get the idea that basically Dog is an easy sell as a racist.) When it comes to a description, I think one of my favorite midget pan-Asians, (yes, Elaine, I have more than one favorite midget pan-Asians) Elaine, said it best, "You know, when I see a grown man wearing a homemade sleeveless shirt, two arm bands, and fingerless leather gloves, with long flowing blond pompadour slash mullet hair, I think to myself, 'Good heavens, what a wonderful man, apparently he is too busy saving puppies, building houses for the homeless and walking elderly people across to the street to worry about what he looks like.'"

Anyway, based on the news of this racial tirade, I got to thinking about race issues in my office. There was a recent firing based on some racially charged remarks, so there are issues going on there... As for me, I'm not going to pull out the "I'm not a racist! I have black friends!" card, because while my own circle of friends and even my family is a veritable rainbow and really seems to run the gamut of ideologies as well, I also know that there are some racist and otherwise prejudiced assholes in that mix too, so there really is no genuine accounting for it. I know plenty of people who have "friends" or significant others of varying races who, despite their claims, are still WILDLY racist. I give the statement of having black friends as an indication of not being racist about as much weight as saying, "No, I am not racist! Last week, I totally watched a movie starring Morgan Freeman! And I really like that Jamie Foxx guy..." You see just how pithy and pathetic such a remark like that is when it's boiled down to the bullshit it really is.

The fact is that while I don't think I'm a racist, someone out there might disagree with me, but that's not the issue. The thing is that I am very firm in my belief that there are more than 6 BILLION people on this planet. And while I haven't met the overwhelming majority of them, I feel safe in my assessment that there are plenty of awesome people out there, and there are plenty of trashy folks who embrace backward ideologies due to upbringing, background, generalization of bad experiences, and nine times out of ten, flat-out ignorance. The fact is that both the awesome ones AND the trashy ones come in ALL colors, creeds, shapes, and sizes. All people are capable of racism and general ugliness, and I might be wildly inappropriate in many ways, but I frown on displays of that kind of hateful behavior. There really is no excuse!

ANNNNNYYYYYWAYYYY.... Enough seriousness, let's move on with the program.

So, one of the more enjoyable things about my work week is getting to go to lunch with some of my coworkers after the weekly staff meeting. (It's pretty much the only reason I drag my tired ass out of bed early enough to sit in that lame, boring-ass meeting.) There is a rotating group of folks who head out to lunch at assorted restaurants and kibitz about our cases, our lives in general, and whatever else you can dream up. Well over the course of the last several weeks, the rotating group has shifted somewhat. And for the last month, I have found myself to be the lone caucasian at the table. Now, this couldn't matter less to me, and it sure as hell doesn't seem to matter to anyone else at the table, but in fact was always someone else at the table who has pointed this fact out every week.

But this week we had our lunch at a Cracker Barrel because Tarita wanted, "...something with a mess of gravy on it!" In case you've lived in a cave without modern technological communications tools like Osama bin Laden, you've probably heard that Cracker Barrel was fairly recently accused of racism. I would track down an article detailing all of this, but either you know of what I speak, or you can just hustle your ass over to google and track one of those articles down for yourself.

So, since this law suit emerged, the folks over at Cracker Barrel have tried to add a certain degree of "ethnicity" to their setup. This includes not only merchandise in the store area, as well as memorabilia on the walls in the dining area. Well in our little group of roughly 8, where I was the lone pale face, we found that we were seated under a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We had a giggle about that, and a few other things, at which point Sheree mentioned, "Well, you know, Liz, we had to bring you along so that they wouldn't think we were going to bust up the place and stage a rally." High comedy.

We then ordered our meal, and I was ridiculed for not ordering corn bread... I had enough carbohydrates on the way without adding to it with corn bread, but just trust me when I tell you that I will tear the shit out of some frickin' corn bread! My friends, co-workers, and compatriots understood this point. Once the food came out, despite my order being somewhere toward the beginning, and the server starting with Ms. Carolyn who was directly next to me, I was the last person served at the table. This prompted me to ask my tablemates, "Guys, was I just a victim of discrimination? I mean I was the last person served at this table! I am betting it's because I'm white! I bet they did something to my food too! And they are probably having me towed from the parking lot as we sit here!" This got a healthy laugh, and then Tarita noted, " OH WAIT! They better not be towing you from the parking lot! You rode with me! And if my car isn't out there when we're done, they're going to have another lawsuit on their hands!"

I know that racism is an incredibly deplorable thing, and that it is no laughing matter on the whole, but when you get intelligent people together who all share a sharp wit and an awesome sense of humor about life, sometimes you just can't help but laugh. We're all good at laughing. And as it was stated by Natalie Portman in Garden State, "If you can't laugh, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you want it to be."

Your thoughts?