Thursday, July 28, 2005

Couple of checks off the to-do list

Completed my self-evaluation for LEAD. Put together a preliminary version of my new resume. It's weird to be putting the GSB on it when I have yet to attend my first class.

My Pathfinder is in the shop today getting all tuned up for next week's 2100 mile trip (oil lube filter, tire rotation, brakes etc). My '02 is going to roll 40K somewhere in Montana! The car cover I ordered came in yesterday (to protect my baby since my parking spot is under the El track...maybe it'll deter the theives too, but that's probably wishful thinking). Bought a 2005 US Road Atlas and I've been checking out the construction hot spots online. Looks like there's a bit on roads in and around Yellowstone and since that's a pretty major side trip, I think I'll skip it.

I think I've got pretty much everything wrapped up at work now, just doing a final proofread of the manual I created. 4 months went by a lot faster than I thought it would back in April.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Excuses, excuses

I've got a million of them for why its been so long since I blogged.

1. My replacement started last week so I've been super busy at work training her and trying to make sure things are in order for my departure. It's going well so far. Last week I had to spend a lot more time "driving", then watching over her shoulder as she drove. This week she's working mostly on her own while I finish up some special projects and catch up on chores that I've put off due to interviews, like filing/organizing/etc.

2. My evenings have been filled with watching the Tour de, and procrastinating on the task of packing. Now that the Tour is over, I'll have to get more creative with my procrastination. My room is a disaster and I'm not looking forward to taming the beast. I think I need to do another round of purging with a couple more trips to goodwill & the dump.

4. I also need to get my ass in gear making sure that all of my papers are in order and that I'm caught up on my to-do list. The financial aid stuff is in the bag (I've already had some paperwork sent back to me), my immunization records are ready to be sent, and I just enrolled in health insurance for the next year. I still need to finish up all of the tasks for pre-term (aka LEAD). I've done the Myers-Briggs personality test thingy (for what must be the 10th time in my life) and another standardized "intersts" type test, but I need to complete my self assessment, make sure my 360 feedback providers do their part (3 of 5 are done), get a draft resume uploaded to career services, etc etc.

5. Then there's the move. I am officially on the lease as of August 1st, which is the day I plan to depart Washington. I'm in the process of planning my road trip, trying to figure out which sights I can see, where I can stay, and how I can make it work so that the drive time for each day is reasonable (read: in the vicinity of 10 hrs). I'd like to drive through Yellowstone if possible (never been) and I definitely want to see Mount Rushmore (also never been), but we'll see how it works out. I need to call my friend and see if it may be possible for me to crash at her dad's place in Butte, MT. That would eliminate one night in a hotel, although it may mess up my objective of ~10 hrs driving a day. We'll see how it works out. I'd like to arrive in Chicago by August 5th at the latest, so I can be in town when the Seattle Mariners play the Chicago White Sox. Then I will have my furniture and other misc crap delivered out of storage on August 8th. I called today to get that scheduled but my "move coordinator" hasn't called me back yet. I hope that day will work, I don't think I can go much longer without my own bed. Sleeping on my 15 year old twin mattress for the past 4 months has not been kind to my back.

6. On top of all that...I'm just too busy having fun with family and friends in my final throes of pre-school life in Washington. This past weekend my folks and I went camping near Plain, WA (aka Middle of Nowhere). Their friends have some property on the Wentachee River. It was nice to see a bunch of their friends that I've known forever but haven't seen in 5+ years. The weather was awesome and Saturday we did a 2+ hr float down the river in tubes and rafts with plenty of beer. This week I plan to hang out with my local girlfriends, do a sort of ladies night this weekend (they'll get their husbands to babysit while we tear up this town). We're also going to have dinner and play cards with my grandparents on Thursday (our family favorite is Chicago Rummy). Sunday I'll probably head down to Seattle to stay with a friend so as to avoid Monday morning traffic.

So yeah, that pretty much sums up why I've been a slack blogger. Can't promise it's going to be much better for the next couple of weeks, although my new roommate is getting everything in order to make sure we're hooked up with high speed internet. Oh, forgot to add that I also need to get around to buying a new laptop. My current one is a 3 year old Compaq model that I've already had to reformat once and the keys are not working so well lately. I need to do some online research with my dad tonight, who has recently expressed interest in providing some financial assistance in the technology department of my b-school adventure. Sweet! Although he's making noise like he's going to try to talk me out of the laptop I've had my heart set on for the past couple of months, the Apple 12-in Powerbook. Don't you go thinking I'm a follower on this little trend of MBA bloggers going Mac, I've been talking/thinking about this one for awhile. The Powerbook is one bad ass machine, IMO.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Never a dull moment

An honest-to-goodness D-list former reality TV star came into our office today. Not as a client either (read: as a debtor). No joke. Due to privacy concerns I can't tell you who, but man, I wish I could because it's a good one!

After conducting 20 agonizing interviews in the past week, I've hired my replacement and she starts Monday morning. What a relief. In a small business where each person's role is critical, transition & training time is essential to business continuity. I have a personal interest in ensuring a smooth transition since it's my family's business, so I've been really worried about getting someone on and making sure I have at least two weeks of overlap for training. *fingers crossed* I'll get the new gal up to speed in short order and my last day at work will be July 29th. I think I've also got a new receptionist lined up, too. I am thrilled to be done interviewing. It's exhausting and there is a massive pile of work on my desk and I'm hoping I'll be able to make a dent in it tomorrow.

It's been a stressful week and I de-stressed this evening with some wakeboarding and some beer. Just what the doctor ordered. Now I'm off to rendezvous with Tivo to catch up with Stage 12 of Le Tour De France and today's episode of The Daily Show.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Shot in the arm

Literally & figuratively.

Saturday I went to our long time family doctor's office to pick up my immunization history for school. I had called earlier in the week and asked them to make a note on there if I needed I tetanus shot. I was pretty sure that I did. However, I had no idea how badly I needed it. Assuming you need them every 10 years as suggested (and as required by the University of Chicago) I was 13 years overdue. Yes folks, the last time yours truly got a tetanus shot was 1982. Don't ask me how I fell through the cracks, I have no clue. I guess I assumed that the family doc had kept me up to date since I saw him throughout undergrad, and I figured I'd err on the side of caution as an adult and get a booster shot if I ever cut myself. Wrong. $20 and a shot in the arm later, I'm now immunized and ready to learn, according to the sheet I'm sending off to the health folks at U of C.

A couple of weeks ago, I reminded my folks that it was almost July and therefore almost time for me to be wrapping up my work for them and start heading east. I think it snuck up on all of us. So I've been working like crazy, trying to make sure all of the manuals related to my tasks are updated and easy to follow. I've got a couple of projects that may have to wait, but I could possibly do them remotely from Chicago before school starts (or they might end up as good class projects, who knows). I'm also sorting through all of the applications we received in response to our classified ad and online listing. We had three interviews Friday, two today, and this afternoon I'll schedule more for later this week. My ideal scenario is to get my replacement and a new receptionist hired by the end of the week, hopefully have them start a week from today, so I can get a full two weeks of training with them before the end of the month. My preferred last day here is July 29, and I hope to be arriving in Chicago by the first weekend of August. Will that actually happen? Depends on how things go with interviews this week and when our chosen ones can start. I've got my fingers crossed! (But I set that July 29th milestone knowing full well that it could be pushed back two weeks... and I'd rather July 29th get pushed back to August 12th, than August 12th get pushed back to August 26th...that would suck.)

BTW, to anyone else who's gone through the b-school app process then been involved in hiring...are you now way more critical of resumes & interviews? At times I'm asking myself "are these truly bad applications, or are my standards out of control?!?" Anyone?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Got my fix, finally

Went wakeboarding for the first time since I moved back to Washington. After three months, it felt awesome to get back on the water, in spite of the fact that conditions sucked. Thanks to the holiday weekend and better than expected weather, everyone who owns a boat or PWC was on the water this weekend. We were on the water from about 8 pm until there was no light left (probably well beyond what is legal) and it was still pretty rough. But no matter, I went wakeboarding!!

I met up with some guys I met on a wakeboarding website, Wakeworld. If you don't own a boat (or have a close friend with a boat) and you want to ride, you have to hop online to find people with boats who have extra room or need a third. When I lived in Virginia, I had a close friend with a boat so I had a permanent hook-up for pulls. But when I moved to San Diego, I had to network my way to pulls and ended up finding some pretty reliable ones. It's always a little weird going to meet people for the first time, but so far I've only had positive experiences. The wakeboarding community is a pretty chill group of people and most folks are happy to have another boarder on the boat (especially a chick who boards). It's a very social activity. These guys I met up with on Sunday had a house on Lake Stevens and a dock with 3 tournament wakeboard boats tied up (we're talking $150K+ worth of boats). They also had a keg tapped and the BBQ fired up all day. In other words...heaven on earth!