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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stuff Follow Up

Thanks for all of your support and particularly advice from Teri and Jooli. I have talked to a lawyer who gave me similar advice to that of yours. I kept my head low through the holidays, skipping both holiday parties. (and that's another story.)
Things have been calming down. I still feel, keenly, the loss of my friend. I have processed and processed this with my therapist, God bless her. She feels the friendship if there is ever a chance for healing, is damaged beyond repair.
I'll call her Sheila and I are still not speaking, though before the last management team meeting she did ask "How was your Holiday." And I answered. "Quiet." And I asked back. This was the longest communication we have had. When you have an organization with one person-at this time-at the top of the chart and 4 people (Sheila and me) at the second layer. It's hard to find friends. The other two are two very nice men, one an ultra-orthodox (anti abortion, anti women on the altar) Catholic, the other just a very nice psychologist.
On other fronts we have a vacation coming up, a cruise to the Caribbean at the end of the month, and boy do I need to get away. Hmm, I wonder if they need counselors in Belize...?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Five-To Do list

Jan posted this anxiety producing FF:

Actually I'm pretty far along.

1. I get small gifts for my Counseling Unit and support staff which this year swelled to 12 people. I attended an 'Etsy' craft fair in October and got a swell bargain. Hand carved animals on pedestals, small for desktops at$1. each. Yes, you heard me. A buck each and they're really nice. See above. I even saved one for ME! And I bought all they had and had enough for the counselors and bought earrings at 10. for the secretary's.

2. Beloved and Godchild had birthdays earlier in the month so I got presents then even though Godchild hasn't gotten hers yes (and I can't find it.) But I will...

3. One crisis, got Beloved something with a top and a bottom-a set (she sometimes reads this.) and they just sent the top! Who ever heard of selling just the tops? Wish I could be more specific.

4. We don't do a tree, but next Wednesday the Menorah will be out. I thought about a tree in the beach place, but we're only there on weekends at this point and I worried about fire.

5. Last Friday we bought and wrapped our gifts for homeless kidswith the Catholic Lesbians and this weekend we're preparing tips for the doormen, porters, handymen, super, etc-the most expensive part of the holidays.


I've joined a new church, St. James of Jerusalem Episcopal Church. We'll see how it goes. They have a gay priest!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Five-Random

I haven't posted for awhile because I've been involved in my own mishegoss
(Mishegoss: Yiddish-(mish-uh-goss) neurosis, craziness, psychological shtick, insanity, idée fixée, foolish notion. ) for more about that read my previous few posts.
But now for my randomness:
1. I grew up in my mothers grocery store. It was before big supermarkets and was really my mother's and my aunt's. It had been my grandfathers and farmers would phone in their orders, "operator, I would like Yezzo's Market." And we would deliver in an old Ford panel truck. My cousin and I would sit in the spare tire and smoke candy cigarettes while my aunt did all the work. I was 7 or 8 when they closed it.
2. I worked in summer stock for 3 years while I was in college. I met the likes of Vivian Vance, Paul Lynde and a host of other fading stars and luninaries. I was a scenic designer and actually came to NY to do that.
3. The first job I got in NYC was for an interior design firm. We did store planning and I did everything from making coffee to shopping for sample in the D& D building. I also went to job sites and painted murals. I recently visited one of my murals which still existes. It's on a set of elevator doors and the surround. I had to paint around the opening and closing of the doors. Really.
4. My first weekend place was in Orient, NY where I learned to sail, clam, crab, scallop.
5. I went back to school to get a masters degree in counseling when the Aids pandemic hit and many of my colleagues and friends started to die. I felt that I could help more elsewhere. I'm currently studying Trauma.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Stuff

I've been sitting at my desk brewing. I've been generally unhappy at work. Not with the work, which is stimulating. And I just finished a class on Trauma which was generally great and which I find myself already using in my work, and I'm considering taking a training program-1-2 years for certification and an area of specialty.
What I'm brewing about is the change of atmosphere and attitude in the office. I've been a Senior Counselor in this office since 2007. It was a promotion from another office. Senior Counselor is first line management. Now there are 3 of us for about 228 counselors, arranged in units of about 14. Mine has 9 counselors and 4 support staff, with one counselor and one support staff on long term sick leave.
We have just come through an acrimonious period with a District Office Manager who was my dear friend and my difficult manager and who was universally disliked by the office. I was distrusted because I was her-long term-friend. Also in my unit I had a union organizer who was required to spend long periods of time in Albany. My friend/boss became seriously ill and retired. Shortly thereafter, my counselor sent a four page letter to Humal Resources complaining about me and my management of him, with frequent references to my boss-she was quite the micromanager! This lette was discussed by much higher ups, including the assistant commisioner and the counselor was transferred to a different unit. The letter was full of lies. It was also written by a union lawyer. I was given no recourse.
This is all a lead in to what happened next.
I had one good friend in the office. She was the other lesbian here. When I got here she asked me to supervise her in finishing her masters degree in counseling, which I did gladly. We have been good friends ever since, socializing with our partners and lunching several times a week. About two months ago I noticed that she was no longer available for lunch. It was her busy month and she was wearing a soft cast for a leg injury, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. but it went on. We finally had lunch, she was stiff. Finally I stopped by her office to chat and she let me have it! She said that I took the management position on union negotions. I was at fault with the counselor. I could have bent the rules to accomodate him. (did I mention that my boss was a micromanager?) She had no interest in anything I had to say, and she did 'nt even give me a chance to speak- and we have not spoken since. I'm hurt and I'm angry. She's not a senior, but she's on the management team. At this time she's the only other woman on the management team. I feel so awkward just being in this small community right now. I also know from her strong reaction that Brian showed the letter he wrote to others and she saw it.
If anyone has any advice for me, I'd really appreciate it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When it Rains

I went into my interim boss's office office on Friday, you may remember my boss/friend has Pancreatic cancer, but more about that in another post, he said "I have something to talk to you about."
I seems that a difficult counselor, I'll call him 'Brian,' has complained about me to the "head office" and has goner to the union attorney. He complained about a list of things that my boss refused to show me-he didn't want to upset me, and 'Brian' asked for a change of senior counselors. He is heavily into the union. It all started when I forgot to approve his vacation with 3 weeks. I did approve it verbally, and put it in my vacation, days out calendar, but it must be done in writing and he filed another union grievance through against me, using the union Foreman, I'll call "Ivory," a woman who has been bullying me since I took this position.
Apparently since my former boss and dear friend retired (due to her illness) I have become her replacement for retaliation.
I wish I could retire tomorrow...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Funny How That Happens

This week we had a Management Team Meeting scheduled. I arrived feeling cranky and expecting to be sitting for 3 hours. My friend/boss was the last to arrive. She spoke first and said she had something to tell us. She said that, of course we knew that she filmed her apartment makeover for the Nate Berkus show last week. They required a medical release. She had a Drs. appointment but was going to cancel it because she before the show came up, she and her husband had a huge bike ride-taking a week or something like that-and she didn't have time for the doc. She had been feeling under the weather for months now, nothing big, just general malaise.
But she went to the doc and described her symptoms and he said, well we'll just do a CT scan.
She has pancreatic cancer.
Suddenly she is no longer my boss and is my beloved friend and I have tears running down my face as I write this.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Five Your Workspace

(The first picture is of my talismans. The second is of my office, or of a corner of it. I'm doing this from my office and on a PC, so it hard to manipulate.-I 'm used to a Mac.)

RevKarla posted this funny FF:

1. My wonderful ergonomic chair that I have carried from office to office and the fabric is now shredded from the substandard "new wooden desks."
2. The wooden desk. As a State of NY Office, our furniture in made in NY State Prisons, Oh Yes. And it tends to shred and fall apart. The beautiful new desks are made of soft woods and when we got them we found that the tops marked so easily-by writing on a paper with a pen, that we had to buy glass tops!
3. My huge cardboard sculpture, leftover packing material from the desks, that sits on top on my bookcase.

I also have a little, strange altar.
4. Piles of files, awaiting my approval, correction, or something else. Just passing through.
5. Photographs of various trips I have taken.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Five-The Season You're In

Kathrynzj posted this thoughtful FF:
"Headquarters for me is the northeast of the United States. Here school is getting back in session, the tease of autumn is in the air (or the hope for the tease of autumn is in the air) and church life is gearing up to full throttle.

One thing I've learned with blogging and social media is that the where I live is not necessarily where you live. And so I want to know what September means to you, in your place of the world and time in your life.
This week's Friday Five is:

What are 5 things that the beginning of September mean to you?"

1. As a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor working for State Rehab., we help individuals with disabilities to go to work, go back to work, find different work after acquiring a disability, or in the case of young adults born with disabilities, after graduation from HS (the short form of what we do) it means all the minutia of college plans. We've been working on them for months, but now it's where is my book voucher? will I get carfare? etc.

2. Even though summer in NY isn't always pleasant, smelly, humid and all that, it means the end of sandals and I love them! I stretch that season as far as it will go!

3. Ditto for heavy clothes. Wish I could give them all to Goodwill. (Which is a very good Rehabilitation agency btw and you should donate to them instead of the Salvation Army which is very Homophobic!)

4. This is the long slippery slide into winter, which I really don't like much. I grew up with lake effect show and after snow days were no longer an issue, snow just became a big problem. NY is much better than my home state, well until last year.

5. So in summary, you can see why Beloved and I have our cruise planned for the end of January!

Bonus: What's one thing you could do without?

Whooops! I may have already done this :-(

Saturday, August 20, 2011


At 3:45 yesterday, my boss called me into her office. I had been expecting the call. It was about a case that was a minor problem. The counselor was away. Her brother had died unexpectedly. My boss, I'll call her Laur*e, has been very busy as she is going to be on a TV talk show, the Nate Berkus Show in September to have her fashionable Upper East Side apartment, redesigned. (she is an habitual shopper and has clothing in her closets with tags on them. Clothing that was bought years ago.) I know this because I am allegedly her friend. Or was. But not on Friday afternoon when she is screaming at me about a case that I know little about with her door open so that the whole hallway can hear. And is giving me instructions. By this time it's 15 minutes before I have to leave and this has to be done by Monday-my day off. (Forgive me, but I'm twitching as I write this.)
I managed to follow all of her screamed orders, and even finished not too late, but late enough for someone who started at 7:30 am But I have to see her again at a party for a friend who got married in the first wave of the NYC gay marriages yesterdays.
I am a quiet person. A cooperative person. I do not respond well to screaming. I scares me. It's a response to the trauma of growing up in an Alcoholic household where there was a lot of screaming and yelling and fighting going on. I is hard on my and really stresses me out. I would never ever treat my counselors light that.
Thanks for letting me vent.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Five Road Trips

Jan Gives us this Friday Five:
Tell us about five road trips--in your childhood, in your family, in your recent past, with friends, and/or hoped-for-places-to-drive-to. Don't forget the one that stands out as the BEST or as the worsttime.
1. All of our vacations as children were road trips, even the one to Niagra Falls, from Ohio to Canada with the Grandparents. Usually my parents and me, and my cousin-as we both were only children and got to go on each others vacations. They usually involved driving to some not too far interesting site, staying at a motel with a pool, and eating in lots of restaurants.
2. The most interesting road trip Beloved and I took involved flying to the Canadian Rockies, taking a train with a glass top to...somewhere in the Canadian Rockies, then driving around the Rockies with stops in Lake Louise, Banf and Jasper. We stayed at resorts build by the railroad. Wonderful and beautiful.
3. Three years ago Beloved and Godchild and I drove back to the hometown to celebrate Aunt Julies 90th. It was a sentimental journey along interstate 80, eating at truckstops. It only took about 9 hours, but I have done it many times and Godchild never. It was fun.