You May Now Address Me as “Master”

Well, December has sure as fuck been one hell of a ride.

The first week of December saw me in a new role at a new company. I quit my old job before Thanksgiving, and started  at the new place a few weeks later.

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I took those two weeks between jobs to finish up my paper for the final class of my master’s degree. If I told you most of the paper was written in those two weeks (Sorry Dr. P!), would you believe me?

The second week of December, Brian FINALLY asked me to marry him, and much to his detriment, I said yes. And now he’s stuck with me forever. The proposal itself was magical and ridiculous and amazing, and I’m in the process of writing about it to give it justice. There’s also a video or two coming. You’re welcome in advance.

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The third week of December was the week I graduated from Benedictine University with a master of arts in education. I can’t say I’ll never use it, but  I don’t plan to be a teacher or anything…

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When your boyfriend tells you you're a tiger, you become a tiger.

I’ll tell you what, though. No one has as much fun in her cap and gown as me. As Brian would tell you, he felt tricked into attending mass, because my Catholic university invited a nun to speak as the keynote. Mom loved it. Well, what she could here from the back on the auditorium, anyways.

I was told I couldn’t write anything on my cap, which was unfortunate,  because when I graduated from undergrad, I had “need a job” taped to my cap for all to see. It was brilliant,  and it jinxed me for several months cough a year cough. Whatever. Back in 2005, I also had a twinkie and my cell phone tucked safely into my bra. This year, I thought ahead and wore a dress with pockets so I could fill them with entertainment.

I, of course, brought reinforcements. I had a bottle of Chila Orchata and a wheel of Mini Babybel to provide sustenance before I got day drunk with my family at the wine bar.

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I actually ended up hiding these refreshments in the goofy tubing attached to the sleeves of my gown because it was tricky to access pockets under the gown. These sleeve tubes also proved useful for keeping my hands warm while crossing campus in the bitter cold for free cookies and lemonade.

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I checked in with you guys on Facebook and kept myself amused until the one other MA.E. and I were guided to the stage. They never announced our degree, so as far as the audience was concerned, we were just two rando names in the long pause between the undergrads and MBA degree candidates. 

I neither tripped nor fell, but I did walk the wrong way, even when the guidey person was like, “that way…no, that way…no, THAT way.” Alas, I channeled my inner Fleetwood Mac and I went my own way. But I didn’t want to walk in front of the photographer who was already taking awful pictures of me. And so I shimmied around him awkwardly while one of the professors yelled at me.  No big deal.

But now, I am a Master of the Universe, and after getting champagne drunk for the 27th time this month, the celebration was over. Except that I wanted to tell you about my exciting month, even if my degree is only slightly wasted right now, you know…not being a teacher and all…

Let’s celebrate, my friends! What exciting things happened for you this month? What about this year? Did you get a new job or married or pregnant or write a book or just survive? What are you proud of or excited about?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Completely Legitimate Reasons I Could Have Quit My Job

They took away my mirrors

My narcissism knows no bounds, and when the lobby renovation of my building was finished, there were no more mirrors for me to double check myself before heading up to my office. There used to be a wall of mirrors and gold mirrored elevator doors in which I could double check my hair, look for wardrobe malfunctions, and just get a good glance at myself as I walked down the long hallway.
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Once they began construction, I knew nothing was ever going to be the same.

I had no idea what I was doing

I wasn’t a writer anymore, but I was still writing a little social media content. I was also negotiating big fat contracts and talking to potential partners. lt was strange and scary, but let’s be honest here…I was talking to people every day, shmoozing, and learning…I kinda liked it. And it turns out, I’m pretty good at it.

They wanted me to work in the office on Black Friday

Not at MY office, mind you, but the corporate office, which was about an hour drive. I was told to bring crossword puzzles because it was known that there was nothing my team could do to help the madness. Let me clarify that I was planning on working Black Friday. From home. I could care less about shopping these days, but driving up to the main office at 4 am to do crossword puzzles? Sounds like a waste of my time. If I had to work on Black Friday, and could be of any use to my peers (other than running coffee, which was also a recommended option for things to do), sure no problem. But that wasn’t the case. The office would have been a lonely skeleton in which I felt trapped by corporate entities that just wanted to look good in front of their superiors. That don’t impress me much.
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My friends were leaving

At one point, I had oodles of friends at my old company. But they were all moving on to bigger and better things. New fancy companies with matching hoodies and name recognition that would make anyone swoon. I’ll admit I was jealous. That green-eyed monster can be a beast.

Something magical happened

Sure, those were all perfectly acceptable reasons to leave a perfectly acceptable job. But I’m not really that kind of girl. After a few less than savory experiences in the world of employment, I knew it was important to be picky as fuck when I did finally jump ship and the only reason I would ever leave would be if I found something amazing to take its place. And somehow, I happened across a magical unicorn of job listings at a company I really wanted to work for doing something I wanted to do…and the rest, as they say, is history.

I feel like I’m home.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Who Needs Big Brother When I’m Listening to Your Conversations?

I realize that I’m a total creeper. To be fair, you guys asked for more of these…so if you’re weirded out, you’ve only got yourself to blame. Except for the graphic. That was all me.

I'm always listening to conversations, and when I hear or see something noteworthy? I write it down.

My old company had a big ole corporate office that I almost never visited. I worked at a satellite office full of hipsters and people who didn’t seem to mind that I wore rainbow yoga pants to work. It was a comfortable place to be. In my last couple of months at the company, I was required to make my way to corporate on a weekly cadence. My teammates and I called it Mordor because a dark cloud seemed to loom over the long drive to the office.

One of the neat things about Mordor err…corporate was the miniature city within an office. When I realized I needed to buy tampons, I could just head to the convenience store inside the building. Which is exactly what I did on my last Mordor err…corporate day.

I walked into the shop, where a woman was sitting behind a register on the left side of the counter and a young man was standing behind the register on the right side. Another employee was walking back and forth through the store, and I made my way to the pharmacy aisle.

I grabbed a box of tampons, walked down the snack aisle, stared longingly at the box of Oreos that I opted not to purchase, and made my way to the cashier, a young gentleman in his late teens/early twenties. I thought to myself how far I’d come since my embarrassing first period, and how I didn’t give two shits that some dude had to pick up a box of tampons, look me in the eye, and ask if I needed anything else. If he did ask, I considered telling him to hold on a second, I needed some Midol – just for funsies, but he never gave me the chance. He scanned my tampons, and as I was punching in my phone number to the system, some other guy (my assumption is that he was the manager or supervisor) walked behind him.

This was the exchange that played out.

Cashier: K, I am not in the mood. I’m sick and don’t feel well.

Wait, what the fuck is going on? Where did that even come from? That guy never said anything.

Supervisor: I don’t give a shit.

Woah. Hostile much? Wait, these people are AT WORK. This is how they’re speaking to each other in front of customers. This is SO fucked up.

Cashier: Fuck this place.

Well, this is an interesting turn of events…I wonder if he’s going to…

The cashier reaches behind his neck, pulls off the lanyard he’s wearing, and drops his badge on the counter before I’ve had the chance to swipe my credit card.

Cashier: I quit. I’m done dealing with this bullshit. Have fun making deliveries today.

Did that seriously just happen?

Yep. Yes, it did. That guy just quit. While ringing up my tampons.

Me: Ummm…can someone complete my transaction?

The girl sitting down stood and moved toward the register I was at, and the previous cashier turned from the door before he left.

Cashier: A, I’m really sorry. I’m sick of this shit. I have to go.

That was fucking ridiculous.

The girl completed my transaction, and I went on my merry way. Furiously typing up the exchange in my “other people’s conversations” files, anxious to tell you about this insanely ridiculous story.

It seemed fitting that this happened on my last day at the central office, as I only had a few days left. I was glad I didn’t quit in anger like that guy, but it definitely added to the weirdness I felt about leaving.

Have you ever witnessed someone leave their job or have you quit in a rage? What is the craziest way in which you’ve left a job?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Life is Just Plain Weird. Oh, and I Quit My Job Today

Quitting a job is absolutely bizarre. Today is my last day at my current company. In two weeks, I’ll start a new role at a new company, where I’ll learn new things and make new friends and start a new routine. But over the last week or two, things have been…weird. Because I knew I was done. But I was still getting stuff done. It’s a very surreal experience. I could say it twenty different ways and it wouldn’t feel normal.

Quitting your job is weird and awkward, and the ceremonious way in which we do everything makes it even weirder.

I’ve quit jobs before. I’ve sent e-mails to bar managers and called in to restaurant managers, but typically, I don’t just leave a job for something better. It’s never been my MO. I’ve been laid off and left jobs when they weren’t right for me, but I promised myself I’d never quit a job without a better job, this time. And so I waited it out. Until I could find a place that could offer me a new home. A place to grow. Which I did, and I’m SO excited about. But that doesn’t make leaving this job any less weird. These are just a few of the weird things I kept thinking about over the last week that make quitting a job the right way a little strange.

Two Weeks Notice

First, you’re advised to give notice. And not just like, hey tomorrow’s my last day. Instead, the norm is to offer 2 weeks of your time after you know you’re donezo. When a job lets you go, you’re out that day. Why does this tradition exist? During those two weeks, do you tell people you’re leaving? Do you keep quiet and get as much work done as you can? I fell somewhere in the middle and was wigged out the entire time. I’m proud as fuck I was able to see a contract through to completion and launched before my last day, but what if I hadn’t finished it? Would I have been expected to continue working long after my last day to finish it? Would I have left it to someone else who wasn’t in on the rest of the contract process? Fucking weird, right?

Exit Interviews

I always thought I’d leave angry with a big ole bone to pick with HR. I’d been preparing for my exit interview since I started. I documented every instance of ridiculous, crazy, and horrible things. But when push came to shove, I didn’t have anything to say. Sure there were times I was so angry I threatened to quit.  But I got a lot out of my job. I learned a ton. I explained my reasons to my boss, but mostly it was just the right time for me. I have a new job lined up that I’m so incredibly excited about, and I’m not leaving my current job on bad terms. I’ve made my peace.

Saying Goodbye

I’ve bid farewell to many a co worker in my almost 3 years with the company.  Several times, I’ve shed a few tears. Not just because everything makes me cry…but because I was genuinely sad to see people go. Now it’s my turn to go, and I’m genuinely sad to say goodbye to the people I’ve come to know here. That doesn’t make it any less awkward. I started telling some people last week that I had put in my notice, and others I didn’t tell until yesterday. Others still, I didn’t tell until I sent my last e-mail. It’s just weird. Because I didn’t want to be in the middle of contract negotiations and then tell people I’m leaving. I didn’t want to be working on a project and let people think it was going to slip between my fingers. I wanted to finish what I started and get it done properly without a thousand questions as to why…but then I felt guilty not telling them until now.

But my last day is here, and I’m not sad or angry or joyful. I just feel weird. Adulting is hard.

Have you ever quit a job for something new and exciting? What is the strangest thing about quitting a job? What other weird traditions do we stand by that should maybe be eliminated?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Toilet Paper Mind Fuck

There’s  a weird social experiment happening in the ladies’ room at the office. I know what you’re  probably thinking right now.

Chrissy, you sure talk about the bathroom at work a lot these days.

I know, guys. I know. But that’s where I do some of my best thinking. And you have to admit, the April Fool’s Nic Pic prank was pretty hysterical…and everyone needs solid tips for keeping a clean ladies room. Also, who doesn’t love getting paid to poop?

Back to the social experiment at hand. There have always been a few problems in the ladies room on my floor, but for some reason, the toilet paper situation has been escalated by the maintenance staff.

There's a social experiment happening at my office, and they're messing with the toilet paper.

The original toilet paper problem

The building has decent toilet paper, it’s not Charmin or anything, but it is a little more plush than your average run-of-the-mill cheap TP. At first, the biggest problem was the sheer amount of toilet paper that was accumulating on the floor and in the toilets. The maintenance crew heads into the bathroom on my floor twice a day. During their midday sweep, they would replace all toilet paper rolls with fresh, full-size rolls, and place the older, half rolls on top of the TP holder. You can see the problem with this already, can’t you?

No one wanted to use the loose roll of toilet paper, because that shit was always falling on the floor, getting picked up, and put back in its place of honor. You couldn’t vouch for the cleanliness of the loose TP rolls. So people used up the other stuff, and the loose canons rolled around the floor or sat above their cleaner, safer counterparts.

I didn't have any pictures of two good TP rolls with the "spare roll" but everyone knows this roll is the dangerous one.

I didn’t have any pictures of two good TP rolls with the “spare roll” but everyone knows this roll is the dangerous one.

The new toilet paper social experiment

Well, sometime in the last few weeks, the staff has started doing something a little rash. They’ve replaced half of the TP rolls with the worst toilet paper ever. It’s bigger than the normal toilet paper, thinner, and scratchier.

Not all toilet paper is created equally.

Not all toilet paper is created equally.

I don’t want to wipe my ass with cheap tissue paper, you guys, and you know that’s what that “big” roll of  TP is. No one wants that.

The real kicker is that they’re absolutely doing it on purpose. It’s not even like they’re discouraging office pooping. They’re discouraging wasteful TP usage. No longer do you see squandered rolls of toilet paper scattered on the floor between stalls. Not one square of the good TP is wasted in the office bathroom. By the end of the day, though, it’s scratch paper or bust for my colleagues and me.

When the good toilet paper runs out, you may want to avoid pooping at the office.

When the good toilet paper runs out, you may want to avoid pooping at the office.

After several weeks of this nonsense, I’m of the firm belief that someone is documenting how the residents of our office are handling this shenanigans. The answer? Not well. I mean, if they were concerned before about overuse and crap on the floor, they should be even more concerned now. I’ve seen more than my fair share of over-stuffed toilets (no picture because I care about your eyes). And let’s be completely honest here. Bitches are going to find other things to throw on the floor anyways.

Toilet seat covers do not belong on the floor.

Toilet seat covers do not belong on the floor.

You should never have to wipe your butt with crappy, scratchy TP. Click To Tweet

Hopefully, this situation resolves itself and the shitty toilet paper is removed from the bathroom. Of course, they may be getting us acclimated to the new paper before they run out of the decent stuff.

What weird social experiments do you notice happening in your office? What are your thoughts on the varying degrees of toilet paper quality?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Hey Nicholas Cage, Quit Watching Me Pee

In my office, the bathroom is an interesting space. I’ve been with my company for over two years, and last month, they replaced lights I didn’t even know existed. For two years, the bathroom was a dark, dank place.

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And now, look how bright it is! (Sort of.)

The ladies are occasionally super messy and gross  (signs literally went up in three places to say, “if it’s still there, flush again.” Yes. I know.) Toilets overflow. It’s just a mess.

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I’m not sure if you can see the pool of water…

And then there’s the awkwardness that ensues when people refuse to acknowledge one another in the bathroom…Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you make eye contact, smile or say something…a simple “hi” will suffice. If you purposely avoid eye contact, other people will notice and you’ll look like a dick.

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But when you sit down on the porcelain throne, and look up to see creepy Nicholas Cage staring at you…

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How do you even respond?

Well, I had gone into one of the smaller stalls on a whim (okay fine, someone was in the handicapped stall), and discovered the above-pictured gem…

And procedured to check every other stall in the bathroom. The handicapped stall (my stall of choice) was the only one without a picture of my good pal, Nic.

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Oh. And one left shark.

 

I happened upon the creepiest Nic pic of the bunch on my first try, but the rest were pretty fantastic.

And don’t get me wrong…I like Mr. Cage. His work in Con Air really did it for me. But dear God, I can’t handle him watching me pee.

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What weird things go on in your office bathroom? Ever been caged with Cage?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Letter to my Future Employer

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Greetings and salutations!

If you’ve come here looking for a reason or twelve to hire or not hire me, I’ve tried to make this all very convenient for you.

You see, I write a little blog (this guy right here is my pride and joy. I nursed it from baby blog status back on the dawn of my 29th birthday to the point we’re at today. I make a few dollars, have a small community of friends and followers, and write unabashedly about my life), and it has come to my attention that this may worry you.

I realize that it may seem scary to consider a candidate who openly uses the word, “fuck” in more than a few blog posts, but I’ve made a commitment to my community to give more fucks this year, both in the usage of the word and in the caring of my little toddler blog. The internet still likes me when I curse (if they don’t like me even more for it), and it’s a nice release from the professional demeanor that is necessary in the real world. In other words, I swear here so that I can maintain professionalism in other aspects of my life.

Speaking of my life, you may also be concerned that I may write about you or your company negatively. I’ve made it a mission of mine to keep my work place out of this blog most of the time. I have never written negatively about a current or recent employer, nor would I want to jeopardize my career to do so. If I do mention work, it’s directly related to myself or coworkers who’ve given me permission to do so. When writing about my past, I remove any identifiers in order to protect people and places whose actions or existences have shaped me.

I care about my real world career, and I care about my digital career. I would keep them separate, but the experience I’ve received from this little hobby of mine is twice what I’ve received in the workplace. I have a desire to constantly learn and improve upon my knowledge, and here, there’s no one person to tell me how to do it. This blog has made me a better person, and has given life to a whole world of friendship.

If you wish to hire me, you’ll have to accept all of me, and that includes this blog, which is sometimes a caricature of myself and my life, and other times it is raw and real.

Thanks,
CW

Hey blog friends, have you ever felt like your digital life was impacting your career search? What’s the most difficult part of job hunting? If you were a hiring manager, how would you respond to a candidate who had a very public digital life?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tell Me Your Password And No One Gets Hurt…

The following story about password security is true and real and SCARY. So listen up. Don’t do what I did.

While we’re here, I figured I should mention that I’m a brand ambassador representing F-Secure KEY in the effort to change the way people think about passwords and security. While I have been compensated for my time, all opinions, stories, and ideas expressed are still my own.

Password Safety KEY app

Photo by Viktor Hanacek

A story about giving away my password

A while back, I committed the ultimate password sin. My then-boss called me on my personal cell phone, while I was at lunch. “Quick! What’s your work password?!” The panic in his voice and the anxiety in my system (which gets even more GAAAHHH! when I’m put on the spot) responded immediately and completely stupidly. I gave him my password.

Not only did I give him my password, I clued him into the type of password I was, at the time, prone to using. THANKFULLY it wasn’t the password that I was using at the time for anything but my work log-in, but it was MY password. The password that I’m not supposed to give to ANYONE.

Even worse? I found out later that he was on speakerphone.

Now, he didn’t think twice of it as something he was doing wrong. He genuinely did need my password to get into a computer for something. But he should have waited the 10-15 minutes it would have taken me to return and input my own password without giving it out.

After the chaos, I politely sent my boss an e-mail explaining how uncomfortable his request made me and that I felt it was a little inappropriate, and I would prefer not to be put on the spot like that ever again. It was then that he realized what he had done, and he did apologize profusely, promising not to compromise my personal security again.

Since that day, I’ve come to adopt a system of creating new passwords for different log-ins to ensure that I’m keeping myself digitally protected.

F-Secure KEY

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Let’s talk about F-Secure. I’ve been using the app for about a week and a half, and I still haven’t integrated all of my passwords yet. But I’m getting there. And oh-my-God, I’ve had to change 3 passwords already so that I could input them into KEY – but I’ll never have to change them because I forgot them again! Obviously, I’ll need to change them every 6 months or so, but with KEY, I’ll have access to all the up-to-date passwords without a whole heck of a lot of effort. THAT’S what I’m talking about.

I’m not going to lie, you guys. This app? Totally not sexy. Although I’m AM a huge fan of the delicious purple color. But what this app does? TOTALLY important. One might say necessary, depending on how many times you have to key in your password before you get it right…which for me is often quite a few. KEY stores all of your passwords in ONE place, so you never have to remember the 27 billion passwords for all the sites you utilize. With the free KEY app, you can store your passwords on a single device, but with KEY Premium, you can use the app on ALL your devices, whether you’re a PC/Mac/Android/Little i. You won’t have to try to remember all the passwords, as the app will keep them for you. You’ll only need to remember your KEY password.

So who needs another flashy app when the function is what keeps you safe?

Just for you, I’ve got a code to try KEY Premium for two months, so you can see if less than $2/month is worth it to keep your passwords safe across all your devices. Download the KEY app and use the code PREMIUMKEYOFFER14 to check it out.  And even better? A giveaway.

Free KEY Premium for a year & iPad Mini 16GB Wi-Fi Giveaway

Oh look! The lovely people at F-Secure want to share their wisdom (and give you another device for storing your passwords)! All you have to do is enter, and we’ll do the rest. The Giveaway Tools form below will be open until September 30 at 9:00 PM Central Standard Time. Good luck!

Blog Friends, have you ever accidentally given out your password to someone? How would you have handled the situation if your boss asked for your password?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m Like a Word Magician

So, you already know that I’m a word ninja and a grammar Nazi. But did you also know that I’m a word magician?

I'm like a word magician

Last week, Brian and I made our way over to DreamHost’s DreamCon (This is when my favorite hosting company, DreamHost <–[That’s an affiliate link with a shameless plug and $10 off], threw a party for me to check out in Chicago.) We were able to attend another one of these shindigs in San Jose and had a BLAST playing Cards Against Humanity with some of the DreamHost team. We expected nothing less here in the Windy City. We weren’t wrong.

As this was a networking event, we found ourselves chatting it up with new friends and old (hello DreamHost friends! I heart you guys!). While we were talking with someone from DreamHost HR, he introduced his title as something amusing (of course, my beer-muddled brain forgot to write that down). So I told him that I was a word magician.

So, out there in the real world, I’m an SEO copywriter (not copyrighter). I write copy (that’s content for advertising) for a pretty large retail company and then do some word magic to get the content to the top of your Google search. SEO is a fickle bird, and it’s certainly not one I try to do anything with for this blog. And so I told my new friend this.

I started explaining that SEO is great for somethings, but I mean, I can’t just try to optimize everything. And that’s a lot of what I see bloggers doing. Some posts (like this one) just aren’t designed to be optimized. I could try to optimize this post for “reasons your blog doesn’t need SEO” and maybe I will. But probably not. Because someone who is looking for that type of content isn’t looking for my random ramblings. They want facts and statistics. Which I’m not going to give you.

So then I explained to this lovely fellow that there were some opportunities for me to bank on my SEO knowledge…

“Say you want to search for ‘ways to fuck with your boyfriend while he’s sleeping.’ Now that’s something I could probably optimize for. Because it’s humorous and random, and anyone searching for that is looking for a girl like me.”

Of course, at this point, the guy is belly-laughing and Brian looks out through his glazed-over eyes (introvert tricks) and notices that there’s a conversation happening and he may be the subject of it. But it went all the way over his head. And I let it. Because coming soon is a post entitled, “Ways to Fuck With Your Boyfriend While He’s Sleeping.”

Because you need that in your life. Amiright?

Blog Friends, if you could re-title your professional career (whether you’re a full-time corporate monkey, a part-timer, wfh, sahm, whatever), what would you title yourself? Do you believe in SEO for your blog?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Five Things Friday: Things I’m Going to Miss About my Train Line

This is it, Blog Friends. The big move. Today is my last day commuting on the BNSF Metra train line for a while. If you recall, we’re currently moving into Brian’s dad’s house while we begin the hunt for our very own house. As our new residence is only a temporary one, we may return to this commute someday soon, but we won’t know until we find our house. (Which is the most exciting thing EVER. I’m going to have SO MUCH TO TELL YOU. After I’m done packing up all of the shit I’ve accumulated in the last 18 months….or 31 years. One of those.)

But I wanted to reflect on the things I’m going to miss about this particular train line, because it’s been my daily commute for almost a year now. (And I’ve been riding the train for over a year.)

In no particular order,

5 Things I’m Going to Miss About my Train Line

  1. Train buddies.  It’s funny, when I was younger, I dated a guy who had a daily commute to the city and he would talk about having drinks with his train buddies, and I was just like…that’s a thing? Weird. And then I started taking the train every day. And I was in the same spot every day. And in the mornings, I stand in the first car vestibule. Every day. I know the conductor. I know the people. Because we’re in the same spot for 25 minutes every. Single. Day. And you jump into a conversation here or there (which Brian HATES that I do) and the next thing you know, you’re on a first name basis, telling everyone your life story. And then you’re buddies. And you’ll miss them when you leave.
  2. The funny conductor. My morning conductor, whose name is always on the tip of my tongue, but I can never remember, is hysterical. He’s always grumbling and making fun of Metra like it’s his job. I like him because he remembers me and doesn’t make me pull my pass out every morning. He also makes fun of the mean conductor (who was in charge of the cars that I originally sat in). He’s quite a likable fellow. Even though he rarely smiles.
  3. 25 minute commute time. I’m super lucky to have been living in a hub of commuters. Downers Grove is an express train line, and it’s the last stop on the inbound express. Which means I get on the train, and it’s non-stop to Union Station.  I’m going to miss that when I have a 45 minute train commute…tacking on lots and lots of extra time to my day.
  4. The fancy pants grocery store. So on our way home, we get off the train and there’s this adorbs grocery store that has delicious cheese for me and pico de gallo for Brian. It’s pretty much everything we need in our kitchen. Right there. So convenient. So delicious. I asked Brian the other day, “OMG where I am I going to get my cheese!? There are no fancy grocery stores or even Trader Joe’s nearby! I’m going to have to drive an hour to get cheese.” But then I remembered the cheese shop 4 blocks from my office and I could breath again.
  5. The evening conductor. Brian hates that I strike up conversations with strangers and he randomly gets sucked into them. HATES it. But I do. And he does. And one of those people is the evening conductor on our train. While we have separate commutes in the morning, Brian and I often train home together. And we sit in the same seats in the same car every day. And our conductor always stops and chats with us. More recently, he discovered that we are not, in fact, married. And now he teases Brian about it. Which makes me laugh.

It basically feels like I’m moving schools or leaving a job or something. It’s sad. Apparently wherever I go, I build my own little community. I love that about me.

What about you, Blog Friends? Do you have a routine that you would miss if you moved? Have you ever gone through this? Do you commute on a train? What’s the world like for you?

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