Friday, May 28, 2010

A Time to be Proud...

My baby's not a baby anymore. He's fourteen and a half, is taller than me, almost taller than his dad, and has hairs growing on his chin. He'll be graduating eighth grade in a week or so and moving on to high school. My scariest moment so far....but that's not why I'm posting.

Last night we attended the spring band concert and (band) awards program. He started off in the 6th grade playing the trumpet, but volunteered to switch to the baritone earlier this school year because the band was lacking in the low brass section. The fingerings are identical, so the transition was relatively easy and he has the stature and lung capacity to handle a larger instrument.

So he walked away with several awards:

Outstanding Advanced Band Member - came with a trophy!
Best 8th Grade Baritone Player - certificate & medal
Pride of the Band Award - certificate
Participation - certificate & medal
Band Star - certificate & medal

He'll be joining the high school band. In fact, the HS band teacher has worked closely with the middle school band this year and knows my son by name already. She seems to like him and he seems to like her. Last fall, the MS band played at a couple of football games and the HS band came to play alongside them. Tim can hold his own with the HS band. He's got talent and skill--even the teacher said so, it's not all mom-brag, I swear.

Needless to say, I'm very proud of my son.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm Back and Have Caught My Breath

*deep breath*

(edit--I've been trying to post this for two days....)

Being gone for two business days was not the wisest thing, but the walls are still standing and the employees are all still present and accounted for.

It took me Tuesday and Wednesday to get back up to speed (mostly) but only because we had a couple clients in panic mode and had to shuffle techs around to get clients taken care of. Then, of course, handling phone calls. When you get interrupted every ten minutes or so, it's frustrating and difficult to make much progress on anything. Lesson: don't do things that need a lot of time and concentration between 11am and 2pm.

This morning is calmer. Whew. Problem employee is working from a client's site and will go directly there. He's been turning in his word orders--will wonders never cease? Well, they were threatened with their paychecks being held if they didn't turn in every work order they were responsible for, so that lit a fire under a couple of them. ;)

Everything else is slowly falling into place. One last major hurdle and we should see some real progress.

But the gauntlet's been thrown. July 15th is the drop dead date. If they don't get their acts together and the ship turned around, people will be let go. Every employee has been notified. We'll downsize as much as possible and move into smaller/less expensive office space in an attempt to consistently run in the black. We'll hunker down and handle our contact clients and the few other long-standing or good paying clients we have. I guess I'll be learning how to clean up a PC. ;)

Well, enough of the boring stuff--

Girls weekend on Mustang Island, Port Aransas, Texas. BEAUTIFUL

Here are a few pictures, but I don't have the energy to write anything else right now.

One of the views from the beach house:

The Blue Ghost, Lady Lex, CV-16 USS Lexington:

Once I get my disposable camera developed, I'll have a few more of the inside of the house and our day at the beach.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Comfort Zone, Week Two...

Things have settled a bit. I had another big test on Monday when one employee was thirty minutes late for our weekly staff meeting. On hubby's advice, I canceled the meeting and rescheduled for the following day. Lateness to these meetings seems to be a chronic thing for two of our boys (I'm the only gal in the place.) Needless to say they were not happy, but late boy was here forty-five minutes early the following day!

At some point, I'm going to stop with meetings as I meet with each employee individually everyday. The main original purpose of the staff meetings was so hubby could get caught up on the status of each tech's projects and for any issues to be brought to his attention. Well, if I'm meeting with them individually, then there's no point in a group meeting per se. But right now, it's more about establishing my authority as their boss.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Everyone was out in the field earning money--no one in the office who needed to be kept busy all day. I had a breather and could get some other things worked on.

On a fun note, this weekend I'll be in Corpus Christi, Texas with a group of friends/acquaintances for the annual JAG meet. A group of ladies, who met over the Internet through our shared fan girling of the TV show JAG, get together each year to hang out, watch a lot of JAG, drink (some not all, and not me), and have fun. Normally, we meet at one gal's house here in the DFW area, but we'd been talking about making a trip to the USS Lexington since scenes from JAG's pilot episode were filmed aboard.

Now, I've been there twice. Loved it both times and am very much looking forward to going back to see what new places they've fixed, finished, and opened to public viewing. The first time, our family went with a group from our church and got to sleep aboard in the berthing section. That was quite an experience. And we lucked out since it was our group and a group girl scouts who got to prowl around the ship after it was closed to the public for the day. Normally they sleep about 500 a night during the on season. Between our two groups, there were maybe 60 people. NICE!!!

That's a picture I took from the very front of the ship looking toward the back of the ship. That's my daughter walking away from me. And the island there on the left.

Anywho, I'm excited to be going again and will bring back more pictures and a few new souvenirs. I can't come back without *something*. The best souvenir ever is a extra-large mug with a raised image of Lady Lex and a jet flying off it, which I use everyday for my hot tea.

We're leaving Friday am and returning Monday pm. I will have Internet access, thanks to our little handy dandy broadband in a thumb drive, but I don;t know that I'll be posting here from there. See you Tuesday!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Aw, the day sucks...

Day five out of my comfort zone. Mostly it's not so bad. It's really the dealing with the employees that I have to learn. The part I hate the most. The meeting with my employee went okay. He got a bit defensive and tried to pass the buck, and we'll have to work on that. I did, however, chicken out on discussing one thing in particular.

The day sucks because Dan has been trying to build a screaming computer on which to do forensics, and he's run into one problem after another and he's got a case he desperately needs to process. That and payday is next Friday and we have to make sure payroll is covered and we're running out of days. Collecting money is not my department, but I'm directly affected because I'm the one who goes without if necessary.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Comfort Zone, Day 3 & 4...

Well, day three was not as good as day two, but that's okay. There are lots of things to learn and lots of decisions to make. Not everything is going to fall into place immediately. Tomorrow I have to have a chat with a certain employee. Erg. My first boss/employee showdown, if you will. Not looking forward to that, but I know it's all part of the learn-to-grow-and-spread-your-wings deal.

But the main purpose of me stepping up seems to have been achieved *so far*--freeing up Dan to do his job.

Day four has gone relatively well, so far. We had an issue that cropped up last night, but I was able to get it hurdled this morning, so a positive start to today. Now, I've got to think about/plan my meeting with above-mentioned employee.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Comfort Zone, Day 2 & 3...

Day two went relatively well. At least on the surface. The day progressed and I slowly waded through paperwork and took in more information about the various projects going on around me.

I must say I'm pooped and I'm not even half-way through the week. I crashed early last night, too, but still feel a bit sluggish. Hopefully, a second cup of decaf Earl Gray will pep me up a bit.

Hopefully as the week progresses and I learn my duties, what works and what doesn't in handling the various personalities around here, things will fall into place and those who were not so happy with the shake-up will see that it's a good thing.

Day three begins now...

Monday, May 3, 2010

A time to step out of one's comfort zone...

I'm not a natural leader. Oh, sure, I like to be in charge of things and do things my way, but I've always been on the shy side and struggle with telling people what to do.

Well, I got a promotion this weekend. I didn't get a pay raise, but I did finally get my own office. YAY!

Dan is just too busy to adequately run our company, so after much discussion we decided that I should take over the reins--managing the projects and the day-to-day minutia of making sure the boys are doing what they're supposed to be doing and doing it how they're supposed to be doing it.

So far so good. Most of them took it well. We'll see how things look tomorrow.