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Saturday morning I got a phone call from our receptionist, informing me that a water main broke in the office and they needed help moving furniture. There was three inches of standing water in some places. Then, she recanted because "by the time you get here, we'll be done" (on account of my 35 minute commute).

I got here by 6:30 this morning to witness the carnage. The only thing left in my office is my bookcase, sitting in the middle of the room. My desk is among the many damaged desks standing upright in a conference room. My filing cabinets are in the office of a recently departed employee. My computer and the contents of my desk are in yet another conference room, where I type this.

When it came to choosing offices, I ended up in the tax department, for no other reason than availability. Offices two and three doors down from me were destroyed (ceiling tile, drywall, etc), so I'm considering myself lucky to be away from the majority of the damage. I don't know if anything of mine got destroyed because I don't know where all of my stuff is exactly. I do know that from now one, I'm not leaving CDs at work overnight.

The good thing I'm taking away from all this is that it could've been catastrophically worse. My boss's sister was in town for the weekend and he brought her into the office for a tour on Saturday, prompting him to notice the problems. Had they not been here, we could've been in a very bad situation.

But I would've probably gotten the week off.
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Friday and Saturday found us in Wisconsin Dells, helping Carrie get her store ready for the opening next week. We assembled shelves, affixed price tags to merchandise and stocked shelves. It was fun, but made me glad that I'm not a stockboy. We got back home Saturday night and I ate some pancakes for dinner and watched "Lost in Translation" again. It wasn't as good as I remembered it, but it was still great.

Sunday I was charged with the task of cleaning out our cars. The ShopVac that my parents got us for Christmas was put to good use. It's hard to believe that I won't have my car for much longer, but I anxiously await the day when I have a vehicle with both a CD player and all four hubcaps.

I spoke with my Milwaukee boss last week and she wants me to spend more time in my 'other' offices. So, I've decided to spend three days a week in Oshkosh (my 'home' office) and two days on the road. This way, I can hit all offices once every three weeks and still maintain some semblance of sanity. This is good for two reasons. First, I get reimbursed for mileage, hotel stays and meals. I realize that I pay for gas and oil changes more frequently as a result, but it still feels like found money when I get my reimbursement check. This should help with the digital camera fund and may even buy me an iPod. Secondly, this means I'll be getting a laptop at work. Right now, I have a desktop computer and take a 'loaner' laptop for the times I'm in another office. The loaner laptop is usually one from either 1988 or 1989 and I'm surprised is capable of running anything above MSDOS 5.2. So, it was decided that it made more sense for me to have my own laptop (which I'll use at a docking station while in Oshkosh) instead of getting a loaner twice a week until the end of time.

I'm also going for my HR certification (Professional in Human Resources or PHR) this fall. This requires a 12 week prep course at a local university that will take up 12 consecutive Saturday mornings from early September to early December. The exam will be sometime after the new year. If I pass, I'm pretty much a lock for a promotion and 'significant salary increase' (my boss's words), so I'd best kick all sorts of ass on it. I'll get registered for the class tomorrow and take it from there.

Instead of lamenting about how disappointed I am again in getting my hopes up over ever having a 'good' relationship with my brother, I'll just attempt to take the approach that he'll always be a selfish jerk with no capacity to take other people's feelings into consideration. My head's beaten against that brick wall a few too many times.

Tonight will hopefully be a round of tennis with Terry and Eric before watching the Packers dismantle the Seahawks on MNF tonight.
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Last night, tennis was awesome. I still can't first-serve for shit, but I realized that it's more important to get the serve in 90% of the time compared to a fast serve that lands in 15% of the time. SMRT! Anyway, Eric and I played two sets, each winning one. I want to check out local tennis clubs to see how much it would be to play during the winter months. If Eric and I can play at least once a week year-round, I'd be quite happy (and in much better shape, quite frankly). Also, with the Return of Terry, maybe I can shoot for twice a week. Tennis rules!

I also had a call with my Milwaukee boss (I won't get into how my raise didn't go start with the check it should've started with and how she didn't apolgize, because she turned it in late) and she told me that this coming year there's a lot of potential for me to get a promotion and a significant salary increase, depending on my work on some upcoming projects and my attainment of my PHR designation (Professional of Human Resources). I won't be eligible to sit for the exam until January, so I'll take the exam in May (just before my review next year) and hope for the best.

I owe at least three people letters. I told myself I'd write them today, but maybe tomorrow.
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Everyone at my company got the following message from our CEO today via email. Emphasis mine...

Today starts a New Year for OURCOMPANY(note - our fiscal year starts June 1st). I want to take a moment and thank each of you for your dedication to our firm's vision and purpose. Each of you plays an important part in our firm's success. You make OURCOMPANY what it is. Your spirit of entrepreneurship and drive for the success of our clients and our people make us a unique firm. Of course, we have our differences, but those are properly set aside when we speak of carrying on the OURCOMPANY Legacy.

Nationally, we are amidst some struggles. Our enemies would like nothing more than to see our great country crack under pressure. Each of us has a part to demonstrate the resolve we have to keep our country strong, and to keep our economy thriving. Our demonstration of solid family values and core values will give us a great advantage over those who think we are weak. At OURCOMPANY, we can continue providing exceptional client service in assisting our clients in doing their part in building our economy. This is the time to give even more effort and exceptional service for our clients.

Most importantly, I ask each and everyone of us to continue to support our men and women in the armed forces throughout the world. While we are enjoying our peace, they are encountering some incredibly difficult circumstances, with enemies that do not have heart or values, and do not value life itself. Regardless of your political or spiritual persuasion, please take a moment each day to say a prayer for our courageous soldiers everywhere. They deserve it.

Thank you.


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