Sunday, April 26, 2009

RBOC: A few updates from recent posts

  • The ankle- is better. I made a stupid mistake on Wed by not wrapping it and driving to work. Apparently driving really hurts when you sprain your right ankle and it's been a bit of a step back. I've been much smarter about this since then.

  • The dissertation manuscript- is not touched. I am thinking about where I would like to send it next, I'll get to it, but it's been so beautiful outside this weekend there isn't any way I want to be tied to my computer.

  • The job- I've made some decisions lately that have left me feeling a little better about my job and like I can make this work long term. I am going to continue to work on this contract through the end of the fiscal year (Sept) and then I'm going to start looking for my own contract, well I'll probably start looking before then but do not intend to take anything on until this fiscal year contract is up. The ideal would be a small contract that allows me to do psychology work and avoid working full-time on anything directed by my current FC. Then I'll have independence in my own small contract and continue to work with my current team who I adore and with whom I want to continue my relationship.

I think that's it for today. It's beautiful again so I'm headed out to get my hair cut and maybe to my nephews lacrosse game after some grocery shopping.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thank God for Baseball

I twisted my ankle today making for a pretty nasty sprain. I'm home while friends and family are out at a bar Birthday party that I was really looking forward to (but not much dancing with a bum ankle). However, baseball is on.... and somehow in my mind that makes it all okay.

Friday, April 17, 2009

RBOC: Up and Down Kinda Day

  • UP: It's warm, almost 70 degrees and I have on flip flops and Capri pants for the first time this season.

  • DOWN: It's going to be back to 40 on Sunday

  • UP: I got some very exciting personal unbloggable news today.

  • DOWN: It's unbloggable and I can't really talk to anyone IRL about it either.

  • DOWN: My dissertation manuscript was rejected.

  • UP: The reviews were fair and really quite positive in some spots.

  • DOWN: Have a major conference call with FC at 2:30 and I would much prefer to avoid that.

  • UP: It's Friday and I have a bunch of fun stuff planned for the weekend.
Never got to post this yesterday.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I finished the data management task that I have been working on for Post Doc Mentor since October! This will really help this project move forward.

I'm sure there will be more work coming from the lab but I am so incredibly excited to have this huge task completed. I just sent PDM the data, I'm sure they'll be very excited to see it in their email.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How could it be...

Monday already? Where did the weekend go?

Saturday I spent all day at Nieces/Nephews soccer games and yesterday Hubby and I went to his parents (2 hours away) for Easter. So the weekend just flew by. I hope the week goes by just as quickly.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My job as a wedding cake baker part 2

Following up from yesterday's post, here is the description of incident #2, that really lead to my current state of frustration and anger.

Shortly after incident #1, FC asked that my team assemble yet another wedding cake for the a smaller but still very important wedding that was coming up. This wedding is not outdoors (so no problems there) however, we once again inform FC that the requirements laid out by the bride and groom make it very likely that our cake will not be chosen as the primary wedding cake but our cake exceeds the expectations for the grooms cake but they give us the go ahead. At least we knew about this wedding in advance so we had plenty of time to come up with a LCC and sent the sample off to FC a few weeks before decision day.

Once again, feedback from the FC comes on decision day (due to intense prodding from us) and FC loves the LCC, suggests a minor tweaking, we make the change and inform FC that they (or someone they designate from flour company) have the opportunity to be added to the guest list if they would like. They thank us but decline the wedding invite and say that only a couple of members from my team (and me of course) need to be added to the guest list.

We show up at the cake tasting with the tweaked LCC and it is chosen as the groom's cake. The bride and the groom love it, their wedding planner thinks it's wonderful. I send notice to FC letting them know that the cake has been chosen as the grooms cake.

FC's response ... what, wait, did you tell me you were making a cake for this wedding, and why do you think it's okay to just make a groom's cake rather than a wedding cake?...
(my internal response: are you fucking kidding me), my actual response is to we send FC the previous chain of communication in which we warned them about the requirements of the groom and bride and the potential of being chosen as groom's cake, sent initial sampling, they offer their suggested tweaking, we re-submitted tweaked submission and their ok of the tweaked version.

FC's response... ignore proof that they did indeed know that we were submitting a cake and that we'd probably get choses as grooms cake and not wedding cake...and say even though this is only a groom's cake, you need a date from flour company to come with you, why wasn't I or someone from Flour Company added to the guest list

(my internal response: Seriously, you must be fucking kidding me). My actual response is to send FC the previous communication in which we ask whether they (or someone they designate) want to be added to the guest list, and their subsequent decline.

FC's response... ignore proof that they declined opportunity to be added to the guest list and say they'll see if there is anyone from corporate office that received an invitation and might be able to accompany me. I'm left waiting for 2 weeks and an email appears that says "Nobody from corporate office received an invitation, thus we can't provide the flour for a wedding we weren't invited to, and besides and it would be completely inappropriate for you to make a cake for a wedding for which we did not receive an invitation even if we could provide the flour.

So once again I have to withdraw LCC and of course my this is yet another ding to my reputation given that a different but connected set of bride, groom and wedding coordinator are wondering why the hell I would enter my cake into a competition if I were going to withdraw once it was chosen.

FC doesn't care. Has even said they are "sorry I'm disappointed that I can't attend the wedding'. Um... yeah, I'm not disappointed, I'm pissed! This is my reputation on the line and it could have serious implications for my professional life down the line.

The way in which I hope to salvage my reputation is by outing flour company to the respective brides, grooms, and wedding coordinators and letting them know that this was indeed out of my hands and did I have ANY control over the situation I would indeed be attending both weddings and proudly showing off my LCC. My immediate supervisors have suggested that perhaps they should write these withdrawl letters so that it's even more clear that it's out of my hands. We have a meeting next week to decide how we want to approach this.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My job as a wedding cake baker part 1

I think I've found a way to blog about my job issues mentioned here and here, without giving away more of my identity than I would like.

So, I am a wedding cake baker, I have my MS in desserts and my PhD in Nuptial baking. The organization I work for does a wealth of cooking with teams of chefs and bakers. My position is the only wedding cake baker on a team of fellow dessert makers and my team of dessert makers work as independent contractors to a major Flour company. The person in charge of our flour contract (Flour Contractor if you will, or FC for short), is thrilled that my team now has a PhD in Nuptial baking and shortly after I begin my job FC requested that I make a Wedding cake for the wedding of the century, about 2 weeks before the bride and groom must make their final decision.

My team and I look over the requirements laid out by the bride and groom for their wedding cake and mention to the Flour Contractor (FC) that although we will give it our best shot, the requirements laid out by the bride and groom make it very likely that our cake will not be chosen as the primary wedding cake but our cake exceeds the expectations for the grooms cake.

FC says to go ahead and we'll see if we can't jut get it chosen as the primary wedding cake. My team and I pull together and make a cake that I am very proud of, we send pictures and samples to the FC. FC does not respond until decision day, 12 hours before the cake is to be decided on to be exact. FC thinks the cake is delicious but doesn't want anyone working on one their flour contract to promote this flavor because it is controversial to mix such flavors in one cake. FC demands that the cake is re-done with a much less controversial flavoring, my team and I rush to meet the 12 hour deadline and show up at the cake tasting with the less controversial cake (LCC), with 1 minute left on the clock.

Low and behold, our LCC is chosen as the grooms cake. The bride and the groom love it, their wedding planner thinks it's wonderful. I send notice to FC letting them know that the new cake has been chosen and the date of the wedding. FC says, oh, well we here at Flour Company can not provide flour for a cake for a grooms cake, especially one at an outdoor wedding. And my organization can't pay for the flour because the bride, groom and wedding planner already know that we used flour companies flour for the LCC and the wedding would still be outdoors and therefore it would be inappropriate for a Flour Company cake to appear at the wedding regardless of who paid for the flour.

I have to withdraw LCC and of course my reputation takes a ding. I'm sure the bride and groom, and WEDDING PLANNER are all wondering why on earth I would enter my cake into such a competition only to withdraw once it was chosen.

This is the first incident... I'll tell you about the second one (the one that pushed me over the edge) tomorrow.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

RBOC: Not a Happy Camper

  • I have been screwed over at work (in a way that may do a bit of damage to my professional reputation... but I think I can stop that) and there is NOTHING I can do about it except refuse to do anything else that will allowed me to be screwed again.
  • My supervisors at work are "as outraged as I am about this situation" and although they've put on the face of sticking up for me to the powers that be it's useless. Although they told me they would "make this right", they actually can't.
  • This situation has made me less than enthusiastic about work as of late. I haven't been volunteer to be the project lead on new projects, and on Friday I basically escaped an hour early because I just could not stand to be there anymore. I'm not sure what to do about this but it can't go on forever.
  • Getting out of bed to go to work last week= a total bitch, I was later than I would like every day.
  • There are no research jobs for me to apply to right now, trust me, I've been looking. And I obviously missed the faculty job opportunities for this year (not that there were more than a couple in my field that I would have even considered).
  • Hubby has been sick all weekend and basically didn't want to do anything but sit around the house. It happens to coincide with a weekend in which everyone I know has been busy so I too have done nothing but sit around the house.
  • Now I feel anxious about the fact that it's Sunday and I have to go to work tomorrow. Even though I've sat around the house all weekend, the time has flown.
  • Hubby wants to go to his parents house for Easter. It's 2 hours away and we have to decided whether to bring the dogs and go out on Saturday (huge pain in the ass) or do not bring the dogs (drive 4 hours for a 2 hour dinner on Sunday). I would prefer to stay home and go to my sisters (5 minutes away) but we almost always go that route.
  • I haven't done any data management for my post doc project. I am almost done, just need to work up the motivation to get it done. However, the way I have been feeling thanks to the job situation just doesn't help me feel motivated.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Vacation Pics

My life is full of unbloggable infuriating work situations right now, so here are some long awaited vacation pics to hold you over until I am no longer as angry and find something I can actually blog about.