Wednesday, January 23, 2008

So Far So Good

I made it through my first two days of work at the vet. It never got crazy-busy, but it did get busy, yesterday more than today. Today was only a half day; I was there from 7:45 to 1:00. Yesterday was a full day, fuller than I'd anticipated. I was there from 7:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. (with an hour off for lunch)!! The clinic closes at 6:00, but then there's all the "closing" stuff to do -- cleaning, balancing the books, etc. The books were out of balance (not my fault), so it took awhile to figure it out. They tell me that most days we won't be there that late. Tomorrow is another full day, so we'll see.

There are two other women who are just starting to work there (I worked with one yesterday and one today), so the experienced people are training us at the same time. It helps to not be the only newbie.

The clients are mostly patient with us; everyone has been new at their job at some point in their life.

I've seen some very cute dogs and cats, but none as cute as ours. Of course there was the cutest little black cat, only five months old . . . . It was from the shelter, there for a spaying, and I had a feeling of really missing black cats, but with four dogs and two cats, we have a full house, NO MORE ANIMALS!!! This way, working at the vet, I can ooh and aah over the black cats and other animals without having the responsibility of owning them (or being owned by them, depending on your point of view).

So I'll keep working there while looking for freelance work or a better paying full time job.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Got It - Sort Of

I got the job at the vet, but it's only part time, two and a half to three days a week. All day on Tuesday and Thursday plus Wednesday morning and the occasional Saturday morning. The good part about this is that it will leave me the other days free for job interviews and/or freelance work. I start this Tuesday. The other job with the police department hasn't been posted yet, and they're off Monday for the holiday, so it won't be posted until Tuesday at the earliest. I'm still looking for other work in the meantime; part time just isn't enough income.

It's been about minus five every night for the past several nights, someimes a little colder, sometimes a little warmer (this morning was a balmy minus two). Those temps seem normal now and it would take something like minus ten or below to seem remarkable. The high temp today may actually get above freezing, something that hasn't happened in several days.

The wolfdogs, of course, love it. Wolfie and King prefer to be outside when it's like this. They spend their days sleeping on the ice in the backyard. Big and Brutus go outside once the temps get above 10 or so, and try to stay in the sunlight. Brutus is so funny; early in the morning he wants to go outside (he sits by the sliding glass door and taps on it), but as soon as he steps out and realizes how cold it is, he immediately turns around and taps on the glass to come in. His new nickname is Sugarplum. "O.K., come back in, Sugarplum," I tell him.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Updates to the Updates

Good news and bad news.

The bad news is I didn't get the job with the Police Department. The interview went well, but I was one of five people they interviewed (out of lots of applications). Knowing Taos, they probably hired someone who is related to someone in the department. There's another possibility, though. When Valerie (the Assistant to the Chief of Police) called yesterday to say they'd chosen someone else, she told me that they're going to post another opening in a couple of days and she encouraged me to apply. The position is in the Records Department, but I forget the exact title of the job. Records Technician or something like that. Ron thinks maybe they hired the Records person as the Evidence Technician and that job would be a good way to get my foot in the door.

As long as they didn't hire me and confidentiality isn't such an issue, I can share with you what the Chief of Police (a very nice, approachable man, by the way) said to describe the police force: teenagers with guns. The other people from the department who were in the interview agreed with him.

The good news is that I think I have the job at the vet's, but I'm not completely certain yet. At the interview last Wednesday, we decided I would go in Monday morning for a couple of hours for what Dr. Kim called a Work Interview. It gave me a chance to sit at the front desk and see what the job would really be like. She said some people who've done that realize they can't handle the job. But I stayed for three hours and really enjoyed it. It was busy, but not crazy-busy. I've been there on occasions when it was crazy-busy and I think I could handle it. After just an hour, I was checking in people (and their animals) without any help. The computer system was easy to learn. I think I did very well. When I got home, I found out that while I was there, Dr. Kim had been checking my references. The woman I worked for in the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau said she gave me a glowing recommendation, that I'm detail-oriented and personable and easy to work with. I'll know by the end of the week if I got it.

The "Global Warming" continues. A front is coming through today that will bring bitterly cold temperatures. The lows for the next several nights will be well below zero. The constant freezing and thawing is wreaking havoc on the roads around here. Driving from home to town is like playing a video game of Dodge the Potholes. As the potholes increase in numbers and size, the game becomes more challenging.

I'll post when I have news about the vet job.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Updates of All Kinds

Yes, I'm still here; I just haven't felt like writing anything lately. But this post will make up for it, I hope. It's going to be very long (and getting longer all the time).

There is a tiny pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel. A few days before Christmas, I applied for a job with the Town of Taos Police Department. The position is Administrative Assistant/Evidence Technician. They want someone with good computer skills, which I definitely have. Duties would include logging in new evidence and destroying old evidence. It sounds a lot more interesting than Algebra! And as Mom said, it would give me good material for my writing. I got a phone call yesterday from the Assistant to the Chief of Police and we've scheduled an interview for next Friday, a week from today. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Another good thing about the job is the location -- right next door to Ron's office. We may be able to carpool sometimes, or at least have lunch together now and then.

As I was writing the rough draft of this post, I got another phone call and have another interview scheduled for next Wednesday evening. This job is with our vet's office. It's another administrative job, but would also include working with animals (or at least cleaning up after them). The great thing about this job is that I already know and like everyone and they know and like me. Dr. Kim, the owner of the practice, is especially happy with the way we've rehabilitated two of our animals, Princess and King (King's story is coming soon, I promise). So keep your fingers crossed for that one, too.

Moving on to another topic entirely, if any of you see Al Gore, tell him to visit Northern New Mexico so I can show him there is no Global Warming here.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it snowed every two to four days, several inches at a time. We haven't had any new snow since Christmas (although we're supposed to get several inches this weekend), but we've had bitterly cold temperatures.

Tuesday morning, the low temperature was MINUS 14. Wednesday morning it was MINUS 8. On those days, the high temperature was 22. Yesterday it got up to 34 and that felt positively balmy. We've been keeping warm from the inside out -- hot soup, hot chocolate, and hot tea.

One more story, a long and detailed one, but it has a happy ending.

Last Friday evening, December 28, Ron was driving back to Taos from Angel Fire, a town on the other side of the mountains. He was driving his company truck, a huge 1992 Chevy Suburban. The road is curvy and goes over a high mountain pass and through a canyon. Some stretches of the road were completely covered in ice because the sunlight never reaches there because of the high canyon walls. In a way, the ice was a good thing because it kept him from going very fast. In fact, he was only going 25 mph when....

an elk jumped out in front of him!

He couldn't stop in time and his truck hit the elk with its left front, then came to a stop. The car following Ron also came to a stop and the people got out to make sure he was OK. There's no cell phone reception in the canyon, so they couldn't call the police. Both vehicles were still in the road and in danger of being hit by other cars, so they decided the people in the other car would follow Ron into town. As they discussed this, they saw the elk stand up, shake herself off, and walk away!

Ron was able to drive all the way back to Taos. The front grill area of the truck was smashed in and the left headlight was broken and the radiator was spewing steam and leaking coolant out the bottom.

Once he had a cell phone signal, Ron called me to tell me what had happened. When he got back to his office, he called the State Police and called his supervisor. Then he called me again, asking me to come down to the office to give him moral support. By the time I got there, the State Police Officer was just finishing up his report. He said there would be no citation, as it was obviously an accident. And he found clumps of elk fur stuck in the license plate frame, confirming that the vehicle had, in fact hit an elk.

So the good news is that Ron's OK (the Suburban is a very high vehicle; if it had been a regular car, the elk probably would have come in through the windshield). Miraculously, the elk is OK (too bad in a way; I was hoping for fresh elk steak). The truck should probably be considered totalled, but Qwest, in its infinite wisdom, doesn't want to waste a perfectly good 1992 truck and is going to have it repaired.