Funny Life

Life is funny, nothing is random, nothing is happenstance, we are where we are supposed to be and lessons can be learned every day. I had to work yesterday, Sunday, I do believe we all know how I feel about that, I like my weekends. However, it had to be done if I wanted the 4th of July off. So off to work I went.
A lot of people were there, I was surprised at the amount of worker bees on the floor. Typically, in my experience in a major telecommunications corporation, Sundays are a filled with a skeleton crew. Not yesterday, needless to say a lot of fun was had.
I am now sitting by such an interesting young man, he is a little younger than Jeffrey, he writes, produces and sings his own music. He gave me one of his CD’s and it is really good, I am going to give it to Alex so he can listen as it is hip hop and Alex loves that music.
Anyway, this particular young man also reads a lot, so, in the spirit of carrying on the tradition, I suggested he read Joseph Campbell, and start with The Hero with a Thousand Faces. A great read, and very thought provoking, the first time I read it is when my BBFF suggested it and loaned me his copy.
Then we had a rousing discussion regarding the material, I know the same will happen here as well. I am going to read it again so the material will be fresh in my mind, I do love a good discussion.
In case you missed Saturday nights show you can go to http://www.convosate.com and catch up. You can actually hear me talking about my near death experience; I am still in awe at how much God protects me.
It really is amazing when one thinks about it; I am the clumsiest person around, yet I am alive. Amazing.
It is off to work I go, 3 more days, then I am off for four, without using a vacation day! How awesome is that! I hope everyone has a great Monday, I know I will because I will be working with excellent people!

Impressions of New Job

I’m in my second week of actually being on the job, out of training, sitting at my desk, taking calls and helping people. How do I like my job you may ask? I don’t, I LOVE my job! This is the most fun I have had at work in years! My tools all work, we have numbers and contacts to actually get issues corrected! We are not told we can only talk to a customer for a certain amount of time; we are given leeway to get the customers issues fixed.
I cannot say enough about how much I am enjoying this change in my life, it’s incredible. I was a reluctant to make this move; it is not something that I even thought that I would want to do. I was hesitant to even accept the offer, as I had not put in for it, I felt I wasn’t being given a choice in the matter.
I am here to tell you, God really does what is best for us even when we don’t think so at the time. I feel like I fell into someplace I belong, like I am making a real difference.
I, of course, have new neighbors in my cubicle neighborhood, and I will repeat, I don’t believe in happenstance, accidents or luck. The new people I am sitting by are awesome! My cube mate to the left of me is a young man that is truly going places. He does music on the side, hip-hop with a positive message. He gave me one of his CD’s and it is really good. I know without a doubt he is going to be successful at it. More than that, he has such a great attitude and is so helpful. I truly am enjoying getting to know him.
The man right in front of me is also awesome; he welcomed us to his team and is incredibly helpful. No resentment at all that we have more seniority than he does, and he recognized right away that I am happy all the time. He doesn’t even seem to find it annoying. The woman to the right of him (kitty-corner to me) is so nice, I sat with her my first day. She is from Las Vegas; this was a big change for her, and a great opportunity for not only her but also her family. She has such a great spirit about her; all of the people on the team are so helpful. Ready with a contact if you need one to do your job, or telling what tool to use in order to help the customer.
My new boss has a great attitude as well, she is new like me, and she gives encouraging words every day. She sends emails letting us know how we are doing and offers help if we need it.
The whole center has welcomed us even though we bumped a lot of them way down in seniority. If any are resentful I have yet to see it, all I have seen are sunny smiles and friendly hellos.
That’s my new job in a nutshell, after my near death experience it is a nice week.

Close Call

I’m still processing what happened today, I have not had something like this happen, well, ever. I was driving to the radio station to see Shanon Jay when I lost control of my car.
The roads were wet, I must have hit a puddle of water and my car hydroplaned, that is all I can think that happened. My car started spinning, around and around we went, I honestly didn’t know if it was going to stop. A voice in my head said just let it, then go toward the grass. I spun 3 or four times, I lost count. I saw a tree, the metal guardrail and then I stopped.
I looked around me, praying no one had been hurt because of my vehicle; the fire truck that had been behind was still there. Only now it was sideways in the highway, blocking all oncoming traffic from hitting me.
Their quick actions probably saved a life; I know for sure it saved vehicles from damages and people from injuries.
As for my vehicle, not a scratch, and me on either of us, I didn’t hit anything and I am fine, just a little shaken.
All I can think is God must want me to do something; He’s not ready for me to come home yet. I’m ok with going, I just don’t want to, I have things I want to accomplish myself.
I honestly thought this is it, I really didn’t foresee myself dying in a car accident, and I really see myself dying at 115 years old, surrounded by my children, grandchildren and many greats.
We never know what today holds, tomorrow is not promised, only God knows the exact number of days we have left. Apparently I have many more days left in front of me.

Newness

Well here we are, Thursday, the day before Friday, the gateway day, so happy it is here. This week has really flown by; I was thrown into the deep end of the pool work wise. On Monday, all of us who were in the training class were thrown into the fray, taking calls and helping customers.
I feel clunky with the tools still, but helping people is not something new to me, I have been doing that for years in the major telecommunications corporation I work for. Identifying with the customer, feeling their pain at the trouble they are having is something I do really well. Now I am just adding television and voice issues to the fray, and trust I understand television woes. Yesterday I had to tell a woman we really needed to replace her DVR and when she gave a wailing no, I knew exactly how she felt. I told her so, I said listen when I had to replace my DVR I about died, I have so many things recorded. Not just season finales SERIES finales. She said I’m so happy you understand, other people think I’m crazy. I said no ma’am, we are the normal ones, she laughed, said give her a week to clear it out and then she would call back and have it replaced.
I have often said that I am placed near the most interesting people; this time is no different. My new teammates are nice, helpful and have a great sense of humor as a whole. I feel good in my new place, while I miss seeing all of the familiar faces that I had grown accustomed to over the years, I like where I have landed.
God always has a plan and even though I balk at times in the end I know He is right and places me in the right place.
Speaking of, I had an argument with Jesus the other night and of course He won, I did what I was told to do and had awesome results. It wasn’t the ending I thought it was going to be; in fact it has turned out to be a beginning. Life is amazing when you follow what you’re supposed to do and not what is comfortable or what you really want to do.
Must go, time to get dressed, go to work, help the people keep their entertainment and windows to the world working.

Reunion Time

No child left behind has a whole different meaning in the Testerman family, we see a child within the family that is in need and people step up to meet it. I, myself, was one of those children, my birth mother should never have had children, she was not the mothering kind. This is not a bid for pity, it is a fact, she knew it, she gave all of us away, I have often said I fared the best.
I digress, allow me to explain my thought pattern, this weekend was my family reunion and as usual there were a ton of kids running around. A truly great sight to see the younger generation there running around getting to know each other; making memories with their cousins that will last a lifetime.
One of my cousins was telling me how he was trying to get permanent custody of four of the little boys, for whatever reasons their mothers are not able to care for them. Some have even been put in foster care at this point; he is hiring an attorney to get the boys.
Several are his grandsons; several are his brother’s grandsons, his brother that has passed away. I am not surprised by his endeavors, you see someone who was not in my direct line stepped up and took me. My cousin’s generosity in this area is inherent, I have seen it over and over, Testermans stepping up and taking on a responsibility that really isn’t theirs but we consider it ours due to the children being our blood. Whether they are direct line or not, we do this because, well it’s what we do.
When someone gets married, and the other person already has children, we take those as well. They are now family, they are ours, in all the important meanings of the word family.
Elizabeth Anne’s fiancé will find this out when I start stealing his little girl to come over and play with Tessa and the Irishman’s girls. She’s a little young yet, but soon she will start saying she wants to go to Gigi’s house. I already consider her my new granddaughter.
The Irishman went with me again to my family reunion; we took his son and his youngest daughter. The oldest one had plans that she didn’t want to give up, understandable at her age, she is 12 almost thirteen, and well at this point there was nothing but strangers at this event.
So off we go with two kids, a dog and an Irishman, yes we took Stormie with us, after a quick stop at Starbucks we were off on our road trip.
We get there and my family is as loud and crazy as usual, I’m so happy some things never change. My cousins all embraced the Irishman’s children, welcoming them and even asking if they would be back next year.
When we were leaving my cousin Cindy hugged each one and told them welcome to the family.
I asked the Irishman’s son how he had liked being there, and here is a direct quote from him: “Angie your family is crazy, not the scary kind of crazy, the kind of crazy you want to be around again.”
I believe the world would be a better place if all families had the philosophy of no child left behind.

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th, I LOVE Friday the 13th days, it’s a good luck day in my family. So, to my children, I say enjoy today! It’s our day.
Today is the official end of training class, yesterday was our big test, pass or fail, if one failed they would be out on the street as there is nowhere for us to go. I am incredibly happy to report all 27 of us passed the test. Today is one more module to go over, then we will be upstairs setting up our desks, making sure our computers and phones work.
I saw my desk yesterday, I will be bringing Clorox wipes today, it was, well, gross, is the only word. The former occupant left two rolls of toilet paper and two cough drop bags filled with bottle tops. It was odd to say the least, and it was so dusty I started sneezing right away.
As I walked the length of the building I saw so many familiar faces, not only from my last position, but also from all over the company. It was like a big homecoming, we are, for the most part, well received.
Some are not happy about the seniority we bring, one of us is literally number one, I myself am number 5. It feels good to be that high up in seniority, this is a company that bases everything on it, so to be that high up is nice. When I first started, off the street, I was on the bottom; some of those women had 35 years seniority. This feels good.
My only sadness is I won’t be going to the family reunion today, it will have to be tomorrow. I will miss the Turner Falls excursion and lose a day of visiting with my cousins that makes me sad. Happy to be employed, sad to miss a day of visiting, however, it all works out in the end. That’s what my grandma used to say, and man she was right.
I hope Patrick goes, I find myself really missing him, he was my favorite boy cousin growing up. He looks just like grandpa, it’s really incredible to see him, he has grown into a man our grandparents would be proud of.
I also cannot wait to see Cindy and Paula; they are two of my favorite girl cousins. Cindy first, sorry Paula, she was closer in age to me and we are so alike. They are all so awesome and I love talking to them. There are way too many to name singularly, let’s just say I love them all. I missed them so much, at times I didn’t know whom I was missing, I just knew they were missing.
Off I go, to enjoy my last day in the classroom, I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Frenemies

Frenemies, a made up word that has been added to our cultural terms, it is applied to people in your life that seem to be friends, but they are in fact your enemy. Sometimes you don’t even know they are your enemy until it is too late.
I had one, I’m sure I’ve had more than one; however there is one that I can pinpoint. I thought we were friends, when in reality she was doing all she could to sabotage me at work. I know what you are thinking, work friends, please don’t let the place we met fool you. I thought we were real friends, go to her house for Thanksgiving kind of friends. Invited to her brother’s birthday party; her husband’s birthday party and even doing a charity walk with her mother. Talk on the phone outside of work, go out to eat, shopping together kind of friend.
People, who know me well, know that if I go shopping with you, I consider you a friend, shopping is my relaxation; to go with someone I am not friends with would defeat the purpose. I never defeat the purpose. Ever.
I didn’t find out about her perfidy until it was too late, when she had done something at work that made others take a step back. Even then I thought there had to be more to the story, there wasn’t, I found out then some hard truths.
She had been going to management behind my back for years, let me reiterate, years, telling untruths about me and generally badmouthing me, for what reason I will never know. When the particular incident happened, and I chose, in my capacity as a Union Steward, to stand up for the person she had betrayed it did not sit well with her.
I was cut off without a word, nothing, someone I had been to their house for holidays and family gatherings cut me off without a word. I got plenty of looks and words behind my back, but nothing to my face. I was shocked to say the least, then when everything else started coming out I was, well flabbergasted is the only correct word here.
I honestly had no idea this had been going on behind my back, I began to question all my friends I had made at work. Well, not all, but a lot, to my knowledge this frenemy, and possibly one other, were the only incidents.
I learned a lot from that lesson; I am still friendly, however now I am cautious, if someone will talk about others to you they will talk about you to others. My first clue with this woman should have been the time she told me that she and a friend from high school would get together once a week to look at old friends from school on Facebook, drink wine and make fun of how old they looked. She then looked at me and said I know you do the same. I said no, no I don’t, I look at people I knew in high school and see the same faces I saw back then.
How sad must one’s life be to look at others and find fault and make fun of their life troubles, I don’t hate my former frenemy, I pity her. She will never know what it is to have real friendships, she will continue alone on the path she has carved out for herself. Always sabotaging, always secretly hating, always searching.

Tired

Another jam-packed weekend is done; I am exhausted, trying to think of when I will have time to sleep. Not anytime soon. Next weekend is the family reunion, so excited about that! I can’t wait to see everyone, I will only be able to go up for one day, not the weekend, but it is one day I will get to see everyone.
This weekend started with me getting Tess after work on Friday, she got to spend the night! Saturday morning was up early, we had a girls breakfast at IHop and then shopping for the day’s festivities.
Everyone came over; by everyone I mean Jeffrey, Elizabeth Anne, Alex, Tessa, the Irishman’s three children and his ex-father-in-law. A packed house, seeing that it is summer it was time for hotdogs on the grill and pool time afterward.
I am still exhausted, I awoke today to rain, thunder and lightening, I so want to go back to sleep! Alas, I am still in class and cannot call in for a vacation day, so up for coffee, picking out something that will help me stay relatively dry and off for more learning.
Training is going well, I think we only have one or two more weeks, not really sure, then it is on the floor we go. I am excited to get to the work, nervous as well, like any new job. The only real way to learn it is to get thrown to the wolves.
Well, it’s a short one-today people; I am off to get dressed to begin my wet, soggy drive into work.

Blood Will Tell

Today I am coming to terms with what I thought I was; yes what, as in ethnicity. Family lore has it that we are part Native American on my grandmother’s side. A claim she vehemently denied, one we seriously thought she was not telling the truth about.
Allow me to digress for a moment, for Mother’s Day Jeffrey and Elizabeth Anne got me the Ancestry DNA test, I sent it in. The results came yesterday, I have always wanted to know exactly what I am. Now I know.
0% Native American, not even a small trace, I have more Spanish than Native American. Scandinavian, now that one was shocking to say the least, there are zero Viking stories in our family history. I now understand why I am so fascinated with Norse Mythology, this is starting to make sense.
The strongest bloodline that I have is Western Europe, which totally makes sense due to Thomas Testerman coming from that region in 1774. No Dutch or Scottish the way Grandma always said, surprisingly Irish, which I never believed.
I don’t know where to go with this information, I am not what I thought I was, I now begin a new journey finding out more about the genetic code I am made of.
Scandinavian makes sense in a way, because I am in 1642 in my research of my Grandmother’s side of the family and I am still in America. Since the Vikings discovered this country earlier than anyone else and settled here, it is not surprising we are made up of these brave people.
So, here is what I am: 52% Western European, 23% Scandinavian, 16% Irish, 4% English, 4% Spanish/Portuguese and a trace amount of Western Asia (Turkey/Syria region).
All in all, 100% American.
I told Tessa we are not Native American and she said I could have told you that. Then I told her we were Vikings, she nodded and said well yes, I have the hat. I should have just asked her what we are. Throw in Italian and Czechoslovakian
and you have my children. We are all such a mixture, it makes us who we are, whom we identify with is up to us.
I will have to adjust my inner thinking about my ancestral bloodlines, the research will continue and I will continue to be incredibly proud that I came from people that knew what they wanted and survived great hardships to attain it. To carve out a place for their progeny and future generations, and I will also be purchasing a Viking hat and Thor’s hammer.

Attitudes

Yesterday my good friend Shanon posted something on Facebook (of course) that brought up a memory of my grandfather. Her post was, “Being Nice to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re fake. It means you are mature enough to tolerate your dislike towards them. Be Blessed!”
I was reminded of a story my grandpa used to tell of a man he worked with. This man HATED my grandfather with a passion. Every morning my grandpa had to pass him when going into work. He would smile and say a genuine good morning. After about 6 months the man couldn’t stand it anymore. He stopped my grandpa and said in the nastiest tone, why are you always nice to me? You know I hate you. My grandpa looked at him and said because Jesus commands me to. You can be as mean and as nasty to me as you want to be. I can’t control you. All I can control is my reaction to you. At that point the man broke down and began to tell my grandfather about his life. Because of this he was able to share Christ with this man. You never know how your behavior changes others.
This is what I, myself have to work on, you see, when I dislike someone who has treated me badly, it shows, on my face, in my tone, in my body language. Every ounce of my being says I don’t like you, I should not behave in such a manner. I had great examples showing me exactly why I shouldn’t behave this way.
Controlling your own behavior is really the only control we have over ourselves. Once we realize that we can then behave in a manner that is befitting what we say our belief system really is.
I say this for myself, I need to control me, not anyone else, as I write this I am reminded that the person this is speaking to is me. This is not one of those times I am irritated with others and am telling them they need to take a hard look at themselves.
I am talking to me, the man in the mirror as it were, it all starts there, within myself. We only have the power to change ourselves. We can’t change the way anyone else treats us, we can only change the way we treat them.