Sunday, April 15, 2012

One Frog in the Peas

But an otherwise unobstructed view.

Spring has sprung here in NC.  Which, of course, means that it's in the 70s and 80s during the day, and still occasionally drops to freezing temps at night.  Up here on the third floor, I haven't had to do much to protect my seedlings - I'm more worried about not watering them enough than seeing them perish to cold.

The boys and I went to Michigan for a week during spring break and, of course, had a marvelous time galavanting between the homes of various friends and family.  My tolerance for cold has all but evaporated,  but I must admit that unlike springs here in the south, spring in the ice box is much more a cause for celebration.  Here, greenery more or less pops into existence.  In Michigan, each new bud and bloom is revered and celebrated.

So, my patio is ready for a new garden season.  Pots are scrubbed and shelves are cleared, and I need to start thinking about what I'm planting.  There are a few plants still going, but most (even the perennials) managed to die because I forgot that, in the south, in the winter, on a patio, you must water all year round.  Oops.

The what-to-plant debate has been further complicated by the fact that I don't know what to do about my community garden spot.  The garden leader has decided to move me from last year's spot to a different one, and I object.  I put close to $100 worth of soil improvements in my plot last year, and to have to start from scratch this year would SUCK.  I've bemoaned the places' excessive rules and stupid policies before (and if the new plot the dude gives me is one that was overrun with mint last year, I'm really gonna be pissed).  I object to the enforced "community building" crap - I don't want to be social, thankyouverymuch, I just need some dirt.  And truth be told, my patio is plenty of work already.  But oh, the sunshine my plants get at the plot... it absolutely can't be rivaled here.

Quinn misses roses.  I can't do sunflowers properly on the patio.  Or peppers.  I should probably just suck it up, especially since I've already paid the $30 annual fee.  Don't worry, I'll talk myself back into yet.  But I think my irritation at losing last year's work is justified.

Tomorrow I think I'll be off to do some plant shopping and pick up some dirt.  But today, I'm enjoying a mostly unobstructed view from the patio, in perfect weather, with a hot cuppa and the pumpkin bread I made last night.  Life is good.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Well, that didn't last.

Wow, what a blip on the radar that was.  Two glorious months of working in a fun, creative organization and then *whack*... the ax fell.  I sort of saw it coming, but I'm still devastated.  I've never been fired before and I find the experience more than a little uncomfortable.

So, the full facts:  I accepted a full time position at a local community theatre as the marketing and development manager.  On the first day, when I thought we were going to hammer out the deal, I asked two things - that my schedule could be 7-3 and that I could have my son in with me for a few hours in the morning before I dropped him off at preschool.  The executive director agreed.

Then I started noticing some things.  First, the place has the highest turnover rate of any organization I've ever worked for.  Besides that part-time artistic director, who also works for a school, the most senior staff member worked there for less than a year.  All of the other staff seemed to be going through a revolving door.  Second, I discovered that the board (which is supposed to govern and support the funding efforts of a nonprofit) wasn't a governance board at all - it was a nose-in-the-details board.  

So, to make a long story short, first the board told me not have Quinn in there in the mornings.  They cited liability issues, which of course is crap.  (I worked in the office, not in the theatre.)  They said they were afraid he'd break things.  (Also crap - he's nearly 5, not an infant, and sat and watched movies on the iPad and colored for the two hours we were there alone in the morning.  Besides, if that they were that worried, I could have signed a waiver.)  But I wanted to keep my job, so I said whatever and asked my friend to watch him in the morning.  This was one month into my job.  It should be made clear at this point that a) my executive director (the one actually in the office) liked Quinn and didn't care if he was in the office, and b) I had never actually met the board members, with one exception.

Then, a month later, I get an e-mail when I'm on vacation that they have had it with my 7-3 schedule and want someone there 9-5.  

First, what the hell?!  I'm on vacation!  And they new about this BEFORE I went on vacation and let me spend the crazy amount of money it cost to go!  Was it a tactic to avoid confrontation?  Seriously, who doesn't explain the situation before someone blows $600 on a trip to Michigan?

Second, at this point, I feel the board is nothing but a bunch of bullies.  I stand my ground.  I say that's not the deal, that's why I chose the job whose pay is crappier and has no benefits over another job with better *everything* except hours, and I feel on principle I should be there when my kids get home from school.  

A week of torment later, I'm fired.

Good thing I've still been working for Jean this whole time.  She's positively delighted my hours for her are going up.  I'll go back to working at home, tending my gardens, and cooking more.  It's not financially sustainable in the long term, but it will save me the cost of finding summer time child care.  I'll start looking again near the end of summer, and make sure before I even go in the one the first day that my schedule is flexible, and I can be home by 4.