A Day in My Life

 

Day-in-the-Life-Event

 

Thanks to Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity, today is the day to share a day in our lives. I documented Wednesday of this week, which actually turned out to be a very typical weekday workday. This is totally my life, and because the workdays are long (10 hours) but busy (good busy), the days have been just flying by. Remember how when we were kids it seemed like it was taking forever to grow up? Well, I’m ready for it to slow back down again.

Anyways. As I said, this is a very typical day. My job makes no sense to anyone outside of those of us who do it (all four of us), which means I probably could have just written this post in three words: blah, blah, blah. But in the interest of full disclosure, here you go.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Usually the alarm goes off at 5:30, but today I startled awake at 4:40. Normally I don’t remember my dreams, but this one involved a woman in a black dress and pearls and a cleaver, who was terrorizing a young woman by repeatedly cutting off her head and interrogating her. Yes, repeatedly. The chopping off of the head was not fatal, although the young woman was still less than thrilled that it kept happening. I blame this dream on too many Stephen King books. Since I’m now wide awake, I grab my phone and catch up on my WWF games and Instagram.

5:00 I decide that falling back asleep is not going to happen and get up for the normal morning routine: shower, lotion (because it’s been dry and windy and I have a bad case of the itchies), sunscreen (because also…it’s hot. Today it’s supposed to be 77), hair, some makeup, get dressed.

5:38 Wonder if I should pierce my ear again/some more? I have this same thought every morning when I put in my earrings. It’s a fuzzy pic, but there are seven of them in that ear:

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5:40 I decide that today calls for striped socks under the boots. Because stripes make me smile. Really, I’m smiling. And there are stripes under those boots. And I am wearing a sweater because the a/c is always on in my office building,

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5:46 All packed up and ready to leave. I eat breakfast and lunch and snack at work, so I have the food bag, the running stuff for after work bag, and the purse.

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5:50 In the car and ready for the long commute to work. (Ha ha.)

5:56 2.5 miles and four stop lights later, I’m at work. It’s really dark. I’m actually an hour early, thanks to the woman with the cleaver. My usual schedule is 7-5:30, Tuesday through Friday (with lots of Saturday OT, lately). Creepy work hallway at 6am:

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6:00 Today I (I being the J) am reports. (I also just realized I never did the GA Recoupment…oops, better do that today!)

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I settle in with breakfast (homemade blueberry bran muffin and a greek yogurt) and open up various programs. Then it goes something like this…refresh, save, save, save, refresh, save, save, save, refresh, save, save, save. Email, email, email. For about an hour and a half. We run reports on various things for various people on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually basis. Caseload statistics, placement reports, new applications received, program violations ending, sanctions, full-time equivalencies, cases closing, cases opening, reasons why cases closed…anything and everything about CalWORKs, CalFresh (aka food stamps), Medi-Cal, Foster Care, Child Welfare, and Adult Services. If it’s in a system we use, chances are people want us to extract the data in some form of a report.

6:15 Behold, the first cup of coffee. This is (sadly) one of the highlights of my day, brought to me by our unit mascot (a Keurig). We use this machine heavily. My three co-workers and I are coffee addicts. It’s one of the reasons we all love each other.

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6:30 Ear buds in, because no one else will be around for another 1/2 hour. It’s both very quiet and very productive to be in the building when no one else is here.

7:00 The co-workers start arriving. I sit in an open area with three other people. We each have our own space, but unlike the rest of the building, we opted for no cubicle walls because we spend so much time problem solving with each other. And bitching about the problems we have to solve. It’s a good thing I love my co-workers, since we spend so much time in close quarters. (My messy desk is on the left.)

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7:30 The regular daily and monthly reports are done, now it’s time to build a new query. It’s also time for more coffee. We get report requests for new reports all the time, so today’s challenge is extracting data on the number of Welfare to Work exemptions we have granted for disability, as well as the number of people under 65 receiving Medi-Cal in our county who are also receiving Medicare. It took me 2 hours to finally successfully pull this data.

10:00 After replying to some emails and chatting with my co-workers and eating a banana, I settle in for a conference call. I skipped my morning walk for this. Conference calls are one of my least favorite tasks. Since my boss is out-of-town at physical meetings this week, I have two calls I need to be on with other counties and the state. Good times (not). My accessory for the next 1/2 hour:

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10:30 Time to work tickets. This is the other major part of my job. Our case managers submit tickets via a database when they are having issues with one of our eligibility determination systems. We try to fix the issue. Sometimes it’s a simple data entry error, sometimes it involves a few hours of research and a solution, sometimes it’s days or weeks of trying to come up with a workaround, sometimes the elves magically fix things (swear to god on this…and then last week we even waved a magic wand and sang Bippity Boppity Boo before we worked on a case, because we’re at the point where we do shit like that. The alternative is to lose our minds), sometimes we have to escalate it and send our own ticket to the state and wait for them to either tell us we screwed up, or that they need to fix the system (which can take days or weeks or months). Working tickets is where most of my attitude comes into play. I love the problem solving, but honestly, we get tickets on basic screw-ups that could have been avoided. And sometimes the systems do weird ass shit for no apparent reason and all we want to do is scream. So when I work tickets I get incredibly snarky. My co-workers assure me they love it, but it’s an ongoing battle to tone down my verbal asides.

11:15 I eat my lunch while working. I do this a lot, so I can go for a walk on my actual lunch break. I have no specific time I have to take lunch, so today I work on tickets until my friend Jannine finally grabs me at 12:45 for that walk.

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1:15 I spend the rest of the afternoon writing two procedural guides and working more tickets. There was no waving of the magic wand today…for once, the tickets were relatively easy to solve, and thanks to a marathon session last Saturday, we are pretty much caught up for the first time in months.

4:00 I’m excited to get off work early. Because I worked late yesterday on a report for management and I came in early today, I leave an hour and a half early. I had brought my running stuff so I could run on the flatter side of town, but I didn’t feel like changing at work and then walking through the hallways in running capris and shoes. It’s a lot easier to do that at 5:30 when the hallways are more deserted and you don’t have to have as many conversations. So I drive home to change and run.

4:30 Out the door to run. And sweat. It was hot (75 degrees at 5:30) and gritty (it’s been windy, so there is lots of pollen and grime and BUGS, oh my god the bugs, in the air) but I did three miles, and then walked an additional one mile (because mile 4 is uphill…actually, every final mile back to my apartment is uphill, no matter which direction I go). My turnaround spot is the local cemetery. So far it’s just a cemetery, not a sematary.

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5:30 Home to cook dinner. Usually I eat leftovers during the week, because otherwise it’s too late after work and a run to cook. But tonight I have some time so I make pasta with chicken and mushrooms. And brocollini. Yes, I eat a lot of carbs.

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6:00 Dinner and a book. And a quick hop onto the internet to see when the LA Times Festival Books is (it’s next month, April 18-19). Should I go?

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6:30 Clean-up done. Time to hit the couch with a book. And the phone, so I can play WWF. I spend the next few hours planted on the couch. After a full day of being on the computer, I have no desire to open up my own laptop. So once again, I read no blogs and ignore the internet.

9:00 It’s been a long day thanks to that cleaver wielding woman who I can’t forget, so I take a quick shower and go to bed.*

*There have been no more strange dreams this week, although a fly did dive bomb me at 3:30 Friday morning, waking me up so I had plenty of time to type up this post before work. Thanks, Mr. Fly.

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55 Comments

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55 responses to “A Day in My Life

  1. Beth F

    Busy, busy. I like that you can be flexible about your work hours and breaks.

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    • It’s kind of a don’t ask, don’t tell thing with the going in early. I rarely do it, since we’re really not supposed to start before 7. Although there are a handful who start at 6.

      Like

  2. The short commute sounds great but the dream does not!

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  3. I would fucking kill someone if I worked in an open area. I feel like that definitely makes you a better human than me. LOL I loved getting a peak into your day. I still don’t know how you read so fast. ❤

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  4. Sounds like an awful dream! It’s funny how certain images stick with us even after the book is closed. I’ve found with the book I’m reading I have to read a chapter of another book before I go to bed or my dreams are bizarre. At least the cleaver woman got you out of work early! I always hated empty hallways when I had to go into work early. I’ve seen too many episodes of CSI and Criminal Minds I think!

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  5. You are one brave woman, Jill. If I’d been woken up in the middle of the night by cleaver woman, I would most definitely NOT have gone to work an hour early to sit all by my lonesome in an empty building! And if I had, I wouldn’t have gotten anything done at all, because every single sound would have made me jump. Having said that, I think I need to read more Stephen King books because that cleaver woman dream sounds pretty interesting. Your work sounds fascinating, by the way – figuring out all those different ways to extract the data people request. I’d like to know more about those elves, though.

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    • The elves sneak in and fix cases. Unfortunately, they don’t stop by often. And they never leave notes, so I have no idea how they fixed the cases. I just know that they did. Because I didn’t. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kay

    OK, I laughed and laughed about the cleaver woman. What a start to the day. And you run to the cemetery? Hope you don’t see the cleaver woman. LOL

    What a busy day and your job seems interesting. Although i could see how frustration could build. Nice that you can take a walk during the day. Enjoyed your “day”. Have a good weekend!

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  7. litandlife

    Oh my goodness, after that dream, I’m surprised you had the courage to walk down that very Stephen King looking hallway! So snarky is the result of stupid people? That explains my attitude all day!

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  8. Ti

    My work is creepy when I first arrive too. I get here at 6 and there is usually just me and the custodian but sometimes there is a homeless person or two to keep me company. What is up with that dream??

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  9. florinda3rs

    It’s weird. Since I work for an agency that has a major mental-health-services contract and does foster-care services, some of your work stuff actually made sense to me. That may be even scarier than your dream :-).

    I’m on the fence about LATFoB this year, so let me know if you decide to go!

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    • I think you and Wendy may be the only two people outside of work who understand my job! I’m totally on the fence, too…I skimmed the author list and no one jumped out as a must see.

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  10. joyweesemoll

    Interesting work. I love learning details about other professions that it never occurred to me existed. But, of course, we need people to pull together government data. I’m fascinated by the Welfare to disability stats because of a story I heard on the radio a year or so ago!

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  11. I had an awesome dream last night!!! I got to chat with Stephen King! in a grocery store. Sort of. It was also like a nursing home and he had three attendants to make sure I wasn’t bothering him. But he was very nice and charming. I don’t recall a thing we talked about.

    Loved reading about your day. You’ve given me an idea for a blog post about when all the literary fests are around the country… Maybe that is somewhere and I just need to look? How about meeting somewhere in May for one?

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  12. I haven’t had any dreams since finishing Pet Sematary but when I’m reading it (well, after I’ve put it down and fallen asleep) I’m filled with all sorts of bizarre dreams. And yes–I’m the same with opening up a computer in the evening. After spending all day staring at a screen I have no desire to do it at home. Which is why I’m a sucky commenter lately. Oh well.

    Curious what kind of coffee you use in the Keurig? We have one at work and I need to figure out what kind of cups to buy for it. Not a fan of what we’ve been buying in the office.

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    • Caffe Verona Starbucks K-cups. We like the strong stuff. Green Mountain Dark Magic is pretty good, too…although I personally think their regular coffee is crap. For awhile we were into Starbuck caramel flavored coffee, and it smells AMAZING, but we each burned out after a few cups. That’s when we went hard core with the Verona.

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  13. I love your outfit for the day, especially the socks! Our office recently got a Kuerig and everyone loves it too. So great to have quick, easy hot drinks (I usually have tea). You should got to LATFOB — Florinda and I went last year and it was a lot of fun. It’s a really well organized festival.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Irene McKenna

    Jeez … what a creepy dream. I tend to have intense, disturbing dreams, so I feel your pain. 🙂 Great post! I love those boots and striped socks. I may put both those items on my Christmas wish list.

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  15. reports, reports, reports, that’s pretty much my day too. I work for a travel agency and our corporate clients are always looking for reports on their spend and who is where. I am the lucky one (really not so lucky) who sees to that day in day out! Maybe if I lived in CA I would be happy to go running after work, even running at all! But in NJ the weather really doesn’t cooperate most of the time. It still thinks its winter here! Thankfully Pet Sematary didn’t give me any weird dreams, even though I read the last 100 pages right before bed, so I’m thankful for that and rather surprised!

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  16. I don’t think I could go back to sleep after that dream either. I bow down to you for the work you do. You provide valuable information, even when I ask for something crazy (will not you, but someone who does a similar job, just in a different part of the state and for a different division). We’re trying to decide if we’ll be at the book festival too. Thanks for sharing your day with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Desk pictures great idea! I also work in an open area, but luckily my desk is pretty private. I’ve always lucked out that way. Interesting day and such an early start! My hat is off to you! Nice to meet you also 🙂

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  18. Wow that dream … Creepy!! I’m the same way with the computer when I get home having worked in front of a screen all day as well. We have a small Keurig at the house, hub uses it more than me, but I have a feeling it will get a work out once baby #2 arrives 🙂

    Thanks for sharing what a day in your life is like. And to answer the question you posed on my blog, I’m reading “The Emperor’s Tomb” by Steve Berry.

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  19. I have a hard time looking at a computer screen at night, too. A lot of my day is people-stuff but there’s always computer-stuff too, and my eyes are always tired by the time I get home. I am super jealous of your flexibility with work – working in retail means I have set hours that I HAVE to be there, and sometimes I’d love to just peace out at 4 if I came in early that day.

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  20. Erin (Erin Reads)

    I would totally go with you to the LA Times festival if I didn’t have out-of-town company visiting over that weekend. Road trip!!

    Oh man, where were you when I worked my last bookstore job? No one else wanted to be snarky with me, and there were times when ONLY snarkiness could get me through the day.

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    • I thought I was being good earlier in the week, and turns out my co-workers were worried about me because I wasn’t being my usual snarky self. Evidently my snarkiness gets them through the day, too.
      LATFoB 2016 or Bust!!

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  21. I have t say that work hall picture made me think of The Shining 🙂 Sounds like you have a fun job and fun co workers.

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  22. Ahhhhhh, that hallway! I would have to run through it to get to work!

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  23. I love it when a workday ends earlier than expected! Suddenly there’s so much time to do anything at home! Love your post – I don’t think I could ever make my work hours sound that interesting!

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    • LOL…it’s funny what we think of as boring others find interesting. I think it’s just that because it’s different than what we are personally used to. I’ve loved reading about everyone else’s days.

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  24. I’ll echo you and Heather about not wanting to look at computer screens at night. Your day sounds packed!

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  25. I think I would go insane in an open work environment. It’s bad enough being able to hear what everyone else is doing but to see them too? No, thank you!

    I can’t say that insomnia has ever gotten me out of bed and into work early. I have insomnia or wake up early, but I refuse, on principle, to get out of bed any earlier than I have to. Although this is probably to my detriment if it meant I could leave work earlier than normal too.

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    • Yep, that thought of leaving work early is what got me out of bed. On days when that’s not going to happen, I just lay there. And then I inevitably fall back asleep right as the alarm goes off.

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  26. Wow so jealous of that commute! And it is wonderful to be able to get to work early sometimes – I like to do that if I feel like I’ll have a particularly busy day because I do find I’m more productive in the morning. And I’m iffy on going to the LA Times Book Festival too – there aren’t many authors that I haven’t already seen. Still not sure if I’m going…

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  27. A thousand points to you for running even though it was hot and BUGS! Yuck. I am terrible at exercising consistently, so you are an inspiration to this lazy bones!

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  28. My commute is actually shorter than yours, believe it or not.

    I just skipped over the work part of day, mostly because I couldn’t really care less about my job.

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  29. I laughed at your comment about working tickets because that is SO me when I’m dealing with answering student emails at work. I work in an office with cubicles that aren’t really private (they are more open and glass-walled) so I’m pretty sure all my coworkers know when the emails are particularly stupid.

    Like

  30. Julie S.

    Yikes though having to be the first in the office by an hour isn’t fun. Creepy empty hallway indeed.

    Like

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