Archives for posts with tag: job

20170606_163147I am not ashamed to admit it…I love my job.

Sure it can get frustrating constantly dealing with deadlines, and clients who get their ad materials in an hour before press time. Sure it sucks when your sales rep gives you the bare minimum of information when designing an ad that you spend an hour on, only to have the client say “it’s not what they were looking for.

But when it comes down to the proverbial brass tacks, I love my job.

Take today…I am working from home. I already work from home every Wednesday, which is our slowest production day, but this Friday our sales team met their goal, and they have the day off. My publisher, the fair and reasonable gal that she is, told us we could work from home as well. So I sit here in my jammies, mug of tea by my side, writing this rather than driving into town to the office.

This happens frequently. On days where she can our newspaper and magazines are in good shape, she’ll send us home early. This is because she knows that when we are swamped with ad builds, we work weekends and after hours to get proofs out. She acknowledges that, and gives us time off when we are slow.

This is something my other bosses never quite got. Hell, at my last job if I needed to leave early because family was coming in or I had a doctor’s appointment you had to SHOW you made up the time. The fact that I came in 1/2 hour early every day, or sometimes never took a lunch break escaped their notice. They were slave masters when it came to hours.

I also love my job because I respect the product we put out. My newspaper is the heart of Charlottesville…the alternative to your basic newspaper, we cover topics that others won’t touch. This was the cover of our last issue of 2016…12_28_2016 CVILLEWEEKpg01It took BALLS to put this out there for all of Charlottesville to see….to boldly show that we do not agree with what is going on in Washington and around the country. We got a lot of flack for this cover. There are still a few advertisers that refuse to do business with us. But that is why I LOVE our product. They are not afraid to tell it like it is.

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 7.42.22 AMThis is another one of my favorite covers from a previous year. Colorful and fun, promoting equality and diversity…and with a drag queen front and center.

My paper sponsors a lot of awesome events in town as well. Not only the Pride Festival, which this cover was promoting, but the Tom Tom Founders Festival, our local baseball team, the Tom Sox, along with a plethora of other community events. They are very invested in our town, and I really dig that.

My company also shows a ton of appreciation for it’s employees. We are fed often…There are always snacks on the table – actually, I’m not sure if this is really a good thing…

My boss is taking my coworkers and I to lunch next week – this after she bought a whole bunch of us lunch just a few weeks back. We frequently have work time-outs where we play games, drink wine and snack for an hour or so at the end of the day. They plan outings for us as well. In a few weeks we will all meet at a TomSox baseball game for a barbecue and drinks.

Yes, there are perks a plenty! Gift cards, free concert tickets and tickets to lots of community events are handed out frequently. During the spring my family got to attend an outdoor barbecue that costs $75 per ticket. I got my daughters free tickets to a Parachute concert a few months back.

Ooops! It’s 9 am! time to log in from home and begin my day. You know what they say…when you love your job you don’t work a day in your life.




This morning at the office an email went out stating that the refrigerator would be cleaned out at 4 pm. So imagine my dismay, when I return from my walk at 2:45 and go to get my snack out of the fridge and find the fucking thing empty.

Wait, I had a tote bag with 3 pickle spears encased in double ziplock bags (to prevent leakage) in that fridge this morning. They were nice, plump spears and I was really looking forward to them. I look around a little and find my bag thrown on top of the fridge, sans double zip locked pickles.

The dickhead who cleaned out the fridge, PREMATURELY I might add, actually went INTO my bag to throw OUT my PICKLES. And I call BULLSHIT!

I understand that the fridge needed cleaning, but when you give a deadline of 4 pm, that deadline should be adhered to. It’s what separates us from the animals for Pete’s sake!

Rant Over, and craving pickles.


Yesterday was my birthday, and let me tell you…birthdays sure have changed in the past 52 years.

My earliest birthday recognition was getting a Sesame Street 45 rpm of Bert and Ernie singing “Rubber Duckie.” It came with a book too. Another memory is waking up on my birthday to find a Baby Tenderlove doll in my arms.

Ah, those were the days.

Birthdays were a sacred thing when you were younger because it was your day.

Yet as an adult, I’ve never been the type of person to “remind” people that my birthday is coming up. There were quite a few years at work that nobody even knew, and I just sort of waltzed through the day without one “Happy Birthday.”

Technology has kind of changed all that. Now, when you wake up on your birthday, your Facebook feed is filled with well-wishes, and in my case, photos of me that my sisters have posted…some of which I wish they hadn’t. My email is filled with free offers….everything from a free sub at Jersey Mike’s to a free eye shadow at Ulta. Even the teller at the bank wished me

Not too shabby.

My best gift for my birthday this year is my job. I am so incredibly thankful for the job I have now, especially after yesterday. We had a staff meeting, and managers were urged to give shout outs to employees who have done praise-worthy things. Being relatively new, I wasn’t expecting anything.

Yet lo and behold, I got not one but TWO shout outs! One for for a media kit I designed that turned out really well. But the one that really touched me was from the Art Director of our publications. I really respect him, he’s amazingly talented and he’s been here a long, long time.

He said that he’s very happy that I was the one who was hired for the job – that he was impressed at how seamless the transition was from the old designer to me. I blew him a kiss, but I really almost started to cry.

Because you know how when you’re at a new job, you never really know how you’re doing? Are they impressed with your work or just luke warm about your performance?

Now I know. They’re super happy and that’s the best birthday present I’ve had in a long while.


I’ve been at my new job for a month now, and I have to say, I am really loving it.

After 2+ years of having to get permission from multiple people to take a day off, or leave early, and being chained to my desk from 9:30 to 5:30 (because God forbid the phone rings and isn’t answered IMMEDIATELY), it’s nice to be able to leave my phone-less desk and walk to get a cup of tea, or to just take a breather.

But it’s so much more than that. Because my newspaper is deeply steeped in our community, we have a presence at a lot of community functions. And with that presence comes free tickets. Free VIP tickets. Easy parking, lots of perks, and access to stuff the creme-de-la-creme of Charlottesville is used to, but I certainly am not.

For instance, next weekend I will attend the Heritage Harvest Festival at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The next weekend is Tomtoberfest, a fall block party featuring a variety of danceable musicians and bands, a dozen of the best local food trucks and an Arts & Crafts fair. And all this is free and VIP. Yippee!

In October, my office will attend an Avett Brothers concert at an outdoor venue here in town. They have reserved this space called the Party Porch, and it’s a fun time to drink and socialize with my fellow co-workers. While I don’t really know the band very well, I’m willing to give them a listen to, especially if the wine is free.

I also found out, I get to claim expenses…now there’s something new. I get money towards my cell phone, towards parking, and if I joined a gym, they kick in money for that as well. When I go to take photos for the newspaper, I get mileage.

I get to work from home on Wednesdays. My company pays for a LogMeIn subscription, so I can access my work desktop from home and get my work done while sitting in my pajamas. It’s so awesome and it really breaks up the work week, making it seem a lot shorter.

And take this past Friday…almost the whole office left early. It was the Friday before Labor day weekend, and the ad work was all done, so…we just left, two hours early. And nobody cared.

At my last job there had to be a meeting of the chiefs just to see if we could leave early during a snow storm, or the day before Thanksgiving.

It’s all so wonderful. Each day that goes by, I discover something wonderful about my new job, and I’m pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.

It makes me think back to the spring. I remember being in the shower and coming to the realization that I was never going to find another job. I hated the job I was at, but after several failed interviews at other companies I realized I was stuck where I was, and it was going to be fine. There were way worse places I could be working.

And now look at me. Everything has changed, and all because I happened to look on Craigslist on the right day. I’m certain it was divine intervention…or my dad from beyond the grave giving me a nudge.

When hubby and I were talking about all these fabulous new development and how happy and satisfied I am now, he said to me, “you’re not just on a roll. You’re on a buttered roll.”

He’s so right.


2016 has been a year of new jobs for me.

I left my job of almost three years at a high-end real estate office, to take a job as the designer for a local newspaper. I had grown to hate my job at the real estate office. It was a constant merry-go-round of bullshit work that was totally uncreative. And if something creative did come around, I was too tired and uninspired to give it much attention. But it was a job, and I had no choice but to just soldier through it each week.

So when I got the job at the local paper, I was elated…it was close to my home, and I could pretty much set my own hours…freedom at last! I loved the flexibility and the creativity. What I didn’t love was the pay. I was told it was a 30 hour a week job; I was only working 32 at the real estate office, so I figured the pay cut wouldn’t be too drastic.

Problem was, I could get the job done in 15 hours a week. I’m not sure how the previous designer could milk double the time out of the job, but my time sheet for a two week span was usually only 32 hours or so—only half of what I was expecting. This was not a good realization.

But one day I just happened to look on Craigslist in the art/media/design section, and there, I saw an advertisement for a designer at my old office. The one I was fired from back in 2012. I had applied for this job previously, but was muscled out by someone younger and hipper. Well, the problem is, the young, hip designers work there for a few years and move onto bigger and brighter futures.

So, I emailed the publisher and said, “how about hiring a seasoned pro who will remain loyal to you?” And a few days later, I had the job – the job that comes with benefits and dental.

But now, I had to tell my adorable little local paper that I was leaving…a mere six weeks after I had started. But what could I do? I cannot pass up benefits for my family, and in the long run, they understood.



My new totally cool location.

The result? I started back at C-ville Weekly on August 1st and I am monumentally happy. The workspace is cool, and located on the Downtown Mall, just about the coolest place in all of Charlottesville. I can walk out the door anytime I need a break, and pick up a salad or an iced tea. I am not chained to my desk, and the work is creative and fun.

I truly feel like I have come full circle. I know when I worked there in the past I had lots of complaints. But, the management is new, and I know what it’s like to try to find a job with benefits at my age. I am so grateful to have been given another chance, and I’ll work my hardest to make sure I don’t disappoint them.


In response to the one word prompt, Newspaper


I always say that my first job out of college was my 3+ year stint at Tiger Beat Magazine, but it really wasn’t. My real first job lasted only a few weeks, and it was at a local newspaper called The Bergen News.

I remember being interviewed by the editor; a smug, older man eating a bagel while peering at me over the rims of his glasses. I had to take a typing test, followed by an intelligence test. All this to make minimum wage.

The only bonus was the job was within walking distance to my house.

I spent my days working along side a designer who looked like a balding Art Garfunkle. His breath literally smelled like shit, and he spent most of his time trying to pick me up despite the fact that I told him I was already dating someone.

My days consisted of pasting down and mitering borders around ads, and searching through the giant clip art books for smiling woman reclining in leisure suits or balloons for a grand opening. For this I spent four years at college?

Luckily the job at Tiger Beat came through and I was able to miter ad borders in a much cooler environment.

The funny thing was, a guy Chris came to work with us a few months later. He had taken over my job when I left the Bergen News. He did not have to take a typing test. Nor did he have to take an intelligence test in order to get the job. He was a man, and was given the position without having to prove anything other than he had a cock and balls.

He also agreed with me on another thing. Art Garfunkle’s breath really did smell like shit.

6a00e5506da99788330153915f5534970b-piI know I have been neglecting my blog as of late, but it’s for a good reason. After 10 long months of searching, emailing resumes and filling out unemployment forms, I finally landed a job. And, not just any job, a job I really love.

The change in my schedule has taken some getting used to, and has left me tired by the end of the day. But even tired I must do dishes and help with homework and fold laundry, so dear readers, there’s been little time to blog. But, knowing that I have been so very delinquent in keeping you abreast of all that is typical for Tracy, I will devote my lunch hour to posting this.

So what is this sensational new position of mine? Where do I daintily cross my ankles under my desk from 9-5? I landed a job at a prominent real estate agent’s office handling all their graphic design and media needs. The fact that I’d spent the last 12 years designing a real estate magazine made me a shoe-in for the job, and this blog helped as well. Seeing that I’m at least computer literate enough to manage a blog showed them that I could probably handle the minor changes they need made to their website.

So, here I am, in my fourth week on the job, and I absolutely love it. Like Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka asked of the ill-fated stick of gum, “What’s so fab about it?” Well I’ll tell you.

1. The People
I work with mostly women, and so far, they are all super cool and very nice. Everyone stops by to say hi or ask a question. My last job? Nobody would give me the time of day. Half the time if I offered them a cheery “Good Morning” they would just walk past.

2. The Office
The building I work in is a grand, old house just blocks from the Downtown Mall, the hip area of town, and smack-dab in the center of Charlottesville’s historic district. It’s loaded with charm; hardwood floors, windows with original wavy glass, and a wide, grand staircase with smooth sturdy banister that curls into a wooden spiral at the bottom. It’s a far cry from your typical office with fluorescent lighting and a maze of cubicles.

Plus, this office, unlike my last, supplies you with the basic necessities of life. Tea, coffee, milk, sugar, utensils, bottled water. And the bathroom? Roomy and spacious with toilets that don’t wiggle on their foundation.

3. My Office
Yes, you read that right. I have my own office. MY OWN OFFICE. You have no idea how utterly wonderful this makes me feel. It’s a small little narrow room that was obviously built on as an addition. It’s got 3 windows, none of which has a great view, but that let in a ton of sunlight. Two walls of my room are the brick exterior of the original house, painted a lovely cream color. I have a window next to my desk that looks into the kitchen – it used to be an exterior window, but whoever added on this room decided not to brick it up, and I’m glad. It’s charming as hell.

I brought in a plant, and my desk lamp from home, photos of my girls and my collection of Matchbox Karmann Ghias. I plan on bringing in more stuff, but didn’t want to be too eager to “move on in.” A little at a time is more tasteful. By spring I should have pictures hung, and perhaps a comfy chair in the corner.

4. The Work
A lot of tasks I do here I already knew how to do, like building ads for the various papers and magazines that my boss advertises in. However, I’m also learning new stuff, which I really like. I’ve been trained on how to manage their website by a gal who spoke so fast and matter of factly, that I was glad I’d had 5 years of WordPress under my belt. A lot of what she showed me was familiar because of my years of blogging. I’ve also been learning MailChimp, which is easy but can be a tad frustrating due to its lack of flexibility. There’s lots for me to do, and my day is usually busy – sometimes hectic, even. But I like it.

5. The Parking
I have my own parking space in a lot a block from the office. No more driving around for 10 minutes trying to find a spot that’s half a mile away from the office. No more worries if it’s 2 hour parking or all day parking. Now more worries that I’ll get towed. My own spot in a lot. It’s great because I can use it all week long. Say the girls and I want to attend some event downtown where parking is at a premium? No problem – mom has her own spot.

The only thing I don’t like about my new job? The hours.  They want someone in the office until 6 p.m., and me being the low gal on the totem pole, got that shift. So, I work from 10 to 6. The 10 am part is okay…if I have errands to run I can get them done before work. But by 6 pm, in the fall/winter months, it’s so dreadfully dark out, and I hate driving in the dark. The 25 minute commute home along winding country roads is no fun in the pitch black, save for the glaring headlights of the passing cars. Plus by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is start cooking a meal, so we’ve been eating a lot of soup, and other things you can heat up fast. Otherwise we’ll be sitting down to dinner at 7:45, at which time I will be too exhausted to eat.

And Friday nights have been murder. For some reason the hours between 4 and 6 on Friday drag on, and on, and on. It’s bizarre. Any other day of the week I’ll look up and hours will have flown by. But not on Fridays. However, my hours could change some time down the line…who knows.

I shan’t let this one wrinkle ruin what is turning out to be a fantastic gig. I feel respected and valued here – something that was sorely lacking at my old job. I haven’t minded the idea of coming to work so far, and that’s a pretty cool thing. And between this job an my freelance work? I’m making the same as I was before I got canned the day before my birthday last year.

That’s the coolest of all.

weight of the world

I’ve not been blogging much these past few weeks. I guess the combination of Christmas and losing my job has killed any urge I’ve had to journal my daily comings and goings, and reminiscing about the past sorta bums me out.

The last few years, Christmas had been a source of anxiety for me. My husband is in his third year managing an outdoor skating rink in Richmond, which is open through the holidays. His hours are monumentally long – he literally comes home to sleep and shower the next morning. That being said, every chore involving the kids, Christmas, the house, the car, the pets – falls on me, who up until 3 weeks ago also held a full time job.

It’s exhausting and it really takes the joy out of the holiday for me. I rush and worry and spend and worry and agonize over what to get the girls. This year you have to add on the fact that I have to not only get my paper done and to the printer, but I have to train someone to do it at the same time. I’m making lists and charts and manuals for the designers that are taking over the shit I did for almost 13 years.

I have 3 days left at work – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Then I’m officially an unemployed hausfrau, which I am looking forward to, in a way. I like the idea of getting the laundry done and tidying the house. I’m glad I won’t have to worry about pictures I need to take for upcoming articles. I like that I won’t have to hunt for a parking space every morning. I’ll enjoy all these things until my bank account begins to groan.

It’s really just the money I’m worried about. That and health coverage. I carry the kids on my policy that I am now losing. Whatever job I take has to have some sort of health plan – If I can even find a job. Oh, and let’s not forget that we have to apply for student loans after the New Year. With me not working, our actual income is one step above pitiful. I wonder if they only look at last year’s tax returns rather the the financial shit storm we’re really in.

Ugh, this world is getting heavier…perhaps I’ll just go bake some cookies.