Archive for Projects

Be Careful What You Ask For.

Posted in Life, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2012 by urbannight

How often do you feel this way? I do, often.

I’ve been wanting a project at work. There is plenty of work to do, but there is no mental challenge or stimulation.  For a while, that was great.  Several years ago I was severely burnt out from a job where the work conditions changed dramatically over several years.  It went from a job I absolutely loved to one I dreaded so much that I developed eye twitches and my hands would numb up and fingers fold up and I had trouble moving them.  Just the mention of my boss’s name was enough to cause my left eye to go entirely spastic. 

Do a job with no extra responsibility was great for a while.  But now I feel the need for more of a challenge but I’m not ready to leave for a new job.  This summer I said I would like a project and my supervisor took it to the office manager and they were going to figure something out. But things happen and the office manager forgot about it and the supervisor had to much on her plate with two people in the unit retiring and one quitting and then training three new people.  Not to mention, at the same time, her father’s health was deteriorating, he was put in a home, he was getting worse, and then the expected happened and he passed away. 

Life happens.  And major life events do affect what it occurring at work despite what employers would want to happen.  Its natural.  It is part of being alive and human.  To think otherwise in unrealistic.

So she sat down and had a meeting with each of us about what we are doing, how we are feeling about it, and what more we would like out of our jobs.  Again, I asked for some type of project to keep me more focused and engaged with work. 

After she spoke with the office manager, she gave me a project that had been briefly discussed in the past.  I actually had the impression someone already did it when I saw the fantastic binder the second new person got.  It turns out that manual was only for the phone part of the job.  The compiling part still needs to be done.  I was give 3 – 4 weeks to get the first draft of it done.  I get to write the compiling training manual. 

We have two compiling units.  Those of us who do the phones and compile the phoned in losses and the department that handles paper mail, faxes, and emails and compiles those losses.  They get more losses but we take longer due to phone interruptions.  Yet we find that we have the time to go in and help a little with the paper losses.  There was a meeting because the compilers for that other unit are not getting them done fast enough from the moment we receive them to getting them into the review flow to be assigned an examiner.

The customer service/phone unit I am in has 6 people right now, including the supervisor.  I was the only fully compiler trained on the one side of the company and SZ was the only fully trained compiler on the other side of the company.  But we never got fully trained on each others systems.  But we seem to get more turned in on my side than her side.  This means her side is usually caught up.  Two of the other people have been with the company a long time and they were only trained on the very basics of compiling as back ups.  Then we have two new persons.  One of whom has been fully trained on the phones and preliminary set up after a new loss call.  She is just getting started on compiling today. 

This means, most of the unit is only half trained.  We are generally so busy that training on more complicated claims is ad hoc.  This also because the supervisor isn’t completely trained on them.  So if they get something they don’t understand they often don’t have time for someone to walk them through it.  It ends up sitting there until I get to it.  What I don’t understand is why the two compilers in the other unit, both of whom were fully trained and have been with the company at least twice as long as myself in one case and over three times as long in the other case and who are both much faster than I am, keep skipping ones that seem ‘difficult’.  Many of the ones they are skipping are ones I find very easy.  I’m just slower at them. 

The result is they are not getting done fast enough because my priority is to get the ones done from my unit first.  SO the VP of claims decided to make those other claims our third priority.  That used to be helping out in the other clerical workflows to try to keep them caught up.  Because I used to be a backup for importing the new claims emailed in, I’m going to be doing that again.  Which is no problem.  It is easy. 

But now the VP of claims, after hearing about the project I was just assigned at the end of day yesterday, wants me to step it up and get certain portions of it done in a week to ten days.  Turning in individual sections as I finish them.  I dont’ have to do the entire thing.  Just the types of claims that the new people are finding too confusing and therefore skipping.  Part of the set up we do is initial determination of what units get set up on a claim and what type of coverage the units will be under.  This is surprisingly subjective at times.  There are cases in which certain variables can totally change things.  This is where some people are getting confused and start skipping things.

While I find some of them very easy, the minute details made the instructions very long.  The 2 hours a week over-time we had for a couple of months ran out.  But he has authorized me to have 2 hours OT each week to specifically work on this so I can get parts to him quickly and he can run through them with the examiners and figure out what needs to be tweaked.  On top of that, because I’ll be explaing coverage determination in it, once the VP accepts and authorized the final copy, it will be set in stone.  This is to help stop the nit-picking and arguing between examiners who disagree with each other on how coverages should be set up.  That is going to be the most challenging part of this project. 

So I got what I wanted and it turned into something they now want on the rush and at a high priority.  Be careful of what you ask for, you might get and get it in spades.

At least I won’t be bored. But it will be a much shorter term project now.  So what will I do after it is finished?

Once again, Life Happens

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2012 by urbannight

I have three half-started blogs in my notebook and on my computer.  But life happened.  We are training a new person.  One person is having to do a huge project due by Friday and is therefore of f normal duties.  This effectively puts us down two people.  So I jot down thoughts and notes as I can.

I tried getting up early to create more time to finish those but my Plantar Faciitis has been acting up very badly and I really lost any extra time I had.  I’m coming down with or already came down with a head cold.  The result is that I’m more muddle-headed in the evenings due to tiredness.  I zoned out on the couch with SeaQuest last night.

I haven’t even been working on stitching projects.  About the most I’ve been doing is breeding sims and trying to get more alien sims.  Sims 2 rather than Sims 3.  Sims 3 you can make green, red, or blue sims.  You don’t have to get them abducted by aliens to make alien babies.  Less of a challenge. 

I rather miss the supply officer from season one of SeaQuest.  He was funny.  I also think the original doctor was better.  The LT added the second season annoys me.  If you ever watched Red Dwarf, he is who Rimmer thought he should be rather that who Rimmer actually was.  And I’m not talking about Ace, who was pretty cool.  No, this is who Rimmer kept trying to be and thought he was, if only ‘they’ weren’t holding him back.

The Deluise brothers were good but never really filled the void the other actors left.  I think the show jumped the shark at the start of the second season with the addition of the new doctor and her ESP abilities.  I’m leery of season 3 because I think I remember not liking it.  What do you call jumping the shark a second time around in the same show?

Maybe one day I’ll finish the blogs of this week.  Maybe I never will.  I guess that is just life.

Lucky Seven?

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2012 by urbannight

ACK!  I was trying to copy the instructions and got a little more than I anticipated.  So I wiped that out.  SORRY, not meaning to copy other peoples words!  Anyway, this is either a new award thingy or it is a new ‘game’ thingy.  It’s the Lucky Seven meme.  So this is what you do:

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript (fiction or non-fiction)
  • Go to line 7
  • Post the next 7 lines or sentences on your blog as they are (no cheating, please!)
  • Tag 7 other authors to do the same

I was tagged in this and I probably need to explain why mine looks a little strange.  I work from increasingly detailed outlines.  I get my idea and write it out in a paragraphy or two or three.  Then I start an outline of major points.  I then go and add connecting points, then I go thought adding more detail.  Then I do it again.  And again, until it is ready to be written out in prose form.  Everyone has different methods that work best for them.  This is mine.  So long as it is fiction.  For non-fiction, I find good old fashioned note cards work best for me.

VII.   Alliance

A.  Were mission stumbles across Holly taking down a ‘reformer’.

1.    Holly tracks a councel man

a.  Chases him into a back alley.

b.  Her hunting mode brings out catlike behaviors.

c. As a power vamp separated from his muscle, he has no chance against the hunting skills she has been honing.

d.   After toying w/ him a bit, she goes in for the kill.

I actually have a fairly detailed, 12 page outline for the entire book. And two concept bocks for two follow up books.   But then I realized I don’t actually buy into the main social structure and now I have to rework the ENTIRE thing.  As a result, I have set it aside and toyed with several other story ideas, but at this time, this one is the most advanced one to which I currently have accessas as I’m out and about dogsitting for people out of town.

I know I’m supposed to tag people, but I’m skipping that today.  I would end up tagging some people already tagged recently and few of the novelists I read have gotten so deep into their projects they have developed a drastic slowdown in their otherwise normally prolific blogging.  As a result, I’m not sure I want to slow them down.

Random Lunch-Time Update

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Food, Life, Politics, Tea, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by urbannight

I shall have to clock back in from lunch soon so I shall type a few sentences to share.

Due to a technical difficulty, I can’t post pictures for an update on the TARDIS project, the pumpkin project, the yarn projects, and various other projects. (I left the cord in another bag)

I did use most of lunch to try to catch up with all the blogs I follow.  I’ve gotten a bit behind.

News articles left me feeling more misanthropic and politically annoyed than usual and I may rant about it at another time.  If I remember.

Half a dose of Pain Killer PM is enough to make you drowsy enough to sleep through alarms but is not enough pain killer to make a pulled muscle and headache go away quickly.  I’m pretty sure it was the cat’s fault.

Coffee taste never lives up to smell and it takes 14 creamers and 10 sugars to make it at least drinkable.

Why do people think their claims can be handled within three hours of being turned in?  In an age when 3 minutes in a microwave is too long to wait everything must get done instantly.  Right?

I’m rereading too many of my Terry Pratchett books.  I found myself writing about ‘punnes’, you know, plays on words.

I have a large stack of fantasy, mystery, sci-fi novels to read and I keep buying more, but they just seem to dark and I’m not in the mood for dark.  So I keep rereading the lighter, amusing stuff I already own.

Time may be up now.