Saturday, February 28, 2009

We made it...and were "those people"

Finally! There was a little bit of drama involved...when is there not when I travel and my boyfriend (Delta) and I had another fight...eventually he gave in though and we made it. My sister and I got to the airport about an hour and a half before our flight (thanks Drena for the ride). We get to the ticket counter and the lady is processing us and first she gets sort of irritated at my sister because the reservation is Jennifer Powers but the passport is Jennifer Sutton. Jennifer had a copy of her marriage license with her (which is what Delta told us to bring) and the lady said that it was supposed to be the original. It was sort of annoying because her name is now Jennifer Powers Sutton. Anyway, she called over the supervisor and he said it didn't matter. Then she did everything and she goes to ask us if the exit row is ok and then it went something like this:
Her: "oh, wait a minute, they never reissued the ticket"
Me: but I have my confirmation right here.
Her: Yeah, they redid the reservation but didn't reissue the ticket.
Let me just say at this point that I don't even know what the difference is but apparently it is important. So, she spends 20 mins on the phone per person for each of us and then comes back and says that it might cost us more skymiles and it might cost more money because it had been changed twice. I was pissed because both of them were done by Delta without me doing anything. The first was because the original flight that they put me on was a partner one with Continental and they cancelled the flight all together. The second time was because they had me on a waitlist and it cleared. I was so mad but I didn't really have time to argue because it was 12:10 at this point and my flight left at 12:50. I gave them my credit card and I asked for the customer service number and address...there was no way I was going to pay for this when it wasn't my fault. I told her that I flew Delta all the time and this was ridiculous. About 5 mins later she removed the charges and we got 10 free drink coupons. Literally though, it was 12:20(I sent my sister ahead in case she had trouble with the name again and I was worried because I brought my lead film bag with the film this time so it wouldn't get ruined.)and I had not gone through, my sister and I were "those people" that took an hour at the counter (and slowed the line) and then we were "those people" again when we were running to the gate. Luckily we made it but no time for food. Then we sat on the runway FOREVER and finally took off. I was under the impression that we were going on the same plane to Greece because when we left Atlanta they said "connecting service to Greece"...not so. So, we get into JFK late and we have to change gates...grr. We looked for something to eat but there wasn't anything and our plane to Athens was already boarding so we literally walked right to the next gate and got on a plane. Another close call.
The plane ride was fine except that we had the exit row and that was great for leg room but it was so cold!!! The flight attendents were awesome and felt so bad for us that they got us a down blanket from first class. I don't know what we would have done without it!!

Once we got here my sister and I had about 3 hours until Jody Laird got here...we slept on our baggage. Once Jody got here we got some food and chatted and then it was time to meet Dudley. Well, we realized that since she was flying through Paris she wouldn't go through customs so we were waiting outside that gate. Her plane landed and 40 mins later we still hadn't found her...uh oh. We started the search party. The Athens airport is small so we spread...Jody went to look on the free internet to see if she had a message from Jenn and I went to see if I could call the hotel to see if there was a message there and my sister went to look one more time at the agreed upon meeting place before we even left for Greece....finally, my sister found her! Turns out she got lost and she thought that she should go through customs but she didn't need to and her luggage didn't come through so she was dealing with, no luggage but we got Dudley. After that (and 6 hours in the aiport for my sister and I) we caught a cab to Athens. We changed and cleaned up and then went to walk but there is nothing to see around here...pretty rundown. We didn't have time to make it to any sites so that will start tomorrow, so no good stories there yet.

We are just trying to stay up now so I am using Jody's computer. I haven't been able to figure out the phones here yet so I haven't been able to call Craig...I feel bad only because I said I would...and I would worry if he didn't call me when going to a foreign country...oh well, I sent him an email...he will get it on Monday.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend...probably won't have internet until I get back home probably....but we are all on the same flight home...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Houston, er Athens, we have a problem

So, I come home today, do all my normal things and then check facebook like I always do and come to find a post by Meghan on my wall about an airport strike in Greece...AWESOME! What are the chances? Here is the doesn't give that much information but it does allude to the fact that it was just a 24 hour strike and I can't find any other information other than on yahoo, which I am sure came from here anyway. The good news is that I checked Delta and the same flight we are on for Friday was in route to Greece tonight so we should be able to get there. Carrie just came by to drop off something and I was talking to her about it and she suggested rails so that might be an option if we can't fly into Athens (though I imagine it will be really quick to fill up). I called Dudley and we decided that we would just have to go with the flow and if we can't fly in Greece (we have 3 flights around Greece while we are there) then we will take a ferry to Santorini and just stay longer there and skip Crete. Hopefully we won't have to worry about any of that...vacation is supposed to be fun and not stressful.

Wish us luck!

Lent - My Decision

I have decided to give up candy and chocolate. That is my vice. I get in these moods (been in one for the last week or so) where I just want to eat stuff for no reason other than it is what I want to occurs once every couple of weeks and the thing that I always go to is chocolate. This can meet Reese's buttercups (about two months ago this was my obsession), mini Milky Ways (or Snickers, and this was my obsession about 3 months ago), or chocolate chip cookie dough (my obsession from last week). When I don't have chocolate I will replace it with other candy and sadly, I have probably eaten some form of candy every day for the last few months because my boss has a jar in her office and it is a good distraction when I don't want to work (that will answer why the belly is puffy). I am sure to have another couple of weeks between now and the end of Lent when I will really want something chocolate or resort to other candy so I think that this one will definitely be a challenge for me. I also have not had any today. I know it is pretty cliche and the funny thing is that I do Lent every year but I am not even religious...couldn't tell you the last time I was in a Catholic church other than weddings (or any other church for that matter) but for some reason I like to do Lent.

Things I have given up in the past:
Sprite my freshman year of college...I drank like 2 cans a day that year in the dorm and after Lent I might have had it twice.
Candy my Senior year of high school - for similar reasons as this year.
Alcohol I think in about 2002 - yep got mono that year...I am now convinced that if you are going to go out to nasty bars (and all bars are nasty and I used to go out a lot) then you need the alcohol to kill the germs.
Sweets completely my Junior year (I think) of college - my birthday was during Lent that year too so I gave myself a pass only on my birthday.
Bread in 2006 - This is when I was in Dayton for work and there were only sandwich shops and a pizza/pasta places for lunch...this was HARD.
Cheese - can't remember when but I used to put cheese on everything so this one was hard too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


So clearly Fat Tuesday snuck up on me this year....not sure how that happened but all of a sudden I realized that tomorrow was Ash Wednesday and the Lent season is upon us. I can't really figure out what to give up this year (sort of late in the game this year, I know). I should give up sweets but selfishly it makes me sad that I couldn't have cake on my 30th birthday (though does Lent end on Good Friday or Easter?) I get confused....this is what I found on one website..and it would mean that I could have cake on my birthday (the 10th) :-)
Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. We skip Sundays when we count the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. Lent begins on 25 February 2009 and ends on 11 April 2009, which is the day before Easter.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Lent officially ends at sundown on 9 April (Holy Thursday), with the beginning of the mass of the Lord’s Supper.

It also would mean that I couldn't have any baklava in Greece....or I could give up carbonated beverages....I drink diet coke but I feel like I drink too much of it and it makes my tummy puffy (or maybe it is just fat from the sweets). Other than those two things I can't really think of what I can give up. Do any of you guys give up anything? I know that a lot of my friends growing up did it even though I was the only one who went to a Catholic church...any ideas for me?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stressful Vacation...

Do you ever feel like just getting ready for vacation is so much more stressful than the rest of the work year? I have 4 days until I cross the pond to Greece and I feel a little stressed. Not too much, I just feel like there is a lot that I want to get done and not much time left to get it done in. I am trying to say to myself that there are no hard deadlines (only ones I set for my group and myself) and it will all be here when I get back. I think that I would just feel better knowing it is done. Then again, in a week when I am in Santorini, I know I won't care in the least. The best part is that I am not taking my blackberry with me. It makes me a little sad to not be able to keep up with the blogs and to write about the trip as we are going but I am sure it will help me to relax more while I am gone :-)

This weekend was pretty busy. Saturday I had two clients and the craziness here in Midtown and then Sunday I had a new client...who I LOVE!! They were referred by one of my other clients and I gave them the disclosure that I was going to be moving and that I would only be available at limited times but he said that he had seen the other girl's pictures and really liked them and that they wanted to go ahead with it. They were a really cute couple and very laid back. I like them a lot. After my session I went to Jennifer's house because my stepdad is turning 70 when we are in Greece so we got together this weekend instead. Here are some shots of Ariyana. She actually looks a lot like me when I was is sort of funny. Of course Alyson also looks like me so I guess not that surprising :-) I blew up an extra balloon for her because I knew she would want to play with them...she didn't want her balloon though, the wanted to take down all the ones that we taped up to decorate. She kept biting on them and I was so afraid that she would pop it right in her face but somehow she managed to not do that. I just thought it was too funny with the static in her hair...and this is after she pulled the barette out that my sister put in. Her hair is so long in the is so funny.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


That is what it is here in Midtown today!!! Oysterfest is literally on my corner and I just walked over to snap a couple of pics (will post later) and they are not letting anymore people in....yikes. There were really long lines! I think that there are only 6 spots in my parking garage left. I heard one girl look up at the condos and say "it must suck to live here." Yeah, not actually as long as you guys aren't here! :-) I went out this morning for milk for my latte and the street was closed, only I didn't know it....oops. I had to go all the way around. When I just checked my mail I noticed that there was a sign up that said that the street was going to be closed this weekend...guess I should check my mail more than once a week!

Last night I went to a happy hour with Adam and Chad and actually ran into some girls that I know from other walks of funny is that? Then I went to meet up with Dudley and her boyfriend and one of his friends at the 80s coverband "Breakfast Club". It was so much fun, yet so different from how we used to go out. Instead of rolling in around 11:30 when the band actually went on, we got there around 10 and had a table in the was so nice...we could sit, we could dance, we could hear and we had a waitress! There weren't even lines at the bathroom. Quite different from the days when I would have at least 3 beers spilt on me and at least 4 drunk 19 year olds fall on me and when my sister got hit in the head with a drumstick :-)

Only 6 more days until Greece....that reminds me, I need to do laundry!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Update on Kitty and a cool band...

Craig took his kitty to the vet today and they gave him some fluids and antibiotics...seems to be just a bad coincidence that Chloe came around a few days before Mu got sick. The vet thinks that it is a virus that he always carries and it can flare up and he probably got stressed with a new cat in the house so it flared. He should be better soon and I feel much better about it all.

Tonight I am actually going out to see a band that has a guy in it that went to high school with one of Craig's really good is pretty mellow but I like it. You can hear it here.....sadly when I went through my list of friends that could actually go, there wasn't a long list....all my friends have kids or are in school on a Thursday Chad is going with me :-) I am not sure if he will like the music, but at least we will get to hang out because we really don't get to that much anymore. He cracks me up so I sort of miss it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Debbie Downer

I swear I am not bipolar but it has been quite a rollercoaster lately. Things went so well with me moving to Ohio (and it still is) but work has been a nightmare lately. I have always been really good about separating work from my personal life and not taking it home with me but lately it has just been so stressful. Also, I don't feel stressed about moving at all but it does add quite a few things to the to do list so I wonder if that is contributing to it at all.

The latest thing is that Craig's cat is now sick. I am sure that it is nothing and I am sure that he will be fine but I am worried. It was less than a year ago that we had to put down his dog and it started with something that we thought wasn't a big deal. I think that it is just really fresh in my memory. Craig had said before we went to get Chloe (my cat) that he wanted to make sure she had been checked for all the kitty diseases because he didn't want Mu (his cat) to get sick. When we brough Chloe home she sneezed a bit but I thought it was just because she was sniffing everything in sight, now I am starting to wonder. She got all her shots to prevent her from getting all the kitty diseases but I hope she didn't carry something to give Mu. Craig did say he was doing better this morning and he is taking him to the vet this afternoon but I am still just a little worried. Hopefully it is just a coincidence....I did read online where cats can have cat flu (yes, it exists) and that if they had it when they were little (which Mu did) then they can always carry it and it can flare with, I am hoping that he just got a little stressed and that he will be better really soon...either that or the vet can diagnose it and then give him some medicine for it. I just feel like it is my fault for wanting a cat......

Work still sucks but at least I don't have to stress about that project that got cancelled and I can focus on the other 19 things I am working on...I would be extremely happy to cross some or all of those off the list before Greece!!

Sorry to be Debbie Downer....

Chaos at Work

Remember the 18 slide powerpoint that took my senior a week to do (and me another half a day to add 3 more slides?) Yeah, that presentation just got cancelled..WTF. Apparently two different departments at work didn't talk to each other and now is it a cluster. The worst part is that it is not because of my department that we have to cancel it but it is going to look bad on us...this is the frustrating part of my job. We enforce everyone else's rules but we have no control on when they change the rules and it always looks like it coming from us....very frustrating!

On the plus side, all clients have now responded on the photography side and they were all super sweet about it with the exception of that one client...I am very happy to keep them!

Weird stuff on FB

So, there was this guy on facebook that is from my high school. He sent me a friend request and I accepted it..whatever, it didn't matter to me and I always feel bad not accepting. Well, his status updates started to annoy me...they were always "x is getting drunk", "x is sick and tired of being sick and tired", "x is wasted", blah, blah, blah. I just don't really care to be honest with you. This guy and I were not friends in high school and ran in completely different circles. Well, yesterday I was on FB and he started chatting with me and he was just being weird. I didn't really like it so I got off and then I open FB this morning and he sent me a message saying that he was sorry if he offended me and he would really like to talk to me and gave me his phone number. UGH, I was going to defriend him before the whole chat thing last night but now he will surely notice if I do it. I made a point of writing back and saying that I just got off because I was tired and that I was moving to be with my boyfriend so things have been hectic.....hopefully that will give him the hint. He just seems really unhappy and lonely and I don't like all the negative vibes.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Are you guys superstitious? If so, what about? I bring this up to lighten up my blog today but also because I am curious. Today in the middle of my fiasco, I was on my way upstairs to meet with someone to see what was going on. I saw a penny on the steps and looked down and saw it was on tails so I didn't pick it up. I do that all the time.....see a penny that is on tails and don't pick it up because it is supposed to be bad luck...I always pick up the ones on heads.....what about you guys?

Why not to post that you are having a good day....

You would think that I would have learned last week when my client was mean to me and all that other stuff happened after I posted that I was having a good Monday on FB (updated on my private blog btw), that I shouldn't post that, but I didn't. So, today I posted that I was having a productive day (and I did) but right after that, the shit hit the fan. I am giving a webinar (which is like a seminar but online, hence the nifty name) on Friday and Monday to pretty much our whole country on how to do a certain reconciliation...remember, we learned about those here, that has caused a lot of problems. Well, today at 3 I get an email from a lady who is involved with the financing part that I spoke so highly about (sarcasm) and wanted to change a bunch of stuff. GREAT. The best part was that she said the locations were doing it wrong and made it seem like it was my fault when she was actually the one who had the wrong account numbers. Lucky me, she had forwarded it to high up people. I replied with the info she had given me and tried to confirm which one was right (she sent me two conflicting items). ANYWAY, it sort of caused a huge problem with a spreadsheet that we are about to roll out to our 80 locations so they can track information and that in turn messed with the webinar and cause me a headache to fix (not done). To top it all off, I am a little frustrated with my senior right now (she reports to me). I had her work on the powerpoint presentation for the webinar because she requested to. I also let her work from home in St. Louis (not her home she lives in now) last week because she requested to and I also had told her of my expectation to have all of her recs reviewed by this Friday. So, it took her 5 days to put together an 18 slide presentation and complete 3 reviews. When I told her of all the changes above, she said that she would do them and it would take her a half a day. I said I would do it since she still had 12 rec reviews to complete. Fine. It took me 45 mins. At the end of last week when I saw that her recs were getting behind, I told her I was going to pull her from the webinar project and that I would finish it because the recs were the most important part since the CFO wants to see those this time. She asked me not to pull her because the project meant so much to her, so I didn't. Then, today she tells me that she worked from home (I approved it) in NE and only got one and a half recs done. Just to give you an idea, I did 2.5 rec reviews today and fixed the spreadsheet that she said would take her a half a day, plus was able to do other things. My question is, am I being too hard? It seems to me that she just works REALLY slow. I have already had the conversation with her a couple of times about how she needs to let every little detail go because she is missing the big picture and I give her deadlines that are reasonable. I just don't know how to gauge it. The problem is that I know her personality and she is a talker, plus she goes out to lunch every day and doesn't work late as far as I know. She also is not here so it is hard to confirm all of this. I just get frustrated because she can be really good at what she does, but it just seems to take her a really long time to do it all. Any advice on how to handle this?

Still counting down to Greece!! I really need a vacation!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My new business....

Maybe it is the fact that I woke up at 4:30am today (which hopefully I will not have to do again anytime soon and still be functional for the rest of the day). I flew Airtran today and we got in 30 mins early....crazy. It is only an hour and 7 min flight. The do build in about 10 more mins than Delta, but it was still early. I got to Dayton early on Friday too! Probably means I will be stranded soon!

Oh, so my business. I went to Target today to pick up some South Beach diet pizzas, I like them and they are a good quick lunch. Not sure if they count as real pizza but it is still a somewhat healthy lunch. Off track, sorry, so anyway, this is one of those Targets that has the food too and I swear that everywhere I looked they had 100 calorie packs of this, that, and the other. Now, I admit that when they first came out I bought them too and I am sure they are good for kids' lunches by my goodness they are in everything now. ....I even saw them with nuts today! It was the size of the pack they give you on the airplane....So, what I thought I would do, as a service to any friends that are interested, is I would get you some little tupperwares and fill them with 100 calories worth of your favorite treats. When you are done you can just bring them back and I will refill them. Charge? $.25 a time...pretty good deal huh. Seriously though, it annoys me with all the extra packaging and the amount they charge for them..seems very ungreen and I don't think that I will encourage the behavior anymore :-) I bought a regular sized bag of goldfish and plan to count them out till I get to 100 calories' worth...just kidding, sort of.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Craig got me my kitty for v-day! She is so cute and sweet. She doesn't really understand how to let you know that she wants to be pet so she just sticks her head in your hand and just keeps doing that over and over and she goes from one hand to the other even though you are alreay petting is really funny. She also likes to sit at the top of the couch and play with my hair. Here are some pictures of her... She is very active so it is really tough to actually get a clear picture of her.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Moving news...

Yesterday I meant to talk to my boss about when I was going to be in Atlanta and she turned around and asked the VP and it looks like it will be the third week of every month. I think that really only have to be here for 2-3 days but I will probably work the whole week here the months that I have sessions...there is plenty that I can do here. So, you can mark you calendars for that third week if you have any interest in getting together. I will probably stay some weekends when I do the photography thing and then other times I will go back to Dayton for the weekend. It is nice to have the flexibility and to know that I will definitely still be coming back here. I just want to be really careful about not using Atlanta as my comfort zone....and my crutch.

In other news, I think that I am going to get a kitty this weekend. I know that some of you hate cats (Molly) but Craig has a really sweet kitty and I want one too. Here is a picture of the one that we have an appt to go see and meet tomorrow. If she likes us and we like her then we are going to get her and Craig will keep her until I move :-)

Also just another little note, and this remind me of something Rebecca would be way better at writing about..... So, my business license for the city of Atlanta has to be renewed as it does every year. Anyone who does business in the city of Atlanta has to have this license and it is due to be renewed by Feb 15th or there is a $500 penalty. Obviously I put this off until the last minute but when I was filling it out it said that you needed to include the prior year's GA tax return. Ok, which prior year? The renewal says that it is a renewal for 2009 so to me the prior year would be 2008 but I don't have that one done yet (and I can't get it done because I still haven't received something I need from my rental property) so then maybe prior year means 2007? On the renewal you h ave to fill in the amount of gross receipts for the prior year...I was thinking 2008 so I filled that in, but then is that what the mean? Also, it asks for the GA return but nowhere on the GA return does it break out business just takes the AGI number from the federal, which is a lump sum, to put on the GA return so no matter what return I give them, it is not going to break out my business income. So, I reseach online but that is no help so I decide to call the office. Of course I couldn't call yesterday because they close at 5 and I didn't even get back to my desk until 5:15 from meetings, so I called this morning. As I type this, I have been on hold now for 2 hrs and 26 mins. So, the girls in the office and I have a bet going on how long it will take before someone picks up. I wrote them a letter explaining my situation and will just include that I guess. Who has time to be on the phone this long? I just put it on speaker phone and have gone about my business, but still....ridiculous!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mexican and Soccer

SoI have been craving Mexican like it was my job for a week! I emailed Dudley on Monday adn asked if she wanted to get some Mexican after the gym yesterday and she said yes, but then yesterday she cancelled on my for school work...understandable but that didn't give me my fix. I decided that I would just go and get take out. I get there to order and I place my order of two beef tacos and cheese dip. The guy asks me if I just called in an order and I said no. He said "are you sure because we just got an order just like that" hmmm, nope dude, pretty sure I would remember and it is not like there are 100s of things you can get at a Mexican restuarant, I mean, meat, cheese, tortilla, that is about it...just different combinations of those and with some rice and beans. He looked at me like I was lying, so I said " I promise, I live alone and I don't even know the phone number" then I noticed that he kept looking up at the TV all distracted so I looked to see what was game. I asked if it was the World Cup qualifier (I am sure he was suprised I knew that) and he said yes. Apparently that was enough to put my order in. How did I know it was the World Cup qualifier? Well, because it was in Ohio and Craig was at the game with a bunch of his soccer friends. He wanted me to watch the game and "look for him" I think that he was kidding about looking for him cause I always say that when I tell him to watch Georgia games, but it still reminded me of something that Zachary would do :-) He called me when he got home and he had DVRd the game (which I would make fun of but I do that sometimes when I go to UGA games) and he was watching it again (I don't usually do that) while eating dinner...all of a sudden he said "i saw me" I didn't believe him but then he launched into this explanation of how he was in what would be the endzone in football (not sure what they call it in soccer) and when the guy scored the goal he was able to easily pick out some of the girls he was with because of what they had on. I am sure he is going to save it and show it to me this weekend so I will let you know if you can actually see him or not.

Also, just a little tacos and cheese dip came out in about the time I had to type a sentence on my bb, so the next time we are eating Mexican and the food is is not my fault!! And, eating a soggy (by the time I got home from Smyrna) taco and some hardened cheese dip in my living room is just not the same as a patio with friends :-( So, the craving is still around. Carrie had mentioned to me maybe getting the girls together before I leave. I don't have any weekends left but if anyone can go Feb 26th and wants Mexican, I think that it would be the perfect night before my trip to Greece :-)

Taxes Suck

UGH! So, now that I am moving to Ohio I have to switch all my withholdings...and Ohio is one of the most taxed states in the country....federal, state, county, and local...what the heck??? THEN, because I lived here for part of the year I still have to file a GA return and THEN I have to keep track of all the days that I am back in GA so that I can allocate my time between the two states at the end of the year...gross! Add that to the business accounting, 2 rental properties and my condo and it takes me quite a while to figure it all out. UGH! I think that I am definitely going to have to be more organized next year. At least I think that I am getting a refund this year...once I figure it all out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What DOES Chandler do?

Molly and I were talking over email today and she says this to me:

BTW…I’ve always seen your email address and I’ve meant to ask, but never got around to it – what exactly do you DO in your corporate job? I tend to think of it like Chandler’s job on Friends – I know it’s business and probably accounting, but have no idea what’s involved in it!

It cracked me up and so I wrote her a "quick" little summary while I ate my lunch. I figured that some of the rest of you might not know exactly what I do (or care and if you don't, stop reading here), so here is my response to her. I don't know how much everyone knows about accounting but I sort of assumed most of you never took a class...

My job is basically to fix people’s accounting, train them, design and implement standardization, and to review reconciliations for all their balance sheet accounts. Not sure how much you know about accounting and am sure you never took a class, but all the accounts on the balance sheet are much like your checkbook…you have the bank who says you have $100 and you who says you have $400, there are known reasons why the differences occur (maybe you put a deposit in the day before the bank statement and wrote it down in your checkbook that day but it get credited to the bank the next day, maybe someone sent you money (wish this would happen to me) and you didn’t know about it so you didn’t write it down). Each month you should balance your check book. Well, with companies they have the same issues only (other than their cash accounts) there is not a bank involved but reports from different systems. For instance, with our crappy system, the place where we keep all the detail of what our customers owe us and what they have paid doesn’t talk to the system where our accounting is. Things should agree but sometimes if someone forgets to do something on either side or if there is timing like the example above then the amounts don’t match and you have to “balance” them. This should be done every month but some people don’t do it every month so it would be like you being off in your checking account by $1K but the last time your balance agreed to the bank was over a year ago. You have to go back to a year ago and then tie everything the bank has to what you have and see where the differences are. Simple example but you get the point.

There are 85 US locations with 50-60 balance sheet accounts a piece!

It gets further complicated by the fact that we finance cars for dealers (these accounts are 90% of our problem accounts). So, a dealer establishes a line of credit with us at a certain auction..their home auction. Then they can buy a car at one auction and then sell it at another (so money has to go between the two auctions when it sells because it has to go back to the home auction).
They can buy a car from an auction we don’t own and add it to their line (so we have to add it to their line and then send the check to the auction we don’t own)
They can buy it and sell it at the same auction
They can buy it at one auction and sell it outside the auction process to average joe (so we have it on their line and then have to get a check from them)
And about 19 other scenarios that you can think of. In addition to that, they have to manually post all this stuff to the general ledger (where the accounting is, sorry if you knew that)….if ANY of these steps get missed it causes the accounting to be out of whack and it takes FOREVER to find it…you literally have to almost do it car by car…what was added, what was paid off, what was transferred, what was booked to the gl, what wasn’t, if you do it every month then the most detail you have to go through is a month, but if you wait……..I went to New Orleans for an entire week and couldn’t even balance one month! Turns out they had plugged a number the month before…

My group reviews these reconciliations (balancing) that they do once a quarter to look for stuff that seems out of whack. Most items should be like the example I gave above where it was all something that happened in the same month, so if am looking at the December rec and see something on there from February it means they got lazy and are not trying to resolve the problem. Supposedly this was done by all the region people for there region (we have 6) for years and years but really half the regions never even turned in recs so they obviously were not being reviewed. Also, there is a standard way to do this (varies by company) so that they all look the same and odd items stick out…some people have created their own spreadsheets that make no sense and have the logic of a 2 yr old, so another thing we are doing is we revised all the standard recs so that we can have one big push to do it the same way. It will help us and help them when a new controller comes along and we don’t have to figure out it was being done in order to train them….we can just hand them a welcome pack and walk through it.

If they don’t reconcile every month then they will not know whether everything that was supposed to get booked actually did or if stuff got booked that wasn’t supposed to and this could cause our balance sheet to be wrong, which in turn can cause the income statement to be wrong, which could affect lots of things…

For the training part, once we fix a rec we train the people on how to properly do it themselves every month….or if they are doing it ass backwards we teach them how to do it right.

If you made it through all of that then Congrats!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Being a girl...

Since mostly girls read this, I figure I can post about this...and no, it has nothing to do with my period or if a boy is reading, relax.

I just feel a little emotional lately (and not due to above reasons) and I don't know what it is but the last two days I have been bad about that. I mean yesterday I let that client get to me even though I really don't care and knew when I sent the email that some of them would react that way and then today I got mad at my allergy doctor. Then I get annoyed that I get upset and then....well, you see the pattern....

Ok, so I go to the allergy doctor (which I haven't been to in 3 years according to them but I know that is not right). I have asthma and I am really allergic to dust and dogs and some kitties. So, when I started dating Craig, I needed medicine to help with all of that since his dog weighed as much as I do and he had a cat. Since I don't use the medicine every day, it expires or runs out...I mean it has probably legitimately been 2 years since I went there and I had a prescription for a year and it is two years later, I have to go back to him to get a refill before I move. I also wanted to ask him about the fact that I had a huge problem with my asthma back in December when I switched to Yaz....and he didn't even listen to me. He said it might have been xmas popourri or the xmas tree. Um, I don't have any popourri and I have had a xmas tree every year since I was born and the same type of tree, so he says maybe it was the popourri in the stores...I should have told him that Craig and I laid around for 5 days straight so that wasn't it either, but it didn't seem worth, the fact that my asthma has been fine for 12 years with the exception of what I am allergic to and the fact that the only thing I changed was this pill, doesn't lead you to the conclusion that they might be related? Interesing....His advice...just keeping taking the pill (though i had already switched back to my old one because I couldn't breathe for a week). I am not saying that it couldn't have been a coincidence but didn't even entertain the idea...popourri?? I guess I will try the pill one more time (I had asked Erin about it and she had the same advice and I trust her way more anyway) I might as well just pay him to write me a prescription. When I told Craig the story he asked if the doctor was older and said that he probably came from a time when women couldn't talk about what bothered them and they just had to suck it up...that made me laugh...needless to say, I am not going back to him. I will find a nicer doctor in Ohio to give me my meds...too bad I can't just get Erin to do it :-) Craig's cat doesn't really bother me so I am hoping that after I am there for a while I will get used to him (and the cat I want to get) and will not have any need for any medicine other than when I am around other people's pets....when do I grow out of that? Allergies suck!

So, as you see, neither of these incidents was a big deal AT ALL, yet they both got me worked up....

I will just have to keep telling myself...17 days until Greece :-)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mixed Feelings

I have mixed feelings about today. On the work end things seemed to go really well today. I had a meeting this morning with the CFO....I think I wrote about it (guess I could go back and read but I am too lazy). It was the one where I replied no to the staff meeting cause I was going to be out of town and he offered to meet with me one on one...and considering how the second half of the day went, it was probably a good idea that I met with him in case this photography thing doesn't pan out and in case I want to move up in the company. I thought he just did it to be nice but then it got moved a couple times and he stuck with it and today was the day. Last week he also stopped by my office (on his way to someone else's office) and said he wanted to talk to me about a huge project we have been working on. So, today I told him about the project and how I felt the locations were doing. He sort of put me on the spot and asked for the 5 worst locations. I felt bad but then again, him getting involved will help me enforce my stuff! He also decided that he wanted the quarterly report that I issue so that is getting more notice now too. THEN, he went to his weekly staff meeting and brought up (in front of my boss) how I was the only one who responded no to the staff meeting and then set up a meeting with him. He also said he was pleased with what my group was doing and with what he heard from me and said we need some clean up (my job!!). That part was good. I was dumb and posted that I was having a good day on FB and then the photography stuff started to not go so well :-( I had a client be pretty rude to me (on private blog) and then another clien who didn't like her pics (private blog). It was a little deflating :-(

Now I am trying to get together how I will move my photography to is quite a challenge and Craig is no help cause he doesn't know anyone with kids really. Well, one girl so hopefully I will get to do hers.

Here is some of the competition...I need to update my website!! Looking at these sites sort of makes me wonder whether I will be able to even do photography there......

Private Blog

For those that read my private blog (or if you want access, email me or tell me on FB), I posted something over there today that I need help with related to my photog biz....should have known that posting "Melissa has had a good Monday" on FB was not a good idea.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Having a conscience

First, let me say that I had a great weekend. I really have been happier lately than I think that I have been in a long time. Friday I visit with Drena, Adam and Oliver. I got to hold happy baby for a little while :-) He is so cute...and even when he cries he makes this cute little pouty face, love it. Today I went and visited with Erin and the twins. I love those little girls. They are so sweet! Emma is always ready and willing to give me the biggest smile that she can manage. Ella is a tougher customer but I think that it is just because she likes to make me work for it and she likes to be tickled. Her laugh is so adorable! I also had a little boy come today for his one year old pictures that could seriously be a child model. He was beautiful! I will definitely have to share some pictures when I get them ready! He didn't really like to be away from him mom that much so it made my job a little harder but boy was he adorable!!

Also went and saw He's Just Not That Into You. It was a cute movie. I sort of thought that Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Aniston were the main characters, but not really. They were in it but not the main people...weird.

So, the you know, I am moving. I am also coming back about once a month for work and I have about 8 clients that have sessions left. Most of them (with the exception of 2) only have one session left. I just felt like I should write my clients an email and tell them the situation. I let them know that nothing would change other than the the fact that I wouldn't be available every weekend. I also gave them the option of getting a refund for the sessions they haven't used yet because I felt like it was the right thing to do. I figured that if I gave them the option they would be more understand when I start to try and schedule their sessions. I am happy to report that only two of them have responded (most will respond when they get to work tomorrow or after the kiddos are in bed) and they both said they wanted to stay with me and then both wished me luck in Ohio. Once again with the warm fuzzies.

I can honestly say that I haven't had anything work out as perfectly as this move has in a very long time. Craig and I are doing really well because we literally can see an end date in sight and it is not that have no idea how this can open up new opportunities for us. We no longer have to say "one day"....that day will be soon. Being in a long distance relationship is hard and I am really looking forward to getting rid of that. It is also going really well with work and all my family and friends have been super is awesome!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It is cold...

My toes are freezing!! Good thing that I made that blanket a while back so that I can cuddle up with it!

Today I only had one meeting and lunch with Rebecca (which was fun) so the rest of the day I had to actually do work..imagine that!! I still don't really feel like I got that much done because I got stuck on this one location that was supposed to clean up their stuff that I review, but somehow I found the same mistakes this month as I found last quarter...that frustrates me!! Oh well.

I sent in my application today for the rental property and I am going to sign the lease next weekend when I am in Ohio (it is supposed to be in the 50s this weekend so I should make it up there next week). I can't believe how fast time is going and how much it seems like I still need to do.

Tomorrow I am visiting with Drena, Adam, and Oliver (I am going to hold that baby this time..he is always so lazy)!! Saturday my sister is coming in town and we are going to get massages (I gave her a gift certificate for her birthday) and then on Sunday Dudley and I are going to see "he's just not that into you" If any of you want to go, let me know...we are going to Atlantic Station at 2:10, and then hopefully to visit Erin, Dave and the girls (though I know that Dave posted on FB that they were sick the other day so who knows if they are better). Other than that I have a couple sessions and I am going to try to continue the clean out process at home in prep for the move.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It is Wednesday already??

I don't know where this week has flew by! I have a feeling that the next 7.5 weeks will do the same thing. I feel like I write on my blog only when I am upset or mad. I think that it is theraputic for me and because I don't feel like good news is all that interesting but I have been nothing but happy since I found out that my move is going perfectly so....sorry if this isn't interesting but I don't have any cute kids to write about :-)

I have 3 weeks and 2 days until I will be on my way to Greece...I feel like I have been planning this forever! After that I only have 2 weeks until I move...and I will be in New Orleans for one of those.....I can't believe how fast this will all go.

I went to spin class and the personal trainer today...I might not be able to walk tomorrow because even after I told him that I did a spin class, he wanted to do legs today....UGH.

Today one of my 11 meetings this week (yep 11, and some are longer than an hour) was with EY who is doing some process analysis BS for us. I felt like in Office Space when the Bobs come to visit. Lucky for me, I actually am making progress toward what I think that they are researching so that is good. It sort of made me chuckle a little bit.

Of course since I decide to move the weather has been ridiculous in here are a couple things that Craig has said in the last two days:
1. He was complaining about driving home in the snow and how it was a white out and you couldn't really see (which was not what he was complaining about) and he was mad that the people in front of him were driving so slow. At the same time he said "no offense" I said "that will be me next year". I don't know how to drive in real snow and I get distracted by the pieces flying at my face.
2. Yesterday apparently they got 0 snow in Dayton but the exit where the auction I will be working got 10 inches in 2 hours...WTF. So, he sweetly says "I don't know what you would have done". I told him I would just pack an extra set of clothes in my car from October to April just in case.
So, you guys might at least get some funny stories of me stuck in snow next year (though if it is bad I plan to work from home).

So, this is sort of random, I was filling out my rental application for the place in Ohio and it seems to me that they ask for a lot of really personal information like your SS# and your bank account# and mortgage account numbers and stuff. Now, I know that they have to know I make enough to rent but with my ss# and a mortgage loan number or bank acct #, they could get into any of my information....that doesn't seem right. Does anyone rent (I know you do Molly) and does this sound right?

Also, I got some feedback about my tax question and it turns out that I am an idiot and I do deduct the interest and taxes for my condo...yeah, the same way I do now on good old schedule A...doesn't really qualify as a business expense and I am better off this way anyway. Thanks Meghan and Drena for the help!

Other than that, I have spent the night ordering photos for my clients (glad orders are still coming in) and have been trying to get some stuff accomplished for the move.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Finalizing plans...

Today my boss told me that she had talked to the GM and I am all set in Ohio. The GM seems quite funny! They are actually excited to have me there because they want to sort of be a pilot location for some of the changes we are doing and having me there will probably let them be one :-) I also emailed the apartment complex to make sure they still had the apartment I wanted and got an application and contacted my condo to schedule my seems to all be coming together very nicely. My boss mentioned again that she wanted me to be in Atlanta some and I am going to start traveling some more (just in time for my move...but oh well).

I also started to thinking today and even though I am an accountant, I don't typically do taxes unless it is pretty easy stuff. I am wondering if since I will live in OH and only come back here for work whether or not I can somehow expense the cost of my mortgage for the days I am here. If anyone knows someone who does taxes and would be willing to just answer this for me, I would love to know who it is. I can do my own taxes, but I tried looking this up and it wasn't really clear cut!

I am really excited....Craig sent me this link today. It is right across the street from where I am going to is like a mini Chastain. I am excited about it being so close...they haven't released the 2009 season yet but hopefully they will have someone good. Here are the people from last year.

Other than that, I don't really feel great tummy started hurting after my step class...I couldn't ever figure out if I was hungry or really didn't feel good. I kept dinner sort of bland (which stunk cause last night I defrosted some of my mom's homemade spaghetti sauce). Hopefully it will pass soon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy News...

to counteract my yucky news yesterday (which I feel a little better about after talking to my boss today and I will get a lot of meetings related to it out of the way tomorrow). I wish work stuff didn't bug me so much, I am usually good about that but I guess here it is a department that I started so it bugs me...ok, anyway....

My boss already talked to the VP and he was totally cool with my move and she has already typed up the email to the GM and Controller at the location that I will be getting my new desk at and I mentioned her wanting me in Atlanta some (again, in case she forgot) and she said that we would talk about it...she said she talked to the VP about it and they both agreed...YAY! I also sent her an email the other day with the date and she said that should work just fine. It is all coming together and I am getting really excited.... also, I have had a lot of people tell me that they will come and visit, whether they do or not is another story but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy that people care enough to visit me. I feel like I am usually the one who makes an effort to see people so it will be nice to see people make the effort with me :-) I will have to start looking up more fun things to do in Ohio (yes, Molly, it exists).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

disappointing news...

I am not sure if I should post this or not and I am trying not be negative but this upset me and that is what these things are for anyway, right, to make us feel better and to share good and not so good times? Luckily this has to do with work so nothing major....

Tonight I went to a superbowl party with some old work friends. At this party I found out that they just visited the location where my employee used ot be the Controller.... and it was a mess and she basically didn't do what she was supposed to do....on top of that, they didn't send out any updates because they didn't want me to know about what was going on and now they are going to issue a report to everyone about the stuff that was really messed up from when my employee was there. I haven't seen the report and didn't get the exact comments out of the person from audit and I don't know my employees side of the story. I know things were not great before she got there. The thing that worries me is that this reflects on me since I hired her. The thing that frustrates me is that I wasn't really given a choice as to who to hire. I mean if I didn't like her then I could hire no one but if I was going to hire someone it pretty much had to be her. Her boss said she did a good job and still requests her to do some of his locations. She has been going in and fixing why was her own so messed up. I also found out that there were some reservations about her and her abilities which I didn't find out until AFTER I hired her. I am just upset because Audit's management has been acting funny toward me lately and I wasn't sure why and now I think that I know. It just sucks that this reflects poorly on me in their eyes when it really wasn't my fault. They have different interests and goals than my group and I understand that but I feel like now they aren't going to trust my group and my old boss is hard to change his mind. The other thing is that she has done a good job since working for me...or at least as far as I know she has...people have told me that she has helped them and stuff. UGH, it just has me so upset. I actually pretty much left the party after that conversation.... I was going to anyway in a little while because I didn't care so much about the games and people talked too much through the commercials which is my favorite part.....

Hope I didn't bring down anyone's day or night.....

Oh what a night....

Haven't had one of those in quite some time. It started at 6:45 with a dinner with 14 of my closest friends (some of you guys even :)) and ended at about 2:45am with 3 grown men sleeping in the living room of my tiny condo...good times. It was really fun because almost everyone went out at least for a little while. That hasn't happened in forever! We just went to Twisted Taco and hung out and then when part of the group left we went upstairs for some karaoke. Chad and Adam sang "shot through the heart"...I wish I had a camera cause it was awesome. I think that we actually signed up to sing another song but one of our group members sort of got kicked out before we go to sing. I have to admit that I used to LOVE Twisted Taco karaoke but it was a little lame last night simply for the fact that the DJ would play 4 regular songs, one karaoke and then back to 3 more regular songs. I asked him what the deal was and he said that all the singers sucked...DUH, isn't that the whole point of karaoke??? We aren't in Nashville where someone is trying to make their big break. Oh well, the night was fun! I felt bad last night because I only have a giant chair and a couch. I took the cushions off the couch for the third guy to sleep on and I barely had enough blankets. I had exactly 3 and Jimmy took two before Chad got here so I woke up this morning to Chad on my floor using a towel from my bathroom and a robe to keep warm....random. I did turn the heat up before bed so it wouldn't be too bad for them. Oh well, they didn't have a ride home so I guess it was better than the street.

Today I don't really feel hungover but I definitely could use some more grease and I definitely don't feel at the top of my game. I think that the 20 min walk to and from my only session this weekend helped. That little boy was so cute!! I will try to post some pictures on my other blog (I will let you know if I do).