Mailing Things is Hard

I do database things at my job, with some tech support, the occasional sale, and bits & pieces of billing thrown in.  Mostly I run reports and do various things with the reports.  It’s a small company (15 people, only 5 of which actually work in the office, others are service techs out int he field or support people who work from home) so work gets spread out among us. It’s not always the best plan, and it’s never the most efficient but it sort of grew into this organically so we go with it.

One of the bits of billing I occasionally pick up is when the main billing person is out, I do the mailing of invoices to our customers who pay by sending in a check.

I am really bad at this job.  Not the computer part.  I can run the report of cash/check customers for that day.  I can check to see who has past due amounts.  I can print the appropriate invoice.  Then it all goes to hell.

The first time I did this job was about 5 months ago.  It was also the first time I had mailed ANYTHING through the post office in about 8-10 years. I’ve sent plenty of packages UPS or Fed Ex but I honestly cannot recall the last time I put an envelope in a mail box prior to this. I think it was something to do with getting Havoc signed up for kindergarten when he was 5.  He’s 15 now.  I don’t own a checkbook anymore & couldn’t tell you the last time I wrote a check.  Cash or debit card are the only ways you can get my money. 

The red flag on the mailbox at our house broke off at some point.  We have no idea when.  Probably in the last 2 years we think.

So I print out the invoices, fold them into the size they need to be for the addresses to show in the window envelopes, stuff them in the envelopes, seal the envelopes and mail them.

Without stamps.

Because I had forgotten stamps were a thing until about 2 hours after I dropped them into the box.

The second and third times I did the mailing I remembered the stamps but I gave myself several fairly deep paper cuts each time while folding the invoices, getting blood on them and on the pre-stamped (so I didn’t forget to do it) envelopes.  Bloody invoices for all!

The fourth time, this happened.

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And I didn’t discover it until I had sealed the pre-stamped (so I didn’t forget to do it) envelopes shut.  Cue cut and tape of stamps onto new envelopes because I ripped open most of them rather than cutting them neatly with a letter opener because I apparently am lacking the skill set to use one properly.

Unfortunately due to the job specifications of  who all actually works in the office, I am the only one with the time to do the invoices when my co-worker is out. So despite 4 massive fails in a row at this job, it is still mine.

Havoc is driving!

He passed his learner’s permit test yesterday.

No picture yet because they mail you the actual license in 7 -10 business days now rather than printing it there and let’s face it, holding up a piece of 8.5×11 paper just doesn’t have the same impact.

He’s had some practice before in the high school parking lot and he’s been driving the tractor since he was about 10 or so, (as soon as he could reach the pedals while keeping his butt in the seat) so I let him drive part of the way home.  I waited until we were off of the 4 lane 65MPH highway and on to the first of the 2 lane roads.  No sense terrifying the kid right off with merging into traffic doing 70MPH+.

He did really well for a first time dealing with other cars on an unmarked road.  He had the normal issues,  like maintaining speed and he took bends in the road a bit sharply and was constantly adjusting the wheel, but these are things that come with practice.  It’s been 34 years since I learned to drive and you forget things that are now ingrained habits, like taking your foot off the gas when you see a bend coming up instead of hitting the brakes, starting an easy slow turn of the wheels as you approach rather than waiting until you’re at it.

DH took him out later on a long loop through our area & noticed the same things.  

Thursday he has an after school activity and I’m going to let him drive home, which means the highway, but we get on it from a stop light and hit a series of them so he’ll have to deal with cars all around him but not at high speeds. And we can turn off of it at a light as well & take the long way home so he won’t have to deal with trying to cross a divided highway at a low visibility turn just yet. 

That’ll be next week.

Mayhem is Mayhem.  Mostly he plays Fortnight and various offline “world conquest” strategy games. We’ve gotten him a work permit to work at my company this summer, like Havoc does.  They’ll work a day or so a week, cleaning & organizing equipment, assembling equipment, inventorying equipment in the tech trucks, washing the tech trucks, etc.  Mayhem wants to take sales & customer service calls.  He’s VERY eager to do so but it’s not really likely.  Mostly we just aren’t busy enough but with summer vacations he might get a chance.  And his still has some issues with his diction.  He can be hard to understand sometimes & really has to remember to speak slowly & enunciate each word. I think it would be good for him to try though so I am hoping we can make it happen a few times for him here & there.

Since I didn’t have a picture of Havoc with his license to share, here is one of him with his prom date.  I took it with my phone.  The quality is not that great.



I seem to be missing mine lately.

Havoc overslept.  Mayhem went off to meet the bus and Havoc dashed about getting ready so we could get in the car and chase the bus down before it left the neighborhood & get him on it without my having to drive 20 minutes in the wrong direction to take him to school.  (school is south, work is north).  Suddenly Mayhem turns up at the door and all I can think is any hope of catching the bus in the neighborhood is shot.  The bus must have been early.

No.  Mayhem starts shouting “Come on Havoc!  The bus is waiting!  She told me to run and get you!”

I have no adjectives for that. “Weird” is all that came to mind.  It was just so outside my expectations in this situation. I’ve never had just one kid miss the bus in 9 years of putting 2 kids on the bus.  Buses have schedules.  Waiting around for one kid to run back up his long driveway to fetch the other kid, who had literally just rolled out of bed as his brother was leaving, was so totally beyond any possibility to me. I was speechless when it happened.  “This county is so weird” is all I could eventually manage.

Of course, this is also the bus I chased down outside the neighborhood.  When she pulled over a bit to let me pass her, which they do as a courtesy at some intersections, I was able to roll down my window and ask if my kids could get on now. She totally let them!! So I was only 10 minutes in the wrong direction instead of 20.

The various after school clubs the boys belong too never seem to have time frames for how long events will take on weekends.  Will they need picked up at 3pm? 5pm? 8pm?  It makes it difficult to make plans for the rest of family because at literally ANY minute we could get a call from the child in question that he’s 20 minutes from the school (they bus them from the school to events on weekends).  If we’re an hour away because last week we didn’t get a call until 6pm and it’s only 2:30, that is a problem.  All I can say is “well, that’s….” and words come to me like irritating & awkward but those don’t really convey what I think about it.



New Year New Start

Sooner or later I am going to fix that image at the top. I tried to update Word Press. It did not take but messed up my existing blog appearance so now I’m all generic until I find the time to sort it.

End of year updates for the family.

Havoc is doing well in 9th grade for the most part. He is in the forensics club. For years I drove by the high school where it often had a sign outside congratulating the forensics club for being state champs & I always thought it was incredibly progressive of our tiny high school to teach that kind of science.

Yeah, it’s not crime forensics. It’s a sort of speech/drama thing.

Mayhem is struggling in 8th grade. This is down almost entirely to turning in homework. I can stand over him and make him do it. I can cut off the internet, take his phone, etc & not let him do anything but breathe until it is complete. But I can’t make him turn it in. I can’t turn it in for him. And I’ve told him, many many times, the only person he’s hurting with this little power play is himself. He’s about to lose both computer & phone for 6 weeks if his report come back with any Ds or Fs on it.

DH is liking his new job. He’s not liking the commute, which went from a 17 minute drive with no stoplights to an hour long one with 22 stoplights. Now he has to drive into “the City”. About half his time is spent out and about, fixing things, setting up things, monitoring things, etc. And half in the office. This is more out of office time but no tower climbing & little actual outdoor time. He’s finding time for his hobbies. Playing with electronics, welding, building things.

Me, my new old job is going well. The thing I really love about this job is it’s adaptability. It’s sort of a choose your own adventure type of a job. Yes, I have to deal with forced customer interaction on the phones, but it’s not constant & in the gaps I can do this or that, pick up responsibility for that thing but not for the that thing. There are a lot of “Special projects” I have my fingers into for bits & pieces of them. I’m “Admin”, which means whatever you want it to mean. I too am finding my way back to hobbies that have been long neglected.

For instance the last time I edited my photos, really edited them, not just adjusted them for Instagram, was sometime toward the end of 2015. I got a new computer a few months back and this past week I reinstalled my Lightroom which is so far out of date they don’t support it anymore (Yeah, like I’m going to pay monthly for it, dream on Lightroom) and imported all my photos since Dec 2015. It’s about 700 pics all told & no doubt 20% of them are crap but every weekend I am doing a month of pics, sometimes 2 months if there aren’t many and I am going to get caught up.

While I would love to say I am going to do a photo a day, that’s a bit more ambitious that I can commit to. I’m going to try but we’ll see how it goes. I’m also getting caught up playing my large stock of match 3 and hidden object games.

I’m back to better meal planning as well.  This is loosely what we are having the next 2 weeks, plus takeout & leftovers.

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