A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Should I Jump?

I feel like talking today...but first things first.  I've got some more food pics:

I went to Publix and picked up some more produce since the only fruit I found at the Farmer's Market were some peaches.  Terrible peaches, by the way.  Hard as a ROCK.

red grapes
Fuji apples

No idea what a pluot is but it looked like a plum so I bought it.

I tried a peach first, that I got at the Farmer's Market:

I peeled it and took a few little bites out of it....hard as a rock.  Terrible.  And I have 6 more of these in my fruit bowl now....

Since that didn't work, I tried a pluot:

Eh.  Nothing exciting.  Same texture as a plum, but very little taste.  Not sweet, not sour...just....there.  lol

One of Dwayne's buddies came over last night and brought some shrimp with him to steam. 

Here's Mark

He steamed the shrimp using water, beer, chopped onion, Old Bay seasoning and cajun seasoning. 


That was for starters.
I made some mac and cheese for the guys and roasted some corn on the cob in the oven.
Dwayne grilled some boneless skinless chicken thighs and my veggie kabobs with mushrooms, onion, bell pepper and tomatoes.

This was my dinner plate.  I shared with Scarlette of course because Momma always shares with the baby.

I went to the Greenway in Roswell yesterday and actually walked 5 MILES w/o dying!!!  I felt like dying....my butt, legs, feet, ankles, toes (I have blisters now)...all hurt like hell.  But I got it done.  And each week it increases.  Next Sat I'm suppoed to hit the Greenway again...this time with my friend Kim...and we're doing 6 miles.  Lord, help us.

Ok.  Let's get to the serious stuff.  I shared in a post a few days ago that, while thankful that I have a job and know that ANYTHING is better than unemployment.....I am absolutely miserable there.  I held back on the details on why I'm miserable because I think my supervisor Billie still reads my blog sometimes.

Well, I'm over it.  I don't care who's reading.  She and I had several discussions over the course of the day last Friday at work.  We were the only ones there that day, which was quite nice.  She talked to me about her fear that she thinks they're getting ready to fire her.  Well....a better phrase would be "abolish the Ofc Mgr position".  I don't think it's really personal towards her, or anything she did wrong necessarily....but just as a way to cut down costs.  A couple of months ago we moved to a system online, where our parent company in FL can access all of our work.  The way they put it is, if we get into a bad storm season and get overloaded, they can help from FL.  We were working at least 80 hrs/wk at the time, so it all sounded gread.  What they can ALSO do from FL is YOUR JOB.  So that YOU are no longer needed. 

As Ofc Mgr, Billie was responsible for payroll, 401K, deposits, accounts payable, etc.  They took all of it away, little by little.  She now basically has one function left, and that is to assign claims out to our adjusters.  Things aren't looking good for her.  At all. 

So after all this discussion about her possibly getting canned, I felt comfortable enough telling her that I'm trying to get Errand Fairy up and running as fast as I can in case they fire ME, too.  She also knows it's because I'm fed up with that place.

So here's what happened.  A couple of months ago, Randall and I got into a throwdown at the ofc.  He is our QA manager.  I was warned about him from Day One when I started there last June.  Billie and Staci hated him.  Said he would throw you under the bus in a heartbeat.  He BCC's Scott on all of his emails to you if he has a problem with you.  Blind copies the boss every time, so you'll get in trouble.  On the smallest, tiniest thing.  Trying to make something out of nothing and make himself feel superior.  He makes mistake after mistake....throws some kind of excuse at you to smooth it over, and somehow has a SERIOUS God complex.   He thinks he's perfect and all of the ofc staff are morons.  Yet, he makes 3x the mistakes I do.

He's pretty much unbearable, however, I have put up with him for over a year now...which is saying a lot for me.  I've never been one to handle too much bullshit without opening my mouth.  I do not deal well with liars.  I'm not good at sweeping things under the rug or smoothing things over.  I don't like sneaky little deceptive acts like BCC'ing on emails.  I'd rather you come tell me to my face and let's solve it right there.  Not sneak around and see how much trouble you can get me in, and especially when you KNOW your quality of work is so much worse than mine. 

So one day a couple of months ago Randall pulled one of his B.S. moves and something in me snapped.  Hard.  I went to his ofc, confronted him in a not-so-nice tone/way, and he lost it.  He jumped up from his desk, threw his hands in the air, started yelling at me, and drug me into an ofc with Billie so we could all "talk about it".  A face-to-face screaming match ensued.  I don't have a short fuse....as I said, I put up with his daily crap for over a year....but once I'm at my limit, that's it.  I don't have a short temper....but I do have a very nasty one when I've reached the end of my rope.

Turns out Randall has a temper even nastier than mine.  He wanted me gone...fired...for challenging his authority.  I wanted to put my fist right through his face.  The argument ended with both of us red-faced and shaking and him telling me he was calling Scott to have me fired.  I said, "You go right ahead...knock yourself out".

I went back to my desk and texted Scott to tell him what happened.  He was out of the ofc that day.  I told him Randall wanted me gone so I was leaving.  I was scheduled to work 8a-12p that day.  It was the day before we moved to Roswell.  I also told Scott that he could text me over the wknd and let me know if I still had a job or if I was being replaced w/ someone Randall liked better.

We all had a meeting the following week and it was decided that I still had a job.  Scott thinks I do an excellent job, he said the clients love me and said if he didn't want me there, I would have been gone a long time ago.  He said he knew that Randall was hard to work with but his only concern was that we dont' let things get out of hand again in case a client walks in the door.  He said I should have called him and let him deal with Randall instead. 

Ok fine.  So I still have a job.  Randall and I did the polite office thing and "made up" for the sake of being civil and working together in the ofc, although we both know we can't stand each other.  Billie and Staci never challenged him....they just put up with it.  Randall doesn't like to be challenged when he's treating people like shit.  He just wants them to take it. 

That is SO not me.  Never has been...never will be...and he's damn lucky I made it as many months as I did before I told him where he could stick it.

Now.....that's the back story.  Prior to the blowout with Randall...Scott had nothing but praise for me.  Clients would come in the office, or people from our ofc in FL, and when I'd introduce myself they'd say, "Oh YOU'RE Tammy.....Scott has said so much about you.  He really likes you a LOT.  He calls you his right-hand girl.  Says you take care of him....you're just completely awesome.  It's so good to finally meet you!!"  I can't tell you how many times I've heard that.

Since I took over Staci's position....he has had nothing bad to say to me.  No complains from the clients.  No wrong reports going out.  My work was excellent...blah blah.

AFTER the Randall thing....everything changed.  Completely.  And I don't know why.  I don't know what me and Randall having that fight has to do with my work.  He now has Billie checking my work.  He tells her to check my sent email after I leave for the day to see how many reports I got done and sent out.  He had her go back through my work looking for mistakes.  She had to go all the way back to May to find one mistake.  This is August...she finally found one in May. 


I am under the microscope like you wouldn't believe.  Billie told me I'm being monitored online through our new system from FL. now.  That's why she mentioned the Facebook thing a week or two ago.  I used to sign in to FB every morning when I got to work....we all do.  I'd jump over and check it every couple of hours.  Well what used to be fine for everyone is now a big fat No No for me.  Every little thing I do in the ofc now is being scrutinized.  I'm being asked about something DAILY now....where before the Randall thing, I was left to myself.  Every time someone walks up to my desk, my heart jumps up in my throat because I'm scared they found another mistake from a few months ago or something. 

What's weird is I haven't been written up for anything.  I'm just being watched.  I don't think he wants to fire me because he asked me the other day if I felt like I could take on another function.  ???  Either you want me there or you don't....make up your mind.

Anyhoo...all of this has led to very high stress levels.  I've gotten to where I almost can't stand to go in the ofc because I don't know what's going to happen, or what I'm going to be asked about.  I wake up every Sunday now with a feeling of dread because I know I have to go to work the next morning.  My Sundays are pretty much ruined now.  It causes a lot of stomach pain...makes me wonder if I'm developing an ulcer from all of this.  Monday morning I wake up and cry and have to MAKE myself get out of bed and get ready for work.  Usually by lunchtime at 11:00am I'm making a mad dash for my car so I can cry where nobody can see me.

I am absolutely desperate to get The Errand Fairy up and going.  I want out of that job so bad I can't stand it.  I want to work for myself.  I'm a hard worker and KNOW I can make this work....I know I can be very successful at it.  One little problem is I don't have very much money at all for advertising.  I paid $34 for 2 magnetic car signs that I put on my car when I'm out running errands on the weekend.  I do not put them on my car when I go to work though...that feels too risky.  As much as I want out of that hell hole, I can't financially afford to be fired just yet.

I also bought a ballcap and a tote bag with the Errand Fairy logo on it that I use on the weekends.  A few days ago I paid $95 to take a business card size ad out in a free local paper that comes in my mailbox once a month.  They claim to reach 250,000 readers.  The paper with my ad in it will come out Sept. 1st.  It's out for a month, so I figured $25/wk was a doable investment to see if it gets me any calls.  So far, no calls from the magnetic signs, but I'm not getting much exposure by only using them on the weekends.  

While I was at the Farmer's Market yesterday, I handed a few of my cards to one of the vendors that I bought a tote bag from.  I told them about my business and we had a nice little chat.  Most of the vendors there are farmers though, lol...hello!!  Farmer's Market!!  I don't think they'd have much use for an errand fairy.

I talked to my cousin Brian about any advertising ideas he might have, and he said he would create a Facebook page for me...specifically for The Erand Fairy.  I'm not sure how you direct traffic to it though...hopefully he'll help me figure that out after he gets the page up.  He also mentioned Craig's List....which means a new ad would have to be uploaded daily, because the ads roll down as each new person posts something.  I'm not sure how effective Craig's List would be for my service, but I'm willing to try anything.

About the title of this post....Should I Jump?  Well, I know a girl who lives in Charleston, SC who has an errand service.  She's the one I got the idea from to create my own.  She's given me all kinds of tips and stuff on how to work the business once I get it going.  She knows I have a full-time job doing the insurance adjusting thing and have to advertise the Errand Fairy around that.  She pretty much thinks I should take a leap of faith, quit my job, and throw myself into promoting the Errand Fairy.  She literally thinks if I drive around each day with the signs on my car and pass buisness cards out to every person I see in a day, that the business will take off like a rocket.  She said fear is stopping me and I should get rid of that fear and just jump in and do it.  

She's damn right that fear is stopping me.  Quit my job??  The one that currently pays my bills??  I told her I'd have to make $1800 in my very first month to cover all of my bills.  Her response to that is that she made $1600 her first month, and if she can do it...I can do it.  Oh by the way...she has a 2 year old little girl and is a single mom, and said she only works half a day.  So she's covering her bills only working 4 hours a day, and devotes the other half to her daughter.

I know I could throw myself into it whole-heartedly and go into all kinds of stores and talk to people and hand out cards, and spend 4-5 hours burning gas driving around with the car signs and getting all kinds of exposure each day...but where's the guarantee?  Dwayne would absolutely kill me if I quit my job with no assurance of another income to pay my half of the bills.  In fact, when Randall and I had that fight, he was sure I got myself fired and he was really cold towards me.  Little snide comments and off-handed remarks because he thought I let my temper leave him with all of the bills to pay.  As much as he loves the idea of The Errand Fairy and is supportive of me doing that as a living...he would NOT be on board with me quitting my job to give my full attention to it.

So....what do you think?  Should I jump?  Am I letting fear hold me back?  As it stands now, I'm only available to do Errand Fairy work after 5:30p on a weekday and on the weekends.  If people wants stuff done during the day (while THEY are at work)....I'm stuck.  I am completely unavailabe from 7a-5p, which makes it really hard to build up the business well enough to make enough money to quit my job.  I'm feeling rather stuck and very conflicted.  I would really value the opinion of all of you reading.....IF you're still reading.  This is a ridiculously long post!!! 

So tell me....should I continue to do the responsible thing and keep my job....or throw everything I've got into the Errand Fairy?  And while you're at it...any other advertising ideas?

I need your help.  Thanks.  :)


  1. Oh, the Randalls of the world make life so much more difficult than it has to be. What an a$$!

    I'm not much of a risk taker so I'm not sure I would quit the steady job without knowing I'd be able to survive on the income from the new business. Maybe you could look into getting something part time or nights where you could build up the business during the day and still have some security of a steady paycheck.

    Good luck!

  2. I think the errand fairy is a great idea! And there was a manager at my job that made me miserable, thankfully I have a new manager.

  3. Hey girl.

    If you have been on your blog while at work, wouldn't management now know the name of your blog and be able to read your posts?

    I can totally see what your friend is saying about getting the biz going. It will probably always be hard to make a go of it while working FT. I guess my thoughts there are that you somehow need to have the approval of your SO before taking the leap, kwim? [Also, maybe there is some way to put some $ aside. ??]

    I think there would be a corresponding catergory for most of your services on Craigslist, but I also want to mention be careful. Regardless of how/where you got your name out, BE CAREFUL.

    Brainstorming on ways to get visibility and Errand Fairy's name out. Think about your target market and where they are -

    1. PET SITTING & other pet services - Be out and visible w/Scarlette, maybe even get a tiny "sandwich board" (or jacket?) ad she could wear. Go to doggie parks & hand out brochures to other pet owners, or interested parties. You are a pretty friendly, outgoing gal, right? Chat it up with fellow pet owners, ask them to spread the word. :) Perhaps these adverts could highlight what you offer for pets but also state your other services. [don't forget to wear your cap]

    1a. Ask your vet, other vets, big box pet stores, dog groomers, & pet hospitals if you may leave the pet brochure there. This would feature your pet services, but also mention other services. It should also include a link to your website and maybe Facebook. You might consider wearing your cap, taking your tote and your magic wand and dropping off some donuts, homebaked goodies, or something every so often to those that do display your brochures and biz cards.[perhaps when you go to replenish?]

    2. NEW MOMMY NAP TIME - A brochure for this market would highlight the Mommy services first, with a smaller mention of other services. Ideal placement might be a pediatrician's office, hospital newborn/Mother packet, daycare possibly, anything in your area that might pertain to pregnant mums, and children. (perhaps I am misunderstanding this service!)

    3. SENIORS - get permission to put up a poster or brochures at a retirement center, maybe a restaurant seniors like to frequent, bowling alley, barber, hair salons, etc.

    A lot of the things you offer would benefit seniors.

    Community bulletin boards might be beneficial (grocery stores, gyms, restaurants, laundrymats etc.) and places where people are sitting to WAIT and have time to read. [and wish they had hired you and will next time.]

    Possibly advertise in a church newsletter or bulletin, if your church has such a feature.

    Looks like I could go on and on with each of the services you offer, but you get the idea. Promote each facet of Errand Fairy in the corresponding area at least to start out. It also seems like it would be helpful if you could 'break in' with a connection in an upscale neighborhood, or affluent crowd somehow. Seems like they might have a need for your services and would tell their friends. [Do you do Holiday decorating? That might be something they would tell their friends about.]

    I hope I helped in some way, dear! Keep us posted.

  4. Sorry...I'm not a risk taker either. sigh!
    Wish I could be of more help.
    Wishing you all the success in the world when it does happen m/f. (((hugs)))

  5. Is there any way you can work there for two more months, save up a month's worth of expenses, and be ready to go in time for the holiday season?

  6. Here's my suggestion:

    Grab another part time job for the evening. Use it (and your current job) to build up a savings account that you can rely on while you're plugging Errand Fairy.

    Once you have 6 months worth of savings, go for Errand Fairy full time. Chat women up at the grocery store, advertise in mom mags, make presentations at busy law firms (those ppl work 80 hours a week and never have time for errands!) and other businesses.

    That job situation sucks. I'm so sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time there. But jobs are scarce right now. I've been looking for over a year now (granted I'm a new graduate and we're taking the worst of it, but still...). So I would hate to advise you to jump into something without being prepared.

    It's nice to have faith. It's better to have faith and a backup plan.

    Good luck!

  7. What a horrible situation! I've been in a situation like that of your office manager (and chewed out my boss's wife for being so f*cking happy as she had me help her outsource my job) as well as in your position (sooo sick to my stomach every day, nearly passed out a couple of times with the stress of it all). I guess first, would you be able to get unemployment benefits if you quit? If not, I'd suggest -- and we seem to have similar temperaments towards BS -- meeting with this Scott and tell him it seems like they are waiting to drop the axe on you. Tell him if they are, you'd appreciate having the news now rather than later so you you do not miss out on other opportunities that have recently come up but that you have put off because of your loyalty to him. If they have something else in mind, same situation -- you want to stay with the company but the constant monitoring is uncomfortable and interfering with your ability to be a productive employee. In some wild possibility maybe they're documenting how good you are and going to toss out the ass and give his job to you. I think it's better to be up front about it all and hell if they are going to fire you then ask now for 30 days or 60 days or whatever. Use that time to get your business going. Whatever happens, good luck, we're rooting for you!!