Tag Archives: work

Currently. April 16, 2016

This morning, when all weather reports indicate we’ll be snowed-in for the day, I’m poking my head out from under my mountain of work to catch up on the blogs I’ve missed over the past few months. Inspiration for this post comes from the Currently series I recently saw on Iowa Girl Eats.

Time and place: 7:36am, Saturday morning, in bed with a cup of coffee, watching the snow fall through my bedroom window. Since January 11th, I have spent precisely 16 nights in my own bed. Traveling for work is fun and exciting, at first, but it gets old in a hurry. I absolutely cherish mornings like these, when I can relax in my own space.

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Experiencing: the beginnings of hunger pains. I am ready for breakfast (and coffee) the second I open my eyes in the morning. It doesn’t help that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day or that my husband hates when I disturb him before 8am on weekends. I don’t blame him, but when do we get to eat?!

Craving: aside from this breakfast, a vacation. I have been working and traveling what feels like non-stop since mid-January, and I’m finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My to-do list is now simply overwhelming, rather than absolutely paralyzing. My husband says I say this every year, but this has been the worst busy season yet. My firm fired a manager, and another one quit, leaving the rest of us to pick up the slack. Thank the heavens above that I’m getting paid hourly. I know all this work I’m doing is good for our family (we funded my retirement account for the entire year after only 3 months of work), but at some point, enough is enough, ya know?

Awaiting: my first shipment from Trunk Club. After reading a review on one of my favorite blogs, I decided to give Trunk Club a try. At face value, it’s just another personalized shopping service (which seem to be a dime-a-dozen these days), but it’s different in that it’s not a subscription service, i.e. you request clothes (“trunks) only when you want. I also spoke to my stylist directly over the phone, which I liked. I hate shopping in person, but frequently feel overwhelmed and indecisive when shopping online. I was able to preview my trunk before it shipped, and it looks like my stylist made good selections, so I have high hopes.

Reading: Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall. I read Born to Run by the same author last year, and it inspired me to sign up for my first half-marathon. I’m only a few chapters in to Natural Born Heroes, but already I love it. It’s vaguely centered around the heroic Crete resistance forces during World War II, but also ties in other stories of unlikely heroes. It’s inspiring and helps me focus on the big picture.

I leave tomorrow for Pittsburg (weather permitting), followed by two weeks in Washington, D.C, followed by a week in Chicago. I’m not out of the woods yet by any means, but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Absence does make the heart grow fonder. And then it makes the heart grumpy.

When I first started this gig, being an independent contractor for my old accounting firm and commuting from Denver to DC every week, life was great. I was getting paid hourly, plus we were getting credits for all my hotel stays at Marriott, in addition to racking up a lot of credit card points in general. I was gone for a week or two at a time, but when I came home I was always so over-the-moon ecstatic to see my husband that I wanted to spend every waking moment with him and I never got annoyed that he didn’t make the bed.

As our credit card points and hotel credits added up (we’ve already reached Platinum on Marriott for the next year and have earned the equivalent of a free one-week stay at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Paris) and I gorged myself on free Whole Foods and Starbucks, I thought – this is great! I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this!

The Imperial Suite at the Ritz Paris. I’d have to travel for 5 years straight to earn enough hotel points for this baby.

This week, though, I hit a wall. I don’t know if it was the work, the weather, or the sheer fact that I spent a total of 6 nights at home with my husband in the month of March. Whatever it is, it’s made me perpetually grumpy, unable to focus, and has left me seeking happiness in unhealthy ways.

For example, yesterday, on my mother’s Banana Republic credit card (which dangerously also works at Athleta, Old Navy, Gap, and Piperlime), I ordered $400 in bathing suits, coverups, and workout clothes. About half of that will be returned (I always order two sizes in bathing suit bottoms, because I’m forever right in between), and I’ll write my mom a check for the rest (maybe, it depends on how she feels and how closely she looks at the statement that month), but did I need any of those things? Absolutely not. The only purchase I can sort of justify is the bathing suit, because it’s far more modest than most of my other Victoria’s Secret suits from my college days and the closer I get to 30 (wahhh!) the more I feel the need to have something that covers my ass. At $44 for half of a bathing suit, it turns out that modesty is expensive.

After work, I decided I didn’t want to mope around in my hotel room. I would go out and be social and snap out of it! So I took myself down the street to Churchkey, where they have 55 beers on draft and 500 in cans or bottles. My favorite thing about Churchkey is that they have beers by the glass (duh), but they also offer every single draft in a four ounce “taster” pour for just a few bucks, and if you play your cards right (generally by being friendly and showing interest in their beer knowledge), you can get at least one taster for free. Yesterday was hot and muggy, so I stuck with lighter/crisper beers, until one, named “Spaghetti Western” caught my eye. I read the description and saw that it was aged with “cocoa nibs, coffee, and spaghetti in grappa barrels from Piedmont”. Intrigued, I asked the bar tender if it was actually as weird as it sounded. He shrugged, gave me a sideways smile that I took to mean “yes, but I can’t tell you it’s disgusting because I work here”, and let me have a glass for free. It definitely wasn’t my favorite (a little too strong on the coffee), but I drank it because you just don’t waste beer like that.

After drinking 12 ounces of pretty strong beer, I decided I should eat something. Fortunately for me, Churchkey also has a full menu, but out of all of their offerings, I chose to order tater tots. For dinner. With my beer.

I can’t tell you the last time I had something that blatantly unhealthy for dinner.

Which sent me into a spiral of I thought you were going to eat healthier, so why didn’t you order a salad – they had 3 on the menu and they looked great! You’re not in college any more, you can’t just do that to your body. And then I got back to my dingy hotel room, which isn’t dingy at all – it’s actually quite a nice room, large and with lots of windows, but it felt dark (probably because I had all the lights turned off) and all I wanted was for the day to be over so I could try again tomorrow. So I fell asleep at 8:30 pm without calling my husband to tell him goodnight. Because that’s how I deal with my emotions – I fall asleep and hope everything looks better in the morning.

And lo and behold, things are indeed, comparatively, better. The sun is shining. My Starbucks latte is delicious. And, if nothing else, I’m one step closer to going home for the weekend, and if I can make it through April, things should start slowing down and I can be gone two weeks a month instead of four.

I have no idea how to wrap up this post, other than to say that I’m going to yoga and I hope it gives me perspective, or at least makes me feel less guilty about my tater tot dinner last night. Someone tell me I’m not alone in eating and then sleeping off my feelings? Do you travel for work and has the novelty worn off yet? Any tips for maintaining what is, essentially, now a long distance relationship with my husband?

Hashtag: accountant problems

Let’s talk about all the ways I’ve become a worthless human being in the past two weeks.

I work late, get home too tired to even think about reading blog posts, much less write one, hit the snooze button on my alarm clock instead of going to the gym in the morning, drink too much coffee and get so involved in my work that by the time I realize it’s lunch time, it’s actually 3pm and my metabolism has long since crashed. I have purchased lunch instead of bringing it from home five times (and at $7 per lunch, that’s an entire pedicure I wasted because I was too lazy to pack something). And worst of all, I have no one to blame for this but myself.

You see, months ago, I sent an email to a coworker volunteering to help him out if he got too busy during tax season. In my previous job, my focus was mostly income tax, and preparing 1040s is my first love. My current role has me focused on auditing (working in a group setting, checking numbers, writing memos, and dealing with clients who are usually less than thrilled to have their work reviewed), which is fine, except for the fact that it was about to be tax season and I was just itching to get my fingers onto a personal income tax return that I could prepare in the privacy and isolation of my cubicle, where the numbers made sense and there was limited interaction with the outside world.

And yes, I know I fulfill every accountant stereotype out there. (See also, I love to clean.)

Accountant stereotypes
So, when I got an email a few weeks ago asking if I’d like to get involved with an “interesting project” that would be a “great opportunity”, I ignored the language that causes anyone with a shred of experience in the corporate world to flee, and like a naive little lamb to the slaughter, I accepted. Fast-forward to a week later, when this assignment that was supposed to take me 5 – 6 hours has taken me 15 -20, because I’m not preparing 1 return, but 5. That’s right – this guy hasn’t filed an income tax return for FIVE YEARS.

Things I wish I could send to clients...

Things I wish I could send to clients…

Oh, and did I mention that he’s rich, so naturally he and his grandchildren have trusts in place for their financial security. None of those returns have been filed either.

People. A plea from your neighborhood accountant. PLEASE FILE YOUR SHIT. The IRS will probably not find you, but when you do eventually decide you want to file, they will charge you a lot of penalties and interest, which no one wants to pay. Also, your accountant will hate their life while they try to organize multiple years of yours.

(Note that I am not providing any of the above as a tax advisor. I can’t do that, and you should not take advice from someone who considers “file your shit” an acceptable way of communicating.)

I’m not entirely sure where I thought this post was going, or what I wanted to convey, other than the fact that busy season is coming to a close and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will be thrilled to get my evenings and Saturdays back, because I put on some honeymoon weight (that I haven’t quite managed to shed. (Side note – did you know alcohol isn’t calorie-free? I always thought the antioxidants in wine meant it was healthy and therefore would not cause weight-gain. What an unjust world.) and need to get back into regular gym sessions.   This Saturday will be the last one I have to spend at the office for a whole 8 months, and I am stoked!

Hope everyone else is having a great Tuesday (and that you’ve already filed your taxes)!

Grumpy Cat