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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Let's see...how to put this...

2014 is shaping up to be an ... interesting ... year.  Thanks to the Endless Winter, Apria had her neck fiber chewed off (it's now growing back, thank goodness), one of my hens is getting her front neck feathers picked (first time ever), I have a hen in sick bay with respiratory problems (ditto on the firsts), my budget is so tight you can see its undie lines (not, unfortunately, a first), my job has done a 180.

I was lying in bed doing my Buck Up Mantra:  Onedoorclosesonedooropens.  Rinse.  Repeat.  If that doesn't work, I use the old stand-by:  What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.  I'm not buying either at the moment.  Give me time.  My Pollyanna always kicks in.

After 20 years of service, my co-worker is getting the boot.  The reason?  Management's new policy - TEAM WORK (which, not surprisingly, only is being applied to the support staff) dictates that each secretary covers 5 senior staff.  Never mind that there are/were only two of us here doing soup to nuts.  Since when does One constitute a team, I ask you?  Yes, the entire office (small though it is) is now going to be supported by the team of me.  Our office is an anomaly - a speck, a far-flung outpost of a giant company with tentacles reaching as far as Belgium and South Korea.  It makes absolutely no sense.  Not to mention what a catastrophe it is for my co-worker - she is the main breadwinner, has a daughter graduating from high school and going to college, and has a developmentally challenged child.  It's one thing to be let go because of financial problems (all they do is make money) or pilfering or other bad behavior (she is honest as the day is long).  But this is a low blow.  And it is going to turn my life upside down - different (longer) hours, tons more work.  At the same time, I feel for our HR person; a very sweet, nice woman; who has to deliver the news.

Thank you for listening. 

I have one of my Ameracaunas in sick bay (aka the laundry room), where I have been keeping her quiet and dosing her orally once a day with Tylan 50.  I am hoping I caught whatever she has early enough - there hadn't been any sign of a problem until yesterday morning, as far as I know.  Catching and dosing the loonie tune took most of my precious morning chore time.  She is the hysterical type, which makes getting hold of her and squirting the meds down her gullet an adventure every day.

I am at a loss as to what to do to keep the hens occupied - other than with feather picking.  They have light and heat.  They have fresh stuff to pick through most mornings.  They have the occasional flake of hay to scratch through.  I shovel paths and a playing field.  I guess all we can hope for is an eventual (please make it soon) end to the endless winter.  Since the temperature this morning was in the negative, I take it that the end is NOT in sight.

21 comments:

  1. Oh Susan, I feel for you – AND your co-worker! We're struggling; so many people we know are struggling. Another mantra (from the Bible, a pretty good guide book): This, too, shall pass. (Either it'll pass or we will pass! ha)

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    1. Michelle - I like that mantra - I will add it to the list. I am glad that I still have my job in any form, but I do feel so badly for her.

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  2. i feel so bad for everyone that has animals this winter. i love winter but it is taking a toll on so many. more frigid temps on the way and a big storm headed straight for us.

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    1. Jaz - It does seem like this winter is endless, doesn't it? We are bracing for the next onslaught this weekend and I'm hoping it doesn't snow as much as predicted. Enough already!

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  3. Wow, that's a pretty sucky way to save a buck (the "team" work thing). But I bet they will appreciate you even more and give you a big raise since they are basically saving the salary from giving your co-worker an ungrateful boot. Not.

    As for the livestock winter doldrums (or insanity), how does one lose thier neck fiber? Another barnyard critter pulling it to make a sweater for themselves?

    Sorry for the bummer news. Cyber hugs to you, your critters & your co-worker.

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    1. Carolyn - Not, is right. The sheep apparently got bored and found the bounty of hay bits in Apria's neck hair very tasty. Weirdos. It's helped giving them pine boughs, but even so....Hugs back to you.

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  4. So sorry for you and your co worker. I can't imagine one secretary having to cover 5 people! It definitely sounds like your co worker is getting the short end of the stick to boot. I hope that she finds a new job soon and that they don't swamp you too badly.

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    1. Sarah - Thank you for your good wishes. I think that there are a lot of people trying to find her another position. As we all know, the job market is pretty grim right now.

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  5. Geesh, Sweezie, I don't know what to say. You can't afford to work "longer hours!" Your work days are so long as it is. Even though you profess to have the attention span of a fruit fly (your words, not mine), I know you are very organized and make the most of the hours you have before and after work 5 days a week as it is. You have one heck of an amount of responsibilities on your little homestead that need to be done everyday. How can you work longer days at the office and still keep up with it? (Well, I'm not helping here, am I?)

    And your poor co-worker who was just let go. This is happening to so many people; when will it end?

    I think this is the time of year (at the wind-down end of this very tough winter, to boot) when we (animals included) all start to fall apart. (Maybe that's why spring comes after winter. Picture flowers blooming, birds chirping, sun shining, warmth even.) To give your chickens something to do (other than beat up on each other and give up and develop bronchitis), old timers in these parts say that they used to hang part of a (dead) trapped beaver in the chicken house and the birds would spend their spare time picking at it. Sounds gross, perhaps, but the point is it gave them something to do. We've hung a net bag full of mangels, beets, potatoes in our chicken house. But the chickens are ignoring it. (Where can I get a beaver leg?)

    Sending hugs to you, my friend.

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    1. Mama Pea - Oh, thank you so much for that laugh! It's the first one I've uttered in days. The new hours will, eventually, work themselves into a routine and life will proceed forward. I am happy to have my job, given the lousy job market here and the unlikelihood of finding a job at my age (ahem). I am trying to figure out a place to put a dusting bath - that would give them something to do and keep them all nice and tidy. Or I'll go out and trap a beaver.

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    2. I'm pretty certain any dead animal or animal part would suit the purpose and provide the extra protein. Road kill? Surely you have road kill there, too?

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  6. Good heavens what a tale. I think all of us are suffering from Spring fever or winter doldrums or a horrid combination of the two.

    Company policies are bizarre to me. Things seem to be top heavy with management and the support staff suffers.
    Prayers to you and your co worker. God Bless You both and hen get better wishes too!

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    1. Fiona - Thank you for your prayers. I know my coworker can use them and I'll take them, too!

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  7. I feel for you. I use to work for the state here in Oregon and they did the same thing with me. They got rid of everyone including the office manager and I was in charge of everything. Not an easy task. You seem to be up to it though. Just make sure you especially take time for yourself. As far as the animals are concerned, just a maybe suggestion. Try playing some music for them. Turn on a radio or something. I read someplace that animals like music and it helps calm them.

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    1. Yes that is so true, during calving time in winter I had a beaten up old radio in the barn and had in on a FM classic station. The animals seemed to enjoy it!

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  8. Susan, I'm so sorry that the year is starting off so unsettled. Let's hope that it'll improve soon. I do hope your friend lands on her feet after this unexpected flip.

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  9. Susan,

    Gosh....now a days it doesn't matter how many years you put in with a company. There is no longer any loyalty to employees at all. Now you are left to do the work of several people, and more than likely won't get an increase of salary to compensate doing the work of 5 other employees. All I can say is hold on tight, this is going to be a long ride my friend. I've been in your shoes, it's not fun.

    Spring had better hurry up and move it's butt, were tired of cold, snow, ice, or any weather other than warmth and sun.

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  10. So sorry that you are being forced into a totally unrealistic position of doing the job of 2 people. What is the matter with the people in their management bubbles? Usually they could not tell you what the person in the position they are eliminating even begins to do for their office, They don't ever seek input from the people doing the work that they are about to double & dumo an unrealistic workload on. If course, it doesn't hurt them a bit to let a good loyal employee go & them assume you are so under-worked that you will have no issue working longer hours. Team work in the office has mostly been nothing more than an overused phrase that make manager feel good about throwing around. In reality it is seldom put into action. Who is going to be your support person? I suppose if you said you could not work the additional hours, you would be promptly be shown the door too. What kind of people give a person with so much on their plate a pink slip when they are needed to support the other staff and the company can afford to keep her on? When things like this happened when I worked my 2 mantras were "When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream & shout". When I was overloaded with my work load, I put up a sign in my office to remind myself that "I am only human & can only do what I can on any given day". I don't know what kind of business you work for, but they have made a needless decision that discourages teamwork & lowers staff morale.. They never seem to understand that psychologically these decisions cause poor morale which leads to poor productivity & more sick days taken. If this change is not being blamed on financial problems, then greed is likely the reason. So many companies let people go when the economy went bust, that when they let people go and things improved, they decided that, rather than rehire the people they would rather overwork the employees they had kept and give themselves bonuses with the salary money they were saving. Sorry about the rant, but it makes me crazy to see what a know-nothing can do on a whim with no courtsey shown by discussing it with you or your co-worker, I bet the person that made the decision slept like a baby last night. I am so sorry that this has happened & that you still have a job yourself. Those longer hours will be quite an adjustment with all the animals to care for, Oersonally, I think the management people should go before any line staff get the boot - they are the ones that keep the business going day to day, not the management level and above. The bottom line is you can't get blood out of a stone.

    I hope the sick hen gets better. As Rosan Rosana Dana used to say on SNL "If it ain't one thing, it's another".

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  11. You've got a lot of 'stuff' to deal with right now. Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and are giving yourself a timely 'pity party' that you need, then you'll be back on your feet ready to tackle what may come your way. Good Luck and I hope Spring will come your way soon!

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  12. Who knew chickens were smart enough to get bored!? LOL I was going to suggest putting a hamster in a ball in their coop to keep them on their toes but I'd listen to Mama Pea if I were you :)

    Sorry to hear about the job situation - especially for your coworker. Let's hope that this change in circumstance opens a window for her to a better opportunity.

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  13. What a bummer for your co-worker and for you with the added hours. Like Mama Pea said, as if you don't have enough to do already for Pete's sake! Sorry about the bored chickens and other assorted livestock. I did see where someone took one of those nonbreakable children's princess mirrors and tacked it up at chicken eye level in their henhouse to try and give them something else to do. I hope this nasty weather goes away for you soon!

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