Market Me

I have decided I need to make a business card for myself (kind of like a calling card), so I can hand them out as I meet people. I met an attorney today at the skating show. She happened to work at a firm that I already applied for, so I couldn't use her name - but I did talk to her and thought - boy, wouldn't it be nice if I could just hand her a card.

So, I need your help. I need something catchy for an eye-grabber. So far, I have my name with my title - Jeanie [lastname], PLS. The PLS was a certification I earned by passing a mini-bar for non-attorneys. It means Professional Legal Secretary.

I have thought of something to go with my full name, Donna Jean [lastname] (and there is a long story there about going by my middle name, which my parents always did, and never being able to actually use my middle name in official papers, like social security, and then always trying to explain that I go by my middle name even though there is only space for a middle initial, etc., ad nauseum):

Just call me "Jeanie"
Just call me for typing or transcribing
Just call me for pleadings, briefs, correspondence
Just call me

Too much I think.

So - what I want to do is let everyone know I am a professional typist, excelling in Word, Excel, and Publisher.

Thanks for any ideas.



So, I went to my house, where I don’t live, to wash the weekly laundry, when I broke my microwave. Yep – these things only happens to me.

I used my microwave as a timer for when the wash was done and time to toss the clothes into the dryer. It has a “stand” setting that doesn’t turn on the microwave, just the timer.

So, I got everything ready, set the mock timer, and proceeded to do what I do best – disorganized organizing. There were all those pictures from my vacation on the Oregon coast that needed to be looked at again. And half way through the photos, my pile of books called to me and I had to look at them, too, to decide what I wanted to take with me back to Mechanic Man’s house. Oh, and my laptop beeped at me – I have mail! So, had to read very important stuff about a stranger who called himself my “friend” commenting on my Face Book page. And then I had some Twinkies to eat (the little 100 calorie three packs). You realize, don't you, that Twinkies have no shelf life, or, rather, a “forever” shelf life; and I figure that what’s good for them must be good for me.

And then I noticed that the wash was done. What happened to my timer??? And I smelled burning rubber something. The “stand” button is right next to the “high” button. Good going! Jeanie strikes again! And the microwave was hot, hot, HOT; the light was out, and the time readout was off, and a stack of plastic bread sacks were tucked in beside the microwave, now kind of stuck together in one glob. I unplugged the microwave (mental head slap – pulling the plug was kind of like the cart before the horse sort of thing), moved all flammable or meltable items clear across the room, and then took one long look at my microwave. Oh, good grief! I fried my microwave!!!

I should hire myself out to people who want new appliances because they are, well, just plain tired of their old ones but don't have a good excuse to replace what is already working just fine. For $10, I can drop by and use your appliance, guaranteed to burn it, melt it, bend it, or break it. And you can blame me while you whip out your Visa for that industrial strength, maximum speed, turbo jet what-ever-it-is.

After the clothes were dry, I slunk home – keeping my dead microwave my dirty little secret. One more addle brained thing I have done lately. I decided to just keep that to myself.

And the following week, I went back to do the weekly laundry, eyeballing the dead microwave as I went by, telling myself I really need to buy one of those cheapo timers you see – maybe a ladybug.

I decided, just for grins and giggles, to plug the microwave in – hoping it didn’t explode instantly. And guess what!!!! It had only fainted last week. The light goes on, the clock shows up, and it actually heats water!

I love it when the things I innocently kill revive themselves to work again another day!

Life is good!



Resolution Revision #1

On the advice of a good friend (Beth Terry):

1. Move the boxes off the piano and start playing now! (organizing the boxes can wait)
2. Don't wait to blog. Just write 3 or 4 sentences and put "to be continued" at the bottom of it.
3. Get a transplant! I am visuaizing my healthy body with a perfect match kidney!
4. Get that great job that pays well, validates me, and gives me lots of satisfaction, bliss, and. . . vacations!

"to be continued. . ."


Job Identity

This being jobless is just the pits. I am having such a difficult time dealing with it. I've been without a job before, twice – but nothing like this. Before, I had “just” a job. I was “just” a secretary. I have been a secretary for 40 years. Which is funny, since I majored in Social Work in college. I stopped my education at a Bachelor's, because I got married and had a couple children, never going on to get a Master's – and therefore, never really working as a Social Worker. Settling for “just” a secretary.

Then in 2000, my human resources manager, at the firm I was last working for, found an inner switch in me and turned me on. I was working for an attorney in estate and tax planning. I believed strongly that I had found my niche. I found my calling. Both the HR gal and my main attorney saw the light in me and steadfastly encouraged me to bloom.

With their encouragement, I started the Spokane chapter of NALS, a national association for professional non-attorneys – paralegals, legal secretaries, legal assistants – anyone who worked in the legal field who was not an attorney. I had 30 people show up to the initial charter meeting and eight members joined. At the end of my two years as president (oh, yeah, I was elected president, too), I had 18 members.

I wrote articles for the national website and for our state publication. Topics ranged from having an attitude of professionalism, to ethics as a tool to enhance your attorney and your firm. I organized the state magazine for two years, and received great praise and accolades for my efforts.

It was like a spiritual awakening for me to find that “magic” in my job. It was no longer just a job – but a passion. Gone was the attitude of nine-to-five, quit and run at the 5:00 bell. I was no longer “just” a secretary, but a professional, a highly skilled professional secretary with qualifications that included typing at the speed of sound, grammar acuity like a manual in my head, the ability to read my attorney's mind and anticipate his every need, multi-tasking skills and juggling like a pro, excelling at what I did best with efficiency, accuracy, and talent, all with a high standard of professionalism that shown like a bight star.

I rode on the waves of praise and appreciation from my attorneys, my office administrator, and my human resources manager. I jumped out of bed every morning, joyfully looking forward to my chance to go to work, with a thrill of excitement that I had this great gift of the best job ever!

Then the firm hit a snag in the road when one of their top-producing, multi-million dollar attorneys left, taking with him his multi-million dollar clients. Over the next three years, we closed a branch office, we let several people go, then the firm fired the office administrator and months later, the same with the human resources manager. My two greatest fans. Over the last year, we continued to downsize, and ultimately I felt the blade of the ax across my virtual neck, so to speak, and the dream job ended.

It has been devastating to me to not be able to continue with my job. I have discovered that my job was my identity. It defined me, it showed who I was, it declared my integrity and professionalism. There is a person that lumps on the couch, depressed and unfocused, who looks like me – but it is not me. I am the professional secretary with skills and talents that are bubbling up, overflowing. That person on the couch is a total stranger.

I want “me” back!



Its a Clean Slate!

Wow! Thank God THAT's over. Yeah, thank God 2009 is over. Done. Kaput. Finis. The End. Nada. No more. I can watch 100 more new years come and go and will never, ever miss 2009.

Now on to 2010 and my list of resolutions – none of which includes losing weight.

1.Hopefully get a job on equal footing as my last job, but less hours, with benefits and lots of vacation time.
2.Write more on my blog, and write more that is funny, humorous, touching, beautiful, or poignant.
3.Stay in touch with my friends that aren't co-workers.
4.Continue doing fantastic on dialysis.
5.Maybe get a transplant.
6.Commit several random acts of kindness a week and not tell anyone about them.
7.Walk around the neighborhood every day and make new friends.
8.Take care of all the boxes in this house, make it more MY house, but keep enough of Mechanic Man's Mom to feel her presence and cherish memories of her.
9.Adopt a cat for someone else.
10.Once the house is organized, start playing the piano again.

Happy New Year and may 2010 be a magical year filled with dreams come true, wishes made real, and hopes realized.