Friday, January 17, 2020

Five on Friday #222

EINS - Random Shit

The day before classes started (so Tuesday), I had a crisis about what I would actually DO with my computer science degree. I mean, full on CRISIS.  What started it was a tempting tech writer position in my LinkedIn inbox (which I never check).  Actually, what started it was this Women in Cybersecurity conference in March, since I signed onto LinkedIn to add that I was a member of the WiCyS group on my profile page, then I saw the message, and then I was like, hrm I should look up computer science jobs.. and then I did and was like, but I can't do any of these jobs.

So that's where we are in life.


I finally purchased my flights for Denver this week.  I won't be pocketing much of that stipend I'm getting for going, which is a bummer.  I'm still hoping I can talk to someone at work about the conference and see if I can get some expenses paid.  Fingers crossed.


Teh German started his new job on Monday and we're still dealing with that situation I've been vague about for a month.  I swear that once it is all worked out I will stop being vague about it.


After waiting (im)patiently all week, Teh German and I received the email we've been waiting for that was the breeze that blew the dark cloud from over our heads.

So here's the situation I've been vague about for the last month.

Teh German landed a new job in December.  When he told the German company he worked for that he was quitting without fulfilling his contractually obligated 60 day termination notice (yes, that's exactly the same reaction everyone else had to that statement too), they set out to make an example of him (per the CHS CEO).  What could have been worked out prior to Christmas stretched halfway into January, causing quite a bit of stress in our lives.

We talked to so.many.people about this situation, from my company's HR/recruitment team to legal professionals from other states to people who logic-ed out the situation the same way I and everyone else did: SC is an at-will employment state and Teh German's contract was for an unspecified length of time, thus making him an at-will employee.

Because Teh German was breaking his employment contract, the company decided to threaten him with "consequences" that they would never specify, despite us point blank asking what said consequences would be.  Threats from "German law is higher precedence than US/SC law" (incorrect) to "owing $50,000 in loss for the company" (wtf?) to "having to pay for an external trainer to come and train someone to move into his position" (wut?) to "having to pay for someone to go to training" (despite 2 someone else's having already been to the training).  There was no straight answer and I was relieved when they finally hired a local lawyer to move forward.  And then we hired a lawyer too because there are few things that freak me out more than when I second-guess myself about things I was extremely confident about... like Teh German being an at-will employee, and anything related to legalities.

Fun fact, in SC, if you've signed any type of employment contract, you are NOT an at-will employee.  This is less of a fun type of fact, considering the situation.  BUT, everything I'd read online said that it was NOT worth it for a company to sue an employee for not fulfilling a termination notice.  THAT fact, I was confident about.  I also pointed out to Teh German that it makes even less sense to hold the quality manager against his will since that person could do considerable damage to the company, if they chose (not that Teh German would ever do this because he's a better person than me).

Despite my confidence, and everyone else's advice of the situation, the lawyer we hired point blank said that Teh German was definitely breaking the contract and was in the wrong, which clarified on that at-will situation that had been a grey area.  Even after hiring the lawyer, the following/this week was stressful.  The attorney had to respond to the letter they send Teh German saying that his notice wasn't accepted, which was delivered on Monday.  Since we're dealing with German time and east coast time, that was another complication.  When we had met with our attorney last week, Teh German explained the situation, offered to give up his remaining vacation days, and offered to train the person that was taking his job on Saturdays.

For the last week and half, we've been in a weird state of trying not to worry that they would actually fulfill their statement of making Teh German an example for other employees trying to quit without fulfilling their contract.  We have been worried about legal things with this situation stretching on for months to years.  Not only would it cost THEM a lot of money, but also us in trying to fight them.  I prayed that it wouldn't be worth it for them.  PRRRAAAYYYED and prayed and prayed and prayed and send up positive vibes and only discussed the situation with limited individuals as to not jinx us (because I'm not superstitious, but I'm a little-stitious, you know).

Our attorney spoke with their attorney and our attorney presented some facts that their attorney was not aware of: 1- Someone else had already completed the training, they just didn't have hands-on experience, 2- Teh German had trained the person replacing him for 3 days prior to his last day, 3- Teh German had offered to NOT take his post-Christmas scheduled vacation to train the person replacing him but he had been told to take his vacation.

When she got back to us, she explained that at most, the German company would want him to pay for training his replacement which was $3000-5000, not chunk change, but an actual number that was manageable, considering the threats that had been floated.  We didn't really agree with this since 2 coworkers had already been through the training, but we were willing to fork over the cash to wash our hands of the situation.

Finally, Thursday (yesterday), we received an email from our attorney that the company had agreed to Teh German's suggestion of giving up his remaining vacation days and coming in for 4 Saturdays to train his replacement.  Even better, they are going to PAY HIM to train this person.  These days will help us recoup the lawyer fees we paid, which is irony at it's finest.

There are not sufficient words to describe my relief.  Actually, I was mildly-relieved when they finally gave a solid number of dollars that we could be liable for.  Getting the news that they agreed to Teh German's suggestion of Saturday training and us not owing money is like a cool breeze on a spring day, blowing the clouds that have been hanging over us since mid-December away.

Teh German refused to celebrate after he got the new job, knowing that there would be complications with the German company.  He barely even let himself be excited or happy about it.  Then add on the frustration of dealing with an organization that is outright bullying you?  It was everything in him to actually show up to work last week when things were at their worst and I do not blame him.

I'm super proud of the fact that he kept showing up and doing his job as he had always done, well past the point that I would have walked out of the building with two birds blazing on each hand while yelling at everyone to suck my dick.  Teh German is well known for his asshole-ish-ness, so for him to hold his head high and not let their bullying provoke any reactions from him is crazy impressive to me.

His new job seems to be providing a challenge that he was looking for and he now works on a team which wasn't the case at the German company.  He has already provided positive impact on ways of doing things that will make processes more simple and save time, thus saving money.  I know there will be struggles eventually, but after emerging from the dreary cloud over us for the last month, I'm going to take this win and run with it.


It's not a secret that Trump is my least favorite president.  Also not a secret is that I'm a huge Elizabeth Warren and/or Andrew Yang fan.  Obviously, no candidate will meet all my various opinions, but I was interested after Ali posted the Washington Post "Which Democrat candidate do you agree with most?" quiz.

If that is difficult to read, I will embarrassingly admit that the candidate that I had the most same views with was Steyer, which is semi-hilarious because the only reason I know of this dude is because 1- he spoke the least at the democratic debate that I watched last year, 2- Teh PT Kid (and Teh PT Husband) HATES this guy because of all his ads on all things media related.


I have only FOUR classes this semester and one of them is research, so it kinda doesn't count, but it does because I will have to do things for it, even if we only meet once a week.  I'm not used to having this light of a load.  Ironically, already this semester I've heard of 2 classes I wish I could take, siiiiigh.

Classes this semester are:
-Databases, my lone computer science class with PITA Professor
-Data science research


It has been incredibly warm in all of the classrooms on campus this week.  It was so warm in our Stats classroom that we opened the windows, but then the HVAC outside kicked on and it was so loud we had to close the windows.  At which point the instructor said, it's too hot in here to learn, so we'll just go over the syllabus and start lectures next Tuesday.

We all looked around at each other like, "Is this really happening?"  It was.  We were finished with class at 0830.  I spent the time until my German class being productive.  I took some Megan Time (aka, I went to the bathroom), stopped by Starbucks for a treat, called and made a VA appointment, had my labs sent from the OB-GYN to the VA clinic, and checked the internets for things.


Meri and Pax cuteness:


A coworker's boyfriend had flowers delivered to her at work, a huge bouquet of lilies.  Guess what I'm allergic to?  Lilies.  Fun.  Soooo, I told my boss that I was going home to telework because I didn't want to make it awkward.  NBD.

I get home and the guy pressure washing the house was blocking the entire driveway, so I parked on the street.  When I got inside, I realized the internet wasn't working.  I reset the router.  I reset the modem then the router.  I flipped individual breakers.  I flipped the breaker for the ENTIRE HOUSE.  I went outside and inspected the cable box on the outside of the house.  I gave up.  I used my phone as a mobile hotspot to check my email and make sure I hadn't missed anything.

Since the pressure washing guy was gone, I decided to move Willow to the garage... and the garage door wouldn't open.  Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.  So I backed Willow into the driveway at least and tried to troubleshoot again.  I finally located the GFCI outlet that was tripped in the garage and reset it.  Nothing.  I unplugged one item and tried to reset it, nothing.  I unplugged the other item and tried to reset it, nothing.  I got the step stool and unplugged the stuff in the ceiling outlet and reset it, nothing.  Then I texted Teh German about the situation, completely out of ideas of how to fix it.  I explained that I was trying to fix it prior to him coming home so he wouldn't have to be frustrated over it, he said I'd done everything he would have done.  I even sent him a snap of me resetting the GFCI outlet.  He said it was NBD and I opted for a nap because I had overwhelmed myself.

When Teh German got home, he went into the garage and did exactly the same thing I did and it fucking worked.  The internet came up, the garage door opened.  Part of me was annoyed, but most of me was just relieved that it was fixed.  I had him show me exactly what he had done and it was exactly what I had done, so I didn't feel bad.  We have no idea why he fixed it, but we were both glad.  Also, fuck home ownership.



The actual temperature was 79°F.  It's January.  Fuck.this.shit.

The most accurate weather meme I've ever seen:

This is accurate, as I currently have flowers that are sprouting from the ground!


Citadel things.

Last first day of the semester!

114 days.

Found this on a whiteboard in one of my classrooms.
It's not wrong.
(It's worth clicking on to actually read it.)


If you are ever in Charleston, you NEED to visit Park Circle Creamery and get the Lemon Crunch flavor.  I know I talked shit about this place a few months ago because I was never able to get service there, but I finally broke down on Wednesday and hiked down.

OMFG.  A FRESHLY MADE waffle cone with lemon ice cream?  Be still my heart.  I could eat that shiz for the rest of my lifeeeeeeee.

ZWEI - Money Shit

-KFC for lunch
-Coworker's going away lunch
-Power bill
-Shave oil
-Flight to Denver for the WiCyS conference
-Textbook rental
-Starbucks treat
-Pill splitter
-Groot planters as a pick-me-up for Teh Bestie
-Dog sustenance

DREI - From My Phone Shit

Cadbury mini eggs are LYFFFEEE

Some of you might call these paper towels, but after Navy bootcamp, these will FOREVER be called "Brownies".

When your dogs are DEMANDING a walk.

Skrimp fried rice.
I linked the print version so you don't have to read her life's story.

For years I avoided these samples at race expos and then I tried it once and now I'm addicted to it for my minimal shaving needs.  I bought 4 bottles since they were a clearance bundle because of messed up labels.  Mmmmkay.

Celebratory beverage for personal victories against bullies and for the coworker's going away.

We all know who the asshole is that refuses to pick up their paper towels off the floor when they miss the trashcan.
Still, she refuses to correct this.

Ordered new Goodr sunglasses because they are cheap and also I might have scratched up the lenses of my newest pair..
Yes, already.  Ugh.  Even though they are cheap, I am now vowing to treat them better.
These are my Ursula gafas through since they have purple tentacles on the arms.

VIER - From the Internet Shit

As someone who fought with opening a damn cereal bag yesterday, I yelled outloud:
If you're not gonna make this fucking bag ziploc, at least make it easy to open, Jesus Christ!

I need to watch this movie.

This the meme that made me need to watch the movie.
Please also know, I am Kat Stratford.  I was in 1999 when this movie came out and still am in 2020.

Cam is 100% my fave.

This has happened more than once this week with Matilda. /shrug

FÜNF - Things that made me happy this week

  1. The last semester of school starting.
  2. German class.  I wasn't able to keep up 100%, but I don't think that was expected, but we talked about the history of the German language and if you're a long time Gentle Reader, you might recall that History of Languages is my JAMMMMM.
  3. New Company hoodie, even if it is too big.
  4. "Cold" weather after over a week of temps in the mid-to-high 70s. FUCK THAT SHIT.  IT IS WINTER DAMMIT.
  5. Going to bed without Teh German.  Like, not really, but I'm insisting on taking care of myself and going to bed at MY bedtime and not waiting for Teh German to finish his scrolling/chores/Teh German Time and turning off the lights and going to sleep.  His loss.
  6. Accomplishing dog walks all week, even at the cost of running, which I cannot seem to talk myself into doing.  IDK why.  I need some serious motivation though.
  7. Birthday celebration plans.  I need to make some calls, buttttttt here's a hint: a rage room.
  8. A surprise donut from Duck Donuts as a treat for bringing a coworker to the airport Thursday afternoon.
  9. Open windows to cool the house down.  
  10. BISON FILET for dinner tonight and celebrating Teh German's new job, FINALLY, since things with the German company are handled, we are allowed to be happy/excited about the new job.

Happy Friday, Gentle Readers.


  1. -Totally get the degree crisis :(
    -Okay that situation sounds SO HARD. Props to Teh German. Seriously.
    -Oddly I got Steyer & Buttigieg on the quiz! And I've literally NEVER HEARD of either of them. Trying to wait to freak out until the pool is whittled down.
    -Between the weather switches, pretty sure our HV/AC is just as confused as I am.
    -Dude, every time there is a problem with something like that I spend forever doing stuff, finally tell someone about it, go to show them...and it immediately works like nothing was ever wrong.
    -We have ant hills and dandelions in our yard. My husband looks at this as a sign of insanity.
    -When I was sick, Hubs brought me a Cadbury egg because THOSE ARE AMAZING.
    -Someone texted me at 9:00 last night, and I responded at 7:45 this morning when I got to work :)

  2. I'm so glad that everything got sorted out with Teh German! That sounds like an absolute nightmare!
    I got 15 for both Bloomberg & Patrick and then 14 for Biden & Steyer.


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