Sunday, August 30, 2015

My Fabulous Four

It's the morning of First Day of School Eve.  A morning I wanted to sleep in.

Well, that didn't happen.

The Bickersons were in full force at 7am in the living room fighting over who was sitting where.  Please note that between the couch, chair and glider there was more than enough seating.

Lying in bed I realized that they all have super hero-like bickering qualities.

My Fabulous Four are:

The Delegator is quick to tell everyone what to do while managing to not do what she is supposed to as she has attempted to delegate it or has to rush off to work, band or softball.

The Manager hides in her room and appears to tell others how to do whatever she thinks they need to do in explicit detail and then disappears.

The Justifier has to preface every poor choice or action by explaining how he was wronged by someone else first.

The Instigator has the uncanny ability to wind up the others with words or actions and then emphatically states that it is not her fault.

Can they become a force for good?  Or are they destined to antagonize each other?

I think I need a logo....

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Can you help? A plea for the Parent's Music Club.

There are so many things that municipal budgets don't cover, and that's why there are so many booster and parents organization that fund raise to cover the difference.

And that's what I'm writing about today.

I volunteer.  A lot.  A friend told me the other day I have not learned to say NO yet.  And despite my denying it, she's actually right.  I'm a sucker for a good cause and I volunteer quite a bit with organizations that my kids are involved in and things I'm passionate about.

Which is the topic of this post.

In addition to the Newington School Supporters (I'm a past chairwoman, past treasurer and current race co-director), and Girl Scouts, and myriad other things, I'm also helping out with the Parents Music Club of the Portsmouth Schools.  My oldest is a member of the Marching Band and I have spent quality time this past week sewing and altering band and color guard uniforms.  Yes, I sew.  I actually enjoy it and sometimes dream of having more time to sew. But I digress.

School booster organizations fund the things that school budgets don't cover.  Like enrichment activities, field trips, artist-in-residence programs and the arts.  The Parent's Music Club organizes and funds music & theater scholarships, help purchase supplies needed for the performing arts in all the Portsmouth Schools - elementary, middle school, & high school.  They help in the background at plays, concerts and assist with travel for the choir, drama and band. They provide food for Band Camp and parent volunteers to assist at any music and theater event.  It takes a small army of volunteers to get 130-some odd kids organized, on buses and on a competition field.

And quite frankly, they need our help.

In this case the Parents Music Club of the Portsmouth Schools has started a Go Fund Me account.  Not for something huge or wonderfully exciting, but something really necessary.  A trailer.

A trailer... what do they need a trailer for?

Because at every competition... whether Marching Band, Percussion Ensemble, Winter Color Guard, or a drama performance; they have equipment to transport.  Something that has been done by volunteers and borrowing equipment and trailers.  But over time, sometimes you can't keep borrowing something.  Or someone can't keep lending it,  or their kids have graduated or ... whatever.  At some point the parents realize that they need something and there is no one to borrow it from.  And in this case it is a trailer to tow behind a vehicle to transport musical, color guard or drama equipment.

And this is why they are looking for your help.

Unlike the schools that have their own fancy schmancy trailers and trucks lettered with their school name, the Parents Music Club is fundraising to buy a trailer to transport equipment that the students use.  This trailer won't haul all of their stuff, but help to get some of their equipment from point A to point B.

Can you help out?  Every small amount builds to something larger.  Like a student learning an instrument learns how to play one note, and then another and soon they are playing a piece from start to finish.  Each small note, or donation, leads up to completing the entire piece.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The tale of 2 orders

Sunday I ordered CPR & First Aid supplies from 2 different companies.  Two because the supplies for my new AED trainer are not carried by the company I normally order from.

Why do I have loyalty to one company?

Because tomorrow, Wednesday, my order from the usual company will arrive.

The status on the website or the second company is "order processed" and I have yet to get a delivery alert to my email.

This is only my second time ordering with this new company.  They even sent me a lovely handwritten note thanking me for my order.  As much as I thought the note was a nice touch, I'd rather receive the stuff I ordered.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sprint is not my friend today

This is what I typed in the 'how was your interaction with us today' box:

I went online to upgrade my phone.  Somehow the phone I was looking at got put in a 'saved cart', that I am unable to access.  It asks for my email, I put in the email on our account (my husband's) and it tells me it is invalid. :(  I had to call - first call went to call center that NO ONE was on the line.  I could hear the background noise of the call center, but no person.  So I hung up and called again for customer service, who transferred me to the call center.  Maybe I'm tired, but I had a hard time understanding him.  Order placed (took forever), and then I ask... how do I access or clear this saved cart?  He transfers me.  I'm on hold with overmodualated music (you really should fix that, it's obnoxious).  So now I'm on hold, typing this and I  look at my phone and realize I've been on the phone for 40 minutes to place an order and wait for customer service.  This is exhausting and frustrating.  I've not had great success with Sprint lately over notifications and account changes.   I only want simple things: being able to access my account, order a phone, and have it work.  Which apparently is just too much to hope for.

Background: 2 months ago my husband and daughter upgraded their phones and our plan. Somehow some other parts of our plan were changed too, we just didn't know.  Sprint said they notified us via text - but sent the texts to my daughter's phone (which she said she never received) instead of my husband's phone - the primary number on our account.  We discovered this 3 weeks ago when we were locked out of online account access.  Multiple phone calls, emails and faxed forms later, our account is squared away. However this was in the middle of our traveling to visit colleges so very much inconvenient.

Meanwhile, my 2 year old phone is not charging well and acting wonky.  So thinking we were all set and good with Sprint, I attempted to upgrade my phone today.  Oh, I am so foolish and trusting....

I was on the phone with sprint for 54 minutes.  Phone ordered after being transferred from one department to another (?).  Turns out even getting to talk to 2 more customer service reps after that, (one who can't figure out how to transfer me...) they can't look at my account either, something about website upgrades and for the past few months they get a blank screen instead of the customers information.  That is so reassuring (picture this said with high sarcasm and eye rolling). *rant over*

I should have waited and gone to the Sprint store on Monday.  Foolish me.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Summer camp!

Despite my best intentions, I've neglected all my blogs.  I can blame part of the reason on summer camp.

I'm working at 2 camps this summer, well.... technically volunteering at one and paid staff at the second.

I should have begun doing this years ago.

Okay, so I've been volunteering at Cub Scout day camp for 3 years.  As a volunteer my Cub Scout attends for a mere $25.  My daughter can attend with me as a tagalong for free.  Yes.... FREE!  2 kids at 1 week of camp with swimming, archery, etc...... for a mere $25.  It's the deal of a lifetime.  I am also outside with them all day.  I really enjoy it.  The past 2 years I have the tagalongs den which means I watch the children of all the parent volunteers.  So I have boys to young to be Cub Scouts and girls.  Our mixed age/mixed gender group always seem to get along really well and the kids are just plain awesome.

This year I took a paying staff position at Girl Scout camp.  Totally different than Cub Scout camp.... and just as fun!  I should have done this years ago.  My Girl Scout attends for half price, I'm getting paid - not a lot - but still it's an income. And I'm having super fun.  I just finished my first week and am finally learning how to use gimp since I am gimp-challenged.

The cool thing about working at camp is that I am outside all day long.  The kids are outside all day long.  No TV, no electronics, just doing amazingly fun things outside.  Friday I cooked our lunch over an open campfire with 5-7 year olds.   Okay, so I am probably cheating a small amount as the camp does have wifi so I can check messages on my phone as needed, but I don't have time to answer them until after dinner.

The challenging thing about working at camp is that I'm super behind on blogging, writing and keeping up with the office side of my businesses.  I'm teaching all day today, but am not offering any courses until camp and a small family vacation are over.  It also means if anyone calls me about courses it's going to take me a while to return their call as I can only do that first thing in the morning or in the evening.

Summer camp.... just as fun for the adults!