A Whole New World

Well, I’ve officially made in one week in LHM.  It’s both different and yet exactly the same.

Differences first:

1. It’s sooooo sloooowwwww.  I was used to getting 20-ish claims in 2 days (usually 15-16 on Saturday and the rest on Sunday).  At LHM, we’re expected to take 5 on our busiest days, Monday and Friday, and 4 the other 3 days of the week.  If it’s realllly busy, we might have to take 6 or 7 on Monday.  In other works, less than half of what I was used to doing on a  Saturday.  I suppose if you get a bunch of complicated claims it could occupy your whole day, but this week I had many, many hours of downtime.  How anyone can get behind is beyond me.

2. In my old cubicle I was constantly running into upper management. They’re nowhere to be found in LHM.  Can’t decide if that’s a good or bad thing.

3.  I’m no longer on the very bottom rung of the ladder!  I asked to take the 3rd of 3 training classes all employees are required to take and was given permission immediately.  Contrast this to the fact that this class had been post-poned indefinitely since January while I was on the weekend unit, and we were actually told ‘no’ point-blank when we took the initiative to try to enroll.

Now the similarities:

1. My new manager seems just as ditzy as my old one, but less vindictive, and she basically leaves me alone, which is perfect.

2. They drink the MSI kool-aid too.  Seriously, they should measure performance on something that’s not completely arbitrary.  I also hate the practice of listening and critiquing one or two phone conversations monthly. Once I’m off the phone, I really don’t care what I did or didn’t say.

3.  The job itself is literally the exact same.  In other words, boring.

I do get the feeling that this position is going to be more productive in terms of my outside life, thanks to the hours of downtime.  Here’s what I accomplished Tuesday – Friday (my computer wasn’t set up on Monday, so I spent a good portion of that day shuttling between buildings and doing some extra training with my replacement):

1.  Four mini-practice quizzes and two full-length 85 question practice exams for the ARM 54 (which I took yesterday and passed!  Two more courses and I’ll have my ARM designation!).  The quizzes took 15-20 minutes and the full exams took almost an hour each….

2. First drafts of my three MBA entrance essays.

3. Two online AAA training courses.

4.  Reading a 40 page chapter of ARM 55.

5.  A lot of staring into space while clicking around and attempting to look busy.

Not sure what I’m going to do when I finish my ARM in October…..a lot more staring I suppose 🙂

I <3 iMovie

If you’ve ever tried the Insanity workout, you know the name is quite appropriate.  I stumbled upon it a few days ago while looking for something to change up my routine.  Not that I dislike my current workouts, but I wanted to push it to the next level.  I’m very picky about my workouts.  I have no problem pushing it to the limit, but I want to have fun while I’m doing it (or at least not be cursing and counting down the milliseconds until it’s over).  Which means I hate drills.  There’s nothing less fun imo than doing the same drills over and over again for the better part of an hour. Which, unfortunately, is what Insanity is.  I stopped 2/3 of the way through the 1st of 10 or 11 distinct workouts.  I’d just done the “warm up” and 1st circuit 3 times each and was about to move on to the 2nd circuit.  But I just couldn’t push myself to do it. I was bored, and that’s the kiss of death when it comes to working out.


But even that limited 25-30 minute workout had me sweating and I woke up the next morning knowing that it’d been a damn good session.  Uh oh.  Dilemma.  Do I force myself through a grueling, boring workout in order to feel extra fit the next morning, or do I stick with my tried-and-true routines which don’t give me quite the same morning-after glow anymore? Then again, who said you can’t have the best of both worlds?




I used iMovie to splice the two workouts together. The result is a 63 minute high-intensity cardio workout during which I complete 2 reps of the “warm-up,” all 3 reps of the 1st interval, and 2 reps of the 2nd interval, plus most of the Tae Bo (the stuff I cut out was mainly rest/recovery periods).  I was able to push myself through Insanity because I knew that at the end of each 3 minute interval I was going to get to do some fun, yet still high-intensity, Tae Bo for several minutes before the next interval.  I was literally dripping during and after the workout.  Gross, but that’s how you know it’s awesome 🙂  Thank goodness for technology!

Moving on (sort of)!

Yesterday was the last weekend day I’ll ever have to work at AAA!  Yay!  During my lunch break I finished moving my stuff to my new desk (which still doesn’t have a computer….but hopefully that’ll be fixed by tomorrow morning).  On the one hand, I’m incredibly excited to get off the weekend team and away from all the bs that comes with it.  On the other, I’m going to miss most of my coworkers.  And I’m going to be doing the same exact job, which I am now incredibly bored with.  But at least I’ll have normal hours, and that’s certainly something to celebrate 🙂

All in how you look at it

Even though things are looking up at AAA in terms of my schedule, I’m still really restless to get out.  For my first year of employment, I gave my all for AAA.  I went above and beyond – taking on the workloads of other people with no (outward) complaints, coming in early, etc.  I was really happy to work there and planned on probably staying for 2-3 years before even thinking about grad school.  But then the catastrophe hit and all that good will disappeared.  It’s not about the long hours or extra work, it’s about how we were treated.  Like we were ingrates if we didn’t relish the chance to work 60-70+ hour weeks.  Like we should have been throwing ourselves at their feet in gratitude for the opportunity.  And heaven forbid we say anything that wasn’t to the tone of “I love AAA” or ask for clarification of any kind.  Shelley was a big part of that, but I know upper management was involved as well, which is one major reason why switching managers is not going to bring that good will back.

Hanging out with Brian every day certainly hasn’t been helping – he got even more screwed over than me and is actively interviewing for other positions.  He tells me I should do the same.  Whenever I bring up my extended vacation, he states that if an employer really wants me, they’ll work with that.  Maybe he’s right, but something inside is telling me that the timing’s not right. I need to wait until I get back from Japan.  I’m leaving in just under 3 months, and, really, what’s 3 months? (Maybe if I keep repeating that, I’ll eventually start to believe it….)

Anyway, to keep my sanity I decided to splurge on a $2 white board and make a list of all the important things happening to me between now and my return from Japan.  Suddenly, 3 months doesn’t seem like long at all, because I’ve got a whole lot to do!  Those “ARM” exams are for the Associate in Risk Management designation that I’m currently self-studying (and being reimbursed by AAA) for.  I don’t know if it’ll help me get a job in the risk management field, but it’ll at least look good on a resume.  And it keeps me busy. I hadn’t really sat down and planned out how long it’d take me to do each course, so I was hoping to be finished by around mid-December, so imagine how excited I am to know I can be done before November!  That means I can start looking for another job as soon as I get back rather than putting it off a month while I finish up.  Now here’s hoping it doesn’t take me months and months to find one….

PS:  Can’t resist a shout-out to the US Girls Gymnastics Team and the All-Around Gold Medalist Gabby D! Gymnastics is pretty much the only sport I follow in the summer Olympics, and it’s only that much better when an American takes home top prize 🙂