Wednesday, February 21, 2007

More About Money

Well, it looks like the accidental bonus incident will be resolved peacefully. At least I'm hopeful. The HR people didn't seem terribly alarmed. So we'll see. For now the money is still sitting in my account.

My financial advisor has been trying to contact me, though between bad timing and lack of effort we still haven't connected. In an attempt to guess what he might be calling about I checked my investments. One stock that dropped about 50% after we got into it has collapsed even further. The collapse has not been quick, either.

This advisor has not been particularly great at communication. The last time I spoke to him he promised he'd call me soon to get together and review our plan. That was eleven months ago. I like the guy and all, but I think I could do better myself. It may be time to part company.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Might Have Known

It was specifically called a retention bonus, so as best I can figure I just need to keep working here and keep! Well okay, then!

Evidently that's not true. I need to keep working there and keep brother! He's the one who signed a contract to stay with the company, but they got confused and gave me his money.

Interesting in hindsight that, in spite of having worked with the HR department for over a year, this being an outright error never occurred to me. I was much more willing to believe coporate cluelessness was cause.

Well, since I'm obviously a believer in corporate cluelessness, I'm having a hard time believing this is going to go well for me. Perhaps its time to polish up the resume again.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gee, Thanks!

My company has given me a fairly impressive retention bonus. Can I just take the money and move on? No, of course not! I must overanalyze!

From what I can tell, this is NOT a general bonus. I've yet to talk to anyone else who's received it. My boss had no idea what I was talking about. I didn't know I was getting it until last week, and I didn't know how much until I got it.

Armed with that little bit of information I can't help but wonder what my company is hoping to accomplish. If it's not a general bonus across the board to everyone that's still with the company then it's not intended to be a "Hey, we made it! Hooray for us!" morale raiser. It's to specific people. But no one took me aside a year ago and told me "Hey, stick with us through the coming changes and there'll be something extra in it for you", so it can't have been an incentive to minimize turnover or retain targeted people.

So someone just dumped a sizable reward in my lap, but danged if I can figure out what I did to deserve it, or why others didn't. So how am I suppose to know what behavior they want continued? It was specifically called a retention bonus, so as best I can figure I just need to keep working here and keep! Well okay, then!

Not to say I'm not very pleased and grateful. I am. It's just...well, I'm an analyst. It's what I do.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

You Vomitous Mass

Tomato soup and stomach flu makes for interesting carpet stains. Let's just say our upstairs hallways looks like a crime scene.

I'm dubbing this the "Oh Yeah?!" Flu. You spend a day or two with it, then you think you're feeling better. To which it promptly responds "Oh yeah?!" and slaps you down again. Emma and I are on our second round, Walter's on his third round, at least, and Richard...well, he may have had one round. It's hard to know with him.

So far the only lucky one is Terhi. I'm not sure how she's managed to avoid this stuff, but I hope she continues to avoid it. If she goes down the whole place collapses.

On the up-side, I was able to finish a book I've been reading in fits and starts for about six months. "1776" by David McCullough is a good book if you're into history. It's only problem is that it's mis-titled. It should be titled "1775-1783"--not because the book covers that entire period, but because I wish it did. McCullough is a thorough historian who really gets into the personalities of the key characters. The only fault I can really find with the book is the lack of good maps. I'm a map/visual type of person, and while there were maps, I think they were period maps, and they were very hard to read.

I appreciate the way McCullough doesn't try to make up your mind for you. He presents facts and opinions, but leaves it up to you. He points out several events during that year that were considered "divine providence" at the time, but doesn't seem to take a stand either way himself. The book is certainly about George Washington, and there you can tell what McCullough believes, but he doesn't gloss over his bad points and mistakes, either. In fact, "1776" seems to be [i]about[/i] Washington's mistakes.

At any rate, I find myself wanting to know what happened next. I mean of course I know, but not really. A lot happened between the battles of Trenton and Yorktown. I'd like to fill in my knowledge a little. If anyone knows of a good book or two, feel free to let me know.

In the meanwhile, I'm listening to "Sea of Glory," by Nathaniel Philbrick, about the United States Exploration Expedition of 1836, which is fascinating so far. I was also given as a birthday present the book "Flags of our Fathers," by James Bradley, which traces the lives of the six soldiers in the famous picture of raising the flag on Iwo Jima (recently made into a film by Clint Eastwood). It looks like it will be quite good, too.

So I've got my work cut out for me for awhile.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Well, We're Still Here

A good pity-party, some more sleep, and a few good, long talks later, and the world is looking better. Thanks to a good friend who provided a sufficiently non-judgemental ear at the right time, I think we're back on track. And I watched "Groundhog Day" over the weekend. That is still very much a fun film.

The weather is flirting with Spring. I know it's just setting us up.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Groundhog Day!

It's Groundhog Day...again...

I have no idea what the groundhog did or didn't see, but I know I would very much like to go back to bed for six more weeks. If I had to find a name to put on what I'm feeling right now I'd say it's Depression.

And the movie Groundhog Day sums it up perfectly: "What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?"

That about sums it up for me.