#31AmazingDays : Week 3 Roundup
Well, this week was busy, all right. It was so busy, in fact, that I got behind on my daily Twitter posts twice and had to play catch-up. There were plenty of amazing things that happened, though, and I’m happy to share them all here.
Day 16 was EPIC. I went to a special Toastmasters meeting where lunch was served in honor of Bosses’ Day, and then I went to church to participate in formal training to be a chalice-bearer, for the first time. I get the privilege of doing it this coming Sunday, October 28. I’m a little nervous, but I think I can do it. Just like in marching band, the most important thing is to maintain your composure and your professional demeanor, so that you always look like you know exactly what you’re doing.
It was the next part of the day that was truly awesome, though. I went to visit Edwina Nolan (a deacon at our church; name has been changed because she’s fairly well-known in town) to help do tech support for her iPad. She has a Mac desktop in her house, but it’s school district property and she’s retiring this year, so they’re going to take it away at the end of December, so she needed me to help her figure out how to transfer all her documents and contacts onto the iPad she’d just bought to replace it. I had never even had the opportunity to play with an iPad before, but I was familiar with the basic principles on which all Apple software operates, because I used to use that same kind of Mac desktop at a computer lab at UCSB, and because I have iTunes on my PC and used to have an iPod nano. Using a combination of that background knowledge, my general background knowledge of personal computer technology, reading the manual, reading the “For Dummies” book Edwina had, and some Google-Fu, I figured out how to get her e-mail contacts onto the iPad, and how to transfer documents. She said the people at the Apple Store had told her that her email contacts would show up automatically on the iPad, and didn’t understand why they weren’t; I figured out that it was because she had been using a third-party email client, not the native one that comes with the Mac OS. I had to export the contacts from that client (Microsoft Entourage) as a text file, then import them into the native Mac Address Book, then check all the settings in iTunes, then press Sync. She was delighted when her contacts showed up on the iPad. I also found the way to transfer documents using iTunes. It’s a very tedious, multi-step process in iTunes, but I carefully documented it all for Edwina, and we got some of her documents onto the iPad. She was extremely grateful for all my help, and took me out to a really nice dinner at a local restaurant called Crave. I said I would like to come back sometime before the end of December to get iCloud working for her, and she said that would be fine. I’m really proud of the tech work I did last Tuesday. I solved the problems, accomplished the user’s most important goals, and learned some things myself.
Day 17 was fairly stressful for me at work, although it was productive. In the evening, I finally got all the stress that comes with my new job off my chest by talking to Ernesto after our Via Media class. He was very loving and supportive. It really is such a blessing to have someone here who supports me.
On Day 18, things went much better at work, but the best part was when I got home. During this past week, my apartment complex had had Cox Communications technicians come out to upgrade all the cable wiring in all the apartments, so that there would be functioning cable outlets in all the bedrooms, not just in the living room. On the evening of the 18th, after EfM, I came home to discover that not only were there shiny new cable jacks in both of the bedrooms, but the cable guys had also rewired my living room so that there was a functional cable jack on the right-hand side of the sliding door to the patio – the side where I had decided to put my TV. When I had first moved into the apartment, the only functional cable jack in the room had been on the left side of the sliding door, forcing the tech who installed my table to drape a long length of black coaxial cable over the bracket that holds up the blinds on the sliding door. Evidently, the cable guys who had come to do the upgrade had decided to fix that and put a cable jack on the same side of the room as the TV, so the room wouldn’t have to have the cable above the door. The former cable jack on the left side of the room is now covered up with a plain, plastic socket cover. They didn’t have to do that, but they did, which really made me smile.
On Day 19, I received a compliment from a coworker on how helpful I was with troubleshooting. In the room where I work, there are several different teams that troubleshoot various kinds of problems, and we often have to work together to isolate and classify a particular problem. On Friday, I helped out one of the software application support teams twice, and was thanked for all my help.
After work, I went to the annual Trivia Night and Basket Raffle at my church. The questions were about pop culture, history, advertising slogans, and sports. It was the sports and history questions that really got us. Even though I was on a team with Ernesto, Susan, their friend Verlyn, and a couple of other people who I didn’t know, we didn’t win any prizes for trivia. However, I did win two of the baskets that were raffled off. One of them was filled with tea, shortbread cookies, a cute throw blanket, and a selection of books. The other contained two hand-knitted pot holders, a bag of sugar, a bag of chocolate chips, a whole bunch of baking spices, and a plastic container of homemade chocolate chips. This was the basket I had really wanted, so I was really excited to win it. Before Friday, I hadn’t had any spices in the house at all except for salt and pepper shakers, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, and the ones Ernesto gave me as a housewarming present. Now, I have all the spices I need for my holiday baking.
Day 20 was a quiet, pleasant Saturday at work. I got caught up on email, got some required online training done, and learned more about how to do my job and what is expected of me. Then I came home and did some voice-acting work, including finally making a new set of sample recordings to give out to prospective clients on Fiverr. My old sample recordings no longer reflect my product accurately, because they were recorded in completely different rooms with completely different acoustics than my current office. Now, I have sample recordings that I can distribute with pride and confidence.
Day 21 was awesome. I started my day by going to what was, sadly, the last farmer’s market of the year. There won’t be any more until April or May of next year. I bought most of the ingredients I needed for the chili I plan on making tomorrow morning. Then I went to church, where I learned that we are putting on Trunk or Treat event for Halloween. (For those who don’t know: We’re all driving to church, parking in the parking lot as a group, and distributing candy to kids out of our car trunks.) I was excited about this, and since it was a beautiful, sunny day and I had tons of energy, I decided to go out and get ready. I decided that if I was going to buy Halloween candy and costumes, I was going to support locally-owned, independent businesses when I did, so I went to Mangelsen’s for candy, pumpkin-carving tools, a decorative garland for my door, and a candy bowl, then bought a pumpkin from a farmer’s stand in their parking lot, then went to a local Goodwill store, and then to Fairytail Costumes, where I found a good vest, sash, and pants to improve on my pirate costume from Talk Like a Pirate Day. Then I sat at Starbucks and did some reading for EfM, and then I went to the grocery store, where I got regular groceries, the rest of the stuff for my chili, and a second pumpkin (one will go on my balcony, the other outside my door). That was a really fun day.
Today, Day 22, has been pretty low-key so far. When I got home last night and looked at my receipt from the Goodwill store, I realized that I had bought two shirts, but they had only rung up one of them. So I went back to the store and explained what had happened, and that I wanted to pay for the second shirt. At first the cashier said I didn’t have to worry about it, but I said something like, “Are you sure?”, and she agreed to accept the $3.85 for the second shirt, but also give me a $5 Goodwill gift certificate. Wow! I wasn’t expecting a reward like that.
Next week’s update will not be the last. I will continue to write weekly updates about what’s going on in my life on this blog, although I will stop counting the days, like I have been.