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Monday, April 30, 2007

The Job

Today at work, I didn't really do anything myself, just kind of followed the girl who is training me around. She is a Project Manager and she is training me to be a Project Manager also, doing the same things as she does.

She has six clients (ie. Wachovia, Chase Banks, Liberty Mutual, etc) who she manages the accounts for. For each of those six clients she has 60-100 open locations at all times. For each of those 60-100 locations for each of those 6 clients she does the following:

1.Gets a call from the Branch Location manager that they want x number of new signs, of approximately this color and size.
2. Calls the landlord and checks to see if this basic idea is okay.
3. Same with Statewide Manager of Wachovia
4. Same with the National Manager of Wachovia
5. Call and find out the regulations for signs from the city.
6. Call and find out regulations for the signs from the state.
6.5 Prepare a price quote for total price.
6.6 Get approval from accounting and supervisor to send quote out.
6.7 Send quote to three levels of client managers.
7. Get approval from her supervisor to make a drawing of each sign (up to 30-40 per site, including all exterior, directional, exit, entrance, interior including name plates, restroom signs, etc)
8. Writes up, for each sign, a memo to the architectural design group what to design...listing the size, paint colors, sign material, raised letters or not, lit or not, how high off the ground, etc.
9. Takes the memo to her supervisor for approval.
10. Takes the memo to architectural design.
11. Waits for them to design first rendering.
12. Take first rendering to her supervisor to approve.
13. Scan renderings into computer, file in client file and email to Site Manager, Landlord, State Manager, National Manager and City Sign representative.
14. Wait for and track down approval from all people.
15. If there is not approval, go through steps 7-14 again, with second drawing, then third, etc.
16. Make 15 copies of the sign renderings (up to 100-200 pages, depending on number of signs) and distribute them to the various areas through the shop (factory) and ask them to inventory what they will need but do not have to complete the design.
17. Wait 2 days.
18. Get (and/or track down) lists from each of the 15 factory departments as to what they will need and make a composit list.
19. Research where to purchase these items, getting no less than three estimates for each item.
20. Get approval from your supervisor to purchase lowest estimate on each item.
21. Same with accounting.
22. Then take the list of where you're going to get it from to each of the 15 factory departments and make sure they are okay with the vendor/item.
23. If everything is approved, fill out a purchase order for each item.
24. Get all purchase orders okayed by the supervisor.
25. Take purchase orders to accounting.
26. Place orders.
27. Sub contract with a local vendor to do an onsite survey of the area, with pictures.
28. When pictures arrive send them to all internal departments as well as all three levels of clients.
29. When items arrive, get notice from Receiving and go physically inventory and quality control item.
30. Take item to department that ordered it.
31. When all items are in, send out work order to 15 factory depts to start production.
32. Wait for products to be completed.
33. Go to shop and physically quality control all items.
33.5 Take photographs of finished signage.
34. Taking total dimensions and amounts of signage, research the best way (cheapest and fastest) to ship each part. A shipment to one location may go partially via Fed Ex, partially UPS and partially DHL.
35. Prepare purchase orders for the shipping.
36. Get approval from supervisor.
37. Get approval from accounting, and leave there.
38. Tell shipping how to package items and how to ship, giving them shipping labels and billage info.
39. Send photos to three clients and landlord.
40. Send email of completion, shipping and with shipping info to three clients.
41. Estimate and schedule local contractor to install signage.
42. Estimate and schedule electrician for install.
43. Schedule permit inspector's inspection.
44. Get local signage installer or location manager to take photographs of installed sign (making sure it is after any landscaping that is showing in final exterior photos and after furniture and artwork is in place for any interior).
45. Make hard copies of the photos for the location file, the client file, the production department and the art department.
46. Prepare final invoice and submit to supervisor for approval.
47. Give to accounting for approval and final invoice.
48. Get final invoice from accounting and mail to client.
49. Wait for 30 days and if they don't pay, hound them.
50. When check comes in, get it from accounting.
51. Make copies for the file, accounting, and scan it in and email it along with the final invoice to the national client and the location client.
52. Prepare check requests for any parts, labor, outsourcing, installing, etc that was done and send to supervisor for approval.
53. Send to accounting for drafting of checks.
54. Get checks from accounting and send out to vendors.
55. File in computer and hard file.
56. Send thank you letter to state, city, landlord, three client managers.
57. Pull paper file and scan whole thing into computer, filing documents in appropriate folders within location folder.
58. Close file in several places on computer.
59. When all checks have cleared, tell accounting to close their file on the location.
60. Take paper file to closed file storage.
61. Call location manager and ask if they are satisfied or if , God forbid, they want anything else.

These 70+ steps are going on constantly with each of the up to 600 location clients. And the Project Manager has to know at what stage each one is at, what needs to be done next and when as well as kick other peoples butts into action when they're holding up the process.

Needless to say I'm tired and have a headache.

She got over 200 emails today and got probably 50 phone calls (inbound only).

We'll see if I ever grasp this and beyond that if I could willingly make myself do this day after day.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday update from Rich

This morning we ran a few errands returning some shoes Stacey bought the night before, and looked at some more clothes in the mall before heading over to the history fair at the beach. Jamestown is having its 400th anniversary so that's why that was going on and it is going on through a few weeks. It wasn't what we were thinking it would be. We were expecting more touristy shops but most of it was just history and information. There was an orchestra there playing music, some people dressed up and fired old muskets, and a ton of people.

Weather wasn't bad today and far better than yesterday. A storm went through and today its hitting farther up north. It didnt affect this area much at all.

Tomorrow after church we'll be getting together with 2 of my friends from my class to play some pool and bowl for my belated b-day party cause they couldn't make it last weekend.

School has been a breeze so far because there is something always coming up so we dont stay long. 3 hrs seems to be the norm so far. Thursday we didn't have class becuase the instructors had a golf tournament and Friday there was a retirement and reenlistment so we didnt do anything that day either. It's been great though, I'm not complaining any :) I have 2 months to enjoy this before actually having to work all day long.

I recieved my journaymans card in the mail and I'm excited about that. It took me just over 4 yrs to finish and they jazzed it up a lil bit with the certificates. Very few people actually get that because of the time it takes and they figure that they'll be getting out after their first hitch. I dont really have much else to report at the moment, so thats all.

New Job

I got a job on Friday and I start on Monday.

I will be working at AGI (Architectural Graphics Incorporated) Signs as a clerical/secretarial/admin person. I have no idea what the job actually entails. I'm sure whatever it is I can manage, and hopefully I'll enjoy it on top of that. AGI manufacturers signs for companies all over the nation. For example, they make all of the signs for all of the Hard Rock Cafes and Hotels, all of the Chase Bank signs, and lots of the signage at the major airports, outside and inside directional type signs. The location I am working at is the national headquarters, and the main manufacturing site. They also coordinate a "full service" option, where they pull permits, do landlord checks, estimate and arrange installs, check zoning requirements, etc. I am guessing this is where I come in, but we'll find out Monday.

I work from 8:00 to 5:30 Monday-Friday with a one hour lunch from 12-1. I am actually working for them through a temp agency. So for right now the temp agency is my employer and pays my salary. That goes until August 3. Then it will be up to AGI if they want to hire me and if so, me if I want to accept it. And then my wage would go up a little, as they wouldn't be giving a cut to the temp agency. I'm hoping they like me (a given, I'm sure :-) and I like them, because the thought of doing this whole interview process again makes me nauseous.

That's all I know for now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tests?!? I swear I was done with school

For the college recruiter position, I have to fill out an assessment test online. There are six parts to this test. The first part made up of 186 questions. Yes, the first PART of six parts. Then you have part two of about 70. THEN... You get this beauty.

4/5 + 3/4 =
598% / 26%=
30 + (.0825 x 30) + (15% x 30) =
-11(3/2)(.12(-12)) =
(1/3)(9)³ =
4(-2)² + 8(-2) + 3(-2) + 6 =
100% of 20 =
8 (6-5) + 10 =
(-17) - (-22) =
16% of 225 =
4/5 x 1 1/6 =
12% of 120 +13% of 560=
5/5 ÷ 1/2 =
.17 x 1.2 =
3.5% of 50 =
-3.06 - 1.25 + 2.07(.0325) – 52.76=
5.6 ÷ 2.0 =
.01 x .3 =
.2 + .3 =
.9(54) – 7/13(-24) + (.0739)4/7 - -18=

Hello...I don't want to be a mad scientist, I just want to type and use a computer, which, may I add...has a calculator which is expressly forbidden during this test. Okay, so I take an hour and a half and get through it and move on to part four. Then you get to five and its 20 questions of "If Bob had twice as much as Mary and Jane had 8 more than Bob and Bob had 3 less than Mary, who had the most" and then 20 "Which number comes next in the sequence "4,8,11,1,6,3,6,9,-1,4,2,2,5,-10,-5..." And for those of you who think I made that up, the sequence is that you take the first number and multiply it by 2, then add 3, then subtract 10, then add 5, then divide it by two and start the whole thing over.

I'm not making this stuff up people, its beyond insane. I don't know that ANY job is worth that, let alone as a college recruiter working for probably $8 an hour. Who knows, we will see after my interview at the temp agency on Thursday morning.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


See what a good job I did hemming Richard's pants? :-) I don't know how the measurement from the bottom up can match each other and the measurement from the top down match each other, and still have the hem's comming out this much different, but oh well. I just did it for one day, his uniform inspection, then he took it in to the professionals and had them do it right.

We lit the cake with huge star candles. It looked like the 4th of July over the battlefield.
This is the cake cut open. You can see how much of the whole thing was really just frosting. Even too much for both of us who LOVE frosting.
I didn't get a job at Rainbow Station. They apparently didn't read my cover letter which directly stated what position I was applying for. And they called a few days after the interview and said that they had already filled all the office positions, to be a lead teacher, you have to have a Bachelor's (which I don't) and I could be a teacher's assistant for a whopping $7.30 an hour. And they were advertising that they paid staff higher than any center around. Nope.
I have been applying and interviewing like crazy. I have three interviews tomorrow and one on Thursday. A daycare, a home health aide for handicapped people, a front desk at a chiropractor's office and then a recruitement officer for a college. All sound like nothing I would be interested in but we're just trying to see what the best pay offer I can get is. So far its $8.60/hr. Wow. I made more than that in high school.
Virginia is wierd, people, never let anyone tell you differently. Virginia does everything the most backward, wrong way possible. Everyone goes out of their way to not do their job and to create havoc in the world around them. Just in case you wondered.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy 25th Birthday Richard

Here are pictures of his "Brill Battle" cake. We are going bowling tonight and I might have more pictures for you later.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"We've" been a little lax on the updates because only one of us is using the computer at most every moment of the day.

I had my interview at Rainbow Station and it went really well I think. I hope I can get a job there its a great philosopy of child care and education and I would love to be a part of it. If you're interested you can see their website at www.RainbowStation.org. The location I would be working at is the Virginia Beach one, it is currently still under construction.

What Richard has been doing... playing non stop computer games.

What I have been doing.... organizing everything from pots and pans to transforming easter candy into art.

Saturday, April 14, 2007




The first week of school is over and I have to say that it is much easier than my CASS schooling was. Partly becuase I get more time off than I did during my CASS training. Something I didnt quite think would be possible. My class schedule is 7 in the morning to 3 in the evening. Supposedly. For the entire first week we covered one lesson and that was it. It has been great in my opinion, having all this extra time to just relax and not have to worry about work yet. I imagine the whole class will be like this but we'll see.

What helps is that the Chief who is in charge of the office happens to be the only RADCOM instructor so it helps to give us a little more time off too. We usually start the class around 8 or even 8:30 depending when Chief shows up, and I'll be home anywhere between 10 and 11. Just from the one lesson we've had it was very easy for me because the basics are similar to CASS. There are only 6 of us in this course and all but 2 have been in the Navy for awhile and have had other jobs. The other two are fresh meat. Its a little funny to see the difference and knowing thats how I was when I first came into the Navy. Things certainly do change after you've been in the real Navy compared to coming from boot camp and A school. Thats the only update I have for now about my class. I'll post more later.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

After the longest interview in history...well, besides Donald Trump's 13 week apprentice.....I now have another job offer that would be rediculous to take. This interview was at 4:00p.m. I got done at 6:45 pm. It was to be the Office Manager/Assistant Director of a "day school". Which is just a wierd way of saying day care. However I would be responsible for answering all phones, greeting all parents, doing all payroll, doing all orders, purchasing, grocery shopping, errands, bookeeping for purchasing and all child tuition payments. I would be responsible for staff timecards, emergency forms, medicines, and planning the menu. All of this without a computer. Yes....a daycare without a computer. Not a single one. How wrong is that. Un-absolutely-believable!!!! Needless to say I'm not going to voluntarily give myself writer's cramp all the way across town through that traffic for $8 an hour. No thanks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Sad Little Car

They towed my car away last Fridayand unbeknownst to us, it was missing from then until yesterday (Tuesday) when I called to inquire about it and no one knew where it was, said it wasn't there, ran around (literally) looking for it, then finally found the keys but said the car wasn't there. Then......................they finally did find it. About 20 calls to the dealership, the local insurance guy (dummy) and the national insurance lady later, we made a trip to the dealership and they are finally scheduling someone to look at the mechanical part of my car and we should know by lunchtime on Wednesday what is wrong. Then it will take the national insurance lady who knows how long to decide if they're going to cover it. Then we have to wait to have the local insurance guy go to the dealership and survey the physical damage and talk to the national insurance lady and decide if they're going to cover that. Then.............at some point, hopefully before May, we can start getting my car fixed so I'm not stuck at home all day, and can go to some interviews. Hoping....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

50 states in 10 minutes

Today I randomly stumbled across a game of naming the 50 states in 10 minutes. It is much more frustrating than it sounds. And it only accepts answers if you spell them correctly.

This caught my interest because recently Richard and I had a conversation about where Washington DC was and if it existed. I mentioned Washington DC and he said "there's two washingtons?" and I said one was the state, out by Oregon and the other is Washington DC and that is not a state. He proceeded to say "I thought that was in Virginia". Nope, sorry honey, you're getting a state puzzle for your birthday. I'm not sure if I can convince him to try this but if so, I will post the score later. You should all go here http://www.ironicsans.com/2007/02/50_states_in_10_minutes.html and try it. Then click below where the word comments is underlined and tell us how you did.

I missed two: Nevada and Vermont

Sunday, April 8, 2007


I made new curtains for the kitchen window. They turned out really good.

And we found perfect curtains for the guest room at the NEX. Richard got them all put up.

These are the curtains for the master bedroom. They have a silky brown underlay and a teal blue organzaoverlay that is pulled back by ties.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The long and short of it

The long is in the pictures. I don't have enough brain to remember or enough time to type the long version in story form. So here is the short.

You can see the pictures of our new apartment at http://www.richardandstaceybrill.shutterfly.com.

Saturday: We picked up the 24' truck and car dolly.

Came home, waited for the hired moving guys and then the hired moving guys 2 guy neighbors and 4 girl neighbors moved all our stuff down into the truck.

Waited 6 hours for the Comcast guy to come.

Loaded the dolly on the truck. Loaded, or tried to, load my car on the dolly. My car doesn't work on the dolly, scraped scratched and gouged my car call up.

Went back to the truck place, taking the dolly. On the way the battery light came on. They gave us a car trailer and called roadside assistance to have the truck alternator replaced. An hour later we were on our way to the apt to get the pickup.

Most of the trip I was enjoying the view of the butt of the Budget truck and the derriere of the Dodge but when we stopped I got the added pleasure of the rump of Richard.

We drove 4 hours and decided to start finding a place to stop. Kept driving and stopping, looking for a place. There was no room at the inn. For 5 more hours. Every exit, every hotel. We finally stopped at 3:30 am Sunday and a lady told us there were no rooms 5 hours south (duh we just came that way), four hours north or three hours west. So we asked if we could sit in her lobby and charge our dead cell phones. We did and then went back to the moving truck and slept in it in a gas station parking lot. Then we woke up and drove to a rest area and slept there in the trucks. Then we had breakfast at Denny's and stayed an extra hour to charge the phones some more.

When we took my car off the trailer, it now makes an awful sound as you put it into drive. We called Budget, made another claim on the insurance, and on Friday someone came to tow it away to find out what is wrong.

We got back on the road and made it to the apartment. We stayed in a hotel overnight though, because we couldn't get the truck in here and didn't want to leave it on its own in some parking lot.

Richard's family was supposed to arrive around 4pm Monday but got caught in a horrible accident and sat still on the interstate for 5 hours. They got here around 11:30. Richard and I unloaded the whole truck minus the furniture before they got here. We did the furniture then.

The next day, Tuesday, we unloaded the stuff they brought from Michigan and started putting that stuff away.

Wednesday we planned to go to the light house and the beach. Turns out we had bad directions and it took us about an hour to get to the lighthouse that was supposed to be 18 minutes away. Then when we got there it was closed. But we looked at it.

Thursday we took a tour of the base at Norfolk and visited the NEX.

Richard's family left early Friday morning. I had my interview at a day care at 10 am and they're supposed to call me back sometime next week.

We are now pretty much all set up, except for little things here and there. Today (Saturday) we looked outside and it was snowing. Quite a change from a week ago. You can see the white stuff on the ground.