First Week

My first week as a full-time employee of Pitt was awesome! Yes, it was a bit overwhelming with all the information, but my office is beautiful. It is so big, and I have so many shelves. I am just so happy. Today, I finally feel like I had a grip on what exactly they were talking about, but there is still so much to learn and a whole different vocabulary, as well. I need to add to my acronyms list.

Today, I met with Mel in the morning. She and I developed a list of things we need to do, orientation is one of the top priorities, and updating the binder, as well as creating them for the students. It is hard when the previous person isn’t here to train. I am trying not to get too overwhelmed, but it is difficult to pick up where someone left off, and not know really where they left off, or where anything is.

When it was time for lunch, Wynn and Nancy asked me if I wanted to go with them to get Chinese food. I was so happy, my first lunch date with the women from the office! I am fitting in so well here already. At lunch, I learned more about the people and the department. I am sure whatever we talk about at lunch, stays at lunch.

After lunch, we went back to the office. Nancy and I had no clue what we were doing, or what we needed to get done. I finally was able to finish this project I had been working on with Mel regarding student eval letters and OMETS. I had to upload them in the Box, and make sure everything on the box was on the Z drive. I have so much still to do, but Monday will be here soon enough.

Around 5pm, I sent the final update to Mel. Then, I got a phone call from Frank at the chapel, asking me where I was? I said, I am finishing up at work. He said, Oh okay, well how much longer do you think you will be? I said, Wendy is supposed to be there until I get there. He said, “Oh she much have forgot, because she left at 4pm.” I said, “Oh okay, I will be there in 10-15 mins. I have to shut down and walk over. He said, “okay great.” I hung up the phone and said, “really?” Nancy said, “Whats up babe?” I said, “Wendy is supposed to be there to cover and she left at 4pm. I mean I am sorry it’s not my problem. I am helping you out. I will get there when I get there.” I shut down my computer, pulled my office door shut, said Goodbye to Nancy, then walked to the chapel.

When I arrived at the chapel, Frank was lining up the wedding party to go down the aisle, I walked down the aisle and set my purse to the side, and he gave me my clipboard, and introduced me. I was still trying to catch my breath. The first Bride didn’t seem to happy with anything. She hardly smiled. They took forever to leave, as well.

The third bride wanted her party to be up at the altar with them, in a horse shoe type shape. It made it hard for Frank to gain control of the rehearsal. Everyone was up there talking, and carrying on. It just made it drag out. I was so annoyed and crampy. My period just started. I was ready to get out of there. I kept looking at Frank, and giving him looks like, get control of this so we can leave.
When we finally practiced the procession, it went down much smoother. she wanted to practice the recession twice. I told Frank, “Hey I got to go.” He said, “No problem go ahead, see you tomorrow at 12:15pm.” I thought to myself yeah yeah. In all my temping careers, I have never wanted to put an assignment behind me so quickly, as I do this one. I really can’t wait for this assignment to be over and I am so glad I got hired on full-time.

However, I loved the other half of my job, which was being a docent. I liked giving tours, and talking about the building, the windows, and the architecture more than people’s weddings.

When I got home, we ordered pizza and just relaxed. I had weddings tomorrow and I was not looking forward to it.

Last Day as Docent

Last night, I didn’t go to sleep until 3:30AM. I had trouble sleeping always happens when I have been out the night before, and consumed alcohol. I didn’t get drunk, but I did have a couple drinks.

This morning, I woke up at 9:30am, got a shower and got dressed. Andrew was due home at some point today from Ben and Tricia’s. I wasn’t sure what time he was coming home, but I texted him when I woke up, just to say good morning. My stomach was feeling off, so didn’t make any coffee. I just had no motivation to go to the Chapel today. It was my last day as a docent and I was totally okay with it. I just wish I could have done anything else but work today. I so need to get ready for tomorrow, orientation, and then I am reporting to my department for the first time. It is going to start full swing, and I want to be mentally ready.

Around 10:30am Drew came home, I was glad I got to see him before I left the house. He asked if I needed him to do anything around the house to help me get ready for tomorrow? I said, “No thank you baby, but that is sweet. I think I just need to make myself mentally ready, and I am the only one who can do that.” I thought it was nice that he offered and sweet of him to ask. He was in such a good mood, and didn’t seem too hung over or cranky.

When I left the house, traffic was terrible on the parkway heading into the city. I didn’t get to Oakland, until 12pm. I had to drive around for a little. Parking was horrendous.  Thank God parking is free on Sunday and that is probably why it is so bad. Everyone is out and about on this beautiful day and I should be at the pool!

When I opened the Chapel, there were a couple tourists out front. I just opened the door, and put the sign out. If they wanted to come in, they could, but I wasn’t going to let them know that we were definitely open. No extra work,. or extra miles today. I was on the phone with Anthony when I opened and few people came in. I had to get off the phone with them, it was too distracting.

At one point, this man came in and asked, “When was the Chapel built?” I said, “1933.” He said, “Oh that wasn’t part of the WPA deal.” He turned and walked away. I googled the WPA deal. It was something Roosevelt put in place, during the Great Depression to get men back to work, well the Cathedral was part of the deal. I approached him and said, “I never heard of the term WPA deal. I did some research and the Cathedral was part of the deal, so the Chapel must overlap in someway, because this was built around the same time as the Cathedral of Learning.” He said, “Oh okay thank you.” Then he asked me all these other questions about the cathedral. I said, “I am not sure of those answers, sir. However, there is an information desk at the visitors center in the Cathedral, they will be able to help answer your questions better.” Damn my curiosity. All I know about is the Chapel, I don’t get paid to know anything more.

Recently, I had a family visiting from Canada. Their daughter is an accomplished pianist. I asked if she wanted to play the organ? She said, “Oh my God, seriously I have been wanting too.” I said, “Yes, sure. Let me turn it on for you.” I turned on the switch the air went through the pipes, but as she was touching the keys the sound wasn’t coming on. I turned on the sound sequence in the ambulatory, and that didn’t work, so I called Frank. Frank said, that if she is organist she would know what knobs to pull. I said, She is a pianist. Then he told me she would have to push the knobs out in order to get the sound she wanted. I told her what he said, and it worked. She was able to play quite a few songs, and she did so well. Her family was so happy that she was able to play. We talked about the chapel, the windows, where they are from, and etc.

When they left, they gave a nice donation to the chapel, and asked where they could drop a line to my Director or my manager about me, and how well I am doing. They wanted to tell them about how great I made their visit. I was glad to get an at a girl, today. It made me feel good on my last day as a docent.

Around 4:30pm, I have a couple coming into look at the Chapel for their wedding. I am going to close up after I am done with them. I want to get home so badly. I am so tired. I feel like I have so much to do to prepare for tomorrow.

When I got home, Andrew had dinner made, and he surprised me with a bouquet of a dozen of pink roses. He wanted to surprise me and let me know how much he loves me and is so proud of me. I am so damn blessed. I am so happy he is in my life and that he is my husband.

Last Tuesday in the Chapel

Last Tuesday in the Chapel

This morning, I wanted to stay in bed. When I woke up, got showered, and washed my hair. I put on this little black dress that I got the goodwill. It is cute. I wanted to get today over with. I kept feeling like I was getting sick.

When we got to Oakland, we stopped at the Cathedral to get coffee. I am hooked on this iced coffee with espresso and a pump of vanilla. Then we went our separate ways.  When I got to the chapel, I called my mom and we chatted for a bit, then I opened up the chapel. I was hoping for a chill easy day.

When Wendy arrived, we counted the money from yesterday and the sales we made weren’t so bad. Tours typically bring in people who want to spend money.

When Pat arrived, we talked about my hours and they are going to pay me ahead of time for the two weeks of weddings that I agreed to, but we are going to meet on Friday to enter my hours.

Throughout the day we had some visitors, and a tour at 2:45pm. Thank God, Wendy was giving the tour. I don’t know an hour’s worth of information about the chapel.

When it was time to close for the day, I counted down the money and locked the doors as quick as I could, then I met Drew outside. I couldn’t wait to go home and have two days off.

When we got home, our power was off. Apparently a really bad storm came through and knocked everyone’s power off. He went to the gym and I went to Medexpress to get my ear checked. It was super sore. I thought it was infected.

When I got to Medexpress, they said it wasn’t infected there was fluid built up and that was causing the ear ache, but things could change over night, so she wrote me a script and told me to take a antihistamine first for three days, if it gets worse take the antibiotic. I could do that.

When I left Medexpress, I went to Giant Eagle and dropped my script off, then went home. I got a shower and relaxed on the couch. My phone was the only method of entertainment, still no power. I lit some candles and waited for Drew to come home.

When Drew came home, he brought chicken tenders and bottled water from the store. As soon as we were unloading the groceries, the power came back on.

Communications Council & Good News

This morning, I got coffee and went to the chapel. When I arrived, I was the only one at the desk. I turned on the lights, got settled. Then Wendy came in, and Frank. At 10:30AM I went to a meeting with Wendy. It was called the Communications Council. It was a meeting where the Big Whigs were going to keep people updated on the new up and coming happenings in Communication at the University.

When we were on our way to the meeting, Wendy and I chatted about where we were from, and our backgrounds. When we walked into the UClub, we had to go up the stairs, to this really nice ballroom. The room was packed with people. I saw Sharon Blake, a woman that I used to attend Jazz meetings with. I went over and gave her a hug. Her and Wendy got to talking, and I overheard Wendy say to her, you were on our list for her. What does that mean? Where they researching people, who were associated with me, in order to gain a reference? This is so secretive and crazy! Sharon was glad that I was with the Heinz Chapel, and was happy to see me.

When the meeting got underway, they talked about Pittwire. I took some notes about Pittwire, what it is, and how it used. I felt the meeting was very informative.  I was happy to be apart of it. I was glad Pat asked me to come.

On the way back to the Chapel, Wendy and I had a personal conversation about her first marriage, she shared with me some details, and it was a deep conversation for just coming back from a meeting. We both laughed, and walked into the chapel. Frank asked if we both learned about to communicate better? I said, “Oh yes, and how to submit a story on Pittwire.”

While I was at the front desk, I got a phone call from Pitt. I went outside to answer it, and it was Kathy from Alumni Hall. She said to me, Happy Thursday, Danielle. I said, thank you and to you as well! She said, you made it to the second round, and would you be able to come in on Tuesday at 1pm to interview with the Vice Chancellor. I said, “that is good news, and yes I am available.” I was so excited! When we ended the call, I called Drew and let him know. He was so happy for me. I must have really impressed the director and did really well!

Around 4pm, we had a rehearsal, Wendy shadowed me around, and she said I did really well. She said she is confident in me, and thinks I will do really well this weekend. After the rehearsal was over, Drew was there waiting for me and he was still really sick. I felt so bad for him.

When we got home, we got ready to go the gym. He wanted to sit in the sauna and relax. I needed to work out. I had a long day. I was able to get over 10,000 steps in on my Fitbit.  did the elliptical, and the treadmill. I was able to run a bit too.  When I was on the hip machine, I noticed a woman was just sitting on the arm machine, the one I wanted to do next. I made eye contact with the woman’s daughter, and she asked me if I need to use the machine? I said, “Yes, I do.” She said, “No problem.” She helped her mom get up and moved her to another machine so she could sit, and rest. Her mom was rather old, and was having trouble getting around. I felt like shit.

When I was setting up the machine, I apologized to the woman, and she said, “Oh my God Bless your sweet, caring, and compassionate heart. You are so sweet. I hope your heart spreads to everyone else in the world.”  I smiled and said, “thank you.” I used the machine, and then I did the gravitron where I pull my weight up doing chin ups. It felt so good. I was sweating and so proud of myself.
When we left, I told Drew about what happened, and I said, “she could have just sat in the waiting room, and not inconvenience anyone.” He said, “There is that sweet and compassionate heart.” I laughed. When we got home, we relaxed and watched All in the Family until it was time for bed.

Second Day

Today was a really good day, but it was a long day. This morning, we drove to Crafton and got the G2 into Downtown. I was quiet and not as talkative. I just wanted to start over from yesterday. The excitement and the newness about this position is gone for now.

When we got to Oakland, we got coffee in the cathedral and saw Marilyn. Then he went up to his floor and I went to my building. When I climbed up the front steps, I set my stuff down and opened the door with my key and pulled on the handle and walked into the chapel. I turned on the lights, and got settled.

Once I was all settled in, I started to read over my materials until Wendy walked in, she said Good Morning beautiful! She and I got all caught up and I changed my shoes. We filled the take aways that visitors love to take when they leave the chapel.

When we went back upstairs, frank was there sitting at the desk, and he finished opening the chapel. Wendy and Frank chatted before she went down to her office. Frank had some things to do on the computer, so I read the Chapel book, walked around and checked out the windows with a binoculars. Then a couple came in to just look around for their wedding. I walked around with Frank while he gave them some information.

When they left, I sat back down and finished reading the book and talked off and on with Frank. When someone came in, I showed them around and handed them a brochure about the chapel. I chatted with an English family, and they ended up buying a thing of mint tins. I gave him his change and he told me to keep some of the money. I deposited the money into the donation box. I get paid an hourly rate, and can’t be tipped.

I refilled some of the merchandise, and was on my feet for most of the afternoon. I had a blister on my ankle and my hip was killing me since I was walking funny due to the blister. Physically wasn’t a good day, but I was relaxed.

When the couple came in for the rehearsal, Wendy and I were setting up, taking kneelers down, and putting them in the spot for the couple to use, plugging in mics, setting up the tray for holy water and the dish for the rings, etc. the whole time I was limping. The kneelers were so heavy. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this.

When the rehearsal kicked off, we went through it twice. I counted the people for IA because they like numbers, then we watched them run through, and the two singers stayed after to practice with the organist, which took a little longer than they expected.

When Andrew came to pick me up, it was close to 6pm when I was able to leave and Frank locked up. Wow I am exhausted. When I saw Drew, he seemed fine, but was increasingly cranky and I was tired, and worn out. I am exhausted on my feet and my hip is killing me, and I don’t want to fight with him. I hate it.

When we got on the second bus, the mood between us was better. If this is how it is going to be with me working this crazy ass schedule, then I don’t want to do this job. Sometimes we both wear our moods on our sleeves and are not the best versions of ourselves that we can be to each other.

Tomorrow I don’t have to be at work until 1:45pm, and I won’t be done until around 8pm. Whew! More later

First Day at Heinz Chapel

First Day at Heinz Chapel

So, I am finally laying down, and I have the chance to write something. I am not sure how I feel about how today went. So, it being my first day, there is so much to learn, but I was excited to be back to work at a University again, especially since it is Pitt.

However, out of habit and a fear of being late, I show up a half hour early. After I got coffee with Drew, I was still early. I stood outside and ate my hard boiled egg, and waited around for a familiar face from my interview to approach me. I face-timed my mom. She was excited for me. I showed her the building from the outside and how close it was to the cathedral. She was happy!

When Wendy approached the chapel, she saw me standing outside. She said wow you are early. I said “Yes, I am typically either right on time, or running a few minutes late. You never know with the buses.”

When she unlocked the door, we went inside and she immediately turned on the lights, and then she said I could put my lunch in the fridge that was located in the book closet, then we walked around how the chapel gets unlocked. We put out the open sign, to let people know we are open.

Then Sharon walked into the chapel. I was to shadow her all day today. We shook hands, and then we went down to Wendy’s office and she handed me a set of keys. Then, I went back upstairs, and sat with Sharon. She seemed kind of distant and cold.  I was waiting for her to tell me what the day-to-day is like, and she said “I don’t know what to tell you, so just read over your stuff. You are like the 10th one I have seen here, every time I turn my back we have someone new.” I didn’t say anything I just picked up my stuff and started reading. I didn’t really say anything to her.

Eventually Sharon was called down to Wendy’s office and it seemed like she was there for a while, so I just read the information and hoped no one came in that needed anything or had any questions because I wouldn’t have the answers.

When she came back, I got up to go to the rest room and went downstairs to see Pat, after I got out of the restroom. She and I talked. She officially welcomed me. “Well the only people who know are you, Wendy, my husband, and she then cut me off and said, Paula knows. I said yes, but she is like my mother and she has been trying to get me in to Pitt, and has helped me and I trust her.” She didn’t have much to say about that, but then she said all your references from Music were fabulous, however one was not in your favor.” and I said, “oh? Well that is upsetting, because I worked really hard to network here at Pitt and build a good relationship during all my assignments. I find it hard to believe, and so unfortunate. May I ask who?” And she said, “I can’t say.” I said, “I am sure, but I think I may know who it is. We have had a run in before and she is the only one I had an issue with, but I can’t be sure.” I wanted to speak for myself, but when I started to she cut me off and said, “No I don’t want to hear it. Let’s just move on.” I said, “Okay.” Then she said, we all have had complaints about us, that have gone to HR. I have and I have been here 30 years, but learn from it, that is all.”

Then we went over, my schedule for June. She told me this Saturday, I am to shadow Frank and not open my mouth for anything, unless it is to ask a question. I tried not to raise my eyebrows this woman was a straight shooter, and I am going to learn so much from her.

After my meeting with her, I went back up to sit again with Sharon. It was almost lunch time. I watched some people come in and out of the chapel, visitors, and the like. Then, it was time to chat about a lunch schedule. Someone should always try to be up front in the chapel at all times. Frank was going to go to lunch first, me, and then Sharon.

Before I went to lunch, I went down to see Wendy, and I wanted to talk to her about my schedule, and something about what Pat said to me. I told her the story, and she said it wasn’t HR. It was someone from your first assignment. The reason why you didn’t get offered the position, is because they thought you were unprofessional. I then realized who it was. I had so much to learn still in my career and Pitt was worth it to change my attitude and to learn some lessons about myself.

Wendy gave me some valuable advice. At times, it is hard for us to separate our fun personality from our work personality. We wouldn’t talk the same way we do with our friends, as we would at work. I said, oh well I never heard anyone there give me a bad review from my first assignment. I was told I didn’t get the job, because I didn’t have enough experience as an executive assistant, and then I was immediately placed with Music. She shrugged her shoulders. I have a hard time beliving it was anyone from Katz. Then again, who knows, but I can only think of one person who would drag my name through the mud. I made that mistake in going to All Temps during my assignment at Music to talk to someone from All Temps and it wasn’t a good conversation.

After that conversation, we went over my schedule. What time I need to arrive on Friday, and Saturday, and I apologized again for what they heard from one of my references, and she said, well you are here because you did so well at Music and Dr. Rice loves you, and thinks you did an amazing job over there and was so upset you didn’t get the position, just do the same here, and I feel as though you already learned from it, or else Music wouldn’t have raved about you. I thanked her for her advice and off I went. What a day!

When I left her office, I went up to the office Frank wasn’t there, so I just sat down and read over somethings, and Frank approached me and sat down next to me. We talked about the history of the chapel, the high points to it, when giving tours, and how he was the Heinz family archivist and historian. I was interested in the history of the building. People came in and out of the chapel as we talked. I was kind of amazed how many people came in off the streets to see this place. I listened in on one of his tours. It was pretty cool how much he knew and he gave a great tour, so informative!

When Sharon came back, she and I chit chatted some more and talked to some visitors, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what the hell happened and was it really that woman from HR, or was it my first assignment? I don’t know I can’t get over it. It is bugging me. Gawd!

When it was 10 minutes to 5pm, we started to close up, and Drew came over to see me and the chapel. I have been texting him off and on about all this and he was upset for me. When he came into the chapel, I introduced him to Sharon, and then I followed her around as she closed. Then, I was out of there.

As we walked to the bus, I talked to Drew about everything and he felt so bad for me. He and I racked out brain, but still came to the same person. I hope I can get over this soon. I fought back tears all day.  When we got on the bus, we talked about it some more, and then before you know it, we had to get off to catch our transfer bus. I had to take the G2 so I could meet up with my mom in Crafton. She was taking me dress shopping, and to dinner.

When I said goodbye to Drew, I got on the G2, took a seat, and put my earbuds in and played some rock music. My mom and I texted and kept in touch, while I was on my way to Crafton. I didn’t want to leave Drew. I wanted to stay with him, and have him make me happy again.

When I got to Crafton, my mom picked me up and we went to dress barn, and she bought me three dresses and a pair of no show socks for my flats, then to Walmart, and then Max and Erma’s for dinner.

When we got to Max and Erma’s, she and I talked the entire time and she said for me to get over it and learn from it, and don’t let it affect my work in this new opportunity. I agree. I won’t, but it just sucks. Always seems to be something that sets me back, whether it is myself or someone else.

Dinner was yummy. I had a salad again. Salad for lunch and a salad for dinner, and a salad tomorrow. I don’t want to put on any extra weight with this job, and I want to try to get the gym in whenever I can.

Thankfully, Drew is around to help me get ready for our Father’s Day cookout on Sunday. He is going to clean the house and go grocery shopping, and pick me up from work. I am one lucky girl. I have such a busy weekend. Rehearsal until 5:45 tomorrow, wedding Friday, and 3 weddings on Saturday. Then Sunday Monday, and Tuesday I am off. Whew!

Hopefully, tomorrow is a better day.