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.

 

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

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.

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

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.

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 am going to learn so much from her.

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 it was 10 minutes to 5pm, we started to close up, and Drew came over to see me and the chapel. When he came into the chapel, I introduced him to my co-workers.

In the evening, I went to dinner with my mom and then we went shopping.