I Got (another) New Job …

the news heraldIt’s time for this blog, because the phone calls, texts and emails have started.

“You haven’t posted many blogs lately. What’s going on?”

Well…a job change.

Perhaps a change in my career path? (Using ‘career’ loosely, of course!!) And it’s been a whirlwind. I wasn’t looking for a new job, it just happened.

My jobs sort of flip-flopped…

I used to blog for The News Herald and work in sales/marketing for Taylor Made Home Care.

Starting last week, I work for The News Herald and I’ll continue to blog and do special projects for Taylor Made.

I’ve been a blogger for The News Herald for about 3 years. This past year, I’ve been the Marketing Manager at Taylor Made Home Care, a job I loved because I helped people–and because its owner is a wonderful woman, who inspired me daily.

For me sales/marketing felt like ‘socializing.’ I continually met others who shared my passion for helping those in need of companion care, or senior services. I went into local medical centers, hospitals, senior centers. I attended meetings, discussions given by area providers of senior services; such as The Alzheimer’s Association and The Lake County Council on Aging. And my eyes were opened to an enormous web of people/organizations that are on hand to service our elderly community. Working at Taylor Made changed me, for the better. I’m aware of things that I would never have known about.

newspaperMy new job?

I’m working full-time in the Editorial Department at The News Herald. In the newsroom. Which is incredibly cool, because I’ve wanted to work at our local newspaper since I graduated college. Working at a newspaper has always been on my bucket list. When the opportunity seemingly fell from the sky, I was torn. However, if I’ve learning anything in the past several years, I’ve learned that we sometimes have to have faith, to follow the path in front of us, simply because it’s there and it feels right. Even if its difficult, or scary.

Luckily, Taylor Made is on Erie Street in the heart of downtown Willoughby–and about three minutes from my office at The News Herald. I can still  be a part of the business that I so enjoyed.

The strangest part of my new job? 

Being in a newsroom on the other side of a news story. As disaster struck in Boston yesterday, I saw it from another angle. From the inside in some ways.

What’s going to be challenging?

I’m known to break grammar rules–especially in this blog. Look what arrived on my desk? God help us all as I try to get a handle on writing rules and style used by The Associated Press.

stylebook-web

(Stop laughing MB, Darling Daughter and the others who beg to edit my blogs for grammar…)

Some of the perks?

I now work in an environment where social media use is encouraged. And reading is part of my job. Oh happy day!! In fact, just outside my office door, The News Herald (and another newspaper) are sitting there when I arrive at work. Free!

newspapers-web

 What exactly am I doing at The News Herald?

At the moment, I’m writing obituaries and will soon be doing the announcements–and from there, who knows?

Just another adventure. Because nothing in my life ever stays the same for more than 10 minutes.

 

 Want to reach me at The News Herald?

Email: alauria@news-herald.com

I’m back into selling furninture. Ugh!

100_2775Last week, I was on the road, doing my marketing job–traveling from site to site with a Grandfather clock in my Nissan Altima. Because most people do such a thing, right?

Grandfather clocks aren’t small, so I had the backseat down and the clock was laid flat (or as flat as possible) from my trunk on through to the backseat. I had a few other pieces of furniture stuffed into the trunk and backseat, as well.

As I drove carefully (or as carefully as I drive) I was thinking…

“Here I go again with the furniture!!”

It all started when found myself getting divorced several years ago. The kids, dogs and I moved to a smaller house. I began finding and refinishing vintage furniture to create our ‘home.’

Turned out I had an eye for old furniture and people treated my house like a showroom–bought my furniture finds as quickly as I could get them refinished and/or painted.

I sold smaller items on eBay for extra money, but then slowly added furniture to my eBay listings. I listed these large items ‘pick up only’ but then quickly learned how to ship dressers across country because my buyers asked me to.

We’re a family who broke bread at 8 dining room tables in 2012. When I find them, I refinish them. We eat at them until they sell. (I’ve learned to keep a spare table now!!) My children think nothing of coming in from school, dropping their books on a dining table that is completely different from the one that was there in the morning. They’ll sit down to dinner and comment, “nice table. what’s the story?”

Then I got into marketing…

I’ve said I’m getting OUT of furniture since I got INTO furniture on accident.

Especially after I started my marketing manager job last summer–because it keeps me busy. But it also teaches me more techniques that could be applied to the online and local selling that I’ve done for years.

What really pushed me back into selling furniture???

#1) I’m moving (again) …

The little White Ranch House that I’ve rented these past four years is for sale. Another family will surely buy it soon–and enjoy it as much as the kids, dogs and I have. When I move, I organize. I purge the clutter and travel light, hanging onto those items that truly mean something to me.

Doesn’t everybody sell their furniture instead of moving it?

#2) I work in downtown Willoughby, Ohio with all its fun shops, festivities, eateries, creative businesses, coffee shops…

Downtown Willoughby has become a bit of a creative mecca. It’s a social place. I have to walk inside the unique shops on my way in and out of the office. Which is how I ended up having items in Eastside Relics  new Willoughby location.  Eastside Relics used to be in Fairport Harbor, but they’ve recently taken a larger space at 4077 Erie Street.

My very good friend and owner of Blue Willow Creative leased vendor space inside Eastside Relics–and offered to let me put items in her space. Eastside Relics is a large store, not a co-op–but they do have offer spaces for lease inside their store. The store be having a Grand Opening celebration in April.

relics-wrestling 014relics-wrestling 015

 

 

 

 

 

[box] Old walnut piano bench that used to occupy a spot by my front door. I painted the top black. Then a couple of days later, painted the base white on a whim. It sits on the showroom floor in Blue Willow Creative/Eastside Relics.[/box]

relics-wrestling 018relics-wrestling 019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[box] The dressers in the photo are both painted by Maggi of Blue Willow Creative. Maggi paints only with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which is a gorgeous, premium paint line that needs to be buffed and hand waxed. You must see the results in person to appreciate their unique look. Both dressers are available for sale at the Blue Willow space inside Eastside Relics–with more pretty furniture and home decor items coming soon…[/box]

#3) I’ve secured a site in downtown Willoughby where I’ll soon be doing workshops…

I’ll be teaching others how to sell online, the basics of selling with eBay and Craigslist,  how to set up WordPress sites, using Pinterest to sell product, etc.

Since I started accidentally peddling vintage and antique furniture and home decor items, people have been curious–even fascinated. I get several emails per week asking what I think something is worth? How can I sell this? How would you suggest I market that? I get calls when people have items they don’t need. I’ve been asked over and over to do classes, but questioned my expertise.

I’ve never considered myself a teacher. Then again, I never meant to sell furniture, become an eBay PowerSeller, blogger, marketing specialist, web content writer or many of the other things I’ve ended up excelling at over the years. One thing led to another…

And so I’ll be giving the teaching a shot in hopes of helping others use their untapped skills to earn money. Often people don’t realize they have unique knowledge that can translate to profit. When I tally up the amount I’ve made, I must know something!!

I’m confident that I can guide others in shipping large parcels via Greyhound PackageXpress, getting traffic to their online sites, in using analytics and tools to measure sales–and much more. More details coming soon–but class will be in session by March 20th.

If I can do this, anybody can. Other people at least have trucks…

rocking chair 001

 

So anyways, I delivered my Grandfather Clock to its new home on the showroom floor at Eastside Relics.

I unloaded my car in between meetings. And yes, I was wearing my marketing manager high heels, dress-up clothes and shiny lipstick, as I dragged the clock out of the car. My heels made clicking sounds as I moved through the store, with the clock up over one shoulder. I’m sure I was a sight.

Seems to be a normal day at the office for me. I’ve always said my life is never dull.

Just last week I was compared to Lucille Ball.

“You’re like Lucille Ball, everybody watched her to see what was going to happen next…”

As ever, I’ll keep you posted with this blog.

[box] Those interested in my upcoming class schedule can contact me at info@amylauria.com [/box]

I think I could be Ann Curry …

I could cope with being Ann Curry right now.

Truly. I would be just fine with a 10 million dollar Golden Parachute. And just for leaving a job? Not a problem. And wouldn’t feel like a failure, either.

Of course, I don’t actually have a ‘real’ job…

But I know I could tolerate writing a check for my Little White Ranch House and an inexpensive vehicle or two. My saintly Landlady (who is only a Landlady due to the difficult real estate market) would be fine with my writing that check, too. I’m sure of it. And my children would welcome my writing checks for their college educations.

Wouldn’t be too draining to deal with investing most of the money. After all, I hold a BA Degree in Business. Finance, actually. Probably, I could manage 10 million dollars well enough to be set for life. Mainly because I dream of a fairly simple life.

On a serious note, I do realize that managing a large sum of money does take skill, effort, time and intelligence. (As shown by so many who piss large sums of money away.)

Mind you, these are the ramblings of a Regular Girl. And I’m sure my perspective is colored by the ‘economics’ of my current situation. Let’s just say my financials could be better. And leave it there…

Back to Ann Curry…

Smart, beautiful, educated and classy. There are many professional women out there. Yet she stands apart for her warmth, compassion and her skill in handling difficult stories. She is genuine. And if that isn’t enough, she is a great sport. Her sense of humor and spirit of adventure resonate with viewers. As a television personality and journalist, Ann Curry has been successful beyond what Regular Girls (like me) can only dream of.

No shame in getting the boot from The Today Show.

It’s an opportunity few have had. And I’m not so sure it was her. She is certainly talented and charismatic.

Probably, she was too good in her previous role–before co-anchoring The Today Show this past year. I think maybe her audience got comfortable seeing her cover world events, zip line through forests and conduct interviews in war zones.

Much the same as those in popular sitcoms often can’t escape a character.

She will likely be better off for this turn of events. Makes her personal story more compelling.

I can’t help but be reminded of a favorite quote. One that always helps me feel better. Or remain delusional?

 When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us     ~Helen Keller

Failure makes us root for a person. And those who handle failure graciously are often respected more. Viewers will look for her. Follow her new career. Will tune in to see what comes next for Ann Curry.

I know I will.

Is Failure a Viable Career Option ??

So, I’ve been in my basement– or what a favorite uncle calls a Cellar—for the past couple of days.

In fact, he’d call me a “Cellar Dweller…”

And he is correct. My desk, computer, file cabinets, eBay supplies and packaging area are down in my cellar. It is a finished basement, with comfy couches and chairs—and a TV. So I don’t mind being holed up in my cellar. I often go down there when I am serious about getting things done.

Anyways, I looked at spreadsheets. I looked at bills. And I looked at potential jobs.

Until my head was spinning…

That’s when I knew it was time to get outside. I grabbed The Little Black Dog and we headed to the beach for our daily walk.

As I walked, I got to thinking. (God help us all when I do that.)

My current financial situation isn’t that hard. Just simple elementary school arithmetic.

Just need to add up the money I have coming in.

Then subtract the bills.

And if the sum of these two numbers is red instead of green? Scale back.

Some common options:

Eliminate Car Payment.  Done. Years ago. Hence my 13-year-old Honda Accord.

Sell my house.  Again, done. I rent the home the children and I live in.

(From a woman who might soon be canonized as a Saint …)

Sell off my worldly possessions? Done. Any gold I had was melted down years ago when I set up my new household.  Honestly, I pawned my wedding rings right out of the gate, because wedding rings aren’t necessary for a person getting divorced. Though one or two people protested…

Protestor: You NEED to save those for your daughter.

Me: Oh.

Hadn’t really thought of that. For me, it seemed silly and useless for something I clearly didn’t need to occupy space in a drawer for many years…

Me: Darling Daughter, how do you feel about these?  Are they something that have meaning for you? Would you like me to save them for you?

My daughter looked at me like I was standing on my head…

Darling Daughter:  WHY would I want to wear the rings of FAILURE???

Sold.

Onward. To more common options:  

GOOD OLD MA & PA

Many people head back to their parents’ house in times of financial distress. Not an option for me. My mother passed about 20 years ago, so I would have to pitch a tent at the cemetery to hang with her. And my father lives nearly an hour away. A little too long of a commute, considering the promise I made my children that they would not have to change school districts after the divorce.

FIND A NEW MAN (OR A HUSBAND)

Another popular plan of attack in times of distress. Men use this one, too, but they find a woman. (Unless they are not heterosexual) Biggest problem here? I’d be counting on somebody else to bail me out. Which means I don’t bail myself out. Which means I don’t learn and grow from the experience. There is an old saying that the lesson keeps coming back at us until we get the brick to the head. I am ready to learn the damn LESSON already!

Goes like this…

PRAY FOR AN INHERITANCE

As far as I know, there aren’t any wealthy, childless relatives hiding out anywhere. Plus somebody has to DIE for people to get an inheritance. And I would feel terrible if tragedy or illness befell somebody I knew—and I ended up compensated with vast sums of money. (At least I think I would feel really, really badly )

TRUST FUND

This is kind of interesting, because nothing BAD would have to ‘happen’ to anybody. So I think I could feel okay about it if somebody wanted to set up a Trust Fund for me to draw from occasionally. And I wouldn’t be one of those ungrateful people. Nor would I act snotty, entitled or better than others. I would really appreciate it.

A JOB

I’ve said this many times before. But it is fact. The world—Northeast Ohio specifically—isn’t in need of another middle-aged, single mother looking for a job. Or even another PERSON looking for work. Jobs aren’t all that easily found…

Because I am a little (maybe even a lot) ADD, my mind bounced to my marketable skills:

I’m NICE…

People usually like me. (Except for two…maybe three people)

Put me in the sandbox and I play well with others. I never threw sand as a child. Just like on the elementary school report card. They always said that I ‘worked well with others.’  Probably, I had ‘natural ebullience’ when I was a kid, just like I do now. (See past two blogs if that doesn’t make sense…)

From there, I drew a blank.

Seriously, I am hardworking, got excellent grades in school and am PC and Mac literate. I’m a first-rate organizer. I learn new skills and technology easily. Have a pleasant phone manner. Happen to have an eBay store where I am a PowerSeller and Top Rated seller. Hopefully, I am an acceptable writer.  (A writer is what I would really like to be…)

Then there’s my BA in Management/Finance. Which is a bit ironic considering my inability to do elementary school math lately.

Or maybe I just need more to work with.  If there aren’t any beans to count, how can I be a bad bean counter, right?

Obviously, I am not a quitter. Or I’d have quit a long time ago.

I just need to look a little harder for ways to change my current financial circumstances.

Which means I’ll be heading to the lower level of our Little White Ranch House. A Cellar Dweller for another day.

I am a HAPPY Cellar Dweller, at least…and a NICE one.

And I promise I’ll be soaking in the LESSONS like a sponge. Because I really do not want to have to break out my catlike reflexes to dodge ANOTHER brick. (more on my catlike reflexes another time…)

As ever, I am open to suggestions, if anybody out there has anything?

So Much For My New Job …

Sadly, it was my most short lived job ever. Not that my resume is long on ‘real’ jobs…

I can now add getting FIRED to my list of life experience.

(That was the term used by a ‘helpful’ person who I used to hang around with some. Which might explain why I USED to hang around that person…)

I could soften the blow and say I was LET GO. Or I could go British with made ‘Redundant.’

Definition of Redundant: Exceeding what is necessary. More simply…not needed.

Which is really the case…

It  was a small family business. They were sort of in the middle of reorganizing when they hired me. Trying to figure out their next move.  And as they did so, it didn’t make much sense to pay me to do work they could absorb amongst themselves—if they each put in a few more hours a day.

And I have no regrets. They were really nice people. Who might have been too quick to hire me, given their business model. And this was the best business decision for them.

But it leaves me Redundant.

Not necessary.

Which I have been before. That is how I ended up divorced.

Other things I am (at least by definition) …

UNEMPLOYED AGAIN.

Unless we count my eBay store, which has been doing quite well recently. Except last week when I didn’t have time for it on account of the job I USED to have.

PARENT.

Of two teenagers. Which a lot of people would see as a negative. They say teenagers are difficult.  So far, I disagree. And I wake up EVERY day feeling lucky that I have these two wonderful children in my life. Really, there are no words for what they mean to me. Even more lucky, I have a tight knit group of family and friends who will always love me. And who I will always love dearly.

SINGLE.

Not really a negative. I find myself not wanting to have my newfound ‘wings’ clipped at this time. I am kind of relishing in the opportunity to go out and have fun, to laugh with friends, to date, to explore my options. To be ‘me’ for a while… (Someday, there will be a fella who changes my mind—but for now I am happy and content.)

BROKE.

Or at least of meager means just now. Which is somewhat stressful. Will be more so when I clear my bank account to pay my bills this week. But at the same time, I KNOW in my gut that it is temporary. I have been through financial highs and lows. As we all have. As my wise uncle said to me not too long ago –It’s all about PERSEVERENCE now.  And so I will do my best to meet my financial obligations, pull the weeds and get my landscaping beds ready for spring. (While I have time) Make sure my house is organized and neat as a pin. So that when opportunity for financial gain comes my way, I am ready to embrace it.

OWNER OF OLD, TRUSTY HONDA ACCORD.

I was just about to get rid of my old ‘trusty’ Honda. And believe it or not, I was struggling with my decision. I was actually having a hard time letting my old car go. The downside? It needs a good bit of work. It is scheduled for major ‘surgery’ next Monday. It needs new brake lines, fuel lines and a timing belt (to preserve the engine).  And it isn’t that it is a bad car. Or even that it has broken down. It is just so old that its original parts have rusted out—or WORN out. Maybe that is why I identify with my old car. Because I ‘get’ being solid, if a little worn out…

KEEPER OF TWO DOGS

And thank goodness for Rocky and Grace! Just looking at them makes me smile. Taking them for walks outside each day keeps me sane, too. Not sure what it is about dogs, but they make a house a home. And they make the people in the home more calm, relaxed and joyful, too.

 

 

HAPPY.

How? I really have no idea. It certainly doesn’t make any sense. Getting ‘canned’ yesterday wasn’t super fun. And yet today I woke full of hope and optimism. Happy. Ready to tackle what comes next…

On paper, things seem a bit dismal.

Redundant, single parent of teens with little money and an old car.

And yet, I can’t help but feel I am moving in the right direction. Defies rational thought, I know. But then I tend to roll in ways that don’t always seem logical.

And so I am off to enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.

Doesn’t it sound nicer to say I am going to ‘enjoy’ it?

(Really, it is my only option. It is cheap. And available.)

And then I am off to look at my financial picture for this month…

Looking forward to it. (Not, really.)

Lastly, I will be listing a slew of new items on my eBay store in the coming days. That has been an invaluable tool in supporting myself in the past couple of years. And doing my budget first always helps to motivate me.

I’m not much of a drinker, but I am thinking of stopping somewhere for a drink either Friday or Saturday evening.

Anybody want to join me???

I promise it will be fun, as I have “natural ebullience.” (see my last blog, if that doesn’t make sense…) And I promise to bring it with me…

Fair warning.

You might have to buy me the drink.