This and That, February Edition

This And That
This And That

It’s been another busy few weeks here in the Charest household (Virginia location). It seems when things get really busy, and I have the most to write about, I’m too busy to actually do any writing.

Consider this a catch-up post on what’s been happening here these past weeks.

New Job

I finished my two weeks purgatory in my old job back on January 29, and not a day too soon. I’ve quit enough jobs these past 12 years to learn that it’s rarely a pleasant process. This time was more unpleasant than most. For my last two weeks there the company owner alternated between ignoring me, demanding I sign yet another variation of a “Non-Disclosure Agreement,” and then suggesting that I reconsider leaving and continue working where I was without offering me a pay raise to entice me. I did my time and left.

I had a few days breather and started my new job Monday, February 4. It was like a breath of fresh air coming to this company. There were two other people starting the same day as myself, and the head of Human Resources spent several hours in a formal conference setting to go through the hiring paperwork and benefits package. I do believe it was the best organized new hire introduction I’ve yet received at a new job.

There is a orientation process at this company that requires up to several weeks processing time. I’ll actually be working in a town about 11 miles from here, but until the orientation process is complete I have to remain up at the company headquarters 28 miles away in Alexandria. I was told to expect to remain there at least four weeks, and met several other people who’ve been here at least that long. However, for some reason my orientation process was completed by Friday morning, February 8, and I was informed I’d be going to my permanent location this coming Thursday. A lot of people, including my future bosses, seemed impressed, so perhaps I’ll win some points early on.

I’m really looking forward to getting into this new job. The more I see, the more the work looks interesting and the company seems good. One great aspect of this job is that I won’t need to commute 3 plus hours each day, which really opens up free time during the weekday.

I can’t help thinking that it would be really nice to not have to go out job hunting anymore.

Side Projects

I’ve taken on a new volunteer community project. During the Christmas holidays, I learned of an ESL (English Second Language) program run by one of the local Catholic Churches. Winnie and I checked it out, and it seemed to be what she wanted. I also learned that this program depends on volunteer teachers. Seeing as I was in the process of working close enough to home to actually have a life again, I volunteered to teach a class. The actual classes are twice each week, but the Church has the volunteers only teaching once each week.

I’ve taught three nights now, and it is a challenge. It’s not that I’ve forgotten my teaching skills, it’s that this is a totally different type of class than anything I’ve tried before. The students are great, however, and really determined to learn. Winnie also seems to enjoy being a student again, so perhaps this will work out well.


It’s gotten warmer here, and most days seems like winter is coming to a very short end. So Friday afternoon Winnie and I were out doing yard work that wasn’t done back in the fall. Today it’s cold again, with strong winds, which is a good excuse to hide inside the house. I do believe spring, with a new season of boating, is very close.

New Content

For thse who enjoy reading my long (feature) stories, I’ve finished another one. This most recent is about the different vehicles I’ve owned over the years. I rather enjoyed writing it for the memories the different vehicles I’ve owned are associated with. I’m still locating original factory brochures and scanning them into my feature, which is also enjoyable.

I’m also adding a lot of new pictures to the photo gallery section. I’m going back to the 35mm negatives that I managed to save from Katrina and having them transferred to CD. This is a rather expensive process so I can only do a few sets each month. But, It will be worth it once I’ve finished the process, and reduces the chances of losing my photography work a second time.

Till next time…

Related Posts

A Week Without Shaving : On hanging around the house for a week between jobs, doing absolutely nothing of importance.
Advertising Emotions : One of the sweetest advertisements I’ve ever seen.
The Year of Hurricane Katrina : My story of surviving Hurricane Katrina, and the long year of recovery after.
On Being Inspired : Attending a graduation party of English Second language (ESL) students.

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