Monday, January 16, 2017

I Can't Blog, I'll Be Out of Town on Business.....

I recently changed email addresses.  That news generally meets the big question "WHY?"  It's not because of anything specific.  The catalyst, I suppose, was hearing, yet again, that Yahoo email had been hacked.  The reporter on the evening news was telling about it and how if you were going to switch emails, not to just cancel the yahoo account because then the hackers could reopen it and do all sorts of crappy things in my name.  He then went on to talk about how if you were inclined to change emails, that gmail and one other, whose name escapes me, were the safest.

So I opened a new gmail account - it's taking some getting used to.  I'd been using my yahoo email for probably 20 years.  It was on the resume that I used to get my job at the law firm, back in 2000!  Consequently, I receive a lot of crap - not spam, specifically, but newsletters and such.  For example, last fall, when my iPad died, I entered 50 million sweepstakes online to try win a replacement.  Spoiler!  I didn't.  But part of entering these sweepstakes involved signing up for various newsletters.  Some, I read.  Most I immediately deleted.

What does this have to do with the price a kibble?  Well, after switching the main important things, I haven't been checking the yahoo email as often.  So one morning recently, I was sifting through the 100's of emails and my eyes landed on an email about an upcoming Paralegal Cruise of some Paralegal association.  I didn't spend much time contemplating it - I've never worked anywhere that would ever consider sending me to something like that.  So I went on with my day.

Later that day, I'm asked if I'm excited about going to Orlando.  My response was, "wha..?"

So, let me back track.  As I believe I mentioned in my last blog, I've been busy at work.  A big part of the busy was that about a month into my new job, so about March of last year, I was told that I was going to be the Legal Dept's admin for the new contract lifecycle management ("CLM") software that the company had been investigating for a couple of years, and was just now getting ready to begin implementing.

One of the biggest bits of growing pains that I had to deal with after switching jobs was going from the firm where most everything (document-wise) was organized and stored in a software system - not very well, since the firm didn't use the software to even half of its capabilities, but still there was some organization.  When I got to Berry, one of the most frustrating problems was trying to figure out where something was stored or should be stored.  We had a Legal folder on the Z drive and there was just a mish mosh of folders in it and oh it drove my administrative side crazy - I wanted to just sit and organize everything.  I was told to just wait until the CLM was implemented.

In May, I participated in a solid week of training on the software.  If I try to describe this system, it would be like we bought a bunch of cabinets, but there were no shelves in it.  The software is programmable, by us, so that it fits what we need.  Rather than having cabinets with shelves already places, so you have to fit your needs into the spaces provided.  Dang, as I think of it, that's a pretty good analogy.  Anyway, the first week of training, I learned SO much, about the software, the company in general, plastics, and the sales procedure in specifics.  The training was the week before Memorial Day and I used every minute of that three-day weekend afterward to recover.  I was mentally exhausted.  But I was likewise stoked.  This was so me!

In fact, Mom asked me at one point, how I was chosen over the other paralegal for this, and did they have any clue how perfect a fit this was for me?  My answer was that I was probably chosen over the other, because I was the contracts person, whereas she has other responsibilities; and no, they probably had no clue, but they would figure it out!  Although I'm sure I mentioned some of my abilities at the interview, right?

In June we had another week of concentrated training, and again in July.  Our trainer, a man named Don, was really good, and those of us being trained all agreed that we needed to get I (heart) Don tattoos.  We haven't done that yet, hmm.. need to get on that.

The subsequent five months were spent continuing to program, training sales people, and brining one of Berry's three divisions online.  It hasn't been pretty, but we're getting there and making progress on getting other divisions and departments online, too.

So back to later in the day after I read the email about the Paralegal Cruise and my immediately forgetting it because I knew I wouldn't be going and then one of the people on the "Team" asking me about whether I was excited about going to Orlando.

Turns out the software company has a conference every year, in Orlando, and we, as customers are invited. Then, even better, it turns out that I, your favorite blogger, is being sent to the conference!
I've never worked at a place that was going to pay to send me anywhere.  At law firms, the attorneys are the ones who travel.  And frankly, during the economic downswing, that was firmly discouraged.  In my 26-ish years, the closest I've ever come to traveling for work was when BFOH sent Jennifer and me to Chicago to attend a computer trade show in order to have a live demo of some collection software the firm was contemplating purchasing.  We drove up, spent the night at the hotel, caught the demo and drove back.  Mostly it was just a fun road trip paid for by the firm.

I enjoy traveling and am pretty sure that I'm running low on body parts that can go bad during the trip, so I guess it'll be a fun trip!  And IF I have the chance to check out Disney, I'll search for that duck-butt hat I've been kicking myself for not getting 16 years ago!

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