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First of all, I must apologize for how late this blog is going up. My intention was to have it up on Wednesday, but that slipped into Thursday, then I had to push it aside to make room for some high priority projects.

That leads me to the reason why I’m so short on time as of late. I landed a full-time job at UPS. It is the same seniority-based job I previously wrote about. The only major requirement was being able to type 40 words per minute. The people with more seniority than me either didn’t want the job since it was computer based (or they didn’t like the hours), or they failed the typing test. I was nervous going into the test because of the expectations and pressure (all eyes were figuratively on who would pass the test and get the job), but I passed at 55 words per minute with shaky hands.

I started the job on June 12, and since then it has been a whirlwind of getting used to the new rules at work, learning how going from part-time to full-time affects my pension, vacation, seniority, and just getting used to working from 6PM to 3AM Monday through Friday. Additionally, I’ve been training on how to be a package auditor for international packages. Learning the rules, what forms customs needs, and keying in information as needed (thus the need to type at a minimum of 40 words per minute). It is pretty much an office job in the middle of a very large factory/package hub while working next to huge trucks. This is only half of my night, the other half is being a package handler for domestic parcels which don’t need as much scrutiny– basically same the job I’ve had for years.

Since I’m working a full 40 hours per week, the time crunch is a bit much. So I will be leaving Epic Careering at the beginning of August. I’ll have a separate final post, once everything is said and done. For now, it seems like a good time to start preparing to turn the reins over to my eventual successor.

072 - Keys by Hillary of Flickr

072 – Keys by Hillary of Flickr

Guys. Ireland was amazing. Seriously, everyone is so nice, funny, and helpful, the scenery is breathtaking, and the food is to die for. What’s not to like? I experienced wonderful things every day while I was there so it was bittersweet to come home. I’m glad I did, though–it would be tough for anyone to live out of a suitcase for that long!

We drove all around the country (literally), starting and ending in Dublin. We went south the coast (beneath Cork), then to various points on the west coast, then up to Donegal, and we ended with a night in Derry/Londonderry (which was incredible; I highly recommend spending some time in that city) before driving back down to Dublin.

Rock of CashelRock of Cashel

I learned a lot about myself, like that I can drive on the wrong side of the road with almost no problems at all! It was very empowering since I was in charge of all of the driving :).

DingleThe adorable street we stayed on in Dingle

I went with my grandmother because she’s been to Ireland several times with my grandfather (who passed away in 2005) and his family is still there. We were able to meet with some on the east coast and some on the west coast! My grandfather’s father was one of 12, so there are plenty of cousins to meet.

Blarney CastleThe view from Blarney Castle

I also was able to come back to work with very little trouble. I can’t rave enough about preparing extensively before a vacation and making sure that everything is in order, especially if someone is covering for you. I made sure to get my coverage partners treats while I was away to show them how much I appreciate their work!

Peace BridgeThe Peace Bridge in Derry

Overall, I’m so happy I went and I can’t wait to get back. This trip gave me many ideas for future trips to Ireland!

How about you, readers; have you ever traveled to Ireland?

Just as MaryKate continues her epic vacation abroad, I’m back from my staycation. As I mentioned in a previous post, I made good on my promise to take time off from both jobs. To be honest, the vacation was nothing special, as I didn’t even leave Philadelphia. The only time I left home was to go into Center City to wait in line for the RickMobile (as in Rick and Morty). However, I did accomplish what I set out to do. My first goal was to rest my mind and body. My second goal was to make a serious dent the game I’m currently playing, Persona 5. Considering I didn’t get out of bed on some mornings until after 11, and I put an additional 20 hours into my game (for a current total of 68 hours), I’m fairly satisfied. I even took a day to organize some parts of my house, like installing shelving in the back bedroom to clean up clutter.

Far too many people don’t consider taking vacations for a variety of reasons. Vacations don’t need to be expensive. The point is to take time off from work to allow your mind and body to recharge. Upon returning from my vacation I certainly feel recharged and more focused. The break is exactly what I needed and I’m glad I took the time off.

 

Do you regularly take vacations?

Persona 5

Big chunks of my vacation were spent playing Persona 5. Nice to Mee-ow-t you too, video games.

Well, ladies and gents, I’m here! I finally made it to Ireland. We just flew in this morning and I was able to get a nap in this afternoon, thankfully. I wasn’t able to sleep on the plane at all! The past few days have been a whirlwind for me at work-I’ve been preparing for this trip for some time, but there is only so much I could do at work to plan what would come up in my absence. Luckily, my company has some wonderful procedures for vacation coverage.

I know exactly who will work on which tasks for my journals while I’m out, which was great for planning. It made my editorial offices feel better to know there is a specific contact person for them while I’m gone, just in case of emergency. It’s helpful for me as well, because I don’t have to come back to a mound of work that hasn’t been touched since I left. I’m so glad I was able to plan for this trip early enough that my editorial offices, colleagues, and I felt comfortable with my vacation.

Now, I’m off to enjoy myself (and to drive on the other side of the road! Wish me luck!). I’ll write again in June!

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