A to Z Blog Challenge – M is for Marty


Marty had been working in Human Resources for many years. He enjoyed the personal aspects of the job and tended to take his job very seriously. He was a methodical and meticulous man, but he also had a caring and compassionate nature. He enjoyed representing the organization he worked for and had been involved in the hiring (and unfortunately, also the firing) of dozens of employees over the years. He had also spent countless hours counseling employees and helping assist them through their initial interviews, annual performance evaluations, and benefits issues.

He was straightening up the bus company’s employee personnel files, checking for completeness and making notes on the items he needed to follow up on. He had straightened up a number of files and was pleased with how his day was going.

He looked up at the knock on his door.

“Do you have a moment?” one of the drivers, David Crowley, asked.

“Sure,” he smiled, “Come on in. What can I do for you?”

David pulled out one of the desk chairs and sat down. He had finished his run for the day and had loosened his tie as he was about to head on home.

“I wanted to ask about my benefits coverage,” David said. “You know my father-in-law lives with me and my wife, and he has Alzheimer’s.”

“Yes,” Marty nodded, “Such a shame, David.”

“Yes, it is,” David said, “Thank you. He’s a good man. Anyway, he has been classed as a dependent, and we claim him as a dependent on our taxes. I wanted to ask if the bus company’s insurance will cover him or at least help us to secure an aide. My wife had to give up her job at the bakery to stay home and watch him. She gets up with him several times at night – just to make sure he doesn’t wander out of the apartment, and she frankly, doesn’t get enough rest. She’s wearing herself out. If we could get some help or hire an aide part-time so she could rest or run to the store by herself or even go to the beauty parlor, that would be such a help. I do what I can to spell her on weekends, but it’s not enough.”

“Yes, I see how that would be a lot for one to handle,” Marty sympathized, “I know the coverage extends to some care for dependent adult children, but I’ve never asked about parents. Hmmmm. Let me do some further research and make a few phone calls. I will ask and see what they tell me. I should have an answer for you by the end of the week.”

“Great,” David said, “If they can’t help us, I might need to take a loan out of my retirement fund.”

“Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it,” Marty said, “Try not to worry for now. I’ll see what we can do for you.”

“Thanks, Marty,” David said, standing up to shake his hand.

Marty saw David out and then went to look up the insurance company phone number. If he called now, he should be able to reach someone before they left for the day.

Image courtesy of Pinterest


A to Z Blog Challenge – J is for Joe


“Joe, I’ll need those revised drawings on my desk before 5:00,” his boss said, “Do you think you’ll be able to get them to me on time?”

Joe looked up at the clock and nodded. “Sure.”

‘So much for getting home for dinner on time’, he thought to himself as his boss left and he turned back to the drawings he was working on for the new client.

His company had taken on a lot of new business lately. With the staff they had, everyone was working at full capacity. Joe spent most of his time lately rushing to get things done by some unrealistic deadline. There was no time to spend time doing a good and thorough job anymore, and he hated working that way. He was starting to worry about making mistakes. So far, he’d been lucky, but the stress was starting to get to him.

It was after 6:00 by the time he finished the drawings. Luckily his boss wasn’t too upset at the extra time he’d taken.

“You’re here late,” Fran, the cleaning lady said, as she came around the corner, pulling the vacuum cleaner. She looked surprised to see him still at his table, “I can start at the other end, if you want.”

“Nope, I was just leaving,” he smiled, grabbing up his jacket, “Clean away, Wonder Woman.”

“Go on with you!” she laughed, “Have a nice night, Mr. Joe.”

“You, too, Fran.”

He took the stairs down to the street and started home. He was lucky he was able to walk to and from work. Their apartment wasn’t the greatest, but he couldn’t beat the location. They saved a lot of money on transportation.

He came through the door just as Holly dashed by, chasing a shrieking Annelise. They were both laughing. He tossed his jacket onto the couch and was prepared to join in the fun when his daughter turned and saw him.

“Daddy!” she yelled, running towards him instead. He scooped her up into his arms.

“I’ve got her!” he yelled to Holly, and Annelise shrieked and giggled in glee.

“No! Not the tickle monster!” she laughed as Holly approached with her hands out like claws.

“How was your day?” Holly laughed, dropping her hands and leaning past Annelise to give him a kiss. He shrugged.

“Me next!” Annelise yelled, puckering up, and he laughed and kissed her, too.

“How are my favorite girls?” he asked.

“I got an A on my paper about Barney,” Annelise told him, as he put her down and moved over to peer into the bassinette. He bent down to smooth Robbie’s hair and rub his back.

“You did?” he asked, “That’s great, Leesie”. He looked at Holly. “Maybe we have a budding journalist or novelist on our hands.”

“Could be,” she said, “I kept your dinner warm. Why don’t you wash up?”

While he ate, Holly cleaned up the kitchen.

“I want to help out,” she said, suddenly, “with Barney’s daughter. I want to do something.”

Joe swallowed and chose his words carefully. “Be careful how much you take on, Hol.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just don’t stretch yourself too thin.”

“I talked to his daughter for quite a while the other day,” she said, “She’s very nice, Joe.”

“Then be a friend, Holly,” he suggested, “She sure sounds like she could use one.”

Image courtesy of Pinterest


Good News Comes in Threes

This seems to be the day for good news, and that’s very welcome around here! When I woke up this morning, I was drenched in sweat.  That was the first piece of good news as it meant my fever had broken. I stayed home one final day to rest, and this is the first day I’ve stayed awake all day and have had a clear head all day long. I was able to start compiling Hubby’s road expenses from last year. I always put together a spreadsheet for our tax preparer.

The second piece of good news involved my oldest son’s job search. His State unemployment ran out this week.  He had two interviews with Valvoline, and he was supposed to hear back on Tuesday afternoon. He did not. I was too sick that day and the next to get on his case. Today I asked him to follow up.  He said it was probably too late. I insisted he call anyway. The manager asked him to stop over for 10 minutes. It turns out that maybe they were testing his interest level.  The last step is now a background check, and the only “background” this 23-year old “kid” has is one speeding ticket. They said he should be fine. They welcomed him to the team, and if all goes as planned, he should start work next week sometime.

Good news number three is that I finally heard from my new school about financial aid, and I spoke to an enrollment specialist tonight.  I am now an enrolled student in the Web Development Bachelor’s degree program.  I begin classes February 17th.  My first class is Learning Strategies which is everyone’s first class.  It’s an introductory type class and goes for 6 weeks. My second class is an arts/humanities class called Film Appreciation.  Obviously, no content courses yet. I’m excited to get started again. It was nice to have a month and a half off, and if I had to be sick I’m glad I was sick during my hiatus. I would never have kept up with schoolwork this week.

Hooray! Yippee! Whoo-hoo! We were way overdue on good news around here.