Work, Life and iPods 

 First, an update on my iPod: I want to sincerely thank you for the outpouring of support and commiserating that so many of you offered after hearing about the demise of my iPod Classic. I even had some friends toss around the idea of starting a Go Fund Me page to purchase a refurbished iPod. That was completely unexpected, and just proved once again what great friends I have. Even before I finished and posted the blog about the iPod, I had bid on a few iPods on eBay, and I won one of them; just like mine, but a generation newer, so it was a bit thinner and sleeker, but still held 160GB of memory. While I was waiting for that to be shipped, I still tried to ‘revive’ my iPod, usually trying to disengage the ‘Lock’ mode. Then, on Tuesday July 19, eight days after it locked up, the iPod suddenly responded and the lock icon was removed.

 

I made the mistake of trying to revive the iPod right before bedtime, so now, instead of the expected failed attempt followed by going right to bed, I was now shocked and hyper at my success. I plugged the iPod into an outlet to let it charge up, and then stayed up far too late listening to songs with headphones, songs that were not available on Spotify (namely Rialto and Taylor Swift).

 

A few days later, the iPod I purchased on eBay arrived, and I did a transfer of my entire library to that iPod. So, now I have two working iPods. I am certain that my original 2008 device is running on borrowed time and I am expecting it to crash/die any moment, but I’m glad I have a backup device at the ready, even if I don’t have to use it for a very long time.

 The second reason for this blog post is to announce that, very soon I will be a fulltime Work At Home (W@H for short) employee with Anthem. Since April I have been paying $20/day or $100/week to get to and from work. After getting some advice from my former boss, I went to HR in mid-July and, after a series of meetings, a medical exception was granted to allow me to work from home and still do all of my current duties. It wasn’t that long ago that almost any job at Anthem was able to be made a W@H position, every job except a call center agent. That’s changed recently, so that allowed me to even broach the subject with my boss and HR.

The ipod: Alive and well


 

I have said repeatedly since I began working at Anthem ten years ago that I would be a horrible W@H employee, because I would have too many distractions at home. But, as circumstances have changed, I am more than willing to prove my original assessment incorrect, especially if it saves me $100 a week! I am all at once excited and looking forward to the new challenge, and I am also kind of freaking out about the sea change. One of the drawbacks of working from home as a call center agent is, it’s an all or nothing deal; you either work in the office 100% of the time, or work from home 100% of the time. I know I’ll miss seeing coworkers at the office, but I won’t mind one bit being able to sleep about an hour later than I do now, so I’ll take that trade.

 

I had to watch some online training presentations to prepare for W@H and one of them actually recommended, ‘to get into the right frame of mind as you start your work day, you may want to walk outside, close the front door, wait a few seconds and then re-enter your house as if you’re walking into your office.’

 

Seriously?? I laughed so hard at that straight-faced statement that I had to pause the presentation and wait for the giggles to pass.

 

Thanks to my former boss Frank for convincing me to go to HR with my situation and request, and thanks to HR Rep Susan and my current boss Jim for making it happen.

 

I’ll be writing much more as my W@H date nears.

 

I saw the new Woody Allen film, ‘Café Society’ this past weekend. I’ll say at the outset that it was far more enjoyable than the utter waste of celluloid that was his last picture, ‘An Irrational Man’, so that made me very happy. Is ‘Café Society’ as strong as his classics, or as strong as his most recent ‘great’ film, ‘Midnight in Paris’? No, it is not. It is however a very enjoyable period piece, somewhat reminiscent of 1987’s ‘Radio Days’. The cast is excellent, and the script is a great dose of the ‘comedic melancholia’ that Allen can do so well when he wants to. If you’re a fan of Allen, you’re going to see this movie. I don’t know if the movie will win any new converts, but it’s a good film; not great, but good. As I have said before, a good Woody Allen film is better than almost any other film out there.

 

Lastly, the summer concert season rolls on in August! First up on August 9 (One week from today!!) is McCartney in DC at Verizon Center. That promises to be a blast, even though the venue is probably my very least favorite indoor concert arena, and it makes me miss the old Cap Center each time I go there.

 

(I’m still on a high from last week’s Garbage show!)

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Barry