Saturday, June 19, 2010


I can't believe it's been a year already that Robin and I have been together! I feel like I have known her forever! It's so odd that the moment we met each other things just fell into place. I don't remember the "getting to know you" stages. I think that "we" were just supposed to happen. I think we understand that we had to go through some good things and bad things to get ready for each other. Whatever the case, I'm so happy I found her!

We celebrated our anniversary a little early since my cousin was going to be in town the day of. I bought Robin a Nook, which she had been wanting for some time (I can't believe they have dropped $100 in price in a month!!) and she TOTALLY rocked my world by getting me my dream bike by Electra!

Starting the afternoon we had lunch at the Sweetwater Cafe on James Island. The air conditioning in the front of the restaurant was out, but luckily the back was cooler. We shared fried green tomatoes and I got the Moon Doggie and Robin got the Cheeseburger in Paradise, which she claims is the best burger she's ever eaten! We grabbed some cookies to go (which were incredible!) and then headed over to Mike's Bikes across the street.

I had been looking at bike's for a while and had my heart set on an Electra Townie but as I walked down the row of bikes past the Townie's I think my heart totally stopped when I saw the Electra Gypsy Cruiser... Dark green with painted accents all over it, white molded leather seat with red leather tassles, a totally awesome basket with a sassy lining - It was love at first sight! I bent down and looked at the price tag, paused for a mini-stroke and kept on walking. Apparently Robin saw the love and admiration in my eyes for the Gypsy and somehow justified getting this fabulous creation for me. I have the best girlfriend in the WORLD!!!

Robin's bike, although sporty, isn't nearly as cute!

Don't be hating on my bike when you tailgate me, people! :)

When my cousin, Denise, came to town she took us to see Daughtry and Lifehouse for our anniversary, which was awesome!

Good times!!
Thanks Denise!!

I am so grateful that I have Robin to share my life with. She loves me for who I am and puts up with my craziness and wacky ways. She balances me, holds my hand through the bad stuff and laughs hard with me during the good stuff. I don't wonder where I stand, there are no insecurities. I found her when I wasn't even looking for her and didn't know how much I needed her in my life. She has saved me in so many ways that I've lost count. I have never felt so comfortable, safe and loved in my entire life.

At moments like this I take a deep breath, close my eyes, exhale and say thank you for this... and for her.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Goodbye Garbage Crew

Week before last, after the eight "garbage crew" (as we have been calling it) people were called into the supervisors office at work I did a lot of thinking about the situation and why I was in that office, steps away from a pink slip. I worked really hard to learn all I could in my field and there I was... I felt that the position I was put in a year ago, and the work I was doing, was something an entry level person could be doings so how could I ever show them what I am capable of?

A couple of days later I emailed my supervisors and managers and told them about the radiation treatment that I had to have and that I will need several days off for it. A while later I received an email from my manager asking me to come by her office. I didn't know what all that was about. It could have been anything! When I walked in her office she said "I'm really not supposed to ask this, but what's going on with your treatment?" She and I have never actually sat down to talk about my cancer and how it was discovered, so I told her in a nutshell what was going on.

She and I chatted for a while and before I left I said "While I have you here, I wanted to talk to you about some things." From there I told her how I felt overlooked and that with the job I was doing there was no way I could ever prove my worth and that it was work I was doing 14 years ago! I said "Have you seen my resume??" and she said "Actually, no... someone else hired you." I told her my background and experience and basically said that the company has totally wasted a year when I could have been doing something much more productive and worthwhile. I said that I understood that it was business and they had to do what they had to do.

Once I left the office I felt like a load was lifted off my chest. All the frustration with my job was suddenly gone and it felt good. If they made the choice to lay me off, so be it. My one big concern was my health insurance. Losing that would be horrible, but at this point there was nothing I could do.

The next day my manager called my extension and asked me if I knew Excel. I said that I know the basics and she said "okay, thanks!" That was odd. Later, I was walking down the hall and she popped out of her office and asked me again "So, you know the basics of Excel?" and again I said I know the basics. Hmmmm.

Around 3:30 I was getting ready to leave and she called me again and asked me to stop by her office before I left for the day. When I went in she started telling me that someone in administration had put in her notice and they needed to fill the position immediately... like tomorrow. She said this is the reason that she kept asking me if I knew Excel. The position is being the Accession Auditor for the entire building and all the clients... then she asked if I was interested. She said that after our conversation the day before as soon as she heard the position was available she thought of me. Wow. I told her that I was not an Excel guru or anything, but I definitely learn fast... and with that, the job was mine. It happened so fast that there wasn't any time to think about it!

For the past week I was supposed to be in training. The first day the person who is leaving spent about an hour with me while I took notes. That's the only time I have spent with her. She has some family illness happening so she's in and out of work so my training has been... well, nonexistent. Her last day at work is this Wednesday so I am going to pin her down to make sure she teaches me (most) everything I need to know before she leaves me high and dry! I think only one of the client managers knows how to run the accession audit reports besides her. Every time I go over to her desk to train there's always something happening and a reason why she can't spend time with me. It's frustrating. I only have three more days and time is running out! It's so frustrating!

The second day of my "non-training" I was at my desk (I haven't moved yet) working down some of the old work that I had and I heard "Pam!!" from behind. It was one of the client managers. I turned around and said "Yeah?" and he said "What are you doing??" in a really loud and gruff voice. I held up a report that I had been working on and then said "I'm on my break right now" and he said "Why aren't you training??" and I said that I was waiting for S. to come in... he then said "Well, after you're done with that you need to come see me because we have more important things you could be working on"


My first thought was "Who in the hell does he think he is talking to me like that?" He was a client manager and not my boss! Secondly, I cannot help that no one can train me but her!! Third, I was on my break! I was so mad a the way he barked at me that I went to my boss but he wasn't in his office! I didn't want to go to T's office because I thought I would explode.

After waiting about 15 minutes and counting to 10 a million times while taking deep breaths, I finally went into T's office and stood in the door and said hello. I said "Before we get started I wanted to address the way that you talked to me back there. You were within earshot of about 15 people and I wanted you to know that you humiliated me and embarrassed me. I am not a child so you do not need to yell at me." He looked like a deer in headlights and asked me to close the door - the president of the company's office was right next door.

I went on to tell him that I was working on a report and at the time he came up I was on my break and that there was another way he could have approached me. He could have walked around the unit and come to my actual desk to speak to me instead of yelling across the wall. I was so mad!

T. apologized and said he didn't realize he was doing that and if I wanted him to go to my unit and let everyone know that I wasn't in trouble he would. I said that wasn't necessary. He said that as my supervisor he just wanted to know what I was doing... my what?? I said "No... D. is my supervisor" and he said "No... I am" Um... oh! or rather Uh, oh!

I told him that no one told me that I was reporting to him! He said they restructured the way the audits were being handled and that I was now under him. He said "Can we just start over?" and I said no problem and we shook hands. oopsie! He asked me if I was going to go to HR over the incident, which I thought was odd. I said "Noooo. I think we can handle it."

So... that was my first encounter with my new boss :) I always seem to make a grande first impression!

I'm excited to be out of the billing aspect and about learning something new! I really needed a change because I was so burnt out on what I was doing. Hopefully my trainer will actually spend some time with me in the next few days so I'm not left hanging!

Does anyone know where I can take a crash course in Excel for Dummies?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chicken Fried Corn and the Sand Loofah

This past week went by so fast! My cousin Denise was visiting from Illinois and unfortunately I had to work most of the week. I don't think that bothered her much because that gave her time to lay out on the beach every day. Once again, I'm reminded of how fortunate I am to live here!

Last Saturday we decided to spend the day at Botany Bay. We packed the car and the cooler and headed out for a day at the beach.

Getting ready for the beach was no joke. I'll be the first to admit that I've gained a few pounds since moving back to South Carolina (okay, more than a few!) and when I put on my bathing suit I felt like a stuffed sausage in red, white and black. Not good! I wore it for a few minutes around the house until I decided that I felt completely uncomfortable and when I peeled it off it was not a pretty scene. Ugh. I really need to diet. I decided to wear a pair of black underwear and a black spaghetti strap top and pretend it was a bathing suit! Thankfully Botany Bay is a pretty remote beach and not many people go there!

On the way there we stopped at the gas station and when Robin came back to the car she surprised us with this:

Chicken fried corn on the cob.
Who thinks of stuff like this??

We also saw this really great campaign sign...
It actually scared me a little at the stop light!
I wonder if he won.

We also saw a dinosaur with a bow...

and we sat in a big chair at Geechie Boy Market and Mill!

We always seem to get sidetracked when we drive to Edisto!

The day was gorgeous when we were at the beach I really wanted to get in the water. The problem with this is that Botany Bay has a HUGE shell accumulation and my feet are so incredibly sensitive that even walking on sand hurts. I wore my flip flops in the water to protect me against the shells and we walked out to our hips. The tide was coming in and the waves were big and my flip flips kept folding over and I could barely stand up! Denise and Robin had to help me walk back to the shore minus one shoe... at one point one of my shoes fell off and Denise had to go swimming for it! What a mess!

We decided to sit in the surf to cool off and even that was quite the situation! All three of us had sand in every crevice! It was soooo uncomfortable! I ended up taking my "bathing suit" bottoms off on the beach to shake them out and wash them in the water. There was so much sand in them that I didn't even care about showing my bare butt to everyone! Even with the shake and the wash, there was still sand all over. It was like sandpaper all the way home! Ouch!

Robin waiting patiently... as always!

A Midwesterner in the ocean!

Looking at the fish!

I guess being able to hang out at such a beautiful place with wonderful people makes the ocean and sand-in-my-underwear-loofah-treatment well worth it!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Harassment at Spoleto 2010

June 1, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Pamela and I have been attending Spoleto events, as well as non-Spoleto productions at the Gaillard Auditorium for more than 25 years. I am writing this letter to inform you of my decision to never attend any Spoleto event or Piccolo Spoleto event in the future, nor will I attend any event held at the Gaillard Auditorium in the future for the following reason.

On the evening of Saturday May 29, 2010 I attended the Spoleto performance of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. I bought as soon as they went on sale and was really looking forward to seeing my friend, Robert (Bobby Carter), dance again. As usual, with any performance I attend, I carried my camera with me.

During the performance I took many photographs. I normally put my camera on the sport setting due to the rapid movement of the dancers and adjust the exposure to get the correct lighting so I don’t have to use my flash. My camera also allows me to close the LCD viewfinder so there is no bright light distracting other patrons. Since I had not seen any signs asking requesting no photos, nor were there any statements about photography on my ticket and the fact that there wasn't a bag search at the door, I felt that as long as I didn't disturb anyone it was fine to take photos.

After the performance we were one of the last people to leave the theater. As we exited the theater door I was approached by two older women. One of them asked if I was "on the board". I said "What board?" and she said "The Spoleto Board of Directors" I answered "No, why?" and they both started telling me that "they" prohibit any photography or video of Spoleto performances. I asked them where this was stated. At that point, one of the women walked away.

Again, I asked where it stated that I wasn't allowed to take photos. The woman (whom I later found out was named Gisela X) said "You were taking videos during the whole show. I watched you the entire time!" I then stated "I didn't take any videos of the show" and she followed up with "Yes you did! I saw you!!" I then handed her my camera and said "Here, if you find any videos of this performance on my camera I will give you $100 right now!" She just looked at me and continued to talk about how I broke "the rules" and again I said "where are the rules posted?"

I told Mrs. X that before the performance they made an announcement that no flash photography was to be taken. I asked her if she saw me take any flash photos. Again, she was silent. I told her yes, I took photos for personal use and that if it was an issue then someone should have approached me during the two intermissions instead of her harassing me at the end of the performance. I asked her how she was associated with Spoleto and she told me that she was on the Board of Spoleto.

At that point Mrs. X companion approached her and led her out of the theater. I was so upset about being accused of doing something that I didn't do that I insisted on knowing where these rules were posted. Her companion turned to me and yelled "Why don't you just drop it!" I could not believe that I was the one being harassed and they could not even justify approaching me!

While walking up the aisle of the auditorium Mrs. X turned to me and asked "Where are you from?" and when I responded "Here" she asked "How long have you lived here?" in the most condescending uppity tone I have ever heard from a human being. I asked "What does that have to do with anything?" To this day I'm still puzzled about how where I live, or where I am from has anything to do with this woman approaching me, harassing me and embarrassing me in front of theater patrons!

I told Mrs. X that I was very happy to be from Charleston and thankfully since I am, I know that this city is welcoming and friendly. If I were a tourist and this happened to me, I would be so disgusted and would never want to visit again because of her condescending attitude. Mrs. X's question about where I am from insinuated to me that anyone that isn't a native is beneath her. Charleston is voted the friendliest city each year for a reason and thankfully the people that vote have not met Mrs. X!

While heading down the stairs of the theater I asked her what her name was. Her companion snapped at me at said "We aren't giving you our names!" and I said "Why not?" and Mrs. X turned around and said "Would you like me to get the President of the Board to settle this? She's right over there!" I answered "Yes! Please go get her! I would love to talk to her about all of this!" Again, Mrs. X was silent and kept walking. At that point I was a little suspicious because I had called her bluff several times and she repeatedly cowered and retreated.

Again, I asked her for her name and she said "Gisela X". I told Mrs. X that she had not heard the last from me and that she had ruined my entire evening.

When I went home I looked in my Spoleto program for Mrs. X's name and didn't find it anywhere. I thought that was odd since she said she was on the board. I asked my Partner if that is what she heard and she confirmed that yes, Mrs. X stated she was on the board of Spoleto.

From my research regarding Mrs. X I discovered that she is, in fact, NOT on the Spoleto Board of Directors, as she said. My search did not turn up Mrs. X anywhere or any board regarding Spoleto. Where I did find her was on the list of the league members of the now-defunct Charleston Symphony Orchestra. I'm not quite sure how that gives her the authority to approach Spoleto patrons and harass them for taking photos.

My photos are located at: They are copyrighted, non-downloadable and are for my own personal and private use. I did not take video at the performance and Mrs. X had every opportunity, at my suggestion, to check my camera for video.

I am appalled and offended at the way Mrs. X publicly chastised me and scolded me for taking photos. Like I mentioned before, I called her bluff several times and she repeatedly did a back-step when confronted. Obviously she had nothing to back up her bullying.

Due to the way I was treated by Mrs. X, I will no longer be a supporting Spoleto patron in the coming years. I also will no longer be attending any productions held at the Gaillard Auditorium in the future and will advise my friends to do the same.

I have no idea who Mrs. X is (or who she thinks she is for that matter!) but she certainly is a person that should be ashamed of her condescending attitude toward people she doesn't know.

All of us know that the Spoleto Festival brings in thousands of out-of-towners to OUR wonderful city each year and if it wasn't for this, the festival probably would not survive. When Mrs. X questioned where I was from it was quite clear that she assumed I was a tourist and that I was not welcome in HER city. For that, I would gladly challenge Mrs. X to a test on Charleston knowledge any day of the week!

If the Spoleto policy or the Gaillard Auditorium prohibits non-flash photography then I think it should be obviously stated. There is no indication on any of the tickets I purchased this year, no one stopped me at the door when I carried my camera in the building, no one approached me at either intermission during the ballet and before the performance the Trockadero's (although in a comedic fashion) stated no flash photography, which I didn't, and never do.

Thank you very much for your time.

Former Spoleto/Gaillard Patron

**I sent this letter to all contacts listed on the site, Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. as well as the Charleston city contact for the Gaillard Auditorium. I have also sent a snail mail letter to Mrs. Gisela X acknowledging the cc's.

You know, you just can't treat people like this! It's a shame that she didn't learn this at a much younger age!**

If you have the chance to see The Trocks perform DO IT! Their skills and grace are incredible! It's so amazing to see Bobby (as well as the other members of the troupe) dance en pointe! He's come such a long way since our Treehouse days!!

Aren't they gorgeous??