Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Apartment Etiquette


We have lived in our apartment for several years now and there have been a few things that I want to write about because those are things that tenants in buildings need to think about. Some of these may sound like common sense, but these are things that I have noticed and wanted to write about.

  1. Laundry room – if you have a laundry room in our building, and it is shared by all the tenants, please be considerate of using the washer and dryer. Yes, please try and get down to the machine when the time is up, as other people will probably be wanting to do their laundry as well. Note what time you put your items in the washer or dryer and how long that cycle is, and don’t try and do your grocery shopping during this time. The laundry room in our building is the busiest on the weekend, as everyone that works a classic work week is trying to get their laundry done as well as all the other things. Please empty your dryer and washer when the cycle is finished so that someone else can use that same machine.
  2. Recycling – in our building, we have bins out the back in our parking area where you are to put your recycling. Make sure you understand what goes into the recycle bin and don’t just put all your garbage it in as well. Boxes, especially if they aren’t filled with other recycling items, need to be collapsed so that they don’t take up all the room in the bins. If you have a lot of boxes or cardboard, try tying them together because then they don’t take up so much room.
  3. Large item disposal – If your building has an area where you are to place the larger items that you want to dispose of, make sure you don’t just place it right at the front if there is room a bit further in. Know what you can place in this area and if this area is only open during specific hours. If there are specific hours, respect those hours and don’t just leave your items outside this area if it is locked.
  4. Halls/Elevators, etc – All the common areas are used by everyone, so please if you drop something, pick it up and dispose of it in the appropriate place. If there isn’t a garbage right, there, maybe take it to your unit and dispose of it. Halls are not to be considered play areas for children because the noise will impact all the other units on that floor. Bouncing balls in the hallways, on the elevator, or even in your own unit will bother other people.
  5. Unit doors – when you are entering or leaving your unit, try and control how the door closes. We have a control on our doors so that they don’t close quickly, but it seems like some people just let their door bang shut instead of closely it nicely.
  6. Music – everyone enjoys listening to music but remember to keep the volume down so that it is impacting those around you. We have had situations where someone three floors above us put their music on and all you can hear is the pounding bass. This doesn’t make for an enjoyable time when that pounding is impacting your enjoyment of your own music. Also, don’t put your stereo right on the floor because that does impact the people below you.
  7. Furniture movement or hanging items – be considerate of when you are doing these things. It is easy to think of doing something late in the evening, but maybe that should be done the next day and not then. The scraping of furniture along the floor is loud, and your schedule can be different from all those tenants around you. If you decide to hang a picture on a wall, try and do that either during the day or by 8 pm because this sound does carry a long distance.

These are just some of the things that I wanted to try and write about. I could probably think of more things that we have encountered, but I will leave those for another blog. So, if you live in an apartment or even a condominium, please remember that you do share walls, floors, and ceilings with other people.


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Red Flags

As someone that works in both accounting and IT there are times when the red flags start to appear. Yes, this is probably a good thing because it means that I will step back and look at things from a few different ways.

Recently I was approached by a company to quote, if I was interested, on an RFP to review their bookkeeping procedures. As we don’t normally deal with RFP’s and don’t chase them, so this coming out of the blue made me wonder what was going on. The overall thing started to make me wonder and of course given it was a PDF, and we are in security, it was something that I really didn’t want to open. I received the original email on a Friday afternoon, and then on the following Wednesday I received a phone call from the company asking if we could talk.

Now during the phone call, I found out that it wasn’t an RFP, it was just a quote for doing some work with them. It wasn’t just the reviewing of their bookkeeper procedures; it was also being a support person for their bookkeeper. Oh, the RFP had a deadline of the Wednesday same day as I received the call, so that wasn’t going to happen given they called around 11 am. Ok, some of this sounded reasonable until I was able to sit back after the call and go over everything. Yes, I reviewed the document, and then some of the red flags really started to jump out at me.  Now let’s see if I can explain the red flags:

  1. They wanted someone with a designation (which I have) and when I asked how they found me, they told me one way and if you search for me that way, I cannot be found.
  2. The work had to be done onsite at first, which is reasonable, but it needed to be done next week.
  3. I had to improve the document which currently is being revised but cannot have access to the accounting system. This makes it rather difficult to update the processes and procedures if you cannot at least see what they are doing. There are ways to give someone access to an accounting system, but where they cannot modify or do anything.
  4. The timeline from the first preliminary review to having the recommendations implements and the staff training and fully up to speed was 3 weeks. Given the scope of work was not defined and that was what I was to do first, giving a 3-week timeline to something that is unknown is unrealistic in a number of cases, such as this one.

Of course, this could be a wonderful job opportunity, but when I sit back and start going over all the little things that make me feel uncomfortable, it makes me stop and think. Is this something that I want to follow up on, or is it something that is best I just let go?

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Cross stitchers comparing themselves to others

I belong to a number of cross stitch groups on social media, and I keep seeing the same questions over and over again.  I don’t answer some of the questions because I know that every cross stitcher is different, so why are we trying to compare ourselves to another stitcher?

Questions that I see so often in various cross stitch groups

  1. How many stitches do you do a day?

I think it depends on how long you stitch each day and the project that you are working on. If I am working on a monochrome piece, I can get a lot more stitches in compared to a project that has a lot of colour changes. So, I don’t have a good answer for this question. I stitch when I can and enjoy seeing what I have been able to get done in the day. I normally look at my progress for a week instead of a day. Not only that, but I take pictures of the projects that I worked on in that week so that I can see the change.

  1. It took me almost 2 hours to stitch 100 stitches of confetti, why am I so slow?

If you are working on a heavy confetti section, it can take a long time to get through that little section. Each time you must change a colour it takes time away from the adding a stitch to the project.

  1. How can I stitch faster?

Cross stitch isn’t a race, and you should enjoy the time you have to do a project. I will not compare my stitching time to anyone else, because everyone has their way of stitching. You will notice that you seem to stitch faster when you don’t have a complicated pattern or when you are using one colour in a large area.

  1. I can see the background fabric when I finished stitching, what can I do to improve this?

This is one of the comments I can a lot, and what I always say it to look at the project from a minimum of 3 feet away. When we are stitching the piece, it is close to our face, but when it is finished and displayed, we aren’t looking at it as close.

  1. The pattern calls for 25 count fabric, but I don’t want to use that fabric, can I change it?

The simple answer to this question is yes, you can change the fabric that you are going to stitch on. One time that changing the fabric size isn’t the best is if your pattern is using beads and the specific beads need to fix into a certain area. Another time when changing the fabric size might not be a good idea is if the project is to fit into a specific item for finishing.

These are only a few of the questions that I regularly see in the different cross stitch groups. The biggest thing I can say is that cross stitch is a hobby that we should be enjoying doing and if we are comparing ourselves to someone else that can be taking away the joy of the craft.

The one thing that I have done that has helped me be a lot happier with my stitching is not comparing the number of finishes that I have each year with someone else. I know that I like stitching larger projects, so I am not going to get as many finishes as something that likes to stitch very small projects. My cross stitch is one of my hobbies, and it helps me de-stress and stitch my mind back together, so that makes me happy.