Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Someone did my work today

I went to work at 4am for a very specific job and when I got there I discovered that someone had done part of it for me. That was weird. I found out who it was and my boss confirmed that he sometimes does that, but it really threw me for a loop. But it made for an easier morning shift, so I'm not complaining.

Tomorrow is Day 6 of 6 in my long work week.
Friday off, then class S/S (8 hours each day + homework), then work M-F next week.
I would say I can at least look forward to rest next weekend, but since we get keys to the new office as soon as the lease is signed, I imagine I might be ripping out carpeting and moulding or otherwise working on the office space. My partner indicated that though we'll be eating a lot of pizza in May, we will probably all lose weight from all the hours of physical labor we'll be putting in. Maybe I'll cheat away next weekend and at least get my thesis draft completed so I can put that task behind me...?

Final misc detail - I accomplished all of the things on my short list of To Do's today, including:
  • Dog poo - I'm a lazy poo picker-upper, so I had to clean up the yard a bit
  • Mail - I'm a lazy mail picker-upper, but I only had junk mail, which just reinforces that
  • Call Health Insurance - I did call and checked on several claims but I missed customer service, so I still have to call back tomorrow. In my excursions to the garage, I found the papers I needed for when I call them, so that's a bonus, too.
  • Clean up the garage - just an overall straightening, but it was getting pretty bad. Now I can walk in easily, find what I need (all the rubbermades are specific now), pull out my boat or bike and find or file papers much more easily (my file cabinets are in the garage). I also picked up some baby items to send a friend who just delivered, my wood burner for an easy art project, the papers for the insurance company, my diploma for my professional associations and some clover seeds that help support healthy bee populations.
  • Clean the kitchen/wash the dishes - check, dishwasher set to 2 hour delay so it will run while I'm gone.
  • Laundry - two loads run through, including all my clothes and linens from recent visit.
  • Talk to woman about the trip I 'won' - yep, it's one of those time-share things, but we're going to try to go to the meeting and then it's off to Vegas, baby!
  • Call Bank X about my loan - since my payment was only late due to their technical difficulties, I was reimbursed excess interest charged, reimbursed the late fee and my low interest rate was reinstated - that was a successful phone call and yes, I'm very satisfied with my customer service!
  • Take out recycling and garbage - it was getting foul in there - that's the only problem with not generating much garbage - if there is any food waste in the can and it doesn't get full fast, the smell gets pretty bad. Next step: composting food waste. Can I smuggle my food waste into work's compost?

Tomorrow's To Do's: Go to work, then relax!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Two Bees in a Pod

I attended the Flower Power themed party last night dressed as a bee, but I wasn't the only one. My good buddy FB also came dressed to pollinate. Does two make a swarm?
It was a good time at the party - got to see a lot of friends and dance a bit. I was just tired from the past and future week - I am very happy that circumstances are changing for the better soon.

I was impressed by A and my reusage and frugality for the event - we both paid less than 10$ for our costumes and I thought we both looked great. And we got to cross dress a little since I wore his stockings (yellow from 12th night) and he wore my grass skirt (from the Mai Tai party).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

So Much To Say

It's another case of so much to say and not enough time to blog it. Part of it is reporting, part of it is processing, part of it is sharing cool things I've learned and found. All of it is stuff that keeps rolling up to the surface of my consciousness so that I feel this nagging need to jot it down in this location, but it will have to wait because I'm off to work in 10 minutes and still want to load and start the dishwasher, still need to brush my teeth and dress and still should eat breakfast and take the dog out.

That said, since last time the following has been going on:

  • Friends in from out of town for a long weekend - it was a pleasure and a trial. Working weekends makes weekend visits very challenging!
  • Performed the wedding that I'd blogged about - also challenging, but not in the way I expected!
  • Another friend came into town after her husband had an affair. I spent many days just listening and learned that staying home may be the best policy when I took her out to see another friend who immediately starting talking about her flirtation with a married man!
  • Bought an ice cream maker and had 2 not so good experiences. I'm still hopeful, though.
  • Took Chibo to the vet where he took a chunk from the tech's face, but received a clean bill of health - no need for any new vaccinations, no heart worm. Good to know that my vet is not performing unnecessary medication or vaccination.
  • Starting working with a personal trainer who is kicking my butt but also helping me get motivated!
  • A lease seems to be finalizing for the commercial space for my business - we could be open in a month! There is so much to do before that, including finishing my thesis, taking my boards, applying for my acupuncture license and oh yeah, helping install sinks, flooring and painting the new space!
  • And my boss quit, so my schedule is up in the air and crazy ludicrous.

The best thing is that I've got a fun party to go to tonight where I will see lots of friends in happy moods and can just let my hair down. I'm very much looking forward to that!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Smart tramS

Drinking a bottle of Smart water - I think they named it that because one would 'smart' when they realize what they paid for it. I'm not complaining, though. I gave myself permission to drink designer water when I stopped drinking so much soda and alcohol. So, I'm wondering what is the most important, interesting, relevant, deep or life-altering thing to write about today and it comes down to a list of things that are too much everything to go into detail about.
  • Broke up with boyfriend on Friday - this was a good thing.
  • Went to GP on Saturday and spent the weekend watching HGTV and FoodNetwork
  • Grandma died on Sunday - she was quite elderly and in hospice, but things accelerated a lot at the end, so it was still somewhat surprising and brought up issues from other grandma and dad.
  • Got back together with boyfriend on Monday - this is a very good thing.
  • Work meeting on Tuesday - several components of employment agreement are in dispute - need to get a lawyer friend to consult with me on some of these.
  • Picked up a college friend on Wednesday - realized that spending 5 hours straight with someone you haven't seen in four years is exhausting. Also learned that out of town guests don't have any idea what they want to do - unless they come with an agenda, it may be a kindness to just decide for them. [Or, as another friend suggested, make them run errands and help you get your to-do's done until they go off on their own. That made me smile. ]
  • Went back to work today, but my department was slow and it was too strange being back in the world, so I came home early.
  • It's Chibo's birthday (4 years old), so I stopped and bought him a variety of treats at the huge independent pet store down the street. The clerk helped me pick out some natural, digestible options instead of the pretty colored rawhide sticks I had in my hand.
  • Chibo ate an entire Greenie in less than 2 minutes. I'm convinced that it's whole in his stomach at this very moment.
  • I've spent the extra time off laying in bed playing a game on my cell phone, pulling recipes and pictures out of a couple magazines and watching Weeds.

Yeah, it's been an eventful weekend and now I don't quite know what to do with myself. My plans to watch that cartoon movie, Ratatouille, tonight sound just about right.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Another Etiquette Guideline

Just because you feel something, doesn't mean you should say it out loud.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Permission Slip: Never to Read Good Books Part 2

It's a strange day and I find myself needing something to do. Having already rearranged all my furniture this week, it's time to move things in and out of the house. In addition to hauling certain belongings to and fro the garage, I'm taking books to the bookstore. Lucky for me, they purchase lots of used books and I have more than a few to spare.

It's hard to give up some books that I really think I'll never read, so in the spirit of permission and knowing I can always find them again if I need them, here's a list of a few that are hard to let go:
  • In the Shadow of Man by Jane van Lawick Goodall - a great read, but my strong admiration for Mrs. Goodall does not mean that I must keep each and every one of her books in my house.
  • Through a Window by Jane Goodall - likewise.
  • Are We Unique? by James Trefil - a journey about human and other intelligence
  • Edison's Eve by Gaby Wood - mechanical life and artificial intelligence, I expressed interest in this book years ago at a new acquaintance's house and she bought me my own copy, which has remained sadly unread. I know longer remember the name of the acquaintance nor have I read the book, so despite my renewed interest on reading the back, it must go.
  • Animal Minds by Donald Griffin - more of the same.
Okay, maybe I'm not ready to let these go. They're staying, along with Pasta e Verdura (Pasta and Vegetables), a cookbook full of pasta sauce recipes. My recent interest in pasta has secured its place on my shelf. I have about 9 books of my own that might actually make it out the door and a bag in the garage that I'm not going to go through - it's just going straight to the store. And then I'm picking up Joining Hands and Hearts for the wedding I'm doing in a couple weeks.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008



1: serving to defend or protect
2 a: devoted to resisting or preventing aggression or attack
b: of or relating to the attempt to keep an opponent from scoring in a game or contest
3 a: valuable in defensive play
b: designed to keep an opponent from being the highest bidder

I got an email from my immediate supervisor recently in which she suggested a change in the way I do my job. I did not take it well, because I disagreed with what I assumed to be her reasons for that suggestion. She told me to slow down at my job, and I assumed that was because she judges that I may be making mistakes because I'm doing my job too fast. My problem is not with the suggestion per se, but with the reasoning behind it.

Her email was in response to my email in which I had just drawn her attention to several job items that were missed during a recent project. These items were missed before they got to my stage in the project, so I had no way of knowing they were missed, so I brought them to her attention in case there was a problem with our automation higher up. I explained to her all the checks that I did to make sure I had not missed them, but from everything I recieved on the project, I never got any materials on these missed items, but she persisted in suggesting I had 'accidentally' lost those items, which questions my competence in a way that I find very offensive. Even so, I would normally be open to the possibility of my making that kind of mistake except that in this instance, I am CERTAIN that I never received those materials.

On a broader scale, one easy way to check the part of my job I was apparently doing too fast is the other half of my job. Well, the other half of my job is compounded quarterly and shows better performance in the past three months than in the prior three months, with improvements not only in the departments that I directly oversee, but in other departments to which I have contributed ideas, explanations and extra time. So, when I received this email suggesting I slow down, I was not pleased and asked, hopefully respectfully, if she were aware of more errors than those I had brought to her attention, because I did not feel I had been rushing, to use her word, but just happen to get the job done quickly.

Now, this is all actually just background information, because the real issue is defensiveness. Obviously, I'm really defensive about my job. I think I'm doing a good job, I'm proud of the work I've done and I do take pride in the fact that I do it quickly, efficiently and accurately. Now, knowing full well that I take criticism extremely poorly, I still think I'm justified to a) want my boss to provide such criticism verbally instead of in email and b) to disagree with my boss's assessment, especially in this case of a mistake she actually knows little about. But, my fear is that my reaction, which though I sent too quickly (I should always let these things sit overnight), but tried to phrase diplomatically (diplomatic filters are off here), will subject me to the further criticism of being called 'defensive.'

By definition I am defensive when I am defending myself from what I see as an unwarranted attack on my character, job habits and work ethic. (Okay, maybe it's not that serious, but it felt like it, especially when compounded with the personal comments she directed to me, which has taught me the eternal lesson of mixing business and personal lives. Don't do it.) And why does an accusation of defensiveness mean that no defense is possible? If you are defensive when being accused on being racist, sexist, gay, a thief, a conservative, uncreative, selfish, greedy or any other quality that isn't considered positive for the accuser, it is immediately assumed that you are in fact that which you are accused of being. There is this mighty negative connotation to the word defensive that somehow becomes its own character flaw.

And I don't like it. Pout.

Quotable Me

Interest does not justify inquiry.

E and I decided that one needed to be written down. It must be all those manners books I've been reading lately. The context of this is that a friend of mine recently adopted and when I saw him today, I learned that he did not adopt a baby as I had imagined, but instead adopted 2 school aged girls from foster care. I was so moved when he explained his 'instant family,' that tears came to my eyes. I had lots of questions, as did E, but I used the above to explain why I didn't ask more of them. We aren't close confidantes, bosom buddies or family, so things that I wonder will either come out through interaction and my friend's sharing or it's okay that I don't know everything. For example, one question that never entered my mind to ask is why they are adopting - I think most people would agree that asking for personal medical information is probably rude. But asking if the girls are natural sisters or the same race as my friend and his wife fall into a bit more of a gray area. I decided to rise above my curiosity, congratulate my friend and acknowledge that the answers, while interesting, aren't really as important as what was shared, that a new family has been established.