Friday, January 25, 2008

Does throat spray bounce on ice, like blood does? What if it's RED throat spray?

So my friend C emailed about going to dinner and ice skating with a group tonight. I responded that I woke up with a sore throat but was carrying throat spray around with me all day in hopes that it would get better, and would love to go to dinner even if I didn't ice skate.

To which C responded with:
I like to see you being a trooper and taking one for the "I don't care if I infect everyone" team.
Yup, that's me - I am SUCH a team player.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I had forgotten that I have a mantra.

So thanks for the reminder, Jer. It's a good one. The mantra, that is.

I remember feeling really strongly about that when I worked on campus (is that what makes it a mantra?) (feeling strongly about it, not working on campus), and I remember that those who knew me well could tell when I was really FEELING that mantra. One time, after I spoke, er, strongly on the phone to someone who I felt qualified for the second half of the mantra, one of my coworkers popped his head in from the back room and said, "Remind me never to get you mad at me." And I remember being a little proud, and a little ashamed.

And I've been thinking about that recently, because in my new job as a manager there are moments when I am tempted to speak strongly to people who do dumb things. And yet - I am learning that getting mad and speaking strongly like I have done in the past is not professional. OK, DUH maybe?? I witnessed a situation recently in which I felt that a person in authority at work had every reason to speak strongly, angrily strongly, to someone, and yet - she didn't. She dealt with the situation, everyone knew that she was in charge, but she didn't use anger to take care of it. I was very impressed.

And as I analyze that in light of situations in which I might be tempted to use my "mean and impatient voice," I think my "take away" lesson is that losing self-control, or even pretending to, to make an impression, which is often what I used to do, is not being professional, is not being a true adult. It really is a way to try to manipulate people into doing what you want so that you won't...won't what? What kind of threats are we making when we do that? And what makes us think it's acceptable to treat people like that?

It reminds me of another conversation I had recently with a friend who is a teacher. We were talking about discipline in the classroom, which was always really hard for me. In my mind, it has to do with authority, and with acknowledging and knowing the bounds of your own authority. There were times during that first and only (so far) year as a public school teacher when I wasn't sure how to deal with a given situation because I wasn't sure what I was allowed to do - I didn't know how far my authority went. I figured out some parts of that as a teacher, and now I find that I'm figuring out some of the same sorts of things in this job as a manager - what things are my call, and what things I need to escalate. It's really been an interesting process for me.

AND - same topic - I've been reading these books the last two days that my sis and bro-in-law gave me for Christmas. I've read two in the series so far, and I found that I was getting annoyed at some of the kids in the book because they were NOT going to the adults about what was going on, and so they were getting more and more buried in trouble that was not their fault. I felt like if they had just gone to the adults, and explained, then the adults would have been on their side, the kids wouldn't have gotten in trouble, and things would have gone more smoothly. It was a little bit of a shock to me when I realized that that was what I was feeling - what's with me and authority??

And wow - this is a little more serious than I've been on here lately, or ever, maybe :) , but my (sometimes excessive?) respect for authority is something that I've talked about with friends before, and thought about A LOT, and obviously there have been some things recently that have brought it to mind. And I'd like to get to the bottom of it, but maybe not right now, when it's this late, and I've been spending probably too much time with some good friends today. Yes, I DID leave my house. I walked to the 7-11 behind my apartment to get another gallon of milk so I could eat more Cheerios. So there.

This is one of the things I love about where I live.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thursday afternoon, except that it's Wednesday

It's the simple things that make life fun.

Like the new brown pants I bought at NY & Company last night and that I LOVE.

And the Christmas gift card from my office that I'm going to use to buy sweaters to go with the new brown pants.

And the Lubriderm lotion that is next to the sink in the office kitchen. I love that stuff.

And I just have to say, that if you, like me, are ever in your office after they lock the doors, and you need to use the bathroom, which is outside those doors, and take your keys with you so you won't get locked out, and you have no pockets in your pants, and the thought of laying your keys down on the counter in a public bathroom makes you want to throw up and so you decide to stick them in your bra - you might want to warm them up a little bit first.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I USED to work with foreign languages.

And now I work in a computer field that I know very little about, and sometimes ... it's not that different. Today, for example, one of our engineers sent out a question to a distribution list that I am on, so I saw the question and the responses, one of which ended with this:
Always a bummer to have 4gig DAEs and spindles running at 2gig.
Yeah, I really hate it when that happens.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Living vicariously

It's bad enough when we try to do fun stuff vicariously through roommates, friends, family, coworkers, tv actors, celebs, the garbage man... But it reached a new low yesterday, people.
My curling iron is going to Hawaii for a week.
This is not a joke. Oh wait, it IS a joke - a REALLY BAD one. WAY worse, despite what some of you say, than a pun, which you know I love and consider a very high form of humor.

Uh, I've never been to Hawaii. That's one of those things that I always think, and frequently say, when people mention Hawaii. For example, witness the ACTUAL conversation that took place between me and one of my roommates when I found out a few months ago that the big conference she plans every year is in Hawaii and that she gets to go for a week:

Me: You get to go to HAWAII for work?! That's so cool! I've never been to Hawaii. [sighs deeply]
Her: Well, it's not like I'll get to see that much, I'll be working the whole time.
Me: But you'll be working IN HAWAII! I've never been to Hawaii.
[sighs deeply]
Her: But I won't get to tour, or go to any of the other islands. I'll be in the conference center all day.
Me: But the conference center is IN HAWAII! I've never been to Hawaii.
[sighs deeply]
Her: But I'll be physically chained to my desk, which is not within view of any windows, with rottweilers guarding the doors so that even if I could saw through the chains with the metal file I'll have sewn into the hem of my Hawaiian shirt, I couldn't get outside to see anything.
Me: But the rottweilers are IN HAWAII! I've never been to Hawaii.
[sighs deeply]

You get the idea. And I really would love to go there someday. I mean, other dreams have come true, why not that one??

And all that stuff about "But I'm not really going to get to ENJOY Hawaii, or really SEE too much - I'll be working the whole time, and my boss won't let me stay an extra day or two for fun..." Yeah, blah, blah, BLAH! I know about doing conferences in cool places, people. I mean, I went to Amman, Jordan, a couple of years ago for a conference. And yes, I was in the conference center all day, and yes, I was really busy, and yes, I didn't get to see as much of Amman as I would have if I had been a tourist, but good grief - I was IN JORDAN! And the two or three, or was it four?, nights during those two weeks when I went out on the town, and the one day that they took all the conference staff and attendees to Jerash and the Dead Sea, those were enough of a taste that I definitely claim to have been to Jordan.

So, please, spare me the qualifiers. It's in Hawaii.

And she asked to borrow my curling iron for the week, so it'll be there, too. And it'll see even less cool stuff than she will. I mean, it'll be stuck in the bathroom in her hotel room the whole time! So I just have one request - would you take it with you when you go running on the beach that first night that you get there? Maybe I'll be able to smell the sea and feel the breeze the next time I use it.

I've never been to Hawaii.
[sighs deeply]