Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I thought of a blessing today that I have been remiss in being thankful for…my boss.

She has been incredibly supportive, and I find it a privilege to work with her because she is grace and maturity and professionalism personified.

But, what I thought of today was not these qualities. What I thought of was the fact that she is a talented writer. She wrote the descriptions of the core values at our work. The language is simply beautiful. Succinct and descriptive and powerful all at once. Some month ago, I was surprised to learn that she wrote them. But I shouldn’t have been.

She is a great editor. She can take my writing and polish it to a beautiful shine. A word here, a phrase there. And, of course, her blatant deletions. I moan and groan when she deletes whole sentences, or even worse whole paragraph. And I near keel over when she takes nearly every bit of “passionate” description (non-business metaphors) and forces me to focus. But her efforts always makes my writing better.

We do argue a bit. For example, she is against the use of “both” when I fundamentally believe that you need to lead the average reader these days…you need to set them up for compound ideas when those ideas are long and full of adjectives, adverbs, or modifying phrases. The word “both” serves as a trigger to the reader to remind them to look for two things in the sentence, not one. But alas nearly every “both” has been stricken from my writing.

I am working on web site text and marketing collateral text and letters and ads and handbooks and proposals and… I enjoy writing. I revel in this aspect of my work.

And I am thankful that I have someone serving as an editor who is clearly talented and makes every word I write better.

What writer could want more?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I stayed home yesterday because I was feeling ill.

I worked from 9:00 AM until Midnight with just an hour break…other than being sick in the bathroom.

I have to stop doing this to myself!

I did get some good work done though…does that matter?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

My father told me that the magnet is missing off the back of his car. It is one of those “support our troops” magnets that have an America flag theme. It is a strong magnet that could hardly have fallen off. Someone had to have taken it.

Was it someone who is against having troops in Iraq and was making a statement?

Was it someone who was just doing so for a lark?

Was it someone who wanted a magnet for himself and could not afford the $1.50 cost?

Which scenario would you choose? The pessimistic, the practical, or the pitiful?

Friday, March 25, 2005

I am so angry this evening and I am frustrated with myself because I am right back where I am trying not to be.

I had someone dump a handbook for a new course on my lap this afternoon. It is not that document to review was 24 pages, it was that the course begins next Monday and for the THIRD time I was asked to review a student handbook last minute.

I cannot catch everything in a 24 page document in one reading, especially when I am also trying to make the formatting consistent.

So the job is left undone. The students are given a less-than-top quality done. And I end up working until 8:45 PM on a Friday evening trying to do the impossible.

How do I not resent this?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Why do so many drivers feel as if they can run red lights without any thought toward the LAW or other drivers? Or why do drivers feel that, in traffic, they can sit in an intersection even knowing that the light will be changing soon and they will be blocking traffic? Why do so many drivers seem to have forgotten the use of turn signals?

Traffic is a great opportunity to examine your patience, your equanimity, your character…your faith.

I find myself wanting in traffic. I am not patient. I am not calm. I do not always think the best thoughts about those rude drivers when they cross my path.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I worked Saturday and Sunday. WHY?

Friday, March 18, 2005

I am disappointed in myself. I vowed not to end up doing the work for others on these nominations. Yet over the last two weeks, I have spent more time trying to get others to work on them than it would have taken me to write them myself if I could get the source material. I also clearly said that I would not work on them the day they were due, but I did.

I drew a line in the sand and watched while others walked past.

I wish I could figure out a way to set boundaries that work at work. I want to be able to say that when it comes to doing things at the last minute, when the opportunity was there to plan and prepare, I will not end up helping to bail people out.

But can I say that? Even as a manager?

I am working too much…staying late too often…logging on at night and during the weekends too much.

Monday, March 07, 2005

We had an intervention of sorts today. I thought it was going to be a working out of things, but I felt more attacked than anything. I feel battered and bruised and hardly hopeful that anything will change.

I single handedly seem to be discrediting this person’s reputation at work. She is angry over stuff from last fall that I didn’t even know about. I am selfish and unhelpful and disingenuous and not a team player and …

Am I these things?

Have I not spent eleven months trying to raise the caliber of communications and getting marketing tools in place for people to use? Have I not ended up working last minute time and time again while watching the tasks I’ve asked to be done fall by the wayside over and over?

I am not saying I’m perfect. I am not.

However, I am not the person she believes me to be.

I honestly cannot see how today’s meeting helped. She said that she could walk away from her frustration and anger at me and start anew, but I am not hopeful. We are to avoid email and use the phone. I am not hopeful that will happen either.

Where is that attitude adjustment when you need it?

It is business, not personal. It is business, not personal. It is business, not personal.

Friday, March 04, 2005

What a week. For once I wrote something in an email that I would NEVER normally have said. I let my frustration override reason and responded in writing to something that I shouldn’t have. And then…oh boy…and then instead of forwarding the email as I intended, I hit reply.


I used the phrase “beating a dead horse” because I had decided that I was not going to do that anymore at work. I was going to stop beating my head against the wall at work. The dead horse referred to an event, not a person. Yet, the person thought it was her and life just got really complicated.

One click of a mouse and I find myself in quicksand.

My apology was rejected. I am sorry for her receiving the email, but I am not sorry for my frustration or my language because I did not call her a dead horse.

One click and disaster. I am feeling rather melodramatic.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The first day of a new month. A new beginning? I hope so.

I have found myself growing more and more pessimistic at work at times. I enjoy what I do. I marvel at the mission of the company. But I rail against the things at work that drive me crazy.

I cannot believe how many people leave things until the last minute. How many people come to meetings late. How many people are okay with sending out emails, letters, proposals, etc. that have not been spell-checked or proofed with any reliable accuracy.

But, more importantly, I am frustrated by how seemingly perceptions seem more important than reality. I check myself. I recount my actions. I pray. And… yet…most of the time when I am trying to help, I am perceived as not doing so.

I just wish I could live as a hermit, where nothing I do or say can be misinterpreted.

I wonder if I am wrong in thinking that, for the most part, no matter what is going on in my life I don’t let it affect my productivity or take it out on someone else?

A while ago, someone in senior management yelled at me and threatened me with my job. He apologized to my boss, but never to me. I learned that other things were going on, but I never would have yelled at him. I would never say half the stuff I hear from others or listen to on my voicemail or read in email.

But if I were honest with myself I would admit that my frustrations have spilled out onto the one person who does not deserve it. My boss. Frankly she should be up for corporate sainthood these days.