Friday, January 29, 2016

The fragile workplace

It takes so little to mess up an enjoyable workplace.  A work environment is a piquant blend of location, office, equipment, and co-workers.

I had a wonderful job a few years back.  Bright and airy environs.  Collaborative team mates.  Open and communicative management.

Then the upper management changed.  And the company moved to a new location.  The atmosphere became dark and oppressive.


The area I was assigned to was between two walls with no window access.  And the senior personnel decided that they wanted it dark.  So the blinds were always drawn.  And the lights were kept to a minimum.

I had to bring in a desk lamp to even see my paperwork.

And the collaborative nature of the company evaporated.  It became an Us versus Them attitude.

I left that job when I found myself crying in the car on the way to work.

Now I see issues in my current company.

Cost-cutting has left us short-handed but the schedule hasn't been adjusted to compensate.  Everyone is over-worked.  Joking and cheeriness is at an all time low.

The boss that had a talent for deescalating tensions was replaced by a less experienced manager with a knack for amping up the pressure.

He and a lateral manager disagree on almost everything.  I agree with each of them on different items.  It's like being in the middle of my parent's divorce all over again.

Everyone is trying their best, but the mood is hurried, dark, and frantic.

I'm not to the point of crying on my way to work.  Yet.

But I can no longer say I enjoy my job.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tell my mind I'm not decrepit.

I was outside today weeding, bending over and reaching down to grab an errant clump of grass.  I stood back up and stumbled on the paver behind me.

The first thought that popped into my mind was, I hope I'm not losing my balance in my old age.


When did my mind automatically jump to decrepitude when anything untoward happens?

If I forget the word I want to write or say, I worry I am getting senile.

If I ache or groan when I stand up, I worry that I am becoming feeble.

If I leave my keys in my other coat when I change coats between dogs, I worry that I am losing my mental acuity.

I stumbled because the ground was uneven.

I forget the word I want to write or say because the hard drive is full, people. It takes longer to retrieve the perfect word when you know so many words.

I may groan when I stand up - sometimes.  But so do the young men I work with.  Muscle aches are a symptom of over-activity, not frailty.

The house keys I left in my other pocket because I was hurrying to change into a lighter coat while leashing Angel and trying not to get tangled in Bogie's leash.

All logical explanations that don't include being infirm or doddering.

So why was age my first thought?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Oddest refusal statement

Bogie and I do pet therapy volunteer work 2 or 3 times a month at the nearby hospital.  We visit for an hour or 90 minutes before he becomes "peopled" out, loses interest, and becomes inattentive.

He wears a neck tie and we walk around the wards visiting with staff, visitors, and patients.  People are impressed by his size and his calm demeanor.  And they are tickled by a dog wearing a neck tie.

Most people are thrilled to see him.  He's a welcome distraction in their day.  Others either don't like dogs or are intimidated by his size.  I can understand that and we move on to the next room.

Sometimes  patients are busy with their doctors and we don't interfere.  Generally, if there is a nurse or technician attending the patient, we are still welcomed with enthusiasm.  Whatever discussion or procedure was in progress is put on temporary hold while everyone gets some canine attention.

But the weirdest refusal I ever got was yesterday.

She was sitting in her bedside chair where she could see us pass.  She perked up as we passed so I offered to bring Bogie in. 

She said “Not right now. I’m putting on an expensive bracelet. But could you come back? I really want to see him."


The bracelet is so important that it couldn't wait until we leave?  

Did I need to know that it was expensive?  

I considered going back before we left the ward, but wasn't sure what room she had been in. And honestly, I didn't like being asked to come back for such a silly reason.   

Besides, we have a limited amount of time and there were other people to see who would appreciate our visit. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My favorite bloggers all swear

The Bloggess
Wil Wheaton
Rubber Shoes in Hell
Mark Manson

I'm not sure if it's a coincidence that my four favorite bloggers are not afraid to curse in their blogs. I've been told I swear too much.  I don't think I swear much at all.  I've recently come to the conclusion that I am okay with some people disapproving. .

But I find myself unable to swear in print.  I rarely even swear in my own journal.  I'm not sure why this is an issue for me. Maybe because of its permanence?

I mean, I know when to moderate my swearing.  I didn't swear in front of my mother.  She wouldn't have approved.  I swore less when I was married because my husband didn't think it was "ladylike".

Now I swear at home all the time when I am talking to mysel... the dogs.

And I swear at work.  It's that kind of office.  Except around one older guy who actually told me, "Language, little lady"!

The best part of that incident?  The guys I work with made an extra effort to swear in front of him to see whether he would criticize them.  (He didn't).

Not one of them thinks that saying "Fuck" is inappropriate.  There.  I wrote it down.  It's in print for all to see.

I've recently begun seeing articles and memes that state people who curse are smarter and more honest that those that don't.

I agree.  Do you?

People who curse a lot have better vocabularies
People Who Curse Are Smarter Than People Who Don't

Monday, January 11, 2016

Doctor Who Lego set

I've been on a bit of a Lego binge in the last few months.  But how could I refuse the combination of Legos and Doctor Who.

Two Doctors, because you would need two when the Daleks and the Weeping Angels join forces.

And isn't the Weeping Angel creepy even in miniature?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

It's okay to be alone.

I am disturbed by the public insistence that celebrities, or people in general, need to hurry up and find another romantic partner after a breakup.

What about taking time to recover, time to figure out who you are on your own?

If you don't like your own company, how can you find someone worthy who will?  A desperation to be paired up can lead to rash, disastrous choices.

I've been married and divorced 3 times, and, for me, being single trumps being married.

I had a tendency to subvert myself to my husband's interests.  So it wasn't until I had been single a while that I started to develop my own likes and habits.

I rediscovered my childhood love of Legos.  I realized I like really cheesy Sci-fi movies.

I found out I like Van Gogh and metal art.  I can eat whatever I want whenever I want.

As long as I fix it. Or go out for it.

That's the downside.  There is no one else in the household to feed the dogs if you are feeling sick.  No one else to suggest something tasty for dinner, or an activity for the weekend.

But also no one to take care of when they get sick.  No one to wonder why you decided to work late to finish up your project.  No one to object if you want to take a one-hour morning walk. Or eat the same meal for dinner 3 nights in a row. No one to care if you are wearing the same t-shirt you wore yesterday.

And yes, it smells a bit.

I also discovered skills I didn't realize I had. It's easy to let the other person deal with problems instead of developing your own skills.

Like figuring out how to move landscape blocks when I could barely lift them.  Realizing that replacing baseboards isn't rocket science.   Figuring out how to snake a sink drain because I'm too cheap to call a plumber. Finding reputable handymen to call when the job is too big for me.

Being single is about discovery, about enjoying your own company.

It's okay to be alone.