I had a friend from out of town come interview for a job at my old company once. He wasn’t my best friend or anything, but we did enjoy some good banter on a regular basis. When he came to town, I hadn’t seen him for five years. He flew in the night before his interview came to our office at 9am and it was over by lunch time. His flight back to Ohio was scheduled for 4pm that same day. Once he was done interviewing, I went down to the lobby and escorted him to the train back in to San Francisco (my office was in Oakland across the bay). (more…)
Archive for the ‘Work’ Category
Before I quit my job, I commuted with the best of them. I worked until 5pm, left work, hopped on one train from Oakland into San Francisco and commuted with every one else in the Bay Area to arrive at my writing class. At 5pm, sometimes you get a seat on the train, and sometimes you don’t. If you look around the train you would find people doing mostly one of three things: listening to their headphones, playing on their I-phones or texting on their cell phone, or reading. What did I use to do? I slept. If I could get a seat on the train, I would take the extra fifteen minutes of peace that I wasn’t going to get in class, and I certainly didn’t get at home, and just slept. To be fair though, I used to do this when I lived in New York, before I was even married. I love my sleep, so I’m the first to take every opportunity to grab a few extra minutes. In fact, it’s quite impressive if I do say so myself. I only have fifteen minutes, and in that time I have actually had dreams. I’m that asleep.
Anyhow, last week, for the first time, I took the inbound train (not the outbound train like before) at 5:45pm to get to class. I immediately took my seat on a mostly empty train. At first nothing struck me, but then, an outbound train passed us. That train was packed with people reading their papers, texting on their cell phones, and listening to their headphones. Suddenly, it occurred to me, I was doing a reverse commute. I looked around my train car and the people looked much more unique, more relaxed, and certainly not like they were headed home from work. These were younger people, students maybe, or tourists, hard to say, but not nine to fivers. A smile took over my face. I was no longer a part of this world, but merely looking at it through a window. I felt relieved and lucky, and when my stop arrived, I skipped off, bought myself a coffee and gleefully headed to class.
One of my biggest pet peeves are people who ramble on, and on, and on. You ask them a simple question like “How’s the weather where you are?” and they go on for twenty minutes beginning with a discussion about their car and how they just washed it, and they had to wash it again, the pool cover wasn’t on, and so now the pool has to get cleaned, and then the discussion moves to how there’s too much chlorine in their pool and they think it’s stinging their eyes, and it just goes on from here. All I asked was “how’s the weather?”. A simple answer of “it rained last night” would suffice. I was really only making conversation to begin with, and I didn’t even care what the weather was like. My fault. I should have never asked. (more…)
I seem to remember a saying that goes something like “you go out of this life the same way you came in”. Well, if this is in fact a saying, and it’s true, I might be in trouble. It’s not only my last day of work today, but also my first day of not working, and here I am sitting on the couch with some unsalted saltines, extra crunchy super chunk peanut butter and a bottle of water for dinner tonight. What does this say about the journey I’m about to take? (more…)
This is pretty early in the day for me to be posting, but since my time is wrapping up here, I wanted to write while this was all still fresh in my mind. I just came back from having lunch with my team of twelve people. Let me begin by telling you that I’m really not close with any of them. I have been social twice, once with two different people. I have two of the twelve sitting in my cube row, and I rarely ever talk to them. I’ve only had lunch with five of them over the course of my almost six years here. I made fun of how they thought they might get me a Kindle. Yesterday I spoke about how I didn’t think I would miss anything or anyone here. And I get annoyed by the dude who says “Good morning” every day to me. (What a curmudgeon I am!). But today, they got me.
I seriously almost shed a tear. I didn’t, but I almost did. They got me two gifts: a gift certificate to my most fav knit shop in the city, and a very nice ballpoint pen with an engraving on it that said, “Follow your dreams”. This isn’t what got me, though. It was the sentiments in the cards (yep, two of them!). This one girl spoke of how she admired my courage to speak my mind and go after my dreams. Someone else mentioned that when I get published I should let them know so they can “bump up my Amazon ratings”. But what really got me almost to tears, was my manager. We have known each other since 2005, and we have been through a lot together here. He is not the type of person to ever share his feelings or be emotional about something. But on the card he said, “Thank you for being a straight talking, dedicated colleague and friend”. I feel a bit choked up just thinking about it now. (I must be feeling overly emotional).
I must admit I’m now feeling a bit guilty for not trying to take more time to get to know these people over the last few years. I made an effort with some, and literally dismissed others. In fact just yesterday I was commenting on how I wasn’t going to give anyone my contact info. Well, I might give my info to 1-3 more people between today and tomorrow. Although, then they may read this blog, and hate me. I guess I’ll have to think about that.
If I was unsure about giving notice, I’m not anymore. Let me paint a picture for you. I walk into my second to last “one on one” (yeah, I know, bad choice of words, but it’s not mine) with my manager and I proceed to tell him about how I’m having a problem completing my last project because I’m not a programmer, and have never claimed to be one. But that’s what was needed for this project. There was another person in our group there, and the next thing I know the two of them are talking about something and I’m completely lost. Normally, this would freak me out because I knew at any minute I would be found out. I have no clue what I’m doing here. Instead, I smiled, knowingly. I’m out of here in seven days.
A few hours later, someone in my group decides to share that they are giving me a gift at the lunch they are throwing for me. So sweet. I never expected a lunch, much less a gift. My friend says to me “How would you feel about a Kindle?”. Umm, wow, I’ve spent almost six freaking years in this place and they think I would like a Kindle? Seriously? I guess they haven’t read my home page on this blog that clearly states, “I aspire to become a Luddite”. Okay, so maybe they don’t read my blog, but I have talked numerous times about having no cable, no I-pood, (fine, work gave me one, but as of seven days from now, it’s no longer mine) and no car. Does that sound like someone who wants a Kindle? I’ll even push this further. One of my favorite smells, right up there with fresh-cut grass, is the smell of an old book. The creak a hardback book makes when you first crack it open is priceless. And to top it off the San Francisco library is amazing. I can find a book I want online, have it sent to my closest branch, renew it online, and it’s all free. The Kindle will never give you any of those experiences. And Amazon knows it because their ad on TV (we have an antenna – we’re not quakers, after all) with two people talking about just that in reference to the Kindle. The punchline is something about how cool the Kindle is.
Don’t get me wrong, I get it. It is cool to download a book, throw it in your purse and be on your way. It’s small, it’s lightweight, and it’s easy. But I love books. And I want to be a writer. Do writers out there choose a Kindle over an actual book? Maybe they do, I don’t know. Somehow it seems to go against the grain of what I writer should be. But what do I know? Anyways, so I said to my friend, without thinking “I hate Kindles”, and went on from there explaining the extent to which I hate Kindles. At the end he said to me, “Okay, so a Kindle is out”. Uh, yeah. But after I hung up the phone, I smiled for the second time. Seven more days.
I have been thinking about this day for weeks, months even, and as the day grew closer my heart would beat a little faster, it would keep me up at night just a little longer, and my hands would shake just a little more. This morning on the way to work my heart was beating so fast I could have been the entire percussion section in a local marching band. My stomach had that cliché pit feeling at the bottom to the point that I literally thought I might puke. Instead of puking, I opted for a throbbing headache. Headaches are perfect for concentrating when you have something important to say. I’ve been working at this company for almost six years now, and if any of you out there has been paying attention at all, I’ve been fairly unhappy for a while now. Besides the fact that I no longer feel like I fit in, I also just don’t want to see numbers anymore. Considering I majored in Math/Economics and got my Master in Economics, that’s saying a lot. Knowing all that, you’d think this would be a piece of cake. Then why was I so nervous to give notice? (more…)
There’s this guy that I work with, and he’s an interesting little specimen. Thankfully, I’m pretty confident he’s never read my blog, so I can be rest assured I can share all this with you and he’ll never know. And luckily, I don’t think anyone reading this will have a clue who I’m talking about.
He spends his life, literally, training for the next marathon. I mean, on Thursdays, let me say it again, Thursdays, he runs twelve miles, and that’s after he’s gone to the gym and to work for a full eight hours. He runs about forty miles a week. Most of the time I feel sad for him, but sometimes I find myself jealous that he has the time to run twelve miles on a Thursday, and that he has so much extra cash just lying around that he decides to join two gyms. Amazing, truly amazing. (more…)
As Brent said last night, “we’ve lived a charmed life” for the past 19 months(happy birthday yesterday, August!). During the first 5 months of August’s life we were both at home. I was on maternity leave and Brent taught an online class. It wasn’t perfect (perfect would have been that we won the lottery, we could travel the world and neither of us would have to work), but pretty close to it. As of August’s sixth month of life, I went back to work full-time, and Brent stayed at home full-time. We live entirely off my salary, and although it’s tight every time we have to pay rent, it works. Brent gets to be with August, I work full-time, but my hours are such that I’m usually home by 5pm, and then we are all together on the weekends. There has been no weekend work, no late nights, no travelling for business, and August is a very happy baby, oops toddler. However, I fear it’s all coming to a screeching halt . A job fell into Brent’s lap yesterday, that although also not perfect, at the very least it’s good experience for him. (Perfect, by the way, would be him getting his own biz up and running.) The problem is of course who’s going to be with August 50 hours a week while we both work? (more…)
About a month ago, we had a new person start at work. If I had to guess she’s about 25 years old. I don’t know too much about her background except that she comes from the world of consulting. I was a consultant for about 6 months working at the Ford Motor Company (wow, was that awful!), and I quickly realized the differences between consultants and full-time employees. Without boring you all with the details, I would sum it up by saying, when you’re a consultant they expect more. (more…)