Monday, February 28, 2011

I've Become THAT Person

You know the one who comes late to every meeting and expects other people to go back and catch them up?  The one who is missing from scheduled conference calls?  The one who doesn't read to the end of the email and therefore misses critical information - or worse - an assignment and deadline given to them to complete.

It's me.

I'm also that person that puts work in her bag and promises "to review it tonight, in the morning, before our meeting", etc. and doesn't.  I'm the person who generates noise, but not necessarily product.  I'm the person who is simply too busy and yet not accomplishing anything in her busy-ness.

It's me.

While lunching with a friend last week and bemoaning my existence in the MERGER company, we talked about value and self-perceived value.  I trust this woman's judgment totally, but I still stared at her in disbelief when she indicated how valuable I am to the company and to my colleagues.  Further discussion yielded a bit of an AHA moment. 

You see, I am that person because I am betwixt and between, so to speak.

I still have the expectations of myself as a Do-er.  Someone responsible for tasks and deliverables of all types - from newsletters, to brochures, to web content, to press releases, to tracking spreadsheets, to metrics and meeting notes, and many many more.  I'm also an Advisor, called to numerous meetings on a daily basis, asked to weigh in on lots of activities on other desks, and supervisor of a staff of professionals.  Back to the Do-er side, I am still the go-to person for many higher ranking executives...who don't really care if I do the work, or just make sure it gets done...but they don't truly understand what resources I have available to me.  Then again, neither do I in the new MERGER world.

So, this has caused a dent in my "Be Positive" year and mental outlook.  I'm feeling a little crushed between the two roles, and unsure if this is a temporary situation that final integration activities will fix, or if this is the new normal.

I don't like being THAT person.  The one everyone rolls their eyes at and thinks - "What is she really contributing these days?"  Would I be missed if I were gone?  How soon will the black hole I might leave behind, become a pinprick or a distant memory? 

My friend assures me people pay hundreds of dollars an hour to consultants who do what I do...advising, but not delivering a tangible product.  The product is their words, their smarts, their insights.  But I keep flashing back to an old television ad (for god knows what) where a client sits behind a desk with two consultants across from him.  They have obviously just finished presenting their ideas to the client.  The client, thrilled with the ideas, pounds his fist on the desk and says, "I love it, let's DO it!".  At which point the consultants look at one another and then sheepishly back at the client and say, "But we're consultants....we don't actually DO anything."


Friday, February 18, 2011

Pillow Talk

Scene:  Interior - Master Bedroom.  Television on.  Verizon Fios Advertisement featuring new App allowing you to connect content on your iPhone with the TV.

W: Amazing.  I really can't believe the amount of imagination and creativity there is in the world that these applications keep coming.

C:  Whatever.  I'm still waiting for my jet pack.

W: Your jet pack?  Is that what you imagined having when you grew up?

C: Yes!  I mean they had it on I Dream of Jeannie all those years ago, why wouldn't I assume I'd have my own by now??

W:  Ohhhhkaaayyyy.  Personally, I'm waiting for the Star Trek Transporter.

C: Oh, you don't want to spread your atoms all over the universe like that.

W:  Well, I didn't say I wanted to be the FIRST person to use it, I want it once it is proven technology.

C:  Yeah, Transporter 1.0 is not the version you want.

W:  See, now if I was on Twitter, this is totally the conversation I would Tweet. G'night Babe.

C:  Night.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tale of Two Hotel Rooms

I loved my recent travel experience to London.  But I have to say, American hotels have totally spoiled me.   Right now, I'm in Denver attending a week-long conference and combining that with some company meetings as well as a visit with my sister.  And the minute I stepped into the hotel room it was just...ahhhhhhh.

2 comfy beds, plenty of space, and that wonderful invention a mattress AND box spring.
Small "cozy" room, uncomfortable mattress in a box

Spatious desk area, including extra table that can tuck neatly away,
or pull out for extended desk space or dining space.

Tiny table, but at least it had 110 voltage plug!

Lovely sink with plenty of space for toiletries. Soap BY sink.

Lovely sink with plenty of space for toiletries.  Soap mounted to wall A FOOT AWAY from sink.

Denver.  Modern shower, with curtain.

 Modern shower (was actually very nice...except), half glass wall that in no way kept water in the bathing space.  I tried, 6 different ways, and flooded the room EVERY time.

Perhaps my favorite difference was the complimentary hair dryer.  Located, right in the bathroom where one might expect it.

When I was searching for something else, like paper and pen, I found the complimentary hair dryer for the hotel room in london in that tiny table/desk in the main room...not the bathroom.

And it acually plugs in by a mirror or two.

They obviously have issues with people leaving with the hair dryers.
They taught us!  Bolted into the'll need to take the desk to get this appliance out.

Isn't it interesting to think about the people who designed these rooms and what their process must have been.  

Oh room service meal has arrived so I'm off to eat heartily, finish some paperwork, and then early to bed.  LONG week ahead in Denver.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Guess What This Is....

No it is not an homage to Dolly Parton.

No it is not two dead bodies.

No it is not a modern plastic sculpture.

These humps under ice crusted snow are the only signs that we once knew a green and lovely spring and summer.  These, my friends, are my patio lounge chairs.

And this?  While it looks like nothing...that is in fact a large dimple and chip on my lovely little car.  I was not upset to see this because I had to admit, if that chunk of ice that flew from under a car's tire right at my car had hit just a few inches lower, I would have been covered with shattered glass, and possibly suffering from an iceball induced concussion.  I heard it hit, and checked my door panel when I arrived at my office, but it wasn't until later that night when the light was hitting the car just right that I noticed the ding was above my window not below it.

And this?  Well, this is supposed to be a swing where I can look at the garden and enjoy a breeze.  The snow is up to the seat...which is usually a space of about 1.5-2 ft.  Will it ever melt?  Will my swing fall down and go boom from the weight of the ice and snow before it does?

And this?  This is my lovely new shower head that hubby finally got around to installing.  (Thanks to our lovely niece J and her family).  I look forward to taking a hot steamy shower tonight before my latest dose of Nyquil and a quiet burial under my covers.

Ta ta from winter in I WONDER if spring will ever come.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Early Spring?

Yes, the weather outside was frightful today.  At first I glanced out and thought, not so bad...then I realized everything, just everything, was crystal coated in ice.  The driveway looked like a milky skating rink, the trees looked other worldly, and the car definitely looked like it was going to need some serious time to thaw out.

By afternoon I started to see and hear the drip-drip-drip of melting icicles and by sundown the trees looked of this world again and all the crystals were gone.  The driveway still looks hazardous, but oh well...what's life without a little element of danger, right?

Speaking of which....

Did you hear the "prognosticator of prognosticators" today? 

My theory is, this guy has a strong sense of self-preservation.  Pronouncing 6 more weeks of THIS winter, would likely have yielded groundhog stew for supper.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another Year Gone By

So a few weeks ago, with little fanfare, in between business trips, I turned 44.

Quite literally, I stepped off a plane on January 13th, was home (on my birthday) for a few hours on the 14th, and at 6AM on the 15th was headed back to an airport for my next trip.  It didn't really bother me much since I don't much like celebrating my birthday.  I don't know why.  Since I outgrew the age of slumber parties or the desire to drink until I fall down, there doesn't seem to be much point.  Nowadays I recognize the date more for my mother than for myself. 

I have to say the number 44 is astonishing to me.  The time has flown by so quickly.  I don't really remember moving from teenager to 20's to 30's and now nearly mid-way through my 40's.  I measure my life more in decades than in years nowadays.  Having been with my husband now since we were 19, it's mind-boggling to realize he has been with me longer than I was independent of him.  We were married in 1989 when I was 22 and he was 23. So next year, at 45 I will have been under his last name longer than the one I was born with. That's crazy talk!

On January 23rd, I spoke with my mother and at the end of our conversation she reminded me that it was my father's birthday and that, were he still with us, he would be 85.  We lost him over 7 years ago now, which is another eye-opening fact to me.

I remember the first time I ever heard the old adage about stopping to smell the roses.  I finally feel I understand it.  I agree it is important to pause and enjoy life a little, but man oh man, life has a way of taking on its own pace without consulting me.

So often, when I do stop for a moment, it is in the mode of total collapse, not a moment of reflection, observation, or appreciation.  It takes effort to pause and instead of tuning out, tune in on a whole new level. 

So, 44, here I am a couple weeks later taking my moment to reflect.  Life ain't so bad.  This guy of mine has stuck around and strangely enough, despite it all, we seem to actually still be in love.  This job of mine is a pain in the butt sometimes, but it's given me a lot of reward and appreciation and some damn fine friends and colleagues.  This blog thing has fits and starts, but it provides me with an outlet and a memory storehouse that I treasure.  This little Yellow Cottage of ours needs some attention (as does my blog about it), but it is cozy and warm and full of love and friendship. 

It's O.K., this 44 number....onward to 45.