Category Archives: Work

Lost

I’ve mentioned here more than once about having self-diagnosed OCD.   It isn’t really as much about washing things over and over as it is about repetition and well….repetition.

Going to the gym is just as ritualistic for me as any other task.  How I pack my bag, as to how I unpack it and put stuff in the locker.  I want it so when I come out of the shower, the clean undies, t-shirt and socks are right there for me.  My keys, wallet, ID and iPhone are in a certain place – as is my tie after I get my suit on.

So maybe it is the change in my morning routine that has me all bamboozled.   I am used to getting up early, but not really doing a thing except reading the paper – and having the same cereal every single morning.  Repetition.

But for the last four weeks, two days a week, I am at the gym by 06:00.  In the last two weeks, I’ve either left my wallet at home, or forgotten a change of underwear.  This is unlike me.

Yesterday was ‘abs day’.  I still do my cardio and upper body stuff, but I’ve been incorporating abdominal routines into the workout.  I am so gonna be a looker.

My gym is right across the street from an entrance to my workplace.  In the side pocket of my gym bag, I keep my wallet and my ring.  I know I shouldn’t take my ring off, but I hate wearing it while using the weights and machines.

In the lobby of the building is one of those big kinetic sculptures – the kind with the like eight balls that drop, spin, go down windy slides and make all kinds of noise.  It sounds like this doesn’t matter, but trust me, it will.

I stop in the cafeteria to pick up a little box of raisin bran and head to my office to eat it.  Up there, I realize I didn’t put on my precious.  I dig into my gym bag and there was nothing there.  I call the gym to have them check the locker room, but they found nothing.

It was then I remember digging into my gym bag to get my wallet for the damned box of raisin bran.  It was then I remember hearing a dinging noise near the kinetic sculpture….a dinging noise that was not from the sculpture.

I flew down seven flights of stairs and over two buildings, but for nothing.   I looked and I looked but it is hard to see silver on a white terrazzo floor.  Oh, and that a few hundred people were coming into work and had a few hundred opportunities to kick it across a lobby.

Frick!

I was sick about it.

I called security, but really did not think anything would come of that.  In these economic hard times, it would not have surprised me that someone found it and would hawk it for a 32 oz bottle of malt liquor…..or rent.  Whichever.

I did try to call Denton to tell him, but the man never picks up his cell.   Ruckiry (not Jon’s boss), an hour later, security called – they had it!   An hour after that, I went down between meetings to get it.

They gave me the name of the guy who turned it in, so now I guess I owe him.   My “friends” had some crass ideas of how I should repay him.  Kris was hoping he’ll be 25 and hot.  I am hoping for 35.

Morty’s idea of Starbucks gift card was the only legitimate one….and a good one at that.  I think I’ll up it 10x more than the $2 Mort suggested.

And it seems I will have a new ritual.  Working out with my ring firmly in place.

Song by: Sarah McLachlan

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I’m Just a Girl

I do not necessarily mean to disparage a gender or come across as misogynistic, but oy do I hate being the only male in a meetings with a group of women.

In my last job, I led quarterly meetings for one of my clients.  More often than not,  I was the only male in group of 10-15 people.   The meeting were schedule to last two hours.  They always went over – sometimes by three hours.   I always narrowed it down to having 14 women going of topic and being unable to reign them in.   It was painful.

Yesterday, I was in training at my new job.  The first two sessions were great.  But it me, a male trainer and one woman.   The third session was 15 folks.  14 women and me.  This training should have taken 90 minutes.  Actually, it should take less, but when you have a group, I get you need to buffer in that additional time.

This took three hours.  First off, a third of them showed up after the start time.  Almost none of them turned off their cellphones, even though large signage indicated that it was a must.  And then with the questions.  Always with the questions.

Mind you, if they showed up on time or actually listened – there’d be none of this.  It’s like they didn’t have half a brain in their head.

I’m assuming you’ve all been in training classes and worked in some kind of training environment – right?  The developers put in made-up names and situations.  Almost always these names are famous folks and for some reason it makes people chuckle, though never me.

I will give you one of the highlights, but one that illustrates their inability to grasp simple concepts:   they could not figure out that ‘George Clooney ‘ was not really in the purchasing department.  And all the questions that followed.  I couldn’t help but flash on Malibu Stacy saying, “Don’t ask me, I’m just a girl!”  and then her giggling.

I do not find women to be stupid in general, but man they sure picked them with this group.  I think the women I know – truly know – would have beat these women senseless had they been in this training session.

And they could have gotten away with calling them “stupid”.  I’m not sure I can.  Can I?

Song by: No Doubt

Work

Snap!

No, not in that sassy black girl way.  More like in that, I’m on my way to my first day of work, almost out the door, and my shoelace breaks, way.

Frick!

I said to Denton, ‘well this seems like an omen’.  He claimed it wasn’t.  But then I went down to the campus where I’ll be working and where I thought my orientation was.   It wasn’t.  Strike Two.

Honest, I looked at my instructions, but clearly not good enough.  I went to where the second day was to be held, not the first.  Oy.   I take complete fault for the fuck-up, but to be fair, the map they included was only for day two.  The written instructions were clear.  Still – why only one map?  Ruckiry, (not Jon’s boss) I am always early for these things, and I made the 25 minute drive to the actual location with time to spare.  Don’t you want me running your department?

Time enough to end up sitting through seven hours of mind-numbing ‘welcome’ classes and benefits talks.  Snore.  In all my years, they’ve never taught me anything that couldn’t have just been put into an info packet.

Yesterday, I got to sit through four more hours.  Shoot me.   Then believe it or not, I had to go to my first contract negotiation discussion over in Youngstown – two hours away.  Nothing like throwing me right into it.   I haven’t even seen my office yet.  That is today.

This will be interesting.   I am still not 100% sure what I’ve gotten myself into, but what the heck.


Song by: Jimmy Eat World

When the Sun Goes Down

This was going to be called Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me, but since it is either Elton John or George Michael with Elton John (depending on the version you prefer), it would have just gone into Don’t Let Your Son Go Down on Me – and that just wouldn’t have been a good thing.

But the sun is going down – on this job.  Today.  At 3:00-ish.

Yeah, the workday “ends” at 5:00p, but that ain’t happening.  I’ll be in a bar by 3:30 if I can help it.

My going away party starts at 5:00p, but I’ll have a head start with some chosen people before the masses arrive.

Well, I don’t know if there will be masses of folks or not.  Many were invited, but I do not know who has accepted.  I didn’t organize it. Had I, it would have been more selective, for sure.

I guess it is nice they think enough of me to have a going away get together.  Some folks just slink out of the office with no anything.  To be honest, I’d be ok with that too.   I’ve met some folks here who I know will be friends for life – and how often can you say that about co-workers?

Yeah – that’s what I thought.

I also had my exit interview.  A regular HR person didn’t even do it.  No, the head of HR wanted to be the one.  And I got lunch out of it – so it was a win-win.

She asked me to be candid (duh!).  I’m not leaving due to any issue gone-wrong, but I did express concerns about some company aspects.   I was asked that if my new job isn’t all that, would I consider coming back.   She went on about my level of commitment and high ability.

This was the third or fourth time in as many days I’ve heard something similar.  I swear, I’m not that guy – the one who needs that pat on the back.  That’s not what motivates me.  But truth be told, it was kind of nice to hear.

The irony of the afternoon of course, was that while at lunch, the parent company CEO announced 1,000 people would be laid off.


Song by: the Graces

Signs

I should have a better post for today, but I don’t.

I took my last work trip (in this job) yesterday and drove through lovely ice storms both ways. What should have been a 3.25 hour drive, took 4.75 hours. Tons of cars off the road. SUVs landing on their roofs. Seven car pile-ups. You name it.

I would have taken pictures of it all, but I wasn’t about to take my hands off the wheel.

But I finally get to my clinic and was sitting with my staff in their break room when I notice the sign they have hung on the door.


Yes, they are a crack staff – aren’t they?

I didn’t completely want to shame them, so I didn’t say anything, but someone must have seen me look at it, because when I came back to take picture of it, it was gone. Thrown away in the trash.

I was broken-hearted that you all would not see it, until I decided to retrieve it from said refuse can (it was sitting right on top – it wasn’t like I was dumpster diving).

Sorry gang, it’s all I’ve got for today.

Song by: Five Man Electrical Band

Guilt is a Useless Emotion

This whole thing about leaving my job has evoked an emotion in me which normally remains absent: Guilt

I think that’s what I’m feeling.

Taking my soon to be new job is the right decision.  This I believe (maybe I should do an NPR piece!).  But for the most part, I think you tell your boss you are leaving and that is usually where it ends.   Not me.

I have, or get, to tell my remote work sites – the folks who report to me.  There are 17 of those.  I also get to tell the 12 clients that are associated with those sites.  So, I get to have this conversation about 30 times.

Yayyyyyyyyyy! ?

Oddly enough, I find myself apologizing for leaving.  Why is this?

I’ve thought about it, albeit, not tons, or deeply.  But each time I dial that last number of whomever I’m calling, I get a small knot in my gut, at least momentarily.  I haven’t even told most of the people in my home office.   I kind of want to just slink away at the end of next week and go gently into that good night.

I would like to think there are one half dozen of folks I worked with at this job that I can keep in touch with.  I know that is probably a high number.  Everyone wants that, but I just don’t think that normally happens.   Half of that half dozen would be anok number.  At least they’d be the ones I really would do things with.

Missing my areas and some co-workers must be a testament to liking whom I work with.  But why feel guilty about it?

Pish!


Song by: New Order

How to Quit

I’d say I neglected to tell my readership this story, but I haven’t. Honestly, I’ve been waiting for a day where I get more readers. I don’t get tons of hits anyway, and even less on the weekends. So………

I quit my job this last Friday.

To be honest, it was bittersweet. The folks in the Cleveland office were some of the best folks I’ve ever worked with. Well, a handful of them were, but they were people I really enjoyed sitting near or traveling with.

The reality is, since we were acquired eight months ago, my career has become a job. Extremely little room for advancement and even if so, we’re looking at that in maybe five years. Maybe.

I have been pseudo-alluding to my doing a casual interview process lately. ‘Casual’ might be too strong of a word for it. Laid-back might be too intense, even.

My soon to be new employer called me almost seven months ago and we have been in discussions ever since – whenever they got around to it, or I was in town to talk with them.

Oddly enough, for the most part, this was fine with me. It is not like last time when I was unemployed and needed the job. This time I had a job, a good one, but one that has morphed into something very different than what I had signed up for. So moving slow was not a bad thing in this case.

….unless you were Becky. She has been dying to tell her sister-in-law that I will now be working with her (the sister in law, not with Becky).

So anyhoo, after I got the results from my pre-employment drug screen back, which were contingent upon the actual job, I went in and gave my notice to my kind of boss. I’ve reported to him the last 18 months, but I now have a new boss out of NYC whom I barely know and have rarely seen, but she was on vacation.

“Marty” wasn’t really shocked, or didn’t show it, when I told him. He got it and was ok with it – maybe because technically I was no longer his direct report. He also wanted to tell my new boss, which was ok….with me and with him. As it turns out, not so much for her. She can be as pissed at me as she wants (and she is), but I only have to endure her for three more weeks and there are holidays and vacation days scheduled in there….and weekends. Bring it on.

Like my last jobs, going forward, I won’t be telling you much detail. Unlike my last job, I won’t be traveling. That is a good thing and a bad one. In theory, I really enjoyed the travel part and became quite the astute business traveler. But in the last two months or so, I was beginning to dread some of my trips. I also go back to wearing suits five days per week – for me, this isn’t a bad thing. I like suits. I was never into the business casual look.

So, the plan is be at current company for three more weeks and then take a week off before starting the new job. I’m more excited than nervous. I was more nervous about giving my notice – as deep down, there were certain co-workers and clients I really do not want to let down. I still yearn for validation and acceptance.

I know how extremely fortunate I am, especially in this economy, not only to have a job, but to have the ability and opportunity to move into a new position. None of this is lost on me.

So – three more weeks and counting. And then, I think we will be taking a week away before staring a new endeavour.


Song by: Sam Phillips