Monday, July 31, 2006

Outta Here

I'm going to fulfill my mission to be a part-time part-timer, and stop working. There's a few reasons, but primarily it's because the strategic direction that is the foundation of the effort I'm working on (and what I've been sold as an expert in) is not where they're headed anymore. It's become quite apparent that this big push in a new direction is causing just enough confusion for them to forget the larger problem, which they have no desire to solve. They'd like it to *be* solved, but they don't want to do the work to solve it. But I'm done--although my contract says otherwise. I've got another month to go, but I serious bodily injury will occur if I have to keep coming in here pretending that everything is going according to plan.

My exit strategy? I'm going to spend time with my family. The professional equivalent of 'it's not you, it's me!' breakup strategy. The main downside is that once you express a desire to leave, the sour grapes start. They'll start thinking you weren't any good--and the most inept will say that to your face. But I can't go on about how they desperately need me, because then how can I justify leaving? So I have to maintain that they don't need me *anymore*--and be prepared when they agree!

So I'm in exit strategy mode. First, never take office supplies during the last week--people are paying attention. Always clean out your cube--but do it discretely. And be sure to make it look like you're still working by leaving everything on the desktop until that last run to the recycling bin. Be prepared for visitors, because the most brazen of your coworkers and cube mates will be taking tours to see what things they'd like to have. Right now, my stapler, chair, and lamp all have new homes. (The person desiring my chair was kind enough to leave it until I actually leave the building.)

One thing I won't miss? Long large conference calls. The default here is to invite everyone--come on, won't that be fun? So someone's always typing away, someone else is in the car, and is that someone peeing? MUTE, people, MUTE! This week, though some big cheese had a lowly worker listen in until the topic he had to comment on was reached. That's fine--if I wasn't billable (my new underachieving goal), I'd want the same thing. So that point was reached, but the big cheese was nowhere to be found, according to lowly worker. Could we all just wait until he could be found?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Coffee version 2.0

There's been a coffee upgrade in our building. Instead of the self-serve brew-your-own giant maker, there's a new single-serve machine.

It has beans at the top (which we all highly doubt actually get used in any coffee creation) and buttons for many options like "Latte" and "Mocha" and "Cappuccino". Who knows what substances these drinks are made of, but the new machine came with a lock on the kitchen cabinet that previously held the coffee supplies. My theory is that this level of security means latte is humans!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Working Girl

I've had a couple of meetings lately with this woman who makes me nuts. I could go on about post-feminism, but I'm going to take the easy way out and say it's an age thing. I'm too old and cranky to put up with people who can't act like adults at work. (But I'm too much of a consultant to not take their money and keep my mouth shut.)

This woman is an abomination to working women everwhere. She is an overly deferential girly girl. Anyone who uses a pink pen with purple ink in a professional capacity deserves to be called girly girl. She twists her body up into knots during meetings--arms up on the table, head down parallel with the tabletop, playing with her hair with one hand and twiddling her sparkly pen with the other. I won't even look to see what contortions her lower body is doing, but sometimes her knees come up and she wraps her arms around them.

And her voice. It's not her voice, but her tone but since I've never heard her say a sentence that didn't sound like an uncertain question I can't separate the two. Toddlers make more definitive statements than she does.

"I guess if that's the case then I could do it if you want me that what I should do?"

Her voice goes up and down more than a six year old on a pogo stick.

If I know I'm in a meeting with her, I need to seat myself as far away as possible. Otherwise, I'm going to smack her between the shoulder blades and tell her to sit up and speak like an adult.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Mission pool welcomes marinated chicken, not families

(I sent this, in a slightly edited version, to the our local supervisor and every SF Rec & Parks person I could find a email address for. I did get a response from the supervisor, but not from anyone else.)

We've been swimming in the Mission Pool since we moved to the neighborhood in 2000, and we love it. Many thanks for working so hard to get the season extended! Our son, who is now six, absolutely loves swimming there and we're introducing our daughter, who is one, to the water at the pool. So we're well aware of the need for safety at the pool, especially when it gets crowded, and can even find the staff's enforcement of rules to be, well, amusingly irritating. For example, when my son was learning to swim, he was not allowed to hold onto me by the shoulder because, as the lifeguards told me, he could dunk me. An interesting interpretation of the laws of physics, but we stopped doing it nonetheless.

But today went too far. We came for the 2:30 - 4pm open swim and I brought my daughter in a foldable stroller. I rolled it a couple of feet out on the deck (carefully removing my shoes--no shoes on deck!) and parked it by the benches. Another mom came out with her stroller and parked it a few feet beyond ours. We were both told that strollers were no longer allowed on the deck. The other mom asked if she could leave it in the locker room and was told no, that they weren't allowed at the pool. Why? Because they could obstruct the deck. (I'd be a pretty fancy stroller that could obstruct the deck from the locker room.) I told the lifeguard that we had been bringing a stroller for years, and he said it was a new rule that his supervisor had asked him to enforce.

As you can see in the picture, there is a stroller, a six foot folding table and a grill (which was still hot). Why on earth is Mission pool more welcoming to marinated chicken than to neighborhood families?

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