Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

This was my pumpkin for the year, and below is the inspiration. Quite scary to us San Franciscans!

One passer-by took it off our front step and impaled it on our tree post. As my dad said, "This must have been done in the dead of night, when democracy can flourish."


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Weekend Away

We went away for the weekend--without the kids. For the first time. And stayed at a hotel. So you know we did all the things every parent dreams of doing in a hotel room—-we slept a lot and left wet towels on the floor. And don’t get me started on the joys of room service...a greasy bacon and egg sandwich after a night of drinking? What could be better?


Friday, October 19, 2007

Can't talk now? Don't answer!

Now that I'm back at work, one of my pet peeves is coming to the forefront. Have you ever called someone and had them answer the phone is a very muted voice by saying, "I can't talk now."? Guess what, buddy, that's what the 'Ignore' button is for. DO NOT ANSWER THE PHONE IF YOU CANNOT TALK. The entire phone conversation interaction is predicated on the understanding that YOU CAN TALK. Guess what voice mail is for?

I love to tell these people that I'll just call back and leave a voice mail.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Stupid Internet

So I'm back at work, and the usual issues crop up trying to get everything set up. I'm having trouble with my email--they changed the name of my mailbox--and they sent me the change via email. Which led to the scintillating conversation that went something like this:

"I'm having trouble getting to my email."

"Yeah, I sent you the changes we made."

"I didn't get the changes."

"Why not? I sent them last week."


"Oh, right. You didn't get my email?"

So then the dude takes over my computer courtesy of the magic that is the internet and gets me up and running. And I feel smug and superior until later that evening, when I'm getting ready for bed, and I realize I've been wearing my underwear inside out all day.

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The New Consultant's Assignment

At some point in every consultant's assignment, usually very early on, you are sent on a messenger's errand, as in, "Don't kill the messenger". Here's what happens. You get a meeting request (if it's a civil place) or buttonholed in the hallway (if it's not). The individual then proceeds to ask you a seemingly innocent open-ended question. Something like, "How do you think the blah blah blah is going?" Don't worry about giving the right answer--there isn't one. The only thing they're waiting for is your lips to stop moving on so they can rip you a new one as the proxy for whatever individual or individuals you work for. And if it's not a civil place, you'll get a finger poked in your chest along with a few, "You go back and tell your boss yadda yadda yadda".

Every good consultant knows damn well not to go back and tell anyone what happened, especially anyone on the client team. And if anyone asks hey, how did your meeting go or I saw you talking with so-and-so, what did he say; you say fine, it went fine, they're really interested in what we're doing. Eventually someone will break and tell you how it went down with them, and someone lets on that they told the client and got their head ripped off for even talking to so-and-so. And you just nod your head because you know you're there to bill some hours, not get caught up in their drama. Drama is for newbies and anyone without a life outside work.


Friday, October 05, 2007

America's Team

Listening to the radio this morning, the DJ's mentioned how the Dallas Cowboys are the top team as rated by the fans--in other words, when asked what team they liked best, most people chose the Cowboys. Now I'm not a Cowboys fan because I grew up in Steeler territory in the 70's and that was the peak of their rivalry. But I did live in Dallas, and I did go to some Cowboys games.

But then one day something magical happened--I met Troy Aikman. I was living in Dallas, playing softball, and he was on a team at the park where we played. Seriously. No idea why, but there he was. Him, a few fat bald guys, and a gaggle of skinny big-breasted blondes rounded out the roster of his co-ed team. And one evening, he was on the field next to us. I got him to sign my glove, and he touched me. From that moment on, I've been a Cowboys fan.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Back At Work

I'm working again. It really fell into my lap in a nice, neat package. I got a call from a company I'd done work for in the past, and I didn't immediately say no because then they'll stop calling. So while I was working on my very good reason for not working, I ran into a friend, a mom from Conor's preschool, who's a nanny. And she was looking for work, too.

It's hard to get excited and into a project because my time is so limited--and delimited. I have the literal hard stop in order to get home on time. It is hard to constantly keep your eye on the clock and leave before everyone else. And the guilt is an old friend. Wanting to be at work means wanting to *not* be with your kids.

The first day back was a prime example of why it's so freaking hard. Lucy got sick and I had to take her to the doctor. But I laughed at fate because I had reserved the day to work at home *and* we have a nanny this time around--we're throwing money at the problem instead of fretting about how bad a parent you are for sending a sick kid to daycare.


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