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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Why It's Called Social Media

Conversation last night in our living room...

My Husband: Am I expected to respond to everyone who makes a comment on my Facebook wall?

Me: It's called social media for a reason.

My Husband: (silence)

Me: (eye roll)

The end.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Good Jobs & Good Times

One of the things that I enjoy about being in the workforce is the variety of people that I’ve associated with. And while not 100% enjoyable, I’ve had plenty of experiences to help me grow. With 17 years of full-time workplace happenings, I have plenty of stories to tell. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed my co-workers. And I’m thankful they’ve put up with me.

There was the guy who saved the brown paper bag from his lunch every day. He would take it home so his wife could reuse it to pack the next lunch. By doing this, I imagine he saved about $5 over the course of 10 years.


There was my boss who was a chain smoker. Our offices were on the 3rd floor, and the smokers’ “lounge” was outside on the patio of the first floor. This was before everyone had mobile phones. She would forward her office line to my desk so I could run downstairs and outside to get her for calls. This went on every day, all day.

There was another boss who loved to chew on tooth brushes. Every time I walked into his office, he would be gnawing on one like a dog with a chew toy.

There was the staff meeting when a guy co-worker proposed to a girl co-worker in front of 150+ other co-workers. (She actually said YES.)

There was the company where I was the low-person on the totem pole so I was responsible for making the coffee each morning. Never mind that I didn’t drink coffee…that was still my job. I’ve been told that I make a good cup of joe. I’ll have to take their word for it.

There was the guy who wore Birckenstock sandals with socks every day to work...even with a suit.

There was the business trip that I took a two-hour taxi cab ride from Louisville to Cincinnati with four strangers to make a connecting flight and avoided getting stuck in Kentucky for another 48 hours.

There was the company that would put us up in the cheapest hotels imaginable. The “National 9” in Gillette, Wyoming was so bad that I had to put towels on the floor because I was scared to walk on the carpet barefoot.


In contrast, there was the time on a business trip that I was staying at The Mirgage in Vegas and my room was upgraded to a top floor suite.

There was the business trip that my co-worker and I had 7th row seats to the inaugural game of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The highlight was being two steps away from making it in the elevator with Alice Cooper, who sang the national anthem.

There was the business trip I ate who-knows-what at a roadside cafe in middle-of-nowhere Louisiana. (And it was delicious!)

And then there was the business trip I ate world famous KC BBQ in a suite at the Kansas City Royals baseball game.

Seventeen years. Five different jobs. I could go on and on.

Good times.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Diagnosis

So I thought I was tough. Just needed one sick day, and I was back in the saddle.

Wrong!

I went into work on Tuesday. I didn't feel well, but a girl can only sleep so much. Besides, I go nuts staying home. I love my kids and I love my house. I just haven't learned how to love staying home all day.

By 4 p.m., I was done. So finished. Couldn't function. one. more. minute. My boss called at that very moment of despair and I told him I wasn't going to make it. Fortunately, I have a great boss and he told me to go home.

So sad...I missed our ladies night at the church. I was really looking forward to an evening of yoga and smoothies, but it would have been a personal disaster.

I got my sick self to the doc this morning. I was sure that I had the flu or strep throat. My throat has been on fi-yah!

Wrong again!

The diagnosis was bronchitis.

Fine. Okay. Whatever. Just give me a prescription for some drugs to cure what's ailin' me 'cause I can't take it any more.

Now I'm back home, sufficiently medicated, laying on the couch and watching a thrilling episode of Yo Gabba Gabba with my kindergartner.

(Actually, it's pretty entertaining to watch her dance along. She doesn't realize I'm checking her out...she just thinks I'm blogging.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sick Day

I'm not at work on this Monday. I'm home sick. This isn't as great as it sounds. Sure, I slept past noon and didn't shower til 2 p.m. But daytime TV is horrid and I'm too drugged to focus on reading a book.

My kids would probably prefer I had gone into the office because I'm rather cranky when I'm sick. Likewise, I'm certain my staff is glad that I stayed home so they wouldn't have to deal with my mood.

To help me feel slightly better, I threw on some sick-girl sweats and went to the local convenience store. I wasn't sure which beverage would help me the most, so I bought both Gatorade and Diet Coke. And just in case yogurt covered pretzels can cure what's ailin' me, I picked up a package of those too.

That's probably going to be the extent of my productivity today.

Impressive, I know. (Blah!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Help



There are good books, and there are great books. And then there is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It's in a category all by itself.

You've probably already read it, since I seem to be behind everyone else when it comes to discovering best sellers. But just in case you haven't, I'll try to sum it up on a few sentences.

For starters, in this book the word "Help" is a noun referring to African American women who work as maids, caregivers, cooks, nannies, etc in the homes of white families.

The novel is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s civil rights movement and focuses primarily on three women. Two of the women are black, and work as "the help" for white families. The other main character is a young, white woman who becomes sympathetic towards these black women. These three ladies secretly band together to write a book about the relationships between "the help" and the white women who employ them.

Of course I found myself cheering for the two main "help" characters in this book. These women worked 10-hour days, six days a week at every domestic chore imaginable with very little, if any, appreciation. Then they would go home and do it all over again for their own families. They were caring, funny, bitter, hopeful, prideful, humble, scared and brave all at the same time. Incredible women!

And the white woman, known as Miss Skeeter, who came to recognize what a vital role black women were playing within white families in Mississippi. The more she learned about "the help" as real women just trying to survive in a crazy, unfair world...the more she realized how much they had in common.

My favorite lines from the book:



"There is so much you don't know about a person. I wonder if I could've made her days a little bit easier, if I'd tried. If I'd treated her a little nicer. Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought."

I could go on and on about how this book touched me. As I read it, I thought about my personal experiences growing up in south central Texas among many African Americans. Looking back, I see unjust things that I was too naive realize at the time.

And I thought about the important role that women play in every aspect of society. Ordinary, everyday women who go about their lives in extraordinary ways as they try to make a difference.

Thank you Kathryn Stockett, for helping me try to understand. I hope I never stop trying.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Top Ten Reasons I Can Tolerate Winter

It would be easy for me to come up with a list of top-10-reasons-why-I-hate-winter. The toughest part would be keeping the list to only 10 items.

So as a personal challenge, and in an effort to stay somewhat positive, I decided to create a list of top-10-reasons-why-I-can-tolerate-winter.

1. Don’t need to shave my legs every day.
2. Get to buy cute boots.
3. Cover my non-toned arms with long-sleeve sweaters.
4. No yard work…more time to read.
5. Hot chocolate.
6. Tax return checks.
7. Valentine’s Day = jewelry from Brighton (hint, hint)
8.
9.
10.


Apparently I’m not up for this creative challenge after all because I had a brain-freeze after seven reasons. (Must be the extra cold weather.)

Take heart…January is over. It’s only up from here.