Category Archives: Nine-to-Five

Warm Fuzzy

One of the best parts of my job is getting to hear all the hilarious things kids say at school, but it’s also awesome to interact with parents so often. There are so many really great families at our school and they never cease to impress me.

Today I got an email from a parent that made my day. The best line: “We have seen such an improvement in so many areas with this little man, and are seeing a path laying out in front of us that is exciting and full of adventure.”

How awesome is that?

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Like if the kids from “Big” were news anchors…

This is just incredible.  Hey Kallyn, last month we learned the Thriller Dance.  Maybe next month we could take it up a notch with this choreography?

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Filed under MeTube, Nine-to-Five

Graduate Students are the Worst

Blogging is sort of natural for me. I’m a very open person and a natural over-sharer. When I have a hangnail, everyone in my office knows about it. I update Facebook and Twitter every time something happens to me that I find remotely interesting or funny. I like to think I’m not obnoxious… more conversational… but either way, I never hesitate to share the sheer minutiae of my life with the world.

That’s why these last few weeks and months have been particularly difficult for me – I’ve had Big News in my life that I couldn’t share on my blog. You may have noticed I haven’t been posting very often? It’s been really hard for me to write about things OTHER than the Big News that’s been on my mind.

So here it is: I’m quitting my job and going back to school.

After lots of soul-searching, trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, I discovered Speech Pathology. It incorporates so many things that interest me – working with kids, linguistics, early childhood development, foreign languages – and also offers lots of different career opportunities. I’m particularly interested in working at a school with young kids, which also means summers off!

I know that life seldom goes as planned, and I’m not saying that this is FOR SURE the thing I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life (because who knows anything for sure?), but it feels like the best thing for me to be doing right now. And any step in the right direction is positive. So why not go for something that I find so interesting and exciting?

There are prerequisites for the SLP master’s program that I don’t have, so I’ll be spending the next year working on those. And applying for grad school. And taking the GRE. And trying to figure out how to live off student loans.

And then I’ll get to be a graduate student!

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Filed under About Me, Nine-to-Five, Too Cool for School

Indecent Exposure

Today’s guest blogger is my friend Anne (names have been changed to protect the innocent).  She sent me an absolutely hilarious email the other day with a story from work, so I asked her to tell it to the world, as it were.  If you have ever worked for someone you GREATLY dislike (like we have), then you will probably understand why she and I laughed so hard at this.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you… Anne.

I work for a small engineering company employing around 40 people. Our CEO is a tall, swarthy European man with a thick accent. He is aggressive and short tempered. My co-workers euphemistically refer to him as “direct” and frequently talk about how “refreshing” it is to be dealt with in such a straightforward manner. I suspect these coworkers have daddy complexes, because I do not find it refreshing to witness my colleagues being berated.

Recently, our CEO was giving a presentation at our all staff meeting when someone asked him a question which prompted him to go looking in “my recent documents.” His computer screen was being projected, and so I could not help but notice that his list of recent documents included several unmistakably pornographic document titles. One was a jpeg file called “cum tits.”

The meeting went on for almost two hours after this and I appeared to be the only person who noticed.  I am pretty sure I turned bright red.  I was struggling to hold it together.

After the meeting, I googled “cum tits” and “aerospace” to see if it is some kind of industry lingo and got no hits. Then again, that would not have explained “pussy party.”

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Filed under Boys are Dumb, Girls are Crazy, I am not making this up., Nine-to-Five

Why I Hate Moving

Once, when I was applying for a job in college, the team of people interviewing me asked what my organizational style was. At the time, I didn’t realize they were looking for a general overview and not a detailed description of my obsession with lists and my excel spreadsheet nerdery. Needless to say, I got the job, but was labeled “the color-coding girl” before I even started.

My current job, which I just officially started 3 weeks ago, is the first one I’ve ever had where I couldn’t really make effective lists and spreadsheets to get things done. In all my past jobs, if my boss gave me a project, it might have been something like “Build a House.” Then I could make lists of all the different steps that went into building a house:

  • Lay foundation
  • Build First Floor
  • Build Second Floor
  • Wire for electricity
  • Check that plumbing works
  • Double-check that plumbing works
  • Paint interior
  • Tile bathrooms
  • Tile kitchens
  • Lay hardwood flooring
  • Install doors and fixtures
  • Triple-check that plumbing works

And voila!  I’m ready to start moving down the list, checking things off as I complete them, and then reporting back to the boss with the final product.*

At my new job, it’s more like the boss says, “Move your stuff into the new house.”

I could theoretically make a list…

  • Pack stuff up
  • Move stuff into truck
  • Move stuff out of truck
  • Unpack stuff in new house

But that’s about it… I could break it down into rooms… But that wouldn’t actually help me at all, because you pretty much think of all your stuff as a whole instead of breaking it up by rooms.  And the worst part is that I might only get to check one thing off each day… if I check any off at all.  Some days I might not even complete one whole task.  Which is pretty much the exact OPPOSITE of the purpose of lists.  (In fact, sometimes when I make lists of things I need to do on a Sunday, I’ll put “wake up,” “eat breakfast,” and sometimes even “shower” on the list, just so I can cross them off.  Not because I’ll forget, but so I’ll feel like I accomplished something, even if that’ s as far as I get before collapsing on the couch and watching 30 Rock on DV-R all day.)

So here I am, with four things on my to-do list, with an end date of, say, November 30.  But how do I pace myself without milestones and deadlines along the way?  Because I’m pretty sure I know how this is going to end… It’s the same reason I knew I could never write a thesis.  I would end up the day before the thing was due, with next to nothing done (and a whole lot of wasted enthusiasm), realizing I spent WAY too much time over the past few weeks reading Dooce or looking at other people’s wedding photos on Facebook.

Has anyone else ever encountered this problem?  If so, how do you stay organized and on-task?  Are there any special office supplies or color-coding systems involved?  Have you ever used my blog to procrastinate?  (If so, I’m flattered.)

*Please note: I have no idea how to build a house.  I’m assuming this was apparent, but I thought I should call it out anyway so I didn’t get comments immediately yelling at me because I did things in the wrong order.  This house wouldn’t have even made the cut for the stupid youngest brother of the Three Little Pigs.

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Winds of Change

It seems counter intuitive, but it’s easier to blog when there aren’t any big things going on in your life. At least that’s been true for me. When life is normal, I can write about the new Kelly Clarkson album or the person I saw walking their electric scooter through the line at Starbucks the other day. Recently, however, there have been so many changes and big events in my life that blogging has been near impossible.

Work has been really tough, which means it’s on my mind constantly. And as we all know, the #1 rule of blogging is that you should never write about your job.

I started seeing someone, too. He’s pretty amazing, to be honest. He’s tall and awkward and funny and wonderful. And he even let me take him home to Montana for the 4th of July… Which is impressive in itself. But I always get a little superstitious when it comes to writing about new relationships.

And last but not least, after four wonderful (completely platonic) years together, my roommate Brian and I are getting a divorce. Our lease is up at the end of July, and we both decided that at the ripe old age of 26, we should probably learn what it feels like to live by ourselves. So off I go into the world of 1-bedroom apartments on the East side, with half of my previous furniture. (Seriously, we even decided to split up the coasters).

So as you can see, I’ve been busy. I’m hoping that things will settle down soon, one way or another, but until then, bear with me. I’ll try to make it worth the wait.

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Filed under About Me, Boys are Dumb, Girls are Crazy, Keeping Portland Weird, Nine-to-Five

Letting Go

Today someone I work closely with was “let go.” This has happened to me before. At my last job, one of my closest coworkers and friends was fired about six months after I started working there. But as with most things, it’s different at a nonprofit.

Of course, all of the regular emotions and issues are in play: Where will she go? What will she do? How will she make ends meet? Particularly in this economy?

But there’s also the question of what our institution just “let go.”

This woman was an integral part of the hospital, the university, and the community that surrounds it. She’d been working there for most of my lifetime, and a significant chunk of hers. There will never be another person who cared as much about the mission, the patients, and the families of the hospital. She was everyone’s go-to gal. If you didn’t know the answer to a question, inevitably someone told you to call her and she had it. She worked harder and longer than the rest of us and never asked for any recognition or attention in return. She cared about her coworkers and always made us laugh. I had talked with her before about why I got involved with The Foundation and she told me about how rewarding her job was. She was the type of person I hoped I would someday be.

Why do they say that they “let someone go?” It’s as if your employer were the only thing holding you up and they just couldn’t do it anymore. What a horrible analogy in this instance. By all means, this woman was the backbone of the place that employed her. Yes, she received a paycheck from them every month, but it was the least they could do in exchange for the glue that held everything together and made the organization what a beautiful thing it was.

Nonprofit organizations are started by people who care more about the mission than they do the paycheck. Many of our employees are like this even now, and that’s after more than 50 years as an establishment. Why is it that when funding is low, the first ones to go are the types of people that started it all?

I don’t have any answers. Just sadness. And the knowledge that things will never be the same.

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Filed under Bleeding-Heart Liberal, Deep Thoughts, Nine-to-Five