Archive for the 'career' Category

19
Jun
12

randomness.

It’s been so long since I posted. And I’d really like to post a thoughtful and meaningful entry. But frankly, I’m just too tired to put that much thought into a post right now.  Instead, a laundry list of randomness will have to do.

– Jolie started rolling over last week. It was SO exciting and sad at the same time. It was sad because I missed it – I was working. Of course, she’s rolled over 100 times since then, but I missed the first one. My brain kept telling me “Don’t overreact. It’s not a big deal. There are going to be a million ‘firsts’. Don’t sweat it.” Unfortunately, my heart didn’t agree. I found myself crying at my desk. Absolutely pathetic. At least nobody saw me!

– I continue to be annoyed daily by the idiots of the world. I would be so much happier if we could eliminate cigarette litterers, cops on segways, low-rider cars, traffic and bumper stickers.
Sleep training is going ok. The “cry-it-out” part is getting easier and shorter. But she’s still pretty inconsistent with her sleeping. Last night was a good night, but the night before was a very bad night.
– I LOVE living on Alki. I think it’s one of the most awesome neighborhoods in Seattle. LOVE IT!
– We had a lovely father’s day on Sunday. We had some friends over for brunch and then had the rest of the day to relax. It was perfect!
– Derek, my mom and Kristen sat me down the other day and had an “intervention” for me. For my shoulder. They are worried that I’m not doing my physical therapy and that it’s not getting better and won’t get better. It was all very dramatic and over the top. The truth is that I’m exhausted and the physical therapy takes an hour each night. But, I know that they are right and that I do need to make more of an effort. I’m only hurting myself. In fact, I need to wrap this up so I can get to it.
04
Jun
12

clenched teeth.

It has been an emotionally trying week with Jolie. First of all, we started sleep training on Friday…the cry-it-out method. We started sleep training for two reasons. We’d like her to develop some better self-soothing skills and she needs to start sleeping better throughout the night. She’s waking up WAY too many times throughout the night and we’d like to get her in a better routine. It is so hard to listen to your baby cry. I can’t stand it. My nails are gone. My jaw is tense from clenching it. And I think I’ve developed a twitch. I keep waiting for it to get easier.

The second traumatizing event is that she started daycare today because Derek returned to work. I really love our daycare situation, but it was still hard. Really hard.  I cried after we dropped her off and I felt super anxious all day.  Our daycare owner was SO sweet and compassionate; she even texted me updates and photos throughout the day (see photo below). Clearly Jolie handled it better than me! Hopefully this gets easier.

Update: After 36 minutes of crying, she just fell asleep. Yay!

15
May
12

ten reasons I hate my blackberry.

  1. I do not understand why they bother having a web browser app (or any app for that matter) because trying to view a website is a slow and frustrating task. I swear it takes minutes to pull up a website. No thanks. I’d rather chew my arm off.
  2. There is absolutely no “cool” factor to it. In fact, I think I probably get negative “cool points” for having one.
  3. Blackberry should have gone out of business 5 years ago. Given the current mobile technology, it’s WAY behind the times. My guess is that corporate companies (like mine) keep blackberry in business. WHY?!?!
  4. I have major app envy. Pandora, word with friends, amazon, skype, allrecipes…sigh…in my dreams.
  5. It drops calls like crazy. I understand that this could be a network problem but I know other people who have the same network and their phones don’t drop calls.
  6. It’s embarrassing to have one. When out in public, I try to keep mine concealed as much as possible. I might as well be carrying around a walk-man.
  7. The ONLY thing that it’s good for is checking my work email and frankly that’s just not good enough.
  8. Design-wise it’s the most hideous, clunky piece of technology ever. I’d rank it right up there with the Zack Morris cell phone.
  9. The camera is a total piece.
  10. Because I’m so frustrated with Blackberry’s limited functionality, I’m think I’m going to have to buck-up and get a second phone or a tablet. Currently, I’m debating between the ipad 3 or the Samsung galaxy 7.7 tab. If anyone has any thoughts, I’d love to hear them!
04
May
12

i’m back.

After much internal debate, I’ve decided to continue to blog. Even though I’m really short on time (and sleep) these days, it seems worth it. I love having a record of my life. Being able to look back and reflect on all the good times.  That being said, it’s a little daunting now that so much time has passed. How do I possibly sum up the last 5 months?!?  Where do I start?

I guess I’ll just jump right in. On December 16th, we had a baby! Her name is Jolie and I absolutely adore her. I’m brimming with love and beaming with pride. The story of her birth is something that I want to record and share, but it’s long and emotional and deserves its own post. I was lucky enough to spend 16 weeks off work with her and I have just recently returned to work. I’m not going to lie – it’s been hard. Part of me is happy to rejoin a world where showers are a daily occurrence and there is activity to stimulate my brain. The other part of me is aching for Jolie. I’m afraid that I’m missing out. Scared that I won’t be the one that she seeks out when she needs comforting. Terrified that someday I may regret the decision to work.  I feel like I’m trying to do a million things and I’m not doing anything well. I could go on and on about this club that I’ve joined – the working mom club. It’s a club that you cannot relate to until you’ve joined.

One thing that has made it easier to return to work is that my  husband is taking 8 weeks off to stay home with the boot. It’s been a much easier transition for me than if we were already taking her daycare. And she LOVES being at home with her dad. But daycare D-day is quickly approaching and is looming in the back of my head. The good news is that Jolie will only be going to daycare 3 days a week and we feel really comfortable and very excited about our daycare situation. I couldn’t be more pleased with the daycare itself – I think it’s going to be perfect.

Over and out for now. It’s good to be back.

13
Mar
11

thank goodness.

I must say, I’ve never been happier for Sunday to come around. Last week was one of the worst weeks ever. I’m really ready to start a new week – fresh.

  • Monday I had undoubtedly the worst day of my professional career. I made a big mistake. I didn’t make the initial mistake, but I contributed to it and should have caught it. It was my responsibility to catch it and I didn’t. I’m not going to get into the details, because frankly, I’m tired of thinking about it, but it was bad news. It was one of those knock-the-wind-out-of-you, wake-me-up-from this-nightmare, is-this-really-happening moments. Luckily I work with some really amazing people, and everyone rallied.
  • Due to some technical difficulties, I couldn’t start p90x last week, but now I’m all set and ready to go now! Tomorrow I start!
  • I’ve been having headaches, so I went to the eye doctor. Turns out, I’m nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. Perfect. Thanks. How does that even happen??
  • I’m fighting allergies or a cold. It’s more annoying than anything and I’m really tired of sneezing. I always get nervous when I’m having a sneeze attack while I’m driving. I always feel like I’m going to get in an accident. Anyone else?

There are a few other things that happened this week, but they aren’t mine to share. So I won’t. All in all, the stress-o-meter has just been running too high. Sorry to be such a whiny blogger tonight. I promise I won’t make a habit of it. Luckily, today marks the start of a new week!

18
Jan
11

business jargon.

I was laughing out loud at my desk today. Forbes published an article about annoying business jargon. I’ve been in the workforce for 7 years now and I can attest that this kind of jargon has permeated everyone. Including me!

Here is the Forbes list. Some of these I’ve never heard before, and some of these I hear 20 times a day in Corporate America.

Drill Down

A phrase often wielded by superiors wanting a subject examined more closely. “Drill down to what?” asks Shut Up and Say Something author Karen Friedman. “The oil?”

Low-Hanging Fruit

A professional in advertising who would like to remain anonymous tells us: “If I hear my boss say ‘low-hanging fruit’ one more time, I’m gonna lose it!” Her boss wields the cliché when describing everything from blogs his charges should read to customers they should call. “Sometimes,” confides our informant, “I dream of literal fruit, hanging low, especially after a staff meeting.” The phrase has become a catch-all for managerial types who are trying to say “do the easy things first.” Perhaps they should just say that.

Ducks In a Row

Do you have ducks? Even if you somehow do have ducks–and really, who has ducks?–what good does it do to get them in a row? Will ducks even assent to such an arrangement? The saying apparently comes from the earlier days of bowling before machines set pins automatically. One needed to get his ducks in a row before, invariably, hurling a weighty ball down the alley to blast the poor ducks into a pathetic, unorganized flock. Does that really describe a business plan? We don’t think so.

Let’s Talk That

For some troubled souls this phrase takes the place of “let’s discuss that,” or “let’s talk about that.” As with most jargon, the origin of this message is unknown and inexplicable. Sandi Straetker, an account executive with Priority Public Relations in Cincinnati, has been trying to help a relative move away from this phrase’s nasty clutches. “Every time he says it, I just want to shoot him with my grammar cop gun,” she says. Let’s talk that? Talk this.

Hard Stop

An executive with a “hard stop” at 3 p.m. is serious about stopping at 3 p.m. Very serious. And very important. Or at least that’s how it comes off, says Patricia Kilgore, president of Sterling Kilgore, a Chicago area public relations and marketing firm. “To me it sounds like ‘This meeting isn’t really that important, so I need a way to get out of it,'” Kilgore says. A heart attack is a hard stop, Kilgore adds; anything else is just a conflict.

Price Point

“Come on, seriously, why say ‘price point’?” begs Duncan Phillips, an account executive at The Hodges Partnership, a communications firm in Richmond, Va. Price point merely means price, of course. “So just say price,” implores Phillips.

Think Outside the Box

A horrible cliché. One commenter at Forbes.com says, “Forget the box, just think.” Novel idea.

Giving 110%

The mere notion is nonsensical. Not only that, but it’s also a favorite of meathead football coaches. Next!

Synergize

Say what? This word has infiltrated nearly every cube and conference room in the country. The fault here can largely be placed on one seminal advice author. In Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, the No. 6 habit is Synergize. Of the habit, Covey writes, “To put it simply, synergy means two heads are better than one.” Covey readers might recall getting the same advice in simpler terms several decades earlier from Sesame Street. Big Bird called it “cooperation.”

Move the Needle

This beauty is a favorite of venture capitalists. If something doesn’t move the needle, they don’t like it much. So when pitching VCs, ensure you make clear your intentions of moving the needle. Or you could always just say your product will be better than others.

Boil the Ocean

Global warming? No. Some wacky alchemy? Not quite. To boil the ocean, in fact, means to waste time. The thinking here, we suppose, is that boiling the ocean would take a long time. It would also take a long time to walk to Jupiter. But we don’t say that. Nor should we reference boiling oceans, even the Arctic, which is the smallest. It would be a waste of time

It is what it is.

No kidding. Thanks for the insight.

Learning (the Made-Up, Annoying Noun Version)

Like most educated people, Michael Travis, principal of Executive Search for Life Sciences, a headhunting firm, knows how to conjugate a verb. That’s why he cringes when his colleagues use the word “learning” as a noun. As in: “I had a critical learning from that project,” or “We documented the team’s learnings.” Whatever happened to simply saying: “I learned a lesson from that project?”

Full Service

If you don’t work at a gas station, why borrow the cliché? “If I hear one more professional describe their business as ‘full service,’ I’m going to scream,” says Deborah Shames, co-author of Own The Room: Business Presentations that Engage, Persuade and Get Results.“Does this mean your investment firm drops off dry cleaning and provides babysitters?”

Over The Wall

If you’re not wielding a grappling hook, avoid this meaningless expression. Katie Clark, an account executive at Allison & Partners, a San Francisco public relations firm, got a request from her boss to send a document “over the wall.” Did he want her to print out the document, make it into a paper airplane and send it whooshing across the office? Finally she asked for clarification. “It apparently means to send something to the client,” she says. “Absurd!” Agreed.

Impact

This wannabe verb came to prominence, says Bryan Garner, editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary, because most people don’t understand the difference between the words “affect” and “effect.” Rather than risk mixing them up, they say, “We will impact our competitor’s sales with this new product.” A tip: “Affect” is most commonly a verb, “effect” a noun. For instance: When you affect my thinking, you may have an effect on my actions.

Out Of Pocket

Many auto-reply e-mails now carry the phrase: “I’m ‘out of pocket’ until next week.” Mark Daly, an account manager at the Davies Murphy Group, a marketing firm, isn’t sure where the phrase started, but he’d like for its use to stop: “Expenses come out of pockets, quarterbacks come out of the pocket, but Johnny, well he’ll just be plain unavailable or out of the office.”

Take It To the Next Level

In theory this means to make something better. In practice, “the phrase means absolutely nothing,” says Laurent Duperval, who runs an eponymous consulting company in Quebec. “Nobody knows what the next level actually looks like, so how am I supposed to know when I’ve reached it?” (For ways of actually measuring what’s going on at your company, check out: “Nine Enlightening Business-Performance Metrics.”)

Solution

This word has come to mean everything from the traditional way to solve a mathematical proof to a suite of efficiency-enhancing software–and it is perhaps the epitome of lingual laziness. Says Glen Turpin, a communications consultant: “It usually refers to a collection of technologies too abstract or complex to describe in a way that anyone would care about if they were explained in plain English.”

Manage Expectations

This cliché sends up warning flares for Patrick Gray, president of Prevoyance Group, a strategy consulting firm in Charlotte, N.C. His translation: “You’re telling co-workers what we’re going to give the client will suck, but you have to convince the client it’s what they really wanted in the first place.” If you’re going to underperform, no need to sound like a pompous jerk about it.

Utilize:

“Use” will do.

Tee it up

Not without a caddy.

Circle back

We prefer straight lines, or just an appointment to talk again in the future.

Reach out

Do it and you’ll lose a digit.

Take it offline

So we are in the Matrix!

 

I was disappointed to see that a few of my personal favorites didn’t make the list.

Bob’s your uncle.

I don’t have the bandwidth.

We need a strawman.

Try this one on for size.

I have to get it blessed.

Run it up the flagpole.

Getting push-back.

In the weeds.

Drop the ball.

Hit the ground running.

20
Dec
10

executive bladder.

One of the things that I really appreciate about my job is that I’m involved in a lot of meetings. I know, I know. I know exactly what you’re thinking, but let me explain. The reason I like these meetings is because they are a really great learning opportunity for me. They allow me to express my own opinions, help me understand other smart people’s perspectives and learn effective ways of presenting and analyzing information.

However, there is one thing that I don’t like about meetings. I ALWAYS end up having to pee half way through the meeting. It’s inevitable. What’s weirder is that I seem to be the only one! I have literally been in a 3 hour meeting with 6 other people and nobody has to leave to use the restroom. Seriously? How is this possible? Today, I thought I was going to burst. I’m sure I did damage. As I was looking around the room (squirming because I had to pee so bad), it hit me. There must be a direct relationship between the size of one’s job and the size of one’s bladder. Me…being the youngest and the least experienced clearly means I haven’t built up the tolerance. I hope someday I can have an executive bladder. J Ha!




a blog for anyone, but mostly for me.