Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Does it go without saying?

Just to clarify. I do not really think Ms I Ob. Sess is a dork. (except possibly when she's calling herself one)(approximately 8.64 times per day)(and, since I probably only get to hear about 39.6% of the times she calls herself a dork, then I guess I have to withdraw the statement entirely and confess I think she's a dork 3.42 times a day). And when I said i didn't love her blog, I didn't mean that I don't enjoy/look forward to relishing/ keeping popping back to see if she's posted anything since the last time I checked five minutes ago/love her blog. I was trying to talk about the difference between what people do and what they are. And she was talking about other people writing and that she had the impression other people found it easy. and I was flattered that she included me. but I'm not one of them. and. yet. I've been doing it for a living for over a decade. but rarely enjoyed it. and part of the reason I started blogging was to have somewhere to write that didn't have deadlines or expectations attached. And I'm especially sensitive about this stuff at the moment because, as of 2pm this afternoon, I am unemployed. And now I don't know what I am.

p.s. thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for the comments here. Really.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This woman can be SUCH a DORK. But I love her. Not her blog. She is not her blog. Nor was she ever, as far as I know, a piano.

I’ve been mulling this for a couple of days. I wanted to say something about what Debbie wrote. About the not sticking out. Because I‘ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

Thankyou for including me in a list of people you like to read. But if you think I can just turn it on, you’re very much mistaken. I’m sure the same will prove to be true for most of the people you included. Because you only read the posts we write. You don’t know about the ones we don’t. Or the ones that languish, half written, in the drafts section.

I wanted to say something about this business of having attention drawn to a person. About the ensuing raising of expectations, of responsibility to continuing to meet those expectations. About the way in which we can allow ourselves to become the instruments or victims of other people’s expectations. How these pervading expectations and interpretations of a persons abilities or characteristics can result in a single dimensional view. A caricature. A person partially seen. A kind of shorthand for engaging the senses. A non-dynamic relationship. Between them and us. Us and them. Us and us. Making definitions. An illusion of boundaries to progress. A mirage of walls and fences.

It encompasses so many things for me, not least what Deb said about the pattern of having to separate oneself from the things we have been noted for. Crumpling at being distinguished from others. Keep moving. Momentum to mask something. Avoidance of what. It plays into my fear of putting my child into the school system. Into my current search for new employment. Into my ability to maintain or repair relationships.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say. Can’t put my finger to the articulation lever.

I’ll think some more about it.

Leah really could be on to something here

Friday, February 23, 2007

You know it's time to go when
You see a button half hanging off in the lift. And you put it in your coat pocket. And it gives you a kick of triumph. And it's not even your floor number. And you realise you don't even know the people on the second floor. Even though they've the same company and you've been there 11 months.

Working here has diminished me. I acquiesced at being told that I did not need to form relationships with the people I was working with. I shouldn't try to help them, I should just send them templates. That I shouldn't visit any of the hundreds of locations where the people I'm trying to help work. That I shouldn't try to understand their situations, but rather dictate and impose the will of the central office. "We don't go to see the businesses," said the director of communications, my boss, "it's like they're dead to us."

It's good that they're cutting my position, and once the pantomime of putting me "at risk" (for a whole week) while seeking opportunities to "skills match" me to another position within the company has played out, I'll be worrying about my mortgage payments, but hopefully I'll get some of my soul back in exchange.

We're off for the weekend to my in-laws. P is so excited she's packed everything in the house.

Have good weekends, everybody.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I don't need a friggin bowl of fruit, but demand the chat with tea and biscuit: a modern morality play

I am a bad bad selfish person.One of my close friends from university is (finally after 12 years with 'groom') getting married. I don't know why we're friends. Or why we've stayed friends.

I am absolutely nothing like all her other friends, who are charming people, but demure, ladylike, fashion conscious, well groomed, swotty, I have nothing to say to these people. Our birthdays are a week apart.

I love her but she drives me crazy, if each or either of us a a little stressed, we're the last people we should be around. anyway, she's getting married. a childhood friend from her village (a few years younger) is organising the hen do. she emailed a bunch of us a while ago to ask us to reserve dates for the obligatory weekend away. I have emailed her twice in the affirmative, but because i did not use the exact sentence "Yes I will be available and would be delighted to come thankyou so much for thinking of me" I get this:

I still haven't heard from you whether you'd like to come to S's hen weekend.
I have progressed things further and, so that you know, the plans are as follows:
Spend a night at a four-star hotel, which is in a small town called Cambourne just outside Cambridge. There is a fantastic package here which costs £125 per person [aprox 230USD]. For this sum we get full use of the leisure facilities - pool, sauna, steam and gym/tennis courts (for those more energetic amongst us!), a three course dinner in the evening, one night's accommodation in twin rooms, breakfast, and the choice of two treatments each from the following list:
-back, neck and shoulder massage
-scalp, neck and shoulder massage
-face, neck and shoulder massage
-express facial
-body salt and oil scrub
-express manicure
-mini pedicure
The use of bathrobe and slippers is included, as is a fruit bowl in each of our rooms.
I think this is great value given that it includes everything we need and should be a really enjoyable yet relaxing weekend. The only additional costs will be getting to and from the hotel, drinks whilst there and a small gift each for Sarah. There will also be the possibility for us to enjoy Sunday lunch in a local pub nearby to round off the weekend.
Details of the hotel are on the web link below:
In answer to your questions, no there's no dressing up (except in nice frocks if we fancy it of course) and no college drinking games (I don't know any!). I'm afraid that I can't guarantee no deadlines in emails though. In fact, I do want to book the hotel as soon as I can so if you want to come please drop me a line and let me know which two treatments take your fancy.
Look forward to hearing from you

I look forward to hearing from you????

I get chastised for a couple of jokes about hen weekends and failure to use the specified acceptance sentence??

AND. also. spa weekend? MY IDEA OF HELL - not even for a fruit basket, baby! And, the woman has two degrees and has just come back from a sabbatical in which she backpacked for six months, how can she not know any drinking games??????????????

Is it conceivable that I could NOT go ? I'd be the worst friend ever, right? please? somebody?

In other news, the news that relates to the biscuit half of the title to this post, I am about to be unemployed. It's official. Well. Nearly official. Over the last couple of months my boss and one of her henchwomen have told me on at least four separate occasions that I'm out the door as part of the restructure. THat i'm out the door because there's no money left for the department (and reminding me that she's also likely out the door her poor self)(and reminding everyone else that she's out the door and ONLY getting a year's salary as pay off after giving it her 'all' for three years) that the products I currently work on are to be cut right back, that i'm too expensive and that if they did want someone it certainly wouldn't be someone who was only part time. we had a meeting about it last week. and the week before that. just after christmas she told me about it in the FUCKING LOBBY of our building, and the time before that she told me as I was getting in the lift to leave at 6pm one evening.

I took some legal advice, and apparently they can do pretty much anything to me with no comeback on account of my having been there less than a year.

This is all very interesting. Today I got a letter to my home address from a human resources adviser, inviting me to attend a "Risk Meeting." At this meeting she will "detail the reason for the role being at risk" and "confirm the consultation process and review alternative employment options."

The letter doesn't exactly stipulate the compulsory presence of tea and biscuits, but do you think it's safe to assume?


Salmonella. I don't really recommend it. (other than as highly antisocial and environmentally damaging (a million loads of laundry, floor cleaning products, bathroom cleaning products etc) weight loss programme).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Remind me that I know these things about work

1. It’s no good having great ideas if you don’t take the time to get buy in from your colleagues.

2. Different people have different ways of processing the information you are giving them. They take different amounts of time to absorb it. Wait for them to absorb it.

3. Different people respond in different ways depending on how the information is delivered to them. Listen properly to how they’re responding.

4. When people ask you questions about a project, often they’re really asking something else.

5. Pay attention to the people who aren’t asking you questions. Why are they not asking questions.

6. Smiling and nodding doesn’t mean they understand.

7. Saying nothing doesn’t mean they agree with you.

8. Slow down and make sure everybody understands what the heck you are talking about.

9. Be aware that you have a habit of unwittingly alienating people.

10. Remember that you are not the place where you work. Don’t let their culture suck the soul out of your own.

11. Remember that, beyond these walls, you have worked in the past, and will work with again, people who share the same broad goals, who are broadly like minded, who place the same value on integrity and quality and transparency that you do.

12. Don’t be drawn into their tunnel vision.

13. Admire the people who can work only in straight lines, it is a quality that you do not possess.

14. Do not take personally the methods and demands of people who can only work in straight lines. It’s the way they were built. Learn to accommodate them and make the most of their strengths.

This list is sure to get longer, but for now there's no more time.

Please do add your own. I fear I've fallen off the learning curve of late. I was reminded about it yesterday afternoon when I met with some old friends/colleagues (and by old, I mean that they began their writing careers in the 60's and 70's). They are my heroes.

Breast Feeding "aids class status'

Monday, February 12, 2007

What a difference a day [or two of being dehydrated] makes

You know end of the Elmer story? the part where all the other elephants have decorated themselves in bright colours and Elmer has greyed himself?

P will always pause over that page to discus the relative merits of the different elephant style choices. Usually she'll ask me which I like. Not tonight.

P:I like this one and this one
Me: I like this one
P:You don't like any of them
Me: yes I do. I like this one because of the swirls
P: No. You don't like any of them
P:You're too old.
Me: Too old for what?
P:Too old to be an elephant.


I'm sleeping in a jar of Clarins tonight.

Someone out there has no idea how lucky they are . . . .

In the continuing theme(tte) of looking on the positive side:
I did NOT throw up down the back of some poor womans neck in the multiplex on saturday night. I made it all the way to the ladies room.
I did NOT empty gallons of the contents of my generously proportioned arse into the cinema, nor the street. I made it all the way to my own bathroom.

A triuphant night out, wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This post is brought to you by the letters


Thankyou for your attention.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bursting with pride at the wrong answer.

This weekend we were in a restaurant having lunch with friends. To entertain our 3 and their 4 year old, while waiting for the pizzas they ‘built’ themselves to return from the oven, my friends husband introduced the kids to ‘hangman,’ drawn on the back of the colouring sheet they’d been provided.

Their little boy took to it immediately and I was hoping that P would catch on from watching him. When it was her turn, she started calling out letters to fill her three-letter word challenge. She called them out randomly until she achieved the first two ‘d’ and ‘o’. After a few more guesses, not clicking to the idea that a specific third was sought to complete ‘dog,’ she got disheartened and her attention began to wander.

In an attempt to re-engage her, my friends husband started to sound out the letters and get her to recognise the sound of the beginning of the word and thus realise she needed to add the ‘g.’

Him: “So, you’ve got d . . .(pronouncing phonetically) and o . .(pronouncing phonetically). . put them together and you get do . . .(pronounced as closely as its possible to get to saying dog without sticking the ‘g’ on the end) doooooooooo . . . . .?”

Her: “Do!”


Monday, February 05, 2007

In a first of its kind case in the UK, three men are jailed for plotting to kidnap and rape children - they had never met each other, all the planning had been done via chatrooms.


Enough of this. Enough of me moaning on for the last lord knows how many posts.

Need to post a positive for every negative below.

1. We just came back from a lovely weekend with very good friends. Their 4 year old and our 3 year old played absolutely beautifully together. They were kind to each other and polite and funny and helped us to have a relaxing time.

2. My relationship is not doomed. He has started going to some form of counselling to poke at his communication issues - not sure on details, will have to wait til he's ready to tell me about it. or not. whatever.

3. On tuesday I went to see cabaret with two of my very specials. and we had dinner beforehand. in an actual restaurant. with grown ups. The show was not fantastic, but it was interesting and led to adult conversations about the choices made by the choreographer and director and costume designer. It led to reminiscing about a production two of us were in many years ago. Then I stayed over at Maj's house, tea was drunk on a sofa.

4. we have new stair carpet. YEAH!!!!! the one we inherited with the house was a deep purpley red which had seen better days and, as the hall enjoys little natural light, had a way of sucking the life out of the House as soon as you step in the front door.

5. that same staircarpet mentioned above, was bought on the last day of a sale so was 70% reduced!

6. this is hard!(but am still trying)


8. I am slowly almost getting to grips with the ipod video thing that santa brought me. though have yet to make itunes software behave. am led to believe its some kind of punishment for those of us who dare not to have macs.

9. the lovely handcream that another of my specials bought me for christmas is still awesome and helping to soothe the bits at the edges of my nails that i pick at endlessly.

10. there was a spot free at daycare this afternoon so that she can have an extra couple of hours playing while I do the boring chores so that when I pick her up we can play whatever she wants.


(*added later

11. I found a new blog that made me laugh. thankyou, blogosphere)


Because she said
p.s. Feel free to take this meme on. Not that it is one. But if it were, you could. I'm just sayin'. (But please, oh, just, really don't, don't do it. It's horrible. A horrible meme. No one should make themselves remember this much bullshit about themselves at once. I'm the only who should be that stupid. Because I am. I give you this post for exhibit A-gajillion.)

1. I hate that I waste so much time. That I don’t achieve a fraction of things I ought to because I’m pissing the day/week/year/life away. And that ‘s not just stuff for myself, its stuff for them. Even little things like fixing something or finding something. Or doing a tenth of the stuff that I tell them I’m going to do. And it’s not because I’m genuinely busy, it’s because I always find something meaningless to do and the hours just evaporate.

2. I hate that I’ve allowed myself to get so damn fat. So that none of my clothes fit me as dress sizes come and go. People I haven’t seen for a long time have trouble controlling the shock on their faces. It has little to do with having been pregnant four years ago. I cook too much and I eat too much and I’m sedentary and I do nothing about it. I have plenty of opportunities to do something about it but I don’t. Pretty soon I think my entire face will disappear into a jabba the hut type gloop of flesh.

3. I hate that I’m so bad at remembering things that are important to my friends. Birthdays. Parental illnesses. That they’ll be out of the country for a week or they’re worried about their job, partner, health. My friends are awesome and supportive.

4. I hate that I get so angry and fail to contextualise the situation. As if the whole world is happening inside this very minute and there is nothing else.

5. I hate that I get so enthused and fail to contextualise the situation. As if the whole world is happening inside this very minute.

6. I hate that I may be depriving my child of relationships with the 80% of my family that I don’t have a relationship with.

7. I hate that my teeth are crooked, even though I wore braces for years.

8. I hate that I always throw the reminder letters about smear tests away without mentioning it to anyone.

9. I hate that I can rarely remember anything I read.

10. I hate that my first instinct is to answer ‘no’ to a question before I’ve even heard what is being asked.

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