Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I got the better book this go around...

This month for book club, we are going to be reading "Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs... which I read well over a year ago. It was definitely an interesting book, made my family life seem bland, and made my eyebrows go up a few times at just how different a life can be - not only that, what is normal but what you happen to know?

Well, I discovered that his brother had written his own memoir, which I jumped at the chance at reading instead. It is called "Look me in the Eye" by John Elder Robinson and what a read it was! Probably just as unusual and off-beat as Running.. but I enjoyed this read more. I liked his style, and perhaps I connected better with John's tale than Augusten's tale. Whatever the case, I laughed out loud a few times in this book... I really enjoyed it right up until the very end.

I admit it, sometimes I like to read reviews of books that I have read on the big book sites... and well, one of the comments about this book was that it wasn't what they expected, and that reading this wouldn't give clear insight to all Aspergians. No shit. I think Elder makes the case that if you have met one Aspergian, you have met one Aspergian. Isn't that like life? Yes, you can generalize to your last breath, and there may be similarities, but no two of us are alike. We all have our own story, and this is what this was.

And in that, a great read.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Election day

It's amazing I can be hungry again after a big, successful turkey dinner hosted by yours truly last night. I even voted before I got to work!

This election feels strange - like it came up quickly, out of the blue. It is hard to feel passionate about this one, I felt a little undecided right up until I marked my X on the spot.

I brought a cedar tree in to work today. It will fill the space between me and my new office mate's desk. We are calling the tree "George" and we will decorate for Christmas. It has been amazing how many people have stopped by to check him out - definitely attracting a bit of attention. I am slowly bringing in some plants and making the office mine - it took me forever to do that in my last job, but I have a feeling I may be here for a while..

Well, I believe the truth sets you free and I had a good chat with the foot shuffler on Friday. I half feel bad to refer to them that way, but it works for these purposes. We had a great chat, cleared the air, and I felt so much better at the end of the day, and I think that they did too. I really needed that to happen. It was getting under my skin and wasn't good. Not letting things fester is a good thing. Today was better. Getting to come in late so I could vote was even better. I just don't understand why a shorter day all of a sudden becomes a longer day for practical purposes. It has been a long time since I have clock watched as bad as I have today.. and for no real reason.. weird.

October is blitzing by. I need to work on Brandon's Halloween Costume... and I think a trip to the Pumpkin Patch is in order for this weekend...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the foot shuffler

I am trying really hard to see the silver lining of a coworker.

Thankfully, not the coworker that I will soon be bunking with. I can't believe that I am in a "better" job and now, after nearly a decade of flying solo, I will be sharing an office. At least we are on the same page, both weirded out by having to share, and are going to do our best to make it work.

But one of my other coworkers is a bit of an odd duck. Definitely humming along at a their own frequency. They are a "nice" person.. but that is almost right up there with calling a guy "cute". I just don't feel a connection with them on a personal or a professional level. I don't particularly like how they conduct their business. Not because it is different from me - but there are things I just don't get - like the never looking in your filing cabinets in your "inherited" office and cleaning stuff out. Like having stacks all over the place and really coming off unprofessional because of it. Ok, maybe some of these are my own biases, and I am trying to work through them and keep an open mind - but it is hard.

Then there is the foot shuffling and sniffling.

They will be moving in to the office vacated by my new buddy, so I think it will help so I don't have to hear the sniffling all the time. The foot shuffling gets me. You can hear them at about 20 paces, shuffling their feet down the hallway like a calling card. It feels like a Seinfeld episode! I guess right now I am fighting irritation as I am helping them to do some of the records management, and the little quirks get under my skin. We've been given the week to clean stuff up.. and well, I seem to be a lot more concerned about it than they are!! Which is just crazy, as far as I am concerned. I am not their supervisor, so I am truly only going to concern myself with my purview.

Ah well. Can't always like everyone... all you have to do is get by and figure out how to limit contact to the necessary. That being said - perhaps they are a diamond in the rough and I need to be patient.

Ah the high road, I see you.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Two year old molars.

Brandon is working on number 3 of the two year old molars.

Bloody hell. What a process for us all. Teething makes him miserable. The fingers in the mouth, the hurts in the ears and teeth, the irritability, the crying when we try to put him down for a sleep, the waking up.. the relief from baby tylenol and freezies and then you get your baby back.

I am so glad we are almost done, but man, my heart goes out to him. This molar is so close, I can feel it just under the surface... and then one final one. I am sure that when the baby teeth start falling out and adult ones come in, it will be nothing like this (I hope).

I guess teething makes us all miserable, and it got Brandon a free pass in to our bed tonight so I can watch over him and fret, and respond quicker if he wakes up a few times. Nothing like doing a freezie run at 3am and then wondering if he will get a sugar rush from it - what is the lesser of the evils?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Still more paper.

The saga continues.

I am still doing records management at work. If it was just maintenance that I was doing, I would not be bitching about it. It truly feels like I have been reinventing the wheel in my new job. Six months later and I can finally say that I am almost to the end of this "wave" of updating, but I can't believe the files that I am still unearthing (not mentioning the other processes and publications that need some loving care and attention to as well... nothing like going to a presentation like the poor folk not having a spiffy powerpoint or free swag to give out and everyone else does.. somehow a hastily made up and photocopied sheet and business cards don't measure up as well).

I found a folder of information from 1971. Relevant to keep? I think not.

Binders from the 80's. Instant contribution to recycling.

That being said, my office is in pretty good shape. The rest of the office is in pretty good shape. I am being sent in to the final office that is a complete disaster to "assist" in cleaning up the old files. What I don't understand is why this person hasn't dealt with any of it up to now? It just strikes me as bizarre. When I took over my office, it was a disaster. Crap everywhere. Way too much irrelevant paper. Before I could really sink my teeth in to my job, I dealt with it. Once I got enough taken care of, and was settling in to my job, I still dealt with paper from the side of my desk. Said coworker has "never had the time" to open the files, deal with the files, or make her own space. I don't understand this, at all. I guess if I was a dog, I would have marked my places all over the place in my office, poking in to the all of the corners, and making it mine because I plan to be here for a while. And that is what I have done.

I can't help but be more aware of personality differences as I am getting older, and work styles, and what does and doesn't work for me. I guess that goes hand in hand with parenting styles too. I am getting more opinionated, but I am trying not to get too fixed in my own ideas either.

But I don't get the passive position of saying "I never had time to clean up the office" when it really doesn't have to take all that long... a little every day and viola, the job is done. It is YOUR space and you can barely get to your desk because of all the paper and crap.. and how can you project authority when you keep your space like that?? How can you invoke trust in the people you are advising when it looks like you are living up to Linus's standards (yes, Linus from the Peanuts gang).

Yes, it has taken me almost 6 months to get it all done, but I reached out and beyond my office in the scope of the records management I have undertaken. I have been smoking busy, but never too busy to just deal with the crap. I guess a different set of time management skills. I have always just wanted more... so I push more?? Who knows. I am just philosophizing why this path may be ok for someone.

Hopefully this post will be the last of my ranting about paper at work. It has baffled my mind. I have also found stacks of notes and documents squirreled away from a previous coworker. WTF? How the hell can you ever help someone if you can't find their file?? I am unearthing stuff from years ago. Makes me look at them with a different pair of eyes too, losing a little respect. Nothing like creating big messes and then hiding them for someone to deal with years later. Brutal.

I like transparency, I like order. I like knowing where to find things. Who knew?

What the hell? I sound bloody responsible.