Monthly Archives: April 2012

How’s Your Desk-Side Manner?

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I like my job.  I really do.  But occasionally I see situations which could have been handled differently and people who could act…  Better.

Would you like to make your work-day more enjoyable for you and your colleagues/boss/employees?  Think about some of these…

1.  Positive, Negative, Positive:  As a college student at one of the top art colleges in the country, I had to participate regularly in critiques.  One of the most valuable lessons I learned in critiques was how to critique a classmate in a way that wouldn’t offend him/her.  Simply put, always start with a positive.  Nobody wants to hear somebody slam something they’ve done right off the bat.  If you proceed your criticism with a positive, and immediately follow the criticism with another positive, the blow will be much easier to hear and digest.  The listener won’t be so eager to defend him/herself and their work, but will be more willing to listen.

Think about this technique at home and during extra-curricular activities as well.  Did your significant other or child do something you don’t like?  Let him/her know, but use the positive, negative, positive technique and I can guarantee your chances of an all-out brawl will greatly decrease.

We’ve also used this technique at Junior Baseball practice.  Our 6-9 year old players LOVE to hear they’ve done a great job, so rather than jump on them for not catching the pop-fly, we say, “Name!  That was a great job hustling to catch the ball!  The next time a batter is up to the plate, let’s see what happens if you’re watching instead of playing in the dirt!  I bet you can get to the ball on time if you’re not making dirt angels!” 

2.  Listen First, Talk Second:  It’s difficult to hear what somebody’s trying to say if you’re interrupting them, or even if you’re thinking of what to say next while they are talking.  We all have co-workers who LOVE to listen to themselves talk, however try listening first and speaking second and you will gain tremendous respect from them, and you may actually learn something while you’re at it.

3.  Smile as You Pass:  I am constantly amazed at how many of my co-workers will pass me in the corridor and pretend I’m not there.  They will look the other way, rather than have to make eye contact, or heaven-forbid, say “hello.”  Are you one of these people?  I can pretty much guarantee you that your co-workers won’t turn into monsters and bite you if you look them in the eyes.  And who knows?!  Maybe that smile and little bit of small talk will turn an ordinary passing into a bigger opportunity for you within the company.  I don’t directly work for any manager in my building besides my own, but through the simple gesture of a smile and a “Good morning, Name!”, all the other managers (including my boss’s boss) know my name and pay the same respect toward me.  Come time for me to go out for a promotion in a different department, I’d like to think this little bit of recognition will help!

4.  Tell the Truth:  We’ve all heard of Pinnochio, and we all know what happened when he told lies.  What we didn’t know as children, however, is that our nose doesn’t grow if we lie, our reputation shrinks.  One lie turns into another when you need to cover up your tracks.  Then you lie when your lies are discovered.  All those lies catch up with a person at some point.  I won’t deny that I went through a period in my life where my life was lies.  I used lying as a coping mechanism.  I was wrong.  Since leaving that (part of my) life, I’ve been honest.  I’m honest with myself, I’m honest with my loved ones, and I’m honest at work.  I make mistakes and I’ll admit them.  I’d rather admit my mistakes up front than have to admit a string of lies later on down the road!  And you know what?  I’m a happier person, even when I have to admit I am wrong.

5.  Don’t Gossip:  It’s simple really…  The latest buzz that you heard from Nancy who heard from Bob who heard from Sally who heard from Susan who heard from Roger is probably wrong.  And changes are, if it is true, the person at the root would probably appreciate you not spreading THEIR life story with another dozen people.  Just think of all the time you could be dedicating to work if you weren’t gossiping?!

6.  Leave Your Personal Life at Home:  We all work with one person who does it…  He/she brings a bad attitude to work at least once a week, and it has nothing to do with you or any of your co-workers.  You say good morning to the person, just to hear, “What’s so good about it?”  Yea, it sucks.  So don’t be that person.

Are you having a bad day?  Then pop in your favorite CD or turn on your favorite playlist on your MP3 player and get it out of your system.  Splurge on your favorite (non-alcoholic) drink on the way to work, even if it means you’ll be ten minutes late.  Nobody deserves to put up with the verbal diarrhea coming out of your mouth, so make sure it’s been taken care of by the time you clock-in.  Or if you can’t control your bad mood, do everybody a favor and take a sick day.  It’s not that we don’t care  about our co-workers, but bad moods are contagious!  My husband doesn’t want me bringing somebody else’s bad mood home with me, and I’m sure your significant other/child/pet doesn’t want you bringing home mine!

Things I Love Thursday, April 26, 2012

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I saw this on another blog and I had to do one myself…

Things I Love (especially this) Thursday

  • A quiet evening at home with hubby
  • Having the boys for the weekend
  • Seeing hubby learn and understand new things in school everyday
  • Posting THREE blog posts in one day!
  • Knowing tomorrow is Friday
  • Having a job I like, even if I wish I were paid more
  • Knowing God is with me, through thick and thin
  • Playing Rift with hubby after a long day
  • A glass of wine, poured by hubby (cough cough, the beer is next to me, only two sips drank out of it)
  • Staying up late with hubby, even though I’ll be tired tomorrow
  • My Kindle Fire, loaded with awesome books
  • Dave (aka hubby) caring enough about me to be interested in what I blog about
  • Sharing my blog, my heart and my soul with Dave
  • Epic Rap Battles of History on You Tube (especially Mr. T vs. Mr. Rogers)
  • Coming in 200 calories below my daily calorie recommendation on myfitnesspal.com
  • Hearing Dave laugh
  • Being happy
  • Being alive

Trying to Create with a Brain Freeze

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I wish I could say my brain freeze was due to a Slushy or Cherry Limeade. Unfortunately the “diet” I started yesterday through myfitnesspal.com only allows for 1200 calories per day.

Perhaps, my brain, like the rest of my life, is stretched thin.

My computer at work needed to be worked on this afternoon, and after straightening up my desk, I found myself with nothing to do. This is a rare event. In fact, it hadn’t happened since I started there a year ago. So,  I tried to come up with ideas for a fiction book.

Yea. That didn’t work so well. Everytime I try to write I wind up back in the non-fiction category. And I’m not sure I’m ready to write about what I want to write about. (That’s all I’ll say considering I DO want to write it…  Someday)

I long to be creative, however I have absolutely no idea what I want to do or how to get my creative juices flowing. Oh!   I put a beer in the freezers and forgot about it. Perhaps beer will help.

No, I’m not a regular drinker, nor do I put my faith in alcohol to solve any problem.  I have God for all things, good AND bad.   With that said, perhaps now is the time to pull up my Bible on my Kindle and look for inspiration.

Eating the Ugly Frog First

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After Dave and I got married, I had about a week where I thought, “Wow!  It’s strange to not be planning or up to our eyebrows in preparations!”

That time has passed.

With Dave now a full-time college student (way to go, baby!) and essentially a stay-at-home dad/housekeeper, me working full-time, both of us coaching Thing 2’s junior baseball team two days a week and Thing 1 in baseball practice another two days a week, we’re stretched thin.  Very thin.  I posted on Facebook the other day (my first post in a couple of weeks), “I wish all the running around we do for kids (and ourselves) could count as exercise and burn calories, because I’m exhausted!”

I see the benefit of all these activities, however.  First, we’ve been forced to become more organized.  Dinner has to be planned, and we all have to be ready to go when we need to go or the whole day gets set back.  Second, we’ve been forced to do tackle activities we don’t necessarily want to tackle but are for our benefit.  For example, I realized I let tasks such as balancing the budget and laundry slide over the past month and a half.  Did laundry get done?  Yes.  But it was on an as-needed basis, rather than regular up-keep. 

Now, after the boys go to bed, I’m more consious of what I do with my time.  My first awareness came when I attempted to watch a movie while Dave was doing homework.  At first his head turned, then his chair turned, and eventually, he would be turned all the way around, watching TV instead of doing his work.  As much for me as for him, I realized there are activities I need to do, and I may as well do them while he is doing his work.  He can focus on his homework done (letting us get to bed earlier), and I feel better about my massive to-do list.  Coinsidently, this revelation came at about the same time as Dave read “Eat the Ugly Frog First” in one of his assignments.  What does this mean?  Simply put, do what needs to be done before doing what you want to do.  You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, and have one more item checked off your to-do list.

The third, and probably greatest, benefit I see, is that I see the love and support the four of us all share for each other.  We are constantly there for each other, and by “we”, I truly mean ALL of us.  Things 1 and 2 (and I!) are extremely excited that their “Best Dad” is in school, Dave and I are supportive of them in school and sports, and the three of them are all supportive of whatever I do.  This family dynamic continues to amaze me, as it’s not what I (or the boys) knew only a couple of years ago.

I can never say it enough, but THANK YOU to all of you who have been there for me/us through the years.  It’s with your love, support and encouragement that we have gotten to where we are now, and for that we are EXTREMELY grateful.

XOXOXO

Time Flies and Life Changes

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I can hardly believe it has been over a month since I last wrote.  At first nausea and pure exhaustion were hindering my will and desire to write.  Then we got busy with wedding planning and last…  Well, I’ll get to that.

I’ll share the positive first.  Dave and I were married this past Saturday, March 31.  Our small ceremony at home turned into a bit larger celebration at a reception hall during the planning process, and we had about 70 people attend.  It was a beautiful day that will be remembered by us both for the rest of our lives.

Dave and I on our wedding day

We both had to get back to work Monday morning, and I was asked numerous times if I had been drunk the whole day of the wedding.  While I can’t deny that I had my share of drinks at the reception, at no point was I intoxicated.  I was just intoxingly happy.  And so was Dave.  And it was WONDERFUL.If you’ve read previous posts, I’ve probably got you concerned right now, thinking something like…  “WHAT!?  She’s pregnant and she was DRINKING!?!”  Unfortunately, that was another change since the last time I posted.

In mid-March, Dave and I went to the OB-GYN for our eight-week ultrasound.  We were incredibly excited to see our baby, hear its heartbeat, and know it was healthy.  Unfortunately, God has/had other plans for us.  While the ultrasound tech found the sac, it was empty.  I had what is referred to as a blighted ovum.  What it means basically is that the sperm and egg did not fully do what they were supposed to do, and the pregnancy terminated itself early on.  While the embryo did not develop, the sac continued to grow, causing my hormone levels to go up and all the pregnancy symptoms to show themselves.  Without the ultrasound there was no way for even the doctor to know that the pregnancy wasn’t a good one.

We had a double-check ultra sound a week later, and that ultrasound showed the same thing.  With just over a week left before the wedding, we had a difficult decision to make.  Did we wait for my body to realize there was nothing there?  Or did we get a D&C and remove the risk of miscarrying on our wedding day?  We decided to go with the D&C.  So, with five days left until the wedding, I had a D&C last Tuesday.  Dave has been incredibly supportive, and despite the pain we both felt (emotionally for both of us and physically for me), our love and committment to each other has remained as strong as it was before, if not stronger.

Following the D&C, it was the doctor’s recommendation that I proceed with the LEEP procedure as soon as possible.  This upcoming Monday the pre-cancerous cells will be removed from my cervix, hopefully for good. 

I have said it before, however I can’t remember if it was before or after I moved my blog to WordPress, and I’ll say it again, that it is important for EVERY woman to visit her gynocologist regularly, if for no other reason than for her yearly PAP smear.  Women, please read and follow my advice.  If you don’t have an appointment scheduled for your yearly exam, make one.  Now.  You owe it to yourself and all the people who love you.