Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Must remember how to say NO

I'm usually quite good about not over committing myself. Able to say no, able to set priorities. Lately though, I seem to have totally forgotten how to order my life in a comfortable way. I feel overwhelmed and over committed.

For the first time ever, I seem to have overbooked my sparse allotment of vacation time. I agreed to go on a trip with a relative this year. But, since we've been trying to plan a trip for two years, I really didn't expect she would come through. But she did. AFTER, I already made plans with someone else. So, that takes almost 2 of the 3 weeks that I get. Add in a few days to visit my parents, and I probably won't be able to take my typical week in December. I love taking the last week in December off and I'm annoyed with myself that I've overbooked my time so much that it's unlikely to happen. And, unless I take some sick time, I'm unlikely to get any time off just to do nothing.

Work is busy and stressful. I come home tired. But, there's going to the glass studio once or twice a week. And now, the stupid community garden which seems like it will never be done. But, I need to get there several times a week to make sure something survives because it's been like late July here with no rain in sight.

And then, there's the writing group that I want to go to once a month, except I'm too tired to think of writing anything except these silly blog entries. And then there's the artist support group that I've started going to..only once a month, but still, it's something on my calendar.

And there are people I want to see, movies to see, and, I desperately need to do some work in the home (many things need replacing and upgrading), and my car needs care, and I haven't done any kayaking at all, which I miss terribly, and, and, and...see what I mean? I'm out of control.

I'm really not a high-energy person. I like to have lots of down time. Time to set some priorities and start saying NO to new activities!!!

Too bad I can't just retire. That would free up so much time!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good news, bad news day

Some days are like roller coasters. Up and down.

After being hounded by the vendor who supplies my documentation development tool (and offered a nice discount), I signed up for a product 1-day roadshow in Boston. My plan was to take the train in to avoid the high cost of parking and the nasty traffic. Here's how the day went:

The Good News: I had no problem getting up extra early so I could catch the 7:00 train.

The Bad News: I happened to be check the MBTA website in the morning and saw an alert that the trains were delayed by over 30 minutes. This meant I'd have to drive in to get to the seminar on time.

The Good News: Traffic sucked but wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I arrived in plenty of time to get a good seat. And it was rainy and cold. I didn't mind not having to hike from the train station to the hotel.

The Bad News: Another attendee did take the train and I found out that there wasn't a delay after all. I could have avoided the nasty ride and paying for parking. Even more bad news, I didn't park at the hotel parking lot and the vendor was offering parking validation (which would have discounted the cost of parking). Why didn't the vendor say something about parking validation before the event?

The Good News: Parking ended up costing me a lot less than I expected. Not sure if I read the rates incorrectly when I parked or some weird, good karma mistake. In any case, it wasn't bad at all. Even more good news: I got home a lot earlier than if I had taken the train (but the traffic still sucked).

The Bad News: I'm rarely out of the office, but the one day I am out, the CTO asks to set up a brainstorming session with me. After looking at the presentation handout, I start to wonder if I made a mistake in attending the seminar.

The Good news: I heard a number of interesting tips that are going to be quite useful. Attending the event wasn't a waste at all. And, I'll get to meet with the CTO later on in the week (which gives me a bit of time to prepare my thoughts).

And that's how my day went. I'm looking forward to a more even-tempered day tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Company lunches=2, Me=0

It's a bit ironic, or just weird karma.

Out of two company-sponsored lunches that I've had in the last week, I haven't been able to eat what I actually ordered.

Bad Lunch Karma event #1: We have a power outage in the morning. While we're waiting for the power to come back, one of the manager proposes that if we contribute non-perishables to a local food bank, the company will buy us lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. Cool. So, we all place our orders (I wanted a chicken salad with salsa, beans, etc), get our food donations at the local supermarket and come back to the office to get our lunches. And I'm really hungry. But I open my lunch to discover that it's not salad with chicken but it's pork and it includes guacamole (which I despise -- yes, I know avocado is a magic health food -- but I hate the flavor and the texture. Although, I do like the color :-)) Bleah. I check around and no, no one else has what I ordered. I end up NOT eating lunch because I just don't want to make the trip back to the restaurant and exchange it.

Bad Lunch Karma even #2: We have two new employees and the VP of Engineering organizes a welcome lunch at the local Thai restaurant. I like the Pad Thai at this place and am eagerly looking forward to it. We're a huge group (21+ people) and I'm one of the last people to get my lunch. Which isn't what I ordered. It's a variation of what I ordered, so I figure, how bad could it be. I take the lunch instead of sending it back, because people are already eating, I eat slow to begin with, and I don't want to hold people up as I try to finish up. The Pad Thai variation that I ended up with is horrible. Bleah. I eat as much as I can tolerate. Even then, without me eating all of my lunch, I'm one of the last people to finish. The server was quite nice about it. He knows I didn't get what I ordered and asks me how it was. I tell him, "not so good" but explain that it's not his fault, I know I could have sent it back. He gives me a card with a note about a complimentary lunch. Nice service! Turns out, someone else took my lunch, somehow not realizing that he was not eating what he ordered -- or maybe he did what I did...figured it was too much of a bother to send it back since it took so long to serve our large group. He 'fessed up about it later ...what could I do? I laughed and now it's a bit of a joke.

Seems like bringing my lunch is much safer than trying to get what I want from a company lunch!