Wednesday
Feb052014

De-Motivated

I had quite the rant all written in my mind; filled with witty phrases and clever thoughts.

It's all gone.  Not sure where it went.

The new job opportunity remains static.  I'm supposed to hear something this week; here it is Wednesday and I've heard - nothing.  Which doesn't make me feel too warm and fuzzy; if I was their first choice I believe I'd have heard by now.

Or not.

Frustration thy name is Kris.

My current job is - well, let me say this about that:

Gratitude...it can go a long way to making up for the absence of other things.

Absence of gratitude can be...de-motivating.

My boss has to be one of the most ungrateful managers I've ever had.  At least when it comes to me and my job performance.

Oh - he hand-writes notes of praise and thanks to all sorts of people; copies their managers.  Makes a big deal out of that kind of recognition in meetings.  Sends e-mails noting accomplishments.

But does he ever recognize any of my contributions?  Does he ever stop to acknowledge the work that I do?

Here's a great example:

Those meetings I mention that I do 4 times a year. All employee meetings plus business partners.  Massive organizational challenges for 100+ people with moving parts, multiple concurrent sessions.  Navigation documents. Registration tables. Technology support. Catering.

We do a survey of attendees after each one so that we can continue to fine-tune content, flow, participation, etc... In the survey for the meeting done this past December my name was mentioned multiple times - in praise of the organization, flow and challenges of the meeting. High praise was heaped upon me for doing such an amazing job of making everything look and feel - seamless.

I don't know about it because my boss mentioned it to me.  I know about it because I got a copy of the results. 

No thank you. No "job well done". No recognition of any kind. I am just a body at a desk for him. There are days when he barely recognizes that I sit right outside his office.

I know he's busy. I know he's very important; that people are clamoring to meet with him. I know that the very top senior leaders in the entire company think the sun rises and sets on his skinny shoulders.

And I know that I think he's an arrogant, self-important, narcissistic ass.

And it's not like I haven't made it clear to him what I need from him in the way of support and feedback.  He knows; he just doesn't give a shit.

Which leaves me - nowhere.

Well...now I guess I found that rant after all.

UPDATE @ 1:00pm EST:  To further prove what kind of manager my boss is: our offices are closed today due to the weather but he is in the office.  He took a walk around the department and e-mailed 2 of his direct reports informing them that 2 of their employees did not take their laptops home and, would they be taking a PTO day today?

OK - there is SO much wrong with that. First of all - the company is officially closed. The statement we all received indicated that if you could work from home you were expected to do so.  So if you can't work from home - it's just a snow day per the company.  Second of all - he was wrong about those 2 employees. One of them was actually in the office but had been away from his office for so long that the lights were out (shocking, that lights go out in an office, I mean really...); the other has a 2nd laptop at home.

So here is this man - a senior leader - walking around his department spying on people and tattling on them to their managers; expecting them to take a vacation day despite the fact that the company office is officially closed.

He didn't used to be this kind of micro-manager; when he first joined our area 3 years ago he was a high-level management type - treat people like adults, he used to say.  We are all responsible for ourselves, he'd say.  He's not a babysitter, he'd say.

Times have changed and what's worse - those top leaders in the entire company are fostering this kind of micro-management by rewarding him (and others like him) and giving them increasing recognition across the organization.

I really want out of the cubicle farm but that is a few years away yet.  ***le sigh***

Saturday
Feb012014

The Weekly Muse

Well, my week ended on a pretty quiet note.  After the good health news - and strange isn't it, that finding esophageal damage and getting new meds could be considered "good" news - the week went out with barely a whimper.

This - is not a bad thing.

The weepiness is still there, lurking in the shadows, threatening me in the background.  Last night I worked on my journal for my class and was able to excise a little bit of emotional baggage.

There is just so much more locked deep inside of me waiting for the right combination of stimulii to be released.  I started this class as a curiousity; something to pass the time during the winter and perhaps learn a thing or 2 about myself.

I never envisioned it being the emotional release that it's been; it's kind of a search-and-rescue operation in my soul.

Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You're a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye

Today is all about an old friend.  Angela and I have known each other since we were 12 years old - 2 awkward girls dancing and singing to Elton John songs in her basement.  Fooling around with her mom's Avon make-up and hanging out at the beach together.

We've been trying for months to get together but have been stymied by health issues and weather.  After 2 recent aborted attempts today, we finally connect for an afternoon of food and conversation.  As we have done for years, we'll simply pick up where we left off and continue the joys of our friendship.

 

So today's music is a tribute to that long and happy friendship.  Angela and I really did come-of-age together. Working our way thru adolescent issues we were always there for each other.  Her family moved to Chicago when we were 15 but our connection never waivered.  We kept in touch thru phone calls and letters.  We saw each other during the summers when Angela would come back to New England to spend time with her dad.

We've known each other for nearly 40 years and even though some of our separations were 10 or more years, it's just amazing how that random connection we made the first week of 7th grade has turned into a lifelong friendship.

The rest of the weekend should pass quietly.  Tomorrow we have no plans and we hope to keep it that way.

Thursday
Jan302014

Do Not Let Your Heart Be Troubled

Hmmm....another week almost lost to a sea of commitments, activities and plain ole exhaustion.

Not sure what my problem is lately; I feel very - weepy.  Could be the time of year; I do know that I sometimes experience the debilitating affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  And while, by New England standards, this hasn't been a horrible winter - it's weighing on many people I know. The persistent cold, snow-rain-snow situation does test a person's resilience.

I do have good news on the testing front. The 8mm polyp removed last Friday is benign.  I am on the 5-year plan for colonoscopies due to the size of the polyp but otherwise, at least in that regard I am good.

The endoscopy did show damage to my esophagus from the acid reflux so I'm on a new medication as of tonite.  Not only will it deal with the reflux it will also take care of the esophageal inflammation that is causing the laryngitis.  So hopefully within the next week, my voice will finally stabilize and I can just move on from this 7-month-long nightmare.

The job situation is static at present.  I've had my final interview and am just playing the waiting game; hoping for an answer some time next week.  As the song goes...the waiting is the hardest part.

The online, self-improvement class I mentioned I was taking has been - revelatory.  Difficult, challenging, upsetting and uplifting.  And as I write that I realize that might be part of my overall weepiness.  I'm digging deep into my past and into myself...and it's not all pretty-in-pink.

And so the beat goes on.  Life moves pretty fast and I'm just trying to hang on for the ride.  Some days my grip is stronger than others.

Saturday
Jan252014

The Weekly Muse

Well - the procedures yesterday went without a hitch.  Appointment was for 9:15am and I was in the O.R. by 9:00 and home before 11:00.  In fact my doctor was running 15 minutes ahead of schedule and there was a discussion in the O.R. just before I was put under about whether he wanted to use it for a break or should they call his patients to see if they wanted to come in earlier.

He opted to have patients come in earlier if they could.  Good man.

It was interesting laying there watching the anesthesiologist inject the Propofol into the I.V.  I watched as the level in the syringe dropped and it only got halfway before my eyes closed and I was out.  Took about 10 seconds.

When administered properly, for the appropriate use, Propofol is amazing stuff.  A fact that Michael Jackson and his "doctor" failed to adhere to.

Anyway...

A large (8mm) polyp was found and immediately excised and sent to pathology.  I'll have those results in about 10 days.  There is some concern about it, given the size, but until the results are back I'm not thinking about it.

As to the reason for all this - the endoscopy to identify a possible underlying cause for the persistent laryngitis - not much was found.  Some evidence of acid reflux on my esophagus might be the culprit; the doctor has to analyze the results first.  The gastritis that was supposedly found about 4 years ago is no longer present, which is at least some good news.

So for right now - we wait for the pathology results of the polyp and then I'll get it all in one phone call. 

Today is a somber day in my personal history.  19 years ago today my beloved daddy died at age 63.  I was 32 years old and completely unprepared to have the fulcrum of my life - leave.

I have grieved so hard for him; the first 10 years after he died were a sea of dark, black thoughts and dark, black experiences.  In losing my beloved daddy, I nearly lost myself too.

The sinking ship that was my life then has largely righted itself.  I still have days when I feel adrift without his gentle counsel and guidance. So many times in the years since he left have I wished for that magical "one more time" with him - sometimes to talk to him about what's going on in the world, mostly just to hear his voice and feel his arms around me as he hugged me - telling his "princess" how much he loved me.

My dad - was a cool dude. Always willing to learn about the latest gadgets - and many of them he had to own - he would have loved the Internet.  With his varied interests in guns, cars, Civil War and WWII histories, politics and world religions - he probably would have had a blog long before I did.

I miss him. Every day.  I will miss him until I draw my own last breath and then - I will see him again in glory.

Until then daddy - I love you.  And while I did inherit your gifts for writing I think I'll leave it to the great poet e.e. cummings, to say what I want to say today:

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Thursday
Jan232014

Prep

Hmmm....

Nearly a week with no blog entry.

I just haven't had much to say.  It's been a somewhat busy week but not out of the ordinary.  I've been feeling pretty good lately so I've had energy to do things again.

Which - damn - I can't begin to express how great THAT feels.

There just isn't much going on.

Oh! I'm getting deposed on Monday for an incident that happened at work about 3 years ago.  I have first-hand knowledge of the incident and my name is on a call center list for repetitive reports of faulty equipment that eventually resulted in the traumatic injury of an employee.  So today I was prepped for the deposition.  Fun times to come.

And now we are in the midst of a prep of a different kind.  Tomorrow I am scheduled for an endoscopy and colonoscopy - the "double dip" as named by the G.I. doc-bastards who invented this unique 21st century torture.

The endoscopy is to see if there are any silent stomach problems that could be causing the laryngitis that continues to plague me.  Seven months after my first bout of it, it lingers.  I can go days now sounding just like my old self. Then - boom! - a day comes along and my voice is as raw as meat put thru a grinder.  I haven't been able to tie anything to these occurrences - no dietary changes, no elevated stress levels, no overuse of my voice in general.  And since we've ruled out everything else that could cause the laryngitis, the endoscopy is the only thing left.

So...because I'm 50 and they are putting me under anyway - the colonoscopy will also take place.  So tonite is the dreaded - prep.

I took the advice of a couple of friends who have been thru this already and began a modified fast this past Tuesday.  As of lunchtime on Tuesday I was eating only protein with a little fresh, skinless fruit mixed in.  By Wednesday I reduced my portions to almost nothing.  Today is the prescribed liquid-diet which has consisted of tea, chicken broth and jello.

To say I am hungry right now - would be a gross understatement.  Having not consumed a real meal since Monday evening...yeah, understatement.

My appointment is first thing tomorrow morning; in fact I may be the 1st procedure of the day.  I am just thankful it's an early appointment.  This fasting thing is going to be pretty old by tomorrow morning.

I expect to take a lovely and luxurious nap once we get home and then I shall eat some comfort-food and get things back to normal.

There - that is the most exciting thing happening right now.  Not much else - oh there is politics of course but...

...meh.