Posted in work

I guess that’s why they call it “work”

The particular frustrations of my job:

Them: “You know this thing that you’ve never seen before?”

Me: “Um, no…”

Them: “Okay, just go ahead and design it. And if you ask a question? We’ll only give you a short, insufficient answer, so you probably shouldn’t even bother. While you’re at it, go ahead and invent a perpetual motion machine as well.”

Me: (thoroughly overwhelmed and frustrated)

No, I don’t expect my entry-level engineering job to be easy, but I *was* under the impression that I would get the teensiest bit of help. The above conversation is only slightly exaggerated: they task me with something I’ve never done before and very little to go on. So I finally crank out something. They review it and tell me I’m wrong, but I’m still just as clueless on how to fix it.

Perhaps I should be flattered that they think I know so much, but at the same time, I keep recalling how one of my interviewers told me to “take everything you learned in school and throw it out the window.” Well, since I have no work experience to replace that tossed-out book-learning, I’m left with barely enough sense to come in out of the rain. :sigh:

Posted in meme

a year in review

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
Visited the midwest, specifically Nebraska

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I think I resolved to gripe less at work. I’m happy to report that, before I left my old job, I did a fairly good job of complaining less by looking forward to when I’d get a new job. (At my new job, it’s been pretty easy to gripe less; I’m still just happy to be there, so if some problem arises, I just try to deal with it.)

For 2007, I have a few goals: finish some website projects, learn more at work, and – like the Bible says – “be happy and do good.” (Ecc. 3:12)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Thankfully!

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
More clothes for work

7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 7, because that was when I started my new job :dance of joy:

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting a new job :throws confetti:

9. What was your biggest failure?
I was a big-time jerk to someone at my old job.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Illness, yes, but nothing terrible

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I helped Mom pay for redoing our bathroom.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My mother. She was very helpful and encouraging – as always – but especially as I moved an hour away to start a new job.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Wanda, at my old job. She was a very opinionated person, and being around her got on my nerves like no one else in recent memory.

14. Where did most of your money go?
To getting things for my new apartment

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
At the risk of repeating myself: getting a new job! (I’d been looking for over two years, since I graduated from college.)

16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
“Love You” by Jack Ingram, because I first heard that song (and first heard of Jack Ingram!) when I saw the video during my October trip to Nebraska.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier
Older or wiser? Um, both?
Thinner or fatter? Maybe a little fatter
Richer or poorer? Richer, since I finally got an entry-level job in the engineering field

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reviewing things I learned in school to help refresh my knowledge of engineering principles

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being peeved over others’ perceived attitudes

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Opened presents, took some pictures, and – taking a break from the usual – drove with my mother and sister so they could see my new apartment. I also worked on this meme.

21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
I stayed in love. 😉

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Current programs? None. But thanks to DVDs, I’m falling in love again with my old favorites: MacGyver, Quantum Leap, Moonlighting, The Young Riders…

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

25. What was the best book you read?
I spent most of my book time working sudoku puzzles.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Weird Al’s “White and Nerdy” video – too funny!

27. What did you want and get?
A new job!

28. What did you want and not get?
A new job close to home, but you know, that might have been a blessing in disguise 🙂

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
X-men III

30. What did you do on your birthday?
I went shopping, and for a change my sister was able to go with me. In the evening, I watched my favorite episode of Moonlighting: Atomic Shakespeare.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If my boyfriend had a slightly less superior attitude. It’s not terrible, but from little things he says, it seems that he truly believes his way of doing things is best. Since I tend to try to see the other side of an issue, I can’t relate, and I often find him a bit critical.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Same as always: more classic than trendy

33. What kept you sane?
My faith and talking to my family

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
A movie character: Wolverine from the X-men movie series

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I’m not really political…

36. Who did you miss?
Cassandra and Mary from my old job

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Kelly, from my new job

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:
Instead of griping about a problem, realize that “it is what it is”, and try to deal with it the best you can.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“Tough times don’t last. Lovers do. Baby, don’t give up on me and you. ‘Cause trouble’s just a storm that’s gonna pass.” (from Tough Times Don’t Last, by Bad English)

Posted in work

look at all these rumors

Today at work a meeting was announced for 11:45, but, thanks to a stop at the restroom, I was almost late. Walking toward the door to the meeting room (aka “the break room”) at 11:45, I heard that Chuck, the speaker, had already started. I briefly thought, “Should I just skip it?” But I pushed ahead.

On the way in, I passed a guy on his way out. Before I could make it through the crowd at the door to go stand at the back of the room, I heard Chuck say, “Anne! Would you come and stand beside me, please?”

Sigh. Never ignore your Inner Voice when she tells you to skip a meeting.

I was told later that right before I’d entered, Chuck had asked for “five outgoing people” to volunteer. I’m sure people then thought, “And he picked Anne?!” In the absence of outgoing volunteers, I guess Chuck opted to make an example of the late newbie.

So, Chuck picked three other people, and we stood aside while he explained the reason for the meeting: he’s tired of all the rumors he’s been hearing about the fate of our company. The rumors have got to stop, they’re out of control, blah, blah, blah. To make his point, he told the other three to step outside while the fifth volunteer (the guy I’d passed on the way in) came back in. Chuck explained that #5 had just spent time carefully reading a story; #5 would tell me the story from memory, and I in turn would repeat it to the next volunteer.

Great, I thought. We’re playing the rumor game. The one I played years ago at a fifth-grade sleepover.

Surprisingly, I didn’t feel myself red-faced embarrassed during any of this. Did I mention that this was in a room full of about fifty people? Yes, very surprising indeed! I simply listened to the guy’s story, repeated it badly to the next guy, and watched Chuck stand there so pleased with himself that his real-life example was working the way it was supposed to.

Anyway, the topic of rumors always reminds me of one of my favorite email exchanges with my boyfriend:

Him: “… That’s how rumors get started, you know.”

Me: “I thought they were started by the jealous people…?”


Posted in etcetera

the shower scene

The shower in my apartment had issues from the start. My first few showers in it were actually quite painful, because even on a moderate setting the water emerged from the shower head at such a high pressure that it actually stung. Happily, I quickly fixed that problem by taking the shower head off, cleaning it, and adjusting the flow. The resulting flow was even better than I expected because it turned into a lovely, soothing gush of water with a nice firm amount of pressure.

This has continued for the past few months. This morning, however, I noticed a bit of water dripping from the lever that switches the water up to the shower from the tub faucet. (Yes, this is a fairly old faucet setup.) I tried to tighten it up by twisting the head on a little, but when it came time for my shower, the water would not all go to the shower head. About half of it continued to emerge from the tub faucet, no matter what I tried. I foolishly kept trying to fix this while the water was running, forgetting the other plumbing issue: due to the fact that there is no low setting, the hot water is quickly drained.

So I ran out of hot water with conditioner still on my hair. SO not the way to start my return to work after two extra days off for Christmas. As I rinsed my hair in the sink – in cold water, grr – I thought about a scene from the movie Valentine where one potential victim’s water suddenly stops, and she resorts to rinsing her hair out in the toilet. So, yeah, things could be worse.

I tinkered with that (censored) switch, and I think it’s better, although it’s still not back to where it was.

Anyway. I hope you all had a nice Christmas! As I mentioned, I had the past two days off as well as the weekend, so that was *really* nice. I did develop a bit of the sniffles and more than a bit of laryngitis starting a week ago Saturday. My boyfriend was sick also, but apparently he had a worse strain, since we had to cut our day short because of it. As of this evening, I’m feeling better. I can almost talk again, but the true test of my wellness will be how much I cough as I’m trying to go to sleep. For my neighbors’ sakes, I hope it’s minimal.

Posted in work

now I’m in the funny box

Today two of the team leaders treated seventeen of us in the engineering department to lunch at the Cracker Barrel.

I rode with two of the guys, and one of them is the engineer who checks the work of me and my officemate. The engineer mentioned that he has a project waiting for OfficeMate, who has been out sick all week. The engineer added, “It’s really pretty easy.” Knowing how angry OfficeMate got over his last “easy” assignment, I suggested that the engineer not use that phrase, opting instead to say, “Even [the boss] could do it.” I guess that caught the guys completely by surprise because they both cracked up.

Later, one of the team leaders was trying to track down some information for me from a customer about a project. During the call, the customer declares that so-and-so about the project needs to change. After hanging up, the team leader said that the customer was crazy, since we don’t have the drawings he said that he sent. I asked, “Did you tell him to put the crack pipe down?” The engineer was nearby, and he laughed and said that I’m really starting to loosen up. This prompted him to call a passerby over and repeat my quip from the ride back.

I like that they think I’m loosening up, although how loose I am depends on who is around. (Hmm, was that the best way to phrase that?) I *do* love to make people laugh; it makes me feel as if I’ve really made a connection with them.

Still, now I feel like I’ve set a new standard for myself, like people are going to expect me to say funny things more often. And that? Just might drive me back to Quiet Mode.

Posted in crushes, work

mad skills

At work today my officemate commented that there are a lot of extremely moody people at work. But, you know, somehow? I don’t think he was referring to his seething rage this morning as he talked about a certain project…

Later, the Anne’s boyfriend episode was casually mentioned, and I lightly said, as the slightest hint of an apology, “I guess that was *my* day to be moody…” Looking back, I can admit I overreacted. Heck, I could admit it that day, but I really was irked. And my officemate should understand, because just today someone threatened to show a funny picture of him at a meeting tomorrow, and he declared that he doesn’t like to be the center of attention. In any case, I was told during another conversation with someone else to brace myself because the Nebraska-boyfriend thing will probably be brought up again at some point. Yes, I have realized this, and I think I’m over it. We’ll see…

The topic was brought up again today because some of the guys from Nebraska were visiting. (One of them told me I could do much better than that guy, btw. Thanks, Steve!) 

At one point, I was working with two other Nebraska guys, and I’d asked a question. One replied basically that so-and-so just does that sometimes. “Don’t ask me why,” he says. So of course, I reply, “But why?” A third guy laughed heartily – I guess you had to be there 😀 – and another guy asks him, “Oh, have you worked around Anne before?” He said it with a smile, and in a sort-of familiar way, as if he expects me to say clever (or possibly zany/goofy) things like that.

Maybe I’m not telling it well, but, given my wee-small crush on the guy who said it, it was nice.

On a side note, does anyone else find themselves thinking all of these less-than-professional thoughts at work? :blush:

Posted in etcetera


I’m finally done with my 100 Things list, only slightly behind schedule. You can find the link in the sidebar at the right.

Now, I’m going to watch a DVD, get ready for bed, and try to stay warm on this, supposed to be the coldest night of the year so far, where I live.