Friday, September 30, 2011

And then it was 1001 days later.

Friday, September 30, 2011
I remember vividly making my list of 101 things I wanted to accomplish it what seemed like an enormous amount of time. Christmas vacation was over. It was cold. I was working in a job that made me miserable. I hated my boss. I was terrified of how things were progressing with my financial situation. (At least I rectified that, though it took a few years and caused me endless amounts of grief) I was moving in with my boyfriend. I was a grown up lady. I was going to achieve these things, this list of 101 random things I put about 4 hours of thought, max, into compiling.

2008 was a horrible year. January of 2009 held a lot of promise. Little did I know that the coming year would be bumpy. I’d lose my job again. I’d have epic moments of “Am I doing the right thing, is this the right guy, why is there so much tension in this household – oh, right, it’s the fact that I have wicked cabin fever, no money and I’m struggling with letting him support me financially…”

Since January of 2009 I have had 3 different jobs. I’ve bought a condo and built a home with my partner. I’ve travelled to two, but not three, foreign countries. I learned to speak (at least a few phrases in) a different language. I didn’t sit on the beach. I didn’t go snorkeling. I made jam. I didn’t blog every day for 6 months.

Turns out that I don’t really care if I roast a chicken in a cast iron pan. Or about finding 3 specific albums of jazz music. Or dying a part of my hair magenta.

I did really care about changing my last name (subtext: I knew after a few months of dating that I wanted to marry Gary; it took a little bit longer for that actually to get off the ground. But the wait was worth it). I paid off my credit card debt, I started directing funds into an RRSP, I bought and furnished a home. I found a job I loved. Twice.

I guess what I learned most, though, was that it’s fine to set a list of goals. And goals are very, very important. But goals need to be flexible, need to move and change and grow. Because frankly some of the things I decided were so important in 2009 I honestly could care less about now. Having 101 of them was overwhelming and I lost interest.

So that’s about all I’ve got to say. Time flies, when you’re having fun/unemployed/trying to survive bouts of depression/elated with joy/eating bratwurst. Thanks for sticking around.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Use the tools, don't be one.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Working in a modern office is challenging, for many reasons.

But one of the largest points of frustration for me, and I'm assuming for the late-born half of Gen X and the entirety of Gen Y, or heck, pretty much every single person working in an office - is how we work with technology.

Some people catch on to new technology really quickly. It's second nature for a lot of us - because ultimately, once you master one platform or software suite or program, you can apply that knowledge to others. Without knowing much about software design or doing any research, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that most of the tech we use in our day-to-day office lives is *designed that way*.

But the real problem comes when we assume that our coworkers all understand how to use these tools. Be it a blackberry, powerpoint, email, an FTP site, a digital camera, the internet - these are the basic tools of working in 2012. I'm not asking you to be able to write code or use CS4 or understand style sheets. I don't know how to do any of those things.

I'm asking that everyone who is employed in a job that requires use of email know how to send an email. That you understand how to send an email with an attachment. That you understand what a search engine is and how to find a file you've saved on your computer. And oh my god, saving to a common folder? What you talkin crazy about, girl?

I'd like to believe - it's my big dream, really - that we can get to a point in our society where people understand the scheduling function in Outlook. I have a calendar. I put my appointments in the calendar. I even block off time for lunch or the gym or a sanity break or whatever. When I need to call a meeting, I use scheduling assistant to select a time when everyone I need to attend a meeting is, indeed, free.

I do not send 15 emails asking if everybody can meet at 12:30. No? Not 12:30? How about 4? Sal can't meet at 4? How does Tuesday look? Ok! Tuesday! It's settled!

Oh, wait. Nope, Tuesday doesn't work for me. Let's look into next week...

Seriously. Do yourself a favour. Figure out what tools and programs you need to use in your job. Learn how they work. Then - and this is the shocker - actually USE them.