marcicat: (froggy heart)
My work schedule is changing again, shifting back an hour earlier. Which is fine, that'll work out, but it has led me to think far too much about the exact details.

Should I get up earlier? How much earlier? What about driving? Should I change my route? How will traffic be different? What other ways could I go? When should I try them?

All of these are perfectly reasonable questions, they're just not ones I'd prefer to be spending hours contemplating to no real effect. And so, in writing (just for you, brain!), here is the plan:

1. No change to wake-up time for the first day. Try it, see how it goes, evaluate for day 2.

2. No change to drive in. Leave 10 minutes earlier than usual, assess traffic without having to panic.

3. Take the alternate way leaving work. This will prevent a nutty rush-hour merge, and is a way I've driven before.

4. Plan day 2 when day 1 has been achieved.
marcicat: (cat says hi)

Ooh, I sure was getting riled up yesterday! Our technology at work isn’t perfect, which is often frustrating but also understandable, if you start with the basic foundation that things generally aren’t.

So I figure the problem-solving steps work for tech as well as anything else. Once you’ve tried ignoring it to see if it goes away, and of course the classic ‘turn it off and turn it back on,’ it’s time for three Very Important Questions.

1. What are the likely outcomes of working to investigate and resolve this problem, and are they worse than the problem itself? (almost always yes)

2. Is the time and effort I’ll need to put into investigation and resolution of this problem worth the likely outcomes? (almost always no)

3. Is there a work-around I can put in place to reach a desired outcome that better aligns the level of effort put into resolution with the severity of the problem itself?
(They really should not have put me in charge of training, because I’m always telling people things like “use your own judgement” and “the manual says this but I always do this other thing because reasons,” which is excellent life advice but probably not quite in line with the corporate expectation.)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (iriomote_cat_warning)

There are many strange office phenomenons, but perhaps one of the strangest is the office baby shower. (At least where I work. It’s always possible that we are an outlier and that other people have figured out how to throw an office baby shower in a non-awkward way.)

Anyway, the last time one of these was held, the company provided a cake. Not even kidding, the message on the cake read ‘Good Luck!’

We have another shower scheduled for today, and I can only hope that it goes smoothly.

(The good news is that someone else is making the cake this time, so it will be both less awkwardly messaged and also super delicious.)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

Day 1

Aug. 20th, 2017 05:39 am
marcicat: (freakout squirrel)

Eclipse!trip 2017 is underway! (I mean, as I type this I’m not actually traveling anywhere. But I will be!)

Now it’s time for those pesky last minute questions:

*What did I forget to pack? (There’s always something.)

*How many times will I check to make sure I have my wallet and phone in my bag?

*Do I have enough snacks?

*How much time should I plan for to track down the cat when he “mysteriously disappears” right when it’s time to get in his carrier?

*Will the plants ever get watered?

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (superhero rainbow shirt)

Not even sure what to make of this one. We typically have a team meeting every Wednesday, which is great, fine, good plan. Gets everyone on the same page. I’m for it.

And once a month or so that meeting includes a guest speaker who makes more money than us talking about whether or not the company is making money. (Spoiler alert: the answer is unfailingly ‘things look good, but not so good that we’re making any promises, so if you could work harder, that’d be great.’)

But *this* week, there are no meeting rooms available in our building for Wednesday. And our scheduled guest speaker is busy. Did we reschedule the meeting to a different day? Did we carefully evaluate whether it was worthwhile to review this information a mere three weeks before we are going to have a company-wide meeting to review it again?

Nope. Instead, our entire team is going to drive to a different building and meet with a different person to review the same information. I mean, okay, but why? In the classic words of ‘Meet The Robinsons,’ “I’m just not sure how well this plan was thought through.”

[“I have a big head, and little arms.”]

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (life changing business card)

Tips for success at any workplace meeting:

1. Bring a pen and paper. There’s always a chance they might come in handy, plus they make you look more official while you wander around the building looking for the meeting room.

2. Or just a pen. Fiddling with a writing utensil is fun and distracting for you and your coworkers — depending on how much you like them, you are either saving them from boredom or driving them bonkers — it’s a win-win.

3. Just paper can work in a crowded meeting, if you can get away with folding stuff. Like a fan. Instant popularity!

4. If you can get away with it, bring your whole bag. That way all your stuff is with you, in case you need a snack, or to suddenly evacuate the building.

5. Figure out which aspect of meetings is the most bothersome to you and see if you can alleviate it in some way. For me it’s when a meeting is scheduled to begin and end at specific times and then doesn’t. Bringing stuff with me — snacks, water, a pen and paper so I can at least work on a grocery list or play anagrams or something — makes it easier.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (froggy heart)

I’ve been trying my hand at writing some fic for the new Power Rangers movie, but it has been slow going. Work is All About The Drama right now, and it’s hard to avoid Even More Drama when writing about high schoolers.

So I’ve been reading a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy fic, which — is not actually helping. (But I never really got into the fic when that movie came out, so there’s a lot of stuff I haven’t read yet.)

Mostly this entire post was just an excuse to show off the flamingoat again:

(How did we get to the flamingoat? Drama –> “So The Drama” –> Kim Possible –> “A flamingoat? But that’s the rarest of the Cuddle Buddys!” Technically, the flamingoat is from “A Sitch in Time,” which I recommend as an enjoyable viewing experience!)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (superhero rainbow shirt)

Aww yeah, seminar day! The first hour of my work day today will be spent learning how to “incorporate exercise into a busy schedule.”

The upside to this is: Woohoo! Seminar! Not work! This is awesome!

On the other hand: I’m a little wary that this is going to be an hour of telling me to park further away and get up 30 minutes earlier to work out, when what I really want is an hour of exercises I can do at my desk without my coworkers thinking I’m crazy.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (blue footed plush)

After talking about it for more than a year, the company I work for is shelling out for standing desks for their low-level minions (aka my department). They are scheduled to be installed this weekend, but — somewhat worryingly — no one seems completely clear what style of standing desk it will be. Will the entire L-shaped desk raise and lower? Just one side of it? Who knows?

The best part is that we’re supposed to clear the top of our desk to make it easier for the magic to happen. This has led to a lot of chatter as we all find stuff buried in piles of papers that we thought had been lost forever, and basically spend a lot of time trying to pawn off our desk trinkets on each other so we don’t have to figure out what to do with them.

Things I’ve learned: I have a LOT more snacks in my desk than I ever remember.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: that was easy (that was easy)

The backstory: My boss is getting a new boss after about a year with no one in that position. The job description has changed, but no one bothers to tell us anything so I have no idea what the last person did or what the new person will do differently.

The story begins: Last week my boss said they needed someone to volunteer to be shadowed by this new person — it’s a standard part of job orientation at this point, so that seemed legit. And I was sick last time I was supposed to have someone shadowing me, so I volunteered. Then the boss said they wanted a second person too. My first thoughts were that the decision was (take your pick) weird, insulting, or overkill. But eventually I settled on ‘thorough.’

Fast forward to: Yesterday, I mentioned that I still had not received a calendar invite letting me know what time this shadowing was taking place. Neither had my fellow “volunteer.” This is what we were told: “There’s no schedule.”

WHY IS THERE NO SCHEDULE? This is both baffling and entirely unsurprising to me.

Anyway, I may or may not be sitting with the new person for an unspecified amount of time today. WHAT OTHER MYSTERIES MIGHT THIS DAY HOLD?

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (muffin)

Yesterday I was in a meeting, and the presenter asked us how many people there are in the United States. And I thought to myself ‘300 million?’ But I had no idea where that number came from, and I am notoriously bad at guessing numbers, so I kept my mouth shut.

(Honestly, I would have kept my mouth shut even if I had been 10% confident in an answer, because it was that sort of meeting. Sometimes you just show up and nod pleasantly and hope nobody singles you out for a direct question.)

But it turns out I wasn’t super wrong! The US population is more like 319 million, but 300 million is a shockingly close guess (for me). Brain, where did you come up with that number? What else is hidden in there?

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (art heart)

It’s meeting day today! Interesting note on meetings at my workplace: in an attempt to make things easier, they’ve actually created a fascinating way to keep track of a lot of things that are going on.

1. The company uses google calendar, with varying degrees of success.

2. There are only a certain number of meeting rooms, and they each have their own calendar (so you can book the room and invite everyone in the meeting and it will show up on their calendar).

3. Which means you can add the meeting room calendars to your own view and see what’s booked in there each and every day.

4. So interesting! Browsing the week’s meetings is now a relatively common activity for our team. It’s often difficult to tell whether people don’t realize the calendars are public or just genuinely don’t think anyone looks at them. Surprise!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (today I eat cake)

I found the fall decorations yesterday. (Yay! Not in the first ::cough:: three places ::cough:: that I looked, but eventually, yes, they were found.) There’s more than I remember, actually. ::eyes box suspiciously::

So then I had to sort of figure out which ones were Halloween!fall and which ones were Thanksgiving!fall and which ones were just sort of generally autumnal.

And THEN I came across a picture of some fall leaves with frost and ice around them and I had to sit down for a minute, because oh yeah, there’s a season AFTER fall too. (Insert obligatory Game of Thrones joke here.)

My mental calendar for the year keeps sort of ending at election day, so it’s not so much that I’d forgotten about winter, more that I put it into the category of ‘worry about after we figure out the president thing.’ But I suppose it’s not a bad idea to take stock at some point. If nothing else, it took me long enough to find the fall decorations that I should probably start figuring out where my winter sweatshirts are sooner rather than later.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (iriomote_cat_warning)

The boss is on vacation all week. After two days, I feel confident in being able to complete this sentence:

“When the boss is away, the employees will…”

The correct answer in our workplace is: bicker. A lot.

I’ve also decided this is the perfect week to do a relatively time-consuming but not terribly difficult project. The timing has two benefits. First, I’ll have a concrete output I can point to if my boss wonders what I did all week. Second, it’ll get done without having to get approved at every turn — I can just present it as finished and the boss can either make changes or use it as is.

WINNING.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: stress out and throw vase (stress out and throw vase)

The longer I work, the more I suspect no one has any idea what they’re doing. At the highest level, there is one person who has what business jargon now calls a “vision.” This seems to mean that they have a desired outcome that is more vague than anything that could be termed an actual plan. At the lowest level, there are many people who actually do things (field calls, pack boxes, all the operational stuff).

I’m just not sure what’s happening between those levels. Not much? A lot? It can’t really just be meetings, right? NO ONE KNOWS.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (summer foliage)

Still have not managed to finagle my way back *out* of spending Thursday afternoon doing a “team-building” activity. (Not even with my team! We did our mandatory team-building last week! Pizza was involved!)

In other news, my cat does not agree that “because you’ll be staying with other family members in a week and a half and I don’t want you to look like a hooligan” is a good reason to get his claws trimmed.

Negotiations continue on both of these fronts.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: nano mug (nano mug)

WHAT HAVE I DONE? Okay, backstory: twice a year the company I work for has this big national meeting, and the department I’m in always gets a little noisy about the fact we’re not invited. (Oh, we’re *important* to the company, just not *that* important.)

ANYWAY, it is mostly in good fun and we do it because one of the True Joys of being a minion-level employee is getting to complain about literally everything.

BUT NOW we are hoist on our own petard, because they are trying to find ways to have all of us go to at least part of the meeting. And I have been selected to go to TEAM BUILDING! AHHHHHHHH!

Truly, it is as if the universe is laughing at me.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (today I eat cake)

I told a lie at work yesterday. In my defense, I was confused, and I still think there was a possibility I ended up in some weird alternate universe for a few minutes.

Okay, backstory: like many workplaces, mine likes to hand out trophies sometimes. My sense is that this mainly makes the committees that hand them out feel good, because these trophies are not much to write home about. They are essentially dollar-store plastic on top of a little block that has your name and accomplishment on it. (I got one for participating in a fitness challenge. I was hoping for a food prize, but no luck.)

[Interlude on workplace prizes in general: these are challenging. I get that. I’m not rallying against trophies, or anything. It’s nice that the company recognizes people at all, and this is how they’ve chosen to do that, and I respect that choice. In some ways I thought it was clever, because it’s recognition that is less likely to cause resentment — it’s a plastic trophy; it has no intrinsic value whatsoever.]

The showdown: I use past tense because yesterday I ended up in a room with one of the trophy-giving committees, and now I’m confused. The following conversation actually took place:

Committee team member: “We could hand out more of those trophies! I love those!” [turns to me] “Do you love yours?”

Me (thinking): is she joking? it doesn’t seem like she’s joking? no one really loves the trophies, do they? they’re not really substantial enough to engender such strong a strong emotion, I mean I don’t hate it, I would say I have a mild affection for it, but that’s not really love — she’s still waiting for me to answer, isn’t she?

Me: “Yes?”
[note: this was the lie]

Other committee team member: “Have you drank out of it yet? You have to drink out of it.”

Me (thinking): is *he* joking? you can’t actually drink out of it, I mean I guess you could, but that would be weird, because I’m not even sure that plastic is meant to be watertight, and what if the color just dissolved right off, that would be awkward and wouldn’t a regular mug just be better maybe they could give out mugs instead of trophies — he’s still waiting for an answer, isn’t he?

Me: “No. Um. Not yet?”

Anyway. Weird day.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (life changing business card)

I mean, 6 days until the completely fine, zero stress, nothing to worry about team dinner with the CEO. Right. Doomsday just kind of slipped out, not sure how that happened.

Here’s the thing: the team I’m on at work is what we affectionately like to call minion-level. We answer phones, we do data entry, we get stuff done. But it’s not glamorous, and in the two years that I’ve been at this job, we’ve never been mentioned at a company meeting. Ever.

So it caused some consternation when we suddenly all got a notification that the whole team was going to dinner with the CEO. To talk about the future. Of the team.

Sure. Nothing to worry about.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: drama llama (drama llama)

It’s survey time at work! Several times a year, we send out a survey asking how we’re doing. I’m not entirely sure why, as the answers are always basically the same — numerous variations on “fine,” and then some variation of the following “suggestions” for improvement:

1. when I call with a problem that’s my own fault, I want customer service to pretend that it’s their fault to make me feel better

2. why can’t customer service magically make planes and trucks move faster so my delivery arrives more quickly?

3. when I ask a question, I want customer service to give me the answer I want to hear, even if it is not true

The survey answers always make me feel a simmering sense of rage, so I am mostly just glad I’m not move involved with them. I will sit quietly during the inevitable “make it magical” team meeting that follows survey time, and then we’ll all be able to go back to actually doing our jobs.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

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marcicat: purple (Default)
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