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: nano mug (nano mug)
It's training week! And meeting day! And Wednesday! (Yeah, basically I'm just writing anything that might make me excited about going to work today.) I'm not *not* excited, but it's chilly and there's frost on the car and the blankets look so warm and inviting...

But I have a plan! The plan is this:

1. Make some tea.

2. Make the bed while tea is steeping, to limit blanket temptation.

3. Hot shower.

4. Get out suitcase for UPCOMING AWESOME FLORIDA TRIP! (Gotta go to work to get closer to the trip!)

5. Set up craft project for tonight/the weekend, depending on time.

And.... Go!
marcicat: (heart dino)
One day this week, I drove to work, parked, and noticed that a Mystery Box had appeared in our parking lot. Just a random box, full of books, sitting in one of the spaces.

(Watching Doctor Who as a child taught me a LOT about mysterious objects, so I gave the Mystery Box a wide berth.)

Realistically speaking, I assumed this box:

1. Most likely belonged to someone in the building, who was in the process of loading it into their car, or unloading it from their car.

--or--

2. Belonged to no one in the building, but had been dumped by a random passerby at some point in the night. (Seemed less likely since there's a dumpster right nearby, but who knows.)

But the box stayed, untouched, just chilling out in a parking space. ALL WEEK.

Finally, on Friday, I overheard a coworker saying someone in our office had left them there. "But he's getting rid of them, so feel free to take them if you want," they said.

???????

This raises -- so many questions for me. The whole situation. Just. What?
marcicat: (agh a monster)
We do a lot of icebreaker questions at my workplace. Not entirely sure why; some people really like them, and keep the tradition going, I guess.

(Even though I secretly suspect it is a waste of time, it is a waste of *paid* time, and if the company wants to pay me to talk about how the movie 'Next' confused me because I thought Jessica Biel was Nicholas Cage's secret daughter, which made their romantic relationship come totally out of left field for me, I'm cool with that.)

Anyway. Yesterday a question comes up that's basically 'if you could always escape one criminal charge for your whole life, what would you pick.' I'm thinking speeding, right? Because A) it seems like it would genuinely be handy, and B) it is a super safe thing to admit at work. Like, if you have to admit to a crime at work, speeding is a good one. (Unless maybe you work in trucking? Or some other safe driving oriented career? I do not know those worlds. Please don't take my advice about admitting crimes at work.)

But then! Then the person next to me says: murder. WHAT IN THE WORLD. I am still boggling over this.

I feel like there is more to say, but just -- boggled. WHO SAYS THAT.
marcicat: (dreamsheep rainbow)
me at work: "Even the healthiest diet may have some nutritional gaps."

me at home: ...can I count cornbread as a vegetable serving?

oh, work

Oct. 9th, 2017 07:32 am
marcicat: (dreamsheep uhura)
Last week, someone at work said, "I don't think we're going to have a fall this year; it's just going to go right from summer to winter."

I found this statement baffling, but kept my mouth shut because I'm already the "difficult one" at work, and I wasn't willing to make that worse by arguing about weather words. Besides, that's what the internet is for!

So, coworker who was totally wrong about the weather, but still a great person: this *is* fall. And yeah, every year is a little different, but I don't think this one is super weird. We've had cold days and hot days, sunny days and rainy days. The leaves are changing color. It's fall! (My favorite season, so let's not have any more talk about skipping it!)

(PS: In other somewhat humorous work news, we got a policy announcement back in mid-September that may or may not limit our ability to work from home on a non-work computer, among other things. I asked my boss about it. She had not considered this implication. She said she would look into it. I have heard nothing about it since.)
marcicat: (summer foliage)
So, my workplace is actually spread out over four (relatively close) separate buildings. And things change a lot, as things do, so people move around with some frequency between these buildings. Not just ‘visiting for a meeting’ but ‘my desk is now at a different mailing address’ moving. Which makes the fact that the team I’m on hasn’t moved in three years pretty unusual.

Is it because the company has a deep respect for our work and doesn’t want to disrupt a functional dynamic? Nope. It’s because the phones at our desks are linked into a phone queue, and no one knows how to change it.

Not kidding. Whoever set up the phones that way in the first place has since left the company, and the tech itself is old enough that the supplier no longer supports it. Every phone that was originally linked to the queue still is, even when they are being used by other teams. (Those people just have to be really careful with their settings to make sure they don’t get a customer service call.)

Which is all a very long way of saying — we’re getting a new phone system, and that means all of a sudden moving is looking a lot more likely.
marcicat: (blue footed bubi)
Last week someone told me that I sometimes “seem frustrated” at work. (They described this as “a bummer.”) They went on to explain that they had never worked in any customer service job.

I mean, kudos to my past self for keeping it together. Even looking back on it I mostly just feel baffled. Yes, I am sometimes frustrated at work. Customer service is an inherently frustrating job.

But frustration is generally considered more acceptable in a workplace than outrage, a feeling I also feel. And humor — even dark humor — is generally more acceptable at work than tears. (I have actually said to people “we have to laugh about it, because if we didn’t laugh we’d be crying.”) So no, I wouldn’t call that a bummer. I’d call it a survival strategy.

[On an unrelated note, last night I dreamed that the world was maybe ending. I decided the first thing I would do was call family members, and the second thing was to fill up containers of water. Good call, dream self! Stay in touch, and stay hydrated — good life advice in general.]
marcicat: (cat with heart)
A coworker introduced me to the Chrome extension Tabby Cat, and it has changed my work life for the better.

Each time you open a new tab in chrome, it opens with a picture of a cat, instead of the ‘most visited sites’ tiles. Best part is they have adorable names, like ‘Teeny Casper’ and ‘Peach Bebop.’ (Apparently you can do things with them? I have not figured out that aspect. Usually I’m chortling at the name and then getting on with whatever work I was supposed to be doing when I opened the new tab.)

Cats, man. So fluffy. Much cute.
marcicat: (today I eat cake)

Back to work! That sure will be something.

I’ve already done a quick check of my work emails — always a toss-up whether that’s a good idea or not. On the negative side, it tends to ramp up my stress about work things at a time when there’s nothing I can do about it. On the positive side, I’ve gotten in trouble at work before for “expressing strong feelings” when reading my emails, so at least this way I won’t have to have A Conversation with my boss about my reactions.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

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: (snowbirds on a line)

Yesterday I thought to myself ‘I’ll just listen to this npr podcast on my way to work; that will be interesting and not too exciting for the first day back.’ (I figured there would be a lot of ‘back at work’ energy floating around, so I wouldn’t need to pump myself up with loud tunes or anything in the car.)

Whoops. Turns out I picked the episode about wage stagnation (among other things), spent the entire episode offering rude commentary back to the guest, and arrived at work fired up for the fall of capitalism.

(Maybe today I’ll stick with music.)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (badger roses)

1. physical recovery time

Between allergies and some foot pain that can probably be pinned on over-exercising, taking a holiday weekend of inaction seemed like a good bet.

2. increased willingness to go back to work

I stayed in a lot, took three(!) naps, and read approximately a zillion words of fanfic. But it was perfect, because it didn’t *feel* boring until about 8 pm on Monday night, which is perfect timing for a return to work on Tuesday.

3. cat bonding time

If we’re taking weather cues from cat fur, it’s going to be a cold winter. On the other hand, he doesn’t even go outside, so what would he know?

4. could have come up with clever journal posts

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (pacman stealth)

Any time there’s a holiday weekend, the workplace is all aflutter with talk of weekend plans. Which is great! But there are times when I need an escape answer.

Because sometimes it’s like this:

1. I have plans that I would prefer not to invite commentary on.

–OR–

2. I have plans that consist mainly of ‘not going to work, maybe take a nap?’ And there’s only so many times you can say that before it just gets boring to talk about.

Which means it’s good to have something new and vague to say every once in a while. This week I was inspired, and came up with:

I haven’t decided yet; I’m going to play it by ear.

It was super effective! I mean, people might have assumed that I meant ‘I’ll choose between my many potential exciting plans in a spontaneous way’ and not ‘I’ll either be a hermit on Sunday, or on Sunday *and* Monday,’ but that’s on them.

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.

marcicat: (owl heart)

Time to go back to work for two days!

[PS: You know what’s the most annoying thing about a touchpad that’s 7 years old? The on-again off-again ability to click and drag. I mean, that’s probably why I’m so patient with my work computer being slow, so — bright side!]

I cleared out some of the unnecessary emails yesterday morning, so there’s that to be grateful for. Also, it’s veggie day, always good for another episode of ‘how shall I combine these veggies with mac and cheese *this* week?’

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (black cat)

coworker: “I can’t get into [program]! It says I’m not connected to the internet!”

me: “…This may sound like an obvious question, but — is your computer connected to the internet?”

coworker: “I think so?”

me: “Can you see other internet things, like your email?”

coworker: “Let me check. Yes! Oh, [program] is working now!”

(Note: This was literally just intended to make my coworker do something else for the five seconds it would take the initial program to load. Isn’t technology great! ::jazz hands::)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (badger travel)

It’ll be hot today, but out my window I can see a tree already starting to change colors for autumn. The season is signaling transition.

(Also, my boss is on vacation all week. It’s been a rocky start for the stand-in boss, but we’ll see how things progress.)

((Also, we got the first pictures from last week’s company team-building outing, and my hat game was on point. Way to go, past self!))

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (snowbirds on a line)

The first time I was in a meeting with the (at the time) sales director for my current employer, he told a story.

His mother, he said, had once gone into a GNC store ten minutes before closing, and asked for something to help with her arthritis pain. She went home with some topical cream, and called her son because she was still confused about the array of options available.

It’s a story that doesn’t seem too unusual. Supplements are confusing; retail store employees aren’t trained medical professionals; arthritis is a medical condition that requires a delicate dance to talk about at all in a supplement aisle; ten minutes isn’t nearly long enough to cover every product and its potential benefits and side effects and contraindications with prescription meds, and that’s all before you take into account a million other things about how retail stores operate.

But the story ends like this. The sales director called the store the next day and got the employee fired.

It still makes me want to cry and rage, years after hearing it. I am still not sure whether he truly believed the story made him seem like a laudable human being, or if it was told merely to frighten us.

But I think of that story often.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (tree with rainbow swirls)

Switching shifts at work, starting today. It feels like the least of the changes I’d *like* to make at work, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s a step in the right direction.

[art credit Claire Mohjer]

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

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