Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The One Where I Pay Myself on the Back

I have been getting the nicest compliments from co-workers since I was offered my promotion. (Of course, my boss has not called me back, so the promotion thing is not official, which is making me mental. But it's ok, really, I'm fine.)

The leaders in my location now know that they will be losing me three days a week, and they are freaking out. I have been told that we have to get full-blown Skype at work so that we can video conference daily because a phone call or text or regular skype message just isn't going to be enough. And that on my two days here, they are going to bring their laptops and just set up shop in my office every minute that I'm here. And just generally that they are going to miss me, and while they love the person I am planning on promoting, she just isn't a replacement for me.

The person I am planning on promoting has been so complimentary, as well. We are more than employee and manager; we are friends. She told me that she was talking to her husband about how much she is going to miss me and that she isn't sure how she is going to get through the days without me. He told her that an employee should not feel like that about their boss; there is something wrong with how much she loves me. She told him that he doesn't understand - that I am so supportive and understanding, and that I am unlike any other boss she has ever had.

I got what was maybe the best compliment yesterday from a co-worker who has been promoted up the ranks with me (not in HR; in the area I support). She said that what made her most proud of my promotion is that I didn't change who I am to get ahead. I've always said that I knew my boss did not like me. I am just not her cup of tea. I am sarcastic, dress a little edgier than she'd like, and do not kiss ass, ever. I don't talk just to hear my own voice and I don't self-promote. I am who I am, and I do what I do. If you appreciate it, great. If not, and I'm not the one for this job, then give me a severance package and I will be on my way. So, all these years later, to have the boss who did not like me, did not "get" me, and probably wished she could replace me with someone else offer me a promotion, and I didn't have to change myself to get's a big deal. And to have my co-worker recognize it and call it out was awesome.

It means so much to me to hear that the people whom I've supported for the past 13 years appreciate me...and even more so, that they appreciate me for ME, not just for my work. They value me. They know that I give my heart and soul to them. They know that I'm here to help.

Finally, I think my boss may be seeing it too (although, again, she has not called me back, but I'm not feeling crazy about it at all, not at all, not at all, not at all, not even a little bit). I am curious, and a little anxious, to see if I can build these relationships with two new offices and numerous new employees. But for today, I am am basking in the glory of my awesomeness.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

More "Talking Things Through" With TJG

After posting into the ether yesterday about several of the things keeping me awake at night, I actually slept last night. I don't know if it's legit cause-and-effect, that I wrote it all out and then was freer in my mind and that helped me nod off. But maybe it was. So maybe this needs to be my Irrational Fear and Stupid Concerns Blog.

Things got clearer and muddier in my life last night. One thing, where I was worried about my kid and her two best friends (one boy and one girl) came to fruition. Those two do like each other. TJK is happily in the middle right now, helping the boy find a way to ask out the girl. She says, emphatically, that just because she is in a band with him, that does NOT mean that she likes him. They are just friends. Right now, she is happy for them and playing a bit of matchmaker. Now I worry that the two of them will seriously veer off and TJK will be left alone. But, I feel confident that she will make it out alive.

I am still waiting to hear back from my boss about The Big Job in The Big City. I am excited and nervous and I need her to tell me how much money I am going to be making. I have a big number in my head to match up with the big job, and I am hoping I am not disappointed.

Something I think I forgot to talk about yesterday is something that has been solidly on my mind for a couple of months now. TJK is a tiny chica. She is only 4'10, while most of her friends are closer to my height of 5'8. She feels so small, even with her big personality and big intelligence. She has been going for tests: lots of blood tests (like, A LOT), an MRI to make sure she didn't have a brain tumor, and appointments with specialists. Everything has come back clear - no medical issues, no tumors or cancers or health concerns. She is just small. So now we need to make a decision about growth hormones. They might get her another inch or two in height. She is projected to be about 5' in total without now we are faced with deciding if it is worth it to have her take a daily injection so she can be two inches taller. And I don't know what the right answer is. I do feel like 5'2 is so much better than 5'. I mean, at 5 feet tall, you even have a greater chance of dying in a car crash because you are too short for the airbag to deploy properly! I think I was leaning against the hormones until the doctor said it was time to decide about the hormones and then suddenly, I was for them. And, TJK was all for them until I told her it was time to decide and now she is against them. We have a month to talk it over and come to a decision....but this is super stressful. You always want to do the right thing for your kid; you want her to be happy and well adjusted and to feel normal. I wish this was a black and white decision....I am sick of the grey.

And this Kavanaugh stuff. JFC. I don't understand why it's so hard to put together what happened in this situation. Dude was drunk AF the night this happened, and on other nights in high school and college too. He and his buddy were drinking, having fun, thinking they were gods because that's what everyone had always told them they were. They took a liking to Christine Blasey-Ford and hit on her. They thought they were having fun - thought SHE was having fun. They tried to have sex with her, not noticing that was not into it because A) they were drunk AF and B) they were not used to being told no so they didn't recognize it. In their minds, it was all fun and not very memorable for them. It was not memorable because A) they were drunk AF and B) there was nothing different about this night than any other night, and possibly C) they were blackout drunk AF and don't remember how it went down or that it went down at all. We all know men like this, and knew boys like this, and the fact that all of these other privileged white men can't see it shows me that they are men just like Kavanaugh and were boys like Kavanaugh. If they admit something might have happened...then maybe they stepped outside the bounds too and just haven't been called on it.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Random Questions in my Head That Are Making Me Not Sleep

Can you still consider yourself a generous person if you are very giving with people and "treat" all the time because you know you make more money than others, but yet you get pissed off when people are not appreciative? In particular, when you take your kid's friends out to expensive events, treat them to dinners, buy them the keepsakes that come along with the events...and the parents never even text you a "thanks"? Are you still generous if you are bitter about your giving?

Is it wrong to really want a promotion because it will pay you a lot more money but really not want it because you aren't sure you want more responsibility and work?

Should I feel bad that a co-worker, who sucks at actual work and has for years, is going to be laid off? What if she is lazy af and is kind of an asshole, but she smiles in your face and pretends that you are still good friends?

What car should I get? I'm looking at the Lexus RX350 or the Range Rover Evoque SE Premium. I really like the Range Rover the best but it is known for being unreliable, and everyone I know with a Lexus loves it. And what about the fact that what I really and truly in my heart want is the Porsche Panamera? Will I always resent the fact that I am not getting what I really want? And, if I'm taking the promotion with all the extra work and commitment, do I owe it to myself to at least check out the more expensive and more perfect car?

What do you do when your daughter has become best friends with a boy and a girl, and things then start getting teenager-y? Like, its the three of them all the time, and they get along great. And now, I think the boy and girl are starting to like each other, and then my kiddo is left out. How do I help her manage that?

What happens when you get to an age where you decide you will take no shit from anyone, and that people who are ignorant or annoying or careless will have no place in your life...and then realize you are maybe becoming intolerant of imperfection? Where do you draw the line between what is acceptable and what isn't? How do you know when you are cutting too many people out of your life, and how do you know if you are using good reasons to cut them out?

How do you remove yourself from solving everyone else's problems when you can't even solve your own? If you are overwhelmed with your own petty life decisions and issues, why do people even think you are capable of tackling their problems? And why do I think I'm capable of this?

Will I be able to get past the pit in my stomach every time I see a friend/family member/high school acquaintance post their support for Bret Kavanaugh? It's taking everything in me to not drive to Louisiana and beat the crap out of my cousins for things they have posted (but then I have never met them in person so why do I even care?). This whole Kavanaugh thing is making me insane and I feel like the world is on fire and that none of these other issues means anything because Trump and his collection of douchebros are going to kill us all anyway so why even bother getting up in the morning?

Monday, September 24, 2018

I've Even Impressed Myself

My boss has hated me for years. When I first started reporting to her, about 7 years ago, I was invited to a meeting at our 5th Ave office with the rest of the HR team. I wore a (respectable) leopard print dress (no, really, it was respectable and pretty and not at all strippery, I promise) with a black cardigan and black boots. It was edgy and again, totally work appropriate, but didn't fit in with the conservative nature of that office culture. During the meeting, again, my first in-person meeting with her, I made a (very funny) sarcastic comment. She doesn't have a great sense of humor so she took me seriously. Ugh. I did not make the best first impression, but I always felt like she knew who I was right up front (I was the broad who would wear animal print and throw sarcasm and own the shit out of it). For the next 7 or so years, I did not win her over, did not get her to like me, and did not care all that much. I'm good at my job, everyone in my location loves and admires me, and I won't be fake for anyone. So, hate me if you want, but this is who I am and I'm not going to change.

About 6 months ago, I worked on a project for my boss. Actually, a good number of us were doing the same project for each of our locations. I got mine done super fast and she was super impressed. I could see her looking at me differently. After I completed my project, I helped everyone else with theirs (not to impress her - just to help my co-workers). Again, she was impressed. She was seeing me in a different light. I also found over $1m that our landlord owed us and recouped the money. Again, impressed.

Suddenly, our conversations were different. It was no longer me talking and her barely listening. She started asking for my opinions. She sought me out for projects. She asked me about where I saw my career going. She heard what I had to say and advocated for my ideas. She started telling me more personal things about herself. I started calling her my bestie (no, not to her face. She isn't that kind of boss).

On Friday, she called me from her cell phone. Of course, I thought I was being fired because I just knew that once we became best friends, she would let me go. But no, that wasn't to be. Instead, she offered me a promotion. It's a pretty big promotion and a little scary to even consider. I don't know yet how much money is in it for me, but I know I'll be working in NYC three days a week (which entails me taking the bus - I know, I'm a weenie...but I really like driving my own car). It entails me working at 3 different locations throughout the week (two in NYC and my current NJ location). It entails me getting up much earlier and getting home much later, with my commute increasing from about 40 minutes a day to almost 3 hours a day (ugh).

But. My kid is almost 15 years old. She is  in high school. She hangs out with her friends after school all the time. Do I still NEED to be home at 5:30 for her? Isn't it time to maybe focus on making that cash and building my career further? Am I supposed to wait around for another 4 years till she goes off the college and hope for an opportunity like this again?

But. Do I want more responsibility? Do I want to start over with having to gain trust from a new group of people when my peeps are already there? Do I want to get home later and potentially lose some of the closeness TJK and I have built? (Honestly, I don't see that happening...I think I did a good job with this kid and she will support me and understand, and that we will find time for each other.)

Y'all. My boss, who hated me six months ago, created a senior position for me and wants me working directly with her. She told me I have impressed her, that I am a good manager of people, that I have a good head on my shoulders, that I'm good at building bonds with the execs I support. How could I not take advantage of this opportunity?

I'm movin' on up.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Ramblings About My Lack of Friendship Skills

I am not good at meeting new people. I am not good at small talk. I am not good at trusting people. I am not good at controlling my mouth when people say things I don't like. And I am not good at tolerating people I just don't like.

Last night, TJK had a gig with her awesome little punk band out in PA. People saw a cute girl with her bass guitar and kept coming up and talking to her and then to me (once I was like, uh, dude, she's 14, back the fuck off before I stab you in the dick). We both reacted in the same way to these strangers talking to us: we say hello, expect them to move on, they don't, we glaze over and want to disappear.
Do not be a male over the age of 16 talking to my baby girl.
You will die a slow and painful death at my hands.
I wish I was better at this stuff so I could teach her to be better at this stuff, especially if she is trying to build up her band. Luckily the lead singer is totally good at it (and so are his parents) so they take up the slack...but still.

Even those parents, though. The kids went on about 2 hours later than we thought they would, so the parents went down the street for a drink while the kids watched the rest of the bands. We have a lot in common with these parents: we are about the same age, have kids the same age who go to the same school and have been in the same class for the past two years, love to travel and have been all over Europe, love the same kind of music and love live shows. But in talking to them, they only want to talk about themselves. We have all been to Spain...but, have you been to this tiny town on the water where they drank this cider you could only get in that tiny town? Oh sure, yes, we have been to Italy too, but have you heard of this small village no one has ever heard of where the apples grow only one every 50 years and they were there to experience it? It was all this oneupmanship that I can't tolerate. Like, you tell a travel story, then we tell a travel story. Hubby mentions we have been to Russia. They reply, ooooh, that must have been fascinating, tell us all about it! And then when we start, she interrupts with "Oh that sounds like the time we went to that eastern bloc town about 40 miles outside of Prague...let me tell you all about that instead!"

And I just lose my patience. I stop talking because it's not a conversation, its a lecture. I am sure I purse my lips and roll my eyes and I am visually and completely done with the conversation. Not that they notice, because the lecture continues.

Maybe if I tried harder instead of shutting down, we could be good friends with them. But making friends is not my strength. I am not sure what my strength is, exactly, but niceness to strangers and people who annoy me is certainly not it.