Yay finally, I have time to blog and for my general readers, that is great news… for my period-readers, not so much. My cute lil’reader Alyson asked me why I hadn’t blogged in a while and it was just a matter of finding that inspiration kick. Today after an exhausting day from work, on the drive home, a bit of inspiration for a post did arrive and a reflection of why sometimes when dreams become reality, it never is as simple as it seems. Now, being a “grown-up” (and I quote that, lol) I already know that everything comes with a twist and that even the simplest of things become complex. Now I’m just being paradoxical instead of jumping into the main topic.
About half a year ago, I was transferred to another sub-department. Our “main” department is divided into 3 sub-departments, each with its own miniature management team. This department is known for being the one involved with the “hardest” work (how ever that is even defined) and that upon joining I knew I was going to be in for a good ride. I expected to take up a mediocre role, where I wouldn’t be doing anything extremely importantly and literally being the grunt that gets everything thrown at them, but with little actual responsibility.
I always used to tell myself to look forward to when I could be the guy who “gets to go to all the meetings” because in my mind, that’s where all the ‘important’ stuff happens. Previous to my department change, we had very infrequent meetings and in all honesty, nothing important were ever decided in those meetings. They were informative (if that) and because most decisions were made at the higher echelons, nothing we did/said really meant much in the bigger picture. Finally in this past 6 months, I’ve been to more meetings than for the years I’ve been working at this organization. So initially, I thought to myself, “Oh wow, this is a dream come true, I finally get to go to all these meetings!!” I figured because I was the “junior” of out the group of attendees, that I wouldn’t even be the one making the decisions. I’d sit there, smile and pretend to be part of the group. When you walk out the meeting room and everyone around you looks up, it gives that sense of pride to be “with the suits” with your head held high.
After a month or two, they began the see my performance and trust my work. To a degree, one could say they even relied on it. Within the past month, I have been heavily involved in an assortment of projects. Being one of the 4 project managers in this department and working within an organization of over 5,000 people, we’re definitely against the numbers. In the previous sub-department I worked for, most of the decisions often only impacted a selection of individuals. In my current sub-department, the decisions we make affect THE entire organization, including external stakeholders (and damn let me tell you, there are LOT of them). I suddenly realized the pressure in making decisions because the impact was at such a large scale. Before, if I screwed up, I may be the joke of the department for a couple of weeks and maybe make a few people disgruntled, but now, I am easily the target of the entire organization and stakeholders. Suddenly a screw-up is irreversible and likely something that could be devastating to one’s reputation.
That “dream” I always envisioned, being the person sitting at the big round table to call the shots suddenly made me a bit hot under the collar. They have passed down a lot of responsibility to me in the past few months, the better the performance they see, the more they lead me to take the bull by the horns. I do not regret performing well, after all who does not want to be a shining example at work and have a brighter career path? I enjoy AND fear the responsibility as it puts a lot of weight on your back. While the dream has come true, there’s a lot I didn’t bargain for, such as the pressure, obligation and responsibility that comes with ‘being the decision maker’. I told my friend this and he smiled, telling me this is always like that, “Beautiful woman you look for in your life, you find her and she’s gorgeous but dumb as a mule.” 😆 Now, I have to be careful about every word or idea I propose at these meetings, because they do make a difference and that a mistake may be costly for our entire organization. Committing millions of dollars to the “wrong product” is as devastating to our coffers as it would be to my reputation. Though in our organization luckily poor decisions (unless they’re out-rightly retarded or illegal) has never gotten anyone fired, but it’s definitely not a burden you want to carry.
So now on a daily basis, I sit at the big round table, drinking our coffees, keying on our laptop while people talk and occasionally staring up at the PowerPoint that the presenter is talking about, but now being at that table means committing yourself to a degree of responsibility which you must burden. I used to see the executives coming out, looking more disturbed than happy… I envied them, because they drove the direction of departments and organization. Now, I get to be the one that (even to a lesser degree), drive the direction of departments, but now I understand the look on my face when we leave. People are often poker-faced for a reason. Meetings often mean more work, more problems and more money (not in our pockets). I leave having to do and delegate more work, than going there to resolve things. I used to think the meetings were where everyone happily sits down and talks about the “successes” rather than failures and remedial steps.
It always is nice to think about success without the sandwich effect. It’d be nice to be “the people who make the decisions” IF those decisions didn’t have consequences. It would be great if I could walk into the meeting room, make all sorts of suggestions, paid big bucks but not be accountable for the decision made. However, that is not reality and nor should I expect it to have been. With every “dream” that comes true, something has to give…. and there’s always a twist!
Hope people don’t think I’m dead or something… no, I’m still alive. Work has been busy lately and it has been exhausting. My blog is just a fun way for me to relax and to share myself with the world and so I don’t treat it like a job where I feel obligated to update it all the time. I haven’t ran out of period-topics yet, trust me, I have a huge list of it on my “to-talk-about” scratchpad. I still see a great influx of unique visitors every day and I’m happy about it and hope there’ll be more contributions and visitors to come. I want to keep this blog exciting and on-topic of course – although everyone has those busy-times in their life and this is one of them for me!
Over the summer, I get reduced working hours and it tends to be lazy. However, whenever September starts and the school-year rolls in, sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode. On the good news about that is this year, my contract for my project manager position has been extended and they’re trying to make it a permanent position (rather than a temporary, where is can be terminated any time past the contract dates). As of September this year, our pay has gone up as a result of negotiated contracts… it’s not much, but in an economy like this and where many other sectors are freezing wages, let alone increase them, I consider myself lucky (or well to even be employed for that matter). As of October 1st, it has been one full year that my “new” job has been effective and I earned yet another jump in the pay-grid. It’s not really a lot of money after taxes and such, probably around an extra $4,000 or so combined.
Suffice to say, this new position comes without the manual labour of being in the field, but is still strenuous on the brain (not that I claim to be smart) and is a lot of politics-balancing game – you want to keep everyone happy while maintaining control. I definitely don’t want to revert to my old position because it’s way too much labour-intensive work and being in the office has its advantages (and disadvantages), along with the money that comes with an upgraded position. Hopefully it’ll go permanent soon so I can feel secure, although I still hold my prior permanent position – much more secure than most private-sector job shifts. I’ve been handling a lot of projects lately and it isn’t just a matter of “lots” but more of “all at the same time” and I swear this is probably what’s going to prevent me from getting Alzheimer’s given how much I have to keep my brain active and trying not to forget stuff. I will admit, even with the aid of my iPhone calendar, written notes and such – I still have managed to pull off some near-misses and forget an appointment/meeting. What I need is a secretary… haha, but that’s only something the manager gets!
All this work has not been without its reward… other than the money. The smiling faces I get to see and the plethora of “thank yous” really brightens up the day. For those who work in any service-related industry, you’ll definitely know that being appreciated is one thing that never ceases to make a bad day good. When I go home each day, as tired as I may be, I feel a sense of accomplishment… something I haven’t felt in a while because most of the work I’ve done during our downtime has been less-than-a-challenge and I’m one of those people who need to “do something grand” to feel as if I’m going somewhere in my life. I won’t lie that money is still an important thing to me, but if I’m going to earn money anyways while doing my job – I would certainly like the recognition, prestige and fulfillment to come with it. I’ll admit any moment that compared to many private-sector workers, we really have it easy here. I remember sitting there and talking to one of the accountants at our organization and she told me that I should really be recommending government jobs to my girlfriend (that’s what they refer to bebe as… oh well, easier on the mouth than referring to her by something else) because she really regrets not going government sooner in her life, wasting many of it out in the private sector. I don’t disagree that private sector is really “where the money is at” most of the time, but I guess it also depends on how far you really want to climb, whether you have the inhibitions to do it and what kind of lifestyle you really want. Government jobs are potentially the greatest “family-friendly” jobs ever – you don’t have to give up your life just to earn your next pay. I’m always on the look-out anyways for bebe, so when she comes back to job-hunt again, I will certainly check with my accounting friends in the government and see what they can scrounge up. Luckily, we have a CRA building right in the city we live in, which may be a great match for bebe’s line-of-work.
What surprized me over the past 2 weeks the most was that my boss has really been polishing me up. The other day I only casually mentioned about wanting one of those new rolling-laptop bags because I “though they were cool” and then the next day when I opened my office door in the morning (my eyes still half closed), I found a $120 rolling laptop bag sitting on my desk. This past Friday, I needed a memory stick to do a transfer of a large project I was working on and he asked me to follow him to the storage cabinet. Other than handing me a memory key which he said I could keep, he also gave me a gift for “all the hard work I’ve put in lately” a 2-TB Network Storage Device. This was a true professional-series file server and I was just thinking about what the hell I’m going to do with it, so I decided this weekend’s project would be to set it up so that every computer in my house (and that’s lots of it) – will backup to this device on a regular basis. For those who have ever had their computer crash and lost data, they’ll know how much having a proper backup means! While I was doing the setup on the device, I decided to hop online to check the price…. the “gift” he gave me is worth $499.99! Well you know what? Even though my job doesn’t pay much comparatively and in an industry where we are not eligible for bonuses or anything (since we don’t generate revenue per se), he definitely knows how to find other ways of giving us bonuses, even if it’s not in a cash-form. I had a second thought is that had I not unpacked it and begun using it, I probably could’ve sold it for $400… but sometimes it’s nice to keep things around that people give you – call it a… sentimental value.
This is an interesting thing I heard on the radio… looked it up and wanted to repost a written article:
SLEEP LESS…AND LIVE LONGER
Saturday October 2,2010
By Jo Willey
WOMEN who get between five and six-and-a-half hours sleep a night could live longer, research claims.
Less than five hours a night is probably not enough and eight hours is probably too much, insist experts.
A team, led by Professor Daniel Kripke, revisited his research carried out between 1995 and 1999 at the University of California, San Diego.
That earlier study, part of the Women’s Health Initiative, monitored 459 women aged between 50 and 81 to determine if sleep duration can be linked to mortality.
Of the original participants, 444 were located and evaluated. Eighty-six of those had died. Prof Kripke, whose findings are published in Sleep Medicine journal, said: “Women who slept less than five hours a night or more than 6.5 hours were less likely to be alive at the 14-year follow-up.”
He added that the study should calm fears about people not getting enough sleep.
I have to shamefully admit that I used to question bebe about her sleeping habits… I mean, I know university life is hard and all, but she used to sleep some awkward hours… either working late into the night and then waking up in the afternoon and to me, that was a bit weird. Even when I attend post-secondary, I never had such awkward sleeping patterns, but hey, to each their own. However, what worried me the most wasn’t about the weird patterns she slept, but I was worried about her health by not getting enough good rest. I can say surely that it was a concern for her well-being and health, not because I minded the fact she slept at odd hours. Guess I have to admit now that she is right and I am wrong. According to the article, as long as she gets 5-6 hours of restful sleep, then her body will function great!
But anyways… I feel guilty as of last night. I know in my heart I’m dedicated and loyal to bebe. I don’t know what happened last night, but for once in a long-long-long time.. I had a dream about a girl, but the girl wasn’t bebe. I’m not used to dreaming about any other girl other than her and hell, I don’t even have feelings for the girl who was in the dream, so that’s not an issue about my mind telling me something. Such a weird thing… and yes, I know sometimes dreams are absolutely insignificant but I feel guilty. I don’t like OR want my dreams to contain girls in it other than bebe, because I am 100% hers! I should be thinking about her when I’m eating, at work and even sleeping and of no other girl. I’m of course totally exaggerating this over the case of a single night’s dream, but it definitely felt awkward. I mean a few years ago, I would’ve loved nothing more but have random dreams of beautiful women – but now, it almost seems like I’ve lost the inhibition for all other women. It’s not that I’m turning gay or dislike sweet-talking girls, but it just isn’t the same magnetic and pounding feeling I have on other girls compared to bebe. I can’t understand why I felt so sad over it… It’s almost like I cheated on her or something 😆 even when I haven’t even done anything… 😛 I get way too worked up about this stuff, haha.
Speaking of sleep.. I’m going to sleep night – so nighty night!
P.S just the other day, I noticed that MiM already has 100,000 unique page hits! OMG… and not even a year old – so thanks to all my visitors for making this place a success!
Posted for Cherrie
Hi everyone! I need your help! The video below is something my classmates and I did for a class project. We need all the view counts we can get, so help us spread the video to all your friends, friend’s friends, family, family’s friends, extended families… you get the drift.
I’ll be eternally grateful! You can also watch it every day hahaha. xD
It’s our very first time doing a video like this so please support and be nice kay? It’ll only take less than 2 minutes of your time!
Again, a million thanks if you would spread the video to everyone you know!