Dreaded place

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Tomorrow I start vacation until after the first of the new year. Only, in will feel very little like a vacation since my duties will be trying to keep the house from being destroyed and small children in line.

There will be screaming from them and their parent – during the whole day, and sometimes even at night.

There will be endless cleaning up after people.

There will be a constant watchful eye on everything that is done because one is never sure if it will lead to disaster.

Truthfully, home is a dreaded place.

I know I could cancel my vacation days and just work and take them at another time next year, but I have told too many people what is coming and now not taking them will cause problems.

So, for the two weeks I will look for opportunities to hide, in the house and by leaving the house.

Office lunch

Photo by Naim Benjelloun on Pexels.com

Here’s a question for you. I probably should preface the question first with some background but I’ll just blurt it out first and then do a little backfilling.

Should the office holiday lunch be catered or “potluck-ish”?

OK, the backfill…so, the office has a holiday party (think office Christmas party, but you know, politics….) where we have a white elephant gift exchange and the managers provide (as in pay for) the lunch of pizza, garlic bread, salad, soda, etc. In the past, the activity took place at a pizza place and everyone travelled there to partake during the work day as it was only about 15 minutes from work. Then the world-wide panic happened and this practice was postponed for a couple years.

Keep in mind this shindig (at least the lunch part) is coming out of the managers’ pockets (there are three of them) because office funds can’t be used. We get paid for the time. They have always framed this as a “Thank you, for doing a great job all year” kind of deal.

So, this year they decided it would be held at the office in the conferences rooms (they can be combined into one large room) and they would provide the food. Like, literally, they would provide the food. They each brought part of the makings for a taco bar. So, in essence, the three managers provide all the potluck items. All of us then proceeded to go past the tables, buffet style, and put together out own plates. They also provided several different desserts. Most everything was from Costco and was either pre-made or prepped at their home prior to the gathering.

So, how should we feel?

Should we feel appreciated or should we feel like the managers “cheaped out”?

I understand it took effort and some expense on their part. I do feel appreciated to a degree, and yet I can’t help but feel the gesture was out of obligation rather than true appreciation. Does it have to be catered or lavish to get a true feeling of appreciation? I didn’t think so when it was at the pizza place. I don’t know. I just feel a little put out this year for some reason.

How would you feel?

Meeting fatigue

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This week isn’t all that different from any other week, as far as work goes. I realize meetings are part of my job, but I didn’t realize that going to meetings IS my job. At least it feels that way many days.

I was looking back at my work calendar for this week and I added up the time scheduled for me to attend one sort of meeting or another. Altogether, I will have spent 8.5 hours of my 40 hour work week in a meeting. Granted, the week isn’t over so more could be added (or some, please please please, removed).

Do my supervisors understand that attending meetings keep from doing my ACTUAL job? You know, the areas and tasks and functions where I have expertise? That for every hour of time scheduled for attending a meeting that it probably (I’m estimating here) sets me back about two hours of productive time (provided I actually feel like being productive…see recent posts…I am doing effort less…)?

Do other jobs require this much time in meetings? I mean, jobs that aren’t a supervisory type job. We all know supervisors spend lots of time in meetings because they don’t actually have a job or job functions. But that is neither here nor there.

My point is, how much time do you spend in meetings each week? Is this normal, to spend the equivalent of an entire work day in meetings each week?

Effort less

Photo by Felipe Barboza on Pexels.com

I’ll preface the entire post with what I don’t want you to think. No, I haven’t misspelled the title. No, I don’t mean “effortless.” That meaning basically means that while doing something it takes little to no effort to complete said something. That’s not what I am referring to.

I am simply stating that I am going to give less effort.

I am going to effort less.

Think of it as not trying hard or giving fewer f*cks.

Think of it as minimal exertion.

I will do everything effort less from here on out.

At least for the foreseeable future, anyway.

Least productive

Photo by Klaus Nielsen on Pexels.com

What day of the week do you find you are the least productive at work?

I am finding that my least productive day is not one that I would expect. After a crazy busy week (most weeks) and I finally get a day to be productive that happens to fall on a Friday…yeah, that’s my least productive day.

Not because I am thinking of the weekend plans or trying to give myself that stupid buzz-word, “self-care.” I am just out of motivation.

By the end of the week, I could care less if I get anything done.

I am sure my employer would hate to hear that. I actually don’t like to hear it because I really have a ton to do (catch up on email, start projects, complete unfinished projects, etc). But, I just can’t get myself to do any of it. I look at what I have to do, my list of things to do, and all the other stuff sitting on my desk and I just can’t.

Is this normal? To just run out of productive steam at the end of the week?

Flavored coffee

Photo by lil artsy on Pexels.com

Why oh why?

Let me clarify, if you want to put flavored creamer into your coffee I think that is perfectly acceptable. However, flavoring the actual coffee grounds seems like weird practice. Mostly because I have now seen some of the strangest combinations of flavors in the office I work in.

I have co-workers who apparently like to try different kinds of flavored coffee. I have mentioned one of these in the past. I have yet come across another completely weird and out of character coffee flavor, at least I think so.

When you think of Death Wish Coffee Company’s coffee you envision an ultra-strong, no frills, no nonsense kind of coffee (at least I do). I have had their original coffee and it was strong and hit the spot. I liked it because it lived up to it’s name.

But, the other day I was at the office coffee maker when I saw someone had use a coffee pod that was a Death Wish Coffee Company’s Pumpkin Chai flavored coffee.

Image. Destoyed. Busted. Deflated.

Frilly, trend-following, wimpy coffee. At least that was what suddenly came across my mind.

I know because I said something to someone about it and magically a pod appeared on my desk later in the day with a note saying to “Try it.”

I did. Opinion not changed. Thankfully the chai flavor was stronger than the pumpkin, but overall wasn’t impressed.

I went out to their website and see that this appears to be the only flavored offereing. Sure, they have other “flavors” but they are more like the original with variations on strength and blends.

Anyway, have you seen this stuff? Tried it? Do you think it holds with the percieved image of the company?

Dream life?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was scrolling through the news this morning and I found an article that pretty much summed up what I think would be a dreamy life. I would love to abandon nearly everything and become a digital nomad like the dude highlighted in this story.

I would like to travel. I would like to live different stints in various parts of the world. I would like to have places to call “home” but have the means to explore. I would love to not worry about finances for the day to day things (granted, his monthly income is more than most). I would love to be that digital nomad so that I could work from anywhere in the world, whenever I need to or wanted to. I would like have the luxurious, simple life. Plain and simple, this guy’s situation seems perfect.

Let’s talk about the income though. He lives on about $8k a month. Would it be possible to live a luxurious life on say $6k a month? Probably. Obviously it’s about choices. But the extra $2k ups the game on not having to worry about making the wrong choices…LOL

I mean, really? Does anyone else want a dream life like this?

Cheaped out

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

“Tradition” has been (or will be) broken. Actually, I am not sure how much of a tradition it is but I do know it is an annual occurrence that has taken place for at least as long as I have been with this organization. I am sure it started way before I became employed here.

The annual company/department picnic is today. Only it isn’t going to be a picnic today…

The picnic hasn’t really happened, of course, over the last several years because, ya know, covid. People freak out if you’re in too close proximity even when outdoors so it didn’t happen. But this year, the powers that be decided it was alright to have it again. As such, we will be headed to the park later this afternoon.

But, here’s the thing. It isn’t really going to be a picnic.

In the past, the managers have provided all the spread for a picnic lunch. Sandwiches, fruit, veggies, chips, drinks, etc. were all included with this time away from the office and official duties. People brought chairs and hung out in a relaxing atmostphere and got to know each other in a different setting.

This year, the managers have cheaped out. This year it isn’t a lunch so much as a snack time. Chips and cookies are the highlight of the menu this year. So, for most people, they will have to have a lunch of some kind before heading to the picnic.

Not sure why there has been a change from what was done in the past, but this is rather anticlimatic. Are we supposed to look forward to this? Doesn’t really seem like a celebration of another support year completed before moving into another school year support cycle. It almost seems more like an obligatory afterthought.

I guess I should just temper the complaint with the fact that I won’t have to be working during that time. But I would be much happier if they would feed me a regular lunch like in the past…

Trust the process

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Such a damn cliche. I get tired of hearing it thrown out there when stuff doesn’t go right and it hits the fan….

For me, I trust that the process is screwed and someone is going to have to fix or clean all this crap up.

Can you really trust the process when you saw and predicted the train wreck that follows?

I don’t hate being right, but damn if my track record isn’t near perfect.

Don’t use this phrase. Ever. Seriously.

No longer

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

I awoke this morning to an email that made me pause for a moment. I knew the moment was coming. I have for a while, of course, but actually seeing it there in print made me pause and contemplate the past. A stage in my life is truly over and going back isn’t an option (at least not an easy one).

This morning I had the official notification via email from OSPI (Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction) that my teaching certificate is now officially expired.

Again, I knew this day would be coming for seven years (well, nearly 7…in a little over a month it will be 7 years since I left the classroom). It has been in the back of my mind and occasionally I would get reminded when I would glance at my National Board Certification. The expiration date was right there on the bottom – June 30, 2022. My state teaching certificate was tied to that because the National Board Certification linked the two and extended the state expiration date.

I am no longer a teacher.

It’s hard to say that. There was a lot of time, money, and effort tied to that part of my identity. Of course, I haven’t been a classroom teacher for nearly seven years, but to actually have that part of my life come to an official end (there was always that “open door” to go back) is a little surreal. I loved my subject and I really liked teaching students about it. I didn’t like all the time and politics related to the job.

I am happy with where I am now, don’t get me wrong. However, officially letting go of that part of me is surprisingly more emotional than I thought it would be.

I will always be a teacher, just not a classroom teacher. I guess I have to remember that. I still teach people in education about the software they use. I still teach teachers about the software they use to track student progress. It’s just a different kind of teaching.