Tag Archives: Voice Your Concerns

My Mother; The Blogging “Expert”

Acquiring blog readers is hard.  Simple as that.  At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for.  However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience.  When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure.  I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.

I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog.  Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though.  During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since.  I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.

Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques.  Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others?  Oh yes, that’s right…my mother!  Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right.  See what I did there with the “almost” part?  I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.

It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own.  I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer.  Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof.  Anything and everything has the potential of being funny.  I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.

Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me.  Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh.  She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting.  Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly.  For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit.  There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.

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Filed under Blogging, Culture, Dance, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Friends, Parenting, Sewing, Taking Charge of One's Health

Katie Holmes, Thank You

Katie Holmes, you deserve a round of applause for taking a stand and doing what you felt was right for the best interest of your daughter!  We’ve all watched on from the outside as photos and rumors have swept around for years about the good, the bad and the recently ugly side of the Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise relationship.  This divorce has most definitely brought Scientology to the forefront of the news, but that’s not what I want to focus on.

Instead of pointing out all of the traditions and beliefs that many whom are not Scientologists are now questioning, I would like to hone in on Katie’s decision.  As someone who made the decision several years ago to admit that my marriage needed to end, I am proud that despite everything Katie knew would come forward she stood strong and strategically move forward with her plan.  She did what she felt to be important to protect her daughter and herself in the miserable process that is known as a divorce.

When I see photos of Katie and Suri out enjoying all that NYC has to offer it reminds me of my mom and I when we first relocated to New York after my parents divorced.  They both look relaxed, happy and genuinely enjoying some mother / daughter bonding time without any concern for the paparazzi storm that is swirling around them.  I know on the other side of this is a parent who’s world is crumbling apart, but it is hard for me to not recognize how empowered Katie looks when you see her smiling and living her life proudly with her daughter by her side.

As all kinds of crazy items about Tom’s religious beliefs have been brought to lift, I’m still amazed that their entire divorce process took only eleven days!  I’m sure with a child involved there were terms and visitation conditions that they went back and forth about, but I’m proud of Katie for doing what she felt she needed to do for the best future for her daughter (in her eyes at least).  It just proves that we each have a strong gal waiting to break out and stand up for what we feel is right no matter what might come from it.

While I’m sure there is no reason that Katie Holmes would be reading this, or even cares my opinion during the very big life change she is undergoing, I still felt it was important to put it out there in the universe that she’s reminded me that standing up for what I feel is best is still the right thing to do.  Thank you Katie!  Thank you for being a strong, now single, mother and reminding me that we all have the same potential inside of us.  Continue to be a shining example to us all and keep on smiling with that adorable young lady of yours.  Your future ahead is as bright as Suri’s smile!

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Filed under Culture, Dating

Welcome to the 21st Century Colleague

Happy Wednesday subscribers, new readers and loyal lurkers!  Managing to survive the week until Wednesday can sometimes feel like a big accomplishment when things are hectic and I’m here to say: “congratulations you made it!”  If you’re like me then you’re still a bit discombobulated after last week’s holiday being on Wednesday.  It’s a little strange having two Monday’s and two Friday’s in one work week when it’s been so long since I worked that kind of schedule.  Work resumes to normal this week and I’m sure we’re all back in the swing of things.

I hit the ground running Monday and within a few hours had an epiphany within the workplace.  Despite working at many places with many ages of people I didn’t realize until just two days ago how much age impacts the way one perceives their co-workers.  Although the way we were raised does play a huge part in how we interact with others, it dawned on me that the time period we’ve each grown up in plays a part in our interactions as well.  Think of your elders that might have grown up during the depression.  It’s not uncommon for people who grew up during the great depression to have trouble letting go of items even though they have no use for them now and don’t know if they ever will.  The era they were raised in has impacted their way of thinking.

Today’s example is based on an older colleague who works within the same property as me, but works for another area that I team together with frequently.  Although on the work ladder we would be considered laterally equal I try to be respectful to the fact that he is indeed older than me and therefore probably has more years of experience.  However, there seems to be a different level of respect returned to me.  I believe in his mind he actually believes that when we do team together I work FOR him and not WITH him.  I say this due to his constant requests for me to get things for him, find people for him, and do projects for him.

I could be crazy, but I think he doesn’t seem to be aware that I am not his administrative assistant when I work with him.  For most other people I would gladly run back to their office to retrieve the keys they left on their desk when they ask nicely, but when he tells me to go get his keys it tends to make my eye twitch just a bit.  Maybe it’s because I was raised to understand that we’re all equal…well, unless we’re not within the chain of employment ranks.  In this instance we are most definitely equal in employment level.  We are not equal in gender or age but truly that shouldn’t matter.  If he politely asked me to do all these things for him I know I would feel differently about it as I gladly help out others in this same way.

I thought it was just me until I realized that he treats his actual administrative assistant even worse.  She is incredibly smart, sharp as a tack and efficiently tackling each piece of her job with a smile on her face.  However, I feel like every demand he makes of her should end with him patting her on the head.  I know he grew up in a different time period where he was taught that there was a certain way to speak to different types of people, but I feel like it’s time that he get a crash course in the way things work here in 2012.  The work place is a very different place then it used to be and unfortunately he hasn’t progressed with time.

Think about the way you speak to your fellow co-workers.  Are you appropriate and respectable in your approach or do you need to update your ways to stay current?  Take a look at your colleagues and see if you can learn, either good tips or things to avoid, from the way they interact with others.

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Filed under Female Management Skills

Those Were The Days

After a rather rough day at work recently I called my mom on the way home and as soon as she picked up the phone I blurted out something similar to the following:  “Remember when my most challenging decision of the day was whether to eat the cinnamon pop tart or the smores pop tart?  Ya, I miss those days?”  Mom just laughed and told me it would all be alright.

I do miss those days.  In retrospect I now realize how things were so simple.  Now I face decisions that are much more stressful and can throw my whole world for a loop.  In March we started looking at homes to purchase.  Oh, now that’s stressful!  I’ve never had problems saying yes to a rental, but a home for purchase is a whole different story.  Then there is the daily stress of work and the stress of trying to keep up with friends as our schedules all keep getting busier.

ImageRunning is nice and peaceful, but I’ll admit that even that causes some stress in my life.  When I think about how much time I’ll need to run a few days a week then I realize how that is time that I’m not spending cleaning the house, cooking dinner or making sure Coda is getting attention.  Things were easier when decisions revolved around overly sugared breakfast choices and I’m not ashamed to admit I wish that it could all be that easy again.

I’ve let myself keep getting sucked back into a stressful state and it’s time to do something about it.  I can’t do anything about how long the home buying process will take, so it’s time to stop worrying about it.  We’ll get the house if it is meant to be or we won’t and we’ll go back to looking.  I’m putting everything in the hands of fate.  I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason, so now it is time to stop worrying about what happens before I lose my sanity.

Instead I’m going to take on some more peaceful DIY crafting projects to distract myself.  With the coupons I used on my last projects I paid only about a third of what I would have paid to buy the dresses.  That seems totally worth the time and effort to me.  Looks like it is time to search the pattern catalogs to see what will be my next targeted creation.  The infinity dress was so easy I feel like nothing can stop me now.  That was the perfect project to get me back into the swing of things.  I’ll post pictures soon of the second dress I wore just recently to a more formal function.

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Filed under Culture, Fashion, Sewing, Uncategorized

As Friends Transition

Have you looked at a friend of yours and wondered at what point you stopped having anything in common that you could talk about?  That moment just happened to me within the last month.  I actually questioned what prompted a friend to text message me out of the clear blue after barely speaking to me over the last 4 years.  Since it was via text message I cannot be sure of my friend’s reaction, but I can guess that it didn’t cause a warm fuzzy feeling.

It was at this moment that I realized we don’t have anything in common anymore and we probably haven’t in a very long time.  Quite a while a ago we both went in our own separate directions and have changed very much since then.  I started thinking about when we crossed paths in the last few years and realized that we lost the ability to even be able to understand each other’s point of reference in conversations.  Our lives have become so different that essentially it is like talking to a whole different person.

It made me consider if I was the only person who has felt this way.  When do you acknowledge that you’ve grown apart from a friend and become just acquaintances?  Do you even acknowledge something like that out loud?  Considering I know that the internet is a vast space this blog is publicly available on, I’m going to assume that this friend may stumble upon this at any point in time after it has been published.  Therefore, I don’t mean this to be rude or insulting but I am wondering where we lost touch?  Maybe it was the very different paths we decided to pursue or even the things we learned along the way.  I guess it is possible that others who became involved in our lives along the way could have had something to do with it as well.

I’m not sure when it happened or what caused it, but I do know I barely know this person any more.  We have completely different lives, interests, and goals.  I can’t remember the last time we had a conversation in person that was about anything actually meaningful.  To be blunt, I’m not even exactly sure why this person keeps my phone number in their cell phone at this point.  I have a few other friends I met around the same time and even in the same settling.  We’ve all been there for one another in times of need.  Those friends and I have laughed together, cried together and made stupid (but funny) decisions together.  We all still text and speak frequently about everything from serious life decisions to ice cream recommendations.  However, this other friend took a right turn without me somewhere along the way and became an acquaintance.

As someone who has only a few friends that are kept close, it’s hard for me to admit that a friend has turned into an acquaintance but I think it’s time to be honest.  Our friendship transitioned a long time ago and I may never understand why but I know you are once again onto another adventure and I wish you nothing but the best.  Maybe one day our paths will cross again and we’ll remember exchange a warm “hello,” but I think it’s safe to say that we’ve grown apart.  Enjoy each moment of your journey through life and thrive in the opportunities that come your way.

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Filed under Culture, Friends

SOPs Aren’t “Someone’s Other Position”

Do you work in a place with strict rules that need to be followed for efficiency, safety or productivity?  Most people do.  However, I am coming to learn that my current job has an obscure list of rules that seems to change on an almost daily occasion and it is making it a bit hard to figure out my role.  I’ve been in my current job for almost 6 months as just last week attended my very first job training that helped me to better understand, in theory, the way my job is supposed to work.  This might be the first time in history that I’ve worked for a company that didn’t have any form of an orientation or training when I started.

I will say that as a hands on type learner I have enjoyed teaching myself the ins and outs of my position, but I will follow that up by adding that it would be a bit easier to move forward if I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t do.  In my past I remember rolling my eyes at companies that had a multiple day orientation, but now I actually find myself longing for it so that I can feel as if I am informed.  My last company cut their 8 hour orientation down to 4 in hopes of saving costs.  In my past I worked for a company whose 8 hour orientation was the downsized version of something that used to last almost a week.

Although there is a list of standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for my specific role, they are generally not upheld by my direct superior who tend to make rules up as situations arise and believes that is how this industry is intended to operate.  Maybe I think differently because I came from a different subset of hospitality prior to this or maybe it’s because I have two business degrees and think that there is a good reason that SOPs exist.  Either could be a likely reason that I’m having trouble understanding by boss’s way of doing things.  It doesn’t really matter what the root of the cause is.  The challenge is figuring out how to handle this difference each and every work day.

Thus far my solution has been to run every large decision by my supervisor to see what he would prefer I do.  I have found this to be very effective in ensuring that I do what he would want, but it also has made me feel as if I am not empowered to make decisions on my own.  The times that I’ve made a decision and moved forward without any assistance have usually resulted in backtracked changes made by my boss in the end.  I thought taking past situations into account would lead me in the right direction, but in this instance I have learned that precedence don’t exist.  It looks like I’ll have to find another plan to decode my boss’s cryptic decisions so that I can truly master this position.

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Filed under Female Management Skills

Let Your White Flag Fly Proudly

It seems like most work locations are trying to keep up with the “do more with much less” outlook on business by delegating much more to each worker.  How do you keep up with your workload?  It’s a hard question to tackle.  I’ve watched many of my friends with a strict work ethic face this recently and it is time to admit that I’m facing this situation as well.  For those with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working through their pregnancy, I will say I have the utmost respect for your drive.  You continue handling your job while trying to not slow down in the least.  For others who I’ve watched battle medical issues that are slowly tearing them down, more power to you for refusing to let it win and keep you from the job you love.

It is difficult to speak up and say that you need assistance when you have a fast paced job.  It’s even harder when needing assistance is due to your battle with a health problem.  Delegating tasks, that you don’t want to give up but have no choice, can be a tough decision to make.  Now I understand where many of you are coming from.  I appreciate that I was a part of your process along the way.  Now, it is helping me make decisions about how to handle my job.

Whether you’re overwhelmed and over stressed or just needing to take a step back for the sake of your health, there is a point at which you need to voice your concerns.  It has taken me a long time to figure out that I wasn’t admitting weakness by saying, “I’ve taken on too much.”   In my pursuit to please those around me, I have learned that it is seen as a sign of diligence and is respected if you can handle the situation with class.  However, learning how to handle it can be the true challenge.

I think it depends on your employer, but I’ve found that expressing your concerns to the correct person above you can get the ball rolling.  Make sure your concerns are concise and that they don’t include any whining.  If you’ve taken on too much then there is no shame in admitting it.  Just remember that you’re bringing these details forward because you want to make sure that you continue to produce top quality products and you’re worried that the immense workload is going to reduce your level of quality.  You’ll be showing your upper management your professionalism and respect for the company if you can express your concerns correctly.  It’s time to waive your white flag, so be brave and take the first steps out towards regaining control over your sanity and/or health.

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Filed under Female Management Skills, Taking Charge of One's Health