Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.

How appropriate. We are leaving for Colorado tomorrow and this song is streaming on KFOG. Talk about an anthem to high school. We used to think this was THE coolest song ever. And you know, it really kind of is. Lou Reed rules.

Hey sugar, take a walk on the wild side.

Thursday will be interesting. Tanya is coming up for a Christmas cookie decorating celebration. Then we are leaving Leif with mom and heading out for the evening. The presence of Leif and my what will be engorged boobs will prevent it from being a very long outting. But nonetheless we will be headed to downtown Ft. Collins which pretty much assures us that we will encounter faces from the past.

This whole experience makes me a little neurotic. How can I so quickly turn into that snotty 16 year old girl who worries about what people thing so easily?

Seriously now, must we have so much madness?

It is Christmas, does that really mean that we must abandon all reasonable and rational thought and give way to lunacy? That is truly seeming to be the case.

April's etiquette tips:
1. It is plain rude to ask people traveling by air to bring a food item to a gathering.
1a. When a suitable option is offered by said travellers, accept it graciously. Don't say no.
1b. The above can be multiplied one hundred fold if said travellers also have an infant.

2. Micromanaging Christmas conversation is a downer. Let people chat and enjoy themselves without it being forced.

3. Telling your daughter in law she needs to ask the other daughter in law about parenting is truly a slap in the face and is construed as seriously calling into question her abilities to parent.
3a. Personal note... We don't all have to agree with how to raise a child and if my child is happy, healthy and well adjusted, then butt out!
3b. Personal note... My baby is a breastfed cosleeper, it works for us, get over it.

4. Christmas is a time of acceptance and tolerance and to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
4a. Personal note... we are Christians and we celebrate Christmas, don't treat me like a heathen because I don't read the bible daily.
4b. Personal note... I am not a subject that needs to be ministered to, nor am I a participant in your Sunday school.

5. Entertaining people at the holidays should not be about making people feel bad or guilty for their percieved shortcomings.
5a. Personal note... do this and I will run the other direction so fast your head will spin and you will never my son again.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Ok now

I organized a women's lunch last April as part of my contribution to the group outside of work. The idea being that there are so few women in my group here at work, and we all work in different and varied areas, and not together, that we should get to know each other. It has gone over really well. I have included scientists, engineers, admin staff and students.

For December we decided to do something different. We did a potluck and ornament exchange. Opted for the ornament exchange where you can open something new or steal someone elses. Everyone was having a great time and finally the last ornament was to be opened. OMG it was so funny. You know those little ornaments that you can put pictures in? Well a senior scientist put our managers picture in it! Yes, it was a crack up! We laughed and laughed for so long.

Sure enough it gets stolen by the biggest mouth in the group. She has it hanging up in her office. Bad move or not? The thing is notorious now. I just can't believe she won't take it home, but has left it up in hopes of him seeing it.

Ok arranging a women's lunch is stepping out there. A few of the guys have commented "but if we arranged a men's lunch it would be sexual harrassment". I wouldn't care, they all go out to lunch together anyways and never invite the women. But would the guys really have wanted to have an ornament exchange? Yeah right. I don't think so.

This ornament was definitely one of the highlights of my employment to date.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A little justice

So I got a little justice today. My SDR was restated in one section to reflect a more reasonable and more in line with my level expectation. I was completely perplexed at how I could be required to originate, write and get funded two proposals to get promoted to 3, when a three needed to do one to get promoted to 4. My manager has admitted the error in his ways and has reworded that to reflect what is more in line for my level.

I am waiting... waiting for a coveted e-mail telling me that I am the lead on a proposal for a materials initiative. I can hardly stand the waiting... but here I sit, waiting. If this doesn't pan out it will be one more area where I am missing the boat. I really need this.

Off the work topic. Leif gave me a little justice today also. He did not want me to leave him at lunch today. He cried and cried when I left. Made me feel bad, made me feel needed, loved, and important. It was hard to leave the little bugger then. And wow he is growing. How is it possible to love someone that much instantaneously? He has got my number too and he knows it.

Things that bug me #1... unorganized people. If I get another e-mail from a female friend of mine apologizing for her lack of organization I am going to vomit. If I hear her say again that she is going to get organized, I am going to vomit. Just admit it, you aren't organized, you aren't efficient and won't ever be!

Friday, December 10, 2004

The day is nearing

Monday is my SDR review. In preparation I received the paper version to review for the meeting. I admit it, I LOVE that it is a glowing review. Am I weird that I want something on there to improve upon or that explains WHY I was not promoted?

Ok, here is my response, names of the offending removed or changed:

Response to 2004 SDR

<> When I was hired in permanently from my LTE post-doctoral position I was told that I was a very strong Scientist II and a weak Scientist III, therefore I was hired as a Scientist II. I was told that I was expected to promote quickly and that the expectations of a Scientist II were along the lines of “sitting at one’s desk and breathing”. It is stated on my evaluation that I have had a “very good growth year”. I agree with this statement, and for this reason, I am concerned with being passed over for a promotion to Scientist III.

During my mock SDR in October of 2003, my manager told me that one of the essential elements to promotion was networking across the lab. Not only did I do this in association with the Cox project my manager offered me the opportunity to join, which I greatly appreciate and truly enjoy, but I also have met and built associations with a variety of people in other contexts.

  • I took the lead on proposals with John and Matt in the Molecular Interactions group.
  • I worked with Luke in RTL on the X project.
  • Worked with and authored proposal with Mark and Jacob on the topic of Y.
  • Worked with Peter from 2400 Stevens on Z work.
<>Along these lines I have also been the source of connecting our group members with others to accomplish research goals. For example, I connected Patrick with Peter regarding the feasibility of metal deposition.

One of the statements for goals and planning for FY05 includes to “craft two or more successful proposals on which you are the lead or are recognized as the lead for a major task”. I am concerned about this, however, not in the capacity of the feasibility. I currently have two that are likely to be funded, but I need clarification in the scope of this being a requirement for promotion to Scientist III as compared to other current Scientist III’s. Mary stated that her requirement to get to Scientist IV was to craft one successful proposal from start to finish. I do understand that this is word of mouth, but it is difficult for me to understand and reconcile the fact that there are current Scientist III’s who have never had a successfully funded proposal while I had one that was ranked as the top proposal in its category.

To further comment on this proposal, this was a white paper submitted to the HSI LDRD call back in the summer of 2004 for FY05 funding. It was selected as the top proposal out of 30 or so within its category. I submitted an invention report for this idea. I was thrilled until Bob stated that he wanted to see Jeff lead this. I had been asked early on in the white paper to include his name on it. He did not contribute to the white paper, but stated he would contribute to the work if funded. I felt incredibly sidelined to be removed from the lead and replaced with someone who had provided no input on the actual white paper. The project was in the end funded and while I really appreciate the opportunity to have been included in the entire proposal process, I feel that I was unfairly removed from the lead.

While discussing with coworkers my lack of promotion a number of them have asked if my going on maternity leave might have played a role. I have to admit that it has crossed my mind and I truly hope that this is not the case.

In closing my response, I do want to state that I have had a good year and am happy to see the statement that I have a “very impressive record for a Scientist II” listed on my SDR. I enjoy my work and its challenges and I strive to advance my career through the goals that Tom suggested for me for FY05. I do request that I be considered for a mid-year promotion to Scientist III.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Friday, I need it badly.

This week has been good, fast too. I am the lead on a project for the upcoming review and bonus I get to go out to dinner with the clients to the nicest restaurant in town - that I have yet to eat at. Of course the high point is the presentation of my research and the second presentation of my proposal for next year. I was very happy to be singled out for this.

Today also a senior scientist called me to ask me about collaborating on a project that I am very interested in. I jumped on it, despite the fact that I am fully commited time-wise. So here I go again in getting myself overcommited. There are just too many things I really want to do. Sigh.

I have spent time this afternoon talking to a good friend of mine here at work about being a woman in this group. Yeah, things are supposed to be fair, but this group is a big good old boys group. The double standards are still very evident. I hope I didn't dominate the conversation with my frustrations.Or freak her out too much.

This is a boring blog entry.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Note to all

Yes, I am unhappy about not being promoted. I will be remedying it. This does NOT mean that we are moving!!

We know everyone loves us and Leif, and yes, it is difficult being away from family. But trying to convince us to move elsewhere does us and you, no good whatsoever.

We really want support for what we are doing now. I am working hard, Hans is enrolled in school to get his Masters. Support our choices in what we are doing now. We are certainly able to do our own job searches and far more qualified to do our own job searches since we are the ones who know our skill sets.

Can one order be messed up THAT bad?

Apparently yes. Mom ordered the Eddie Bauer high chair for Leif for Christmas. It arrived cracked - and no wonder, the thing was NOT packed for shipping. We packed it back up and I called Amazon to have it replaced.

Fast forward to today, a week later, it is supposed to be here tomorrow. Mom was looking at her Amazon shipments only to find out that SHE is expecting a high chair tomorrow! UPS will be there to pick up her broken one - only 3 states away from where it is located. To top it off they charged her for both, shipping and all and on the second one didn't apply her coupon. So $310 later and we still don't have a high chair.

I called Amazon to straighten it out, well their servers are down, so they couldn't do anything. I asked what they should do with the one that will arrive in Colorado? The guy said, "umm I don't know, maybe she gets a free high chair." ?!?!? Ok, whatever.