Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Brain out of hibernation

Pregnancy brain is a real thing. It isn’t just an excuse. But there are spurts of genius that happen during this time. The past month or so at teleconference with my industry client, they probably hardly knew I was there. I had nothing to add, no suggestions, I felt useless and guilty for charging time to the project, and I blamed pregnancy brain.

But today I had a spurt! Sean Connery (or his look alike at least) was trying to beg out of a list of experiments telling us which were stupid, would tell us nothing, were a waste of his time, etc. I finally (after three attempts) succeeded in butting into his rant, telling him which ones weren’t inane and proposing an experiment and then giving the whys. He kind of sat there looking at me dumbfounded. Everyone was quiet. I worried that I missed something, I could feel my face getting red. Then the silence was broken.

“I agree, great plan NM,” comes the project manager’s voice from the other end of the conference phone.

Sean Connery heaves a big sigh and starts trying to jab holes. The manager who I recently approached about joining his group looks at me and says, “no, that’s genius, it should answer a lot of questions”, and then starts listing them off. He gives me a thumbs up as he is speaking.

I hope I just earned my use of this charge code for the last 6 weeks.

Work has been weighing heavily on my mind the past few days. I have found myself getting busier lately, which is par for the course for this time of year. I can cover my time 100%... for now. We will see what the status is after maternity leave.

I had a confrontation to initiate yesterday. Normally I would have zipped off an angry e-mail within minutes of the issue coming to light. But the fact that the e-mail landed in my Inbox at 4:49pm and I am out of here (supposedly) to get Leif at 4:45pm, I got to stew over it all night instead. And well, if I had to stew over it all night, then what is a few more hours? I ended up going to my manager and getting her blessing and encouragement in confronting my coworker.

I can be an incredibly confrontational person if I am not careful. Often, in an attempt not to come off so confrontational, I downplay it and end up coming off more as a wuss, or a pushover. A problem I think a lot of women in power situations have… I had to keep reminding myself that I wanted to be like S (a woman no one messes with) and not a wussy girl. It took a delicate balance, but I think I succeeded. My coworker came to me this morning with an apology, a (lame as could be) excuse, and an offer to go to the people necessary to “make it right”. Frankly, I was shocked. AB told me he didn’t expect I would hear word one from the coworker, but that my words should work as an “I’m onto you” warning. Anyways, confrontation done, I won. And when he offered me his head on a chopping block to his manager I passed. High road. And hopes that the “I’m onto you” warning stuck and I am not just being completely naïve.

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