Saturday, November 19, 2016
I was promoted this cycle!
And I hadn't even taken to whining about my job yet! That never happens. It is a well known fact that you don't get promoted without being just totally pissed off and overdue for a promotion that you don't even want to celebrate when it does happen.
I figured I had little to lose last fall when I told my team lead that I wanted to be considered for a promotion this coming year (nearly a year ago). I reminded him mid-year and then I made it pretty easy for him to make my case for me by arming him with tables and written materials stating my case.
I was actually a bit worried because my group manager (who I adored) left a few months ago to take a temporary assignment (betting she doesn't come back) and the guy who took over for her lacks that something. Oh and not to mention that I had even had one of those "come to Jesus" meetings with him as his program manager just a few months prior.
So when he was announced as our interim TGM I felt a bit sick to my stomach. I knew that recommending me for promotion had been put forward as he called two meetings with me within the last month to "just get things straight".
Last week he shook my hand, told me congratulations on the promotion and let me know that it was actually an easy sell. I was blown away. He read off glowing word for word reviews from people I work with that actually made me tear up. It has been a hard fought year with a lot of travel. But worth it.
I haven't told many people. Truth is, I have few people in my life who really care about my career or my getting a promotion. I don't mean that to sound bad, I know many people care about ME, which is what counts. And I DO have the people who I told. And really, I don't mind it, it is just a fact of life in what I do for a living that not everyone buys into it, sees value, many think I should do something different or have taken another path. And most, frankly, don't even know what I do on a day to day basis. I am in introvert, I am not the person to scream up and down and shout it from the mountains. I find satisfaction internally, not from other people patting me on my back.
I did need to change some cost estimates and I gasped a bit at what my new charge out rate is. I had to tell one colleague why I was presenting her with a new request that was 20% larger for the year than my previous estimate. So it was a bit of a sticker shock, but she was tremendously supportive.
So here it is, putting it out there. I have rocked this year. I helped bring in a new $12-18M/year program and have a lead position on that program, I co-managed an existing program and brought many changes to how things are done, I ran one proposal call, landed a few smaller proposals, continued serving on my graduate universities advisory council, was offered a research associate position at one of the nation's most prestigious nuclear engineering university programs (UT Austin), despite never having taken a nuclear OR engineering class, I mentored other staff, I was the hammer, I resolved staff conflicts, I endorsed others, I was compassionate with what my staff were experiencing, I made connections, I was invited to speak, I became one of the "good old boys" (or so I was told, I tell myself I have infiltrated their network), I have made my colleagues proud, and I have supported my country in our mission space. I am proud of what I have done.
Friday, November 18, 2016
"Be somebody that makes everybody feel like a somebody." Kid President
This embodies Skadi. She is tender hearted and wants everyone to be included and have fun. There is a boy in her class from Korea that speaks little English. Skadi has been nice to him and offers to partner with him a lot - we have learned that the boy has a pretty serious crush on Skadi now. Instead of backing off (since she doesn't like him "that way"), she continues to be nice and warm to him.
I love her so much.
One thing I love is seeing the interactions between her and her brothers. Yesterday we went to pick her up at Tchoukball (afterschool PE activity like handball). She is the tiniest child on the teams and the boys tend to ignore her. Leif was outraged. He knew some of the boys from last school and was SO upset that they weren't getting the ball to her equally. I loved seeing him stand up for her!
That was until I was chatting with a friend at the grocery store and Silas was messing around near my feet - slipped and fell. The ER visit that time wasn't so easy. Hours later he came home with butterfly closure and no stitches and one irritated dad. Multiple doctors, multiple injections, doctors constantly pulled away for other emergencies. It sounded awful. And the final doctor slapped some steri-strips on it and sent them on their way. Amazingly the chin has healed, but not without a decent sized scar.
Finding Dory (refuses to watch Finding Nemo)
The Grinch book
Too Many Toys book
Beethoven (our dog)
Lucky (our cat)
Calling people "buttheads" (hanging head in shame - my fault, I call Odin this. Correction, I used to call Odin this.)
Jingle Bells by the Barenaked Ladies
Cooking - cracking the eggs specifically. Silas calls it "making". When I am cooking dinner he yells, "I want to make with you". He is a hard worker in the kitchen.
He is also my good eater. He eats lettuce! An unknown in my house with the kids. I actually get to send salad in for his lunch.
One other thing that Silas nailed that the other kids still lack is knowing where things are. He remembers. And when he loses something (or Dad loses something that was bought at the Chinese Lantern Festival) he remembers the item months and still holds grudges.
Me: "You're out of time out. Now what are we going to do?" (I was thinking something along the lines of apologizing to Skadi.)
Silas: "You are going to return me back to the Brother Store where they will put me back in my cage and I will have to wait for another mommy and daddy to decide they want me."
And so now I AM the one who feels like crap.
Silas: "Mom, when we get home can I have a feather?"
Me: "We can probably find a feather, what do you want it for?"
Silas: "To call it macaroni."
Tonight while reading to him, I found out that gorilla is umbrella. And his world makes a little more sense.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Thursday, May 19, 2016
I had a friend. She was a decent enough friend and works where I work. Then one day somewhat recently I noted that it was always on me. We were having lunch on a somewhat regular basis and I enjoyed it. Then it dawned on me that I was always the only one that set up lunch. And I started getting paranoid.
"Maybe she doesn't actually like me."
"Maybe she doesn't really want to have lunch with me?"
"Maybe she only does this because she doesn't want to hurt my feelings?"
So I quit initiating lunch. That was over a year ago. I haven't had lunch with her since.
Lunch is just an example. It extended beyond lunch. Occasional dinners with my family. Never at their house. Occasional glasses of wine . Not at their house and never initiated by anyone other than me.
I'll admit it. My feelings are hurt. And I kind of feel like I have been an idiot all this time assuming I had a friend. Yes, sometimes I am the most insecure person around. But I have stopped initiating get togethers with her and the friendship is gone. Not valuable to her is my take away. And frankly, at this point it would take a lot to rescue the friendship probably because I have let it sit for so long waiting to see if she ever reciprocates.
This leads me to #2. Reciprocity. Based off of #1 I have started questioning several of my friendships and trying to understand where they go off course. I have my areas where I am sucky - I haven't been to my best friend's house in ages. And I feel guilty about this. But with three little kids and a professional career that is requiring me to travel right now, and a husband with a job with suck ass hours, escaping for girl fun is just really, really hard. I promise promise promise I will make it up. I have faith that you will be there at the end of this phase!
But here locally I have noticed that AB and I initiate and invite new couples over for dinner and never get invited back. At first it is easy to say, "they are too busy" or "someday it will work out". But then it becomes "what did we do wrong?" And AB and I wrack our brains. Was it this? Or that? And we finally come down to, "well I love you and you are perfect to me, so screw it".
The fact that people come to our Halloween party every year and seem to have a great time is indicative that some people enjoy hanging out with us. But of the people who come, there is one. occasionally two couples, who host us back. Every year I threaten to not host the Halloween party. But our kids love it and it creates fun memories for them. So I suck it up. And we all have a great time.
I wish I knew what it was. Maybe it's my kids - and if it is - well go suck an egg. Maybe it's the raucous dogs. And if it is, I am sorry, but I wouldn't bring them over or out to dinner. Maybe it is just me. Or AB. And well, if it is, I guess that's just what we have to live with.
But still... I wish I knew.
This kind of leads to #3. RSVP people. I invite you somewhere, I suggest we go do something and ask when a good day is, let me know if it will work for you. Let me know you aren't interested in going. Common courtesy. Three times within the last month I have invited a few people to do things with me or my kids.
WTF? Seriously you can't bring yourself to respond to me?
Then let's take it to the small set. What's wrong with my kids? I mean, I know they have flaws. But if I invite a child to a birthday party, tell me if they are going to be there. And if they are, and then your plans change, let me know. My daughter's birthday party still bugs me. We invited several little girls along with all our good friends and their kids. All our good friends and their kids came. And all but one out of about 8 of the other kids bailed. Skadi had a great birthday party. But she still on occasion will mention "but I had invited her to my party and she didn't come". I was shocked at the number of people who RSVP'd and then didn't show up. Further shocked at the number of people who were invited and couldn't bring themselves to even RSVP.
Then there was the other one that pisses me off even more. The lying family. The daughter tells Skadi the truth at school as they play a lot. But the mom texts me lines of crap so deep I wish I hadn't left my hip waders in Alaska. I don't want to punish the girls, but freaking be honest. The next time a text comes across on why the girl can't come over after school that contradicts so vastly what the girl told my daughter and is obviously the truth, I think I am going to call her on it.
"We are going out of town this weekend, I am sorry my daughter can't come to the party."
"No problem, I understand that you don't like this other girl who will be around, she is a sweet kid, really. But no problem! I'll see you in your front yard when I drop off your neighbor on carpool tomorrow."
Along the lines of the common courtesy of the RSVP is the "thank you". I sent you a gift, at least tell me you received it. Easy one.
I am kind of feeling done right now.
Feeling done right now. Feelings have been hurt. Friends I am now calling lost. Done.
AB and I are hanging on here in this region by a thin thread right now. That thin thread is my job. And how well it is going and future exciting positions that are all but promised to me. Hell, I have exciting current positions in hand. I love my work. Largely. Most days. Two good paying jobs and mine with extreme flexibility? Bird in hand.
We have talked about going overseas for a few years to an available position. What keeps us here right now is not knowing what we would do with the dogs. Ok, and the house and the cars. But largely, the dogs. I have made a commitment to them and they wouldn't be easily rehomed. But at the same time taking our kids and packing up and going overseas sounds like a dang good idea.
So there it is. Blah blah blah.
Now I can move on and be my normal happy self!