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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, June 1st, 2017 04:34 pm
[6/1/17, 4:23:09 PM] [Colleague GK]: I just stumbled on a message from [New Director]
                                     to the [larger] team - and you in particular.
[6/1/17, 4:23:27 PM] [Colleague GK]: He was decidedly obnoxious.   The bold face, red
                                     lettering is rather insulting.

I took a moment to see if i could find a post where i transcribed one of those missives. It was enough to just glance through some of the entries where i recorded my dealings with him.

My world is such a better place.

(Although i'm having a rather low couple of days, right now.)
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, October 5th, 2014 07:24 am
Last night i was watching Foyle's War (Sunflower) in which one of the characters is a newly elected Labour Party MP from Peckham just post WWII. The MP is ... employed? ... to a Minister (of ... the Air Force?)

So Wikipedia has cleared up for me that, unlike in the US, the position of Minister of whatever is likely an elected official who is then appointed to do something as opposed to a political appointee. Thus, i guess a Minster of whatever would then pull in junior members of their own party to fetch and carry?

If someone can point me on the right way (magic search terms?) for a general audience description of how that works, i'd appreciate it. My general search terms just net news articles.


A personal meditation of social geography, the definition of nature, replete with academic jargon and footnotes. I think a number of you would like to skim it, particularly [ profile] auntysocial (the photography, the awareness of the street landscape) and [ profile] gurdonark (the affirmation of nature in the suburban context).


Between yesterday's reflections and my meeting with team members to check on how they were doing in thinking about the reorganization of our division, i have to consider a bit about integrity. Several team members were surprised at New Director's lay-off (and were worried that more lay-offs for cost cutting were to come).

My two newer staff members were not surprised. One had considered a job opening that would have reported to New Director and had talked to people at the company before considering the job, and, based on what they heard, dismissed the job. The other had been reporting to New Director. That team member's response was a bit like mine: it's about time. My current boss and the newer staff were surprised at my team's surprise: i had insulated my team as much as i could from the New Director's vagaries and incompetence, and clearly had reserved critical (sarcastic, snide) comment for sharing with others.

I think that was right action, but was it a lie of omission? I let HR know what i thought of him, i certainly let him know of things where i felt he was failing to follow through with me (all the missed meetings, etc). Where i could provide information that might lead to positive change, i did speak up. I don't think my team could have done much, and there we were, saddled with his visits where he'd be out here for a week and would see him just for a few hours here and there.

Talking to team members last week i simply let them know that he would promise to do things and he didn't, that his inability to follow through was a well known issue in Dublin, to the point of being a joke.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 06:47 am
I received a notice that a Quaker i haven't seen in ... eight? nine? years had endorsed me on Linked In. I find the endorsements all odd: it's some weird game that different people play in different ways. Could this person really endorse some technical skill of mine?

It drew my attention to my Linked In profile, and i realized how much i hate it, as it represents the management skills i felt i ought to highlight. My first thought was to make a new profile, but as Linked In uses all sorts of network analysis, unless i start with EVERYTHING fresh, i fear that my Whale colleagues will be presented with, "Do you know these people?" and see my alter ego sitting there. (Mainly because my alter ego was presented with my boss in the moments after setting up.)

I nuked the alter ego.

I did a little fiddling with the tagging feature offered for connections, and have identified that 1/8th of my connections (even after deleting some) are currently employed by the Whale. The network of people who might comment to my current colleagues is even larger.

Suddenly i saw a way to do what i want: having deleted my "headline" that highlighted my interest in management ("team builder") i replaced it with "Weekend botanist and photographer." I added the photo of myself hiking that i am using across other social media. I reorganized the page so my work experience is at the bottom of the page. The "Organizations" section allows you to call out roles, so i'm noting my stream keeping and work at Meeting. I've linked photos from Flickr. I've listed last weekend's workshop.

So now i see a way to use LinkedIn in a way non-threatening to my current employment: use it to network for "volunteer" positions. When i finish my borage book, i can add that. And as Christine and i develop the apps, i can add those. It will put my interests first as i network around the native plant communities and photography communities.

Fingers crossed.


Meanwhile, Tuesday the team solved yet another issue in production and spent all their energy tracking down an issue in our testing environment. The issue ran away and it was not witnessed yesterday. I couldn't find the log message that i had thought was a sign of the issue when i looked back at the early reports, and we couldn't find it associated with our last documented observation. In fact, the logs were clean. So yesterday everything was put in debug mode and we pounded the system, trying to get it to scream.

It hasn't.

This is distressingly similar to the issue we had with production that went away with a "fix" that has no reason to fix anything.

On Tuesday, the director of our product division screamed and cursed at my director (engineering division) in the midst of the open plan offices. The new president has been in place just two months now, and i'm sure everyone is wondering what he is thinking about this debacle. Having the festering infection of dysfunction open and obvious will hopefully allow it to be treated. The other president just seemed to plaster it over.

The stress is pretty clear though.

Other than working hard, i've been trying to thank people. Not gratuitously, but honestly. Email to people's managers, thanks to folks on my team directly.

I think i have an idea about how to work with our product analyst to capture more clear details that may help reduce some of the fragility.

Tomorrow is the post mortem, and as our errors were highly visible, i expect that i will need to be grounded for the discussion.


As part of my consciously acknowledging the good performance going on around me, i noticed some ... respect? that New Director sent my way in some meetings yesterday. The sudden sense that he is working WITH me intentionally is quite welcome. We will see if he can follow up, but i am acknowledging that he is acknowledging that i have a clue to which he should listen.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 06:07 am
Tonight we are off to see Jackson Browne as part of Christine's birthday celebration. I didn't really know much about the musician, so on her birthday proper we watched Jackson Browne: Going Home. This helped me see why Christine called him "The Amy Goodman of Rock and Roll." I asked her who the Bill Moyers of Rock and Roll would be. This morning she woke to suggest maybe Stink or Joe Strummer, Jerry Garcia must be the Charles Kurault. Bob Dillon, she opined, would be the Walter Cronkite.

I'm sure your milage will vary.

Now Michael Stipe is the Bill Moyers.....


In New Director news, the Wednesday trans-Atlantic director & manager meeting is canceled for this week. I appreciate this much more than a cancel at 6:30 am, too late to keep me from preparing for the 7 am video conference. There's no "critical" agenda item, New Director claims. On the other hand, apparently he "caught it" two weeks ago (remember the car in the parking lot meeting cancel?) over our monthly reports. Last Monday there was a burst of a communication about how he would be giving us a template because it is too hard for him to pull the information out for his report.

Said template is not yet available.


Wednesday afternoon i will be meeting with the Career Counselor. One of the reflection questions was what was i going to do to keep moving forward. I hope that this investment does help me figure out a good forward for me. The schizophrenic pull towards more management and leadership and pulls towards anything but that is, i'm sure, because the management and leadership is what i know. Fix the broken process, damnit! I found myself daydreaming about giving the as yet unnamed new president a piece of my mind. What if he turned around and offered me New Director's job? The question just hung there in the daydream, and i came up with the questions i would ask back. "Would my position be backfilled?" is the question i remember now. The daydream points to my desire to be recognized as competent and respected, not to my desire to do more of this management stuff at the Whale.


Frost has continued in the morning, here, but perhaps this morning will simply be heavy dew. The sweet gum tree at the end of the sidewalk has lost many of its leaves now, and the spiked seed balls hang as bird feeders. Over the weekend i noticed a flock of goldfinches pulling seeds out; yesterday morning a junco fed at the tree.

My potato has survived the frost: only the top of the vine has been nipped back by frost. The pimento pepper looks very sad, though, despite being pulled back under the eaves and sheltered by the dropped outer blinds. I think it might drop its leaves, but survive: that should be sufficient for it to be robust next year and produce a bit more fruit. The deck is a mess, though. I've either been sick during rainy weather or busily distracted during cold weather. I look forward to a chance to tidy it.

I'm taking Friday off: that might present an opportunity if we do not go kayaking in Half Moon Bay. The Groupon offer expires in February, but Christine is feeling overwhelmed right now. With today's concert and tomorrow's beginning of classes (and classes Thursday night) i understand the sense of worry. I'm not pressing for the outing, and i suspect i can put the time to pleasant use without an outing. At the very least, i think i might hie myself to Edgewood or into the hills to photograph plants or fungi.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, January 10th, 2013 09:00 am
Oh, look at the New Director repeat! Or don't: it's yesterday redux but not at 7 am at least.
same old same old )
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, October 6th, 2012 09:32 am
I received a text message from New Director at 6:50 am on this Saturday, asking me to put together a quarterly report by 9 am. I never returned his wish for a good morning. He never rescheduled this week's one on one meeting in which he theoretically could have let me know he had this need. I remain distrustful and disgusted.

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, August 31st, 2012 08:55 am
Yet another cranky morning.

Grumble )

So, those meetings are wrapped up, skype is off, and i've skimmed a bit of internet to distract me. It's 9 am and overcast. I haven't had my even minimal reflective start of my day free of work irritation. It's time to do that.

So much is so much improved with my job: it's hard to communicate that. I'm getting the support i need through my Pretend Boss. New Director is doing better at showing up on time and making sure that he stays in touch: this morning stands in contrast to the rest of August's performance. The engineering and systems divisions are getting processes and procedures in place in response to the debacles of a year ago. I am seeing improvement in the larger work systems.

But i am still a crispy fried critter from the previous years.

One of the barriers to my recovery is the way days start with urgent triage. I read and hear advice to set aside the first 90 minutes of the day to focus on the Important and it's hard. I don't want to start work any earlier: i don't have enough time for the other Important in my life. What i think i can do is block Monday mornings for getting big tasks done: i will blow off email on Monday mornings. I'm going to also be more proactive in blocking other time periods to keep meetings from happening.

So, I will see continuous improvement in me taking care of my needs, too.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 06:38 am
Happy May Day!

My hands are stained a saffron yellow from picking up fallen lilly blossoms off our table. The pink Mexican evening primrose i picked last night keep company with the last two blooms from the bouquet i bought to greet Christine on her return.

Yesterday i spent most of the work day doing meta-work, reviewing to-do lists, prioritizing, etc. It's hard to tell when meta-work is really productive and when it's procrastination. Yesterday felt on the edge of procrastination, but it was so luscious to have an essentially meeting free day! I looked at "self training" for the next three months pulling all the different opportunities together and comparing them against each other and my schedule. I hope by balancing out the "training" events i can be more intentional about why i am taking them.

A grumble: why can i now expect two trips to Ohio during my SAD season, and a final one in March just as i'm coming out of it? I wonder how different my wheel of the year would be if i was traveling in late summer or autumn?

New Director has asked to connect to me on LinkedIn. Since i was nagging him yesterday about a crisis we're going to be in twenty days if we don't have a consultant on board immediately, i decided i would accept. I'll drop him in a bit. He identified me as a "Friend," leaving me perplexed why i'm not a "colleague."

Driving home i began listening to an Audible Mary Russell novel. I have been saving those for air travel, but -- why? Why save these novels that delight me? Yes, there are a limited number, but instead of the bon-bon short fiction on the way home, why not this significant feast? Something i can remember?

I'll see what listening in tiny installments does to my enjoyment. The joy of long audio books on the plane is the pleasure of nearly uninterrupted crochet while listening all day. I disappear into the sensory world of the author, insulating myself from the indignities and unpleasantries of plane travel.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 06:12 am
I had another night of I-don'-wanna and spent it reading light science fiction/fantasy. (Young person on a quest learning to control special secret psi powers seems like a fantasy story even if spaceships are involved.) I trust that the lethargy that hit at around 2 pm yesterday was related to hormonal shifts. I reflect, too, that there was communication annoyance at work: a decision had been made in my division on Friday that i found out about when sitting in another division's management meeting. A colleague forwarded me the email, and i forwarded it to my team. I actually met with New Director later in the day and made clear that not receiving the communication was an issue.

Apparently New Director had food poisoning last week and spent time in the hospital. I don't feel guilty for speculating that he was "sick" and looking for a new job. However, listening to him whine about having to be present at the director level management meeting where he was to explain why he was asking for a schedule change, i realize he's clueless about why he should be looking for a new job.

All the politics of the day -- including the now-weekly meeting on one of the projects where we can't support them at the level they want to be supported -- were probably far more draining than they "felt." I wasn't upset or surprised, but instead recognized usual behavior. In some ways, i was delighted the un-communicated "decision" had finally been made, as it was an expectation the rest of the enterprise had had that New Director's division will FINALLY honor.

So work probably drained me more than i accept. I have Meeting responsibilities i'm neglecting. Correspondence seems a challenge. I'm glad i did use my energy on Sunday to brighten and tidy the household as i don't look around and see nags of tasks from every corner like i did last week.

It seems so strange to have shifted energy so quickly, just as the weekend's and Monday's energy to get things done seemed such an overflowing bounty.

One final joy: i feel like i am so much more clear these days. In the past year? I am able to see my ebb and flow of energy and accept it now. Perhaps it's the antidepressant, but i think it's more the trust i am developing that i don't need to will myself to have "more spoons." I am learning to trust during an ebb that my energy will return instead of having to Do Something to Make Myself Function. I find myself looking back on my old behaviors and feel like i was engaging in superstitious behavior. It's as if i was some coastal dweller who believed that she had to plea with the sea to return the water at every low tide and lived in fear that some day the sea would just decide to keep the tide out. I'm now able to trust that after an ebb, there will be a flow. Now it's a matter of being prepared for the different conditions.

I am thankful for the compassion for myself that i am learning. I think of how i was raised: in some sense we were constantly in preparation for catastrophe. "Don't rest", was the lesson, "because some day something horrible might be happening and you won't have time to rest. If you rest now, you won't be able to push through then." I suppose the military backgrounds both my parents brought and the trauma my dad experienced growing up fed their need to teach these lessons.

I now feel less like i have to exercise my will constantly, as i begin to realize that fighting the ebbs in my energy was not like building up muscle stamina but was the superstitious plea with the sea. I know even if my energy ebbs i can push through and get things done if it's important, but i don't need to create fake "importance" to practice the pushing through.

So now i begin my tidal observations: will i find a moon and sun that pull and push the tides?
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, February 10th, 2012 10:51 am
I can't wait to be home!
I can't wait to be home!
I can't wait to be home!

I got in a more strenuous walk on the treadmill last night, and then *drumroll* New Director remembered to ask my lead engineer and i to join him and the crowd of Brits, Germans, and Dutch out to dinner. There were ten or twelve of us and i was the only presenting female. I think i had to prove i chose to have whatever mysterious Indian dish New Director ordered for me "medium hot." It was QUITE. No harm, and i took a great deal of geeky ribbing for choosing python as a quick language to learn.

We ate at the Indian restaurant just up the strip mall from Thai Orchid: very good and very caring service.

Stopping by the cafeteria before leaving the Whale HQ, i made the mistake of grabbing a lovely Chef Salad Wrap from the cafeteria. Why mistake? Because i forgot that a Chef Salad likely included some sort of meat. I reflected on how different Christine and i can be: the honorable moral thing, to me, is to eat the sandwich, not wasting the life that went into providing it, while Christine would have turned it down. However, blech. I have apparently lost a palate that would appreciate such a meats.

I drove down the river road on my way to the airport, enjoying the old stone walls, the exposed limestone, and glimpses of the river and reservoir. I am unwinding in the restaurant just across from my gate, indulging in the wheat-y goodness of a tall beer after gin and tonics all week. I ordered fries, not because i needed them, but because it looked like the waitress could use a larger tip. I hope i can take them home.

By the way, Dear CMH Wi-fi, I think you are so slow this will be posted when i get home. Me
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 03:44 am
Argh. So, i'm up and giving myself a little personal time to wake up before i cram through my monthly report. I had to change a password to access work email yesterday , so i log the change in evernote & see a reminder to update my password on my phone. I do so, but get error after error. Long troubleshooting story short, on trying the third toatally different access application, i get the error, "The website encountered an error while retrieving https://[whale.tld]/exchange. It may be down for maintenance or configured incorrectly."

OK, so it's not due to my password change. Exhale.

And there goes a half hour of "me" time.

Sunday's flight was uneventful, although my 40 minute layover in Dallas was as short as it could be for me to catch the next flight. I was willing to take the gamble on my way to the Whale's offices.

Yesterday morning i worked on my talk for Wednesday and pretty much pulled it together before starting my work day. I saw New Director twice. And my brain itches. )

Today the meetings are MUCH longer and, while one is a meeting with New Director and the VP, in all the others i should be able to just be present.

I find myself reflecting on the queries i read as the plane was landing. They were about living so one could be listening for a call. For years when i was working at the Minnow i was very clear that i was still learning and that i was at the right place. I'm less clear now, but i believe i can do my current job better with respect to caring for my staff (must be able to keep my oxygen mask on as i do so).

I guess i really need to do the re-membering project as a next step.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 08:33 am
I've been setting up a replacement phone. )


Work has continued to have recovery efforts left over from the install: it's been very distracting. The good news is that i had a very reasonable chat with New Director yesterday. Yay. and then on to muddle about forgiveness and healing. )
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 07:51 pm

Today was more crisis circus. whine whine whine )

Christine's practicing her tremolo scales in the corner of the living room, in her little music nook, while i sit here on the lounge and tippity-tap. She's got a plush Kokopelli from the Phoenix airport playing with her.

I've hung amber diode lit clear plastic pinecones around our entry door. In December i'll switch them for blue and white diode lit plastic snowflakes. I think these cones will look more attractive on the Yule tree than they do around the door.

I think one of our cats is in the open hall closet... yes, Greycie Loo was nested among the camping gear. The closet is open because i had to dig out the jumper cables. Sooner or later we need to give Josie the Jeep a charge.