Posts tagged ‘Work’

A Spoonful of Sugar

A few nights ago, Stephen and I were working on our computers and we had the television on. (I use the term “working” very loosely as I’m sure I was blogging and he was randomly calling people on Skype.) In the background, Mary Poppins was on. They began singing the ever-so-popular “Spoonful of Sugar” song and as it was nearing it’s end, Stephen looked at me and said, “Wow. I never know that that song wasn’t actually talking about a spoon full of actual sugar. It’s a metaphor.” My husband is the King of Metaphors. Seriously. I often have to say, “No, don’t tell me a metaphor, just tell me what you’re trying to say.” So it put my in stitches when he said that. It’s happened to all of us though. You hear something as an adult that you haven’t heard since you were a child and all of a sudden, a lightbulb goes off. THAT’S what that means! 

What does that song actually mean then? Clearly they aren’t singing a song just to tell you that if you have something sweet with your meds, they are easier to take. (Although I think it should be noted that I once heard that if you swallow a spoonful of sugar, it helps your hiccups and I have yet to be proven wrong on that rumor.) The song actually means that a little bit of “good stuff” makes the “bad stuff” a bit more bearable.

Like work.

Work isn’t fun. There are very few people in this world who wake up every morning and are thrilled about going to their jobs. I really wish they’d emphasize this in college. “Major in something that you love to do!” Yeah, like that helps.

Anyways, we’ve talked about this before. I don’t hate my job. I used to, when I worked at the bank. But I don’t hate it anymore. I don’t enjoy waking up early. And I think I should get to go home when my work is complete. But other than that, I think my job is just fine and I’m thankful that someone wants to have me as an employee.

Last night we had our company Christmas party. That’s a spoonful of sugar. “I know you practically live at this office and you don’t have much vacation time, but we’d like to let you out a bit early today so you can go home and get dressed up for a nice dinner tonight. And here are two drink tickets.” And you know what? It was nice. We enjoyed ourselves. We happened to sit at a table with a few people I knew, and two employees I’d never actually had a conversation with. It was enjoyable. It was… sweet.

Employers need to do this every now and then. That’s why bonuses are so great. Not only do we get money, but we get to experience this random “sweetness” that is so different from the norm, and makes us appreciate our job so much more. (I say “we” and “us” but I don’t actually get a bonus. Which is another story for another day. A day that will never come… because I don’t think that’s blog material.)

But I do get my own bit of sweetness at my job. Every now and then, something will happen that will bring a smile to my face. It’ll make me forget that this is “work”… even if for a moment. Yesterday I was working on a report that dealt with how the man hours on a certain project were being allotted. (I work in construction, remember?) The idea is that if we can figure out the appropriate amount of man hours needed for this job, we’ll be able to bid future jobs more accurately. So I was working on the report that breaks up those numbers and makes them more manageable. This involved going through each individual time sheet.

Oh sugar. Oh heaping tablespoon full of sugary goodness.

I was working on a particular week that had a holiday. Two days worth of holiday pay, which is 16 hours. The men never know how to report a holiday on their time sheet. They can’t say that they spent those 16 hours on a specific task, because that messes up the overall projections. But they all feel the need to write on their sheet “HOLIDAY” in some way, shape, or form. That’s where the sugar came in.

I like that guy. He made sure that the word “HOLIDAY” took up both days. There was no confusion. It was straight forward. Not all of them were that straight forward. Some of them chose a more creative way to write the word “holiday.”

Enjoy.

(Holady. Spell check doesn’t like this very much.)

(Holly Day. But what I really appreciate is that they whited out whatever was there and wrote “holly day” in festive green ink.) ( It’s the little things in life.)

(Holy Day. It wasn’t Christmas, Easter, or Good Friday. But this fella has it right on. Every day should be God’s day.)

(Oliday. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean I have heard about Noel (no “L”) but not Noach (no “H”))

(Man. That was knee-slapping hilarity.)

(And I’m actually sort of ashamed of myself.)

Brace yourself, y’all. Here’s my favorite.

(Jaludey. Brilliance. We pronounce the word Hall-uh-dey… it only makes sense.)

It made me smile. It made me laugh. It made me taste the sweetness of my job. It’s those little things we need to look out for in life. Things that are unexpected and can bring a cheerful smile to our faces. Those are the things that keep us going through the daily monotony.

That and, you know, like… actual sugar. In the form of chocolate and shortbread. But whatever.

December 16, 2009 at 9:38 am 26 comments

Dear Work Week,

I don’t think you and I got off to a good start. Quite honestly, I wasn’t very pleased with your arrival. I was having a great time with Weekend. You know him? Probably not… you two don’t have much in common. Anyways, we were getting along just fine. And then you showed up and kicked him out. I know you usually only stay around for 5 days but, really, I think that is too long. You’re overstaying your welcome. I think it would be more fair if Weekend could stay a little longer. Can we work on that?

Also, I’m a bit confused about the people you’ve put in my life this visit. Like that woman at the grocery store. We were in the Express Lane and even though she may have only had 5 items, there was nothing “express” about her behavior. In the future, can you make sure people have their cell phones off when they are checking out at the store? Or can you at least make sure that they are aware that they are checking out and help them find their credit cards? I think that would make your visits a little better.

And what’s up with the work experiences you’re providing?? Am I delusional or is everyone else drugged? I’m pulling out my hair here, give me a break! I can only take crazy in small doses. Not 8 times a day. Please, please have mercy on me in the future.

Sometimes you come and you bring fun things with you. Like good television, Bible Study, a dinner out, quality food, satisfying sleep, and an overall productive time. But it seems that you’re slacking lately. I realize I’ve cut your budget so the food and entertainment has been suffering, but get creative. It’s not like you’re new at this. You’ve been around forever and deal with all types of people. You should be able to make my time with you a bit more bearable. Please. And let me sleep! For the love of Pete, please let me sleep. Why do you insist on making me lay in bed for an hour before I can sleep? It’s not fair! You don’t make Stephen do that. Why me?

To be brutally honest, you annoy me. I don’t like your time here but I know you are a necessary evil. And I know you will continue to show up for years to come. So let’s work on our relationship. What do you say? Maybe we can try an exercise… I’ll tell you 5 things I like about you and you can tell me 5 things you like about me. And then maybe our relationship will heal. Here, I’ll go first:

1. You add structure to my life.
2. You keep our world organized (seems like you could do it in 4 days, but whatever…)
3. Occasionally you provide good television.
4. You encourage me to spend quality time with my husband and our dog.
5. You let me blog. When Weekend comes, he doesn’t let me.

So I guess you’re not all bad. I hear that next week you may allow me to go to an Astros game! And tonight you’re letting me go to the dog tracks. I really appreciate things like that. Especially when you can manage to fit those into the budget I give you. So thanks for that. I’d just really like to see more of an effort from you in other areas. Okay?

(Unfortunately) Yours,
Chelsea

PS- I’m not kidding about the work stuff. Fix that.

June 18, 2009 at 10:02 am 10 comments

One Very Short Thought

I used to think I was a pretty nice person. Friendly, personable, understanding. I gave most people the benefit of the doubt. Certain people annoyed me, yeah, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was just a small hiccup in my day and then I went along my merry way.

 

Then I entered the work force.

 

And that’s all I have to say about that. This three day weekend couldn’t fall at a more necessary time…

May 22, 2009 at 11:31 am 2 comments

PC Load Letter

The University of Texas business school is cocky. It’s a great school, really it is. But there is no way they can fully prepare you for what to expect when you leave campus. There are things you should expect when you are entering the workforce. Corporate America is a strange place and nobody is fully prepared for what it has to offer. Below are some of my observations from my internships up to my current job, feel free to add some of your own.

 

-Everything is called a “project”… Especially as an intern. “Chelsea, I have a project for you. I need you to make 20 copies of this and 20 copies of that. Then collate them. Thanks.”

 

-The toilet paper sucks.

 

-Kolache Fridays are glorious. Everyone is friends on kolache Fridays!

 

-You get really annoyed when someone brings something stinky for lunch.

 

-I really feel like I know some of these people more than their spouses and kids do. I know what they eat for breakfast and lunch. I know the rotation of their clothes. I know what they think is funny and what makes them annoyed. I know their bathroom schedule. I know if they didn’t sleep well the night before. Basically, I know too much.

 

-PC Load Letter actually shows up on printer/faxes. I have seen it with my own eyes.

 

-Offices are considered “decorated” if you have a family picture and a small plant. How depressing.

 

-At least once a week, someone doesn’t show up for work because they are in jail. (Wait, does that not happen at every company?)

 

I guess my company is a bit different than many, I think it’s mostly the industry. It’s common here for people to cuss, smoke, and dip. It’s normal to show up in jeans and a t-shirt… and in some cases, sweatpants and a shirt with holes. There are a ton of moody people here. On any given day, there is someone here that you aren’t allowed to talk to because they are in a bad mood. We don’t have annual reviews, vacation request forms, a shared computer drive, or an easy way to get office supplies. It’s not that these things are necessary, but they are often useful. (Read here to see how helpful an annual review would have been.)

 

Another thing we have at our office is crappy hand soap. It’s thin and smells nasty. It dries your hands out. I hate it. So I took the liberty of bringing in better soap. I started with the Coconut Lime soap for Bath and Body Works. I love that soap. It reminds me of my community group in Austin (specifically Jim and Veronica). I was at the mall last weekend and decided I’d get a few more flavors. I bought 3 new soaps and brought them to work. If you work in an office, you know how exciting this is. New soap! In fun flavors! Yes! So everyone took their turn to go to the bathroom and try out the new soap. We keep the nasty pink and one new soap on the counter. The others waited patiently in the cabinet for their turn. On Tuesday afternoon I went to the restroom and something was different. There was no soap on the sink. I opened the cabinet. The others were still there waiting patiently but the missing ones weren’t in there either. I reported back to one of my co-workers in an email. I told her we have a thief on our hands. There was no ransom note and we have very few leads.

 

College kids, many people tell you that work can be boring. Nothing is exciting, the same things happen day in and day out. That may not be true. You may be lucky enough to work in a place with a soap thief!

 

Honestly, who steals soap??

March 5, 2009 at 9:38 am 7 comments


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