Monday, December 20, 2010

Mile High Lazy

We were told just before Thanksgiving that we needed to use all of our 2010 vacation time or we were going to lose it. Now, technically, they can't take it away from us if we've earned it. However, we all understand that they need to get that "debt" off the books before we traipse into 2011. Funny, many of us haven't been able to take our vacation time this year because there's always something else to be done. But with this end-of-year mandate, we in the ranks are having no trouble using up our remaining days...Da Shorty included.

Turns out that even after taking off time for Thanksgiving, I still have eight days. Ergo, I will not be at work for the final two weeks of the year. Hell to the yeah. Today was spent running a couple of errands with Guy, and the rest of the week will be spent visiting with a good pal of mine, practicing meditation (at which I am terrible), walking and doing yoga, vegging out a little with some TV, drinking coffee and reading anything and everything, and just generally resting. We leave for Georgia on Christmas Eve for a few days' visit, and afterwards we'll be spending a few days in the mountains skiing in the New Year. And I won't be giving a crap about architecture. (I mean, I like architecture, but we see other people.)

So, posting will be spotty for the next couple of weeks (like it hasn't been for the past couple of months, derp!), but I'm getting some well-earned rest. Peace!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thank heavens for small favors

So I finally had my review. Sven was present, as well as Howie (which I didn't understand--I really hadn't worked with him a lot in the past two years). I explained to them how worn out I was, and that one of my goals for 2011 is to learn to ration my energy a little better, set some limits, and get better at either turning down some requests and delegating others. At first it was almost like I had to defend myself--there was the inevitable attempt at an analogy by Howie: "well, I look at management as like being in a boat, and I can kinda steer the boat, but the other people in the boat can move it as well, and I can't always stop the boat from hitting the banks--"

"Fair enough," I replied, "but on my four projects, I'm the only one in the boat, and I'm dragging three more boats behind me, and I have to keep getting into those boats to steer them, too. I'm not 'managing' four projects; I'm working on them--I am those four projects."

Sven got my drift (no pun intended) instantly, but it took a little more for Howie to concede my point, ever begrudgingly. We talked about the nature of management and leadership and the internal changes it demands of people, and we talked about how my job has and will be changing, and then Howie said the most extraordinary thing. He had in front of him the Design Associates, Inc. Company Checklist of Traits and Behaviors That We Think Are Valuable In Our Employees, and he had checked "Excellent" on all of them on the checklis with my name on it, but I noticed that one of them had two checks by it. "I gave you double-checks for 'Promotes a positive work environment'," he said. "Your conduct with everyone and the way you treat people is so supportive and helpful, and you really make work a fun place to be."

So, after a lengthy discussion and a few pats on the back, I got a 3% raise. Which sounds sucky until you remember that not everyone got raises this year, only those who had either gotten licensed or done something really cool or whose job description had changed significantly. It was nice to be recognized, even a little bit, and I appreciated the kind words for sure. As we left the conference room, Sven suggested that he and I go to lunch in the next couple of weeks at some point to just talk. Well, how about that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Visual Inspiration: Now this is a bathroom sign

Taken at a gas station/convenience store somewhere in Kansas on Thanksgiving Sunday, 2010.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Visual Inspiration: Dear Mommy, please make me these outfits

Rather than complain yet again about how tired and burned-out I am, I figure instead I'll show y'all a few shiny taffeta-ish-looking tops and dresses that I want Mom to make for me. Fire up the sewing machine!

First two pictures: pre-Thanksgiving window displays at Molly's of Denver.

Next two pictures: Xmas window displays at Adornments in Cherry Creek North