Archive for January, 2010

Post #79: Maybe is the new no

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Dear Alice,

I missed a party today. I wasn’t planning to miss it, but I double-booked myself, and opted out. Even though the second booking happened at the last minute, it was an easy decision to make - no offense to Amanda. I gave precedence to see Avatar with my girlfriend over pleasing her whom I had met just once and only recently.

Maybe means, “I’m interested, but not committed, and will drop plans at the slightest inconvenience”. Okay, that’s only when I’m on the receiving end of a “maybe”. On the sending side, it means “I want to come, but I need to stay flexible for I’m working on bigger things, at the moment. If somehow things work out, then I’m there.”
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Post #78: Turn It Over

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Dear Alice,

The topic of turning things over came up with a friend of mine over lunch. By ‘turning over’, we’re talking about going from victimization to responsibility. From “My crummy job and crummy house and crummy spouse” to “My lovely job and my lovely house and my lovely spouse”. I asked her how do you stop turning it over, once you’re set?

What a weird question. It seems like a no-brainer, right? Stop victimizing yourself and grow up. Take responsibility. Seriously, who likes being the victim? Who likes being the child falling to his inevitable demise? It’s seems so obvious.

Well, it’s a little difficult, actually. In fact, this is a long post, and while I delve into the nature of the well-meaning criminal, and offer a few suggestions on when not to compromise, the conclusion I make is “compromises still need to be made by everyone”. Maybe next post, now that I’ve got this foundation, can be on more assertive and definitive rules on compromises.

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Post #77: “Work isn’t supposed to get me upset”

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Dear Alice,

It’s interesting how I get angry at my manager every time after I talk to my VP.

I care about her as a friend, but it’s getting harder and harder to remember, when her management skills and work experience don’t speak to me. I said to her, “I’m sorry and I’m not sorry,” as we parted ways from our one-on-one meeting today. I no longer believe that she can or should be managing me. I’ve already written her off as my manager, which is unhealthy, since she still is my manager.

She’s leaving in six weeks. I just need to manage these last six weeks well.

I don’t have the power to do certain things as an analyst. But I do have foresight. I’m supposed to rely upon my manager’s strength and voice to advise the company. However, she doesn’t believe she should have to ask for it. That makes sense, only when you’re confident that your direct reports still have faith in you. I thought that I already established that I’ve got one foot out the door. Has she forgotten? Does one friendly meeting establish a pattern?

I hate it. I hate wanting to strangle her for her methods. However, she’s pregnant. How can I blame her? Thank goodness her brain is mush right now. Otherwise, I’m sure that I would have added to her stress, and that’s not fair to the baby.

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Post #76: We’re lonesome people

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Dear Alice,

Today was a good day. I spoke to my VP. He understands. We’re working towards my transition.

Every so often, I get a bit worried about joining the music industry. You are the company you keep, and musicians are lonesome people. We’re dogs - loyal, and begging. Why am I getting into the music industry again?

“The chicks!”, someone shouted tonight, at Jeff’s show. I got offended.

“That’s not why,” I thought, without an immediate response. Yes, I’m a lonely guy, and yes, I love attention. However, strangers under a spell are empty. I want substance, and that only comes with experience, and with a loving, long-term partner.

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Post #75: Life is a Conspiracy.

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Dear Alice,

I’m going through changes all over the place, and it’s either going to kill me or make me hella strong.

It’s too coincidental. It’s such a conspiracy. Life is a conspiracy. I swear it. At least it makes me believe in a purpose. Okay, it’s not a consipracy. It’s as much of a conspiracy that the world wants to change when I do as it is a conpiracy that all planets are spherical and orbit.

If I zoom out from my life, here’s how I see it.

I’m untangling myself from work. I’m closing as many loops as I can. Train the new staff to handle my tasks, leave documents behind to explain what might fail, accept as few new tasks as I can. The more loops I close, the less stressed I’ll feel about leaving.

While I’m leaving one industry, I’m travelling towards another.  From the banking industry to the music industry.  I want it to happen, so it will happen.  I’ve notions for two different bands: a wedding cover band, and an originals band - not my own originals yet.  We’ll see how that works out.

While I’m untangling myself, my girlfriend will be doing her gap year stuff. By the time she gets back, knowing us, and how our destinies have been unfolding, we’ll be on the same page, and be ready to start neighbourhood shopping.

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Post #74: Very Superstitious

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Dear Alice,

I work with a lot of Russians, and I adore them. I feel like I’ve started to understand them more, now that I’ve been working with them for so long.

I did a Russian quiz on Facebook recently, and I was found to be 100% Russian. How did I do it? I knew that Russians were very superstitious. (”Don’t sit at the corner of the table or you won’t get married.”) Some of them make sense, but others are obsolete. I think superstitions should be reviewed on a ten-year basis. 2010? Perfect timing.

For instance, I like the rule that you should have ten minutes of quiet time before traveling anywhere, as I’m constantly forgetting things. However, I dislike the rule that it’s bad luck to go back for something you left behind, as I’m constantly forgetting things! I can see how they’re trying to help, but the latter sucks. Imagine being a few steps outside your house when you remember that you don’t have your phone. Now, you either leave it behind and risk the bad luck of needing it, or you return for your phone AND some ominous back luck to follow you on your trip! Isn’t it enough of a pain that I have to return?! Why do I need bad luck to make myself feel any worse?

Right now, I’m going through my superstitions, and I’m seeing which ones are worth their weight in imaginary gold. Coffee, harp players, online payments, etc. I’ve started a small note in my iTouch called, “Conspiracy Worries” in which I describe the “magical” things that have happened in my life. I like it. They help to explain some of my more “irrational” behaviour, but I’m also starting to see a pattern in the nature of my silly thoughts. In particular, which ones are useful and which ones are useless.

By 2012, I should be a useful silly thought making machine! (Call me USTM Machine!)

David =B~)