Category Archives: The Corporate Ladder

I just KNEW “something” was coming – Mars retrograde in Leo

Believe in the beaty of your dreamsYep. It started on December 20th and it doesn’t end until March 10th – it’s the winter of my discontent! Actually, I think some leaked backwards a day or so. Recall that I was not able to get outta Dodge on Saturday December 19th because of the blizzard that struck the northeast, and I had to cool my jets down here in Florida until Tuesday the 22nd. This shortened my trip to Da Loverly Isle of Long considerably, so much so that I was able to leave half my clothes home but I missed seeing a lot of my friends.

Because the Earth and Mars orbit the Sun at different speeds, there are times when Mars *appears* to be moving backwards. When this retrograde happens – and it’s happening IN MY SIGN, I might add – we can tend toward hesitation when it comes to asserting our desires.

So what am I supposed to be doing right now? I’m supposed to be manifesting. That is to say, I am supposed to be dictating my desires to the Universe and the Universe is supposed to say, “Your wish is my command!” and deliver unto me all that I want.

What if I don’t know what I want? Well, I guess the Universe won’t know what to deliver. A fine mess, I must say. Yet, according to Cafe Astrology, now is the time to be introspective. I dunno, is it just me – does anyone else think I’m a little TOO introspective to begin with? 😀 Seriously, it says that I’m to examine my modus operandi for getting what I want, to take some time for reflection, maybe get a little extra rest. It’s one of those enforced rest periods, like when your body decides you’ve been running too long, too hard so it shuts you down with the flu or something. There, now you HAVE to rest!

So if I’m reading this right – the Universe actually endorses this period during which I do not vigorously pursue what I want, because it wants me to reflect and understand and be SURE that what I’m asking for is really what I want.

That fits. I am surprisingly calm, so calm that I cannot muster up a great lot of surprise, actually. Cataclysmic change is occurring at work, which tends to affect the the entire rest of one’s life. Work supports our existence habit. If work is altered, in quality, quantity, proximity, any manner of dimensions, then so is our way of life.

So, this retrograde, period-of-rest thing lets me off the hook nicely on a number of fronts. It tells me that my instincts, at least, are in line with the heavens. For instance, I’ve been told that I need surgery on my sinuses or I’ll just keep getting one sinus infection after another. I hesitated, I walked out of that doctor’s office, even though I liked him (he hates Neti pots!) and had a good feeling about his motivation. I have not made a decision, and I don’t feel any especial impetus to do so any time soon.

Another thing – ever since the changes at work were announced, I’ve watched others scramble out of self-preservation. I used up Monday and Tuesday of last week to scrape a few people off the ceiling. Why is everyone so panicked while I’m so calm? This is the most unusual thing in the world that is happening right now. Everyone BUT me is taking action of some sort. It’s usually the other way around. I’m usually the one who makes things happen. Now, not so much. I’m going to LET things happen instead. They told me what was to happen, and my firmest instinct murmured, “Good. Bring it.” It’s pretty loud, for a murmur. So I’m just going to let it happen. I’m going to let it roll over me like a roaring wave, the kind that brings treasure to the beach.

I’m a treasure. I’m going to land on some beach! That’s kind of exciting, don’t you think? 🙂

Selling out – w00t!

102320091313-WDW-DAK-Expedition-Everest-Single-Rider
Gonna put it in the want ads
(want ads!)
this girl’s in misery
Gonna put it in the want ads
(want ads!)
somebody rescue me….

I told mah sistas today that I’m selling out. I’m tired of the ups and downs of Corporate America, the endless cycles of re-orgs, mergers, acquisitions and the associated beheadings. I’m tired of the lies, the platitudes and the BS. I’m gonna find me a sugar-daddy, a millionaire.

WANTED: Impossibly wealthy, motherless lost boy to transform me into the SAH-Princess I was born to be. In exchange for being the only adult in the room at all times and attending to every minute detail of your existence, you must agree to participate in the hunt for seashells, be willing to provide shoe budget and support my blogging habit. DVC* a plus. Contact DoNotSpamMe@gmail.com

Wouldn’t it be lovely if it really worked that way? 😉

Don’t mind me. I’m just grouchy because I had to work late and I’m being re-org’d again. Same old, same old.

But actually, this reminds me that I did scrawl a sort of a “want ad” to the Universe late one night several weeks ago. It’s here on the desk, somewhere. It’s on a piece of paper from a yellow legal pad. Ah ha, here it is:

What Do I Wish For?
I wish for my True Companion. With him, I feel safe and special and loved. There is a euphoria in his arms that is unmatched by all else. There is completion in our connection, a fitting-together of puzzle pieces that have long called out for and are now made whole by one another. There is laughter and healing in his company. There is fearless joy in my unabashed expression of love for him and there is gratitude for our union.

I don’t know that I’ve ever written anything before that was quite so… so sentimental and MUSHY, even. It was late. I was tired, yet sleep, that faithless, two-timing, backstabbing SOB, was not putting out for me. I guess there’s a vulnerability to late-night scribblings. But I’m pretty shocked that something like this came from MY pen. Hmmm, food for thought…

*Disney Vacation Club

Manifesting – The Musical

No not really, but wouldn’t it be cool if there WAS a musical called Manifesting? I, of course, would be the star 😉

I’m reading this e-book about manifesting. I downloaded it a while ago and then forgot about it. Was cleaning out my Thunderbird email so I could move it to the new computer (a neat little netbook) and there it was, attached to the original email that delivered it to me.

Printed it out today – 65 pages. Don’t worry about my carbon footprint – I duplexed! 😀 Anyhow, there are exercises. One was for my friends. I posted it for some of mah sistas to answer and I emailed it out to about a bazillion people. I will naturally share the results, but I won’t share names unless I have permission to do so.

There’s a whole list of questions to answer that are designed to make me do a deep dive into who I really am, authentically speaking. One of these questions, I’ve covered before; my Sanibuddies (fellow Sanibel Island lovers) will recognize this from long ago –

What does a perfect day look like for you?

MY PERFECT DAY

There are no attendants at the toll plaza, and the gates are stuck in the up position, so I don’t have to pay to make the perilous crossing over to Sanibel Island. Likewise, the parking meters at the beaches have mysteriously vanished, and everywhere I go that day, there’s an open parking space close to the water with perpetual, all-day shade. The water in my water bottle never gets warm or runs out, and if I have even a fleeting thought of it, it will miraculously change into a mango margarita, then back to water again, if I desire. If I decide that I’m hungry, someone from Hexter’s Deli appears before my eyes with a rare roast beef and provolone on whole wheat, mayo, lettuce, tomato, salt & pepper, and a sweet Nestea, ice cold.

My perfect day has a full moon visible at all hours, and a very low tide all day long! A few white, puffy clouds wander by in the blue, blue sky. It’s about 80 degrees, all the no-seeums are dead, the Nanny* is unheard of, and there are heaps and mountains of really good gastropods on the beach and in the shallows. AND, I have finally found the most awesomely perfect pair of shelling shoes. They fit like a dream, don’t give me blisters, don’t fill up with sand, and dry off on my feet immediately when I want them to.

Sanibel Island SeashellsThe only people I see on the beaches are Sanibuddies, cheerfully waving their claws and nets as I pass by. They are all carrying mesh bags full of booty, so everyone is happy, happy, happy! Wandering along the shore, a 10 inch long, fat red tulip washes up at my feet, followed by some colorful cousins. Then, a fleet of 2″ – 5″ long mac n cheese appears, and then a perfectly pink monster horse conch. My shell net on a stick barely touches the water, and it’s full of fabulous finds, including some very bright and shiny olives with their pointy little heads still intact. None of these shells needs a rinse or a bleach bath – they are all perfectly, spotlessly clean, inside and out.

The most awesome wildlife appears before me everywhere I turn – dolphins, blue, blue herons, bald eagles – and I get the perfect photos of them, as they patiently pose and wait for me to focus.

After I’m done at the beach, I head off to get a 90 minute, four-handed massage at the day spa. Then I go watch the sunset, which is remarkable because that perpetual full moon, huge and low in the sky, is right beside it.

On the way home, I stop at 7-11 and purchase the winning lottery ticket – $50MM, after taxes. When I get to my house, I send an “I quit” email to my boss and fire up the blender for a celebration.

PS – throughout this entire perfect day, I am 5 shades tanner with no ill effects on my skin, and 10 pounds thinner!

* “the Nanny” is a phrase I coined to describe the red algae bloom that sometimes plagues the beaches of Southwest Florida. See this trip report from July 2003 for further details.

FINIS

I wrote all that on Wednesday November 8th 2006 – someone asked the question and I remember typing with great speed and no edits and posting it just the way you see it here. That was apparently the right way to do it, for the book says to answer “spontaneously” for the best answers. Reading it now, what strikes me as remarkable is that I was apparently already “manifesting”, but didn’t know to call it that, much less to do it deliberately.

There will be more as I try to get through all these questions. What I’m hoping to get out of all this is figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I’m really tired of fearing the reaper in Corporate America and doing boring, meaningless work that feels like a chore. I want to find work that pays the bills and brings me joy. Quite demanding, aren’t I? 😀

to be continued…

The POTUS picks up poop?!?!?

I’ve been doing some studying each night, so didn’t catch this Brian Williams Inside The Obama White House news special when it aired on NBC. However, I went to MSNBC.com today and found a bunch of video segments from the show, which was actually a good way to get this watched – in chunks and at my leisure.

MUSIC – I love the fact that they chose modern music to go with our modern President and his young staff. A few of my faves – Bittersweet Symphony “the most popular song Jagger and Richards never wrote”, and Everclear’s Wonderful make prominent appearances. They used Mika’s Lollipop for Sasha and Malia, which was totally charming.

BO, THE DOG – I cannot believe the POTUS picks up poop! Clearly, Brian Willaims is a sucker for dogs. He’s got that lovey-dovey I-am-a-sucker-for-dogs voice on when he speaks to the pooch. I’m really sort of in love with that dog, which is unusual for me… I’ve been SO set on leading a hairless existence and not being tied down by pets when I travel or go out. However, I now believe that there MIGHT be a puppy in my future! OK, maybe not… I have to think long and hard about this.

THE VEGETABLE GARDEN – What a great idea this was. Cost effective and charitable – they use the veggies at the White House and also donate some of them locally. When the First Lady visited the school kids who helped her plant it, I liked the fact that she dressed in yellow, which is apparently their school color (all the kids had on matching yellow t-shirts). When she did the sit-down with Brian Williams in that outfit, there were yellow roses in a bowl on the table behind her, which was a nice, coordinating touch.

SACRIFICES – And now we know why Bittersweet Symphony may have been selected. Working in the White House, no matter whose White House it happens to be at the time, is a huge honor, a once-in-a-lifetime, rare opportunity to directly impact the direction of our country and its people. But it is also a sacrifice for one’s country, second only to serving in the military. These people are not spending a lot of time with their families, although clearly the administration wants them to be able to. Some left their families behind in a different city when they joined the administration. When you have this kind of job, this is what you do 24×7. It’s what you breathe, it’s the REASON you breathe. This is what it means to go into public SERVICE, to SERVE your country in government. I know something similar to this kind of life, remember it well. Wouldn’t want to go back to it. No wonder they’re all so damned young; it’s a lot easier to take the grueling pace when you’re still young.

RAHM EMANUEL – Speaking of sacrifice, this is someone to admire and respect. I know this personally, from years and years of mergers, acquisitions and re-organizations at the firm. Sometimes you fall into a spot that you’re not thrilled with, but you do it anyway because you are called to it. It takes HUGE self-discipline to do something you don’t necessarily want to do but are called to do, and to do it REALLY well – actually kick ass at it. Hats off to Rahm, he’s earning it.

THE OPPOSITION – the nation is less safe because people who work in the White House now take off their suit jackets? One wonders how they reacted to the M&Ms, the darts and the basketball… what is this, Microsoft? ROTFLMAO! How do they come up with crap like this? Can’t they find something REAL over which they can act scandalized?

As to the Supreme Court appointment, I like that our President can be a bad-ass, be firm with the nonsense, without straying into the land of also being a butt-head about things. He pushes back against and has little patience for the ridiculous. I’m wondering…. since when is it wise to completely ignore one’s hard-won experiential knowledge and not leverage it when making decisions? That’s called LEARNING, when you use past experience to be successful in a current situation. Since when would the experiential knowledge of a white male be the same as that of a Latina female? Not saying one is better than the other in general, but under certain circumstances, each has experiential knowledge that could certainly inform their actions and decisions better than the other. No need to act scandalized – this is only logic.

Finally, he’s got a good sense of where news reporting ends and entertainment begins. I like that he doesn’t watch the pundits because he understands them to be entertainment. “It feels like WWF wrestling – everybody’s got their roles to play…” Wise of him to recognize that!

WHEN THE GIRLS REACH DATING AGE – loved Brian Williams’ advice about greeting their dates at the door with a shovel! 😀

AMERICA’S RELATIONS WITH THE WORLD’S MUSLIM POPULATION – Are there really people who feel that ALL Muslims are America’s enemies? I don’t know what to say to them to relieve them of the burden of such ignorance. I pray that God – anyone’s God, everyone’s God – opens their eyes and their hearts.

“A ROCK STAR” – love, love, love the reactions at the Five Guys burger joint. I would have flipped out, too, had I been there. That’s one way to treat your staff to lunch! He cracked me up later on with the remark, “I never thought I’d have a bobble-head…” LOL! 🙂

“OUR” GENERATION – “The hand that we were dealt – this is a challenge for our generation.” This president is barely a year younger than I am. Because we are part of the same age cohort, he is a leader with whom I can identify. We grew up listening to the same songs on the radio, watching the same sitcoms, learning about the same world events on the news. He was shaped by the things that shaped me, too. I really feel that he “gets” the challenges facing people of our age – the fact that our mortgages are upside down and our retirement is in the toilet and that the most important thing he can do for us is fight to lower the cost of health care, because at our age, we’re going to be needing that very soon.

FINAL THOUGHTS – I appreciate that Obama is smart, personable and articulate; he represents the best our country, our generation has to offer. I don’t approve of EVERYTHING he does or will do, but I’m overall very satisfied with him so far. I think he was handed a sack of shit, and he’s doing his best to turn it into something useful that can be brought forward into the future. May he be successful, for ALL of our sakes.

Having a life and still being successful

How Women Are Redefining Work and Success – BusinessWeek.

Found this article in BusinessWeek and realized I had stuff to say about it!

They yearned for a path to success based on results, not hours clocked.”  This resonates with me because I have felt the pressure to stay online until the boss logs off, regardless of whether or not there was any work that was pressing enough to dig into MY time.  And yes, at my rung on the ladder, overtime is MY time, which I generously donate to the Firm on occasion.  How much and how often can be the result of a trickle-down effect.  If the boss is doing it, the worker feels some obligation to do it, too.  If the boss talks about having a life and leaves early sometimes to attend a school function, the workers will feel comfortable doing that too.

All of you who are The Boss, remember this – you are leading by example!  If you want your staff to be well-rounded and able to perform at peak, you must model the right behavior, the behavior that says it’s not only OK to have a non-work life, it’s mandatory.

burnout and the “enormous lattitude to move sideways, backward, in and out” – I might be one of the few downshifting success stories at the Firm.  Normally, one would have to change firms if they wanted to downshift, but I was fortunate enough to have management that recognized burnout didn’t mean I wasn’t any good to them any more.  It meant I needed to not work so much any more, to put some perspective back into my life, to have the luxury of down time.

So rather than try and get them to conform to rules and guidelines from the 1950s, we should listen to them, and let them lead the way for what this future will look like.” – I don’t see this happening in the current environment.  Jobs are not plentiful.  It’s not like the worker has another place to go, at least not easily or readily.  The worker will have to conform to the mores of the workplace, whatever decade those mores are from, or they will be fired and replaced with one of the thousands poised to step over the bodies and take their places.  In a less competitive environment, the workplace might very well need to conform, but as things stand, I think the workplace will continue to be “my way or the highway”.

additional expectations of the single rider – Yes, it happens.  We, the single and childless of either gender, are often expected to pick up the slack.  I’ve actually been told, “Well, it’s not like you have to pick up the kids or anything like that” – as if that’s any more legitimate than my own non-work priorities and obligations.

backlash against telecommuting – currently happening in my firm, and the reason I won’t be transferring back into the technology group any time soon (I’m currently in corporate finance).  Apparently, there was a moonlighting incident.  So now, in the tech org, all of the “outlyers” (yes they actually call us telecommuters that!) are slowly being brought back into the offices.  This incurs cost – real estate, phone lines, LAN connections all cost money.

Honestly, I view the moonlighting thing as a management problem, not a telecommuting problem.  How could you not know that your people aren’t on the job?  How can you not know that they are not producing the way they should be producing?  Still, management has become allergic to telecommuting, and removing this as an option is going to throw people back into imbalance between work and home life.  When I started telecommuting full time in 2005, I was able to reclaim four hours of my life a day.  FOUR HOURS.  A DAY.  Incredible, isn’t it?  I cannot imagine going back to that old life.  Ever.