Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Professional Organization Recommendations

I joined one because it has some great resources that I need when I need it. Like all things you join, you get on a mailing list for updates. As these updates are not high priority reads, they go into the "To Read Email Pile And May Get Deleted If It's There Too Long". I decided to open the latest one instead of just letting it grow mold. It's book recommendations and some of it tickles my funny bone. I generally don't read any additional work material than I need to, but I might hunt some of them down if I remember when I'm at the library.

HRs Best Sellers:

A Survival Guide to Managing Employees from Hell: Drawing from real-life stories, this helpful and humorous guide provides readers with practical advice for handling a wide range of difficult types.

Eat That Frog: is a high content fast-read that synthesizes and distills the very best ideas and insights on time management into 21 logical, immediately applicable steps.

180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm: gives you 180 morale-boosting ideas to help you bring more caring, communication, respect and appreciation to the workplace.

Working with You Is Killing Me: This is an authoritative manual that provides valuable insights for turning conflicts in the workplace into productive working relationships.

Crucial Conversations: offers readers a proven 7-point strategy for achieving their goals in all those emotionally, psychologically, or legally charged situations that can arise in their professional and personal lives. The authors of this book also have this as a training course. My work thought we would all benefit from this. I took it. It's an okay course. Some of it I do already. Some of it you really need to practice. Some of it you need to be brave enough to confront. So I actually own a copy of this book and it's nifty extras. Have I opened it since I return from the course? Nope.

Featured books this week:

Snakes in Suits

My Secret Life on the McJob

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Internet Explorer vs. Firefox

My primary computer uses Internet Explorer 6. As the 'puter is not mine, I'm not permitted to put any other surfin' software -- not even MicroSoft's brand spanking IE 7. I've done all my MySpace decorating using this 'puter. If I say so myself, it looks beautiful to me. I'm very proud of myself.

I just saw my page using my sister's 'puter who happens to use Firefox. It's so yucky. My own Contact Table and Extended Network replacements are not showing. The changes I made to About Me and Interests are missing. The new table entry I added is smashing into My Friends. Plus, the Friends Comment box is smaller here than it is when viewed through IE.

To my friends who do not use IE, I apologize for the mess you see. I guess my next adventure is to see how to adjust my code so it's at least decent from a Firefox viewpoint. I'm going to be dual 'puter for a bit.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Macy*s Thanksgiving Parade

Thursday weather was great for going to see the Macy*s Thanksgiving Parade live and in person. Weather is really odd since there was snow on Monday and Thursday it was going to be in the low 60's. The rain held off until after the parade.

The plan was to get up early on Thursday to head into the city to get a great spot. Well, my sister and her two little ones were going to join us but had to decline as they were still running amok at 11:30pm -- waaayyyy past their bedtime.

Got up 5:20am. Waited to see if Pointy was going to say "I don't want to get up." Got out of the house a little after 6am. Came out of the tunnel at 6:30am. Got a parking space at 6:45am *crossing fingers that parking restrictions were lifted for the holiday* Scoped out B'way between 55the and 56th. Got a corner but the cops said we could no longer stand there because of the traffic light overhead. They had a fear about the light collapsing on heads if a balloon accidentally hits the pole.

We wound up about the same spot we had three years ago. Parade got to our spot on the route at 9:24am. It finished at 11:00am.

We did see the following but don't know who they are: Anika Noni Rose, Ashley Tinsdale, Corbin Bleu, Good Charlotte, Lifehouse, Kay Hanley, Lea Michele & Jonathan Groff from Spring Awakening so the people on some of the floats are nameless. If you know, drop me a line.

Click on Super Cute Hello Kitty or the Energizer Bunny if interested in checking out my photos, 97 of them, taken by both camera and phone *Pointy forgot to recharge battery in camera* from my perspective

Slideshow, where the picture may be bigger than your screen (at least mine)

Or, at your own pace and where the picture is smaller than your screen (at least mine)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Client

Remember the one I love... well at the moment that is as each one has good and bad -- the client that is.

Well, I'm out in LA working in one of their subsidiaries to help them out. This is the second time I've visited this location. The office just blows my mind away.

It's not your normal brick and mortar building. I don't think there's a brick anywhere. They've taken a warehouse, you know like a Home Depot or wholesale club or even a Walmart. Using plywood and 2x4s, they've built their office walls and cubicles and bookshelves. You can see the duct work for the airconditioning. They have a sandy plot with some small trees. They have a car of two sitting inside, a highway billboard sitting atop one of the offices, two huge cardboard dogs placed in strategic spots at a 2nd floor level to stare down at you below. Surfboard counters for a coffee station. They've used other materials to cordon off areas -- chain link fence, joust boards, white parachute material. There's even a basketball court. You do not enter from a first floor door but walk up to a 2nd floor lobby offshoot to the main building. The lobby has two walkways to the main building -- one descends to the bottom/1st floor and the other walkway acts as a bridge to the 2nd level.

You may have read about an office or two that is kind of laid out like this -- Microsoft, Pixar, Google, Yahoo. I just never thought I would get to experience one. Got to get the creative juices going to get the next great idea which will be the moneymaker for the company.

Oh, this location permits employees to bring in their well-behaved dogs to work. This is the 2nd client I've worked at that allows this. So far, I've not seen anyone bring in their cats.

Unlike the main location I work at, this one does not provide free lunch. They offer free each morning a breakfast item -- today was a variety of bagel. Tomorrow may be sliced fruit.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mish Mash

I was suppose to post this on Thursday -- better late than never. And the drive home was great. Great colors though it got dark too quickly.


I could not settle on one thing to blog, so it's a brain dump.

I totally enjoyed the drive to work today. It could be that it's my Friday. But then again, I think the fall foliage added to the enjoyment. I don't know if the lower Connecticut area is peak or past peak for fall foliage, but the colors sure are beautiful. There's a nice range of trees so you can see all the autumnal colors. It could have been a whole lot better if the sun was shining instead of it being overcast. Still, it is beautiful anyway. I can't wait for this afternoon when I make the extended drive home. I wonder what the colors will be like as I go a bit further south. Hopefully just as PREETTTTTYYYYY!

I like this client I'm at. Even though they are demanding and feel that the system we are implementing for them should do everything they expect it because that's the way it should work, I still like them. They are a fun group to work with. They feed me. That's right. They bring lunch in everyday for their associates as there really is nowhere close by. There's been good meals and so-so meals. They also provide breakfast, snacks and beverages. All FREEEEE!

Whether the person likes it or not, I've decided not to deposit a check. I'm a plastic woman, 99% bank transactions are done electronically and Pointy is my ATM when I have to have cash. I really have no reason to go into a brick and mortar bank. I use to have Pointy deposit my checks because I did not have a branch near me. That's no longer true and I try to do it myself; less imposition on Pointy. I guess I'm just too lazy this time around or time just runs away with me each day. I'm going to make myself very happy by not cashing the check *VBG*. Pay it FORWARD

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Feeling Sucky

I've been fine. No problems. I don't know whether it's a cold coming on or allergies. Walked into client office this morning and WHAM! I've been sneezing and blowing my nose all day.

Client was nice enough to put a box of tissue in all the cubes. It's KLEENEX Anti-Viral tissue.

"Kills 99.9% of Cold and Flu Viruses. Because cold and flu viruses are often spread by hand contact, KLEENEX Brand had developed a tissue for your whole family. KLEENEX Anti-Viral* tissue has three soft layers, including a moisture-activated middle layer that kills 99.9% of cold and flu viruses in the tissue within 15 minutes. This product has bnot been tested against bacteria fungi or other viruses."

It goes on with Directions for Use, Virucidal Against, and Storage and Disposal information. It also contains an Active Ingredients list.

I don't know how much of this hype really works. I'm just glad I have a box of tissues. Otherwise, it means going in search of a box in the office or getting into a car and finding a place to buy a box or heading back to the hotel to swipe a box. Tissue, the softer the better -- Puffs, anyone -- is very important. The last resort... swipe roll of toilet tissue from the bathroom.

Oh, one more thing. It must be my age because my lower back hurts. I'm fine if I'm sitting down but the back tells me something else when I get up. (I can hear someone say, "Don't get up.")


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Civic Duty

I've been meaning to write this since Thursday. I got to get it out of my head.

My civic duty was to assist in the legal system -- yes, jury duty. I was called to serve in a pool of petit jurors Thursday and Friday. I was hoping that what happened three years ago would occur again. Alas, it did not. The after-hours call the day before said all jurors have to report the next day.

I thought I left the house in plenty of time, but construction and poor signage for juror parking and no crochet hooks permitted in the building made me 10 minutes late. I did not feel bad as jurors were still coming in half an hour later.

We had a very interesting coordinator who lay down the ground work. 'P' (some P name) told us the 10-minute video was shortened due to comments from past jurors. It use to be 25 minutes. One comment was "my neighbor snored and slobbered through the whole thing" . Completed comments forms will be read by Trenton. Improvements will be made whenever possible to make the jury duty process more bearable.

Other funnies from 'P', no soap operas on TVs as they had to break up a fight between two ladies. No trial shows, like Judge Judy, as the judges do not want to hear it. Cell phones can only be answered in the elevator lobbies as rubber trash cans are provided for the ones who want to kick the sh*t out of them. Sherifs will let you know when enough is enough. The coffee and tea is complimentary. As explained by ex-juror, it's not free if our tax dollars are paying for it. If you have any complaints about the process, please tell it to the judge and not the juror control staff.

The waiting area was actually pretty nice. I think we were a group of about 75. 'P' called us smalled as they had 200 awhile back. We were able to spread out across two large rooms which had a walled off area for couches, two viewing areas for TVs, and an area with desks/tables. As I decided to let the crowd around the coffee/tea thin out, I think I got the last cup of complimentary coffee.

I got called in the first group. It was a criminal case to be heard over 2 1/2 days starting next Tuesday afternoon, projected to finish Thursday. Well, there goes work for next week. They started the jury selection process yesterday and needed to filled it up with our group. I got chosen for Chair 9. The judge had to fill 14 chairs -- 12 jurors and 2 alternates. After two and half hours, we got all the chairs filled at 11:25 am. The judge gave us a 20 minute break and wanted us back at 11:45 am. As it was so close to lunchtime, I wondered how much the judge was going to have us do before giving us our lunch break.

It must have been my day. The selected 14 gathered back in our jury room while waiting for all participants to show up in the courtroom. We got called to take our seats. The judge was nice to inform us that our services were no longer needed as the parties settled. "Thank you for your service. You are dismissed. You only need to report back to juror control if you need your parking ticket validated" At the end of the day, I'm glad I was selected and not dismissed. I served my one trial and was free to go. The dismissed went back to the juror pool and wait.

Our judge had to report two missing jurors back to juror control coordinator. I think they are going to be in trouble.

Oh, I found a fellow juror reading Sherrilyn Kenyon's Devil May Cry. It was her first book and she will be looking for the others

I will be get a $5 check for doing my civic duty today. I would not have minded hearing this case as it will be a first time experience. It would not have been a terrible hardship for me to miss work.