Posts Tagged ‘management’

Witless Speculation

11 October 2011

Dear J-

The longer I keep staying up so late and try to get things done the more I realize that this low-grade cold keeps lingering. If I could just get ahead in my reading and blogging then I’d have enough time to sleep. What I really need is to pare back the list of articles I read, as there’s no way I actually catch up day after day (at the moment I’m three days behind and fading fast). Keeping up with the torrent is one thing, and sleep is yet another.

There’s a high degree of frustration just lately with devices now that the honeymoon period has worn off and I find myself actually having to work around their peculiarities; the initial rush of excitement that it actually works has given way to endless speculation that maybe thus isn’t the right way that things should be working: should my phone really require a daily reboot? Why is the Bluetooth so flaky? Do the keyboard batteries news to be recharged? Should I reinstall the custom ROM or should I start taking programs off?

One of the primary reasons I pick a product is to reduce my burden; if I’m having to manage it and sink more than an expected amount of time into maintenance then the product has failed its useability test. I’m starting to get red up with Android or at least this particular (hacked) implementation of it. My particular disappointment with the iPhone launch us that there’s still no option for my prepaid carrier aside from an iPod Touch sleeve to add 3G access, something that gives me equal parts hope and despair.

Mike

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Time Slips

6 September 2011

Dear J-

One of the things I keep telling myself is later: we’ll get to travel a whole bunch. Later. I’ll save up for that big trip. We’ll get used to it. What else have you put off in favor of later? It always seems like there’s enough time to do what you want right now but those few minutes of each day add up and before you know it you’re looking at the wrong end of bedtime, or your kid is already four and you wonder what happened while you were watching TV or reading the news instead of talking during dinner, making light conversation and expressing the right pleasantries instead. Just thinking about it brings me to the edge of panic in a way that hasn’t happened since trying to calculate what grades I’m destined for halfway through the semester (that means if I score 100% on every test from here on out … I’m still going to fail).

There is a surprisingly large amount of things we can put off in our lives. We will run short on everything eventually, though, whether money or gasoline or time, and you don’t want to be the person saying that you wish you’d taken the time to do this or that instead of killing time somehow. This last month, when I haven’t had a chance to write on the van in the mornings (as the backup driver, I try to help out where I can and it’s really rather difficult to drive and write at the same time) brings the point home to me: there’s not always enough time in the day to do everything, pick what you want to delay.

For much of the month I’ve been telling stories to figgy. It’s part of our bedtime routine now: bath, brush teeth, some books (three shall be the number, two being employed when I am too tired to think and four being RIGHT OUT), then theVet will come in to sing songs (have you heard me sing? It’s a wonder the birds don’t fall out of the trees, stone-deaf), and finally I go back in lately to make up stories with her favorite characters (Madeline or a Disney Princess or one of her stuffed toys). I’ve cut the story short at times for no good reason other than that I’m in the middle of something else and I want to get back to it. The trick to effective time management is the concept of be here now: the more of you that’s devoted to the task at hand, the faster it gets done (or at least more satisfyingly) and you’ll be better off in the end knowing you did a good job instead of rushing through it in favor of something silly.

Mike

Anger Management

20 May 2011

Dear J-

You find yourself making excuses — and worse yet, having them sound increasingly plausible in your ears — when it comes down to effort and rigor, whether exercise or work. It’s time to go. Something needs to change before I drive myself nuts over these minor things that I should just be a good soldier about and nod yes’m, yes’m. This morning I can’t say whether it was with secret relief that I discovered the flat tire or not — I would have loved to ride my bike and will use that for an anger sink some days — but I had the chance to slow down instead of rushing all preparations this morning. The dog ate my homework. The tire was flat. That doesn’t sound too bad, right?

If you let them things can spiral out of hand in an instant: you agree to a few little things and if you fail to see the intentional (self-inflicted) humor in your situation then the joke really was on you. Fail to laugh and everyone else will be more than happy to laugh at you. If the only solution is to run away from that then I hope your shoes are laced up tight. Most days I’m running so late that I don’t have a chance to get my shoes tied before stepping out the door. I’ve become a lumbering slow target in ecent months, happy to let things slide and delighted to just be present.  What was that about letting it get the better of me? Where’s my goat? If you got my goat then I’m a gnu, but this isn’t news to anyone.

Sometimes it helps to get it out theere in some form or another. If I don’t want to be on the hook for everything then I didn’t need to volunteer for it. My pathetic need to be liked has made me happy to be on the receiving end of everything and frankly I’m just tired of it; it’s easier to say no now than have to try to explain all the things that didn’t get done later. If I spent enough time worrying about myself and less time wondering what other people think — after all I’m not psychic and I surely can’t plant thoughts in other people’s heads — I’m sure the change I need is within me and my means. Say it out loud enough and I might even convinve myself of it.

What I do need to remember is this: how do I want figgy and Calcifer to remember their childhoods? Is it even a possibility that I should be the remote, hard-to-please figure? Should it come down — shojuld it ever come down to having a young voice plead with me to just be happy? I’ll know that I’ve gone too far at that point, but what saves me from driving off the cliff? I need to learn to trust my conscience and help me ignore the swirling anger.

Mike

Change Mandate

24 February 2011

Dear J-

There is an air of change in the world lately with revolutions in the Middle East fellng authoriitarian powers. Nationally eyes are on Wisconsin’s governor-led fight against unions — that’s what it ends up being, given that the union has already given up the concession on benefit pay proportions to close a budget gap which was the ostensible purpose of the bill. Now the sticking point is revealed as the collective bargaining power of non-safety unionized public employees, which is pretty much the strongest stick the unions bring to the table when negotiating labor contracts. What is it about collective bargaining that makes Scott Walker so afraid? Given my three-day expertise on management-labor relations I can’t say for sure but I suspect that the fear is that with it, unions have been able to negotiate pretty much what they’ve wanted without compromise.

Is it realistic? Let’s try it this way: union and management are driving cars down the freeway. One needs to get out right away but stuck in the left lane, has the choice of passing and cutting off the guy in the right lane, or slowing down and sliding behind but possibly backing traffic behind. The guy in the right lane has a choice too, to help or hinder (and boy, have I secretly enjoyed hindering at times), letting them get in or trying to match speeds because after all, it’s that guy’s poor planning that got him there. If the concessions are small then chances are both parties walk away satisfied. If they’re too big, and the guy in the right lane has already been stacked up waiting for the exit for minutes only to have the gap in front possibly snaked by some johnny-come-lately d’you think he’s going to let that guy in? In Wisconsin it’s high stakes. Management wants to take the other guy’s car away.

Again, why not extend the collective bargaining ban to all public employee unions? If the ideology was strong that would be an easy extension. Instead it seems politically motivated as some have pointed out that the particular unions who would lose collective bargaining tend to lean Democratic while the ones exempted lean Republican. Perhaps the political mandate extended by election victory extends only as far as your loudest supporters wish, as I’m not ready to exempt Democrats from that same charge. We elect officials we believe are fit for the job and represent our wishes, though we forget that at times. If the protests in Madison haven’t let Walker know that he’s now moving against the wishes represented by the folks in the streets, well, change is only a recall election away.

Mike

Minor League

24 May 2010

Dear J-

I had a nice nap this afternoon after coming back: days that I drive the van, I’m pretty well done by the time I’ve dropped off the van and biked back home, but then it’s time to help out; if I’m lucky, it’s eight o’clock before we have any down time, and even then we’re subject to how tired the rest of the day hasn’t made her. It’s not so much that we begrudge the time, the only time we have is better spent asleep. There’s something to be said for sleep knitting the raveled sleeve; life’s balance is restored and the bank of patience is safe from further runs. After all, what we spend the rest of our time on is pretty worthless stuff (why is Celebrity Apprentice still two hours an episode? Does NBC really have such little content — never mind).

Today, tonight; the decisions we make where we spend time make perfect sense at the time and then, at the end, was it really worth it? There’s memories to be made and I find myself mouthing the familiar words from school: “Sleep is for the weak!” believing it again — we need to get back to

Minor League

24 May 2010

Dear J-

I had a nice nap this afternoon after coming back: days that I drive the van, I’m pretty well done by the time I’ve dropped off the van and biked back home, but then it’s time to help out; if I’m lucky, it’s eight o’clock before we have any down time, and even then we’re subject to how tired the rest of the day hasn’t made her. It’s not so much that we begrudge the time, the only time we have is better spent asleep. There’s something to be said for sleep knitting the raveled sleeve; life’s balance is restored and the bank of patience is safe from further runs. After all, what we spend the rest of our time on is pretty worthless stuff (why is Celebrity Apprentice still two hours an episode? Does NBC really have such little content — never mind).

Today, tonight; the decisions we make where we spend time make perfect sense at the time and then, at the end, was it really worth it? There’s memories to be made and I find myself mouthing the familiar words from school: “Sleep is for the weak!” believing it again — we need to get back to finding ways to spend it smartly.

Mike