Tag Archives: career

A full-time job with the best rewards

Yesterday I took the day off, not just to watch the festivities but we were having an issue with childcare anyway so I decided to spend the day with my daughter and President Obama. It was a good day but there were moments when I thought to myself…. “I am such a bad mom, I cannot do this.” It just seemed like my daughter would not slow down. She wanted to watch Elmo, then she wanted me to read Elmo, and wanted banana chips and nothing else. Of course, we ran out so that spelled trouble. Then, lunch time was trying. What do I feed this child? I mean, she snacks all day as it is, drinks milk non-stop, and then now I gotta figure out breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hmm… wow! It was hard, sure, but I gotta say, as the day wore on, it was fun too. For example, we went for a nice walk in the beautiful weather and she played at the park. She wore me out more than she herself got wore out. We were at the park a good hour but she did not understand the concept of “it is time to go home now”. She did not want to leave and it took some manipulation to get her home… for example, I had her running and we did a pretend race and then, we slowed down to take in the water stream and things like that – otherwise, she was not leaving that playground!

Stay at home moms have a tough job- they are constantly in a routine dominated by their children. If they have multiples, it is even harder I am sure. As a parent who stays home, you have to be mindful of many things for the care of an infant and young toddler: diaper changes (your sense of smell better be intact or else), feedings (not just basic meals but snack time too), play time (this may or may not include an outdoor play regiment – depends on weather really), and the ever important nap time(s). If the child is younger, they may take multiple naps. If the child is older, you may be lucky to get them down for an hour. Then in the evenings, you have to also focus on bath time and sleep time routines. Since I am a working parent, on most days, I have to try to get dinner and that usually means frozen stuff or going out to pick something up or ordering in, and give my daughter a bath and then try to get her down at a reasonable hour which these days has turned in wee hours of the night. Routine is not that important because I have to adjust it to meet my schedule some days as well. But, as a stay at home parent, I can see where routine is not only helpful, it is a must!! Without a nap routine, a feeding routine, or changing routine, you are truly run by your child’s schedule and as a stay at home parent, for your own sanity, your child needs to be on a timetable. I gotta say, I am looking forward to maternity leave, and after I work out some kinks in the system, I am sure I will be returning to work—right as I start getting used to being a stay at home mom. Go figure! All in all, I think parenting is the best job in the world – it is the hardest job but the one that yields the best rewards too! I cannot wait to follow the progress of my child as she grows into what I hope is a great person. Til next time, Happy Parenting!

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Change, Change, Change

Yesterday I had the first opportunity to meet who my new boss at my full-time job is going to be and this weekend, I will meet my new commander down at my Reserves position too. Two new bosses in a week! Wow! That is a lot of change. Sure, I am not new to the concept, with 7 years active duty, and several different positions at each assignment, I had the opportunity to have many different bosses. Each boss over the years has had his or her own management/leadership style and each has likes and dislikes and as I have learned after having 6 bosses in 7 years, you kinda have to deal with it and like a box of Whitman’s Sampler Chocolates, you just do not know what you’re gonna get. In the end, the boss is the boss and you have to adapt and overcome.

In my case, both new bosses have something in common- they are both policy men- they are bureaucrats, rule followers, color within the lines, and love policy and process. I could, of course, care less for policy, process, and staying within the lines. I have always marched to a different tune and love to be creative when I can-kinda hard in a bureaucracy, huh? Needless to say, this will be a good complement to me because I am not a detail-oriented person but rather, prefer big picture. I am very anxious, excited, and at the same time being cautiously optimistic. I am very pleased about one of the bosses because he immediately told us that he believes in family first and a family friendly workplace. He is even on a committee in our Department to further said goals. That is positive for me as we expect another change here soon – a new baby while another one is still in diapers. Needless to say, the question has crossed my mind- when it comes to a battle between family friendly and process/policy or rules, which one will trump? Hmm…. we will find out soon enough I am sure.

On January 20, 2009, I will also have a new commander in chief and of course, a lot of change is coming to the government in general. I am excited but also nervous about all these changes… but I think it is good to keep on your toes and if you fall into a rut and there is no prospect of change, the economy and other aspects of life stagnate so…. as 2009 gets underway, I am just taking it one day at a time and hope that all the change is positive or if it is not, that I hope I can get through it …. ’til change happens again.

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Beggars cannot be choosers

After about 6.5 years without internet, the Agency I work for finally got internet restored. Believe it or not, this Government Agency was without internet (court-ordered, might I add) for 6 years. Now, it is back but not completely restored. Sometimes, we cannot send or receive external emails – for some reason, the email server is not that great. And, while we can access some websites, we cannot access sites you would think are pretty routine. For example, if you go to the local transit site and try to google route a map, it is blocked but then I can turn around, and go to google.com and then do public transit and get the same information they block. Weird. Midas.com is also blocked. Not sure why. I just want to take my car in to get the brake pads replaced. My OB/GYN website is blocked. I discovered that when I tried to print out some information I needed for my health appointment tomorrow. Odd. This Agency also cannot figure out how to unblock mapquest.com. I guess it does take a rocket scientist sometimes to do simple things at the Agency or Bureau level. Other bureaus within our own Agency can access google and chat is just disabled. We cannot access Gmail because our rocket scientists have not figured out how to unblock chat so they just block the whole site and all the great features that go with being able to log onto Google.

It is frustrating because one week I can access a site and the next week, I cannot. It just seems odd to me what the “tech-gurus” think official business is and what they think it is not. I am glad I can access hooters.com though just in case I get a hankering for those hot wings. But, Midas, now that would be bad since I have to take my car in for a brake job. I know, I am being sarcastic but it is ridiculous. I guess I cannot complain too much because I can access yahoo, learn what is going on in the world, and do google searches even if I cannot access the search. It is still exciting to have internet back and while it is not perfect (most things in life are not), I guess I will do without and learn to deal, perhaps use 411 every now and then when I cannot access something and maybe occasionally, get some work done.

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What do YOU want to be when you grow up?

Recently I have had a lot time to think – mainly cause I ride the bus into work and back home. 41 minutes one-way makes for a fun time to people watch and think because I get sick when I read or look down to do a puzzle.

I have always wondered what makes people do certain jobs – for example, did a sanitary worker always know he or she would be working in that job or is it more of a necessity? When mom asked Stan what he wanted to do when he grows up did Stan answer, “I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of an RTD bus?” How do people end up in their jobs?

I know for me, I always wanted to be an attorney and I enjoy what I do – I could not imagine doing anything else although sometimes I see others and wonder. When I am getting my morning coffee (once a week) I wonder what it would be like being a barista at Starbucks. I would meet some neat people but I would have to be nice to them –not fun! When I am riding the bus home, I think to myself, do they have flexible hours? How much does this job pay? I wonder if I could drive a bus on a route for 8 hours a day? How many round trips would that be and would I go crazy not being able to text people, e-mail, talk on the phone, or otherwise interact with others? Do I really need to stop at every railroad? How dumb am I that I cannot see a train coming? Asking people for $1.75 or to see their Pass is not interaction. Worse, would I need to say to every person who got on the bus, “Do you need a transfer?”

Anyway, I digress. I guess my point in writing this is that it seems that we evolve into our jobs. Most people may want to know what they want to be when they are a child or even in high school or college, but oftentimes, life gets in the way and not all plans culminate into reality. I am not sure I would want to do anything else but, given a choice between standing at a construction site holding a sign, driving a bus, or operating a crane, I would not be sure what to choose. I am thankful that Stan chose to evolve into a bus driver, and Bob became a sanitation worker, that Linda decided to go into construction, Gloria decided to go into childcare and Rita decided to open her own home cleaning business because if everyone knew what they wanted to be when they grew-up and followed through, our world certainly could be … dysfunctional.

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Reconnection


After about seven years of not having the internet, my office has reconnected. I have only been without it for 19 months. It is a strange phenomenon because when we did not have internet, all I wanted to do was have the internet and do things on the internet. It is rather strange now that we have had it for over a week, I feel no urge or desire to go on-line but it is nice to know it is there and it is nice for me to communicate with my clients and family members. Occasionally, I do think of something I need to google or look-up and it is nice to have internet at my fingertips instead of going through the drudgery of trying to connect through a phone line in the middle of the office where everyone can see what I am doing. Wikipedia, by the way, accessible on the internet, has a great article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet#Internet_and_the_workplace on internet and the workplace. I just found this at work by the way. Nice!

On the flip side, everyone is running scared that big brother is watching everything we are doing and are afraid to send an email to their spouse much less “surf” the world wide web. These are unchartered waters for many folks working with this agency because as long as I have been employed here, internet and Email were not available so it was a non-issue. In the end, you have to exercise good judgment and use the resources provided by your company appropriately and sparingly. I am looking forward to continuing to have internet at my finger tips and hope it does not get taken away because it would be hard to go back to not having it once you have been reconnected.

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