If I Wasn’t Afraid…

Things in Neverland are never exactly quiet, and I have some fun PJ posts in the works that I will hopefully get out in the next couple of days. But right now, I’ve been given a really exciting professional opportunity and I’ve been devoting some of my regular blogging time to making it happen.

I can’t share details yet, but the big picture is that an essay I wrote for work has been picked up by a national industry publication – yay! This is my fourth publication, and the first for a feature article with my very own byline, so it’s still a novelty and very exciting for me. That would have been plenty to feel good about, but then my contact approached me and asked if I would consider being a panelist for an audio conference on the topic I wrote about.

Good thing I read “Lean In” this summer, because my first thought was “Who, me? I’m no expert, I just think thoughts and write them down. And what if people don’t like them? What if all the questions are: what the hell does this chick know about anything?” And then I remembered…

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Well, if I wasn’t afraid (scared to death, terrified, etc) I would say yes and do my research and stand by what I wrote. So I did. I said yes. And now there’s an appointment sitting on my calendar with “Panelist Instructions for Webinar” attached to it. And I’m still scared. Actually, I’m a little afraid just to tell you all that this is happening – I mean, what if they figure out I’m just a girl with an opinion and call the whole thing off?! Or even worse, what if ::gasp:: someone actually listens? Then where will I be?

Deep breath. Maybe by the time it happens, I’ll stop being so scared and, in the most famous catchphrase of all, just do it.

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Point of View: The Interview

In response to this week’s writing challenge: The Difference A Point Of View Makes. I hope you enjoy it!

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Part One: Do You See What I See?

I see a tall, gray-haired man shuffling uncomfortably in his seat. He has stacks of paper piled every which way, and he’s glancing through the partially open door, to the paper in his hand, toward another folder in the stack, and back again. He switches papers twice before sighing and standing up, walking towards the door, and saying (in a brusque, somewhat irritated tone) “Unique? Come on in.”

Unique unfolds herself from the waiting room chair, brushes a strand of brown hair out of her carefully made up eye, and slips her phone into the outside pocket of her designer bag. She follows the man past the magazines that she never even glanced at, and settles into the chair in front of his desk.

Over the next ten minutes, they exchange the usual rehearsed lines –

“What made you decide to apply here?” (Don’t say the money, Unique, never say you want money).

“Tell me about yourself.” (Nothing too real, Unique, and nothing that can’t be disproven on Facebook).

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” (Be humble, Unique, don’t let your ambition flag fly just yet).

A few more benign sentences, and Unique is out the door, her phone jumping out of the bag and into her hand almost unconsciously before the door has fully closed.

Deep sighs on both sides of the door.

Part Two: Do You Hear What I Hear?

This can’t be right. This resume says I’m talking to someone named “Unique”? Uni-got-to-be-kidding me! Maybe I grabbed the wrong one? I can kind of see her, she looks more like a Jenny to me. Is there even a Jenny in here? No? Damn. Guess I better get started.

“Unique? Come on in.”

Oh great, she’s on one of those damn phones all the time. Probably Twitting the Faceblog or whatever it is. Oh well, once I finish our script for social media I can get her to put it on there for me while she’s tapping away anyway. At least that way I’ll know I got a few minutes worth of her paycheck out of her.

Ugh, typical. She wants to know about “flex time” and “career development” and is that an earring on the side of her nose? And that vibrate setting isn’t fooling anyone, I hear that phone going off every ten seconds. And oh sure, you can cite my website, but have you read our features in the trade pubs? For that matter, have you ever even read a newspaper?

Thanks for your time, Unique. I’ll call you if we ever run out of real workers.

Deep sigh.

Part Three: Do You Know What I Know?

OK, Unique, you can do this. You can walk in there and show him confidence, show him adaptability, and whatever you do don’t show him how desperate you are to land this paycheck that will finally, finally start covering some of those student loan payments.

“Unique? Come on in.”

A few years ago I would have cringed at that tone and maybe even apologized that my parents chose that name for me. Now I just smile and pretend I don’t hear it. I also pretend not to know why I’m being asked what I’ve come to think of as the “Adventures in Babysitting” part of the interview.

I can see you think you’ve got me figured out – I’m lazy and don’t want to work because I ask about flex time and I have an active social media account (or three). But do you also know that I’m just as likely to send and respond to my work emails from home on a Saturday, or while I’m on vacation, as I am to scroll my newsfeed in a staff meeting? Do you realize that I am coming to work every day (once I manage to get hired anyway) with no real expectation of anything other than blurred lines between my working hours and personal ones? And not just day to day either, I am starting my career with no real expectation that I’ll ever be able to stop and retire. I guess I am just lazy like that.

And I saw that sneer when I asked about career development. Do you realize that before I ever set foot on a college campus, I went from listening to my parents’ records, to taping cassettes off the radio, to buying CD’s, to loading an iPod, to streaming my own custom radio station right to my phone? For better or for worse, when it comes to improvement, my world isn’t measured in years. For that matter, my world can be made or broken with a two minute video that travels around the world faster than a speeding bullet.

So thanks for your time, sir. I’m sure I’ll hear from you when you need to know why that “iOS 19.5 available. Update now?” alert won’t go away.

Deep sigh.

Juggling With Glass Bottles

Do you ever feel like you’ve got something safely in hand, only to realize that something else of equal importance is hurtling towards the ground? What else can you do but toss the first one back in the air and start juggling? That’s pretty much my life pattern, except now I can only use one hand because the other is busy holding onto the baby!

I am not the best housekeeper even under normal circumstances. I’ve come up with a pretty decent system for getting meals on the table more often, but when it comes to doing the same for cleaning and chores, well, that bottle hits the ground a lot. My husband is much tidier than I am, which is great, and I totally appreciate how much he pitches in. But I still feel like I need to get better at keeping up with the keeping up.

Anybody have a good system you want to share?

I Get By With A Little Help

I appreciate my friends every day, but sometimes they really knock it out of the park. Like yesterday, when my friends at work surprised me with the baby shower they had planned for the summer before PJ decided to be a spring baby!

It couldn’t have come on a better day as I was up to my ears in vendors who decided I needed some misery in my life. One double-billed me for a shipment that they lost a week ago and won’t replace until it’s been MIA for more than 10 business days – even though they admit they lost it on day 2. And another that apparently employs at least a dozen people who do nothing but come up with more hoops to try to make me jump through for the exalted privilege of paying them buckets of money every month.

So, a surprise baby shower in the middle of all of this was a really great change of pace!

And then today, I got to spend time catching up with my good friend Danielle, who happens to also be my next door neighbor. I’ve been missing our gym dates so it was great to get to chat over tea today – and she helped me do PJ’s first photos with my good camera! I can’t wait to do the editing on them 🙂

Here’s your sneak preview of our session:

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That’s Peter Pan in the front there, PJ was chatting away to him!

It’s Waahnesday Already?

I had a happy, peppy post planned for today, but it would be a total lie to post it, so we’re winging it instead.

I am tired. Up every half hour all night tired. Ready for bed but need to keep myself and a tired, crying baby awake for another hour so he sleeps through the night tired. Financial stress from being off work for months tired.
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Work It, Mama

While I was home this summer, I heard two questions over and over again. I’ve already answered the first one here, about how I ended up going out for maternity leave so early. Paul got asked that one too, but not surprisingly he didn’t get asked this one: “Are you going back to work?” I get why people ask this, but I was pretty surprised by how many people seemed to assume that I would say no. Continue reading