Sunday, April 21, 2013

Workforce: The Force of Work

Tomorrow I go for day one of a workforce conference here in Orlando, down at a giant Disney resort hotel.  I've never been to a conference before and I'm a little nervous, as though there'll be a quiz at the end or something.

Being my own department, I'm going by myself.  I plan to bring an umbrella, directions, a printed itinerary, tissues, a granola bar, cash, a notebook, pens, ibuprofen, lipstick, and my iPhone which serves as a camera, gaming console, Kindle, and social networking tool.  I will not bring any business cards, because I don't have any.  Until now I didn't think I needed any.  A month ago I went to a person (with whom I have yet to figure out an effective means of communication) to order them, was told it usually takes a week or two to get them back, but then they ended up not being ordered in time.   "I need them by April 22" was apparently not sufficiently clear.

I've decided that I won't lug around my ridiculously heavy company laptop, at least for the first day, although it would be super helpful to be able to use any downtime to at least check email and get a few things done.  I have literally hurt my shoulders carrying that thing, and I am positive there will be massive amounts of walking just to get from my car into the lobby and to the convention areas.  If I'm wrong, I'll be lugging it on Tuesday.

It looks like the conference will mostly be on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday with some kind of awards ceremony and closing stuff on Thursday morning.  They will also have a celebrity speaker about whom I care not at all, so I'm hoping I can skip the whole deal on Thursday.  All my work is just going to be piling up waiting for me, so the sooner I can get started on it, the better.  However they do have a "customer appreciation party" on Wednesday night at, holy crap, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Gads.  But it seems like such a tiring pain to drive to Universal and pay to park and do all that walking after having been at the convention hopefully learning all day.  But then I hear myself and I am appalled at my lameness.  Getting in free (well, "free" meaning included in the price of the convention) after the park closes would be kind of awesome.

I've been trying so hard to use this new job as a way to grow as a person.  A year ago I would have been terrified to think of the things I've been doing: training people, being in charge of meetings, hell, just being included in meetings with people who are intimidatingly higher up on the corporate ladder.  A year ago I was frantically looking for another job in the hopes of beating my impending layoff, I weighed 25 pounds more, I had no experience doing things I do now on a weekly basis and I was scared to try.  I'm learning to speak up more (or at all), I'm learning to be more assertive and not to obsess over every little thing that doesn't go perfectly.  I'm trying to learn not to take things personally, and to learn how to get along with the super aggressive sales people I work with as well as the awkward technical people.

But I'm just so stressed out by all of it. I step back and look at it from a bigger perspective, and that doesn't help at all.  I tell myself I'm doing great, which frankly is pretty true most of the time, and that doesn't help at all either.  I took a work at home day last week to stay out of the office and get some distance, and that helped a little.

I can't help but miss, sometimes, the days when I had just this side of nothing to do.  It didn't feel unreasonable at the time, but now when I remember days when I was just monitoring phone lines that were doing fine all on their own, and monitoring agents who were all doing what they were supposed to, and I had time to poot around on the internet and read blogs and exchange emails with friends and write blog entries, it just seems amazing.

All day long I look forward to coming home with my sweetie and having dinner and hanging out with cats and watching tv.  And then cuddling up in bed with my Kindle and a kitty or two.

To end this on a happy note, here's a pic of Greg's calf and Alabama looking adorable on our bed:
She's so zen.