Tuesday, November 28, 2006
This here recent Thanksgiving arrived with a few unexpected adventures. We normally don't do much for this holiday, but were given the opportunity to visit family so we took it. I won't be back to work until Thursday. This is the only time off I'm going to get for about a year, so we figured we'd make the best of it.
And by best of it, I mean going out into the public world and apparently provoking the suspicion of one heavily accented grandma with a baby stroller.
You know how some brain disorders are associated with hypergraphia? Or at least I think I read that somewhere... Well, whatever disorder I have comes with a mean case of hyperphotographia. As long as I can remember, I've had a love of photography. My father had his own darkroom before I was even born, and one of my great aunts was so very good at it. There's even a photo club in Washington that has a memorial award in her name issued every year. I suppose it's run in my family - although the being good at it part took a left turn and never arrived at ME. Which is why I can't understand why I'm so fascinated with something I'm clearly not able to do in a way that justifies putting myself in the cross-hairs of public ire.
Today I went down to Balboa Island. It's a huge tourist attraction in the summer. This now being winter, and a week day - I could hardly get the camera charged up fast enough to get down there and wander around. I figured the Fun Zone would give off an interesting vacant carnival type vibe since it is winter.
There were other people there, but nothing like the jam packed streets of summer. I purposely stayed out of the residential areas on the island. There were some great photo opportunities, but I had to let them go. I didn't want to freak anyone out by taking pictures of their house.
I began taking pictures almost immediately upon feeding a parking meeter at the Fun Zone. I noticed an older lady with a baby stroller behind me. Feeling like I was in her path, I turned around and headed the other direction on the street. I crossed and started to enter the Fun Zone from a different angle. Whenever possible, especially when children are involved, I try to stay out of someone's way. That's all I was doing.
I noticed that baby stroller lady was about 30 feet behind me. I thought "That's weird, I totally would have thought she was going in on the other entrance....ooooh, look, carousel!" I found the Ferris Wheel, the car ferry, etc. Every time I looked behind me, there was baby stroller lady. I started to think to myself "I swear she's following me. WHY?", but decided she was probably NOT doing that - since who would follow me in the first place, and who would follow me with an infant in tow? It just didn't make any sense.
(Blogger isn't letting me upload pictures, so I guess I try to make links)
As I stopped to change a lens, she was off to the side of me. I looked up and smiled at her. She grabbed her baby stroller and began to finally roll past me. She paused, looked right at me and half said half angry voice addressed me "Yoh lllruhn alllround taking LOOOTS of pictures. Ihhheets reallly rehallly WEEEIRD! Boot, I shuphose....whutevah...." and she waved her hands around at me. All I could reply in that moment was "I'm just practicing with my camera." I was stunned that she was actually following me, and that she was irritated with me. "OOOOH, I DOOH NOOOT CHINK SO!" she yelled back at me and finally went on her way.
As she continued down the path away from me, I tried to take a picture of her. Both to annoy her, and to prove to me that I had actually been followed and accused of .... something... by some crazy lady with a stroller. I, unfortunately, had the fisheye lense on and my white balance was set for sunny, not shade. So her picture isn't all that clear. And it's only the back of her.
And what kills me is that I understand people asking me what I'm doing. I get that in today's world, one has to question people and what they are doing if it concerns them. I don't mind if they politely ask, because I'll politely respond. When attacked like this, I just sit in my truck afterwards and say things to nobody like "Oh yeah? Well if I bother you so much, why don't you call the police? What's that? Oh yeah, because what I'm doing is NOT ILLEGAL."
There was a group of 3 college age looking kids down there doing the exact same thing I was. They had cameras and lenses galore. Baby stroller lady didn't seem to have a problem with them in the least.
I was wandering behind some of the businesses, and in the alley I saw this:
The instant I took that, a car pulled up behind me and a man rolled down his window. He asked "Are you a spy?" I said "No, I'm just practicing with my camera." He said "OH, I thought you were the FBI or something" and then he drove away. I'm positive he was just being cautious - trying to find out what the hell I thought I was doing. But if I'm a spy, I don't know it. And I'm the worst one ever. Who can resist photgraphing a bright yellowgreen house in an alleyway? I'm pretty sure spies are trained to resist.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Ok, so here's where I get to tell on myself. Run down all the ways I was feeling a little like a square peg destined for a round hole. I can say that after completing 2 weeks, I feel a thousand times better than I did on day one.
On day one, I was completely tazered. I had been given reference materials for the 6 hours of training my head decided to block completely due to terror, but they were 3 inches thick. You would think the occupation of law would allow for searching through reference material - but you would be wrong. Secretaries are expected to just KNOW. No attorney wants to see you raise your hand in that "wait a second please?" gesture while they are busy machine gun assigning things for you to do TODAY.
I have to admit that nobody at my new place really expected me to know firm policy inside and out on even my 6th day there - but that is me. Always taking a nugget of doom and making it my own asteroid. I also have this wonderful ability to absorb my prior surroundings and take it with me. Like these examples:
At my old job, we were encouraged to send every copy job to "staff services" (the copy room), no matter how small it was. That's all well and good when your office only takes up two floors. This week when I sent a series of small copy jobs down to staff services, I got a personal visit from one of the people in the department. "Here are your copy jobs. Um, these jobs are REALLY simple. Didn't anyone show you how to use the copier up here?" OOOOOOOH! I'm actually encouraged to make my own copies!! "Yes" I said "but I'm new. Please don't poison me." There you have an example of nervous utterance from me. How this person could poison me? Makes no sense but hey - I suppose they will have to learn about me sooner or later?
At my old job, when printing a document we had to sortof guess when other people were printing and then stick letterhead or labels in the printer at the right time. Hoping we guessed right. At the new job, apparently the printers are programmed to pick your paper for you out of 4 possible bins. So when I sent a letter to the printer and then walked over to get it - I was upset to see that a letter was already laying in the printer. It was mine, but it was on letterhead and I had just wanted a draft. I immediately assumed I had printed on someone else's letterhead. So I said out loud "whoops, I just printed on someone's letterhead....sorry." Yeah, everyone just gave me the "what ARE you talking about" face.
The loos. The loos at my old job had automated EVERYTHING. Flusing, sinks and soap dispensers. The ones at the new place? NO AUTO ANYTHING. Ok, that's fine. After a lot of "ohmygosh...did I flush?" and running back to make sure, I'm getting that habit back again. But the worst part of the new loos? They have hand lotion dispensers. Guess who thought they were the soap dispensers? Guess who thought that until one lady who works on her floor said "ahem, that is the lotion dispenser and it's been empty all day." because I was frantically trying to get something out of it - needing soap to wash my hands.
Mr. Zoom had told me all about the super stocked kitchens on every floor. He mentioned that every pain releiver, every cold remedy, every antacid was available for use while on the job. One day I had a headache and went in the kitchen in search of rumored mediciney goodness. I could NOT find anything like that. So I sent an e-mail to Mr. Zoom asking about where I could find it. He brought up (from 7 floors away) some aspirin for me and then wandered into our floor's kitchen (which just happens to be two cubes away from where I sit.) I then heard "ZOOM, your first aid box is RIGHT HERE!" I got up and said "where?" He pointed to the GIGANTIC first aid box nailed to the wall, at eyeball level, right as you enter the kitchen. "OOOOOOH" I said. "I didn't know we were allowed to open and use that?! I thought that was for ... fires, or earthquakes and stuff."
And my best performance the first week - I interoffice mailed a document to someone just 2 cubes away from me. At least she sits around the corner from me, and it's not like I have to look at her akk day and realize I made myself look like an incredibly lazy princess to her and a few other people. But I do have to pass her on the way in and out every day. And she's ALWAYS at her desk.
So there it is. 2 weeks down and I'm not fired yet. I really do feel pretty comfortable there now all things considered. And next week is short due to Thanksgiving. Which scares me a little bit because I keep having those high school, can't remember my locker combination dreams - only it involves passwords to the computer programs. At least I'm not to the "at work nekkid" ones yet.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I had completely forgotten how difficult it is to learn a new job. It's basically the exact same job I just left as far as tasks. The exhausting part is learning how this particular firm accomplishes those tasks. The amount of information - the passcodes alone - that I have to now remember is astounding (to me.) I've got stickie notes in places they were never meant to be.
Mr. Zoom is there, thank goodness. I don't get to see him during the day since he's on a different floor. At some point there will probably be something his department will handle for mine, but what he does daily is so far removed from what I do daily, that it will be easy to maintain our distance at the office.
It forces me to reach out a little bit to co-workers [strangers] that I'd normally avoid while hoping I could "figure it out" on my own. I still do try and figure things out on my own, but I'm not as hesitant to seek someone's assistance if I've got the one person who loves me no matter what just 6 floors away if I need him. Im sure that makes zero sense to normal people.
I won't be able to check in on you guys or even update until I feel like I'm starting to "get it" at the office. Even after work I've been able to do little more than hoover some dinner down and then fall into bed. Apparently I can not be made so tired that I can not eat.
Everyone keep writing and have a good November.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
That translates to me forgetting just about everyone's day. I like to give anything I find for someone right away instead of waiting for a special day anyway. Part of that is because I simply can't hold on to something I've found for someone for very long. I feel like I will explode if I don't get it to them right away.
Today is our official first wedding anniversary. And I guarantee you that I wouldn't even have known to write happy anniversary to Mr. Zoom in any kind of big deal way - except for my parents. Those who birthed me are quite insane. I've already apologized to Mr. Zoom.
He came home one night while I was at the gym and this is what I heard on my cell phone: "Um...there are large....LARGE packages here at the house. Only they aren't packages... really. They are trash bags. But it doesn't appear to be trash. I think it might be something from your parents."
Indeed, it was.
It came with a card explaining that this is our one year anniversary, which means paper.
And we will be using all of it. Although both of us are a tad disturbed at the Nesting Boxes. They are Christmas themed, and for some reason scare us as a clown doll would if it were sitting in our house staring at us.
"Are we a household or an institution? My guess is both."
My FAMom also provide me with a bag of leftover Halloween candy. I was amused and afraid for her when I got it home and realized she had made individual baggies of candy for her visitors:
Witness two bags she prepared. Each has exactly the identical contents. She's not about to let any little greedy child try and fool her into thinking they deserve a second helping - since all of her offerings are full of thought and fairness. Fairness you CAN.NOT.ARGUE. I love my mom, but she's always looking at a situation as having a potential problem attached to it. And she loves nothing more than beating you to the solution to it. Whether a real problem exists or not.
When I came home with these I told Mr. Zoom "Uh, you want to take this to the office with you? Warning though, my mom individually baggieized the candy."
Now, where am I going to store 30 rolls of toilet paper?
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I went to visit my parents tonight. The first thing my Dad said to my FAMom was "Let's show her the canned pudding!" I know my Dad well enough to freeze upon hearing this set up and say "Why, whatever do you mean?" And I was just a litte curious as to what they had "discovered" this week. They are getting to that age where I have to act like discoveries they make are extraordinary. Act like that e-mail warning hoax they have forwarded isn't all bullshit, but an incredibly helpful - no - lifesaving document. Stuff like that.
He eagerly went to his office and returned with a can of Spotted Dick. I made the requisite "Aww geeze, that's silly" talk and handed the can back to him. All the while thinking "Gad, I've read up on that dish, and can't understand why anyone would eat it, much less can it. I wonder how canning it goes over with people who actually eat that stuff?"
He explained the history of Spotted Dick and how a friend had bought it for him at a British store out here somewhere. FAMom and Dad could not get over themselves. They kept giggling and passing the can around.
I would have taken pictures, but I had left my purse in the car since this was to be a short visit.
When I got up to leave, my Dad said "Mom of Zoom....shall we have some Spotted Dick now?" That sent them on a giggle fest that I'm not sure isn't continuing even now. 3 hours later. I love that they still laugh at potty humor.
After all, I managed to break out into uncontrollable laughter today when I told the managing partner "Your package is large and organized." This is an example of how I talk, but not all of the important information is out loud. Listening to me is literally like trying to listen to the speaking version of one of those bots or programs that spews that jibber jabber in spam e-mails.
What I was trying to say to him was "Your documents for the hearing tomorrow are organized by motion, opposition and reply - And there are 4 motions being heard tomorrow instead of just one."
Thank goodness he either knew what I meant by the crazy speak, or he simply wanted away from me as soon as possible. Because he just kept on walking after my statement. It is really going to be difficult to train a whole new office in Zoomspeak. Without my getting fired first.