Last night, work organised drinks for the staff to farewell a staff member who was leaving. These functions usually include the same group of people - or the same kinds of people. A select number of management and usually anyone who works directly with those managers.
I usually go, but I'm not really partial to going out and having drinks with people from work. The reason is because it goes against my idea of what a work environment is, or should be. I understanding getting to know the people you work with, but casual drinks and dinner is usually reserved for my friends and family and being realistic, these people will almost never be anything but workmates. So it sort of crosses my personal space barrier. It's inviting them into your personal time, or the life you have outside of work. I think because I don't find it genuine. People are there for the free drinks and food, and in the case of last night, it was more of a be-a-team-player kind of thing.
Anyways, last night was interesting. One of the upsides is that once everyone gets a few drinks into them, they start talking. About all the things they probably shouldn't talk about. Always fun.
We start talking about the company - naturally (what else do you have in common, really?). And we talk about management and the structure, the future of the company and our futures. We touch on the politics around certain staff members and management. As you do.
Anways, we start talking about one person in particular. And it seems this person is quite known for being somewhat, manipulative. What you would call, covert aggression, the smiling assassin. Usually a great person to be around, and most people would say they are great to work with. But they're clever, and they know how to use people to their advantage.
Now, I have to admit, this person has gotten me. A couple of times. I felt stupid, because I tend to read people quite well. I think I missed this one because, in the past I've known people who's tactics are to be covert aggressive rather than someone who's personality is covert aggressive. The first type, are without a doubt easy to spot. They're pretty genuine and then you see the red flags when they're being manipulative. They are usually nice people and they know when to switch back and forth. Calling them on the behaviour means you've won the game. You've pulled the cover off and they've been seen.
This person, this is they're personality. They are never, ever genuine. They are always playing. So, if you'd dopey like me, the laid back, kind, supportive nature is taken as just that. But no. It's all part of the game. The thing is, with people like this, you can never be sure. You feel that you've just been screwed, but can't quite put your finger on why. You've got no proof.
So anyways, someone admits, that they see this person doing it. And they saw it happen to me, and although I admit I was aware, there's this realisation or confirmation as you will.
So at the moment, having a good hard think on how I can get out of the game. I don't want to play it with them - they'll win for sure. They were born into it. They've had a lot of practice. So I want to figure out how to not be a part of it.
As always, my life is subtly complicated. Fun.
I am hanging out at work at the moment waiting until 6.30pm when there's a better chance the hellish traffic has subsided. The rain has arrived and it's very much feeling like a miserable winter's night and unfortunately, everyone wants to be on the road right (not sure why, because if I didn't have to be I wouldn't).
Can't think of anything to write at the moment, so I thought I might list what's surrounding me at the place I have called work for three years in a row:
1. Pin board filled with quotes, drawings, calendars, greeting cards I liked the look of, cryptic password reminders for various logins, photos, a schematic of our office drawn by my engineering boyfriend (to scale of course) done one day when he was in just hanging around waiting to drive us both home, various post-it notes with phone numbers and reminders, and my coundown to Hawaii.
2. Two carved elephants - both gifts.
4. Coffee cup from Starbucks in Shanghai.
6. A dozen or so pens, pencils, sharpies.
7. Two plates and a bowl.
8. Two phones (mobile and landline).
9. Orchids (recent gift from boy), purple in colour.
10. Stack of notepads.
11. Japanese wishing pot.
12. Half a dozen golf balls, divot tools and ball markers.
13. A dozen or so catalogues.
14. Sportswear International Magazine.
15. Various unused Pantone Chips.
16. Ipod Cable.
17. Hand cream.
19. Business Cards.
Hmmm. Messy. Better go check they haven't locked me in the building again.
Six weeks until Hawaii!
Because I tend to hear travel countdowns from everyone else on my Facebook.
I needed to get in on the action.
I am a bit bored at the moment and all I feel like doing is eating my way through the kitchen. I wanted to go shopping and get some things but a quick check of the bank account put a stop to that. Dammit.
Thinking of watching a movie, but I don't know which one. Something completely outrageous like the Spice Girls Movie might satisfy me but I'm not sure. Really feeling like ice cream at the moment.
Came home to flowers and a cooked dinner last night. I don't eat pork roast (I'm not a fan) however poor James hasn't had it in the whole 4 and a bit years we've been living together so he did it himself. Not bad, but the crackling was spot on - amazing. Of course, that's the bit I do eat, haha.
Ahh... I think I'm going to find some food.
The beautiful warm weather has disappeared today and it feels like a crisp Winter's day. Which means one thing - I'm closed up in the study with my little heater going. I like having feeling in my fingers and toes.
Today I am thinking about a couple of things.
Firstly, I am thinking about how great it would be to either a) have our own place or b) actually live somewhere that's suited to what we need. The house we're currently renting is, for lack of a better word, a dive. Small kitchen, small bathroom, limited options when re-arranging the furniture. Old carpets and paint make me feel like I could never feel at home here. We keep meaning to pack everything up and move, but it's just so much work - especially when you've moved so many times before, you're kind of over it all (hence the musings about getting out own place).
Secondly, I've come full circle to the job situation at the moment. I am feeling restless and wanting to expand. This comes from a couple of instances at work over the previous two days. First off, I become unbelievably frustrated when management decided to put their ears back on and listen to my repeated complaints about the backlog of work. Now, I must say here that at work, I'm not one to whine at management constantly. This is because a few months ago in a candid chat with my CEO, I discovered that he hates this. With a passion (as anyone would really). He likes solutions. If you have a complaint, offer the solution (or what you think would be best). So that's what I do. State the problem, then recommend the solution. It hasn't served me wrong yet. Except for this backlog of work. Over the past three or so weeks I have stated the following:
a) They have introduced a new service to our customers which takes up a lot of time.
b) This service, just happens to have a huge profit margin so it is clear, it's important to ensure it's done correctly.
c) To work effectively in ensuring the service is carried out (to ensure said profit) we must dedicate either time (and allow other, less important tasks to fall away or strictly prioritise) or people (and hire someone else).
My situation with the latter is that management need to step in. I unfortunately, have not been given the authority (and have been told I do not have the authority) to create a strict priority system (they seem to think I live in a bubble and keep completely unaware of what I do for work - but that's not to say I am not HIGHLY aware of what needs to be done and what doesn't). And with the extra pair of hands, they would hit the roof if I went out and hired someone off my own back.
So three weeks down the track I say in a flat mono tone, the same speech I have been saying all that time. And my CEO looks at me and says, "wow, we really need to dedicate some time to this (I already knew that). The profit margin on these things is huge (I already knew that too)."
It all boils down to me getting pissed off for the fact that they didn't listen to me to start with, or even pretend to. And they've realised three weeks too late that they should do something. And I'm driving home fuming that now, the backlog of work makes me look bad ('cause I sit on my hands all day it seems) and they'll be making a big deal of it all, as if it's something that's just jumped out and surprised them. And I know that they'll bring it up if ever my manager wants to screw me down on anything, like a pay increase and mention that I should have managed it properly, but forget that when I did I was told exactly "Meagan, that's not your concern, don't worry about that." (from management) and from other staff, "Meagan, they're meant to manage it, not you. That's why they're paid the big bucks. Don't stress yourself over it, just do your job."
I guess I can't complain. I'm still there, so it mustn't be that bad. Although I will say my resume and portfolio are all up to date and the Aquent rep's business card is burning a hole in my pocket.
Perhaps I have issues with authority? Not sure. I can't be one to turn up and be a faceless number in a giant organisation. Do your job, don't ask questions. Go home. End of story. Yuck. Worst nightmare.
One to think about I guess... "A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's not action, you haven't truly decided."
If I started telling people that I went to Los Angeles to see the Statue of Liberty, no doubt anyone within earshot would pull me up on how absolutely wrong the statement was in a heartbeat. Especially an American. I would be sneered at. Upon travelling there, I would of course realise that I was in the wrong city and state all together. It's not like the US is this small, obscure country. Duh, everyone knows where the Statue of Liberty is.
Today we received a promotional video from our US offices. The head designer for the company is being interviewed on his inspiration for a particular range. The range is titled "Bondi Beach". He talks about his travels through Australia and his visit to the beautiful (and famous) Bondi Beach... located on the Great Barrier Reef.
Sorry... what? Rewind. Where is Bondi located again?
He said the Great Barrier Reef. Was that a mistake? But he continues, about the beautiful contrast of the blues, golds, whites mixed with the fiery red of the corals.
Turns out this man has never been to Australia. He's just making it up. The images he pulls up are of course, Bondi Beach. But he couples them with pictures of the Great Barrier Reef. And talks about how they are one in the same. He would of course realise that he would have been in the wrong city and state all together. It's not like Australia is this small, obscure country. Has this man NEVER heard of GOOGLE?
It's not that big of a deal. Except for the fact now he (who most likely holds the title of Creative Director) has lost credibility with me, no one (other than the 22 million people in Australia) would probably pick up on it.
I think it's the laziness that pissed me off. Of course, the 1,292 km (or 800 miles for the US) in between the end of the Great Barrier Reef and Bondi doesn't count because some ignorant fool didn't do his research. And we're expected to sell their stuff to Australians. Not a chance. Actually, I'm going to make a deal of it because no doubt, they're going to look at us like we're crazy. Like it isn't a big deal (cause we're not really that important, hey?).
The other day I bought temporary tattoo paper. 5 A4 sheets for roughly $25. That means lots and lots of temporary tattoos.
I like to play around to see where I like the graphic, where it fits best and at what size, colour, etc. At the moment the winning position is on my rib, curved under my boob. You would never even know it was there unless you saw me nekkid (not going to happen), in my underwear (only if you're lucky) or in my bikini (I'll get back to you on that one). I know, it's a bit of a trendy spot to put it but it's fitting rather nicely. If I was a bit braver I'd post the photo I took (for reference). I've changed the orchid one all together - still orchids but something completely different.
Today I got my hands on the Aquent Orange Book *FIST PUMP* and so begins the task of piecing together my presentation about why I am worth what I am for what I do. I'm too tired to post much else, so I might save my ramblings for the weekend.
On the weekend, had a discussion with a good friend of mine. Both of us expressed an interest in visiting South America at some point in our lives. Volunteering and travelling to be exact, for a good period of time. 6 months perhaps? Said friend fed my excitement about planning said trip, confirming that it would be a cracker of an idea if we both plan together and go together. This was followed by a night of browsing Newtown second hand bookshops and coffee shops with conversation peppered with, "where shall we go?" "when do we go?" "what do we need to do first, second, third...?".
This, hopefully will be in 18 months time. I have pointed out that it's such a cracker of an idea, that if my friend decides not to come along (lack of funds or change in life direction) that I will be going anyway (however, I will be attempting to rope others into coming for parts of the trip, as travelling alone in South America, being female may not be a completely wise move).
I am sure I'll be pulled up about trying to make plans 18 months out. Silly things. You'll be green with envy as I am boarding a flight, all cashed up in January 2012. Things like this take lots of planning. And time. And right now, I have time. If I don't plan, the time will pass anyways, and I'll still be 18 months off any sort of trip. Might as well use it wisely?
Firstly. Must learn Spanish. Or start anyways.
Second. Savings plan. Easy as pie (lucky I'm good at this bit).
Third. Keep an eye on said friend and their savings plan and make sure they're as keen as I am and following through.
Today is officially the day I am excited about Hawaii.
No, excited isn't the word. Ecstatic? Jumping out of my skin? Nope, they don't do it justice either.
We had the main flights booked and paid for ages ago. But something in me just wasn't feeling the pending adventure, and I didn't know why.
It wasn't until today, when the travel lady sent through the full itinerary with the final cost that I got excited. Why? Because before it still felt like a long way away, and a lot of money away. It seemed daunting. As if it was all too good to be true and I'd eventually have to throw in the towel because it was too much money and I wouldn't be able to do it. It's as if someone said you could go somewhere exciting, but it's going to cost you half your yearly earnings. Your first thought isn't, "We'll, let's make this happen." Most instinctively think, "Oh well, count me out."
Well, that's how I felt at the beginning. But now looking at the final figure, which is already half way paid off it's becoming a reality. I'm going to get to go to Hawaii and not have to sell my first born son - and better yet, I think I won't be in any sort of pain for the next 12 months for going there. Bonus!
I've reverted back to a habit I had as a little kid. I grew up in northern NSW. The rest of the family lived in Victoria. Which meant through my childhood I spent a great deal of time in the back seat of the car. To be exact, it was a 14 hour one way trip. Yeah, it sucked.
Anyways, I used to get excited and plan out those hours with lists of what I was going to do, going to pack, etc, etc. That's what I did when I knew we were going somewhere.
Well, today after I calmed down a little, I ripped out a piece of paper and started writing down all the things I need to pack, divided into two main lists (flight and luggage) with sub lists of clothes, toiletries, entertainment and extra bits and pieces. It's a bit much - it's not for another 9 weeks, but judging how fast the first half of this year has gone, it's going to fly by.
I think now I have to buckle down and get the spending money sorted. Do I go for it and try and scrape up the cash (and be limited)? Or should I get up as much cash as possible + a small personal loan (which really, takes like 6 months to pay off like the last one I did) which means I can go full on and not worry?
The latter is looking more attractive. Only because it's a no stress, fun filled option.
Which means technically I haven't had lunch all in one block. *Sigh*
Busy day today, can you tell. About to start the second project out of the thousands I wanted to have completed today. I'm the only one in the office and it's feeling very full on in here.
Only a quick update, because by the time I get home I wont be bothered writing an update. Basically almost seconds away from confirming the holiday to Hawaii with Missy (YAY) which I am really, super excited about. However a little bit concerned that the savings fund is looking relatively low. Trying not to think about that just yet (seeing as I've only paid for flights).
Took a leap of faith and asked some questions at work regarding employment status, or in particular my job role - hopefully that will be changing soon into something a little more fulfilling (rather than trying to cram really important, value adding work with the stuff a junior with no experience could be doing).
On a brighter note, will be getting a junior in the office. Anyone want a job?