So Uncomfortable

If you ask me, I’m primarily a big-picture person. If the bills are getting paid and the inhabitants are happy and healthy, I don’t care a ton about how long it’s been since the house has been dusted. Despite being a former editor, for the most part, if I understand what you mean, I try not to correct your grammar unless (a) you’ve asked me to (it happens, I swear it does) or (b) I think it damages how you come off.

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Catch 22, Again

One of my responsibilities is to maintain a membership. This membership requires us to adhere to certain requirements. When I’ve brought them to my (now former) boss’s attention, she has said “I don’t want to do that.” Which is fine. She outranks me and it’s her decision. But I basically have to say that we’re in compliance with something I know we’re not in compliance with. I’ve told her what the consequences of being non-compliant are, and she feels like she’s willing to risk it. Continue reading


I took a personality test, this morning, in the wake of the navel-gazing I’ve been doing recently. I scored high on measures of complexity, sensitivity, and anxiety, and low on orderliness, gregariousness, and friendliness. In other areas, parts of my personality don’t work together in the way that the test predicts. For example, my high scores in dutifulness would predict I’d like a really structured work environment. My low score on orderliness predicts that I would like an unstructured work environment. There’s truth to both. I want order in terms of what my goals are, and I want you to leave me alone about things less central to whether the work is being done. The number of knicknacks on my desk really shouldn’t be a factor in my overall success.

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I’m doing a video course through Brene Brown’s platform, and one of the activities yesterday was to go to Kristin Neff’s site on Self Compassion and take the assessment. The thing that really stood out for me was that I scored nearly as high as I could on the metric of isolation, which is, in her frame, how alone I feel in my self-criticism. I was actually alarmed at my scores in this area. She has some great advice about other areas of self-compassion (how to improve the positive metrics and reduce the negative ones), but doesn’t talk a lot about how to address isolation.

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Your Office Is So Pretty!

Pretty near the top of things I never thought I’d hear someone say is how pretty my office is. I’m kind of no nonsense about things like my office. Don’t get me wrong— I like tchotchkes and personal touches at least as much as anyone, but I feel like time spent filing is not particularly productive, and I’m not neat freak enough to dedicate time before or after time I have to be productive to stashing paper, so my work area tends to be cluttered. I worked for a woman who had a very pretty office, about 15 years ago. Lots of plants, a couple of little fountains. Very restful. I worried about my clutter compared to her Zen space, briefly, but then started hearing from coworkers that they felt like there was a connection between the perfect order of her office and the comparatively small amount of work that came out of her office. So I stopped worrying about it.

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Because We Didn’t Know What to Do with It

The project that has been making my professional life hard is nearing its end. But don’t worry, we’re going back in and complicating the next couple of products, just for good measure. We’re trying to get it out the door. I had a call, this morning, with someone who is theoretically supporting the project, but who secretly enjoys watching me struggle with it.

“Tell me again what this project was, why you’re changing it, and what you want it to be?”

“Well, it’s an online course, it’s been in place for 8 years without a major change and…”

“But why change it now?” Continue reading