2019-11-08 All Backstory and No Conclusion

This week I have disparate assignments. Comments from my mentor on my 3rd big packet of work came back and along with a ton of great feedback was a statement something like, “you’ve earned the right to have a blast with packet 4. Write what you want.” However, I’m still in class and getting those very specific prompts and instructions to write in a very specific way about the subject at hand. What’s a girl to do?

My answer is of course to split the difference. Half of what I write will be the freeform fluff that comes to my brain and the other half will be attempts at completing those pesky, yet quite reliably fruitful assignments.

One of the prompts was basically a repeat of the one earlier this semester where we were to return to the most painful moment of our life and write about it with a new lens. No thanks. Been there and done that and I’m not going back again. Not this time. Which leaves me with only one other prompt which was entirely new.

It’s a long one, but summing up, We’re supposed to put ourselves in a situation that is completely out of character, that We would normally never do, and then record all the results of the experiment. All the sensory input and reaction, other people as well as our own. Obvi it’s supposed to be something that makes us uncomfortable. After that, we take our notes and write some bad-ass poem. Yup. That about sums it up.

When I think about where I am this weekend, alone and left to my own devices, it’s like the universe is pushing me very strongly in a particular direction. I mean, I’ve got from now til Sunday afternoon free and clear for whatever I want to do. It’s ripe with possibilities. AND (and this is a big and deserving the all-caps) it’s also Barcamp weekend. Hold-up.. what??!

Rewind. Barcamp is a conference where a sizable group of people come together to listen to other people give mini-speeches and presentations about their passions— cool tech info, new entrepreneurial endeavors, interesting hobbies, ideas, just whatever. There is a focus track for tech and also those movers and shakers and makers, but there’s also a kitchen sink track which is open for any topic. That’s where I’m going to try and fit in.

Yes.. my plan is to speak at barcamp this year. The sign ups are day-of and you only need a ticket to get in, so very little planning in advance is required. That’s part of the appeal and also, for me, the sheer terror. Thinking too much in advance about it has caused me to chicken out in the past. But now.. I’ve got a prime directive and it’s perfect for my assignment.

Did I mention Public speaking terrifies me? It’s pretty common I guess. I heard once that most people are more afraid of public speaking than dying. Yeah.. that. To make matters worse, I’m not going in super prepared. I mean, I have a topic but it’s just going to be me up there talking. No PowerPoint presentation for distraction, no guaranteed plants in the audience to laugh at my jokes or ask pre-planned questions (The universe better save me if I run out of things to say and it falls into a Q and A!).

Good Gravy I’m starting to sweat just thinking about it. The thing I’m 100% certain of is that I can do it and I will not die. The best I can hope for is to not make a complete fool of myself and come away with some good starter material. The worst? That it will qualify more for that first prompt, the one about the most difficult moment of my life, than the second. 🤪

That’s it for today kids. The title said it.. all backstory and no conclusion. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that (as long as I don’t actually die).

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-20 No Risk, No Reward

I have a wonderful friend from back in the day.
I’m going to call her, Princess KK
Now Princess KK is smart, successful, and also quite funny.
She’s pretty and clever and lives somewhere not so sunny.

We don’t chat very often, in-fact, almost never
Because we are far apart and, of course, busy as ever
But when we do talk, she always has good advice
And when thinking about it, you don’t have to think twice.

One of her sayings is about getting more out of each day
Don’t be too content and let precious time slip away.
If you want to make the most of life and go very far.
Live by these words and aim for the stars!…

“No risk, No reward”

***

On Thursday I had a good (not great) conversation with my boss and I brought up several of the larger points which have been weighing on me in my current position. Workload and expectation were at the top of that list. My performance eval was another topic. Mixed into the detail of those were other items of concern around current projects but I did not go into really fine detail on any one subject.

He acknowledged what I was saying. He even elaborated on a few things about how the state of the company is different today or in the last couple years than it was just three or four years ago. One of the big differences is that the company is now thriving. There’s a healthy sales pipeline and revenue stream. Even five years ago, when they were staffing up for a large project there was still a lot of extra time to do process improvement and make positive and lasting changes. In more recent times, there is so much revenue work, that there is no time to do those other things (or even sometimes pause to take a breath).

He acknowledged what I was saying, but did not really have a solution. This, I knew going in. Of my four or five current projects, he offered to shift one to another resource, which would help a little, but also make me appear (once again) like I can’t handle what I’ve been given. It is true.. I can no longer handle it.

At the end of that conversation he asked me if there was anything else he could do for me and I said “Now that you mention it, yes there is”. I asked for two of the three things that I had decided would give me reason enough to not leave the company. I kind of glossed over the first thing, working from home more, because I already do that three days a week and I’m pretty sure if push came to shove, they could easily agree to this. I then requested a four month sabbatical. He asked when I was thinking, and I told him after I wrap my current projects up by the end of June and he did the calendar math to conclude that would be July through October. And then he wrote it down.

“I can’t make any promises”, he said, but agreed to take action on my request immediately.

He does not have the authority to grant me this, so it’s going to have to go to the top. It’s a small company and things turn on a dime very quickly and I have every reason to believe they would be able to make a decision on this in the next week, if not by Monday.

I left work shortly after that meeting and was feeling very positive about the future. No matter what the outcome is, things this year will be better for me than they have been and I am marching forward to the beat of Princess KK’s drum. No Risk, No Reward. No Risk, No Reward. No Risk, No Reward.

It’s Time to Collect,
~Miss SugarCookie