12.07.13

New York reflections

This is an old photo from June last year, somewhere in Manhattan, I think.

The point being: I’m about to head off for about a week or so, including travel time (!) from Sydney to NYC, which is a long way to go for such a brief time but that’s just what it is.

I hope to be posting to Instagram while I’m away… if you feel so inclined.

See you soon. Don’t go changin’!

03.07.13

lovin' the orchidsWe’re getting toward the pointy end of things with something at the office… so forgive me if all I can manage at this time is a gratuitous shot (or two) of my favourite flowers. It was a toss-up between these orchids and something I ate last Saturday at my favourite restaurant. I thought most people would prefer this. Maybe I’ll post the fish dish tomorrow. Ha.

Seriously, I love the perfection of orchids. If only life could be as vibrant, fresh and lush all the time. But no, for most of us, it’s something like once or twice a year, only when we’re on holidays. Most of the time, it’s more likely a case of feeling sub-par, sleep-deprived, a lot less than awesome.

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Listening: Changing The Timeline by The Laurels*

*I’ve just noticed that the band is playing locally on 20 July. I must get back from New York City in time for this. I must-!

07.05.13

reflected

I’ve been watching a building opposite my workplace go up for the last year and a half, maybe longer. Slowly, it’s been becoming more than just a steel and glass shell. There are plants on both terraces now, and I see that there are partitions being installed and the furniture has begun to dot the otherwise empty floor spaces.

Some days, I’ve arrived in the morning to find the roads around the building blocked off and massive steel cables stretching from all corners of the building and seemingly giant things being hoisted upwards.

I wonder how much longer. How many tenants will move in? Will the Lord Mayor or some other dignitary turn up to officially open the building? And I wonder if anyone has died on the worksite.

I’m not sure that’s a natural/normal train of thought, but whenever I see a young lad walking out of the site in his blazingly orange construction gear and hard hat, I have to stop myself from saying “Be careful today.”

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Listening: Higher Than The Sun by Peace

05.04.13

fifty shades of grey?

For a short week, it’s been extremely trying – it’s felt extremely long. Being M.I.A. was totally  unplanned, of course. I wish I could say that life got in the way, but alas, it was the usual. My boss thinks I am a workaholic. He’s mistaken me for someone else, but at the time he said it I was so shocked, all I managed was a snort when what I should’ve done was correct him on the spot. Now I keep waiting for the opportunity to prove that I’m not.

The literal ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ weather of the last day or so has left me with a serious feeling of wanderlust. I want to go somewhere that is on the brink of summer, or at least flirting with it semi-seriously… or at a minimum, somewhere that holds on to summer for a bit longer than Sydney.

anywhere but here

Listening: Heroes by David Bowie

21.03.13

festive lanterns

I really wanted to post something about an hour ago, but various factors conspired against me – I.T. issues mainly, first work-related, now seemingly WordPress website-related (I’ve had to resort to using the iPad app) – that I’m now over it.

Even these bright festive lanterns I snapped in Chinatown earlier can’t shake my black mood. (I’m really annoyed with the work I.T. issue, frankly. I was seriously considering heading back to the office an hour ago, it was about 20:15, but I realised how ridiculous that was. But it means I can’t deliver something until the morning, and I know I’ll get grief about it. So I suppose now is the appropriate time to remind myself that in years to come, when I’m on my deathbed, I won’t be fretting about how I should’ve got myself bent out of shape about work stuff over which I had no control. Right?!)

 

09.03.13

ASX building

I ended up finishing Friday and the week late at the office, as expected, but for something else entirely unexpected. At just after 7pm, a colleague and I were hoofing it back to the office from the print shop (because both ‘big’ printers at the office had chosen to break down a couple of hours earlier) when a fire truck sped past, squealing and flashing. “I hope that’s not for our building!” my colleague said.

It was for our building. There we were with our box of emergency printing, now stuck downstairs because the lifts were now inoperative while the fire crew attended to whatever the emergency was – not that one could tell, because there was no smoke, nor fire, nor a cat stuck up a tree or dangling out the window.

Thankfully it wasn’t for too long, but these things – entirely out of one’s control – add time to already lengthy days (and the printing was a minor non-issue, actually), and there’s nothing else to be done but smile and look on the bright side, cancel dinner plans, make apologies to others, and make promises to oneself to have a good weekend…

…Until someone arrives at your desk and says that thing for which you thought you’d be devoting your Friday night but which was hijacked by equipment failure is still needed before Monday. Here we go, here we don’t. Saturday, maybe next time.

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This is not a complaint, by the way. I’m just saying how it is. I’m not fishing for sympathy. I’ve actually decided those who don’t work in the industry find it difficult to fathom Why. Even my bestie doesn’t get it (he’s constantly sending me texts: “You need a new job!” No I don’t. He’s looking for a new job and perhaps projecting his issue on to me. So I just press DELETE. Sorry, Bestie!) I realised recently, chatting to someone who asked about my work hours that my typical work day is a long day to most people. Actually, I’ve known that for a while. ‘9 to 5’ is a movie (and a song), not [my] reality. And I’m OK with that.

06.03.13

concrete cage

Cripes! Here we are at the end of Hump Day, and I’ve been absent…

It’s been one of those weeks, I fear. I’ve been stuck in the office from arrival to departure, with no time to get out during the day and at night, I’ve been beat – quick dinner, bed a short time later, falling asleep with the iPad in my hand.

I knew this week would be thus, and in truth, it’s actually gone better than I expected. It’s not been brain-bustingly stressful, more like relentless in the I-need-a-few-more-hours-a-day sort of way, if you get my gist.

I trust everyone’s week has been tolerable, if not fanfreakingtastic.

24.01.13

bw buildingIt hasn’t been a tempest of a week… besides the 8pm finish on Monday, things have actually been pretty Regular. Nothing out of the ordinary, no over-and-above the call of duty stuff.

But, I haven’t really been here. My brain, I mean, I think it was last seen Sunday night, headed West.

At the office, I’m feigning interest. Can I even be bothered to pretend today?

07.01.13

Waiting for BaconFirst day back at work today. What’s my point, you may ask? No point really, except to say that I went to the Francis Bacon exhibition yesterday with friends and someone asked me what I did for work, and I said, “I work in an office… It’s really boring.” (And then I had to explain what exactly the company I work for does because no one ever knows. It’s one of those industries that seems frequently and consistently shrouded in myths and misconceptions, especially to people who know little to nothing about it.)

Besides thinking that it would be so much easier if I could just say, “bank” or “accounting firm”, I also sometimes catch myself wishing I worked in a creative industry rather than the the one I’m in now and so, I guess, by default that means it’s dull.

Oh, wait! I do have a point, actually. If you haven’t yet seen the Francis Bacon exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, and you like paint on canvas, then go. If nothing else, it will leave you with a sense of relief at how easy and vanilla -maybe even dull- your own life is. Hallelujah!

04.01.13

matte goldStill feeling a tad ‘festive’ despite having to pop into the office again today.

I wonder if anyone would notice if I turned up in my gold get-up (Hello, butterfly!) for our official return to work on Monday. I think it would go a long way towards keeping my mood cheerful. Corporate attire sucks, especially in summer.

03.01.13

digits

I’m back to work on Monday, but I spent a few hours at the office today.

Finally tackled the monster inbox: filed almost 650 emails down to 78. Sorted through, discarded, stacks of paper which I’d been accumulating because I don’t like throwing out paper/stuff that I’ve worked on/versions of documents – just in case I need them. It’s terrible, I know. I need to get out of that habit.

After I was done, I could actually see C L E A R  S P A C E on my desk. Hadn’t had that for a while.

Uncluttered: it’s such a great feeling.

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Post-script: Just came across this article. Scroll to the last question/answer. “You can delete anything 21 days and older, and it won’t matter.” I wish that were true. Well, it definitely doesn’t work for me, I’m constantly having to refer to old emails, interrogate the ‘history’ or background, in my job. Hence the filing.

19.12.12

bondage

Things are moving in a different direction now. What I thought we would be doing next year is now looking less likely.

But then again, I don’t know.

No rest for the wicked…

(My work keyboard is disgusting! I should’ve taken a photo of the Mac’s keyboard instead; it’s pristine.)

22.11.12

You know that saying about forgetfulness where people look sorry for you and murmur, “Tsk, if your head wasn’t screwed on…!”? That was me from last Friday through to Tuesday. The forgetfulness plague began on Friday morning with me returning to the apartment to pick up something I’d forgotten but still forgetting it anyway. Leaving my mobile phone behind (in restaurants mostly) three times in three days. Having to set myself timed reminders for everything from trivial to important – the critical items were things no one in her right mind would’ve forgotten – but there you have it: I was not in my right mind.

The 3.5 day-event we had been planning since the start of the year was finally upon us, and the lead-up was full of the usual stresses, sleep deprivation, long days of not having enough time no matter how early you started or ended your day, sleep deprivation, fretting about things I really couldn’t care less about in ‘normal’ life and passing that on by being an almost-unreasonable client, sleep deprivation, people needing/wanting more more more, sleep deprivation, last minute confirmations/cancellations/changes with no regard to cost or complexity, sleep deprivation, waking with a racing heart in a hot sweat literally drenched and having to throw the sheets off for fear of suffocation, sleep deprivation, the video-filming exercise (27 in total) on the side, sleep deprivation, the new website launch to synch with the event, sleep deprivation… (They do this to spies, enemies of the state, prisoners of war, don’t they?)

It’s over now. And it was judged generally to be a success by the firm and our delegates. Many told me the event organisation was the best it had been for years. I hope I don’t forget this feeling of having contributed to something excellent, winning and significant.

(I really wanted to post yesterday because it was 21.11.12 -palindrome nerd alert!- but I wasn’t able to think beyond dinner and falling asleep on the sofa.)

13.11.12

You may not be seeing me – or rather, seeing any posts from me – in the next week or so. Work’s a little on the all-consuming side right now, and I have the firm’s annual meeting on my hands, with this year’s gathering being more important than they have been for a while. So it’s all hands on deck, feet paddling frantically beneath the surface, head-down-bum-up, and nose to grindstone. More clichés and body parts than you can poke a stick at!

See you soon!

08.11.12

At the convenience store the other night… When I went to pay for my soy milk or whatever it was, the guy at the counter said, “Finished work already? You’re early! “

Oh man. The 7-11 guy has noticed that I’m only ever done after dark?

27.10.12

I almost didn’t post this for two reasons: one, it’s embarrassingly trivial (even more so than all my other trivial posts) and two, the photo almost gave away a bit more information than I would like. But I found a way around it with some editing and the help of a handful of stars.

Anyway, see that glass bottle in the pic? I kept the bottle long after drinking the contents – good ole H2O – because I liked its stout, simple shape, and the fonts used. (Yes, I will admit to being a typography geek now, and happily point you in the direction of the bottle in its full glory here.) And when I say “long after”, I mean that a colleague gave it to me some time in 2005. I’ve carted that bottle from one workplace to another and back again, refilling it each morning, sometimes twice each day. Last year, when I returned to my current workplace after three-and-a-half years somewhere else, my colleague saw the bottle and we had a laugh about the old days. He and I had started working at the firm around the same time, the office was much smaller then, and we spent many evenings chatting about various things that we found amusing about our colleagues (now we just find them annoying – or maybe it’s just me who finds them annoying?)

Yesterday morning when I arrived at the office, the bottle was gone. The cleaner must’ve thought it was just an ’empty’ and chucked it out. And the annoying thing about it was that she’d left behind a plate with some crumbs on it – but my bottle! How could she have taken my bottle?!?

You’re probably thinking I’ve lost my marbles to be vexing over a silly bottle, so I’d better explain myself quick-smart. Earlier this week, I found out that the colleague who had given me the bottle is being managed out. I just happened to notice that he was in a meeting with two partners on Monday, and it didn’t look like ‘just a catch-up’ type meeting. Call me cynical, but I always assume the worst when I see anyone in a partner’s office. I had a sinking feeling which wasn’t helped the next day when I asked how he was, and he deflected the question with a comment about something else altogether. The next day, my boss told me ‘in confidence’ what I already knew. (He seemed surprised that I’d figured it out, but honestly, anyone with two brain cells would’ve assumed the same. Management can be very naive sometimes, in my humble opinion!)

So, now you see… I’m upset about my colleague and I can’t even tell him I know his news and how sorry I am about it all, so I’m fixating on the bottle he gave me all those years ago. I know I could just go out and buy another one, but it’s not the same.

My desk was simply not the same yesterday, and soon the office won’t be the same either when my colleague goes.

23.10.12

For the next four weeks, I’m All Work & No Play, Makes Me A Dull Girl, So The Hell What?

A noteworthy mention: passing comment made by the boss this evening – “You could probably do with an assistant*.”

But now, in the meantime, good night.

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* Let’s see about that, shall we?

17.10.12

I’ve been working on a project at the office which involves working with a media company to produce a suite of ten video case studies. From the get-go, the producer spelled out exactly what he needed from our team in terms of pre-filming-requisites, of which one was to provide the questions for the off-camera interviewer/director as well as the expected responses so that the crew could be sure that they were capturing the necessary information on the day.

For weeks, therefore, yours truly has been requesting questions and answers to pass on to the producer. At first I thought my colleagues were being their usual time-poor “I’ll get it to you tomorrow, I promise!” selves.  After a while the questions came through, but the answers were still lacking. When asked, the reply was, “You’ll be fine, don’t think you need the answers. Just tell that to the producer – we’ll be alright.” The producer expressed his concern: “We’ve read the questions… need some clarity on some of the terms used. Are you absolutely sure we can’t get the answers in advance? We’re really concerned we won’t get what we need on the day.”

Yesterday, the first shoot on the schedule took place. Afterward, one of my colleagues emailed the team to share learnings from the experience. One of the points mentioned was “Must prepare/provide answers for the questions well before the day.”

Wow. That has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it?

I reached over and fished out the pieces of the broken record that I’d flung into the bin days ago and glued them together. Then I did a dance around the room and shouted “TOLDYOUSO!” several times to no one in particular.

No. Of course I didn’t.

The problem with working with a bunch of guys who think they are the smartest people they know, and who are used to getting their own way all the time, is that they have no hesitation in telling others (who are simply trying to guide them in what they know best) how to suck eggs. But sometimes, they end up with just a bit of scrambled goo on their faces.

09.10.12

Hurray for leaving the office while it was still light out. (First time in weeks.)

Yet another reason to cheer for daylight saving.

Truly, it is the simple things.

27.09.12

I need a burst of something bright this morning. (I promise, the colour wasn’t photoshopped, nor did I use a flash with these beautiful specimens.)

Received a mild remonstration from the Hub when I returned from my treadmill session this morning for waking up “in the middle of the night” to exercise. It was 5:30! Hardly the middle of the night.

It’s been an immensely long and challenging week. I had dinner with a cousin and her son on Tuesday – they were visiting from Perth – and was explaining that of late, 12-hour days have been the norm. “But you like your job, don’t you?” she asked, “I suppose that makes it tolerable.”

I said yes, but after yesterday I really wasn’t too sure any more.

…But my point is, if I don’t get up at 5:30 to fit in the exercise, it’s hard to find any other time in the day. I think it’s the norm for lots of us.

But the good news is: it’s almost the long weekend.

20.09.12

I have this fantasy.

I go to work at 9am, I take an hour for lunch, and I leave at 5pm on the dot. Sometimes, I even leave 10 minutes before 5pm. Especially on Fridays.

Yes, well, I did say ‘fantasy’.

That’s all.

19.09.12

The seed of an idea: let’s take a year off, said the Hub last weekend. We could spend six months in South America, six months in Europe and six months in Asia. That’s a year-and-a-half! Well, let’s take a year-and-a-half off! …We couldn’t possibly. (Could we?)

Now I can’t stop thinking about this.

09.09.12

I spent five hours at the office yesterday. Instead of feeling like I had wasted my Saturday (and forgetting to have lunch), I felt awesome afterward. My inbox is now down to about 100 emails (from over 400). Rejoice! I feel in control again. It was actually awesome to be able to think and do in a quiet office without the usual racket of the open plan. I virtually skipped home feeling light as a feather.

And then the night. It was awesome-r still! Good music, good company, good food, good drink. I got home at about a quarter to 3am, and this morning: No Hangover. And I haven’t lost my voice from all the shout-singing.

Ah, this is what it is to be full of the joys of Spring!

(This post was brought to you by the word ‘awesome‘.)