Tag Archives: Perspective

Meaningful Conversations - Self Reflection - Workplace

Work-Related Loves

The Loves of My Life…

In other cultures, there are multiple words for the various kinds of love that we experience. I am told that there is a word for romantic love that is different from the word for the love a parent has for a child, and another word altogether for loving an activity like eating or walking on the beach…

I could Google this and learn about it, but I think that it would be more fun if you, my blog readers, would write to me and tell me about your many loves.

I use the word “love” all the time!

I love my kids with such intensity that I can feel it in my bones. I love my house. I love my friends. I love pizza and french fries (I like a good salad but I don’t love salad). I love my husband so much that I refer to him as “A lover” in my contacts list on my cell phone.

AND I love my work!!

When I think of work, I think of anything we as humans do that is productive. If you are a student, that is your work. If you are caring for a loved one, that is your work. You may have two (or more!) jobs.

So, I love feeling productive. I love helping clients. I love being creative. I love my colleagues. And I have memories of things that I loved about previous jobs. I will share mine, if you share yours!

A project that I loved doing…what project did you love doing?

A work group that I loved being a part of…what work group did you love being a part of?

Something about my workspace that I loved…what is something about your workspace that you loved?

A technology that I loved…what technology did you love?

A favorite restaurant near work that I loved frequenting…what restaurant did you love near work?

A stretch assignment that hurt, but after the fact, I loved…what was your favorite stretch assignment?

A boss, or mentor I loved because of how he or she believed in me…what boss or mentor believed in you?

A colleague I loved…what colleague(s) have you loved?

A piece of clothing that I loved wearing to work…what article of clothing have you loved wearing to work?

I can’t wait to hear about your work-related loves. If you tell me yours, I will tell you mine!!

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Communication - Parents - Workplace

Here’s the Rub

It was winter break, and my son Jeffrey was ten years old. I was curled up on the couch with my computer and I let him in on a little secret: I was buying his dad, Bill, a massage table for his birthday in February. It was something Bill had coveted since we had started taking massage courses together. Jeffrey looked a little uncomfortable with this news, but when I asked him what was wrong, he sloughed me off. Since he wasn’t forthcoming, I just went ahead and pressed “place order” and didn’t give it another thought.

Two days later, a huge package showed up at our door. Impressed with Amazon’s efficiency, I stashed it away.

One week later, my January birthday arrived, and Bill was distressed. “I am so sorry. I ordered you something, but it hasn’t come yet.”

But there were flowers and a card – so I thought I had already received my gift. I was happy.

Three days later, another enormous box arrived. It was addressed to me. That’s when I started to put two and two together. I lugged out the other box. It was addressed to Bill. I was guessing that we were now the owners of two massage tables! When Bill got home and we opened both boxes, there was a lot of laughter. We wondered how much return shipping would cost!

It became clear that Jeffrey had known all along. When I asked why he didn’t tell us, he said, “You both told me not to tell.”

I see this type of scenario play out in business all the time. It’s commonplace to come upon confidential and sensitive information in the workplace. And my experience tells me that we’re ill-equipped to handle it well. We don’t talk enough about who to tell, when to tell, what to tell, and how to tell.

If harassment, discrimination, or ethics are involved, it’s your responsibility to report it! Yup, if you see something, say something. But beyond that, the waters are murky. If you’ve been taken into someone’s confidence, your role should be to support and guide that person, and always encourage them to take the appropriate steps to address the situation. It’s not your job to fix the problem or to become the spokesperson. I encourage organizations to develop policies around sensitive information.

Ultimately, in Jeffrey’s situation, he did the right thing, even though we did have to pay for return postage. What conundrums with sensitive topics have you encountered faced about sensitive topics at work?

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Self Reflection

Terrible, Horrible Day?

At some point, we all have what my nowtrain-station
18-year-old daughter liked to call “stinky-poo days.”  It’s an amusing way of recognizing that sometimes you just have to get over yourself and deal with the circumstances at hand.
In fact, my epic stinky-poo day involved my daughter, that eloquent word-master,  when she was just six-months old.  It was September 1999 and I was slated to speak to a group of 35 people in New York City. Unfortunately, Hurricane Floyd was also planning a visit to the area.  So, even though my breastfeeding daughter usually accompanied me on my engagements, my husband and I decided that I would leave behind some milk and she would sit this one out.
I showed up at the event to an audience of one.  We were soon informed that a state of emergency had been declared.  So I, and what seemed like the rest of the city, arrived at Penn Station to get the heck out of Dodge.  We were stuck there for hours.  And while my husband and daughter were prepared for me to be gone all day, my breasts were not!  I had to find a way to relieve the situation (my trusty pump), but I needed somewhere to plug it in and, obviously I needed  some privacy.
As it turns out, Penn Station’s restrooms do not have outlets.  So, I approached a policeman whose only suggestion was that I go to a hospital.  Not keen on that idea, I did the only thing I could.  I gathered in the waiting area with all the other professionals who were catching up on their work. And instead of pulling out a laptop, I started up my breast pump and covered myself the best I could in my black coat.  Now, if you’ve ever been around cows at milking time, you know that pumping is not a silent endeavor!  I saw many a quizzical face searching for the source of that “whirr-whirr-whirr” sound.  But, I just kept a straight face and breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Finally, we boarded a train and I was engaged in a pleasant conversation with my seatmate when our train came to a halt.  We were stopped at a bridge, waiting for the wind to settle down.  We waited and waited, and it became evident that we would be waiting a long time.
It was clear that I was not going to make it home without another pumping session.  Thankfully, there was an outlet at my seat, but there was the matter of the gentleman beside me.  I sheepishly told him my situation, and frankly, he couldn’t get away from me fast enough. Again, I put my black coat into service and, again, that “whirr-whirr-whirr” caused a lot of puzzled glances.
So, what did I learn from my stinky-poo day?  Life and business throw us curve balls.  We have no choice but to quickly adapt to the situation at hand.  Those with the most resilience tend to have the most success in their work.  Sometimes you just have to do what the day asks of you — and never underestimate the versatility of a black coat.
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