webcowgirl: (Default)
I called my friend C today to see if she was going to be able to make it to the Academy of Ancient Music's "Messiah" today. You'll remember me talking anout her a lot earlier in the year, as my best work friend, the one who sat next to me for the first 5 months of the year, whose layoff departure devastated me.

Well, she was too sick to go to the show, but she said she wanted to see me before too long. "I wanted to thank you for being there with me during that whole long horrible slog earlier this year. Day after day, about the only thing that sustained me was knowing that you were going to be right there at that desk waiting for me, telling me it was all going to be alright ... I can't tell you how much your support meant to me during those dark days."

Wow. What an incredibly kind thing for her to say to me! And the feeling was very mutual. I remember day after day, saying things to her like, "This situation really sucks, but we can do what we can to make it better for each other - I'll bring chocolate, you make the tea." And it did get very bad for both of us, but at least we knew we weren't alone, until that day when suddenly I _was_.

And things are better for us now, just like I knew it would be, just like I promised her nearly every day. And I knew it would be better because I knew we wouldn't be there anymore.

But still, WOW what a nice thing to hear. It'll be a long time before I have a friend like that at work today. I'm sorry she's not going to the concert tonight, but she's sure left me with a spring in my step.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Woo woo! After having a stress dream about giving my leaving speech (and awake stress about not getting a card, and no one showing up for my leaving drinks), as it turns out everything went very well. I skipped Pilates due to still being ill, but met up with [livejournal.com profile] sniperi to hand of the keys (and get a good gossip in) as he's house-sitting this weekend. Then I went to work, handed in my badge and most of the books I'd taken home with me to my boss, and sat down at my desk to see if I'd get lucky or be forgotten like I had been at other jobs.

At 4:45, a bunch of people gathered around my desk (yay!). Then my boss gave a really nice talk about how I joined when the company was in a major expansion phase (basically setting up the framework for why I was leaving), then went on about all of the things I'd accomplished since I'd been there, from redoing all of the templates for the QA documentation to taking on the resourcing work (that he hated) to training up the team in Agile including tracking down the author of the only, and at that time yet to be published, work on Agile and QA and then GETTING A COPY OF IT ON PDF. Which sounded kind of impressive, really.

And in honor of my upcoming job he gave me a stuffed "Postman Pat" and a card AND a gift certificate for a shop down the street which mostly seems to sell candles and mirrors.
I got a card! And a Postman Pat doll! on Twitpic

Then it was my turn, and I wanted to do a good job of it and be upbeat and sound sincere (AHEM) and leave everyone with a good feeling. I:
thanked a bunch of nice devs for being nice devs and showing that "we're all working together to create a good product"
thanked a particularly nice dev for being really hot lending me lots of good books and talking to me about literature.
thanked another one for working arm in arm with me trying to get unit testing and TDD up and running (which went nowhere thanks to the other devs)
thanked the CEO for supporting me going to a conference the year before (this led to a ribbing about just how much he was supporting my career, IE sending me places to meet people who would hire me elsewhere)
thanked my coworkers for being pleasant and the people who worked for me for basically being awesome and so hardworking that I had no work to do as a manager ...

And finally I thanked my boss for encouraging me and not being afraid of having someone who was ambitious working for him, for "really supporting me in my career" and for enjoying my energy and enthusiasm. I used this opportunity to give a little speech about how a good manager recognizes talent and helps it achieve the best it can rather than being afraid of them, and hopefully this was helpful or might be helpful for someone somewhere.

After this it was basically Off to the Pub and we had a nice couple of hours at the Cittye of Yorke where lots and lots of people (okay, 8 were there) tried to buy me drinks (really four drinks, two halfs of cider and two tequila orange juice things) and I yacked it up with my friends until my throat hurt and it was time to go home so our extra bed could be picked upDouble fisting at my leaving do. on Twitpic ... and three hours later we're still waiting for the guy to show up. Ah, Freecycle. At least I spent the spare time finishing my A Streetcar Named Desire review (summary: it's very good), so that's done, and now really all I need to do with myself is pack for my trip to Penzance tomorrow. And wondering why the guy I was obsessing about through half of highschool and most of college contacted me with his phone number on Linked In. Oh, and change the catbox, because my life is that glamorous.
webcowgirl: (4CupsOfTea)
I went back to the pop-up tea shop today to console myself for not getting a promotion,and because my heart just wasn't in being at work.

J came along and took a picture of me. I look pretty nice so here it is for all of you to see. Note that my eyes look blue and overall I look like my sister.



Unfortunately as it's settling out I'm feeling rather gutted about the whole lack of promotion thing and it's taking the wind out of my sails bigtime this afternoon.
webcowgirl: (Mano Poderosa)
I hate the smell of layoffs in the morning.

I especially hate it when it's someone I like who's good at their job.
webcowgirl: (octopus)
Meanwhile, my horoscope is rather sadly in line with where things stand in my life:

"If you don’t change with the times at work today, you could be left behind. Never mind that you think they’re doing it wrong. Never mind even if they are doing it wrong. Do it wrong with them if you still want a job."

Do it wrong with them. Man.

(This was pointed out to me by [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy, as I don't usually read this claptrap.)
webcowgirl: (Morning cuppa)
Hmm. I see this picture and wonder - where did my black coffee cup go? Did it break? I'd like to get it back, or buy a new one.

I've spent the last hour waiting for a build. I got a ham and cheese croissant, I made a cup of tea, I had some cake someone brought in, I checked on education stuff, I basically exhausted all of the normal time killing things and I still don't have the "work" I am supposed to be doing, which is supposed to be the focus of my day and indeed the endcap for the entire month's work.

I have found out that the next 11 months I will be working on getting a content management system going. This makes me want to scream and run away as I spent a lifetime doing this at Acadio (back in late 2000-early 2001) and it was pure misery every step of the way.

Last night was a tea destroying extravaganza that I might have been ashamed of if I hadn't felt so confident that I would never touch the things I was throwing out. Bagged teas of a decade's age, loose teas of sorts I won't drink (freaky blends, poor quality Darjeeling) that were also five or six years old and guaranteed to taste like dust. I took some things into work (Fortnum and Mason "Royal Blend," probably stale but not bad for the office, and some Drury Lane bagged Darjeeling that I might toss out after all but wanted to give a last chance) and kept all of the flavored teas (good for iced tea when summer rolls around, and stale won't matter), but overall there was a 30% overhead in tea volume in my house last night. I just don't have room and there's no space for storing memories in my kitchen - better to move in new stock. I mean, there's no reason to have bad tea when I can get nice new tea to drink instead.

I really must have some Assam again. It's been ages!
webcowgirl: (Default)
I think I am going to give myself a little treat today and have a Dr. Pepper.

The way life and work and moving have been going, I have been feeling like I am needing to reward myself rather a lot to keep my morale up. A Dr. Pepper would be just perfect.

This will of course be in addition to occasionally dipping into the huge piles of chocolate near my desk. I'm mostly handing them out to other people; there is a lot of feeling overwhelmed going on around here and I am willing to do what I can to help.

New blog

Jan. 5th, 2009 10:09 am
webcowgirl: (TopBug)
Who'd think I'd need a new blog - but I do.

I've just made one to document my experiences with the Agile implementation here at Tango Foxtrot.

I figure most of you wouldn't find this very interesting, so I didn't want to clog up your flist with endless nattering and whinging.

For the three of you who are interested, you can find my stuff here.
webcowgirl: (Queen Apple)
Today six other people and I gave a presentation to a bunch of our fellow managers that I call "Mother Goose and the Our Company Name Here Fairytales." In this we presented three stories, told panto style, showing how we had come up with solutions for actual problems people in our group were facing. First was "Cinderella," in our case the ugly step sisters versus Buttons (representing a bullying episode): the "fairy God manager" came by and split up the mean girls and told "Buttons" that he'd be best working on helping himself.

Second was "Beauty and the Beast." Our Beast was a person a year away from retirement who was making the department a depressing place to work because of her attitude. "Beauty" came by and saw the inner nature of the beast: a bored woman who'd probably enjoy being given some challenges and a bit more respect for her seniority. We'll see if our guess in any way matches up to reality.

The final act was "Snow White and the Four Dwarves," who in this case didn't "tidy the cottage, make their beds, or get their status reports turned in on time." Snow White originally couldn't see the dwarves ("Look behind you!" we shouted) and, when confronted, they all denied they weren't doing what they were supposed to ("Oh no we don't!" they said. "Oh yes you do!" she replied). Snow White was going to give them all clearer deadlines and reward the team with "a trip to the castle for a fancy dinner" if they made all of their targets. "Watch out for poisoned apples!" I warned them as the presentation ended. (I played Mother Goose.)

This was really the silliest thing I've done in months and months, and I was paid to do it as part of my managerial training. Thank God I was working with a group of silly , bored, and unchallenged people who were looking to find a way to make this rather dreary afternoon a bit fun and were fully lacking in any sense of shame. We rocked the house and people loved it. I just can't imagine Americans doing anything like this. It was all recorded on people's camera phones; if it makes it on YouTube I'll be sure to let you all know.

I ended the day in a good mood and ran up to Islington to meet [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy and my uncle. We went to the Almeida to see In a Dark Dark House (which was pretty good but not brilliant like Fat Pig), then came home and discovered my theater blog has hit a new high - 313 hits today! I guess that means I have to feed the monkey and get tonight's show written up soon - must keep the visitors flowing!
webcowgirl: (Default)
Majani "Fiat Noir" chocolate - because it's been that kind of a day.
picture.jpg

webcowgirl: (Mano Poderosa)
I am currently testing a bug that we are taking out TO LIVE, AS A HOTFIX that only occurs if you have IE6 SP1.

We are all of the belief that the users should be grateful that we're pointing out to them what a security ridden piece of crap they have on their machines and that the proper FIX is to UPGRADE.

Ah well.
webcowgirl: (Morning cuppa)
Wow, three emergency fixes and I'm the one who gets to do all of the testing.

Now how did THAT happen?
webcowgirl: (Tiara)
Today marks the second anniversary of the start of my job at Betfair, much as yesterday marked the one year anniversary of leaving that job. Can I say what a relief it is to not be working there anymore? I'm not looking over my shoulder for a knife coming at my back anymore, and, while the current place (Tango Foxtrot) is hardly perfect, I certainly feel like people are trying to do things right.

I still miss Expedia, though. It's a bit sad. I can't see how I could really ever work there again - I'd have to change careers and I don't think that would really work in my plan for life.

The 17th (Wednesday) will mark the one year anniversary of my job here. This is a much happier thing to celebrate. I feel like I could be doing much more here than I am, but hey, room to grow, room to improve, eh? We'll see where it goes. Now all I need is for my VISA to get renewed!

(PS: [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy won Alhambra last night by one point, which clearly meant he was cheating.)
webcowgirl: (Food!)
I was a good test lead and found availability for someone to work on a project, thereby throwing water on a showdown between two projects with competing needs. (The loser was a project with a PM on vacation - he forgot to ask for an environment to deploy his project to, and thus the QA that was going to start that week just ain't happening.)

As a reward, I have been given a chocolate filled cream puff by the project manager. Sadly, this makes me very happy. With luck, the guy who's bacon I saved yesterday will also come through on a pile of pastries as promised. I admit that being rewarded with pastries means I can be bought cheaply, but, hey, it seems like a treat to me!
webcowgirl: (Tiara)
My promotion is now official. Yay! I can go back to using this icon all of the time now when I'm talking about work.
webcowgirl: (Roxie)
I have a guest review up on my theater blog - [livejournal.com profile] booklectic's review of the Singalonga "Hairpray." Highly recommended for fans of the original!

Thanks to my friend melatonin, I slept like a dead thing last night, and, well into the part of the morning where I was supposed to be up and active, I was still feeling rather like a dead thing. Ah well. Melatonin at 10 PM should be the new rule, and "breakfast ten minutes before you're supposed to be off of the couch" should be an additional, permanent morning rule. I miss eating a nice bowl of cereal over the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in the mornings - while pointing out to J funny things on LJ isn't so bad, I preferred talking about the news and Ann Landers.

My boss said he's supposed to have the meeting with Uberboss and Great Boss On High about getting officially promoted. I'm pretending that this has already happened and am busily training a new starter today as if she already, really, honestly reported to me. Cross your fingers that the promotion happens for real and the reorg doesn't hold them back. If it goes through, I will consider this to have been about the best week of the entire year. I mean, hey, I found a £1 coin on the train yesterday and J got paid for the show he did yesterday (enough to buy a round of drinks AND a pizza!), so things are going well!
webcowgirl: (Cards on a Train)
Yes, that's right, we were taken out to a celebration lunch four months after a project launched because they've finally figured out it was a success.

I wanted a glass of wine and someone else wanted the same so we just got a bottle.

Then I got two appetizers (one was just bread, the other a salad) ...

and a child's portion of pasta (thanks for the hot tip, [livejournal.com profile] booklectic ...

and, why not, the steak, the most expensive thing on the menu.

And, you know, I had no room for dessert ... but limoncello fit just fine.

Fortunately I have Not Much Happening this afternoon, though I think I could do with a nap.

I can't wait to go to Italy with my sister in October. It's going to be great!
webcowgirl: (Default)
It's very quiet at work today. I'm going to be far ahead on my work when the day ends. I was good and went to the gym (did I really hit 172 BPM on the elliptical? I might have been feeling a bit dizzy afterwards ...) and had a lunch I brought in from home - reheated meat pie from the shop in York.

Somehow this has led me to spend a lot of time hitting Proust blogs online. I'm very much enjoying "Madeleine Moments," which is basically a Proust fan blog and thus very fun for me to read. This is where I heard about the book Proust Was a Neuroscientist (thence my lovely new icon) and Proust and the Squid (proving my interests can all overlap ultimately, given time). Who knows, maybe I should do a separate, all-Proust blog, but that seems like not as much fun as having it be a regular flavor item over here.

Today I feel like I'm really enjoying getting to work with my husband - we commuted in today, went to the gym together, and ate lunch together (in part because I'd remember to bring lunch and he hadn't). It was all kind of fun, but it's probably for the best that our work areas don't really overlap.

For those keeping track, work has estimated the cost of my visa (for them) as something like £4000, half of which I will be liable to repay if I find a new job within a year of receiving the visa (this being double what it would cost me to do it myself). It all seems rather depressing - I'd rather my golden handcuffs were a purer karat and much thicker than these. Meanwhile, the fact [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy needs his passport at the end of the month so he can watch the end of the Tour has come into play, but the attorney isn't even in the office to answer my questions today, much less finish the application ...
webcowgirl: (Morning cuppa)
Gym: left just as it started raining and was TOO WARM inside (too warm for me to cool off properly). Did 10 back-stretching things, 4 minutes rowing, 14 minutes biking, and 7 minutes elliptical, though I was ready to stop after the second minute. While on it my heart reading came up as 172 beats per minute, which I think is a sure sign the meter is messed up. I was hitting 150/153 on the bike, which is good news, and my Charlie Bradshaw mystery has finally got to an interesting bit.

Work: don't have much to do today as I got ahead of myself yesterday, so will run paperwork down to lawyer re: visa this afternoon and catch up on reviewing other people's stuff. I also need to do a write up of the two hour meeting from this morning, so I'm suspecting that 5 PM will be here before I know it.
webcowgirl: (HappyHat)
Picnicking in Bloomsbury Square on a sunny day like this with my husband is ACE. We had takeaway boxes from the Fitzrovia Sagar - perfect as I was starving - and sat on the grass in the sun and talked and takled and talked. I'm so happy that I realized I could still achieve my gym goals for the week and take today off so I could hear about his trip and tell him about mine. He's jetlagged as can be but it was great to see him.

ACE, I tell you. :-)

(PS: I know I'm a sap but I loved this article.)

(PPS: It's unfair to have a day get this good but I just got an email saying my employer had added another day holiday to our current allowance, effective immediately? AWESOME!)

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