Archive for March, 2010

Meeting Survival, Part 37a

March 31, 2010

Day 2 and 3 of the meeting are now over.

My cohort, who helped preserve my sanity (please, forgive the exaggeration) on that first day, made a wise decision.  She walked into her boss’ office and said, “If I have to sit through one more day of that useless tripe, I will end up bitching someone out after bitch slapping them.”  Her boss, just as wisely, said, “No problem, skip the rest of the meeting.”

Which begs the question, “Why isn’t GnuKid just as wise and bailing out on the class?”

“Good question,” I retort (having not torted in the first place, but still…).

My job requires that I get so many hours of training each year.  If I don’t get that many hours, I could be smacked around by those job people who do such smacking when called for.  I am woefully short of training hours, so this class is necessary if I’m to meet my goal.

So, cohort-less, I faced the last two days alone (well, except for a few well timed and needed text messages from Dear Friend).

Not too far into Day 2 of the class, I again found myself wishing to rise up and proclaim “BULLSHIT!”.  But, knowing that would only create more opportunities for me to talk and participate, scribbled furiously in my notebook my standard cautionary message – –

Words to live by...

You may notice a few doodles off to the side.  I started doodling more, just for mental self preservation.

Now, I never was good at drawing.  Art was something that just never clicked in my brain.  I can visualize what I want a picture to look like, but it never does in reality.  So, forgive the crudeness of these and just consider them a glimpse into my mind.

First came just some random scenery…

Busy hands means I keep quiet and sane

This was followed by my mind randomly firing neurons in obtuse places – –

really...i have no clue

Then I started hearing catch phrases thrown out by the instructors and started doodling whatever popped in my head there.  Here are a few examples of what came out…

“The elephant in the room”

what's with the tail?

“Bow Wave”

Ship name stolen from a cartoon I once saw

“Chomping at the bit”

sometimes a drill bit is just a drill bit

“No perfect matches”

I need professional help

and “Getting over the hump”

yes, that's supposed to be a camel.

I survived the class.  It’s done.  My brain is still semi-intact, thanks to these diversionary tactics.

Hmmm… I recall doing this many years ago.  Maybe I should scan a couple of those in and share here?


Meeting Survival, Part 37

March 29, 2010

While one of you is pretending to work in an exotic locale (you know who you are), I was condemned to the hell of enjoying a lively training session with one of the teams that I consult.  The trainers, hired in from a university, theoretically had a ‘better’ way of doing business.  Our bosses were convinced that this was true and forced us to attend.

It quickly became apparent that these trainers had nothing really new to say.  That, coupled with the team leader’s propensity to ramble endlessly, enjoying the sound of his own voice, led me to start to wander off in my mind (yes, a short and dangerous trip, that).  Yes, I was brought back occasionally to retort when the trainers or the resident narcissist team leader said something stupid or, more often, blatantly apparent to all of us.  I felt I needed to defend the team, saying that we, indeed, did do our job correctly, so get off our fucking backs thankyewverymuch!  I also learned that my attempts at defense were doing nothing but prolonging the agony of the meeting.

Sitting next to me was the deputy adjacent assistant team leader…one of the more functional people on the team.  I felt I needed to share my pain with her, as I knew she was in pain as well.

First, I had to share one of my scribblings in my organizer – –

Slammed solid to the bottom

After one of my wasted attempts at defending the team, I also recalled a helpful piece of advice that I’d given myself in other interminable meetings.  That advice to myself?

Saved me in many a meeting

That simple message to myself has saved me much anxiety.  The less I talk, the less I get frustrated by the lunacy.  To emphasize that point to myself in this meeting, I then took to doodling in the class a subtly gentle reminder to myself – –

A calligrapher I am not...

My cohort next to me obviously was not feeling the pain and felt the meeting was going well, as she doodled the following – –

Okay, it did make me smile...for a moment

But, the inexorable pressure of listening to the drivel of the team leader and the trainers, finally – –

Hints of lunacy...

[sniffle]  It really gets to you… my little cohort is all meeting-grown up!

Two days left to suffer through…


March 26, 2010

I am honored to be presented the “Honest Scrap” award from silverstar.


As an award recipient, I have two things I must do:

First, I must tag other people to meet this challenge.  However, I’m not one to tag other folks.  If you wish to share, please do.  I’d be intrigued to read it.

Second, I have to list 10 interesting – and little known – tidbits about myself.  Now, that instruction that these things be “interesting” is clearly quite subjective.  And I admit to having a bit of a hard time coming up with 10 things that I think you’d find interesting.  But, still, here we go – – –

1)  I played Joe Montana (49ers Super Bowl winning quarterback) in football…and made him cry.

2)  The ‘boys’ — my left one is slightly bigger than my right one.

3)  I set fire to a field when I was 6.  By accident.  Honest!  Never admitted to it.  Took two fire trucks to put it out.

4)  I plagiarized in high school.  Twice.  Both were because I’m an excellent procrastinator, not because I couldn’t do the work.

5)  I have no medial meniscus in either knee.

6)  I played sousaphone (tuba) in high school.

7)  Although I’m a pilot, often flying my plane more than a mile high, I am afraid of heights.

8)  I smoked my first cigarettes when I was 6 years old.

9)  My eyes sparkle… a direct result of having had cataracts in both eyes in my mid-40s.

10)  I never went to my high school prom.

So, there they are.  Hopefully you have found a few of these “interesting”.  I may elaborate on a few of these in future posts.