bridge tolls, buildings, commute, hockey, printer, Seattle, Silpada, sleep, spreadsheet, Starbucks, training, work
OK, I’m tired. I can’t decide if this is a good tired or not, so I’m going with good…for now.
I got a lot of seeds planted over the past year and half. Seeds like job connections. Doing the pro bono work with my friend/colleague when I was unemployed. Representing Silpada. And it’s funny how sometimes the seeds sprout up all at the same time!
I had one of those weeks where I barely had time to sneeze, starting with Tuesday. Oh yes, glorious hockey. Hockey is that regular rhythm that is such a delicious part of my lifestyle…a wacky outlet that continually surprises people when I tell them I play (yes, year ’round, co-ed). Normally we have games on Sunday nights, but this week we played on Tuesday night…a 9:30pm faceoff at a rink about a half hour drive from my house. We had a tough 4-1 loss, but on the other hand it was probably a good ‘keep the ego in check’ kind of game, because our previous two games were blowout wins.
Getting home at 11:30pm on a Tuesday night, knowing morning is just around the corner, is surreal. It’s hard to wind down and immediately get to sleep, so the next day I am usually on adrenaline and crash early the next night.
Wednesday? After work I met with a former co-worker for a quick drink. He used to be my Director way back in the early 2000s, and we have kept in touch over the years as our career paths moved onward. Most recently he and I worked together on that pro bono project with another mutual colleague.
…that project which is pro bono no more! Later that night I got home, got a 2nd (3rd?) wind and fired up the home laptop. Did I mention that the company did finally land some actual business with an actual client? And that while the gig was in progress the founder of this company (my friend/colleague who was actually doing the work himself because it wasn’t enough to justify hiring someone) meanwhile also landed some full-time work of his own with a different company and moved to Baltimore? And asked me to help finish up the project? Yes, ’tis true. Whew, did those last few sentences make sense? It’s all a big whoosh, just like it’s been in my head trying to process it all. I’m flattered he asked me to take over the work to be done, and also am learning how much my brain needs to stretch to keep the mental “work” energy fresh and vibrant for an extra 10 hours or so a month. I got home Wednesday night after that drink with M, called A (who is on east coast time so it’s super late for him), fired up the laptop here and worked for an hour on another version of a project schedule. Ah, the classic time and resource constraints. We now have a recommended schedule and a shortened, condensed version of the schedule, which we may have to resort to if our client’s budget runs out end of calendar year. And we need a decision quick because time is ticking. Nope, the calendar is not our friend.
As I was working over the phone with A updating the spreadsheet, I was mentally multi-tasking, thinking ahead to the next morning – Thursday. We had a training session onsite with that client, and earlier this month I was a little worried on if I’d be able to take a half day off from my “real” full-time job to go to the client site. Thursdays are typically super busy. But the universe smiled, and it was easy to get my time off approved. Even better, the FTEs at my full-time job had an offsite event all day, so I didn’t feel too guilty about being away either. None of the pro bono work I’m doing is in direct competition with my full-time job, but still it feels a little funny doing this side work…not in a bad way at all though.
The training Thursday morning was in downtown Seattle. Le Sigh, how suburban I have become. I was laughing to myself remembering how long it’s been since I’ve worked downtown. 17 years. How I miss it…I lived and worked in Seattle for years after finishing college and just took the bus everywhere – it was fabulous. And I never lived in the suburbs while working in the city – the only time I ever did any regular commuting from the suburbs into Seattle was – gulp – in 1988 when I was taking some classes at the U of W for some extra college credit while home for the summer between my junior and senior year.
So that night I was wondering just how bad the traffic would be for the morning commute. And I had to get up about an hour and a half earlier than I usually do. It was almost dreamlike, busting out of my routine, heading over that bridge into Seattle. The bridge where they’re still struggling to get the toll functionality to work properly – looks like they’ve pushed out to start in December now. I actually made great time and got to the building about a half hour early. Ahhh, perfect. Enough time to join the super long line at Starbucks. I needed a double tall nonfat latte something fierce! I reminisced, remembering how I worked in a building just across the street from where I was, high up enough to where we could look DOWN upon this building as it was under construction. Back in those days when I dressed up for work in skirts, pantyhose and pumps, and the only computer in our office was a huge 386 desktop for all 6 of us to share. We did most of our daily grind on state of the art (back then) typewriters and our essential fax machine. Ahhh, that morning it felt strange to be going to work without my laptop briefcase. Just my purse and a notebook tucked inside. How much things have changed in 20+ years!
After the client meetings that morning, I headed back to the ‘burbs and my full-time job. And made the drastic mental shift from consulting to…printing. What’s going on here? Well, at my full-time job some of the team are conducting a long series of workshops where they use large wall posters as visual aids to do some grounding on why the heck we’re doing the work we’re doing. We’re a little tight on our supply budget, so I was asked to help out by doing some of the large poster printouts myself, using one of the huge plotter-style printers that are in various locations around our campus. Sounds easy enough, but it sure wasn’t. Finding where they are, finding out if they’re open for other groups to use (meaning, not private), finding out if they are actually working or not, getting the right printer drivers installed… UGH UGH UGH. Now I’m not one to bitch about work, but come on now. How much money are we really saving having me, a well-paid (and, ahem, well-billed) consultant doing all this legwork that we could just hand off to a professional printer and be done with it? Hmmm.
A 10 minute drive across campus and 3 hours later, I completed the printouts. Getting them rolled up and clipped and into my car – in the rain – was interesting to say the least. Paper is goddamn heavy! No joke! I’d hoped to get some other work done while these huge posters were printing but nope, no dice. I found out just how high maintenance these print jobs are. The paper does not capture well after it prints, so I had to hold it just so, so it wouldn’t fold up or bend.
And at about 4:30pm, I mentally shut down. I’d gotten up early, got out of my routine going downtown for half a day, then spent the other half of the day back at work cranking out posters on a huge printer. Guess that hit my saturation point. I went home, exhausted.
Friday was a good day to catch up on work missed Thursday, and I topped it off meeting up with D for a drink at Brix, a wonderful wine bar not far from my house. D’s the one I ran into at the Michael Kors store a few weeks ago (see my Two Surprising Ds post for that funny story!). I’m really enjoying getting to know her!
And Saturday? Keeping up with me here? I did a Silpada party for my good friend S, who was my neighbor here in the townhouse complex for many years. She and her boyfriend recently bought an absolutely beautiful home in Lake Tapps and it was time for housewarming and playing with jewelry! We had a blast. It’s an hour drive each way to their house, but so incredibly worth it. I earned $300 commission from the party sales – not too shabby for just a few hours of “work” eh?
So it’s not surprising that I slept in till nearly 11am today. Yikes, that even is late for me and borders on feeling wasteful of the day. But that was how tired I was!
No rest tonight either save for a short nap maybe later. Yep, Sunday night means hockey. And tonight’s faceoff?
10:45pm. Awww yeahhhh.