Number 9... Number 9...

What is it with New York State and Route 9? Just recently, I've driven on the "real" Route 9, Route 9H and Route 9G. In the past, I've been on Routes 9A, 9B, 9D, 9N and 9R.

Of course, that's not the only thing I was pondering during my recent drive. I passed through the Town of Clinton, in Duchess County. This is not to be confused with the Village of Clinton, which is actually located in the Town of Kirkland (Oneida County), 140 miles away. The Village is the home of Hamilton College, which is not to be confused with Colgate University located in Hamilton NY (21 miles south). The Village of Hamilton is located in Madison County. No idea if it has any bridges...



My drive to and from work is along roads that range from rural to suburban, and few have sidewalks let alone shoulders.

So imagine my surprise and consternation when I saw a woman yesterday walking with traffic, reading. Completely engrossed in her book. Not paying attention.

Now, I'm a reader. I admire other readers. But this? Not exactly my idea of a time to read.


Where's The Shadow when I need him?

The summer is over, along with all the attendant angst over the library move. My health is on the mend, and I'm actually moving ahead with things... including more decluttering. Paper first, closets next, and by the end of the Winter Break: the basement. Even - gasp - possibly some books. Or maybe that's overreaching?

And once again I'm decluttering my life of people that aren't healthy for me. There's someone in my life that doesn't value me and what I contribute: the bad things are noticed and critiqued, the good things ignored or unnoticed. We had a conversation a while ago and it's clear that change is not going to happen, no matter what I do (or don't do). Thing is, people only change if they perceive that the change will bring more good things into their life, not because you want them to. That's not to say I can't change, but all relationships need to be a two-way street and if it's clear the other isn't going to change, it's time to find another road.

This realization hurts, of course, but ultimately the loss of stress and distress will be a very good thing.

It also reminds me of a few conversations I had over the summer with some very smart young women. They're both in their 20s (although one is "nearly 30"), and in some ways they are so very together. I wonder if it's a generational thing, or a chronological age thing, this nearly Zen-like ability to clearly see their lives and make choices uncluttered by the types of distractions that me and my friends have.

Years ago another friend said that you never know what's going on in someone else's life, which is very true. These two young women may not be as together as they appear... and the person that I'd like to change may have things going on that prevent the type of change I need.

Unlike the Shadow, I just don't know...


Too much of a good thing?

It occurred to me today that I've seen my parents more times in the past month than I have in, well, years. The visits have been short, but still...

The first was when I headed to SmallTown for a visit (at which time, you may remember, I was stood up by the boy next door, not that I'm still holding a grudge or anything). That was about a month ago.

Then, two weeks ago, I orchestrated a semi-surprise anniversary dinner for them (Uncle Anchises describes the cousins dinner quite well, and if you're not following his blog, well...). The surprise was that while they knew I'd be there, they had no idea that Thing One or my sister, her husband and two children would also be there. What I didn't expect was that my mother's boy-next-door (who never stood her up, by the way. not that I'm keeping track) would die and I'd have to hide Thing One somewhere so as not to ruin the surprise. Despite that little set-back, the evening went smoothly and the looks on their faces were so wonderful to see. Call that my annual mitzvah.

This past week, my cousin D and his family were in town (from LA, which is where the boy-next-door lives, too - and let's guess which one I'm more likely to see when I'm in Anaheim for ALA next summer, shall we?) to visit Uncle A, and I was invited to dinner. Just two days before, I learned that my parents would be at dinner as well. So, three times in three weeks.

And then there was Sunday, when we reopened our library. I'd thought all donors were being invited, so I mentioned it to them. Turns out I was slightly wrong, but they had a great time seeing my new workspace and meeting some of my colleagues. They even came to breakfast on Monday!

Four times in a little over four weeks. Wow. I don't know when I'll see them again, which is ok. Wouldn't want to have too much of a good thing.*

* unlike That Boy, who clearly doesn't know what he's missing...


Deep breath

Without going into specifics, a Major Life Decision has been made. Stay tuned for details.

In the meantime, enjoy this link (รพ: Deb)


Bad Boss Brigade

In honor of Labor Day, I've been thinking about the people I've worked for that have been... let's just call them disappointments.  I'm not talking about the ones that didn't give me that well-deserved raise, or who didn't give me the warm-fuzzies all the time, I'm talking about the ones that were just not even close to being a good boss.  I've tried to avoid these mistakes (and think that I have!), which isn't to say I'm a perfect boss.  It does seem that I'm a Bad Boss Magnet (NOTE: the reason there are so many is that 1. sometimes I reported to more than one person at a time, 2. in one job I had four supervisors in six months, and 3. some were bad in more ways than one).

I present to you, dear readers, the Bad Boss Brigade.

  • Topping the list is the boss who bounced my paycheck, and then got mad at me because I didn't have enough of a float to not incur bounced check charges.  IMVHO, the depth of my checking or savings account wasn't the issue.
  • Then there was the time that my boss decided not to pay us on Wednesday (payday was on Thursdays, but this was Thanksgiving week) and instead of coming in on Friday to cut paychecks decided to go hunting. 
  • The boss that threatened to fire me because I wouldn't answer my phone (I was home with laryngitis, and both Thing One *and* my doctor's office had called to explain my absence; he called me 10 times that day).
  • There's the boss that in all my years of service managed to only once find the words to say anything positive about my work.
  • One boss was so afraid of a discrimination lawsuit that one member of my department was allowed unlimited time off (example: Monday - called in with a sprained ankle, Tuesday - waiting for the doctor, Wednesday - waiting for the x-ray to be developed, Thursday - no call, Friday - at work with no limp, no cane, no nothing).
  • Another allowed a colleague to verbally abuse me and physically threaten me - while the other person was admonished, there was no apology or acknowledgment that they'd done wrong.
  • Yet another excused sexual harassment, saying "it's a small office... don't be so sensitive".
  • One left a memo/fax on my desk showing that upcoming budget/staff cuts eliminated my position.
  • In one office, there was a chain-smoker (2+ packs/day), a cigar smoker and a pipe smoker (yes, this was before NYC went No Smoking Anywhere Indoors; as an office with <25 people, OSHA would not get involved).
  • Another felt that any time my name crossed their radar it was a bad thing, even if the "blip" was a positive comment about my performance.
  • Let's not forget the one that felt that the best way to get good results was to berate people publicly. 
  • There were the partners (both 65+) who fought like children when the partnership dissolved - did it really matter who had more paperclips and manila folders?  - and drove me to Xanax.
Here's hoping that you've had better luck than I - but if not, please feel free to share in the comments section!