Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Lunch Hour Dilemma

Would you rather spend time with people or save money?
What would you do with a free hour in the middle of the day?

I work in a 247 call centre environment. And I am one of the few who is not in a queue answering phones. What that means is that most everybody else is on a staggered lunchtime schedule.
So depending on the time you start you get to take lunch approximately 4 hours later. Also our phone folks are not allowed to overlap lunch - so people only get to be off one person at a time.

So I get an hour for lunch every day - and the possibility of someone being off for lunch with me.

Here's the dilemma - I have an entire hour - and if I bring a lunch I finish it in about 10 minutes, sitting looking lonely by myself in the lunchroom, because nobody from my department is on lunch with me. This is of course the more frugal and healthier option.

If I decide to run errands on my break - I am rushed through them, get back to the office, and have to figure out what to eat super quick at my desk.

If I decide to go out for lunch, I usually find someone to come with me, but I am spending between $5-$10 a day on lunch - not including my $3-$5 on breakfast. This is most obviously the most social and expensive choice.

So I hate being alone - especially for meals. That should come as no shock. but I am getting tired of eating out everyday. It's boring, expensive and unhealthy.

So I pose this question - what does everybody else do with their lunch break?
Give me some good ideas, I'd like to break free of my mold!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I am Loosing my Credibility

Have you ever been told that you talk too much?
I think that it may just be the #1 sentence that I have heard in my life.

It's been a while since I heard it - it was more of a birth through graduating High School sort of thing. Actually I have also been told that I speak very quickly, especially when I get excited.

The school bus driver I had in grade 2 used to call me Jabberwocky after the Poem. He said that the faster I spoke the more my words blurred together and stopped making sense.

I am a very sensitive person by nature - I do not always respond well to being teased - but hear something enough and you start to develop a thick skin about it.

My memory is cloudy, but I think it's a statement that just stopped bugging me because I heard it so much.

Now, as a rule, I have always felt that individuals who say little tend to be perceived as wise when they speak, by virtue of the fact that they don't choose to speak very often. I think people start assuming, that your words must be of great value if you only engage in them ever so often. Maybe it's like the economic law of supply and demand.

And even though I do talk a lot (I have never disputed that fact - but I do believe too much to be a relative term), I usually feel like what I have to say is taken seriously and respected.

I have been starting to loose that confidence lately. Sometimes it's like I'm watching the scene from a third person perspective and I can actually see people tuning out or not listening. Now this can be a normal part of interaction, and from time to time is not a big deal - I engage in such behaviours myself, it's normal.

But I have been feeling like this is my full experience of communication lately. Like every time I open my mouth to say something, the listener has already decided that not only is what I have to say not worthwhile, but also that I couldn't possibly hold any level of knowledge or expertise in what I am saying.

Now here's the kicker for me anyways - the logical part of my brain says, 'it's not worth arguing over, just stop talking' but my tongue isn't paying attention to my brain and wont stop. Then I get frustrated and annoyed as I am watching my non-listener cut me off, ignore what I say, question my credibility.

If I were to turn it into a cartoon - it would closely resemble the Coke Zero commercials with the eyeball and the 2 tongues.

Only, I am feeling kind of bullied by my non-listener(s), which is a concerning feeling to have.
And despite this I just can't seem to get smart enough to shut-up.

So the really troubling thought becomes - am I no longer credible? Do I really have no idea what I'm talking about, and am living in some sort of dream-world? Do I need to suck it up and either shut up or get educated? Or am I genuinely being bullied and need to just have a tough skin about it - like when I would be told I talk too much?

Sadly answering any of the above questions in the affirmative is a negative thing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bad Food Karma

I am cursed.
Once might have been a fluke but twice now - something must be up!

Last week I went to COSTCO on my lunch break to pick-up some groceries and grabbed some pre-packaged sealed Tabbouli salad for my lunch.

I got back to my desk at work - and opened my sealed salad not due to expire for like 4 days and I found it was mouldy.
Yep - stinky, fuzzy, mouldy!

So I got up, went back to COSTCO and returned it. I ended up getting one of their hot dogs for my lunch - not nearly as healthy but reasonably safer to eat I felt.

This morning, I went down to the cafeteria in the office building to grab a bagel. So I come back to my desk with my bagel and decaf, settle back into my work load and am just about to take a bite when I notice something on the top of my bagel nestled into the sesame seeds. I take a closer look and upon close inspection to my HORROR it's a dead bug. Yup, a bug!
And remember this is me we're talking about - we all know how I feel about insects and creatures with exoskeletons in general. It was all I could do to remain composed and not scream. After all I am sitting at my desk in the office.

So I pick up my offensive treat, and rush back downstairs to return it to the cafeteria lady. She is shocked, advises it must have been packaged that way (like I care about how it happened, I am freaked out that it happened to me!) and proceeds to make me another one.

She and I both must have inspected the poor second bagel like 3 times.
So far it's got the all clear and I am cautiously eating it now.

I am not sure what the moral of the story is here - always inspect your food maybe?
I think what I need is a cup bearer - in Biblical times a cup bearer would taste and inspect everything for the king before the king would eat or drink anything. Now of course the cup bearer was actually checking for poison, but I figure the lack of possible death from poisoning on the job might be more likely to entice someone to the position in today's day and age.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday, Monday!

Wow! Monday already.
Didn't we just leave this party?

It feels like last thing I knew it was Friday night, then blink, almost missed the week-end, and now we've rolled around to Monday again.

I know the science behind the feeling that time is moving faster- and it is solid, but experiencing the phenomenon is somewhat surreal. How much more can things speed up as I get older? I am not actually old yet, so there is nowhere to go but faster.

Here's how it is explained:
Each of us measures the passing of time using our lifetime as a reference. That is when when you are a child everything takes forever because a year when you are 5 is an entire 5th of your life, that's a long time. But a year to a 50 year old is only a 50th of his/her life, not really very much in perspective.

So here's why I worry. If it already feels too fast and we're only talking about a perspective of 1/30 - how much more complaining am I going to do about this when it's 1/70?

Maybe this is the beginning of "When I was your age, I had to walk uphill both ways in the snow year round to get anywhere!"

What a terrible thought, I've just transformed myself into an ornery old man at 30!!

Well, I guess if I'm destined to be ornery, I can strive to do it well. Oh, and ladylike - I don't want to be mistaken for a man.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"The Chase"

Yesterday Emma and I swam together.

It was our first time working out together in this fashion.

And let me tell you, as a novice who paired up with a swim team elite - it was a lot of HARD work.

Emma agreed to follow my laps schedule - which gives a 2 lap walk break, because I need it.

Ok, so early on, she had comfortably lapped me.
Not wanting to be that much worse than she was, I did my best to move as quickly as I could and catch-up.

So at one point, I was getting closer and Emma said "Wow! That was good, I had to speed up a little" and in my head, I was shouting "yes!"

Now to give you a perspective about out adventures, I must reference Pepe Lepew and that adorable cat that he kept mistaking for a skunk and chasing while enamoured.
Remember how the cat was at an all out run, completely frazzled and working as hard as she could? Meanwhile Pepe was sauntering along, enjoy the "chase" and barely breaking a sweat.

That was Emma and I - Me the cat and she Pepe Lepew.
I was working as hard as I possibly could and completely out of breath, meanwhile she was enjoying a leisurely swim, barely a hair out of place.

I imagine that to any onlookers it must have been a comical sight - but my goodness was it ever fun and rewarding.

So I am looking forward to our next scheduled swim. And even more so I am looking forward to the day when we're both keeping pace and being Pepe Lepew!

Friday, July 04, 2008


Yesterday while in a counselling session a client said to me "I feel like there is no meaning to life"

I cognitively re-framed and said "What if you decided that it's your responsibility to bring the meaning to your life. And that Life's activities have the meaning you choose for them."


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Is that it?

Ok, I know it has been a looooong while - I am now up and running with an internet connection at home, so there should not be such a large gap in my future.

So I find myself on July 2nd going about my regular everyday business as usual, and I can't help but think "Is that it?"

Is this sum total of regularity the full spectrum of what I was meant to experience?

Don't get me wrong, I have a good life.
My own condo, slowly but surely filling to capacity with furniture (and more importantly a phone, internet and TV).
I have great friends whom I have a lot of fun with (and the sunburn to prove it!)

But there is something nagging at the back of my brain telling me that if this is it, this is not what I signed up for.
And I am not talking about being single vs. being married or coupled.

I am not looking for roller coaster drama (being a teenager brought enough of that about)
I am looking for meaning.
I know it sounds weird.

Some days I think that any other person could step into my life and take over my tasks with barely a hiccup.

What is it about the things that I do, that makes them important for me to be the one doing them?
I keep coming to the same conclusion - Nothing. It's all stuff anybody else could do, and most are.
I mean seriously - where's the meaning in doing the laundry or making the bed or cleaning the house or making a meal.

I don't mean to say that I don't or can't do these tasks with some level of skill, I know that I can and do.

Is that it?
Is this the most I can milk out of life, regularity...

Will I just slip back into my routine and let the regularity lull me into thinking this is good enough?

Is it good enough?

Do I have the right to expect more?
Can I achieve more? How?

In other news - I have some routine things to take care of that I should be getting back to.