Friday, April 18, 2014

Saturday 9

1) Which do you prefer: colored hard-boiled eggs, chocolate marshmallow eggs, or plastic eggs with coins inside? I'm my own girl, a rebel, a free thinker, so I'm going rogue and choosing a hollow chocolate bunny.

2) What's your favorite color of Peeps (yellow, purple, or pink)? Yellow chicks.

3) All this talk of sweets is making Sam hungry. What's for lunch? I don't know, but I suspect beef will be involved.

4) This song was introduced by country singer Gene Autry and it's still a favorite. Please share some of the lyrics. (And you're on your own; Sam didn't include a link to the song this week.) "Hippity hoppity Easter's on its way!"

5) Gene Autry was so popular that a town in Oklahoma named itself for him. Have you ever been to Oklahoma? Nope.

6) In addition to singing, Mr. Autry made 93 cowboy movies. What's the last movie you saw? Last Saturday I saw What's Up, Doc? with my classic movie group.

7) He and his horse Champion also had a TV show. Can you name another famous horse? The famous Mr. Ed

8) Gene Autry also recorded "Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer," and it was, of course, wildly popular, too. Who is your favorite recording artist? John, Paul, George and Ringo

9) Back to the holiday celebration at hand -- Easter is considered the season of rebirth. What leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated? Washing my hair.

Lunch was just lunch

Rick, a coworker from three jobs and 16 years ago, called me for lunch. I truly haven't heard from him since Bill Clinton was President. It's a long and not very interesting story, but he ended up talking to my friend Tom and, since advertising in Chicago is a pretty small world, they played that, "Do you know so-and-so game?" and that's how my name came up and I reappeared on Rick's radar.

I figured he was looking for a new job and wanted to network.

I was wrong. He didn't ask for the name of our HR contact and he didn't even give me is card. I guess he just wanted to talk. It was nice.

He's divorced now. The little boy he talked about back in the day is now 24 and struggling mightily. The newborn twin daughters? One is severely autistic and in a custodial care facility in Michigan. Gulp. He said that while other dads have joyous parenting stories, he's had a lot of heartache. He seemed to really want to talk about it, but I admit it was hard to hear. I hope my responses were sensitive and that I didn't screw it up.

Oh, well. It was an unexpectedly pleasant lunch and sometimes people don't want anything from us except our time and focus.

I have resources. I should use them.

Wednesday was a bad day. It left me blue (see below).

I don't like being blue. I don't like accepting that I just have to take life as it comes. I wanted to do something about it!

So I articulated my worries about my job to the one person who can do something about them, the one person whose very job it is to listen and to help: my boss. While I was talking to him, I realized that I felt let down by my two teammates, but that I haven't been holding them accountable for their performance because I want us all to feel upbeat.

In short, I've been concentrating more on us being happy than I am on us being good. I am so worried about not being the bitch who can't get along with The Chocolate Covered Spider, not being the one who argues with everyone, that I've let standards slide. And yet feeling as though my coworkers are not doing their best makes me feel vulnerable.

Part of this comes from four of us sitting together in the Clown Car. I soak in everyone's emotions and feel responsible for the mood, for keeping us upbeat. It's exhausting.

And it ends now. I can change what I can change: I can make my boss more aware of our issues, because that's his job. I can insist that our account executive schedules the time it takes to get our work proofread, because that's her job. I can treat my art director like an adult and hold him responsible for his screw ups, because that's his job. And I can be more vigilant myself, because providing the client with our best product is my job.

But it's not my job to excuse bad behavior or take the fall when mistakes happen.

After talking with my boss, after dumping his fair share of the responsibility on him, I felt better. It's strange that sharing responsibility, I feel more empowered, but there you go.

And in the words of my fantasy older sister, Nora Ephron, I'm working on being the heroine and not the victim of my work story.