Dear Hangers On

To the people still on my mind:

  1. To the family who doesn’t show:  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see who’s really important to me.  When you failed to come, they didn’t.  And when they are missing and you are there… I fixate on their absence.  You gave me the chance to choose a better family- one who loves me not because there is an antiquated obligation, but because they know me, and genuinely like me.
  2. To the family who do show up:  I love you.  You’ve been there at the greatest and worst moments in my life.  We’ve laughed at funerals, cried on beaches, drank A LOT of tequilla and eaten even more taquitos.  You know me better than anyone, projectile vomiting and all- and I could not have found a better group of people to claim me.
  3. To the boys who didn’t want to date me:  I’m still not a huge fan of you.  But I’m over it.  It’s a lot more fun to hang out with people who like you.
  4. To the boy who poured his heart out and I didn’t sleep with: Life is funny, isn’t it?  I’m sorry we drifted apart… we should still be friends.  But I’m still not going to sleep with you.
  5. To the girl who calls me fat: Go eat a hamburger.  Seriously.  I’d rather carry an extra 5 pounds and be happy eating what I want, than to starve like you.
  6. To the boy who calls me fat: Go f**k yourself.  Did you really just say that to a girl in size 4-6 jeans?
  7. To the IT department at work: Thanks for dealing the the other people, so I don’t have to… I couldn’t describe the power switch as many times a day as you.  But know this: I already tried jiggling the cord and turning it on and off.  Next flow chart step, please.
  8. To the men who banned real sudafed in our state: Ugg… I understand, but I hate you all the same.
  9. To the mentors who set me right:  Thank you.  I’ve never had a hard time having good people around me when I needed them, and I am so greatful you answered my questions, set me straight, and helped me grow.
  10. To my boss: If you understood what I did, you might understand me a little better.  Also, we have the same Google.

XOXO Sarah Mae

PS- Idea blatantly stolen from Thought Catalog’s Maria Aeliya


I’ve committed to writing 30 letters in 30 days, according to the 30 Day Letter Challenge.  To learn more about my project, check out my introduction.

Advertisements

Five Favorite Friday: June 27, 2014

Oh man… it’s Friday.  When did that happen?

 

 

  1. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: A Novel by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick.  I’ve been reading/listening to this adaptation of an adaptation that totally could become an adaptation.  It is all the background secrets and stories that I imagined it and then some.  And so my every free moment is spent on it.  It will be finished by the end of the weekend, and I will get a *glowing* review soon.
  2. Okay you guys, bananas aren’t very glamorous, but they are very very very tasty and easy to eat, and largely guilt free.
  3. The Quotes blanket from Barnes and Nobel BookBoy and Mom both bought me independently.  It’s the perfect weight and cuddlyness and it washes well, and the AC is killing me at home.
  4. Tomorrow’s start of hiking and camping season.  The weather isn’t very summery, but in Oregon you’ve got to take the trail by the horns and run with it.  We’re doing about 5.5 miles, so wish me luck!
  5. The Corporate Operations Team at work.  We had a hard week in terms of the work, and their attitude and cooperative nature really made it not awful.

What do you loves this week?

Happy Friday! Love, Mae

Five Favorite Friday: May 15, 2014

Ya’ll I haven’t a night off this week.  As in the last time I wasn’t booked up being a responsible social person was last Thursday… and the next night off I can see is next Tuesday.  I’m drowning in the need to drown my sorrows exhaustion in some soy cream (which I don’t have time to pick up) and laundry doing (I’m about to be going commando if I can’t get it together real soon).

from Summer Girl 101 at http://summergirl101blog.tumblr.com/

  1. Trader Joe’s Soy Cream.  It is simply the best dairy alternative in town and I’m out, and I don’t have time to go get some at the store, and I’m sad.  Really really sad.
  2. Dad sponsored late night Dairy Queen Blizzard runs.  This is family summer tradition, where I “take the hit” with dairy and accept the stomach ache and internal hives (yes that’s a thing and no it’s not fun).  Dad throws everyone in the car, just before bedtime, and we get whatever we want.  He is Awesome, and our Blizzard season started this week, when we went over 85* in the Valley.
  3. The ever ridiculously helpful BookBoy and his Handyman tendencies.  Since BookBoy is working as a handyman while on break from being a freaking genius at school, I feel guilty using his talents, but I occasionally break down for Girl Scouts and asked.  He came over to help me with one project for the girls (making bead looms) then found me examining another project, and ended up spending half an hour assisting in the dismantling of an old desk to make way for my new desk.  I did not ask for help- he just jumped in.  Because he’s awesome like that.
  4. Spring Cleaning.  Okay maybe not- but I do love the result of culling the shelves, closets and flat surfaces so I can move the book collection that now has a person sized spot on the bed to new home.  With my new IKEA purchases from two weeks ago (and BookBoy’s assistance) I am quickly too freaking slowly moving towards better organization.
  5. Summer Hours at work.  I don’t like getting up early- seriously.  As in there have been punches thrown about it, and I broke multiple alarm clocks, back when people still had alarm clocks (my phone has insurance for this precise reason).  But my boss agreed to a skewed 8-4.30 shift for the summer, so I can do some extra volunteer hours, and get a little sunshine in my life.  I think I’ll take up sleeping.

Hows your week going?  Are you getting any sleep?  Or sunshine at least?

Friday Loves, Mae

Disgruntled Employee Monday

Okay, I am not really a disgruntled employee.  I’m just a regular “I hate Mondays, and am on third cup of coffee at 10am” employee.  And on Monday’s like these it’s easy to play my favorite hate-on-work game: If I Were The Boss.  The point of this game is to come up with the most outlandish things that would make employers, and companies better for the employee, and industry.

My fellow lower-level employees (we’re not actually low level, but we aren’t in power positions either), have been joining me the last few weeks, and this is what we’ve come up with so far.   I think these things point out that we might be a little bit more interested in the employee experience than the bottom line.. but we are after all employees, not management.

If I were the boss…

  1. Everyone would get off bankers holidays- one long weekend a month for everyone.
  2. If you can’t take a holiday off due to workload, or company necessity, you get a floating day off, to use as you like.
  3. Employees volunteer for holiday shifts, and then use their floating days as they wish.  If there is not enough volunteers, then those who would be normally scheduled will cover.
  4. All on-shift holidays will have non-monetary compensation (ie free lunches, and raffle prizes).
  5. Company paid benefits.  Actually paid for by the company.  This includes prescriptions, dental, eye and life- healthy employees are productive employees.
  6. Flexible and Compressed schedules.   Go home when there’s no work.  Work when there is.  Teams and partners can come together to work out what works for them as people, and as employees.
  7. Everyone is hourly.  You get paid for the work you do.
  8. Ratio salary caps.  The highest paid person gets no more than 10x the lowest person.
  9. Living wages. No one working full time makes less than a living wage, after tax.
  10. Reasonable sick leave- you do not use any sick days while hospitalized.  Employees are allowed 2 weeks paid sick leave a year, with additional unpaid days as medically necessary.
  11. Reasonable vacation days- all employees are given 15 days paid vacation, and 5 days paid public service time.  This time carries over.
  12. Family Support- the company will provide a low-cost buy-in childcare program for parents during school closures, for all ages.
  13. Company and Department Lunches.  Taking time out to regularly sit and break bread- either during staff meetings or simple functions.
  14. Regular department meetings.  Mandatory twice a month check ins for the staff with their management, and a member of upper management.
  15. Snacks.  Lots and lots of coffee and snacks.  Healthy, junk food, even those weirdo diet bars for those who are so inclined.  And while we’re ordering groceries- get good coffee, tea, and creamer, won’t you?
  16. Incentives and awards voted by the staff.  Executives receive a single vote, because executives higher paid, but not more important employees.  Which is also why one incentive plan covers all employees equally.
  17. Remote or field employees would attend all meetings via video.  The expectation is you look someone in the eye when you ask them to do your grunt work.
  18. Logical dress codes.  Everyone must meet the minimum standard (lets not look like h**kers, ladies and gentlemen), but you also don’t need to be in a suit and tie to sit in a cube all day.
  19. Partners desks for partners.  Team zones for teams (bull pen style).  Build collaboration not cubes.
  20. All the office supplies you need, without weird budget considerations (Dad’s Bic Pen Theory¹).
  21. Badges.  Okay I know people are going to hate on this, but if you have more than 15 people in your office badges help with names, faces, and security.
  22. Emergency plans.  What’s your company’s contingency if your office burns down?  If there’s a snow storm?  If head lice runs rampant in the local Elementary School?  Write a plan and share it with the team.
  23. Contract out. If you aren’t tech support- get tech support!  You don’t need to hire everyone full time, but you do need access to vitals like legal, tech, and logistical support.
  24. Eradicate the term “face of the company.”  The receptionist is a receptionist.  They are more than a face at the desk, they are a living, breathing (hopefully) useful part of your team who has more value to you than just a pretty face.
  25. Banning the Blackberry.  If you need regular contact with employees outside of the office, issue regular smartphones that are user friendly, and come with explicit instructions about when and how they should be used after regular business hours (do you really want me answering a call at 3am?).  Bonus if they are dualies and you save a little pocket space for your employees.

What would you change at work?  The temperature of the water cooler?  The number of bathroom stalls to women ratio?

XOXO Mae

¹Dad’s Bic Pen Theory- for those of you who haven’t worked for my father.  Companies buy cases of Bic Pens on the assertion they are cheaper per part, which is true.  However 1 out of 5 of them never work in the first place, 1 out of 5 are chewed on and never touched again, 2 out of 5 never write well.  Ultimately you are only using 1 out of 5 pens in the box, cutting your value drastically.  But if you buy the smaller boxes of slightly more expensive pens in the first place, you replace the ink, don’t throw them away (save landfills!), and they are sturdy enough to hold up against accounting during tax season.  Ultimately investing in good pens is investing in your company’s bottom line and karma by not creating waste.

Five Favorite Friday: April 25, 2014

This Friday is brought to you by a very long week in the work place, following a very long weekend on family vacation.  That being said, no matter what- you can be grateful for Friday!

Embed from Getty Images
  1. Coffee, in all forms.  I took coffee for lent, because, I’m stupid dedicated to my faith.  40 days without a simple pleasure really reminds you about the “pleasure” part.
  2. My health insurance.  Thanksgiving weekend last year, I ended up in the hospital for a kidney infection / failure, that turned into sepsis, then I acquired pneumonia while in the hospital.  My experience was less than stellar, and the bills for 4 days of ICU are astronomical.  I HATE the health care system, and hated the hospital where I was treated, but I’m grateful to be alive, and mostly healthy, and to have a support system that takes care of everything but a smallish portion.
  3. My tax return.  I would have wasted that cash if I got it month by month, but I’m able to pay off those hospital bills, and some small debt with it when I get a lump sum.
  4. Elizabeth Smart’s (now Gilbert) attitude on life.  I’ve just finished her book (or the audio version she narrated).  Review to come later, but I’ll give you this, for a young girl, placed in an impossiblely horrible situation, she has grown to be an amazing young woman.

What (and who) do you loves this week?

Happy Friday! Love, Mae

And passersby were shocked when I greeted the receptionist in French.

Because I’m secretly

Canadian.

And I took French in college.

Bonjour! Parle l’anglais? No… c’est bien- je cherche un voucher de reste.

It’s not good French (I’m confident that the French and/or Quebecois have a word for receipt- but I don’t know it. “Voucher of stay” was the best I could come up with on the fly), but it works in a pinch.

Apparently it is impressive to know where all 10 provinces and 3 territories are, and how to say things like Regina, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg, or how ice hockey and curling and darts work.  It might impress people here (many of my co-workers have never been out of the states of Oregon or SW Washington), but I said a little prayer of thanks when the accountant spoke crystal clear English.  Because you know- I know it’s not good French.

What do you do to surprise those around you?
What “secrets” are you inadvertently hiding from your co-workers?

Loves, Sarah Mae

PS- I don’t actually try to hide the fact I grew up partly in Canada.  I really love many places there, and tolerate enjoy visits to my family there.  I even bust out an Scottish Canadian immigrant accent (a cross between my grandmothers strong Scottish brogue and my cousins soft Ontario drag) when I speak to our Canadian divisions (or my family).  I just do really well projecting American when I’m in America.

Five Favorite Friday: March 7, 2014

It’s Friday.  Holy Freaking Alleauea- it’s been a long and tiring week, after a few too many over-scheduled weeks, and I am ready for a nice long lie-in (sleep-in, for those of you who grew up American).  Here are my five favorite things this week:

  1. Safe Travels we were blessed to get back home from my cousin’s Kansas Wedding with just the right breaks so we were only a little late and shorted about an hours sleep.  Other family members didnt make it to work on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, but thankfully- everyone made it home without injury.
  2. Costco Brand Rice Cracker Snacks I’ve been starving all week, and Kirkland is one of the best easy to access brands in town.
  3. Intellectual Friend’s sometimes I forget how wonderful it is to have so many educated and intellectually driven people around… and then I have a few bad conversations and I get to turn to Facebook to remind myself the world isn’t entirely filled with idiocy.
  4. Royal Moore Toyota and their body shop.  They fixed the Prius like new, while I was on vacation, and cleaned the inside just to be nice.  They even returned a few lost earrings from under the seats.  Everyone says dont get service from your dealer, but they are AMAZING and I loooooovvvveee their service every time.
  5. Readers in the lunchroom.  There are a few folks who take ten minute reading breaks in the lunchroom, and this totally entertains me because it reminds me of school, when we used to read during free periods at school.  I can still see our little circle sitting too many people at one table.To

What are you in love with this week?

I’m always in love with you, XOXOX Mae