Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm Not Fooled About This Either

Someone in my department thinks it makes crappy news less crappy to give it snappy name. Snappy is a subjective term. Often, the only subject who really finds such things snappy is the person doing the snapping. Unfortunately, no one has adequately explained the concept of treating adults like adults to our management staff. We are still talking about the company that sponsored a death march in 100+ degree heat last year and called it a "team builder."* Thus, everytime management announces mandatory overtime they call it something like "Overtime Blitz", "OT Bonanza" and the latest "Overtime-A-Palooza."

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We're not fooled people. Mandatory overtime with a (not-so) snappy name is still overtime that is - wait for it- mandatory. If my employers put it out as a business need and didn't try to dress it up, they might find us less resentful. When people grumble about the latest, it's not generally the number of hours we're asked to contribute, it's the stupid names and activities that put a bad taste in our mouths.

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Supervisors and production managers of call centers, factories or production floors, just a tip: ice cream and balloon animals are great. At a kid's birthday party. A handshake, that ever welcome time-and-a-half on our paychecks, and if you must, grown up snacks (PLEASE GOD, NO MORE BUBBLE GUM!!!) are much more appropriate for adults. On behalf of Skilled Non-Exempt Employees everywhere: thank you and good night.

Oops. I almost forgot: The question on the 'management performance assessment' you are filling out which pertains to grammatical and spelling accuracy contains a typo. Coincidence or irony?

*For reference:!91AA1DCBA39C409C!1211.entry

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Everybody Wins (Except That They Don't)

It's a big week around here. The. Last. Week. Of. School. This is the week Sk8trboi has his 'Continuation' ceremony in celebration of moving from Elementary School to Jr. Hi. MadManda's cramming for finals. Thursday, Miss M goes on the class trip to an amusement park and tonight she had her Class Unit's awards ceremony.

This is a week that is bound to make me angry. This week I have already watched one child and will doubtless watch another participate in a gathering in which all children are supposed to be honored. What I will see instead is a program in which the same half dozen kids are recognized, some receive token acknowledgement and others are almost completely forgotten.

Here's my rant: if you are going to reward excellence and excellence only, then do so. Put together an event where you stress and reward those who have put in the time and effort and who have earned recognition. I respect that. However, if you are going to design (and advertise)a ceremony where everybody is recognized, even if their performance may honestly be mediocre; make darn sure you recognize everybody.

Please DONT pretend to recognize everybody when you aren't. Don't give out 'awards specially designed for each child' when 75% are fill-in-the-blank participation certificates and the other 25% are not-so-thinly-veiled awards for being popular. Please DONT put together a PowerPoint slide show that you call Class Memories when what you really mean is Memories of the Cool Kids with some Partially Visible Nerds/Geeks/Weirdos/Losers Thrown In Because We Have a List We Have to Complete. We know the score, so please don't humor us. Please don't insult us by designing fake awards ceremonies and then go on to recognize only those who fit whatever image it is you happen to like this week.

If you want to reward excellence, by all means do so. No one questions a champion's right to be recognized for their hard work and dedication. If, however, you are presenting something as all-inclusive, please insure you include everybody. It might not seem like much but try explaining the difference to the kid you forgot.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Anyone feel like buying me a house?

Only three quarters of a million dollars, American. A bargain, really!

Think of the magic one could make. I bet it's soaked into the walls.

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Nice to dream, isn't it? Meanwhile, back at home, I forgot how green it is here in early summer.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Day as Labor Day

I am not a popular person in my house today. It's a good thing I don't put much stock in popularity compared to a clean house. I appreciate that it's a holiday weekend; the way I see it, the long weekend means we have time to clean AND time to play. Works out well, doesn't it?

Needless to say, the younger members of my household don't appreciate my view of things. I understand; I remember lots of weekends spent with brooms, mops and resentment towards the evil grown ups enslaving me. I sit here today as proof that a young person can go on to have a happy life even if their parents made them clean when they'd rather be doing something else.

The Cowboy is another story. He used his superior hint-ignoring capability to escape in search of gentle water and hungry trout. My mother taught me never to wish harm on others, but if you must, you might think to yourself that it wouldn't be so bad if they were inconvenienced as a kind of karmic return. It'd be too bad if Cowboy got sunburned or if there were mosquitoes out this morning.

Maybe he'll feel really bad when he comes home and everyone else has worked hard to clean. Maybe he'll be driven by his guilt to do the yardwork he's been putting off. Maybe he has a secret stash of money and he'll be compelled to sweep us all off for a luxury end to a weekend of hard work.

And maybe my next car really will be a broom!

Friday, May 11, 2007

ShortFatMama Evolving

Over a year ago, I made the switch from Blogger to MSN's Spaces because that's where Cara and Aynde were. Along the way I met Mocha, Eric, Chris, Catholic Mom, the Librarian and many many more. I had a great time, was even featured on MSN's home page once for a week. Then everybody started moving back to Blogger and my bosses blocked my connection to Spaces. I guess they wanted to know they were paying me to work, not blog. How unoriginal!

I haven't updated since January and to be honest, I feel it's largely because I have moved past her persona. I'm done identifying myself soley as a fat chick; it's a vicious circle. I talk about myself as a fat girl, I AM a fat girl. No More.

Some months ago, if you read me before you knew I had joined Weight Watchers and begun a new journey to smaller pant sizes. I'm still working on that goal. Frankly, there are many days when all I want is someone to show me where the zipper is on my fat suit. Most days are just about taking the next step in the path, making the vision a reality through actions and thought. I talk about myself as a shrinking girl, I think shrinking thoughts, take other steps in a shrinking direction and low and behold... I really am shrinking. Visualization. It's scarey stuff, folks.

So here I am, the phoenix rising from the ashes of the fat lady. I look good in orange, don't I?

But it hasn't only been about my need to move away from Short Fat Mama and into MamaChristy, Fairy Godmother To Be. I have been hiding out for another reason. I took another step, one that I am not sure the very spiritual people I like and respect around the blogsphere will support. I hope they will, I hope they'll respect my choice to explore as I respect theirs to stand by a faith that works for them. I have begun exploring alternate religions and am finding much joy, enlightenment and yes, magic of a positive sort in the experience.

Over a year ago I read a book that made me feel I wanted to become a godmother to others. I wanted to live my life in a way that would have a magical, positive affect on others. It's this journey, and life along the way that will make up my blog from here.

I will not be posting on after this. I have moved back here to blogger but am starting fresh. Similiar name, different vein. If you liked MamaChristy before, good. She's still here, there's just less (and more) of her to like!