Saturday, June 21, 2014

Office odds & ends

I stopped at the department store counter of a well-known cosmetics brand this week at lunchtime.  My favourite swivel-up eye pencil broke off/ran out, mid-makeup, as I was rushing to get ready & out the door for work that morning -- thereby setting the tone for the rest of my day :p -- and I wanted to pick up another. I'm one of the counter manager's best and longest-running customers.  How long? I have a business card from her with an appointment written on it that dates back to 1991 (!!).  

"I'm thinking about retiring," she said to me quietly, as she wrapped up my purchase and looked around to see if any of her coworkers were listening. "I'm 60 now, and I've been here 25 years. Most of the girls these days don't stay more than two or three. I hate to say it, but I'm not as young as I used to be. It's hard spending all day on my feet, and I want to spend more time with my granddaughter." 

I told her I could relate. (Well, not to the granddaughter part, obviously, but generally.) 

Without going into all the gory details, there has been much change afoot at my workplace. (Again.) We've all been told we have to "step up our game."  And while I have been trying to adapt, and have never been rated a less than satisfactory performer before this point, I fear that, lately, I am not stepping high nor fast enough to suit some of the powers that be. :(   As another "older" coworker noted at a recent meeting where we were discussing the prospect of yet more changes, "we all know that change is a given these days, but over time, it does take a toll." 

Yes. Yes, it does. 

(Which is a long & roundabout explanation/excuse, at least in part, as to why I haven't been writing (or reading, or commenting) much lately. Apologies.)

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Also on the work-related front, pg coworker is off work again. She is actually "working from home," although I'm sure her dr would have done the paperwork to put her on short-term disability.  Even so, it's been a bit lonely at the office. And busy, especially with vacation season kicking in.

We're hoping to lure her into the office next week for a surprise baby shower.  It's actually a joint baby shower -- two of the guys in our office are also about to become new dads. Would you believe I'm on the planning committee?? (As one of just three people on our immediate team, including our mutual senior manager, I figured I would be conspicuous by my absence.)  I was secretly hoping the shower would take place while I was away on vacation, but no such luck...

One of the managers, about my age, actually wondered whether we should wait to have the shower until the baby is born. A few people said, "Why??" in puzzlement and there was an awkward pause as some of us, who are old enough to know that not all babies come home, particularly from a high risk pregnancy, exchanged glances.

I weighed in by saying, in a light-hearted way, that having a shower later was fun because we might  get to see the baby -- but it was nice at any time to know that your friends want to wish you well and celebrate with you.

I still think about my own baby shower sometimes -- planned, but never held. All I have is an invitation. I would have liked to have had, if not the presents (they would never have been used anyway), definitely the memories...

3 comments:

Mali said...

I think some hugs are due - winging their way across the Pacific to you now. Because every baby shower must make you think. They would make me think, so I can only imagine how you feel about planning one but not having it.

I wonder if you feel someone should have said that "not all babies come home" to at least enlighten the people who said "why?" Without need for further explanation.

And I'm sorry you're going through all this change at work. I've been around an organisation (though I no longer work there) that, for the last 30 years, seems to have had change and reorganisation every few years. Those of us who are older look at the change quite cynically, being able to see that often, little changes except stress levels and some valuable personnel. (Perhaps I'm still bristling at DH's situation last year). It is stressful. And I dread having to re-enter an environment like that.

Hope you're enjoying summer!

Amel said...

(((HUGS)))

Because I grow up in a society where baby showers aren't a custom, I don't think it's crossed my mind so much, but understand that you'd like to have the memories. We're missing out on so many memories...

Sorry to hear about the workplace change again. I've also been thinking that now I can still be fast enough to perform at work, but not sure I can still be like this in, say, 20 years. We shall see how it goes. I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

P.S. Come to think of it, I don't think there are baby showers over here, either. Hmmm...at least I've never heard of that.

awomanmyage said...

Ah, changes do make me feel melancholy too. Luckily I don't attend many baby showers, but I still feel odd around them after all these years.....