Web Wise Women

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Los Cambios Necesitan Mucha Paciencia


It has been rather abruptly brought to my attention lately that there are really only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who try to make life easier for others, and those who try to make life easier for themselves. Now being of the first type does not preclude getting an easier life; in fact, if you go through life making things easier for others, you will have a better time of it yourself by association. What goes around comes around, especially if it's good.

By contrast, those who go about making life better or easier or more fun for themselves without much thought to others except as an inconvenience or even obstacle will find it far more difficult to get cooperation, friendship and even love from others. My husband and I found one of those people last week when he was terminated from his job for what amounts to a difference in communication styles and a personality quirk. Ordinarily what would happen when there are communication problems is that first the pair in question work on them... and then later, if they persist, one or the other transitions to a new location within the company so that both can be ultimately successful. This did not happen.

What frustrated us most was that instead of using the many opportunities to find a solution that was mutually workable, the boss decided to hold the information private, view everything in the worst possible light, and search diligently for an excuse to fire him. Then without so much as a word about why, he was escorted from the building and put on administrative leave. Two days later, he was invited in to a meeting and fired. He was given a list of his "errors" and told that he was displaying a pattern of poor judgment. Now mind you, my husband is a person who consistently scored the highest possible ratings for the previous two years. He has (even under the new boss) a 90-95% customer satisfaction rate. He's very good at what he does, and his team is very loyal. The only thing that changed for him is the new boss, 8 months ago.

A top performer, with everything else the same, cannot go from being that good to that poor (worthy of termination) unless there's some big reason. The only change was the new boss. Therefore he hasn't changed, it's a personality difference, and it should be treated as such. Personality conflicts are really nobody's "fault," and there is no blame or shame. Things shift around and everyone is happier. That's how it should have gone.

So now...

An entire family must uproot, move, sell their house (at a loss since we just bought it 6 months ago), transfer children mid-year, and I must leave my delightful university, all because this boss chose not to take the nice, kind, reasonable approach that would have made life easier for everyone. Instead, the boss pushed out a fine employee who loved the company and developed it into an award winner two years running. Sad.

I know which kind of person I am, and I will stay one who tries to make life easier for everyone. It's the right thing to do.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

About being an American today.

The Privacy LawyerI haven't been proud of this election process and the political campaigns this year. I shared some of my thoughts on The Privacy lawyer blog today.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Computers, Law, and Math!

So why these three subjects?
Well, I suppose they don't seem to go together.
I mention these things because I have interests in all of them... and in History, Art, Psychology, Science... well, you name it, and I am probably at least curious. I'm one of those pitiful sorts who would dearly love to attend school for the rest of my natural life. Yes, some think I'm absolutely insane. Get the degree, get a good job, and start really earning the cash, some say. But for me, education has never been a means to an end. It's the endless journey, the broadening influence, the unfolding of endless vistas of unexplored territory to which I bring my own unique experience. I have never met a class I truly didn't like.
So again, why Computers, Law and Math?
Well, I have been interested in computers as tools, and mighty useful ones at that, for about 24 years. But for some reason, I never got "into" computers the way some do - learning how to make the best possible use of them. I am now studying programming and discovering that I really like it. It'll be a while before I can call myself a "programmer," but that's ok with me. I am enjoying the journey.
I also am of a generally strict mentality with regard to laws and rules. Either they're good, and you follow them, or they're bad, and you change them... but generally you don't break them. That's the way I learned them, and I guess it makes the most sense. Of course, as you grow up and become aware of the myriad shades of grey that exist between "right" and "wrong," you discover that rules are generally inadequate. Yet the study of them is fascinating. It's logic, it's emotion, it's diplomacy and persuasion and influence... it's as riveting as any reality show, if you look in the right places. I'm studying Constitutional law now, and I'm stunned at how little-informed many of the pundits are about the Constitution to which they so often make reference. I've decided to memorize the document (it's short, really), and to begin to hunt up a copy of the Federalist Papers for my own little library.
And math. Why did it have to be math? I don't honestly know. Early in my life, I had a math teacher who, for the subject, was probably average. As far as his actual ability to teach sensitively and make the most of his students, I have to say I would give him a failing grade. Something he did that year scarred me, and drove me from math. I was convinced that I wanted nothing to do with numbers in any form except on a paycheck. Well, most of you know how long that can last. I had to take math courses in college, and I passed, but not with any flying colors... till now.
Upon returning to college many years after starting (and not deciding on) my degree, I have discovered that I have wasted years. I have a reasonable talent for math! I've worked my way through calculus and am now in a combinatorics class and enjoying it. Who would have thought?! I've reached the point where I think math is "enjoyable" - but this is not the same as "loving" math. I may not get to that point in this lifetime, but at least the fear is gone, and the anxiety. I know that I can learn any math, if I put my mind to it!

~my first blog~

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Wise Women

The Spa had lots of classes about finding laughter, finding who you and and remembering it when you find it, being authentic, balance, etc. In the days of having to spin plates, of home, work, community, spirit, relationships, [fill in the blank], it's tough to also juggle and balance. Sometimes it feels a bit like a circus act, where you are spinning plates and juggling, while wearing clown-face and balancing on a large rubber ball. Sometimes it feels like that ball is more the size of a marble.

Who has time (outside of a spa week) to figure out what or who is really deep inside and how we are supposed to keep it all going? What does balancing mean to women who are expected (and often do) do it all? And if you are fortunate enough to find a momentary balance, what do you do when fate throws you a curve and knocks you off that big (or tiny) ball, plates and all?

Something's gotta give.

Is it just that we choose what we need to ignore from a list that we can afford to ignore that day/week/moment? Then do we just circulate things on that list, and shift things around so we can put things aside for awhile once they are okay? Do we give up a portion of ourselves or our lives to be able to keep the rest in balance?

At 53 I thought I would be wiser. I think I've just learned to ignore more, spin faster and balance en pointe...

Web Wise Women

I recently visited a wonderful spa in Texas (the Lake Austin Spa, www.lakeaustinspa.com) and met some incredible women. I expected big hair and lots of makeup (this WAS Texas after all :-)). Instead I found a group of wonderfully diverse women, looking to get away from the pressures of everyday life, especially their technology-related jobs.

I had forgotten how wonderful women can be when they let their hair down and share their thoughts, dreams and support. I had also forgotten how hard it is to break away and find other women like us.

I created this blog as a place where women like this can share their thoughts with others. To protect everyone's security and privacy and to prevent the kinds of posts that too often attack women and others online, we will only allow registered women to post. Anyone who wants to be a part of this should e-mail me directly at parry@aftab.com. We will need to authenicate the identities of any potential blog members, but will protect everyone's privacy by using this information only for blog registration, authentication and compliance. Anyone else who wants to submit a comment can send it to me and, if we decide to post it, can have it posted anonymously without being a blog member. Members can authenticate other members.

Anything from dieting and romance, to travel issues, health, policy and life issues will be fair game. The only parameters are posts that could help others or provide insight to our lives as women.

wanna play? drop me an e-mail.