Posts tagged ‘rant’

2018, July 27

What a real work-from-home morning routine is like

Like I said before, I like to pop a YouTube video in the background while I’m cooking or doing other house chores every once in a while. And lately, from what I have noticed, full time you tubers are trapped in this world where (because they can stay home all day and just receive free PR products) feel that they have to give life advice when they have no experience in working in a job that requires them to leave the house or answer to someone else. All these lifestyle gurus come up with videos about their morning routines. They have catchy titles like:
“Productive Morning Routine!
Positive morning habits to work on!
Build Your Perfect Morning Routine!”

Most of these morning routines are summed up easily by saying that these people proceed to laze around in bed or on the sofa for an hour with their phone on “airplane mode”, cook breakfast for half an hour, work out for two hours and plan an empty day for another hour.
I might be judging by the minority (so, sorry if that’s the case), but I think these people will be in for a shock when the YouTube bubble bursts eventually, and they’ll have to leave for a full time job 5 days a week at 7 AM and not get home until after 6 PM.
To me, it’s one of the funniest and most frustrating things to hear these people say “I wake up an hour earlier to do these things.” An hour earlier than what? Their fictional self-enforced “normal wake-up time” before they get to do whatever they want all day with maybe editing a video and hitting the “publish” button sprinkled into the day?

Personally, I started working from home most of the time as of March this year. I work normal shifts of 40 hours a week.
However, I still don’t have the time to do two hours of jogging and yoga before I cook a fresh, wholefoods macro-filled low-calorie home-cooked breakfast before I start work /head to work on the days I go to the office!

My morning routine is wake up, feed the cat, make the bed so the cat doesn’t undo it later, drink coffee the BF made and get dressed lastly so the cat doesn’t mess up the outfit – with the added don’t fall on face on the way to the car from the 4th floor and drive to work, on days I’m heading to the office.
Most days, I have the first meal of the day at/after 12 PM and the morning dishes stay unwashed until way into the afternoon.
I do like the flexibility working from home gives, but if I throw in a load of laundry for example, I usually forget about it and they stay in the machine for an extra hour or more before I hang them to dry on the balcony.
When I sometimes get to duck out for a run before work, I am the happiest! I do have to quickly catch up after I get back though, sometimes not even having time to shower right away.
And, just to make a note of it: I don’t have the luxury of putting my phone to “airplane mode.” Real life just doesn’t work like that, and emergencies do happen.

I’m waiting for helpful suggestions to improve the above… and “read a book before starting work” is not good enough, thanks ;)

Once one gets into a routine, I guess the flip side is also true – breaking that routine.
“Routines are a very weird thing, because on the one hand we are always being encouraged to make routines and to stick to a solid routine. We;re told that the most successful people in the World have a routine and stick to it. But on the flip side, by breaking out of your routine and trying something else, you might actually find a better or a simpler way of doing things. And you might learn that you can feel more present and get more out of your day just by doing some simple things like putting your phone down or taking a walk outside with your head up.” – Lucie Fink

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2018, March 2

Jumping through hoops

I apologize in advance for the rant!

Lately, I’ve become somewhat sick and tired of my job. Or, at the very least, pretty frustrated by certain things. One of them being, using up my training budget.

We have a generous amount, I have to admit, and if you use up less than half of it, you don’t have to sign any additional paperwork. Fair.

Now, for technical authors there are only a handful of courses one can take online, since I don’t live near any live-held courses. I already covered (with flying colors!) my basics in online courses. And I’d LOVE to attend courses or conferences held in London, Paris, Sofia or elsewhere around the World, but those would be way too expensive if I factor in travel expenses – so I don’t choose those.

I e-mailed my direct supervisor earlier this month with a list of books I’d like to order to replace training events (conference, course, etc.), and after sending him a chase, he replied he was happy with my choices given I was well within the training budget.

Then, however, the manager stepped in.
She said she’s happy to approve books “as I read them, one book at a time”.
I get what she means, but, that means I’ll receive all the books I need today, in six months time or by the end of this year if we go by her approval-plan.

It also feels a little insulting, as for a training course/event/conference where I might learn a lot less than say, from five-to-thirteen books, the company would pay in full. And so they do for any other employee opting for a training course or the alike.
From what I recall the manager saying in a company meeting at the end of last December, not even a third of the training budget was used by employees last year.
So, naturally, I feel somehow penalized for wanting to use mine up in one go, one month rather than in a year – just because I can learn a lot more from books than I have the opportunity to learn in too-few events organized in my chosen field.

Because I need to produce a variety of documents and content type, I originally built my list with that exact thing in mind. At the manager’s initial request to not order all of them at once, I narrowed it down to four books, which would be most helpful to me for the moment:

A style-book for the different styles I need to use, and because it also has a part about media law – and I use media components in blog posts, etc. on our company website.
Two technical communication books which would help enhance my knowledge about both traditional technical authoring and the content writing I am currently doing which is more reader-centered than technical. Truth is they can be a dry read and 600-700 pages long, so I would switch between reading them and shorter works. They would, however, be nice to have near me to be able to look up information in as I need it rather than turning to the web for a hundred different thoughts on the same dilemma. For example, when I struggle with figuring out what guidelines to follow for different pieces or how to adapt some forms of work to fit other categories.
And an editorial calendar workbook which would help with the tasks I am currently dealing with on a daily basis, especially as I currently need to produce a huge load of documents in a very short period of time. It would provide a way to break down all my ideas into workable chunks and even get a better sense of how the content I produce can be used cross-promoted in our marketing plan – something I am not familiar with as I have never dealt with marketing before in my life.

The manager’s reply? Here’s the direct quote:
“Ordering 13, 5 or even 3 books at a time, considering their length (624 – 704 pages each), is not aligned with my request. I don’t understand why you are in a hurry to order all those books. The primary objective of the training budget is not to have it spent in a financial year, it is to make sure it supports employees’ professional development in the right way. This is NOT about the amounts, it’s about the PRINCIPLE.”

In the past when I ordered the same amount of books (five plus) for roughly the same amount of money, I found no difficulties in them being approved together, which is why I didn’t see an issue with asking for more than one at a time this year.

I didn’t build my list just for the sake of asking for books. I buy leisure books on my own – and these are definitely not my choice of “for fun” reading.
Also I didn’t think “which ones are the longest?” and list those. Of my full list, only three of the books are past 500 pages, and they happen to be among the four which I would most benefit from in the beginning.

All the books from my original list (and so, implicitly, the broken down few-item list) were chosen because I honestly feel they would help me in my professional development.

Yet, I need to jump through hoops before receiving them. One. At. A. Time.

2017, September 29

Feelings can get hurt, so think before you talk

I am at a point in my life where my bullshit-radar is on “high”, and I get frustrated with people who speak before they think things through. Here’s a few examples:

Pets are family to me, and if anything happens to them I will be sad. For weeks on end. And you saying “Stop being sad, it was just an animal.” will bring resentment from my part, even though I can understand that not everyone thinks and feels the same way I do.

Replying with “Oh, but who’s going to feed the cat?” when asked about going on a trip together with the person who usually feeds your cat is probably going to result in me looking at you like you’ve gone insane. I will also need to find someone else other than them to feed my cat, so if this is your first thought out loud, I am already regretting asking and will look less forward to the trip.

Having lunch with colleagues can be fun. The moment one of them makes a snotty remark about the cheap food I happen to eat five days in a row because I am on a tight budget and have no time to cook myself a yummy-er lunch, I will stop having lunch with them. Simple.

Same goes for colleagues who only talk about their team issues and project during lunchtime. I have nothing to add to those conversations, so if I want to sit and eat without talking to someone because they’re immersed in team-talk, I can do that on the balcony by myself and enjoy the fresh air at least.

Telling me, an unmarried and supposedly friend of yours, that “I don’t know who to ask as bridesmaids, all my friends are married” will hurt my feelings. Very much so. Especially if my boyfriend is a best man in said wedding and aside from feeling left out it also keeps us apart for half a day.

All of these result in getting my feelings hurt, actually, and as only one of the above happened this year, it seems that they hurt me enough to still think about it. Over-thinker with a mild case of OCD at her best… Here’s hoping this little rant-y post helped clear my head of these.

I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of such comments and questions in your lifetime. What was your worst one?

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