Posts tagged ‘thoughts’

2018, April 13

Dear Friday, 13.April.2018

I know it’s not a good excuse… but I am feeling overworked, and so, I’ve been neglecting this little corner of my world. By the time I get to turn off my laptop, I do not feel like doing any more writing.

Here’s hoping you don’t mind getting a bunch of back-dated blog posts (Yes, including this one).

Sorry,
Estrella

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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.

2018, January 26

Over-used YouTube expressions lately

Sometimes while being a very busy bee with house chores, I turn on my laptop, and either have some music playing in the background, or listen to different youtuber channels. I like the occasional make up tips, maybe a vlog or two and I especially enjoy DIY videos and recipes.

However, lately I start getting antsy when I hear youtubers say certain things/expressions. Here are a couple of examples of these pet peeves, in no particular order:

  • “I’m obsessed with x,y,z” – It seems like *everyone* is obsessed with *everything* from floral buttons, colors, lipstick, tank tops and decorative pineapples to working with a certain type of food processor, and everything else in between.
  • “Super natural” – Nope, not for make up tips. It always comes out pronounced as if it were “supernatural.”
  • “If that makes sense/If you get that” – If it didn’t, you wouldn’t include it in a video. That simple.

What expressions turn your radar on, either on Youtube, TV or real life?

2018, January 19

Every Day Matters

After a very nice holiday trip to Skopje, Macedonia, I came home to my diary and started planning my 2018. A dear friend of mine sent me the “Every Day Matters”  illustrated holistic diary created by Dani DiPirro of Positively Present for Christmas.

I suspect my friend thought of this, because on the one hand I’ve been quite depressed for the better half of 2017 after our dear sweet kitten died and pretty much felt like none of my days mattered. (I feel so blessed to have someone like her in my life. Thank you, Trisha!)
On the other hand, she also knows I’ve followed Dani’s 30 day photo challenges yearly since 2011. (Those photo challenges even prompted me to start a photo challenge of my own.)

As it says in the description if it, “the planner not only has plenty of space for daily planning, but also offers inspiring advice on how to make each and every day really matter.” I am looking forward to it being a resource for enriching my daily life, guiding me through a journey of awareness and fulfillment as I’ll go about my everyday activities. Who knows? This might just be the diary/planner I fully fill out.
I’ve only been that disciplined with one other planner thus far in the 30 years of my existence.

For today, I thought to share a list with you. The theme for January is Openness, and the prompt for the first week of the month is a suggestion to write a list of five feel-good surprises from last year. I feel that so much of last year has been spent in grief I definitely didn’t pay much attention to letting happiness find me. It was actually hard to think of five things. I like that this comes first in the planner.

Five feel-good surprises from 2017:

  1. A phone call my boyfriend received to pick up his diploma, which led to us taking a trip to pick it up around my birthday.
  2. Google Maps taking us the wrong way during a road trip, but leading to the most scenic ride through the forest.
  3. Receiving a bike for my birthday – I’ve wanted to buy myself one for the past five years at least, but never got around to it.
  4. Out of a five-people team, being the only one asked to hand over her project work in person at the client’s site in the UK.
  5. Receiving the out-of-the-blue gift that included my Christmas present, this diary.

Now I’m wondering, what was your 2017 like overall? And what are your five feel-good surprises from last year? Do share in the comment section below!

2017, October 20

Dear Friday, 20.October.2017

Grief sometimes weighs us down more than it should.

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?

2017, September 8

Study

I conducted a very exact study a few days ago while waiting to meet with someone, and my findings are as follows:

  • 13 out of 20 people will try to jump (unsuccessfully) over a large puddle spreading across the sidewalk
  • 5 out of 20 people will strut right through said puddle
  • 2 out of 20 people will take the time to actually go around it.
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