Shades of gray


I recently passed the 5th module in my quest for CCP (Certified Compensation Professional) via WorldatWork’s certification program. Past the halfway mark, with the toughest ones out-of-the-way, I can focus on the fun stuff like job analysis, documentation, and evaluation. Yippee!

I am not being sarcastic. I enjoy this stuff. Really.

What I don’t enjoy is cleaning house. Which is obvious to anyone who steps in the door.

Dust is my friend, dust is my friend, dust is my friend …

Last summer—in a moment of insanity—I bought new bedroom furniture. The insane part wasn’t buying the furniture because I’d had the same stuff for about 30 years and new furniture was way overdue.

The craziness was buying mahogany furniture with a black stain. Every, and I mean every, fleck of dust shows on every surface.

This stuff starts showing dust on the end of the dresser I just dusted by the time I get to the other end. And, I always know when my cat, Emily, walked across it because she leaves a trail of paw prints.

I could have bought the same set in white but was afraid it would show dirt too easily given Emily’s penchant for walking all over furniture.

Silly me.

So, in the spirit of “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em” I’ve decided I can live with shades of gray.

I draw the line, though, when it starts looking like it’s been sprinkled with baby powder. Dirty snow is not a good look.

 

 

 

Advertisements

What?


I stopped by the grocery store in a rush a few days ago to pick up a few necessities. You know, eggs, bread, milk, the usual stuff.

This morning, I finished the last of the milk (the milk I already had) and reached in the fridge for the new milk, ripped the top off, and poured it right into the almost-full glass I already had.

Before I go any further with this narrative let me just say that I LOVE milk. A day without milk is like a day without sunshine in my book (sorry orange juice marketers) and breakfast without milk just isn’t right. It would be like crackers without cheese, a movie without popcorn, CSNY without Y. (It’s been years and I’m still not over that one.)

I digress.

Next, I took a big gulp of my beloved milk and what to my wondering taste buds did appear?

BUTTERMILK.

I HATE buttermilk! Except in biscuits, of course. And, ranch dressing.

So, to the twit that stuck a jug of buttermilk in with the sweet acidophilus …

Bad move.

Very bad move.

On the brighter side, breakfast with Dr. Pepper ain’t too shabby.

But, what the heck am I going to do with a gallon of buttermilk?

 

Green is good!


I was commenting on a post from When all is said … and I had an idea. Not necessarily an original idea, but it’s the first time it popped into my brain so I’m calling it my idea.

You see, I read a lot.

Not only do I read a lot but I buy a lot of books, mostly from Amazon.com. As a result I pretty much always have a stack of empty cardboard shipping boxes piled up in a corner, sometimes in my home office (mostly), sometimes in the kitchen (at the moment).

Reusable-MailerMy idea is that Amazon should provide a reusable shipping carton that we can swap back and forth.

They could send me my monthly fix of books (aka, my regular order) in the reusable plastic carton then I could fold it down and return it empty just in time for the next month’s shipment.

Just think of all the cardboard, and the trees, that would be saved.

Even better, Amazon could provide the cartons printed on the inside with the “postage paid business reply” stuff needed so when returned to them empty it wouldn’t cost me a penny. But would they just up their shipping charges or the cost of books? Maybe, or maybe not. Anyway, the failing Postal Service could also benefit because they’d be getting paid for the mailing costs going both ways. Which is one more than they’re getting paid for at the moment.

Amazon would save tons of money because they wouldn’t have to keep buying loads of cardboard boxes. They would have to keep buying the reusable plastic cartons, though, because, let’s face it, even plastic wears out eventually. But, not as often as cardboard!

They wouldn’t have to send my books in my carton either. They could just send them in any old reusable plastic carton from anybody’s last book order. I mean, why would they want to have to keep up with which carton belongs to which customer?

The cartons would be printed on one side with the Amazon logo and a place to slap a shipping label. The other side could have the standard business reply mailer stuff. You know, the bar code, etc.

Now, if I could just figure out how to make reusable packing tape.

Hmmm …

Saying what comes naturally


I was reading a great post at the Jotter’s Joint earlier and it reminded me of something that happened recently …

I was at a work luncheon the other day. It was one of those service award things  and I sitting at a table with 5 coworkers from departments outside my own who apparently weren’t in the mood to talk.

After a while it got awkward

Being the dyed-in-the-wool introvert that I am, I was perfectly fine with just munching my lunch and enjoying the scenery. But, as I looked around at the others, it seemed as though some were a bit uncomfortable with the quiet. So, beginning with the guy sitting next to me, I started asking questions.

I guess I went around the table a couple of times asking more and more questions until, after a bit, one of them commented that I sounded like I was interviewing them for a job. Without batting an eyelash, I switched gears and asked … if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

You see, in my job I write about HR topics and, like most folks when trying to make conversation, I tend to focus on things that come naturally to me. For example to get the conversation going, I asked …

How long have you been in your current job?

What is it about your job that you like the best?

My coworker was right

I was asking questions like a job interviewer, like the HR director I used to be. It just comes naturally. Small talk, unfortunately,  does not.

The neat thing, at least for me, was that once I asked the lame question about the tree, everyone cracked up. The ice broke.

The point is

It doesn’t really matter what your small talk is about. What matters is that you throw it out there.

Sometimes, it might fall flat. But, other times, it just may open the gate to a trip into other people’s worlds.

And, much like writing whatever is on your mind to keep the juices flowing, it is well worth the effort.

Even for us introverts.

A hearty thank you to the Jotter’s Joint for sharing some juice with this old girl!

Life is weird sometimes …


Out of the blue

There you are, wandering along having a good day and, wham, right into your email inbox comes a message from someone in your past. Someone you never expected to hear from again. Ever.

So, what do you do? Do you respond? Do you want to reconnect with that person?

If not, why? Did he or she do you wrong?

If you do want to reconnect, why? Has time faded your memory of the reality of the past relationship? Was it a positive relationship? If so, why did it expire? Was it just an “all good things must come to and end” kind of deal?

Was it a personal relationship? Or, was it a business contact? A former coworker, teacher, mentor, neighbor, friend?

Whatever it was, there is a reason for why it ended, and it was probably a pretty good one.

So, why stir it up again?

What’s in it for you?

Is it just curiosity?

The chance to see how that person has changed? Is he/she still as interesting, as thought-provoking, as entertaining, as relevant?

Won’t know until you click “reply.” Go ahead. You know you want to.

Today’s question

Is there someone from your past that you’d like an opportunity to reconnect with? Who is it? Why do you want that chance? How will you use it if you get it?