Baby and Boss

Oh my, I’m shattered. Today was exhausting but very successful. I was nervous; it involved taking a teething baby and driving 90 miles up the motorway to meet my new boss and having a lunch meeting with colleagues. I was safe to say, bricking it. I didn’t realise how much until I arrived in the car park deliberating the right time to enter the office with Boyo.

I was jaded too, although not half as much as I am now. My teething boy hadn’t kept me up all night crying, but did insist on pretty regular feeds. Then my three year old daughter decided to come and grapple for my attention at 2.45am. Once in my bed she insisted (yes insisted by her infernal moaning and naughty kicking) on me to snuggle up to her while she wrapped her arm around my neck (head lock like), so I couldn’t wriggle away for some space until she was fast asleep. Then stupidly an hour or so later after more baby Boyo nursing I reached for my glass of water and woke her again (doh).

I eventually got out of bed at 6.35am, although I’d been awake waaaaayyy before this. If there was ever going to be a need for coffee, now was the time.

My early start worked, things went smoothly, in fact the whole day has.

Baby Boyo was a diamond. No crying in the car, no crying in the office, just a bit of balling when we got home. Poor lad had become over hungry, upset, gulpy and then windy. The only times he showed me up while out was when he decided to do a hugely loud and long poo during our lunch meeting. Thank you my man, your timing was impeccable (not). Fortunately we were among friends, and rather than cause a grimace we just got grins.

Apart from Boyo being peaceful, I was also nervous about the out comings of my return to work discussions with my boss. And despite being an out and out brazen nurser in public, I was nervous about doing it in front on my new boss. Pah, what was I worrying about, this is the guy with nine kids.

I’d love to work on writing some more witticisms (ok so I’m too tired to entertain), but I have to get some sleep zzz zzz

Don’t Panic…it’s not such a big deal

Traffic lights can have several additional lig...

Image via Wikipedia

Its a good job I don’t suffer from high blood pressure (in fact I’m very much the opposite), because the last two days just seem to have been a stream of panic stricken moments. Perhaps its my state of mind or just the baby brain letting me fall into the ‘oh shit I’ve forgotten’ trap.

Yesterday promised great things, the sun was shining and I had the lady doing my maternity cover driving to my house to do handover for the day. Not that we actually got to do much handover, as we were dealing with other high priority activities

It started with work and making a silly mistake, which turned out to be nominal, but put me in nice panicked state until a realised that it was no biggy.

The trip to pregnancy yoga and active birth was also a bit fraught as I was running late and the traffic was bad. Amber traffic lights blighted me all the way, largely because of the stupid Audi driver in front who was dawdling. As long as she got through the lights, all was ok. Where as I was muttering to myself “put your foot down you selfish woman, I’ve got two hours of relaxation to fit in. This is MY time, I don’t get it often and want every drop of benefit I can squeeze out of it.” Obviously my stressy driving was not complementary to the class I was about to attend. In fact it took me a good 15 minutes to get my mind off the drive when I arrived…all very counter productive I know.

This morning I woke up lying on my back. Well you will know ordinarily this is fine, but in late pregnancy it’s not advisable because you put strain on a major artery that can prevent blood flow to the baby. So I had a silent stewing 20 minutes lying on my side waiting for baby Boyo to kick. Why I didn’t just pick up my phone to google and tweet straight away I don’t know? Because when I did, my concerns were immediately diminshed….phew. I don’t think I’d been lying like that for too long, but any time on my back gives me terrible back ache too. So today I’ve been left with that niggling reminder as I’ve struggled to get comfortable.

So roll on the weekend and finishing work for maternity leave in two weeks time!

Bumping the bosses BMW and other hiccups of the day

I spent much of yesterday traveling the country checking out venues for the annual UK conference at work, and as usual the day didn’t come without it’s traumas. The highlight was bumping the BMW that had been lent to me into a bollard.

I had mixed feelings about the day all along when I found out that my colleagues couldn’t come along to give me a second opinion, share the driving or keep me company. Ever the optimist I looked on the bright side. A day to myself relatively stress free ( I now beg to differ) where I can turn the music up loud and sing at the top of my voice.

Well all started great, I had a good nights sleep, nursed babe quickly at 6am and got up to ready to be out the door just past 7am. This bit all went to plan, just a wee bit later departing but that was fine – I has slack in my schedule.

It was my arrival in my office to pick up the pool car that things started to go pear shaped. Turned out I had the Ford Focus, pretty much the bottom end of the pile. But hey they can be good cars I wasn’t going to snub my nose at that. I was hoping for the black 2L petrol Saab that went like shit off a shovel, but hey ho.

I got in the Focus and started the engine on to warm it up while I got the sat nav in place and destination set. And the car kept conking out, mmmm

So I tried to reverse out the spot and it stalled. I dashed back to the lady in charge, she was very kind and understanding – checked it out and reassured me ‘she’ was cold and would be fine when ‘she’ warmed up and the canky old battery had had time to charge.

With these words of reassurance I went on my way, only to drive about 400m as ‘she’ coughed and spluttered. WTF?! I was supposed to do my mammoth drive in this? I was not a happy bunny. So I rang up the lady in charge and was advised to go back to the office – phew.

Things started to get better, the most senior man on site told me I could take his car. A nice gutsy BMW. Result. That was if I could figure out how to get the blasted thing out of the car park. In the process I managed to get 1st rather than reverse and bash into a bollard, and Mr Kind car owner, reassured me that was fine. You see I had to ask him to come out and show we how to get reverse, and I couldn’t hide the fact that the front of the car was clearly in the hedge and the bollard was leaning quite severely.

Everything else on the driving went well, I made good time (I hope no one was watching) and the stereo was fab for singing along too. It did take me a good few minutes to figure out how to lock the car and locate the non existent fuel cap lock. Yes I was pathetic I know!

At Work: The New Silence Unnerves Me

A SUBWAY Club 6" sandwich.

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I went into the office – as you know I work out of my home office (kitchen table) most of the time. But duty calls, and on this occasion excitingly it was to pick up my new (about time too) laptop.

There have been some significant layout changes in the office that have seen my spacious window seat (with extra leg room), being replaced with a desk in the middle of the room at the T junction of a major walkway, facing lots of unnervingly quiet software support guys. My work station, should you wish to term it that, is about as public as it gets. I shouldn’t moan cause I’m not a permanent office resident, but I will anyway…

Unnerving silence
I have my back to the gaggle that I usually enjoy a good bit of unpolitically correct, dirty minded banter with. The silence around me really does unsettle me. I can’t get away with talking endlessly away to myself without only my closest desk buddy knowing. And he’s used to it now (I think).

Onto the events of the day. I’d got myself all set up and a call came in from one of the most tenacious advertising sales guys out. I was in no mood for him to preach that he knew my marketing objectives and target audience better than I! I started off patient, but was soon starting to get to the end of my tether.

All the time I was conscious that the whole room could hear me. Finally I got short and gave him an ultimatum, to send me an email. I slammed the phone down and blurted out forgetting my new office companions and exclaimed rather too loud “f£&!ing hell, some people”. Immediately I felt guilty and muttered a meek apology of swearing too loud, but then continued to have a moan to my colleague about the sheer audacity of the said individual from a transport publication I shall not name. Later I realised he had forgotten to take my email address, ha ha!

Lunch mistake
I’d concluded that sitting at my desk to gobble down my delivered sandwich was not an option, and besides I needed some fresh air because:

a) I felt a bit crappy and…
b) I needed to get out the room, all my pals had gone off to lunch so there wouldn’t be any banter to hang around for either.

So off I toddled to walk around the business park and eat my beef and salad, soaked in mayo Subway roll. I’d decided as it was so cold, to eat on the go, rather than sit down and get frostbite. All was well until I looked down and saw that the mayo had gone rogue, and had made a delightful pattern all the way down the front of my (used to be) smart black coat. How long had I been walking along in this state? I got on cleaned it up and merrily went on my way, pondering how much I love my home office. Until I discovered that my clean up operation had been half-cocked, more mayo. Where were the babywipes when I needed them? Grrr.

Its training honest
I returned from my 15 minute messy sandwich eating walk and decided that I would take advantage of the high bandwidth in the office and download a load of videos and PPTs on blogging from a recent virtual conference I’ve signed up to not attend (it would involve me getting up at midnight to participate live). Once downloaded it gives you the option to open the file, which I did – to my peril. The sound was turned up loud on my new laptop and proceeded to boom out over the office.

GLARES from everywhere (my pals were still at lunch, they wouldn’t have scorned). I apologised again (come on you spineless woman) and announced that “its ok, its training” – how lame does that sound? But it was true. Problem was, someone thought I said “its ok its Tony” and then asked me who Tony was. Arghhhhhh! Do I sounds that nasally at the moment?

Homeward bound
I was glad the child minder needed me to pick babe up at her usual time, rather than later as I’d orginally asked (so I could have a longer day in the office). I then enjoyed a nice ride home listening to the radio and pondering about life. I’d just picked babe up, was putting her in the car, when she announced “Poo poo”. I asked her to wait till we got home, just five minutes away. I fastened her securely in the car seat and then discovered that no amount of waiting was going to make a blind bit of difference, the deed had been done. Arghhh..pooy pants!

I’m glad to be working from my home office today, where I can mutter and cutter away to myself without a care in the world. Where I can play training movies as loud as I like. And where I can use a plate to eat my sarni off and only have to worry about the birds outside watching me drop that cucumber from the corner of my mouth.

The Juggling Chaos Turning Me Blonde

Right now my life feels like I’m struggling to keep all the odd shaped juggling balls in the air.

Don’t open that cupboard
At home, the house is not doing so well. Come visit and it looks fine, but open any of the cupboard doors and the chaos is revealed. The linen cupboard has got out of hand, there are just remnants of the orderly piles that once were, as I’ve taken a “shove it in and scarper” approach. The kitchen cupboards have fallen into turmoil, with the sugar pot placed next to the tins. The trash cleaning zone under the sink, well I’ve never really sought order there anyway. It’s always been a lost cause! There are piles of papers that still need to be filed, toilets to clean and the list goes on…but I can say that I did manage to do a bit of dusting at the weekend – I couldn’t bear it anymore, two weeks of household dust was driving me nuts.

Winging it at work
I seem to have so many projects that I’m involved with at the moment, I’m struggling to keep up. Some one asked me the other day, “are you sure you’re not blonde”. He’s a bit of a cheeky sod, so I didn’t take it to heart to much. But it got to me, just a wee bit. It’s not that I don’t like blonde hair, it’s the connotations associated with it that bugs me ie ‘dizzy’. I don’t think the associations of being sexy currently apply in my state – pale (god I need some sun) and just not my best.

The babe
Actually she is faring very well in all of this chaos, perhaps because I put her as the #1 priority. Who gives a damn about the cupboards, it’s more important as a full time working mother that I give her proper quality time when we get the chance. Although I do give a damn, but not enough…

But there is no getting away from it, the juggling is getting me down a bit right now. I know things will ease off in a couple of months, so until then I resign to being classified as blonde!

From one blog to another: personal to B2B is a toughie

Microphone (MXL 990)

Image by Seven Morris via Flickr

I thought on my entry into the blogosphere, once you had mastered the casual writing style, it would be easy peasy to roll out this technique onto another blog space. I should have known better when hitting a totally new target audience and topic. We recently launched a corporate techie blog at work and the transition hasn’t been as straight forward as I’d assumed.

I  can whack out a post for this blog in about ten minutes…erm can’t you tell? But the corporate B2B world is a totally different kettle of fish. In my work blog I’m addressing middle-aged techie men, who typically wear short trousers and socks with sandals. Hmm, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but they are very different to you. I’m used to writing to target the B2B largley middle-aged male target audience, but in the formal way, not in a casual more personable manner.

‘Finding your voice’ sounds so corny, but as a blogger it is so true. It took me while here to establish my style, and I’m not totally happy with it yet either. But then, what woman is happy with her appearance, visual or written? Or has Gok Wan got to you and made you feel totally happy with your body image? I think I need the Gok Wan for writing.

On my work’s corporate blog I’m finding it so much harder, with so many more constraints that come with the conservative thinkers. It’s the personality thing that is the hardest, how much do you let show through? And the humourous side, that’s a tougher one – I’m talking to an international audience of men that are largely engineers.

That said, there are some aspects of the corporate blog that I do find easier than this one. Sometimes boundaries are good, they keep you in check, yes constrain you most of the time, but they stop you saying stupid things other times. I often wonder if I get too personal on here, or generally step over the line by being offensive and over opinionated. But I figure – who wants to read the blog of someone who just sits on the fence? Not me, when I’m reading a fellow mummy bloggers blog I like feisty, opinionated witty copy – one that I really love is MammyWoo. You must have a read, she’s good.

Oh by the way, did I mention that you can subsribe to this blog – it’s really easy, just click on the subscribe tab in the right hand column and add your email address details. More followers would be really nice 🙂 Thank you xx

AT WORK: Belly laughter and tears in the office

Scratch

Image by sunface13 via Flickr

Yesterday I spent a day in my actual UK office, the thought of sorting through the years of junk that we had accumulated in stores (which was the primary task of the day) did not fill me with much excitement to be honest. But it did turn out to be more fun than I anticipated – to the point of laughter when you’re doubled over and tears are streaming down your face. Sadly I was on a conference call with some colleagues in America at the time, which did not do a great deal for projecting my image of a respectable professional person.

My colleague and I set about clearing through the marketing stuff that we had been accumulating over the last decade. Then word got out that we were giving some of this old outdated stuff away. First it filtered into finance, you can always count on a bean counter to come round to try and scavenge something for nothing. That was before the email went out explaining that that people could come and help themselves to the likes of company branded photo frames, years old mouse mats, and some exhibition storage containers. From this point on, within an hour the pile was reduced to just a whole lot of mouse mats that no one wanted. There I was getting in a tizzy about the waste and this lot of scavengers had done us proud.

So that was that, I could resume with some other work, like trying to get one of the printers installed on my laptop. This is where my big mouth started to get me in trouble. All this clear out had a proper motivation, which was a bit of an office re-shuffle. Where some people were moving to was under debate and the rumor mill was kicking in strong. I did not help the matters by declaring to IT as I went to them with my printer install problems, that I heard they were moving desks. Moving desks is quite a big thing for someone who works five days a week in the office – you spend a hell of a lot of time at work at your desk. A gobby dirty minded shopaholic (a lovely one at that) might not be your ideal desk neighbor – but this is about to change for some. IT were a little surprised by this statement and declared they’d heard nothing of this change. I went back to my colleagues who had told me this, and apparently they weren’t supposed to know yet…ooppps! Big gob Betty goes again.

I consequently went back to IT to collect my laptop (after having a chat with my knitting friend on the way) and begged asked them to at least wait until I was half way home before going to senior management and telling that what they’d heard and who they’d heard it from.

Realizing the time, that I was late for a conference call with a few of my colleagues in America, I dashed back to my desk to dial-in. I slapped on my headset and then the fun began. My marketing colleague sitting next to me happened to return to his desk to resume the desk move chat, just as I slapped on my headset in a rush – which I admit did look rather rude. The problem is, my headset is not a subtle small set of earphones with a microphone, it altogether much chunkier and admittedly does look quite pricey (it wasn’t, I don’t get a special office stationary budget – erm have you seen my brick of a laptop that rocks when I type?).

Anyway, he and the queen of dirty minded jokes took this opportunity to take fun of me, joking that I looked like an air traffic controller landing the planes, or a DJ rockin on my decks. All this, I might add, was as I joined the conference call. This was too much for giddily ol me; I was doubled over in hysterics, trying to contain myself during the meeting that I had turned up nearly an hour late for. 

To top off of the conference call, IT then came in to resume the office move discussion and share the bomb shell that I had reported to them earlier. All while I sat hunched over my laptop waiting for the ground to swallow me up as I streamed tears over my keyboard.

So lessons learned:
1) Keep your BIG mouth shut no matter how trivial the story may seem 
2) Avoid conference calls while in the office – the joking and giggling while I’m trying to professional is more than I can keep contained.

Put the embarrassment aside for the day, I had the best belly laugh I’ve had in ages.