That I have this thing about phone calls? I sent out a bunch of emails to people last week looking for information, and was supposed to make follow up calls today to the ones who didn't send it to me. But I just can't bring myself to pick up the phone, so I sent a reminder email instead. If I don't have answers by Wednesday, I'll really have to start calling. Ugh.
This report mixes and matches spelling out the word and using the symbol. Frequently in the same sentence. I'm off to look at some paper style guides, but does anyone have a rule of thumb for when to use one or the other?
Not enough work to do. I hate that. I have some ongoing internal projects that I'll get working on presently, but they're just not very compelling.
When one's coworker forwards a hoax email on to the entire company, its board members, AND a bunch of clients, should one send the "This is a hoax, do not forward, here's link to" email to the entire distribution list? Just the sender? Not bother at all?
And not enough time to do it!

Liam is so neat these days - practically every minute he's doing something LJ-worthy, but he's also keeping us on the run so much that there's no time to post about it. This morning he woke up and was wandering around the bedroom before I was out of bed. He walked over to the nightstand, picked up my glasses, carried them over and handed them to me! It was the sweetest thing.

His new favorite bedtime book is The Wheels on the Bus. It's a beautifully illustrated book of the song, set in a charming French town, but I had to sing it to him three times at bedtime tonight, and that was simply enough!

WOTD - some other words, or word like things, that I have been forgetting. "La-la-la" - used to request another new book, Sandra Boynton's Moo Baa LaLaLa. "Dan" or something like it, which I think means dance. Or might mean again. We're working on "nursing" or some other word that he can use instead of tugging at my shirt. I think he has a d-word that is meant to be a nursing request, but there are so many d-words that I'm missing it. Just like "more" started with a "mrrr," nursing is starting with a "nrr" - but it shouldn't be long before he's got some vowels in there.

Sleep is progressing well!Click through for the ongoing saga )

Had a really interesting conversation at lunch with my coworkers today. Someone asked "How many steps are in the Washington Monument?" I replied "If we were in front of a computer right now we could have the answer in seconds. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing." And from there we had quite a discussion of the changing role of information in our society, and the value of delayed gratification, and how teaching people to evaluate the validity of information is absolutely crucial to the new information society. Fun stuff.

I have to cook Thanksgiving dinner for 72 people on Thursday. I finally gave in and posted a request for help. A couple people are going to help with advance prep on Wednesday night, and another is going to come early on Thursday to set tables. I'm feeling much more capable now. [ profile] malawry (or anyone else who has an opinion) - can I peel and cut potatoes the night before? Now I must be off to figure out how much of everything to buy, as I'm going to the Farmer's Market tomorrow.


Oct. 5th, 2005 01:30 pm
Got myself all geared up to make the first of my 3 in a row phone interviews this afternoon. It's an interesting set of questions, and a friendly set of interviewees, but I've got a head cold, so I'm worried about my ability to stay focused. So I call my 1:30 appointment - and he's not back from lunch yet. Grrr.

Edited to add: He called me back about 1:40. I've not got two down and one more to go. It's fun - they're nice interesting conversations, rather than my run of the mill boring employer interviews.
That's really all there is to it. I have such a hard time getting focused and down to business. I've been here for 2 1/2 hours today, and I've done a bit of this and a bit of that and a lot of clicking send-receive on my email and surfing LJ. Must start working now!!!

I can't even blame being overtired, as I got a pretty good night's sleep last night, all things considered. Those following the sleep saga can read all about it here.


Sep. 21st, 2005 12:05 pm
From an RFP: Cumulate the comments from the focus groups to analyze the data to create the draft.

Cumulate? Is that actually a word?
I need to do this thing for work, and although I volunteered to do it, it's been strangely unappealing. I've done all sorts of other little things rather than start working on it. (The task is to sort and group interview questions from a wide range of toolst that have been used in our company, as part of a process to standardize our interviewing techniques, something I am fully in support of.) Yesterday I got given another little project to work on - doing phone interviews of guidance counselors at schools in Illinois. Suddenly, the first task has increased tremendously in its desirability.

Of course, procrastinating by posting to LJ is still more desireable than either of them.
The main symptoms of the Meniere's attack are definitely lessening. However, I'm quite tired still, even though I haven't taken any medication since bedtime last night, and I slept nearly all day yesterday. I went ahead and came into work today, but I don't know if I'll last all day long - the siren song of a nap might call me home. Doesn't help that all I'm going to be doing today is reading a huge stack of really dry reports - those would put me out on a good day.
If someone told you they "could hug you round the neck," would you be pleased or worried?
And the answer is... )
Just discovered how to do something in Excel that totally made my day. Of course, I also feel like a total doofus for not having figured it out before, but that's mostly overwhelmed by the happy.

In Excel, you can choose to have a chart floating on the data sheet where you made it, or as it's own chart sheet in the workbook. To make it easier to be consistent about font sizes and proportions and stuff when using a bunch of charts together in a document, I like to place each chart on its own sheet. But the default sheet size/shape is a 8 1/2 x 11 landscape page. This is fine most of the time, except when you're doing a bar chart, which would usually fit better as portrait than as landscape. Today, it finally occured to me to see if I could change the page layout of the chart sheet to portrait. And I can, of course. I have no idea why this never occured to me before.
So, last week and this week I've been struggling with a Word document that keeps getting corrupted. In utter frustration yesterday, I took it apart into a bunch of different sections. Today, by opening up the sections, I was able to figure out which ones were bad. I've recreated those sections from much earlier (hopefully pre-corruption) versions of the source materials.

Now I'm going to try pulling them altogether again into one behemoth of a document and hope nothing breaks.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?
Wouldn't you get a little nervous if an email from your supervisor started out that way?

But it turned out to be positive feedback.
B stopped by my office to tell me how impressed he was with the way you interacted with the client and your demonstration of understanding of the surveying process in the meeting that he and you had the other day. He is looking forward to working with you on this project.
Learning for today - the vast majority of people don't understand percentages.

From a survey I'm doing data entry on:

Q: What percent of your company's budget is spent on training?
A: 1

Q: What percent of the training budget is spent on low skill/hourly workers?
A: 1

Q: What percent of the training budget is spent on high skilled/hourly workers?
A: 3

Leaving aside the point that the questions are really badly designed (not my fault - nobody asked me) - what does that even mean? What could they possibly be saying? If they answered 2, 1, 1, then it's likely that they meant 2, 50, 50. But I'm utterly baffled as to what the individuals above could possibly have meant.
One of my fellow research associates at work is leaving to pursue another opportunity. She's only been at CSW for about a year, whereas I've been there, oh, going on four years now. I'm taking over for her in the middle of a major project, so we've been working together a lot during the past week.

I often feel a little overwhelmed at work, and like I really don't know enough about the work we do to be doing it. But working with her has made me realize that I actually do have something of a clue, and that's kinda cool.

Work has been pretty good lately. I've been very busy, doing a lot of labor market research and number crunching of various kinds. The senior partner I'm mostly working with these days is one who wants the data, but then goes off to write the report herself, without any input from her researchers. For this new project I'm picking up, I'll actually be working directly on the report, with input from the senior partner. While in many ways that is harder than just generating data, it's a satisfying kind of hard, and I'm looking forward to doing it. Right now the steering committee is reviewing the draft report, and I'll be incorporating their changes, cleaning up the final report for submittal, and then producing a shorter, executive summary style report for them.

I'm still looking for a chance to do something else, as I don't think I'll be happy at CSW long term, but for now it's good. I've been getting the Zingerman's job postings a couple times a month, but there hasn't really been anything that looked like a good fit. Although I did ask my neighbor if he could bring home the more detailed posting for the Catering Office Sales Supervisor.
Don't you hate it when you're done what you're working on, and only have a few minutes left in the day? Too little time to start something new, but too long to feel entirely comfortable cutting out.

But I've had a remarkably busy and productive day, so I think I deserve a wee reward.


Apr. 26th, 2005 10:11 am
Remember this post, about the most incompetent booking manager (IBM) ever? Well, he's getting worse.

When I first inquired about the space, I asked for a certain room, and was told it was available. When he sent the contracts, they had the wrong rooms listed. I went out to the site yesterday (driving 75 minutes each way to Lansing and back). We looked the rooms, he explained that actually he only had 3 sections of the 4 section room available for the day that we needed, but that was okay because it would still be able to fit out group. Okay, fine. Then I get back into the office and my supervisor mentions that IBM told another person working on this project on FRIDAY that we actually had to be out of one of the sections by 2:30 in the afternoon. He didn't mention this to me AT ALL when I was standing face to face with him on Monday. What the hell!

Got a message from him this morning saying oh yes, did I forget to mention, blah, blah, blah - but it's okay, because 125 people can fit classroom style into two sections of the room. Well that might be all well and good, except that we don't want classroom style, we want rounds. And we've NEVER even discussed classroom style from the very beginning of my talking to him - it's not suitable for our type of event. Nor is it suitable for him to keep trying to shove us off into the auditorium for one of our breakout sessions - it's not the right kind of space for the work we're doing, and we've told him that repeatedly.

I'm waiting until my supervisor comes in, and assuming I can get her approval, I'm going to go beating the bushes for another site that will fit within our budget. Since IBM's been such a fuck up, we don't have a signed contract to worry about canceling, and I just don't think we should reward their incompetence with our business.
It never ceases to amaze me how people can be in the same meeting conversing with one another, yet come out of said conversation having heard completely different things.



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