Journal

Sun Aug 2 to Sat Aug 8 – Journal Entry

Sun Aug 2

I followed a recipe for pickled napa cabbage, Japanese style. It looks pretty, but I have to wait three days, or maybe six to try it. It is very different from and much more straightforward than kimchi (of course, but perhaps you didn’t know, so I’m telling you). My daughter baked brioche buns – we were supposed to use them as hamburger buns for the BBQ, but they came out way too big -lol. We will use them for sandwiches instead. We had fun, cooking, chatting and listening to music. I even played a bit of music/movie trivia with her – Boom was rocking out 80s tunes all weekend. Questions ranged from “Name the song,” “Name the artist,” “Name the movie the song was in.”

Do NOT watch Beyond the Black Rainbow – it was garbage, but I was committed to finishing it because of Mandy.

Mon Aug 3

I knew I was going to have to work this weekend, and by Friday, I’d plan to finish my work, but my daughter encouraged me to take a break. So I did – and the break ended up lasting all weekend (which is not a bad thing). Now it’s Monday, and I am getting caught up. I have to finish in time for my meeting on Monday. I have to update the costing spreadsheet, where I track the project budget and change requests. I also have to update the RTM, the client is taking forever to get back to us on requirements for certain features but keeps sending changes for other things.

We were supposed to head out for a BBQ picnic today, but we decided not to go because it was supposed to rain. The rain didn’t start until late in the afternoon 😦 We could have gone around 11:00 am or noon even and be back by 3:00 pm.

Tue Aug 4

(Sigh + extra long exhale like Napoleon) … A significant decision needs to be made, and my boss didn’t show up for the meeting. We had the meeting without him anyway, but I quickly realized that we’d done all we could. I kinda lost my shit (not ok). I told the guys that I am tired of talking about the same thing repeatedly and not making any headway. I kicked it to the account manager to see if he can get some decisions made.

I got lots to say damn it!

Then I took my frustrations to Confluence and updated the Lessons Learned page on the importance of decisive decision making – then I got off my soapbox. Ughghghghghghghghghghghghghghgh!

I am known for being candid, but definitely not nasty! I have my jade Buddha and my Compassion Book on my desk to remind me of what matters.

My boss asked me to redo the org chart – I feel like I am good at getting things going, then I hand the torch off for others to carry – IF life and work is a relay race, I’m always first out the “gate.” (I think I’m mixing running and horse racing – but it’s ok. You get what I mean.)

Wed Aug 5

We had our second Product Backlog Refinement meeting. Another scrum ceremony I re-introduced to the team. The problem is we can’t just do that ceremony alone because it is only one event in a cycle of continuous activities. I think the lack of decision making affects so many areas of the organization that it’s kinda stunted our growth. 

I feel like there are so many things the team has tried, but as soon as it doesn’t work, they scrap it – this is just my observation. I just want us to come together (right now in unity) and work collaboratively, communicate effectively – keeping things open and transparent along the way. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?

After work, I played Rocksmith with Dee and Matt. Not easy, but way better than Rock Band because you play with a real instrument. My daughter plays the guitar as a hobby/stress relief. When she was young, I took her to a couple of guitar lessons. She mostly continued to learn on her own though – Now she has a collection of guitars – acoustic, bass and electric.

Thu Aug 6

I was feeling nostalgic – I worked out to my P90X DVD – Legs and Back. It looks so old. Still effective though! I might look for the HD version – I don’t want to pay for Beach Body’s streaming service.

Our US client is back – another never-ending project. Maybe I shouldn’t even call myself a project manager anymore cause our projects just go on and on and on and on and on and on … (I know I’ve ranted about this before). 

The client tells me to look at his schedule and book something – 45 min Zoom – Our meeting is scheduled for Monday. Objective is to get some early feedback on the COPD patient stories we’ve created. These clinical stories help us map a patient’s journey and discuss what care would look like using our product. It gives the audience something tangible to hold on to and imagine. In this case, it is essential for our client because they must sell to their clients, so the stories have to be convincing and clinically accurate.

My boss then calls me and he’s talking about how quickly we have to prepare because the client wants to meet tomorrow. Huh!? Then I realized what was wrong – the client said he is available tomorrow, but Monday is better – I took Monday – why rush the team if we don’t need to. Plus, our Trainer will be on vacation Friday.  

Note to self – always use dates in emails because depending on when the recipient reads it, it is easy to mix up “tomorrow” for another time.

After that kerfuffle got sorted, we ended up having our prep meeting at 10:00 am as scheduled. By then, I had already scheduled the meeting. I realized that since the client is the organizer, I can’t add an agenda to the session, so I just forwarded the invite to the rest of the team.

During our internal prep meeting, I heard talks about putting together a deck, with the patient stories and reports for billing/invoicing the client’s client. My boss tasked me with sending the info to the client, so they have time to review. I decided that since I cannot add an agenda to the invite, I will use the deck and pull together an excellent package for the client. I also felt like the patient stories deserved more than just being flipped over in the body of an email, and since we were meant to build on the deck, why not!

After the meeting, I messaged our Trainer and asked him if he started the deck, and if he did, could he send it. If he didn’t start it, I offered to help, because I know he is going on vacation, and told him to send me the template he uses. That was around noon – he replies back and tells me he will start the deck after lunch, and he does not require any help. 

For some reason, that “no help required” part bothered me, but I shook it off. Maybe I’m overly sensitive. 2:00 pm passes and no word. Now I’m getting nervous because I am supposed to send this deck out today before 5:00 pm. Typically, when there is such a tight timeline, I’m mad strict on deadlines – don’t effin tell me you will get it to me before the end of the day – what time is that exactly? I don’t know what your “end of day is.”

At 2:40 pm, I get an email from him, “not sure I will be finished today …”

I was effin livid. I didn’t even read anything else – “You little …” (I said I wouldn’t swear in my journal, but man – I need to control myself in real life as well.) I was bouncing off my bedroom walls and ceiling with anger. “You shit!”

This is what my rage looks like except people are in those chairs and everything else is on fire!

I composed myself and replied back, telling him that all I want is the stories and image of the report for billing. He finally sends something over at 4:48 pm.

Mediocrity bugs me as much as incompetence does. And the fact that people are alright with being either or both boggles my mind. AND the fact that others put up with it … I don’t even know what else to say.

Of course, he cannot do a fabulous job on the deck; He has a tonne of other stuff to do (I’m guessing) before leaving on vacation. However, I think for him, it is better to inconvenience me than to accept my help (don’t know what that’s about. I spent ~ 4 hrs fixing the deck. Everything we do reflects on “us” as an organization – I sure as hell wasn’t going to send what he gave me to the client. No way. I wouldn’t use that deck to present to two year olds who wouldn’t be paying attention anyway – and if any of them did, they’d probably start crying.  

I am going to make sure he doesn’t take credit for my work. Deep down, I feel like he doesn’t like me. Do I want to be liked by my co-workers? Perhaps. Mostly yes! That’s hard for me to admit. WTF!!!! Despite that, I will continue to hold myself and others to the highest standards! 

At times, I wonder if my standards are too high if I push myself and others too hard. Ultimately, I don’t believe that to be true. Nobody gets out of bed, stretches and says, “It’s a beautiful day to be mediocre!” People know when they’d done a shitty job – I know I do! I can never be a less than stellar version of myself!        

Did I ever tell you about the EVP of Sales at my last company? Everyone hated her, but she was the Executive Muthafuckin’ Vice President of Sales. I learned a lot from that woman, didn’t realize it until later though but I am grateful!

Fri Aug 7

A headache woke me up before my 4:00 am alarm – A side effect of my anger probably. I suspect. I didn’t open my head and let out all the steam before going to bed.

I made some additional changes to the deck before sending it to the client around 7:00 am. I stayed online for ~2 hrs, then messaged my boss about my headache and told him I have to talk to him about the trainer, then I went back to bed – slept till 1:00 pm. Freshened up, had a bite and went back to work – I still did my 8 hrs.

The Fry! I should have taken my own pic – this one is from their blog! I think.

I am happy that my daughter has her own work area set up in the living room now. No more having to set up and dismantle at the end of the day. One less thing to do.

It’s Fast Food Friday – We ordered from The Fry. Their fried chicken in sauce is the best! I’ve been drinking shandies like it’s nobody’s business. However … I am using non-alcoholic beer. I’ve basically traded alcohol for sugar – not good. 

I started two new projects – redo of the org chart and a value stream map of all the apps we use. I can already tell you that we have as many apps as we do people. I can’t wait for us to work better together. Then maybe the Trainer will get the supervision and guidance he needs to be a better employee – he probably already thinks he’s doing a fine job.

OKRs are moving forward like molasses in the dead of winter. Do I need to be more patient? That’s an unequivocal NO!

I spoke to my dad and my brother today. I felt awful because about a week ago, I realized my phone automatically marked my brother’s calls as spam. So many missed calls 😦 He finally got through to me today. He’s not making masks anymore now he’s making tee shirts – well, the sleeve part of the tee. 

I have been saving 1/3 of my income for retirement, I told my dad how much I saved so far, and he said, “what about your debt and your credit score? Pay attention to those too!” I have some investigating to do. I think my dad’s score is the highest you can get or not too far off, maybe 845! He’s always showing off to my brothers and I about it – and rightfully so! I’d show off too if my score was that high. To everyone, I’d be like, “In yo face bitch! 850 FICO muthafucka! What you got!” After I made sure systems were in place so my identity couldn’t get stolen!

Sat Aug 8

I feel one dimensional – all I do is work. Well mostly! I couldn’t even finish my latest movie yesterday La Llorona (2020) on Shudder – I been trying to watch it all week.

I got a cable box, so now my big ass surge protector and all the plugs are off my desk. I’m waiting for a big mouse pad 36″ x 12″ and an adjustable phone stand. They say it is not good to do multiple things in your bedroom because then it is difficult to quiet your mind – bedroom should be for sleep and sex. Who need sleep and sex anyway! 

My workspace in my bedroom – I need photos on my wall. I should paint my ceiling fuchsia.

Me like flowers, music and foreign horror flicks, all but mostly Asian; they brighten my day, put a spring in my step and make me feel happy to be alive! I am in love with the chorus of Billie Eilish’s song, My Future:

“Cause I’m in love with my future. Can’t wait to meet her. And I’m in love but not with anybody else. Just wanna get to know myself!”

That’s how I feel – Thank you Billie! My dad always told me I should enjoy my own company – Thank you dad! 

NOTE: I may update this post – cause you know, Saturday ain’t over.

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