Archives for posts with tag: work

One of the things that I love most about my job, about working in healthcare, is that sometimes I get in on a project where I can add my input.

For example, sometimes I get asked to write copy for a program or design a form for use or something similar.

When I do this, I try my best to be critical and inclusive and imagine how someone reading or using it would feel. Does it include people in a way that they like? Does it marginalize someone or some group? If so, I try my best to correct, I figure that certain skills and circumstances have put me in the position and I need to honour that and how I honour that is to serve.

Healthcare, especially in my job, is not glamorous nor especially well-paid. I support well-paid people who sometimes know less than I do and rely on me to give them good advice and alternate perspectives. I don’t follow blindly, I try to lead and be an example both to the people who I support and others in the organization, I think that it is a responsibility.

One of my teams is a group of Mental Health and Addictions Nurses who offer support to school-age children – from child to adolescents – and I really love working with this group. We are in the midst of formalizing processes and making forms for the program to use.

One of the forms I’m working on is a form that notes the history of the young person and this one section about sex, gender and sexuality. I was very happy that the team asked the appropriate question between “sex” and “gender” but there is this other question about sexual orientation/sexual preference, “are you attracted to boy? girls? or I am confused about who I’m attracted to.”

I’ve read this question over a few times and you know, it needs to change.

‘cuz you know, I think that there are people in the world who aren’t attracted to boys or girls and aren’t confused either. And I decided this week that I would talk to the team about this and get the form changed, so “neither” was also a possible answer to this question of attraction.

I figure, logically it is possible that if there are people in the world who are attracted to both boys and girls and they aren’t confused about it, that there are people in the world who aren’t attracted to either boys or girls and they aren’t confused about it.

So, here is me getting ready to stand up and say something. I’m ready.


Well, one of my other teams fell apart. The manager went off her nut, yelled at the team, wouldn’t let a team member leave, grabbed a team member by the wrist and behaved in an all-round horrid way.

I went to HR. I said what I saw, I agreed with the parts that I believed to be right.


My colleagues, my friends on that team were all very impressed that I stuck by them, that went against the person that I work for and stood up for them. They talked about brave I was to do this and how much they respect and admire me for this.

And you know.

I don’t think I did anything special at all. I think I did exactly what I had to to, I think I did the right thing.

I think beyond standing up for people who I don’t know, for whom I can make a difference, it is also important to stand up for the people I know and love and to stop the wrongs I see happening in front of me.

I’m not proud of what I did or how I acted, in fact, I wish I done much, much more, but I was frightened and confused as much as anything.. But. I’m happy that I did what I did and stood up to the person who had authority over me and final say over my job and employment.

This thing that happened has only strengthened my resolve to continue to try to speak out and up for others, regardless of my status, standing or identification.

And I know that Niemoller is often read as a caution against political apathy, I chose to take it as a caution against all forms of apathy.


Another “head down-working hard” kind for me today, some amount of waiting for people to do things for me, shifting through emails, trying to get things back on track, figuring out how to have things ready for the meeting tomorrow and following-up on some outstanding issues.

Happily, between all the working hard, I managed to find a couple of minutes to touch base in a human-way with a couple of colleagues – much-needed touching base at that.

There is work and we work hard, I mean, a lot of people work hard. But, lets face it, it is impossible to work hard every moment of every day, that way leads to burn out in most people, not having a couple of minutes to draw breath and connect with the people around you, most people get unhappy.

Yes, I am still behind.

No, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

I managed to get away by scheduled quitting time. Ok, near quitting time. And ran into a couple of people on my way out. I ended up there for almost an hour, just talking and listening.

And you know what?

I’m not the only one completely behind – everyone else is feeling the same way.

I’m also not the only one who is feeling frustrated and upset and just…bad about the work situation.

Everyone is feeling crushed, everyone is feeling like they are either treading water or drowning.

I’m not alone in feeling so awful about coming into work and needed a break.

And that, out of everything, makes me feel way, way better.

After work, it was off to the craft store!

I’m not sure why I go to the craft store – I’m not particularly at any crafts…I don’t really have hobbies.


I’m going to this Halloween Party on Saturday and part of it is a potluck. And somehow I decided that this year I would bring cake pops.

I did some shopping for them yesterday.

Then I read a pile of articles about what a pain it is to make and them…and went out and bought more stuff for this today!

I’m feeling quite stupid about the whole thing, to be truthful. So far, they have cost me over 100$ and it is going to take me almost every night after work to finish them – I have to bake the pops and decorate them. I decided to do 3 kinds – red velvet with white chocolate coating decorated like bloodshot eyeballs, chocolate with orange coating decorated with black sprinkles and white cake with chocolate coating with orange sprinkles.

I’m not sure what I’m thinking. My friend’s party is a ton of fun and I’m really excited about it, I want to make her something special for it…but, I could have done cupcakes!

It will interesting to see how it all goes…Tomorrow night, baking the pops.

Started today at an office different from where I usually am – good to have a change of scenery and get out and see some other colleagues. Great meeting, and it ended with me walking out with a pile of Action Items.

Go me.

Struggled all day to catch up and stay on top of these things that I have to do and things that I’m behind on and tried not to be too bitter about the things that I’m being asked to do that aren’t really what I do. For example, I actually don’t keep track of people’s education days nor their education monies – we have a department for that, it is call Human Resources. And, I don’t put in suggestions to the Social Committee on your behalf – I’m not on the Social Committee anymore, put your own suggestions in.

Another day of being head down and not really coming up for air, people are starting to notice…a lot actually. Ran into one of my friends in IT and he said “bex, I’m worried about you. You are really quiet lately and I know you are working hard, but maybe you are working too hard.” When I noted to one of my managers that I was behind on minutes for a recent meeting, she remarked that it didn’t really matter that they weren’t done immediately. However I told her “The longer the delay in getting them done, the longer they sit on my desk waiting to be done.”

Near the end of the day, I finally got over to say “Good Morning” to another one of my friends and I ended up speaking with a totally different colleague. This conversation was kind of wonderful.

I should clarify something here. I take my job, I take working seriously. When I started working in an office (many years ago at this point) I wasn’t very sure about working in an office. I was actually rather afraid that I would mess up in horrible ways, so I decided that any free time I was spent learning how to be better about doing office-y type things, like sending emails, running meetings and communicating with people in general.

One department where I had this job had a bunch of departmental Best Practices for email use. These were amazing Best Practices. They suggested things like “If you want to say something very short like “thanks” or “a task is completed”, change the subject line to say “short message: thanks!” this will allow the person receiving the email to read your email without reading it and they can delete it right away which saves space in your inbox.” I really like this policy. I liked it so much, that now, years and year later, I still use it!



People actually notice, comment and say it saves them time!

They actually think that I know some way of formatting the subject line of an email to say “short message” before my little message.

This colleague and I talked a bit about emailing and she had a lot to say about how much she likes the way I email. So much so that she wants to “steal” the way I communicate.

Which, you have to admit, is pretty flattering.

Truth be told…I’m thrilled and flattered that someone thinks this about the way I communicate in my emails. I mean, I spent and spend a lot of time making sure that I communicate in a friendly, clear and professional way. It matters. It is part of how people know who you are and often, is the only way people know you. I think clear communication is important and I value it.

Tellingly, this same department had some suggestions that email wasn’t always the best way of communicating with people and that before you either start and email or reply to an email, you think about if email is the best way of communicating or if in person or the phone is a more appropriate mode.

I took that one especially to heart and I find that when an email to one person gets way to long, I go for an in person visit. When it is quicker to phone than to type – phone call all the way.

After work, it was a quick-change and suddenly I was ready for an evening out. I went back over to see my friend, to say “Good Morning” and she looked at me and said how much she liked my hair and how did I do it ‘cuz I wore it down all day and now it was in an up-do. I laugh at myself, I just took my hair and shoved it up and put an elastic around it. Not even 30 seconds to do…

As I raced out to the car, I ran into another couple of colleagues who wanted to know why I was “all glam-ed up” – it is amazing what wearing hair up and putting on red lipstick does.

Arrived an hour and half late to the temple and whoa – I really should have bought a sari when I thought of it. I must have been one of the only women there not wearing one,. Oh well, next time for maybe!

Stayed about 3 hours and decided to call it quits. The temple has great food, so very happy that I stayed for dinner.

And very happy too, that I can clean-up nicely after working hard all day.


Slept like it was the first day of the fall term – unformed anxieties kept the subconscious occupied, restless with malformed nightmares. Temperature was first too hot, then too cold. Woke too many times. The unexpected waiting for me upon the return to work.

I don’t know why I have these fears – I’d get to work and my desk would have moved, my job changed, my friends wouldn’t remember me or recognize me, my password – expired. I’d forget the way to work, my pass-card would not longer work, they fired me and forgot to tell me…It was a mistake, I really booked 2 weeks vacation rather than 1 week!

Not that any of that has even happened.


Just low-level anxieties keeping me awake.

So, I change my alarm and sleep in for an additional half and hour.


I still don’t have to rush and end up leaving 5 minutes early – my hair down, shoes shiny, make-up on and in a nice dress etc.

And start seeking out those connections and people who I’ve been missing.

Nothing much happened while I was away on vacation and yet, it feels like I was gone for ages.

Went over and placed some finger puppets from the ROM on a friend’s desk – one was a bat and the other a butterfly, Blue Morpho!, for her grandchildren. She wasn’t in yet, so I placed them on the keyboard for her to find.

She found them, then came to find me and welcome me back – with bran bars and cookies – lime coconut sugar cookies if you can believe! We got caught up and she wanted to know how I knew the her grand-daughter’s fav colour was blue and she loves butterflies and how I knew her grand-son loves bats.

Well, I didn’t.

But, you know, when I’m buying things for children, I think about what I would like and go from there.

And yes, the Blue Morpho butterfly was a lucky guess – it was between that one and a Monarch. Monarchs are my favourite – they remind me of…summer and first love. The orange and yellow of the Monarch, the way the Monarch migrates, yes, Monarchs are my favourite – tough, beautiful butterflies.

But, the one time I met her grand-daughter, she seemed like a Blue Morpho kind of girl to me, much like my niece…

So, yes, lucky guess. Very lucky guess…she was thrilled and is very excited to give them to her grand-kids.

Some people, with absence, you can fall right back into.

Others though, you require some kind of an impetus, a prime mover.

One of my friends, I saw very briefly, but we didn’t pick-up our conversation. Later, we passed one another in the hall and as I passed by, he beckoned me over and told me…he is reading “50 Shades of Grey”.

I really couldn’t leave things there! So we chatted when I was back at my desk and found out that he was given a goal by another mutual friend to read the book. Now, I approve of goal-setting behaviour, but…

I laughed my brains out and trolled him the best I was able – reminding him on every sentence, he is reading a chick book. Seriously, what is up with that. He admitted it, though, it being a chick book, chick-lit and explained why he was reading it and you know what? Good for him. For reading at least. I mean, there are worse things that a person can do, right?

I’m still going to troll the hell out of him.





Look, I’ll tell you this – sometimes, often in fact, I have these moments of clarity where it occurs to me that I don’t fit in, neatly, like, I mean. I admit that I’m a bit odd, even for my tastes and about half the time I’m not even sure what I’m talking about.

Then –

I got into work yesterday and one of my colleagues greeted me over the interoffice chat application and then he said, here is a rhyme for you:

Roses are Red

Dead Flesh is Green

When the Dead start to Rise

I want You on my Team

He said that a friend of his sent it to him and it made him think of me.

Nice, right.

It made me feel like..someone here gets me. It made me feel like…I belong somewhere, here, in fact.

I don’t think I told you, but during my lunch hours I’m learning how to make origami cranes – I finished the paper my niece gave me for Xmas so I went out and bought some new stuff. They are pretty ok, I mean I’m not mangling them any more. My fingers are learning. Slowly, very slowly.

And you know, people come by to see what I’m up to and chat or come over to my desk where the cranes and sitting around, watching things and I figure “Hey, take a crane or two so you can them at your desk!” and people really like them.

So, later the same day, yesterday, another one of my colleagues (who has 4 cranes) suggested the CEO of our company that we take the cranes that I make and put them in a bowl by reception and when people visit us, they can take a crane home with them. Once he stopped laughing, the CEO loved it!

And I had another moment of “People here, they get it.”

And today, today another colleague came over to my desk and asked if I had met his doggie. I hadn’t, so he took me to where his doggie was hanging out. And guess what! It wasn’t a doggie at all! It was a puppy!!!!

A 10-month old, American Eskimo puppy, who was sooooo happy to see us.

I have to tell you, I really felt like, “People, they get me here.”

It just makes me feel so good. About everything.

Today was my first day of the new job.


You heard, umm, you read me right. My new job.

It all happened super quick time, so good-bye salon! Hello office job!

Have to tell you – I love being back working in an office. I love that office-y feeling. And I love wearing my dresses and heels and knowing that no one is going to ask me to shampoos anyone’s hair.

It is a good feeling.

New place is opposite my gym. And my movie theatre. And that place I like to meet people for drinks.

So, now I have no excuses to not do any other those things.

Tonight after work, it was gym.

They changed the “Yoga Basics” class to a “Hot Yoga” class. Imagine me, wanting something slower, relaxed, ready to concentrate on my poses, instead I end up in a warm-ish room, doing very few poses in very fast ways. Checked out the rest of the schedule and you know what? They have changed almost every yoga class to “Hot Yoga”. Blerg.

I tried it out tonight and you know what? Even though the room isn’t all that hot, it was still too hot for me. I didn’t even have water or anything! ‘cuz I wasn’t expecting a “Hot Yoga” class.

And you know, I do get it. People want to do “Hot Yoga”, but the gym doesn’t have the proper facilities for it and me? Well, I was just fine with “Room Temperature Yoga”.

They even changed my Sunday class to “Hot Yoga”.

So, doubled checked the schedules at the other gyms I can go to and you know what? Most of the yoga classes are now “Hot Yoga” classes.

So, I sum up today – work = awesome, gym = too hot.

Gimme back some non-Hot Yoga classes. Please?

The plan was to get up and go and attend an airshow party.

Troubled sleep made the day grumpy and introspective.


“What if” thoughts swirled around most of the night and some time today was spent trying to organize my old emails into some sense – if I can archive it, if I can file and save these old messages, if I can sort them and read them, perhaps I can find my own piece of mind with all this.

I want to find my own piece of mind with this.

I am not a perfect being, a perfected human, I am messy, flawed, but, ok, I accept these flaws, this little imperfections in me, in my heart. I’m learning. What hurts, what kills me the most is this believe that somehow, someone, me, that I could only love a perfect thing, that only a very particular someone, a person should be, what, worthy? of love.

I don’t know how to make sense of all this.

Perhaps this is the cruelest of all, that maybe, maybe, maybe there is no sense to be found, no reason. That between lines of written words, they is actually only space without meaning.

Maybe I’m going to wake up and everything will look different in the morning light. Probably.

Final Friday.

Critical moments, sobs over-take me. Cards, more prezzies (meaning more off my shopping list – thank you!!), phone calls, surprise visits and lovely emails.

Yeah, I cry.

If you were me, if you felt how I feel, you would cry too.

I’m leaving home, I’m leaving people who love me, love me, love me.

More importantly, I love them.

I carry them with me. With me, with me.

We go together.

Yes, stayed late at work – last-minute details, things I forgot! I forgot things. I know I’m going to wake up at 3am and need to send an email “One more thing…”

I’m going on my Next Great Adventure.

I keeping thinking, feeling, misquoting, John Guare‘s Six Degrees of Separation: “…I am Columbus. I am Magellan.  I will sail into this New World.”

It feels like I’m going into a New World.

So the Great Work begins…packing.

Books first. Four.

I leave Aristotle. Leave Foucault. Leave Freud – was there ever any question? Killing me – leaving all Vonneguts. Leave all plays. Leave both Hoffs – ouch. Take Watts,The Watercourse Way – in being true to myself I become a sterotype…Leave graphic novels, ditto all Pratchetts. Light fiction stays. Take Inquiry into the GoodNishida. Only fitting, right? Also been 3 years since the last read, so it is time for another go. Leave Nin and all cookbooks *sigh*. Take What the Buddha Taught – I am a stereotype!..Take Becoming Bamboo by Bob, you never know when you will need a friend. Leave Saul.

Create a new page based on conversations and ideas with you and you. Re: book lists. Yeah, you too.

I dither over The Mysticism of Music Sound and Word.

Remove and discard packaging from gifts – who knew that this travel stuff came with so many throw-aways?

Considering what to pack, what to carry. I have to fill carry-on containers.

Doing laundry.

Ignored the world last night and did some work on the Flickr stream and the old blog. Why are my albums not working in Flickr? How are people supposed to know when they are looking at Havana and when they are looking at London?


I’ll go lightly and put things down as often as I can. I’ll carry those I love with me.

Can you imagine me? Climbing Saturday, Yoga Sunday and Last Minute Stuff Monday and then…poof! I’m gone.

Magical, mystical me…I’ll stretch out time and make the nanoseconds count. I’m making the nanoseconds count.

Climbing in the am and there is so much to do!

I think. I think through this whole thing, I think my heart grew a little. It made some more space.

My heart is growing.


Another day, another that ended with me in tears at my desk.

Received a lovely “good-by, we’ll miss you” card from the awesome guys and gals at head office. Everyone signed it and took a moment to give me a good thought and their best wishes.

I hold good thoughts for them too.

My bags are partly packed!

Unfortunately, they are the bags under my eyes.

Oh, that I could be one of those people who doesn’t have fear or doubt and to whom things come easily.

I’m not one of those people.

The change is painful, the Becoming is painful. I know, I know – perseverance, right?

I think of the Zen Buddhist monk who said to me “Perhaps your lesson is to learn perseverance?” I agreed then, I agree now.

Have to laugh a bit too, when I think of that – I was the only one he suggested I had something to learn from the pain of sitting. Everyone else, he nodded and said “Yes. It is painful.” Me – I have something to learn from the pain.

Ok, ok, I become someone who learns perseverance.

My brain is still downloading. The knowledge coming out it…hurts. Next time I need to download some knowledge, I’m just plugging in via the port to my brain.

I don’t have a port to my brain.

I should probably get one. I could download all sorts of things!

You could get one too and then we wouldn’t even have to talk to have a conversation.


I like talking.

So never mind.

The Last Day – Friday.

When I have a Last Day at work, usually I like to make a little speech.

Here is my speech:

Look, I hate good-byes and you hate good-byes. Everyone hates good-byes. They suck rocks. So instead of saying good-bye, lets just pretend that today is an ordinary day at work and not say good-bye at all. At the end of the day, I will leave and, as always, say “Have a great week-end! See you Monday!” but we will really know that we won’t see each other Monday. We can meet at the bar and have some drinks and pretend like it is just like every other time we get together and have drinks. I want to leave smiling. I want to see you smiling. No matter how we are both breaking up inside. Ok?

Not sure how common it is to love the people you work with. Me, I don’t want to be around people I don’t love. I love the people I work with – they are funny, interesting, intelligent, filled with awesome ideas, have solutions to problems, creative, funny*, witty, lift me up when I’m feeling down, they create space for me to be the person I am and welcome me with open arms. They are tolerant of my quirks and return my emails and phone calls promptly. They have amazing taste and have opened my eyes to so much. They have helped me in times of trouble, allowed me to lean on them when I’ve stumbled, picked me up when I’ve fallen, helped me through my failures and doubts. They “get” me. They encouraged me in my inquiries and encouraged my passions. And so much more.

They have changed me. I like how they’ve changed me.

I’m lucky, I’ve been very lucky to have these people in my life.

Lucky too, ‘cuz I carry them with me. Where ever I wander, where ever I roam**.

*Yes, I realized I listed “funny” twice – I work with a lot of people who make me laugh.

**And, yeah, I totally and shamelessly ripped off a Disney song for that last sentence there. I expect to be hearing from Disney’s lawyers anytime now…



Coincidence: I am “ok to bend” too!

Knitted water bottle holder for me in the package.

It is beautiful – my friend chose a lovely purpley-pink colour, I think of raspberries. I love it, it is soft and strong and fits perfectly across my shoulder. It was completely handy for toting my water bottle from climb to climb tonight.

Getting something knitted in the mail makes me feel so very loved – my gram used to send me knitted things in the mail and a few times, so did my mum.

I don’t feel that my friend is either acting as gram or mum to me – it just makes me loved and so very secure and this is the best way to explain.

Business idea: Let’s sell made to order knitted water bottle holders.

I don’t knit, so I will take care of the sending stuff, you can knit.


Of course, if I were a smarter person who was less tired, I would take a pic and put it up on the new Flickr account. I’m pretty dumb and very tired, so we have to wait – you will love it when you see it.

Incredible Useful on The Adventure.

Climbing: 6 routes = 2 x 5.8, 2 x 5.9 and 2 x 5.10-

Both 5.10-s = best ever (for me) – couple of rest stops, but no big falls, my feet were working tonight and did the cross-overs smoothly and the fingers were gripping just right.

I’m giving off “Talk to me” vibes.

Today, in the lunch line, everyone wanted to tell me things, ask me things and discuss things. Fun things, funny things.

Tonight everyone said “hello”, one person recognized me from one of our regular brunch places so much I was asked if I go there – I do – it was our fav waitress! She climbs! How cool is that? I knew I liked her for a reason.

Another climber chose tonight to ask me all about how the climbs went.

Chatty cat = me.

Second last day of work coming up. Killing me to leave – I feel like I’m just about to have a couple of really good ideas…this is problem, yes, letting go of things we care about to do something else we care about = dilemma.

On the upside: I’m so tired right now that I’m forgetting to be afraid.

Another upside: It is nice to have a break from the fear.

Also an upside: It is almost sleepy time!