Category Archives: work

The March of the Policy Makers

I am attending a conference in my role as a member of a regulatory board.  The focus of the conference is professional competency, mobility in employment, and international standards in ethics and professional conduct. These are quite important topics when you have to consider how to evaluate foreign trained professionals for licensure in your jurisdiction,  but my is it boring to listen to for 4 days.  When it gets too tedious I surreptitiously check my email or the Trail,  imagine everyone in weird hats, or else marching around to this Elgar Pomp and Circumstance March I Heard on MPR before I Ieft home.  I see others seated around me doing similar things, so I don’t think I am the only one who needs some stimulation.

Tell about how you handle boredom.  What is the most boring, tedious thing you ever had to do? What is your favorite march?

Unexpected Encounters

I was shopping at Walmart the other day when I turned my cart into the baking supplies aisle and encountered a strange scene. A young female Walmart employee  was on her hands and knees, weeping, as she peered under the shelving.  Two other employees were also peering under the shelving. One explained that the weeping woman was stocking the shelves when her wedding ring flew off her finger and settled somewhere on the floor in the dark recesses under the baking supplies.  It caused quite a bottleneck in the aisle, but shoppers were very understanding and respectful and we all wished them luck in their search.

The next day I was back again in Walmart, this time in the dairy aisle, when I encountered the formerly weeping employee busily restocking the sour cream. I saw that she had no ring on, and stopped to ask her if she had found her ring. She explained happily that she had, under the pallets of sugar, and that she no longer wore her ring to work. I told her I was very happy for her. Then, unexpectedly, she asked if she could give me a hug.  I, of course said yes, and we embraced in front of all the pudding and sour cream and chip dip.

I treasure these sort of encounters. I work with people all day, but it is somewhat artificial, with a power differential that is always there.  Unexpected interactions with people when we are both just people are so nice.

When is it easy for you to be with people? When is hard? Tell about some fun, unexpected encounters with people. 

Regulatory Hats

I have mentioned before that I serve on a regulatory board in my state.  One of my fellow board members often speaks about wearing our “regulatory hats” and making sure we don’t confuse our clinical sensibilities  with our regulatory duties.  My mind is not regulated, and when she says this I often wonder what a Regulatory Hat looks like. This is what I want my regulatory hat to look like:

This is a hat worn by Lord Nelson.  I think it is swell, and would command a lot of respect.  You could wear it front to back or side to side, depending on your mood. I may order one tomorrow.

What headgear suits you?  What hat expresses your personality? What hats do you wear?

 

Fly Away

I don’t fly as much as I used to, so it’s interesting to see what has changed and what hasn’t at the Minneapolis Airport every time I travel.

Construction. I moved here in 1980 and I believe that some portion of the airport and/or the parking structures have been under construction every single minute.  Currently it’s the entrance to the parking shuttle area (and probably more, but that’s what I saw).

Check-in. If you’ve flown in the last few years you’ve experienced the little kiosks that guide you “gently” through the check-in process on your own.  Now you even get to put on your own bag tags.  A little embarrassing how long it took me to figure this out after watching ticket agents do this for 40 years.  And you get to put your own suitcase on the conveyor belt, unless you run into an agent who is chatty and willing to do it for you.

Security. This has changed and not for the better.  Long long lines (which I don’t understand – the only people going through security are ticketed passengers.  Certainly the airlines know how many bodies they are expecting on any given morning, afternoon or evening?  Why isn’t the security area ever properly staffed up?)   By the time they finally diverted some of us to the other security area, which had been closed earlier, the line went the entire length of the airport.

More Security. No more plastic bins to put your stuff in.  And no more taking your laptop, tablet, kindle, etc. out of your bag. But you still have to take off your shoes if you wear Birkenstocks that always make the security scanner go off.

Shopping & Eating/Drinking. OMG!  Considering that the only things I ever buy in an airport are bottles of water and the occasional refrigerator magnet, it is mind-blowing how many shops (and expensive shops at that) and restaurant/bars there are in the airport.  With the possible exception of rolls of toilet paper, I think you can get just about anything at the airport these days.

Connectedness (if this a word).  Well, there are a lot more places to plug in and get online at the airport, especially in the international gate areas, but considering that every single person that I can see from where I am sitting is online somehow, it’s still not enough.

The changes seem to happening faster and faster so I suppose in a couple of years, this blog will be completely obsolete.

What changes would you like in future airports?

Run Down

I had a long day yesterday. No fault of mine – just an enormous number of little fires to put out besides the one that needed attending. A hard deadline this morning meant I just had to push through and accept that I would be working quite late. As a confirmed morning person, I reacted to the impending late night by abandoning the healthy lunch I brought for pizza, downing one can of caffeinated pop and then one bottle of caffeinated pop.  Then I had a bag of chips and a bag of trail mix for dinner.  Dreadful behavior and of course, I eventually ended up at home late with a headache and a queasy stomach.

How do YOU get a second (or third) wind when you need it?

For a Very Important Date

I’ve bitten off quite a bit to chew for Solstice this year; my card design is quite…um, robust, shall we say. No other word for the situation.  I’ve been having dreams about being late to places recently and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m feeling behind schedule.  I’ve decided I need to do at least an hour a day in my studio for the next few weeks to try to get on track.  As I’ve said here before, this is difficult because once I get home from work, I’m basically worthless without a looming deadline.  I’m hoping that saying to myself “you have to do an hour a day” will make it seem like a looming deadline!

When was the last time you bit off more than you could chew?