Archive for December 2006

What a Year

December 30, 2006

On just about this day last year, I was suddenly introduced to the searing pain of a slipped/ruptured disc — youch. I spent the next seven hours becoming intimately acquainted with the rug in the living room before I could crawl into the other room and, with Husbando’s help, get into bed. I couldn’t go into the office, obviously, which was okay, because there had been the sulphurous smell in the halls of Something Up. A few days later, a call from favorite boss Mr. C confirmed: substantial layoffs all around. But worst of all, Mr. C was leaving. Well, that was enough of a dead canary in the mine for me, and I determined to leave that job too.

Which I did, with help from Mr. C, in May as I landed at a tasty start-up.Things looked rosy, things looked grand. I got to waggle my fingers and toes in a new subject area, I was building a website from scratch. Years ago, an art director looked me square in the eye while we were picking covers for a new issue and said: “I know you: You get bored really easily.” I protested prettily of course, but he was — and is — absolutely right. So here I was braving new territory and feeling good, and just, just when I’m getting the contacts, the writing, the site headed in the right direction, Big Boss comes to me and, saying the most he’d said to me in four  months, pops out with We’re an ecommerce site now: I don’t need content, I don’t need traffic and I don’t need you.

Best thing that ever happened to me. I’m realizing now how much I like the projects, the consulting, the energy of the start-up as opposed to the plodding, well-oiled machine. And I don’t mind taking the time to work on abs, hamstrings and core to get the spine and body back in shape. I’m reading more, started another novel, got the rudiments of a Businessman’s Reader’s Digest started (here).

And although the path ahead to 2007 looks a little scary and uncertain from this vantage point, I’m not bored.

Happy New Year to all my pals who read here.


Wreath Extravaganza

December 21, 2006

It finally dawned on me this year that as I am surrounded by pines, spruce, cedar and juniper, perhaps I can make my own wreaths instead of paying $20 each. So I did:

One on the back door:

Back door wreath


One on the shed:
shed wreath

One on the barn:

barn door wreathOkay: the reason this one looks nice is I bought it from the Boy Scouts.

And one silly ribbon on this silly deer thingie that came with the house and I have no idea why someone hasn’t swiped it yet:
Silly reindeer

Lessons in Eating Humble Pie

December 15, 2006

So, a condition of getting unemployment checks absolutely free in the mail each week (whee!) is mandatory attendance at a “Career Center Seminar.” I could hardly wait, as I was promised “services that can help you with your job search – such as…computer access to job listings….”

Computer access? Well, sign me up! About 22 others were in the room this morning (I opted for downtown Boston, as I was really afraid of hanging out with fishermen up near home). I would say everyone’s demeanor was not so much deer caught in headlights as the resigned look of puppies and cats too long in the pound. The instructor filled us with such basics as “Send thank-you notes,” and “Don’t use LOL or language like that in a cover letter.” I see that one of the courses offered in the Work Place Center is “How to Use a Mouse.”

Okay, it’s easy to feel smug. As we went around the room, introducing ourselves and saying what we did (overtones of AA), there wasn’t a smirk or hint that every one there wasn’t taking being unemployed very seriously. And more: that they felt a real pride in the jobs they’d had. There was:

  • a nurse
  • a landscaper who didn’t think he wanted to go back to that again next summer
  • an organic chemist
  • someone in food services with 17 years experience
  • a bookseller
  • a product manager
  • someone who worked for years in a real estate office that moved to Waltham, “…and I don’t have a car, so…” shrug, resigned smile.
  • a tourist trolley driver

My cell phone rang as I was leaving — my niece to tell me she just got accepted to the college she wanted.  A nice antidote to an hour of sad endings.

Question for all

December 14, 2006

Any of you using Vonage? It looks like half what I’m paying now. Worth it? Not?