Lexd's Blog

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Working at Home September 3, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 4:57 am
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I’ll be honest, I’ve never done this before. The only places I’ve ever worked have actually been AT an office or restaurant. Truth be told, it was awkward at first, especially because I hadn’t worked even close to full time for two weeks. I was newly home with my brother (who somehow turned into a young man), my sister (who I’ve seen very little of for the past three years), and my parents … and my dog, of course. I just wanted to hang out with everyone. I hadn’t seen them for more than four days in a row in three years.

So, I started out in the kitchen. I set up my laptop, got my little inbox situated, grabbed my yellow legal pad and went to town.

Well, from 6 a.m. until about 10, that is. Then everyone would make their way downstairs and I was inevitably stopping my timer on Freshbooks every 15 minutes or so. Clearly, that didn’t work. Plus, my mom was pissed about all my stuff being on the table. (Oh, living at home.)

So, I relocated to the dining room, which is just off the front area of our house. There’s a pocket door that separates the busy kitchen/living room area from where I am (although that didn’t keep my dog from creepily watching me while I was on the phone today), so it’s pretty quiet. I get awesome natural light from the window behind me. And, as a bonus, I feel like a badass sitting in these cherry-wood chairs at this nice table.

(LOL as I’m writing this, my mom walked downstairs and past the dining room, and said, “look at you, you are awesome!” I didn’t tell her I was blogging instead of working … I just kind of basked)

So, I finally have the “office” situation sorted out for now … I’m still trying to come up with a daily schedule that I can stick to, both for my boss (so she knows when she can get a hold of me reliably), and for me (because I am a routine person).

As it stands now:

6:00 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Roll over, grab iPhone and check emails

6:15-6:30 a.m. — Head downstairs. Secure coffee, make green monster. Drink both while reading the Seattle Times.

7:00 a.m. — It’s business time. (Not that kind of business time, but I couldn’t help myself.) Grab a huge waterbottle of water and head to the “office.” Create a realistic to-do list for the day.

10:30 a.m. — Grab a snack (usually fruit and a little protein), refill water. The potential for making a cup of tea is usually high here. My toes are still cold at this time.

12:30-1 p.m. — Forage through the fridge for some kind of lunch.

3 p.m. — This is where it gets tricky. Usually my dad gets home about now, and he, my sister and I head to the gym for an hour to an hour and a half. The problem is that I’ve been cooking dinner most nights, and getting home after 4:30 just does not give me ample time to get dinner on the table by 5:30 (which is my goal). I am just a slow cook, is all. But, I rely heavily on my sister to kick my ass at the gym. I cannot go without her.

4:30-5 p.m. — Get home, commence the scramble to get dinner on the table for the family.

Anywhere between 6 and 7 (your guess is as good as mine) — Dinner is served.

8 p.m. — Sit in front of the TV, crammed on the 2-man couch with my sister and my dad. Laptop in lap. Mom lounges in the recliner and Brother_D is on the floor with the dog (he is 15, he doesn’t care).

10 p.m. — Retire to bed (after taking pristine care of my teeth, I do not have dental insurance right now), and read. I just finished The Stand for the second time the other night, and am embarking on Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea right now. Next up is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, courtesy of my friend (who knows me so well).

Pathetically, between 10:30-11 p.m. — Fall 90% asleep, remember I forgot to turn on my alarm, set it up, and then PASS OUT.

I haven’t slept this well this regularly in months, and it feels good. My mom is starting to go back to the gym (with my sister’s help) — she had a stress fracture in her hip and a knee injury, so she’s taking it slow. She’s a morning worker-outer, so I’m considering going to the gym with them at 9:30 or so, hitting up a Yoga class while they do their thing, and then going back to the gym in the afternoon for weights and cardio with Sis_D. We’ll see how this plays out.

Currently loving: This faux-tuna salad recipe (it uses chickpeas! How exciting), that my sister’s workout plan for me includes a mandatory 6-oz serving of red wine EACH DAY (woot), and my dog. Yes, that’s him in the photo above, cuddling with his squeaky Booda toy last night. As Rachel Zoe would say, I die. ❤

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Letter writing June 25, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 1:26 pm
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In case you haven’t noticed in the 135 posts preceding this one, I’m kind of a “do stuff” person. I’m not the type to just sit around bitching about something that makes me unhappy.

That’s not to say I don’t do my fair share of bitching, but when it comes down to it, I feel much better having done something … getting involved in some sort of (hopefully) positive change.

I am also kind of an extremist in this category of people. Yes, yes … I am a letter-writer.

As a communications professional (seriously, the job description is “relations with the public,” people), I realize that there are a myriad of ways to get in touch with people and companies. But, also as a communications professional, I firmly believe that few are as effective as a rational, well-thought-out letter.

Of course, it’s way easier to shoot off an email, a Tweet or pick up the phone … but that’s why I like letter writing. Now that there’s a variety of arguably less labor-intensive ways to contact companies, there’s less competition for your letter in the mail bin. And this may be my naiveté showing through, but I firmly believe that someone reads all those letters. It may not be the CEO or even his assistant, but somewhere, someone is reading the letters. And if I am able to calmly and articulately present a rational argument, as well as my desired outcome … I like to think that that someone will pay attention to my letter, and even pass it on to someone who has some decisionmaking power.

I’ve written letters for a variety of reasons. Some have elicited responses, others have not. But you know what? I usually feel better regardless, having stated my case and given the company (or individual) in question a chance to respond. If they respond (even if I don’t get my way)? Kudos to them for acknowledging me.

If they didn’t respond? As a communications professional, screw you. Depending on the severity of the issue and the tenor of the complaint, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to make a customer feel important. And in an age where it’s easier than ever for people to express themselves … don’t you want to make sure that every customer is singing your praises instead of cursing you to the high heavens (*cough cough* Carnival is a terrible cruise line)?

Here’s just a sample of the reasons I’ve written letters over the years:

  • Carnival Cruises’ mangled mishandling of a casino dispute between their casino manager and BF (no response, this was probably the worst experience because it was a customer service issue)
  • Dan Fouts being an all-around terrible college football commentator and hijacking the conversation any chance he got to talk about when he played for the Oregon Ducks (no response, but Fouts was MIA the season after I wrote this letter. I will continue to take credit for this)
  • Subway employee from Gillette, Wyoming holding my wallet after I left it there and drove to South Dakota … and then sending it to Florida on her own dime with all $450+ and credit cards still intact. I wrote a letter both to Subway corporate and the individual franchise (no response back, but I hope she got something. Talk about good karma on her)
  • At the tender age of 12, I wanted to work for Nintendo, so I wrote a letter to the CEO of the company at the time, including a writing sample and a resume (the head of their HR department wrote me a letter back, telling me that my work was fantastic, but unfortunately due to labor laws they couldn’t hire me until I turned 16. I know he was probably just being nice, but this story still makes me happy. I still have the letter)

So, as you can see, I’m not exaggerating when I say that I am one of “those people” … a letter writer. And clearly I started from a young age.

But you know what? I get shit done 🙂

Currently loving: It’s Friday!, Yoga Download‘s “Hip Opening Flow” (got back into Yoga last night yeaaaaaahhhhh), wearing a fun sundress to work today

image from David Spender

 

The Gazette Intern July 14, 2009

Filed under: social media — lexd @ 8:01 pm
Tags: , ,

Yeah, I’ve been on vacation for the last week. It was amazing, and I haven’t really come closer to answering any of the questions I posed to myself in the last post.

In other news, The Gazette in Colorado Springs, CO recently outed/fired an intern after it was discovered that she was plagiarizing from the New York Times. While this isn’t particularly dramatic, the editor of the Gazette published the intern’s name in the paper’s response to the charges.

While I have my own thoughts on the subject, check out David Mullen and Lauren Fernandez’ co-post about it on David’s blog. They have some great insight and the 100+ comments are certainly thought-provoking.

Be back after work hours to put my own .02 in!

 

A Theory April 2, 2009

Filed under: other,rant — lexd @ 3:34 pm
Tags: , ,

Okay, I’ve been thinking about this for a little while (and by “a while,” I mean since 10th grade when we studied philosophy about whether people are inherently good or evil), and it’s starting to really come into context with all this federal regulation stuff in the news now. 

 

I’ll be honest: I’m a liberal. If you read my “About” section, you’ll also see that I’m an ex-GOP. I voted for W 8 years ago, in my first election. Even though I voted lib last year, I’m not a huge fan of government intervention. The idea of the government being involved in all these aspects of businesses both annoys me, and freaks me out. But, to be fair, do we really have another choice? 

 

While some companies chose to reform their business practices, many that were “too big to fail” also assumed they were above the rules and laws that came into play in an emergency situation. Once they were gifted with cash from the taxpayers to rectify problems within their businesses, they went back to the way they’d always done things, and grossly misused funds. YOU, AIG, are why companies can no longer have nice things. 

 

The way I see it? Companies were given a chance to show they could function on their own, in a way that wasn’t destructive to the economy, to taxpayers, to employees and to the government. What’s more is that they were given funds to make these changes. Their failure to even attempt to fix what was wrong with their companies fundamentally demonstrates the need for government intervention. These companies couldn’t/wouldn’t make responsible decisions on their own, and so the government, whose entire existence serves to protect the people, has to get involved. 

 

I don’t like it any more than the next person (esp. b/c my dad is a small business owner and is feeling the pain), but when you are intentionally irresponsible, how can you expect any different? (I could go on a tirade on the GWB administration, but that’s another tangent)

 

That being said, I’ll go back to the first paragraph. Are people inherently good, or inherently evil? I like to think that people are inherently good. But, the wider you distribute responsibility for choices (like in AIG … how many managers/VPs/execs were involved?), the more selfish people become. The less responsibility they know they have to bear, the more they are willing to make bad and selfish choices.