Thursday, April 22, 2010

Some Random Thoughts

Reason 9,999 You Should Not Work with Your Spouse:
In case there are some people who do not know, my husband and I work for the same company.  How that happened is and of itself sort of an interesting story.  We have worked together several different times over our lives together actually; it's how we met about a zillion years ago.  I am not a proponent of spouses working together after our various experiences.  I think by and large we conducted ourselves fairly well, but there have definitely been times when it's been a Bad Thing for not only us, but the people we work with.  But, for the last eight years or so - maybe longer, I've lost track - he's been with the company I have been in and out of.  I've been his boss, he's been mine.  This time we're in different locations, so it's been okay.  Until today.  Today the news broke across my location that he resigned his position.  I was innudated by people asking me, "So, what's he going to do?" and congratulating me, thinking it's surely to take another, better position (because, I mean, who would be nuts enough to leave a secure, fairly well paid position in these insecure times?).  If you ask me a direct question, I will give you a direct answer, so I told people flat out that I was not happy.  Some tried to defend him, others were just uncomfortably silenced, others told me they would pray for me.  Nobody can tell me how I'm supposed to make my mortgage payment, however.  They don't know.  Neither do I.  Finally, after over-hearing this play out over and over again, my co-worker came over to catch me dabbing away tears and told me to think about going home.  I did think about it.  I didn't do it.  Finally, word spread and people left me alone.  Much later in the day, the woman who runs the local branch (my group actually works for the corporate office which is in Dallas, we just share space with the Austin staff..long story) and apologized.  She had heard I had been approached several times.  She allowed that she probably would have gone home.

The Weird Advent of Social Networking on the Web:
I noticed when I signed in last night that I had lost a follower.  I don't have many, so it's pretty noticeable.  A weird array of emotions passed through my mind:  did I write something that offended her, did she finally just get sick of my constant downer posts (I would), or did she simply finally think, "There's no way this stuff is true, no one has this much bad luck."  I don't know, but I thought hard about it, wondering if I should try and spice/lighten up my blog.  Finally, I convinced myself that it is what it is.  Grief is ugly, it's raw, it's up and a lot of down.  I want people to see it.  I want people who have daughters and sons who are struggling to know that the threat is real.  You really can lose a child if you're not vigilant, and I want them to know how awful, really awful that is.  So, I'll keep going.  Hopefully I'll touch someone and they'll do something different and better for their children as a result.  I like it when I can make someone smile too, but right now, I have to confess, there's not much to smile about in my neck of the woods.  I think this is all just part of the journey I have to make now.

However, I got to thinking about how different socializing is these days.  It's awesome to be able to communicate with friends you have across the country or find people you haven't seen in years.  I love that part of online networking, but I have also been "unfriended" on Facebook too, and had the same emotional reaction I did last night.  Why did they drop me?  What did I do?  I know some of my friends have experienced the same sense of bewilderment.  This is a new thing for us older folks: having a definitive count of how many people value you enough to befriend you online, and knowing when they no longer feel you are worthy.  But not why.  This is not how my generation grew up.  We could be a lot more passive about it if we wanted to actually.  If you didn't want to be friends with someone any more, it was a lot easier to simply fade out of their life without them even noticing for a while.  You just didn't write or call anymore.  When caller ID came along, you could avoid their calls, and things were great.  Now, you know exactly who and when you were dropped, but you can't even ask why because they've blocked you, so you're left licking your wounded ego.  This is something that my daughter may take for granted, but it still really awkward for me.

Big Ben, You Suck:
I have no idea whose less than brilliant idea it was to open the NFL Draft during a week night, but Steeler/Pen fans were faced with the hard choice of whether to watch the draft and get a peek at our future or watch the Penguins present.  I am pretty sure most of the people in the 'Burgh are doing what I'm doing:  watching hockey.  And for the same reasons; 1) it's fun and 2) they never mention Ben Roethlisberger, they don't show his face, and we can just focus on the sport at hand.  I am following the draft on a separate tab online, but I can barely even bring myself to do that because every time I look, I see the sidebars about "Will he be traded?", "Should he be traded?", and ruminations about his six game suspension, yada, yada, yada.  I generally hang on every word I can see about my beloved Steelers, but I've seen enough of the logo splashed across every media outlet in the country for weeks now in a negative light. Ben, my wounds are open and you are the salt.  Stop shaking it in there, buddy!  Get your head on straight.  The one on top of your body.  Put the other one away.  In the meantime, Go, Pens, Go!

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