Saturday, July 30, 2005

I Have a New Goal in Life

I want to speak at the National Association of Business Educators (or whatever they call themselves), and tell them to stop obsessing over whether or not their keyboarding students are looking at their fingers when they type. I look at my fingers occassionally, and I type faster now than I did in when I took typing in high school, when Ms. Allie gave me a D for looking at my fingers. Besides, nobody ever got fired for looking at their fingers when they type. Managers don't care about your style - they just want accuracy and results.

Thank you for listening to my dreams.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Blah, Blah, and More Blah

Well, I just found out that I'm working all weekend, again. Thought I'd take some time at the end of the day here to blog, since it seems I will never get out of this office.

Well, I know some of you are waiting to hear what happened on the worst day of my professional life. Here's your chance.

That morning AC, J, and I were to present the work we had been doing on an analysis to T, our boss. AC, who is the analyst in our group, was out at some training class when T first got wind of the project from BB, her boss. To do the preliminary work, J, T, and I literally stayed up all night one night mining data from a variety of databases (and since my computer is not up to snuff lately and since I don't have a company laptop, I spent it in the office). When AC got back in two days later, T went over the whole scope of the project, and exactly what our roles were to be (I was to gather the needed data in certain areas, J was to do a particular type of analysis, and AC was to coordinate it all for her statistical stuff). Well, I did my part and then some. J did her part, and AC didn't do anything remotely resembling what T wanted because what she did do showed that the differences in revenue weren't statistically significant, so she figured she didn't have to do anything more, despite the fact that BB wanted the information.

Oh, and the only time that whole week that AC spoke to me was to tell me that what I was doing (what T and BB wanted) was nice, but she was going to need me to reformat all the data for her in order to do her correlation analysis. I asked her why she couldn't use the data in the form that already existed and she said, in a very condescending tone, "Well, you just wouldn't understand."

I lost it at that point and responded, "Look, I'm doing what T asked me to do. You do what you need to do, and I'll go from there."

She replied to me saying (again in a condescending tone), "I'm just trying to communicate with you, Sheryl. You do have to get so upset."

I replied saying, "I apologize if I'm a little snippy, but I'm tired. J, T and I stayed up all night working on this while you were at your class. I'm trying to do this and my regular work and core team work, and work for BB, and work for JC. Forgive me if I seem stressed." (JC is another co-worker, not Jesus - though I do try to work for Him, too)

She didn't speak to me again that whole week

Well, needless to say, T was not happy in the slightest when we "presented" our work. She put J, AC and me in a conference room and told us she expected us to have what she wanted by the end of the day. If I hadn't gone further than I was supposed to with the analysis, we wouldn't have hand any data to work with.

What an excruciatingly painful process. AC, for all her Masters degrees and statistical knowledge, has no idea about analyzing information. There was one particular statistic she kept insisting had no impact on revenue, and I kept showing her that it did, in fact, have a huge impact on revenue. We kept going around and around, AC getting more frustrated, me getting angry, and J trying her best to get the job done. Finally, J had enough and went and told T that either AC or J was going home, but that we couldn't keep going around in circles.

T came into the conference room and tried one more time to explain things to AC. She just kept getting redder and redder, and seemed on the verge of a breakdown. T then took her into her office. A few minutes later T came in to get me. She asked me to tell her exactly what transpired during the week she was gone (she was at a corporate leadership meeting). I did, and I discovered that AC was trying to pin our failure solely on me. Now, I have no problem in saying that I could have handled things better. I told T that the day before, and I said that in front of AC. But T made it clear that AC was to come to J and me and to get our information to use in her analysis, but she never did. T began to lay into AC while we were there, but before she got very far, she sent me back to the conference room.

Well, a little while later, AC came back to the room, visibly upset, to get her things. She said to me, "Sheryl, I don't know what I did to make you so angry with me, but how could you do this to me?" I told her that there was nothing personal, but that when T asked me how things went, I had to tell her the truth. She then said, "I don't understand! I've always liked you, I've always treated you well..." etc. I started to respond to her, but then I stopped myself saying that I didn't want to say something I'd regret. Like I know she pawned her work off on me when she was planning her daughter's wedding. Or I know that she was doing work for her other job while I was downloading and converting file after file that she was supposed to be doing. Or that I resented the fact that I did 3/4 of the market analyses that went out with her name on them. Or...well, you get the picture. I then went out into the hall for a bit to cool down.

When I came back, AC wasn't gone yet, and T ushered me into her office to wait until she left. After she did, T came in to see how I was, and I told her what happened, which she made me write up for HR. Then she, J and I went over what we still needed to do.

The next day when I came in, T said that AC would be in, but was to sit at her desk and work and not speak to anyone. T also told me that she was working behind closed doors that day. A little later on, T sent me an e-mail telling me to go home at 2:30, and to take J's laptop and work at home.

Oh, and AC wrote me this apology:

II apologize for anything I've done or said that offended you. It truly was unintentional. I certainly don't have any ill feelings toward you. I was happy that you got hired as you work very hard and I enjoy working with you. I hope I can make it up to you.

If you knew AC at all, you would know how insincere that really was.

Well, after I left that day, T fired AC.

I've been feeling guilty about it and making myself ill over it (plus the million things that I seem to get volunteered for) for the past two weeks. I know it isn't my fault. AC was not a competant analyst. Nonetheless, whether it is because I used to more or less work with her or because she was sick, or whatever it was, I felt guilty.

A wise person once told me (or I read somewhere) that it is the height of arrogance to feel guilty over something you can't control. Knowing that intellectually and knowing that in your heart are two different things, though.

So that's the whole sordid story. Perhaps tomorrow at the library I'll write about the crappy day I had today, which started with oversleeping, had an adventure that probably resulted in me breaking my toe in the middle, and finding out I had to work this weekend at the end.


Not mine, but someone else's.

Even though I don't exactly consider myself Catholic anymore (I think), I still read the Pittsburgh Catholic, mainly because I sometimes see people I know in it. I also read the columns, because sometimes they really are interesting.

Today I read a column by Robert Lockwood, who is the general manager of the paper. Now, I've heard him speak before, and I know he tends to see anti-Catholic consipiricies (did I spell that right?) around every corner, and in every piece of legislation to wind it's way through Congress. But this is ridiculous.

In this article, he is comparing oranges to bananas - they aren't even the same shape! Funding and assistance to non-public schools has nothing to do with the display of religious symbols on government owned property.

To be honest, I don't think the government should provide aid to non-public schools. In the vast majority of cases, non-public schools are little more than a status symbol to the parents who send their children there. It's an excuse to turn a blind eye to the fact that our public schools are failing. When the people with money and power don't have to care whether or not their children will receive a quality eduction in a public school, they don't care whether any child does. It isn't just.

Now, I don't have issue with the public school district using their buses for non-public school students, as long as it is done across the board (in Louisiana, only Catholic schools can use public school buses, none of the others can). And I don't have a problem with non-public school students receiving remedial aid from something like an intermediate unit (as they do in Pennsylvania). But funding for actual instruction? Tuition vouchers? Not so much.

And again, I don't understand the big deal with displaying the Ten Commandments on the grounds of county courthouses. These were not only religious law to the ancient Hebrews, but civil law as well. In addition, they frankly form the basis for much of the civil law in the western world. It isn't a big deal for them to be there.

But to suggest that the court orders that they be removed are anti-Catholic are ridiculous. In fact, the vast majority of people arguing against their removal are not Catholic, but are fundamentalists and memebers of the religious right. I bet if you interviewed the average "Catholic-on-the-street," the majority wouldn't have an opinion one way or another.

Sorry about the rant. I don't do it often, but I had to get it off my chest.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Don't quite understand why this is first, when the Sacrament one had a higher percentage, but Oh, well.

You scored as Mystical Communion Model. Your model of the church is Mystical Communion, which includes both People of God and Body of Christ. The church is essentially people in union with Christ and the Father through the Holy Spirit. Both lay people and clergy are drawn together in a family of faith. This model can exalt the church beyond what is appropriate, but can be supplemented with other models.

Sacrament model


Mystical Communion Model


Servant Model


Herald Model


Institutional Model


What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I know you are waiting....

But I don't have 'net access at home right now (yeah, computer problems again). Tomorrow should be a very quiet day at work, so I'll try to write the deep stuff then.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Thoughts on Harry Potter 6

I swear I'm going to get deep tomorrow. But I'm too tired to be deep today, and I'm a little sick (have been since the fiasco that left friends wondering if I was OK, though I never actually did consume any alcohol. I just like to say that I'm going to).

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was so worth the wait. It has been interesting to watch Harry and Co., as well as Rowling's writing style, mature as time has gone on. I'm not going to give away any specifics in case some unsuspecting person happens along here by clicking Next Blog, but here we go...

  • Snape - I know he's just a nasty git, but I still don't think he's completely evil, despite his actions in this book. I really think that he and Dumbledore discussed what he would have to do when the situation at the end of the book arose, and that "look of hatred" was self-directed rather than directed outward.
  • Voldemort - Loved the backstory, and some things make a whole lot more sense now. Also like the comment on cousin breeding we get when we meet Tom's grandfather. It made me giggle. It also shows that Rowling intends these books for an older audience
  • Harry - Liked how he matured. Some people commented that they thought his recovery from Sirius's death was too abrupt, but I think it was a sign of maturity. Realizing that no matter how much you want the person you are grieving for to come back, nothing will change the fact that they are dead, and you are not and that you have to live is a real way of coping. Loved the Harry/Ginny action, hated what happened at the end. I think that it really is only a pause, though, and not a true end.
  • Ron/Hermione - Please let them finally realize that they are crushing on each other, and get the fighting done with. It was funny, but a bit overdone in this one.
  • Dumbledore - People who want to make this into an allegory for the Christ story always tend to cast Harry into the role of Christ because of his "Savior of the Wizarding World" title. I have always argued that it is really Dumbledore in that role (though I don't like forcing allegory where none really exists). If you buy into the allegory thing, I think my point is proven in this book. I always thought of Harry more as an apostle than the Christ figure, and again I think that is proving true.
  • Hogwarts - Yeah, it will reopen. And Harry will return, but perhaps with a detour thrown in beforehand
  • Bill - Yikes
  • Neville - The one thing I was hoping for more of and didn't get in this book. I love Neville, and I love his interaction with Harry and Co.

I guess that's all. I'm heading home now to watch Hell's Kitchen, my new guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Read this on Amy's blog. Interesting.

I'm a process person myself, even when I'm blocked and frustrated. When I finally get to the point of a finished product, I'm never content with it. I think that's why it takes me so long to get to that point. Every time I open up something I'm working on, I revise it again - sometimes minor changes, but sometimes big, huge, sweeping, substantive changes. When you keep doing that, it's hard to get to a finished product.

So I haven't written about the horribile, terrible, no good, very bad day yet. I'm not quite ready to do so. Just let me say that I'm fine. In reality I'm only involved on the periphery, but reality and...well...reality are two different things (yes, I meant to write what I just did).

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

One Last Thing...

...before I go home and drown my sorrows.

New best search phrase ever:

"autobiography of benjamin franklin compared to machiavelli"

I'm pretty sure I never wrote about bejamin franklin, and I remember writing about machiavelli at some point, but have no idea the context.


Today was far and away the worst day of my professional life, and that includes the mess at the CCC. I'm going to go home and drink an entire bottle of wine, and if I live to tell the tale, I'll write about it tomorrow.