Tuesday, August 25, 2009


At what point in the game did rational arguments stop making sense?

Pretty much my whole life, I've been a generalist. I study as many subjects as possible, I'm a little good at a lot of things, but not really great at any one thing. This used to bother me, but then I realized it was a gift, and I began to love the diversity of my experience.

The thing about being a generalist, is that it can be difficult to find a job or get people to take you seriously. So, you've got to become an expert in something. Which is what I did in graduate school.

Now, it is certainly arguable that I am not the smartest or best person in my field. I still do a fairly generalized version of what I was trained to do, and use a broad definition to do it. In fact, most aspects of my life basically demand this of me.

However, it is no doubt true that even my minimal expertise - in the grand scheme of things - is still more expertise than other people who have never done it before.

Yet for some inexplicable reason, people come to me and ask my advice - as the expert - and then do the opposite of what I suggested. I'm not saying I'm always going to be right. I'm just saying that if we both know that I know this particular thing better than you, and you felt compelled to ask me what to do, maybe you should stop just doing whatever you want and actually listen to me.

Because in the end, you won't be getting the blame for it not going well. I will. No, you won't say it; it'll get blamed on some other confluence of events. But I'll know it might have gone better if only there'd been a little bit of faith in my intelligence.

In the mean time, I'm just sitting around here getting thought of as "the girl who doesn't think we can make it happen," looked at like I just have an attitude problem instead of some semblance of foresight and practical inclinations.

I don't know what's worse: being told to stop expressing that I know how to do things because I'm encroaching on someone else's territory or others not having enough trust in me that I know how to do what I'm supposed to be doing.

Darned if you know and darned if you don't.

If I wasn't an optimist, life would be pretty difficult.

Hope you're having a good day. Love always, ~Heather

P.S. I think the quote of the day is rigged to my mood:
"Tough times never last, but tough people do." ~Robert H. Schuller

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Class of 2013

If you want to read something scary, check out Beloit's Mindset analysis for the class of 2013.

It's hard to believe that this year's college freshmen were born in a different decade. I know I'm still young, but those years between us seem to be getting farther and farther apart.

My work keeps me pretty up-to-date with how the world is evolving online. I'm on a couple of different social media sites and actively avoiding others. I can track who comes to read this post and basically everything about the computer they visit from (don't worry, it's less of a deal here than it is over on the work blog where we track demographics pretty seriously).

And yet, despite my technological savvy and my awareness of things that happened before 1991, it still seems strange that I can be so different than students starting college less than a decade after me and yet, so the same.

I wasn't allowed to eat Berry Berry Kix, but I can remember when they were new. Before the Cartoon Network (which I wasn't allowed to watch) when my family watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, it was perfectly normal for a kid not to have a TV or computer in their room. Now it seems like a child is at a disadvantage if there isn't a computer at home.

I wonder if they played outside with neighborhood kids and ate fruit off of trees for snacks. Do they realize how different the world is from before their 10th birthdays to now, post 9-11?

And yet, there is still a war in Iraq. Congress is still working on health reform. And schools all still have libraries with hard and soft cover books, we're still using pencils and reading off of something that doesn't need to be charged.

How much different will the world be in 2 years? 5 years? 20 years?

What will it be like when my kids start college?

I hope I'm around to find out.

Love always, ~Heather

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Life as a Mini-Series

The following things have (really and truly) happened to me in the last week (in no particular order and a little vague to protect everyone involved):
  • The button in the middle of my chest fell off my shirt ten minutes before the first of three in-person interviews with potential new staff at work.
  • My car got towed. While I was parked in a perfectly legal spot. $115 later, my car was NOT returned in the same condition I left it in.
  • I did an amazing job on a project and was even quoted for my quality work in a popular online source and was then belittled for the same work by someone who could have me fired.
  • My cheesecake flavored Jello pudding strangely grew MORE cheesecake flavored in just 48 hours.
  • While next in line at Walgreens, the store alarm went off (for no reason) which prevented the staff from helping me for ten minutes - exactly enough time to make me late for an appointment across the street.
  • To prevent an unfortunate circumstance for a friend, I had to get help from my landlord (who works near my home) because I am incapable of driving a stick shift.
  • I was compared to a very specific kind of hooker.
  • I waited at home for three hours for the second weekend in a row for a cable repairman to come and fix my Internet, which has been inexplicably inaccessible since April. He didn't show - for the second time in a row.
  • A service repairman told me my problem was a total enigma and I should come back if it gets worse (read: able to be diagnosed).
  • The "goat cheese round" I bought last week is actually my least favorite type of brie ($10 later.)
  • I missed the first 10 minutes of a movie even though I was 10 minutes early (please consider there are also 10 minutes of previews) because a friend got lost walking the three blocks from the metro to the theater. (Arguably, it's easy to get turned around.)
  • I spent hours preparing a presentation that, because the person I was presenting it to interrupted and then ran over time, I never got to present.
In other news, my sister bought me a sprinkler, Julie/Julia was good as both a book and a movie, I got to hang out with a few friends, I finally got film from 2005 developed, I made up three new recipes, my half-bottle of Mouton Cadet was lovely, and I don't have to sell any part of my body to make a perfectly fine living. I mean, I guess I've sold my enthusiasm, industriousness, creativity, and intelligence; but they've got to pay me for something, right?

The only way to not go crazy is just to laugh about it all. A lot.

Because really, when the world starts pelting you with any- (and seemingly every-) thing, you've just got to let it go or you'll do something truly horrifying and actually wind-up as a miniseries on Lifetime, or worse, a made-for-TV movie that will only get played after 2 a.m. On a clear weathered Tuesday. During a really cool meteor shower that keeps everyone out on their rooftops until 4 a.m., when you finally go off the air.

Love always, ~Heather