Posts tagged Work

New Years 2010 Plans

A quick look back at my resolutions reveals a mixed bag of success and inspiriation. As a reminder my list looked like this:

I generally don’t like New Year’s Resolutions but a new year also brings the thoughts about what new things we might want to explore or accomplish: So here is my list. I reserve the right to update this at any point.

1) Try a new local restaurant I have never been to each month.
2) Keep up with at least daily updates on Twitter.
3) Help my team write really good development plans for 2009.
4) Camp at least 4 times this year. (Hurrah for new camp stove).
5) Try a new beer each month at our regular WAP (Work Avoidance Program).
6) See a new foreign film each month (thank you Netflix).
7) Install a new floor downstairs.
Help John learn to drive my car before he gets his permit. (Hurrah for manual transmissions)
9) Help The Service Project become a vital ministry at our church.
and the long shot….
10) Get off the continent.

And how did I do?

1) Try a new local restaurant I have never been to each month. This was the best resolution ever, I highly recommend you try this one yourself. New restaurants are born each month and it keeps you from being in a rut, at least foodwise.

2) Keep up with at least daily updates on Twitter. – Well not so good on this one, but if you add Facebook to the mix then success. Not sure that is such a good thing though.

3) Help my team write really good development plans for 2009. – So so, some of them reached for the stars, others still can’t grasp the concept. A year of lots of changes though, and I think a stronger team than ever.

4) Camp at least 4 times this year. (Hurrah for new camp stove). – Utter failure, not one camping adventure last year. Sad face.

5) Try a new beer each month at our regular WAP (Work Avoidance Program). – Success but harder than it sounds. Since WAP occurs at one of three places each month it was hard to find things I hadn’t tried yet. But never the less a success. I discovered Smithwicks (and that it is pronounced Smiticks), love it. I discovered I hate Chimay Trappist Ale. Yuck. And that Stella Artois is way overblown and nothing to get your panties in wad over.

6) See a new foreign film each month (thank you Netflix). – Mixed bag, I did well the first part of the year and saw some great films. Nine Queens from Argentina. Children of Heaven from Iran. Pan’s Labryrinth from Spain. Character from The Netherlands. Mananagar from India. All great films and mind expanding. I recommend them all. Think I need to renew this one.

7) Install a new floor downstairs. – YESSSS! Thanks to the Mattman. Men I highly recommend you plan and do a big project for your honey. I will do wonders for your sex life.

8. Help John learn to drive my car before he gets his permit. (Hurrah for manual transmissions) – Well he can start, stop and shift from 1st to 2nd but so far he is afraid to drive a manual, oh well.

9) Help The Service Project become a vital ministry at our church. – Not so great on this one. We lost alot of steam on this one this year. Not really sure why. This next year I really need to find a new place at my church home. Couples group? Outreach? Not sure yet. Your thoughts?

10) Get off the continent. – Not yet, but at least I am headed to the other side in 10 days.

And now for 2010:

1) Try a new local restarant each month. Huge success, gonna keep it up.

2) Learn to cook Indian food. Curry, Rice, Raitas. Bought some books today for inspiration.

660 Curries

From Curries to Kebabs

2) Camping twice this year. Okay let’s scale this back and see what happens. It looks promising. The J’ohnson’s are at looking at Memorial Day for the annual trip to Yosemite. Hope it pans out.

3) Bartend an event. I want a new challenge and a chance to work on my muddling skills.

4) Finish The Prisoner series from Netflix before the new series debuts. Only have about 12 episides to go. So one or two a month should do it.

5) Persue a grad degree this year. Thinking about Human Resources. Let’s see what is possible.

6) Get new planter boxes for tomatoes and peppers built. Matt, hint hint.

7) Go one month as a vegetarian.

8) Take a once a week sabbaitical from the internet. I pick Sundays.

9) Okay try this again, one foreign film per month. I think I need to print this list so I can remember and be inspiried.

10) Read 25 books from my Shelfari list.

Comments (3) »

Want to be the person that isn’t laid off?

I have been a manager of people for over 10 years. I have hired and fired and sadly during this time, seen my fair share of layoffs. Some layoffs are clearly an opportunity to clean out deadwood but other are ones that cut deeply and competent, well intentioned people are let go. I have set in on many meetings where a group of managers have to make the gut wrenching decisions on who will get the axe. Have you ever wondered how those decisions are usually made? Well here is a little glimpse.

You could be on that list if:

You often respond to new ideas with “we tried that and it didn’t work” or “that won’t work” or “that will be too much work”.
Now this may be true but then again it might not be. The person who always poo poos ideas and is a general pessimist generally isn’t fun to work with and begins to be perceived as difficult to work with and perhaps even avoiding work. If there really is a good reason why you think an idea is flawed be fact based, quote statistics if available, outline other alternatives, and in a worst case scenario, let them discover for themselves why it was a bad idea.

– You often criticize others and rarely praise others.
Some people deserve criticism and no one trusts someone who never says something bad about someone else. But if your comments weigh too heavily to the critical side, then you are likely to be perceived as over judgemental, inflexible and generally people begin to want to avoid you. What better to avoid you than recommend you be one of those who is let go.

– You are a constant procrastinator or have be asked multiple times to complete something.
I am your boss, not your mom. I don’t want to nag. I hired a highly competent professional and expect that you can manage what I asked. If at the time I asked there was an unrealistic goal, you need to speak up then and renegotiate or at the very least renegotiate during the project if you feel the deadline will be missed. Waiting for me to ask you where something is, is too late.

– You are really quiet and afraid to make any waves.
Sure it is bad idea to be too negative or too vocal but it also risky to be too quiet. Everyone at every level in every position needs to have some element of marketing to their job. If others don’t know what you do, why and how you do a good job and can recommend improvements then I am not likely to be able to defend why you should keep your job.

Who is likely to make the cut?

People who are:

– Generally upbeat.
– Are willing to take on new tasks.
– Get things done on time.

You would think these ideas are a no brainer but you would be surprised how many people I have worked with and currently work with who just don’t seem to grasp the obvious.

Good luck in the next RIF.

Comments (1) »

A sign of my obsession?

Okay it is no secret to anyone who knows even the littlest bit about me that I enjoy cooking and preparing food. In fact I had what I would describe as a nightmare or perhaps an epic dream last week, where in a house full of guests left a party at my house because they didn’t want to eat my food. I think when you dream about such a mundane thing it can safely be called an obsession. As a sign of my obsession I will catalogue for the things I keep at WORK so I can feed myself and more importantly those around me.


The implements
– A small plastic bowl, good for cereal
– A small glass bowl, good for microwaving small amounts.
– A small glass pan, good for microwaving moderate amounts.
– A large noodle bowl, usually used to make salads.
– A small dipping bowl, usually for soy sauce or other dipping sauces.
– A spoon, knife and fork, for the obvious.
– A small nalgene bottle for water. (Doubles as water source for plants.)
– A large nalgene bottle in which I make iced tea almost everyday.
– Two insulated tumblers, usually for hot tea, rarely coffee.
– A medium size cutting board, for cutting up bread and other baked goods.
– A bread knife, see above.
– A small storage container for leftovers.
– 3 small reusable storage containers with screw lids.
– A medium storage container for leftovers.
– 10 sets of chopsticks (they always give me two when I order sushi and I only use one)
– A box of zip lock bags
– A box of tea sacks for loose tea.

The ingredients:
– 4 boxes of tea, assortment of black, Earl Grey, Green Tea and Chrysanthemum.
– 1 large box of Korean Ginger Root Tea
– 3 small canisters of loose Chinese Tea, Ti Kuan Yin, Jasmine & Tung Ting Oolong
– 1 medium bag of blueberry walnut granola
– 1 medium bag of rice krispies
– 1 medium bag of cheerios
– 1 medium bar of Ghirardelli Mint Chocolate
– 2 packets of hot chocolate mix
– A bag of handfuls of dried cranberries
– Medium Zip-lock Bag of Salted Pecans
– Small bag of Candied Pecans
– Small bag of Candied Walnuts
– Medium bag of Sunny Cranberry Trail Mix
– Medium bag of dried Cherries
– 1 box Vinta Crackers
– 1 box Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers
– 1 Tub Chocolate Chip Cookies
– 1 very small bottle Maggi
– Small bottle of honey
– 2 boxes of Jaipur Vegetables from Trader Joes
– 1 box of Pav Bhaji (potatoes, tomatoes and veggies) from Trader Joes
– 1 box of Dal Makhani (black lentils and red kidney beans) from Trader Joes
– Small boxes of assorted cereals
– Giant box of Fiber One Granola Bars (bad idea as I can only eat 1/2 at a time, damn Costco)

In Mini Fridge:
– 4 bags frozen jasmine rice
– 1 bag frozen Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
– 1 Container of Meat Lasagna from Trader Joes
– 1 Container of Chicken Sausage and Polenta from Trader Joes
– 1 Large bag of fresh baby Spinach
– 1 Container of Crumbled Goat Cheese
– 1 Container of Crumbled Gorgonzola
– Bottle of Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
– Bottle of Sweet Chili with Kaffir Lime Dipping Sauce
– Small Nalgene Bottle of Coffeemate Plain
– Jar of Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
– 6 can Coke Zero
– Jar of Poppyseed Dressing
– Bottle of Balsamic Vinaigrette
– Bottle of Champagne Pear Vinaigrette
– Small Container of Fresh Roasted Beets
– Small Container of Steamed Lentils

I think I am ready for the Apocalypse. Come on over if you get peckish.

Leave a comment »