Out of the Mouths of Babes

Every morning the first thing I do after the sleep had been cleared from my eyes is grab my Ipad and check my work emails.  In our fast paced world so much can happen in the blink of a night’s sleep.  I have a 5yr old little girl (we call her The Goose) who somehow manages to sneak into our bed around 4AM every morning (it’s the time of night I look the most forward to) so she always next to me looking over my shoulder, trying to read the emails along with me.

This morning she said, “Mommy, did you always do this for work?”

Me:  “What do you mean?”

Goose: “Read emails, work on the computer…you know that stuff?  Or when you were little like me did you want to do something else?  Like be a veterinarian, a dog groomer?  Something fun?”

I started to explain to her what I “originally” wanted to do, what my college major was, how I started in that field, all the good stuff.  But I stopped there because I couldn’t admit to her that I gave all that up in pursuit of the might green paper.  How do you explain to a 5yr old who thinks being a dog groomer would be the BEST job ever (and it is, how much fun would going to work be?) that you put your passion on  a shelf so you could make more money?  I didn’t want to disappoint her.  So I told her dog groomers didn’t exist when mommy five or else for sure I would have become a dog groomer.

But it left me with the nagging thought of what the pressures of our world will do to her dreams and in 30 years will she set her alarm to wake her every 2 hours to check the built in communication device in her wrist (right?  It will get to this won’t it?) to make sure she hasn’t missed a beat?  Or will she get a great night’s sleep, wake up, put on her work clothes and start shampooing dogs with a smile on her face and a bigger smile in her heart?

-Sally Jessica Parker

Thank you Gas Station Lady

So I use to go to work every day with a Double Tall Grande Non-Fat No Whip Mocha and a Blueberry scone (need all of the calories after my morning run you see).  It is a pain to get the coffee, remind Lynn to get it for me or park the car, unbuckle the princess, wait in a long line, hope I don’t get a ticket. Buckle the princess back in.   It takes a good 15 minutes and stressful emails are already piling up in my blackberry.    About 2 weeks ago, decided to pick up some Dt Mt Dew on the way in to work instead of the highly dramatic mocha.  The gas station is gross of course, no plush green couch or sassy fun business people all around you.   The entire snack place is the size of a bathroom and there is a big plastic screen between me and the gas station lady with the slot at the bottom where you push your cash down.

I can handle this city stuff, so I get my Dt. Mt Dew and a little snack for the princess and went to check out.  That is where I met the Gas Station Lady.   Although the gas station itself is a bit scary, Gas Station Lady was not.  She was happy (but not over happy I have not had my caffeine yet mind you) she quickly rung up my treats, and I was able to get out of there under 10 seconds.   I was about to get to work before the emails start a coming.    So the next day I went back, same experience.   This time she told me how pretty princess Abby is.   I’m starting to like this gas station lady.    So the next day I went back and since it is a gas station I got gas.  She was funny, happy, kinda made my day.    The next day I went back again, we talked about how cold it is and I still got my stuff in under 10 seconds, maybe we are done to 5 now.  <unbucking and re-buckling Abby is not included in that time> but I am making good time and I have a new friend.   

There is always a person in front of me when I first come in and they seem to have the same experience with the Gas Station Lady.  They always have a big smile on their face during and after talking with her, they get their lottery ticket or whatever they need super-fast and happy. 

Makes me think.  She is so happy being a gas station lady, she does her job so well, brings customers back, upgrades them to the gas (without doing it directly) and what does she get?  $12 an hour or whatever now is the Chicago Minimum Wage and the prestigious title of “Gas Station Lady”.  Geez.

I bet you all have a Gas Station Lady in your life- could even be your Starbucks Barrister.  But it makes me thing back to the basics – we are all customers and we are all in sales.   The sale could be to convince stock holders on your idea,  the sale could be simply to persuade your  husband you need new wood floors.    The sale could be Vmware Consulting Services, Site to Site Replication Hardware and Software.   It does not matter, but the experiences that you give with the purchase is what matters.  Get what needs to be done and do it with passion.  Simple right.  

Thank you Gas Station Lady.  Next time I go back I will ask you your name.

How to get your emails faster on Friday

Every Friday (Friday Challenge day) there is a rumpus of some sort.  “Jason is sitting right next to me and he got the Friday Challenge before I did!”  “How am I the 15th correct answer? I responded within 3 minutes!”

Well comrades there is a simple solution.

Disable or uncheck the “Outlook cached Exchange mode” setting.  As soon as the Exchange server receives the email you will see it in your client.   However this method is not graceful when Exchange becomes unavailable.

Carpe diem!

Baby Boom

Remember that 1987 movie where Diane Keaton is bringing her baby to work and running around the city with a brief case in one hand and a baby in another?  Lol – Yeah well I feel like Diane except trade in that 80’s brief case for a Targus Notebook case. 

Talking to customers on my headset, while playing ping-pong or kicking the ball across the office with Abby… brining Abby to customer meetings.  Reading books in between placing orders or negotiating the price for a Statement of Work.. if there is a cry brewing – a quick run to the bathroom with princess so as not to disturb the other Leggs when talking to important customers.    

I don’t know.  I have mixed feelings.  Abby is 16 months.. 3 years old she can start school with her 2 older brothers.  Finding day care or a new child provider at this time seems daunting and so temporary.   I have reliable Sylvia for childcare one day a week, why the heck not bring Abby into the office with me the other 4.  Heck it is my company, I work 24×7… Can’t I have a few perks?  And why not revolutionize the work force in some way.  I love that little girl, she seems to be having fun.  She goes to lunch with Daddy ( so that gives me an hour of catch up time).. She sleeps for 3 hours on the office couch (believe me I am productive those 3 hours..) and when she is up I can play with her, catch up (face to face) with the other Leggs.  All customers are taken care of (with help from my fabulous Legg team)..

But of course, the other hand, what a constant balancing act.  Is it fair to other co-Leggs?  Are customers annoyed when there are baby giggles in between infrastructure details.   Is it fair to the princess?  She seems to be happy but she cannot talk.  Can you really chew gum and walk at the same time?

I don’t the answers.  But every morning when walking to work I remember watching Baby Boom when I was 9 years old.  Now 33 years old I have the same balancing act struggles.  Diane ended up moving to the country to make a baby apple sauce business..  Baby Food is not in my cards.  I am a technology, data protection girl.. but there is bliss and balance.  Need to be ok with it and probably drink a little less Diet Mt Dew.

How is this for Disaster???!?

Milwaukee Flooding on July 22nd!   – 2nd photo is a still shot from security footage showing the water busting into the garage door and flooding the office!    36″ water in the lower level taking off half the computers for one guys poor office and of course reducing network traffic significantly – GEEZ Louise!