Category Archives: Rants

Why are some vendors so difficult?

It’s been a long time since I ranted about anything, but this one has been stewing inside of me for a while. I work with many vendors, large and small, but why are some so darn difficult? My first instinct is to say “what’s wrong with them?” or “they just don’t get us” but really, is that the approach we should be taking? Sometimes vendors are like bad relationships, its just not a fit. No ones fault, no “its not you, its me.”

Sadly, there aren’t a large abundance of certain vendors, so sometimes the bad relationship needs to keep on going, kind of like Lady Gaga’s bad romance. My advice, call as it is. Honestly is the best policy, its worked in my case. Telling the other vendor was probably the best thing that we could have done. Not only were the semi-responsive, but also now they know where we stand. No guess work, no drama, just is.

Now back to work!

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When is it time to say good-bye?

It’s always interesting to observe the fall out of a bad pairing of a manager & employee. It is a little bit like watching gossip girl and being able to know where the plot will go in the first 3 minutes of the show. What amuses me each time is how few times people can face the music and start making the correct decisions to better themselves & the company. Rather, many people believe that fight actually beats flight.

My view is that sometimes flight is being less of a coward. If you are unhappy in your role, the work you do, and the manager you have, its time to move on. People don’t change, only you can change, and if you are not willing to do so, the inevitable will happen. So when is it time to say good-bye? I assume more people wouldn’t say “at the first sign of trouble” yet, some may. It’s a tricky spot as an employee, since looking for a job is hard work, time consuming, and a humbling experience.

To all the many people I have seen move roles, jobs, and companies and become successful, I urge you to remember that it’s not always you. It’s sometimes a bunch of circumstances that don’t play to your strengths. Just remember to always be yourself. You will land in the right seat on the bus eventually.

How do ideas mate?

Buddy systems are simply two people doing the same thing.  We have had buddy systems in kindergarten when you had to go somewhere were the teacher couldn’t go with you; you had them in high school when running outside school grounds for the Terry Fox Run.  Did you realize there are buddy systems all over the place?  Police, ambulance, doctors, work out groups, run clubs, and even powered golf carts.  They work because more people (buddies) means more ideas and as ideas get shared, they improve.  Then why is the thought of having a buddy system at work is so scary for many people?  Is it the fear of being perceived as inferior, or is it a form of creating job security?

I am fortunate to be a part of multiple teams on multiple projects, all of which are high performing.  If it wasn’t for buddy systems, sharing knowledge and releasing ownership of work, real innovation wouldn’t be a possibility.  This is the era when HR stops being the police and participates in “idea sex” (see the video!).

In my own personal opinion, buddy systems have worked in the past and continue to work.  There is no shame in not having all the best ideas.  Allow yourself and the people you work with be part of amazing possibilities.

Idea Sex – from TED.com

I cried at work, and it’s OK

I am very passionate about what I do. Everything in life is either full on or just off. When I make mistakes, I am very accountable to fixing them. When someone gives me feedback I take it as a gift and not a personal attack. I am committed to my work, just like everything else I do in life.

My fear in life isn’t dying, getting ill, never falling in love, growing old alone, not being successful, but disappointing those who I respect (or love). So when I make a mistake at work that disappoints my boss/bosses that I trust and respect I get upset, when I feel upset I cry.

So why does even Martha say “women in business don’t cry” when clearly I did? I read multiple articles after crying at work and there is a lot of tactics and strategies on how to deal with a crier or if you are the crier, but when it boils right down to it, aren’t we all just human? Why can’t we behave at work the way we would outside of work? Why do we need to be robots at work and emotional wrecks at home?

My incident has made me more open, better understood, and more – of what drives my performance, motivates me, and what I am truly passionate about. Today, I am taking a stand for all the criers out there and say its okay to cry (sometimes).

40 hour what?

Who is to say 40 hours a week is truly the right number of hours someone should work to pull off work life balance?  I am writing this blog in the midst of working though a 65 hour week and a working through another weekend.  I have a bit of an unconventional opinion on time management.  I, like many new and young aspiring professionals, feel limited by the 40 hour work week where going above and beyond makes you look bad.  Not only do individuals struggle, but “…many employers feel work laws are strangling their ability to be flexible.”

Now consider if all new professionals were limited to a 40 hour work week with 2-4 weeks of vacation (lets assume 2), they would only receive 2000 hours of experience in a year.  Now I work for an organization that lets me have my own “time management” and work life balance.  I am able to achieve the same amount of experience in 8 months (well really 6), be recognized quicker and promoted faster.  I continue to be healthy by eating right and working out, volunteering, and spending quality time with my family.  I don’t waste time watching TV or any other unhealthy “time fillers” just because I am done working.

The war on talent that once was (and then wasn’t during the economic crisis) just a symptom on the bottle neck of how business’s are run.  Many small to medium-sized companies are able to pivot and change faster, not only based on size, but the people who are inside who have an undeniable loyalty to making the business a success.  Consider a large company that has the same loyalty and how they have taken a large part of a market away, for example Microsoft’s competitor:  Apple.