[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
o blog, my blog
i feel like that whole scene in dead poets' society when those uptight preppy pussies betray their teacher, then they feel all remorseful and get up on their desks and do that whole "o captain, my captain" thing to try and make it right.
of course the uptight preppy pussies weren't working 16 hours a day, so maybe i'm not like them so much.
my office is moving. that sounds like a really simple and straightforward thing. a thing that shouldn't fundamentally alter my life. and, yet....
see, if you start to think about it, you start to see what a huge deal it really is. think about the last time you moved. all the stuff you had. stuff that you probably didn't need to move, but you moved it anyway. or maybe you did the right thing and you went through all your stuff and weeded out things like...well, i don't know, i keep lots of things, but maybe you don't. maybe you threw out your collection of "do not disturb" signs you'd pilfered from hotels around the world. or maybe you threw out the collection of clever cards you've bought over the years just to have on hand to send to your wittiest friends only to never be able to find them when such an occasion arises. or all those extra packets of duck sauce.
we're a law firm. and that means paper. lots and lots of paper. so we're taking all our paper and moving.
a block away.
that's right. a block.
and at first blush, that might seem great. you might be thinking "oh, it's only a block away." but then you realize it doesn't matter: one block or montana, you still have to pack everything up. everything. it's not like you're going to do a human chain across connecticut avenue and everyone just pass boxes and plants from hand to hand to move the stuff.
so, we're moving.
and since we're moving and getting new offices with new carpet and new chairs, they thought "hey, we should get a bunch of other new stuff so no one will know where anything is and no one will know how anything works! yeah!"
so...new offices...new copiers, new scanners, new cost-recovery terminals and, perhaps most terrifying: new phones.
it sounds simple. about as simple as "we're moving, but it's only a block away."
they're cisco phones. which is, you know, cool. because those are the same phones they use on alias and 24. which obviously means they're cool. plus, that means you can now say things like they say on those shows. things like "let's call mark using the cisco video conferencing system!" or "i'll transfer that call to you using the cisco call attendant software!" those are seriously the things they said on 24 this year. i saw more of the cisco logo on that show than i saw of kiefer sutherland's snarling lip. and that's sayin' something. all i know is somebody at cisco has a master's degree in product placement.
so, the phones are cool. but they're slightly more complex than our current phone system. which is circa 1984. really. our current phones are so craptacular they almost defy description. but i'll give it a shot.
if you want to call me from outside our firm, you call my "external" number. something like 202.123.4567. but if you want to call me from inside the firm, you dial my "internal extension." which is totally, utterly, and completely unrelated to my external number.
then, if you call my internal extension, it just rings. and rings. forever. you never get voicemail. no. if you want to leave me voicemail, you have to hang up and then dial my totally, utterly and completely unrelated external number. then you will get my voicemail.
getting the picture yet?
right. so, then, if you call my internal number and didn't get my voicemail, but wanted to leave me a message of some sort, you press a button and a light comes on my phone. so when i come into my office, there's a red light on my phone. i look at the light. i wonder what it's all about. then, i press it. on my screen, a number appears...it's the mysterious internal number of the person who called me. but not their name. so i look that up. then i decide if i want to call them back. if i do, i press the button again and i call them. then, typically, the following exchange takes place:
"who is this?"
"this is julia."
"what do you want?"
"you left a message light on my phone."
"i don't remember why i called you."
"okay...well...if you think of what it was, just, um...call me."
clearly, these phones are an object lesson in efficiency.
so, you can see we're taking a giant step forward. huge. but, you can't walk before you crawl, so we decided that it would be wise to have phone training. yes, nothing spurs a body to sleep faster than the phrase "phone training."
unless it's the phrase "mandatory two-hour phone training."
of course, the effect can usually be counterbalanced by immediately adding the phrase "free lunch."
so, for the past two weeks, i've been teaching phone training to the tune of three classes a day, two hours each class. then, after i'm finished with that, i'm writing massive quantities of documentation. scintillating stuff like "to answer a call, press the answer button."
god, i've missed my blog.
just last week, i came home after a particularly long day of teaching and sat down to write documentation. after writing what can only be considered the superlative work on accessing a voicemail system from outside the office, i felt tired. i tried to shake it off, frustrated by why i was so tired so early. then i looked at the time: 3:42. am.
so, yeah...definitely missing the blog. and my bed. and contact with human beings in social settings.
the good news is that the end is nigh. we're moving the fourth of july weekend. yes, that's right: i'll go to work on friday and probably won't come home until the end of the day on july 5th. whilst others frolic in the summer sun and set off ill-advised bottle rockets, i'll be installing printers. ah...summer fun.
but, even so, these long and grueling days haven't been completely without entertainment. one of my favorite moments came during one of my secretarial classes. one of the ladies in class was struggling with answering a call using the speakerphone. she kept inadvertently hanging up on the caller. everyone else had gotten their call connected, and it was one of those moments when the whole class is just waiting on a single person to catch up...no one is doing anything but looking at her and waiting.
"okay, so when the call comes in, you can do a couple of things. you can press the answer button, and the call will be on speakerphone."
"or, you could just press the speakerphone button and the call will be answered."
"okay, let's try it. here comes the call."
and she promptly pressed the answer button -- which answered the call as promised -- then pressed the speakerphone button -- which promptly disconnected the call.
"okay, let's try that again."
after four attempts, i could feel that i might be losing my cool.
"okay, just press the answer button. okay, now don't do anything else. see? now you have the call."
and then she hung up on the call.
that was it.
"you just hung up on her!"
she turned and looked at me, arching her eyebrow above her glasses and in a perfectly matter-of-fact tone gave me a perfectly reasonable explanation:
"well, i don't have anything to talk to her about."
you can't argue with that. you just can't.
one up-side to all these late nights: i'm enjoying lots of music. thanks to some generous folks who've sent me mixes and suggestions, i have a bunch of new music -- and some older stuff, too -- that's been keeping me great company these long nights. the playlist varies from night to night, but here are some tracks i've been typing away to:
the denial twist - the white stripes
processed beats - kasabian
this modern love - bloc party [you rock, styro!]
chocolate - snow patrol
i could be happy - altered images [kisses, miguel]
eve, the apple of my eye - bell x1 [still loving this one]
forever young - cameron dezen [and still loving this one, too - thanks so much, chris]
struggle - ringside
back of my hand - gemma hayes [gretchen, you sent me so much stuff, i'm in heaven!]
if i ain't got you - alicia keys
caring is creepy - the shins [thanks to scott and michelle for the mix]
finding out true love is blind - louis xiv
stayin' alive - the bee gees [courtesy of the fantastical ms. snowy]
safety dance - men without hats [like i would forget you, jen!]
please come to boston - dave loggins [what? i love that song. shut up.]
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