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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I want my next boss to be PAM

I want my next boss to be PAM

I just read this post over at Three Geeks and a Law Blog (probably my absolutely favorite law firm/library blog.) This, succinctly stated here, is exactly why I loved working at the University of Georgia Law Library under Ann Puckett -- and would no doubt still love working there under her successor Carol Watson. So here's a shout out to both of them, and to my former colleagues -- and here's to my one day finding another workplace where PAM is in charge. I must say that while money isn't necessarily the best motivator -- in the absence of PAM it sure helps to have the job pay good money -- some days it's the only thing that gets me to work.

"Meet PAM:

P = Purpose. Employees that have a known, shared purpose are happier and more motivated. For law firms a shared purpose might be better client service (e.g. phone calls returned timely). Or it might be faster resolution of cases, or it might be better settlement outcomes. Whatever it is, having an understood, shared goal will drive people to success.

A = Autonomy. People, especially in knowledge worker roles, do not like to be micro-managed. They prefer to be given a goal and some resources, along with the autonomy (and responsibility) to get it done.

M = Mastery. People also like to be masters of their domain (hold the Seinfeld references). They enjoy being respected as a knowledgeable expert on a given subject.

Which brings us back to PAM and why I want to work for her. Bradford’s words really rang true for me. Yes, I want to be paid what I am worth. But more importantly, I want to feel the value of that worth in my job. If you ever get to work for PAM, count yourself as lucky.

PAM also highlights the apparent gap between lawyers and other professionals in the industry. She’s probably there for many lawyers, but only makes rare, guest appearances with the other professionals in a firm. Firms should really consider bringing PAM on-board for the entire firm as they embrace change."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oh the Places I've Lived. Part One

My friend Cynthia over on her blog Flotsam of the Mind recently did a post on all the houses she's lived in along with a memory from each place. This was in response to a writing prompt on Literary Mama (to give credit where credit is due) I thought that was a great idea so I decided to do the same thing. Warning: this may be a long post because I've lived in a lot of houses!

House No. 1, Fayetteville, North Carolina, Birth to age 1

I have no memories of this house at all, but we lived in base housing at Fort Bragg when my Dad was in the Army. There are quite a few old photos from that time of me playing in my paddle pool in the front yard.

House No. 2, Ardsley, New York, Age 1 to 2.5

Once again no particular memories from this house, but there's a great photo of me and my Dad washing our red VW bug in the driveway

House No. 3, Dublin, Ireland, Age 2.5-4.5

This house I do remember, we lived in half of a large house in Dublin right near a park. I have great memories of begging my Mom to take me to the park to ride my tricycle and swing. I also remember playing MacBeth with our cleaning woman's daughter. We would go inside the big evergreen trees in our yard and pretend to be stirring a cauldron saying "bubble, bubble, toil and trouble." I have no idea how we knew about this play.

House No. 4, Hampton Court, England, Age 4.5-8

Now, this was a cool house. It was a 4 story Georgian house right on Hampton Court green just around the corner from Hampton Court Palace (where Henry VIII lived) and our house backed right up to a big park where Henry VIII used to hunt deer -- called Bushy Park. We could climb out the downstairs windows  into the park. My best memories are of playing outside -- riding my bike up and down our short, dead end street, and playing in the garden of the big house at the end of the street. It was an old peoples home at the time and I was friends with the gardeners son Piers. In my memories we played out there all the time, mostly unsupervised! -- I guess I must have gone to school too though. 

House, No. 5, Claygate, Surrey, England, Age 8-9.5

We were renting and had to move because the homeowner was moving back in. My parents bought this huge house a bit further out from London where my Dad worked. He took the commuter train in from the stop in the village. I had the coolest bedroom with one wall that was all a collage of various animals that the previous occupant had put up. I loved it and left it there. I also remember -- again -- playing outside a lot with my friend Heather who lived around the corner. Her little brother used to talk us into letting his GI Joe rescue our Barbie dolls. He once parachuted GI Joe out the second floor window to save the Barbies!

House No. 6, Waterloo, Belgium, Age 9.5-14

I loved living in Belgium. I was there for half of 4th grade through most of 8th grade. I may be one of the few people who actually liked Junior High School. One of my best memories of this house is having a grown-up dinner party with three of my girlfriends and four guys. I invited my boyfriend at the time -- we were in 8th grade. My parents left us alone in the living room after dinner and went up to the family room. I had such cool parents.  Here's what went on in the living room.

House No. 7, Baltimore, Maryland, Age 14-19

This is the house I lived in for High School. I didn't want to move, and High School was just okay for me. The best thing and my favorite memory from this house is hanging out by our swimming pool. It was so cool to have a pool in the backyard. This is also the house I came home to for Summers for the first two years of college until my parents moved to Germany. And where I lived the year after High School when I came home from Swarthmore College after one semester -- I hated it there.

House No. 8, Easton, Pennsylvania, Age 19-23

Well really two dorm rooms and my Sorority House at Lafayette College. I lived in the Sigma Kappa house Junior and Senior Year in two different rooms. It was fun to live in a house with a shared kitchen and living room. If I wanted to be alone I could hang out in my room, and if I wanted company there was always someone hanging out in the kitchen or living room. I spent a lot of late nights hanging out in the kichen with my sorority sisters chatting  etc...

House No. 9, Regensburg, Germany, Age 22

 Again this was a dorm room. I studied abroad the second semester of Junior Year and it's very important because that's where I met my husband Jim. We were both on the Vanderbilt in Germany program and had rooms in the same dorm. I remember spending a lot of time studying together in one or the other of our rooms, and also cooking dinners together in the dorm kitchen. I remember other things too, but they are not going to be shared here. The other big memory from this "house" was that there was only one -- yes one -- phone for the whole dorm. It rang in this little office on the main floor and if someone was there it got answered and someone went to get you. If you were expecting a call you had to hang out down there. There were some pay phones too for outgoing calls. And for all you youngsters this was well before cell phones -- way back in the mid 80s!

House No. 10, Baltimore, Maryland (condo I rented from my Dad), Age 23-24

My first real job as a Management Trainee at Citibank. Also the place from which I was married. Spent lots of time by the pool in nice weather and loved having a porch off of my bedroom and off of the living room where I could eat meals. 

This seems like a good place to stop for now. I think this is going to be two posts. It's time to go to bed!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Random Thoughts Bouncing Around in an Empty Brain

That's what my head feels like today. In truth it's what my head has felt like for a few weeks now and all of the post Christmas clutter isn't helping. So, what am I doing right now -- am I taking down Christmas decorations, or putting away gifts, or taking a long head-clearing walk -- NO. I am writing a blog post.

It does help to get some of those random thoughts out of my brain and on to paper -- well it usually does. I did what I call a Brain Dump yesterday and wrote every thing down that was clogging up my thought processes and it did help for a while, but today they are all back pinging around in there. Ugh! I know -- you  are saying -- why doesn't she just do some of these things. Well, I have -- I was busy yesterday crossing things off of my to do list, and still it is miles long.

Here's some of the things I did:

  • Walked the dog 2 miles
  • Stretched
  • Returned shoes to Zappos at the UPS store
  • Dropped off shoes to be repaired 
  • Picked up a prescription at CVS (that always takes longer than I think it should -- always a huge line there)
  • Bought myself calendars for home and work since I didn't get any for Christmas
  • Picked up Emma's friend and dropped them off at the nail place to use their Christmas gift certificates
  • Paid estimated taxes
  • Paid bills
  • Did 2 loads of laundry and folded and put them away
  • Met Emma at her ballet class in Bristol so we could take photos for her Summer Dance Intensive Applications. Her teacher helped us get the poses right and I did the photographs.
  • Downloaded photographs to the computer
  • Helped Emma tweak some setting on her new blog: Ballerina Bunheads. Check it out!
Honestly I do not know how my friends with more than one child manage to keep up with everything. Yes, I know I work, but really it's only 24 hours a week spread over 4 days -- I used to work 40 hours a week 5 days a week -- I have no idea how I managed that when Emma was little. On top of all of this not one, but two continuing legal education providers have asked me to speak in June. I guess I am a victim of my own success. The problem is that June is just a bad month for me. End of the school year, dance recitals, taking Emma to dance intensive (hopefully). I really want to say Yes because I enjoy the speaking and admit I get an ego rush out of seeing my name in print as a presenter, but I get crazy and nervous the few weeks beforehand so I think I have to say No. On top of that work is busy (which is good) but it means I can't do any prep work for the talks at work. We are moving to a new building in September and we are doing a huge weeding project combined with moving to a new library catalog system.  Then on my list of other unpaid jobs are: dance class chauffeur, Junior Warden at church. Church choir member and chalice bearer.

Okay, so now I am just droning on with no organization at all. Welcome to my brain!

And I haven't even included the list of unfinished projects around the house that are all also jumping around my brain.

I need a glass of wine -- is it 5pm yet?