Monday, 18 February 2013

Cry Wolf

Wow, so much has happened in the last weeks. Mind you I am not sure how much I can remember about it.

I’m going to start at the end though.  I feel awful about now – stress from work (just so much happening in such a short space of time) has just not been my friend. On Sunday I did some work for our site that had to be done for an appearance on a consumer program today.  Actually I spent most of today polishing it off too (and at 7pm was removing some cool code that I made to minimise database access as I underestimated how many servers we had, oops!).

It was stressful, a fight to make it do what I wanted it to do without putting too much load on the servers, and a lot of fun in between.

But by yesterday 3pm (2 hours before I finished) I was sitting at our dining table, typing, struggling to get something working and doubled up in pain from my IBS.  It was really not fun.

So today I made sure that I had a chat with my boss.  He has offered me some tips and tricks, told me off for not saying that I could not do this weekend.  Complimented my for being committed enough and caring enough to get so stressed about it.  And scolded me for taking it home with me and not leaving it where it should be.  Informed me that it’s great that he doesn’t need to keep a constant eye on me as he knows I do my job without interruption and tried to teach me that I can go to him if I feel he is not giving me enough notice because of this.

Told me off for not spending enough time planning, and trying to get me to see that by spending an hour a day planning my time that maybe I can spend the other 7 productive and not worrying about the things I am not doing.

Got me to realised that ‘I want you to think with me on’ does not have to translate to me doing.  That it’s also my job to ruin other peoples weekends sometimes and not kill myself because I don’t like doing that.  Not often, if this came up every weekend it would be totally different, but sometimes.

I like my boss.

So, I have a plan of action for the coming time.  Let’s see if I can stick to it!

So what led to this turn of events, which went from me feeling ill in the afternoons as my to-do list was too long, to being doubled in pain…

Well, the last real post serves a good indication of what went wrong.  At least the start.  Just a series of events that were not expected in a time period when I am totally rushed off of my feet.

After that week I knew what I needed to do before the end of it.  A few technical and functional issues with some reporting that I write each month meant that I was a day behind my schedule on Wednesday.  A day when I was planning on being in team meetings for most of the day (moving everything back one more day).

And on that day we had a couple of consultants in for our TFS server. I assumed that they would both be working on the technical side and that I would be needed occasionally just for information.

I was wrong. There was a technical guy doing the migration to a new server and version, and a functional guy who was helping the technical guy when needed and helping me figure out what we wanted to do with the new version for the rest of the time.

Oops.  We had not counted on that!  So instead of a day in meetings and a day doing other things I spent two days organising on the fly meetings so that the right people could see the new features, and figure out what they could use them for.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a great two days, we saw some great things and I think that everyone saw something in the new version that they liked (I just have to learn how to implement it!). It’s just that it wasn’t in my schedule and put me another 2 days behind where I wanted to be.

Friday was spent playing catch-up.  I put on my out of office auto reply for email (even though I was in the office – that confused my boss), set my phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ and set about trying to get up to date.  I actually made a nice attempt at it too.  In the morning I spent time organising what I was going to do, and splitting my to-do list so that I wasn’t looking at a scary list of 40+ tasks, but a manageable list of only 5 or so.

By the end of the day I was happy, relaxed and saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Until I reached my home town and the phone went.  10 minutes from home and I saw my Sunday disappearing (I had decided that catch-up was not going to happen on a Sunday, it was going to be an R&R day).  And then the pain started to hit.

So ‘Cry’.  Well, nearly – like I said before it’s not something I do often; but I felt on the edge!

So…  Saturday.

Those of nervous disposition should skip the next few paragraphs.  I’ll let you know when it’s safe again J

Saturday was zapping day again.  North and South (a colleague liked that description!).

So the morning was going to be leg exercises, breakfast, shower and anaesthetic cream and  get dressed ready for the drive there. (Thank god you can hide the anaesthetic under your clothes!)

The reality was waking up at 10am (the time I needed to put the cream on) quickly having a cappuccino (sorry, I need that before I can move in the mornings), showering, getting myself sorted 40 minutes late.  Breakfast, another cappuccino (1 less than normal!) and legging it out of the house.

I got there, we had a chat about various things, and I asked if she could give my face a quick zapping as it had been a while.  Sure.  Zap zap zap.

Now the uncomfortable bit…  Get half undressed and lie down as she looks at the results from last time (oddly enough much less embarrassing than last time) and she got to work.  She was using a higher power than the previous time and so I could feel it (especially with the cream having a substantial amount of time less to work).  Painful, but doable. Zap zap zap.

Suddenly I jump that violently that my whole body leaves the table.

I guess I did not go far enough backwards with the cream in the rush of the morning then J  Lesson learnt for next time.

Again ‘Cry’ (real tears this time too! J)

I’m still a little red, but it’s nothing I can’t live with.

One last thing on the subject.  A colleague of mine asked what I was doing this weekend.  I told him he really, really didn’t want to know.  He pushed for an answer so I told him.  His face was a picture.

OK, those of you with a nervous disposition can look again now!

And the wolf?

Well…   I was in a skirt on Saturday, one of my favourite blue Mexx skirts.  With a matching Mexx jacket and mint green jumper underneath.  Black tights and red shoes and handbag finished the outfit. It’s one of my favourites and I love wearing it when I need confidence.

On the way back from my laser session I was walking down the street to where I parked and for the first time got whistled at.  (The wolf).  I tuned me head to see a not too unattractive man smiling at me on the other side of the street.

Now, I’m still into women, and still adore Mrs Stace.

And obviously I was disgusted that someone would do that in this day and age.

But still, I couldn’t help but have a small smile as I walked back to my car and a grin from ear to ear as I drove home.  I’m sorry, but it has never happened to me before J


  1. Hi Stace!

    What a crazy stretch!

    I can totally sympathize about scheduling. My current group simply has no planning at all, and I am constantly scrambling to catch up. My manager is terrific, but she is out of state. So I'm basically forced to do my job and hers - without the authority/clout. (Or the pay, it goes without saying.) Glad you are getting a handle on your schedule!

    I forced myself to read about your adventures, uh... south of the equator. I'll be going through it myself at some point, and knowledge is power! lol

    As far as your admirer... I've only seen the two photos here, but I am only surprised this didn't happen sooner! Just don't tell Mrs. Stace. ;c)


    1. Hey Cass!

      We have planning, we just have about double the work that the team can do, and I have tried to be too helpful to stop other people having to make difficult decisions. I think that may have to stop now...

      Other than that it's just a series of unfortunate events that mean I am too far behind. I'm catching up, and the chat with my boss has helped me see how to prioritise. I have some reading to do to get the details, but for now I am concentrating on the 4 or 5 most important things.

      Yes, I was wondering whether or not I could write about that experience - but then I thought it's part of what I am doing right now and I have found that knowing about things to come has been good for me. So I did it. In this case it's "Make sure that the cream covers all the right areas!" Seriously, the pain in the following days is limited, and the pain at the time is non-existent (except for the places without cream :O ) The biggest thing is really getting over lying there half naked having someone examine you under a microscope.

      I am still so surprised at the whistle. Almost no make-up and just being zapped, I did not look my best (but then he was on the other side of the road...) I still smile when thinking about it.


      Oh, I told Mrs Stace - she says that I sound convincing when I say it was awful and disgraceful behaviour :)

    2. Your boss sounds quite a bit like mine. My boss had a similar chat with me yesterday. Although I suspect your boss didn't threaten to "kick your scrawny butt all over the office" if I didn't listen to her the way mine did. ;c) (Or add "And you know I could do it, too." either. lol)

      I can assure you I will take your lesson to heart about the cream when the time comes! There is NO way I will forget it after reading this. ;c)

      I would still be smiling if I were you as well. No wolf whistles for me, but I've been addressed as "miss" or referred to as "she" four times in the past six weeks or so - all while in boy mode, and twice literally moments after two hours of electrolysis and laser. I can only conclude that there are a number of folks afflicted with as-yet-undiagnosed vision and hearing problems in my vicinity. ;c)

      Glad you're feeling better, Stace. Oh, and Mrs. Stace is clearly a keeper!


    3. He didn't quite put it that way... Though he does the same sentiment clear :) He is an amazing coach (I wish I had his way with language), but at the same time does it in a way that doesn't come across slimy if you know what I mean (I have had bosses that could talk the talk, but it never came across natural or as though they meant it!)

      Please don't forget - no doubt you will get instructions - try not to oversleep when you go! ;)

      Hmm, I sure the people in your neighbourhood have fine vision!

      Life is definitely improving after last week. No pain since Tuesday, and feeling more relaxed!


      PS Yes, she absolutely is! :)

    4. Glad to hear you're feeling better, sweetie. And I suspect oversleeping will be the least of my worries when I start! :c)

      I know exactly what you mean about your boss. I've had several like that. I think it's because they have a gift for communicating *and* empathy. That is a rare combination. When they say they care, you know they mean it.

      My ankle was still a bit too shaky for me to exercise this week, but next week I finally, finally start for real. I met my deadlines today (yea!), so I too can relax this weekend for once. And next week I hopefully can, at long last, start working on a relatively normal schedule. (Or as normal as it can be for we transitioning gals!) And exercising regularly is most assuredly a focus of that schedule.

      Hope you and Mrs. Stace have a lovely weekend!


  2. I can well imagine the pain - both internally and externally. I do hope that you can find a way to control the stress levels at work, its not good to put yourself under that much pressure. A heroine now and again is ok but more often and the effort you put becomes expected (well does for me).

    As for the wolf whistle, that's shocking and you should be disgusted ...... but I would be smiling from ear to ear as well. Soul make my day (and week probably). You will be going back to Mexx then ;-)

    1. Hi Becca,

      No, I need to relax. I ignored the warning signs once back in 2000 / 2001 and I ended up a) having to take two weeks of off work, not being able to decorate the house I was moving into with Mrs Stace (our first shared house) - meaning her family had to do everything whilst they refused to let me help with anything and b) left me with IBS once I had recovered.

      I am not planning on getting that far again!

      As I said, the Sunday thing is not frequently asked. And that I why, even though it was the wrong weekend, that I did it. I had not picked up from my boss the fact that he was asking for thoughts about organising it more than actually doing it. Never mind, if I look at the usage figures it was worth it.

      And yes, it was shameful behaviour that should not be allowed! :)

      I love Mexx, by far my favourite high street designer clothes. But whilst not designer designer prices, it is not H&M either, so I can't go too often!

      Though I have been to one of their warehouse sales - old designs etc. I bought a few hundred euros worth of clothes for about 40 euros. Even if you count the tailoring costs for a couple of skirts that they only had in a size bigger than I take I think it was still less than half price for those skirts!

      I hope I get another invite at some point (yes, invite only and there are queues half a km long outside the warehouse when the happen!)


      PS And again, still smiling when I think about it!

    2. I mention as I am one to try and own everything. It was telling that in my last appraisal that whilst admirable, it suggested that I didn't trust my team. It was understood that this wasn't the case but some might get that impression and also that there were others in the team might like some praise for putting themselves up for extra work. Made me think - especially when I was flogging myself to be in work in time for start of day in Chennai.

      I can well understand you are still smiling - I got called Miss this morning in Costa coffee, made my day.

      I will be checking out Mexx online - make a change from Hobbs and Boden (I have also been told there is one in Covent Garden) might be a bit you for me she added afterwards - pah

    3. Yup, that is my problem. It rarely occurs to me to delegate things as I always think people have too much on their plate as it is...

      But it something that I have to learn.

      I can imagine it did make your day! I never got that before I transitioned, except for one the phone. Where, unless it was something official, I never corrected anyone :)

      I think that you have to keep going back to Mexx - they have some weird things at the moment. There are a couple of skirts I like - one I have and the other I want but I am not in danger of being bankrupt this season :)