Giving honest feedback is good

I had a small heart to heart with a co-worker today. It was not a review, not a criticism, not an admonition, but just a little feedback from what I had observed of him. I was not chastising him for anything and I made sure that my tone was even and I took the time to explain exactly what I had observed and what it should mean to him. I also took the time to explain that it had absolutely nothing to do with the conversation that led us to the more private conversation and that I was willing to listen to any feedback he would have for me.

It was such a pleasure to just have a nice give and take of what made me feel good about the person and his behavior. To provide what I consider to be valid feedback and re-enforcement of core values that are successful for the individual in a non threatening and usable format, is not something I can practice all the time. Strangely, it also led to a quite private yet quite enriching conversation about our strengths and weaknesses and how we can use them to our advantage. I made the mistake of talking more than listening and I have made a mental note to reverse that trend in our next conversation.

Lucien Loves to use the Couch as a Slide

My son Lucien, much like many other kids his age I am sure, loves to play on a slide. However, since we do not have a slide at home, he has learned to make one of us adults help him get to the top of our leather couch and then slide down to the ground. He has such a good time that he cannot contain his glee. This afternoon when I went home for lunch, I took a few minutes to play with him. He must have slid down a hundred times before I had to let him go and come back to work. It is such a guilty pleasure watching him grow up. I keep reminding myself to enjoy the little moments as much as I can and not get caught up in the act of being a parent too much.

Slide experiment
Slide

Creative Commons License photo credit: Caza_No_7

 

He is my shona chele!

Pleasure to see things come together

It was a real nice feeling to see a plan come together today and produce excitement and happiness. We had a project, that was put together by my team, come together beautifully. A lot of hard work, planning, cajoling, restructuring and refactoring had gone into this project and to see the launch be a non-event was very heartening. To make things even better, when I logged into the website and started using it, it felt right. The look is modern, the data is interesting and the concept comes together and holds its own.

I love it when a plan comes together.

I’m on a Boat!

Well, not really. The reference is to a Lonely Island song that has become a mantra at work for the past few weeks. You see, a co-worker is off tonight on a 20 or so day cruise across the Baltic Sea. He is going to fly to Iceland and then take a boat across the sea, visiting St. Petersburg, Germany, Iceland and a few other countries surrounding the sea. My parents and I had traveled across “the continent” when I was very young and I have always had pleasant memories of the trip.

Sunset Cruise
Sunset Cruise

Creative Commons License photo credit: ecstaticist

I have been looking forward to taking the trip vicariously through the eyes of my co-worker. Today we spent quite a bit of time going over what he was the most excited about. He talked about a Spanish Galion he wants to visit, a few museums, some fun places to eat that we have all heard about and go for excursions on every port that the ships docks into. What a fun time it should be! I hope he takes a lot of pictures for all of us.

So, Happy Travels Amigo!

Sharing a lunch with friends

As a ritual at work, we go out to lunch with a bunch of friends from work. Many weeks are too full of meetings and minutiae to actually make the lunch possible but it is a time of the week that I look forward to. Today was no exception.

Just being able to sit and talk with like minded people, facing similar happenstance at work and at home, makes for a very enjoyable time. We went to the Star Diner on Glendale today. I like to order their fish sandwich. It is a large meal with a lot of fish, nice serving of tartar sauce and thin cut fries. I cannot speak for the rest of the crew, but I hope we never stop doing this as long as we work for this company.

We bitch about our co-workers, about taxes, cost of living, political snafus, current events in the world and at work and talk about a host of other things at these lunches and but they are almost always jovial and leave a sense of satisfaction. The food and the service are mildly important, but I think the company makes it all worthwhile.

Bean Dip with Hummus tastes Delicious!

So yesterday my coworker, who has a girlfriend who loves to cook for her beau, brought in a large tub of bean dip for us to share. Boy did it hit the spot. I remember thinking that the bean dip tasted very mild and fresh but also thinking that the garlic taste and the slightly gritty texture was very attractive. He told me that there was no hummus in this bean dip but the more I think about it, the more I think it would taste very nice. The sour cream taste along with the taco seasoning and the mild garlic and onion taste really made the morning.

We did run out of chips but what a great way to start a day!