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February 2015

Uncategorized
Girls Night Out!
February 28, 2015 at 1:30 pm 1
I don't know why but I am so excited to be going out with some of my college sorority sisters tonight. All week long I have been just excited, almost giddy to get to go out. Is it because I never go out without my kids??? Am I really that lame! And part of the answer is yes but when I sit and think about it I realize that there is so much more. As all of us have moved around, got married, got divorced, had kids, careers and everything else we just NEVER get to see each other. The one thing I love about facebook is that I feel like I know what is going on in their lives and I get to see them. If it wasn't for facebook would I have lost all contact? Maybe and maybe not. But I think the real reason that I need this night out is because these girls are not only great friends who at any minute I know I could call them and they would be there for me, they are my sisters. As my family has grown I have definitely made some good friends along the way. Mostly other moms who had kids the same age, or my girls best friends parents etc. I have formed some good relationships with my "new" friends and some relationships that really I question why I am their friends. But I find that I might hold back a little bit or not necessarily tell them everything that is going on in my lives. I don't feel like I can have those bottom of the belly laughs or the good cry. They aren't all the first people I think about calling when I have a crisis. They are friends but they are not like my sisters. Living with 40 girls was always interesting and there was always some sort of drama. But I feel like I grew up with my sorority sisters. They were my roots, my foundations. They celebrated in the good times and were there in the bad times. I know that I may not see them everyday and guiltily some of them live so close to me but no matter what we are there for each other. So tonight may not happen all the time but it is what my heart and soul needs. And fingers crossed it will be the first of many more nights out with "Xi" Best sisters and friends!
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Daily Thoughts
Does being a virtual worker impact your career path?
February 20, 2015 at 10:51 am 1
This is a big question that I often ponder on. I would love for the answer to be "No" and I did always believe that when the company I worked for was 100% remote. Everyone in the company worked remotely and we had mastered communication and success as a company without sitting next to each other. People were able to get promoted. We felt like we had mastered the best of both worlds. Working from home and having a career. Now take a merger with another company, that is great and wonderful, but was mostly men at the time. While they accepted our remote working and saw that we were successfully they were still skeptic of it. I think over the last few years we have proven 100 times over that what we do is awesome. We have grown our side of the business tremendously, our team has grown and yet are we still the outsiders? Are we still the "other company"? There are many days I sit at my desk and think "I am a valuable employee" and "Our team is doing great". However, I do think that when you are not in the office you are forgotten. You can't advocate enough for your team because your face is not there. While you get the "yes's" and the "we are definitely working to help ya'll out" are they really. Does out of site, out of mind impact your career? I am really starting to feel that when you are working for a growing company that face time does make the world of difference. Don't get me wrong, can I do anything I need to sitting at my desk at home, absolutely! It is all mental, stereo type that someone needs to see you. Is my work not enough? The best of both worlds would be a split schedule but when you are in a whole different state than your office that gets tricky. It contradicts all the reasons that I work from home. Lately, I feel like my work and my unit are impacted because I don't sit in the office and smile at my desk, drink the kool-aid so to speak. I see my brother in law crossing this bridge too with working with a start up company. Does he take the risk and relocate his whole family to a new place all so that they can see his face while he works? It all seems silly. I don't always think that I need to be there. Some days I feel like they hear me and they listen and then other days I feel like saying WTH. A prime example, recently we started having these manager meetings. So the meeting starts and my boss pings me and asks why I am not calling in and that she is covering for me. I look at my calendar and I have nothing there. I feverishly digging through emails, stressing out, only to find out that I was never invited. Out of site, out of mind. Yet is that an X against me, probably. Or the fact that there are several meetings that impact technology for my team but I am never included on them. Out of site out of mind. Will it ultimately impact me and my career?? I have no clue but I do know that I am loyal, hard working and do more than I ever did when I sat in the office. So seeing my brother in law stress about this life changing decision, I just want to scream, GO!! Don't let it impact your dreams and your goals. Yet on the flip side, as a remote worker who truly believes that you can do anything and more from home, I want to say fight for keeping your position remote, prove to them your talent and worth. Which way is right, guess that depends on what each day holds. Some days I feel deflated, some days I feel successful, some days I feel like going back to bed, and some days I just want to run....
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Crafty Ideas
Valentines
February 13, 2015 at 10:20 am 0
I have to say that I am so happy that my kids get to have Valentines Parties in school. I must of read a zillion posts on facebook about how their kids are celebrating "Friendship Day" and that they couldn't reference valentines day or anything like that! Is it a commercial holiday? Absolutely! But really leave the one day that is about LOVE! The world could use a little love out there! So just thought I would share our Valentine goodies that the girls brought in. As a room mom I sent in some yummy heart shaped donuts and hot chocolate for the class. And the good news is that it met all the allergy needs. Phew!!! So happy Valentines Day!!!
Valentine - You blow me away

Valentine - You blow me away

IMG_8340 IMG_8339 IMG_8338 IMG_8337 IMG_8336
Valentine - You blow me away

Valentine - You blow me away

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Daily Thoughts
The Pros & Cons of working from home
February 10, 2015 at 10:13 pm 1
There are many pros and cons to working from home. When you tell people that you work from home they right away think they know all the pros to working from home. The funny thing is that half of them are not even pros, because they are so far fetched that they don't make any sense. It goes back to the bite your tongue moment in my last post when they assume you are maintaining your house and kicking back. So let's look at some of the cons first: 1. Your start and end time just start to blend into non-existent: The one thing I found with working from home is that it is almost addicting. You very rarely work traditional hours. Well let me rephrase that, you work traditional hours and then some. It starts off normal, you log into work at 9 and work until 5 and think ahh this is great. Then you start to notice that when you wake up at 6 you check your email, have a cup of coffee and start your day while working. Then slowly before you know it you are working in the morning before you bring the kids to school, working all day, then working at night. The night time is what will get you. You sit down to watch a little tv and think, oh hey I am just sitting here I can check a project. The next thing you know you are working every night until the wee hours of the night. I can tell you on average I work for a good 14 hours a day, and so do most people on my team. During our busy time, which lasts a good 4-6 weeks, I can honestly my team is working 16+ hours daily. 2. People think that you are free to just get up and do things any time you want: I can't tell you how many times I get the call asking me to run here or run there. Or having my kids ask me if I can run to the store while they are at school. Understanding that while I am at home working, it doesn't mean that I can just drop everything and run and do errands. I remember once when I had mentioned to a friend that I was trying to squeeze in a pedicure and I was just running out of time. She looked at me, almost in disgust, and asked well why don't you go during the day. Once again I got that tightness in my stomach, and just had to bite my tongue. 3. Summer, Spring Break, Winter Break, Snow days: This one goes both ways. There is nothing worse then when you work at home and your kids are off. It is so hard to know that you need to sit there and work and your kids are just kind of hanging out. I try to keep them busy and plan for them to do things but really I can't keep stopping my day to bring them here and there. Now that my girls are getting bigger they do entertain themselves and kind of do their own thing. I hate though when they want to do something and I keep putting them off. The whole point to working from home is to be there for the kids, but sometimes I feel like a complete failure at this. It is a total misconception that we can do a ton of things everyday when the kids are home. Because the reality is, I still have a job to do. I recently posted on facebook: Snowday = bring your family to work day. This just makes me laugh because it really is that! The funny thing, this exact topic is a pro! I no longer have to pay thousands of dollars for summer camps. I don't have to worry about covering every day the kids have off or when we have snow. I remember the stress of trying to figure that out. My husband and I would have to decide who would take off or how we would handle a half day, a sick kid. It just makes that stress go away. 4. Adult Interaction: This is another one that is a pro and con. The one thing I miss is seeing people, interacting, laughing with friends. Having someone to see your having a bad day and dive in to help, lend you a shoulder, or just an ear to bounce things off of. Having someone to make you go to lunch or keep you motivated during the day. I miss all that. On the flip side, I don't miss a lot of that. I don't have the office drama. I am not distracted with nonsense or someone speaking on speaker phone so the whole floor can hear it. I remember when I was working in the office, and still young, it was like an office war over the temperature. I mean it was utter craziness over the temperature of the office. Like how ridiculous was that!! And in reality I do communicate with my team like they are sitting right next to me. It is amazing how modern technology keeps you so intertwined with everyone. I could probably list another handful of cons but I want to talk about the pros because let's face it there is a reason we all do this! PROS
    1. Flexibilty: I use this loosely. I work a lot of hours but the one thing it has given me is a little flexibility. I am able to run a kid to the doctor in the morning and still get home and work 14 hours without an issue. I love that I can adjust my schedule randomly to do the things I couldn't do when I worked in the office without having to take the day off. 2. Family: I may not be actively doing things with the kids but I am here in the house, in my office. I get to hear them laugh, hear them cry and be there to offer a hug, hear them fight(put that on the con list) and just hear and see them. I get to pick them up from school and have them home early so they can do their work and relax before running to activities. They get to do activities. All of these things were really hard when both my husband and I worked in an office. 3. I am mobile: This is an awesome part of my job. I can work from anywhere as long as I have wifi. This has been a great thing for me. I love being able to go on a business trip with my husband and keeping my work schedule but getting to step out of my house and my normal environment. My daughters have lots of activities and it has me driving them and often time sitting and waiting for them. I am a natural multi-tasker. I have to keep busy. On most nights you can find me sitting in my car at the dance studio with my computer and working away. I know during the summer this is how my team members make it through the day. When the kids start to go stir crazy, they are able to take them someplace, let them play and they keep working and are productive. It gives them the balance they need without an impact to their overall day and job.
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Daily Thoughts, Uncategorized
Remote Working a.k.a. working from home
February 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm 0
When I say to people I work from home I get all kinds of replies but it almost always starts with "Oh that is so nice, you are so lucky, I would do ANYTHING to work from home". Then as you carry on with the conversation it normally always leaves me with the just bite your tongue feeling because you don't want to go postal on the person who suddenly has made you feel like you have a life of eating bonbons while sitting on the couch all day doing nothing. So for my next few blogs I am going to chat about Remote Working - the pros, the cons, the misconceptions and everything else that goes with it. So first lets start with this. I have been working from home for probably about the last 12 years. For 7 years i worked a few days in the office and a few days at home. Then five years ago I started working 100% from home. Let's clear up the other item of when I say working from home, I mean i have a legitimate job with a company, make a salary and have a career. I do not discount one bit the stay at home mom and will say that is just as much of working from home as you get. Taking care of house and kids is totally a full time job. I on top of that full time job work another job for a great company. I manage a team of about 16 people in the US and another 50 in India. Based on that I have some experience on the whole remote working thing. I will also say these are my opinions, so take them or leave them. Remote working is not easy. It takes a special kind of person to do it. While everyone says they would love to work from home, the reality is that it is not that easy. When i hire for my team I really have to think about the people I hire. They can be great people, great workers, smart as hell but that has nothing to do with the actual successfulness of working in your home. Working from home is not like this blog where i can set the times i work and just show up when i want. There is a total accountability to having a job in which you are required to be working during certain hours. Many people have the attitude of as long as I get my job done it doesn't matter when i work. And to be honest that is true for many professions but not mine. Our company has core hours in which everyone should be working. The rest of your hours get tacked on at the beginning of the core or the end. Now i do give a slight flexibility with my team but overall I expect to see my team on and working during the day. We have clients and demands from them that have to be met. Many ask how i know when my team is working... this is 2015 do i need to say more? But if you have to know, I rely heavily on our instant messenger system. I can see when everyone is actively working. I have logs of projects completed, when they were completed, how long it took, etc. And then there is the age old IT department that can tell me when everyone was working and what they were doing. So loop this back to the first misconception of sitting back watching tv all day. The reality is that we have a job to do. It needs to be done when it is expected and someone can see what you were doing all day. So no we aren't kicking back doing nothing. My other favorite thing is the idea that because I am working at home I can do my laundry, make dinner, clean the house. I have to say this is a big one. The reality - well come to my house at any point and I will prove this wrong. My house doesn't get cleaned during the week. I clean up at night, just like every other working family. I do my laundry at night and I NEVER am prepared for dinner. At 5 o'clock on most nights I am still sitting at my desk trying to figure out what in the hell I am going to make the kids for dinner. I am rushing around at night to get everyone to where they need to be on time and my house is still dirty! To be honest, my house was a hell of a lot cleaner when i worked outside of the house but that was because we were never home. I used to work, pick up kids, throw down dinner, run out to activities, shower, bed. There was no time for the kids to destroy the house! One of the biggest misconceptions is that my job must be really easy or is not really important if I can work from home. I am not going to elaborate too much on this one because honestly this whole topic will be it's on blog post. I often want to scream out why is your job more valued or important than my job because my desk is not sitting in an office so you can sit and stare at me. I look at my team and know this concept is just complete and utter BS. First off i run a whole team, doesn't that count as being kind of important, maybe not but someone has to do it :) Then there is the fact that my team is one of biggest revenue earning departments of our company. The work we do counts for something, well it counts for a lot and that a lot pays a good amount of salaries and impacts the bottom line in a big way. The last one i will talk about today is that i have it so easy because i don't have to go anywhere. And hey, i won't say it isn't nice not to have to commute to work everyday. Been there, done that, sat in traffic - I've done it. It sucks but you know what, all it did was add more hours to my work day. While most people are commuting i am still working. To be honest, i won't complain much about this. My husband has a long commute every day and i know it sucks. I love not having to commute to work. Unfortunately, I still commute my kids to school every day and back but hey that is a whole other story. Make sure you come back to read the next blog post of my remote working series. I will talk some more about the pros, the cons... and the funny moments of working from home.
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