tomfromhr.com a blog on tech, politics, life and zombies

26Apr/124

Wine and Love: 3

So today I'm doing Wine and Love again, hosted by Suki! Here we talk about the things making us reach for the wine glass (or alcoholic beverage of choice) and the things we love this week!

Wine

  • Didn't get a job I interviewed for. Spent almost a whole day in interviews too. While it was a good experience overall, and looking back it may not have been the best fit, I still can't say I was too pleased to get that news.
  • I'm slowly getting sick. Every morning I can feel my throat aching a little more, and I'm just waiting for it to blossom into a full blown cold. Definitely need to sleep much this weekend.
  • Eaten poorly the last while. Given in to stress/emotional eating a few too many times.

Love

  • I'm feeling a renewed passion for blogging and vlogging. Been reading and watching more and feeling excited, with some new ideas of things to do and maybe some new projects coming up. GFM's been writing some drabbles lately, which has got me thinking about trying my hand at some creative writing as well.
  • I've been trying to walk a bit. I'm aiming for just a short, 10 minute walk every day, just to get moving a little bit. I've also been trying to keep off my phone, mostly, and do a bit of walking meditation. It's nice because it's very hard to say "nah, I don't have time for that." Cause I totally do. Though the weather lately has been the biggest deterrent. But it's been nice.
  • I'm getting a handle on things at work. Saying that may be the kiss of death, of course, but I'm getting there, for now.

What are you loving, and not loving this week?

26Apr/120

Interviews, Technology and You

"This may be a little awkward," the woman said as she led me into the conference room. "We're sorry he can't be here in person!"

The room was a bit dark and larger than I would have thought. Inside, a man waited for me on teleconference, and a seat was prepared for me, with the camera facing me. The seat was angled such that I had to lean back and rest one arm on the table, with the other dangling free.

A little bit awkward turned out to be an understatement, but I understood the constraints of a large, multinational corporation with new technology they must justify using. In the end, though, I feel like I would've done better had I set up my iPad and Skyped.

The next day, they called to tell me they were "unable to offer me a position at this time."

It may shock you to learn that, as an HR guy, I hate that kind of HR language. Some of that stuff I love. Inclusive language is awesome. But couching things like that? No. You aren't unable to offer me a position. You're unwilling. Or, to be a bit nicer, you feel other candidates are better suited to this position.

The day after that call, I was scheduled to attend a seminar about the use of technology in the industry I'm currently working with. The talk was largely full of terms and tools I expect you all are familiar with; tablets, cloud computing, DropBox and the like. But the time flew. I was excited to get back to work and start to think about using some of these tools, to campaign to implement some to improve our workflow and to make all of our jobs easier. I chatted with my boss on the way back about all the ways we could improve things for everyone in the company.

I'd never have gotten to do this, had I gotten the job I interviewed for. I'd have ended up in a cozy, comfortable position with a large company, and it would have been very easy to just work my way up there for the rest of my life. Everything I did, technology wise, would have had to been approved by IT.

I'll admit I was a little bitter over this. I still am, which I think is understandable. I was spurned. Rejected. But in the end, I think it was a blessing. A message, even, if you believe in that sort of thing. A sign I could do…something different. Something that would get me really, honestly excited. Work that didn't feel like work.

I'm still figuring out exactly what that looks like. It's still not quite where I am now, but it's not terribly far off. I love technology, I love what it can do for us. And I love helping people work better; looking at systems and organizations and figuring out how we can use everyone to the best of their abilities, so maybe we can get our work done in 35 hours instead of 40, and all get to go home an hour early every day. Or, do a half day on Friday.

So, in the end, maybe it was good we had an awkward teleconference interview.

19Apr/121

Wine and Love: 2

So today I'm doing Wine and Love again, hosted by Suki! Here we talk about the things making us reach for the wine glass (or alcoholic beverage of choice) and the things we love this week!

Wine

  • Seems to be a lot of folks losing loved ones these days. Pets, parents, grandparents, a lot of folks I know have lost someone in the last few days. I try my best, to help and be there for folks, but everyone handles it in their own way, and there isn't really much you can say. Though if anyone has any tips on this, I'd love to hear them.
  • Work continues to be very busy. Nowhere near some other folks, of course, but busy all the same. I was asked to do some extra work, that I was paid for, but it meant a late and stressful night, and it's throwing me off a bit. Nothing terrible, of course, but it's less than great.
  • Weight. Things are on the upswing again. I try to keep an eye, but like many things, this could be helped by moving out and not having pie, cake and ice cream around at all times. Sadly, this is not something I have a say in currently. I do need to learn to say no to these things too. But when you're a bit stressed, it can be tough.

Love

  • I have an interview on Monday! I'm excited about this. I love my current work place, but I'd welcome the chance to try something new. This job would be closer to where I live (even closer if I move to the area I'm hoping to) and would be a great step up for me. Challenging, but worthwhile. I'm also just really glad to have the opportunity to interview and see their whole process, so I think this will be good.
  • I'm doing better at reading blogs, keeping up on twitter and reading the papers every day. It's very easy for me to get caught up in my own stuff and miss a lot of what's going on, both around the world and with my friends, so I'm glad I've been able to do that. Next up; keeping up on YouTube!
  • More wine! I've been drinking a bit more lately. Just a bit here and there, which may not be the most healthy, but it's nice. Latest favourite has been the GFM Approved Blanc de Blanc. Very nice, and relatively local!

What are you loving, and not loving this week?

12Apr/1213

Wine and Love: 1

So, in an effort to take a cue from GFM and blog a bit more, I'm jumping on the Wine & Love bandwagon, hosted first by Nora and now by Suki! However, being a guy, I'm deciding to call it Beer and Love for myself, since I'd tend to reach for the beer glass, rather than the wine glass. But rest assured, this is the same idea! The idea being that, you talk about the things thing are making you reach for the glass, and the things you are loving.

Edit: GFM has called on me to put some money in the Douchebag Jar for calling it Beer and Love, so I'm switching to wine. A guy can drink wine too! And I do!

Beer Wine

  • Drama. Without going into too many specifics (and if you're reading this, I can almost guarantee it's not about you) there's been some drama with some friends. Places and groups that were supposed to be fun, safe spaces are becoming less so. It's not the end of the world, but it makes things a bit harder and a bit more tense overall.
  • Work continues to be very busy. Not in a terrible way, but definitely a bit busier than I'd like.
  • I'm getting sick, too. Nothing huge, but I'm feeling that tickle at the back of my throat that says it's starting. I'll need to try and get lots of rest this weekend, I think, to catch up.

Love

  • Had a phone interview with a potential new job today, which I'm excited about. I'm not desperate to move or anything, but this would be a nice career progression, so I'm excited about that possibility. It would also be closer to home (the current home, anyway) which would be a big plus. More like a 20 minute drive, instead of almost an hour using public transit. Less time to sit and read, but I also wouldn't be bound by the train schedule. We will see though! Nothing's set in stone yet.
  • I'm being better at finances this month. Resisting the urge to buy a lot of things I would have bought without a second thought, saving up for my move. I'm still more than a little scared of being able to have enough money when I do move out, but a new job would definitely help with that!

What's up with you, reader? What are you loving, and what's making you reach for the alcoholic beverage of choice?

 

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5Apr/123

6 Months? 2 Weeks! Let’s do it 2 Weeks!

The title is an Arrested Development reference that may only make sense in my head.

I'm moving. The sooner the better. My goal would be to be moved by June, at the latest.

What prompted this was thinking about my 12changes change for April. I started to think about trying to be a bit more adult, doing things for myself. I live with my parents now and, for convenience sake, my Mom is a very traditional mother. She cooks, she cleans, she tidies. She doesn't mind doing this, and we offer to help out, but in the end it's just easier with one person doing this. But it means that I have a lot of little embarrassing moments, when people ask me about my life, and I'm forced to either lie, or talk about how much my Mom helps me out. Cause it's a lot. Far more than I'm comfortable admitting on this blog.

And it's easy to say "start doing things yourself." But there are practical and emotional concerns. To cook for myself I basically have to not eat with my parents, which would be rude, I would say. And on the practical side, it's very, very tempting to just fall into the habit of letting someone else take care of your laundry and lunches. Can you honestly tell me you wouldn't let someone else do it if they offered? If so, you're a strong person than I.

With the help of some friends, I realized that none of this, none of these adult things, are going to stick until I actually have to do them myself. I'm never going to learn to manage my money until I have to. Never going to cook for myself until I have to.

I keep waiting for the time to be right. To save up more, to get my weight under control, to get a new job. I keep thinking that I can gain the confidence that I am my own man, that I am capable of all the things I think I can, under my parent's roof.

But I can't. There's some shit that's not all internal, folks. Positive thinking doesn't solve everything. It may for some people, but not for me.

For my own sanity, for my own development, I need to move. More on the where, how, and when later.

4Apr/125

Cheering for Strangers

Every now and then, I tell a relative stranger that they are awesome, and that they can do something.

Often, lately, this is related to a job. As is common with Millenials, we are constantly seeking new jobs, better opportunities, and all that. Many are still looking for their first job. So someone will tweet about an opportunity, or something they're scared about, or an interview, and I will offer tweets of support, of encouragement, and try to check in later to see how things went. I share in their victories, and their defeats, as things come and go.

And I do this with relative strangers, basically. Not total strangers. People I've known for close to a year now, really. People I've talked with, people who I've seen share some of their deepest secrets, people who I've gotten drunk with. But people I've never met. People whose capabilities, really, I have no idea about.

But still I cheer them on. I tell them they can do it. I tell them I'd wish them luck, if I thought they needed it. And you know what? They do the same for me.

And I think this is absolutely awesome. I think it's kind of hilarious, and a little weird, but wonderful. I do this because I believe in these people. I believe in the power of my generation, to reach out and touch people, to acquire knowledge, and to be the absolute best at anything we put our minds to.

What's perhaps most important, though, is our capacity to love. Our ability to reach out and touch complete strangers. So many people I now count among some of my best friends, I met through a collective video blogging project. That's insane, and wonderful, really.

But I've also learned that if you reach out to people, they tend to reach back. For so long, I had no idea how to tell people "I think you're cool and we should hang out" without them thinking it was some kind of romantic gesture (and, to be fair, occasionally it was). I was always worried they'd be like "WTF? You're weird." But I've learned that, if you do say basically that, people tend to go "Cool! Let's!". It's amazing, and wonderful.

I don't know if there was a particular point to this, but just something that's been on my mind, lately.

And just as a reminder; if you ever need to talk, I'm here to listen. I can't promise stellar advice, or really saying anything more than "I'm sorry, that sounds really difficult." Cause sometimes there isn't more to say than that, really. But if you send me an email, I will read it. And I think, honestly, if you look around and reach out to people, they do reach back.

And if you do ever want to say to me "I think you're cool, and we should hang out," odds are I will say the same thing back. Of course, I may suggest we hang out in Azeroth. But you should not dismiss that out of hand.

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