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

29Aug/130

The Value of Experience

I feel like I've learned a lot in the last few months.

My job has shifted slightly and become, overall, a lot more stressful. I'm responsible for a lot more, and in varying fields, and don't have a lot of backup on some of this. I don't say that as a complaint, merely that there aren't really a lot of people to catch something I might miss.

And I miss things. More often than I'd like. I'm pretty hard on myself about those mistakes, I think. Likely a little too hard, but I suppose that's debatable.

Over the last few months though I've noticed a shift. I'm catching things. I'm figuring out systems to make sure I don't miss things, to work more efficiently. Now when my boss asks about something, there's a decent chance I can say "it's already taken care of." And that's a good feeling, folks.

I'm starting to realize that there is value in my experience. I used to think there was no real difference between Tom Fresh Out of School and Tom With 4 Years in the Workforce, except higher pay (hopefully) and people more willing to give him a chance. I'm learning there is a decent difference between those two guys. 

In some ways that bugs me. Those job ads always asking for 3-5 years experience bugged me, because I thought I could do those jobs, if someone would just give me a chance. I'd still like to think Tom Fresh Out of School could have handled himself, but I'm realizing there are things I knew, I'd been told, but in the end I had to learn. I'd heard them before, sure, but in the end, I had be there, realizing I wasn't catching things, I was making mistakes, to learn how important simple things like putting things in a calendar, writing down EVERYTHING, asking for clarification, and any number of little things, were. 

And I still make mistakes, to be frank. Far more than I'm comfortable with, but fewer than is terrible, really. 

Life's funny, sometimes.

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6Aug/131

Choosing Your Narrative

Lately I've felt like the Universe is shoving me towards some things. Like it's gotten tired of subtle hints and is now slapping me across the face with a trout to get me to listen and go the way I am meant to go. To go the way I want to go, really. None of what it seems to be pushing me towards are things I don't want, just things I hadn't really pursued that vehemently, because life was comfortable and not terrible.

Which, you know, NOT GREAT.

And lately there have been a few instances where things fall so perfectly into place when I've made a decision, or when I've said to myself "maybe I should do this," that it makes me wonder about some sort of providence. Heretic, agnostic me wondering about that. Go figure?

Now the realist in me says that these things are chance. They are just random little things that come up, and that I choose to see them the way I want. And this may be true. But honestly? So what?

Sometimes I think it's good to realize that you can choose the narrative of your life. It's an internal thing. It changes nobody but you, and as long as your narrative isn't, like, that you must never shower or must murder all gingers, who the fuck cares? If something like this helps you make a decision, or feel good about a decision you've made, fuck it. Enjoy it. Grasp it. Run with it. Share it with those you want to, keep it from those you don't. 

But never for a second think there's anything wrong with choosing the narrative of your life. Because in the end it can shape you. If your narrative, your story as Nicole would call it, isn't something positive, is poisonous or negative, that hurts you. That holds you back, I think. Make it positive, even if your life is full of BS. This is hard, and I'm not saying one must be positive all the time. Sometimes life sucks.

But at my core, I think I'm going towards good things. That I have good things ahead of me. I have to. Cause if I don't believe it, who else will?

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5Aug/131

The Joys of Noise Cancelling Headphones

I've spent most of this slightly eventful flight trying to tune out two people behind me.

As people were getting settled a guy asked if he could switch with another man behind me to sit next to his coworker. The gentleman readily agreed, and since then the two have been talking all. Flight. Long.

Of course they're entitled to, but I found myself wishing for quiet. I didn't bring a physical book today so during take off and landing (and a flight from Toronto to Chicago spends a decent chunk of time doing those things) I don't really have anything to do. My urge is to try and slip into a meditative state. Let my mind quiet and enjoy the background roar of the airplane.

This is hard to do with two folks talking behind you, mind you.

But it made me think about not really solving my own problems. I could've dug out my noise cancelling headphones and slipped them on. Even without something playing they would help. But I worry. I worry about someone saying once how you're not allowed to have headphones on? Or something? I worry about being told no, you're wrong, that you are BAD. 

YOU'RE DISOBEYING THE RULES TOM!

Increasingly in life, however, I'm learning it's okay to disobey the rules every now and then. To do something the way you want until someone tells you no. See, I like to be considerate. To watch for others trying to get by me. To make room for people. To pause in a parking lot and let someone in. This is how I was raised.

But every now and then, I think it's good to do what you want until someone tells you not to.

Also, can I say how futuristic this feels? I'm writing on my gorgeous laptop screen. I have lovely music playing through my headphones (Boyce Avenue - Shadow of the Day, if you must know; oh, wait, now I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons) and outside my window I can see the skyline of…somewhere in the States, over the Lake.

Devices off. Will send this later, folks.

(Later is now.)

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