Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If I were having coffee with you this weekend, I would tell you that I finished reading the book, rather I finish listening to the book, Getting to Yes by Robert Fisher. Is not a new book but this book about negotiation is still is relevant.

Rather than teaching people how to beat the party they’re trying to negotiate with and just teaching you to be a Better horse trader Getting to Yes offers more positive solutions.

On Saturday I had lunch with four former colleagues it’s been our tradition to meet once in the winter and once in summer however since one of our group job to full-time we never got together in winter. So we have a lot to catch up on. My colleague with the new job has changed from advertising to healthcare. Her title is Engagement Coach for local hospital System. She coaches nurses and doctors on their communication skills by evaluating talk and how the patient reports how well the Conversation went. Then she coaches to health care givers on how to improve.  It’s cool that the hospitals are systematically working to improve communication.

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Manet. Still life

After lunch, I went to the Art Institute of Chicago for its final weekend for an exhibit on Manet’s paintings. Usually I take a lot of my own photos, but with one arm I didn’t bother. I did get the audio tour and that was worth every penny. The only downside was it was extremely crowded so I didn’t see every piece. 

I’d tell you that I enjoyed the Japanese movie I am Waiting, a noir gem.

I’d tell you it’s getting cooler and a few trees’ leaves have begun to turn. I’m still not ready for fall.

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I’d tell you that it’s been hard continuing to work at the library with one arm. They aren’t legally bound to make accommodations for people so the choice is either do all the same tasks go home and recover. I have been juggling answering the phone while using a computer with one hand. The patrons are quite sympathetic and patient. The higher ups don’t give it much thought and actually see my injury as their inconvenience. 

On Wednesday a nearby library hosted a training session on customer service. To evaluate how you’re doing, however a lot of what we learned I’ve learned other positions. Also half day program tried to pack a full day into a morning. So the last hour was quite rushed. Given that they charge $316 per person, I love to start my own business in this field. 

I’m continuing with my census work and am grateful for my wonderful team. I got a couple blocks done yesterday myself enjoyed exploring neighborhoods I never gave a second glance.

Two more people have decided to quit the library. That’s now 16 for the year from a staff of 43.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee I tell you that it’s been rather tough figuring out how to manage in a sling. Needless to say getting dressed, cooking, bathing, writing, working, and even reading a book is a whole new ballgame.

I did go to work on Friday and was able to catch up with email and do a few tasks. There was a second news report in the local paper about the state of the library. We also learned that the director has consulted a lawyer to help her deny people Freedom of Information Act request for documents. Other libraries have provided these documents on the same day as they were requested. The library where I work doesn’t want anyone to read these documents. 

I had a good long talk with my mentor who profusely apologized because she felt guilty that she knew this library with the toxic work environment but she also knew I wanted a job so she refrained from telling me how bad it was. Again and again she suggested I get out of here as soon as possible. I do still think there’s hope and I’m not ready to quit yet. Since I’m just part-time I don’t see the full abuse that others have seen. I do pray things improve.

Thursday I had a meeting with some of my census team members. I’m really happy about the people were working with me. They’re interesting and dedicated. There’s a ton of addresses to verify and good people are on this job which can be challenging in many different ways.

And Friday since I can’t type quickly rather than discuss The Age of Innocence via email with my friend Bill, we arrange to Skype. I worked with Bill in Korea and for the last few years we selected a novel read it via email. Skype with a great way to go because the back-and-forth was immediate. I think we both learned new ways to look at Edith Wharton’s novel.

Today is Labor Day and we’ve gotten one of those beautiful late-summer days. It’s not too hot; the sun is shining and the sky the brilliant blue. Mainly, the day has been filled with work by choice. This morning I met one of my listers for the census and we tried to troubleshoot his computer problem. Unfortunately, I had no solutions and the IT department was closed. Then I tried to make progress on a huge block that I have to canvass. I thought it only consisted of a senior living development, but when I finish that complex, I realized it includes the entire street to the east of that complex plus for at least two cul-de-sacs. It could take another two days to do this since I can only work a couple hours at a time due to this broken wrist.

I’ve been boning up on negotiation skills. Right now I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Getting to Yes. Although the books a bit old, the approach still seems relevant. And there’s lots of specific examples to guide you through the process. I like how the authors suggest methods that aren’t confrontational but rather ways to work together without resentment and bad feelings. I hope to be ready to go to discuss salary with my current job get up there salary. Wish me luck.

On my way to the massive block I stopped for gas. Somehow I locked the keys in the car along with my eyeglasses and phone. I wound up having to walk home about an mile and a half, call my father who’s in Utah, find out the code to open the door, call my neighbor, get a ride back to the gas station, unlock the car and proceed to canvass. I didn’t want to court more bad luck so after canvassing, I had lunch with a friend and canceled any other errands for the day.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be an easier day.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that there’s been a lot of drama at work. Last week two community listening sessions were held to hear what our patrons wanted in a renovation of the smaller library in our district. The sessions were well attended but people didn’t want to talk about the building. They came to find out why 33% of the staff has left in less than a year. They miss the small town, high quality service they got when most of the library staff knew them. Stay tuned for more details on that.

The weather’s been perfect, rain in the early mornings or at night, temperatures in the 80s and blue skies. It’s a perfect August so far.

I’m really enjoying my census job, which allows me to meet lots of new people. Right now we’re training the listers so I’m tapping into my teaching skills.

There’s a big misunderstanding with the full time job offer I’ve gotten. First I was offered a job, but didn’t get to see the salary. Finally I asked for an offer letter and was told I’d make $9,000 dollars less than a young employee who just has a high school diploma and far fewer years of work experience. I said no to that. Then they discovered that they’d been paying me $2/ hour less than they should have. I’ll get this money soon. Then I was given a small improvement on the first offer, but they still are paying less than the woman with the high school diploma. They seriously don’t understand what an affront that is, not just to me but to all of us with a college degree.

I saw a Japanese noir film called Rusty Knife that was packed with action. I’ll post a review soon. I’ve started listening to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, a master by Alan Bradley. The narrator is super charming, on the verge of almost being too charming, but it’s a fun listen so far.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I just finished watching Jean-Luc Godard’s Band of Outsiders. I was charmed by the innocence captured in some scenes and appalled by the soulless actions of some characters. All in all, it’s a film that captured my attention and was beautiful in many respects. It sure was original and I wish today’s films were half as creative.

I’d tell you that I continued my Census job training. It’s a short term position and quite interesting. Part of our training was to go out into the field and verify the addresses the Census Bureau has. Most people were very nice; one was very suspicious. One of our assignments was in a part of my area I’d driven by thousands of times, a trailer park down the road from my high school. It was vast, much bigger than I thought and it was cool to see how many people decorated their porches and put flowers around their homes.

I think the Census still needs workers and for this assignment the hours are flexible once you get your training done. Apply here.

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I’d tell you that yesterday I decided to visit another church on the list of Eleven Churches You Must See in Chicago. I went to St. Mary’s of the Angels in Bucktown, a Chicago neighborhood. I wasn’t prepared for the glorious interior. It just blew me away. I’ll share more photos when I get my computer to cooperate with my memory card.

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Yesterday I had dinner at my brother’s house and heard about my nieces’ summers. One was in NYC for an internship and the other was in Nashville for an internship and to volunteer for a scientific study of the environment. My nephews were there as was my sister-in-law, but I’ve seen them throughout the summer since they’ve been home.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I finished the Dervla Murphy book The Ukimwi Road and I’ll soon get another one of hers to read next. I love her outlook and spirit. Perhaps I’ll get her first book Full Tilt about her bike journey from Ireland to India.

Work’s gotten strange and nerve-wracking, but hopefully that will change.

I began working part time for the U.S. Census. We had one day of training last Monday and got our equipment for our task of systematically checking addresses block by block to make sure the government’s records are up to date. We had about 15 hours of online training, which was really done well so that it’s easy to remember what we’re supposed to do. Tomorrow we gather for our next training.

I just finished watching Gate of Hell, a Japanese film from the 50’s about the samurai era. The costumes were gorgeous and made me wish I had lived in that time — as a royal.

I’m in the 6th of 8 weeks in my University of the People courses and I’m learning quite a lot about coding with Python. I have to take another class in college readiness, “because their program is unique.” I tried to get out of it since I know how to take notes and I know all about active learning. I’m learning nothing and the homework takes a lot of time. That’s the weakness of this program.

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you to make sure you visit the Frank Lloyd Wright American System Build homes in Milwaukee. They were affordably priced when they were built in 1916 and Wright designed a series of possible rooms and you could choose which bedrooms, living room, kitchen, etc. He saved a lot on materials by having the wood cut at the lumberyard rather than on site.

I enjoyed watching the BBC special on the moon landing of Apollo 11. I remember getting to stay up late to watch it. It was a memorable event, probably the most memorable historical event in my youth. Today I found some interesting articles on Russia’s reaction to the moon landing and their Luna 15 mission which took place at the same time.

I led a neighborhood book club on The Guest Book by Sarah Blake, which I just hated as did some neighbors. I was careful during the discussion because a few people, whom I didn’t know thought this plodding book was terrific.

I’m happy to now be returning to a Dervla Murphy’s Ukimwi Road about her trip through Africa. So much better!

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Basilica of St. Josaphat, Milwaukee, WI

While in Milwaukee I drove by a basilica, but didn’t have time to go in. I should have made time because the photos online are breathtaking. I’ll have to find a time to visit.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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Melbourne, Australia

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Hopetoun, Melbourne, Australia

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that contain the Letter K, anywhere in the word. Cake came to mind so here you go.

If you want to see more Letter K photos, go here.

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