Weekend Coffee Share

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)! To join, al l you need to do is create a post and link to Eclectic Ali

If we were having coffee, I’d say that fall has arrived with its chilly temps and its vivid foliage. I’d add that work has been full of twists and turns. Originally, Wedsneday was to be our last day. Then a judge ordered that the Census continue to October 5th. By Friday the judge decided that it should run till October 31st. We’re not sure if that means we’ll work till the 31st or not. For all we know tomorrow could be our last day in the field.

I’d tell you that I got trained to be an Early Voting judge. It was a rather a confusing session. About six groups of six were in a large room. Because all the instructors wore masks and all were talking at the same time, but at different speeds it was hard to know what each was saying. Still we went through procedures and have our manuals to guide us when the real thing begins.

I enjoyed watching Carole Lombard and Fred McMurray (My Three Sons) in Hands Across the Table. it’s a darling romantic comedy though I wasn’t thrilled with the end.

I went to dinner with my aunt and uncle. It was fun to see them before they leave for a couple weeks. We went to a small Italian restaurant. We ate inside, which was a first in months for me.

Weekend Coffee Share

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)! To join, al l you need to do is create a post and link to Eclectic Ali

It’s been a mixed week. On the plus side, Friday I celebrated my birthday with a dinner with my parents and two cousins, I haven’t seen in ages. We ate outside at a local spot which has a lovely patio area. The downside, which is minor, is that it was quite chilly. We wore our fall coats the whole time. I must admit fall has come and it’s time to switch out my seasonal wardrobe.

While Friday was great, Saturday started with a fender bender. Ugh. I was parking in front of a food pantry where my partner and I were going to work. I accidentally started to park in a loading zone and the man who owned the store by the zone, startled me as he dramatically waved and pointed to the sign. Of course, I started to move out, but I wasn’t careful enough so I soon heard a dreadful CRRRUNCH. I’d hit the taillights of the car in front of me. Long story short, I’ve exchanged information with the other driver and will go through the process of making things right. There’s something so awful in that sound of a car accident, even a minor one. Then there’s the dreadful thought of how much will it cost and how much hassle this will be to fix. My car had a pretty long scratch, but when I got home, I wiped off the door and saw that the scratch isn’t so bad. Have you had any experiences like this?

This week at work we got more people to do the Census than any other, but 200%. Where have these people been? They were pleasant and we didn’t have any insults shouted at us. We have had some of our future assignments changed as both in Albany Park and the Morse CTA station, there were shootings. We work during the day and these incidents happened after 6pm, but it’s good we’ve been reassigned. I do wonder when Chicago’s violence will decline. Nothing seems to be working.

On Thursday, my partner and I had an interesting talk with the two police officers covering the Rogers Park CTA stations. They explained how there’s a lot to their job that TV commentators and social media users just don’t understand. For example, tasers only work as designed if they can touch the skin. If someone is wearing thick or baggy clothing, they’re ineffective. Someone can pull out the prongs pretty easily and once those wires are disconnected, the device is useless. I’d love to see a news program that offers information on how tasers work and what they can and can’t do. I’d like to see the actual statistics on how often someone draws a weapon on the police and the officers make the arrest without drawing a weapon.

I’m reading That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis. It’s the third book of his space trilogy. It’s quite different from the first two books, but relates to what’s going on in society right now in terms of violence and division. The main character Mark is a university professor and I’m enjoying the view into academia.

I finished the Hillsdale College Children’s Classic Literature course so I got Peter Rabbit and reread that and got Beatrix Potter’s Two Bad Mice. Both were witty and soothing timeless stories.

My job will end on September. I have lined up short term work as a judge for early voting which will start here on October 19th and culminate November 3rd. After that I have to get something else. First and foremost I have to figure out what I want to do.

Can I Just Say . . .

that it’s not effective for a manager to tell new employees who’ve gone through a week of training that consisted of mishaps and disorganization (i.e. we don’t have the equipment you need, maybe we will tomorrow; oh, no one sent us the usernames you need; doesn’t anyone have any ideas of what we should do in the meantime) to stumble around and then start cracking the whip with threats like, “I know you all just started and it’s been rough and this isn’t the position you thought it would be, but if you don’t achieve these new benchmarks as much as I don’t want to, I’ll have to fire you.”

Is this for real?

Yep. Wish I could elaborate.

Sepia Saturday

Woman Aeroplane Worker : Sepia Saturday 498 Header

Today the photo prompt inspired me to look through Flickr Commons for photos of welders.

welder10_c

Tynew & Wear Archives & Museum, Welder, 1960

welder 38211_c

Library of Congress, Welder, 1963

Welder making aluminum furniture

I actually would like to learn to weld. I’ve heard that women often make good welders.

If you want to see more welding-inspired photos, click here.

 

 

Just Awful

I can’t believe that the management of Winnetka-Northfield Library is still treating people so poorly in light of the two news stories in the local papers this week. (Here’s one from the Winnetka Talk.*)

You’d think the managers would shape up, but no.

I just learned that when a colleague, who’s part time, was on vacation learned her mother died. Due to her vacation she had to switch a lot of shifts. Then to attend her mother’s memorial she had to take off a weekend. The management required that she make up her hours and get a replacement. Not one manager expressed any sympathy towards her. So she will go to her mother’s memorial but then she’ll have to work 12 days in a row to get that “favor.”

*Note: in the article it states that 88 people have left. In the last couple weeks 6 more have done so. The total is now 94 out of 43.

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 you should go see West Side Story at the Lyric Opera. It’s a terrific musical and there are discount codes to get tickets for a good price.

I made dinner for Mother’s Day for my parents and two brothers’ families. I’m most proud of my key lime pie and the angel food cake that I decorated with Trader Joe’s small chocolate mousse tea cakes in the shape of flowers. Those were great and don’t think you must add them to a cake. On their own they’re addictive.

On Friday, my nephew broke his arm quite badly. He was in gym class and decided to jump over a volleyball, but instead he fell on the ball and went sailing. He was in surgery for 4 hours. By Saturday, he was smiling though very tired.

I finished reading Henri Duchemin and His Shadows by Emmanuel Bove, a French writer whom I discovered by using Literature-Map.com. Try Literature-Map and let me know if you find any new favorite writers.

I’m getting more active about applying for jobs. I look and look, but in ESL there aren’t many possibilities. In EFL (i.e. teaching English as a Foreign Language) the main employers are China and the Middle East. I’m done with China. Or I do hope I am. I spent many years there and liked my students, but China is cracking down on religious expression in a way I can’t overlook. (See this article as well.) Also, the PRC’s government needs to negotiate in good faith with its foreign trading partners. For decades they’ve gotten such sweet deals and they’ve stolen IP left and right. None of the computers I worked on at school or in a hotel had purchased Microsoft software. It was all pirated. That’s one example. I don’t want to help a country that’s not going to protect religious freedom. That same reason makes the Middle East a problem. I am trying to find work as an Instructional Designer here in the US. So far finding nearby opportunities and convincing an employer that I have the needed skills is difficult via a form on the internet. In conversation, I can make the case.

I’ve loved my library work, but the field is on a downward trend of just offering part time work.

 

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 about the water color program I went to at the library on Tuesday. We followed the teacher step by step to create a small water color painting of two spring blossoming trees. We learned about a couple techniques of water colors and painted to Mozart. The teacher was super well organized and down to earth. Sometimes her classes are free style but this wasn’t but that was fine with me. She planned and paced the course so well and everyone left with a decent spring painting with matted with the color paper of their choice.

On Tuesday I went to a brunch to honor volunteers at my local library. The event was catered and there was something for everyone. I got to meet other volunteers whom I rarely see and met a few library staff members for the first time. Lots of good conversation and at the end we were given a small box of fine chocolates and a $20 gift certificate for a local restaurant.

On Friday I went to a conference for library staff. It was a fairly small affair with an array of small presentations. I saw some on Readers’ Advisory, i.e. how to interview patrons and figure out what sort of books they’d enjoy and some on makerspaces. The makerspace presentations were actually best for libraries that don’t have makerspaces. The information was very basic. One highlight was a session on motivation by the director of the LaCrosse Public Library. She knows how to give a speech as she was upbeat and had great body language. She structured her speech well and had ideas you could immediately put into practice if you were a manager at a library.

Yesterday I attended my nephew’s confirmation. His church is rather small, but the level of community engagement was high. I liked that people knew each other and were truly connected. There were 5 young people confirmed and one was also baptized. They prepared for years and the pastor and youth pastor seemed to know each person well.

How was your week?

 

Word of the Week

Ghosting (n.) the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Perhaps you’ve learned that people are ending personal relationships by just disappearing, but I was surprised by a BBC article on a new trend of people leaving their job without communicating to their employer. I understand it can be tough to talk with a overbearing boss, but it’s something a mature person recognizes it’s necessary and actually good for him or her to do as it builds courage.

Again, Japan is featured, but I understand that because until now, in Japan you stayed in a job for life so they aren’t used to having to quit and as a vertical society bosses do have a power that they don’t in the West.

I am more surprised by ghosting in the West. Here’s a passage from the article:

Chris Yoko, who runs a web design company in the US state of Virginia, had a bizarre experience with a contractor who was meant to be completing a digital project from home.

“This guy had just started with us – he seemed like a good fit, seemed like a genuinely good guy. We get him started with a pretty simple project by our standards. He agreed, [but] Thursday comes along – there’s nothing there.”

Multiple emails and phone messages got no response. The man missed another meeting on the project. In the end, amid total silence from the contractor, the work was given to someone else.

A short while later, a man purporting to be a friend of the contractor got in touch via email. He said the man had died in a car accident and requested some tax files that the family needed. But something felt off, so Yoko checked the contractor’s Twitter account.

On social media, it appeared the contractor was very much alive. In fact, he’d just responded to a tweet from a cousin about attending a family gathering.

“He replied to this person with a picture of himself with a handle of whiskey in his hand saying: ‘Not only am I coming but I’m bringing this’,” says Yoko. “I screenshotted that and forwarded it to the guy and said: ‘Hey some good news, looks like he’s just fine!’.”

What do you think of ghosting?