Exaspérant

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J’ai prié pour une semaine de travail simple où mon équipe pourrait simplement se concentrer sur le recrutement. Pas de drame comme les semaines passées. Quelqu’un était absent pour des raisons médicales pendant quelques jours, alors j’ai pensé que c’était faisable.

J’avais tort. Mercredi, nous avons été chargés de faire une analyse SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) en trente minutes. Une analyse réfléchie d’une opération prend beaucoup plus de temps. En outre, ce travail dépasse largement notre niveau de rémunération. (Je déteste le cliché, mais ici c’est vrai.) Nous avons donc suspendu le recrutement de notre journée, nous sommes séparés en groupes et avons réussi cet exploit majeur.

Oh, que ce serait la seule tâche ultra-exigeante de la semaine.

Ce matin, nous avons reçu un e-mail avec beaucoup de jargon et des slogans militaires inappropriés qui nous ont demandé de prouver en quelque sorte comment les médias sociaux sont un moyen efficace de recrutement. Hein?

Nous n’avons aucun outil pour le faire.

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Tips for Online Meetings

Laptop computer isolated on white

I’ve been meeting online a lot lately, just like many people. I’ve got a few tips for people. Some of these you’d think you wouldn’t have to say.

  • Don’t scratch yourself or put your finger in your ear when your camera’s on.
  • Mute when you’re not talking because when your mic’s on it picks up background noise that makes it hard to hear what the speaker is saying.
  • Don’t have your camera on while you’re eating. Sipping a drink seems fine, but if you’re eating and crumbs are falling from your mouth, that’s not pleasant to witness.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend 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)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 6 of the WuFlu Lockdown. Of course, we’d be having coffee and talking over the phone or on Zoom.

Last Monday I had two conference calls and a Zoom board meeting to attend. Then on Tuesday I had another two conference calls and could have joined a Zoom event through my church. They’re doing the wonderful Alpha program and now it was transferred on to Zoom. While it’s lovely that Zoom enables people to connect during a lockdown, I was just tired of this format. I watched the Alpha program on my own, but couldn’t bring myself to watch another Zoom event.

My team at work has coalesced and unified, which is great because there’s little support as we’re remote and our office is 95% closed.

I’m missing the library. I’ve finished most of the books and DVDs I’ve checked out. Yes, we have access to ebooks, but my password doesn’t work with Hoopla and Libby’s offerings don’t compare. Also, I still prefer real books.

I enjoy both Dave Rubin and Ben Shapiro and here’s a video I’ve started watching with both of them talking about Free Speech. I also recommend Eric Metaxas’ interview of Candace Owens.

I finished reading The Starlet and the Spy, set in Korea just after the Korean War. In a nutshell, it was okay, but I’ve read better. More on that tomorrow.

Last night was another terrific pair of episodes of The Last Dance, the documentary about the Chicago Bulls 1997-98 season. I learned a lot about Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend 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)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 5 of the WuFlu Quarantine.

Time sure is odd. In some ways, I’ve gotten a fair amount accomplished, but still this seems like a merry-go-round with small scene changes and little forward movement.

We had snow two days last week. I hope that’s the end of it, but I got an email with a photo of 9 years ago today and it was of snow outside the backdoor.

Work is one step forward, one back. My team makes good progress and then there’s a new bureaucratic rule or person to deal with. At least I have work and for that I’m grateful.

I did a bit of work on my play. Some polishing and wondering how to market it.

Last night I watched The Last Dance about the Bull’s 1997-98 season. It’s quite dramatic and authentic. Even if you’re not a sports fan, I think you’d enjoy this.

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend 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)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 4 of the WuFlu Quarantine.

I’m still working. My peers and I keep wondering if our work will be suspended, but there’s a new operation starting today, i.e. half of us will be calling people back to help them complete the Census. I’m thankful that I’m part of that operation and also get to help recruit. So I should be able to count on work for the month at least.

It was an odd Holy Week with churches closed. I complete the two scripture reading plans I’d chosen for lent and for Holy Thursday, my mother and I watched a Holy Thursday mass with the cardinal of Chicago, whom I think is rather average. Friday we watched Bishop Barron, who’s a better speaker and today we watched a local mass. On the one hand, it’s nice that we have so many choices, but just watching is not the same.

We had a good Easter brunch and in the evening we had our first extended family Zoom session. The technology is so helpful, but again a sloppy second to real interaction. I do hope that after the quarantine we learn that real interaction is much better.

We had a good ham dinner for Easter, with traditional side dishes – scalloped potatoes, grilled asparagus, and green beans followed by ice box cake.

I’m behind in my reading according to Goodreads. Ugh! I’m not exactly into any of the books I’m in the middle of. Not sure if I should drop one and start something new.

I continue to love the Hillsdale College’s Constitution 101 course. There are three professors and they draw from documents that influenced the US Constitution. There’s so much fascinating context.

Boy, I do hope the quarantine’s lifted May 1. I need a deadline, a goal.

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)!

I’d tell you that I’m recovering a cold, which started on Thursday and completely derailed me on Friday. Since getting back in town, I’ve mainly caught up on work.

On Thursday I helped interview candidates to teach for the JET Program in Japan. I’ve done this every year that I can for the last few years and I like seeing candidates excited to go overseas, but I always come away wishing people had used specifics to demonstrate their strengths  and in one case had come on time. One candidate just had 10 minutes because she went back to her car to get something. Determining whether someone can successfully live and work in another country takes longer than 10 minutes. As great as her paperwork looked, missing so much time can’t be overlooked.

Wednesday a partner and I recruited for the Census at a Jewish social service agency in Northbrook. We had a good turnout and it was good to see that people who’re sure to make good workers but have been out of work a while apply. I love giving opportunities to people like this.

Yesterday was the last night for Restaurant Week. A friend and I went to Wildfire where I savored their Cesar salad, petit filet mignon, au gratin potatoes and chocolate cream pie.

 

 

Sepia Saturday

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This week Sepia Saturday inspires bloggers with a fondness for days gone by to post photos of groups of children. Join the fun.

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Desoronto Archives, 1912

Look at the regal lady posted on top.

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Library of Congress, 1910

Above we see a group of Breaker Boys.  According to Wikipedia:

“A breaker boy was a coal-mining worker in the United States and United Kingdom whose job was to separate impurities from coal by hand in a coal breaker. Although breaker boys were primarily children, elderly coal miners who could no longer work in the mines because of age, disease, or accident were also sometimes employed as breaker boys. The use of breaker boys began in the mid-1860s. Although public disapproval of the employment of children as breaker boys existed by the mid-1880s, the practice did not end until the 1920s.”

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National Library of Australia, circa 1910

Arbor Day in Australia (above).

Click here to see more Sepia Saturday posts.

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)!

I’d tell you that I got to see It’s a Wonderful Life at the Music Box Theater. I’ve loved seeing their Christmas show and White Christmas three times. When my friend who lives in France came home and invited me and some friends to see It’s a Wonderful Life there. I wasn’t sure it would be as fun, but it really was. The carols with the organist were jolly and one couple came dressed up with the lady in a bathrobe with BFHS* on the back and the man in an old time football uniform. Whenever Mr. Potter rolled in the audience hissed. Whenever there was a little romance the audience reacted with wit.

I’m lucky I got to the theater as the night before on the way home from working, I got a flat tire. Ugh! I was able to park in a retirement home parking lot. I had an hour to get to a party so I didn’t have time to wait for roadside service. Thus I had to deal with the car in the morning and the film started at noon so I didn’t have much time for delays. Luckily, the service came as scheduled and all was well, though I was leery of driving into the city on a spare.

Last Tuesday I did some Census recruiting at a local Toastmaster’s Club. This club’s been around since the 1920s! Many did apply, but one bonus was that I got to see how this public speaking club worked. I was impressed by the sense of community and support. In fact, I may very well join in the spring.

*Bedford Falls High School
 

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)!

I’d tell you that I loved the Joffrey Ballet’s new version of The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. The classic music still plays in my head and I still envision the brilliant sets of 1892 Chicago and the World’s Fair. I’d love to go back next year.

In my head I’m also hearing Irish accents as I’m watching the sitcom Derry Girls, which is set in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles.”  Who’d expect someone to set a hilarious comedy in a place that’s beset with bombings and violence? Yet Lisa McGee has done just that.

There is a lot of swearing, but if you can get past that, you’ll be treated to a fast-paced lampoon of teenage Catholic girls’ in 1990’s Londonderry.

I started working for the Census helping to recruit 1000 workers for this part of the county. Across the country, they’ll need 1,000,000 people to help finish the census. Something like 25% of people don’t complete the census so the government sends people out into the field to get everyone to finish it. My current position entails getting people to apply at 2020census.gov/jobs .

I’d also share the recipes I got at the Holiday Appetizer program at my library. Chef and instructor Susan Maddox returned with four recipes, which I’ll share soon.

I’ve started reading Scott Adams’ newest book Loserthink, which helps readers understand how slovenly thinking keeps you from seeing things clearly. We all have pet ways of looking at ideas or situations and some of those should be scrapped.