Thursday, August 26, 2010

Home Office Makeover

Many of us have home offices, where we can log long hours plugging away at difficult projects and tasks in the comfort of our own homes. Personally, I can't work from home. My company keeps all of our records and systems highly confidential, and the risk to allow those systems to run on employee's personal computers is just too high.

Then, we were acquired. Typically this is a bad thing, but for us, it has been a great thing. We now have much cheaper benefits, more PTO, and a few other perks. One of those is that most of the account execs for our new parent company have company laptops. I asked recently if this would be an option for those of us from the "original" company. The answer was, "Possibly, yes." That means that no more coming into the office on the bright, sunny weekends while everyone's at the pool to catch up on data entry and paperwork. I told my manager, if I could do that stuff from home on the weekends, I'd probably work more often outside business hours. (I'm hoping that's an incentive for them!)

It just so happens that we just finished re-doing our home office! I wish I had before pictures, but my husband accidentally deleted them. So you'll just have to take my word that it's a vast improvement. This new space is ideal for either of us to do our professional work, plus it acts as a bookcase and bill-paying center with storage space for all that important paperwork you have to save, but have no idea what to do with.

Still no paint on the walls... we hope to tackle that big project this fall!

At Work Style

What's your At Work style? Are you different at work than you are in your personal life? Do you dress to the latest trends on the weekends and go Ann Taylor classic from 9 to 5?

Now that I've got a bun-in-the-oven, I'm trying to find my new At Work style personality. I knew my style before with my old wardrobe (that I miss dearly). I dressed 80% classic with a 20% hint of the latest trends and fashions. (Think classic suit with updated accessories or shoes.)

Since my adorable wardrobe no longer fits, I'm stuck hunting for cute maternity clothes. Which... can be kind of an oxymoron. So far I've had pretty good luck at Motherhood Maternity but it's also hard to spend money on clothes you're only going to wear for a few months... and hopefully be back into your pre-baby clothes by the time you return from maternity. Especially when you have un-paid maternity leave looming, and knowing that some pretty hefty hospital bills are going to come flooding after the baby arrives!

Working Moms do it every day - now I just need to figure out how to do it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's not me... It's You

We all have those days... weeks, and maybe months. The times when you literally want to scream into your phone. (Maybe you yell after you hang up, like me.) It can stem from all kinds of things - overbearing workload, overbearing boss, incompetent coworkers, and irritating clients.

Often times we have to deal with those high-maintenence clients who truly believe that your entire job is to do whatever they ask, whenever they ask, however they ask. Without considering that maybe, as the professional in your field - you might actually know a thing or two and have a better idea, or a solution that might actually work for a change.

As you can probably imagine, I am currently in the midst of dealing with one of these oh-so-special clients. Are they a 'VIP' client? Nope. Not even close. In fact, they are supposed to be one of those get-it-done-fast-and-move-on clients. Sadly, they don't realize this. Instead, I spend my days respond to countless, incessant emails about mundane details that should not be an issue. Then the conference calls. Oh, the many conference calls. Ever heard the phrase "beating a dead horse"? They have conference calls to review what will be discussed on the next conference call, and conference calls to recap the last one. Seriously people? Maybe if you spent less time preparing for these conference calls, you would have time to do your jobs!

It's days/weeks/months like these that make you realize how easy it would be to "go postal" at work. Throw your computer out the window? Maybe throw some papers... less costly to clean up.

In all seriousness though, it's times like these when you truly realize just how serious you take work, and sometimes it's important to remind yourself that it's just work. Yes, it's important work, and yes it has to get done. But 30 years from now, will you remember that client? That annoying conference call? Probably not. You'll remember your family, the important things.

So, in honor of letting the little things go and focusing on the big stuff - what do you guys do to de-compress when work gets out of hand? OR... tell us all about the time YOU lost it and yelled at work, or threw your stapler.