Toledo Talk

Frozen Brain Cells?

I'm back at work this week after an extended vacation over the holidays. I'm encountering an inordinate amount of 'stupid'. Much more than usual, in fact. I wonder if these folks spent too much time outside and froze their brain cells or something.

I'm just sayin'...

created by gamegrrl on Jan 08, 2014 at 01:03:21 pm     Comments: 18

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Funny you should mention that. I've been feeling an inordinate amount of stupid today! :) Between vacation over the holidays and the snow days, this is only my third day of work since December 20th. I'm definitely having a hard time getting back into the groove of things.

posted by valbee on Jan 08, 2014 at 02:34:50 pm     #  

This is MY third day of work since December 20th, too! I'm not feeling particularly stupid, though. It's more like I have an overabundance of "meh" in my brain. Not very ambitious, to say the least.

I'm starting to think a lot of people are rushing through their inboxes and not really READING the emails. More like they're trying to lob responsibility back to someone else instead of doing their jobs.

Oh well. Part of my plan for the new year is to not let my job rule my world anymore, and to not get as stressed over stuff I over which I have no control. Check back with me February 1st. If I'm not in jail or something.

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 08, 2014 at 02:41:12 pm     #   4 people liked this

I'm feeling kind of the opposite. I had so much time to relax, nap, read, game, nap again that I was pretty invigorated to get back into the scheme of things.

posted by INeedCoffee on Jan 08, 2014 at 10:20:30 pm     #  

It's the people I've had to deal with this week that seem to have frozen brain cells. Apparently not everyone has come out the other side of the holidays as intact as you and I, INeedCoffee. LOL!

I'm actually in a pretty decent frame of mind for having had over two weeks off, which is something I NEVER do. Maybe this whole 'vacation' concept isn't as overrated as I always thought it was.

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 10, 2014 at 11:55:58 am     #  

Ugh. I had very little time off over the holidays, and a big chunk of that was spent outside with the snowblower and shovel. While I am already in high gear as the "real" work ramps back up (and somewhat ahead of schedule on some projects) I feel ripped off in the Department of Holiday Rest.

Next Christmas break I am going to take a real break, at least if I do not Type-A myself into a grave. :-(

posted by historymike on Jan 10, 2014 at 12:02:38 pm     #  

Isn't Ted Williams working on that frozen brain cell thing?

posted by shamrock44 on Jan 10, 2014 at 03:51:39 pm     #  

I'm making a concerted effort to shed some of my Type-A tendencies this year. Starting work at 8. Stopping work at 5. Taking lunch, or at least a lunch break. Not filling my off-hours with work-related stuff, unless it's a TRUE EMERGENCY (as opposed to a me-generated emergency). It's not that I'm terribly passionate about my job, as such. It's more about how hard I am on myself. If I don't go-go-go 24/7, then when (not if, when) I 'fail' (my own definition of 'fail'), I will have to suffer through the self-inflicted pain and guilt: "If I had only worked more/harder/longer", "This is all MY fault" and "I have disappointed people".

Believe it or not, it's my boss who is helping me down this new (to me) road. Just this week, he said, "I wish you could see yourself the way others see you." He hates seeing me 'punish' myself and get stressed out over things that are beyond my control or no big deal.

My annual review took place right before the holidays, and it was very, very, very good. I read it several times during my vacation. I also got a promotion, which was awesome. So what I'm battling right now is knowing that my Type-A, workaholic behavior is what got me that promotion and great review. That makes it really tough to change, even though I suspect I got those great rewards in spite of how crazy I make myself instead of because of it.

I am glad it's Friday. I'm ready to kick back and explore this thing called "relaxing". Mr. Gamegrrl works until about 10 tonight, and my usual activity when that happens is to work until he gets home.

Not tonight, baby. I am gonna do something I want to do. Maybe bake something. Or read. Or... I dunno. But I will NOT WORK.

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 10, 2014 at 04:10:43 pm     #   1 person liked this

Turn off the email chime - that is what always gets me hooked on working late, gamegrrl. I hear that DING and I wander over to solve some problem that inevitably could have waited until morning.

I am much better about not checking the email if I have insomnia. Nothing like dealing with work problems at 3:00 am to make your mind refuse to go back to sleep.

posted by historymike on Jan 10, 2014 at 04:25:04 pm     #   1 person liked this

Sounds as though we're cut from the same cloth, historymike :-) The Company provides me with a smartphone, and I always feel I should monitor that, even when I have Outlook closed. So I do. Or, rather, I did. I've put everyone on notice that if they need to contact me off-hours about something that's truly important enough that it can't wait until the next time I'm on the clock, then they should call me. I have a work line here.

Confession: I had some weird dreams last night, and finally came downstairs for a bit about 3 AM. Sure enough, I sat down and started going through email. Pffft! Bad Gamegrrl.

I've decided the really weird dreams came from watching "The Spoils of Babylon" last night. LOL!

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 10, 2014 at 04:41:24 pm     #   2 people liked this

grrl, congratulations on the promotion! What a nice validation for all your hard work.

My resolution is also to step back and see if there are other solutions to work problems, instead of automatically using my free time to fix everything.

I've noticed that if I begin a job by giving 125% of my effort, I can safely drop back to 100% or even 95% and still get highly favorable performance reviews. Especially when others seem to be operating at about 45% :-)

posted by viola on Jan 11, 2014 at 10:30:52 am     #  

I'd hire all three of you in a heartbeat.

posted by justread on Jan 11, 2014 at 11:04:43 am     #  

Thank you for the huge compliment, justread! Thanks for the congrats, viola!

Viola, that's a great resolution! It's all about working smarter. I've been embracing Stephen Covey’s “Four Quadrants of Time Management” for the past couple of years, with a goal of keeping things in quadrant 2 as much as possible.

Four years ago, the company owners came to me and said (paraphrasing), "Yo! We don't have a marketing department. Wanna make one?" Between that and the fact that I'm the weird go-to person in the company (the one who has a very broad range of sometimes obscure or rare skills), I get a lot of extraneous stuff thrown at me. Learning to manage these non-marketing tasks without letting them get in the way of my primary function has been a challenge.

At the end of the day, what's important to me is that:
* The cost/benefit of my job is worth it (the time/stress I 'pay' provides me with enough $ and satisfaction)
* My co-workers respect me and enjoy working with me
* My co-workers trust me and know they can hand something off to me and never have to think about it again.
* I can look back and feel proud of the work I've done, and know my work is appreciated

I have to say that this is the first corporate job I've ever had where I wasn't surrounded by idiots. My co-workers are all intelligent, hard-working, pleasant and fun to be around. The "brain freeze" I experienced this week in others all occurred outside my company.

I'm a lucky grrl. I wish I made more money, but who doesn't? I'm sure that my salary is on the high side for my job title, though I'm pretty sure it's on the low end for the actual work I do.

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 11, 2014 at 11:54:20 am     #  

Your post reminded me of this, so I went out and found it.

http://whatconsumesme.com/2009/posts-ive-written/how-to-be-happy-in-business-venn-diagram/

posted by justread on Jan 11, 2014 at 01:20:31 pm     #  

I love that! Thanks, justread!

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 11, 2014 at 01:30:14 pm     #  

Congratulations on your great job review and your promotion, gamegrrl. Nice job!

posted by madjack on Jan 11, 2014 at 01:36:18 pm     #  

Thank you, madjack!

I spent a quarter of a century as a self-employed artist, and I did ok for myself. I was internationally known, a published author on the subject and traveled the world teaching for exorbitant rates. I'm very organized, self-managing... You get the picture.

It has been a real challenge for me to be back in the corporate world working for someone else the past five years. I'm very decisive when I know that I am the ultimate authority, but I'm still learning to trust my instincts when in decision-making mode at the corporate job instead of making those decisions based upon what I think someone else would want me to do. That's the last hurdle for me to overcome.

The other carryover issue from being in the art world for so long is that a huge part of the payoff for me with anything is the approval and adoration of others. If you do a good job and work in the right kind of company, the approval isn't that hard to win. But I'm guessing it will be cold day in hell before anyone at the office throws ridiculous amounts of money at me for my work or asks for my autograph. Hahahahahaha!

I'm working hard to re-train myself to not need a "fan base" anymore. Unfortunately, that aspect of my artsy life was like a drug. Damn hard to kick.

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 11, 2014 at 01:54:55 pm     #  

Once the formerly self-employed strike a good balance of independence and accountability to an employer they make the best possible employees, IMO.
Nobody takes ownership of their responsibities as much as they do, and few are as dependable.

posted by justread on Jan 11, 2014 at 02:20:45 pm     #  

That is a wonderful sentiment! It needs to be turned into a poster and hung above my desk in my office.

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 11, 2014 at 05:52:17 pm     #