Posts Tagged ‘work’

A fun day at work

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Recently, Canvas decided to do a Shark Tank initiative to gather ideas from across the company for what we can do to increase the trial subscriber volume. Everyone was invited to partner up and present an idea to five Sharks – a panel of decision-makers at Canvas. I was interested in participating, but didn’t really have any good ideas. One of my coworkers had reached out to me to partner up and just as we were about to get together, he found out that another guy one our team had already signed them up as a team. I kept an eye out, wondering who else I could team up with, but nothing really presented itself.

Today rolled around, with pitches scheduled throughout the afternoon. Right before lunch, a colleague who is a good friend started talking about it because she’d just learned about our Shark Tank (she didn’t get the emails). She needed someone to work with, so I offered to join her. After lunch, we met up with our coworker with the idea – he had to leave early and didn’t want to present anyway, so we took the idea and ran with it. He acted as our adviser and really helped make sure we had a ton of great information, so we were well-prepared. We took all that content and broke it into a bunch of slides, then started practicing. We even rehearsed walking in and greeting the Sharks. It was hilarious and so much fun!

I signed us up for the first time slot at 3:30 under our chosen team name: Double Trouble. After about an hour, we were pretty confident in our presentation. We had the entrance, presentation flow, and even synchronized moves all ready. We did a practice run in front of the idea man before he had to run and he loved it! Just as we were looking forward to going first, the Sharks came over to ask us to move to 4:10, the second slot. They had to postpone the start to 4. While it was sad we wouldn’t be first up, it did give us extra time to rehearse! I then booked a meeting room so we could practice clicking through the slides.

When it finally came time to pitch, we went through our presentation nearly flawlessly. Our high energy and funny moments really captured the Sharks and they had a great time with us. We certainly had the most memorable and entertaining presentation! The idea was a hit too, and we finished off on a fabulous note. I think the Sharks were not only impressed with how prepared we were (especially considering we’d only prepared for about an hour and a half), but how enthusiastic we were! I think some of them know us both to be more quiet, and not nearly as goofy as we turned out to be. Wins all around for team Double Trouble!!

We were still high from the rush of joy after that fun experience when we were told about the free food in the kitchen for a “Christmas in July” Happy Hour. Check out the awesome spread, including some super cool Australian dessert – pavlova – and an assortment of fruit as well as cocktail shrimp. We had a fabulous time enjoying the food before I decided to get back to work. I’d lost about half a day due to all this Shark Tank and Happy Hour fun, so it was time to get crackin’ again.

australian pavlova desserts, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and other fruit for office happy hour

Homemade and oh so delicious!!

watermelon, blueberries, cocktail shrimp, and tim tams spread out on table for office happy hour

Knackered

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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I was going to write a review of my newest subscription box, Love With Food, today, but I am just pooped. Between a day at work that required quite a bit of effort and a night that just kept going, I don’t have enough energy left to finish that post. Tomorrow, perhaps.

cat and person lying on ground sleeping

Felt much like I did this Sunday afternoon, when we had a little impromptu nap time.

I’ve been running a series of webinars at work to train partners on the features and benefits of our product. It’s surprisingly tiring to talk for an hour and explain things via a presentation, demo, and Q&A session. On top of that, I’m trying to manage follow-up for a set of events that occurred over the past two months, which required a lot of navigating websites that wouldn’t load due to some awful internet connection quality. There are a bunch of other projects I’m supposed to manage too, but those were put on the backburner while I focus on the webinars and events. I’m starting to have trouble keeping up with things.

I left work just before 6:30 and headed off to yoga class. I’m not sure why I’m so tired coming out of it because it wasn’t very difficult and we even spent half an hour meditating. I always fall asleep during meditation, so I got a nice nap out of it. Perhaps the physical exhaustion is from my attempts at headstands after getting home today. I an easily get up into one by the wall, but can’t quite seem to find the strength required to balance straight up on my own. Before I got into that, I had to jump on a call with another partner (out in the Philippines) the moment I got home. After we synced up for the week, I was finally able to eat dinner (but not before I tried those headstands).

Have you ever eaten a light salad on an empty stomach? If you’re hungry enough, it’s kind of nauseating. So I asked Panda to make me some ramen, which is helping. But boy am I absolutely knackered! Not even mentally, mostly physically. So much exertion today. I hope I can get up tomorrow.

Would you rather: career vs. family

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,
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I just watched the feature on Barbara Walters now that she’s retiring and something she said struck me – how people don’t look back and regret spending too much time at the office, but they do regret not spending enough time with their families. However, I don’t think it’s as simple as that. That’s coming from a career woman’s perspective, but what about the flip side? What about someone who spent their whole lives dedicated to their families? Do they have no regrets? My greatest fear of potentially deciding to stay at home and being a homemaker is that I’ll regret not living up to my potential in a career. So what’s worse – feeling like you wasted too much of your life working away and not being a good family member or feeling like you wasted too much of your time focusing on family and not contributing your skill sets to the labor force?

As it is, it’s tough enough staying home to take care of the family. But then people often think that the home life is just full of daytime strolls and shopping sprees and other fun things. They don’t seem to respect homemakers they way they probably would if they truly understood the challenges (not that I do, but I certainly have seen a glimpse of it and it’s not something I’m confident I can pull off). How would you feel if you worked your butt off for days on end only to have people think you’re lazy? Even worse than that for me is the thought of people thinking you’re somehow less intelligent because you’re not working on some career path. Just because you choose not to be employed doesn’t mean you’re unemployable and neither does it give any indication of your capabilities. Yet inevitably, it comes into question… Did you stay home because you’re not good enough? After all those years away from the workforce, are you somehow less intelligent or hardworking?

So I’ve got to say, at this stage, much as I want to not focus on work so much, I do because I’d rather look back and wish I had taken more time away than wish I had accomplished more in my life. I still grapple with the decision to stay in the workforce and how long I plan on being here. It feels wonderful to be good at a job, be productive, and contribute towards some greater goal. I don’t know if I’d feel as rewarded in terms of my self-esteem when it comes to family life. I can certainly see myself feeling great about raising good kids, helping Panda advance his own career with less stress because of my presence at home, and other less tangible results that have a less direct connection to my contributions. Ultimately, I think I’d want to settle on a part-time opportunity that would give me even greater flexibility in my schedule. For now, since home life is pretty simple without any kids, I’ll stay concentrated on my work.

Would you rather focus on your family if you could give up your job? Have you chosen that path? Or are you determined to pursue a long career?

Vegetate

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: ,
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What a draining week it’s been! I feel like it’s been two weeks and I barely have enough brain power left to operate. In fact, I’m pretty much out of juice to do much more than free-write. No capacity to paint the nails on my other hand. No strength to eat despite being insanely hungry (so much so it makes me nauseous thinking of eating). No memory reserves to keep track of all I meant to do.

I filmed some videos this weekend that I was supposed to upload to a shared account so we can get the Yuzen summer box video up. Even that became too hard. Last night after washing my face I meant to put on lotion, but completely spaced out even as I held the bottle in my hand. Thank goodness Panda isn’t traveling again or I might just be neglecting to feed the cat and clean her litter box.

All I want is to lay here and vegetate. Listen to the rain outside. Zone out as my mind tries to unscramble itself. I found myself having trouble with speech this evening. Words got stuck in my head but didn’t come out right. My ears feel like I’m in some high pressure area. And then on my drive home I realized I had some more work to do. Bleh. But now I am done and contemplating between sleeping earlier and zoning out to a show.

Is this week over yet?

So tired. Tonight we had a launch party for the co-working space and had a good showing despite the awful weather. There were times I looked outside and it was completely white from the heavy rain. Couldn’t see a single building or tree out there. But still the people flocked in and it was nice to take a break from work to meet some new people. Wish I could have actually joined in the festivities, but alas, duty called. I’m going to be so glad when I don’t have to stare at these spreadsheets anymore!!

Good Friday

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,
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Last night was the first time in a long while that I actually fell asleep unintentionally. I woke up at 2 something in the morning to find the lights still on, my laptop running, and the cat dozing away. I thought about getting in a blog post, but that required too much effort to wake up from a fog, so I turned off the lights and settled back to sleep. I’m pretty sure I had a dream in a world that I’d dreamed of before. It was like a hybrid of SF and Georgetown and (much like last time) parts of it were flooded. I even recall a house that I’d admired last time. This time I decided to sneak in with Panda and another friend (I think it might have been Ninja) to check it out.

Such was my exhausted state of mind last night, so I’m very glad that we get today off. I’ve got to say, I’ve never had Good Friday off (nor have I had Earth Day, which I also get this year). It’s quite nice and I hadn’t realized how much I was trying to cram in before my long weekend (I’m taking Monday since Earth Day is Tuesday, so I get 5 days!). I guess it all caught up to me last night as I finally got a chance to decompress from it all. It’s also the perfect time for me to be able to go pick up my volunteer badge for the Smithsonian. Their security office is only open weekdays so I haven’t had time to go all the way out to DC to get my badge.

I’m also looking forward to swinging by a macaroon shop that closed before Panda and I could go buy anything last time. I might just get some Georgetown Cupcakes or Sprinkles too.

365great Day 363: living abroad

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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365great day 363: living abroadWhether working, studying, or just plain living abroad, it’s the type of experience I think everyone should try at least once. I’ve done them all, like visiting family in China for summer break (and going to school for that year when I was 9), doing an exchange program in England, and working overseas in Singapore. This was from my last night in Singapore, as I packed up my desk and bid farewell to my coworkers. It had been quite an immersion into their culture, completely unlike anything I was used to yet familiar in many areas. It’s amazing what you learn in a few weeks of entering a different society. It’s easy to stay closed-mind in a bubble if you never leave your home country, but normal travel doesn’t quite change you the way living abroad does (even if it’s only for a few months). I really value all of my time abroad in the various capacities that I was there for. Spending extended time in any other country opens your eyes to other ways to view the world and it’s a great learning opportunity for all.

When the internet is down

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , ,
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people in office sitting and standing around chatting

Some chat it up.

people in office sitting playing video games on wall projection

Some get their game on.

guy sitting in server room working on laptop

And some get to fixin’.

January Favorites 2014

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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collage of january 2014 favorites including groupons, snow days, yuzen, snuggling, home hopping, moving offices, gloves, origins free facial, and carrabbas first tastesLet’s take a look back on how the year got started!

1. Groupons – Panda really got into getting Groupon deals for our meals and now we often try new places based on what deals he’s been finding. This was one of the places we went for lunch/brunch one time.

2. snow days – Before storm after storm attacked our region, I was still enjoying the snowfall and this one in particular was exciting. Panda and I got a chance to enjoy it together and I had my first work from home day.

3. Yuzen – Jen was kind enough to send me the men’s Yuzen box as a gift for Panda! I love how everything about it really caters to guys more, including the actual look of the box. If you want to know what came in it, watch out for the review.

4. snuggling – I was sick much of the month, so I spent a lot of time resting in bed, getting cozy with the blankets. I love feeling all toasty and swathed in softness. It’s so very comfortable.

5. home hopping – This entire month we had access to both the apartment and condo, so we’d spend time hopping between them. We started moving boxes over to the new place little by little and I spent some time enjoying the space. All was lovely but then I saw the morning traffic and knew I’d be in for quite a change in my morning commute with the move.

6. moving offices – It was really exciting to finally be moving to the new office that I’d been hearing about since I started. Taking some time in the afternoon to go help out and build furniture was a nice break for me from the stress of work. I very proudly helped build something like 8 motorized desks!

7. gloves – Mornings were so cold I had to wear gloves while driving, until my heated steering wheel kicked in. Even then, if I didn’t wear gloves the tops of my hands would be cold. A few times my hair even froze on my way from the apartment to the car.

8. Origins free facial – I’ve been getting the Origins free facial offer for years, but never took advantage of it. This time I decided to give it a try and it was much more thorough that I anticipated. It lasted a good 20 minutes and the lady used seven products on me.

9. Carrabbas First Tastes – Panda and I got to attend our second First Tastes event at Carrabbas and we had a lovely time with the mother daughter pair who sat across from us. This is always a wonderful event to attend and I hope they keep hosting them!

January was all about getting back into the groove out east. We’re truly settling in and everything is feeling like home more and more. What were your favorites in January?

Better work at work

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,
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It was back to work today after working from home Thursday and Friday due to the snow. While Panda happily snoozed away, I got up and went in for a normal day’s work. I felt much less stressed working in the office than I do when I’m home. The home environment makes me worry that I’m not working hard enough and it leaves me out of touch with what’s going on. I’d actually rather just work at the office, much as working from home sounds like a cool concept. Funny, since I never thought that’d be the case. I guess I just like home to be where I can relax and not think about work. Shouldn’t your home be your sanctuary?

Plus, today was fun because I took a Starbucks break with coworkers, made friends with a new guy in our company’s co-working space, got a cool delivery, found out I get to travel for work next month, and helped out on a couple of initiatives. An eventful day that sort of flew by and was pretty productive! Not much more I could ask for. I went home feeling good and looking forward to more days like this. I love being engaged and excited about what I’m working on. And with the recent shift in my responsibilities, I’m getting more and more of that, which is just awesome.

Do you prefer to work from home or at the office?

And the package I received, which was pretty thrilling:

girl holding thumbs up standing next to canvas vertical banner with "does paperwork have you tied up in knots? canvas has a cure!" messaging

It came out beautifully!

plastic x shape banner stand

What a cool design. Simple, lightweight, and effective.

365great Day 319: good timing

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , ,
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365great day 319: good timingWhen the pieces of a puzzle fit together well, it’s a beautiful thing. Likewise, when timing works out for whatever stage of life you’re in and whatever you want to do, it’s pretty amazing. It happened to me again today and I am so grateful. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling to feel like I’m good at what I do at work. I was trying to work on improving my cold calling skills, but it was draining my energy and leaving me feeling unsure of myself. My manager and the CEO noticed I was struggling and knew I needed to experience some “wins” so they sat down with me and coached me. I felt much more confident, but was still doing something that I’m not strong in and wasn’t planning on doing long-term. For the time being, I wanted to put forth effort to learn and improve and try to be good at it, but I knew that a year from now I probably wouldn’t want to still be going at it. I felt like I was at the right company, but perhaps the wrong position. For the sake of learning and growth, I felt it was best to push through this tough period and see where it led me.

Then today I was pulled aside to meet with the CEO, my manager, and the marketing manager. As it turns out, they’ve been discussing my skills and positioning within the company and decided to do exactly what I was trying to figure out how to do: pivot. They see I like to write and strategize and socialize and tap into creativity to solve challenges, so they’re going to put that to work as I do more marketing and account management in a tweaked role. I was shocked (in a good way) by this sudden change, but I couldn’t have hoped for a better situation. I mean, I was preparing to read up on other roles I might want to do so I could approach the CEO and my manager with not just the problem (I don’t think my strengths are being utilized), but a proposed solution (areas in the company I think I could contribute more in). Instead, they kind of did that for me! It just so happened that a growing need in marketing was just the sort of thing that I could succeed in. I really love my company for how they noticed these things, thought about what can change, and acted before I got too worn out. I knew there were better ways I could contribute to our goals and now I’m repositioned to do what I’m good at and enjoy more! This also coincides with the start of a new year, a move to the new office (one of the cool rooms pictured), and my pending move to the new condo. So many new beginnings! It’s great timing indeed.

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