Saturday, November 10, 2012

Damn the green grass

You know all those quotes all of us keep reposting & retweeting? The one's written by wise old men who knew better? Like 'The grass is greener on the other side' or 'What doesnt kill you makes you stronger' and such? Well turns out that everytime I question the authenticity of applying something someone else said in a context that no one knows, to my life, I have to eat my words. 

The biggest one staring me in the face this very point in time is 'The grass is greener on the other side'. All my married friends envy my oh-so-happening life. I have friends on facebook messaging me saying "I was going to ask how you were but clearly you're doing great!" [ this looking at tagged party/going out pictures] I hate that facebook has become a credible source of life accounts. I have numerous problems with this. First of all, I'm not going to post this picture of me curled up under my comforter writing this blogpost, alone at home, listening to coldplay and drinking a beer and caption it "feeling shitty today" right? Second of all, facebook is where I go to be a smartass - Its my vehicle to say ridiculous funny things and be fun me with 800 of my closest friends what?. Really, if you want to know how I am, ASK. 

Thirdly. Yes - If I take an outside-in view of my life, it looks pretty great. And dont get me wrong, I'm loving it. It's just that there is so much more to it than appears. There always is.

I've been going out A LOT. I spend weekdays going to swing dance classes on tuesdays, wednesdays going to some professional networking events or the other, thursday is usually either hang at home or catch up with someone over dinner day.The weekends go by in a flurry of having friends stay over and cook and clean. I have a google calendar to schedule my personal events. This all sounds hot and happening but whats easy to miss is I make sure I'm so occupied because I don't want to be alone and lonely. I don't want to get to a place where I NEED a relationship. People make bad decisions when they're desperate and I don't want to get there. I want to make the best use of this time and age and look back at happy, full days and not days accompanied by the 4 corners of my apartment and music to cheer me up. 

People also have this crazy misconception that they needn't worry about me and that I'll find someone. well, I'm soon to be 29 and single, want to fall in love but scared as hell to actually do it because when I do, I end up writing a blog post of what I should do differently the next time around. I almost feel like I've had a broken heart so many times that it's ground into paste by now. I don't know where to draw the line between being too strong and too vulnerable so I always choose the safes 'too strong' option which most men can't handle anyway. I always have a bunch of boys interested in me and courting me at any given time - which my friends acknowledge as a good sign - What's the point I think, when they're all wrong? We all need just the one, right? 

One of my bestest married friends really upset me the other day when she spent 15 mins telling me how awesome my life is that I'm single. 'Travel! she said' you're so carefree - travel! Learn an instrument, take cooking classes. I wish we could trade lives.' I love my life, yes. But, after all these fun parties and dance classes, I'm getting into bed alone. waking up to no one. No one to fix my car flat. or help with my taxes. I have to have my big girl face on all the time. I love being independent and figuring life out on my own but .. 

Man I really didn't think growing up was gonna be this hard. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Meet or Beat

Is my company's guidance for this quarter - we have to Meet or Beat our revenue guidance which as it stands, is to remain flat over Q3. Im almost wondering if we're hopecasting - Setting ourselves up for failure.. but that remains to be seen.

Layoffs finally happened last week - on Thursday. It was one of the most emotionally turbulent days I've had in a while. Despite the fact that my building wasn't hit as hard since all the C-Level execs / Worldwide Business Management and Finance folks sit in this bldg, I had a hard time putting on my big girl face.

We lost 4 people from my team of 25 - of which one person was someone I was very close to. I am meeting him for lunch tomorrow so I'm feeling better already, but it was tough to know he had been laid off. He was a senior manager, and we dint work together, but interacted a lot over team lunches and book discussions.
The atmosphere at work on layoff day is like someone has died - the air is thick with grief almost, the silence is sickening, the presence of additional security is unnerving and seeing empty cubicles where people used to sit a few hours ago is eerie. I went out the entire weekend - to drinks with J, C, and B on Friday, shopping at the Outlet mall on saturday, dinner with MBA peeps on sat night, brunch with a meetup crew on Sunday and finally dinner at home sunday night - JUST to get my mind off things. 

Life in corporate America is a far cry from working back home. Here, everyone is an individual contributor - the culture is individualistic vs the more collectivist culture back home. It takes some getting used to - but I can see how being accountable and having to stick up for every number /slide /word that you put out / say / present makes you work smarter, harder, and clean up your own mess as opposed to knowing there's a team behind you as a fall back option.

Life is also stressful in that layoffs in America are so commonplace that sooner or later you ought to expect the axe to fall on you. The last few weeks were unsettling, uneasy and restless for me - knowing there will be layoffs, not knowing when they will be or who they will affect. I had been given enough feelers by my director that he valued my skills to know that it was unlikely that I would lose my job, BUT STILL. I am the kind of person who believes actions > words, so until something doesn't ACTUALLY happen, you can say something to me a bazillion times and I won't believe you. It serves me well, in professional and personal settings, to have low expectations and not to have my hopes riding on people's words. 

I'm glad we're past the bloodbath - we're not in another state of turmoil - of 'reorg' and 'realignment' and skill set mapping and what not - but at least we're past the major cuts. I can breathe easy for a while..

My director keeps telling me that I'm gonna be a corporate warrior once I've advanced in my career - that because I've gone through so much stuff so early on in my career I'll develop a thick skin.. For my sake, I hope he's right.. It was hard being so upset all last week, there was almost nothing I could say or do to make myself feel better or stronger. I know this is probably being naive, but I'd love to never have to go through a layoff again, in any capacity...