Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Strangely Diminutive Career Coach

Last Thursday I went to Chipotle to pick up lunch with my erstwhile career consultant, Dwightly, whose office is only a couple of blocks from mine. I hadn’t realized how microscopic she is. When I was looking for a job, she seemed to tower over me, but she’s really very tiny. We took our lunch back to her office and had an agreeable chat. I’m looking forward to the next time.

On Sunday I went to Rainbow and my favorite checkout person was on duty, but she told me she’s leaving that position and shift! I will miss her. What a grand connection it has been.

Back at home, I did my cooking and then C. and I had dinner at Esperpento. I quite overate, given that I wasn’t hungry at all when we got there. Of course, I almost always overeat when I eat out, but this time I was more conscious of the discomfort of it. My metabolism may be changing, and I think that menopause may actually be upon me. I’m not sure at what point in the process one has hot flashes—as periods are stopping, after they’ve stopped, a year after they’ve stopped?—but I’ve definitely started to have them.

From Wikipedia:
There is empirical knowledge that hints at reduced levels of estrogen as the primary cause of hot flashes. There are indications that hot flashes may be due to a change in the hypothalamus’s control of temperature regulation. This would mean that the sensation of heat isn’t merely imaginary, but due to actual changes in body core temperature.

Hot flashes may begin to appear several years before menopause starts and last for years afterwards.

OK, that answers that.

After dinner at Esperpento, C. and I went to Borderlands Café and sat on a couch across from the magazine rack and we held hands and he read me part of an essay from a magazine and it was very nice.

I’ve been taking classes online at work while I wait for a specific assignment and have particularly been enjoying learning about HP ALM (Application Lifecycle Management), AKA Quality Center. For one thing, it provides tools for managing software requirements, which makes me think fondly of Wiegers. My boss mentioned that he wants to use Quality Center in a different way in the future, and that we’ll probably need someone to manage it. I was tempted to volunteer, but restrained myself—what if managing Quality Center means doing something every weekend?

There is some evening and weekend work in this group, but apparently entirely of the scheduled variety, not of the type where you’re paged at 3 a.m. to sit on a conference call for four hours. I’ve been on many such calls and have often found them frustrating: if I weren’t on the phone, maybe I could be actually fixing the problem, but whereas I complained incessantly about being on call in the past, I plan to be an extremely good sport about whatever I’m asked to do in this job.

I also found myself doing our annual compliance courses in almost a spirit of reverence: These are the things I have an opportunity to learn so that I can be excellent at every aspect of my job, so that our customers will be in good hands. You can attempt to test out of these courses, which I’ve probably done every year for more than a decade, but there is one course where I’m always guessing at the answers, and just keep re-guessing until I pass the thing, so this year, I elected not even to try to test out of it, and I did the whole course and took copious notes, and now I actually do understand the subject matter.

Yesterday, five weeks after starting this job, I got an IM from my boss asking if was busy. In fact, not! He asked me to call him, and when we spoke, he asked if I’d be willing to be the number-two person on a redesign of how we use Quality Center. Of course I said I’d be delighted to, and told him I’d just finished a couple of classes on Quality Center, which he was pleased to hear.

Then he asked if I have any experience with Visual Basic programming. I said I’ve been starting to work on VB for Excel, and so now I can learn about VB at work and have it be an actual part of my job.

I was thinking a lot about C. while downtown yesterday and left him a message when I went out for my walk. I walked up California St. a ways and back down Sacramento St. and was shocked by how grim the latter is. I’d assumed maybe it would be similar to California St., which is wide and gracious and has lots of nice buildings on it, but Sacramento St. is where the blank back sides of some of those buildings are. It’s barren and somewhat like a trench and almost desolate seeming, though I also noticed some wonderful old buildings.

I got a call from C. about 6 p.m. yesterday, who really wanted to come over. I told him I would have to get into the shower at 7, so it would be a short visit, and he said another possibility was for him to go to Glide, but he ended up calling back to say he wanted to come over. He arrived about 6:30 and we sat in the living room together and he told me a bit about his day and I told him about mine.
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