Thankful Thursdays #20

Thankful for:

  • Courteous road users: The final crossing before I make the right turn up the tiny road to my apartment is about as busy as it gets by the time I drag myself home. There are people turning left into the big housing complex just down the road from me, people going to see movies at the beach and all that. I often spend five or more minutes waiting for the traffic to lighten up enough for me to make a dash across the road. This week, I have had the delight of having a couple of drivers stop to allow me cross, even when they have not had to.
  • Resolution: How I managed to get sucked into a spat at work beats me, but I ended up exchanging almost seven emails trying to defend a technical call I made on a work item. The downside of being the Asset Integrity guy is I often have to insist on cutting back production to allow safe operation of the asset I support, and that doesn’t really sit well with the production guys. Thankfully, I took a break from the to-ing and fro-ing and allowed a day pass before sending my final reply. That and common sense prevailed in allowing us reach a compromise.
  • Good starts: From time to time opportunities arise at work where I get to demonstrate my technical depth. This week, I had to respond to a technical question from one of the older colleagues. Being able to provide detailed answer made my smile inwardly to myself – thankful for the grounding in Corrosion and Materials I got from my first gig at XOM.

Thankful Thursdays #18

Thankful for:

  • Summer Fridays and the chance to focus on some of the more proactive/strategic components of my role at work
  • Conversations with my Uncle F: Even though I moan about his ‘interference’ at times, the one thing I cannot argue with is he’s walked the self same paths I’m currently walking, and he does have a good head and good intentions.
  • Improved work relationships: Our shared office space has been seeing a lot more laughter lately. Even though some of it is banter I’m having to lap up, I have to say I’m thoroughly enjoying myself this year from the looks of things.

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful for:

  • Work Mentors: I have begun pulling together my chartered engineer application as part of my big push to gain traction on my 12 things in 2012 program for the year. Part of the process requires getting sponsorship from a senior colleague. This week I am thankful for the implicit confidence my work colleagues have in me. As a bonus, the forms have been filled out and are almost good to ship off.
  • Accountability: I asked one of the lads O to hold me accountable to deliver on a number of tasks over the course of the week, and he duly delivered. This week I am thankful for his interest and willingness to make time out to remind me of the deliverables.
  • Travel plans: Thankful for reasons to travel to Nigeria and booked holidays.

Thankful Thursdays

Better late than never, thankfulness was supposed to be one of my 12 focus areas for 2012. Here goes in any case:

  1. New starts, new beginnings and the christening of god daughter number 3
  2. Both bosses concurrently on holiday – doesn’t happen all the time, useful to have a few days where I’m free to set my own agenda
  3. Progress at work –  leak in the plant which turned out well given I was on top of the issues right from the get go
  4. Reconnecting with old friends – the beauty of having an oddly spelled surname is it’s instantly recognisable.
  5. Friends who care – who take my singleness as a significant enough concern to try to hook me up

Thankful… for blokes who can relate

Between my two year itch arriving a couple of months early and a plethora of little niggling issues, I spent the last month battling a feeling of malaise. My default response has been to internalise it, suck it up and put on a brave face, but during a phone call with my friend A over the weekend I broke down and let it all out.

I wish I could say all the issues were resolved, but truth is they are not.. There is though the relief finally un-loading the tangled issues to someone who understands brings, and the improved clarity that has resulted. For that I am thankful for top blokes who are interested enough to dig beneath the façade, and then to listen…. If only they also had a wand to wave it all away… 😦

Thankful… the kinda random thursday edition

Thankful for:

  • Top blokes: Met up for dinner with a chap I once worked for in Nigeria. He was one of the more senior engineers on my first job, was in town  participating in a design review and called me up for dinner. We met up at an Italian place in town. The nachos were delightful, the spaghetti and meat balls were awesome too, plus he paid. Now I know where to take the lasses I am eyeing to for a ‘spoiling’ session. 🙂
  • Fortuitous nose bleeds: I haven’t had nosebleeds in a long time, at best they are unnecessary irritations at worst they can spoil a perfectly good day. In a first for me, a nosebleed saved my bum in a meeting just before I was due to get a grilling, talk about unintended consequences…
  • Milestone birthdays: Someone really close turned fifty (not me). Thankful for the opportunity to have shared their life over the past few years.

 

Thankful… for unintended meet ups

Amidst the madness – sometimes controlled but largely tottering on the edge of spontaneous combustion – that has marked the last couple of months, it has become increasingly difficult to meet up with what few friends I have left in town. This week has been typical; planning a plant turnaround, updating the 2012 business plan and hosting a couple of blokes from Corporate HQ concurrently have combined to make this another one of those long arduous weeks. Leaving the office late for the umpteenth time, on a whim I decide to make a pit stop at the Nando’s next door. It appears fairly deserted for a Thursday evening. Usually the family friendly spaces are crowded on a Thursday evening – so it is strange that I find a seat without so much as a wait.

I get a seat in an open portion of the building facing outward unto Union Square, grab a glass of coke and proceed to wait for my extra hot peri-peri chicken and fries to arrive. Given the relative emptiness of the floor, I assume it will be routinely quick. Two glasses of coke and twenty-something minutes later I am still waiting – leaving me to inwardly debate the wisdom of my stopping by.

My miserable evening is saved when I catch sight of three blokes I know – two from Grad School and one from church. They get a seat next to mine, and after they place their orders, we swap stories about work, life in general and other random things. Eventually after about forty minutes (by my reckoning), my food arrives. Theirs follows soon after and we all tuck into it with gusto. Like a bunch of happy blokes having a great night out together we make small talk as we wolf down chicken pieces with cokes and orange juice.

The unintended meet up is a silver lining in an otherwise infuriating experience – something to be thankful for after all.

Thankful….. for Nando’s

Between working extra hours on a couple of projects at work –  and my natural proclivity to laziness –  honing utilising what precious little cooking skills I have has been relegated to the very back of a fully loaded back burner. It hasn’t helped that the main African shop in town is off my route (and involves an extended walk to and fro the nearest bus stop if I were to use it), or indeed that the final surviving African eatery in town closed shop a couple of years ago.

This week was another one of  those weeks from hell. Thankfully, my Nando’s outlet next door has come to the rescue. Not healthy I know, but I use the stairs not the elevator at work, drink only coke zero and get around by walking as much as I can to counteract the calories, even if these are only token actions. So for a quick fix for staving off hunger, I am thankful for Nando’s.

Thankful… for breathers

The pointlessness of most work is never more obvious than when it is suddenly cut short. Like an unexpected breath of fresh the relentless flow of work in my direction has suddenly stopped, even if only for a day. In it’s stopping it has become clear that a lot of what I had- as a matter of course- sifted through daily was unnecessary.

It is the team day off, and the brilliant sunshine currently bathing the city in its glow makes it seem like a particularly potent rainmaker was contracted to make it a success. Usually by this time, I have been on the phone five or six times to clarify one issue or the other with my offshore counterpart (who I outrank on paper, but earn way much less than), attended a couple of meetings and or have had to respond to a request for information.

Today though its different – every one seems relaxed and even a couple of blokes who turn in in their shirts and ties day in day out have turned in jeans and tees. The day out doesn’t start for another couple of hours, but its effect is already beginning to show.

I for one am sitting at my desk, taking in the things I have missed and being thankful for the opportunity to catch my breath.