Thursday, December 31, 2009


When I was younger, things seemed very simple. I either wasn't asked to be a reference, or I was asked to be a reference for someone for whom I could easily sing praises. Lately however, I find it hard being a reference. I think at risk of being thought of as a witch I have to politely decline to be a reference upfront, or suggest someone with a more glorious title.

95% of the time I just have to check off a couple of boxes, or answer a few multiple choice questions, or compose a generic letter concluding what an asset so-and-so going to be to the prospective place of employment/school. And the other 5% percent I hope ( and pray) that the check offs are leave room for vague answers, the multiple choice questions are very generic, and if I conclude my letters with just a ' please feel free to contact me for any further information' it won't look suspicious to the reader.

Because there are some people with whom I worked who were unfortunately mediocre-not bad, but not good, either; a somebody who was usually ( but not always) better than a nobody. And I was secretly relieved when they resigned. I don't want to provide inaccurate or inadequate information to the potential employer but I don't want to provide information that would be less than favorable, either. Agreeing to be a reference for someone implies that I'm on her/his side.

And so my 'new year's resolution' will be to try to go back to being blunt and transparent. Bluntness be a tad uncomfortable in the moment but it definitely eliminates nagging doubt in the future.

Happy new year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Back to work

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I had to go back to work. Surprisingly ( or maybe I just forgot the other times), it was hard to go back.

I knew this time around that I didn't want to leave a 6 week old baby and start working again. I hoped to go back when the baby was 12 weeks and I made an appearance at work on the day my baby turned 2 months.

In some ways returning to work after a 2 months absence is worse than starting a new job. I'm supposed to be in the know but I had to pause even before entering passwords to all the software that I use. Personnel changes, policy changes, all the work that for some inexplicable reason waited for my return, almost unrealistic expectations of the ones above me in the food chain for me to perform magic on reduced schedule. And I feel that I'm not the same person who worked there 2 months ago. I'm just a mom who works but who's rather be home with her baby, dropping off the older kids to school and picking them up from school on time...

In the two months that I've been home I've lost some of my immunity to human tragedy and most of my patience for frequent ignorance that is so common in my line of work. My commute became a time to reevaluate my career goals instead of just socializing with friends and family. Do I need a career? Maybe a job is good enough...

But at the end of the day, I thank Gd that I have a job that I can go back to.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pros and Cons of taking kids to a wedding

Pro: quality time spent with kids
Con: while most spent that time attending the chupa

Pro: getting an opportunity to show off my kids
Con: not getting an opportunity to talk about them

Pro: kids eating dinner without any complaints about food
Con: portions aren't big enough for a kid and an adult with a healthy appetite

Pro: Having a built in excuse not to socialize while eating
Con: Having that excuse squirm on my lap most of the meal

Pro: fitting into my pre-pregnancy dress
Con: not realizing until after returning home from the event that just fitting into something might not be enough for the desired look

Pro: kids enjoying dancing
Con: the crowded dance floor necessitating this dancing to be done while being held by mom

Pro: finding comfortable high heeled shoes in the closet in less than 2 minutes
Con: shoe being only comfortable when no attempts are made at dancing with a child in hands

Pro: bribing the kids with some take-home-to-eat-later cookies and kids forgetting about them upon returning home
Con: husband discovering and consuming the cookies before I did