Friday, August 28, 2009

Value of Validation

This may seem like a petty or silly thing to post about, but some things happened today that really made me want to count my blessings.

First of all, I really don't ask people to give up their seats on the T, and I don't try to make nonverbal cues that would suggest that I want someone to give up their seat. However, I really do love it when people notice that I'm pregnant, catch my attention and offer it up on their own. It makes me feel like people in general are actually nice. This morning, I had my bag and three books (two of which were rather larger) that I carried onto the T. I was just getting settled against the wall with my belongings on the floor when a lady offered her seat. I was really grateful because it felt like it was going be a bumpier ride than usual. I was trying to pick up my bag (without falling over as it was very bumpy at that point) and make my way over to the seat when a man noticed the difficulty I was having. He offered to pick up my books for me so that I could just sit down. I know it's really nothing all that big, but it was the kindness of not one, but two strangers that really made my morning.

Then, today was expected to be a very slow day at work. Most of the people are out of the office (including the office manager who is my direct supervisor) with only about 4 other guys here. Not much going on, and not much to do...or so I thought. It turns out that the first email I get this morning was to change the return flight time for two of the people who are traveling today. With all the hassle that it required (because one of them had already checked-in for the return flight...not as easy to change at that point), I was able to finalize all of that in about a half hour...but it took that long to do it.

Then, one of the analysts brought my attention to the refrigerator which is NOT WORKING. The ice in the freezer was all melted, and the drinks were merely cooler than room temperature. So, I emailed my manager (even though she's supposed to be on vacation today) to ask her what I'm supposed to do. Is there a particular place that I'm supposed to call for that or anything? After trying to change the settings to make it colder didn't work, I decided that it was time to take action (with the manager's permission, of course)- to look up our options for a technician to repair the fridge.

As I was doing that, I got a request to change the travel plans AGAIN for the same people I just changed this morning. this time it wasn't as bad because it was really only cancellations and checking availability since they can just go stand-by (which I suggested in the first place instead of changing it with a fee the first time, but oh well!), so that turned out to be a quick fix in the middle of my technician research.

After looking at a couple different websites, I chose a technician that would come right away and seemed to be a good choice. Hopefully it will all work out and that everything will be easily and painlessly repaired. I told my manager when the technician is scheduled to come in (since she's the one who will have to be here for the Saturday service call) and she responded to the email with a "great job"!

Ok, now this may seem like nothing big to you, but when I read that very simple email, I felt like I was about to cry. (Ok, that may have something to do with pregnancy horomones, so I guess I'm expected to be more emotional...) Really, I get so stressed out over the stupid little things that I do wrong at work. I feel like my manager is keeping a tally of the little things that will go against me and show that I'm a bad employee or something. I rarely am told that I did a good job on something because she would just expect that I do it right the first time... it's not like my job is very demanding. So, with this one, I felt really rewarded by her validation. I know that I probably harbor bad feelings over my mistakes more than my manager does, but I feel like I never get the pat on the back for a job well done. I don't really think that it's my manager's fault, so don't think that's what I'm saying. It's just that when I do receive a comment of validation, it really goes a long way.

You know, I realize that I probably don't give out enough compliments or validate the good works that I see around me often enough. So, if I haven't validated you recently, feel free to take this message to say that you deserve a hug, a pat on the back, or a high-five...right from me! I think you're great and you should feel good about the work you do too! GO YOU!! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Water Fosters Growth...of MOLD

Back at the beginning of July (Tuesday after Independence Day weekend to be exact), we contacted our apartment management because we noticed that there was some ground water seeping into our basement apartment. Since then, we've been told that they were going to repair the problem outside before they do it inside because they'd just have to repair the inside again once the outside was finished. However, they need it to be dry to work outside, and since this has been a VERY wet summer here in Boston, they weren't able to really start the process until this past week or so to repair the outside. So, we've had a large hole along the bottom of our bedroom wall for over a month now. We were given a dehumidifier and a fan to help prevent more water damage, but every time we used it the entire apartment would smell really musty. Not to mention, it puts off a lot of heat, and since it's summer with no A/C, that was really hard to deal with.

What management did the day they found out - ripped out carpet's padding, cut holes at the bottom of the to assess the damage, put a fan to blow on it, then just replaced the carpet until they can do more on it later...much much later.
Last night it looked like the problem was NOT getting better. We noticed that our dresser, file cabinet, and one leg of our bed were showing mold and water damage where they touch the wet carpet. It was pretty upsetting for us, not that we can't replace the dresser and cabinet for less than $200 or anything because they were both purchased a Target since we moved here.
File Cabinet


However, the bed was made for us by Mark's grandfather of solid cherry wood for our wedding. That's irreplaceable!

Bed leg

As for now, we moved the bed to the other side of the room, put a plastic bag under the foot that was now closest to the wet spot in the carpet, and we contacted management again about the damage we saw. Hopefully they'll work a little quicker now that we have said the word "MOLD" because they just might have to tear out that wall between our bedroom and kitchen in order to see how much damage there really is. We can't see if there's been damage done to the kitchen wall or floor because water doesn't seep up through linoleum like it does carpet. All I know is that I would prefer that things get done sooner rather than later. I'd hate for them to still be working on this when my baby comes...that's just 2 1/2 months from now. If it's taken them this long to start working on it, what confidence should I have in them now?
Usually our management company is really good and prompt when it comes to these kinds of issues, or even smaller issues like electrical outlets and things...but this time I am not impressed. Hopefully we will see some results really new wall, new carpet, and maybe if Mark knows how to play the cards right (since I have no idea how to do it) we might be able to get our rent lowered before the new lease starts next month. *Sighs*

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shakespeare...Take Two

This last week was pretty busy for us in the Dahl House. I don't really remember what we did on Friday because it was just too long ago for this pregnant mind, but Saturday had an early start with Mark getting up to go to his weekly meeting (which ended up being cancelled, but since no one announced that, a few people still showed up). When he returned, I was taking a practice test for the GRE, and he wanted to watch the movie we got from Netflix- Bolt! By the time that was over, and I had hurried to fix lunch, we had to leave to go serve at the Temple for 4 hours. Then, by the time we were finished with that, we had to go grocery shopping for a few essentials so that I can make dinner for guests we were having at 6:00pm. Turns out, I wasn't able to get it into the oven until right about when they came (they were early, but still, no where near being ready for them). Thankfully, they didn't really mind waiting around for it all to finish baking, and we enjoyed a nice meal of baked chicken with rosemary potatoes and then a game of DDR for a little entertainment. Our guests left at about 9:30 or so, and by that time I was so tired that I probably could've fallen asleep right then. Of course, I found other things to do around the house, trying to clean up a bit, and ended up going to bed later than I really should have.

Sunday morning we both were preparing lessons for Church, and just enjoying the time we had before leaving for Choir...normally we don't feel like we have much time on Sunday mornings, but it wasn't too rushed this time. We left in time for choir, attended our three meetings, and during the linger longer mingle time invited some people over for dessert that night to hang out. After rushing through our home-made chicken pot-pie with the elders who were joining us for dinner, the elders came with me to visit a friend Gloria in a nearby nursing home. I knew that we were having people coming over at 8:00, so I wasn't going to be able to visit for long, but I had been thinking about Gloria that morning and really thought I should go see her. Bringing the missionaries along with me made it feel less like I was abandoning our dinner guests and it gave them a chance to meet someone new who could use a little more company and uplifting conversation. It was really good to have them with me to see her, and she was so happy to make new friends. After our short visit, I got home at about 8:25 or so and was so happy to see that our dessert guests had already arrived and were all chatting with Mark in our living room. We really didn't do much other than talk and get to know each other...and Mark giving the obligatory demonstration of our surround sound system while praising the maker-Phil Liddiard- through the whole thing. It was well after 10pm by the time everyone had left, so again I stayed up later than pertinent.

Monday we decided to make plans to enjoy one of Boston's traditions (which we never heard about until fairly recently) by going to see free Shakespeare in the Boston Common. We gathered a group of 6 together and all met after I got off of work in the park with camping chairs, ready to enjoy a nice show. Problem was, there was no one else setting up to watch the show...after a short while Phil found a stage worker and asked if there was going to be a show. "Monday is our day off!" she replied. Ugh! The website didn't mention anything about Monday night NOT having a show...I saw "Shows Daily at 8pm, except Sundays at 7pm." So I never considered that our FHE activity would be thwarted by a "day off!" Oh well! The weather was really nice, so we decided to go get pizza for dinner and just hang out at the park. Really, it was a very fun time together...and I really hope that we find time to do stuff like that again. I think we were all at the park until around that was a long night too.

Tuesday, I was just exhausted, so we stayed home without doing anything terribly exciting that night. We started to watch a Red Sox game, but then decided to go to bed and read for a while instead.

Wednesday Mark just couldn't handle being in the apartment anymore. Since he's finished his internship, he's been spending his days at home and not being very productive...he's been so busy this summer, who can blame him for not wanting to still be doing schoolwork? So, he was quite bored by the time I was going to be getting off of work, so we decided to try the Shakespeare in the Common again. This time it was just the two of us, but the weather was not nearly as nice as it was on Monday. It was breezy and misting- not quite raining, but we were still getting wet... which made the breeze feel even colder. It was uncomfortable, but still bearable... so we stayed through that show. Honestly, it was pretty fun! They performed "Comedy of Errors" and put a 1930's spin on it. I'm glad we did it. If we're here next August I'd like to see the next show they do. We didn't get home until about AGAIN, I stayed up later than I really should be, but it was worth it.

Tonight, being Thursday, I'm glad we don't have plans. I think we're having someone coming for dinner on Friday, so this will be a night to recuperate after a long and exciting week. Can't wait to see what next weekend will look like for us. Hopefully I'll get more time to study for the GRE because I will be taking it in about a month!! AHHH!! The joys of living life to the fullest!!