Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Remind me why I do this again?

This week started out badly for me. I just had a couple of days there where it was totally driven home to me that I have spent two of the past three years out of the office, and that time, at least gas industry time, has moved on without me. Never have I felt so inept. I feel like it is taking me forever to catch onto new things and the fact that I have a team lead type role, yet am being directed by the people I am supposed to be directing... it makes me totally cringe at myself.
On top of that, I was late getting to an important meeting on Monday. It was right after lunch and we decided to boot it over to the house quickly at lunch to see what was new. Usually, when we make these lunchtime trips, the workers are off on lunch as well, so we are free to poke around a bit and then make a speedy exit. Well, on Monday, everyone was there. The trim guy wanted to know what the dining room trim is supposed to look like, the floor guy was putting down subfloor and wanted to confirm the colours and patterns of the tile, the glass guy came in to measure the shower enclosure, and Al (our GC) showed up with a hundred little things to address (more on that to come). When we aren't around to consult on things like these, they decide how to do things on their own, which aren't always the same way we would do them... so it is worth it to give the direction. Just not at the same time as a meeting whose sole purpose was to discuss the future of our Expert System - the very project I was hired into my new role to oversee.

Anyway, I felt bad enough about that, and then to make matters worse, last night was a fiasco for both Chad and I. We had a customer in town and I was invited (rather last minute) to drinks, dinner and an evening out with them. Chad was already on a golf course with some of his customers for the afternoon. His golf session ran late and I had already given up on making it to my dinner by the time he called to say he was on his way home. I called him back a couple minutes later to say not to bother rushing home, I had decided I was going to cancel, but he doesn't pick up his phone when he is driving. So when he got home, not only had I called to say I would not be making it to my dinner, but it turned out that he had stiffed his customers the customary end-of-day drinks, too, leaving that to his boss and a VP. In other words... neither one of us made a good impression. We (I) thought we could pull off both events without the use of a babysitter, but lesson learned: from now on we will err on the side of caution.

The good news is that today I had a good day, a really good day, one that was busy and interesting and challenging in a fun way, and at the end of the day I felt like I had worked hard and had contributed something and also learned a lot without feeling stupid about it, feelings that are very satisfying to go home with. Yesterday, I felt like quitting. Today, not so much. I knew that, as a working mom, there would be days like this, and I am sure there is much worse yet to come, with vomit on a new suit the day of an important presentation, etc. There will be days. I know that. I accept that. I can't avoid that... I just hate it when they happen is all.

(Here is our big Saturday activity: the fabled Driveway Paint! Liam was totally into this, more so than I'd even expected. He claimed that he was going to paint every square inch of the driveway, though after completing about a two-by-two-foot section he decided he'd rather just cover an entire porch step. The problem was that after he woke up from his afternoon nap, he wanted to go right back outside and do more Driveway Paint. I think we may have created a monster. Mallory tipped hers over and had it all over her hands and running down her legs within minutes of me mixing it up; she is a monster of an entirely different kind.)


Mandy said...

I'm sorry yesterday was such a rough one, and glad today was different for you. I don't think any mom feels she's able to give everything her all, every day, and I imagine working full time makes for some serious challenges in that department. Still, I admire you for all you're juggling and juggling well. The kids look healthy and happy, and you're doing a fantastic job.

Would you share the secret to the driveway paint?

Carrie said...

Today was another good day. Let's keep up the momentum!!

The driveway paint is equal parts cornstarch and water, plus food colouring. We used 1 cup each of water and cornstarch, and split it into three bowls to colour - added maybe 15 drops of food colour to each. It goes on transparent but becomes quite opaque as it dries. Alas, we got a good rain on Saturday afternoon, and all our efforts were washed away in no time. :(