Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Day 19: Season nostalgia

Christmas is just around the corner, and the shopping spree is just about to begin. While I look at the store windows and observe the kinds of toys available nowadays, I can't stop thinking about how Christmas used to be when I was a child (lacrimogen, isn't it?).

Just think about this: when we were kids, Xmas decorations weren't set up until December the 1st. at least, and now we get to see them (at least in Mexico) since September. On the other hand, most of the decorations used to be home made, while now there are so many dancing Santas, snowmen and red-nosed rainders to make any electrician sick. Many toys have become complicated electronic devices that just "play themselves", meaning there's little interaction between player and toy, but some others are so cool I cry in outrage because they weren't invented earlier, to which my husband usually states this is because frustrated children of the past became current grown-up toy designers.

And regarding Xmas TV specials... Well, there used to be Xmas specials, like "The Christmas Toy", featuring the wonderful Jim Henson's workshop's muppets, instead of these unsavory, ill-oriented two-hour-length commercial vehicles. Now that's something I miss. Luckily, I have no children to bind me to sit and watch such a crap as "Barbie and the nutcracker" (blaaaaghhh!!)with them.

One more thing: name one single person who doesn't miss receiving presents from mom, dad, granny, santa, etc., without having to worry about choosing the right one for everybody.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Day 18: Autumn, only in the calendar.

According to the calendar, we haven’t even reached the winter, but the season is already upon us.

Yesterday, a 5°C temperature and the holiday made almost all people in the city stay home. Sky was dark and cloudy and scarves and gloves finally made it out of the closet, which is kind of unlikely for Mexican people, since our weather conditions used to be more benign during this season.

Since I was complaining about the cold at my workstation, which happens to be the front desk, a co-worker of mine was pulling my leg by reminding me of the low temperatures I would have to endure if I were living in Canada, since I had mentioned the migration topic a couple of days ago. It’s difficult for me to imagine what it would be like to go to work across 60 cm of snow, but I would be glad to give it a try taking into account central heating is known in those latitudes.

On the other hand, my beloved cat is also suffering the effects. This morning, she went into the closet where the electric heater is stored and sat directly in front of it. After a couple of minutes, she started meowing and looking reproachfully at us, as if demanding it to be turned on. Now, that’s a measure of how cold it was.

So, right now, I’m enjoying the pleasure of cold feet, blue fingers and wearing earmuffs, which are practically unknown in my city, thus causing people to turn around to have a second look at those funny things I’ve been wearing. Needless to say I was the envy of the office, since I was the only one sporting a natural ear color.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Day 17: Oh, the annoying season’s blue!

Most of the time, I find myself in a bad timing. Most people get the season’s blue near Christmas, even New Year’s Eve. Me, I’m suffering it right now.

It’s really, really depressing to start counting your money for the Xmas presents... and discover you’re way short of it. To start evaluating what you’ve achieved throughout the year... and discover it hasn’t mounted much. To begin your Xmas wish list... only to discover some things will have to be out of your budget. And it doesn’t get better when one of your bosses craps on you just because he’s a jerk. Man, that really pissed me!

But, if I am to be really honest, I can’t crave on these feelings for too long. For a couple of days, I was feeling real down, as if there were no hope left, and somehow it was OK. But I got bored pretty soon. Feeling down requires a lot of effort, believe it or not, and one becomes tired of it. It’s difficult for me to stay “parked” on a single moment for long.

So, I started counting the good things. On the bright side, one thing has turned out right from all these crappy feelings, because suddenly I realized that not everything is that bad. On the one hand, me and my family are reasonably healthy and we’re not precisely bankrupt, and on the other hand, frustration can be turned into a new source of motivation. My job’s a piece of s**t? Well, time to start looking for a new one. My budget’s so tiny you can barely see the black numbers? Well, baby, ‘s time to start saving.

So, although I haven’t solved all my problems yet, and I still feel a bit upset, I think I’ll be able to work on my feelings ahead enough to get to Xmas with a smile on my face that’s not only skin deep, but a bit more sincere than other people’s.

Maybe getting the season’s blue ahead is not that bad, after all.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Day 16: Usual Annoying Stuff

I've realized there are certain patterns or circumstances that happen repeatedly, in a kind of 'Murphy's Law' way, which are certain to drive crazy the unsuspecting victim (especially if that victim is me).

1. The 'last minute phone call'.
You've had a very boring, inactive day and, exactly when you're about to leave your workstation, someone calls with a matter that will take at least 20 min. to solve.

2. The 'lost visitor'.
It doesn't matter how many directories are printed at the building's entrance or the size of their letter. At least 3 people a day will poke their heads into your office asking for directions... inside the same building.

3. The 'untimely phone call'.
For sure, when your boss is calling you on one line, the general manager is screaming indications at you from the other side of your desk and you have 3 visitors waiting in line to talk to you, there will be a phone call that will steal at least 3 minutes, asking you for something that doesn't have anything to do with your department/area/functions.

4. The 'unpunctual mate'.
It never fails. The exact day you're about to starve to death at lunch time, your replacement will arrive at least 20 min. late.

5. The 'missing supply'.
The very day you need something you never think about due to an emergency, you will discover, with terror, the office has run out of that particular supply.

6. The 'absent courier'
. The same applies here. When you most need to send a delivery, your courier boy will have gone out 5 minutes before.

7. The 'boss' emergency'.
Another one you can certainly count on. Whenever your boss is out on a trip, something that requires his immediate attention will happen.

8. The 'pesky visitor'.
A regular nightmare in most offices, some visitors will never understand how annoying and uncomfortable it is to have them hanging around while the work is piling up on your head, especially if they've got nothing specific to do at your workstation.

9. The 'could I ask you a favor' guy/girl.
I don't know if the phrase is the same in other countries, but it is absolutely true that whoever begins his/her speech with this phrase, means trouble or confrontation... for you.

10. And last, but not least, The 'I'm the boss' boss.
There's one at every working place; this wonderful guy/girls who seems to believe that authority and respect are a given of their particular position, and take for granted the "privileges" of being such. I particulary loathe these guys, 'cause respect and privileges are not received, but earned. On the other hand, they scould you for getting in 2 min. late, while they get to the office 20 min. late every day.

So, if you thought it only happened to you, let me tell you you're not alone in the nightmarish world of office work.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Day 15: Common Law Partners

Right now the Representatives in my country are about to vote a law intended to protect the interests of both sides in a Common Law Partnership, but one of the Democratic Revolution Party representatives said in an interview that he would abstain from voting for “religious reasons”.

Although I respect every point of view, I found this situation laughable. How come a politician, who is supposed to be neutral in any circumstance, suddenly turns out to be a religious person and use this as an argument facing a social issue? It’s ridiculous.

Personally, I myself live under a Common Law Partnership, which has resulted in one of the best experiences of my life, since now every aspect of daily life and major decisions have to be negotiated in order to protect both participants’ interests. Taking into consideration that partnership results into some kind of business-like relationship, it seems pretty stupid to deny the protection of a regulatory law to same-sex partners.

My point is that, if we have accepted the existence of roommates, which usually belong to the same sex, why is it that complicated to admit the existence of same-sex couples? Does it make a difference if they share a bed or not?

On the other hand, it is true that, if a roommate dies, it is his or her family who makes decisions on the property left at their apartment, if no provisions were made. So, if intelligent roommates protect each other by signing responsibility contracts (as I personally did many years ago) and an accurate listing of each other’s possessions, why shouldn’t something similar apply to partnerships and be respected by the partners’ families? Supposedly, in Mexico a will is a will as long as it is handwritten and in a wax-sealed envelope.

In conclusion, I would like to say that it is more than time that we finally separated social and governmental issues from religion. It has been demonstrated several times through history that religion has caused more social problems than it has solved.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Day 14. Let's go for something different

Ok, well, finally I've made up my mind and started writing this blog in English, in order to practice my skills and to see if by this means I get more readers, due to the fact that most of the blogs I've been reading are written in this language.

I've spent most of the afternoon reading blog entries, and found it sweet. Since it is not allowed to read books in the office (to keep the appereances, you know), this is the closest to reading at least 8 mini-stories along the day. It's like having your own short-stories book, pretending you're working. Ja, ja.

On the other hand, it's possible to see how other people deal keep their hobbies with real passion. Bird watching, knitting, painting, were only a few of the hobby-related blogs I found. Totally amazing.

Today I got pretty lucky my boss had an appointment outside the office, so I found a moment to relax and write without too many interruptions. Of all the working possibilities, definitely I picked the worst - recepcionist. To be honest, I do hate it, but I consider myself smart enough to recognize that the best way to find a job is from your current job.

Regarding a totally different matter, today starts our holiday "Day of the Dead". Pity, my slave-style boss is making us work tomorrow, so I won't have a single chance to visit all the interesting places and exhibits that were set up around the city. Now that really makes me sad.