October 21, 2003

Pink or Blue?

Today is a short one, since I am headed into a meeting (still with non-working PowerPoint animation) and I leave for Dallas this afternoon.

Yesterday was a bit rough, since the job situation is so tough. Again, we are gearing up in Company X to let go of another mass of people (33% in my group to be exact). It hurts, it's scary, makes for a lot of sleepless nights, and we are all very, very worried. These cuts are called, in Sweden, "redundancies", which is another way of itierating how not important we are. We won't find out who is losing their job until mid-November, although management already has a list of names of who is going.

Management is calling the day they inform us if we have jobs or not "Judgement Day".

I kid you not.

Employee sensitivity training, anyone?

So we have to be very, very careful about what we say now, in terms of products, delivery times, functionality, etc. Once upon a time, we had masses of authority and autonomy. Those days are gone.

While I can't be specific about what I do, here is something along the lines:

I am in a meeting with Bob (Must. Resist. Temptation! I want to call him Bob the Builder SO BADLY!), George, and Hans.

Hans: So, Helen. Can you add a bullet to this slide about the ability to use gophers as an upgrade?
Me: Sorry, Hans. I have already had management sign off that gophers are available via an exemption only. The mass market release has the upgrade of chihuahuas.
Bob (the Builder): Helen, we can never sell this market on chihuahuas. Too many of them have seen "Legally Blond". It will never go down.
Me: I understand, but we cannot alter the design. Dogs versus rodents? It would be chasing its own tail and giving itself the plague. It no work.

The men shake their heads. They look at me.

George: It's just, Helen, we promised the client that we could have sparklers shoot out of the gophers mouths everytime someone used their phone for the 10th tme.
Me: I'm sorry. Due to the redundancies, I am too chicken shit about losing my job to add any of that information into my slides.
Bob (the builder): No sparklers out of gophers?
Me: No sparklers, unless you call Erik in the Swedish home office, wake him up, and get him to agree to these changes. But if he does agree to it, we need it signed, sealed, notarized, and tattooed on our foreheads that he said ok. So we can't be blamed.
Hans (rubbing his forehead): No can do. My wife hates tattooes. I do that, and I won't be getting any.
George (sighing seriously): You can have sex, or you can have your job, Hans. What'll it be?

Hans needs to think about it. We sit there in silence. I feel torn, and want to help.

Me: OK, I can suggest this: we can't offer the gopher upgrade, and this market can't have the chihuahuas. BUT-I can offer you the option of pink or blue duct tape when it comes to the hamster power attachment module.
Bob (the Builder): Seriously? We have a choice of duct tape colors?
Me: Yes. I am worried I will get in trouble, but maybe we can sneak this one through.

I miss being able to make decisions.


PS-a friend brought to my attention yesterday that my post was a bit self-important, esp. since I mentioned that I looked cute and the guys at Starbucks thought so. I honestly apologize for this-I know it is taxing to read something by someone coming across as really cocky. To be honest, I don't think I am especially attractive, important, or anything else. I just had been thinking about jealousy and resentment. I will try to keep it more neutral in the future.

Posted by Everydaystranger at October 21, 2003 04:01 PM | TrackBack

I love you guys.


Posted by: H at October 22, 2003 04:11 PM

Dahling. You *are* cute. You *are* hot. You were just reporting the facts. Go fer it, girl!

Posted by: jean at October 22, 2003 08:18 AM

Maybe you should switch to selling dogs rather whatever products Company X are peddling. Gophers with sparklers, duct tape; if you add in drinking and Colin Firth we could have one hell of a post here.

Posted by: Simon at October 22, 2003 06:56 AM

I mean, it's one thing if you're talking about how you're all cute and stuff if you're really the DB (dog's breakfast). However, since you're a hottie this does not apply. You're just reporting the facts, right?

Embrace your hotness and proclaim it to all the world from the top of the highest mountain.

... or maybe just on your blog (mountain-climbing is a little strenuous).

Posted by: Joey at October 21, 2003 10:33 PM

Off topic...

I needed a break from work so I decided to take my afternoon check of my personal blogroll. Looking at 'Everyday Stranger' in my list I mentally calculated that since it's after 4:00 PM where I am, then it's already after 10 PM in Sweden and Helen wouldn't have posted anything since this morning since she's already home and then I remembered - she's not in Sweden at the moment.

OK, that was silly but it made me chuckle and I wonder how many other people do the same thing...

Oh, and btw - H you are hot. No need to get all modest on us now...

Posted by: Clancy at October 21, 2003 10:11 PM

Screw that H. It is very important for a woman to feel, nay, KNOW that she is attractive to the opposite sex -- and especially often to the same sex! Isn't that what those wives are always bitching about? "Oh, you never compliment me anymore. Aren't I pretty enough for you? Do you think she's sexier than I am?"

Fuck that shit. You're hot, you knew it, and you knew they knew it. Nothing on earth wrong with that, baby.

Posted by: Carlene at October 21, 2003 07:20 PM

The main reason, in most cases, where a "friend" says you've been too confident about your appearance is when said friend is less attractive than you are.
i.e.- most people who scream about someone being too thin are people who could stand to lose a stone or two.
You're cute. Deal with it. :)

Posted by: LeeAnn at October 21, 2003 06:35 PM

Oh, please. What's the fun of blogging if you can't toot your own horn once in a while? And geez, everybody should get to publicly feel cute. Do what you will. No tamping things down!

Posted by: Kaetchen at October 21, 2003 06:07 PM

Shit...and I just finished talking about how a hot girl called *me* cute. Now I feel guilty.

Posted by: Don at October 21, 2003 05:58 PM

Oh, what the hell, Helen, indulge in a little self-worth regardless of what your friends say. Sure it was a bit cocky, but, personally, I was inspired by your entry. {shrug}

Posted by: Meadow at October 21, 2003 05:04 PM
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