continuous improvement


All of yesterday was filled with continuous improvement brainwashing. First there were 4 hours of Dale Carnegie. We learned how to have a conversation. How did I go 30 years without this knowledge?

Here is how it is done: first ask the person's name, then about where they live, then their kids. Follow with work, travel and hobbies. And when you have exhausted those topics, ask "What makes you, you?". I honestly can't imagine a single situation where I could say that with a straight face. We had to have 4 or 5 "practice conversations" with people in the group and I was quite tempted to ask that but I didn't want to become known as the ass who ruined Carnegie for everyone so I played it straight ("And where do you work? Oh, here? What a coincidence, I work here too. Funny, since this is a company sponsored training class...")

I topped off that fun by eating lunch at home and falling asleep on the couch. How I miss the days of coming home for lunch! I even managed to drool a little on my shirt.

Then it was announced that an audit director quit, so now my boss is going to do his job plus the other guy's job indefinitely. Brilliant. I received so little direction before, now we can just go nuts. This plan might make sense if my boss did not also have the strategy of hiring completely unqualified people (myself very much included) in order to save money.

To round out the day, I presented my Six Sigma project and was certified. Yippee. We presented a total cost avoidance of $6,800,000.00. I love cost avoidances. They are so subjective.

When I was in college ("college" being loosely defined as the 10 years or so after high school and having no actual relation to graduation), I worked retail. I worked with a guy, Rich, who was a buttoned-down banker by day and the flamingest gay retail queen ever by night. He used to wear clip on earrings in the store and take them off to answer the phone, because Susan Lucci did the same thing on TV. He always used to purr "my uterussss hurtsss". I have no idea where that came from, but I guess he thought that was something that a woman might say. For the first time in my life, I can also say "my uterus hurts" (but not out loud and certainly not at work). It's an odd feeling. Baby is 4" long right now and yet my waist is smaller than it has been in months. There's a totally bizarre stretching sensation going on in my innards.

I have read that first timers "pop" around 18 weeks because they have stronger abdominal muscles. No one has ever accused me of having strong abdominal muscles but as I don't look pregnant at all, it must be true. I even wore my thin jeans the other night and they stayed fully buttoned all evening. This puts me in something of a clothing dilemma, especially when it comes to packing for a vacation. I have no idea what size I will be tomorrow. It seems unlikely that I will get any smaller, as that has been the trend in the last week or so.

I went out for "drinks" last night with coworkers. I had two O'Douls. Now I have something of a pretend hangover. I am tired and I have a headache. And I am totally out of Cap'n Crunch. Life is hard.

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