Qreative in a Qube

Damn, it’s a bad sign when she starts in with that Q-stuff.  I can just hear your minds churning that one around…

It’s a fairly warm day here for the end of March: almost 60, with comfortable breezes blowing.  It was a good day to run a few miles and let the winds blow some clarity into my mind again.  The winter has been too long and severe.

First an update on The Book to Nowhere (like the road to nowhere, the bridge to nowhere, etc.).  I write on it as much as my butt and my fingers can manage around the full-time job and the restlessness of my body (I’ve always struggled with calming my creative “monkey mind,” and it seems to be tamed by releasing some energy from my now 50-year-old body).  I really enjoy writing, and I think it’s a better creative outlet for me than my painting (and maybe drawing).  I’m not that good at painting, though I enjoy trying.  I’m a hell of a lot better with walls than I am with canvases.  The writing bit might surprise you with the nearly unedited brain farts you encounter here.  Still, in my wildest fantasies I think, “I could enjoy doing this for a living!”  So I write.  We’ll see in a few years if my work leads anywhere.  I think the storyline is good, but it takes a long time to feel like any part is complete!  Then I regularly go back and revise, and when the whole thing is done, I’m sure I’ll start the revisions again.  The story is sort of a skeleton with osteoporosis right now, with flesh maybe up to the knees (I’m working from the bottom up).  Can’t wait to get to the eyes.  That would be the title.

In the meantime, my days and my monkey mind are in the Qube.  THERE IT IS AGAIN!  It’s been interesting.  My job can be a haven and rather peaceful, and the company I work for is good, though it’s the creative Qreative in me that has been struggling for years to find a home there.  It’s still just a difficult spot for someone with ideas that need to get out, who has to sit there for hours and incubate those ideas (whether words or visuals).  I try yoga in the AM–especially some balance work that forces me to focus or topple.  I put on the headphones and listen to music sometimes at work, which seems to grab a part of my mind and tether me to one spot.  Good thing.  I do manage to get quite a bit of work done, and the analytical part of me forces order on the subjective nature of the work.  A system for the Qube work allows the rest of my mind to fly free.  And last of all, taking notes (or sending home cryptic e-mails) is helpful in saving my ideas for later.  I guess this is the compromise that creative types have to make in a corporation.

There have been a few changes.  A ways back I wrote about a co-worker, under whom I worked on a project, who had angered me by tattling on and blowing up over a step in a process that someone had pointed out was probably not kosher with company policy.  This was a process that, months earlier, I had laid out in print per his request, he approved, and he sent a thank you note for the detailed document.  Months later, he nailed me to the cross for what he’d approved…?  Enough review.  The man, with no apparent health problems, died of a heart attack a month ago.  As you might expect, we were shocked.  He tended to bustle around the department, baffling us with words with didn’t understand, yet he lent some very positive vibes to the place as well: being very supportive of the workers who report to us, and often cutting through the bullshit at meetings to say exactly what needed to be said.  We’d had “issues” in the past, so our work relationship was distant at first, but it became a healthy enough work relationship.  I, however (in a feminine way, I bet), wanted to clear things up in words:  “Are we all right?  Have we moved on beyond the past now?”  When I spoke with him for the last time before his death, we talked about Mexico (and why he’s never going there) and dogs (and why he wasn’t the dog-hater people might take him to be).  It was a good conversation, and when I left his Qube, I swear I turned around five different times, ready to go back and ask him the questions I so wanted to ask.  But I chose not to, because he didn’t seem like the type of guy who would be comfortable with this, and I thought it would just embarrass him.  So I went off to Mexico on vacation, and a few days after my return, I learned that he was never to return.

I spoke at his memorial.  I sang his good points (he truly was a big presence in the department), and I mentioned (through sobs, dammit) the conflict inside me about wanting to make it all right (by the way, most people at the memorial admitted how difficult the man was to get along with, personally and professionally).  That was one of the hardest things I’d ever done, admitting my failures with his family right there.  However, his closest friend said that if he was laughing and joking with me, all was well.  And the man would have HATED it if I’d have tried to patch things up in words.  My gut was spot-on.

Turns out the man was also strongly devoted to his family.  His entire paycheck went to send his kids to college, and he lived to write poetry.  His poetry was excellent.  Now I wonder how his mind had bounced around in his Qube all day…

And then there is my boss, about whom I’ve also written.  She had a reputation for persecuting workers, and I found this to be true when it was my turn.  Things slowly turned around (I can be an easy victim, but I rarely lose a fight afterward).  Our relationship improved a lot, especially after she apologized to me for “the meanest thing (I’ve) ever done.” (You know, there are so many awful ways in which “the truth will set you free” that it’s worth tuning into the idea pretty often; run your daily experiences through that filter for a while and see what you fish out).  It’s strange that our relationship did improve, but it did…to the point that she is somewhat of a friend now.  And lately I feel really sorry for her.  I know she’s longing for retirement, and that there is still at least one (professional) thing that she wants to accomplish at work.  However, work is like a huge cyclone right now.  Start with the vacuum created with the death of my co-worker, and add in an important new investor followed closely by the sale of the company.  She (we) are now dealing with the world of lean agile scrumming in sprints with scrum masters, which is being forced like the square peg in the round hole of our work.  It’s hard to match that method up with content, compliance, and editing.  We’ll see what it goes.  Anyway, bosswise, I’d be surprised if she didn’t go home every day with a massive headache.  Most of us go home with little Tylenol-worthy headaches on a daily basis now.

Soooo…I miss you guys and the world of blogging.  I will write more ridiculous bullshit as time allows, and we’ll see what happens when Le Book is complete.

and don't forget this

and don’t forget this



~ by rebuildingholly on March 30, 2014.

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