Mentoring part II

I have a former colleague who is now an author and has been interviewed by the Alumni Career Services at Stony Brook University. Stepahie Hyman wrote the book “Surviving Your First Decade in Corporate America.” As per the invite, “Stephanie provides valuable insights and unique perspective on navigating the “ins” and “outs” of your first job and early years in a corporate environment.” The interview is very educational for all of us. She speaks about her long commute to and from work and how it was a big wake up call. I can definitely relate to that. My commute to work, before covid of course, was also about an hour and a half to two hours. I also had to figure out what to do with my time.
As for me, I started listening to audio books. I’d get them for free from my library. The library links you to Live-brary which then links you to Amazon and voila, you get your free audiobook download. Of course you’ll have to go through your local library and download the app. You may also have to wait for the book that you are looking for. But hey, when you’re budget is low and you’re ok with waiting. I highly recommend it. Besides, we’re paying taxes that go to our local libraries, why not use them to our advantage.
But I digress, the interview with Stephanie was very insightful especially for a mentee who is still in college and want to learn the ropes before jumping into a corporate job. I think my mentee will learn a lot from this interview.
Stephanie Hyman is having another interview about her book. This time its at the book store BookRevue in Huntington, Long Island. The interview is on October 22nd. If you’re interested, here is an invite to register, as registration is required for this event. I’ve mentioned this to my mentee, hopefully she can make it to the interview. If you know anyone who is finishing college, going into their first job. Or simply, going from a laid back type of job into a corporate type of job. This interview may be for you too. I sure will be there. I love to support local.


Mentoring

I will be mentoring a student from Stony Brook University. I am very exited about mentoring a student. This is my first time mentoring someone, but mentoring has been a goal of mine for a while. I have a mentor myself who has given me great advise and I love talking to her when I need to run something by her. For example, when I was provided with the opportunity to be a Business Analyst her voice was in my head to always say yes to the opportunities that are given you at your job. Especially at Canon. I was given the opportunity, I said yes to this opportunity and I am still working at the company. I don’t know what would have happened if I would have rejected the opportunity. I then gave her a call to see if she could help me with the job itself. Luckily, she knows someone that has been a BA for many years and she connected me to her. I had a conversation with this person and this made it easier for me to work on my new role.
I’m hoping this mentor/mentee relationship works out well. Today I am listening to a meeting of what to do with our students such as job shadowing and meetings with the mentees twice a month.

I’ve met my mentee and I like her very much. She is wise beyond her years as she has had to go through some trial and tribulations with her health. We talked over the internet on video chat and talked about ourselves and covid. How the new technology is so different than what we are used to. We will meet again in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Working from home week #27

This weekend was work filled. My husband wants to create a shelving system for the basement, so he bought some lumber, sheets of plywood and some screws and we got to work. He is very creative and could be a carpenter by trade if he really wanted to. It took us both Saturday and Sunday to get this project done. But we got it done. We also organized the garage a little bit and played pokemonGo Sunday was community day so as we were working on the shelves we were also raiding on the game. Busy, busy weekend. This is good, for me at least, because I get to do some physical work since I am sitting down all week long in my bedroom/office. As for my husband, this has made him more exhausted. All he wants to do is complete this project and have a seat on the couch. I don’t blame him, he has long hard days. Both physical and mentally draining. Not easy.

It’s Monday and I am still a little dizzy from the weekend’s work. We did so much in such a little amount of time that I am still wondering how we did it all.
This morning, I woke up really hungry and ate a few slices of fresh bread and drank my pumpkin pie spice coffee. Delicious!
I haven’t gone out for a run in a while, not sure why. But my journey on the treadmill came to a complete stop when I started to get a lot of work at my job and not knowing what in the world I was doing. I was and still am feeling a lot of anxiety about my job. I continue to have projects that I am lost on, but I am working really hard on getting all of my ducks in a row and knowing what the hell I’m supposed to do.
As for my little one, she had her morning conference call and then her one on one with one of her teachers. She absolutely loves to be in the one on ones. She also loves to see the other kids and sharing information. My social butterfly! She has a lot more courage than I did when I was little. When I was her age I was so painfully shy that I didn’t even want to speak to the teacher. I would only talk to my cousin Miguel, who I used to play with all the time and didn’t make many friends due to my shyness. All of other kids would want to play with me and I would shy away from all of them. It took me a long time to get out of my shell and make friends in school. Not my little one, she is friends with everyone.

It’s Tuesday and I slept and slept until the last possible minute before work. Tired and a little lazy this morning. Well, that’s too bad because there is a lot of work to do today. There is a product launch and sites that are not working. When sites don’t work it is now my job to get to talk to the developers and get these things to work. And then talk to business and let them know things aren’t working and communicating with them once they do. If after a few hours the sites are still not working working; guess what? I have to communicate that to them both as well. One, to ask what is happening with the fix. The other is to let the team know and say “hey business people, I know you need this, but we are still working on this fix. I’ll let you know more in a couple of hours.” I feel like a ping pong ball. This is exhausting. However, this looks like this is exactly what I’ve signed up for. I better get myself ready to do this over and over again.
Today, I found out that a couple of friends have been let go from the company. I haven’t been told why, all I know is that there has been more people who have left the company. I’ve been checking in with other friends to ensure they are still employed with the company. Through all of this, I’m still glad I continue to have a job. For this reason, I am working until 9PM tonight. I had so much to do today that I didn’t have time to do it all. I did a lot of the ping ponging and didn’t have time to post content and work on the product launch. So, here I am. Working late. As I am working, I am listening to podcasts on youtube. The one that I like is with Ed Mylett and Kyle Cease called Expectations vs Reality. It is very inspiring and funny. Kyle is a former comedian and now he is helping people see their potential. I like it.
As for my little one, she is getting the hang of figuring out the laptop and doing her school work. She still wants mommy to help her out with the schoolwork but she’s starting to work independently more and more. All I have to do is get her to be able to read the instructions and we’re in business lol. Kidding, she’s in first grade, she can’t read all of the instructions yet. She is learning how to write sentences and punctuation. Also, simple math of addition and subtraction.
We had a conference with the teachers tonight. She is doing pretty well. We were told that all of the students will need to do a sort of assessment test soon for the teachers to see what level each student is in and then they will break into groups and do live learning with the level group they are in. I think this is a great idea, instead of everyone doing the same, even if one of the students may be behind. They take the time to reach each student on their level. I hope this works well for the kids. All the while my little one love to wear her birkenstocks with socks. This is now her favorite pair of shoes. She is too funny.

It’s Wednesday and I woke up mentally tired but ready for work. I put on some comfortable clothes and got to work. I then went into the kitchen and had breakfast and noticed the dishwasher was making a funny noise. But I let it be as I thought it was just me. After my daughter woke up, we get to the kitchen again and the same funny sound was coming out of the dishwasher. Grandma right away said there was something not working right. Low and behold the darn thing was giving an E1 error. We tried to figure out how to turn off the machine but it wouldn’t turn off. We had to figure out how to turn if off directly from the electricity panel. No problem I thought, that’s easy, it’s jut the panel. You open it, look for the label that says dishwasher and turn it off. So, I get to the garage and the panel isn’t labeled at all. Ok, no worries, I’ll call grandma and get her to let me know which will turn off the dish washer as I turn them all off one by one. I tried the panel two times and the machine would not turn off. Think Isabel! OK, we have another panel in the basement, maybe its connected there. We stay on our phones and I get to the basement and do the same. Turn off everything one by one and see which one is for the dishwasher. Again, nothing happened. The dishwasher did not turn of. Meanwhile, I bumped my daughter off the internet a couple of times and turned off all of the lights and the fridge but nothing on the dishwasher. My little one was on a conference call for school. We paused on trying to turn off the machine so the little one could be online and I go check my email for a little while. Once my little one was offline from meeting her teacher we get to it again. At this point I am annoyed that I can’t turn off the darn machine. I then said to my mother in law that I was going to try it again. This time I was going to turn off everything. So I did. Everything on the panel was turned off. No lights, no internet, no fridge. Finally, the machine stopped working. Now its time to turning everything back on. I turn on the items that were labeled living room, family room, dining room, kitchen, water, and then I turned off the item labeled AC. We don’t have central AC so I don’t know what the hell that was but this was the one that was connected to the dishwasher. Finally, we were able to figure it out. Now the machine is off and my mother in law goes ahead and starts to hand wash the dishes. At that point, I get online and got to see videos on the error to see what the issue is and how to fix it. A couple of hours have passed. I’ve missed a couple of conference calls and am way behind on my work. Every minute is starting to count over at my job. I had about 50 emails that needed attention including instant messages from multiple people. They are ones that need answering as things need to get done within the end oft the month. My head is spinning. So I work and work and work. For lunch I had a yogurt at my desk and continued to work. In the late afternoon I take a quick break to have a cup of coffee and continue to work. Long day!!

It’s Thursday and I have been working non stop since Monday. I only know it’s Thursday because I’ve looked at the calendar a few times today. And I’m still forgetting what day it is. Also, today was the product launch for one of our Cinema products. If you’re interested, we launched the Cinema EOS C70. We launched this item at 8AM. Apparently, the Cinema people are early birds and we need to launch early. Kidding. I have no idea why we launch early. I’m sure there’s a reason, probably so they launch at the same time globally.
I’m still wearing my comfy jammies as I was planning on taking a shower during my lunch hour. What do you know, my little one needed some help with her school items so I skipped the shower at noon; I will take my shower later.
My little one has had a bunch of conference calls today. Her schedule is as packed as mine. She has a lot of work that she needs to get done this year and there’s a lot to do like reading and math and writing. Mine little precious baby has the attention span of a butterfly. Having her sit on her little seat and do her work is not easy. Now I know how teachers feel…well a little bit. I only have one. They have a bunch. Can’t be easy.
This afternoon, as I am working or course, I am listening to an interview with an author who is a former colleague of mine, Stephanie Hayman. She wrote the book “Surviving Your First Decade in Corporate America.” She was interviewed through the Alumni Career Services in Stony Brook University. If you’re interested in listening to the interview, click this blue link and hear what what she had to say. Stephanie has a lot of great insights on what it is like to start off working in a corporate environment. I could relate to everything she stated. From the punch in the gut you get from the long commutes to the raise that you think you may get right away since you’re doing such a great job. Take a listen and you will most likely agree and maybe even learn a few things.

It’s Friday and TGIF! I am tired, mentally drained. I have my one on one with my boss today and am very nervous about it. I don’t feel like I am doing so great in my new job as I am constantly feeling very lost on my new job duties. Hopefully, she will have some good words for me. Luckily, the one on one didn’t go too badly, I mentioned my issues and they were taken with care. It was the rest of the day that was a mess. At one of the conference calls a couple of the developers were kinda yelling at each other. I just kept quiet, I did not want to get involved in that one.

My reaction as the team is confronting each other

So much work to do, so many things done wrong. Recently, I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I feel like I keep on messing it up. And this afternoon I had a few meetings that kinda told me as much. I was working with the business people and whatever it is that I did was not up to their satisfaction and I messed it up and this is one of the reasons why one of the tests we worked on failed. Then there was another meeting where I really screwed the pooch and created tickets for the developers that I should have figured out on my own. I was told to no, no, no, you can’t do that anymore. I felt like an idiot the entire hour and a half of this meeting. I tried to keep it light, but I was fuming on the inside. Not a fun meeting at all.
All the while I am thinking what determines success? Falling down and getting back up? Increaing your hunger? Learning what success is by listening to Lewis Howes interviewing a ton of people including Tony Robbins, Tom Bilyeu and Marisa Peer. I love Marisa Peer, she is the one who taught me to tell myself, “I am enough” every single day and I write that every day on my journal. The 22 SIGNS You’re Going To BE SUCCESSFUL is the videos that I am watching. I am trying to make myself feel better after this disaster of a day. This video is giving me insight and making me feel better about myself. You can do this Isabel!
Meanwhile, I got my self to the liquor cabinet and got myself some firefly vodka and added some soda and did my best to forget about my troubles. The alcohol didn’t really help too much, I am still super upset about my day.
At the end of the day we went out an played pokemonGo for a little while and that distracted me enough to forget my day.
All the while I am doing a great thing…growing out my hair to donate it. It’s getting very long and I will most likely keep it growing until covid is over. I am not planning on going to the hair dresser any time soon. I’m planning on donating to Wigs for Kids. I’ve donated in the past and it made my heart happy. So I am doing it again. I’ve been taking great care of my hair, lots of conditioning and coconut oil treatments. I’m hoping it makes a kid happy.

Until next week.
Stay safe.

-Isabel

Everything is Figuroutable by Marie Forleo

“The power isn’t out there, its in you.” This is how Marie Forleo starts off her book Everything Is Figureoutable. It is powerful and inspiring. Everything is figureoutable can be the “cornerstone of your reality.” I’ve taken this advise and things have become better for me at work and at home. Hey, don’t worry Isabel, we can figure this all out!
Marie advises to put pen to paper and choose the most important change. Put all of your hopes and dreams on paper. “Limiting believes are bull sh*t” she says.
In chapter 4, called Eliminate Excuses, she quotes Richard Bach “the worst lies, are lies we tell ourselves.” It’s true. The biggest lie I tell myself is, are you kidding?! you can’t do this. But as Marie puts it, its all figureoutable! You can do it. You really can. Put your mind to it and you can figure it out.
Marie says that there are two words that you can tell yourself. You “CAN’T” or you “WON’T.” For example, I “can’t” ask for a promotion because I am not good enough yet. Or, I “won’t” ask for a promotion. Using “won’t” makes you responsible for your life. “You are in charge of your thoughts and actions” she says.

Another few quotes that I like are “All progress begins with a brave decision. Long before any guarantee of success.” “Action spawns courage.” And, “you must disobey the voice in your head that says I’m not ready yet, because that voice is bullsh*t”

Here are some start before you’re ready strategies:
1. Research and planning before you’re ready.
2. Get skin in the game. Search online for apps.
3. Value growth and learning. plant your feet in your growth zone aka discomfort zone.

Another piece of advise Marie provides is to embrace, “being able to suck.” I remember being pretty bad at my job in the beginning. I was very slow at it at first. I think I really sucked at it. But once I got the hang of it, no one could stop me.

She also says to “strive for progress not perfection.” And “cultivate patience.” These are two great pieces of advise.
She then goes on to define perfection vs progress. In her own pieces from her life and others’ lives as well.
In the end she tell us all that “now is the time to go after your dream. Get your a*s moving.”

Working from home week #26

Last week was a very busy week. It was my little ones first week of school and had a lot of products launching. Busy, Busy! Working from home does have its perks. I get to see my little one all day long.

This past weekend was filled with crap. Literally!
Our cesspools malfunctioned and we had to take care of the three pools that we have. My husband had to rent out a compressor and dredge the pools. It smelled so bad that we felt sick a bunch of times. After a while, we both got used to it and we both were working on taking care of busiess. My husband had a large pipe and was dredging away and I was holding the compressor hose so it wouldn’t push him inside the pool. The pipe and hose got so hot at one point that we had to pause ad let everything cool down. At one point, my little one decided it was a good idea to join us. She has on her little rain boots and a mask. “Daddy, it smells!” she says. Too cute.
Once we took care of dredging, we went to Home Depot and got a liquid to place inside the cesspools so it would eat the bad bacteria away. It also took out the awful smell. After that we all showered and then went to play pokemonGo. We found out there is a pokemon gym near our house, so now we can do raids right on our couch.
On Sunday we took care of the BBQ. My husband replaced some of the parts and I helped him clean it out. My hands were filled with black grease, but it now looks all clean and ready for hamburgers. We’re a good team.
After all that cleaning I was inspired to clean up the small bushes that are in the backyard. There are a bunch of little trees and bushes growing in the backyard that need to be replaced by grass so my little one can run around in. I got out the shovel and got to work. It took a few hours to do half of the yard. I didn’t finish everything I wanted to, but I will get to it next weekend. Luckily, I did not find any critters in the yard. My mother-in-law has found snakes and little field mice in the garden. I did however, find a lot of wholes from the little critters. We have field mice or voles and garden snakes in the back thank goodness I didn’t see any.
Once done for the day, I got to do some self care. I put on a clay clarifying face mask and a coconut oil hair treatment with tea tree oil. I was tempted to also take a salts bath, but then remembered, the cesspool. We can’t use too much water this week due to all of the treatments. So a quick shower it is.

It’s Monday morning and I can’t sleep for the life of me. I wake up at 3 in the morning thinking about work and what I need to get done. First, I have to create a microsite then, I have to launch products after that, I have a project that is taking way much longer than I anticipated. This project is to add functionality to one of my websites and it is taking way too long to get the paperwork going. Lots and lots to do. Also, I want to finish listening to the book Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo. So I get up at 4AM and join the family as we are all hanging out with my husband before he leaves for work. We all have some fresh home made bread and coffee. The little one is up too and she is looking at her pokemon book. She loves this book. It is a type of dictionary with all of the pokemon out there. Today she is a little under the weather and doesn’t drink her milk. However, she does steal a slice of my buttered bread. As I am helping my husband with his boots, she takes my slice of bread from the counter and eats it all up lol. My hungry little love.
I then cut myself another slice and she wants it too. All of us tell her that one slice is enough as she is going back to bed and we don’t want her to feel sick in bed. My husband leaves for work, grandma and the little one get back to bed and I get to work. I start off my listening to my book and going through my morning routine…making the bed, getting dressed and looking through emails. And then I get to work. I work, work and work all day until about 8 in the evening and that is when I hit a wall. I started to get cold and needed a jacked. Oh no, that is when I called it a day. There is no way I am getting sick because of working so darn much. I got on my pjs and got myself underneath the covers and fell asleep. I didn’t even say goodnight to my family. I just dozed off. I usually have to be in bed and look through my phone for a while before I am able to fall asleep. But not tonight. I need a day off! But who has time for that? I was talking to a dear friend of mine and she has also been working a lot of extra hours. We both agreed that we are making less than minimum wage at this point in time. Do we need new jobs or it is because of covid that we are working extra hard?

It’s Tuesday and I woke up ready for work. Worked from 7AM until about 6:30PM. I’m tired. Overworked and underpaid!

It’s Wednesday and it took all my might to get out of bed and shower. I have had so much work that I’m all sorts of tired. Burning from both ends, if you will. This morning we launched a new Printer/Camera product. It is the IVY CLIQ 2 and IVY CLIQ PLUS 2. I was working on the final touches this morning for the launch, such as updated price lists and logos that were provided last minute. I then had my morning conference calls. By mid morning my daughter and I had her school conference call. The teacher introduced herself by showing her picture of her family and other items that she likes. My little one showed her things that she likes too. Like her unicorn, her pokemon toy, squirtle, and paint brush. She then needed to be supervised for all of her school work. All of her work was under the “to do” tab online. But as of today it is no longer on that tab. The information is all over the place and she needs to be helped with this at all times #frustrating. Grandma is helping but we both need to be there to help the little one out as it is becoming very confusing. And then, one of the videos she was watching jumped from the teacher talking about number to some random youtube video. My little one called me over, I had to stop what I was doing for work, and we watched for the jumping of tracks in youtube. Of course, when I was there, we did not encounter any issues. But I had to watch the entire video on counting. All the while, all I am thinking is…I gotta get back to work. By the late afternoon we are both tired from trying to figure it all out. Hopefully the next few weeks will be better. Schooling from home is not as easy as we thought it was going to be.
As for work, my sites are down this afternoon. So I am working on other projects that I have. And, I have a lot of projects. One person wants to clear out automated emails. Another wants to add functionality to one of the sites. Others want to add microsites. Others want to launch new products. I am swamped. Some days I am just overwhelmed and in the verge of tears. But not today, no Sir! Today the sites are down and I get to get myself organized for everything else that I need to do.

It’s Thursday and I am again swamped with work. I have a product launching to morrow and lots to do. As for my little one, she had her conference call today with her teacher. I had a conference call at the same time and couldn’t be there to witness this call. From my understanding they introduced each other and sang the pledge of allegiance then talked about their day. Then my little one did her math and writing homework. Then watched some very long videos. This is our life now. Watching videos. Most videos are on youtube. So my little smarty pants starts looking for other videos to watch. Something more along her wheelhouse like, my little pony or something to do with the littlest pet shop. We have to keep an eye on her so she’ll do her school work and not go into what we call “bad youtube.” I feel for the kids that are learning from home. They have so many distractions. We’ve had to take all of the toys out of the room so she can concentrate on her school work. Home has become something else for my little one. It’s no longer a place to play and relax, but a place to work. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It’s definitely different, that’s for sure.

It’s Friday and I have no motivation to get my work done. I get up and go through my morning routine. Breakfast, dressed, make the bed, moisturize. Then I am listening to Lisa Nichols 50 Rules for Success. This is giving me a little bit of energy to get going this morning.
As for work, I’ve launched a new accessory on the site. It is the Camera Backpack EDC-1. This, thankfully was an easy one for today. But I still had to do everything that I need for a product launch. I had to upload all of the content and get my developers to push the content live and send email blasts to the dealers to let them know they are able to purchase this product for their consumers. After that launch, early in the morning, I have more and more items to post. I have a ton of conference calls and I need to take my lunch at 3PM as I have to go to the blood work place. We found out that the majority of the blood work locations have closed. The ones that are open are by appointment only and the next available appointment is in mid October. What is happening? Does not one have to do bloodwork anymore? Anyway, the bloodwork appointment takes longer than expected, over an hour, and I have a meeting at 4! Yikes! I get home at 4:05 and the meeting hadn’t started yet as the boss requested for them to wait a little bit for her. Thank goodness! I did not miss a thing. The meeting was as boring as it could be. We were going over one of the websites that has to do with sales and bids. We need to know how it works and where the information comes from so if we need to troubleshoot, we know exactly who to contact and what to do. But man is the site dry.
After work we go pokemoning as a family. Today there aren’t many raids to play, so we go to the town nearby and stock up on pokeballs and berries. It’s not much, but we get to do this as a family during covid.

Until next week.
Stay Safe!
Best,

Isabel

Working from home week #25

Wow what a week. My little one starts school this week and we are all ready for the new school year. We’ve got all of our notebooks and other supplies and are looking forward to schooling from home. The school gave us the option of a hybrid school year or the option of staying home full time; remote schooling. We chose the option of remote schooling, for now. Covid doesn’t look like it is going anywhere and we are going the cautious route and everyone is staying home.


Tuesday is my little one’s first day and we are all dressed and ready for the first day. We’ve got our laptop out, our notebook and our pencil ready to go. My princess has her breakfast and logs into the classroom. There are other kids online ready to learn. Unfortunately, the teacher never got on. So the kids just talked to each other online for a little while and then we logged off. There was however, work to be done. Like watching a video about the first day of school and then the kids got to do a drawing about what they liked about the first day of school. My little one liked meeting all of the other students that were online. Another activity was to fill out a page with their name and all of their favorite things. Such as their favorite book, mine was “The Pigeon Has To Go To School.” It also asked what the kids want to do when they grown up. Mine wants to be a nurse. We jotted that down and then she changed her mind. She wants to be a doctor instead. I too wanted to be a doctor when I was her age. Then it all changed. I went into communication and now I am in IT. But that is a long story that you can read on this one Your Story is your Superpower.


As for work, I am swamped with posting items to the sites and doing product launches. If you’re interested this is what we launched: imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX C477iFZ and imageCLASS items. Of course the sites that I work on are behind user and password protection. So you’d need to be a partner of ours to see what I have been up to. But you get the gist. There is a lot of work to do. Next week we have some more items launching. I will share those when the time comes.
This year I will be a mentor to a student from Stony Brook University. I am very much looking forward to helping out this student. I understand this is a great program that my company does and I am very exited about this. I will talk more about this when the time comes.

Until then. Stay safe.
-Isabel

Working from home week #24

Wow! September is here and the Fall is coming; ready or not! I’ve been working on cleaning out my basement from items that we were going to use to make an apartment, but we’ve since changed our mind about that. We have doors and shower doors, a toilet, furniture and other random items stored away that we just simply no longer need. I’ve been working hard on getting these things out the door. But the majority of these are bulky and heavy. I’ve used up all of my arm muscles over the weekend getting some things out the door and onto the curb. One good thing is that we’ve found a home for the baby items that we no longer need. That makes me happy, that they have gone to a home who needs them.

Today is Monday and I am swamped at work. It is the end of month and at this time the IT team is working hard on getting items to go live for next month. As a BA, I need to ensure the business teams are happy with the results. This time around unfortunately, they are not. Please don’t kill the messenger…me. The developers did what they could, but it wasn’t what business was looking for, and I am the one to bring the bad news to both parties.
The rest of the day is all about preparing for product launches for tomorrow. I have four items launching and a lot of content to post on the site. I don’t have a preview page for this site, so I will have to test everything in the morning after they are live and our partners can see everything. I am currently working with the IT team on getting me a preview page, but nothing so far.
Today, I continue to work past 5PM and to until 5:30 and that is when I take my dinner break. We eat dinner; pasta with chicken, and then clear out and wash the dishes. I then go ahead and take out the garbage to the curb as tomorrow is garbage day in my neighborhood. Then I get right back to my work laptop and continue working on my product launches for tomorrow. My family goes out for a drive and I stay in and continue to do my work. It’s 9PM and my family has come back and I am still working on my product launches. There is so much content and images to add to the sites that I am still working on them. Then there are always the people who fill out the paperwork incorrectly and I have to decipher what they are looking for me to do and hopefully I post the items correctly. The teams are no longer online and I can’t ask them what they mean with what they sent, at this time of night, so I have to figure it out. I’m getting way too used to figuring out things and guessing what others want. I’m becoming an expert at this, I think lol.
At 9, I pause my work and hang out with the family for a little while and prepare everything for tomorrow. I prepare the coffee and the get the ingredients: flour, sugar and yeast, for tomorrow’s fresh bread. I get all of the ingredients from the cupboards and my husband puts them together to make the bread. Teamwork! After a little while, we say our goodnights and I get back on the work laptop until 11PM. While I am working, I am listening to Marie Forleo’s book Everything is Figureoutable. The book is just about that, you can figure anything out. Put a little effort into it and you’ll get it. By 11:30 I can’t do it anymore. I get on my pj’s and go to bed.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have been a blur. So much work and catching up on everything at work. The product launches took a lot of work. The other requests got left behind and these days were for catching up. I then also needed to fix postings for the launches that I did. Some were me that messed up, some were the teams already making updates to the items they provided the day before. So I fixed everything that needed fixing and all added all of the other items that were on my backlog. My goodness, I am tired. Mentally drained. It’s not hard work, but it sure does take a long time to do it.

It’s Friday and where has the week gone? I have been working my tail off this entire week. Starting way before 9AM and staying online until way after 5PM. On Tuesday, I stayed on to do work until 11PM. On Wednesday, it was until 9PM. I can’t wait until the Labor day weekend. I will have a day off to relax or do something around the house that I need to do. Like the weeding or cleaning up in general. Today, I’ve been doing more and more work for the product teams as they need a lot of content posted on the sites. Some of the teams have projects in mind and I am working hard on getting these taken care of. First off, I have to decipher what they are looking for and then talk to my development team to get whatever it is that was requested. I hope I’m doing this right. Today, I finish at 5 PM and log of at 5on the dot. Today, I will not work any longer than that. I need to break so I don’t burn out at both ends. I then have dinner and then go out for a drive with the family. I need some time to distract myself from work. Too much work will turn my head into mush. No need for that.

It’s the early hours of Saturday morning and I log on to my work email and get a couple of things done so they don’t get left behind. After that we go do our shopping. We do this in the morning hours so we won’t encounter many people at the store. By the time we get home with our groceries, it is almost noon. We clean everything off with gloves and bleach and then placing the items in a deep corner of the basement for quarantine for a couple of days. My little one has her gloves on too because she wants to help as well. We put everything away and then go ahead and have lunch. Lunch consisted of a bunch of salads. Not the green stuff, but the pasta salads and shrimp salads kinds. Thank you mother-in-law for bringing those. This is a good idea. A delicious mid afternoon lunch with the family. Now we are all relaxing after a hectic morning.
Meanwhile, I am trying to figure everything out that my daughter needs for school. Like her log in information and how to get into google classroom. I’ve sent an email to her teacher asking about books. How the kids learning from home will get their books for the school year. And also asked about a schedule. The teacher is going to get back to me soon. Hey teacher, school starts in a few days what is going on? Guess this hasn’t been planned yet. lol

Until next time.
Stay safe.
-Isabel

Working from home week #23

It’s been 23 weeks and counting. As for today, I decided to take the day off. I am a little burned out from work and need a day to recharge my batteries. So a Monday is as good a day as any to try and relax. But, who am I kidding, I can’t relax, I have a little one. Hopefully she will be with grandma and do her homework this afternoon and I will do mine. I have been working on getting my certification for Agile Project Management using SCRUM and need to study a little more. I took a mock test over the weekend and got an 80 on it. Not bad, but I’d like for my score to be better. So this morning, I am studying for my certification with achy muscles and all. Yesterday, I took care of the backyard by weed wacking around the house and practically the entire back yard. When the batteries were recharging for the machine I would sweep the patio to get all of the weeds, and and sticks our of there. Then, I decided that it was a good idea to clear out some of the things from the basement. I want to make a little more room for my little one to have space to play. We have a bunch of things that we were going to use for projects that we never got to do. Like doors that we took out from the main floor and saved them as we were going to fix up the basement and we would need doors for the renovation. Well, they have been in the corner of the basement for some years now and we haven’t made any partitions and we’re probably never going to need those doors. They need to go. I notice we have a couple of old computers down there too. We haven’t thrown them away yet because we need to clean them out first but just haven’t had the time. Hopefully this week we will take the time to fix the problem and get rid of them.
Oh yeah, I still have a bunch of baby things in the basement like a crib, changing table, high chair and a few toys. I’d like to get rid of them but would like for them to go to a good home as they are still in very good condition. If you know of anyone who might need these things, please let me know and we can set something up for pick up. I also have pregnancy clothes that are like new. The bottoms are size 6 and the tops are all larges. Again, if you know anyone who could use these, please let me know.
Today, keep on studying and reading over my notes and going through all of the Agile SCRUM information that I can find. I’ve taken a bunch of practice tests and have been doing very well. I’m thinking at this point I am ready to commit and take the actual certification. Stay tuned, I’m going for it!
So, I took the certification test and I did not do well. The questions were mostly situational, such as if you are the SCRUM Master and one of the developers is unhappy, what do you do?! Good question, we did not go over this in our class. We went over the processes not the actions. I’m so bummed out about this. I don’t understand, I did so well on the practice tests how could I have done so badly on the actual test. I am feeling very down right now.

It’s Tuesday and I am still thinking about the failed test and continue to feel down about it. I get up just in time to get to work and am trying my darnedest to lighted up, but I keep on ruminating about it. Should I get a rubber band and put it on writs? Every time I get a sad feeling about this thing, just snap it. See how red it gets today? Some Fifty Shades of Gray going on, on my wrist today lol.
As for work, it’s all about conference calls and catching up from yesterday. There’s a lot to post on the sites that I work on and I am so not in the mood. But, I’ve got get the inner strength to just do it.

It’s Wednesday and I have woken up early enough to have breakfast of some fresh, home made bread with butter; made by my husband and some delicious coffee. I am felling better today, I’ve eventually gotten over the facts of my failed certification and have decided to try and study some more by searching out situational questions online. We will see if I have the courage to take the test again. The only issue that I have with taking it again is that it is not cheap. Every time you take the test it will cost $150 dollars. It’s an hour test with 80 questions, so it’ll take about a minute or so for each question. The situational questions have a lot of words to read. About a paragraph of a situation and then another paragraph of multiple choice answers. And some of them are trick answers. Have to be very quick about it.
After I have my breakfast, I get to work. I have a lot of items launching on the sites I work on and a lot of content to post.
At the end of the day we take a drive out to the sporting goods store as my husband needed to make a purchase for work. We stay in the car as he goes and does the shopping. Once he is done, he shows up to the car with a baseball bat, some balls and a couple of mitts. Oh my good Lord, what have you done? He thinks that teaching our daughter how to swing a bat and hit a ball are a good idea. He says its good for coordination. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic. But if my little one is anything like me, it’s not going to work out so well. I played soccer and have some coordination with my feet. As for my hands and arms, I am useless. Once I played catch with a friend and he threw the ball right at my face. I luckily put the mitt in front of my face to cover it, all scared and such. And BAM! The ball went right in the mitt. If the mitt wasn’t covering my face I’d have a broken nose. That was the last time I played anything related to baseball. Scared the hell out of me. Now daddy wants me to play with my little one. I don’t want to be responsible for a broken nose or limb. God help me!

It’s Thursday and I have been on a hunt to give away the crib and changing table and other baby items that I’ve had in the basement. Believe it or not, it has been a little bit of a challenge for me. There are some great organizations that will take some of my things, but not all. Plus they need for the items to be delivered. At this point in time, I don’t have the means to make a delivery. So I went another rout and put it on facebook in my community. Again, people are only interested in a couple of things. I can’t seem to be able to get rid of all of it. I’m having a lot of heart trouble with just leaving it out on the curb. I have this fear of: whatever you want to call it, that people will take the items from the curb and then try to sell them. I don’t want that. I’d rather they go to a home that needs them.
So good news. There is someone from my community that could use the baby items. This makes my heart happy. We have communicated on facebook and this person is willing to come pick the items up and best of all, to me, she actually needs them.

Yay Friday! I have been working very hard on getting rid of stuff from the basement. I am very content that today, someone will be picking up the items that I have stored away for a while. All of it is outside and ready to be taken. I am so happy that I’ve found a home for these I can’t even tell you how many happy feelings I have right now. I know I am a strange one, but this type of help gets my heart with happy feelings. Maybe this is something that I should pursue during my spare time. I will look into it. Do you know of any organizations where I can volunteer, preferably from home. I am still quarantining from this crazy virus.
As for work, there is a lot to do. Very busy these days working on both my marketing and business analyst jobs. Both are taking up a lot of time. I am also looking for courses for Business Analyst and I can’t seem to find any. I’ve reached out in LinkedIn and can’t seem to get anything yet. Any ideas?
At the end of the day we go and play pokemonGo and do a couple of raids. We got home early as there wasn’t much going on out there. Maybe its due to the weather, since there are hurricanes in the south and poor weather up here in the north. 2020 is a mess.

Until next time.
Stay safe!

-Isabel



Becoming by Michelle Obama

I’ve been listening to Becoming by Michelle Obama and I’ve really been enjoying it. It is the story of her life and it starts right in the beginning of her life. The first few chapters are about Michelle and her younger years in school, her friends, parents and her older brother. She talks about how her older brother being in the same school gave her comfort. She then goes on to college and she talks about how she got into Princeton University. This is also where her brother wound up by playing basketball.
By Chapter 8 Mrs. Obama talks about how she met a one Barak Obama at her job in a law firm. They became fast friends even thought Barak was late on his first day on the job. And she was not happy about this at all. She was his advisor and he the summer associate.
I’ve learned that Barak’s nickname was Barry when he was a kid in living in Hawaii with his family.
Fast forward a few years and she goes on to talk about her wedding and their first fight as husband and wife. Also at the time her new husband went away to work on his book. He took a trip out to Hawaii for a few months to concentrate on writing his first book.
Michelle then talks about her difficulties in getting pregnant and having a miscarriage. She says, about her miscarriage that, its lonely failure and demoralizing. It feels like a failure but she then says it is not a failure at all. So they tried ivf. She goes on to talk about all of her trials and tribulations with ivf and then, she became pregnant with her first baby girl, Malia.
As a mother, she was now working at the University of Chicago as part time for 20 hour per week, but we all know that working part time turns out to more like working close to 40 hours per week as there is always so much to do. She then talks more about motherhood and then having another baby via invitro. Then having her baby girl Sasha. She then gets into the time Barak was running for Senate all the while she was working for the Hospital at the University of Chicago. It wasn’t easy having two little girls and a very busy husband.
I’ve been listening to the audiobook during bedtime and at one point I feel asleep and woke up to her talking about hurricane Katrina and how devastating it all was. I then turned off the audiobook and went to sleep.
The next day I turned it back on again before bed and Michelle spoke to me about her husband running for President of the United States. When he was asked if he was running, in the early days, he said that he was thinking more about it. But, what he was really doing, was waiting for Michelle to say yes to his running for president.
She thought about it and the initially answer was, no. She did not want him to be president. And then, after much thinking and time passing, she said yes. She thought it is a good idea for her husband to run for presidency. At the time she did not think he would win. As she put it; after all, he is a black man. She thought he would never win. Turns out she was very wrong.
As the First Lady of the United States, she stared a campaign about getting children to eat healthier. This was after she learned that her youngest daughter’s body mass index was on the brink. She realized that the nutrition intake was a little too much on the fast food end and less on the fruits and vegetables end. So she decided to create a vegetable garden right at the Whitehouse and have students from a bilingual school come and help with the planting.
She then goes on about how her clothing choices and how they were a thing. She decided to wear American designers. Meanwhile, a few other designers were not happy she didn’t choose them.
Then, there were more stories about her being the FLOTUS to her POTUS.
She then goes on about her being in the Whitehouse and continuing with her nutrition motives for children and keeping out of politics as much as possible.
In the end, she has a message for us: You belong, you matter.

Saturdays are for Studying

It is Saturday and we are still in quarantine. My daughter and I hung out all afternoon at home. It was hot outside, so we opted to stay in. Not to her account. She’d like to go outside instead and play soccer or anything else for that matter. But it was in the 90’s and it was way too hot for us to be out there playing. Inside, we read a story and then painted a rock. Her Godmother gave her a painting set with a paintbrush, a few rocks and a few colors to paint these rocks. She painted one of them all white and then couldn’t figure out what else to do with it and told me that she would finish it another day. We then went to the basement and played golf with her little plastic golf set. She plays golf like the girls play field hockey lol. Once she got bored with golf, we kicked a small ball back and forth for a little while. But this was not the same as being outside and running after it, so she got bored with that quickly as well. We put the ball away and then played with her toys on the carpeted area of the basement. I wanted her to read some more today, but she wasn’t having it. So we played a little more in the basement then we came back upstairs for water. She then got out her crayons and started coloring her Hello Kitty coloring book while I went to change the sheets on the bed. All the while, my husband was watching TV and falling asleep on the couch. He has hard days during the week, so we let him rest on the couch for as long as he needs it. Besides, he woke up early this morning and made us all waffles and coffee. Of course we’re going to leave you alone. You’ve done enough already today honey.
In the late afternoon, my husband, daughter and mother-in-law go out for a drive. We do this often to get out of the house for a bit. I stay back today and tell them that I need to stay and study. I am working on taking my SCRUM certification and need to study and take some mock tests. I do just that this evening. I read the SCRUM Guide online and then search to see if there is anyone out there that recorded the guide so I may listen to it for a second time. Low and behold, there is. I love the internet! Not only does it give me a job, I work in Internet Marketing, but all sorts of good things are out there. Especially ones that I am looking for to help me with my studies. I also love the internet because it lets me keep in touch with my family and friends. It is especially fantastic in this time of covid, where you can’t be around anyone. Six feet apart to me is a few miles away…in your own house and me in own bedroom/office. So, not only am I reading the SCRUM Guide online, I am also reading and re-reading my notes from my class. If you’re interested, Nassau Community college has Workforce Development Training courses. Look for Project Management section and you will see that one of the course is for Agile Project Management Using SCRUM. They do not pay me to advertise, by the way. I simply think they are good courses to take. Since covid, they have been doing the courses online. This particular course that I took was all online. The professor used youtube to conduct the course. It was great for me. I did not have to commute back and fourth. After work, I had dinner with the family and then got online at 6PM and the course went on until 9. These courses are only for a few weeks and the professor was great. Seriously, I do not get paid to advertise this. I simply had a great experience.
I also too Lean Six Sigma course at NCC. I will be honest though, having been certified in Lean Six Sigma-Yellow Belt hasn’t gotten me further into my career, yet. But maybe, just maybe, kept me at my job. I also took this course at Nassau Community College in the Workforce Development Training. The beauty of these courses is that there is no test at the end. It is considered adult education and no test is required. The only testing is the certification, if you’re interested in having it. And, like everything else in life; it costs extra.
I needed a break from my studies and looked at social media and got bored. No one is doing much nowadays and I can’t live vicariously through anyone this year. Most years people go on vacations to parks or exotic locations and I love to see their pictures. I am always happy for my friends wen they get to get away. This year most people are home and all that can be seen are pictures of kids in their pools. My daughter wishes we had a pool, but I do not. It is a lot of work to maintain a pool. Those who have one know what I’m talking about. Sorry little love, no pool for us. These kids won’t be laughing so much once mommy and daddy tell them they have to stay home when school starts. Or some parents are going to go the hybrid way, where the kids will go to school for two days and do schooling from home for three days. All by keeping that social distancing of 6 feet apart. Maybe there are parents out there that say, forget this and are homeschooling their child this year. As for us, we’d like for our little one to be at home. She really misses her friends and her cousins, but we’re going to sacrifice this year and stay away from everyone.
Tonight I am having trouble sleeping, so I continue to study my notes and am thinking about recording them on youtube or just simply my phone. This way I can listen to them as I am doing chores, or maybe at work when I am doing mundane type of work that I don’t need to think. If I like the results, maybe I will share them with the world. We will see.

Until next time.
Stay safe!

-Isabel