Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mood buttons You Can’t Wear To Work: Part 3

I should be writing a paper but...

And yeah, I just returned to campus to finish writing the damn paper.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Isn't this semester over yet? Too much crap to do and not enough time. Especially when all I want to do is sleep.

Worked the late night program on Friday, spent Saturday making up for it. Fun times, drunk girl arrested, drunk guy got on the roof of a building and passed kidding. Wonder if that will make the school newspaper....

Peace ya'll.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stood Up

I am beginning to feel like the ugly prom date. In the last two days, I have been stood up four times by other people for set appointments. One person missed a business meeting with me, twice! The other two were both interviews I had arranged for my class project. I spoke to one of them and have still not heard from the other but am trying to reschedule all three.

So frustrating!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

From Crib to Cubicle, A Familiar Voice -- Our Own -- Reassures

(This article was on the intranet at work and a co-worker pointed it out to who sits shares a cubicle wall with me. I wonder why..)

When a voice rises from a nearby cubicle, a better question than "You talking to me?" may be "You talking to you?"

Susan Shapiro, a business-technology consultant, talks to herself constantly in what amounts to auditory to-do lists and step-by-step instructions. She calls herself an "idiot" at times, "brilliant" at others and occasionally says things out loud such as, "I can't believe I'm talking to myself out loud." She once discovered a colleague hovering behind her, waiting for her and her cubemate to finish their conversation. "We weren't talking to each other," she says. "We were each talking to ourselves."

Self-talking starts early, beginning as crib speech for the fun of it and becoming toddlers' repetition of rules they're learning to live by, researchers say. Late in life, you might say to yourself, "Why am I looking for my eyeglasses in the refrigerator?" only to discover -- holy cow! -- that's where you left them.

In between, in your cubicle-bound life, researchers say as many as 96% of people talk to themselves aloud, and deaf people have been observed signing to themselves while answering test questions. It's believed that people primarily blather to themselves when alone so as not to appear nuts. But those of us in the cube farm know better.

The irony is that self-chatter, like sharp objects, is both most suited and least suited to the workplace. "At work where we would most benefit from talking out loud is also the place we are least likely to do so for social reasons," says Alain Morin, a professor of psychology at the Mount Royal College in Calgary, Alberta.

Among the things it's useful for is what's called self-regulation: goal-setting, problem-solving, decision-making and planning ("When she says, 'You already got a raise,' I'll say, 'Which didn't keep pace with inflation' "). These conversations with one's self tend to increase, research shows, with the complexity of tasks and when someone's having a bad day.

"There's not a lot you can say when things are going really well: 'I want to keep things as they are,' " notes Tom Brinthaupt, professor of psychology at Middle Tennessee State University. Self-talk is "not that different from a thermostat. It's one of the ways we monitor ourselves, control impulses and guide actions."

The downside: "It can very much be disruptive."

Self-talk, unscientifically, also seems to be the stuff in the noisy maelstrom of the mind that slips out. It's also ensures that at least one person is listening to you.

When the pressure's on before, say, a big presentation, there's a lot of anticipatory conversation -- a stress rehearsal. Evan Steingart, former head of sales at a consumer-products company, worked with a salesman who rehearsed his entire pitch the day before he met with clients, including their objections in a different voice.

"It was an extreme distraction to the rest of the group," says Mr. Steingart. "People were so mesmerized by it."

They couldn't stop themselves from secretly dialing into the conference-room phone and listening in whenever he went there to practice. "Fortunately, he would always make the sale, and he never got into an argument with himself," adds Mr. Steingart.

For some, talking to oneself is a way to reach group consensus, sans group. Chris Weyers, who works for a financial-services company, talks himself up all day, he says, "as if someone is helping you get the day organized, urging you on to get things done faster, telling you not to check email when you hear the ping."

He's more efficient, he adds, because "two heads are better than one." The problem is his assistant, whose hearing isn't what it once was, rushes in throughout the day, asking, "Are you talking to me?"

Many of us are as used to someone's self-chatter as we are to people with invisible cellphone headsets seemingly blathering on to themselves. J.P. Tristani, a former commercial-airline pilot, flew with a DC-8 captain who, whenever faced with bad weather on radar, would "consult" aloud with an Indian chief he pretended sat in the jump seat behind him.

"I didn't care who he was talking to back there," he says, "as long as I didn't hear a voice coming out of that black void."

Self-talk can be both a cause of distraction in the office and its cure. After a while, you listen to yourself think aloud so you don't have to listen to the soliloquy next to you.

"Talking to yourself eliminates some other distractions," says J.J. Stives, who sat next to an incessant self-talker. His partner, Christine Ascherman, a commercial photographer, talks to herself about exposure and aperture before and during her shoots. "It wards off conversation," she says.

Carli Entin, an associate magazine editor, loves talking to herself whether it's "appearing" as a panelist on "Meet the Press," narrating her imaginary cooking show ("replace some of the water with coffee for a tastier cupcake"), or blogging.

At work, even when a colleague told her she stopped listening, that didn't stop Ms. Entin's side of the conversation or the fun she had engaging in it. Besides, her self-chatter can be efficient. "By acting out the conversation," she says, "I no longer need to have it."


URL for this article:

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I highly recommend renting this movie.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Went to bed at 11:00, got up at 2:00 to work on a position paper due at 7 p.m. tonight. Taking a break right now. I have a long way to go, including finishing my research on the topic. Was very depressed at 10:30 when I realized that I left the textbook that is the basic text I was going to use for this paper at school tonight. While my brother generously offered to drive me to school since I was so tired (Really, Zipper, I can't thank you enough), I declined and went to take a nap stating that I would figure something out.

Thank goodness it is a well known text and a simple google search brought up a teaching outline of the chapter I needed from the publisher. Really a shorthand but when you have a lot to write, hey - you take what you can get. I found a couple other articles I can pull from although I have a bunch I can add to the essay once I get it completed. Three sources is a little light for a graduate paper but I have to get the dang thing written first. I have written the introduction, the conclusion and the transition paragraph between the second and third main point to the paper (boy, teaching outlining has really helped my scholarship...). Now I just have to read and write the body of the essay! The syllabus gives us a length of 4-5 pages, I am about 2 in already. My goal is to have a complete draft done by the time I have to get ready for work so that in my break from 12-2 today, I can proofread a final draft. That is my goal, fingers crossed.

During my study break, besides taking a moment to vent in this space, I also emptied and refilled the ice cub trays in the (brand new) freezer while getting myself a glass of water, repacked my backpack for tomorrow so I am not carrying a million things I don't need to, wrote a speaking outline for my 3:30 presentation in my last request for funding for my service assignment (Not to brag but I have managed to secure $3,200 of the $4,900 needed - in contrast to the $1,000 that the faculty advisor brought in). The request is for $1,000 although at this point, all we really need to fully fund the event without department funds is $700. So even if they only give us $100, I pulled it off. All I have to do is generate some publicity in the next three weeks (event is April 22), write up event reports for the sponsors and this monkey is off my back. Believe me, I am counting the days....

Everything is actually going well for me, with the exception of being a student. I am really struggling with that part of my life. And on that note, my break is over.