WTF Wednesday

As I mentioned last week, the students in my group are leaving the nest and flying off into the world. As such, we started setting up interviews with potential new students this week. My student assistant and I were APPALLED by how many students were rude as hell when they answered their phones. One girl just said “What?” and sat there silently. Another guy answered with an “Ugh, who is this?” CHILDREN. Learn phone skills. Naturally, everybody got real professional real quick once I explained why I was calling, but please teach your young people how to answer the phone – especially if they are applying for something. “What?” is never acceptable.

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If you aren’t already, then I absolutely encourage you to follow Dan Rather on Facebook. He provides excellently measured and thoughtful responses to the bananas political environment we are living in.

I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to work for someone who goes to Twitter to brag about something after you’ve spent half a day denying it happened.

Those first two statements are not sentences and you put the wrong thing in parenthesis, you twit. I don’t typically advocate for grammar and English shaming, but there is no excuse for him. He had access to and received an excellent education. Also, he has infinite resources available to help him make statements that aren’t a word salad (what if Sarah Palin is really the author of this nonsense!?!).


I’ve also had several Republicans friends try to triumph in this situation by claiming that I wasn’t mad when Hillary did it. These are not the same situations. The drama surrounding Hillary’s use of a private email server for classified information (which was retroactively labeled as such) was all based on what MIGHT have happened if it had gotten out. MIGHT have happened. Donald just straight up gave it away. Image result for trump gif emails

It’s just so infuriating (though not surprising ) to see Trump blatantly doing exactly what he insisted was wrong with Hillary: mishandling classified information and putting American interests behind foreign ones.

Additionally, people still insist on telling me to give Trump a chance and that the people who voted for him aren’t bad people. Well, I counted that the below image was shared by 38 different people on my Facebook over the weekend. Approximately half are from my small hometown, so that’s not really surprising that they would exist in the same cesspool of hate and nonsense, but the rest are people who are in no way connected to anyone else I know.

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You know who the scumbags are? People who put a man in office who makes them believe that this is funny.


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Fake News

I had such a low-key weekend that I’m not really sure what there is to write about. Nevertheless, I shall persist, and write on about nothing. I really have no idea what I did on Friday. Not a clue. I know I drank beer at one point and I had some cheese for dinner, but other than that I really don’t remember. Must have been a very exciting evening!
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I am feeling a bit more brain dead than usual because we the end of last week frantically trying to answer questions from a reporter for a story about us that will not be good. I’ve always had empathy for famous people because you can’t control what people write and say about you. And, yes, many of them are very rich and with fame comes criticism, but I know it sucks. I’ve had a bigger dose of how it can suck since I took on this role because I’m more involved in media inquiries and responses.

It is so frustrating to spend a lot of time giving someone very detailed information and documentation only to see that it’s completely inaccurate in the story. Then, it’s further frustrating to submit a request for a correction and the person is like “nope.” We are dealing with a few things now where the timeline is very central to the story, and one outlet reported it incorrectly (which made us look unresponsive to a serious issue) and now everyone uses that incorrect time line. So, we look like jerks despite having a pile of emails and meeting confirmations that show we responded quickly, but what can you do? You win some and you lose some.

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Trump’s incessant whining about the media makes me batty because what did he think would happen? They’re hard on Presidents – as they should be. You can’t do that job with thin skin because you have no control. I would have a level of empathy for the office (not for him as a person) if he wasn’t complaining ALL THE TIME. We get it. The media gets it wrong sometimes. Some of the media is biased against him (FOR GOOD REASON). Welcome to being President! It sucks to see misinformation out there and to know details were left out for the sake of a certain slant, but that is their right. I still respect and appreciate the role and importance of journalism in our democracy and lives. It doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated, but I am at least smart enough to understand the difference between bias and fake news.

Image result for fake news gifSo, that’s been going on. I worked on Saturday writing graduation speeches (a different one for each of our seven ceremonies) and that has been struggle city. I am not a speechwriter. I am not a creative writer. I write to convey information in a direct, succinct, and clear manner. My boss writes to tell a story because he believes that stories are what give people a chance to “see into a soul.” And that’s totally great and he’s wonderful at it, but it’s a huge challenge for me because that is just not how my brain works. For instance, I wrote a one page story about a student that I thought was a bit too long (in 14 point double-spaced type), and when he returned it the story was four pages.

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So, that was an all day struggle. We are also having to cut his speech from 14 minutes to five, which, for a storytelling former English professor it is an actual nightmare. I honestly think his heart is broken. We are down to about nine minutes, but it hasn’t been easy.

Thankfully, despite all of that speech writing strum und drang, I had something fun to look forward to on Saturday night – beer with Tracy and Matt! We met in Midtown at Rubicon Brewery where we enjoyed a tasty dinner and good beer.

I had the “Hangover Burger” which was tomato jam, bacon, arugula, a fried egg, and black pepper aioli. IT WAS AWESOME. I will definitely eat there again. After dinner we walked around Midtown a bit and came across a fashion show which was a fun surprise. Everyone is SO SERIOUS about fashion. MOST SERIOUS SKIRT IN  A CENTURY. Anyway, we eventually made our way to Fieldwork Brewing Company which was founded in Berkeley. We all tried their Galaxy Juice IPA, but it wasn’t my favorite. It was too much like flowers in my mouth, but I would like to go back and try the others.

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On Sunday I went to Orange Theory for the first time in about a month. So, that still hurts. It was a challenging partner workout (NIGHTMARE) and I got 37 splat points. I have never had over 20 before, so yikes on that. I thought I was just working super hard, but when I looked around most everyone else had about 15. One super fit little thing had three. THREE. Why is it so easy to be totally out of shape?? I felt like a train wreck the entire time, but I survived!

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I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the speeches again. The fun never ends around here. By this time next week commencement will be over and hopefully we will all still be alive.


10 Thing Friday

1. TWIN PEAKS. Just a little more than a week to go!!!

2. “Can the middle class afford college?” With great difficulty and lots of debt. Especially since we have students whose parents have good jobs, but are still paying off their own student loans. I honestly don’t see how a solidly middle class family could ever save enough to truly pay for the full cost of college including tuition, room, board, books, technology, and transportation. Even at our campus, which is considered exceptionally affordable, it’s unreal.

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Oh wait, we can’t!

3. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword comes out this weekend!!!!! I really want to see it ASAP, but I’m going to try to wait until in I’m Texas in a few weeks to see it with my cousin.

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4. I have had time to watch a little bit of news and The Handmaid’s Tale this week. THAT IS IT. Two pathetic hours of TV. This new role is RUINING MY TV LIFE. On the bright side, Alexis Bledel is KILLING IT and I LOVE how they are expanding the storylines so far.

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5. “Why Everything We Know About Salt May Be Wrong.” What.

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6. I can’t specifically recall ever drinking rosé, but since it’s a thing now, then here are eight delicious and affordable ones.

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7. And because it’s about to be summer – 33 Best Burger Recipes.

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8. Megan Markle is officially attending Pippa’s wedding which is SO AMAZING. I guess Pippa will know what it’s like for the bride to have her thunder stolen by a guest. I imagine Megan won’t need a white dress and a butt pad to do it though.

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9. Why Self-Compassion Works Better Than Self-Esteem. I completely agree with this and say it to students every single day. Give yourself a break, you are working hard, but life happens. Take a minute, regroup, and try again.

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10. The next season of Top of the Lake looks AWESOME.

Interim Nightmare

As referenced last week, my job changed recently and I have not yet accepted my fate with dignity. Warning: Lots of dramatic reactions ahead. A month ago, one of our vice presidents announced that he was leaving for a sweet new job in wine country. Lucky fool! A week or so later, my boss called me into his office and told me that he was going to appoint Lisa (our Chief of Staff) to serve as the interim vice president until the search for a replacement is completed (SIX TO EIGHT MONTHS). I was horrified.

Image result for you can't gifTo say that Lisa is my other half professionally is an incredible understatement. We are in constant contact bouncing ideas off of each other, getting advice, and trying to figure out who was supposed to do that thing that he randomly mentioned on his way to speak at a Rotary Club that one time. We sink and swim together (mostly by taking turns dragging the other one along). Also, she’s just an amazing person and I absolutely love working with her. We laugh a lot (and occasionally have a breakdown together) and she has become one of my closest friends. Naturally, I was not a fan of his idea and I might have had a wee bit of a total and complete meltdown over it. It might not have been my finest moment professionally.Image result for crying gif

Things then got worse when he stated that I would be the Interim Chief of Staff (Lisa’s job) in her absence. And do my current job.

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I had to leave his office so I could collect myself before continuing the conversation because THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE. I had to keep it to myself until he could talk to Lisa in person (she was traveling), but I totally flipped out (behind the closed door of my office of course). And, of course, Lisa accepted the opportunity because she’s amazing and can handle anything. It’s a good move professionally because we are both learning new skills and roles, but it already absolutely sucks with how much more we will both be working (and not even together!). I am still HIGHLY DISPLEASED inside my head about the whole thing.

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I already felt like my work was not as high quality as I would like it to be because I am in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Despite that, we had a good rhythm with our team and mostly stayed on top of it usually. Additionally, my boss prefers to have one of us in most of his meetings so that someone else is hearing the same information and can offer him different perspectives on what transpired during the conversation. Lisa does the heavy lifting on that which leaves me to manage most of the work of projects, research, and reports. It works out well because it leaves me at my desk for more hours of the day to actually get things done while she is gone attending meetings.

We had a workable balance between us, but I don’t know how to do both jobs. I don’t know what meetings I will be pulled into or when, so it’s impossible to plan my day to tackle projects which is VERY STRESSFUL FOR ME. As of now, the only time I can get work done is from 6 am -7 am, or after 6 pm, so my desk chair is really getting a lot of quality evening time with me lately. We are both being appropriately compensated (and were both ready to say no if the number didn’t meet what we each wanted because LADIES STICK TOGETHER) and I’m sure I’ll eventually get it figured out, but I feel like I’m losing it a bit right now.

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To make matters worse, my boss made me move into Lisa’s office which has a magenta wall that actually emits a pink glow for most of the day. It’s WAY too cheery in here. So, anyway, I’m just going to be a bitter bitter bear for the indefinite future. Between this and the Prednisone it is going to be a FANTASTIC time.

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