Office rant – who cleans up after you at home?

There used to be a sign in our other office’s kitchen that said “Your mother doesn’t work here so clean up after yourself.” When we moved three months ago that sign did not make it to the new office. I wish it had. Maybe I just need to make a new one.

I want to ask my co-workers:

  • What does your kitchen look like at home?
  • Are drawers and cabinet doors left wide open all day?
  • Do dishes pile up in the sink for days, while the faucet drips a soft “plink, plink, plink” into a bowl with the remains of an oatmeal breakfast hardening in it?
  • Are coffee spills left in little puddles on the counter tops and floor? Are there coffee grounds on  your counters?
  • Does the microwave look like something exploded in it, then got baked well past its desired cooking time?
  • How does your refrigerator look and smell? Are foul-smelling microorganisms growing on food that expired months earlier?

Come on people we are all adults. Remember your mother doesn’t work here. I may be the one that usually buys the dish soap, sponges and dish washing thingy but I am not going to clean up after you.

Another office rant is “If that was so important to print why the hell didn’t you pick it up off the printer?” People print things and they sit for days or weeks before someone (usually me) tosses them in the recycling box. Hello people we live in Portland the “greenest city ” in the USA.

OK, now I feel better.

Holiday clothing project – helping kids in need

I usually coordinate a Holiday giving project for our office of about 65 people. In the last 10 years we have given generously to many area agencies to help the homeless, abused women and their children and kids in need.

I sent an email to all of the local employees in my department on November 19th asking for suggestions for a holiday project. Coincidentally less than a week later I received an email from one of the local Telephone Pioneer’s project coordinators regarding the holiday project they were sponsoring this year.

Subject: CHILDREN IN NEED CHRISTMAS PROJECT. “Pacific View Pioneers has decided not to adopt a family this year, but instead help approximately 54 children in the Gresham-Barlowe School District, who are in desperate need of clothing. Grade levels are from 1st grade up to senior in high school”

I forwarded this email on to all my co-workers suggesting we take part in this project rather than doing our own this year. The need had already been identified, someone else was coordinating and all we have to do is pick a gift tag off the Giving Tree set up in our building’s lobby. Easy as can be!

I picked a 6th grade girl who needs a sweater. I went to Fred Meyer yesterday to buy a sweater and ended up buying three sweaters and a fleece sweatshirt. They were all on sale for 30% off. I decided to go down to the office this morning and pick a few more kids tags off the tree. I went back to Freddy’s and bought 2nd & 6th grade girls coats and gloves and a 7th grade girl shoes, socks and slippers. The girl’s coats were on sale for 50% off, gloves 40% off, shoes and socks on sale too.

Tomorrow I will deliver the purchases to the Pioneer’s store in my office building. I am hoping that many others have selected kids and made purchases to help. It makes me feel good to help others. I am glad to be in a position financially that I can help make a difference for some kids in need. Plus it was fun shopping for kids.

The Pioneer’s Giving Tree

And so the other shoe dropped

with a loud KA-BOOM yesterday. The company laid off massive numbers off sales reps. I have no idea the total number of employees who were laid off. In my little office 5 sales reps were let go. That is 5 out of 16. Also one person that we call a sales overlay was laid off. Nationwide the number must be staggering.

Last Thursday I heard something and saw something else that lead me to believe there were going to some lay offs Monday but I had no idea it was going to be so huge. Primarily the sales reps who were laid off were under performers and maybe should have been gone already.

But when it comes right down to it these employees are people with families. Some of them were friends. It was a sad day and it sucked.

It is what it is…

The day after 3rd quarter earnings were announced the company I work for sent an email to all management employees announcing that there would be no future payments into the pension plan. What is in the pension plan will be frozen at the end of the year. What that means is that my pension as calculated for 12/3o/2009 won’t change regardless of when I retire. For me this is a good thing. I was going to lose my highest earning year and going forward my pension would have been somewhat less because of that.

While I say that this is a good thing for me it is another sign that the economy is not turning around. Everyday some company is announcing more layoffs. One department in my company recently announced a 30% reduction in their workforce.  Some of that 30% is made up of union employees. The company had to give a 60 notice to the union when reducing union jobs.  The management employees have already been let go.

More to follow I am afraid.







How my office is helping Portland’s homeless youths one book at a time

11/21/09 Update: Yesterday 231 books were delivered to New Avenues for Youth. Yeah! Way to go co-workers.

My office recently moved a few blocks up the street from where I have worked for many years. We are still in downtown Portland but there are very different type of people in the area. While we are still located in the core business area there are a couple of small parks in both directions where homeless people tend to hang out. Many of these homeless are young. A co-worker who has come to Portland from Seattle a couple of times asked why there are so many young homeless people on the street. The answer is because the city and county have many services available geared toward the youths in addition to many private organizations. Across the street from the office is  New Avenue for Youths.

What is New Avenues for Youths and what do they do?

Every day there are up to 400 homeless youth from Oregon and Southwest Washington living on the streets of Portland.

At New Avenues for Youth, we are committed to creating and providing excellent programs and services for homeless and at-risk youth to assist them in developing the skills they need to exit street life forever. The New Avenues for Youth continuum of care is broken into four key areas:

Stabilization, Outreach  & Engagement, Early Intervention & Protection and
Skill Building

All four areas come together to ensure that homeless youth have the appropriate resources and support at every stage of their development.

When I was on vacation last month a couple of women in my department ran a clothing drive to gather clothes for the clients of New Avenue.

Then last week a couple of women in my immediate office decided to start a contest between the two sales teams and the sales support team to help support a charitable organization. They sent out this email to everyone on the three teams and a few of us who kind are not really tied directly to one of the teams.

“The benefactor of this competition will be New Avenue for youth GED program. We are collecting books that are required reading for graduation and will be donated to their library.

We have coordinated with Powell’s Books main Burnside location. They are providing a 20% discount for the purchase of new books for this drive. Powell’s also has a large supply of used books available, New Avenues is happy to receive both new and used books.”

Since the original email went out there have been a lot emails talking smack and posturing flying between the teams. Our contest runs until Nov. 2oth. Within the first couple of days the teams had already purchased over 125 books.

It’s all good clean fun competition with the winner ultimately being New Avenues and the future of their clients.

* “Oregon has the highest proportion of homeless people in the nation, according to a new report on homelessness issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”