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“Why don’t she write?”

I was churning out words at a dime a minute from January through September of this year. Then I went to a writers workshop in Oklahoma, and I haven’t written a word since. Until now.

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Theater 3 was a small independent theater group in Dallas that produced the works of Isben and off Broadway. I remember a scene that has stuck with me these past 35 years since I saw it.

The scene is lit in spotlight, a sharp contrast to the dark empty stage,  two men one bleeding, is begging to die. Satan as protagonist,  has just broken the spirit of the heroic actor Bob, yet in a moment of weakness, the father of all injustices finds heart, and rebuilds the courageous, broken hero by instilling within him  an ability to trust his own inner truth. Satan sharing his bottle of Jack Daniels with the hero, pats Bob on the back, and sends him back into an impossible situation, where Bob will of course be victorious.  Satan sits on a stump that emerges in the brief glow of victory off stage,  tilting his face at an odd sideways angle, wipes his forehead with a blue plaid handkerchief exclaiming

“Hell of a job, Hell of a day.”

“One hell of a day. You did a good thing” replies and angelic voice off stage.

“Maybe, Maybe not.” Satan swigs his bottle of Jack Daniels and the house goes black.

excuses not to write

started a book, did I tell ya that, can’t think of why not. I’ve told everyone else. The thing I hate most is the feeling of being 20 minutes away from being able to start something. Like cleaning the kitchen so I can work on the kitchen table. Cleaning the fridge before I can go shopping and learning how to write, making my way through the obscene stack of books I have on how to become a winning author.  

yep I can piss around and not read those too. I find myself, looking at food adds, well I am hungry, but a dr apt in the morning has nixed that, tonight anyway. 

and looking for jobs… yep gotta get one another 20 minutes to create account then log in to another website.

well it’s 3:34 am and I need to rest …. hummmmm.  

new phone trial

This is the test of my own personal stuff

 

… and he was a spy. not just any spy, an undercover one on a trip to China. We had a great apartment concrete blocks painted thalo blue grey and Chinese red in geometric swathes with glass and minimal Ikea furniture.  There was a Lucy Lu woman living with us and I could never figure why.

Until one day she tried to kill us. We jumped on a moped and drove into a dust storm along a road that was battened off for expansion. We made it through the storm finding shelter under a new overpass being installed by workers. Kevin manifested a huge professional camera that looked like a spotlight painted  and started filming the guys on the scaffolding and acting goofy and annoying. It wasn’t long before a woman cop threw him against the wall and roughed him up.

I was begging for mercy for him. She slammed him into walls a few times until one of the walls was revealed a canvas faux front. It was an opening that lead to a vault like door into a blue apartment that looked like a seedy bunker. with Blue and pale yellow walls. It was a blown cover action that covered his trails. Apparently, she’d missed the opening.

Our neighbor Joe from Kentucky was sitting on a bench at a picnic table covered with a cheap plastic  blue and green floral pattered  table cloth drinking coffee. He was Kevin’s handler.

It was a vivid dream. I felt like I’d been to Total Recall.  I wouldn’t mind the apartment. Right now, our own anything would be  nice.

 

 

 

 

 

“Instead of dragging their feet to fulfill a plan that had been imposed on them, the team members left the meeting committed to making the contract work. It would be stressful, but because of their active participation, delivering the goods turned from a nightmare to an exciting challenge.”

The Dwindling Managers Meeting

When Companies neglect basic change management strategies woe be to them that do.

I watched the Managers meeting dwindle, the grant writer with 14 years of experience within the company and demographically a white middle aged woman with a BA who had organized the overall grant procedures distilled the times dates and information in to spread sheets for ease of usage and reporting. She was accused of not knowing her job. Which increased his workload increased due to his “revamping the grant calendar” and him ending up doing the company’s grant reports that he should have been in charge of in the first place …. Which lead to the meeting that could have been entitled. You lazy managers need to do your own reporting…. As if we were not doing it before he forced the grants manager to resign. We ended up sending him the old grant manager spread sheets…. She was not replaced.

Then there was the last year law student accused of messing up a federal grant-reporting audit and demographically a white middle-aged woman with a BA in Criminal Justice and once semester away from her JD. Resigned to spend more time with her family. Replacing her with a 38-year-old  man of color. Who has a GED who was entering his first year at the local community college.

Then there was the manager with a MA, who resigned after 35 years with the company. Demographically a white middle-aged woman with an advanced degree, offering her a lower level job when her department dissolved. She resigned and they hired a woman of color, who told me she has a MA in business administration, the scuttlebutt is that she didn’t finish her BA at a mediocre school, but she’s related to the manager’s wife.

There was another woman, demographically white middle-aged  woman accused of red-lining clients, this was within his first month or so, and hired a man of color who was a find, one of the best managers I have ever known. Score one for the team. Oh that’s right the previous Prog. Manager and the old management team hired him.

There have been some editions, all people of color, placed in rolls that can be easily dissolved and  moved laterally to take over other positions. The last demographically white guy in the company that has no friendship or familial tie to the PM can be shoved out of the way.

Oh there are a few white people left, one an entry-level 25-year-old white woman married to a Latino guy. The other a supervisor a 30 something, married to a man of color ,  who fulfills the grant requirement for education. The 30 something white guy who is the HR manager with a BA in communications who manages the Latina woman who worked in a big tellacom HR department. I could see the writing on the wall on that one. Lastly the Financial dept, who are on contract from a temp agency.

Each manager’s meeting after each manager had resigned the trumped up excuses were given that the manager, neglected, falsified or failed to do some arcane task that affected some unmentioned regulation or requirement. None of which could be corroborated by a paper trail.   It’s just a coincidence that demographically they were all white middle aged women with advanced degrees.

And then it was my turn…

I was sitting in a meeting one day when a guy who was supposed to be a change management expert read a very positive change management topic from a Xerox copy of a book. The text book of a pricey PM course he’d just finished. The course he’d been forced to take. We would be allowed to have chapter by chapter rather than be able to read ahead. Because, we would not understand it unless he prepared us, even though at least two of us had masters and extensive years in mgmt. training and change management.

I digress, His statement was:

“People resist change, and added those of you who do, will not be moving forward with us.”

This is after starting the first three manager meetings of the year with,

“Even after the problems you have all had in your departments. You still have your jobs.” and variants of the statement.

What he didn’t explain is that those problems were directly related to his incompetence as a Prog. manager and lack of basic project management skills that he said he had when we hired him. He’d had a glimpse, and now as a convert was the expert. Perhaps he had begun to see that we did our parts, he didn’t do his and blamed others for it when he missed deadlines. He lost/denied purchase orders for room improvements, equipment already approved in the budge, refused to approve comp time, but we all had to work it anyway. it took me 4-6 months to buy penciles. I still have not been paid for my travel expenses.

After a year of being stonewalled, belittled and used as a bad example in meetings when three of us left with management skills showed any forward thinking. I went home and wept for Drucker, and the weapon that his MBO tool had been used as. Our Mgt team’s suggestion of using 360’s for quality improvement were okay at the workers levels and for each other as managers, but not for lower levels upwards to him as we didn’t have the scope of understanding to evaluate his performance. BTW, I am demographically identifiable a white middle-aged woman with advanced education.

I came into work and quit the next day. I feel so much better.

nope, can’t think of a thing…