Scraptacular #1 – odds & ends

One of the New Year’s Resolutions I’m acting like I made – although I’m on record as not making them – is “no blogging at work.” I can check my feeds when I need a break from what I’m doing, I can leave comments on other people’s posts, and I can even make notes for posts I’d like to work on – but no actual composing or posting. It’s been less than a week so far, but it seems to be a good move; my focus is better, and I’m getting more of what I’m paid to do done (which is really how it’s supposed to work, I guess). But while I’m not blogging during the work day, I’m still finding blog fodder to talk about – I just don’t have as much time to do it.

So, given that, I present my first “scraptacular” – bits and pieces that have piqued my interest, and an opinion or two, during the last several days of cruising the blogiverse.

An article in this past weekend’s New York Times talked about how two historically top-tier professions – law and medicine – seem to be losing prestige. It’s suggested that other careers that require less schooling and preparation, yet are potentially more satisfying personally and financially may be more attractive to today’s young adults. Michelle Goodman remarks that a perception of “prestige” probably shouldn’t be a major factor in career choice, and applauds the shift toward “flexible, creative, entrepreneurial work.” Working Girl comments that “The generation raised to believe that the sky’s the limit is naturally going to be the generation that sets high standards for job satisfaction…Kids nowadays want to start their own businesses and make it big–fast and soon. Some decry this as an unwillingness to ‘pay dues.’”

I see workplace bloggers state pretty often that Generation Y isn’t into the whole “paying dues” concept, and that they’re going to be the ones who change everything about how the workplace operates. A couple of my thoughts on this:

  • One reason Gen-Y is expected to “change everything” is their sheer numbers. There was a huge generational group before them – the biggest demographic chunk up to that time – that expected to change everything too. They changed some things, and some of what they changed became the new culture. Some things they didn’t change much at all. Sometimes I wonder if Gen-X adults are dropping this “change” mandate on Gen-Y as a way of getting back at the Baby Boomers for leaving so little for them. (Full disclosure – I’m in that Boomer/Gen-X cusp group known as “Generation Jones.” Whatever that means.)
  • If young adults don’t want to “pay the dues” and put in the time, I’d rather they didn’t go into medicine either. I’d really prefer a doctor who has paid her dues, thanks.

I’ve never considered myself particularly goal-oriented, at least not in a big-picture sense. Short-term to-do or tasks lists are a necessary tool for me (like it or not), but I’ve never had a “five-year” plan or anything like that. I also do better with lists that are short and manageable.

I’d seen mention of the “101 in 1001” list somewhere recently, but really didn’t know what it was about until I read Madame Meow’s post about it. As explained here, essentially it’s a not-quite-three-year plan:

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part)

It doesn’t seem that the tasks need to be done sequentially, so you could be working on several at a time. If it’s true that it takes about 3 weeks to set a new habit (see item #4), you could change approximately 47 habits, one at a time, in 1001 days. That would leave you well short of completing 101, though, so you really would have to multitask.

Intriguing concept, but this is another challenge I don’t think I’ll be joining.

If you’ll need to name someone soon, or you just find names an interesting topic, you can check out the newest list of Top Baby Names. Verbatim spotlighted the top 10 recently, and Pop Culture Junk Mail links to the full list of 100. I enjoyed Gael’s comments on the full list, and agreed with most of them.

Some people are happy to find their own, or their children’s, names ranked high on the popularity scale. Others are appalled. With a name like mine, I’ve never really had to be concerned one way or the other.

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned that I joined Facebook not too long ago. I haven’t spent much time there, since I’m very wary of its potential to eat up time, and I have enough things in my life that do that already! (My son’s girlfriend did let me “friend” her there, though, so I guess she didn’t find meeting his family over Christmas after all.) But I’m being very seriously tempted by Scrabulous, the online Scrabble game over there. A few of my Facebook friends are playing it, and Scrabble is somewhat of a tradition in my family, so I’m really thinking about adding the application to my profile. I haven’t done it yet, though, and would love to know the thoughts of any Scrabulous players. The B-Side Blog (found via Franklin Avenue – keeping up with my locals!) is of the opinion is that it’s at the top of the list of “Facebook applications that should die,” but I’m sure not everyone would agree.

And speaking of social-networking-type things, I’ve added links to my profile/bookshelves on both LibraryThing and GoodReads to my blog sidebar (if you’re getting this post in a feed reader, you’ll have to click through to the blog to see them). If you’re on either one of those book sites – or both, unless I’m the only one who’s that nutty – look me up if you and your books would like to connect! (The same goes for Facebook, by the way.)

btt button

  1. How did you come across your favorite author(s)? Recommended by a friend? Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?
  2. Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Short answers: Any or all apply to #1. It’s hard to remember how they came into my life; I’m just glad they’re there. And in most cases, we hit it off from the very beginning. For stories that are far more interesting, go to BTT.

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  1. Thoughtful post, Florinda. Spectacular, not crapular! I want to read it a couple more times and think about it. The 101 in 1000 thing was especially intriguing. Hadn’t heard of this. Thank goodness for you, F, who keeps me up to date in Kansas City.

    (If that reference doesn’t date me, nothing will.)

  2. WG – I thought I was keeping you up to date in Seattle. 🙂 That reference is from one of my favorite musicals, by the way.

    I’ll look forwards to your sharing more thoughts on all of this stuff…it’s “scraptacular” because it’s made up of “scraps”, and I’m into the self-deprecating-humor thing.

  3. I don’t usually have time to spend on personal stuff at work, but lately it seems like I have had more than enough. I’m kind of enjoying having the downtime, but I know that will change very soon. My agency is entering one of its busiest times of year. Of course, we do have more staff which could impact that. I told my manager a couple of times that I didn’t think we needed to hire anymore supervisors, but she listened to the lazy ones who are overwhelmed because they don’t actually like to work and we got the extra help anyway. I think my boss thought I was joking. :-S My little vent for the evening. 🙂

  4. Literary Feline – My busy time is coming up too (end of the fiscal year), so I really do need to stay more focused for the next few months!

    What sort of “agency” do you work for? I’m with a family-and-childen’s services agency in L.A., but in admin/finance, so I don’t do any of our “real” work. 🙂 But if your agency is like mine, you may not have that extra staff help too long – we’ve got social-worker-turnover issues.

  5. I work for a similar type agency. In my particular office the turnover rate is relatively low and we are set to hire new staff in the next couple of months because of new positions that have been created; I don’t think we’ll see a staffing issue any time soon. You never know, of course. A couple of my coworkers applied for promotions and if they passed the test and are offered positions, that may change a little.

  6. Literary Feline – Staff stability is a nice thing, both for the staff and the agency’s clients. Some agencies do better with it than others – at mine, some programs are very stable, and others almost have a revolving door.

  7. That’s true for us too–that revolving door for some programs. I’ve worked in programs within my agency like that, unfortunately. As much as I complain about my current job now and then, I’m really lucky to be where I am right now.