Focus!

February 16, 2009

I lucked out – I work on Mondays and my office was closed for Presidents Day. It was great for me, but unfortunate for a lot of you who still had work and class. How is it that on a federal holiday, so many schools and jobs and even governments were still up and running? If a college named American University, located in Washington, DC, and ranked the most politically active campus in the country still won’t take a day off to honor Washington and Lincoln, does this holiday even have any meaning at all?

That is my rant for the week.

In other news, last Friday was an eventful day. The first round of appropriations requests were due, so we were filling out and triple checking forms until the last minute, and the stimulus passed, so we were also putting together charts for clients of who gets what. I have my doubts about whether it will be as effective as its strongest proponents say, but what drives me crazy is all the people who voted or advocated against it and are now hoping for it to fail. If you have a legitimate issue with the bill and don’t think it will work, fine. But don’t turn that vote into a giant political bet that you hope pays you dividends if the stimulus fails and allows you to say, “I knew it all along.” If people opposed it for the good of the economy, then it should also be for the good of the economy that they hope that they were wrong and that the bill is ultimately effective. 

Clearly, I lied, and this is a multi-rant week. I’m really a very calm and even-tempered person, I assure you. 

In still other news, I sometimes still feel less than fluent in the language of workplace etiquette. Some things are obvious: no facebook, no flip flops, no falling asleep at my desk. But other things are more subtle. How far in advance do I need to tell my boss that I have to leave early on a certain day? How do I sign an inter-office email? How casual is Casual Friday? What are the rules for going out to happy hour with my bosses after work? How many questions is too many, especially if they relate less to the task at hand and more to lobbying in general? 

These aren’t things I stress about, but I do wonder. It’s interesting to think that as we get closer to graduation, we begin to learn a new way to interact with the new world we’re about to enter.

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