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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Little Things Make a Big Difference

Friday night I was pretty shaken. Dealing with one project going badly was one thing, but I had my entire year laid out before me on the Zimbra implementation, and then the Microsoft takeover of Yahoo news broke and I lost my anchor. First, we chose Zimbra over Exchange for three big reasons:
- open source
- standards-based
- Mac & Linux friendly
None of those reasons are values that Microsoft holds. The future looks pretty grim. Worse, we'd just offered the job to Jo-Ann, so not only is my world rocked, but I just got a good friend to jump from the stable, smooth-sailing ship she was on to my ship, and then it got hit by a torpedo before she even moved all of her stuff in. I feel pretty bad about that too because we've both been through too many layoffs over the years together, and the Zimbra project is funding her position, so if things get really bad, we may be there all over again, only this time with me having drawn her back.

Add to that the emails about my "suggestions" and having to be direct and forceful about the training plan and feeling like all my late late nights were totally unappreciated and that it was all spinning my wheels, and well, I was pretty fragile.

Kev said he was coming to FNW, but when I asked about dinner, he already had plans with Rachel at home. Karen and Crystal were sick and not headed to FNW. I needed dinner and I needed to walk away from my desk, so I headed out to Palo Alto around 7 to find it. I parked in the garage nearest FNW, grabbed my book, and started walking. Everything looked packed. I didn't want loud and bustling. I wanted quiet and safe. Finally, I wandered back and forth a few times between Il Fornaio and CPK. I finally sucked up enough courage to tell the maitre'd that I wanted a table for one. He frowned (per expectation) and said there was room at the counter. I asked if they served the full menu in the bar. "Oh, yes." Okay, so to get a table there. Headed for an empty table in the back corner, Becky said, "Oh hey Ammy."

Becky and Sam were having dinner. Rattled out of my quest for quiet, safe dinner in the corner, I interacted with them, and we decided to reform a table in the corner and they'd stay while I had dinner. (They'd just finished as I was walking up.) I ordered what they'd had and got to hear all about Becky's crazy day and got to tell about my crazy day and Sam told us about the Federal court document system that charges eight cents per page to download court docs so that you can print them. (Still not sure how they justify that rate per page to download. Freaky.) We shared a nice Zabaione alla Gritti for dessert. It was just the right thing. At quarter to nine we were headed to FNW and I felt much much better.

Dancing was good. Cathartic. Even though all I'd wanted earlier in the day was to go home and hide under a pile of blankets, I knew even then that getting out and dancing would be the right thing. I danced (glided, flew, swirled, and swooped) and talked to good friends and came home feeling much better. It would all rise up and grab me again later, but for a few hours and with the help of a few good friends, it took all of my cares away.

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