When the job gets physical

I have a rather sedentary job which involves computer work, a lot of typing, listening, thinking, talking, storing a lot of information to be able to throw it up at the right time, in the right form, or to connect the right people or the right dots, etc. I no longer travel very much and don’t get to meet people a lot to conduct my work. I do not have any RSI hurting my wrists to prevent me from typing, and I love my job and care enough that I happily spend hours at my keyboard. I have a lot of stamina.

But the other day, I had been at my desk for several hours reading feedback and input on Social Media on some very controversial work that W3C recently completed, when it hit me: shaky hands, heart beating a little too fast steadily, and the dizziness. That slight tingle in the back of my throat and nose, the faint metallic taste and smell. It lasted a few seconds. I didn’t faint, but I know the signs.

I carried on with my day but later thought that my job had gotten physical.

For #IWD2017, A Day without a Woman

international women's day logo


International Women’s Day (March 8) is observed world-wide as a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women (or, as commemoration of the struggle for women’s rights.)

2017 marks the 109th observance of the day.

2017 marks my 1st observance of the day.

How will people observe the day?

I have heard that some have decided to participate by taking personal time to not come into work (volunteering instead for any cause related to social, economic, cultural and political change for women); other people may wear red and/or support women in other ways; and others have suggested that men handed over public speaking to women (cf. Kozlika’s 8 mars, la parole aux femmes.)

How will I observe the day?

I found via my friend and colleague Amy that on Wednesday 8 March, a follow up is planned to the January’s Women’s March: A Day without a Woman.

“A Day without a Woman” gave me pause. It resonated with me.

Considering that I have a lot on my plate at work, I thought of a day mostly without me [at work] that I will implement in the following fashion: I’ll do my work in stealth mode, so I’ll set myself away in IRC, will write or reply to e-mail only if necessary, will not attend WebEx meetings.

I hope to feel inspired in the meantime to produce or create non-work to #BeBoldForChange.

You can help perhaps? If you have a hunch what I might be good at, please, drop a suggestion in the comments.

I support a day without a woman logo

Doing something else –but what?

These days, I wish I knew other things so I could consider a career change. Instead, I often long for something else, brood, and sweep the thought away to do what I have to do, because that is a better use of time and energy.

I suspect it would be easier if I knew what else I’d like to do. Even better if I could readily do other things. As to learning new things, well, I don’t feel like I’m up to the effort, and I have not the faintest idea what.

I like my work, however, and so find puzzling that I should yearn for something else. The work is varied, challenging and interesting, the people are wonderful, the mission is a constant inspiration.

Perhaps it’s the long hours. Budgets have been shrinking, and so has the size of our team. Our workload, on the other hand hasn’t. Quite the opposite, it seems. Perhaps it’s the fact I have been around almost 16 years. I have been so lucky to progress in several teams and assume various positions. I’ve been in the team I’m in now for almost 10 years, full time for 7 years, and I have done so many different things and am doing so many other different things that it is truly mind-blowing. No, what I mean is the absolute time it represents.

The Consortium is twenty years old. It’s marvelous it’s still there, and its agenda is full to the brim. If I were to change jobs, wouldn’t it be perfect if it were before I’m in my forties?

Aha! I get it. This is a sort of mid-life work crisis, I’m having. Perhaps.

Sur le terrain vague de l’ancienne laiterie

— Arrête de crapoter ! s’exclame-t-il, passablement excédé.

C’est un jeune garçon, il semble, dont la voix n’a pas mué. Il s’adresse à un autre garçon, dont la voix est encore plus enfantine.

Il y a un collège pas loin d’ici, alors ils se planquent sur le terrain vague de l’ancienne laiterie, à l’ombre des chênes, pour partager une clope. Ils sont juste derrière l’épaisse haie au fond du jardin.

J’aimerais apparaître devant eux et leur dire de crapoter –mieux, de jeter leur mégot, leur paquet de clopes et leur briquet, et d’aller se démarquer différemment. Faites du hip-hop si c’est votre truc, les gars !

Alors qu’ils continuent une conversation lambda, je songe à mes années collège.

Si un adulte est apparu alors que je clopais dans l’allée contiguë à la sortie de l’école, je l’ai oublié. S’il a parlé, j’ai oublié ce qu’il a dit. J’ai même oublié avec qui j’ai commencé à cloper.