Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The End of an Era

Okay.  That was a bit dramatic.  It's hardly the end of an era, especially considering the "era" is only a year. 

In any case, after a year of working part time in the Global Insight NYC office for "training" I'm being kicked out. When I first started working in NY, there was plenty of space left in the office for me to work.  Then IHS made yet another acquisition and they condensed the folks from the newly-acquired company and the Global Insight folks into one office. I was sharing the one open desk with another Herold employee who lives in NYC and simply wanted to work there for convenience.  We alternated days. 

Now they hired a new full time sales person in Global Insight, so I have to give up the desk.  I'm back in Norwalk in the Herold office every day soon as is my other Herold coworker.  Tomorrow will be my last day in NY. 

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.  Much of it is work related of course.  Even after a year of supporting the Global Insight product I am still lost.  The website is huge, it covers many vastly different types of information, and isn't always consistent with how it is presented on the site.  Also, if I have a question to ask, there are so many economists working on this research that I often have to email four people in 3 different parts of the world before I finally speak to the right one.  I like being in the office where there is a Global Insight customer support person who is always there to assist me.  It's true I've needed her less and less over the months, but it was nice having her if I needed her.

Working in NY had its conveniences too.  I could eat lunch with Kevin or with my father.  If I was meeting someone for dinner or going to the theather or ballet or some other event in the city, I wouldn't have to take time off from work to get there on time.  Commuting on the train was quite relaxing too. 

On the other hand, it's still NYC with all of the horrors that make NYC the hellhole that it is. 

In the end, what were the pros and cons?

Things I Will Miss About Working in NYC:

Coco Tea, Boi Sandwich, Macchiato Espresso Bar, Dee Daa

The short walk to Book Off, the used book store where I could cheaply buy books and sell them back

Not having to sit in traffic and be able to spend my commute reading and composing blogs on the train

Commuting to work in the morning with Kevin and our kiss goodbye at the bottom of the MetLife building escalator

Being able to have lunch with others who live or work in the city

The ease of being able to go to the theater or similar events after work easily and without having to take time off

Things I Won't Miss About Working in NYC

The cost of all that bubble tea, banh mi, hot chocolate, and Thai food

Getting to the train so late on a summer evening that the only seats left are the ones in the cars that aren't air conditioned

Waiting for the train in the freezing cold when winter weather has caused Metro North delays AGAIN.

Constantly having the rude and oblivious residents almost running me over daily when I walk through Grand Central and to the office

The general stink and heat and crowds and oppressive unpleasantness of big cities

Times Square (which I have to walk through to reach Kevin's office)

Shlepping a huge bag with my laptop back and forth


I really have been neglecting this blog quite a bit.  I am promising myself a blog a week for the summer, no matter how stupid or trivial or controversial.  I need to get into practice writing again (for what I don't know, but I need to get into practice). 

I may or may not be posting all of my blogs on Facebook.  I love to write.  I don't always love to respond to the naysayers.  I try to ignore/delete comments I don't like, but some people just want to get into it, and sometimes I can't resist.  It rarely ever makes anyone happy.  I know I'm a bit wuss for not making everything public, but the blogs are here.  If you want to read them that badly, come and look for them!  I actually haven't posted some of the blogs I have written over the past few months on Facebook.  Some blogs are still hiding out here.*  Whatever does or doesn't happen with them remains to be seen.

I do have some blogs in the draft stage already that I want to post.  I don't know how public I will make them.  I have such a diverse group of friends.  I know there are blogs that some people will hate, but others will love.  Believe it or not, I do actually care if my blog hurts you or angers you.

I really do need to get better with editing and proofreading though.  I can't believe the errors I have seen in recent blogs.  My hands get ahead of my brain when I type sometimes.  Just because my brain thinks it, doesn't mean my hands type it.  I miss a few glaring errors and I am ashamed of myself.   Perhaps more consistent blogging will help with that. 

*If by any chance you are tempted to go through S&C and find out what those unposted blogs were, I just recommend you do so at your own risk.  I didn't post those blogs for a reason, so if you don't like it, I don't want to hear about it.  You have been warned.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Don't Wish You Were a Weiner

Now that Weiner has resigned and the various weiner jokes have died down (too bad - they made me giggle like the 12-year-old school girl I am), it's time for me to examine this whole situation with a little  perspective.

Americans are so strange when it comes to what we demand from our politicians.  We want them to be "just like us".  They can't be too intelligent, or too rich, or too successful, or too well-educated.  They have to be as normal as possible.

Yet when it comes to the moral character of our politicians, we demand so much more from them.  They must be above reproach in every way.  They have to prove over and over again that they are practicing Christians* who go to church every Sunday without fail.  They can't show any sign of weakness of character.  They must be paragons of virtue to all of us. 

I don't see why that is.  Why do we care more about a politician's sex life, which is none of our business, but don't want him or her to be smart or well-educated or successful?  What quality is truly more important to a leader?  The ability to reason, to think important decisions through, to manage money well, to have a strong knowledge of world events, to know the customs and rules for other countries, and to be able to speak their languages - or the ability to keep it in your pants at all times? 

I don't excuse Weiner's actions.  It was sleazy.  If it were my husband, he'd be sleeping in the doghouse and we don't have a dog.  He's not my husband.  What he did was make a bad decision, a bad judgment.  It was just plain dumb.  No one would argue that.  What he did though, was not illegal.  It was an act between consenting adults.  No laws were broken.  It was just a dumb act that one can hope his wife will divorce him over.

Why do we care so much about this?  Why do the media and all of the talking heads want to make scandals like this into national issues?  Why are politicians (and not all of them) resigning over sex issues, but not over things that truly matter to the American people?  Is sending a bad sext worse than Watergate?  Is it worse than selling arms for hostages and illegally diverting the funds to covert guerilla activities in another country?  Is it worse than turning your back on intelligence that says a major terrorist attack on your country is imminent?  Is it worse than doctoring intelligence in order to illegally go to war with another country so you can increase your "political capital"? America, where are your priorities?

The best argument against Weiner is that he showed bad judgment, and therefore will not make good decisions in office.  I understand and even share that sentiment - at least part of the way.  Do you believe the worst thing Nixon did was get caught?  It's legitimate to question the ability of good decision making when someone blatantly does something dumb.  Sure it is.

I still hate to see him go.  Weiner was a pit bull (the good kind - without lipstick).  He truly stood for the right issues.  Perhaps that pot is calling the kettle black, but he was willing to go after the real questionable ethics violations in government.  America needs more people in Congress like Weiner who will stand up for the right causes, who will make sure that president doesn't sell out to the right completely.  I am afraid of who might replace him.

Speaking of ethics violations, was it a coincidence that this all came to light while Weiner was investigating Clarence Thomas?  Maybe I'm just too much of a vast-right-wing-conspriacy theorist, but it always smelled fishy to me.  It seems sex scandals often come up conveniently when a Democratic politician starts going after the wrong crooks.  Eliot Spitzer anyone?  (Yes, I know his activities were illegal and he needed to resign, and yet the man cleaned up Wall Street and since he has left office, Wall Street is as corrupt as ever.)

*You can be Jewish, too, but you can't be one of those liberal, non-practicing, Jewish-by-heritage, reform Jews.  You have to be a regressive, temple-going Jew who buys into the party line.  Conservative and Orthodox preferred, but don't wear a yarmulke because that's too initimdating and weird for normal Americans.