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America, August 9, 2004

I Love My New Job

Cuz there, they know I'm cool

where's wayan?
The Fashionistas
where's wayan?
Thanks Yana!
The Revolution keeps the step
My poster
Hail Moskva!
The Moscow flag
Back in June, decked out in high summer fashion, my friend Yana and I were headed to a barbeque. Her man of the week, the Great Black Hope (GBH), was grilling up a storm and we were hungry for good eats. After a half-hour drive to the 'burbs and minutes before we arrived, Yana took a call from her producer friend, David.

David was filming an episode of the Lifetime Channel's cable TV show 'What Not to Wear' in Washington, DC, and in the last segment, where the friends are to see the couple's new post-makeover look, only one friend showed up.

In a panic to fill in the room so the couple would look to be popular, he called Yana and over my vocal objections, we skipped the barbeque for the filming.

It was the best over-rule Yana ever made.

At the filming, the lone friend turned out to be the senior grant manager for a downtown Washington international nonprofit; the American Bar Association's Central European and Eurasian Law Institute (ABA CEELI). When she emailed me last month to tell me when the program was to air, I noticed her email address and realizing where she worked, turned on the 'Wayan Wants a Job' charm.

Today it all paid off, as it's my first day in my dream job: I'm a grant manager in an international nonprofit in downtown Washington, DC. And as I already have a desk, a pass, and most importantly, am on the office phone list, I'm smiling from ear to ear.

One Month Update

CEELI is turning out to be the long lost organization I've always wanted!

First off, it has an amazingly large gym that comes free with the job. And since we're right next to the White House, I can take my hour lunch to Run Against Bush past his house, around the Washington Monument, and down the Mall to the Capitol Building and back. A nice four-mile mid-day jog.

Then I am working with a United Nations of coworkers, hailing from China, Colombia, Turkey, and Germany in my Finance group alone. Coworkers that understand my fascination with foreign lands and can appreciate my extensive travels across the globe.

Next I had the best compliment I could ever ask for. Two senior managers, guys who command respect and are leaders in their fields, stopped dead in their tracks when I decorated my office. Yes, I have a real office, with a door and everything. No window, but I make up for it with the many plants, posters, and flags. One poster, celebrating the six decades of Soviet achievements, and a Moscow city flag that the two senior managers, real Russophiles, offered to buy on the spot. Yeah, it's a month later and I'm still smiling from ear to ear!

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1 Comment

Eight reasons I think I should get a raise that my boss doesn't agree with (in no particular order):

1)Expertise: My job consists of mostly surfing the internet all day and occasionally quickly switching to a Photoshop document when my boss walks by. I am VERY good at these things, and have many years of experience. Therefore I feel I should be paid commensurate with my abilities to perform these tasks.

2)Endurance: I never leave before 4:30, unless I have a really pressing matter to attend to. And if you don't consider the price difference between a matinee movie ticket and a full price evening ticket a pressing matter, than I don't know what is.

3)Punctuality: Even when it would be completely understandable to come in late because I worked really late the night before (I've been at the office past 6pm on one or two occasions) and REGARDLESS of how hung over I am, I NEVER come in to work later than 11:30.

4)Community: When we hired a new Office Assistant, I was sure to spend a lot of time with this new member of our team, because I know a lot of really attractive women feel distanced and unable to fit in when joining a new work environment. I constantly stood at her desk, sat near her at lunch, and I was even willing to spend time after work helping her adjust to the new office and to the bar next to the new office, but it turns out she didn't feel like she needed the help.

5)Focus: There are VERY FEW times I've slept for longer than 30 minutes on the job. Many days I don't sleep at all! And I feel this really speaks wonders for my dedication, because when you work the long hours I do, it is sometimes only possible to sleep 10 or 11 hours in a night.

6)Standards: a lot of employees rush through their lunch “hour” and end up coming back to office stressed out an unable to fully concentrate on their work because they haven't had a sufficient break. I never make this mistake, and only return to the office once I am sure I am fed, rested, and focused enough to give my work the attention it truly deserves. The fact that this is sometimes not until the next day should really say a lot about my dedication to upholding a high standard of workplace performance.

7)Concentration: I've noticed that many of my coworkers spend a lot of time writing emails, which often look something like this:

If you're using the new GroupSubHeader template in the groupedGrid to display header descriptions... You can hide that row when empty by putting the following under your grid_itemDataBound. using Application.Common.Web.UI.Controls;
GroupedGridItem ggi = (GroupedGridItem)e.Item; if( ggi.Level == GroupedGridItemLevel.GroupSubHeader ) ggi.Visible = ((Header)e.Item.DataItem).Description != null;

and they go on and on like that! Can you imagine the time it would take to come up with that stuff?! Sure, I wish I could spend hours crafting long emails like that, writing funny sections with made up words and gibberish just for laughs, but instead I force myself to be short and concise, like this:

hey, it's 12:35 and I just got in, can u believe it?! meeting larry for lunch in 20 mins, but want to meet up for a beer after that? I should be back at work by 3ish unless you want to catch a flick. -von

8)Honesty: I am not a suck up. A lot of guys on my team are always sucking up to our manager by constantly “showing off” the work they did that week at status meetings, and “answering questions” when he asks them. I would never sink that low, and I think it's clear what any manager should reward when given the choice between that kind of sycophantism and someone who isn't afraid to be honest and make fun of his lisp or his Mormonism.

Pretty impressive, right? In my opinion, we are talking promotion material, which is why I find it very surprising I can't even get a raise or a not fired!

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