Posts Tagged ‘teachable’

Don’t Argue For Your Limitations

May 28, 2013

Because no one else is.

Everyone believes you can do this.

What ever this is.

It may take some time to learn a new system, or a new way of thinking, or a new way of doing, of getting organized and I just need to let myself be teachable and learn.

It is just like working at the bike shop.

Except that it is above the bike shop.

It was interesting to see how I felt saying hi to the guys in the shop, then heading off with my friend and new employer to her office to sit down and start in on what she needs me to do.

We were joined by another friend and her adorable dog.

Oh my god, wearing a brown color with pink polka dots, excuse me while I talk baby talk to the pup, too much cuteness going on here.

I am replacing said friend.

I do not know that I am a great replacement for said friend.

She blew my socks off when I saw how she was thinking and what she has done for the business and the skill set she has.

I was quite impressed.

“You’re not enough,” my brain started in.

Shut it.

I just need to sit, ask questions, and absorb information.

I know this process, it sucks, I want to be good right away, I want to know how it’s done right away, I want to be able to do it better than anyone else, right away, and here’s how I’ll do just that.

Except this is work beyond my learnings.

Oh, I can feel that I have a tiny finger hold onto it, I can see from past experience, actually working at the bike shop was a perfect comparison, that my skills are much deeper and greater than I give myself credit for, I just have not organized them yet to this job.

Makes sense, it’s the first time working for a firm like this.

I love it.

When I could let myself love it, I was loving it.

They spoke to me in English, this is already a plus, and I did understand some of the structure behind what needed to be done, I could see the basic needs.  I just don’t see the overall scope of it yet.

Despite it being right in front of me.

It is like a wall of colors and words and fonts and images that have yet to organize themselves in a clean utilized fashion for me.

It is a challenge and I am going to have fun.

Thank God for experience.

Thank God for knowing that negative Nancy-ass voice in my head is not a truth generating voice, it is a fear generating voice, and it lies.


I can do this.

If I can learn how to ride clipless and complete a journey of 569 miles (I don’t care what the route map says, I rode 569 miles) on a bicycle, I can learn how to juggle calendars and use new software that I have not used before.

I can learn how to interface.

I watched my friend multi-task e-mails and two huge computer screens and a mouse pad that’s not a mousepad, but is, and an Iphone and then just lean back and tuck her Mary Jane clad foot underneath her sweater dress and chat about the dog and the weekend and how things are going with this project, I was in awe.

I want to do that.

And I can.

Granted, I have some learning to do.

“Lucy”  I can hear Desi’s voice in the back of my head while she pretends to know how to dance, having snuck onstage in a red and white pleated skirt and samba top with a basket of fruit balanced just this side of precarious on top of her scarf wrapped head.

I can’t fake this.

However, I can fake a kind of confidence in myself that I do not have, but I do, if you catch my drift, until I get the basics under my belt.

I remember when I was working for this small law firm about five years ago and I did not know a thing about being a legal secretary or filing appeals at the clerk of courts office at 850 Bryant, or how to ask for the information the attorneys needed.

I did find out though.

And fast.

One of the partners was blown away that I had the tenacity to ask a set of questions of a potential client, questions that they were going to need to ask, and I just saw what needed to be done and did it.

Same with learning their accounting needs.

Same with learning how a to put my bike together, I have done it twice now.  I can break it down and set it up.  Granted last time I put the front wheel in backwards, but that got fixed.

Ok, sure only after riding it for three days, but it got fixed.

“Yeah, I took it in to the shop this weekend and ended up behind the counter at one point helping a customer and I felt good, but I knew it wasn’t the right spot,” I said.

“I like being of service but I don’t like being passively aggressively manipulated with flattery into doing something,” I continued.  “I found myself uncomfortable with how I was approached and how dismissive it was to be asked to work for them again via text, but then never have a sit down face to face offer made to me.”

We really want you to work for us but cannot summon the courtesy to have a cup of coffee with you to discuss our needs and your needs.


“So you’re learning what flattery is and you were able to see passive aggression in someone else, that is progress,” he said to me outside of Cafe Flore on Market street.

“Yup, and I suppose I could have said hey, yeah, I’ll work for you, this is how much I want, even though I know they would never pay it, I decided I did not like being treated the way I was being treated and did not even ask what the pay rate was, I just passed and said no thank you.”

“You are growing up,” he said, “how’s it feel making adult decisions?”


But kind of weird in a good way.

I bet lots of people don’t know what they are doing when they start out, I’m starting out at something and I would not have been asked if they did not believe I was good, that I have potential, that I can be of service.

I have all those things.

I have been asked to do lots of things that I thought I would never be able to do because some one else said, “I think you would be good at this.”

My potential is always recognized by someone else.

Not me.

But at least I have stopped saying it out loud.  I paused and sat and listened and took notes and I am going in on Friday and look at that, I am suddenly working every day this week.

I took myself to Herbivore for a little dinner celebration of one.

I looked out the window onto the Valencia Street corridor and thought of how far I have come and all the things I have gotten to do and now am getting to do more and I felt overwhelmed and awed and scared, but scared in a good way, an exciting way.

A life changing way.

Just keep saying yes and move out the way.

This is my mantra.

I can do this.


Brain Break

November 11, 2011

Sadly enough, my best time at work today was when I was mindlessly feeding in spoke cards into the laminating machine.  My poor little brain got a much-needed break.

If I were to do that task very often I think I would crack from boredom, but it was the perfect task to help me close out my day.  My general manager even noted it, that it’s sometimes nice to have a little noodling kind of task to let the brain rest and recharge.

He also re-iterated that I was exactly where I was supposed to be in regards to learning that job and that even he, having been with the company for two years, still gets overwhelmed with everything.  The business is growing that rapidly and apparently everyone is struggling to keep up.  That was nice to hear.

I know for fact that I had more than a few instances where I must have looked like a deer in the head lights.  I also made one trip to the bathroom in tears.  Although I am fairly certain that no one noticed that.  At least I’m hoping not.  I was able to get it under control and go back to the tasks at hand.

And unfortunately “ass man” was not in the building today so I had no one cute to flirt with.  A few customers that were worth looking at, but I had my head down for so much of the day, I don’t think I even registered anything other than what was in front of me.  A few times I just looked down at my feet and said, ok, the next thing you do here is walk down stairs; then you are going to put this box down and pick up that box, then you can worry about not knowing how to do that program in the computer.

I am definitely having a crash course in how to manoeuver around on a MAC.  This is a good thing as I have a MAC.  I think the most I currently do with my computer is write my blog and check my e-mails.  I also down load movies and tv shows to watch after I finish writing my blog.  On tonight’s viewing menu–Grey’s Anatomy, Top Chef, and yes, get your hater on, Americas Next Top Model.  I don’t know why I like the show, but I do.  There is some guilty pleasure to it.  Maybe it’s that the outlandish drama of it makes my life seem normal.  Who knows, but it’s currently ready for me to get my blog done so that I may recline with my laptop and watch some stupidity (it’s not reality tv, stupidity tv seems like a better moniker).

There was a little while there when I first got my computer that all I used it for was to watch movies I rented from Lost Weekend Video.  I was basically using it like it was a VCR.  I have slowly, oh so slowly begun using other aspects of it.  I have Ipages where Baby Girl lives, Iphoto where all my photos live and Itunes–my music library.  I know there are lots and lots of other things I can do with the computer and I am beginning to learn them.

God, I remember when I was excited to get the Columbia House package in the mail with my cassette tapes.  Remember those?  Madonna, INXS, and The Police where some of my first purchases.  I had an old fashioned, huge, boom box and I would crank it up and dance around my room.  That was technology for me.  Or my Walkman, I remember getting that and just being astounded by the ingenuity of it, my first cassette tape?  Michael Jackson’s Thriller.


So, when I think about it, I have come a really long way with my computer skills.  In fact I was telling some one about how the guy that I went on one date with keeps googling the blog that I wrote about that date, I know this because I can read the track backs on the blog and see the search engine terms that were employed to find it (his name and “a date with”).  She looked at me in wonder and said, “you are so tech savvy”.

I just about fell over.  I do not feel tech savvy whatsoever.  I am however learning and I keep telling myself to be grateful for this experience.  I know, know without a doubt in my mind that once I get down all the systems at work that I am going to be a rock star there.  I can see it.

It reminds me of when I first started working at the Angelic Brewing Company and they used touch screens with the Aloha system. I could not keep up  I had been used to being the General Manager of a restaurant that was still using paper tickets and the absurd little receipt paper rolls (I just learned yesterday how to use the Squared App from Apple which allows you to run sales applications on your Ipad or Iphone–I’ll be using it at the SF Bike Expo, it is amazing.) that constantly needed replacing.  Before long I was whipping through the touch screens so fast my fingers were just a blur.

That is what will happen here.  I repeat, that is what will happen for me now.

Fortunately, I remembered this and I did not talk myself out of my job today.  I have had a few moments where I think that’s it, I am a fraud, they need to just hire some one else.  Then something will click and I get it and I’m e-mailing and doing and sending out packages and in-putting into Quick Books.  I just have to keep practising patience with myself and keep showing up and doing my best to be of service.

Sometimes that’s just acknowledging a customer or smiling.  It does not all have to be accounting and computer.  Sometimes it will be feeding spoke cards into the laminating machine and staring dumbly at them as they slowly pop out the other side of the machine, warm to the touch and ready to slide into the spokes of some one’s new bicycle.

And God, let’s not forget the bicycle.  They are beautiful.  They really are.  And I do want one, I really do.  I will wait however, until I know where I am living.  Ah, yeah, that.  Three weeks.  I move into my temporary housing in three weeks.  I still cannot quite fathom that.  I’ll probably put off thinking about it for another week or so and then it will raise its little head and holler at me to pay it some attention.

For right now the only thing that is about to get my attention is some Tyra Banks.

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