Sometimes it’s not JUST an excuse

Ok, I know I’ve missed a few weeks of posting. I know I say “work issues” a lot as an excuse. I know a lot of you think “damn it man, how do we even know you’re really working?” Well, this last week I spent my time at a company retreat/working session/tech conference/happy hour [added that last one entirely based on a joke in an IM with essaytch; credit where credit is due] where we gathered as an organization from around the world (four continents and counting) and took over the Hilton in Downtown Portland. Aside from the Saturday night post-activities activities that will remain both secret and legendary, the highlight for me was the award dinner on Sunday.

I will say that organizational awards, like any peer award, carry a certain amount of politics. I will also say that there were others in attendance who deserved the award just as much as I did. I will ALSO say that it felt DAMN nice to receive. Oh, and I had absolutely NO idea I was getting it, so that made it a really nice surprise.

Anyway, from now on, when I say “sorry, I was busy with work” I’ll at least have something to look at and know that the people who pay my salary and write my performance reviews recognize my commitment and contributions. And really, that feels by far the best of all.

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12 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s not JUST an excuse

  1. Strap that to the end of a long stick and you most CERTAINLY have a weapon. Checked luggage indeed!

    I KNOW!!! So I used the opportunity to buy 12 lbs of Tillamook Cheese… I figured if I was bringing home a weapon in my luggage, I should bring home what looked like six bricks of Semtex explosives with it. No surprise the TSA physically searched my luggage and left me one of those little “we were watching” cards for good measure.

  2. Congrats. What a pretty little trophy to go on your shelf

    *chuckle* Oh Rachel…NEVER tell a man he has a “pretty little” anything…

    My first reaction was to sound hurt and assure you that it’s about ten inches tall…and then I realized that sounded SO bad it simply wasn’t a smart thing to do.

    Yes, it is a pretty little trophy. :-)

  3. Congratulations! And that sounds like exactly the kind of evening that shouldn’t remain secret. Surely you could change a name here and there.

    Which…Saturday night??? Not a chance. What happens at the kickoff STAYS at the kickoff. For the record though, and this is a surprise, I was essentially sober the entire time. Unlike the last few years, I was the voice of reason and adult supervision and not the one being driven back to the hotel before “something even worse” could happen.

    Ok…ok, I’ll give a couple of hints about Saturday: A drunk British guy who had six strong Long Island Ice Teas in under 30 minutes (3 in under 5), a southern Californian who just had knee surgery and was still hopped up on Vicodin, two female tax researchers that played the angel/devil decision-making dynamic like they were born to it, a Brazilian tax specialist who is a TERRIBLE person to take destination recommendations from, a pool hall, a brew pub, four taxis, the skeeviest place I’ve EVER been, a stripper named “Red” with black hair who was wearing electrical tape (sum total of her outfit now described), three elevators, one escape plan, a pair of flip-flops, one hotel pool on the 11th floor, two hotel security guards with absolutely no sense of humor, consecutive bar tabs so large they could have averted at least one European financial crisis, and the Burnside Bridge.

    Also, please note, none of that describes a TR sanctioned gathering or event. We were WAY off playbook and no one connected with or affiliated to my employer had anything to do with any aspect of what I have just alluded to.

    And on a barely related note, I heart Thomson Reuters. By the end of this tax season, I’m going to know all the tech support people on a first name basis.

    I’m curious which TR products and services you use? If you’re using OneSource Returns (now called Compliance) or anything in the indirect tax line, you’re in my neck of the woods. Or Abacus/VAT. Essentially anything related to any element of indirect taxation is my purview, and you’d talk to people I know very well.

    Also, I heart Thomson Reuters too, and not just because they pay my paychecks.

  4. what, men can’t be pretty? and don’t come near me with a 10 inch- anything! scary…

    It’s a very specific line of men that can be pretty, and they’re not likely to show someone with your…equipment list…their ten inch trophy.

    Anyway, no need to be afraid, trophies come in all sizes: little three inch “way to go” participation awards, sports trophies that are almost as thick as they are tall, thin and spindly trophies that curve in interesting ways for an architectural competition runner-up, nice and average sized trophies for anything and everything that are a perfectly serviceable five inches thankyouverymuch, and finally your monster lead crystal spires that stand tall at a majestic ten inches of supreme accomplishment.

    There are also stories of twelve and even fourteen inch tall trophies from the mysterious jungles of Africa…but rumor (or is it jealousy) has it that actually they’re just normal trophies being held by short women with small hands. You know how those trophy magazines are, all photos and minimal investigative reporting.

    [My apologies, that was the worst innuendo-ish thing I’ve ever written. That was like, SNL-on-a-slow-news-week-in-February class bad.]

  5. Regarding your synopsis– Wow. Just wow. Electric tape, really?

    Yep, black electric tape. I had to ask someone who worked there (I was at a significant distance from the performance area and not by accident), the response I got was…well…skeevy is a good word. It applies to SO MUCH.

    Regarding the software, I am TERRIBLE about knowing the exact names of software (Here is what I think we use– Oracle, ADI, PowerTax, Fixed Assets, and a hodgepodge of other task-tracking, time value of money calculating blah-blah-blah programs). I do know that we use OneSource to prepare our tax returns. I know that I have 1-800-FAS-TTAX on my speed dial, and that I go through some kind of phone tree that eventually leads me to domestic tax preparation software assistance. Often (most notably with the preparation of the state returns). And I know my company’s account number like I know my own SSN, which just seems wrong.

    Yay OneSource returns! That’s us. :-) If your company ever decides to automate the tax determination, I’ll be the guy doing the implementation.

    Paychecks are good.

    Amen sister, amen.

  6. Make that p-r-e-p-a-r-a-t-i-o-n.

    Yeah, your first comment got stuck in the spam queue for reasons I don’t understand…but I thought the back to back spellings were kinda awesome.

    Makes me feel like you REALLY wanted me to change that word. 😉

  7. Apparently men of no lines want to work with my equipment.

    I know you’re tired of hearing it, but I’m sure there’s an equipment handler right around the corner.

    I was highly entertained by your innuendos, but I’m also highly entertained by bad SNL, so… yeah.

    There’s a running joke with a couple of friends and co-workers where we try to figure out why it is that I’m not writing for SNL. I’m not trying to diminish the fine writers who have or are working for Lorne Michaels now…but I think I could do that job. I’m not saying I could do it better, but I could contribute to the team.

    According to a book I just read, the trophy cases are typically only 3.5 inches, so even those average-sized trophies should seem impressive.

    The perception of adequate trophy size seems to be heavily influenced by popular media and misconceptions on the part of both trophy givers and trophy recipients. I’ve never known anyone who actually complained about typical trophies, but I have known women who felt that some trophies were simply over-sized for their trophy case and were physically uncomfortable to receive. My personal basis for comparison is rather small, so I can’t make a categorical statement, but I’ve never encountered a trophy case that was ill-matched to a typical trophy in either end of the trophy/case spectrum.

    Despite popular myths to the contrary, I suspect that natural selection has balanced cases to trophies (and vice versa) over the generations.

    Also, I tend to believe that a lot of the compatibility myths are derived from the fact that too many guys think the trophy is the end-all-be-all and forget that what’s really important is how you play the game.

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