Thursday, October 22, 2009

SURPRISE!!!!! (And hurrah for mediocrity)

Doesn't that word just fill you will excitement, and your mind with a flood of thoughts of what it could be? I think I have an abnormal love of surprises. It doesn't even have to be something important. I can never get enough of them! For me, checking the mail is a surprise! I have three mail boxes, so if one is empty, I have a 66% chance of getting mail. If two are empty, that narrows the odds to 33%.

I have been watching the mail for something for four weeks in anticipation of a delivery. In the meantime, I also ordered three tubes of the very best mascara in the world: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Blackest Brown, and when I opened my mailbox to find a key, I felt a little rush. MAYBE it was the mascara, but maybe it was the something else. It was the mascara (still no special delivery). Finally, today when I opened the mailbox, I didn't even hold my breath while slowly opening the door. I just opened it. I think I have come to terms that my special delivery is not coming.

Things I look forward to during the day: checking my e-mail - you never know what may arrive. I have four e-mail accounts that I keep for different reasons, although I check them at varying intervals. I also have some random other ones I never use. Text messages are usually fun. I love getting one from C, but with my iPhone, I get to read it right away, so some of the surprise anticipation is gone. Voicemail - my work has a phone system where voicemails arrive as files in my e-mail account. If I am in a meeting, I have to sit there and wonder, who could it be? I type the number into the reverse search on MSN to decide where it arrived from. Usually I can figure it out. It's a puzzle to solve.

Listening to The Economist. Now this sounds strange, but I love hearing about the amazing and heart-wrenching things happening in the world. It makes me feel like I am making a difference somehow just taking the time to know about what my fellow earth neighbors are going through, and then I dream about going to those countries and making a difference somehow.

I did receive a surprise this last week. It came in the form of an e-mail. At work I have consistently performed at a jaw-dropping velocity. I am not trying to brag, I am just being honest. My boss said so, her boss said so. . . in fact, my last performance review encouraged me to work less. Well, since working toward my graduate degree, my work velocity has diminished to less than half of what it was. I even dropped the ball a few times on purpose just to let myself see that the world would not end if I did. To my great astonishment, it really didn't end!

Back to the e-mail, our communications specialist sent me an invitation to a special luncheon where excellent employees are recognized by managers for their contributions. It just started this year, and I nominated some of my outstanding writers for consistently exceeding their goals. I was sick at home, and thought it must be a hallucination. When I arrived back at work I asked my manager if there had been some mistake. "I feel like I am being recognized for my mediocrity," I told her. She told me that I was still working at the same amazing velocity, but that it was just distributed in a different way. Well, rather than insult her judgment and intelligence, because she is an amazingly sharp woman, I accepted her decision.

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