Tag Archives: perspective

Field Notes on Resigning from a Job

Saying Goodbye

A year and a half ago, I left my accounting job to get married and move to a different town. Last week, I left my teaching assistant position to teach college. While my experiences do not make me an expert, I have made some observations. Here are my top five observations and advice for resigning from a job.

1. If you did a good job and got along well with people, coworkers and managers will be sad to see you go.

2. When you give two weeks notice, be prepared for an onslaught of writing procedures, communicating job duties, and sad faces. As word spread through the high school that I was leaving my last job, people’s faces would fall every time they saw me and remembered I would not be there much longer.

3. Write down the contact information for everyone you want to keep in contact with. You may think you will never, ever forget the email structure or extensions you used every day for eight years, but it only took me a year to get fuzzy on those things after I left my accounting job.

4. People who never seemed to like you or never seemed to notice you may go out of their way to wish you well or to say how much you will be missed. My favorite response is to smile and say, “Why, thank you!” Even while I am thinking, “I didn’t know you cared.”

5. Be gracious. Leaving is not all about you. Celebrations involving food were a big deal at both of my most recent jobs, so my departures were commemorated with snack days and kind words and lunches and lots of attention directed my way. As much as I would rather not be the center of attention, I tried to gratefully accept it all with gracious poise because I knew it meant my coworkers cared.

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Simple, Summery, & Fun

Wedding Planning2

Have you ever planned a wedding? Boy, can it be a lot of work!

I have attended, helped plan, and bridesmaid-ed lots of weddings, so I’ve seen how much work wedding planning can be. Now that we are planning our own wedding, Brian and I have a philosophy that the important thing is the two of us committing to each other before God and the rest is just a party with people who care about us.

We want to enjoy our brief season of being engaged and to spend the majority of our time preparing for a lifetime of marriage instead of for a one-day wedding.

Early in planning, I told him, “I think we need to communicate clearly about what’s important to each of us. If neither one of us has a strong opinion about something, we should pick the simplest, least expensive option or eliminate it altogether. Like, if neither of us care what kind of mints we have at the reception, maybe we shouldn’t have mints.”

“I agree and I don’t really care about mints.”

“Okay, bad example. I care and we’re having cream cheese mints.”

For some reason, he laughed really hard.

We still laugh about that conversation, but it greatly simplified the planning. For example:

  • Our theme (wedding themes are trendy, right?) is simple, summery, and fun.
  • Decorations will be cute but minimal and I will probably delegate them to friends who are better at it than I am.
  • We are having an afternoon wedding because more people will be able to make it a day trip.
  • Plus, a cake reception lets us include more people on our budget than a dinner. (We are going to have a light lunch of party subs and chips and fruit with our family and wedding party between photos and the ceremony, though.)
  • We made our guest list in a spreadsheet so we (read: my mom) could do a mail merge to print address labels with minimal effort. The invitations do not require any folding or assembling, so we will just stick them in envelopes.
  • We chose music we like but that is not particularly traditional for weddings.
  • We will have our favorite cake flavors (lemon and red velvet) and some of our favorite drinks (iced tea and peach Italian soda).

Do you have any ideas for simplified wedding planning?

If you need a fun, talented photographer in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, check out Keri (she didn’t ask me to say that). She is our engagement/wedding photographer and I really like her!

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31 Days of Random Questions – Day 29

How did you get your name? What does it mean?

My parents told me they gave me the only name they agreed on at the time: Abby.

Not Abigail, just Abby, because Dad thought Abigail sounded prissy and he did not want a prissy daughter. It did not really help, but he did try and I was eventually nurtured out of the prissiness.

I get amused when people occasionally call me Abigail. It does not bother me – I view it as a nickname. If they ask, though, I smile and tell them I’m Abby, not Abigail, but they can call me either one.

Abby comes from Abigail which means “my father is joy” or “my father’s joy,” depending on how you translate the original Hebrew.

If you don’t know what your name means, I suggest these two sites:
http://www.ourbabynamer.com/meaning-of-Abby.html
http://www.behindthename.com/name/abigail

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31 Days of Random Questions – Day 23

Who or what do you avoid on a daily basis?
I constantly avoid needless conflict… and I think most of it is needless. When I think something matters more than the discomfort and disharmony of conflict, I try to work it out as quickly as possible and then move on.

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How to Change Your Mind… Or Not

As a sister, a friend, and a collegiate ministry staff member, I am occasionally asked for advice. Sometimes I am not sure what to say at first, so I ask questions. On occasions when I know exactly what to say, I still ask questions. I have discovered that most of the time, people need to discuss it or figure out the answer to their dilemma on their own.

For instance, a common question is about whether or not to reverse a past decision. Whether you are reconsidering a relationship change, a job, a school, or something else, there is nothing wrong with reevaluating decisions, the key is to ask insightful questions.

When you think you want to change your mind about a past decision or begin to think you made the wrong choice, ask yourself these questions:
1. What were my reasons for making the original decision?
2. Are those reasons still valid?
3. Do I have new information that I didn’t have previously?
4. Does any new information outweigh the original reasons for the choice?
5. Does any new information reinforce the original reasons for the choice?
6. What would I advise someone else to do in a similar situation? (Sometimes this perspective shift can help me see around purely emotional reasoning. While emotions are valid indicators, mine are changeful and should not be the basis for decisions.)

What other questions would you add? How do you evaluate decisions?

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Drawing a Blank

On an April 9th in the 1980s, I received what I thought was the greatest birthday present ever: a baby sister born the day before my second birthday. Decades later, I still hold the same opinion.

I tend to remember random events and stories and experiences in vivid detail for a very long time. A couple years ago, my mom (ever the scientist) quizzed me to see how far back I could remember. I was able to recall an entire conversation I had with a family friend before I was two. As I rummaged through my memories, looking for milestones, I grew puzzled. “Mom, I don’t remember going to the hospital to see Sara when she was born. I remember Sally* still in her package but I have no memory of going to the hospital and I know I was excited about seeing her.”

A sheepish look crept across Mom’s face, “Oh. Um, there’s a reason for that.”

“What, you didn’t let me go?”

“Well, you had a cold so when Dad went home [from the hospital after Sara was born], I told him to give you 1/2 teaspoon** of Dimetapp. When he brought you to the hospital, you looked worse. You were kind of lethargic and your eyes were a little glazed. I thought you might have meningitis or something and thought to myself, ‘Oh, no, we’re all going to be in the hospital!’ I asked Dad if he gave you the Dimetapp. He said, ‘Yes.’ I asked, ‘How much?’

‘1/2 tablespoon.’**

So you don’t remember because you were overdosed on cold medicine.”

Units matter, people.

*Sally was the doll I received the next day. She is on the far right in the earliest picture of Sara and me.

**Edited because my mom says it was 1/2 teaspoon/tablespoon instead of 2.

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