Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Off-Kilter Days...

There are just some days where, no matter how much you force them, things just don't happen the way you plan them. Something feels off-kilter, not quite right and even though you try to continue, it just doesn't go quite right.

At the moment, I'm trying to send out a query letter to agents. I sat down to do this a while ago. I have a good query letter, I just wanted to find some agents to whom I could send it. It seemed like a great idea in theory. In practice, it turned out that perhaps tonight was not the right night for it.

It started with my computer. I have a Dell Mini and a desktop. As much as I love my Dell Mini, it seriously lacks memory and I'm currently limited as to what I can do with it. I really need to get a new memory chip for it but at the moment, there are bills to pay. My desktop is a nice machine. I've had it for a while. The trouble is that it's running really slowly. There are some days when I open up some windows and the whole thing just freezes and churns for about five minutes while it unfreezes itself.

Somedays, I can just walk away and let it sort itself out. Other days, I really need to use the computer and I get very frustrated. Simply opening a Microsoft Word document causes my computer to panic and I have to wait until it's ready to show it to me. Tonight, it did that during every stage of my attempt to get my query letter out. Then, it turns out that though it used to be that agents only wanted a query letter, they now want at least a synopsis and usually the first three to five chapters. This is all well and good but it takes a lot of time. Also, I haven't got a synopsis for my novel yet. I just have to write one. So I thought, "hey, I'll do that!". No such luck. My computer froze again. Then when it let me type, it was lagging so badly that I had typed a sentence and had to wait for a while before the sentence appeared.

So, I thought I'd edit my first three chapters and get them ready to send out. Same thing. It took a while to open the file.

I think the only way to deal with it is not to deal with it tonight. I had a goal to get ten letters out tonight but, alas, I think I'm going to have to be patient and make sure I get everything right. If I do it in a hurry, I'll end up screwing something up. I just have this sense of incompletion because I had mentally told myself I'd get it done tonight.

This week has felt a little off-kilter in general. I don't know if it's because it's the first week after the holidays but things just seem a little off. It's all silly little stuff. For example, yesterday, I thought I'd dress nice again so I pulled out this gold blouse that I've had for a while. I had a matching hairband so I thought I'd match the two to look coordinated. Then, when I got to work, I realized that instead of looking sophisticated and smart, I looked like a giant, shiny gold blob. My blouse was not flattering in the light of the bathroom mirror and my hairband did not match as well as I thought. Sometimes all it takes is a bad wardrobe day to make you feel off-kilter. For me, that was yesterday.

Today, things were thrown off-kilter by an impromptu staff meeting. Every time we get an invitation on our calendar to an impromptu meeting, my heart races a little. I consider it Post-Traumatic-Impromptu Meeting disorder. My entire first six months at our company were filled with impromptu meetings where we found out that our being sold was not going well and, most likely, we'd all be unemployed. As I've said many times, fortunately things worked out. Yet, the impromptu meetings always left us frustrated, stressed, angry and worried. Even though things are better now, the old fear comes back when we're told we have to be at a staff meeting.

Today's, fortunately, was not too serious. Well, it probably was to people who, uh, care a bit more than me. It was a meeting to discuss the financial state of our company. Basically, long story short, we need to make a lot of money. That was pretty much the entire summation of the hour and a half that the meeting took. There were a lot of numbers in there, spreadsheets on the overhead projector, that sort of thing. I sort of listened but I'm not really a numbers type of girl. I tried to listen but there was a period in the meeting where I realized I had completely zoned out for a full five minutes. I'm not talking daydreaming type of zoning where you can still hear the drone of our president's voice. No, I'm talking about that scary 'not-in-that-room' anymore type of zoning that almost felt as if I'd been asleep. I know I wasn't asleep because I spent the time writing a query letter in my head and figuring out how to go about finding agents who might be interested in my novel. It was quite a productive five minutes. Just not so much in terms of the actually meeting. By the end, we were all told at the end that we need to work hard and we're all responsible for the company's success.

I think I'm helping the company in my own way. After all, as one of the lowest paid employees, I'm not taking a huge chunk of the budget, so that's a good thing. Also, I didn't cost them a new computer so another bonus point to me! Also, now that I'm not allowed to do anything but work, I no longer waste frivoulous time enjoying my job by having a quick surf on the Web every now and again. I think I'm actually doing my part to help the company.

All sarcasm aside, it was a bit of a weird meeting. Tomorrow is going to be, likely, another weird day. We did get an updated Bad Weather Policy from our HR manager. Basically, it boils down to the fact that we can only work from home if we're physically unable to make it to work or there is a level 3 snow emergency. We have to ask our supervisor first though. Since my supervisor told me two days ago that he didn't like his employees working from home, I know we can only ask sparingly. Of course, it didn't stop my boss from leaving early and working from home tonight though. I suppose that's why he's the boss.

Nevertheless, tomorrow should be interesting. It's supposed to start snowing after we get to work. I'm not that worried anymore. If that's the case, if it gets bad enough that people are leaving, I can monitor the conditions and see if I should leave or not. I do feel sorry for the commuters though- if driving is going to be as horrendous as the weather forecast states, I would NOT want to drive home on roads like that. Hopefully, they can get a break and do what's safest for them.
I suppose the week began on an off-kilter note with the Awkward Bagel meeting. Then the next day was the Giant Gold Blob of a Monkeypants. Today was Impromptu Money Meeting and tomorrow is going to be Big Snowstorm Day. I'm not sure what Friday will hold but given the way the week's going, I'm sure there will be something.

I'll just have to remember not to wear that shirt again.

Happy Thursday!

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