Over the last few weeks, I have had the good fortune of interacting with some amazing people and the misfortune of witnessing a couple of grumps, teaching me just why, in the event of a life-or-death situation, we save women and children first.
My streak started with attending a book signing at R.J. Julia’s in Madison, Connecticut for Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices book tour. Ok, so I had to wait in line for hours (plural), leave my purse in a cardboard box being manned by the store’s employees before entering the store and getting frisked by Secret Service, but it was really awesome to shake the hand of such a powerful woman (let’s not get into Benghazi here). Also, it was really awesome to support an incredible local store founded by an incredible woman, Roxanne Coady. Google her to read all the details, but in addition to leaving her career at 39 to open this bookstore, she also founded Read to Grow. If you’ve had a baby in Connecticut in the last several years, you have probably received a book or two from this program. Twenty months later, the Welcome to This World book that I was given from the program is still one of my son’s favorite (it was also the very first book I read to him).
The streak continued when I got a shout out from famous person CHRISTY TURLINGTON on Twitter. You know I love using Charity Miles. And you know I’ve been using the app during my lunch-break walks. The last few weeks, I’ve been walking for Every Mother Counts, a charity Ms. Turlington founded that is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. I was super-stoked when she favorited and retweeted my Charity Miles tweet.
Then I got an email that Connecticut famous political person Nancy Wyman was FOLLOWING ME on Twitter. Ok, I’m just putting this in here for fun. Turns out, it’s just her reelection campaign account that is following me. Wah-wahhhh.
Finally, this past week I traveled out to California for work, taking a too short side trip on the weekend to see a friend from college who just had a beautiful baby girl. I got to see another friend (from a rival college, if you can believe it) as well. The new mom is probably the smartest person I know, and her partner and new father is pretty smart, too – so I’m sure this little bundle of joy is going to lead the world. And my other friend is an amazing engineer, who clearly didn’t internalize Barbie’s anti-math message. The best part of college for me was meeting and becoming friends with such amazing people and these are two of my favorite that I sadly don’t get to see as often as I’d like.
So, overall, the last couple of weeks have been a great reminder of the amazing things you can do with your life. Oh, and during my flights back and forth, I sat next to a variety of young people. Surprisingly, the only one who was kicking my seat was an adult JERK and not any of the handful of kids I encountered. I sat next to one boy whose father was in the row in front of us. He was taking out a pack of gum and reached up to offer his dad a piece. He then looked at me and offered me a piece. You know, that may seem like such a basic thing, but I thought it was incredibly polite of him. On another leg of the journey, I sat next to a pair of siblings. When the plane landed and the crowd rose up to gather their belongings, I sat (stuck in the window seat). The older sibling caught my attention and asked if I needed to get out to get my bag. Again, maybe that seems like a basic thing, but none of the adults I sat next to had thought to ask the same thing (god forbid someone get off the plane before you…) and I thought it was particularly nice of her to offer.
Meanwhile, during the work part of my trip, I encountered a couple of grumps. I thought their behavior was so yucky that I would put it into print. First, the group I was with organized a trip to the local MLB game. I didn’t know very many people in the group at large, and I knew only a couple of people going on this trip. The organizer bought tickets in three aisles together. When I got the ballpark and found the seats, I decided to sit next to someone I didn’t know. As I approached the seat, I said, “Mind if I sit here?” And as I sat down, he, an older, heavy guy, turned his entire body in the opposite direction, effectively blocking me from the rest of the group. Had he not made such a move, I would have introduced myself to him and the other people near him. But what an asshole! I’m not remotely extroverted and I’m certainly not forward enough to do whatever you would have to do to get the attention of someone purposefully facing the opposite direction in order to introduce myself. Seriously, the guy was probably a generation older than me. If I ever was so rude to someone much younger than me, well — I probably wouldn’t be, so I don’t even know how to finish that sentence. It turns out he is also the kind of person who drinks Mountain Dew in the morning. Every morning. So, maybe it’s some sort of nutritional imbalance that caused his rudeness.
I overheard another guy talking about employee dissension among his ranks. He was relating a story about one of his employees, someone he considers a role model to the other staff, someone who works really hard and is really smart (all according to him). But he was miffed that she was offended by her last review. He decided to give everyone the same low score on their reviews. So this really smart, hard worker got a bad review and was really pissed off. And he couldn’t understand that. And that right there, folks, is typical government management. OF COURSE A PERSON WOULD BE MAD THAT YOU GAVE HER A LOW REVIEW WHEN YOU CONSIDER HER TO BE AN ASSET TO YOUR TEAM. But this is a lesson not taught to anyone in a management position in government.
Here’s my conclusion: guys suck and women and children rule! Guys, I’m JUST KIDDING. I’m making broad generalizations in order to make sense of and make fun of some random interactions over the last few weeks. That’s all.