Category Archives: Work

Friday afternoon beer

I’m curious how much, if any, my friends will drink before getting behind the wheel.  You always hear “Don’t drink and drive,” but I’ve also grown up with the general idea that one can have one drink without exceeding the legal limit, 0.08.  I myself had a single drink and drove afterwards many times in my younger years.  These days, however, I have become more cautious, and I really dislike driving after drinking at all.  I am a 130-pound person who has one drink per week (Saturday night margarita, as a general rule), so I’m not entirely sure I am below the legal limit after even a single drink.  These days, I hit the road for a 30 to 40-minute highway commute.

But the thing is, work culture in this country features the Friday afternoon beer.  At my company, beer is often provided at certain types of Friday afternoon meetings.  Commonly, people meet after work to celebrate this or that work achievement at the local bar.  Am I the only person who doesn’t like hopping in the car after having a drink?

(My new group prefers to drink whiskey, but that’s a whole other set of complaints.  Who likes that stuff?)

Update: According to this chart, I can have to 3 drinks before becoming legally impaired.  That certainly suggests that having 1 drink is safe.  I would feel better if I could conduct a few tests (as in BAC tests, not driving tests).

giving it a go

I hate the way Marissa Meyer is being scrutinized and criticized for her decision not to take a lot of maternity leave.  Meyer has little or nothing in common with the average tech worker.  She is a CEO of a major corporation.  Who should take time off work after her children are born?  Her husband, of course!  Would anyone suggest her male colleagues, CEOs of say Google and Facebook, should take 3 or 6 months off after the birth of their children?  Will Zuckerberg be taking more than a couple of weeks paternity leave?

It should be obvious from my own life decisions that I am a big fan of taking time off after the birth of children.  However, above all, I’m in favor of choices for women and men.  I would like parents to have the option of taking a year off, of scaling back their hours after kids are born.  However, I would also like women to have the option to lean in and let their husbands step up in those early days if they so choose.  My father worked long hours when my sister and I were young; does that make him a bad parent?  If I were the CEO of Yahoo, I might choose to take minimal leave as well.

I’ll be returning to work in a couple of weeks at 50% time.  I’ll work Wednesday through Friday and take a half day on one of those days.  I had a chat with a couple of my bosses today, and after a lot of stress getting this all worked out, I’m optimistic and excited.  I think it’s going to go well.

It’s going to be rough leaving this little angel, though.

Seriously.  She said Mama tonight for the first time.

But I’ll give it a go.

this and that

My foot has been bothering me, so I went swimming last weekend.  It was the first time I’ve swum laps when not pregnant in easily a decade.  At first, it felt so good!  I just felt so tiny and lithe, undoubtedly since the last time I went swimming I was close to 9 months pregnant.  Slipping through the water just felt so effortless and reminded me of why I love swimming.  (It was, however, much more time-consuming than running because of driving to the pool and changing clothes, and given how little time I have these days, I’m unlikely to do it often.  It also cost $16, which I thought was rather a lot.)  Anyway, the second half felt mainly tiring, and I was sore for days afterwards.  When I swam while pregnant, I always took it easy for obvious reasons.  This time, I just went for it and swam as hard as I was able.  It really is a great whole-body workout.  I hope my kids love the water as much as I do.  Swimming at the hospital always made me appreciate another aspect of the water.  It’s such a great equalizer.  There were always people at the pool who were old, injured, and often massively obese.  It was common for people to get to the pool using canes, walkers, or even occasionally a wheelchair.  And of course, there were the pregnant people, like me.  Once in the water, these handicaps are minimized as the effects of gravity dissipate.

It was interesting to be back at work this morning.  As a mom, I’m surrounded by young children and mostly mothers on the job.  We wear shorts and casual attire, and conversation is rather nontechnical.  Today, I’d say 70% of the attendees at the large meeting I was at wore jeans and a blue shirt (including me).  A daring 20% opted for khakis or a black shirt.  The remaining 10% truly went overboard with options like checks or even a green shirt.  I was the only woman in the room I was in.  Another woman was present in an organizational role in the adjoining room, but did not participate.  It was a real change from my days going to and from the park, the library, and the grocery store.  I have been working there so long, though, that it’s very natural to be back.  It’s effortless to switch back to engineer mode.