Bottom Drawer

A coworker just came up and asked quietly, “Can I borrow some of your alcohol?”

As I slowly leaned over to my bottom drawer, he goes, “No. This one,” and then took two squirts from my hand sanitizer.

Truth? I have rubbing alcohol in there with a first aid kit. But I like to keep them guessing.

Lock It Up

We don’t need no lock!

My boss made a comment about the locks being removed from the Paris bridge.Word on the street is that a section fell into the river, narrowly missing a boat. I think that’s the safety issue officials are using to remove the locks.

Of course, I spoke up to share my thoughts on the whole thing, praising the decision to remove the locks, and speaking how ridiculous it is for couples to do that. It’s so gross. Many locks are rusting, and gunk collects on them. I am not a fan of the practice and am glad they are being removed. Peace & love to all those who left a lock, but Martin and I just went with tattoos instead.

(You know where this is going, right?)

My boss smiled and was like, “Yeah. My wife and I have a lock on there.”

Bring Your Parent to Work

 

[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]I [/dropcap] took my mother to work with me earlier this week. She commuted with me via car, Metro subway, and taxi, got to sit in my office, shake hands with my supervisor, chit-chat with my coworkers, and take in the view of the Capitol Building from the top floor. She also met up with one of her childhood friends from her small Texas hometown. They first met in first grade and stayed classmates all through high school. Now, her friend works just two blocks away from my office, one of the folks responsible for the Capitol Dome restoration.

Small world, right?

Frankly, I think there should be a National Take Your Parent to Work day, just like the day for children, but for the ones who raised you. (After I typed that, I googled it. It’s an actual thing for millenials.) I think my mother got a kick out of seeing what it is I do, where I spend my hours, how frenetic the pace here is in Washington DC.

I made plans with her to do it again with my new job in Germany. 🙂

*******

My mother and I were going through my closet, and as she pulls out one of my print shirts, I said, “I bought that before realizing it’s a little too old-lady for me.”

And she goes, “Sweetie, you’re over 30 now. I think it’s just fine.”

Social This, Social That

 

[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]I[/dropcap] bumped into Paul — a good friend and former colleague of mine — while attending a social media summit at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House earlier today.

Paul and I worked together for a few years at the Pentagon, when I was still active duty in the Air Force and he was a contractor. After my deployment, and after senior leadership realized that an Airman *could* blog about her deployment and not ruin the military, I was put on the team (which included Paul and my girl Moe, and JV, and others) that ultimately wrote the first policy on social media for the Department of Defense.

These days, the both of us work for the same department (but different agencies), so it’s not too unusual to cross paths. This time, it was at an event with a bunch of other federal workers from across the government, all who specialize in the communications, data, and information career fields.

It wasn’t very different than other workshops I’ve attended before (or participated in, like this one HERE, or HERE, or most recently, HERE).

There were three panels of speakers, all professional communicators, who shared some success stories and lessons learned from their sites and organizations. It was a great opportunity to meet others in the field and put some faces with the names I see in emails and various correspondence across the Internets.

My dad has said more than once that he always hesitates before telling people what it is that I do. Of course, he hesitated over the past year when my department was in the news all the time for a certain website and all that jazz.

“Why can’t you work at NASA?” he’s asked. “People know what happens at NASA. I wouldn’t have to explain.”

But he also admits he isn’t really sure how to explain what I do because public affairs specialist can mean a lot of things.

Each time he says that, I remind him he wouldn’t be wrong to just call me a professional communicator. I take official information and I relay it to the public in a variety of ways.

There’s a little bit of marketing. A little bit of PR. A lot of program management. A lot of writing. A lot of multimedia. Sometimes traditional media. And as the summit summarized today, social media and data, too.

All for the government.

And always for the people.

And most of the time, I work with some really awesome people like Paul.

And sometimes I get to take pictures like this one …

 

 

Metro Doors

 

This happened yesterday.

I work on the same floor as the Secretary of HHS, and she’s hosting a brown bag lunch for HHS interns in the formal reception room, which means the hallways are filled with anxious young adults eager to make good impressions.

It was hard to miss them as I raced to the elevators to get lunch, barely making it to the closing doors in time. But I stuck my arm in, the doors slid open, and I jumped inside. I don’t know if it was my badge, or the bags under my eyes, the way I lean in, or the gray hair, but the six interns inside the elevator suddenly went quiet and stood up a little straighter as I made eye contact.

“So, these elevators have sensors?” one girl finally asked. I turned and answered, “Oh, yes. These will open for you. The Metro, though? Those doors don’t have sensors, and they WILL amputate your leg.”

This was met by polite giggles and nodding of heads.

The elevator reached our cafeteria, and I nodded at them as I stepped out first. Just as I turned the corner out of eyesight, though, I heard another girl cautiously ask, “Um, has that really happened? Will the Metro REALLY amputate your leg?”

#interns

Farewell, Friend

Everyone should have a friend and colleague like Kaya … even if it means the eventual heart-wrenching task of saying goodbye when such a great person lands a sweet new job, and leaves you and your daily routine of chitchat, coffee, and outstanding data analytics interpretation!!!

Hark, but my grief is brief. Her new office is across the street and she’ll still use the same Starbucks.

Party on.

Coffee Bar

I no longer have a candy dish at work. I have a coffee bar with four fun creamer flavors.

The coworkers I like are free to help themselves to this! The ones I don’t, 50 cents per creamer. 😉

Julie Rocks the House

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I spent Saturday standing in line in Bel-Air, Maryland answering a “House of Cards” open casting call for extras of all ages, shapes, sizes, and types. I first heard about the opportunity on Facebook from the DCist, and reposted it asking my friends if anyone wanted to go with me, even though I’ve never seen the show.

Truth: I didn’t think anyone would take me seriously because I wasn’t being serious myself. Continue reading