smooth jazz

Working, and dinner?  Awesome!
I didn’t really intend it to be, but this entry ended up pretty much being a play-by-play of my day. That’s cool really, since I haven’t done that in a while or anything. And, today was a good day… got a lot done.

Today my phone at work decided that it would start playing muzak to whomever I put on hold. I have no idea why it started doing this, our phones aren’t programmed to play hold music or anything. In fact, I’d say at my job, we rely on our phones not playing music while on hold. A good portion of my meetings are comprised of attendees from across the USA, and the four corners of the globe for that matter. With so many people of varied location, the majority of the meetings I attend are phone conferences. Since I’m on so many teleconferences, I quite often have to put a meeting on hold to flash over and answer the other line or make a one-off call. If I’m on a meeting with twenty or thirty-off people, a Kenny G rendition of “Moondance” blaring for all to hear when I have to put the meeting on hold is not exactly cool.

As soon as I put the meeting on hold today, a coworker who sits a few cubes down from me and attends the same meeting shouted “Dave! Are you playing music?!” Since this particular coworker is insane to begin with, I shrugged off the seemingly insane comment. But – when I went to flip back over to the meeting I’d placed on hold, they had dropped me. Somehow, the operator ID’d the offending line and disconnected it. I have no idea how my phone got muzak, but a few simple tests with Sharaun and other friends at work verified that it did indeed. Such an odd thing to have happen, but also kinda delightfully hilarious to me. All day I wanted to flash over on meetings for no other reason than to liven up a particularly boring moment with some smooth jazz. Hell yeah y’all, nothing like some utterly vanilla and inoffensive Dave Koz to rile up a meeting. Who knows how to party? Huh? I said who?

After work, I had a “working dinner” scheduled to go over a presentation I’m preparing (and giving) jointly with a coworker. I’ve never really done a “working dinner” before, but when my co-presenter suggested it I jumped on the idea. A good meal, perhaps some tasty ales, and some time to sit around and talk candidly about our material. It also affords me the opportunity to look a bit important, or at least to feel like I may look a bit important. Both of us sitting in the bar, laptops open on the table as the keys click away. Later we both crowd around a single machine to work on “integrating” our material. It’s amazing to me just how much productivity with people can improve once you’ve invested some time in developing a non-work relationship. If you can chat as friends and also know how to get serious and knuckle under on pressing tasks – things go much smoother in a high-pressure work environment. In my “Working With China” class, they told us that the Chinese have a word for this very concept: guanxi. In this respect, I think the Chinese have it nailed. It’s all about the relationships.

Even though I felt pretty bad for abandoning Sharaun on what is only her 4th day after surgery, I really needed to sit down and get this work done without much distraction. Turns out she’s doing amazing in terms of recovery: already walking without crutches (only a pronounced limp), off the painkillers, and even driving. So she headed over to Melissa and Anthony’s for her repast, which worked well toward assuaging my guilt. So, after wrapping up what ended up being a really enjoyable meal filled with some 44-odd ounces of Fat Tire, I headed home. Only, when I got home, I remembered that Erik & Kristi still have my housekey (I lent it to them so they could do a stealth flower delivery before Sharaun’s surgery, thanks again).

Locked out, I called Sharaun and explained my predicament, and she agreed to head home. In the meantime, I was stranded in the garage. So, I fired up a little desk lamp for light, turned on the little jambox that lives in the garage to find Chutes to Narrow, and practiced my doubling-in on the dartboard. Four or five songs and a marked improvement in double-hitting consistency later, the garage door sprang to life and gave me a start. Even thought it was cold outside, and I kinda had to take a dump, and I had to pee out my beer in my own backyard – playing darts and listening to the Shins to pass the time while locked out of my own house was fun.

Check it out, I think I stumbled across Pitchfork’s “working” version of their delayed new site layout: I, my friends, am some kinda talented hacker. If this is indeed their new layout, I was kinda hoping for something more drastic. The dates on the files look right, but I dunno.


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