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Toy Factory

January 17, 2013

A week or two ago, I was talking with a coworker about our mutual frustration with trying to do our own writing at home after a day of working on other people’s writing. I suggested that we start a lunchtime writing group so we’d get something done in the middle of the day before we’re exhausted. And then I kind of forgot about it. But apparently the coworker mentioned it to a few other people. Yesterday, the very quiet toymaker who sits behind me — she’s fairly new and I don’t know her very well — came up and asked about it. She’s a fellow academic with a job very similar to mine but in her own discipline. Like me (and unlike the majority of our coworkers), she’s got a kid at home. That was just the push I needed. I found a conference room and booked it for the lunch hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays and invited a few people I knew were interested. And today is our first meeting. We’re hoping that the group setting will encourage us to keep at it. And I suspect making time for our own intellectual pursuits during the day will add to rather than detract from our work for our jobs. We’ll see if it works.

All of a sudden, I’m seeing the impact of my work at the Toy Factory not just in my own corner but elsewhere. I’m realizing I’ve been a bit of a troublemaker. Coming into this business with no real knowledge of how it worked, I spent a lot of time asking my two favorite questions: “Why?” and “What if?” And there are a couple of areas where I see other people now doing the work to answer my questions. I’m seeing things change. Part of me feels guilty. But part of me is a little proud too. Who doesn’t want to make their mark? I just hope I’m right about these new ways being better.

Other things, though, are troubling. I’m starting to take on some new projects and I’m beginning to suspect that one of them was taken away from someone else who may not have been ready to give it up. This person is someone I know and respect and if I’m right, the decision wasn’t made because of any problems but out of a desire to ease the workload on this person. But regardless of the reasons, no one likes that to happen without input. It’s making things a little difficult at the moment. I’m confident that they will resolve themselves eventually, but right now, the person is avoiding me, which is making it difficult.

While I suspect it’s not very interesting to read these things, it’s interesting to write them, because these issues that consume me during the day, seem so very mundane on the electronic page.It’s reassuring.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. eleanorio permalink
    January 17, 2013 12:51 pm

    I find your musings very interesting, especially the part about making an impact on your workplace larger than just in the cubicle where you do your own job. I would like to see my method of vocal pedagogy do that. One student today, whom I actually worried might try to resist my very hands-on approach, actually was amazed and overjoyed at my explanations, as she had never understood the process before. Perhaps I will never see the results, but maybe my methods will get spread beyond me as well.

  2. January 17, 2013 1:22 pm

    Actually, I’m interested, too — I suspect because I work in an office, too.

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