Boss is out sick today, so both my mtgs are cancelled (one of which I was presenting). Guess my day just freed up and got more productive.

Coding outside my comfort zone this week: stored procs and SSIS instead of SSRS front-end design. Don’t want to jinx it, but so far so good.

Working from home rather than calling it a personal day. Stuff broke at #work, so I’m tag-teaming with a co-worker to fix things. Yay, work!

I know it’s “only” a Level 2 now, and I’m getting cabin fever from #snow days, but I’m taking the day off. Not ready to brave the roads yet.

I’m still not entirely convinced I’ll be going in to work tomorrow, but I’ll assume I am. Level 3 downgrading to Level 2 at 11pm.

My work is closed AGAIN tomorrow. This is unprecedented.

Well, that never happens: my work is closed tomorrow! This is only the 2nd time in six years. Connor’s daycare is closed, too. Sleeping in.

Level Two

I’ve been harping on myself lately for missing out on writing about current events in my life. Before Connor, I spent most of my evenings blogging or journaling longhand about the goings-on of a given day, or writing in-depth about some tiny philosophical point. Nowadays, I tend to skip past delving into even major life events in favor of a quick 120-character tweet.

Not today.

Today, I got the promotion I’ve been waiting years to get.
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Five Years, Six Months

I so rarely write about my job that I actually did a double-take when I saw that my last entry in this category was while I was pregnant with Connor. I even went back to the old Movable Type installation (still in place for occasions such as this) to make sure something didn’t get missed in the port over to WordPress.

Nope. It really has been that long since I’ve weighed in about work.

Which is funny, since so many of my early entries (2002-2004) were centered around how unhappy I was in my bank gig. In those early days of blogging (early days for me, anyway), I didn’t think about searchability or future repercussions about complaining about one’s job online and naming names.

But I digress. I hadn’t intended to make this a meta-blog post about blogging about work.

I’ve been at my current Data Warehousing job for five years, six months. When I started, I knew zilch about Data Warehousing. My hiring manager told me that my job in the beginning was “to be a sponge.” I was hired to add that graphic design element to the team, to be the person who can make all the hard work on the back end look aesthetically pleasing and well-organized on the front end.

Over time, I was taught all about data warehouses. Operational data stores. Extraction, transformation, and loading. Replicated databases. Incremental loads. I learned about the dashboarding/reporting software we had at the time, and learned how to set up projects and filters and metrics and attributes and reports and dashboards.

After the manager who hired me left the company, somehow my path went astray. I was still to be a sponge, but I didn’t get the opportunity to build many dashboards. I did learn more about ETL and SQL and I got more comfortable with data and report building, but it wasn’t until a couple years later that I got to do any dashboarding outside the initial one I built when I was first hired in. Since then, I’ve ramped up and found my niche.

Now, I’m informally considered the Lead UI Designer on our team (although if I had a new job title, I’d prefer to be a Front-End Developer — avoiding buzz words that might have a different meaning than intended). I’ve worked on my hiring manager’s initial vision of unifying all the DW reports under a single style and “brand,” and I’ve built a total of two dashboard suites (corporate and individual facility views with drill-through reports for each) in MicroStrategy and three in Microsoft Reporting Services, currently in the mockup and specification phase of a fourth, with a fifth on the horizon in Q3.

Not bad for a Visual Communication major who taught herself SQL at her bank job.
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33 Weeks Down, 7 To Go: Baby Transportation

Diana at 33 WeeksThis week’s baby-related acquisitions: car seat and stroller. Both second-hand, both in fine shape. The car seat we got from our awesome friends Doug and Erika, whose daughter has moved up in the world from infant seat to convertible seat. The stroller we got from Once Upon A Child, which we’ve been frequenting for the past several weeks, so we knew when we saw a slightly-nicer-looking-than-usual Graco stroller for $48 that we may as well jump on it.

We ended up with the Graco Infant SafeSeat and the Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe stroller. Granted, the patterns don’t match, but we don’t particularly care; we basically got a $200+ travel system used for $50. Once Junior grows out of the car seat, we’ll have the option of either keeping the stroller or trading it back to the secondhand store for credit and purchasing a lighter-weight stroller that fits in the trunk a little easier.

The only thing we still need to buy that isn’t on our registry is our crib mattress. We won’t know until after our shower how much we’ll still need to buy for ourselves: mattress cover, changing pad, bouncer, pack-n-play, etc.

In other preparations, I’ve been reading craptons of books, asking questions of my parental friends on Facebook, listening to podcasts, that sort of thing. Between all that, the hospital tour, and the impending Childbirth Express class coming up in a couple of weekends, I’m feeling surprisingly unstressed… sometimes. Sometimes I do get into a tizzy of OMG I CAN’T BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANOTHER HUMAN BEING — I’M NOT DONE WITH MYSELF YET, but it doesn’t usually last for long, thankfully.

I’m well into the phase where strangers greet me with either a double-take at my belly or just straight-up asking me when I’m due. I get a lot of “Boy, you’ve probably had enough of this heat!” Luckily, I’ve gotten better with the small talk the longer I’ve worked in an office environment, so I can smile and answer with something appropriate, depending on who’s asking.

My co-worker is due exactly one week before me, so it’s also fun to get comments from other employees from other departments, usually asking about how our boss is dealing with the situation. It’s even better if he’s there, too, so we can get his reaction. Today, for example:

Marketing Bigwig, to my co-worker: When are you due?
Co-worker: September 19th — and she’s due a week after me!
Me: Yep, I’m due September 26th.
Marketing Bigwig, to our boss: And what are you going to do?
Our Boss: Cry.

Priceless.