Friday, November 5, 2010

Backup Vocals, Joyless Meetings and a Kitten on My Shoulder

I started this post before dawn on Friday. I'm supposed to be getting dressed to leave for work. But I've got a kitten on my shoulder and it's just too damned cozy to leave yet.

My morning routine goes this way: Wake up, double check the clock to be sure I really am supposed to be awake before the sun comes up (sadly, I am), go downstairs followed by my much-loved old cat, whose goodness is equalled only by his girth, enter the kitchen to find the other three cats, who do not appreciate his sweetness, clamoring for their breakfast, too.

Everyone eats, (Boris, the kitten and the light of my dark mornings, cannot be predicted - he will either attack his breakfast with gusto or ignore it completely), I make coffee (only a push of a button thanks to the lovely man who loves me), then I go to my computer, sip coffee, check email, Facebook and maybe the day's headlines.
It's a comfortable way to start the day, particularly when Boris finishes his meal and jumps onto my shoulder to knead his paws in my hair. It's a bit awkward, as I need one hand to support him, but it's so cozy that it's well worth a bit of discomfort.

The hard part comes next - walking away from all that, getting dressed and going to work.

I will not gripe about work. I am grateful for the paycheck and I'm incredibly lucky to have gotten a job with a substantial pay raise when many are losing their jobs and their homes.

Here's what I will say - I sat on a meeting on Thursday so horribly dead, so uncomfortable, that it took a real act of will to make preparations to go back to that place again on Friday.

This is what happened: it's a monthly meeting about matters important to my place of work. I attended as an observer for the first time. What I witnessed was a roomful of people not only serious, but sour. I have spoken with many of them individually and they're not that way at all....yet this group had a dynamic so sour that I could imagine their mouths puckering.

They reacted to questions from each other with thinly veiled disdain, they offered information with an "I hope this is okay" plea in their voices; it was a roomful of worried people. Their worry had nothing to do with the content of the meeting; it was their interaction with each other. They targeted one person in particular for a universal sniff of superiority, and that person has been part of these meetings for years. It should have been held in the Google eggs...might have been much better!

I walked out when it was over, nearly ran down the stairs and out the door to breathe some fresh air.

It's not always like that, but some days it is. I don't like it one bit.
But my arrival home was greeted by the news that my composer/musician partner needed me to sing some backup vocals on a track he's working on.

Let the celebration begin!

I love to sing, though I think my voice is of the "that's very nice, dear" variety. It can be strong if required, it's generally on key but I'd love to have a distinctive growl or SOMETHING that sets it apart and makes it memorable. But I have what I have - and fortunately it's good enough for some support work on my guy's records, which is a treat beyond treats for me.

So that horrible, nasty, discouraging meeting was blown out of my head by donning a pair of headphone, cozying up to a microphone and singing along with my guy.
The next day, more Boris-ing in the morning.
I guess the trick is to dwell on the good stuff.


Ruth said...

So funny how people are different. I feel deprived if I get up after the sun. :)

It really is tough to leave the coziness of home and go to work some days. How cool that you get to record with your man! Way fun.

Interesting how similar our moms are. Seems there are quite a few of their generation who are similar.

Whitney Lee said...

I am not sure I could make myself get up before the sun on a regular basis and still manage to be a nice person. Of course, I have the advantage of staying at home with my children which means I don't necessarily have to get out of my pajamas!

I understand what you mean about your voice, but not everyone can have that 'distinctive' voice. There has to be the strong, supportive voice too. And you must admit, half of the people with distinctive voices struggle to stay on key so you're one up there...
What a lovely end to a crummy work day!

You are right, I think. When you can't change it, dwell on all that is right.

Susan said...

Ruth - I cannot imagine voluntarily waking before dawn every day, but fortunately we're not all the same.

Whitney Lee - I'm fortunate to have an hour drive to wake up and become human. The absolute best job in the world, in my opinion, is staying home with kids - something new every day, lots of laughs, hugs and wonder. Enjoy every minute!

Reya Mellicker said...

Singing helps everything. As for bad vibes in meetings - oy vey. There's a technique I know that smoothes energy in meetings. Email me if you want to hear how it works,

You're so good, getting up so early, getting out there, bringing home the paycheck. I salute you.