Good evening from a very humid New York.
The last time that I wrote, there had been a big, news making, steam explosion across town. Since then, our friend Mother Nature has been supplying the steam.
Unlike the rains and flooding that have ravaged you all across the Atlantic, our weather is still relatively normal for this season, but still has that insistance that reminds me of why summer is not my favorite season. Just standing on a subway platform waiting more than seven minutes for a train can be a test of one's ability to transcend one's environment. I always carry a book but sometimes that is not enough!
I have been trying to keep up with what all of you have been writing, and admit that I am falling behind. Summer lethargy is a lame excuse, but I will raise it, anyway. It is so delightful to see pictures of your gardens and their beauty.
Although I do not have any summer vacation (holiday) plans, I am gonna take a week off during August, and have been managing to grab an extra day off during the most recent weeks. It is quite fine to have that time off, and the chance that it provides to rediscover my true identity.
However, I find that when I return to work, I face a collection of pile ups that make me ... almost ... reconsider my decision to have that third day off each week.
The shop continues to make and exceed its monthy sales goals, so we continue to share the bonuses. I continue to think that an extra staff member would allow us to extend that glory.
We have gotten our August collection on the sales floor, and it is being well received, even in the heat of late July. Airconditioning and its faux season atmosphere is so strange. We are wearing at least one item each in a light-weight wool. Crazy.
Last week I attended the monthly Focus Group meeting at which we discuss and evaluate the styles from the prior month's collection. I truly enjoy these encounters, because they bring together folks from many departments of the company, and we can really hear each other's thoughts. The meetings last for about two hours, and never seem quite long enough.
My days off did allow me to finish the latest H. Potter book, so if anyone ever wants to assemble a group of those who have read it, I am ready. (We call the stairs that lead to the shop's basement stockroom the "stairway of forgetfulness," as it is frenquently true that one's mission leaves one's memory on the way up or down that flight of stairs.)
Enough of this happy talk. Last week I learned that my assistant manager, the new mom, has elected to have an additional two months's (unpaid) leave, and therefore will not return to the shop before late October. This is not a big surprise, but I admit that I am surprised that she did not give me any personal call/heads up/whatever prior to making her official application to the Human Resources folks to get approval of the leave extension. I know that, if our roles were reversed, my inclination would definitely have led me to talk with her.
So...instead of having my official assistant back in the shop before the end of August, I now face the possibility of having to return my "acting" assistant to her proper shop at that time and then to face an unknown. Rest assured readers, that I am on the case, and do not fancy myself as a martyr. My acting assistant would love to remain in the shop with me. And I will have a serious conversation with the HR lady tomorrow about how to plot the future. (Deep in my heart, I wonder if the new mom and husband might actually be wanting to relocate away from NYC during the next months, as I know that they have done some scouting around various other parts of the States prior to starting their family.)
At midday today, I had my television on to see the joint press appearance of Pres. Bush and P.M. Brown. Mr. Brown showed good manners. Mr. Bush showed his usual usual. As someone who has prior experience in political campaigns, and is still a bit of news junkie, I have to say that right now I just despair. This site is probably not the appropriate place to say any more.
There are many other work-related bits that I will not detail, but there are enough of them to keep me from really getting back into my artwork. I have at least been filling a page or two in my sketchbook. And today, I did take the camera over the the Shakespeare Garden area of Central Park for a few snaps.
If all goes well, I will try to post another picture of one of my still lifes, and some flowers from the Park.
I wish you all very pleasant dreams.