Thursday, December 28, 2006


The week between Christmas and New Year's always arrives with an odd feeling. It is a time of everyone reflecting on the end of the year, shopping and gift giving is pretty much over, recovery from the BIG holiday is done, and only those last minute things of the year seem important enough to tackle immediately.

I've been accomplishing quite a bit at work this week - coaching and coaching and then, yes, some more coaching! Sadly, I've gotten to a point where coaching is being used to avoid writing reviews because I just don't want to write them (plus, I find it hard to write them when the entire team is there asking for attention). I should probably hole up in an empty office with my iPod and crank the four reviews out, but I don't. Ah, I'll do it Saturday. Nothing like the absolute last minute.

We're running on bare bones staffing this week when it comes to management. If I counted correctly, there were four supervisors out of twelve in the building yesterday. It gets to be a bit of free reign for all of us, doing whatever we need to do without approval.

I did an interview last night and hired the applicant on the spot. It is nice to actually have good candidates. It does also sound like we're going to try the evening training program again, which means my January and February will be hectic work months.

I wrote the other night, after Christmas at my parents, that there was something nice when I got home. I meant to write this out on Tuesday evening, but never got around to it. Finally, after a month, I opened my email to find a letter from Andriy. It is a nice letter, simple in parts and completely proper in others. It is really cute. I had asked him in my previous emails to explain his job and he did. Now, while I love my job and I am passionate about my team at work, I realize that in perspective, he works harder, longer, and deals with more life affecting issues.

My inquiries about his position focused on whether or not he held an elected position or if he was part of a team that was elected. As it turns out, he is appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister to assist the Governor. The Governor is not elected as we would elect Governors, but is appointed by the President. Andriy is responsible for all duties the Governor would do when the Governor is not present. He is kept very busy at work, dealing with political and law related issues of the oblast (similiar to American states), regulartory matters, coordinating actions when disasters strike, land issues, forest-and-wood issues, internal affair body issues, and dealing with judicial institutions. Busy, busy, busy! Steve read the letter and I commented, "It makes our jobs look a bit easy, doesn't it?" He agreed.

One of the perks of his job that I would adore is the ability to travel. In one year, he's visited five countries plus traveled his country quite a bit. He went to Ireland. I want to go to Ireland. Very much so. As he describes all of his duties and responsibilities, he is factual and detailed. Then he follows up the description of his travels with a simple statement, "I like trips."

In typical form, Andriy tells me about his work mostly. It is where his passion lies and that is what he shares easily. He does mention, "In general, everything is ok." There are holiday greetings, well wishes for my family and myself, and a request to hear from me again soon. There is also a promise of another letter after the holidays (Ukraine starts celebration on New Year's and has Christmas in January). He mentions taking a trip to the mountains to get away for a few days. I would love to escape to the mountains for a few days. Minnesota doesn't have mountains.

It was a nice letter to read on Christmas and of course, in my typical fashion, it just creates more excitement for me. A trip to see him is a goal of mine and could be a possibility in 2008.

Lioness said: No no no, 2007, seven, SEVEN! It must be next year! I will keep my fingers permanently crossed for you, believe me, all crossed and twisted and fused together. It must come to be.

Teri said: 2008 is too far away, I agree.

CarpeDM said: Hmm. 2007. Is it doable? That would be awesome but I can also see why it would be difficult to manage. I got to see the email, nyah, nyah, nyah. I am not sure why I have decided to gloat over that but there you have it - proof positive that I am a dork. Hey, so when are you going to do some coaching? See you chica-chee!

Joe in Vegas said: The trip could be sooner, after all you only need to buy a ONE WAY TICKET.

Mother of Invention said: Nice to see that at Christmas! You never know...your trip may come sooner than you think!

Udge said: Definitely 2007. Carpe Diem and all that.

CarpeDM said: No, no, no, Udge, she's suppose to Carpe Andriy, not the Dana Marie!

Frustrated Writer said: Wow, that seems like a long wait. Go sooner.