I thought about a lunch time meeting I'm having today with a student who is interested in a technical writing career. She wanted to talk to someone who does it for a living to get a sense of what "a day in the life" is like. I wondered if I should open my meeting with her by saying, "A typical day in the life of a technical communicator begins with a ride into work on the city bus, where god knows what you'll hear, but in most cases will provide fairly decent blog fodder."
There are two huge trees at the entrance to the building in which I work that have flowers on them that blow off when there is any wind, which is only annoying when any of them unknowingly land in your hair and stay there until you see yourself in a mirror mid-afternoon, or until someone says, "You have something in your hair."
The bigger problem—at least to me—is the stench. Wikipedia describes it like this: "The flowers grow in small panicles, and in several species have a strong fragrance." A "strong fragrance" is an understatement. It takes my breath away coming in and out of the building every day. If this tree were a woman with eau de toilette on, I'd say to her, "Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?"
I thought I'd ask my colleague, Alan Galloway, what kind of tree that was so I could talk about it here. I knew he'd know, because although he's the Assistant Director of Operations & Data Center Management, he's a botanist or horticulturist or whatever kind of learned person studies flowers—to the extent that he has a flower species named after him! He told me it was an Osmanthus tree.
And in a complete digression, the mention of the word horticulturist reminds me of this Dorothy Parker quote: "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think."
We ended up postponing that "Day in the Life of a Technical Communicator" meeting at lunch time today, rescheduling it for next Wednesday instead.
My work day was pretty much consumed with completing the minutes of the September 8, 2010 University Information Technology Committee meeting. This committee meets every two months, and the minutes from the previous meeting are due out no later than two weeks before the next meeting, which is November 3, 2010.
Work on those minutes was interrupted only to take 75 minutes of minutes in our weekly Student E-mail Implementation Team meeting. Minutes upon minutes upon minutes, as it were.
I finished up the UITC meeting minutes, which had to be out by midnight tonight, in time to catch the 8:13 bus home, and in 15 minutes there, shoveled down two pepperoni rolls I'd bought at the Gumby's right at the bus stop, and primed myself with a bourbon and Diet Coke before heading to dancing.
Dancing was the polar opposite to last Wednesday. Instead of there being a boatload of people there for no apparent reason, tonight there were two other people in the bar who weren't dancers. Pathetic.
It was the adorable bartender's (Matt's) birthday, and Michael had baked him cupcakes and Van (I'm guessing) had made him a personalized card, as well as posters that were up around the bar. And I thought I was special last week. Just kidding. I know I was.
I made a quick run into the Avent Ferry Food Lion on the way home, where I bought coffee and eggs, if you must know.