Thursday, May 26, 2005

Some Week

This has been some week. I wish I could say it's been particularly nuts, but it hasn't. It's just the same insanity as last week and the week before. The inability for us to get our jobs done because of vendor inadequacies is having a snowball effect on things that aren't directly impacted by the vendor. It's taking so much extra time to follow up, and the volume is steadily rising. Not unlike a broken sea wall trying to contain a flood. I'm managing two and three escalations a day, where prior to mid-April it was maybe once every two weeks. It's taken a toll on all of us, managers and associates alike, and it's a no-win situation. We were forced into a corner, forced to utilize a middleman who can't perform, while both they and we are sorely understaffed (which is documented in our staffing model). And inevitably someone from senior management is going to say "you need to examine your processes and resolve these issues" - as if we actually caused this situation. That last hasn't happened yet, but I cynically think it will by the end of the year. Because, you see, this vendor hasn't performed to contract in two years. And I see nothing to suggest that will change anytime soon. I will do all I can to help salvage the situation. Maybe with the weight of our business partners, who have extremely high standards, we can enact some positive change. In the meantime, however, I'm aggressively putting feelers out to other organizations for whom I'd like to work.

Photography has been a great outlet for my stress, but this week I haven't had any time to play. I did do some location scouting one morning this week. It was disappointing. Norfolk is not particularly photographic, from my point of view. How many damn harbor shots can a person take, anyway? I have to really reach to find interesting things that are out there waiting to be photographed. The botanical garden is glorious and I can spend hours and hours out there. Otherwise, Norfolk is kinda the pits for an ourdoor and landscape photographer. Even the architecture is middle of the road.

Ah, obviously I'm feeling frustrated over my work and my artistic environment. I'm sure they feed off each other. This weekend we'll be working in the yard: building planting beds, clearing space in existing beds, to plant all shapes and sizes of glorious perennials, paving the way for bulbs in the fall. I had a striking realization about gardening. I garden so I can photograph it, because plants and flowers are things I love to photograph. When I broke from photography in '97, I slowly stopped gardening. Now that I'm back into it, I want to garden again. Sure there are lots of positive by products of this...nice yard, lovely flowers for vases, time outside. But it was always a means to an end. I marvel at this need to garden for photography's sake. Otherwise, I simply wouldn't garden. And haven't for eight years. I guess we'll just see if that theory holds up.

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