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New 500 Songs: Maybellene

Apr. 22nd, 2019 05:35 am
[syndicated profile] andrew_hickey_feed

Posted by Andrew Hickey

The new episode of A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs is up. This one focuses on “Maybellene” and Chess Records, and covers key signatures, contracts, and Lil Nas X.

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Guest Reviewer

TW/CW: Discussion of child sexual assault, sexual assault, child abuse.

Dear Bitchery,

I want to tell you about an incredible public art project and public healing event – The Monument Quilt. It honors and tells the stories of survivors of sexual violence, similar to the AIDS Memorial Quilt. After 5 years of organizing, the entire quilt, made up of 3,000 stories painted and sewn onto red fabric, will blanket the National Mall in Washington DC on May 31 – June 2, spelling out the words “not alone” and “no estas solx.”

One of those stories is mine, painted and sewn into a 4’ x 4’ red cotton square. I’m going with my husband to see it displayed and my best friend is meeting us there. And I hope lots of other people will go too. Which is why I’m writing this. Because it’s cool and you should go if you can.

I was uncertain about asking SB Sarah if I could write about this for SBTB, since it really has nothing to do with romance novels. I’m delighted that she said yes because this blog is one of the places where I’ve practiced being more open about my experience as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Reading and sewing are also two of the things that have sustained me for most of my life, since I was old enough to learn both skills. So it seems fitting that I’d write about sewing for a romance blog.

I saw a display of monument quilt squares in Chicago in August 2014, during the Monument Quilt’s first city tour.

Cleo at the Monument Quilt display in 2014.

It was incredibly moving; I knew then that I wanted to make one myself and so I did. There’s really no way to distill into words how meaningful it was to me to work on my square. I’m a fiber artist and I grew up in a house filled with quilts and other textiles made by women I’m related to. There’s a certain type of love that comes through some handmade textiles. I feel it when I wear the sweaters my mother and grandmother knit or sleep under a quilt made by my mother or somebody else’s mother. And I put love into my patchwork square; love for myself, love for the other survivors in my extended family, and love for all survivors out there.

Cleo's cat, a white and brown cat, resting on squares of pink, red, and burgundy fabric
Cleo’s cat helping choose fabrics. Photo credit: Cleo

The Monument Quilt is organized by an activist artist collective called FORCE; Upsetting Rape Culture. I’ve been incredibly impressed with their work on this. I like that it’s a survivor led project. I like that they support and respect survivors of all genders, identities and orientations. l love that they’re using art to talk about and to create a true culture of consent.

Cleo's square, with offset stripes of patchwork fabric going from white and cream to pink, then red, burgundy, darker red, and black at the top it says dedicated to app survivors may all victims heal may all children be safe
Cleo’s Monument Quilt Square

I’m excited to be going to DC to see my square and to bear witness to the entire display. And I hope some of the Bitchery can make it, too.

– Cleo

Sarah: I am not sure I can communicate how touched and honored I am to be entrusted with this letter. Thank you, Cleo. Your square is achingly lovely, and I’m deeply humbled that you’ve shared it with us.

For more information about the Monument Quilt and the display, you can visit The Monument Quilt website. The quilt will be on display, as Cleo mentioned, May 31-June 2, 2019. Per the website, “this will be the only time the quilt will be viewed in its entirety.” There are links for more information, opportunities to volunteer, and options to help spread the word.

And finally, the folks behind The Monument Quilt and UPsetting Rape Culture asked if I’d add this information as well: “we are still working hard to raise another $100,000 and need all the help we can get.”

You can make a donation at: https://upsettingrapeculture.wedid.it/

Lost in Interpretation

Apr. 22nd, 2019 02:50 pm
steepholm: (Default)
[personal profile] steepholm
No doubt you have been feeling thoroughly abandoned as far as my Japan blog is concerned, and not without reason. My busyness has continued without let over the last week, and the present opportunity – as I travel north into deepest Touhoku on a shinkansen bound for Aomori – is the first I’ve had in about a week, when I’ve been both a) awake and b) alone (except for all the other passengers, but we try to give each other space) for a few hours together. In short, I’m an introvert who’s been living the life an extrovert, and my admiration for the latter has only increased. How do they keep it up?

Still, when I think that I came here four years ago for the first time knowing nobody at all, I'm certainly not going to complain.

As luck would have it, there are some experiences I can skip over quickly, either because they’re things I’ve written about before or because they don’t make for a spectator sport. One such is my second visit to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka last Monday. Two years ago, I went alone. This time, having ordered the tickets on the internet months in advance at 1am (effectively the only way to do it) I was with Mihoko, Satomi, and Mihoko’s honorary nephew, Mark, born in Tokyo to an Anglo-American couple, and – having lived in the States for a while – trying his luck at working in Japan. I think I would be thoroughly confused if fate played such a game of blind man’s buff with me, but he seemed anything but deracinated. We had a good time, and although Tokyo was still going through its seasonal 三寒四温 (three [days] cold, four hot) we were lucky enough to hit on a spring day that fully justified my flowery new espadrilles.


This was followed by dinner at Miho’s, where her husband Hiroshi – having cooked rather delicious tendon (that’s tempura on rice, not, er, tendon) – made me go pink with pleasure by commenting on the improvement in my Japanese. He’s not the kind of man to pay such a compliment lightly. (That said, my Japanese too is 三寒四温: sometimes I think I’m really “getting” it, at others I can hardly resent the well-meaning “There-are-chopsticks-inside” that I just received from person who sold me an eki-bento. A lot depends on how tired I am.)

I don’t think I’ve mentioned here that I’ve been collaborating on/contributing to a book on Lucy M. Boston’s Green Knowe series. It’s Miho’s project, really: she was the one who introduced me, not to the books but to the house and its chatelaine, as avid readers of this blog will know. Anyway, she asked me to check some of the Japanese contributors’ English while I was here, which is largely what has been taking so much of my time. On Tuesday, that time was spent very pleasantly at the house of her colleague (and old schoolfriend) Keiko, who is a designer specialising in soundscapes, and whose beautiful house in Suginami reflects her designer’s eye.

We met behind Tokyo Joshidai, my old stamping ground from 2017, whence we walked past a tiny farm owned by yet another of their high-school chums. Keiko bought some vegetables, paying using the honesty box – which was pretty impressive for what is, after all, relatively central Tokyo. This system is not at all uncommon in Japan, but in the UK I’ve seen it only in the countryside.


Then we went through a park with a lake with an island, said to be the habitation of a kami, though if it’s a shrine it’s an unofficial one. The reason for the holiness (or its main manifestation, if you prefer to look at it that way round) is a spring, which kept the village watered in former times. As we passed, a family walked past the other way, and I heard a young boy say (slightly petulantly) “神様が見えない”, which might mean “I can’t see the god” or “The god is invisible,” but given the note of complaint I suspect the former.

We will pass over the editing work, but check out the lovely interiors!


Wednesday morning I met with Philip Seaton, co-organiser of last year’s Contents Tourism symposium, in Musashi-Sakai, a bit further west than Mitaka. It was good to see him again, and talk about possible future collaborations. He told me quite a bit about life in Japan for a foreign academic, as well, and for the father of child with autism – which is not all plain sailing, you may be sure. (I was reminded of this a little later in the week, when my friend Yoshiko told me about one of her PhD students who has complained about having to sit in a class with a wheelchair user. Admittedly she thought the student was out of line, but I can’t imagine any PhD student in the UK even voicing such a complaint.) On the plus side, his son’s autism partly takes the form of an obsession with the layouts of department stores, and thanks to this he was able to tell me that in Japan – and perhaps everywhere? – there are never any toilets on the ground floor. A deterrent, I suppose, to casual urination. This is a useful life hack.

I went on to have lunch with my friend Yuki, after which we wandered the shrines and cat-focused shopping streets of one of Tokyo’s more traditional districts, Yanaka. I was particularly happy to find a little shrine where sakura and wisteria (aka fuji) were in bloom together, like a little Spring miracle.

Sakura and Fuji bloom togetherDSC02510

As I returned, I was met by Junko, my landlady, who was suffering a heavy cold and was a bit flustered because a new guest (she thought from Indonesia) had no Japanese, and would I help interpret? I told her I’d be happy to try. In fact, the “Indonesian” turned out to be an English potter living in the Gower peninsula, who’d come to Japan on a kind of pottery pilgrimage. I managed to sort out the communication problem, which was rather empowering – my first interpreting gig! The price I exacted was to make Junko (plus dog) pose for a photograph, poor suffering woman…


In experimental vein, I tried out the local Indian restaurant for dinner, choosing the “beer set” – which combined lamb and spinach (I’d been a-hankering for lamb, which is not generally on the Japanese menu outside of Hokkaido, where the famous “Genghis Khan” is a dish I long to try) with a nan bread. The curry itself was fine, though nothing special, but the nan was amazing. Huge, and light, and crisp, and fluffy, all at once – a like a kind of Garden of Adonis that gathers every season unto itself. []

On Thursday I had lunch with Hirohisa Igarashi, a professor at Toyou University, again about possible collaborations. He’s a very charming man, and took me to a charming Italian place. Although we started off in Japanese, I found my capacity slowly ebbing away like an iPhone’s battery, and bit by bit we switched to English (in which he is, in any case, far more proficient). He gave me a little tour of the university, too, including the viewing gallery on its top floor, where a Chinese violinist was playing traditional music to set off the Sky Tree and the rest of the Tokyo skyline. Could I revive within me her symphony and song… but I didn’t have the record button on.


Then I went on to Nakano Broadway to buy more Kin-iro Mosaic. As you can see, they are all about welcoming in the new era there:


I am collecting, as I encounter them, ways in which the change of era is being acknowledged. I’m interested in whether it’s just seen as a commercial opportunity, as with the T-shirts an entry or two back, or indeed in this poster, which advertises its PREMIUM SALE on the grounds that it’s the last of the Heisei era. (Next month, the same sale will no doubt be advertised as the first of the Reiwa.)


These are of course just the very visible ripples on a deep sea of culture, but not without value or curiosity.

After that, it was dinner at Miho’s with Mikako and Nobu (my interpreter at the National Diet Library two years ago, whose English I am also checking), and so to bed.

On Friday I was giving a lecture at Taisho University for Yoshiko, as I have done, now, twice before. The drill was much the same, so I won’t describe it in detail, but I gave them a potted version of my Cotswolds research, after which I had a nice chat with the students, and then an even nicer dinner (as is by now traditional) with Yoshiko and Hiroko, eating, drinking, and making scholarly. I first met them at a conference in Ohio three years ago, and have been knocking back sushi and sake ever since – albeit with long periods of abstinence, when the trifling matter of an intervening Eurasian continent adjourns our fun. I’m sure we’ll find a way to get back on track at IRSCL in Sweden this summer, though, albeit with surströmming (possibly) and vodka substituting for our accustomed fare.


And thus closed my time in Tokyo. On Saturday I boarded the shinkansen for Kobe, where I had a different set of adventures, but perhaps that’s enough – or more than enough – for now.
insaneladybug: (bigfive)
[personal profile] insaneladybug posting in [community profile] 31_days
Title: What Do You Believe In?
Day/Prompt: April 21st - Sometimes you've got to believe in something
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh!
Character/Pairing: The Big 5 (focusing on Lector and Nesbitt)
Rating/Warning(s): G, dub-verse, post-canon, references to other stories, the Big Five trying to reform, spiritual content

I might expand this later.... Just wanted to get it up before the deadline. I have a huge stack of blurbs I'll be posting on Amnesty Day, and I wanted to get at least one done on the actual day, heh.

Click )

Queer hiking report-back

Apr. 21st, 2019 10:16 pm
breathedout: A blonde in a fur, with a topless brunette (ooh la la)
[personal profile] breathedout
I went on my scheduled wildflower hike this morning/early afternoon, and it was—undeniably work, but. Rewarding. It's hard to spend five hours with strangers, constantly chatting because you want to form connections!

However, pluses:

  • Very diverse group, racially, gender-wise, and with ages from early-20s to early-70s represented
  • Carpooled with a lovely young female scientist who brought cookies and offered me gas money despite the fact that we live like 10 minutes apart, what a doll
  • Learned a ton about native NorCal wildflowers, thanks to friendly & knowledgeable older gay dude guide
  • Got to socialize with a plethora of older San Francisco Lesbians (a particular breed), ALL OF WHOM were extremely excited and full of advice upon learning that my partner and I just bought a house which we are planning to renovate
  • Wow did they have home renovation stories
  • They were also reading a selection of interesting-sounding books
  • And then one of them spoiled Anna Karenina for another of them, which was pretty funny given it is extremely famous and was published in 1878 (there is a subtle detail with a train?)
  • One of those women in particular reminded me, to a spooky degree, of one of my BFFs another 25 years down the line. She seems like she's doing well; I hope my buddy will be, too.
  • Hike started slow, but featured a satisfying push to the mountain-top above the treeline
  • There was also a section of forest full of gnarled old oak trees creaking and squeaking in the breeze; it seemed so much like a language.

Wildflowers I can currently remember having seen, six hours, three episodes of The Good Place, and a bottle of wine later: Violas, larkspur, Indian paintbrush, blue dick, lupin, blue-eyed grass, California poppies, miner's lettuce, hummingbird sage, chamomile, California lilac, Douglas iris, buttercup, cow parsnip, hemlock, nightshade, yarrow, scarlet pimpernel, goldenfield, honesty (money plant), mission bells, coffee berry, owl clover, juncas grass, baby's breath, and a lot of invasive French broom which I must admit is pretty despite being, you know, problematic (tm). Also a LOT of poison oak, but luckily I seem to have avoided touching it.

Art: Eureka (Knowmefirst)

Apr. 21st, 2019 10:02 pm
knowmefirst: (Default)
[personal profile] knowmefirst posting in [community profile] smallfandombang
Title: Fourth of July
Artist: knowmefirst
Author: Tarlan
Fandom: Eureka
Characters/Pairings: Jack Carter/Nathan Stark
Rating/Category: G/Slash
Warnings N/A
Summary: Banner & Wallpaper for the fic 'Fourth of July'

Link to art master post: AO3
Link to fic master post: AO3

Story Ballyhoo: due South

Apr. 21st, 2019 11:50 pm
peoriapeoriawhereart: in red serge Benton looks askance (Benton looks back)
[personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart
All the Queen's Men This is a story I wrote possibly more than twenty years ago with the best research I could manage at the time. It's possibly that it holds up better than I thought during some of the intervening time.

That's how research sometimes goes, it gets things right for the 'wrong' reasons.
lady_katana4544: (Default)
[personal profile] lady_katana4544 posting in [community profile] femslashficlets
Title: This Is All Worth Fighting For
Fandom: Marvel 616 (Comics)
Pairing: Maria Hill/Pepper Potts/Natasha Romanov
Rating: G
Prompt: 9. You better know what you're fighting for
Word Count: 100
Summary: Some nights, old thoughts and feelings of restlessness keep Natasha awake.

Title: Be Bold Enough For This
Fandom: Red vs Blue
Pairing: Agent Carolina/Agent Connecticut/Agent South Dakota (Red vs. Blue)
Rating: G
Prompt: 10. Tell me are you bold enough to reach for love?
Word Count: 143
Summary: CT approaches Carolina with a bold choice.

Title: In Letting Them Go, I Found You
Fandom: Circe - Madeline Miller
Pairing: Circe/Penelope
Rating: G
Prompt: 11. We'll make a million memories - all incredible
Word Count: 110
Summary: In another world, Circe slowly realizes that she has gained something when the boys leave together.
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
[personal profile] sovay
I am extremely pleased to be able to announce myself among the Guests of Honor at NecronomiCon Providence 2019.

That puts me in the company of such weird luminaries as Peter Cannon, Kenneth Hite, Victor LaValle, Molly Tanzer, Dempow Torishima, and Paul Tremblay. Plus everyone else who shows up for the convention, which as I recall from 2017 is no small who's who of weirdness.

I have been a guest on programming at several conventions now, but I have never been invited to be a Guest of Honor, much less a Poet Laureate. It is an honor. I am thrilled.

See you in Providence in August, when the stars are right?
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My boss wants us to go on all-day rafting trip

My company hired a new director (Michelle) a few years ago. Since then, there have been several new managers hired by her who really share her same outgoing personality. That’s not a negative in any way. But since then, I’ve noticed a lot more emphasis on team-building events. Some have been lunchtime learning, while some others border on silliness (like performing a short skit based on random objects). And about a year ago, we were all asked to do an online personality survey and then Michelle coordinated an off-site day where we were coached on the 16 personality types with the emphasis on leveraging success by knowing each other better.

Earlier this month, invites went out for a company sales conference in August. I’ve been here for seven years and this was the first time I ever got included. I’ve been very involved on several successful new product launches over the last three years. Part of the event will be more team-building, coordinated by a group they hired. It turns out that I was assigned to Michelle’s group (she is the team leader). There are about eight of us on the team. Michelle had a conference call to kick things off, and we have to pick a name for our team and submit designs for t-shirts. She also mentioned that we will be doing an all-day rafting trip as a break-out event. I emailed her a few days later to see if i could skip the rafting trip as I am a weak swimmer who is not comfortable around deep water. She replied saying that the event is still four months away and that she’d rather see me focus on how to meet a challenge rather than how to get out of it. She compared it to when she was afraid to do a zip line two years ago, but got through it. I was a bit floored.

My wife, who met Michelle at our holiday party and really likes her, is convinced that Michelle is testing me to see how I react and that is is my opportunity to impress her. With all the changes in our company, I can definitely see myself directly reporting to her someday and don’t want some silly decision to harm my standing. Can you offer your opinion on what you would do?

Personally, I would tell Michelle, “For safety reasons, I won’t be able to participate in this. I’ll plan to spend that day working on X and Y unless you prefer I spend that time differently.” Note that language is telling her that you won’t be participating, not asking her for permission to sit it out. You get to simply state that you’re not participating in something like this.

I’d also consider adding, “There may be other people who have health conditions that make participating iffy, and I’d love to see us pick a more inclusive activity.” Because that’s true — an all-day rafting trip is a big deal and there are a whole bunch of conditions people shouldn’t have to disclose to get out of that, including things she’s probably not even thinking about, like IBS.

Take a look at this and this. And hell, for good measure, this too.

2. My coworker’s parents are threatening to call HR about our friendship

I’m close friends with a girl at work. We are both over 18 and talk often, about all kinds of topics. I’m the person she calls when she’s stressed and life isn’t going well. Hour-long calls are not infrequent with us and she’s taken me to antique stores to train me to find things she likes, and I’m quite good at it. (This is all to give you the gist of how close we are.) We also work at completely different locations (so have very little face-to-face contact unless I come visit her). Moreover, we both have a huge thing for each other. We are both in agreement that if we ever both end up single, we are going to try for a relationship.

So, fast forward to now. She still lives with her parents and they pay for her phone. They saw some of our messages to each other and are threatening to call HR at our company for sexual harassment. The thing is, she doesn’t feel harassed, they are just not listening. Should I be worried? How would you handle this in my place?

Sexual harassment is about unwelcome conduct. If this had been one-sided, or if she’d asked you to stop but you hadn’t, or if you were subjecting her to unwelcome advances or sexual talk, that would be a problem! But a mutually welcome friendship is not harassment.

So as long as your friend isn’t going to tell HR that this contact has been unwelcome, you should be fine. And really, a parent calling an adult’s workplace to report sexual harassment based on a mutual friendship is … weird, and it’s very likely that your friend will be able to quickly shut it down with HR if they approach her about it.

One precaution you could take, though, is to explicitly confirm with your friend that she enthusiastically welcomes the relationship you have, and that she doesn’t feel any of your contact with her is unwanted. Make it safe for her to say no — frame it as something like, “I want you to know that if you ever don’t want this level or type of contact with me, I would fully respect that and not make it weird or tense for you” (and of course mean that).

From what you’ve written here, this sounds like a mutual friendship … but there’s also a version of this where a person A tells person B she won’t date him because she’s seeing someone else, and then B takes that as “we’ll date when she breaks up with her boyfriend” when that’s not what A meant … and where some of the other details can look different depending on who’s telling them. So especially when you have someone raising concerns, explicitly confirming that you both enthusiastically welcome the contact is always a good thing.

3. The details in my offer letter aren’t what we discussed

I recently accepted a job offer with a start-up nonprofit. Due to a tight timeline for their desired start date and a long notice period in my current role, I had to resign quickly, without having the offer letter in hand. I know this is not best practice and in retrospect, I should have worried less about inconveniencing either employer and insisted on the formal letter.

In any case, I then received a formal offer letter (over a week later) that has a contractual period of only six months, subject to renewal. We had no discussions of this previously, so it was quite a surprise. I’d expressly asked about how I would be hired – with a contract, regular staff, at-will, etc. – because of the org’s start-up status. They had told me I would be hired as regular staff and that the project would run for three years.

They also agreed to a few things in negotiations – revisions to the title, flex time – that they say cannot be put in the offer letter but is an “informal agreement.” But of course, the offer letter itself expressly says that this represents the only agreement between me and the employer.

Because the organization is still starting up, it’s working off the HR and legal structure of a parent organization it’s only loosely affiliated with right now. I am sympathetic to those potential limitations. But nonetheless, it’s made me uneasy. They seem like really nice people and I like the potential for growth in the organization and role. But I also want to be treated respectfully and fairly in my next role and I feel like I made a good faith commitment to them and they are acting surprised (saying my request is “exceptional”) that I’d ask for the same. Am I making a big deal out of nothing or is this in fact a tremendous warning sign?

It depends on how they respond to you pushing back. Try saying this: “We’d talked about this role being regular staff and titled as Frog Decorator, but the offer letter says it’s a six-month contract for Junior Frog Decorator. I’m excited about coming on board, but I want to make sure the offer letter reflects what we’ve agreed to.” If they say no, then what’s in the letter is what they’re offering you. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to put the correct details in the letter, so if they decline to, I’d assume those are the correct details. One way of pushing back if that happens is, “I’d love to accept the role we talked about on the phone — a longer-term Frog Decorator position — but I wouldn’t feel comfortable coming on board with an offer letter that describes a different role.”

It’s possible that their parent org really does have internal rules about not putting other stuff like flex time in an offer letter, but that doesn’t mean they can’t agree in writing outside the offer letter. To do that, send an email that says, “I understand you don’t include details on flex time in offer letters, so I just wanted to memorialize here that we’ve agreed to (details). Would you confirm that’s correct?”

If they balk at any of this, the answer to “is this a tremendous warning sign?” is yes.

4. My new office doesn’t recycle

Less than two weeks ago, I started a new job that I love. There are many great things about this job that I value. The one problem: there is no recycling at this office. None. No recycling bins anywhere. I’m shocked. In my section of the office, we get tiny plastic bottles of water, the kind I can drink in four gulps. Then I have to throw them out. The water fountain is kind of a long walk away. I’m not the biggest environmentalist by a long shot, but I try to recycle whatever I can at home and this feels extreme. I’d rather not collect all my water bottles from throughout the day to bring home to recycle.

Should I or can I do anything? I’ve been here less than two weeks, so I’m very new with almost no power. We’re moving to a new office building very soon, so maybe things will change, but I have no way of knowing if they will or not.

Right now you’re too new to have standing to tackle this, but after you’ve been there a while (like maybe six months or so) you certainly can! (The exception to that if if you’re in a role that puts this in your purview, like if you work in operations.) Meanwhile, though, you could talk to whoever’s coordinating the move and ask if they know if there will be recycling at the new building, which might at least put it on their radar if it hasn’t been. (Even for that, though, I might give it a month or so. You are still very new.)

When you do bring it up, how to tackle it depends on your role. In some contexts (especially smaller offices), it might make sense for you to take the lead on researching recycling options in your area (local regulations, companies that handle it, etc. — some city governments will provide a guide) and even help put something into practice, and in others that would be overstepping for your position and you’ll need to just make the case to someone who does have that authority. Whichever route you go, keep in mind that if they’re not receptive, you might also suggest some interim measures, like a bottleless water cooler instead of all those tiny plastic bottles.

5. Is it time to give my employee a formal improvement plan?

I’m new to a management role and inherited an employee (a former peer) who was never held accountable by his previous manager (for example, he completed a major web software overhaul nine months past the deadline with no consequences). As a result, I’ve been vigilant about giving him feedback every time he doesn’t do something he says he’s going to do when he says he’s going to do it. I’ll often see improvement after these conversations, only to see this habit creep back up again after a few months. It’s usually something small — like saying he’ll send me a preview of the newsletter or update me on a project and then not getting to it or explaining why he didn’t. Overall, I know he’s getting a lot done, but all of these little things add up to me as someone who I can’t count on for major long-term projects.

So, is it time for a PIP? Are you supposed to warn someone before putting them on a PIP? Is there something between routine feedback and a PIP? The reason I’m hesitating is that to me, a PIP signals that I’m about to fire someone — but I’m not sure I’m ready to let this person go. Do I just have new manager cold feet?

A performance improvement plan (PIP) should indeed convey “these issues are serious and if you don’t improve in the following ways by the following timeframe, I will let you go.” So yes, if you use one, you’d want to be prepared to fire him at the end of it if he hasn’t made the improvements you need. That said, given that he improves for a while whenever talk with him, he’s likely to meet the terms of the PIP but then backslide again later on, so you’d want to clearly state that you need to see sustained, permanent improvement and if the pattern recurs again, you wouldn’t do a second PIP.

You don’t need to warn someone before a PIP (unless your company procedures require that), but what I’d do in your case is sit down and have a serious conversation with him where you say, “We’ve talked multiple times about the need for you to meet deadlines and follow through on agreed timelines, and while you often improve temporarily, the pattern keeps recurring. This is serious because it means I can’t count on you for long-term projects. I need you to get this under control permanently, and if you don’t, it could jeopardize your job here. If it keeps happening after this conversation, we’ll need to move to a formal performance improvement plan, so I want to make sure you understand that we’re at the point where I don’t have much leeway left to give you.”

my boss wants us to go on an all-day rafting trip, coworker’s parents are threatening to call HR about our friendship, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Minicon Easter Tarot reading

Apr. 21st, 2019 08:16 pm
pegkerr: (All we have to decide is what to do with)
[personal profile] pegkerr
On Easter, the last day of Minicon, I have done a tarot reading for years, using the Celtic Cross spread. I record notes about the reading in a little notebook I keep with my decks. As I was paging through, ready to begin, I saw a note I'd put there several years ago:

The study of tarot is the study of questions whose answers we fear.

I thought about as I pulled out my deck. I've used my Harry Potter deck for a lot of readings, but I decided for this one to go back to my Jane Austen deck, because the question I had been mulling over was about relationships, specifically, about how to handle a new relationship as well and ethically as possible, and that seemed rather appropriate. Jane does seem to focus a lot in her fiction about how to live an exemplary life.

As I pulled out my materials, I discovered that was just as well. I had grabbed my tarot materials in a hurry when I'd packed for the convention, and I'd managed to leave the companion book to the Harry Potter deck behind. I'd left the companion book to the Jane Austen deck behind, too. Oops. But at least I had the little pocket guide to that deck.

I always try to ask open-ended questions when doing these readings--not asking for a forecast of the future--but framing it along the lines of 'What do I need to know (or think about) X.'

For this year, I asked, "What do I need to know about this new stage of my life, the interstices between widowhood and a potential new partnership?" Keeping in mind the quotation I read in my notebook, I wanted to particularly pay attention to the shadow side, what I feared and how that might get me stuck.

Here's how the reading went )
katyastarling: (BatsCats)
[personal profile] katyastarling posting in [community profile] femslashficlets
Title: Safe and Loved Together
Author: Katya Starling
Fandom: Batman
Character/Pairing: Ivy/Catwoman, past Batman/Catwoman
Rating: PG/K+
Challenge/Prompt: FemSlash Ficlets 205: Embrace
Warning(s): None
Word Count: 901
Date Written: 20 April 2019
Summary: Selina's having nightmares, but Ivy can't sleep.
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.

Read more... )


Apr. 21st, 2019 11:56 pm
axelmania: (Default)
[personal profile] axelmania posting in [community profile] femslashficlets
Title: happy jungle life | ao3
Fandom: Professional Wrestling / World Wonder Ring Stardom
Pairing: Jungle Kyona/Kimura Hana, Jungle Kyona/Tora Natsuko, Kimura Hana/Rebel Kel
Rating: M
Prompt: #205 - embrace
Word Count: 1000
Summary: Kimura Provisional Army train together for the first time at the Stardom dojo! But afterward, things get weird between Kyona and Hana.

Henry St

Apr. 21st, 2019 08:49 pm
ranunculus: (Default)
[personal profile] ranunculus
Had a short while this morning in the rather-too-warm garden.  Watered some, the sandy soil dries out quick.  Pulled more miner's lettuce plus some grass.  Pretty sure that the beautiful dark carnation is dead.  Oh well, it was an annual that lasted for 3 years!
Spent some time this afternoon working at the new bookstore.  Slowly ripped out a bit of old framing that needed to go plus some blocks that had served their purpose.  Then spent time in the back yard changing out some screws and painting. 
Made two batches of Rosemary Chicken which came out amazing, as usual!!
Tomorrow off to 5 days work at the Academy of Sciences. 
[syndicated profile] zhu_yilong_shrine_feed

190422 ReFaOfficial Weibo Update:

↳ #ReFa Fights For Beauty# Brilliantly Exquisite Or Mysterious, the definition of beauty is limitless. Zhu Yilong arrives with the new ReFa Double RAY and invites you to break throughself and fight for beauty


A/N: asdfghjkl 😵

Source: ReFaOfficial

Reptile tongue.

Apr. 21st, 2019 11:42 pm
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
It's the end of an era: I need a new laundry hamper. The one I've had since grad school ripped its last handle's stitches. What I'm left with is a wobbling tube without any genuine means to move it around. I could keep it for another couple of months before the last of its seams go, but that wouldn't do me much good. So, instead, a declaration I'll get a new one before my laundry is nothing but mismatched piles around the floor.

It's also the start of spring: my window's open with the screens put in. The window isn't shut tight with a towel as a DIY insulator anymore because it's more pleasant to have the airflow now. Soon it won't be. But for now, it is.
elasticella: (mai)
[personal profile] elasticella posting in [community profile] fan_flashworks
Title: let the bad girls bend
Fandom: barely lethal
Rating: teen
Length: ~700 words
Author notes: new fandom, gen- heather & victoria knox, title from metric's gold guns girls

84! )

x-men cinematic universe

Apr. 21st, 2019 09:41 pm
supermanda: (Default)
[personal profile] supermanda posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
icon count : 128
canon : x2, x-men: the last stand, x-men: days of future past
notes : a batch of rogue and kitty pryde icons!

{ Right this way @ [community profile] musemoji }


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Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺

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