If the shoe doesn’t fit

Some days you wake up and feel great. The hair is good, the face, as good as it can be and you managed to switch of your favourite series on DVD before 1am last night. Then comes the shoe dilemma.

Your favourite, most respective corporate heels are of course your most uncomfortable but your weak ego requires them in order to front your 9am meeting. Do you:

a) Wear comfortable flat shoes
b) Wear your painful stilettos or,
c) Wear your comfortable flat shoes while running to the train, potentially standing the whole trip, scooting to your meeting and then subtly at the door pop on your stilettos and risk being spotted, looking amateur?

This is a scenario I consider most days. Sometimes my high-heeled ego wins and other times my sore tootsies. Lunch times or work lunch pose the same problem. I have a speedy heel sprinter in my team and if we have team lunches I don’t want to look like the silly one so I amble through the streets of Sydney trying to look comfortable.

Today it backfired. I pooped out in my heels for a lunchtime coffee (because I’m on a cup-of-soup budget lunch) and rolled my ankle in the middle of an intersection. A man at a pub called out “falling all over the place aren’t you love”. I went red and scooted on by the people around me (at a snails pace mind you because my heels don’t allow for speed).

I guess I’ll have to work on the heels or deal with a 165cm height!

Travelling cool

20130311-064414.jpgIt’s what you’ve always dreamed of. A job you are happy to spend 40 or so hours a week at, a happy home life and yes, a little bit of work travel. It’s the dream. You grew up with your Dad ‘going away for work’ and you knew that once you could say that, you’d have made it. Growing up you’d watched those suited, important-looking women rushing through the airport going somewhere important for business and now it’s time to be that woman.

One problem, I still don’t think I’m very important and probably don’t look that way, except perhaps to my grandma. Now comes the challenge, looking cool (business-cool that is) whilst travelling.

Tip 1. Don’t arrive ridiculously early for your flight
I’m currently on my third ‘important’ business trip and am currently sitting in a barely open food court drinking one of the few available coffees. Dead give away – amateur flyer. Important people know you don’t have time to arrive over and hour before a domestic flight and if they have are probably hanging our in an awesome lounge. Fail on the cool front.

Tip 2. Don’t overpack
Cool business people waft through the airport halls with their wee wheelie suitcases in tow. The amateur doesn’t know what to take so loads up their wee suitcase plus carries as much as humanly possible in their handbag and or hands. Not cool when going through security and you have to unload everything and you look like a backpacker making the most of carry-on limits.

Tip 3. Always aim to look like you know where you’re going

Now, loaded up with numerous bags and heeled in il-chosen shoes every step needs direction. Then there’s the fact that the cool traveller knows where she is going… This makes a for a difficult balance: don’t walk too far unnecessarily but also don’t look like you need to check directions to Gate 1 (everyone knows where that is).

You enter the departures area and see a touchscreen machine for bag drop off. Excellent, you’ve got your mobile phone boarding pass (definitely cool) and self-serve baggage drop will mean you won’t be asked about excess luggage for a one hour flight.

Like a pro you follow the prompts. Oh no. Need a label for the bag, ‘Excuse me Miss you need to print a bag label first’ says the assistant I assumed was there to aide the less tech-savvy travelers. I gather my bags and wheel back to another self-serve machine. Scan the mobile phone boarding pass, print the luggage bag (yep I’ve seen the lady put it on the handle) attach to bag and done. Start to wheel bags back to self-serve drop off. ‘Excuse me Miss you forgot the receipt for your bag’, I hear the same assistant say. Did he follow me, the amateur, to the luggage label machine? A few more minutes and my luggage is dropped. Success one less bag to lug around.

Next stop boarding the flight.

Leila is a girl who may not be doing the Paris leg on a weekly basis but is one step closer to it than last week.

The office running club

When you start a new job there’s always the initial phase of either making friends or if you’ve got tunnel vision ‘contacts’. Personally I like to think that you can be friends with people you work with. This is one of the reasons I decided to join the office running club. Am I a runner? No. Do I enjoy running? No. Did I look like an unco? Yes.

The first time I said yes to running I made sure I got ready early so there was no stress getting to the start line. I walked to the botanic gardens and loitered around where I thought the start was. No one showed. I walked around to another entrance, thinking I may have got the wrong instructions. Twenty-five minutes later after walking around aimlessly in the searing heat I spotted someone running in a shirt with our logo on it. I casually jogged up beside them and asked them where the start line was.

After following a Hansel & Gretel t-shirt track back to the start line I found the timekeeper hidden under a palm tree. He shoved a map in my hand and said ‘If you hurry I’ll wait for you to finish’.

So I started a very unsocial run around the park. The map went something like this: little pond turn right, left past bonsai trees, straight over toilet block… When I was about the furthest point from the start line I saw a little ‘6KM’ in the corner of the map. Now I was barely capable of completing the 4KM run let alone the 6 and now some poor timekeeper from the office was waiting for me to hurry my behind through a 6KM course I’d started 30 minutes after everyone else.

I managed to motivate myself into a jog that was barely as fast as the power walkers scooting along the waters edge. Up the final stairs, legs wobbling as I tried to settle my breathing to allow a friendly smile at the finish palm. The final 20 meters were my glory strides, springing forth on numb legs. I looked casually to the palm tree. No one was there. They’d given up. Then I heard someone tell from the road leading back to the office ‘I thought you’d quit.’ I’d made it, almost delusional and with one less timekeeper friend than when I started but I made it.

Typical Tuesday

A brave attempt to start this blog over seven months ago…not so brave considering I’ve posted precisely once. Jeff Goins inspired me to get out there with his most recent post about platforms and the privilege it is to have one. I’m still not exactly sure what I’ve got to say but I think it will help someone so I’ll stumble around until then!

This blog is intended to be about work and life. In our early twenties love, career, fun and friends is pretty much the big four. I was lucky to find love and get married pretty young so the question of balancing a family and career has always been present. After three years working in a start-up and wondering when the waves would stop crashing on my head I’ve moved to a big company! It feels like now I can come up for air.

As much as it may sound like I’m talking about me that’s not the point of this blog. I hope my little experiences can help someone out there and if not…I will have a tidy little record of my crazy rambling!

Happy Tuesday!

Bises, Leila

Manic Monday

‘I want a website like this’. That’s all the email says. No that isn’t just a throw away line from my boss it means make it happen. Now. Welcome to my world of half instructions, impossible deadlines and well, La vie de Leila…

I’m writing this blog for fun and some sanity as I try to cobble together a career before one day I jump ship to be a mum. Don’t get me wrong I’m not counting the days until my ‘career change’ honest giving you a bit of background.

Bises xx Leila

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