I took off from September 21st on what was going to be a six-week parental leave scheduled to coincide with Miller returning to work, which in her case means teaching Arabic at the UW. Microsoft has a great benefit of one full month of leave is paid, though you can take up to three. I was planning on taking six weeks so I wouldn’t spend either a lot of vacation days or being unpaid for a while, since we still haven’t sold the condo we moved out of when we bought a home at the end of March. Miller, the trooper that she is, managed to switch to the “working mom” stage rather well. I, on the other hand, managed very few of the many pet projects I had exuberantly planned for myself while staying at home and watching Mabry. (Let’s just say I was frequently interrupted.) In any case, the whole child care thing got settled, and I’ve been kicked back to work two weeks early.
After getting back to work, I made it a point to get out from under the heap of mail I’d accumulated over the course of several years before starting any new projects. Some 8,000 semi-read Inbox e-mails later, I now only have a 400 message “reviewed” folder, which will probably have to have another categorizing pass made on them1. In some cases, it was a matter of realizing I was no longer (if in fact I ever was) in a position to affect some issues, and even though they may have been personally irritating, that I had to pick my battles. I still think I’m still going to have to figure out a better way to track conversations to ensure that things get handled correctly.
Among the pending things to do is to respond to some questions posed by David Weiss, and so I think I will do that now and have one less thing on my list…
P.S., Mabry has just turned three months and has been vocalizing at me as I’ve been writing this. Maybe now might be just after I play with her a bit. ☺
1During this purge, I think I stumbled on to some what must be n2 or longer algorithms in Entourage, as deleting large swaths of mail when visible in the UI would sometimes take ages.