Category Archives: AFP

20,000 Steps in Heels

Today I worked 13 hours and took 20,000 steps in high heels. I feel fairly brain dead. To give you an idea how brain dead, the cable guy at Wal Mart asked me who my cable provider was and I told him “I live at home so I don’t have to worry about it.” I think I meant something like, “I live with my parents” but it wasn’t until I had taken several steps that his, “you live at home?” finally processed in my brain. Whoops.

It was a good day, though. I plan to end it with some Remington Steele and no alarm clock. Take that, morning. 

International Women’s Day

Are protests really the answer? 

Today in France, protesting women left the workplace twenty minutes early to bring awareness to gender wage gaps. In Rome and other places, protesters blocked traffic and shut down public transportation. In the United States, women called for a “day without women,” resulting in closed schools and empty jobs. All of this was in the name of “equality and empowerment.”

But do protests really bring that about? 

Today I was in Madison for work. Around lunch, a small group of women began marching around the capital, waving signs and declaring their desire for change. I am sure they had a variety of motives for being out there, many positive and genuine. However, while they were protesting and waving signs with words like “This pussy fights back,” my co-workers (mostly females!) and I were working hard to bring about actual change. 

This really hit home for me during a meeting we had with political and social thought leaders this afternoon. Outside, we could still hear the women chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, the patriarchy has got to go!” Inside, my group gathered to talk about the heavy tax burden and over-regulation that make life harder for men and women. The meeting was definitely gender-skewed; there were about 5 women and 20 men present. Was this representative of the patriarchy keeping us down? Hardly! We had an equal voice at the table. 

What would have happened if we decided to take a day off of work and protest the fact that there were fewer females than males represented? The meeting definitely still would have happened, but without our voices. 

Protests play a role in democracy, but they won’t solve the world’s problems. If you want to make a difference, you have to work for it. Change takes drudgery; it takes showing up day after day, even when you are in the minority. The only thing a #daywithoutwomen accomplishes is another day when women’s voices – and true solutions for equality and empowerment – are absent from the table. 

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A few of my fabulous, female co-workers. These ladies inspire me to keep fighting. 

Conversations with Co-Workers

“Amy was basically raised on a farm! Weren’t you?” my co-worker turns to me with a beaming smile. 

My own smile freezes as I try and think of how my very suburban life could ever be construed as being “raised on a farm.”

“Ahhh, not really. I live in a subdivision,” I finally say. 

She nods as though I have just confirmed her point. “Well, I was raised in the inner city of Milwaukee, so we basically come from opposite ends of a spectrum.” 

I suppose if you really don’t live anywhere near grass, a subdivision could seem like a farm. Maybe? 

An Empty Office

“Isn’t it lonely being at the office by yourself?” 

If I have been asked that question once, I’ve been asked it ten times (which may not seem like a lot but actually is!) since my organization decided to let all the part-timers go.  I’ve thought about it often. 

Is it lonely being at the office by myself? Well, sometimes. Especially when I am there towards 7 or 8 o’clock at night and the growing darkness takes me by surprise, then it feels lonely. The garbage outside rattles and I’m convinced someone is breaking in and stealing the cardboard or something.  

But sometimes there are days like today. It was just me at the office and my neighbors only work Saturday mornings so I had the entire building to myself. In the quiet I asked myself, am I lonely? Heck no! 

It was actually really wonderful to have the place to myself. I got a lot accomplished. I played music. I relaxed. It was really nice. However, I wouldn’t want every day to look like this. I’d miss my volunteers and the noise and energy. In that sense, I guess it is lonely, but not unlike the days before the part timers left. There were days without people and days with people. 

Is the office lonelier? Maybe the answer is…there is so much work to do with the part timers gone, I haven’t had time to notice! 

A Phonebank Workout

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I phone banked all day today and I am exhausted. I am stiff, sore, my tendinitis is inflamed…it really is ridiculous. You would think I did a major workout. But on the bright side, I also got 24,000 steps in today! I’m hoping to make it 25,000 before going to bed. I move while I talk and phone banking means talking and moving quite a bit! The other part of my 9.5 hour day was spent preparing for a presentation, which means more talking and walking as I practiced. In conclusion, I moved a lot today!

It is so worth it, though, for this wonderful feeling of accomplishment I have tonight as I sip my mint tea and curl up with a good book. I didn’t just survive today, I thrived! 

The pre-event wait

So here I am. My work event starts at 6:30 and it is now 3. I have cleaned, bought snacks, contacted attendees. Now all I have to do is wait for the event itself to start. 

This is by far the hardest part. There isn’t enough time to really do anything, yet plenty of time to think about it. What if no one comes? What if the projector doesn’t work? What if I forgot to put out clean hand towels? 

What if no one comes? is the question that really plagues me. I can always double and triple check the projector and towels. But what if I should have made one more contact? Talked to one more person? Reached out to one more family? Would that have made the difference and filled the room? 

The secret question within the no-one-coming question is actually more like, what if I am just really bad at my job? But who wants to face a question like that head on? Give me 3.5 hours and I’ll find out! So for now I wonder, and wait, and try to focus on the hand towels. 

State of the State 2017

Yesterday I got to hear Governor Walker give his State of the State address.

It was a lot of fun to be there and hear what he had to say. While I didn’t necessarily love everything he said, he set forward a good vision and I appreciate his firm stance against a gas tax increase. We already have a ridiculously high tax and there are other solutions that should be tried first.