Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Official--The Date is Set

January 12th . . . the day I will get my new foot and ankle. Dr. Weinfeld informed me Monday, while pointing to my x-rays on the wall, that we will NOT have to fuse my ankle (how fortunate for me), but that I will soon be a red flag for the Homeland Security Watch List and a constant nuisance to the TSA once he inserts 4 different bolts and a variety of titanium anchors in my left foot. When I asked if my left foot would now be a completely different size than my right foot, he replied, "well, your foot will definitely be a different shape than the right one, but we can't tell right now if your foot will be an entire size larger . . ."

Great! I love it when the answers are so clear . . . I guess I will just have to put off purchasing any new shoes until Spring.

In the meantime, preparations continue. I decided last week during Open Enrollment to change over my health insurance from United Healthcare to Aetna on January 1; the coverage will be much better and likely leave my out-of-pocket expenses for the surgery at zilch. Luckily, I made the right decision . . . when speaking to the surgical nurse yesterday, she happened to mention to me that Dr. Weinfeld has decided to no longer accept United Healthcare insurance next year! Just a small, minute, completely insignificant detail he failed to tell me!

Deep inside, I am still sorting through all my thoughts and feelings related to the diagnosis, this surgery, and my overall health this year. At lunch with a colleague today, she confided in me that she requested a promotion and was sharply denied one. . . the conversation then shifted to both of us discussing our personal goals and how our careers have evolved over the years. It was the first time I had been able to verbalize how important it is for me to focus on my health this coming year and to just maintain my current position. As the words came out of my mouth, I was sharply surprised at my own present lack of desire to prove myself. . . I am perfectly happy with the status quo and have no expectation to be promoted any time soon. I think that I just have to focus on remembering to take my vitamins and supplements, enjoy the upcoming holidays, work hard to get through physical rehabilitation, and try to look forward to a rewarding vacation next summer.

On another note, according to my rough estimate, I figure that following this surgery, I will have spent approximately 20% of my life on crutches . . . will it ever end?

Monday, November 23, 2009

West Coast Flurry

I had a last minute business trip to meet with Paramount Pictures to discuss The Last Airbender marketing plans on Friday. And, while it afforded me the chance to see family and friends, the timing could not have been worse to leave the office. Adding to the already stressful week, I nearly missed my flight: Idiotic Driver + Stalled Car on 9th Ave = Missed Flight.

But, enjoying the So-Cal sunshine was great. Plus, Niko celebrated his 17th birthday with a beach bonfire party and all his friends. . . I surprised him with my arrival Saturday night. Let me tell you, nothing is cooler than having your 30+ year old aunt chaperone your beach party when you're 17! At least I have the "I work for Nickelodeon" coolness factor to help diminish my uncoolness.

It was a whirlwind, but Niko was completely surprised . . . and, I got to see Hudson play his season closer T-ball game; he even got a trophy!

Go see The Last Airbender in July! I saw the new trailer on Friday; it's awesome! Buy a ticket; boost my bonus!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Can You Spare a Mile or Several Thousand?

Plans for the surgery are coming along--I would say swimmingly, but it's not like this is an event I am excited to be planning. . . I met with HR on Friday to discuss my short term disability options and once again I am amazed at the power of Viacom. Not only do I continue to have job security in this economic crisis, but I will be able to collect 100% of my pay while I am out on medical leave. What other companies can you name in America that still offer 100% of your pay while you're lying on a bed doped up on morphine unable to perform your job duties? (Continue to make every effort to keep Paramount Pictures as an integral part of my exit/return strategy to LA--check!)

I am meeting with my doctors again next week to hopefully set a surgery date and to discuss options for my right foot. My goal is to have a date set before the holidays in the hopes that I can use a confirmed hospital stay and sad puppy dog eyes to tap into that "obligatory holiday season generosity" to get whatever I need for my recovery . . . so, while it's still a little early, here is my first request:

I plan to stay away from the office on bed rest for three weeks. I have three people that have graciously offered to fly to NYC to help me with my recovery. But, here's the catch--I just can't bring myself to ask them to pay for their own tickets to get here (they are already donating their furlough and vacation time after all). I figure I have enough miles to cash in for two tickets, but not enough for a third. So, does anyone have a bank of extra frequent flyer miles they'd be willing to donate to a good cause? If you think you could possibly live without that business class upgrade to Europe next summer, I would really appreciate your sacrifice.

I can offer a heartfelt written thank-you note and a basket full of SpongeBob products as barter!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My work here is done . . .

My old college roommate, Holly, posted this message on her blog earlier this morning. Her daughter Lily is turning 2 and she is trying to decide what decor to use at the birthday party. The crafty girl that she is, Holly had already made her own decorations with a homemade "puppy" theme when Lily announced that she wants a "Bum-Bob" or SpongeBob themed party. I must be doing something right at work is all I can say . . .

Monday, November 9, 2009

Girls Night Out

Team Bergers & Shakes tried their best tonight at Big Daddy's for Sex & The City Trivia Nite, but alas, we failed miserably. With questions like "Which character got gang-banged in the park?" and "Which SATC man preferred communicating through telegrams?", we were stunned at our apparent lack of SATC knowledge! It was still a good time. . . with genuine comfort food, fun drinks, and a giant ice cream sundae, the girls from 1515 Broadway still managed to have a good time!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

May I Offer My Expertise?

Apparently I have finally reached the point in my career where I have influence and can attract attention in large crowds . . . who knew?

The New York Women in Communications is one of the largest networking groups here in New York for women in all communications fields including marketing, public relations, and journalism. My good friend, Linda, sits on their board and invited me to participate in their Student Conference today. Along with 50 other communications professionals, I got the opportunity to sit on a panel, answering questions about networking, the steps that I have taken to propel my career, and what it's like working for such a well known company to college students from around the country.

It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed hearing comments and questions from all the eager young women who want to start a career in marketing. Following the panel discussion, I had nearly 25 students lining up in the hallway to ask for my business card. I have to admit I secretly relished in the fact that I totally won the popularity contest among the other panelists . . . even if it only was because of my famous employer.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes . . .

My boss promptly walked into my office at about 1:45pm today and closed the door . . . yeah, she never does that unless it's really serious . . . she proceeded to explain to me that her role as VP of Licensing and Marketing was beginning to take its toll on her and that she had finally decided that she could no longer hold up both pillars of the business with her own small shoulders.

So, we're going to re-organize our department a bit. She is going to be managing the licensing side of the business and will be turning over marketing responsibilities (and me in the process) to our VP in the London office. Our VP there, who has been handling marketing for Europe only, will now manage all international marketing. She will continue to have her director manage the Europe business and I will now report into her and manage the REST of the WORLD! Yes, apparently they like me so much around here, they're now going to give me the entire free (and non-free) world to manage outside Europe. Latin America and Asia will now report into me . . . yes, the woman who only speaks one language will now have multi-language and multi-regional responsibilities as well as 4 new team members reporting into her.

Well, congrats to me! While I am excited at this opportunity and the elevated exposure it's going to grant me in the company, my first reaction was, "well, there goes my exit strategy . . ." Apparently, NYC will continue to be my home for the next little while. Now how to ask for that raise I so rightly deserve?!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Run, Forrest, Run!

Monika, one of my partners in crime from 1515 Broadway, and I rose bright and early to greet the 40,000+ runners from around the world participating in the NYC Marathon. The late Fall morning was a little chilly, but we were glad we braved the elements to catch a glimpse of this fine NY tradition.

After riding the subway to Brooklyn (along with several late-night Halloween partiers embarking on their "walk of shame" home, complete with dis-sheveled hair, smeared makeup, and torn costumes from the night before), Monika and I were able to stake the perfect viewing location for up-close glimpses of Mayor Bloomberg leading the parade of joggers in the lead car, the determination of the paraplegic competitors, and the never-ending sea of runners.

We had hoped to spot Edward Norton and his team of runners in their race for the Massai Wilderness Conservation Trust, but with so many runners, we never did make contact. . . instead, we saw plenty of other characters. But, from the sea of clowns, roosters, Captain America, tutus, and samurai warriors, I was most partial to Forrest Gump . . . (not necessarily original, but it brought a smile to my face each of the five times I saw it in the crowd.)