Winter is settled in in Flagstaff. I was spoiled by a few days in Phoenix this weekend, and was reminded how nice 70-degree temperatures are and how much I enjoy the sidewalk cafes and street life.
The company holiday party was Friday evening at a nice resort in Scottsdale. It was great to catch up with everybody and hear about all the changes—and there were lots of them. The meal was caprese and bruschetta with salad, then prime rib, pork, turkey, and pasta for the main course, and eggnog, cannoli and cake for dessert, along with an open bar on the patio by the pool under palm trees decked with holiday lights. This is the Phoenix I love; perfect weather, good food and conversation, valet parking, and comfortable accommodations. I stayed in a downtown hotel and got up early this morning to take the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) exam at the Ritz-Carlton hotel next to the office.
On a different topic—I still aspire to be a writer. I follow dozens of blogs and watch from the sidelines as others struggle with fresh content, timing, and general balance between the pressing needs of domesticity and the freedom of storytelling or poetry. Interesting to me is that many of these writers are business analysts or financiers in their other lives, but perhaps that connection is how I find their work in the first place. Everybody has a story and I love hearing these stories and pulling them out of people one day or incident at a time. One of my tasks this summer was interviewing business managers about their practices. I learned a lot from colleagues about different ways to diffuse a tense interviewee in order to have a productive dialogue. It was a relief to find that key word, topic, or approach early in the conversation that deflated the tension in the room and turned the interviewee into a normal person. It’s hard to ignore the interconnectedness of situations from day to day and person from person. The world is a mighty small place sometimes.