Monday, September 17, 2007

Writing to write

I have been avoiding writing here. Or writing anywhere. I have just been avoiding. I tend to be good at that. I am un-satis-fied with my life at the moment. Some things are fine and working well - puppies, relationship, gainfully employed. But some of the details are not how I want them to be. And I'm not sure I know how I want them to be.


I am putting on a good show, putting up the "things are okay" front. Muddling through the River (de)Nile. But I am not sure how long I can do it. Earlier this summer I even called EAP to get some counseling sessions for free. I was so deeply deluded that I didn't have anything critical to say about my life at my first session at all. And it turned out the counselor I saw was crap anyway. I went to a second session where I had made a list and we didn't even get through it because she kept focusing on the wrong things and delving into them. Then the third visit I missed, twice. First time, I cancelled. Second time, I was at work late and totally forgot - and forgot to call. She called me after the missed appointment asking where I was, telling me she left the office when I didn't show up - and she never called me back to reschedule. Some counselor. One could make the logical leap that maybe I missed the session because I was HAVING PROBLEMS and, duh, if I was having problems maybe it might be a good idea to call me back to check on me and ask if everything is okay. Nope, she never did. So to hell with her. I will probably call EAP again and see if I can start my 5 free visits from scratch with someone new. Hope they allow all 5, because the first 2 were worthless. Whatever.

I went to visit my brother in Arizona last week. I had a good time, but it was (not surprisingly) a disappointing visit. They didn't take the week off, even though we had announced this visit, including the dates, back in MARCH of this year. They took the kids out of school for ONE day. And my sister-in-law ended up WORKING Thursday and Friday, subbing for a teacher at the school. If we hadn't made a pretty last minute (2 weeks ago) plan to take an overnight to Vegas, we would have simply sat around their house for half the time we were there, because my brother would have been working, his wife would have been working and the kids would have been at school. WHAT. THE. FUCK. This is on top of them coming back East to CT in June/July for a MONTH and not announcing it until less than TWO WEEKS before they were coming, at which point my life was suitably and complicatedly booked! I could have moved things and arranged to go see them more, but I was so annoyed that they just didn't seem to care enough to tell me that I didn't bother. They didn't ask to come visit, they didn't ask to stay with us, they just stayed with her parents. My brother was out for the first weekend but then went back home to work for the rest of their visit. It is so dissatisfying to want to have a better relationship with them and they just seem to not bother on their end. Their little insular family comes before everyone else, TO THE EXCLUSION OF everyone else. Whatever happened to being an extended family?!

Work. I work for a Napoleonic, wannabe IT Director who actually has the title, without the knowledge. He swindled his way into this position knowing enough to wow someone high up in our department, but not enough to actually perform the job without lots of technical help. I hate working for someone who I know more than - when they don't ACKNOWLEDGE that I know more than them. It puts me in the crappy position of "yes man" when he comes up with all these "new" ideas to make things better, and I hate being in that position. Additionally, we have a Sys Admin consultant who previously worked for IT in this very department and therefore has tons of knowledge about how things are set up and why it was done that way. Well Mr. 'I'm-Gonna-Fix-What-Ain't-Broke' doesn't care to seek, or listen to, a lot of Consultant's advice. He is burning bridges with them as well, by not extending Consultant's company some common sense professional courtesies (like getting a quote from them about imaging and deploying new servers and PC’s, BEFORE getting one from another vendor.) He opened a position for a System Administrator in May and I applied for it. Well, he didn’t even think twice about NOT considering me. The position has the requirements of a person with an MCSE certification and also having management experience, as that person will have two direct reports (me and my co-worker.) I have minimal management experience wa-a-a-ay back in my retail days (doesn’t really count) and I don’t have my MCSE, but our present Sys Admin (the consultant) feels I could easily ramp up to do the job well and I feel confident of the same. PLUS they would be getting a SysAdmin for a bargain price! I could get management training here at my job (they offer management development courses for free for staff and faculty.) Nope, not even a second thought. So now, I am sort of stuck. Unless he is going to create a promotion position for either myself or my co-worker (who would never get it because he is 58 and leaves a lot to be desired in IT knowledge,) then I have nowhere to aspire to, nothing to get promoted to. System Administrator would be the next step up for me, so this dickwad is effectively quashing any chance I have to advance within my IT department. Since the day I started, I have wanted to get my hands deeper into things here and make them better, because there are a lot of problems. And now, I can’t. Can’t even think about it. That is frustrating and, frankly, pisses me off. So I have, much to my chagrin, relegated myself to getting as much as I can out of this job and moving on. I have been here barely a year! That so entirely sucks donkey ass! Mind you, I will probably stay more than a year more because part of 'getting as much as I can' involves Microsoft certification courses and tests that this University will be paying for. But that doesn’t change the fact that I already know there is nowhere for me to go here. Because of this asshat who doesn’t know the first practical thing about working a real IT Support job or running a real IT department. Fuck!

Another thing. The job has become unbearable for my other half. He has been dicked around by a co-worker and sort of laterally demoted (no pay cut, but we come back from vacation and suddenly he has been switched to the bottom of the barrel shift in his dept.) The company sucks; he is one of the oldest non-management people; he is treated like a kid; and there is no chance of any serious bump in pay, contrary to what he was told when this position started. It’s time to move on. But he has very little confidence in resume writing, job hunting and his skill set. And his reluctance to seek or accept outside help has me in a stressful position. Just in case any of my (one) readers don’t know, anything I write about him on here is strictly confidential, if you please.

As it has been for the last ten years, my weight is frustrating the hell out of me. Rest assured, I am changing my alarm time to get up at 6:00 am TOMORROW to begin walking in the mornings with my other half. But it took HIS meltdown for me to do this, even though it’s for both of us. I went to Arizona, land of the sun. My brother has a pool. I brought a bathing suit……and a large t-shirt and bike shorts to wear over it. To my credit (not sure if that’s the right term) I didn’t wear the shirt. But there was NO WAY I was going to show my lumpy, bumpy, vein-y, scarred legs. I barely show them to my other half; not a chance I will show them to the kids or my brother. Fortunately, there were no “why’s” from the kids when I wore the shorts. But there were about the band-aids on my calves (from me scratching up a storm and creating more scars on myself.) I actually wore sleeveless shirts most of the time I was out there. In public. Amazing for me. I hate my upper arms. I hate that I don’t do any yoga anymore, or breathing, or meditation. I am developing this irrational aversion to larping and I think part of it may be my weight. I feel self-conscious about being seen in costume at my weight, having no costuming that looks nice on me, and about having to walk the Ho Chi Minh trail at events. I read my aunt’s e-mail (she has lost over 150 pounds in the two years since her father died, on Weight Watchers and walking alone) and I feel so proud of her, because she started at 399 lbs! I don’t know about the rest of my family, but I sure thought she would pass away prematurely from weight related illnesses. So I am ecstatic for her and so very proud. Do I have any confidence that I could accomplish that? Nope. Sure, it’s irrational; sure it’s neurotic. But that’s the way I feel. Maybe those feelings are helping me avoid the hard work I will have to engage in to lose any weight. Maybe that is why I cling to them and continue to do...well…nothing. Nothing except buy larger sizes of clothing every year. Nothing except be insanely jealous of every person that is thinner than I am. Nothing except THINK about it all. Until tomorrow morning at 6:00 am, that is.

So all these things add up to me not liking the life I have much. I am not necessarily seeking advice or instructions on what to do. That is not the purpose of this. I just needed to get it all out there and off my chest and although I don’t really want to tell anyone any of this, I also do want to tell someone this stuff too, in a tiny way. Well, honestly, I want someone to look at me and somehow know and throw their arms around me and tell me it is all going to be okay and start to help me with everything. Yeah, I know, that place exists only in Walgreen-land (you’ve seen the commercials – once there was a town called “Perfect”…) Well, here I am putting it all out there.

Oh yeah, money too. Not enough to do anything to improve my house, hire someone to take away my leaves, get work on my car, get my puppy spayed, pay back a friend, save for a rainy day, pay off debts, etc. So that just adds the regular fuel to this fire.

Can’t we have a do-over of this shit?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sucktastic suckiness

I am sitting here at work just agonizing. Today is the announcement of the findings of the study that was done on my department last year, before I was even employed here. They have found that the person I work for is not necessary. But a supervisor is necessary, and three other separate new positions are necessary. But it's not personal or discrimination. Right. Whatever.

So for the third time in a row, I am being uprooted to a new manager without any say in the matter, and for the second time in a row, the person I work for is being unfairly terminated. What the fuck?!

And the best part is that they told her the results about a week and a half ago, then they told me and my co-worker, her direct reports. She goes on (previously) planned vacation last week, comes back and they have restricted all of her access - without telling her!!! And without telling her employees. When they told us what was going to happen, they did not give us a specific date when this would happen. So we were left to figure that out. Logically, it would take effect the day after the big announcement, which is today. But no one officially SAID that. On top of that, the access the sup had was vital to, well, doing her job. Now she cannot. But we have shit to get done. And we can't get it done, because she can't do it, and I have no one else to ask "officially". I can't farm it out to our contactor, because I know there is no budget for it.

I am stuck stuck stuck. I can't voice my opinion on how unprofessionally this is being handled, just as it pertains to ME, the employee who has NOTHING to do with this. I have been kept in the dark and put in an awkward position by not having anyone to go to to escalate things that need to get done since her access has been restricted. And the person that I will be reporting to does not have the technical knowledge that she does, so I am not even sure how that is going to WORK! Who is going to do all the daily stuff she does. No one has said anything about this. So we are left to wonder. And back to my point in this paragraph, I can't say anything to anyone about how this is being handled, because I can't afford to seem contrary or like I am taking sides, because frankly I need to keep my job. So I need to not make enemies or raise concerns about me with anyone in charge. So I basically have to put my head down and take it. Fucking sucks!

That is just one of the several things making my day suck today.

Another thing is my sewer taxes. I was levied a steep fine that I cannot get removed (I asked today in person) and that is going to have to come out of my income tax return now. Which sucks. I never know how much I will be getting back, so I always worry that it will not be enough. I am going to try and visit a relative this year who moved far away, and I have to use tax return money to pay for it. Plus I still have other bills and monies that I owe.

And I am getting another year older. That in itself is not an issue so much as what to do about it. I have one idea in mind and my SO doesn't seem to have another, but wants me to be around. I was thinking of going to hang with a friend. I can understand him wanting to spend the time with me, and not wanting to miss what I will be doing for my special day, but there is nothing special planned. Just girl time. Argh!

My SO and I have communication problems. I know that is the main issue. He says things that I take not at all the way he intended. Because what he says is something I would say when I mean something else entirely. I got so frustrated this morning when talking about the work thing with him, because all he said was something about not getting caught up in the drama at work and it sounded like he was saying it was my fault, but he wasn't. And I know that, looking back at the conversation. But how he said it did not feel that way. I wish we could understand each other better all the time.

So, my life sucks today. My boss is going to be eliminated, I am getting a new one whom I don't really know, things are going to change in a big way at work, I need my tax money and I am stressed out. That's that.