Mama Said There’d be Days Like This

This was going to be the end of my previous post but it started feeling like it should stand alone.  This is more of the light hearted fare I’d like to be offering so enjoy this one with a drop of sunshine… or something.

For now, I’ll leave you with just a touch of what my day was like.  Actually, it really started yesterday when I slept till 1:00 in the afternoon and then sat around in my recliner, holding Mischa (whether I liked it or not) and catching up on all my weekly TV programs in my DVR (this doesn’t count the 20+ hours of movies – mostly from the Logo network – that are in there) and feeling sorry for myself.  That is just a hint of what I’ll be talking about with the “decisive happiness” topic I mentioned in my previous post.  I was sitting in this very spot really feeling down and I suddenly became aware that I was sulking and that it was getting the best of me.  Ultimately, I decided to give in to it and allow it to take over for one day, “Today I’ll let it in.  Tomorrow, I get back to living” I told myself.

By the time I went to bed I had a bad head ache and I was feeling really run down.  It may just be a coincidence or it may have been part of what they are talking about on those damn Cymbalta commercials that I hate so much, but I went to bed at 11:00 feeling lethargic and head achy but not really tired.  I fell asleep within 15 minutes nonetheless, but didn’t wake up until nearly 7:00 this morning.  It wasn’t enough time for me to get ready and get to work by 8:00 and I ended up sacrificing some of my needs (not the first time since this new regime started) and wasn’t able to shave my head or face (it’s been at least 5 days – and I’m not happy).  I really wasn’t feeling up to going to work (definite case of the Mondays) and seriously thought about calling in sick to work, but I didn’t, because I felt like it would be irresponsible (and I’m trying to save up my time so that when I do finally quit this shitty job, I’ll get a nice fat check on the way out the door.)

My drive to the office was riddled with ass hole drivers, (cutting me off, turning out in front of me or just having the audacity to go the speed limit in front of me.)  When I finally got to work I had to wait for what seemed like an eternity for the elevator to arrive.  It was 8:30 before I got to my desk and my stupid manager wasn’t even there to know whether or not I got there on time.

I had already made up my mind that today was going to be a slacker day (so sue me) and I was going to do as little work as possible while I caught up on my 125+ blogs that were waiting in my reader.  Naturally, I settled in behind my desk, pressed the power button on my computer and waited for it to power up.  I saw the initial DOS looking screens where it talks about starting up in safe or normal mode and then disaster struck.  The Windows XP logo came up, only I could barely see it.  It actually looked more like a ghost image, burned into my monitor except my monitor is LCD and I knew it wasn’t burned in because that image has never been up long enough to get the chance.  The screen was frozen and all I could see was the very faint image of the XP logo.

So I waited…  But nothing happened.  I waited some more… But nothing happened.  I turned the monitor off and back on to make sure it wasn’t the monitor that was the problem, but nope, when the monitor came back on, the built in start-up graphics were crisp and clean and bright.  And then I was back to the pale, burnt in looking image of the XP logo.

I pressed and held the power button on the computer. The computer shut off and then restarted.  Once again, I saw the DOS screens and then the Windows XP screen came up even paler than before.

So I waited… But nothing happened.  I waited some more…  But nothing happened.  I went around to the back of the computer and double checked the cords between the computer and the monitor, all tightly connected.

Having exhausted all my options I sat down and called the help desk.  I put in the ticket and waited for 20 minutes for the technician to call me.  Finally, K and I went to get coffee (a big mistake on its own.  I got a really delicious White Chocolate Mocha.  Way too delicious, way too fattening and way too expensive to make a habit of) and when we returned nothing had changed with my computer.  I checked my voice mail and there was no call from IT.

Thirty minutes later, my phone rang and I knew the name on the display to be a local Desktop Support Specialist.  He said he was on his way up to get the computer and he’d have to take it back to his desk to run a diagnostic on it.  (By the way, I got this computer brand new 10 days ago.)  A few minutes later he was standing in my door way.  Knowing he’d have to take the CPU away, I grasped the plug to my mouse which is plugged into the front of my computer and I pulled it out of the USB port.  Not a split second after I pulled the plug from the unit, the screen brightened up and the computer finished booting.

I have no idea, and neither does the IT guy, why this happened.  But for an hour this morning I was sure I was going to be without a computer today and I had left my book at home.  It was bound to be a long day!  But lo and behold, my computer magically fixed itself and I was able to get to “work” reading my blogs and I was a happy camper…  Well, as happy as I could be, considering where I was!

Pardon Me While I Rant

I spent the entire day reading blogs and now I want to update…  Only I’m not sure I have anything to update about.

I tend to feel like my posts have to be deep and philosophical, only I’m not so sure I’m really all that deep and philosophical… at least not with any regularity.  So today’s post is going to be shallow and trite… Well, OK.  It’s going to be simple anyway.

I eluded in my last post to being really pissed off about my job and my boss and most of my co-workers and my customers and my – well you get the idea.  As a rule of thumb, I try not to write about my real job if I can help it, in part because I do most of my blog post writing at said job where I should be doing other work entirely and so I figure it’s better not to admit to that (woops) and secondly because I have very little, if anything good anymore at all to say about it.  I think I’m going to have to at least touch on work though, so here goes.

My boss is an idiot.  Truly.  He’s a fool and he is the worst manager of people I’ve ever dealt with, and I’ve dealt with a few doozies in my time.  I work in the Facility Management office of a downtown Oakland, high rise office building of 25 floors, roughly half a million square feet of occupiable office space and nearly 2200 occupants.  That’s a lot of building to maintain, and I will not begrudge my stupid manager his talents in running the building.  He’s good at looking after systems and maintenance schedules and landscaping and so on and so forth.  What he is not good at is managing vendors, or people or relationships.

There are four people in my department besides myself; K, who you’ve all “met”, stupid manager, our Financial Analyst and our Conference Service Coordinator.  My stupid manager treats the Conference Service Coordinator and the Financial Analyst differently than he treats K and me.  And by differently, I mean better.  You see, the Conference Service Coordinator is the same age as my manager which is to say, they’re both very near the age of retirement.  She’s not bright at all, and while he’d never say it to her face (a true sign of a good leader) my stupid manager will not hesitate to admit that she’s not bright.  The Financial Analyst is the only person on staff, besides himself, who has a college degree and therefore, apparently, she is worthy of superior treatment.  With the exception of K and me (because we were friends before we worked together) no one likes each other.  We sit at our desks doing our work and with the exception of dealing with customers, there is absolute silence.  We do not like each other.  My stupid manager has interpreted this quiet to mean that everything is fine and there are no problems.

Up until last week my official office hours were 9 AM to 6 PM.  These are my official hours because my stupid manager told his boss’s admin that those were my hours.  Before that, as far as I knew my hours were 8:30 to 5:30.  I’ve resisted writing this because I’m afraid that I’ll come across sounding like a slacker or an irresponsible employee, and I may, but here’s the deal:

  1. I am not a morning person.  It is really difficult for me to get out of bed before 7:00 AM and if I could sleep till 9:00 AM every day I’d be a much happier person.

  2. I am salary which means I do not have to punch a clock and I do not get paid to work overtime.  As a result I do not get penalized if I work under time either, but that rarely ever happens.
  3. My duties have nothing to do with the day to day operations of our department and I don’t have any meetings that start before 9:00 or 9:30 and with a few very rare exceptions I’m never late for my meetings.
  4. My stupid manager is the one who once told me (not that I wasn’t already thinking it) that my job should never come before my life, and sometimes my life happens in the mornings.  (I have a 17 year old cat that occasionally needs to be cleaned up after in the mornings and by occasionally, I mean 3 or more days a week.)
  5. I have been in this job for seven years and I have been working this “9-6” shift for four or more of those years.

Recently there was an altercation in the office between some of the staff and my stupid manager just stood there and looked on as the Conference Service Coordinator stomped all over K and then proceeded to talk over both K and me as we tried to discuss what was happening.  It culminated in the Conference Service Coordinator talking over my stupid manager and then talking over me.  I responded by simply and calmly saying “[Conference Service Coordinator], you are talking over everyone.”  And that is all I said, to which she shouted at me, “Don’t you tell me not to talk.  You can ask me not to talk.  But you can’t tell me not to talk.”   As all this transpired, my stupid manager just stood there and didn’t do or say anything.

When I asked him about this later on he told me that all three of us were guilty of talking over each other (I completely disagree – K and I were incredibly cognizant of this specifically because Conference Service Coordinator was doing it) and that he wasn’t going to discuss it now “because [he was] still angry about how it had all gone down.”  He said we’d deal with it the following week.  Dealing with it the following week consisted of him telling us in the staff meeting that he wanted us to work it out, ‘cause that’s been going so well already.

Without getting bogged down in the details I’ll say that the conversation erupted into another bitch fest while my stupid manager just sat there and didn’t mediate in anyway.  I was verbally attacked by the Financial Analyst and my stupid manager didn’t say anything whatsoever.  I decided then and there that I was finished with the whole mess.  I’m tired of trying to get people to play nice together.  I’m tired of trying to point out problems to my stupid manager.  I’m tired of trusting him to make things right when he says he will just to be made the butt of the conflict time and again.

I’m sure I sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself, and if I were not me and I were reading this, I’d probably be full of skepticism about how the author is probably more responsible than he’s admitting to or how he’s the ‘cause of the problems, and honestly, I have tried to assume that’s true and look for ways that I’m the ‘cause of the problem.  I can’t think of anything.  I work for a man who does show favoritism, who is a hypocrite, who absolutely does not pay attention to what’s happening in his department and who shows absolutely no sensitivity to the needs of his staff.

After being attacked in the staff meeting, I was livid with my stupid manager for doing nothing and I was furious with the rest of the staff (except K) for the way they acted and treated me so I decided the best thing I could do for my sanity was to distance myself from the pack.  I went into my office and I closed the door and I didn’t open it again except to get a beverage or go to the restroom or go to lunch for the rest of the day and every day after that for two weeks.

The Friday before last I left work at 3:30 to take Mischa to the vet for a follow-up appointment.  As I was leaving the office, my stupid manager stopped me to ask me a couple questions.  This is another example of his poor management skills.  I told him three times on three separate days I was leaving at 3:30 on that Friday and yet he had sent me a calendar invitation to meet with him at 3:30 on that date to discuss upcoming projects.

Before I left he told me that he wanted me to start thinking about coming to work earlier than I had been doing and that he would like it if I kept my door open.  I told him I did not want to keep my door open, that I needed the distance from the rest of the staff.  His exact words to me were, “Well, think about it over the week-end.  Go take care of your cat.”

I arrived at work on the following Monday at roughly 9:15 AM.  I went into my office and closed the door and sat down at my computer to get to work.  At about 10:15 AM, my stupid manager came to my office, opened the door and told me through gritted teeth, “I told you I wanted you to be here at 8:00.  That wasn’t a request.  And I told you I wanted you to keep your door open.”  I told him again I did not want my door open.  I wanted it closed where it was quiet and peaceful.  He told me, “When you keep your door closed it comes across as if you’re trying to say you’re better than everyone else and you’re trying to separate yourself from the group.”

I told him, “I’m not saying I’m better than everyone else, and I am trying to separate myself from the group.  I don’t want to be a part of this group.”  He asked me why and I said, “Because the atmosphere around here is bad and you’re the only one who can do anything about it and you won’t so I need to protect myself from it.”  He asked me what I was talking about and said he didn’t see that there were any major problems.  He said he didn’t think it was true and that there were minor problems that could be dealt with (perhaps they can, but it won’t happen.)  He told me that I wasn’t allowed to close my door unless I was on a conference call or it was noisy in the main office and I needed to concentrate on something.  Since one of the things I’ve been complaining to him about for more than a year is the fact that the person who sits right outside my office door is noisy and disruptive, this is kind of the on-going problem and part of the reason for the closed door but apparently I’m no longer allowed to judge for myself when it’s too noisy for me and when it’s not.

That was a really long-winded explanation to say that for the last week I’ve been really pissed off at work and, honestly, I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.  Meanwhile, my stupid manager is trying to act like nothing ever happened and everything is fine.  He’s been trying to get me to have lunch with him for the last week, but it hasn’t been possible.  I’m glad, because I don’t want to have lunch with him and as much as I’d prefer not to be put on the spot, I’m going to tell him, “Thanks, but no thanks” If it comes down to it.

He came into my office on Tuesday, (the day after the gritted toothed reprimand) and told me that his boss’s boss just informed him that he wants him to have an “Heir Apparent” and that he would like to talk to me about that.  Hmmm.  Let’s see.  Work more closely with my stupid manager than I already do.  Be forced to be even more publicly visible in a company I really do hate, so that I can be expected to play the office political game even more than I already am, for, most likely no more money and the same title I already have.  Ooo, ahhh, ummm…. NO THANKS!!!

Anyway, I’ve been so frustrated with work and that whole situation that I’ve found it really hard to be more light-hearted and pleasant resulting in another five day silence on my blog and little to no activity on Twitter.  Tragic I know!

There have been a lot of things going on in my head regarding potential topics of blog posts and I may or may not get to all of them, but I figured I’d better get this, this… rant is the only word that comes to mind, out of the way!

Some things you can look forward to in future posts:

  • Why Riggledo hasn’t addressed the Fad of the Month or any progress on weight loss/fitness goals

  • Guilty Pleasure TV programs
  • Healthy Selfishness
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters
  • Summer vacation plans (possibly from hell)
  • Decisive Happiness
  • The word “Should” and why we should use it less