25 October 2007

Strange, strange days.

I work in a lunatic asylum-today I discovered a coworker stapled through my name 17 times-on 17 different reports that he knew I would be handling. It scared the hell out of me-someone comfortable enough to staple through a co worker's name 17 times is scary.

I come home from work every afternoon this week to work at finding out if my best friend since seventh grade is burned out yet-she, her daughter, grandson, and son-in-law are sharing her Irvine California home. I have been simultaneously glued to the tube and Internet since Sunday night.

I feel like a modern day Jeremiah. My life has become a routine of trying to keep my mouth shut as all around me act as though they have declared war on the reasonable; I come home after work and try very very hard to avoid my fellow man after spending the day at work avoiding the loonies.

Probably not a good idea. I Googled 'scary coworker' and found that some of my own preferences mark me as a potential instigator of workplace violence. Yikes, and not something I would actually do. My total contribution to 'workplace violence' consists of leaving the room if I feel my mouth control slipping.

I avoid my co workers as though they carry plague-self preservation, to me, does not include an astounding willingness to take the most innocent remark and spin it into a whirlwind.

And of course, without fail, if I seem to have friends, Blondie is suddenly short with me and the next thing I know co workers who twenty minutes earlier were smiling at me are now scurrying past my desk eyes averted.

Hmmm, this behaviour also seems to coincide with Blondie having just been in conversation with them...

Of course that suits Blondie. She actively works to isolate me from co workers and is rather good at subtly indicating her displeasure if anyone compliments my work, which she works at undermining and reducing.

Just now I think she is in a snit because I work well with others and they don't hesitate to tell our mutual boss.

She is of course Mr. Staple Happy's biggest champion.

Of course I (after a heck of a lot of digging and some calling in of markers from friends still in the biz) found out I should take several precautions because yeah, Mr. Staple Happy is showing signs of being a dangerous nut job, a guy I should be very careful around.

I was right, it is highly disturbing that he found a way to precisely staple through my name at the very nearly exact spot on 17 of 31 reports, and I need to be very careful.


I am completely sick of the lunacy.

At least two of the fires out west were deliberately started.

Both my children hate me because I refuse to give up on God and clean living.

I'm watching my back against a twisted co-worker.

And Blondie, always Blondie, poor thing. She'd be funny if she weren't so blasted stupid and ruthless-I hate that combination. It's a combination I know too well.

I think at bottom, what I am really tired of is giving up, leaving then finding out six months or a year later that I was right; oops, "Hey Fox's Mom, you sure called that one." Wouldn't it be lovely if I could be proved right while still a part of the: group, workplace, family?

Swell day in a long line of swell days-hey God, since I missed it, could you show me where I signed up to be an anachronism? But I didn't really miss it, I signed up for this, I guess, and if I had to do it all again for the most part I would do the same things...my kids are in a bad place, I will keep praying for them; Blondie is scared and having health issue, I will keep praying for her; Mr Staple Happy needs a swift and sure attitude adjustment, I'll keep praying for him, too.

Day capper? The main compartment of my fridge is 58 degrees. The property manager promised a week ago to have the repairman out.

I am so sick of take-away!

19 October 2007

I have to go in today. I wish I didn't. But a project I have been trying to finish since mid-August needs to have a full eight or more hours of the workday spent on it-if my idiot "team mates" can be circumvented long enough to get the job done.

If you've checked my profile you know my industry and if you keep up with the modern workplace you know I have to be circumspect in how I vent my frustrations born at my particular workplace. I can't be specific, and I wouldn't want to be, really-I am a team player unlike the pin-heads I 'work with'.

I say 'work with' out loud in a sarcasm drenched tone. Most of my day yesterday was wasted cleaning up their messes, putting out their idiocy fueled fire, and trying not to let their ridiculous self-importance push my last button.

Blondie is trying somewhat lately, and I unfairly unleashed on her yesterday-I say unfairly because she is so pathetic that it is rather like screaming at an irritating child to "behave like an adult!" The trouble is that she is 63 years old-certainly adult by now, right? Sadly, she has been made a team lead, can not handle the job, and refuses to admit it. She wastes entire work weeks covering her and her little pets mistakes and asserting her authority over others.

She also sabotages the rest of us, and yesterday I unfortunately stumbled onto paper proof. Again.

Were it me, I would either trouble myself to learn my job or I would get the hell out of the way.

She and her two pets know this, and have united to ensure that no-one else is permitted to have enough knowledge to put the puzzle pieces together. They think this grants them job security. They play games with a depressing consistency.

Which of course frustrates and puzzles the rest of us into an endless cycle of: confusion, frustration, infuriation, exhaustion, and then back to confusion, frusstration, infuriation...

For the rest of us, who once loved our jobs, the monumental effort required to accomplish anything is so bloody difficult that as we head into our busiest season, we are worn out and down by the repetitious antics and the required end-runs to get our jobs done despite our so-called team mates.

A word of advice-any time you are tempted to accept an offer of employment with a company touting their successful team workplace methodology you should run like a scalded dog.

When you go for the interview, if you see posters plastered on every available wall proclaiming their team-RUN!

If HR has to hang posters reminding every one they are on a team, trust me, there is no team and you have entered a hostile workplace. Get out while you can, because your team mates are hyenas and will savage you.

I am completely sick of the steer manure these people spread. When the younger of the two HR guys calls you a know-it-all because you know the answers to a pop-quiz in a corporate class, it really is too late for you.

When the air-head with her finger on your time-card only reminds you how much overtime you've put in (while bitching that she had to stay till 1800 and didn't get OT) if she's pissed at you-know it's past time to be tidying your resume.

Hey Blondie, decide-you accepted that salary because they made you a manager-something you wield like a ball bat, so do you want to assert your power-over, or do you want to put in an honest day's work?

You knew going in that you would be expected to work long hours-that is what 'managers' do. You knew going in that you would never be paid OT again at that company, so get over being angry at those who would GLADLY trade the OT so that they comfortably spend the time needed to get something done fully without the worry of a petty little idiot threatening them with cut-off.


I can't sleep for trying to determine who upsets me more-Blondie or my exhausted co-workers who have got to the point they shrug and say "It's like this every where."

People like this are company-killers. Why our parent company has not swooped down and cleaned house is beyond me, and I have enough understanding of how the corporate world works to have some unpleasant suspicions as to why they have not-except I researched the parent company before accepting the job and thought the parent company to be a pretty great organization.

I've watched these three destroy co-workers. In the process they've destroyed the workplace, corroding the efforts of those of us who care.

I despise people like that. Joyless, petty, perpetually proactive against anyone they perceive to be a threat; psychic vampires suck all the joy of a job well done right the hell off the table. They scurry like cockroaches to negate anything complimentary to their rivals and in the process, they destroy their company.

Blondie was laid off when her last employer finally gave up on the people like her, and closed the plant.

She wonders why she was laid off even as she repeats the same behaviours that drove her last employer out of town. She tries to claim integrity while bemoaning her low pay (excuse me, is that managerial behaviour?), and while scorning the very people who pay her cheque really-our customers.


13 October 2007

I've needed the heater the last two nights. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I live for this time of year. Less heat, less humidity-the top two of three reasons I left South East Alabama. (Reason three being Fox's life style choices-I simply could not stay in the same town watching my son live in such emotional squalor.)

I've spent the summer preparing for winter up here-more adventures in reclaiming a house trailer that had been essentially abandoned for seven years, and then half remodeled when they finally said "Oh go ahead and move in." And like the true optimist/idiot I am, I did.

The guys at Lowes think I own the little trailer I am trying so hard to prep for the coming winter. They love that I know my way around the store and only rarely have to ask for help-they love that I can sink my own wall anchors and that I now own every book they sell on home wiring and plumbing-they love that I am not looking for a man to do it all for me, and they especially love that I do know my limitations and rely on them for recommendations on reliable handymen.

They wish (most of them) that they were available, or that their wives were a lot more interested in being more like me. A few think I am a lesbian.

Ah, no.

But today's blog is not about Lowes Home Improvement Centers, or even the sidebar amusement gained by the Lowes guys respectful nod and wave when I cross their threshold.

I will say this-if you are a middle aged reasonably attractive and intelligent single woman and want to get to know a potential 'steady' or even potential new husband (at my age most women look at a guy they've gone out with twice as potential husband material, and most middle aged guys with half a brain look at every woman who crosses their rapidly aging path as a potential older years helpmate/wife) really well, the quickest and best way is to make him take you shopping at Lowes-not Home Depot, ya gotta go to Lowes.

Lowes is considered higher-end (read more expensive, although it really is not while quality and selection is considerably better) and Home Depot is where the cheap guys want to go. So from the start you'll know if the guy is gonna be El Cheapo if he is not willing to hang out at the Lowes tool bar with you, happily perusing the drill bits and driver selection.

OK, maybe todays blog is about Lowes...

A guy who is happy to take you to Lowes for the afternoon is a guy who knows quality when he sees it and isn't afraid to get a little Spackle on his trousers. WOW, now that's a combination! When you find one like that who's orientation is not same gender, you've struck gold, girlfriend!

I want a guy who knows more about home improvement than I do and wants to find a partner who isn't afraid of using a power drill, maybe owns her own tools, and likes to gut interiors with an eye to the future.

And cleans up REALLY, REALLY well. He has got to know how to waltz, which fork to use, and what not to say to Her Majesty.

It would be great if he owned at least three tuxes AND a working backpack. Totally fantastic if he could pass for a (straight-remember, I am hetro) Metro-Sexual and a frontiersman in the same breath.

I'd be captured in rapt attendance on an age appropriate guy who looked good, thought right, and was therefore able to appreciate a good woman when he saw one.

A guy who thinks it totally right that I can sink my own wall anchors (and have a good selection of the many different types Life requires already neatly organized in my appropriately coloured (Gun-Metal Gray and Hunter Green-Pink is for clothing, thank-you-toolboxes).

I'm looking for the guy who is not afraid to read the newspaper; the guy I can have an intelligent conversation with and in the next minute crank up the ACDC 'coz 'Thunderstruck' just came on:)

I'm looking for the real man, the one who knows Mozart is named for the composer, not the graffiti artist known as Mo (Mo'z'art-get it? Gads, I was horrified!).

I want the guy who has season passes to the Symphony AND the local rugby team-I need the guy who knows football (both kinds) is like, vastly overrated, OK?

I've got a serious Jones for the guy who thinks it perfect that I can do Valley, Surfer, AND King's English (God Bless George and 'Bess forever!); the guy who adores that I can be comfortable in any environment except a vulgar one.

Now, that's a guy I could get old with!

Cool. I opened todays blog thinking I would digress on the horror of 21st century life-failing infrastucture, the historic drought we in the Metro are suffering through, the dangers in nearly all of the imports we have come to depend on. I was filled with gloom and disquietude. God purposes, Man disposes-think about it. I damn sure was this morning!

However, God really is in charge. My mood is lifted, and I've found some healing humour in keying my wish list for the guy I want to meet (um, the sooner the better Lord, I am not getting any younger, not in this life anyroad:).

Wishes do come true. Nothing that has happened to me has made me think otherwise.

Thanks Dad! Now, can I please meet him??

About a year before my best friend's husband died of lung cancer she replied to my spoken wish to meet a great guy and my complaint that I'd been single for too long with this-"You don't need a man in your life!"

I knew about Mike's cancer, and he'd sworn me to secrecy because he thought he could beat it. I agreed because after the weekend I spent at their house in '99 trying to help him tell her he'd just been diagnosed made it clear she didn't want to know-everytime we sat her down and tried to get her to understand, she'd blanked, drifted off in response to some distraction, changed the subject...We gave up.

But he was still alive, and seemed to be fine, so I blurted without thinking-"What if something happened to Mike?!"

They had nearly twenty years, and she is completely disinterested in finding someone else; she has no longings for love because she has had that and knows for her, it cannot be replaced. She has her children around her, her grandchildren, her sisters, her mom, and although she just lost her nearly 100 year old father, she has the memory of a great father. And she has me to be her forever best friend. Her life is not perfect, who has a perfect life? But she has Love.

And now, sadly, she understands the answer to my stupid question. I'd pray for her to meet someone, but she doesn't want to.

For a long time I didn't either. I've loved someone (not Crusty,oh please, that rat bastard held me at gunpoint for 18 years-absolutely no love there, trust me), and I lost him, the guy I know God meant for me to be with. Not to Death, but to pride (his) and circumstances (don't ask).

I'm ready. No rebound-eesh! No consolation prize. That is so dishonourable! I'm ready for The Real Thing, with the Right Guy.

And that makes for a much cheerier blog entry than The End Of The World!