Planning


Dear Diary,

I’ve been losing myself in my weed patch garden and in magazines or books (but the poor Buddha still waits <background post here>, renewed for 2 more weeks from the county library (maxed out now), though I’ve also had the other copy from the city library for 3 weeks now. I have 2 Buddha books just reeking of good things they could impart if I could just read one of them…) because I’m “processing.”

I just feel like my postings and non-postings are kind of crabby (and some would add “and boring” to that). Sorry, dear reader. Believe it or not, I strive to be light (yet deep!), humorous (yet profound!), and engaging. No really, I do…

I’ve been processing a couple of things. The main one is should I proactively decide that my days at the Everywhere Place are numbered and I need to go now, under my own power, or can I handle the consequences of taking chance that they’re maybe not numbered and go through some inevitable pain etc. to stay a little longer because I like the place?

You’d know exactly who I was talking about if I mentioned the name of the Everywhere Place, but suffice it to say that there’s a pretty big M&A (that’s “mergers & acquisitions” for my fellow art historians) battle on between the Everywhere Place and another place known for increasing its (profit) margins by cutting cutting cutting.

When a major multi-national corporation starts cutting costs it’s not just downright goofy. it’s not bad enough that you have to start begging for pencil lead for your mechanical pencil (seriously — been there, done that), but people get fired (aka getting “RIF’d,” “attritted,” laid off, reduced, etc.) <another post about this>.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s business, corporate america, the way the real world works, nothing personal, blah blah blah. But really, if you have any heart, loyalty or work ethic it IS personal.

I’m not saying it should be this way, but I wonder if the qualities that make one take it personally may also be the ones that make one a good employee. I’m not talking about me of course (me take it personally?!), just musing…

Some people at work have been through this a lot (some 3 times and more!). They seem immune to it all, and it really seems like it’s no big deal to them. But like it or not, I’m easily attachable, and what I thought would be easy (leaving) may not be so much.

The reality of cutbacks, layoffs, cost-cutting measures, whatever you want to call it, is harsh. It’s brutal. At my last job at the Mother Ship, one time we knew when the firings were coming and another time it was a surprise attack, but both were harsh. Even though I “made it” through both of the cuts, I learned (on a real level) that corporate america is harsh and impersonal.

In corporate america now, you should (IMHO) do your best, but when something better comes along you should jump on it. Because when the tables are turned they will do the same to you in a heartbeat. Harsh, sad, possibly amoral of them, but true.

Usually when you ( I ) leave a job, I am ready. I’m looking forward to the new place and the — clichéd word alert — challenge of a new job, but I’m leaving the old place for a reason: I’ve learned all I can from the position or the place, I need a change, the management changes (i.e. – sucks), whatever. It’s time. Even though there are people you’ll miss and you have some good memories, you’re ready to go & you know it’s for the best.

But when you think you still have good work to do, you’re not finished learning the lessons you’re meant to learn there (job-wise or lifewise), and mostly, you just really like the people you work with and what you’re doing, it is hard hard hard to think about leaving, not to mention pre-emptively doing it on your own initiative. Hard hard hard.

As a legalized ‘ho,’ employed by a legalized pimp, which is a company that pimps you out contracts you to a john a company you report to work at every day and then takes a cut of your billable hours, you have a certain comfort knowing you’re not trapped when things like this happen. There’s degree of freedom in knowing this.

But when it actually comes to pass and you’re not ready for it to happen yet, intellectually understanding it and living it, doing it, are all more difficult.

Tonight while I was yardening it finally hit me:I am going through the 5 (?) stages of grieving that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross defined and wrote about.

Adding insult to injury is that I need a new pimp ’cause this one’s been ‘jackin’ me). So my work is doubled before I’ve even started! While I know it will all work out in the end, it’s the getting there (going thru the process: both the “get a new job” process and the “accept that I have to get a new job even though I don’t wanna” process) that can be sucky. well, not necessarily sucky, but not something I’m particularly looking forward to.

I just think it might be worse to stay and watch all these “lifers” (some there for 20+ years!) go through this for the first time. My tendency is to be like a paper towel: I absorb a lot, even the icky stuff, and I’ve absorbed enough moisture I don’t have control over (let alone what I do have control over) and think I just might be saturated.

So the long story is that that’s why I haven’t been feeling it lately.

‘Cause when a person is practicing “Would you like fries with that?”, beginning the poverty program (tonight: turkey dogs ‘n’ buns, and dammit I just remembered I forgot to heat and eat the beans), and they’re just not really feeling it, do you really want to read this person’s posts?

I know — me neither.


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Did you realize this is Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week?

I know, I totally forgot too. And I can’t believe those poor mail carriers had to work today.

Now that I think about it, I’m kind of surprised the Everywhere Place (where I work) didn’t close for a day or two. What is the world coming to when you don’t get just one day off to celebrate EABAW?

Man, stuff like this is what makes me question my decision to work in corporate america…

My cousin and I were IM’ing about an upcoming family reunion. I want to find an online calendar, list of activities, “sign up” sheets all in one place.

But — and I know you’ll find this hard to believe — with all the extraneous emails flying around it’s been a little difficult to figure out who really wants to do what when.

  • Let’s do a dunk tank
  • I have always had a huge desire to be involved in a pie throwing fight – anyone else game? Or am I alone in having this dream?
  • Cricket…. Who plays cricket? Well, besides the English and other pretentious people.
  • I think we should have an evening at the reunion devoted to creepy “Big Brother” stories from Uncle X and Carl

40+ emails and counting, and that doesn’t include the side conversations about secret meetings with the FBI; Should we call the loony bin for Claire; reserving a wing at the Betty Ford Center, etc.

Yet somehow we haven’t made any decisions. Thus the idea for a website and IM’ing with my cousin.

ANYway, my cousin is in the Boston area, and we were IM’ing when he said his son (whom I haven’t met yet) wanted to say “hi” to me. I thought maybe my cousin would type whatever my cousin-ette was saying. Nope.

Here’s an excerpt, best as I can recall. You’ll see that accuracy isn’t so important.

Me: I can’t wait to meet you! Response: ggggg

Me: Do you like baseball like your daddy does? Response: nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnrtfd QQQ

<Cousin jumps in: He likes basketball.>

Me: I have a park near my house, so when you come here we can go play basketball at the park. Response: PPp mdnnnnn dllllllllllllll

Cousin: Now he wants to say ‘hi.’ What’s your number?

So they called and the cousin-ette and I “talked” for a few, with Dad in the background to prompt him: “Marie/y has a doggie. What does a doggie say?” etc.

When we hung up and I closed out my IM session I realized how similar the IM conversation was to some I’ve had at work.

If he could do application development* we could probably find a place for my 2-year old cousin-ette at The Everywhere Place.


*and learn the answer to “What does a data architect say?”

–>Sarah (and maybe Omar): IM=Instant Messaging

I realize I’ll probably get little sympathy for this (despite the fact that I saved up for it all year—it used to be my ‘avoid my birthday’ trip, I didn’t get one last year, and my vacation is the only time I get to fully relax and be free of any responsibilities),

but the forecast for my trip is 60% chance of precipitation every day. Now I’m certainly skeptical of meteorologists, who (IMHO) think their precise instrumentation is the way to predict what is still an art (i.e.-meteorology, the weather).

But dammit I want 100% chance of sunshine for my winter vacations. It can even be a little cool with the water too cold. I am just craving the light.

The upshot is that I want certainty where there is none.

How fitting for so many parts of my life, yet how many times have I had to re-learn this lesson?! And now, yet another “opportunity to learn.” Oh boy.

I’m tired of learning. I just want static consistency and boring predictability and to maintain my horizons (not “broaden” them).

Just for a short time,

until it gets boring.

Oh—and I want sunshine and warmth on my trip.

This is most of my reading material for to/from/in Mexico, and I’ve already pruned out a few magazines and books, but still have a couple more to pick up @ the used bookstore (paperbacks, mercifully). Clearly, some additional refinement will be needed.

dscn2521-medium.jpg

Do I seriously think I’m going to get through all these in a week?

Next I will be selecting music and—cliché alert—my, how times have changed.

OK, this is how long I have been doing these winter trips. I’ve progressed from bringing:

  • cassette tapes and a portable tape player to
  • cassettes and a Walkman to
  • cds and a cd player to
  • 512 mg. Micro Muvo N200 (my first, my beloved mp3 player) to my
  • soon-to-be-reformatted 5 (?) gb Zen Neeon, which is still a small dinosaur by today’s standards, but is fine for me.

gps.jpg

Please tell me why I should not buy the Garmin StreetPilot c340 Traffic-Ready Vehicle GPS Navigator that would “only” cost $200. (after my $25. Amazon gift card) even though I am saving for tuck-pointing, painting, tree removal, floor refinishing, plaster repair, just got new tires, was the only person in the county whose property taxes stayed the same because she has so much work to do on her house, hasn’t fully saved the requisite 6 months’ salary in case she is ever unemployed, hasn’t paid OFF her car yet even though it’s 10 years old and is probably worth less the the StreetPilot C340 itself (no, I just got new tires), oh and who is going on a warm-weather-vacation-to-points-unknown soon…

…and who is trying to refrain from her objects owning her (allegedly according to: Realization #99999999, An example of sweating the small stuff , and numerous conversations with self) has made conscious attempts to change my mindset about accumulating and frugality (or at least mindful spending), living a greener life (for real and not just ’cause it’s hip right now Cheap thrills or lame thrills?) , trying not to be materialistic, and whose mother calls her a “minimalist” as though it’s a bad thing.

My biggest justification/rationalization is, well, I just keep getting lost: Not only on my North Carolina trip (ever-so-briefly discussed here Day 4 04-10 Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Cary–sort of–Motel Hell8cious even though I bought this damn laptop and started this blog specifically to share it (trip adventures) with people (HA!)), but I even get lost or discombobulated daily. To places I know how to get to.

Like my own sister’s house: Sure I know where she lives, but I have a hard time with the whole “getting there from HERE” part of driving. If I go there from my parents’ I go one way, if I leave from my house it’s another way, from somewhere else it’s another way, etc.

I just can’t seem to mentally (or immediately) plot out the best way on the fly. I get halfway somewhere and go “Now why didn’t I go that way?” Invariably going “that” way would’ve saved time, aggravation, traffic, idling, etc. I go 2 miles around only to find I have gone in a big circle. It’s stupid stuff I should be embarrassed to admit, but I think it does bolster my rampant consumerist case of yearning-for-no-good-reason.

And most of the 854 reviews for it on Amazon say how easy it is to use, and it tells you the specific streets to turn at (not just “Turn right in 300 yards.” <If I could gauge 300 yards myself I wouldn’t need the damn thing.>

Now that I’m a contractor I won’t get a bonus, and (while I for now think it unlikely) I could technically be let go any day, and this is something I want (not ‘need’).

I guess I could die tomorrow and I’d either 1. wish I’d bought it ’cause what the hell, or 2. thought about how you can’t take it with you.

Oh, the conflicts of a modern citizen…

would be to sit here and re-categorize all my past posts (and create new categories as needed). Or read up on tags and do those instead.

I’m resisting the urge to do this mind you, but I’m just sayin’

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