Chaos Attraction

The Bad, Good, and Mixed of 2016 So Far

2016-12-01, 7:24 a.m.

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So apparently the notifylist stopped working and nobody said anything about it to me and I can't find anything about it. Grrr. Have now replaced with TinyLetter.

So, welcome to Holidailies, and all that jazz. Here’s an update for this year since last year.. It has been rough. It could be worse, mind you (and god knows 2016 may be the last good year after that election), but I’ve spent a lot of it going “if I make it through this year....” But I more or less have, so there’s that! Only 31 more days to go!

On the crap side:

(a) Applied for dream job in my office that I was going on about at the end of last year, did not get it. However, see below for the follow up to that.

(b) Realized that the rent on my apartment was going to be rapidly approaching something like 3/4 of my salary at the rate it was going up, and I really needed to move. Which meant clearing out 15 years worth of stuff, “downsizing” and exhausting myself for 4.5 months worrying about it. I moved to a one bedroom in the same complex, so it was a really cheap move (I think the most I paid was to move the Internet), so there’s that. I skipped doing a lot of the fun things I usually do on weekends to just get rid of stuff over and over and over. I used my one week of vacation I could take this year to move. But I did manage to do it and fit most of everything in, so there’s that. I have a bigger kitchen and lots of shelves but very tiny closets. Tradeoffs. The lower rent is certainly nice, though.

(c) Found out I had to have dental surgery to postpone the removal of my back teeth for about 3 years (seriously) because having my wisdom teeth out years ago turned out to be a goddamned terrible idea and removed bone and caused bacteria gaps back there. The surgery itself was a piece of cake, the paying for it after exhausting my insurance all year has not been so much fun. On the other hand, presumably this will improve my credit.

(d) Had yet another local friend move away. I’m down to about two left in my town (most are elsewhere), though one of them just lost her job so theoretically I might see her around more now that she’s not working every night.

(e) My mom had eye surgery. This actually worked out a lot better than expected because her eye surgery wasn’t messing her up so much, she could stay at a friend’s house rather than have me take the time off work to take care of her (I couldn’t get out of work anyway), and she ended up only needing it in one eye instead of two. She was fine within a few days. Huzzah. And while her new job was all “oops, thought we’d pay for it but you haven’t here long enough so never mind,” her new boss paid out of his own pocket. I still haven’t met this guy yet, but he sounds awesome.

(f) Lili, the adorable dog I’ve been petsitting for, had to be put to sleep. I am still sad about this.

(g) Election. I am not down with someone who is totally unqualified and has no clue and is happy to be a bigot being in office. Period. I think a lot of people who voted for him are going to regret it, especially once health care is gone.

On the plus side:

(a) I got to try playing the Transformation Game, which I always wanted to do.

(b) Got to meet my favorite author before she moved out of the state.

(c) Took a ton of improv classes--I took 301 over and over and over again, followed by Sketch 101 and currently musical improve, which you’ll get to hear about more this month.

(d) I had jury duty again, which I love and got another wacky story out of.

(e) I started teaching “Lunch and Learn” crochet classes at work (note: for the general organization and not my office specifically, though a few folks there have come) and people are really liking them, we’re gonna start in on knitting come winter. I got some volunteers to help with classes and have met some new knitting friends, we’re trying to get some kind of lunch yarn club thing going on in the future and maybe all go to Stitches West together.

(f) I got introduced to a new potential friend to go to my favorite hippie con with, I’m really psyched about that. There will probably be more on this later.

(g) After I got done with moving, I could finally do fun weekend things again like ye olde Renaissance Faire.

(h) NaNoWriMo went well this year. I have been reading about presidents all year (which was fun until the election...) and decided to write a nonfiction book based on my readings and adding some snark. I only got through about seven presidents before hitting 50k because I am long winded, but it was fun. I’d actually want to publish this except for uh...the election. I also wrote a shit ton on my favorite political scandal, The Petticoat Affair, which the Drunk History people realllllllly need to cover because it’d be awesome. (For more on that if you care, look at the presidential reading link.)

(i) We got an invite for Christmas to go to our family friend Angelica’s new condo with her nice relatives.

And then there’s the mixed bag that is work.

Bad news: of course I didn’t get the job.
Good news: however, they finagled me a transfer into the new unit because enough of my current job responsibilities go with the new unit! STEALTH TRANSFER!

Bad news: we had several people at work quit or retire this year and we are on bare bones staffing to the point of ridiculousness. Like, it’s not a great idea to only have one person who knows how to do whatever in case they get sick or something, and the public service unit now only has three people and that’s a bare bones disaster. As for the group I was in, we had one retire and one needed hand surgery and was out all summer. (Found out later that desk she was at causes you to need hand surgery, because hoo boy, it’s not ergonomic and they wouldn’t spring for an ergonomic eval. I sat there for a month and had problems until I got moved.) So I was on the world’s slowest transfer and doing two jobs all summer. I could handle the workload and we were allowed to get some temps, thank goodness. But for obvious reasons, I didn’t take any vacation except for the week I had to move, and I did that before the staff exodus started happening.
Good news: I AM FINALLY OUT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ANSWERING PHONES FOREVER AND EVER as of October THANK GAWD ALMIGHTY AMEN HUZZAH. So much quieter. So much nicer. I can schedule classes to teach and go to lunch without issues and take classes without having to find someone to cover for me. I sadly still get asked questions and get in trouble for not knowing answers, but not as much. If they’re short-staffed like usual, I hear the managers are asked to hop on.

Good news: New team members did an excellent job of banding together for a few weeks to finish off The Big Fall Project before the end of October! And doing it correctly! HUZZAH! New boss also has tons of ideas for improving things, which I am helping out with because I GOT A LIST OF STUFF TO FIX. I think we’ll be able to get the things that are under our control, don’t know about the stuff that we have to get permission for though. We’ll see if we get big boss support there.
Bad news: The cross training we’re supposed to be doing with them? Postponed...indefinitely because they are all Too Busy. I am doing my job entirely by myself, which is not so great when I was out sick for two days. I am planning on taking the last two weeks off from work because that’s about the one time I can afford to be out (as in, hopefully not a lot of workload comes in) and I would bet money nothing gets done. Also, surprise! You are literally in charge of everything you do and your old boss is now being all hands off about it and you had no warning on that last bit! Naturally, Problems Have Occurred because I’ve only done the entire routine by yourself about once in the last four years and a lot of this I haven’t done and there have been things I was not told I was supposed to be doing. Folks, dumping someone in the deep end and telling them to swim only works so well....

Good news: New boss rewrote my job classification which theoretically might get me some kind of status change and a raise! New boss is also very nice about things and thinks I’m very good!
Iffy news: It’s been three months since he put it in, the process is supposed to last about two months, and he can’t get anyone to budge on it. It was going to be a problem since it would likely take me out of the union (which is sadly run by a bunch of crazy people who attack their members and then genuinely wonder why people don’t want to go to meetings and participate, so they don’t like me). I don’t know if it will ever happen.
Bad news: I am told that at least some of my coworkers are angry and resentful that I am out of public service and might have the possibility of a raise and....they are not wrong to be mad at me for that. I can’t blame them. And see below.

Bad news: we are having dramaz up the wazoo around here. All the nitpicking and reporting on and tattling behaviors at the slightest mistake or rubbing someone wrong that drove me nuts about public service? Sadly, still going on in the new unit and I am getting In Trouble about as frequently as I ever was there too. I get in trouble for the slightest of shit, still (for example: someone decided to put up a mail basket for me while I was out and I got in trouble for ruining the walls with pushpins--which I didn’t even put in, I have a mail basket elsewhere and didn’t need it). I admit I bring a lot of it on myself for fucking up and making mistakes and yes, I am wrong, wrong, wrong. But last week when in addition to everything else, I got scolded for “we don’t like your voice and you’re too negative, AGAIN,” I about started choking because I have been trying not to talk as much, to use my “normal” voice (which nobody likes either, mind you) instead of the perky phone voice, etc. And I’m still getting ragged on? Oh yes. Fran Drescher hasn’t gotten this much shit for her fucking voice being awful as much as I have. As far as I can tell at least every other day someone must be running in to complain about me (see the resentful bit), even though new boss is super nice about it. My shrink is just at a dead loss as to what to say to me about it, other than she wishes I’d just tell someone off, which I can’t, of course. Apparently I’m being watched at all times and complained about constantly.
I have come to the conclusion that I just need to fucking stop talking except the bare minimums of hi, bye, and answering questions. Don’t even make funny comments because that’s probably “negative” even if it’s not, and just don’t talk at all. The last time I was at my mom’s she put on Joel Osteen (look, I don’t like megapreachers in general, but to be fair I’ve never heard the guy say anything unreasonable, bigoted or crazy and he seems to stick to nice hopeful stuff, so I can live with her habit) and his lecture was on “taming your tongue.” Take the hint and shut up already and stop giving them ammunition to complain about. Until they start complaining you aren’t talking, that is.

Good news: the office has decided to okay hiring more people--at least one more in public service, another one in a related field, and my new group is getting a part-timer. So at least there’s that. The higher-ups seem to want to do something about the bad miasma of drama going on around here, though I’m not sure if they entirely get the point from what they said the survey results were--they said stuff like “say hi to each other in the halls.” Uh-huh. I’d like to see more of a “why don’t we be nice to each other and understanding if someone has problems instead of tattling” (not just me, in general we need that) culture myself. Because after four years, guess what, I’m aware you hate my voice and obviously, I haven’t been able to fix it to your satisfaction after years of complaints! It’s not helping! At some point you just have to accept that some people aren’t going to behave as you wish and move on. I wish some folks wouldn’t be so loud or snappish or easily ticked off at the slightest thing or whatever, but clearly that’s not going to happen, so...just live with it.

Please pardon my work rant, I’m writing this the night before Holidailies after a day of silence (but hey, no complaints), hopefully there can be some better writeups in the future. I’ll be taking the last two weeks of the year off from work, so I am looking forward to that. Mom has the second week off from work (huzzah, she can finally HAVE a vacation with this new job), I don’t know what or if we are doing much of anything yet. As for the first week, I haven’t decided if I want to do anything or go anywhere or just sit in blissful silence for a week without anyone to complain about me. I haven’t even told Mom I’m taking off then, which...will be interesting.


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