Monday, January 28, 2008

In need of a Professional Mission Statement, STAT!

This morning my lovely employer and I nearly had it out again. He arrived at work overly frustrated with the programmer working on the upgrade with him. He wasn't able to get in touch with said programmer and his frustration level increased to the point of taking it out on me. Oh wait I should say that he didn't think he was taking it out on me because when I flat out told him he was and he said no I'm not and it was this ridiculous exchange that ended stupidly and without any closure. BLAH, BLECH, YUCK, ICK.

I got to spend a fantastic night on Friday with a very dear friend getting dinner, shopping and watching a movie. She is an inspiration to me in this job hell because she escaped her own hell a little under a year ago. She is now settling in at her new position and loving every minute of it. So much so that she doesn't even think of it as work! Wha??? I've never had that. Never.

Work is work. A yucky, unfun, nasty way to pay the bills. It's not that I'm afraid of hard work because I'm really not. But does it always have to be SO hard? I think not. Take my lovely friend as an example. It can be wonderful. It can be fulfilling and rewarding. I want that. I have to create that some how no matter what.

So my assignment from therapy last week was to create my very own "professional mission statement". I'm balking a bit at the title of it but I certainly understand the reasoning behind it. By putting down my professional goal(s) in a written succinct form I'll be able to have a clear place to start when looking for my next job. Right now it feels like I'd be looking for a job that was something, anything other than this. That's not what I want to do. I want to have professional fulfillment. I know it's a lot to ask for in America where people are often forced to be happy with what they have and suffer through it because at least you have something. But I don't just want something. I want it all in both my professional and my personal life. So there!

I know that this mission statement won't solve all of the problems or be a magic bullet. I'm not expecting it to be. But I am hoping that it will help me focus my attention in a few places that might lead me to that "it hardly seems like work" goal. It has happened for others and now I want it to happen for me.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another book for the shelves

I finished "Children of God go bowling" by Shannon Olson last night. Her style is very easy and funny. The book centered around her relationship with a guy friend from college. It was a nice quick read and very well worth it. I hope she keeps putting out novels because she's really got a great writing style and I'd read anything she writes.

Not sure which one I'll pick up next but I'll let you know as soon as I do.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First finish of the new year

I got an idea from another blog about keeping track of the books I read this year. Brilliant idea. And since this is my own living little piece of cyberspace I'm going to keep that list right here.

This weekend I FINALLY slogged my way through to the end of "Special Topics in Calamity Physics". I started reading it months ago. Some time this fall or so. The author's style was interesting but most definitely not my cup of tea. I had nearly given up on it several times through out the last few months but decided to keep on trying. On Saturday, or perhaps it was Sunday, I finally made it to the final page. I'm so glad that I can put it on the bookshelf now and not have to open it again. I apologize wholeheartedly if you loved this book. Again, just not my cup of tea.

Since I was so near the end of "Calamity" I went to Half Price Books on Sunday to stock up on some new material. I bought four books. Two by authors whom I had read previous titles, one I had heard of about a million times and another that I'd read the synopsis of a million times.

Already started "Children of God Go Bowling" by Shannon Olson. I'd read her last book "Welcome to My Planet" and had really enjoyed it. She's a Minnesotan who grew up very near where I did. Her writing style is great. I've already laughed out loud.

So one book so far for 2008.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Don't forget this, a therapy session breaks through

Went to a therapy appointment today and had a bit of a breakthrough. It was something that I don't want to forget and that hasn't sunk in completely but I really want it to. I'm hoping that by writing it down here I'll be reminded and it will really attach itself to my brain.

I only have to work at and put effort into the things that I want. I don't have to give my effort and attention to the things that aren't right for me. It's OK to stop doing something that doesn't fit me. Example: My job. It's not right for me. I've known that since almost day 1 but I thought I should keep on trying. I thought (still sort of think) that I'm supposed to keep at it. That if I try hard enough and work at it long enough it will be what I want, that it will feel right and be the right fit for me. It's the same way I dealt with and felt about my relationship with him. It was the situation I was in so I had to keep working at it. I couldn't just let it go or give it up even though it wasn't right and didn't suit me.

My friends all knew that he wasn't giving me what I wanted and so did I. I just thought it was because I needed to keep working at it. If I just tried this or that tactic it would change and be what I wanted. How self-righteous is that? That somehow I have the magical power to make all people and all situations the way I want them to be. The way they would feel right for me.

My therapist used a great analogy that equated it to clothing. I wouldn't buy a sweater that didn't fit me and wasn't what I wanted so why would I put up with that in a relationship? I mean if a sweater was too short, or was too long would I try to fix it to how I wanted it to fit me? No I'd put it back on the shelf and go looking for another sweater.

So why did I spend so much of my energy struggling to make a relationship that didn't fit into something that would? He's fine with himself the way he is but he wasn't fine for me. So what? That's my fault not his.

This job is what it is. My boss is who he is. The company is going to run and progress the way he wants it to and it should because it's his company! But it doesn't fit me. It's not what I want.

It's OK to find the things in life that I like, that fit me and that I want. Things: jobs, relationships. I don't have to be a part of a situation that doesn't fit me. I don't have to change a job or a person in order for them to fit me. There are so many different options out there why not find the one that does fit. Or at least find a situation where all of the good far outweighs anything that doesn't fit exactly. I can't expect everything to fit and function perfectly to my thoughts and desires each and every second. Of course I'll have ideas about how something "should" be or I would like it to be, but that doesn't guarantee that I'm right and that it HAS to be that way.

In fact I shouldn't try to change anyone else because I'm guaranteed to be disappointed when they don't meet my ideas of what they should be. They are who they are and if that's alright for them then it should be more than good enough for me. But if we don't fit we just don't fit. That's OK. And I should expect it. Not every person in the world will be right for me. Not every job I take will be a fit for me.

I spent 7 and a half years in my last job and I never thought I would make it a year. But I kept struggling and trying and putting in effort after effort. I've been here 10 months and I know it's not right either. I want something different. Do I know exactly what I want? No. But I am guaranteed to not find it if I don't keep looking.

So go on out there and keep trying on relationships and jobs. You never can tell which one will fit like that perfect sweater. As a matter of fact I could use a new sweater. :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Couldn't if I wanted to

Even if I had any desire to work today I couldn't. The system interface I used to do the majority of my job doesn't work any more and there is no sign of when I might have a working interface again.

They installed the upgrade this weekend and I've spent my entire morning getting phone calls from people asking "Why doesn't" this, "why can't" that, and "what's wrong" with. Every time I'm on the phone with one person I'll get at least three more calls coming through. Which means three more voicemail messages full of issues that I can't solve.

There are so many "issues" (hell I'm going to stop putting a spin on it and just call them fuck-ups) going on that the two programmers are doing nothing but fixing things. All morning I'll answer a phone call, hang up and say "Should blah blah be working?" To which they scramble and try to sort out blah blah. Fire drill!!!!!

And yet I sit with no way to access the new system and make updates for people. No way to completely process the orders I have to process. No way to do most anything at all. So blogging it is!

I expected this. I sincerely expected to walk in today to a major fuck-up parade. But it still makes me so incredibly angry! I can't do my job!!!!!!!!!! I hate not being able to help my customers and fix their issues. That's my job and I can't do it. I can't even tell them when their problem will be solved or hell if it ever will be.

It really is time to get out of here. I've had enough. I was promised so many things and they are never going to happen. Wish I could let go of the frustration and anger I feel about it but when you have to sit and take the brunt of the customers anger there is only so much that you can let roll off your back. It's my empathetic personality that makes me really damn good at my job but it also makes it really damn hard to let it go when there is nothing I can do to help.

I feel powerless here. I feel powerless over so many parts of my life and I hate it. It's too much to take.

Friday, January 11, 2008

In search of a topic beware of the ramblings ahead

I can't think of anything to write about but I'd rather write in here than actually do my job. So here I am. It's 3:15 ish on Friday afternoon. I can't wait until today and this week are over. For some reason things have been kind of off. I can't really explain why or what. I just seem out of sorts.

My therapy session on Tuesday went fine but not really. I felt strange during the session as though I was talking to a stranger. She and I have known each other nearly 6 years (I think) so we are definitely not strangers. But there was a feeling in the room that I can't get over. I'll have to remember to bring it up to her next week. It almost felt as though she didn't want me there or I was intruding on something. Strange. How many times can I use the word strange or a derivative of it in one paragraph?

Then there was the date I went on last night. A few weeks ago I went speed dating and this was one of the two guys I gave a "yes" vote to. He also said "yes" to me which should have meant that he wanted to see me again even in some small way but I don't think so. In the emails we exchanged his comments were short and to the point. No extraneous questions or conversation stirring. Then there was a short phone convo with the same feeling, straight to the point, no off topic remarks and no "lets get to know each other" banter. We were supposed to go bowling at a place in the city that will be closing this spring but when we got there it turned out to be league night. So we went to a restaurant he suggested. Ordered drinks at the bar while waiting for a table. Once at the table ordered an appetizer to share. His posture wasn't inclusive. He was sitting back in the booth with his arms crossed. Classic body language for "I'm uninterested" if you ask me. Then he dropped me back at my car, quickly said good bye and off he went. We met up at 8 and I was back at my car by 9:45. Not a marathon date by any means.

This week at work hasn't been fun either but I've already blogged about that. So what else shall I write about? None of my jeans are fitting correctly. They are getting baggy in the waist, I should say even more baggy in the waist. I'm very pear shaped and with the changes I've made to my diet and the exercising I've been doing I've lost about 7 or 8 pounds. I'm trilled to be losing weight but if more of it would come off of my thighs I would be ecstatic! I'm shaped how I'm shaped so there's nothing much I can do about that except keep on keeping on. I need to lose about three more pounds by February 10th in order to make the target of my "fat bet" at work. Everyone here is on some sort of weight loss bet that we are calling "fat bet". Boss has even made a web site to track our progress. I have to weigh in every week day on the scale at work. Then on the morning of February 11th we will all be weighing in to see if we made our bets. We can wear shorts and t-shirts for the final weigh in so I'm hoping not wearing my jeans on that day will help a bit, even if just a little bit.

My head feels empty. I'm not feeling focused or excited or much of anything right now. I hope the weekend will help restore my energy and excitement. So strange how those feelings are so fleeting and the doldrums and lows return without advanced warning. I guess that's a good enough reason as to why I'm back in therapy and still taking the happy pills. Oh and did I mention that my new insurance might not cover my therapy visits? Preexisting condition and all. Have to wait and see what they determine on that. But if they won't pay then I'll have to cut back on my visits. It's just too expensive to go every week.

Tired today. I even had two mugs of Chai this morning. Eyelids are heavy. Sleep would be so nice. Perhaps I'll go to bed a bit early tonight. And a nice long sweat at the gym wouldn't hurt either. I'll do my best to turn it around, that's all I can expect from myself.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Occupational Frustrations

Again. It has happened again. I was trying to help boss guy tweak a new system we are about to install but every suggestion for improvement I have he doesn't like or for some reason doesn't want to implement. I cannot figure out what to do. I have no control at all over how he chooses to program the new system or how it works. I'm going to be the one who deals with the thousands of people who will be confused about the changes. This upgrade will greatly affect my job and how I deal with our customers, but I have little to no input on how it will work. I cannot even begin to tell you how much this frustrates me.

We are a small, small, small company. It was one of the things that drew me to this job. I thought I would really be able to make an impact on how the company functions and how we do things. That is not happening at all. My suggestions and ideas are not part of the picture. I am not listened to. My ideas are seemingly ignored. My needs and the needs of my position are unimportant. I'm losing every ounce of patience I can muster to deal with this on a daily basis.

What do I do about it? I can't imagine him ever changing how he wants to run this place or him ever placing importance on the customer management side of the world (my domain).

This seems to come up every time I have to deal with him on something, no matter what the topic. Is it ever going to improve? Am I ever going to feel like a part of this company rather than a butt in a chair who answers the phone and responds to emails? I wanted more than this. I was told it would be more than this. I want more than this because this isn't enough.

So the time has come to dust off the resume and see what's out there. No harm in looking and it may help me feel like I'm in control of my occupation again. I like being in control but I certainly know how to collaborate. I have no control here and I definitely am not able to collaborate.

Wanna hire me?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Weekend Recap

I broke one of my New Year's Resolutions on Friday. Instead of going out for a Pokim night I stayed in and did seven million (4) loads of laundry. But it was a desperate situation, there was no underwear left to be had in my life. I still feel bad about it though. Choosing laundry over hanging out with lovely gals should never happen. So I should add a Resolution that I will not allow laundry, dishes, cleaning etc. to ever get so out of control that I have to choose it over anything else that I might be asked to do.

On Saturday I got to meet bro's new girlfriend. She was very cool and very brave. The three of us headed down to the Gig to celebrate grandpa's 90th birthday. There was a ton of family there, 13 of us altogether, unless I missed counting someone. Grandpa is still so with-it and active. I can only hope to be as mentally there as he is when I'm 50 let alone 90! We played all sorts of games and ate and laughed. I had a great time. We didn't get home until late Saturday night and I wasn't tired so I didn't go to bed until well after 1 am. That is very late for gal.

On Sunday I spent most of the day running errands, cleaning and teaching myself a little bit of oragami. When my niece was visiting a few weekends ago we stopped in Daiso at Westlake. I saw some packets of Oragami paper and couldn't resist buying it. During my errands on Sunday I stopped at Barnes and Noble to see if I could find a how to book.

So that's about that. Tonight it's back to the gym since I didn't go at all last week. Hope your weekend was what ever you wanted it to be.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My 2008 - According to the Stars and Town & Country Magazine

According to the horoscope section of Town & Country my 2008 will be pretty good. I should "luxuriate in my accomplishments" and "get used to being on the receiving end of others' benevolence and goodwill." I will also see "unending kindness and affection ... flowing [my] way" which has got to be good. Oh and my heart will also be airlifted to new heights in late January through mid-February then again from mid-November to early December. The dates to watch for my love life are Highs: 2/1 and 12/1; Lows: 3/7 and 8/29.

So there you go world, you know what I'm expecting. Now bring in on!