Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Let's set the stage, in my workplace. We have 9 people at the moment. I'm using initials to protect the ones who are actually worse than I'm saying. I'm not saying exactly what we do, so no one recognizes us.

The Powers That Be
E and A are connected at the hip. At least A wishes they were. They've worked together a long time and A always has wanted a up-close-and-personal relationship, while E is indifferent and power-minded. A is technically the boss, but E does the hard stuff. And gets whatever he wants by exploiting the feelings of A. It's *messed up*. E has even had a reported affair with a married coworker. He continues to flirt with very young, brunette, married coworkers.

The two above have managed to set themselves apart of the working social circle. It didn't used to be that way, but their need for ultimate control has caused a split, as no one trusts them.

Our Two Moms
Okay, that sounds gay and it's not. One is married (R) and the other isn't (N). We're fortunate to have two caretakers in our midst. R takes care emotionally, by using her friendship with A to speak her mind when things are not right. This isn't always the wisest move, but she still trusts A with it all, so there you have it. Just watch what you say to R, if it's not for A's ears. The other Mom is N. She feeds us - an important prerequisite for new hires. If I understand correctly, she really was asked if she can cook when she interviewed here. She brings us birthday parties (cake!!) and comfort food (some chicken concoction called "sopa").

The Short-Timer
She's the youngest here and will be called Y. You'll not see much mention of her as she's gone in a week's time and has been here about a year. She fits the flirt profile for E and he about trips over himself to talk to her, hassle her. She's a good one, though. None of that is her fault.

The Brain
She's a sharp one. Need to know anything about the Web? Call L. She knows it all and has it together. A bad marriage has burned her, so she's single. She's a humble, quiet one, known for her uniform of jeans and a flannel.

The Ultimate Brain
We'll call this one K. He knows it all. A walking encyclopedia of everything. If a University would just sit and talk to him for an afternoon, they'd grant him a doctorate by the end of the day. K's mind is lightning-fast and misses nothing. He's intensely private, with only fleeting mentions of a girlfriend.

Meet D, our resident Yankee from NYC. He was "there" on 9/11/01. D has a biting, dry wit....and some control issues. He's OCD to us for his extreme organizational practices. It's an Olympic sport for this guy. He's engaged to a quirky young thing who suits him just fine,

Moviegoer Extraordinaire
S is found at the movies about every weekend. He's a walking reviewer, most of the time. Great guy, in stature and personality. He's gay, but he makes no issue of it. He holds multiple degrees and is very knowlegeable in his job. The only thing you have to remember is that he's tight with A.

My workplace, in all its glory. Stories to follow. Film at 11.

Okay, it was about as bad as I feared. I'm between a rock and a hard place. They ask, "Are we being fair?" Of course, they are not, but you're pretty well gagged. You can't argue a word or you become the target. YOU are the difficult one, the insubordination, the troublemaker. YOU must be terminated, and then it starts.

So, how can you answer that question? You can't. At the moment, nothing is fair.

Besides this lovely work situation (and I know - all workplaces have these political games), I've taken a bit of a beating lately.

Two men have crossed my path lately. You've read about one. Not Fair Situation #2, there. I think the jerk, for all of his "I really want you as my friend, while I work this out," is ignoring me. I used to see him online almosy daily, but now -- never. ANother clear illustration that yes indeedy my trust was misplaced. Weasel and a liar, that one. I wouldn't want a mental case in my life anyhow (been there, done that, have the emotional dings to prove it), but it smarts to be lied to.

Not Fair situation #3: Want you, need you, ignore you. Again. I go out with this guy, it goes great, we talk about seeing each other again and....nothing. Probably better that way, as he's a jock and I'm....well, not. I'm much more of a thinker and I need a brain to talk with. Not to -- with. No talking is happening now, though, because either he's too busy (very possible) or he's ignoring me, too.

Not Fair situation #4: I know the perfect man for me. I've met him, talked with him. But get this -- he has a girlfriend. Great.

Not Fair situation #5: My best friend's father died. 'Nuff said? A girl needs her Daddy.

I'm in an understandable funk today. It's miserable. Dammit, I'm a spectacular companion. Not exaggerating here and I do not have a large ego, just for the record. I just work really hard at making people happy. Not smothering - I know where the line is and that's what makes me good. I listen, learn, and provide what's most wanted. It's a knack I have. Ask anyone I buy presents for. I work at it.

I'm also damn good at my job. I don't appreciate anyone trying to make me look incompetent. I'll set that right somehow, but it's gotta be without becoming a target.

Dang, why do people have to be so very difficult?!?!

Monday, March 22, 2004

Let the cursing begin!

Actually, I'm not a cursing person, but if I were.....

In 10 minutes, I'm meeting with 1/2 of the Powers That Be here (at work). I'm bracing myself for a good ol' raking over the coals, which is going to piss me off, but I can't say anything because I want to keep my job. I'm going to be accused of being less than competent, when I was thrown into an impossible situation.

Buckle up, ego. It's going to be a bumpy ride. And I'm more than a little scared, truth be told.....


Friday, March 19, 2004

Feels like the "old days" today, which funny enough weren't that long ago. Office seems happy and content this a.m. Birthday eats - always a good thing. Hilarity in email - even the bosses participated. Chatted, snacked, whistle-while-you-work, and all that good rot. Even worked a little.

Fog outside. Due to be hot today (86 -- gross).


Thursday, March 18, 2004

The ol' ego is taking a beating lately.... What a strange world this Internet is! Someone told me the other day that it's the new meeting place for the millennium. Could be.

Anyhow, tonight I'm wondering about honesty. Where is it hiding? Integrity is with it, I think. Advice to anyone who decides to not pursue a particular friendship or romance:

Don't make empty promises or say anything to imply a future.

Don't just ignore that other person. They need to know what's what. If you've changed your mind, then you just have. But don't leave them to question what they said or did, or if they looked wrong or sounded wrong or f*cked wrong, or whatever. Let 'em know, so no more time is wasted (reference earlier blog rant).

Here's another honesty tip: just answer the question. The story:

I'm busying my happy little self online when I get a delightful series of IM's from....let's say J. J is a personable guy, we think alike, have a lot in common. He's fun. He says, "Ask me anything! The bolder the better!" I ask why a strapping young man such as himself doesn't have a girlfriend around. His answer?

"LOL, No. Wife."

Wife. Ah-ha. My mood sinks. Dang I hate it when guys are cheating. He says to move on with the questions. He says, "Can I answer this tomorrow?" When asked why, he says he has to go, but that I was "cool to meet" and that he hoped to chat again soon. He even apologized for the awkward subject.

But the damage is done. I don't trust him. He has a wife and is chatting me up. No matter the sitch there, that's not cool. Don't wanna be married? Then don't be married. But don't expect any jollies from me when you have a wife who needs your attention more. And if she doesn't, then don't be married.

Any way you slice it, cheating is wrong.

So, I'm disappointed. He was turning into a nice guy to chat with. Lots in common ... a good friend, at least. Then that. Dang.

Time to drag my tired butt to bed. Be good, y'all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

So, I said earlier that the Internet now allows a guy to forgo the polite preliminaries and just say "Wanna f*ck." A few months ago, I get a really nice, respectful, intelligent message from this guy and let him know how much I appreciated that approach. We've had some good conversations since then, discussed a lot of common interests, joked around -- you know. We flirted, but he didn't degrade it to "What's your bra size?" or any such nonsense. A nice, smart guy.

So, he gives me his phone number, says to please call. I'm shy about that, so I don't. He says he'd like to meet me. He suggests one day and I can't go. I suggest another. We make plans to meet at a cafe. Casual. Relaxed. No pressure.

The day before, his car breaks down. He leaves me a phone message about it and asks to reschedule. I try to call him back, but have to leave a voicemail. Over two days, I try twice more, then give up. My gut speaks -- the sucker is dodging me. He asked for all of this, and he's dodging me.

So, this morning I get a message, finally. But it's online. He's not ready to take out friendship further and he was surprised to feel "invaded" by my calls.


I had an online conversation with him about this. I was understandably upset. He gave me his phone number. He asked me out. He left a message for me to return. However, me accepting those things is somehow wrong. He wants to be my friend while he figures out why he is nearly 40 and can't maintain a relationship. Then, I suppose he expects to go out with me and see if he's fixed the problem.

Does any of this sound fair? Right? Does anyone else feel I have a right to be at least miffed about this?

This attitude is exactly what I hate about a lot of romance movies:
"I like you."
"I like you, too."
"Let's go out."
"Yes, let's."
"I think I'm falling in love."
"So do I."
"WAIT! I CAN'T LET THAT HAPPEN! I'M FREAKING OUT!" This person hides, afraid to be happy, afraid to just let it all happen without beating it to death with a wringing of hands and ulcer-burning worry.

The second person moons about the rest of the movie, dealing with having their heart shoved up their nose.

This is apparently similar to the same routine this guy puts people through, except with me he did that at the "Let's go out" stage. L-o-v-e-l-y.

I suppose I'm fortunate that he thinks enough of me to not want to do that to me, further down the road. The whole attitude makes me ill, though, as it does in those movies. I get so sick of the emotional cripple routine. Dang, people, GROW UP!

So, here's the point I'm getting at (finally): Life is way too short to waste it on ringing your hands and fussing until the whole experience passes you by. Let yourself LOVE and be LOVED. Be INVOLVED in someone. Okay, sometimes it hurts. Life hurts. It's not pretty and clean, with smooth edges. This is what hones us into individuals. Live and learn. Don't shut yourself down and waste the whole trip.

So, the ball is in his court. If he wants to talk, he can call or email. I'm not doing another stinkin' thing. Warning to him (and those in similar mindsets): wring your hands too long and bury your head in the sand too deep, and I'll be GONE. When you come to, you'll find I'm no longer there. I'm not wasting my life on waiting.

I'm a pretty spectacular partner, in so many ways. Someone out there will appreciate that and reciprocate it, if he doesn't. So, snooze you lose, bud. Life is too damned short.

Goodnight folks. If your sheets are cold, figure out why and find a way to remedy that, for good and without wasting time.

Friday, March 05, 2004


I switched jobs last year. It was my ideal job -- right up my alley, in line with my skills, and with people whose thought processes were sometimes even harder to follow than mine. Do you have any idea how totally ecstatic I was to find that? These people are smart. I mean mind-boggling scary smart. Their wit is as sharp as their intellect. But I digress again. You'll hear more about that along the way, I'm sure. The point is that it's been a womderful place to work and I've loved coming to work. I escaped the corporate world to come here and it's like Wonderland to me.

Then, it changed.

Strange things happen to people when they get a bit of power. Some revel in it and handle it beautifully. Others liken leadership to control. That's what's happened here. Control issues runneth over.

I'll not bore you with the dynamics of our leadership, but to say it's twisted is like saying the Menendez brothers tended towards tantrums. This came to light, for me (earlier for those more entrenched here), when one of us underlings crossed one of the power-trippers. A concentrated effort was made to dissect him away from us, like a cancer. Then the controls came -- stopping just short of a time clock. They say it's not to document things for termination, but it sure looks like it, smells like it, and quacks like it.

Why am I ranting about this now? Because I just had another ridiculous example in my face. Their efforts of control have complicated things for us with the addition of new and ridiculous procedures. It should be noted that these procedures actually detract from work time, make meetings longer, and generally hinder progress and breed resentment. So, we are all trying to learn how to perform one particular nuisance of a task and we aren't even sure it's going to work. Four people trying to learn, while accomplishing this task. I watched them hover over it, work out the steps, see how it works. Before it could be completed, here comes a power-tripper.

"It doesn't take four people to do this," she says, this woman who had once been a source of encouragement.

"We're trying to figure out how it works," one protests.

"Then one person figure it out and teach it to the rest. Go back to your offices."

I hear the shackles scrape across the floor as they make their way back to their cubbyholes, dejected and resentful. It's 4:40 PM on a Friday. 5 more minutes and the task would have been done.

Maybe they were having too good of a time at it -- joy seems to be a major irritant to the power-trippers. I suppose my resentment would be less if these were low-producing people. However, they are hard workers, all of them. They keep this building moving and they are excellent at their jobs. Some have gone because of how things have changed; more still are considering the options. The ones who are left ar over-burdened by the lack of a full staff.

But heaven forbid 5 minutes of laughter be spared, at the end of the day on a Friday. How sad. And what a royal pain in the ass.