Thursday, October 25, 2007

a room full of faceless strangers, here I am again

Dear Diary...
   Life is what happens when you had other plans. I always seem to stumble into that around my birthday, usually because I'm more acutely aware of the world around me or because other people just happen to pick that particular week to change things around. I'm flashing you This year, this last week more to the point, is no exception. The other day I downloaded Sheena Easton's "You Could Have Been With Me", which has always reminded me of Pablo Cruise's "Cool Love" because of the introductary line even though the two are going in opposite directions; Sheena's singing about a breakup due to never being on the same page, Pablo's singing about a meetup courtesy of finding yourself on the same page. The mind works in strange and mysterious ways. But so does the world, which is what brings me to scribble here when I should be putting together an update to Spackle or updating my resume on and
   It happened for the second year in a row and I-dunno-how-many-times in my life: Shortly after I emailed my mother on my birthday to tell about my excellent job, the employment carpet was yanked out from under me. I take pride in the fact that it wasn't because I was caught in a mop closet with a manager's daughter or a Girl Scout troop walked in on my nude calesthenics or because I'd packed more than a pad of purple Post-It Notes™ into my coat pocket. It was because I'd rated a clearly fraudulent site as phishing, when it was more like trademark infringement. If this sounds stupid, you're onto something. Some years ago I discovered that there are managers who enjoy the power of managing, and enforce the rules they create with an iron hand no matter what the circumstance is. I'm not saying anything bad about my workplace or my supervisor, I very much liked both; I'm saying that there are times when an action or a failure to act means more to the people who make the rules than to the business or world in general. I lost my job over a clerical misjudgement, in so many words, that didn't cause anyone to die or any business to lose money, and a supervisor or two was very much married to the concept of "final written warning" when a similar error (affecting a couple businesses for a few hours) was committed months ago. It's like they have chosen to ignore or deal with at another time the consequences of their actions, being that the coworkers on an already stretched-thin team now have to take up the slack and absorb the newly-vacant hours of the shift. Since I liked my coworkers I certainly wouldn't intentionally inconvenience them like that. Hell, I covered for their asses on many occasions when they had plans or emergencies, I wouldn't want this to be sprung on them, as it was. But this is all water under the bridge; I must look forward because there's no way to go back, and spite hurts the spiteful more than it affects the spited. I suck at spite so I don't carry that if I can help it.
   Filling out unemployment forms is difficult. Not because it is time-consuming, or requires research to get dates and data, or even because one has to find accurate yet muted ways to explain the situation to the state. It's difficult because it takes some mental hurdling. It's a concession that you have fallen down and you need help. People hate admitting they need help; that's one of the first things one learns in tech support, people don't want to call you but after looking at the situation and trying whatever they can they have to call you. It's an admission to myself that I lost a job, and in this case one that I was not unhappy with, and that I must now dust myself off and find a new steed to mount. But I still haven't found the space within me to complete the initial steps of getting back on, being updating my résumé and submitting for jobs. I have done some other contact work to let the agencies who have placed me before know I'm back in their fold, so I haven't sat totally idle on that front, but more people need to know. And will. Soon. Just not in the last five days.
   This has, bright side time, given me the opportunity to tackle some home improvement projects that I'd normally have to put off to a weekend. The huge fluorescent trough in the kitchen ceiling has been removed and the 4' x 2' hole has been patched over with drywall. Some electrical work has been done to make things safer. Two lights will be installed in the new panel as soon as the ceiling patch resembles the rest of the ceiling in color and texture. I have that sense of accomplishment that self-renovation brings. Now if only that could spread to other facets of my life that could use the moral[e] boost...
   I woke up this morning dreaming that I was 80 years old and conducting a yardsale. I was selling everything. The plan was to go completely nihilistic and move into some retirement village, hopefully not a nursing home (which I refer to as an "ossuary" because that's what it is, a repository of forgotten bones), so that when my number was up there'd be almost nothing to haggle over or dumpsterchuck. It was an interesting dream, not as depressing or morbid as one would think when one is frankly preparing for the inevitable. I'm not that keen on my mortality, and hate thinking about it, and find myself sometimes saying "shit, is the second half of my life going to be filled with this? uh, yeah, it is, and it just gets worse with time". But I have no say in the matter of getting old and dying, I just have a bunch of stuff to accomplish before then and like most people not a lot of drive to do the not-fun parts of it. (And if blogs have any power of attorney: cremate and scatter, dammit -- don't buy me a friggin' stone and bury me, I'm not that vain and my nutrients should be recycled!)
   Hmm, since that last paragraph was sort of a downer, Diary, let me make it up to you. There's this website full of colorful, family-friendly Flash games called which I stumbled across at work the other day... I'm writing this more or less between games of Bauns. If you can get past the soft cushy anime aspects of the page, you can have a lot of fun here. I'm pasting into this entry a photo of me wrangling with some aluminum flashing that I pulled out of the attic, which had been around the fluorescent trough to keep the insulation off. So I'm "flashing" you. Ahahahahaha! I'm done, so wish me luck on getting back on the horse. Any horse. So long as it's heading my direction. It's the mounting that's more challenging to my head right now than the riding.
   You're such a good listener, Diary... see you again on Sunday.

Well, I'm glad that the post I read before this one tells of good news about a possible new job.
I hope it works out. That would sure be great to get a new job that quickly... no stress or panic.
I'm glad to read that you were e-mailing your mom which means maybe your mom-son relationship is going well, or at least fairly well.
There will always be a list of things to do, big and small, but there's no reason to kill yourself trying to do them all.
Happy Halloween Week!!
Jamie: One email in the span of a year does not make a healthy mom-son relationship. Especially when every time I do that, I lose the job I just bragged about in that email. :)
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