Friday, March 30, 2012

Get Off My Lawn

I do not care about Pinterest. There was a brief story on NPR a few weeks ago and I heard the stupidest thing ever. This woman was talking about how she and her friends were in a furniture store and admired a chair. One of them said "I think I've seen this before." Another said "isn't that on your pinterest?" The other said "No" and whipped out her phone to take a picture so she could pin it and OH MY GOD IT WAS THE FUNNIEST THING!!!! That was what the chick being interviewed thought, not what I thought. What I thought was "how many people are you going to tell about someone taking a picture of a chair?"

I also do not care about American Idol and would really like it to die. I think I've probably said that several times on this here blog but really, can you say it enough? I don't even have cable any more but I still cannot escape it because I like the internet and gossip magazines and because I work in an office with human beings who watch and discuss the show in the break room. Who will be the next American Idol? Probably some jerk starring in a youtube video.

Can someone please explain to me how my consumer profile includes new or expectant mother? Similac sent me a card inviting me to join some moms club thing and if I respond now I can get a special smart bottle (I don't know if it is for me or my phantom baby). I triple checked the name and address and yep, it was for me. I purchase my fair share of alcohol and my diet consists of ramen, frozen pizza, popsicles, and toast and cheese. I suppose I wouldn't want me breast feeding either but I also wouldn't assume that was an issue in my life. I'm considering stocking up on hard liquor, condoms, lubricant, and porno magazines just to set my profile back to 'sad-lonely-single-adult' but fear what kind of invitations that might bring me. Larry Flynt opened a store in my area so who knows who tempting and tantalizing offers I might receive.

Speaking of Larry Flynt, did you know that Dear Abby knows him? It's true, look. I'm pretty sure she relies on old Larry for dating advice as well as porno advice.

And since I've decided to link, I'd just like to say, no shit, of course this guy kills hitchhikers in his truck. I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover but, as my friend Birdy said, "That guy looks like ALL he does is kill hitchhikers! Ya'll see his eyeball?!? That eyeball says "I like to kill hitchhikers."

For the record, I would like to point out that the conversation regarding the Eyeballer, as I like to think of him, began at 8:43 this morning and I've been laughing like a weezing cartoon cat for about thirty minutes. But seriously, would you get into his truck?

It's Friday, the final day of my boss's vacation and so I need to live it up a bit. I get to clear out the office refrigerators because 'other administrative duties as arise' evidently includes custodial tasks, and taking the office mail to the post office. The refrigerators won't be too big a deal since people know that when I'm doing it, I really will throw their shit out. I'm ruthless and don't care if it's nice tupperware or a cloth lunch bag, it will be thrown out. This means that most people take their shit out and so I have little to do.  It still irritates me that I have to do it at all but what are you going to do? I should have said something two years ago when someone volunteered me and the rest of my 'team' but I didn't so I just have to suck it up and throw things away. I'll fight the power some other way. 

Today is also the start of my friend's three day weekend so I won't have him to chat to until Sunday evening or Monday morning and that blows. You know how you get used to talking to someone and then they do something selfish like go on vacation or get really ill or something? That is the moment you realize not only do you talk to that person a ton, but that you see/read/hear a million things a day that you want to tell them, like the Eyeballer and things heard on NPR during your commute. There are a few people I actually miss when they take vacation time away from work and Hunter is one of them. He works in a different office so we communicate via email and instant messenger but on some days, we essentially chat all through the working day because I type super fast and can multitask and he, evidently, is a terrible employee who wastes valuable company time. I think it bothers me more when he's 'out of the office' because he doesn't even work in this office so I don't get to talk to him in person or hang out with him and so it is a double blow to not even have him to chat with online. Jerk. Something about a wife and a life and the world not revolving around me. My old boss is doing the same thing, as a matter of fact, and she'll be gone for two weeks. She's one of the people I miss when they are gone. And Birdy. She's taking a half day (which is why I have to take the fucking mail).

So, basically, I have friends who are rad as hell but who suck and don't care about my need for constant entertainment and amusement. But I love them anyway.

Well, this day took an interesting turn. I don't know why but a few of us in my office have been losing our shit over The Eyeballer I mentioned above. I'm sorry, I know it must be mean, but we just crack up every time we see the photo. And whatever, dude killed people so laughing at him isn't horrific. Birdy made the mistake of telling me and Rambo that she couldn't stand us today because we wouldn't let the issue drop. So I did what any good friend would do; I waited until she left for the day and then printed out ten copies of various sizes of the guy's face. When she comes in on Monday, it will be to find her cubicle filled with this image:
I know, I'm the best friend anyone can have, right? And excellent use of my time. 

And when I wasn't being a dick intentionally, I was being a dick by accident and snapped the head off of my best friend. I've apologized but I do hate when I behave badly. Fortunately, the working day is almost over and I'll soon be napping.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Best Conversation Ever

Ralph Paton

We have too much fun together. Aside from the fact that you like Gangsta rap and think that Red is a flavor, you're down right awesome to be around. 
Gwenda Reed
That and you always force me to think objectively, which pisses me off but really I know it is good for me. 
What's wrong with thinking Red is a flavor? You think watching people drive in a circle is entertaining! 
Ralph Paton
I like the wrecks 
Gwenda Reed
Angry face guy thinks red is a flavor 
You know I'm from Delaware, right? Dover Downs.  
Ralph Paton
- Cool guy likes NASCAR 
Gwenda Reed
= You listening to N.W.A. 
I'm pretty sure they are all the same guy, by the way.  
Ralph Paton
= You being forced to watch a race 
You're probably right. Same dude. 
Gwenda Reed
This is one of the best conversations I've ever had and I'm going to have to put it on my blog 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Would I, Wouldn't I?

The shots have gotten a lot better. I still have some itching but I don't freak out like I did. Actually, I was driving home from work, dead tired and knowing that I had to go to the pet store to buy things for my lord and master, The Destruktor, when I realized that I don't think about the fact that I have MS like I used to. I had a delivery of medication at work on Thursday and forgot about it, leaving it in the break room refrigerator. I just don't obsess like I used to. This is, obviously, awesome and to be expected, and I'm over the moon that it has only take a few months, but it got me thinking about my other chronic and life long problem, that of bi polar disorder.

I haven't read a great deal about mental illness. Yes, I have a BA in Psychology and I find that subject fascinating, but I mainly enjoy individual and group psychology as it applies to human dynamics. I don't go scouring journals to read up on treatments or anything. But I did once read that many of those who have suffered from unipolar depression for years often are afraid of the drugs, not because of side effects or anything, but because, well, without the depression they've suffered for so long, who are they? Don't quote me, as I'm probably wrong, but I feel like I learned this from Elizabeth Wurtzel, one of my favorite authors.

It got me thinking. If someone came and told me that they could make me no longer suffer from bi polar disorder, would I accept that offer? I don't know. We often think about what we would tell our younger selves and if I could speak to 17 year old Cat, I would definitely scream "get help!There is something wrong with you that is treatable and you don't have to be so unhappy and fucked up!" I would do that to keep from having the memories of embarrassing times, of humiliating times, of stupid decisions. But 17 was a long time ago. I'm still proud of 22 year old Cat for recognizing the signs of bi polar disorder and seeking treatment, even though I wasn't very good about taking my pills for some time. But it has been seven years since I've been on the puppy uppers and doggy downers and they've done wonders for me, even if I don't have the same brain chemistry as a 'normal' person.

Would I accept the offer to no longer be bi polar now? I don't know. If someone said they could take away the MS without replacing it with something worse, I'd jump on that shit like I'd jump on Jude Law's cock. But bi polar is different because at this stage, I don't remember what it is like to have anything different. I don't remember what it was like to have emotions and moods and feelings without the control of pills.  Someone once asked me, someone who knew of my 'condition', if bi polar individuals are more self absorbed than others. I didn't take offense, not right away, but just considered the question and responded "I don't know. I no longer know what it is like to be NOT bi polar."

And that's really it. This is what I know. Maybe I'd be really great, really smart, funny, witty, and wonderful. But maybe I'd be stodgy and boring. Maybe I'd be a version of me that I didn't know. I wonder what would be worse, being a me that I know that people didn't like, or a version of me that people did like because I wasn't really me anymore.

The fact of the matter is that right now this isn't really something I have to deal with because science hasn't figured it out yet. There are simple questions that I can answer readily, such as yes, I would like to be just a bit taller, a lot thinner, have a bigger rack, have better hair, be more poised, sophisticated, and controlled. But I think I'd be happier having those things if I could still be me, even considering how much of me I dislike. I'm familiar to myself, as we all are, and as much as I rail against and complain about it, it's what I know.

I Spy

I'm there, they just can't see me. That's because I'm huddled under my desk, rocking back and forth, and silently weeping from being so fucking overwhelmed with work. It feels like the mature thing to do and I recommend it wholeheartedly. I thought about going to my car as an alternative, but it is hot and humid out there and so is the inside of my car. At $4 a gallon, I'd rather not waste my gas by blasting the air conditioning just so I can have a quiet cry. So under my desk it is.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You're Going To Put Your Eye Out

Clap On, Clap Off
The weather in Columbus, save for that little Tornado warning, has turned quite nice lately. OK, not nice exactly, as it is a bit warmer than I'd like, but nice enough. So yesterday I decided to put on my sneakers and try running outdoors again since I've canceled my gym membership. It was quite nice but I was out of practice, so much so that I did something really obnoxious. There I was, jogging along with my iPod in and doing circuits around the neighborhood on the sidewalk, when two girls were suddenly approaching me. They were walking two abreast but they saw me so I figured they'd move to single file for a moment. Only they didn't. Actually, one of them turned around and started walking backwards, continuing to talk to her friend. Did I yell "to the right" or "to the left", whichever it might have been? No. Did I run around the girl, going into the sopping wet grass to avoid her? No.

I clapped.

I don't know what came over me but I clapped loud and obnoxiously to let her know I was approaching and to get her to move. I was a bit indignant about it at first, you know, "what the fuck, bitch? You looked at me and saw me coming but didn't think you should move?" But then I just felt like a complete ass and hoped I'd see them on my next lap to apologize. I didn't, as it happened, but I did convince myself that it wasn't unforgivable. After all, if you are going to be obnoxious and not get out of the way of a runner that you see coming at you, than I am allowed to treat you like an idiot by clapping to get you to move. Your move strange girl.

It's that time again! Tax season. I've had my W2 for ages and I asked J for his a couple of times but he hadn't gotten it. I think the last time I saw him was two weeks ago and I brought it up then. He told me he didn't assume that we'd file together since we are separated and I told him that filing jointly would bring the best return but that I would defer to him and just send me his W2 if he wanted to do so. Well, he never did so I emailed him the other day asking how he wanted to file, not that I wanted to press him on the matter, but we are getting close to the deadline. He said he was going to file his own and I asked how, as married but filing separately or as legally separated. "Whatever the H&R Block Guy says" was his reply. Well, today he found out that it was in his best bet to file jointly so he sent me his W2. I could have screamed but didn't. I simply replied that I knew that was the answer but didn't want to push the issue. But really? I did our taxes last year and a colleague at work did them the two previous years and filing jointly has always been the best bet. And, get this, I can learn!

I didn't take it personally, however. I'm pretty sure he forgot that I'd told him jointly was the way to go. But whatever. I didn't plan on doing this tonight but I decided to restart my filing as a married couple and saw my return go down. I then created a new account to see what J would face if he filed separated. I found that he would owe over $200 federally with a $79 state return and so I emailed to let him know that tax guy and I were right, he benefits by filing jointly. He asked if that meant I wanted to file separately so that I wouldn't be dragged down by him and I said of course not. He then said he didn't want to cost me any more money than he already has, which was a bit heartbreaking and maddening. It isn't as though I haven't cost him money. When we were living together, our finances were almost entirely joint. I went to the ER a few times, as well as Urgent Care once, and had to see numerous specialists. We didn't have a flexible spending account so we had to use credit cards. I didn't ensure that the money to pay my monthly payment only came from "my" funds. So it just makes sense to file jointly to keep him from owing.

A pleasant surprise is that I don't feel inclined to do this out of charity; it's simply the right thing to do. But that is something I didn't think about with this whole separation-eventual-divorce thing, tax discussions. When I asked about how he would file when he was going to do it on his own, I asked if he was going to file as married but filing separately or as legally separated. There has been no official documentation to say we are formally separated, but I don't know if that filing status would cause him problems with health benefits. He is still my husband and we do still have a joint checking account (with about $6 in it) so in my mind, he is still my husband. Thus, he can be covered under my benefits. And until he gets a job that has decent health coverage, or until we are officially divorced, I'd like to keep him covered. I suppose that can be seen as charitable and worrying about him but again, it just seems to be the right thing to do because he has crap coverage and some serious medical problems. It just seems like what you should do.

I suppose this is what it's like to be a great big grown up. It's difficult and practical and responsible. Sure, there is a lot of fun to be had as an adult, what with all the things you can legally do, but it is also pretty shit in some ways. Parents, teachers, and authoritarians like to say "it's fun until someone gets hurt" to chastise children. What they don't tell you is that it never stops. What's worse is that it can stop being fun even if no one is hurt. Lousy adulthood.

I like to think this is why I still eat so much candy - my own little act of defiance.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Career Services

You know what must be a fantastic job? Animal Cracker Designer. I was talking to Hunter earlier today about my animal crackers because most of them are indistinguishable blobs and yet the cow has udders. I don't think he understood my concern at first because he took it upon himself to explain that udders are girl parts and only girl cows have them whilst bulls have penises. He's an expert on bovine genitalia and seeing as I'm helping him update his CV, I think I would be remiss if I didn't work that in there somewhere under "Special Skills."

Eventually I gave up using my words and sent him a picture. As you can see, Stouffer's isn't too concerned about capturing the true essence of most animals. 
 I think "Fat dog with a bump on his head"is actually supposed to be a hippo.

Seriously, what the fuck is that sloth/polar bear that seems to be ravaging the South East? And is seal dog supposed to be a lion or something? 

And yet they took the time to give the cow udders!
At this point, I instant messaged Hunter so that he would know that I had animal crackers all over my desk. If I had access to facebook, that would have been one a status update. Because people need to know these things.

He was fairly aghast at the lack of definition in the crackers and proceeded on something of a tirade about how I must be eating the generic kind and did I need money for the good kind of animal crackers. I know, right? Who knew he was such a connoisseur?  But that's when I realized that head of design of animal crackers must be one of the sweetest jobs out there. And I'd be a natural! Here are a few designs I whipped up:
I don't think I'm too far off, do you? Hunter did suggest that I write a letter to the good folks at Stouffer's expressing my concern about the shitty shapes. I asked if it should be strongly worded and he said that yes, to a degree, it should, but that I didn't want to make enemies. So far this is what I have:
Dear Sir or Madam,
      Here is a picture of a cat that I found on the internet.
Here is a picture of what I think is supposed to be a cat as found in my bag of your delicious animal crackers.
 What the fuck, dude, how do you explain that?

Yours respectfully,


Maybe they'll put it on their website as a customer testimonial. I don't really mind, though. I like a little mystery in my animal crackers. I mean, why should Stouffer's do all the work? And it's obvious that the person who designed these particular crackers is somehow related to whomever it is that designed the boundaries* in this country. With the animal crackers, you can make out the horse, camel, elephant, bison, and llama (if it is a llama). Everything else is pretty much a crap shoot. And this is what the U.S. looks like:
The cartographer finished Texas and Minnesota and then said "fuck this."

See how the east coast has a whole bunch of interesting shapes? And then you get to the west and it's basically rectangles and squares? At some point, the person in charge of defining boundaries got fed up with the thankless task and decided squares were fine, squares were great. 

Animal crackers guy probably just lost enthusiasm like map drawing guy. It happens to the best of us.

*I know that it wasn't just some guy who decided on state boundaries so no need to tell me I'm stupid. Everyone knows that elves did it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How a Boy Feels

" masturbating teen girls"
Someone got to this blog using those keywords. That's pretty specific, isn't it? This person wants to watch multiple teen girls masturbating. I'm sure s/he found what s/he was looking for, but doesn't it seem like only a single teen girl masturbating would suffice? And why masturbation? It doesn't strike me as something that would turn me on, watching some girl play with her honey badger. But to each their own and who am I to judge? Nobody, that's who.

Speaking of judging, I had my evaluation this afternoon and it went even better than I had hoped. OK, full disclosure, I did panic for the thirty minutes leading up to the meeting but Hunter very kindly kept me company on instant messenger and did not make fun of me one bit for continually asking things like "what if I hyperventilate and pass out?" or "what if I start to cry?" or, my favorite, "what if I throw up?" He even offered to call my boss and tell him to be nice to me but he knew I wouldn't go for that (imagine the conversations there would be about why a VP in a different division of the company was concerned about people being nice to me). I think I just expressed my anxiety well enough that he knew I was freaking out and he, like most friends, wanted to make it stop. He couldn't assuage my anxiety altogether, so he did the next best thing and made me laugh a couple of times. Unfortunately, he made me laugh hysterically right before my meeting was to begin so I was a bit off balance*.

But the evaluation went really well and I was very pleased. I even got a raise! I don't know how much because my boss forgot the percentage number and could only tell me that he gave me the highest he could in my bracket (which was awesome). I thanked him and spoke to him very honestly. It was a surprisingly good evaluation given how astute his eval was and how kind and open he was. I really think this next year might actually be better now that I've seen the evaluation.

Next Day
I found out my raise and it was sadly low. Manager told me he gave me the highest available in my bracket and Hunter, who is also a manager, told me that I must be at 120% of my position. This is cool because it means that in only a few years, I've gotten to the point where I make as much as I can. But, on the other hand, if I want to make more money, I need to get a promotion or just get a new job in my company. This is unsettling because it means I might have to leave what I love; alternatively, I need to convince my boss and HR that my position needs to be expanded. 

Manager, during my evaluation, even asked if I had any feedback for him. I didn't feel I could be totally candid so what I did say was that I would like it if he would email more but I did let him know that I've found a work around as I email him after a conversation for clarification so that I have the documentation. He just said "manager up, got it". And today he proved he took it seriously today because when I requested to leave early and he said OK and then came to me and said, to paraphrase, "I'm not worried about you leaving early but I've made a life decision to not leave things till year end. Now, in the last x amount of months in 2011, you had a number of absences..." He was basically letting me know, in the nicest way possible, that he was worried it might be a negative pattern, that he understood that I had a rough time for the past six months of last year, but he wanted to be a good manager. Suffice it to say that I've texted him to thank him for coming to me because it makes me feel like he listened to me. I spent the majority of my time as his employee managing myself. If I can help him understand his role, I'm pleased. And let's face it, like I tell everyone, we never stop testing our boundaries and if you don't let us know when we reach the line, we will keep on. I think this is good for the both of us. And I have been nothing but sincere with the man since my evaluation (OK, so it is less than two days but I plan on keeping it up).

Weird Fear Unnecessary
One of the things I talked about during my evaluation, at the point when Manager asked me what I needed from him, was the fact that my work load has greatly increased. I let him know from the word go that I loved my work and I was actually really happy about the volume. However, Father Time has not granted me any favors and, thus, each hour remains the same sixty minutes that it always has. I asked if I might begin a log on Monday to track where my time was spent so that we might go to HR to see if I can't be salaried. To do this, we will have to prove to HR that I need to have my business title changed to my job title and have them understand that it isn't an hourly position. It really isn't. One half of my job has exploded, much like it did roughly two years ago, and so I'm deluged with work. Again, I'm happy with most of it. What I'm not happy about is not having enough time to attend to each matter 100% like I'd prefer. If I spend four hours doing X, I can guarantee these days that in a week's time I'll most likely spend another four hours doing X, two hours doing Y, and, hopefully, four more hours doing Z. This portion of my work is never ending because I need to recruit, process, and then reprocess for those who have been with my company for two years. You don't need to know the specifics, they'd bore you frankly, but it is time consuming. If that is all I did, things would be great. But I also serve as an assistant and a general executive dogsbody so really, there is too much for the time I have. I suggested the log as a way to see if I'm really in need of more hours or if I just need to identify areas where I can improve efficiency.

Frankly, I hope I can manage a raise and a salaried position. More money is always nice and I'd require it to go salary. But a salaried position would allow me to work over eight hours a day and I truly do like to work. I once told Hunter "can I tell you a secret? I actually like work." And I do! It isn't just that I like the minutia of what I do, but that I enjoy the challenges, the productivity, and the sense of accomplishment. I think I truly am a workaholic at heart but I am aware enough to know that I need to be compensated fairly.

For those who still wonder about my relationship with PW, know this: when I first considered asking Manager about whether or not we could make me salaried, I asked for her advice. I asked Hunter what he thought and he encouraged me to do so but I still asked PW because I knew she'd probably have decent information for me. And she did, thank goodness. I'm so glad I went to her because she did what she always does, considered the issue, told me what I'd need to do, and then quickly found some information I was lacking. I'm hoping she is still comfortable with me, as I am with her, and take it as a good sign that she instant messaged me to see how it went if I'd brought up the salary idea with Manager. I told her what happened and, sincerely, let her know that I would keep her in the loop if I got more information. It was relief, honestly, to interact with her normally. What happened between us happened and we haven't spoken about it. But I hope we can maintain the relationship we previously had as a I truly do appreciate her knowledge and experience and I know she is always a great resource to go to.

In Conclusion
I will leave you with this. Today was a day of heavy data entry and I told Hunter that this meant I would be listening to N.W.A. At one point the following conversation happened:

ME "Dr. Dre uses the term 'predicate' in rap. How can people not appreciate this music more?"
 HUNTER "You should recruit him for your panel. He is a doctor after all."
ME "Yes, but his doctorate is in cold rockin it, not a medical specialty."
ME "I've got a doctorate in cold rockin it is a lyric from a Roots song."
HUNTER"Root the movie"
ME "(hysterical laughter) No, the rap/hip hop group, not the movie."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ms. Smith's Evaluation

I have my performance evaluation tomorrow and, for once, I'm actually looking forward to it. I've read the report given by my supervisor and it was, oddly, a perfect mirror of who I've been at work in the last eight months. I received a number of exceed expectations, a few meets expectations, and one shocking greatly exceeds expectations. The only negative bit that I recall had to do with the downward spiral that my professionalism took this year.

I joke about how inappropriate I am but my degraded professionalism is something that I was aware of and embarrassed by. However, it was something of a conscious choice. Between June 4 and right now, I've had four traumatic life altering events occur. I suffered immense pain that led to a diagnosis of MS, separated from my husband, developed a stalker, and was in a car accident that brought my financial problems to a head. I realized fairly early in these past eight months that if I was to keep afloat in both my private and professional lives, something was going to have to give. I chose polish, for better or for worse.

I used to write long, newsy, handwritten letters to friends. I used to follow up on issues with them. But that became a few emails here and there, nothing long, nothing full hearted. At work I decided that I should focus on the work and getting it done right, regardless of how it was delivered. I'm not saying it was right and that I might have made a different decision, but I can't go back in time. All I know is that I've survived by sacrificing the polish that I used to have.

I mentioned that I've started to put an effort into my appearance but I've done more than that. I've taken greater time and care with emails at work. I went to Hunter once, asking for advice on how to communicate something so that I didn't sound whiny or bitchy because that wasn't what I meant. He worked with me and I was pleased with the finished product. The other day I needed to email someone with something simple, I had a new reviewer for her. She's a friend and I could have jokingly said "yeah, bitch, gotcha a mother fucker"and she wouldn't have flinched. Instead, I copied her manager and another on it and took time to be really professional. Because I'm working on my skills.

My life is in no way settled, don't get me wrong. But it's as though the boat of my life hit rocky water eight months ago and I've gotten my sea legs. The boat still rocks and pitches but now, when I stumble over an obstacle, I simply right myself and keep going as I've adapted, rather than needing to take a minute, throw off a weight, and then continue. I've gotten used to the ups and downs and, what's more, I expect them.

So, for once, I look forward to meeting with my boss to discuss this. Not just so I can explain what has been going on, as I do not plan on going into detail, but so that I can let him know that I understand I've disappointed him, that I've already started on resolving the issue, and so I can compliment him on his astuteness. I will also compliment him on his sensitivity. In my last eval, he referred to me as "Mrs. Smith" throughout. This year he referred to me as "Ms. Smith". I don't know, for all of my emotional perceptiveness, that I could have broken the habit so easily.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Diphtheria still exists? Who knew?

Facebook Rebound Anxiety 
Did you know that i hate coming up with titles for blog posts? I do and that is why this blog post is titled as it is. I fucking hate that shit and feel a low level of anxiety when I have to title them usually. Even if I am writing a single tract about something specific, I still feel pressure and annoyance about the title because all I can think is "I am the only one who reads this and if anyone wanders in, fuck them, I've done the work of writing the post, I'm not spending an inordinate amount of time coming up with a title to draw them in." Who checks out a blog, reads the title of a post, and thinks "Mmmm, no, not for me. I think I'll check out something else"? In that case, I could just title all posts with things like "Candy does anal for the first time" or "Naughty school girl is whomped from both ends by professors". But, quite frankly, I don't ever need to know that I've developed a long time reader who was looking for that sort of thing.

So what was I going to talk about when I started this? Hmm, I actually don't remember. Oh, right! Guilt brought on by perfectly normal and acceptable feelings. Here is a transcript of a status update I placed on Facebook, along with the two comments I put right after I posted it:

Original Post
My neurologist told me that an oral medication (i.e., a pill) may be coming on the market soon, one that has been in use in Germany for years for the treatment of Psoriasis that also works on multiple sclerosis. I'm hesitant to take anything that hasn't been tested for years but frankly, I'm tired of these god damned shots. All I can really say is hats off to the diabetics of this world who inject themselves multiple times a day. And yes, I know, I'm fucking lucky. I don't have cancer and don't have to deal with grueling chemo but I'm not acting like my world is fucked because I have to give myself a shot and, let's face it, we all bitch when we have flu or a head cold. So no "it could be worse" or "consider yourself lucky" comments please. I'm sorry, I just really don't like the site reactions from my daily injections, even though I love that this drug will most likely help me.

First Comment
Dude, what PC bug got into my brain that I can't complain without explaining that I know I'm lucky and asking people to treat me with a modicum of understanding and respect because I know I'm being a dick? If I were run over by a car and complained about the effects, I'd probably say "look, I know I'm lucky to be alive, but all these broken bones and internal damages suck'"

Second Comment
My point is, yes, I know it could be worse, a lot worse. I could live n Syria, in Homs. Hell, I could live in Homs and have MS or cancer or something awful. But I can't help it. The shots are killing me and so I complain about my discomfort. But I am the first to acknowledge how lucky I am. OK, I'm done. I'm not justifying this any more. I probably should have just written this in my real life journal but I'm not deleting shit. See, I'm letting you use me as a "yeah! I totally get it! Thank you for expressing asshole selfishness so I don't have to." This was, essentially, a PSA. And you're welcome. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to put Aquafor on my injection site..

We live in the world of Youtube and reality stars and that shit. And we look at these people like, "what the fuck are you complaining for?" Social media has really proved us to be self centered assholes and I, apparently, have taken that to heart. Part of me thinks that yes, I have a legitimate reason to complain because I have MS and we don't understand it fully so that sucks. But I can't just think that, I have to think about how lucky I am and how much worse it could be and so I end up feeling like a dick for feeling anything less than orgasmic about my treatment.

It may be time for me to get off Facebook.

Working for the Weekend
From now on, any time anyone asks me what I’m going to do this weekend, I’m making shit up. “Do you have any plans this weekend” is one of my least favorite questions because I feel a weird pressure and shame when no, no I do not have any plans this weekend beyond drinking myself silly, pretending I’m going to  clean and do chores, and regret not doing anything better with my time off from work.  I mean, if you are a really good friend of mine, I’ll just say “no, read, chores, the usual” but if I don’t know you well, I’m going to fucking lie. Maybe I’ll say I’m going to work on my novel, purposely using an ambiguous statement so that it sounds like I mean I’ll work on writing one rather than reading one. Or maybe I’ll say I’m going to do some interpretive dance and then I’ll just play Just Dance 4 on my Wii. Or, or! Maybe I’ll just say something like “mind your own fucking business” or “masturbate incessantly” in order to make my inquisitor uncomfortable.

I mean, really, do you give a fuck about what I’m doing this weekend? No, no you don’t. It’s like asking “how are you” when we pass in the halls. “Well, I’m fucked up about the relationship I have with my ‘estranged husband’, I’m terrified about my financial situation, and I am having trouble finding places to give myself my daily shot” isn’t what you want to hear. You want to here “fantastic!” and so that is what I usually say (actually, I usually say “awesome”). Asking me for weekend plans is different. I either say “no” or “yes” without offering details. And the stupid thing is that if you ask me on Monday how my weekend was, I always, without fail, pause because I can’t remember. It isn’t that I actually did drink myself silly, it’s that I probably didn’t do anything noteworthy and so I can’t remember but I feel pressured to say something

I have a feeling that lots of people don't do anything with every single weekend but look forward to just not going to work. Maybe they don't all start drinking Chardonnay at noon whilst working on a puzzle (not that I do that regularly or anything, but I have done and it was fun), but I can't be some special brand of loser who just likes not having to get up early and being able to skip a day of showering. Granted, when I do have plans or I do actually do something, I get super excited. Like when Upstairs Kid invited me to his 21st birthday party thing. Remember that? I felt like I was a proper person and was all excited about going out and being young and normal. And then I got shit faced and, well, that blog post speaks for itself. 

But I do get excited when I have plans. When Hunter was coming to town I looked forward to it and I cleaned my place and was just really super happy. It wasn't even that I had plans, just that I was going to get to see my friend again. Actually, I think what I felt was along the same lines as a twelve year old who looks forward to a sleepover with her best friend. Do you remember doing that? It was always rad because you got to just hang out for hours and talk about all sorts of stuff. That's how I love Hunter, like we are twelve year old best friends and I get super stoked if and when we can have play dates.

And if I don't have any plans, I'm cool with that for the most part. I'm wiped out right now, or, to be more precise, I'm peopled out. Hunter was in town so I hung out with him and made the most of our time together. Then, on Wednesday, I went to a Broad Summit with chicks from work and had a great time. But I'm not usually that social and with all of that coupled with the higher than usual volume of phone calls at work and that client meeting, by the time Friday afternoon rolled around, I was ready to be left the fuck alone. 

That was a very long-winded way of saying "I don't like polite chitchat" wasn't it? 

Friday, March 9, 2012

I went to school with this girl. We sat next to eachother in math class

Mother Nature's Bitch

Remember that time I decided I should try to curb my swearing and I tried for about two days because someone asked me how it was going and I said something like "fuck, dude, I don't fucking know" and realized that I really didn't? And remember how I then said "fuck it" and decided I wasn't going to work on that anymore? Well that was fine and let's face it, I'm never going to clean up my language. Why add the pressure to myself? The important thing is that I'm aware of it and I do actually curb myself when necessary (at client meetings, when talking to someone high up in the company that I don't really know, etc). What I didn't realize is that I evidently subconsciously do things to prevent swearing in those situations. I realized that this morning when I left super early to get to my meeting down town. Granted, I tend to leave early to allow time for getting lost, but I also realized that part of the reason I try to ensure I'm early for things is because being late frustrates me and when I'm frustrated, I tend to express it with a nice tide of swearing.

OK, here's an example. The first time Hunter and I went to lunch together, I didn't really know him that well. All I knew was that he was higher up in the company and that he was from one of the corporate offices. Well, obviously I knew that he was nice and I enjoyed talking to him or else why the fuck would I go to lunch with the guy? That isn't the point, the point is, I knew kind of little about him. So, when we were going to lunch, I drove because I like driving, I'm kind of bad with directions because I'm not visual, and because he was buying lunch and if you're buying me lunch and I'm not blowing you in return, the least I can do is drive*. So, I'm driving, we've established that. We were also talking about something and I don't recall what but I do know that I realized I had missed a turn and that frustrated me so I said something very similar to the following "shit. Fuck, I missed the turn because I was talking and not paying attention. Mother fucker. Hang on, I have to find place to turn the fuck around."

When we got to the restaurant Hunter looked at me and said "well, now I know something about you. You swear like a sailor." Because when I swear impulsively, I'm not giving you hells and damns, I'm saying shit, fuck, cunt, mother fucker, and whatever horrible word is in there dancing around dying to be let out. Obviously he wasn't offended and didn't think less of me or anything like that as we are still really great friends and hung out this week and all of that. But who the fuck just lets loose with "mother fucker" and "shit" in the presence of someone who can be described as a corporate** vice president of the company you work for? Talk about lacking a filter. Hunter could have gone to my boss, asking him to speak with me about my language and then PW would be mentoring me and I'd feel like a chastened child.

The point is, I swear when frustrated. And it takes me a long time to say that, apparently.

The meeting downtown was fine by the way, though my getting their was pretty hysterical. Remember how my boss told me I had to look better than just my usual "I don't look too much like ass today"? Well, I did as requested and put on black trousers (the ones that always want to fall down) and black heals. I also just decided that today was going to be a fine, balmy day, so I threw on a denim jacket and grabbed my things and left the house. It was a little nippy out but no big deal and so I stopped at McDonalds for a large diet Coke to suck down on my way downtown. I get to the parking garage and that's all fine and well and I grab my stuff and start heading out. I had printed out directions that I'd had emailed to me and I clutched them like a fucking treasure map. They referenced a pedestrian foot path and my tiny little brain read "pedestrian tunnel crossing" so I walked around the garage looking for this tunnel*** before going down the stairs and outside onto the street thinking "fine, whatev, I'll just cross the street like a commoner and worry about this mythical bridge later." As soon as I crossed the street I realized it was not only frigid outside, but windy as hell. The entire time I was walking it was like I was in a wind tunnel, like mother nature thought "fuck you, Cat, you think you can decide how I'm going to be? Take this, bitch". And remember, I'm wearing pants that are loose so I'm walking, clutching my directions, holding onto my briefcase, and continually yanking up my pants. I'm also wearing heals and walking into the wind so I'm think "fuck, please don't let me fall" because I have a history of doing so in public.

But whatever, I got to the building and was in plenty of time for the meeting so it was all fine and dandy. Still, I walked in and thought "why do they let me out without some sort of attendant?" And when the meeting was over and I headed back for my car, I realized that if I'd known where this place was, I could have made a beeline for it instead of walking all the way around this park/courtyard area and taking extra time being face raped by the wind.  

All in all, good start to a Friday, wouldn't you say?(I forgot my footnotes!)

*No, if you insist on buying lunch and driving, this does NOT mean I'm automatically going to blow you.
**Just threw that in there because it irritates him when people refer to him as Corporate. He is though. I work for a division and he works for the corporate parent company. 
***To my credit, there once was a tunnel bridge thing there. It led from the parking garage to what was called "City Center", this weird little mall. I never took it because I didn't know where the entrance was but it did exist at one time. You'd think the fact that the City Center is gone and replaced with a park would give me a clue as the non-existance of the bridge.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fan Girl

Wow, I've been linked! Never expected it but one of my favorite bloggers linked me! I'm not linking her in this post because I don't want to be too creepy or desperate but YAY! I stumbled upon this fact when I was checking her blog (hoping for an update although she just did but the internet isn't being interesting so I keep rechecking people's blogs) and I immediately texted BFF and said "OMG! One of my favorite bloggers has listed me under her blog roll!"

Sure, I link a couple of blogs here but that is because they are freaking awesome and I like them a lot and I think you really need to check them out. There are some really funny, insightful, and intelligent people out there. And I'm sure the person who linked me did it as a kindness, like accepting a facebook friend request just to be polite. But that doesn't matter because she did it and so now, yay! I get to feel all special and happy because it is the first time, that I know of, that this has happened (and yeah, I'm sure it is the first time).

Basically, it's like finding out that someone you greatly admire isn't so embarrassed of you that she needs to hide you. Obviously, I aim high in life with my whole attitude of "thank you for not pretending you don't know me!"

In Other News
Remember how I decided that I was going to put a modicum of effort into my appearance, just enough to avoid that awkward conversation of "Cat, look, your work is superb but you really need to dress more appropriately for the office"? I've done a very good job of keeping at it, but my boss did inform me that t-shirts are not appropriate for our meeting tomorrow. It's a meeting with a client, a monthly one, and one I've been going to for about two years. I've been dressing like my usual, asshole, casual Friday self to this meeting for all this time but now I have to put in that effort on my fucking Friday. He was super nice about it and everything but still, my first thought was "well fuck, now I'll have to do a costume change when I get back to the office... like I have the energy to plan TWO WHOLE OUTFITS."

The fucked up part is that I'm nobody at these meetings, just the diligent little secretary who records the minutes. OK, that's important because there needs to be a record of what is said, not just so that both parties are set down in black and white, but because these minutes are something of legal documents. But who cares what the typist looks like? I'm not the client and I'm not the administrator of the contract. I could just be a random girl from the typing pool who was brought in due to her typing speed (mine is pretty high, at least 89 wpm without errors because I had years and years and years of typing lessons throughout school, for which I am incredibly grateful).

I wonder if I can still get away with fake tattoos on my face and/or neck? 

Crummy Bunny

This is what that bunny in the picture below looks like on the legal pad on which it was drawn:
Not terribly good but he makes me giggle and it's fun to figure out what emotion he is feeling. Is he scared? Angry? Annoyed? Definitely a he though.

Remember how I told you about my friend apologizing for not robbing a bank for me? Yesterday he informed me that not only will he not rob a bank for me, he also will not fuck another man for me.

And I thought he was a friend.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shut Up - Also, please leave me alone

I really need to just stop talking. Actually, it's not even talking come to think of it. I just need to stop communicating with people that I work with/for. Two stupid things I've emailed so far today.

This was emailed to a colleague who thanked me for sending her a client code
"Yep. Feel free to ask me anything if you ever have questions. Like I said, I always just assume everyone already knows this stuff and they just didn't tell me. Because apparently I think the whole world is a "No Cats allowed" club or something."

I could have just said "you're welcome" or not responded. But no, not this jerk. I had to let her know that she could always come to me with questions, which is fine, but then I had to add on the rest of that god awful nonsense.

This was emailed in response to a fucking client of all people.
"Thank you. I have a feeling the names are not released unless the case goes to trial. There are only 9 pediatric surgeons licensed in the state of Delaware so if an organization like mine could manage to find one who didn't know the other 8 so that s/he could perform a review, s/he would probably think twice about doing so for fear that the other 8 would black ball him/her (the English language really dropped the ball by not coming up with a good word to replace him/her)."

Really? What the fuck did I have to add that last thing for. The rest of it makes perfect sense and was not necessarily inappropriate for me to say. But "the English language really dropped the ball..."? Really, stupid? Do you think the client needed to know what was going through your little brain as you were typing?

And it isn't even 11 a.m. yet.

 Somehow I managed to get a ton of work that needs to be done and no time to do it. I guess that's what happens when you take half a day off? I don't know. All I know is that there are a bunch of people who need or want things from me, a bunch of stuff I need to do, and just too much stuff and nonsense in general. I decided I needed to be left in peace to complete some of this shit and so I made the following sign to hang outside my cubicle (since I don't have a door I can just shut). I wanted to be polite so I worded it very carefully:

"I have a ton and a half of work to do and every time I try to get one thing accomplished, six other things pop out of nowhere like rapidly multiplying bunnies. I can successfully chase maybe two bunnies at a time, and the rest have to run around until I get to them.
 Please help me wrangle the bunnies by allowing me a few hours of uninterrupted silence broken only by truly critical needs. I promise I will take care of your bunny as soon as possible." 

So far, it seems to be working.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Settle Down Beavis

True Friends
My friend is gone. Doesn't that suck, when your good friends all live hell and gone away from you? He's not even going home but to another office. But we had fun. We hung out and chatted and he told me some stories that cracked me the fuck up. My man has some fucking funny stories that he'll tell not necessarily understanding just how funny they are to an outside party. And he's wonderful because he just let's me laugh and tease him. We were actually out having dinner and he made me laugh so hard that I kept putting my head on the table because I was doubled over laughing. I have my own stories, hell, my life is one long march of humiliation and embarrassment but I could not, for the life of me, remember any of my stories so as to be a good friend and reciprocate. But that's one of the reasons I love him, he doesn't care. He knows I'm not going to judge him or truly make fun of him to the point of tears when he tells me things. He also knows that he can have a conversation with me on instant messenger and randomly throw in a reminder of one his stories so that I'll crack up at my desk*.

I only really got to have him around for Sunday night, Monday night, and a few hours today. But it was well worth it because he's my friend and it was great to see him when I didn't think I would again. It's a long story but, basically, he has no reason to visit my office again any time soon and I have no reason to travel to any office so, there you go. We chatted, shared a few meals, and had fun. He even got to meet Upstairs Kid. All in all, not a wasted trip. And he bought me Starbucks today and peeled an orange for me so I really scored. 

But he's gone and that sucks because it always sucks when you say goodbye to someone you like. And he's a great friend, literally my best. And you know why? Because he does things like apologize for ridiculous reasons. Have you ever had someone apologize to you for doing something or not doing something because it might have fucked them up? What the fuck is that? "I'm sorry I did or didn't do this thing for or with you because it would have caused me some serious complications." Really? What kind of friend am I? Yeah, I'm not going to be your friend if you aren't willing to fuck your life up. Who are you? I mean, come on, you're nice to me and you buy me lunch but you aren't willing to just say "fuck my life, let's do this"? Really? Well fuck you for pretending to be a true friend.

No, that isn't how life works. Don't apologize to me unless you step on my foot or punch me in the face or something. Never apologize for not doing something that is going to cause you problems just to make me happy. But that's the kind of guy he is. He apologized in case I was disappointed that he didn't, I don't know, let's say rob a bank for me. Because he was sincerely worried that I might not be his friend anymore or that I was his friend because I thought he'd rob the bank. That is a good friend, because it means I probably could have been a total dick and gotten him to rob the bank for me. And, honestly, I think I could have gotten him to. That is a true friend. But you know what? I'll just take the $3.50 latte you bought me that you can probably expense. Let's not see how far you'll go in fucking up your entire existence. I'll just trust that you care about me without that.

Aftermath - The Chronic
Someone who knows about what happened with PW asked me how things were going. I just said fine, because that is how it has been, fine. I think this person might have expected me to be carrying a grudge or having a different opinion of PW now. But honestly, I call her Powerful Woman because that's how I think of her and that hasn't changed. Yes, I no longer trust her like I used to and I feel she treated me badly. But she is still intelligent, independent, and strong. Those are attributes she just has. She's very good at what she does, she's competent. And she's just a great woman. She truly is. We all have our moments and no one is 100% on the same person, you know? So she's rad as fuck and I think the world of her. I'm disappointed with how I was treated and I don't really trust her like I once did, but I don't think at all less of her. She'd probably have had to kick my guinea pig for me to change my overall opinion of her.

This might change. I haven't had a lot of interaction since "the shit went down" but I doubt things will change, not for me. She might have changed her opinion of me and think I'm just a piece of shit, but that doesn't mean I look at her differently. Not until I'm given a really good reason to. OK, so she kind of hurt me in an offhand way and without intent. She didn't say something like "you acted like a fucking Jew, Cat." That would have made me think differently and I would have decided "Wow, PW is a total cunt." That's what you have to do to change my opinion of you if I've known you for a couple of years and have developed a good opinion of you. You have to say something racist, anti Semitic, or hit me.  So, in case you were wondering, no, I don't have a bad opinion of PW. I think she is awesome and I still admire her greatly.

Settle down.

*One of the things I do to my friends is try to make them laugh inappropriately when they are in the office or in a meeting so I deserve that.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tripping the Light Fantastic

A Little Bit of Terrific
My office seems to have turned into a Pink Floyd song with random noises coming from unknown areas. Out of nowhere just now, I'm suddenly hearing a message being transmitted in Morse Code, cereal being poured into a bowl, and an airplane. The airplane might be real but Morse Code? Hopefully this won't continue or else I'll start to worry that I've begun hallucinating. I certainly don't want that to be the case because today has been kind of fantastic and I would hate to have it end with a straight jacket. Why is this day kind of fantastic? Let's take a look shall we?

1: I have a tattoo on my neck and that is always rad. I got up early and put effort into my appearance but, after about 20 minutes in the office, I felt I looked a wee bit too appropriate* and so took the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

2: One of the first things that happened after I arrived in the office was that my friend gave me a super cute pair of shoes. That does not happen on any other kind of day but a kind of fantastic one.

3: A bit later in the morning, my boss told me that he had the printer/scanner/fax machine that he's giving me in his car. I'd totally forgot about that, just like I'd forgotten about the promised shoes. It appears to be Give Cat Stuff Day. And I like it!

4: My friend is here! I have one last evening to hang out with him and, since I'm off for the first part of tomorrow, I can enjoy myself (he can't though, cause he has to go to work bright and early). We don't have any clue what we're actually going to do tonight, but knowing that we're going to hang out is enough to make me a happy girl indeed.

So you see, if it turns out I'm hallucinating and the pictures in my cubicle start talking to me, it'll really spoil my day.

*People kept commenting that I looked very nice and that I was "dressed up", to which I replied "no, you just haven't seen me look work place appropriate in so long that it seems like I'm dressed up." Take that, compliments! It's true though. I'm not wearing anything special, just a dress I've worn to the office seven thousand times before.

Things I've Giggle At Recently
ME: "And your son, how's he doing?"
FRIEND: "He's very, very... autistic."*

"Once people become sexually active adults, they tend to stay that way." 
Journalist Craig Tinberg on an episode of "Fresh Air" on NPR the other day. They were discussing the AIDs epidemic in Africa and how the West's attempts to educate or help the matter actually made things worse.

"She's a big fan of Jazzercize."
Another quote from NPR, this time as an introduction to a woman who was going to discuss her favorite work out song. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone being a self-proclaimed big fan of Jazzercise.  And let's face it, do most people even know that this still exists? 

"I have long hair for a person." 
"You sucked it big?"
Quotes from my conversation with Hunter last night. The first is mine and the second is his. I knew immediately that I sounded really stupid but I'd started out saying that I have long hair but I wanted to qualify it because not necessarily everyone would agree that it is truly "long." His comment had to do with the fact that my thumbs are different sizes because I was a thumb sucker (the left) for 9 years. I think he truly meant what he was asking and just didn't realize how it was going to sound. It is, however, one of the best things anyone has ever said to me so I'm glad he didn't take a beat to think about how to word the question.

*What cracked me up is that she referred to her son as being "very, very autistic", not the fact that he is autistic. She laughed with me when I pointed out how weird that sounded.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Meat Puppet Cleaning Crew

So this is random but I don't eat a lot of meat and I never realized it until J and I were talking yesterday. We were hanging out and he was saying how he's been feeling weird because he's not been eating much meat and so his protein comes from cheese and peanut butter. Eventually, I told him about how I mainly eat Ramen noodles, toast, cheese, and pizza rolls. He commented "wow, you don't eat a lot of protein do you?" The thing with me though is that I've always eaten like an idiot. He actually commented on a period when I was only eating things that were individually wrapped. I wasn't doing this on purpose or anything but for awhile there, the bulk of my diet was string cheese and fruit roll ups. I didn't notice but he did. Actually, we were once at the grocery store and when we came back together in an aisle, he looked into my basket and, very angrily, said "food! Food goes in here, not snacks!" Because I think I had string cheese, fruit roll ups, and goldfish crackers. I recognize and admit that this isn't healthy but I don't really think about it or view it as a big deal. I even told him "yeah, well, you know me. We're lucky I'm alive every day because I clearly don't think I need to treat my body with any respect."

But I didn't realize how little meat I eat on a daily basis. I'm not a vegetarian. I was vegan for two and a half years but only to see how long I could do it*. I have a lamb skin jacket and a jacket with fox fur on the collar and cuffs (my mom bought both of these for me).  Meat is tasty and I enjoy it. I really like duck and I know that I like my veal and steak medium rare. But I don't think to cook it or have it on hand. So I basically eat carbs and crap**. I've had two oranges in my bag for about a week because I was ill and felt I needed the vitamin C but, to be honest, it seemed too laborious for me to actually eat one of them. So yeah, I don't eat a lot of meat these days. And quite frankly, now that I've started to think about my dietary habits, I'm not only not surprised that I'm not super healthy, fit, and attractive, but I do wonder why I'm not sick more often and how I made it to this age. Not that you need to eat animals to be healthy but really? I'm 31 and I don't eat fruit and vegetables on a regular basis? WTF?

Some of this is going to change though. My buddy is coming to town tonight and he is bringing me some hog and deer that he's killed recently. Last time he was here, be brought me deer and I lived off that for quite some time. Now I get two animals so whoo hoo! Plus, I get to see my friend, who is my best friend, and I won't get to see him for who knows how long afterwards so I'm pretty excited. I've actually spent the bulk of my weekend cleaning my place because he's never seen it and I'm at that age where I don't necessarily want people to think I live like an animal. Do you remember when you were younger and your mom would make you help her clean your house because you were going to have visitors? I remember once when my mom said "we don't want people to think we live like pigs" and I responded with "well, we kind of do." But I so get it now! I actually feel bad about how I didn't get it back then and was all apathetic and lethargic when my mom would make me clean. But now? Yeah, I don't want you to think I live like a pig because I don't want you to form some judgment of me based on it. So I put shit away, swept my carpets, vacuumed, and a whole bunch of other stuff. And my friend doesn't even fucking care! He told me "don't clean on my account. I love you as you are" and I just said "yeah, I know, but like women have been saying forever, I care, I do care." When did I get to this age? I mean, when my mom came out in September, I actually took time off of work to clean my place and washed my fucking windows, inside and out! She's known me my entire life and I felt I had to have my place glimmering with cleanliness.

But, on the bright side, I have a clean apartment and I have meat coming my way***. Well done all around I say.

*I would have gone longer but I was in Italy, I don't read Italian, and it was either quit being vegan or just not eat.
**I accidentally wrote "carbs and crab". I fixed it but how weird would it be if that were true?
***Heh, I have meat coming my way. That's funny to the 13 year old boy inside of me. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

So whatcha whatch whatcha want?

I'm trying something new these days. Basically, I'm trying to act like what I am, an adult. I've recently started putting in a bit of effort when it comes to my appearance, more so than my usual effort of "as long as no one has to have a conversation with me about I look like I'm fine" at work. When I have to go out in public on the weekends, I make sure I'm showered and have clean clothes on. If I don't wash my hair, I put on make up as a compromise. I'm also trying my best to remember that I am, technically, an adult, and that is how I need to be treated.

There was an incident at work recently. Really, it was a personal issue with a friend and I dealt with it as such. I'm not going to go into detail because it truly was personal and I respect my friend's privacy and don't want to go telling her business. The only reason I mention it at all is because she and I seem to be the only ones aware of the issue who think it is resolved and not anyone's business but our own. Powerful Woman (PW) is something of an assistant. She's much more than that, actually, but her title doesn't really describe what she is at work. She is greatly respected and has been with our division for years. Many people go to her for advice, to be mentored, and to run interference when they have an issue. She is very good at what she does, she is usually very professional, and she is a great woman.

However. She knew of the issue and after it was resolved, she took it upon herself to let me know that I should have handled it differently. Keep in mind that she was not a witness and she had not spoken with me and my friend together so she didn't know the facts. Instead, she informed me that other people had complained about what had happened and that the matter dealt with how I'm perceived professionally. During this conversation, which was held over instant messenger, she used sarcasm and, when I held firm and resolute, she walked out, saying she didn't want to discuss it further. Basically, she let me know that she'd heard from other people and had judged me, without hearing my side, as the guilty party, told me that I needed to worry about how people perceived me professionally, whilst using sarcasm, and then very unprofessionally and immaturely, walked out on the conversation.

I was stunned. I could not believe how she acted but, more importantly, I couldn't believe that I had been the more professional party. Not with PW. I thought about it for hours but as I replayed what happened, I realized that not only had I acted appropriately, I had been treated unprofessionally, without respect, and unfairly. The reason PW walked away from the conversation was because I'd made it clear to her that I was not going to deal with anyone's complaint unless the complaint was brought to me directly. This is what I've been told, on numerous occasions and by PW herself, how we should handle issues in the office. She'd used sarcasm to say that she was sure people would feel comfortable coming to me after what had happened (who knows what that meant but I assume people thought I'd berated my friend or hit her or something, none of which happened). I simply stated that in a court of law, a defendant has the right of facing his/her accuser, that I believe in this, that I apply it to the office, and we'd all been told numerous times to go directly to the source. 

And that was that. I realized later on that I need not be worried or scared of any punishment because I'd acted like an adult and I needed to be treated like one. I'd acted appropriately. I went to my friend, we talked, and we were fine. We both felt it was a matter between the two of us and considered the case closed. In fact, I talked to my friend later that night, after texting her to let her know that rumor must be that I'd done something horrible because of what PW said and my friend actually apologized to me for having to deal with the fall out.

What bothers me is how I was treated by PW, who I have known, and who has known me, for over four years. She acted badly and I'm disappointed. But I take the good from this because I finally realize that yes, I am a fucking adult and I deserve to be treated like one, not like some recalcitrant teenager or bad child. Because I'm a professional. I am inappropriate and I swear too much and I joke around a lot, but when it comes to my work, I am a mother fucking professional and I work hard. I'm very good on the phone, even though I hate it, and I am very appropriate with clients and potential contractors. I also have great big grown up problems like a recent diagnosis, a fucked up marriage, and horrible financial problems. If you wish to treat me like a child, then you must do so in every way and take care of my problems like you would do for a child. So either write a check or leave me the fuck alone.

So I'm trying it on, this idea of actually being an adult. Technically, I've been an adult since I was 18, when I could buy cigarettes, vote, and kill a person if I was in the military, even if I couldn't celebrate with a beer or a game of craps. Realistically, I've been an adult in this country since I was 25, when I could vote, smoke, gamble, sign up for the military, and rent a car without a cosigner. But it is only now, at the age of 31, that I get it and accept it. I have the responsibilities and expectations of an adult. So treat me as such. And if you don't, please understand when I come at you like a foul mouthed teenager.