seventhe: (Cats: I LIKE THEM)
You may have noticed I seem to have vanished off of the map. This is because my new job is absolutely batshit fucking crazy. I think I've only posted like three times in all of July?, and I send far fewer text- and email- based daily communications than I used to (it's funny how long my phone battery lasts when I am not using it!), and this is because my new job is absolutely batshit fucking crazy.

There are days my employees catch me before I have even entered the building; I swear to god they're timing their smoke breaks since they know I pull in at 7:55am every morning, because they flag me down walking from my car to the door with whatever the day's update is. There are days I don't log into my own computer until 10; there are days I don't start my own actual work day until 4-5pm when everything else has calmed down. There have been evenings I am there until 6, 6:30 pm; there are nights I bring work home (tonight being one of them). There have been absolutely zero days where I leave at 4:45pm like I am supposed to. I use my mobile so much for work the company has started subsidizing it.

Did I mention things are absolutely batshit fucking crazy?

I have no time for anything anymore. I'm basically now working the same 10-hr days I was working beforehand, with added bonus 8+ days on Fridays. Becky is joking that I didn't actually get a raise, I'm now just being paid for epic overtime; it's actually truer than it should be.

It's a common joke among the management team (who I think I shall nickname after summons, because it pleases me to think of us all as a team of eidolons), because on those days where shit has been flying off the fan at intense and disastrous rates and we don't sit down at our own desks actually alone until 4:30pm it's actually nice to stay until 6:00pm because we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow but it's quiet now and we can focus. Ditto on Fridays; Fridays have become a blessing, the one day a week I know I will be minimally interrupted and can make a reasonable attempt to churn through all of the work I meant to do during the week and was pulled away from: 40 hours in one 8hr day, that's doable, right. Siren (the manager focused more on products and projects) and I mourn the loss of our ability to tell everyone to fuck off (Siren is also new to her position) and complain about the intense upkeep we need to do to stay targeted on our underperformers; Golem (the manager focused more on mechanical aspects) and I are already planning late-night office pizza parties as we are forced into a software update we weren't consulted on and weren't a part of but are still expected to launch into our maintenance program by some ridiculously unwieldy date like September. I am lucky to be surrounded by amazing people who understand and desperately want me to succeed (although in Golem's case I think that is mainly so that he can stop working on Saturdays); I adore them immensely, even as we all joke about using and abusing each other. (I, as Operations, am the cross-sectional point where Siren's research & development & troubleshooting projects intersect with Golem's preventative maintenance & plant improvement work; this makes my life difficult but also means that they both have to be nice to me, ha.)

I am overwhelmingly, bizzarely, incomprehensibly in love with this job.

This is what I was made for. I have already, after a month-and-change: dealt with a problem underperforming employee in a way that promises to either make progress or GTFO after basically 20 years of experience and 5+ years of not seeming able to do the job; sent nastygram after nastygram until the two worst communicators in the plant specifically come to me to let me know what they are doing before anyone else even knows; solved scheduling mishaps; yelled at the EPA; called our safety director's work stupid and dumb in the same meeting (although that was inadvertant and accidental), to her face (which I realize is tactless; here's the fucks I give, because incompetence is the match that lights this stubborn Taurean fire); defended my own employees against attacks and slander and bullshit they shouldn't have to put up with from other people and been specifically thanked for doing so; learnt how to buy things within our online file management system and promptly spent $300 on hard hats to play with; improved the attitude of a supervisor who has been a negative vendetta-hound for 8+ years; redone the old lab where I used to sit into what will be usable office cubicles (although I can't take full credit for that one); made my boss say the phrase "you are right, he/she/that is fucking clueless" half a dozen times; made my boss either grin maniacally or put his head down when I walk into his office; made my boss regret his decision to hire me probably four hundred times; made people actually run from me; made changes, made improvements, made an impact. I've revamped systems and redone OPSs and made demands of our alarm management system that no one has made until now. I've let out my inner asshole, my inner control freak, my inner perfectionist: they're all running around rampant making decisions and giving orders and frightening bystanders everywhere. I'm not sorry; I was not hired into this position to be good and play along.

I am absolutely loving it which is good because right now this is my only life, my highest priority, the shit I eat and breathe.

It will not last forever. I will not last forever in this: canceling PT because I have to stay until 6 because there's work due tomorrow, not scheduling doctor appointments because I don't have the time, not working on my thesis because fuck more work; this level of intensity will eventually fade as all of the plant becomes used to this position's existence and my presence. I will burn out, the initial activation energy will be met, the workload will become manageable even if I have to light half of it on fire. It's not forever.

But right now all things Sev are absolutely batshit fucking crazy, so please forgive me if I take a while to reply to an email or respond to a comment or do anything I have told you I would do because I am running on fumes and adrenaline and caffeine and stubbornness at the mo.



HOW ARE YOU ALL
seventhe: (Rosa/Rydia: duality)
  • Apparently my new sleeping pills work so well that this week I've managed to pull my flat sheet out of the bed/mattress entirely; it sort of flops out from under my blanket and comforter (neither of which I need in Ohio's quest to become Louisiana) like a sad detached piece of fabric, drooping towards the floor and doing me absolutely no good at all. I am not complaining; I am not sure I have ever slept this well in my life. Is this how everyone sleeps? I am so envious - and so happy to be getting there via drug :D

  • My first three days in the new job have been... incredible. I mean that in a good way and a bad way. Each day has actually been packed with the feeling of being productive: being useful, being effective, being efficient; I'm already making small changes and contributing to things in a way I think we've needed for a very long time. I love that part. That being said: I've already got two HR issues - one being one of my guys; one being someone not technically under me but as it relates to something I need to sign off on, it's also mine - and I've spent the past three days literally not having more than 15 mins uninterrupted at my desk (in my new! office!!!!!!) between phone calls and visitors and meetings, oh god the meetings, and shit I have to take care of and deal with and uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.
    I get the feeling that this job will be much more exhausting and much more fulfilling than my old job. Thank the lord I have sleeping pills. I cannot imagine taking this shit on with insomnia.

  • I went to PT today and then went for a 30min run/walk at the gym. Spoiler alert: That is too much activity when your body ain't used to doing anything. My neck and back hurt from PT; my legs hurt from running and I am tired as hell. (my body is crying, druuuuuuuuuuuuuug me) I am so fucking goddamn out of shape. :( I love the fact that I can get in the pool and swim for 30 mins and get out of the pool raring for more, saying to myself, "You shouldn't overdo it, ~1300 yards in 30mins is a good workout, don't break yourself further, take it easy" -- and I cannot run more than, like, 5 mins without needing a walking break. I now run like an 80-year-old woman. Hello, I would like to return this body and upgrade to a newer model, please.

  • Have I mentioned I love my night pills? I love my night pills.

  • In the last ~month I have been both home and home on time less than 50% of the days: it's more like 33%. I am so sick of people. Next weekend I may lock myself in the basement and not come out.

  • Happy 4th of July, American yos. Enjoy some awesome fucking fireworks.
seventhe: (Burger King: In the butt!)
  • Last night I took an epsom salt bath. I did some research that said epsom salt baths work for arthritis pain - the magnesium can penetrate the pores and help with inflammation. SO I went and picked up some epsom salts from Rite Aid (plain, along with a lavender variation and some other salts I found for aches and pains - with eucalyptus and spearmint?) and ran some hot water and I spent about 45 mins reading TIME magazine in the tub with the jets on and off as needed, and I do feel better today. Could be coincidence, but I'll take it. My neck is still stiff, but the rest of me feels a lot more mobile. And less grate-y and grind-y.

  • Last week I went to pick up my new glasses - mine are four years old and I'm finally starting to get vision headaches from the slightly-expired prescription - but they were wrong. All weekend I felt like my depth-of-field was off in my left eye -- turns out the axis of the astigmatism was 3-4 degrees off. (ASTM for lenses is 2 degrees I guess? That's great, when my vision is so bad that I'm sensitive to the actual margin of error?) So the glasses went back in to be fixed.
    In slightly better vision news, in the last two years it turns out that one awesome line of contact lenses has been extended into my prescription range - yeah technology! - so it's now possible for me to get good-quality contacts (that will correct my vision over 80%) that I can wear all day without feeling like there is sand gauging out my eyes. They're even rated to sleep in. For up to a week. That's right, I can wear them to a con weekend and not have to worry. Thank fuck. Too bad I can't contacts at work, but it will still be convenient to have for the summer. So as soon as we figure out my script, I'll be buying a million of those.
    I realize I'm quite lucky that my eyes can be (mostly) corrected and my vision is (mostly) functional. It's just hard to feel lucky staring down this $500 bill when I still don't have a new pair of glasses.

  • Spent the weekend declaring war on my lawn. I accidentally killed half of it trying to smoke out garlic mustard (Weed & Feed works great on the parts of my lawn that are actually grass; turns out there are a lot of weeds that look like grass but ain't grass, and that's how I murdered half of my front yard) and so I spent Monday mowing, re-treating the yard one last time to just get this shit over with, and tossing Grass Seed For Dummies everywhere. I also threw giant handfuls of "wildflower seed mix" on parts of my yard to cover up the fact that I don't give two epic shits about gardening right now. I actually love gardening and flowers but that is a hobby to be adopted at some future date, preferably when I am not exhausted, grumpy, and still unpacking.

  • STILL NO NEWS ON THE JOB

  • Our birdfeeders are finally kicking off - it's like finch city on the one, and the tufted titmice really like the second one -- much to the everlasting joy of the neighborhood troll cat, who has already caught one of my chipmunks and has spent time staring up at the feeder like it's some epic cat buffet. GTFO. You're cute but if I can't pet you I don't want to feed you.

  • I am so broke. Like godsbefucked broke. Note I am saying broke - I am not poor; I've been poor; this is not poor - what I am is broke. Buying a house costs a lot. Taking care of the house costs a lot. JFC I want my savings cushion back. Looking at my net cash is giving me spasms.

  • I'm so not here mentally. I should have taken vacation this week.

seventhe: (Rydia: calls the monsters)
Turns out I've got a herniated disc in my neck. My C5-C6 has been janked out of alignment with the rest of my spine. Because it's herniated/bulged, it's pinching the nerves around it, which accounts for the pain radiating out of the spot (into my neck/back/shoulders).

I'm oddly--- relieved? about the whole thing. It's not that a herniated C5-C6 is great - it's not - especially when you're 30 and arthritic it's really not - but it's an actual diagnosis. Based on data, rather than "I think it's this" or "from the way you describe the pain, this" (who knows if I'm saying the right things?). Based on data. I'm a research engineer to the core.

I actually don't have a lot more information than that. I've been referred to a neurosurgeon who will take a look at the MRI and give me some more detail (my GP basically said the neuro could give me far more understanding of what was going on than he could) (also, of course, there's some kind of weirdness in the MRI (can anything about me ever be normal please), because the report said "herniated disc versus a bulged disc", which will need to be clarified with a neurosurgeon specifically). After that I'll have more details and the beginnings of a path forward.

Also I fucking passed out in the doctor's office because I don't know why. This has already kind of been an emotionally stressful week (month) (year) due to some assorted 'other stuff' and maybe I'm just more worked up about my body than I realized? Or just general stress/relief/shock...? I don't even fucking know. I felt totally fine. Then I was standing at the check out station waiting for my referral and I started to feel all flushed and skitty, started to feel that awful head rush coming on like I do when I black out (this has, unfortunately, happened enough that I'm 'used to it' and can recognize the signs); so I said to the nurse, I need to sit down like right now and she gave me her chair and I sort of made my way into it (had blacked out at this point but fumbled my way over there with some help) and apparently just passed out in her chair? Came up a couple [moments?] later, and of course when you KO in the doctor's office, holy shit. They took me over to another room to lie down and I had a blood sugar test and an EKG and a bunch of other shit and they gave me a lollipop and eventually pronounced I was fine (I kept saying, this happens enough that I'm pretty sure I'm okay, and the looks the nurses gave me like, uh, what? were awful and hilarious).

I don't even fucking know; I took the rest of the day off too and sulked in bed and accidentally a 2 hour nap with Marzy to ward off the splitting headaches I usually get when I pass out.

I. D. E. F. K.

So yeah, that's that. It's really gross right now in my head -- usually I do a ton of research on medical stuff (when I am on a prescription I always look it up in detail, even if it's a fucking antibiotic) but I can't even bring myself to read a lot of the stuff about herniated discs because I'm just like, ew, oh god that's in my neck. I swear I feel it more - like, it hurts more - now that I know what it is, which is great. Vicodin already doesn't really work; just what I need, more body weirdness. I'm so fucking depressed I'm at the point where it's easy to pretend I'm not depressed because I don't have any feelings right now, I'm a big blank empty sack, so it's pretty easy to fill it up with fake "I'm okay"s. askdja;lsdk;alskd;alsk;;;;;;;;;

So we'll go from there. The doctor said I don't have to limit any of my activity - he basically said, "The damage is already done; activity is up to your discretion; if it doesn't hurt, and you feel okay, you can do it" - so maybe I can just move forward here.
seventhe: (Rydia: power)


The good news:
We actually did fairly well for how busted up our team was going into this (we had injuries, illnesses, training mishaps (or complete lack), or, in my case, all of the above). In fact, I'm honestly pretty proud of my teammates, more so than myself -- we were thinking that 4:00 would be a good time for us this year, and hitting 4:01 with my slow ass dragging us down is pretty impressive. *single crystalline tear* Thanks for being so awesome, team.

My own performance was, well, eh. I'm okay with it. I don't want to say "I'm happy with it" because I'm not, but seeing as I ran with bronchitis AND a pinched nerve, it's more that that's the part I'm unhappy about, not my performance. I'm not angry or beating myself up over anything, because there wasn't much I could have done differently. So, not happy, not mad: I'm okay with it. 7.5 miles in ~74 minutes (by my watch - the clock time above includes Hilldo and my relay handoff). Just under 10:00/mile pace. Not the best I've ever run, but I'll take it, given the circumstances.

And we're still in the top 35% of all the teams that ran this year. Not bad at all!

Also the good news:
Somehow it seems to appear that the shock of running 7.5 horribly hard miles in the freezing cold of morning has scared the bronchitis out of my system? I'm still coughing (and coughing up miracles of nature), but it's definitely receding at this point.

The bad news:
I'm in pain, yo

I've got tendonitis so bad I can barely put weight on either foot. It's Peroneal Tendonitis, from a self-diagnosis after some research in running forums and the like last night. I'm pretty sure it's a combination of a) my already weak and wussy ankles b) absolutely no training for 10 days because bronchitis, and inconsistent training before that because pinched nerve c) surprise!!hills, both UPHILL (which I trained for a little) and DOWNHILL (which I did not and I'm pretty sure did me in).

I'm at work, hobbling around like a total idiot, looking for the secret icepack and planning to basically stay seated at my desk all day long today screw you guys. It honestly feels like someone is stabbing both of my feet. It's horrible :(

The rest of me is pretty sore - my calves are screaming (part of the peroneal tendonitis) and my quads and hammys are very upset with me - but my feet definitely win the shit prize this time around.

The best news:
Despite all the pain, I'm totally done with running for this year.

From now on out, I only have to run when I want to run. I don't have to do any long runs. I don't have to do any tempo runs. I can just run an easy 3 when I feel like it, and if I don't, I won't. Maybe I'll heal? What is this healthy thing??

In fact, today I'm going to go to the pool and do an easy workout (I think the cold water and some stretching will actually help the tendonitis) because I can.

So yeah. Good work, J-Squad. Okay work, body. And now, to hobble to the coffee.
seventhe: (Laguna: god dammit why)
and my first thought is, "Awesome! I'm done with that and now I can replay FFVI!" >.>

This should not be my reaction to beating the most recent FF game.

Final Fantasy XIII is an amazingly awesome game wrapped up in a thick gigantic blanket of garbage disaster bullshit. It's about 1/3 addictively enjoyable, and 2/3 horrible. This doesn't average out to make it an average game. It is simultaneously great and shite. This takes talent!! I actively loved parts of it and thoroughly loathed others. I feel very confused about it.

more thoughts on the ending, that may include spoilers if you care )

Overall, I liked and disliked the game, like I said. I came to really enjoy parts of the battle system, eventually: I love Paradigms and the concept behind them, and it really did make battles strategic at a level I really enjoy and can get into. However, the thing about "if your party leader dies the entire battle is lost?" FULL FUCKING STOP, I HATE THAT, AND I DON'T CARE. IT'S UNFAIR AND STUPID. I don't care if you can "Retry" the battle. I don't care if you're supposed to know and be prepared. Fuck that. It's dumb.

I didn't really understand the story, and I'm not sure I like that I was 'supposed' to be keeping up with the Datalog - that's cheap storytelling, IMO. I loved some of the characters, especially by the end, but I couldn't care enough about the party as a whole to really get invested. And I couldn't keep track of so much of the rest of the cast -- seriously, when I fought Rosch I had to look up who he was and why I should care, and then during the final battle someone said, "Dysley?" and I actually yelled out loud, "DYSLEY? WHO IS DYSLEY?"

I'm not sure I'll make it back to doing the missions - even though the missions were one of the most enjoyable parts of the story since they were just fun smashing time with Fang, Sazh, and some other people - because I'm just not sure I'm invested enough.

But some parts of it were so awesome that I can't just say, like, "Don't play it" -- because it was actually pretty fun. In the middle.
seventhe: (Irvine: blur)
So I have mixed feelings about the OTW in general. Some days, I love the OTW; other days I legitimately find I couldn't give less of a fuck. I think what it comes down to is that I want to like the OTW – I want to support them and get involved and help them out – but at the very same time I deeply mistrust a lot of what I see, I give a very hesitant sidelong eye to a lot of their discussions, decisions, and actions, and I'm very wary and weirded out by a lot of it. I'm really not sure how I feel about them.

this got long. )

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