seventhe: (Cats: I LIKE THEM)
So I've been reading about stress management, and one of the things I've seen recommended a couple times is to keep a journal. I assume it's along the same lines as let it alllll out kind of thing, which often causes more problems for me than it solves -- much like the whole "talk to someone" thing; it doesn't work for me because while talking to someone about an issue may make me feel slightly better about that one issue, that gain is utterly and completely negated by the hassle involved in telling someone about my shit: background on the situation, background on me, background on my brain, what's bothering me, why it's bothering me, what I don't want to hear, what I meant because the first explanation of something is guaranteed to be shit; plus the neverending hassle of that person then, continually, and without fail, asking me, "so how is [issue]?" at a future date, which frustrates me so much that it literally undoes any small good I may have gained from the conversation in the first place: I don't talk to people because it doesn't help me, and that isn't because I think I'm some special snowflake and no one will understand my problems; it's because it quite literally on paper does not help me.

But! Despite the derail! Keeping a journal is supposed to be helpful, and luckily I already have a journal of sorts I use for this kind of thing, so here we go. I will probably be slow with replying to comments, because it's occasionally difficult to keep up with them via mobile, but please officially note that I read them and appreciate them.

SO today sucked. I could start off every day like that: Dear Diary, Today sucked nasty fermented goat balls. Gundam Wing was good today.

At one of the management trainings I was at recently, we went over some of those "life tips" they give you in classes like that. I've decided to give a trial run to one of them: do three things every day. It appealed to me: three things is enough that you're making progress, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed. Just pick three things and do them. I figured I would start with work: Three things every day. On busy days I can pick three easy ones; on days I have no meetings I can try for one longer one. But three things a day, of my own, off of my own to-do list. Should be manageable, right?

I can hear you laughing. Shut up.

Today I came in and the first thing I did was pick three things: Finish slides for a training I have to give Thursday; print out training sheets for about 5 outstanding MOCs; compile a brief incident review on the last month that I also have to give Thursday. None of these are quite extensive.

I worked on my slides for approximately 7 minutes throughout the course of the day.

I started alright, but of course I've been out of the office for a while, so once I'm back everyone has to come in: how was the baby (cute), how was babysitting (exhausting), how was the weekend (fuck off), let me tell you this thing I did (fuck off), this happened last week (kindly fuck off), I did this thing (unkindly fuck off), did you get my email about (fuck right off with a british accent), I left you a note but (go fuck a rhino) -- you get the picture.

Had a meeting at 9:00am. Blew the entire rest of the day. Something exploded in the middle of the meeting, when E just exploded at Golem and the whole thing devolved into this weird yelling-and-cussing bit where they both snapped at each other (using stronger language than I've ever heard from E in all my days there) and then E calmly told Golem to fuck off, stood up, and walked out.

Because E is my Starbucks-and-texting friend, and because Golem is my eidolon team friend, and because this project directly affects my department, not their shit, so if something gets fucked I get directly fucked, I then spent the rest of the morning attempting to fix this shit. I took E into an abandoned conference room, let her rant, listened to what she was saying, and made sure I was picking it up right. That of course got invaded by L and L's boss, which threatened to devolve into a general wank-n-whine about this stupid godforsaken software system at which point I said nope nope noooope this ain't my problem, kindly fuck off and left to talk to Golem, who I got calmed down right in time for my 10:30 meeting on Running Chemicals In The Pilot Plant That We Aren't Electrically Classified To Run: An Exercise In Horribly Stressful Operation, By Me (Introduction written by Fuck Previous Management In This Plant And Their Complete Lack Of Oversight And Shits To Give).

Ran out for Starbucks and a Wendy's salad at 12 with E. Spent more time resolving the fight after lunch, in addition to having to deal with the fact that one of our monomer feeds is having a grand old time self-polymerizing and plugging up everything it finds up to and including an entire process area (joy; cue trumpets), and went right into the meeting I was running from 2-2:30 on the results of the alarm management workshop I did when I was in Midgar -- meeting #3 of a 4-part series -- which just infuriated me because no one understands the goddamn ANSI atandard, like, not that nobody understands the language, nobody understands why we want to align ourselves with an industry standard????????????? and they all keep insisting that the old system will be able to handle it, which is like telling someone that Internet Explorer 5.0 will be able to do your web browsing for you.

So that whole meeting got me riled up and went way over - despite the presence of my boss Bahamut, who claimed he was only trying to help - and fed right into the 3:30 meeting which was on a project for improving finishing that I desperately want and have been begging for but at that point had like 0.27 fucks left to deal with.

4:30. Out of meeting. Caught twice on my way down the hall. Sit down. Write up the follow-up minutes/record from the 10:30 meeting and send them out. Write up follow-up notes from the conversations I've had regarding the 9:00am shitshow and send that out. 5:45pm. I can finally start my workday.

5:48pm one of my second shift operators shows up in my office. I had asked for him to come down, because I'm promoting two of them this year (because fuck they deserve it), so I gave him the papers and congratulated him and we chatted a bit about the year and everything and then it's 6:20pm so I decide I am just going to go home

--and Golem catches me with a question as I'm passing his office, the conversation devolves into work shit we actually have to take care of, and suddenly it's 7:15pm.

My normal work hours are 8:00am-4:30, 4:45-5:00 if I have a long lunch.

I was home and changed and making dinner by 8:00pm. Watched one episode of RPDR, drank a glass of wine, and that's it.

This is how days go in this job though. Out of the 3 things I wanted to accomplish today? Ha. And that doesn't even consider 3 things at home, as well. This is an average day in my job.

I'm so tired. I'm so, so, so tired.

[EDIT] THE WORST PART OF ALL OF THIS is that I look back and there's this sick satisfied part of me that knows I was super effective today and that I, personally, just being me, made shit better by dealing with this bullshit today, and so there's like this load of angry exhaustion and then this tiny little shit candle of fuck yeah and that, my friends, is what keeps me from walking out the door and never coming back
seventhe: (SAZH)
...but I am, in fact, still here.

The latest wrench thrown into my plans to finally get my shit under control and become the Queen of Slack Ass Island is not a wrench at all, it's a beautiful exciting bunch of daisies: I have a niece. My brother and sister-in-law welcomed adorable bitty (and I mean it, super bitty, so tiny we were concerned) JA in the middle of October. The family all gathered for the birth, and since then we've been staggering vacation days to pitch in and help since newborns are, frankly, awful. Yeah the miracle of birth babies are a gift bundle of joy blah blah blah: newborns are awful. I said it and having done my share of screaming nights already I refuse to take it back. Don't get me wrong, I already love her like the goddamn sun, but yo gurl u r a handful.

Between the job that just won't quit!!!, a house that needs some TLC before the winter, and a suddenly increased travel schedule, I am (still) somewhat stressed. I had to take a leave of absence from DOINK, which makes me pretty sad, but I just can't handle it on top of everything and it wasn't really fair to the team. I've started taking work home on the weekends. I know it's a horrible habit to get into, but I just need to get caught up / stay on target / get ahead with a couple things before the year ends to keep my own sanity. I'm not doing it for the company (directly); I'm doing it for me. It is a sad state of affairs when doing work on a Sunday is the less stressful option but that's where I am right now, the Sad Captain of the SS Overworked, Angry, and Optionless.

I am - finally - learning how to work with my body and my schedule and my stress level, probably because I am at the point where I am being forced to adapt or die. I have become 90% hermit, which does make me sad but that recharge time is what keeps me alive so while I'm sad I'm not sorry about it; weekends where I don't have to leave the house and can spend a good portion of my time alternating housework and relaxing things are literally the only way I can face Monday mornings (whether it's work or adorable screaming niece). I've discovered that I have absolutely no energy when I get home from work, but I've also discovered that if I am smart - feed myself, crash on the couch for an hour or two with some episodes of Bones or Criminal Minds, decompress and relax - I recharge enough to get one or two small productive things done before it's time for bed. This has had much better results than the times I've tried to get things done immediately after getting home to "not lose momentum" and ended up in pain, miserable, and ineffective.

I am not yet sure whether this method will apply to working out as well; every week I tell myself I'm going to get back to the gym (which I'm still merrily paying for) and/or do something, but every week hurts. This week we've been back to stabbing knives between my spine and shoulder blades, which is a sensation I haven't missed. I'm pretty sure my body's serving me repercussions from a weekend full of raking, hours upon hours of leaf blowing, and a final mow before the snow comes (which may be today) -- I like working on my yard but I guess I need to be more on-the-ball and spread the work out better, because piling it all into three days means I can't turn my head for a week. Okay. Message received, you asshole.

Anyway, I do hope to get back into a workout schedule. I am thinking of signing up for some workout classes - not only because I think having a schedule will help me go, but also because having a schedule will help me leave work close to on time :/

I am also seeing a rheumatologist the first week in December to try to get some more helpful drugs and see how else I can deal with these weeks where my entire body just feels inflamed, on fire, sore and tender and weak.

And now, another meeting. Afters I may go up and down the hall and see if I can pay anyone $20 to poke repeatedly at my neck for fifteen minutes.
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: trowasfacewhen.com (Trowa: OH NO)
  • I am still in love with my sleeping pills. I've discovered through some trial and error that trazodone has a very narrow window of sleeping -- so my usual "get in bed and read/play games/whatever for 45 minutes" method does not work. Once I take that pill I've got 5-10 mins tops and if I get caught up and read through that drowsy couple minutes, I'm back to my usual looonnnnn-n-ngg-g-ggg ass falling-asleep time. Trazodone is apparently a picky mistress. I forgive it its quirks because it is so good to me.

  • I have solved my shorts dilemma - a shorts dilemma I may not have mentioned here; I hate shorts. Absolutely despise them. All ladies shorts I've tried - and I have tried quite a few - just don't fit right, don't look right on my body, make me feel many levels of uncomfortable: it isn't just an issue of how I look and feel while wearing them, uncomfortable in the sense ofoh god I look ridiculous, most are actually legitimately uncomfortable -- like help I cannot bend over, also when I sit down my thighs bulge at angles I didn't think skin could do and my ass sticks to what I am sitting on and also did I mention I cannot really move at all and I feel sweaty and sticky?. The problem is mainly that shorts are tight, and my thighs are ungracefully still built as if I'm running half marathons - even if that muscle has been replaced with pudding - and no matter what length the shorts feel like they are as tight as saran wrap and my legs look like sausages. I swear to god I have tried every style out there in the stores and I just went to wearing maxi skirts made out of the kind of fabric that feels like you're just wearing pajama bottoms even though you look ~fancy~.

    --- BUT THEN I FOUND THE ANSWER, and it is: DUDE SHORTS. They are comfortable as legitimate fuck, exactly the feel and convenience I was wanting, and since my "sense of style" is already kind of like "hobo bum that can't match things" anyway, they go with everything I have. I am legit so happy about these shorts I am blogging about them. Don't make fun. THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE. I AM SO HAPPY. Today I was actually a normal temperature in the summer because I wasn't wearing jeans. HOW DID I NOT FIND THIS SOONER.

  • I have a lot to say about the new job but it would take up so much time. I have been there late 2/4 nights this week. I had to take Friday off because I was just so fucking behind on everything that I needed a day to lie in bed and then do four loads of laundry. (This is not a joke.) On Wednesday we had a massive storm front move through that flooded out a giant portion of the tank farm - complete with tornado warnings! We evacuated! - this is seriously the kind of thing that makes old hands at the job stress and die, and I had been there all of ten fucking days.

    I am exhausted. But I freaking love the job so far. It is -- it is a breath of fresh air to be actually doing things that will help people, even if they are so far the small things - "low hanging fruit" - and I'm probably going to feel underwater for the next three months before I get the hang of it all. I love the job; and I hate that I love it, because it is very tiring and all-encompassing. I get emails at 1am -- and sometimes I answer them when I get up to pee. But so far this was the right decision. I will not say a GOOD decision because I am so tired and burnt out on people I had to take a vacation day to wash my unmentionables -- but it was the right decision.

  • I'm now out of energy on this entry. Whoops. More later, then.
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: (Ashe: Good to be queen)
If I had a dollar for every post I thought about starting out saying "I'm not dead (yet)", I wouldn't have to work anymore.

I really don't know what else I have to say other than a ripping chain of profanity so long it would make string theory look pedestrian and quaint.

I'm tired. I'm on a new drug (anxiety drug scribed for insomnia - cross your fingers) and I have a new doctor (rheumatologist), increasing my army of medical specialists to a whopping 5. I hate Midgar and its humid soggy heat. I start my new job on Monday. I don't get a "break" for three weeks. My car needs an oil change, I need a haircut, my lawn needs mowed. My life needs a live-in secretary/google/organizer. I am not going to finish FFVI this month, although I am actually trying my damndest to get close.

I am. so tired.

I think I need a vacation

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