Thursday, August 31, 2006

Another chapter of "How Much My Job Sucks" happened today. So much so, that I even contemplated leaving the company. I did leave early with an elevated blood preassure. I am now in "the hot seat". I have had my desk moved right next to my supervisor so I can be watched closer.

Not to blow my own horn but let me describe this bad employee that I have become. I work overtime when asked; granted, not as much as I did a year ago...but you'd think the company would like that. I even give up time on my son's visitation weekends; something I had not done when he was younger. I have had people in other departments who handle my orders after I do, to process them and get them shipped, say to me on many occasions that they are always surprised when they have to cancel an order of mine due to an error in how it was entered. They can always count of my orders being done correctly and efficiently. When I was questioned about my production I had my numbers back where they were supposed to be within days.

Yes, this is the kind of employee you want to make think about leaving.

I have for eight and a half years loved my job and been proud to tell people where I worked. I'm not so sure I can say those same words in the past six months. In the past two weeks it's been harder and harder to hold on to that sentiment. In the past 10 hours I've not even been able to say any of those words.

I am going to try to hold onto my job and fight for my own dignity as an employee. I just hope it's worth it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ernesto turned out to be nothing more than just a big rain. While some parts of the west coast of Florida got hit with really heavy wind, we here got bupkis. I have walked around in worse wind and rain than we had last night.

Last year I stayed at the home of my friend, Jim. He is a police officer and was working 24 hour shifts. I stayed with his wife and son, Wendy and Noah. He called me a few days ago to ask if I'd stay there again as it made Wendy feel more at ease. I gladly accepted. As the storm showed signs of weakening I called him again to see if he still wanted me to stay there.

"Well," he said "Wendy won't come right out and ask. She'll just huff and puff about it. I'll hear about it."

"OK," I said, being the good friend "if it'll make her feel bett----HEY! Wait a minuet." A light went on inside my head "You want me to stay there so you don't have to heat the bitching and moaning!"

Jim laughed, "Too you this long to figure it out, huh?!"

What a pal!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Things are looking a little better. As I post this the storm has 45 MPH winds and still has not strengthened as it approaches Florida. It appreas as if this will be simply some nasty weather.

I called my ex-wife today with a little bit of left over frustration from our divorce.

"Cranston....East Providence....Bristol. Hell, there were even friends of ours who would have taken you in!"

"What the hell are you talking about?" she asked.

"All you had to do was move out of the house, But, no! You have to come to Florida; fucking hurricane central! I lived 32 years of my life in Rhode Island and went through 4 hurricanes. I am about to break that record in 3 YEARS down here!!!!! All you had to do was move out of the house!!!!"

She saw the humor. I just hope she was laughing with me and not at me.

Monday, August 28, 2006

It's still hurricane season and we seem to be getting ready for our first (hopefully only) storm of the season. It's a little hard to predict where, when and how strong it will be when it hits. As I enter this it is a tropical storm that has just gotten the snot beaten out of it by crossing Cuba and is not expected to strengthen as it crosses to the Keys.

Of course, that still means that it will hit here with 45 MPH winds and loads of rain. As if we really needed that. I will keep you posted as I am able.

I did spend 20 minutes in line to get gas after work today. There were lines everywhere. The supermarkets were busy as well with people stocking up at the last minuet. The usual storm rush. I used to see it back home in Rhode Island just before a winter blizzard. Everyone seems to procrastinate no matter where they are.

Hey, wait....DO I have bottled water?

Damn! Gotta go!

Friday, August 25, 2006

I actually went an entire day at work without having the nagging temptation to throttle anyone. I'd call that an improvement.

Since I have vented enough on that subject let me get into the other one which has many of my friends shaking their heads at me....women. OK, maybe one in particular.

Right now we are just friends. Yes, I hang out a lot with her. Yes, I helped her move. I got her to the clinic the other day when her supervisor pleaded with her to go. But that is all there is right now and I understand that. I happen to like hanging out with her. I am not expecting or waiting for anything more. Do I sit at home wringing my hands hoping for some epiphany in her that will bring her running back to me? No. Am I pining away like some sad character from a Jane Austen novel? No.

For that matter, there's even someone else in whom I'm interested. We seem on the same wavelength and share much more in common than Stephany and me. However, and just my luck, she's in a relationship. That's fine. I'm not going to stick my nose in where it ain't wanted. But at the same moment, I have made myself a good friend and that's just fine.

Would I want either of them to suddenly come to a realization I might be just the right thing for her? Hell, yes. But right now, that doesn't seem to be next on the list of things that are going to happen.

And that's OK. I am in no different a situation that I was a few months ago. I am secure in myself and happy spending time with the best companion I know!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Another 24 hours have gone by and again I left work frustrated and angry. This is so not right.

Most of the day went ok until just during the last hour. I had an order I was working on and the insurance just wasn't working out right. There was something wrong somewhere in the file so I went to someone I knew in that department I knew could get it fixed and get the order out the door.

Gee, I thought that was my job...getting orders out the door. Apparently, some of management doesn't see things quite that way. I was working on this problem with my co-worker when a member of management walked by. I got the answer to my problem and went directly back to my desk to enter the order correctly to get it out the door. I was not in my seat 20 seconds when my supervisor came by to ask why I was out of my seat.

I think I scared her with my reaction.

I have been divorced twice and I have never been so pissed off. I was doing my stinking job and I get chewed out. It's a shame these managers don't have better things to do with their time.

I was once in a McDonald's when, in front of a crowd of customers lined up at the registers, a manager loudly berated a kid for getting his jacket before clocking out. The jacket was hanging 10 feet from the clock and the manager tore into this kid for using company time to get his jacket. The manager told him that putting his jacket on was his time and not company time. Since then, I have referred to all small minded . clock watching, paperclip counting, eaves dropping, tin plated dictators with delusions of god-hood as "McManagers".

My company seems to be getting overrun with McManagers.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's just a job. It's just a fucking job!

That's what I kept repeating as I stood in front of my supervisor with tears of frustration in my eyes. I still cannot get over the reaction I had to something so seemingly small this evening at work.

I have been with the same company for 9 years as of next month. That's a commitment. That's the point where it goes from being just a job to being a part of your life. While it may be mundane at times, stressful at times and ridiculous at has still be a part of my life for the past 9 years. I have seen the company grow from a few hundred people to over 2,000 employees. Just the other night was our 4th talent show and, rather modestly, I am part of the culture of the company as well. I have made friends in this company. I have lost friends in this company. I have seen people come and go on good terms, bad terms and those who have left the planet completely. Weddings, births, deaths, parties, arguments....everything all bundled within the confines of the overpainted walls and cubicles of my company.

Through it all, I have always enjoyed going to work. I have liked 99.9% of those with whom I have worked. I have put up with complaining customers, long hours, and stupid company policies because it has always been a good place to work and a place that was always there for its employees.

Over the past couple of years, through a few different changes of management, there was a call from upper management to support a more employee friendly place. A place which embraced some of the more progressive employee relation theories and make it the "employer of choice".

That has all been taking a crashing nosedive in recent months all culminated with one sentence from a supervisor to me just hours ago. I was told the employees were being watched for personal emails. It made me snap. I was supposed to stay a few hours of extra overtime to help with an special project but decided I did not want to give up an hour of my life to a company with narrow minds in leadership.

I grew up watching my mother work in a variety of jobs. She always made those around her a part of her life. She was able to perform the duties of her job above the level of excellence and also do work for numerous outside projects. She showed me that you can do you job and have a life at the same time.

For a while it seemed as if my company was heading in that direction. That has changed. The worst part of it all is that in training classes the progressive philosophies are still be preached but the reality on the floor is a completely different thing. The frustration is getting worse.

My supervisor said the reason I was having such an emotional response was because I care. She is right. I care about my job. I care about the company. I care about the people with whom I spend 40+ hours every week. My company should be and could be the employer of choice. But when that potential is being hacked away at from the inside it could make anyone cry.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Last night Comedy Central aired the roast of William Shatner and I don't think I have stopped laughing. I will not give away any of the jokes, save for the most perfect joke of the evening. Well, perfect for Trek fans any way. Why no one else thought of this before is amazing. I am kicking myself for not thinking of it myself.

To George Takei: George, when you came out of the closet did the doors make that whoosh sound?

Simple. Perfect. us geeks. Classic!

I am dying to talk to George. I have know for years that he has a superb sense of humor and he was just rocking last night. I have my own joke about his coming out that I have been waiting to clear with him before I start using it "openly". I have hesitated out of respect for him and our friendship. I wasn't sure how he would take it. After last night's joke comes off as tame.

The only disappointment in the evening was that Jimmy Doohan was not there to rip Shatner a huge one! Jimmy had been bashing Shatner on the convention circuit 25 years ago and was hilarious. If he had been able to be there and be as rowdy and bawdy as the others would have made the evening.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Another Talent Show over and done with and it was great as usual. This year I was the emcee which made it a whole different experience for me. The cumulative effect is that performing is something I should be doing rather than being cramped into a cubicle. Odd thing is, that its being cramped in a cubicle that opened the door for me to try doing standup like this.

We had a smaller cast than previous years but as usual every one stepped up tot he plate and whit a live audience there to feed on everyone gave their best possible performances.

Instead of my just having a 5 - 7 set I had a small set to open the show and then peppered the rest of the evening with little jokes and one liners. Given my history of telling jokes about the company no one else has the gonads to say outloud I opened the show with an bit of a Billy Crystal rip-off. Our company President came out and welcomed everyone and then announced that I would be the emcee but that the management had some restrictions on me. At that point I was rolled out on a hand truck a la the "Silence of the Lambs" opening Billy did at the Oscars one year. I was wearing my psych ward t-shirt and had a Hannibal Lechter mask on. It got a huge laugh. Our company President loved playing along with the bit.

John is here this weekend, so he finally got to see him father perform on stage. He seemed to like it. Although he may have been slightly distracted as he has spent lots of time this weekend with my friend's daughter, Kaitlyn. She is his age and they have met before. Their first few meetings were not filled with much conversation at all. This weekend has been different. They had made plans over the last few days and are still making plans to squeeze in more time together before he goes home.

It is an interesting feeling watching my son being all smooth around a girl. Pride is the most overwhelming of the feelings. To see him putting on his best game and a girl looking back at him enjoying the game he's putting on.

"Yessir! That's MY boy!"

Friday, August 18, 2006

I have come to another dry spell in my blogging. Actually, it seems to be a part of a whole general mood I am in lately. Work is tough lately. Income from work is down even more. The household budget is tighter. My stepson Jim was here for a week and left a virus in the PC behind and has left his own home for a few days ...I could write a whole series on what he had been through lately. I have pulled back a little from Stephany after a week of falling back into old habits.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks.

I am going to try to catch you up on each piece of the puzzle in the next few posts. All of it has settled on me in something of a funk. Not a full blown depression but just a basic mood where I go through the motions most days. I get stuff done and do have fun most of the time but if I had my druthers, I'd just lounge around the house all day if I could.

Any my blogging suffers because of it. I don't feel like writing. And if I do I have usually put it off till last thing of the day and by the time I sit down at the PC it time for bed.

Speaking of which, I do have the company talent show tomorrow and I am the Emcee this year. I will have that to post about anyway. So keep checking in, I promise to get back in the swing of things really soon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Give Mel Gibson a break.

He was drunk off his ass and blathering like a fool. I have had nights like that where I have been drunk off my ass and blathering like a fool. There were many occasions when I would have to have details of the night repeated to me; complete conversations and hours of time replayed for me because I had completely no recollection of the events. They all seemed as if they happened to someone else because they were not a part of my memory of the evening. I'm sure Mel felt the same way last Friday morning. And I'm sure he said the exact same words I said on those occasions,

"Holy shit! I did what?"

He will continue to be a good actor. He will continue to be a good director. The only difference is now he is someone I would love to hang out with in a bar.