The Summer of My Discontent

September 6, 2011

So, back in April I got a new job.  It was doing the same thing I did at the College, but with better pay and much closer to home.  The interview process was annoying, my boss seemed to be a bit on the dramatic side but you know, more money and closer to home.  Even though I knew something was wrong with the place, I couldn’t see anything obvious so I accepted.

The first month and a half was great.  My boss, while on the dramatic side, loved my work, told me I was awesome and things seemed to be going well.  I got along with my co-workers and actually liked some of them.  Plus, I was significantly closer to home and making more money.  Did I mention that part?

In early July though, things started to go south very quickly.  My boss gave me a hard time about vacation, even though I had days to use up.  She didn’t understand how the fundraising database worked and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t pull information out of it.  Here’s a hint, if it was never put in, NO ONE can pull the information out.  Just saying.

The HR head honcho decided to cut summer hours and decided that jeans couldn’t be worn to work.  I was working at a high school and despite the facts that a) I never saw donors and b) the kids weren’t there so I didn’t see parents either I didn’t see the point of no jeans.  But whatever.  You have to pick your battles.

So.  The staff that worked through the summer was in revolt due to having to work a full week (First World problems I know) and morale was in the toilet.  The rest of my group (me and my boss were our own “team” in the group) decided to take turns working a full Friday, thus ensuring one person was in the office while the rest of them went home early.  My boss refused to let me do this.  She got to leave early…on “visits” or she “worked” from home.  Sometimes she took Fridays off.  Let me tell you, when no one is in the office after 1pm on a Friday and you don’t have much work to do, those afternoons can really drag out.

So, as my workload lessened and lessened and as my boss stopped speaking to me outside of our weekly meeting, I saw that the writing was on the wall.  She needed a direct report to bump up her salary but it was pretty clear that we were not getting along.  I’m not sure if she’d ever managed staff before but if she had, you sure couldn’t tell.

And there were other things about the place I didn’t like.  There was a huge double standard between the teachers and the staff.  Internet usage was watched.  Which was doubly annoying for me because internet research is a big part of my job so my web history was all over the place.  And the staff was just really unhappy.

It came as no surprise when I was called into HR three months after being hired and was told my services were no longer required.  In fact, it was a welcome relief.  While working there, I was angry every night when I came home.  I’d started having trouble sleeping at night and Sunday evenings put the fear of God in my heart.  I did not want to work there anymore.

So when the choice to not work there was made for me, I was happy.  Sure it sucks having no money but EI will cover the basics.  For a while anyway.  And there are enough jobs out there to keep me busy applying for a while.  Also, it’s really nice not to have to go to work every day.  Really nice.

I’ve finally cleaned and organized my office/yarn room.  Which only took three years.  I’ve baked and cooked and am slowly catching up on my sleep debt.  I’ve also read 16 books this summer.  And finished a bunch of knitting projects.  My house is clean on a regular basis and I’m (mostly) keeping up with laundry.

Sure I’m kind of bored some days but I’m spending a lot of time with the cat (she loves having me home) and getting some time for me.  Eventually I’ll work again, but for now, for now I’m just going to enjoy myself and see what happens.  The next job will come along soon enough.

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Ah, it all makes sense now

March 16, 2011

So this past weekend’s outlaw drama (f’ing link won’t insert….scroll down if you want to read about it) was sort of resolved on Monday night in a rather surprising turn of events.

My MIL, who annoys the snot out of me most of the time, was not to blame for most recent bout of outlaw asshattery.  Whaaaaaaat?!  I know.  While the MIL is responsible for about 93% of the drama in my life, I can’t pin this one on her.  This time it was the FIL.  Yep, the FIL.

Turns out, unbeknownst to me of course, that I’m in the wrong.  I don’t show him the proper “respect” that a daughter-in-law (or Mafia capo apparently) should.  I don’t enter their house with gandiose “heeeeellloooooos” (think that Seinfeld episode with the Big Ball of Oil…ya, you know the one).  Instead of taking my coat and shoes off upon immediately entering their house, I should instead be rushing (with dirty outside shoes) into the living room and genuflecting in his presence.

Well, ok, the genuflecting probably is going too far (only a bit though) but I should be IMMEDIATELY offering my greetings.  I should also ask about his day, what his plans are for the remainder of the week and I DEFINITELY have to sit, in rapt attention, while he pontificates about things I could care less about or tells my husband he’s an idiot for not agreeing with him. And I should not expect the FIL to ever ask about me, my day, my job, my friends or my family.  None of those things matter now that I have married into his family.  Oh, also I’m forgetting that it’s also my fault that we have no children.  Also, as a woman, I am automatically a lesser being and forget the fact that I have three degrees and eight years of post-secondary education, I am an idiot, I am always wrong and I never know what I’m talking about.  That last bit wasn’t exactly stated this time round, but it’s pretty obvious how my FIL thinks.

You know, as my dad says, you can’t fix stupid.  Arguing with it doesn’t work either.

Can we go back to the MIL being the dramatic one?  That was much easier to deal with.


Signs, signs every where there’s signs

November 8, 2010

I’m not really religious.  If pressed I’ll admit, vaguely, to believing in something.  I like lots of things about Hinduism and probably, if a gun was pointed at my head and it was pick something or die, I’d probably choose wicca.  I’m not really superstitious and while I’ve been told several times that I have “the gift” of being psychic, aside from occasionally knowing who is on the phone before I pick it up, I don’t think I have any psychic ability at all. 

So I’m not sure if it’s a higher power, the fact that I’m on the lookout for something, The Universe or whatever you want to call it, but isn’t it weird when everything seems to point you to move in a certain direction?

Take for example the strange case of Spain.  Earlier in the year, the Hubs and I were on vacation.  I was reading a travel book about Italy but there was a good chunk of the author’s trip to Spain in it as well.  I don’t have a burning desire to go to Spain.  I’m sure it’s a beautiful country but right now my sights are set on Africa.  But the more I read, the more I thought, hmm, I could go to Spain.

And then, like a switch was flipped, it seemed like everywhere I looked, everything was Spanish or Spanish-influenced.  I fell in love with a Spanish-style platter.  I didn’t buy it but I really liked it.  I started hearing flamenco and tango music all day long on the classical station I keep on as background music.  When I went to the bookstore and was browsing I kept hitting on Spanish cookbooks, novels that took place in Spain or Spanish travel guides.  Magazines had articles about Spain.  People I knew mentioned they were going to Spain.  Out of the blue, the Hubs started talking about going to Spain.  He rented Vicky Christina Barcelona despite the fact that neither of us really wanted to see it.  Spain, Spain, Spain, Spain.  The signs pointing to Spain were everywhere.

Now did this stuff happen because we were meant to go to Spain?  Or does it happen because once your mind is open to an idea or concept, all of a sudden you see that idea or concept everywhere.  Like seeing everyone you know get engaged when you really want to get married or notice that every woman out there is pregnant when you want to have a baby (just examples people, just examples).  Was the Universe conspiring to get us to go to Spain or was it just a giant coincidence?

I don’t know.  We never did go to Spain.  The Hubs’ project at work was uncertain and he didn’t want to take any time off until he knew what was going on (fun fact, his project is still uncertain).  I was laid off and the during timeframe that  we could have gone away, I spent it going on interviews and fretting about said interviews.  I did get a job but took a big pay cut.  Money is not as free-flowing as it was last year so a Spanish vacation, while desirable on a lot of levels was not financially desirable this year.  So no Spain for us.

But it makes me wonder.  If these signs do appear for a reason, what was in Spain that I was supposed to see?  Or was I supposed to do something or meet someone?  Would my life have changed in some way because I went to Spain?  I don’t know.  It’s not a burning question that keeps me up at night or anything.  Rather it’s more like something to contemplate over a glass of wine or two with friends.  But it is interesting to note that once we decided that Spain wasn’t going to happen, all the Spanish “signs” stopped.  Or maybe my mind wasn’t open to seeing them anymore.

Hard to say.  I keep my eyes open now though.  And I wonder where the Universe will want me to go next.  I’m hoping it’s South Africa (still waiting to see signs about South Africa though) but one thing I have learned is that sometimes the Universe and I don’t always see eye to eye on places to go.   And sometimes, when I have that glass of wine in my hand, I wonder, what was waiting for me in Spain?  I’ll likely never know.  But I am watching.  And waiting.  For the next sign.