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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Again with the drama

March 14, 2011

It’s been a while since the outlaws acted up so I guess I was due. 

Let’s go back to Friday shall we?  After some annoying (yet thankfully still under warranty) car trouble and a very very VERY long week I was exhausted and fell asleep, without dinner, at 6:30 pm on the office futon.  With the cat.  Around 9pm I went up to bed (sans cat) and slept until midnight.  And of course, after sleeping for nearly six hours, I couldn’t fall back to sleep.  After lying in bed and listening to the Hubs snore and groan and mumble I got up, went downstairs, knit a while, read a while and purged some recipes and patterns that I’ve had kicking around forever, before going back to bed at 4am.

I woke up around 9am Saturday morning and came downstairs for coffee.  I’m still more tired than normal given my weirdo sleep the night before but I spoke with the Hubs for a bit and then settled in the living room to knit a dishcloth while I waited for him to leave for the day.  Along with his parents, he was going on a visit-ALL-the-cousins-north-of-the-big-city trip and would be gone all day and for much of the evening.  The outlaws were told to arrive for 10am and the three of them would leave post-haste.

As an aside, for the past few years I’ve refused to go on these jaunts as a) I don’t want to give up my Saturday visiting his family b) I don’t like many of these cousins and c) figure if I’m going to get insulted or told what to do by virtual strangers I’d rather have it happen at work where I’m both getting paid AND not giving up my valuable free time.  Yes the Hubs was a little pissy he had to go “alone” but he’s finally figured out how far he can push me when it comes to non-command performance family events so he was sucking it up.

At 9:25 I heard a soft knocking on our door (we don’t have a doorbell and the Hubs hasn’t been “in the mood” to put up the door knocker yet) and I told him to answer it as I was in my pj’s and I couldn’t be arsed to get up or put aside my knitting.  Besides, at that time of the day it’s likely someone we didn’t want to speak to andI’d rather he give the Jehovah’s Witnesses/door-to-door marketers the brush off.

How right I was.  It was someone I didn’t want to talk to…it was his mom.  She’s standing on our front porch, telling him that they’re here (35 minutes early) and that they’ve parked on the next street (instead of in our empty-for-this-reason) driveway since they didn’t want to “inconvenience” me.  WTF?  Hubs tells his mom not to be silly and to come inside. She refuses.  He raises his voice and tells her again to come inside.  She once again refuses.  She then asks him if he’s ready to go.  He’s standing in the doorway wearing warm-up pants and a sweatshirt and he tells her no, he’s still eating breakfast and has to shower, shave and get dressed, all of which he was expecting to do in the next 35 minutes before they were supposed to arrive AT 10 AM.  She tells him she’ll be in the car with the FIL.  From my seat in the living room I do a mental eye roll and keep knitting.

Hubs comes in and we give each other the WTF look and he proceeds to finish eating breakfast before getting ready.  He leaves 10 mintues early, kisses me goodbye and tells me he’ll be home around 10pm.  Which is fine with me since I’m going to my sister’s house to help babysit my nieces and don’t expect to home until then either.

My day progresses nicely.  I knit a bit of a pair of socks I’m making, I sort through some yarn, I look at some patterns in myqueue, I eat a leisurely dinner.  It’s a delightful day.  Then I drive off to my sister’s house, get greeted like a rock star by three little girls, proceed to have two of them “help” me knit and play some Angry Bird on my sister’s iPad.  It’s a nice night all around.

Turns out the Hubs came home much earlier than anticipated and I got home much later than anticipated but whatever, we had no plans and neither of us was particularly put out.  We go to bed and I sleep and sleep and sleep.  DST always knocks me for a loop..

So, we’re sitting around the living room later in the morning on Sunday and I ask Hubs what the hell was up with his parents yesterday and why didn’t they a) park in our driveway and b) come into the house and wait.  Not that it was super cold outside but why wait in a car when you can sit on a comfortable sofa and drink coffee?  He tells me that his parents didn’t want to inconvenience me.  What?  Again with the not wanting to inconvenience me business?  Yes, seeing them is an inconvenience but really, they couldn’t sit in my house for half an hour?  Sure it’s not super tidy but whatever.  There was fresh coffee and I could have scraped up bagels or cookies or something to nibble on. 

Nope he says, they didn’t want to bother you.  Which is weird.  This is the second time this year they haven’t wanted to come in our house.  Clearly I’ve done something to annoy them, but in her classic passive-agressive fashion the MIL won’t tell me what it is and now I’m being “punished” by not seeing them.  Which is ironic and hilarious but whatever floats your boat lady.

Then, and here’s where the real drama starts, Hubs tells me that I should ask them tonight (at our twice a month scheduled dinner) to come to our house for dinner. 

I’m surprised you didn’t hear the F#CK NO! in your town.  I reminded him that we asked his parents over not so long ago.  Together.  At their house.  His parents refused.  Several times.  He argued with them and they dug their heels in and said no.  So we left it.  For whatever reason they didn’t want to eat with us in our house.  No skin off my nose. 

Now Hubs says, they don’t feel comfortable coming over (despite having been over for coffee AND dinner several times in the past three years) and need to be invited over several times before they say yes.  Umm are they vampires?  Is this is a scene from The Lost Boys where Max the Head Vampire has to be invited to cross the threshold?  Can I expect my inlaws to want to suck my blood the next time I see them?

So the Hubs tells me to just ask them and I tell him fine, seeing as how I’m not going to win this argument, but if his mother says no, this is THE VERY LAST TIME EVER that I will invite them to our house.  He can invite them but I will never again issue an invitation.  Ever. 

And since we’re scrapping I figure hey, I may as well make this a full blown fight, and tell him that I’m actually insulted that they preferred to sit in a cold car rather than come in our house and talk to me.  And he says ok, tell my mom that.  Fine.  I.  Will.  And you can bet, with his blessing to let it all out, I won’t be subtle about it either.  Six years of slights and passive-agressive BS is coming to an end.  Either she backs down or I do.  And I’m not backing down.

At the very worst, they  accept and come for dinner….in June which is the next time we have a free Saturday.  And at the very best she says no and I am forever off the hook for cooking for them ever again.  Best of all though, the Hubs will be sitting there watching.  I’ll mention it over dinner.  Captive audience and he can watch his parents squirm when I ask them if my house is not good enough to sit in and my coffee is not good enough to drink. 

Oh my darling husband.  Be careful what you ask for.  I didn’t work with a thousand lawyers in my former life and not pick up a few tricks.  Cross your fingers for me.  And watch the news at 11.  Hopefully the lead story isn’t about a 30 something Librarian who has gone postal.  I don’t look good in orange.


Out of touch

October 15, 2010

The MIL turns 70 next month.  Which is quite an achievement as she’s a cancer survivor and hasn’t been in the best of health for the past few years.  She’s a fighter though.

The SIL suggested a few weeks back, that we throw her a party.  At a local all-you-can-eat bufffet.  With 70 of her closest friends.  Paid for by the “kids”.  Which means the Hubs and the SIL.  Uh huh.  Because money grows on trees in our backyard and we burn $100 bills for fun.

Now don’t get me wrong, a 70th birthday is quite a milestone and should certainly be celebrated.  But you might want to ask what the birthday girl what she wants and how she wants to celebrate it before you start planning and spending money like a drunken sailor.

So the Hubs asked and was told flat out NO.  Which, I would like to smugly add, I predicted.  But did the SIL, the Hubs and assorted cousins listen?  No.  They forged ahead and called banquet halls and thought about menus and guest lists…which grew and grew and grew in size.  All the while ignorning the no no NOs coming from the MIL. 

And let me tell you, even at paying half the tab, the tab was still several thousand dollars.  Again, I’m not discouraging the Hubs and his family from celebrating his mom’s birthday, I just want to see it done so that most people, especially his mom (who is afterall the star of the show for the day), get what they want.

But all is well that ends well.  In a conversation with the SIL, his mom put her foot down and flat out refused a party.  It seems that people of her generation don’t like to celebrate birthdays and she’d rather have her close family around her instead of basically everyone she’s ever spoken to.  Which is fair enough.  Not everyone wants a big party.

But what really makes me wonder is what the hell was the SIL thinking by suggesting all of this.  Afterall, shouldn’t a daughter have somewhat of an idea as to what her mother would like?  I don’t expect the Hubs to know, because as sons often are, he’s kind of clueless.  I think, that because she’s lived away from home for so many years, she’s lost touch with her parents.  Which, despite the fact that the outlaws are not my favourite people in the world, is kind of sad.  And even though she comes home for a few weeks at a time, much of her “home” time is spent out.  In other cities, at friends and relatives’ places.  And when she is at home, the SIL spends a lot of time “sleeping”.  Which I suspect is code for texting her friends on her Blackberry.

So the SIL is not actually drawing on much current knowledge of her parents.  And it’s a sad state of affairs when I can better predict how the MIL will react than her daughter can.  I think it’s time for the SIL to move home.  Or at least back to North America.