Turkey Day Homicide

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I have a sister in law that I absitively, posolutely cannot stand. She’s currently visiting us for Thanksgiving. Oh joy. We have two cats, and asked her not to bring her dog. Did she listen? Nope. So she’s screaming at our cats after her dog got smacked in the nose by one of em. I’m in my room, trying to avoid the temptation I have to wrap my hands around her rude, snarky blonde throat and squeeze until my palms touch.

Ok, I’d never actually hurt her, but were she to spontaneously combust, I haven’t any urine or saliva to spare for her.  I don’t understand what my brother sees in her.  Yes, she’s pretty, but she’s haughty, rude and constantly cutting others down.  No one in the family likes her – except my brother.  I’m hoping after dinner she’ll do her usual and dump her kids off on the rest of us and spend the weekend locked in a bedroom reading. She doesn’t like being here, we wouldn’t miss her if she stayed home, so I don’t know why she doesn’t just stay home and read. I guess it’s because if she were alone she wouldn’t have anyone to whine to when her head hurts, or her tummy hurts.

While I spend the rest of this Turkey Day trying to suppress my homicidal urges toward this in-law, I hope the rest of you have a fantastic day with food, family and fun!

Tonsa

Thoughts On An Aging Parent

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My Dad and I have always been close. He and I have banded together as a defense against the condescending control freak I refer to as “Mom” and whom he refers to as “Wife.”  He retired last year and I’ve been out of work for a while so he and I have spent even more time together. I’ve noticed that my dad, my hero, the man I’ve always idolized is starting to decline in subtle ways.

I don’t know why older men always seem to lose their hearing, but my Dad is no exception. He can’t help it, but it’s so frustrating to have to repeat yourself constantly. Then he gets mad when you yell. “You don’t have to yell!  Yes Dad, I do if you’re going to hear me. He won’t go get his ears checked unless Mom arranges it for him. She’s been in the nursing profession all of her life so he will only go to doctors she recommends. He needs his ears cleaned, and he probably needs hearing aids, but hell will freeze over if I wait on him to do something about it.  I may take his insurance card and see if I can’t find a Dr for him and arrange it myself.

Don’t even get me started on his driving. He scares the ever loving hell out of me. Today he drove through a drive thru the wrong way.  I shit you not.  I’m screaming, “Get out of the drive thru! Get out of the fucking drive thru!” And he’s completely oblivious. Then he gets mad at me because I’m freaking out. Apparently because we got lucky and no one turned the corner and crashed with us, it’s ok that he went the wrong way through the drive thru and I’m totally over-reacting. Apparently the embarrassment of a head on collision in a fast food drive thru is no big issue for him.

In addition to his appalling lack of navigational ability, he’s losing his depth perception. He only has one good eye, and it has a mild cataract but he runs up on cars and slams on the breaks at the last second. He also loves to tailgate. When I start to work the imaginary passenger break, he gets mad. “I’ve never had an accident!”  he yells at me. “There’s a first time for everything!” I yell back.

He also just flat forgets where he is and what he’s doing. I find myself giving him directions to places we go all the time.  If I don’t. he’ll just start chatting away and become completely oblivious to everything around him. Again he gets mad at me for this but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve missed turns or gone the wrong way because he just forgot what he was doing.

The man loves technology.  He wants every new gadget that comes on the market – but he doesn’t know how to work any of it. I’m not some 12 year old technophile, but I can generally figure out the basics.  Not him.  I went with him to a Dr’s appointment the other day and left him in charge of navigating since I was driving.  That was a big mistake. He couldn’t work the navi on the cell phone. I’d had it turned on when I handed it  to him but he touched the screen and turned it off by accident. Then he couldn’t figure out how to turn it back on, I’m trying to drive in bumper to bumper traffic, having no clue where the hell I am and he’s yelling at me.

Since I’m not working I can’t go anywhere or do anything without him tagging along and he’s driving me insane. I love the man dearly but lately I’ve started to feel more like I’m babysitting a child than hanging out with my Dad.  I know it’s horrible to complain. He’s been there for me all my life, and there will come a day when he’s gone, and I’ll dearly wish he was still following me around and driving me crazy.

I guess this is just one of many frustrations that I needed to vent, and having done so, I feel better. If anyone else is struggling with the care of an aging parent, drop me a line.  I’ll be happy to listen.

Tonsa

Depression Is

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I get so irritated with my sister in law sometimes. She’s writing a novel on living with mental illness and constantly whining about how hard her life is. She’s married to a man that loves her (for reasons no one can fathom as she isn’t a very likeable person), two kids, a high paying job, a new 300K home and she’s constantly whining about how unhappy she is. I laugh. She thinks she’s depressed.

I scoff at her. She has no clue what depression is.  Let me enlighten her. Depression is:

* being single, 40, unwanted and unloved.

* living with parents who remind you incessantly of your failures.

* hiding in your room to avoid said parents.

* hopping from job to job because you feel completely overwhelmed

* giving up a job you like because your body hurts so bad you can’t breathe

* being called lazy because you hurt and you feel constantly overwhelmed

* wanting to die but being too afraid to pull the trigger

* suffering alone because your support system doesn’t believe in mental illness.

* looking in the mirror and being disgusted by the person you see.

* being disgusted by your own reflection and not having the means to change it.

* seeing people with the life you wanted for yourself, but can never have, whining about how hard their life is.

So you see Sis, you don’t know the first thing about depression. Take what you feel and be forced to keep it all in. Force yourself to plaster on that confident smile when you really want to put a gun to your head and pull the trigger. Live in a constant state of failure with no hope for any sort of future, and THEN come talk to me about depression.  Good luck with your novel on how hard your life is.

Tonsa

Women in Fiction

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Lately I’ve been reading a lot of romance novels. I have no idea why as I’m generally more attracted to sci-fi, sarcasm, and things that go boom. But while I’ve been reading these novels, I can’t help but analyze the appeal of them. The man and woman meet, and they’re instantly in love, but neither wants to admit it. She’s a stubborn virgin, and he’s big, strong, domineering and hyper masculine. I can’t help but think that if a man acted that way toward me in real life, it would scare the hell out of me. Anyways they spar verbally, they have rough, forceful sex, and she turns into a simpering sponge mop who hangs on his every masculine word.  Sometimes these sex scenes border on rape and I’m left wondering if I’m supposed to be aroused or enraged.  The female in the stories never see it that way though. The rough sex is just his way of showing her how much he truly loves her.  Yeah right.

And it isn’t like these stories are male rape fantasies. Most of these novels are written by women, which is what totally blows my mind. I know, it’s all fiction but don’t we put some element of ourselves into our stories? Why do women (present company included) fantasize about men who we’d want locked up if they existed in real life?

Oh and I have to touch on the vampire thing because, well it just irks me. I may have mentioned it before the whole concept weirds me out. First there’s the sex with something dead. Yeah he’s reanimated, but still – yuck. Then there’s the whole age difference thing. Can you imagine the grumpy old man syndrome of a dude who’s been around for 100 years, let alone 1500? Honestly he’d have 0 in common with a modern women and her habits and mannerisms would drive him insane. Honestly I suspect he’d eat her shortly after hello – and I mean that as a literal meal – not the other thing.

Anyways, those are just my completely random thoughts as I lay in bed with a pain patch on my back while cursing the encroachment of old age. Hope the rest of you have a happy Saturday!

Tonsa

Failure Frustrations

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My job hunt is not going so hot.  Oh I’m finding jobs, I’m just not able to stick them out.  The first I got recently was a great paying job in accounting. The commute was over an hour each way and the woman I worked for was a psychotic witch.  I only lasted 3 weeks before I got fed up and told them to shove it. Then I got a seasonal job at Hobby Lobby. It didn’t pay as much but it was really a lot of fun.  I lasted 3 days and then my back seized up so bad I couldn’t breathe. I think it triggered a Lupus flare because my everything hurts now. It makes me sad that I had to give that job up. It’s also bad that I turned down another accounting job because I liked the HL job. Truth be told however is that I just don’t want to do accounting. People who are successful in accounting are just bitchy. I don’t know what causes it but every accounting department I’ve been in has been headed by some uptight, arrogant, vile tempered bitch. It’s not for me.

I’m stressed out.  I need income. I need to go to various doctors but I can’t because I have no insurance and no money. I’m just so sick of bouncing from one screw-up to the next. Everyone comments on how smart I am.  If I’m so smart why am I a 40 year old failure? I’m just so tired of everything. I feel like I’m drowning on dry land and I don’t know what to do.

Oh well. I suppose tomorrow is another day. Maybe my mood will lighten once my body stops hurting – if my body ever stops hurting.

Argh! And Stuff.

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This is the second attempt at this blog. I was going pretty good and then my trusty Microsoft Surface flipped out and deleted the whole thing. Unfortunately there is no “undo” button in WordPress. Or, maybe there is and I just haven’t found it. in any event my Surface deleted my post. Irritating.

Normally I use my old Toshiba laptop to post blogs but this morning it finally gave up the ghost. I may give it a eulogy and bury it in the backyard. So I’m trying to use my Surface as a laptop. Unfortunately it is totally not designed to be used as a laptop. Yeah it has a keyboard and a kickstand. Whoopee. Try reclining back in bed or on the sofa and balancing the thing on your lap. Ain’t happening. Why don’t I just use it as a tablet? I will tell you why. It’s not comfortable to try type on the screen and the keyboard takes up half the viewable screen. My text goes up under the onscreen keyboard and I can’t see what the heck I’m doing. I’m not the best typist when I can see what I’m doing. Forget about flying blind.

So I got crafty. Rather than bury the old laptop, I’m using it’s cold, dead husk to prop up my Surface so that I can, in fact, use it as a laptop.  Unfortunately I’m way too broke right now to buy another laptop.

That brings us back to what I was talking about before my Surface wigged out and deleted me.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I started a new temp job this past week.  I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. It’s just kind of – Meh. It’s an accounting position, which I was trying to avoid but caved because I need the moola. So it’s a typical accounting department.  Then tension is so thick that it oppresses you the second you walk in. Everybody hates everyone else and everyone’s a moron but them. The burnout and turnover rate is astronomical. Same ole. The young lady that I’m training with thinks that it’s just a flaw within her company and other accounting departments can’t possibly be this bad. I laughed at her. Oh to be so naïve. It’s been like that in every accounting department I’ve ever worked in, which is really why I don’t want to do accounting.

There’s a possibility that the position may go permanent. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Obviously I don’t like accounting but the money is pretty good and I am good at it. This department is better than my last in that they really do not believe in overtime. I can get behind that. However, it is a hell of a long commute. We’re talking about 65 miles per day round trip. My little Kia gets pretty good gas mileage but I’m still having to refuel twice a week.  Plus I need new tires and the commute is wearing them out faster. The last thing I need is a blowout in the middle of Houston rush hour. My plan at the moment is to work it the next three months, pay as many bills as I can, and cross the perm bridge if and when I come to it.

I’m happy to have some income. I’m not thrilled about the commute. I love the Galleria area – it fuels my imagination – but it’s very money so living there isn’t a possibility. A one bedroom apartment runs about $1200 a month. I make decent money at the temp job but I couldn’t afford that even if it was perm so there’s always going to be a commute involved.

I think this weekend I shall spend some time writing, thinking and pondering the possibilities. Happy weekending!

New Temp Job

I know I haven’t blogged in a while and I should. I think it helps keep me sane. Back in September I decided that I’d had enough of the job I was always ranting about and put in my notice. It was the right thing to do. I was miserable and from what I’m hearing, things have only gotten worse since I left. So I decided to move on to new adventures.

My goal was ultimately to be done with accounting once and for all. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do so I tried moving outside my comfort zone. I’ve always worked in an office environment so I decided to try my hand at car sales. I went and applied to local Kia dealership and got hired on the spot. I lasted a whopping 3 days. I really loved the cars, and I liked the customers but I didn’t care much for my coworkers and they’d hired more people than they had desks for. I was trying to sell cars out of a messenger bag. I admit that it sort of cheesed me that all the men had desks but I, the loan woman, was left out in the cold. The other thing that was harder on me than I care to admit is the hours. When I left I slept for 2 solid days afterwards. I’d hoped that once I wasn’t so stressed my lupus would subside, but the being out in the heat and long hours unable to nap really kicked my butt.

So I applied for a bunch of things: new home sales, hobby lobby, receptionist jobs, and couldn’t even get a call back. A temp agency called and said they had an accounting job available. Boogers. I really didn’t want to do accounting, but I desperately need some income. So I agreed to take the job. It’s covering a maternity leave so it’ll probably just get me through the end of the year. It’s also a 35mile commute each way which SUCKS. I just have to remind myself that it’s only temporary.

Today was my first day on the temp job. The commute sucked but I knew it was going to. The office was really nice and the people were ok. I’m pretty slow to warm up to new people, but everyone seemed nice. I’m just sitting there listening and absorbing the atmosphere. And there it was: the tension and anxiety that comes with accounting. The rude demands that things get paid yesterday, even though others didn’t do what they were supposed to do and even demands that accounting perform functions that don’t technically belong to accounting. I got a knot in my stomach. They don’t have time to train a replacement and they’re sort of counting on me. The employee I’m covering is so pregnant she could pop any day now and I gave my word to cover it. I just really don’t want to be there.

It’s hard to be 40 and still not know what you want to be when you grow up. I know for a fact that I don’t want to be an accountant.

More Workplace Blues

There have been some changes since my last post.  My account has been taken away from me.  I’ve been given the tiniest account we have and forbidden to assist any of my struggling teammates. It’s so frustrating.  While on the one hand, I do feel much better not working so many hours, it pains me to watch my teammates drown and not be able to jump in and help.

In addition I and another teammate were called in to receive verbal warnings on gossiping.  I have more sense than to voice my displeasure at work. That’s why I have a blog – to anonymously vent my frustrations.  We’re being targeted and I know it.  My teammate apparently lacks the sense I do and whined and complained when they called her in.  When my manager asked if I understood what she was telling me I answered, “Yes.”  When she asked if I had any questions or comments I replied, “No.”  She tried to goad me by telling me that my name was specifically mentioned but I just blinked at her and made no comment. She seemed genuinely surprised that I brooked no argument.   But I no longer care about that job.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it or not but I’ve been diagnosed with cataracts. I can already see it in my right eye, or not see as the case may be. The doctor said that I’ll probably be blind in the next year or two if the cataracts keep progressing the way they are. So I go to the ophthalmologist next week to be assessed for cataract surgery.  I’ve decided that once I get my eyes done, I’ll be seeking alternate employment. I guess now that I have a goal in mind, I’m better able to let go of the trials at work.

I also went and saw the rheumatologist.  Apparently, despite having most of the symptoms of lupus, my bloodwork wasn’t positive enough.  She seemed more interested in the type of facewash I used and whether or not it was causing me dry skin.  She wasn’t the least bit interested in the issues I’m having with pain and stiffness in my joints.  She recommended a change in my depression medication and looking for a new job.  She said that all of my ailments would disappear if I found a job I liked.  I’m sure that the constant stress, anxiety, and frustration that I feel at work is not helping, but I know the pain in my body isn’t a figment of my imagination due to stress. She ordered some bloodwork and I’m going to see what she says about it, but then I think I’m going to find another rheumatologist.

So Tuesday I find out what the story is with my eyes and make plans from there.  Wish me luck Grouchlings, and try not to throttle those who annoy you.

 

A Grouchy Update

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It’s been an interesting few months my fellow grouchlings. Work has been an absolute nightmare.  My boss took off for a month to have lipo and a tummy tuck in the middle of a disastrous software conversion. In the year I’ve been there our volume has tripled, yet we’ve hired not one extra hand to help out. There was no need, management assured.  This new software is going to cure all that ails us!  Ok. This software requires everything to be input perfectly from start to finish – by humans – in order to work properly, but it’s going to be the answer to our prayers.  I can’t decide if management is delusional, stupid, or perhaps a bit of both.

So, back to my boss.  Her attitude has been complete crap since January, and believe me I totally get why.  There’s a lot of pressure on her to perform miracles and it’s just not possible.  I get that. But what supervisor abandons her team in the middle of a crisis like this to go have vanity surgery?  Yeah, she bailed for lipo and a tummy tuck. If it were some life threatening or horrifically painful condition that required surgery, I’d understand. But she bailed on us for the sake of her own vanity?  Not cool.

To make matters worse, her job was dumped in my lap.  I wasn’t asked.  I didn’t volunteer. It was just, “Tonsa you will do this” and that was the end of it.  Being the dedicated little worker bee that I am, I tried.  I tried my hardest. I worked between 55-70 hours every single week for a month trying to keep that team going.  One day when I was super stressed, the rest of my team spent a good solid half hour sitting around, laughing and playing.  I’m exhausted and I’m sitting there doing their work trying to keep them afloat when I just get aggravated.  I turn to them and say, “Cmon guys. We’re too far behind to be this chatty. We really need to buckle down right now.” 

So my team decides that they don’t like being asked to work and they go complain to BB (Big Boss.)  And BB, rather than point out that we actually are rather far behind and that that we do need to buckle down, sent them out on the floor to confront me.  So there I am, at hour 55 at 4pm on a Friday, with my nose down trying to do their work. “BB said for us to tell you that we don’t appreciate being talked to that way. Our own boss doesn’t tell us to do our jobs and you’re sure as hell not going to. Who do you think you are anyways?”  Wow. Just wow.  I think I’m the only reason your account is completely buried you ungrateful bitch but that’s not what I said.  What I said was, “Look, I really don’t have time for this conversation. If you want to take it up next week when the sup gets back, we can discuss it then, but right now I have work to do.” One would think that would be the end of it but oh no, they were looking for a fight and just would not back off me.  So I didn’t the only reasonable thing one could do in that situation. I punched the lead agitator in the face as hard as I could.  Just kidding, I packed up my things and left (but returned later to finish the job.)

I was livid but I held my cool as best I could. On top of everything else that week I’d had a new temp dumped on me to train as well. Yeah, my title is processor but I’m responsible for training and directing temps on top of everything else.  It was just too much. But that wasn’t the worst of it.  When my boss came back from surgery, I tried to turn things back over to her.  She wasn’t interested. People would ask me questions, I’d refer them to the boss, and she’d be so nasty to them that they’d come back on the verge of tears.  It got to the point that when I’d say, “Go see the boss” they’d either stand there and look at me with pleading puppy dog eyes (knowing I’m a sucker), go back to their desks and email me the question, or just do it wrong and hope someone else would sort it out down the road.

I did what I always do.  I stepped up. I kept answering the questions and handling the problems. When people were running late, they’d text, call or email me because they knew a)I’d be there and b) I’d spread the word to the powers that be.  So for the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that my boss and BB have been curt, dismissive and just downright rude to me.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have, but I sent BB an email asking her if I’ve done something wrong.  If I’m making mistakes I need to know. I can’t fix it if I don’t know what’s broken right?  My boss calls me into her office.  BB has forwarded her my email so I get dressed down about the chain of command first off. If I have a problem I need to address it with her.  Right.  Next she tells me that I need to stop interacting with the team and send all questions to her. I pointed out that I have been doing that but since I’m there on the floor and they’ve been coming to me for so long that it’s been difficult to break the habit.  I thought that was far more diplomatic than, “You’ve turned into a rude, lazy bitch and no one wants to deal with you.”

She calls the entire team in for a meeting and tells them, “Tonsa is not a supervisor. She’s not even a lead.  She’s nothing but a processor like the rest of you and from now on, if you need anything you come to me.”  My team actually came to me and apologized to me after the meeting. They know that I’ve been struggling to keep them all afloat and they really appreciate it.  It’s good to know someone does.

But here’s the thing, even though my account is the largest by volume, and we have 2 people working on it, I still carry 2/3 of the account.  My counterpart tries, but she’s just not as fast as I am. For the last 2-3 weeks I’ve been really sick so I’ve only been putting in 40 hours a week and the account has gotten behind for the first time since I’ve been there.  I have Dr’s notes for all the issues I’m struggling with and they told me that I was just slacking off and I need to step up my game.  After that conversation, I receive a letter from my Dr saying that I test positive for Lupus and I need to see a rheumatologist. I show the letter to my supervisor and let her know that I’m going to need time to see doctors and get a handle on this condition so I may not physically be able to put in 50-60 hour weeks. As much pain as I’m in right now, 40 is a struggle.  I later overheard her telling one of her cronies that she was going to see if she could get me to quit before they found a way to fire me.

I’m just completely deflated.  I’ve poured my heart and soul into that job. I’ve jumped through any ring of fire they’ve asked me to and this is the thanks I get. My doctor scheduled a colonoscopy for me right smack in the middle of close.  I almost cancelled it, because the job has always come first.  After hearing how little I’m valued, I went ahead with the test. I just don’t have it in me to care anymore. They’re firing a lot of people right now – good people – and I just don’t get it.  All I know is, that when I receive the write up telling me I have one week to “fix” any problems that they’ve conveniently created for me, I’m going to wait until the day before my firing day to turn in my notice.  Yes, if they fire me I can contest it and perhaps get unemployment but I just don’t want the stigma on my resume.

When it rains, it pours and I’m in the midst of a hurricane.

No Good Deed

There’s an old saying that “no good deed goes unpunished” and that has certainly been my experience the past two weeks.  My boss went on vacation for two weeks and somehow I got tapped to work her desk.  All of the responsibility, none of the authority.  You see the potential problem here?  So, as I’d feared, my coworkers took this as an opportunity to take a vacation of their own.  I was way too busy to say anything about it most of the time but Friday I was working a particularly nasty case that one of our resident bonehead had royally screwed up.  I sat there, frustrated, as my team laughed and played around for well over 20 minutes.  I gave them 15 thinking they’re entitled to a morning break but after that I told them, “Guys? Seriously? We’re more than two weeks behind schedule. We just don’t have time for excessive chatter. We really need to buckle down.”. Well they shut up, but they didn’t do any work.  Oh no, our resident agitator, who’s pretty much worthless as a worker and a human being, riled them all up that I’m not their supervisor and that I can’t talk to them like that.  She went and whined to management. Well instead of pointing out that since I was left in charge, I can in fact ask them to do their jobs and I never should have felt the need to ask them in the first place, she sent them out to confront me, where I was once again cleaning up their messes.

Needless to say, this flew all over me.  I am overly emotional. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I get my feelings hurt easily. Add to this that I’ve put in 60+ hours for two solid months when I don’t have the health or stamina to do it and the result of them standing over me telling me, in essence, to go fuck myself and that they don’t have to do their jobs if they don’t want to, flew all over me.  I have worked tirelessly to cover those stupid, lazy bitches and all I ask in return is that they put in a little effort to do their jobs so I don’t have to.  And management should have backed me up.  They didn’t.

So I have decided that I am pretty much done with this company. I will sit and do my processing but at the day’s end, I will not do 1 second of overtime to help anyone else.  They’re right. It’s not my job. It’s theirs. And it’s about damn time they started doing it themselves. If management has an issue with this then they can, to quote my coworkers, “go fuck themselves.”