migraine

Two and a half hours of sleep. Damn it. Somehow muddling through, but I think if you’d handed me a gun around 2AM last night, I would not have even hesitated to use it on myself. Migraines are not a common thing for me, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 531 words, novella: The Mungk

flu shot

Getting that done today. At least I will have accomplished something. And before you go all anti-vax on me, don’t be a dumb shit. Pay attention to the world around you and remove yourself from the dregs of the internet. They are playing you in order to support a fascist agenda and to line their own pockets.

As always, it’s about money and power, and the dummies gullible enough to give it to them.

Don’t be a dummy.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 222 words, novella: The Mungk

last… fucking… day

Complicated feelings. On one hand, absolute bliss, an heady gleefulness that makes me want to giggle uncontrollably. On the other, guilt, for leaving them in the lurch, for shirking off my responsibility to our customers, and nervousness, about what comes next.

As my wife reminded me though, I’ve no reason to feel bad about leaving. This company has not been kind to me, and over the past few years, having to fight the urge to swerve into oncoming traffic on the way to the office or walk out in disgust and put my family’s financial future at risk has been a daily fight.

And I’m tired of being stressed out, depressed, angry and suicidal. I needed them to fire those bigoted, petty, undeserved ego-driven pieces of shit back in March and they did, but I know it wasn’t their lies or laziness or petty grievances. It wasn’t their misogyny, racism or Trump-loving anti-vax nonsense. It wasn’t the constant abuse or threats of violence. The sole reason this company fired those assholes is because they tried to go over the boss’ head to the CEO. That bruised the boss’ ego and the other stuff just gave him a convenient excuse. Had they never done that, they’d still be here, and we’d all still be suffering while management looked the other way.

And in the wake of that, did they then get me the help that I needed? I was clear with them – I had no desire to be an IT person anymore. I hated IT, and I wanted to move into a more administrative position. They ignored that. I said in a temporary capacity, as a stopgap solution, for a few weeks or a month, I could keep things running until they found a proper network guy. They never bothered, and instead combined five jobs into one and got me the minimal amount of help possible (someone who could never do what I do), and they took a month and a half to do even that, after initially questioning whether they needed to at all. Meanwhile, I was on the clock 24/7, and killing myself.

When this opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance. It was a better job all the way around, even if I liked this one. Why wouldn’t I take it?

Now that I’m leaving, they’ve spent the last ten days trying to make me work around the clock again, FOR FREE, ignoring my attempts to create actual documentation, which they will need, on how to do all of the things the new people will need to know. Instead, they want me to fix monitors or have pointless meetings or draw network maps. Oh, did I get a network map when this was dumped in my lap? Of course not. And they posted my job at twenty grand more than they were willing to offer me to boot.

And why do they not care about documentation? They’ve repeatedly said over the last week that they’ll just call me if they need anything. I keep telling them that’s not going to happen, but apparently, in their minds, they think they can keep me working for them, for free, even though I quit and have moved on to a different job.

So why do I feel guilty about leaving? I really shouldn’t. This job has been nothing but abusive almost from the start, and only got worse over the years. When they finally fired those idiots (again, over the bruised ego of the boss, and not because we begged for months and provided more reason to fire with cause than you could shake a stick at. Seriously, I tell other people the crap these guys pulled and they’re flabbergasted that they weren’t fired, or even jailed, years ago), I decided to buckle down, make the attempt and see how serious these guys were about building anew with me. Instead, they completely hung me out to dry. And now, they want me to continue to be at their beck and call, for nothing?

I wouldn’t even do it if they paid me, and believe me, I thought long and hard about asking for a consulting fee to do that. But this is the kind of company that would look at me and say, “Why pay him? He hasn’t got enough money to take us on in court.” I’m fully convinced they’d agree to it and stiff me.

I’m trying to go out the right way. Not to burn bridges, and to go out with graciousness. But these people have never understood boundaries, they’ve never supported their people and they just don’t get it.

Maybe instead of telling people that they shouldn’t burn bridges with the companies they’re leaving, the companies they’re leaving should be trying not to burn bridges with the employees on their way out. This economy is fucked, that a company is so fucking entitled that they believe they still have any claim to you after you’re fucking gone.

So, instead, I say goodbye and good riddance. Don’t call me. You’re like a crazy ex that won’t go away and won’t leave me alone. We’re through. Don’t make me get a restraining order.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 1951 words, novella: The Mungk

baked cappelletti

I am a foodie, of that there’s no question. My body disagrees with me, and even though last night’s meal was fabulous, it’s not worth the 1:30AM wake-up call with acid reflux so bad it feels like someone is taking snub nosed pliers to the centre of my chest while feeding me a two million Scoville unit hot pepper in my throat.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 1827 words, novella: The Mungk

expectations

I’ve been thinking about the process of this glimmer a lot. I really hope it comes through, but it’s almost maddening to not know where you are in the process, or even have any expectation of what the process looks like.

It’s kind of like when you need surgery, but it can’t be done immediately, like on some TV hospital show, because this is real life and we would hope that our doctors don’t, in fact, spend their days having affairs and throwing tantrums about their feelings in between surgeries. In real life, if you’ve got a torn meniscus or need a hip replacement, it can take months. And as you get closer to the date of the surgery, whatever is ailing you seems to get worse and worse. It wears you down more. It’s more painful. It hinders your movement, your ability to get things done, even your ability to think straight.

Things may not actually be worse, but the knowledge that relief is coming makes us impatient, insists our focus dwells on the pain and it seems to get worse. Much worse.

This is much the same. I haven’t been this completely unhappy and disengaged at a job, possibly ever. In fact, guaranteed never before. For nearly eight years, I suffered through those idiots, watching them denigrate everyone around, lie constantly, dump all their work on me, cleaning up after them and watching as they sent lie after lie to the bosses about how I wasn’t doing anything. I sat through their homophobia, their racism and most especially, their extreme misogyny. I was scared of the threat of violence or property destruction at the hands of my former boss because he’s that level of unstable. If I heard one day that he went on an incel rampage or attacked a group of Muslims, I wouldn’t even bat an eye. He’s that kind of unstable, which given his adoration for all things Q and Alex Jones and Donald Trump, isn’t surprising.

And then the new owners fired them. Not because of the aforementioned; that was just window dressing to legitimize the real reason they were fired (even though all of that entirely justifies firing them with cause). The real reason, in my opinion, is that they went over the new boss’ head to the CEO and the new boss’ ego was bruised. At the very least, it must have made the CEO wonder why these guys were still there, given they did the same thing they always did – made up a bunch of lies, included a petty grievance or two that wasn’t worth the drama (the CEO even said that outright) and even bitched about “male discrimination” because we (the other men in the office) got tired of them not flushing the toilet after a shit or washing their hands (in a pandemic!) and put up some signs asking them to do so. Apparently, calling them out on not flushing the toilet is some sort of gender discrimination in their minds.

The sad part about all of that was that we then condensed four guys’ jobs into mine, making me the equivalent of five people. Listen, these guys were screwing around and lying about what they were doing all day, but they still did something (sort of), which four of them combined is at least one or two other full jobs, and I already had a full time job. To make it worse, despite the fact that they just saved a quarter million dollars a year, they couldn’t hire me a proper networking guy to help replace them, even though I was quite clear about only doing this temporarily and having no desire to be a network administrator.

Seven months later, I’m still waiting on my glimmer. They’ve given no indication what the process entails or how long I can expect, so it’s become like a person waiting on a surgery that is always on the verge of happening and never does. The excruciation of staying in the twenty-four hour a day job after years of burnout and exhaustion is almost unbearable. It might be better if I could at least get some indicator of whether this is something I can expect to hear on today or two years from now. They’ve given absolutely no indication where we even are in this process. Are my hopes up for no reason? It’s the hope that kills you, I remember reading in some book or comic somewhere.

It’s certainly killing me, and it would be much, much better if they just laid out the process for potential candidates and what the potential timeframes might be. Setting some expectations about the whole thing would go a long way to calming nerves.

Target: 1000 words
Written: 371 words, novella: The Mungk

pressure change

How I wish this was about my work life, but it’s about weather. Seems we’re hitting a bit of a cold front, which has left me with a low grade headache all morning. It was enough to make me forget my coffee this morning, which hasn’t helped with the whole headache deal.

Shame, but into every life, a low pressure-system must fall?

Target: 900 words
Written: 244 words, novella: The Mungk

exhaustion is a thing

It sure is. Water heater replaced, but now the kitchen sink and dishwasher are clogged up and have very little coming out of them.

Porch weatherproofing began, but took way longer than expected. Vacation’s not happening. Can barely get a word in edgewise. Haven’t read more than twenty-five pages in two days. That’s a number usually closer to a hundred and fifty or two hundred.

Falling apart emotionally, mentally, physically.

Not sure how much more.

Target: 900 words
Written: 191 words, novella: The Mungk

half-deaf

So, I have an ear infection. I’ve been cleansing and dosing myself with peroxide and Polysporin and the pain has gone, but it’s still pretty closed off, and my hearing, usually only about sixty percent on that side, seems to be closer to ten or twenty percent.

Good times. Oh, and they failed to show up on time for our water heater install and we had to push it to today. On the plus side, had a wonderful meal with my family last night at Michael’s On The Thames in London, so there’s that.

Gratitude can always turn things around, even when everything around you seems geared to frustration.

Target: 900 words
Written: 654 words, novella: The Mungk

ear ache

I don’t know if it’s something that was happening anyway or a reaction to the new vaccine (I’m inclined to the former), but my left ear is pounding, closed up.

I’ve always been partially deaf on that side (and didn’t make it better with music so loud it drowned out the feelings of my own body), but this is different. I thought it might be wax build-up, but it doesn’t seem to be. Hopefully, I haven’t damaged my ear drums. I woke up with it yesterday, so I’m not sure if it was exacerbated by the cold shower or travelling rendition of OK Computer and OK Go, but I am essentially deaf on the left side, for now.

On the plus side, our new water heater is going in today. Hopefully. It better be.

Cold showers are brutal, especially when it’s no longer summer.

Target: 900 words
Written: 2368 words, novella: The Mungk