rooted, but still growing

Archive for October 2007

Minor meltdown at work today … all was resolved with a furious call to my boss regarding some not-so-great coworkers not pulling their weight, then trying to blame it on me and others. I don’t handle the blame game very well, especially when it’s truly not my fault. I don’t have problem accepting responsibility for something I’ve caused, but when I’ve done everything within my power to get my job done quickly and correctly and it STILL falls apart because of the incompetencies of others, I will speak up. I did speak up. Three times, in fact. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

On a brighter note, things are kindasorta looking up for me at work. There is a chance — and for right now, that’s all it is, a chance — that I may receive a promotion of sorts. It’s in the works, it just has to be approved by the big kahuna. Please keep your fingers crossed … I need to not hate my job anymore.

And tomorrow is Halloween! We’re permitted to wear costumes to work, and I’m going as a cat. I only know of one other person in my department who is wearing a costume … the rest of ’em are complete party poopers. It’s rare that we get to have this type of fun, so I’m taking advantage of it. I purchased a set of fake eyelashes and gloves tonight, and I’ve got to dig out the ears and tails from last year. I haven’t dressed up for Halloween since I was a kid, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll try to post a pic or two if I remember to take my camera to work.

Happy haunting!

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You know, I just read over the blog I posted yesterday concerning the responsibilities of mothers. As in, if you aren’t ready to take care of another living person for the next 18 years and nine months, try to avoid becoming pregnant.

Unfortunately, I realized I forgot one essential element in this crazy equation … the man. The dad. Pops. Daddy-o.

Now, our little situation is a bit more complicated than most, and quite frankly this isn’t the place to discuss it, so I won’t. I just didn’t want the one or two people who read this blog to think I place all the blame for screwed-up kids on the mother. I don’t. I’m just incredibly frustrated with what is taking place and I needed someone to passive-aggressively focus my anger toward and yesterday, it just so happened to be N’s “mother.” And yes, I use that term very, very loosely.

That is all.

As if the behind-the-scenes power struggle that wasn’t so behind-the-scenes wasn’t enough to sabotage everyone in my department, there’s been another shift in the hierarchy in hell at my job.

 Keep in mind that this is the place whose front gates revolve so much we need a doorman and a sniveling desk clerk in the foyer. In the 4 1/2 months I’ve worked at this particular location, three people have retired, quit, or took a new position … and that’s just in my department. I can think of at least eight others who have seized the opportunity of escape, and that doesn’t count the many more who worked and left before I arrived.

This time, it’s a boss who’s leaving … one of two over the sales department in which I work. Now, neither of them is exactly fantastic. Unless you mean fantastically stupid. But the one who’s leaving (to take a “better” job at a sister publication just a few miles away) is definitely the John Kerry in this here situation. 

Which means we get stuck with the George Bush. Dumb, inarticulate, arrogant George Bush. Complete with cowboy boots.

Sigh.

This guy was advertising director here once before, and *supposedly* got moved because so many people were complaining to the corporate office about him berating and verbally abusing employees. There are a few folks still around who worked in advertising during that time, and they said it was horrific … he’d make them stay until 8 or 9 p.m. on a Friday just because he didn’t think they had sold enough that day. According to one man (who incidentally has worked there for 42 years), there wasn’t a single salesperson who didn’t want this man dead.

Great.

Fortunately, I haven’t seen that level of ire yet, and he and I seem to have established a decent working relationship. That said, I’m glad I’ve been forewarned. I’ve already reached my limit on the amount of crap I’m willing to put up with in this job, and he better not step one boot tip over the line or I’m out.

Moving on …

So I suppose I could have alternately titled this post “The Devil Wears Vans.” Yup, the boy in Arizona is still skating a fine line. His most recent report from school revealed he’s failing three classes and barely eeking by in his others. To say I’m angry and disappointed would be an understatement … but there isn’t much I can do in my position. The disappointment I can understand, but the anger I feel toward this kid is somewhat surprising and uncharacteristic of me. I don’t know how or when I grew hardened in my old age, but I just want to shake the ever-loving crap out of this kid every time he screws up. I think my frustrations stem from the fact — not my belief, but the fact— that he’s doing this on purpose. He’s using his past as an excuse and as a weapon to try to play his parents. It infuriates me, which in turn bothers me because he’s only 13 and he didn’t exactly have a storybook childhood. But then again, who the heck does??? And it’s so hard to be in this position, where I want to say something, to do something about it, and I just can’t. For one thing, we’re too far away. And I’m not his mother. I’m not even married to his dad, so my authority level on this one is non-existent. My suggestions are met with opposition, because apparently we have to act in such a manner so as to keep the peace. Pftz. I’m all for everyone getting along, but damn. Someone’s gotta speak up before this kid falls completely through the cracks.

I’m not in any way saying I wish N didn’t exist. But this is a darn good argument for birth control. Women of America, hear me out: If you are not emotionally and mentally mature enough to handle raising a child the proper way, try to avoid becoming pregnant. Accidents happen, and sometimes those accidents are happy miracles. I understand that; I really do. Not everything happens according to plan, and sometimes those are the best blessings. However, if  you find yourself unable to realize that raising children will require immense self-sacrifice, an enormous amount of your time and a willingness to do things you don’t always want to do but have to do for the sake of your child, then please, please, please, carefully weigh your options. Babies are cute and all, but they do grow up and become teenagers.

I’m told final grades are distributed every semester, so N has nine or so more weeks to get his grades turned around. If this doesn’t happen, the school system has decided N will be held back next year. Nobody wants that to happen … but he absolutely has to get an education some way or another. And he also needs some type of punishment for this mess he’s created for everyone.

I’m honestly so tired of this situation that I could scream. I worry about it a lot. I want him to do well … but most of all I want him to want to do well. I want his mother and stepfather to freaking step up to their responsibilities.

I want to stop feeling like a horrible person for feeling this way. 

I wish my suggestions wouldn’t fall on deaf ears … I *know* kids. I *get* them. It’s weird, but I think I understand N and his situation far more than anyone … but there isn’t a thing I can do but wait to see what happens next.

Seems like I’m always waiting for that.

So the professor for my next class looks like Kim Jong Il.

So now, in addition to worrying about getting good marks, I also have to shoulder the responsibility for not getting the entire world blown up.

Great.

My statistics project is finished.

 Hooray!!

 I feel like I can breathe again … and that’s a great feeling. I’m also surprised that this weekend didn’t turn into one big stress-caused bawling festival. I’ve had difficult projects due before and that’s how the few days before the deadline typically played out … panic attacks, calculations to see just how badly I could do on the project and still pass the class … and tears!

This weekend was the opposite, and I suppose it’s because I finally adopted the attitude that this stupid class didn’t own me, and it could only freak me out if I let it. I hate being freaked out, so I let it all go. I was prepared to come straight home from work Friday and get started, but Steve had other ideas. He made a wonderful dinner (pesto chicken over angelhair pasta and garlic-olive oil croissants), lit some candles, popped in a Miles Davis jazz cd and created a perfect, wonderful evening. We just sat in the candlelight eating dinner and just talking about whatever came across our minds. We ended up getting really sleepy around 10 p.m. so we went to bed. I had such a wonderful time just relaxing that I completely forgot that I had a few minor assignments due Friday night!

Most of my Saturday was spent behind this computer, but we had plans for dinner with a guy who works for Steve and the guy’s girlfriend. I figured we’d be gone an hour or two and I’d finish up my project later that night ….. we stayed out drinking and talking for 4 1/2 hours! We hadn’t done that in ages because we really don’t know many people here and it’s hard to have a night out when we go back to Elkins because we’re trying to get around and see so many people. I’m such a lightweight when it comes to drinking, too. I’m proud to report, however, that I felt completely fine this morning when I woke up, despite my newfound love o’ the Red Bull concoction.

And this morning, I got a phone call from my college roomie and awesome friend Staci, who is currently in South Korea teaching English to children. I hadn’t talked to her in …oh, forever, and there was so much to catch up on! I miss her so much. And I’m awfully proud of her. She’s been through some c-r-a-p in her life and she’s done so, so well. What an inspiration.

The rest of my day was spent working on that project, which I wrapped up about an hour ago. I did take a break to take Steve to dinner, and there were two trips to the store, as I forgot to purchase printer paper the first time around. So all in all, things went smoothly. But quickly. This weekend just flashed by.

But I feel good. I feel happy, relieved and loved. I hope this feeling lasts!

Aww, just when you’re starting to feel the crummiest about yourself and your situation, someone goes home early and makes you a wine-and-jazz candlelight dinner.

It was the perfect end to a not-so-perfect day. My heart is full and I feel loved and grateful. I can’t think of a better way to fall asleep.

It’s almost over. Five more days, and it will be a memory. 

So why am I so freaked?

I’m working on my master’s degree in marketing and communications, and one of the requirements is a course in statistics. I think I’ve bitched about mentioned this class before, but just to recap, I loathe it. And, this is odd, but this class has screwed with my mind and emotions more than anything has in a long while … and believe me, there are many, many things screwing with my mind and emotions at any given time. I shift between periods of being very studious and wanting to do well … to periods of throwing my hands in the air and not worrying about it. I suppose those times of not worrying about it have contributed to the reason I’m so freaked as the deadline for the final project looms … but there’s not much I can do about that now.

It’s weird. I’m … resentful … of this class. Of the time it requires. That it completely kicks my ass. I mean, I’m a smart girl. The over-achiever. Always have been. School and work have always been easy for me. All of that changed this year. Is there some rule that the year you turn 26 your life goes all to hell? I must’ve missed that section in the rulebook.

Things aren’t coming so easily anymore and I’m having problems with that. I’m not used to having to work this hard to achieve. It’s good for me, I know, to experience growing pains. I’ll learn from them. But damn if it isn’t hard. I’m in a constant battle between choosing what I should do and what I want to do. Between what I have and what I want. It’s a tight, tight spot, and it’s difficult to find anyone who wants to simply listen and be sympathetic. Sometimes when you’re feeling bad you need someone to just offer a few words of encouragement. All I ever get is a “stop feeling sorry for yourself.” Pftz.

So, yeah. I’m used to being the best, or at least close to it. This year has been a lesson in reality. Work has been a struggle for many reasons, many of which have been beyond my control, some of which are my own creations. School has overall gone well, I’m terrified of what these next few days will bring as I scramble to get everything done. My home life very good, but there are a few scary things looming on that horizon as well. I’ve faced some adversity in my life, but I can say with 100 percent certainty that this year has been the hardest year of my life.

The one thing I do have to be proud of is that I’ve made it through so far, and I’ll make it through more. I’ve learned so much about myself … about what I can and cannot do, what I will and will not do. My limitations, my expectations, my abilities. I’m finding my voice, finally (though sometimes it’s a bit frightening to hear what it has to say!) It’s been surprising, to say the least.

I suppose that’s enough rambling for one night. I’m usually much better at keeping my writing focused. But I’m tired. I’m stressed. I need to go to bed, and that’s where I’m headed.

Keepin’ my head up ….