Category Archives: Mildly Angsty

A little edgy.

Foul of a Different Kind

I have been in such a foul mood for the past couple of days. (There are some who might wonder incredulously ‘days?!’ but they’d be very wise not to go there…)

Not that first-day-of-your-period, damn-I-need-chocolate-and-everything-will-be-OK foul. Oh, no, we’re talking a full-fledged, primal please-for-the-love-of-God-go-away-before-I-scratch-your eyes-out-and-cram-them-down-your-throat foul.

It hasn’t been pretty. And, sadly, I’ve really struggled to not wear my emotions on my sleeve.

I blame it on the stress of my recent job change (and related panic associated to maintaining my other job responsibilities), lack of decent sleep and a headache that becomes unbearable only when dealing with other people.

I.hate.people.

Especially people who make two or three or more times my salary and do absolutely nothing but sit on their big fat asses making decisions that are destroying the future of the company. People who are blind to reality. People who truly lack a lick of common sense. People who make the worker-bees jump through hoops to give them information that supports their latest idea, which is really a recycled idea that failed in the past, and is destined to fail yet again.

Thankfully (and my creditors will be relieved to know), I’ve been able to maintain a civil tongue (and, thus, retain my employment) despite the building stress and have managed to not snarl while biting back the following phrases to the truly irritating:

“Please tell someone who gives a damn.”

“Are you really as inane as you sound?”

“Who wrote your resume? Clearly they have a great talent at fiction.”

“Who did you sleep with to get your job? You’re an obnoxious twit who hasn’t done anything since you been here but make my life a living hell.”

“Let me guess – you want me to help – and by help you mean do all the work – so you can take the credit again? Um, no, but thanks for thinking of me.”

” No. Now go away.”

It’s probably a good thing it’s the weekend and I can hole up at home and avoid people. Did I mention that I hate people?

Hypocrites in Action

Seriously, it’s stuff like this that makes me so skeptical about the human species… Is altruism dead?

Live 8 Philly performers get freebies

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – The performers at the Live 8 show in Philadelphia are getting thousands of dollars in gifts. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that celebrities at the event will be given designer suits, satellite radio subscriptions, Gibson guitars, $125 ties, $330 sweat suits and watches worth between $1,500 and $6,000. Total worth: $12,000.

The products were donated by manufacturers. Giving celebrities gift bags is common for award shows like the Grammys or the Oscars. Loyola Marymount University business and ethics professor Thomas White says it’s not unethical, but it is a gray zone.

The celebrities will also eat gourmet food catered by one of Philadelphia’s top restaurant owners, who is donating his services. The menu includes char-grilled dry aged beef, tea-smoked spare ribs and chicken and ginger dumplings.

Disgusting.

This was in Philly. Imagine the luxurious gifts being lavished on the performers in Europe and elsewhere around the globe.

Perhaps the proper gesture by the entertainers – and the manufacturers – was to take the monetary value of the gifts and donate it to feeding the hungry and buying the medications to help the sick – and prevent further illness. I would imagine that $12,000 would go a long way to fulfilling this quest quite nicely.

hyp·o·crite
n.

One who puts on a mask and feigns himself to be what he is not; a dissembler in
religion.

Today’s Live 8 series of pop music concerts is being broadcast from nine cities around the world in advance of next week’s G8 meeting in Scotland where presidents/leaders of the largest industrialized nations will meet for a three-day summit.

The crowds are certainly swaying to the beat, cheering, waving and shouting at each venue – from Philadelphia to London to Paris to Johannesburg to Rome to Berlin to Tokyo to Moscow and, lest I forget, Canada. While they’ve come together to listen to music, it also appears that the artists are beating home a united message: They want the leaders of the world’s richest countries to work toward eradicating African poverty.

In the first Live Aid concert 20 years ago, Bob Geldof urged the worldwide audience to send cash for Africa aid. This time, the music artists are using their celebrity to urge citizens to encourage world leaders to assist Africa.

Perhaps it’s the pessimist in me, but I can’t help but think that the egos, er, artists are using this event to make themselves feel more important than they really are. While I shouldn’t question a stranger’s motives as being “real” or “put on”, the fact is that I don’t think I’d buy a car from half of them. Too many of them seem to be bandwagon jumpers who will return to their lives of opulence and excess after the final hors d’oeuvres have been consumed and champagne swilled.

I won’t lie, it’s Madonna’s showing the true altruistic, benevolent, peaceful, world-inspiring spirit of Live 8 that’s tainted me on this beautiful Saturday… Flipping off is SO 1980’s….

Continue reading Hypocrites in Action

in·er·tia

n.

1. Physics. The tendency of a body to resist acceleration; the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or of a body in straight line motion to stay in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.
2. Resistance or disinclination to motion, action, or change: the inertia of an entrenched bureaucracy.

I had what can only be described as an embarrassing ‘A-ha!’ moment… I have been living a life of inertia.

In my job.

In my life.

Honestly, the energy expended to remain where I am has to be more than would be required to change. I wonder why I’m working so diligently to resist change?

Ten years of inertia is enough.

Woo hoo – happy anniversary to me!

That’s right – it’s my anniversary. Today officially marks the ten year anniversary of my employment at **.

Honestly, I would never have thought that I’d make it to ten years.

Heck, I didn’t think that I’d make it to my first year anniversary… My first international business trip abroad resulted in being hospitalized in ICU with double pneumonia. Just making it out of the hospital was a goal.

Thankfully, I was released and eventually returned to work a couple of weeks later. But my view of work had suffered a drastic change. Words of wisdom from my brother reminding me that “life is short… you shouldn’t stay at a job that doesn’t make your heart sing” have haunted me daily since that time. Why didn’t I jump at the opportunity to start my life anew? Why did I return to a job that clearly didn’t make my “heart sing”?

I wish I knew.

Originally, I felt obligated to return. My hospitalization cost nearly $30,000. This fee was absorbed by all of the participants in the company health care program. I was sure that our rates would increase – and I felt guilty about this. Interestingly, the following year didn’t see a spike in enrollment fees. My guilt should have been alleviated… but I ignored it and stayed on.

No, I’m not Jewish. Worse. I’m Catholic.

I’ve always felt insecure in my employment status. I have a habit of internalizing the problems of others and frequently allow these feelings to overwhelm me – although only a few people know this. In the past couple of years, ** has undergone some major changes (regime change leading the way). It’s been a wild ride that has seen our company send the former President/CEO to prison, cut ties with a host of managers, lay off a hundred plus worker bees, suffer bad PR in the press, lose major customers and demoralize the remainder of the worker bees.

Perhaps it’s the morale issue that’s the most frustrating and disheartening to deal with day in, day out. The problem is that I really like what I do… but I dread having to go into the office every day and face the ever-increasing depressing atmosphere.

The last couple of months have brought ominous feelings of dread and pending unemployment. My paranoia level has definitely climbed to levels heretofore unexperienced.

Unless things change drastically, another anniversary is probably out of the question. Whether I leave under my own terms or not is to be seen.

Ten years.

That’s a lot of time to invest in a job that isn’t really a “career”.

Worse, my heart hasn’t sung in ages.

I frequently joke that it’s my dead-end job.

The tragedy in this joke is that it’s true.

Whether I want to admit it or not, I seriously have to take the time to re-evaluate my future… I’ve reached an age where finding employment is going to be more difficult than it was ten years ago.

The other day, I read a troubling article in the newspaper about a class-action law suit that’s been renewed that claims that a bunch of Hollywood studios have openly discriminated against their writers who were over 40… Here I am finally getting serious about pursuing my writing life and, by Hollywood standards, I’m already past my prime. The irony here, to me at least, is that most people UNDER 40 haven’t lived enough to write about it. Oh, I know, there have been hundreds of successful/entertaining scripts produced by the 20-something set, but will these works endure the hands of time?

From a personal standpoint, I am looking forward to 2005 and my pursuit of the creative life that I’ve put on hold for so long. Bye-bye to the negative voices that have haunted my memory for so long, hello beautiful muse.

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping and Debt

The post-Thanksgiving holiday spike in consumerism is well-known from community to community across the United States. People shake off their L-Tryptophan stupor and line up outside their favorite store hours before sunrise in anticipation of snatching up the latest electronic gadget or toy at bargain basement prices.

Some people LIVE for the day after Thanksgiving to hit the malls. Some even go so far as to plan out their shopping strategy, mapping out where the best deals are anticipated.

To these folks, I have to say, “Honestly, people, get a life!”

Really.

I truly doubt that the Pilgrims planned the Thanksgiving holiday to boost consumerism.

Although I’m sure that Hallmark, Target, Best Buy, et al, aren’t trying to dissuade the populace.

I am the retailers’ worst nightmare. I loathe shopping. I especially loathe shopping during the holidays.

I don’t know when it happened exactly, but somewhere in the early 90’s I was turned off by the rank consumerism that seemed to capture the nation. Lost was the true meaning of the season – the celebration of the birth of the Christian world’s savior. Instead, we were ushered towards the excesses of life… body piercings, Wonderbras and Converse All-Star shoes. No Fear was the charge heard ’round the world.

I should be honest here and peg my turn-around to the fact that the relationship I shared at that time involved buying gifts for all of the “in-laws”… The combined “wish list” of these folks could have bankrupted a small third world country. Unfortunately, at the time, my income was sorely lacking any resemblance to the treasury coffers of any of these third world countries.

The joy of seeing them open the gifts was temporary – buying gifts for my extended family set me back financially for months. The worst thing about this is that my final Christmas with JB’s family was still being paid for a few months after our relationship had ended.

Ouch.

I learned a lot of lessons in the 90’s.

For the longest period of time, I only paid cash for things. This limited me to purchasing only those items that I really needed or wanted. (Although I’m still trying to figure out where I got the money to buy the guitars that clutter my bedroom, unplayed).

Credit cards became my worst friend during the past year. Some legitimate expenses had to be charged. A rather opportunistic mouse (RIP, you little sh…) cleverly took advantage of building its nest inside the heater blower (ironically, the squirrel cage) of the Explorer. The damage to the air conditioner set me back $1800. Subsequent visits to repair the damage caused by the mouse continued to pile onto the balance of my credit card.

My finances took a further hit when the nerve in my tooth decided to die and a root canal – and crown – were required to alleviate the pain that I was experiencing. (This was a humbling experience for me – I consider my threshold for pain to be very high – and I was turned into a wimp by the constant twinging of the dying nerve). This ordeal set me back close to $1800, too. (Good thing I had that dental insurance policy through work… /sarcasm)

A misbehaving hard-drive on one of our computers led to purchasing two new complete systems. While one new computer would have served its purpose, the truth is our remaining system was antiquated – and a new system seemed like a good idea at the time.

Ca-ching. $3200.

Throw in a couple of additional 250 GB hard-drives, jump drives, two wireless Intellimouse (mice?), a drawing pad and books, books, books… Well, let’s just say that Micro Center has had a very good year thanks to me.

Then there were my “healthy” purchases designed to get us healthy – and keep us healthy this flu season now that we were unable to get our annual flu shot – the Vitamix 5000, the Dyson Full Gear/Animal vacuum, an Air Oasis 3000 Air Purifier (nice holiday pricing currently in effect – for a really awesome air purifier that helps curtail odors, bacteria and mold), and a multitude of Hepa air cleaners ( Kenmore 335 CADR True HEPA Air Cleaner and a Hunter HEPAtech 375) to further purify the air. (Yes, it would have been cheaper to get rid of the animals….)

Good intentions. Great inventions. Lots of debt.

Now if only I can hold on to my job to help pay everything off.

Friends and family laugh at me for the level of paranoia that I have regarding my employment status. (Applying Homeland Security’s color coding, I’ve been operating at a “high” or orange level for the last month now… Of course, the color bump came after I made all of these purchases!) I’ve been claiming to have been on the receiving end of “bad vibes” for months (OK, yes, YEARS) now – although the vibes have been getting stronger in recent weeks. I steadfastly maintain that I will be included in the next round of lay-offs… Knowing how badly sales revenue have been this year, I can’t blame them for making cuts. Although I will be bitter. It’s the management that needs to go. But that’s another blog….

Until then, I’ll keep plugging away, staying late as needed to work on the various budget issues, pretending that management isn’t laughing at me behind my back. (That really DOES sound like paranoia… *cough*)

And until my debt load gets down to a point where I’m “comfortable”, no more adventures to the mall (which is perfectly fine with me since I really detest the crowds – and people in general!) or visits to Amazon. 😉