Wednesday, April 25, 2012

you just gave it away

You turned your back on tomorrow
'Cause you forgot yesterday.
I gave you my love to borrow,
But you just gave it away.

You can't expect me to be fine,
I don't expect you to care

I've wasted my nights,
You turned out the lights

I'm at a payphone trying to call home
All of my change I spent on you

payphone
Maroon 5

Friday, March 23, 2012

Where To Go Next

I miss having a personal blog. I'm thinking of starting another pseudonymous one where I can be an adult and reblog things middle Americans can't tolerate (not Fifty Shades, that's amateur). I want to be able to curse again. I want to be able to talk about marriage prospects after 30, the retaining of dreams. Let people vote for my major life decisions again (remember that poll?)

(Wow this blog is so old the interface isn't even familiar to me anyore. I couldn't figure out how to make a hyperlink for a second.)

I know who would be excited if I did.

Yeah you, 131.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Across the Board Loss

Dude, I am coming out of a sh*teous week.

I asked Jifo today if it was normal to have such a bad life. Then I read a post from my oldest blog friend who is also feeling down. And another from one of my favorite authors who was in a funk.

All of our foul moods and feelings of loss seemed to have started right before or during the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

I'm convinced now that the potential energy of the plates shifting in our earth agitated us on a deeply felt but barely conscious level. It contributed to strife from our enemies (my b*tch of an ex boss sent a harassing letter to me from a lawyer because she's a paranoid narcissist), it fed the unrest in our hearts, and it squirreled us away from any support system. And like that, I'm back on muscle relaxants/sleeping pills.

Now that the initial chaos has subsided, I'm hoping the dissipating kinetic energy will release whatever pressure has gotten us all into our stormy season.

I learned difficult things during this time. One, that honesty is a bad trait. Two, people don't really want to hear about your problems.

It's not like I shut myself away. I tentatively reached out during this horrible week and I was met with a polite glossing over. Everyone only wants to talk about lighthearted things, tell funny stories, share a laugh. I admit that helps. But what helps more is knowing people want to hear it. The hard and difficult 'it's.

I want to hear it. It helps me, selfishly, because it lets me know that yes, it is normal to have problem after problem. There is no such thing as stability. The Buddhists always knew.

Weather on, fellow sufferers.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Done At Last: Reflections On The Workplace From Hell

An acupuncturist reminded me that writing out one's stress or trauma is healthy for processing, so here's one last (maybe) vent.

I finally left my day job last month and it was hell to the very end. My former boss(es) was as critical, paranoid, distrusting and two-faced as ever. There was drama galore and though I had wanted to leave with closure, all I felt by my last day was an unabashed disgust for that company.

And weariness. I felt hypersensitive the entire weekend before my last day; everything Jifo said made me want to cry. I realized that I was finally releasing all the pent-up stress from my sh*teous two years at that place. Jifo said, "It's like PTSD." In a way it was.

I recently read a magnificent blog post about women needing to negotiate better. The part that stood out to me was when the blogger talked about a company who wouldn't match her desired salary and how she still tried to negotiate rather than walk away:

In retrospect, as low as the offer was for the field in which I work, I should have turned it down. I was a few months into my job hunt at that point, though, and not feeling very self-confident, so I accepted.

That was the job that didn't work out, at which I was employed for two days. The salary offer I received, I now realize, was an excellent clue to how I should have expected to be treated at that company.

That's EXACTLY what happened to me. I was unemployed during the recession and after six months of panic, I snatched the first offer I got. It was only supposed to be a summer job to tide me over until graduate school, but when I decided not to do grad school, I ended up taking a higher position at this company...for no raise. And I didn't chicken out either; I asked for a raise. TWICE.

Unlike this blogger, I wasn't strong enough in myself to walk away, for a variety of reasons that I've already worked through. But a big part of why I didn't quit the million times I woke up crying in the morning and wanting to, was because I felt committed to my students. I didn't want to abandon them and two of my college-bound ones have become like young friends and mentees now.

But like the blogger said, it wasn't the low-balling alone that made the workplace suck. It was how they treated their employees. There was a blame run-off that operated the way I think trickle-down economics was supposed to. My boss had a particular fondness for threatening emails that encouraged one to "seek employment elsewhere" and this terror-based structure turned groups of employees against each other. She also picked favorites, allowing some employees to skip weekly meetings, while others were told they couldn't work there if they didn't show up.

I should have quit when
  • one of the administrative staff lied to the boss about me to save her own ass and the boss wrote me an accusatory email without considering my side
  • the boss promised to do something for my student and when it wasn't done, put the blame on me
  • she wrote threatening emails any time she thought we were going "over hours", despite the hours of unpaid work I and many other employees did at home but were not allowed to bill
  • halfway through, she promised me a different position and pay structure with benefits, but when I accepted it, she tacked on a stipulation that she hadn't put in my written offer and immediately rescinded the offer when I couldn't comply with that caveat
  • a myriad of other times when I nodded, took the blame, and ate my feelings
Because

  1. What I ended up earning the entire last year is is SO PATHETIC, especially in light of the hours I lost to sleepless nights, tears, headaches, stress, fights with Jifo, resentment and knocks on my self-esteem.
  2. At the very end, when yet another lie was told about me and this time I spoke up about it, guess what appears in the printed handout at our next meeting? Yup, a passive-aggressive rejoinder.

There were many cherished, meaningful moments to my work, all of them having to do with the teenagers that charmed me and touched me. But this is a vent about the work environment. And I'm still exhausted and angry from it.

There were times in the past when I did walk away from situations much more quickly. If you think this place sounds hostile...

I once worked for three days (unpaid) for the manager of a well-known former child star. This woman couldn't finish the work day without screaming at someone; luckily she rotated who it was. It was no surprise that she had a revolving door of assistants. She ALSO had a very personal, unprofessional way of communicating. After my FIRST DAY I was already crying when my bf at the time met me for dinner. He immediately said, "You don't have to do this." By the third night, I was calling friends going, "How much are you supposed to hate your job?"

Consider this time a lesson on never selling myself short again. And my last 30 After 30 complete.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's Here...The NEW Blog!

::wiping dirt and sweat out of her eyes::

Whew!
Creating a new web presence takes FOREVER. New Twitter, new blog, update the Goodreads and comment profiles.

For the last 48 hours I've been an excited maniac so I could bring you this:

DID YOU MISS THE LINK? COMMENT OR EMAIL 52FACES (A) GMAIL FOR IT!

I'm going to keep this link hot for about a week or two, then I have to take it down so I can close the loop forever between private and public. I am completely starting fresh as if I've never met this schizophrenic 52 Faces. (Who has that many faces geezus?)

I do hope you'll follow me over there and I'm so grateful to the support you've given me with my blogging!!!