A good, good day

Now we’re talking. I had a really good day today, mostly because I spent it thinking about code, instead of politics. Sure, there was all sorts of politics going on around me, with the boss from HQ in town and tons of other HQ folks roaming around, making their corporate presence felt. But by the end of the day, I had written a piece of code that solved a ton of problems that we’ve been chafing under.

These problems have been seriously impeding things at work for over a month, now. Basically, I need to provide a colleague with certain information from a back-end system, which system I don’t know very well. I need to deliver this information to someone who is building another system for the whole enterprise. This is not a small thing. Millions of dollars hinge on its success. It’s really an important project.

However… The people who know the system aren’t giving me the data that I’m (actually the other person is) asking for, and they’re acting like they don’t understand why I would need such a thing. They’re stalling and hemming and hawing and all but refusing to give it to me. I tried being polite. I tried reaching out to them. I tried speaking to them in their language in their terms. Nothing worked. In fact, the harder I tried, the more they ignored me.

I have seriously needed a way to go around these wankers… so I created my own way. In about 8 hours worth of work.

And when all is said and done, it will have done the job that the uncooperative pains in my ass over at corp HQ have refused to help me with — perhaps because they don’t understand the urgency of the issue, or because they’re just contrary and inept and they want to see others fail… or they’re covering their asses and pretending I don’t exist, so I won’t make them look like the buffoons they are.

Either way, it’s a stupid situation — which I have now fixed with 50 lines of code that I whipped up over 2 days time.

So f*cking there.

Who needs ’em. Seriously.

It’s time to celebrate. For real. I’ve still got my technical chops, and it shows. The problem I solved was a really sticky technical one, that had been created by people who don’t understand what they’re doing and just throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks. And when it doesn’t stick, they either pretend it never existed, or they try to pin the blame on someone else. Sigh. If people spent half the amount of time actually doing some work, that they spend creating the impression of doing work, the world would be a happier place.

But enough about them. I’ve done a good thing, and I’m happy with it.

And this makes me even more motivated to keep on with my studies. I had stopped them for a little while, because things got busy at work and there’s been so much upheaval, not to mention travel. Enough of that upheaval. I just don’t give a damn anymore. What I care about now is just taking care of myself and my skills and getting myself ready for What’s Next.

Tonight, though, I need to take a break. I have done good work for the past two days, and I need to rest, so that I’m fresh tomorrow to finish the job. It’s going to take a lot of concentration and focus to complete this, and it’s no good if I push myself too hard. I have to just take some time and relax. Do something enjoyable. Have some fun.

See, this is where I get myself in trouble – I tend to overdo it, and then I end up paying for it in terms of energy and enthusiasm, and sometimes I overdo it so much that I cease to have any interest at all in what I want to do, because I get tired just thinking about it.

Pacing myself is a good thing. It’s a really, really good thing. And the fact that I was at work an hour longer than I planned to be, because I got caught up in what I was doing and lost track of time — I was having such a good time, for the first time in what seems like forever — well, I have to keep that in mind. And give myself a chance to catch up with myself.

I have some reading I’d like to do. I have time tonight. I have some stuff I want to fiddle with. And I might even get in bed at a decent hour. Imagine that… catching up on my sleep… and looking forward to working tomorrow.

It’s crazy — I hadn’t even realized how much I dread doing what I do each day. I really friggin’ hate it — all the politics, all the dealing with manipulative S.O.B.s, all the maneuvering around people who put up roadblocks on purpose… It’s just so lame. And I’ve been working long enough to know better. I just know better.

But for now, I’m going to rest in the fact that I did good work today. And I will do more good work tomorrow. This is good. This is really, really good.

When it starts to pay off

Okay, this is interesting. They made the announcements about the new organization yesterday, and I actually got a promotion within the organization. Not only that, but the boss I’ve been reporting to, who is 10 years my junior (and has yet to make a lot of the mistakes I’ve made in the past), is no longer my boss.

Praise be.

This is good.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me, and my future is looking a heck of a lot brighter. And the person I now report to has been nothing but professional with me – none of this juvenile crap that I’ve had to put up with.

Yes, this is good.

So, this changes things a bit. I am *still* committed to sharpening my technical skills… and this change means that in the meantime, I don’t have to suffer and chafe under the rule of people who are utterly clueless. It’s the best of both worlds, really. And it’s getting better.

In a way, I had been hoping that things would turn out lousy in the re-org, so I can move on. But I have a long ways to go, before I will be as competent as I want to be in the new skills I am honing, and I probably need about a year to brush up on them before I can break free of the situation I am in.

So, in the meantime, I can relax at work, settle into this new role… AND be working on my skills and my proficiencies in a more relaxed, less stressed frame of mind.

Which is good. Because as motivating as it can be, to be unhappy in a current situation, it’s still a drain on your energy and resolve. It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm for where you’re going, when the place where you’re at is truly miserable.

This way, I get to at least enjoy myself in my temporary situation … keep my great benefits and job stability… AND work on my technical proficiencies so that I have truly mad skills, when the time comes to move on.

So it goes. This doesn’t change my plan to go, once I am ready. It simply ensures that I’m not going to be a miserable S.O.B. in the meantime.

And that’s a good thing for everyone.


More practice

I got a reprieve this morning – I was supposed to have an 8:00 meeting, but that got cancelled, so I got an extra hour to do what I wanted. That includes working out a little bit — just light movement and stretching, since I’m pretty sore from outdoor work – and spending a little time working on my studies.

I’ve been on a roller coaster for the past week or so, talking to recruiters, and having this nagging suspicion that I am not as much up to snuff as I need to be with regards to my skills. I need to work on that, and I think I’m going to suspend my active job search to give myself time to come up to speed with the things I really want to be doing, instead of getting something that’s half-way there.

Besides, I really feel like I need to finish out the year, get all my remaining vacation time for the holidays, and not spread myself too thin. I will still keep talking to recruiters, but I need them to back off and not throw more jobs at me, until after the new year. I know they need to make a living, but I also don’t want to waste anyone’s time.

So, I’m stepping back and giving thought to this process. It’s more important that I find the right position, than that I find *any* position.

This is all good practice for the rest of my life, as well. It’s not just about my job situation. It’s also about my life situation — not letting anxiety get the better of me, and not letting my knee-jerk reactions get the upper hand. It’s about stopping, breathing, looking around, and using my head and my heart and all my resources to do the right thing for the right reason at the right time.

Obviously, not everything is going to be ideal and perfect all the time, but I can roll with it. Each time I do it, it gets a little easier. So, I just have to keep doing it.

Keep on keepin’ on.


Wake up, brain, wake up

Yesterday was a rough day. But it happens. Mondays tend to be difficult for most people, and the folks I work with are no exception. I think everyone is feeling the passing of summer, and we’re not liking it, much. On top of that, get people started on Monday mornings with a full weekend of activity behind them, and they’re going to be tired. Tired and not really wanting to be at work.

So, people get fired up. All fired up. Pissy and vinegary and ready to rumble. Which is fine, if you don’t understand what that actually does to you and the people around you. When you are aware of the short- and long-term effects of getting riled for the sake of getting riled, it looks like a lot less fun.

So, yesterday started off pissy, and it went a bit downhill from there. Our uber-boss likes to wrangle and tangle, and they like to dominate conversations and “drive the action”. Good God, I cannot wait to get away from this individual. They’re definitely driven by demons beyond most people’s control, and they love to just stir things up and put people on the defensive. They see challenges and threats, and they respond in ways they feel are appropriate. Of course, they could see them as opportunities to come up with something new and different, but a scrappy fight… well, that’s a lot more fun, I guess.

Anyway, it has occurred to me that this individual has some serious attention deficit issues, and those issues drive them. They skip from one thing to the next, and they’re always looking for the next exciting thing to make happen. They have tons of great ideas, but their execution frankly sucks. They don’t even care about the execution. That’s so boring. It’s so drab. It’s not invigorating and stimulating for them, so they just don’t want to know about it.

The thing is, that’s what actually makes their dreams come true.

Well, anyway, it’s all grist for the mill. This is all a bunch more lessons about what I don’t want in my life, and how I don’t want to be in my relationships with others. It’s also really great experience holding my own in the face of a whirlwind of intimidation and posturing. Learning to keep my cool in the face of this type of behavior will only help, in the long run. Because this individual, emotional and flighty as they are, is certainly not alone in the world. And it seems that people in charge are often driven to extremes, so knowing how to maintain my cool no matter what the circumstances, is something I really need to work on.

I used to be able to handle it. Years ago, before my last TBI, I wasn’t nearly as susceptible to the influence of (crazy) others, and I had a lot of success as a result. Now I need to build back that capacity… all the while not letting my attention drift from my ultimate goal of moving on. It’s all connected, and there’s something good to be gotten from almost all situations, so I have to look for that and keep my spirits up.

That involves making sure my brain wakes up in the morning. One of the things that got to me yesterday was how tired my brain was. I started out sluggish, and it didn’t get any better over the course of the day. I didn’t bother to exercise or get myself going in the morning – I just went through the motions, and I could definitely feel it.

This morning, I did things differently. I warmed up and really moved, while I was getting my breakfast together. It’s not Monday anymore, so that’s an obvious improvement – I’ve managed to switch gears and get moving – and I have my agenda for the day pretty much set. Yesterday I couldn’t get away from the intermittent meetings, which kept me from actually getting any work done. And I had to answer a lot of emails. My pace was totally screwed up. But today I’ve put a lot of stuff to rest, and I’m going to stake out my corner of the world, close the door, and get some work done. For real.

That’s the plan. That’s my story. And I’m sticking with it.

All that the world offers us

I’m a “fixer”. That means I look for things to fix. I like to take what’s wrong and make it right. I like to help people who are in need. I am committed to working out my own issues, so that they don’t affect others.

But sometimes, it blocks my vision.

I get so focused on finding what is wrong and fixing it, that I lose sight of what is right, and I miss the chance to appreciate it and make the most of it. My present job situation, as tough as it is, offers me a lot of benefits and opportunities that I have never gotten elsewhere. It’s not a total waste of my time. I do know some things don’t work and those things need to change, but I realize I’ve been throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and I’ve been failing to appreciate the benefits I’ve gotten from this job.

This is important to remember, especially when I am talking to new prospects. I cannot paint my current situation as all-bad, because it reflects poorly on me. Likewise, it makes me come across as a complainer and a bit of a wimp. So, I’m stopping that. And I’m starting today with a list of things that I really like about my current job — the things that make it a good place to be and work. There are some. They aren’t enough to change my mind about moving on, but they are enough to ease the daily stress of this tough situation.

I have a ways to go, before I am as proficient in the new technologies as I’d like to be. I have a lot of studying to do, a lot of practicing to do. I spent much of Saturday and Sunday working on it, and it feels really good. And I know it is just the start. Even if I don’t land a job doing what I love immediately, I still am able to do what I love in the evenings and on the weekends, and I need to make the most of that.

So, I shall.

And now, it’s off to work… for another day.

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