||[Apr. 9th, 2011|11:28 pm]
It's been a minute, eh LJ?|
I've been wanting to post an update for eons, but nothing much has been happening. Just work, gym, sleep. ZZzzz.
Oh, that's a lie. :)
I don't think I've posted an entry yet this year. Nothing to say. I think I'm getting old or something. I haven't been to a show in ages, haven't played disc golf since last fall, and the weekly Beer Hero gatherings with the woxy board folks are getting fewer and farther between. What was a flurry of social activity for about five years has slowed down to just about nothing. Without the station around any more, the woxy message boards are slowly dying. No new music filter. The music's there; it just isn't the shared experience any more. I'm starting to find out I don't have as much in common with the woxy folks as I thought I did. We'd get together and we'd talk about message board memes or local gigs or music in general. With the station out of the picture, the glue holding everyone together seems, at least to me, to be losing its hold.
I kinda lost interest in disc golf. Still like playing, just not involved much more in the local scene. I don't play tournaments any more, and haven't been on the local club's message board since last fall. Haven't been to any of the club meetings since last summer.
I dunno, it feels like when woxy went under I lost my social mojo. That message board and the activity around and within it drove me to explore new stuff. Now it's gone, and I feel like I'm regressing.
Now this is where you tell me to get out there and make myself available. Except I've always been a little socially awkward, and fear makes me change my mind every time a Facebook invite makes me answer with a "yes" or "maybe", and I wind up making excuses to stay in. The comfy recliner beckons and I find myself asleep before midnight. I have trouble staying out late these days, even on weekends.
Work is going well. There are two people in my department who will retire within the next year, so there may be an opportunity for a supervisory position opening up. Trouble is, I don't want to manage people at all. If managing people was my thing, I'd have taken the parts department manager's position offered to me in 1988 and never have gone back to school in the first place. I wanted to learn a trade and be a production grunt. Gimme an inbox and turn me loose, and I'm happy.
There's one thing at work that's eating at me. I like her a lot, but the woman in our department who used to sit on the front desk is now in the cubicle next to me (presumably so she could help us with our drawing/editing work) but she still has her phone duties from her old front desk position. So she's on the phone ALL DAY. This brings two problems: one, she gets five times as many personal calls (friends and family) than work calls, and I know every detail about her personal life from overhearing every gossipy detail. Two, the type of editing work we do does not jibe well with being interrupted, and coupled with the fact she's retiring this fall, she really has no incentive (nor time) to learn what we need her to be doing to help. I think the office manager just wanted to keep her close under his nose so she would cut back on friends visiting. He certainly hasn't kept her from receiving personal phone calls overandover all day. Plus, my immediate supervisor (not the office manager) sits in the same cubicle with her, and when she's not on the phone, they talk endlessly about everything under the sun except work. I have taken to wearing headphones all day to drown them out just so I can get some work done. (The supervisor in the next cubicle is the other one retiring; he is set to retire next February.) So, two people who see the light at the end of the tunnel apparently have no problem bullshitting away their entire last year together. He often comments on her personal phone conversations when she hangs up, tacitly giving his approval for her time-wasting ways. As someone who spent most of my working life busting ass to make a buck, it drives me nuts to see two people who have no concept of ever having a chance of having their job be at risk for not working and making the company profit. Of course, working for the local government, profit is not a motive. Tenure speaks. It's the one thing I absolutely abhor about every entitled tenured employee in the whole government building. There is zero perspective as to the plight of the thousands of unemployed workers out there, since there is no chance they could be fired and replaced with someone willing to put their nose to the grindstone.
That right there is another reason I don't want to manage anyone in that office. I have a work ethic, and I would definitely step on people's toes by demanding results. No, I'd rather finish the project that was started years before I came on board by doing what I've learned these past seven+ years. To manage people, I would be subject to constant interruptions, and I'd have to train new people to do what I've been doing. I don't like training. I think I'd be good at it, but I'd rather do the work myself. That, coupled with learning any new software while training, would slow actual work done to a crawl.
So, yeah, since I found out their projected retirement dates, I've been spending my time worrying about what the work environment will be like a year from now. Not sleeping well, not socializing, not playing golf tournaments or staying involved with the local disc golf and music scenes. I've been obsessing with what is slowly becoming a toxic work environment (at least for me) rather than focusing on my life outside it.
Oh, and my supervisor at work? He's a disc golfer, too. About a year and a half ago we were approached to help the county parks department on a redesign for an old local disc golf course. We worked together on some maps and walked the grounds at the old course, and submitted redesign ideas. We met with park personnel a few times and discussed our thoughts and ideas, submitted our designs, and waited for response. They went quiet for a long time (about nine months). Last September, the park people got in touch with my supervisor, and told him in an email they needed an updated design after they finally got tentative approval for the idea of a redesign. He didn't tell me a thing about the new contact for about a month, when he suddenly came to me for help for a course design. "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought I had you CC'd on the email. Here, I'll send you a copy of our conversation." It turned out he had submitted his design without my input, and they needed it to be redrawn. Only when he hit a wall did he come back to me for help. (This is a pattern the local disc golfers are familiar with- he had enlisted help in designing another course some years ago in Northern Kentucky and alienated some co-designers in much the same way.) He has a martyr complex, and loves to talk about all the problems he faced with that design, problems he could have avoided with better communication.
He kept bugging me for my "design". I have one, and if he asks the right way I'll give it to him. At this point, in my mind, he's on his own. He's gonna have to chew what he bit off.
So I guess that's it in a nutshell. Work itself couldn't be easier. But I'm having problems with an uncommunicative supervisor (the disc golf problems are a microcosm of work communication- we are supposed to be getting new software at work, but I get the distinct feeling he's kicking the whole idea of a new system down the road until he retires). He has good reason to be distracted: his wife is going through skin cancer treatments (yet another reason I so want to kick cancer's ass), and his hatred of all things Modern Medicine is scrambling his brain. He's somewhat of a snake-oil practitioner, always suggesting natural remedies for everything modern medicine has otherwise proven to work. That's an entry entirely unto itself, and this one is long enough, so I'll spare you.
So the work itself is a breeze. But I see tenure politics (and laziness) blocking progress there. My disc golf interest has reached a new low, and it's most probably due to this course redesign issue. And woxy is no more, sapping what was a high point in my life these last five years or so. The combination of a great music station, promise of new software at work, and the high of redesigning a much-loved albeit outdated disc golf course, all crashing to shit in the last year have brought out a severe case of ennui. Maybe that's why I haven't been sleeping well.