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Thread: Thoughts, Rants, and Musings

  1. #811
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by luminousone
    I sincerely hope your next job (when COVID has blown over) has healthy management and a well-oiled team that works well together. You deserve that.
    Thanks, luminousone. So do I!

    Originally Posted by luminousone
    They were viewing it as cutthroat competition rather than collaboration.
    Yes. And the extent to which many of them will go in order to look good is nonsensical! This company actually throws itself under the bus.

    What I mean is, it's common to hear a project manager tell a client, "We have everything ready on the architectural side, but the <insert engineering department> just can't get it together."

    Apparently, the project manager thinks this makes him- or herself look good. And maybe it does. But it also makes the company look incompetent as a whole.

    I've never seen anything like it.

    Unfortunately, this attitude is filtered down from the owners, so it will probably never be remedied.

    Mark has always been quick to blame the company's engineering departments for seemingly any problem that arises in a given project.

    There are failures for sure, but many if not most of them are the result of poor scheduling and communication on the part of the architecture department.

    Anyone who takes two seconds to look at the way the staff actually operates can see that, so I wonder if Mark's perpetual "blame the engineers" stance might simply be part of an ongoing struggle between him and his brother, Robert.

    It is a family business, after all. The founder, Melvin, was their dad, and both boys grew up in the business. Mark became an architect and Robert an engineer, and it wouldn't be the craziest thing if some of the strife between the architecture and engineering departments stemmed from sibling rivalry.

    In fact, the ongoing blame-war is so totally implacable and unrelenting that I think there can be no logical explanation other than sibling rivalry.

    Anyway, the end result is that the owners and the employees do not understand that they are simply one part of a complete system, that their job is to make the system work, and not to make themselves look good at the expense of the system.

    It's like a bunch of spoiled little kids vying for their daddy's attention and approval.
    Last edited by Jibralta; 03-30-2020 at 04:48 PM.

  2. #812
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Today, I went food shopping for the first time since the COVID pandemic. It wasn't too crazy. But it was weird.

    Half the people were in surgical masks and latex gloves, half were not.

    The parking lot was absolutely littered with latex gloves and disinfecting wipes. Apparently the "do your part" crowd felt entitled to leave their germy PPE to be cleaned up by the lesser mortals. Ironic.

    The store was out of certain things: flour, yeast, and of course toilet paper (which I find endlessly amusing). It has rationed certain other things, like bottled water and hamburger meat. But otherwise, it was pretty well stocked.

    Man, I thought the world went apesh*t in the 80s, when the AIDS pandemic broke out. But that's got nothing on this madness.

    People were absolutely terrified of AIDS. I lived through the time when there was a 50% mortality rate and nobody was sure how the virus was transmitted. Little kids were getting it.

    Yet we still went to school, we still left our homes. The economy did not collapse.

    These be fascinating times, indeed.
    Last edited by Jibralta; 04-01-2020 at 10:55 AM.

  3. #813
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Dealing with my mom is so frustrating sometimes. She requires a lot of maintenance.

    It's always been this way. There's something a little wrong with her. She knows it too, even though she insists that she's normal.

    When we were growing up, the joke was that she had OCD. If everything wasn't exactly the way she wanted it to be, she'd lose her mind.

    It was stressful for my sister and me because my mom became abusive. She was mean, and she would occasionally attack us physically. Then we'd get the silent treatment for days afterward.

    But on the good days, the three of us were able to joke about her 'OCD.'

    As I've gotten older, gone through therapy, and learned about personality disorders, I've begun to suspect that she has BPD.

    All of her rages revolve around acceptance and (perceived) rejection. She is unable to argue rationally, unable to apologize.

    Her only argument tactic is personal attack because to her, every disagreement is a personal attack upon her.

    My mom's desire to be seen as 'right' is so powerful that she's even looked to our family dog for validation.

    Yes, I know that probably sounds ridiculous, but it's true. I witnessed it in my early 20s, when my sister brought a dog into our household.

    By that point, my mom's rages had become few and far between. The dog had maybe been in our household a year before my mom had one of her episodes.

    The first time it happened in front of the dog, I was sitting on the couch in the family room. When my mom started yelling, the dog was completely confused. She (the dog) came over and sat by my feet, pressed up against my leg, and star up at my mom as she yelled. It was pretty funny (although I didn't dare laugh).

    That happened a couple more times. My mom would flip out, and the dog would come and sit by me while it happened.

    My mom noticed this, and didn't like the implication. One day, mid-tantrum, my mom walked over to the dog, picked her up, and continued to yell at me, all the while holding the dog in her arms.

    From that point forward, my mom always yelled at me with the dog in her arms. She needed the moral support.

  4. #814
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    Sorry that you, your sibling, and your dog went through that. It must have been traumatic.

  5.  

  6. #815
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    It was definitely stressful, and it's left its mark on me in ways that I'm still discovering.

    That entry was supposed to be about this stupid text battle that I got into with my mom the other day. I took screen shots and everything to post on here.

    I had to dig back into my memories to set the stage for the whole write-up. But as I did that, a lot of old memories surfaced and distracted me, including the thing with my dog.

    So, I let that tale go its own way and I'll post about the text battle sometime in the near future.

    It wasn't anything crazy, just a microcosm of my typical frustration with her.
    Last edited by Jibralta; 04-05-2020 at 12:59 AM.

  7. #816
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    I am getting ready to post my argument with my mom. You'll see that I've made obvious changes to some of the names in the screen shots.

    Following here are a couple of facts to provide background and context:

    1. My mom and Joe have been friends since childhood. They both had parents who immigrated from Greece and they grew up in the same Greek-American community.

    2. Joe is an architect. I occasionally work for him when I have free time and will probably pick up work from him again now that I am laid off.

    3. Joe lives in the same town that I do. He and his wife are currently in Florida until some time in May, and for the last two weeks I have been stopping by their house to check up on things.

    4. Joe keeps in touch with my mom and it is obviously that they are often in close communication about me.

    For example, last week, he randomly called and told me that Arnold and I could work from his house if we wanted. Shortly thereafter, I spoke to my mom and discovered that she'd told Joe that both Arnold and I were working from home. She asked me if Joe had offered the use of his house to us. I said yes. She said she knew he was going to and was curious as to whether we were going to set up there or not.

    So yeah, she's a little over-involved. She's always been this way, and I am used to it.

    5. As for Joe's house: It is awesome. But after some consideration Arnold and I decided that we'd just rather stay here in our cramped P.O.S apartment. It's home.

  8. #817
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    These are the events that lead up to the text-argument.

    After I was laid off last Friday, I called my mom and told about it. Then I talked to my stepfather (David) for a couple of minutes.

    Just as I was getting off the phone with David, I said, "Tell mom not to tell Joe that I was laid off. I don't want him throwing work at me yet. I need some time to get my sh*t together."

    I considered calling my mom and speaking with her directly to emphasize that I didn't want her to tell Joe. But I decided not to do that. I hoped she would respect my wishes without having to be told twice.

    Fast forward to this past Friday. Arnold was making hamburgers and I wanted to bake hamburger buns. I had one package of dry active yeast, which was the perfect amount for my endeavor.

    This was the last package of dry active yeast in State of New Jersey in the midst of this COVID crisis, and somehow between Thursday and Friday, I misplaced it.

    It was sitting on top of the microwave on Thursday, but by Friday it had somehow escaped from my apartment.

    After two hours of unsuccessful searching, it occurred to me that Joe might have some yeast at his house. He and his wife do a lot of cooking. So, I texted him.

    A couple minutes later, Joe called me. He explained where they kept the yeast and then he said, "I may have some work for you. Do you have time?"

    I said, "Actually, yes." It felt good to say that because I usually don't have time and usually don't accept work from him.

    Then he said, almost apologetically, "Well, it's not going to be a lot of work, just some dormers on a Cape Cod."

    I was like, "That's fine. Just let me know when."

    He said, "Well, it may be a couple of weeks. The people are supposed to close on the house tomorrow."

    I was like, "Joe, that's fine. I'm around."

    He was like, "Ok, just let me write up a proposal and I'll get back to you."

    I was like, "Ok. Not a problem." I felt like I was pressuring the guy for a job and I wasn't!

    Then Joe said, "So how's work?"

    I paused and then said, "Crazy....."

    He said, "Are you guys working from my house?"

    I said, "No, we decided to keep working from here."

    He said, "oh, ok."

    We said our goodbyes and hung up.

    I sat there for a few moments, reflecting on our exchange. I wondered if my mom had told him that I was laid off.

    So, I texted her.

  9. #818
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    This is the argument with my mom. It's not major, but it is the first time I've ever been able to record one in some manner, and boy is it helpful.

    It provides me with a map of how my mom rattles herself to pieces and lashes out.

    My message is that I think she overstepped her bounds by telling Joe that I was laid off when I asked her not to.

    I didn't attack her, I didn't criticize her, I didn't accuse her of anything--I didn't even argue with her lame defense.

    I simply stated (and repeated) my feelings, giving her the opportunity to acknowledge them.

    In the meantime, she repeatedly ignored/rejected my feelings, continued to justify her own actions, and attempted to prove her absolute supremacy by insinuating that I am a child and a liar.

    It's sad, but this is why I am glad that we live 14+ hours away from each other.

    If I show this screen shot to her in the future, and point out that I remained calm and unwavering, she will accuse me of passive aggressively trying make her look like the crazy one.

    It's exhausting.


  10. #819
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    It's hard to believe that it's only been a little over a week since I was laid off. Not sure why that is. It's not like I've been busting my ass. I've been mostly relaxing. Mostly.

    Last week is a blur. I think I must have been overwhelmed by my feelings of freedom and elation.

    This weekend, I realized just how much I've needed a vacation. I've also realized that a week isn't enough anymore!

    I don't know if that's because I've been so stressed out, if it's because I'm getting older, or what.

    The first few days after I was laid off, I caught myself taking long deep breaths here and there. Sighs of relief.

    Over the last few days, I've experienced little pockets of anger towards Shannon, Jason, and Mark.

    Nothing more that what I've felt over these last few weeks (and months), but striking nonetheless.

    I think that's because until now, my anger was accompanied by (and smothered by) the intense pressure of all of that stress.

    Absent the stress, it's just clear feelings, clear thoughts of "What the F is wring with those people? Why did I put up with that??"

    Well, I know why I put up with it.

    Anyway, the anger feels good.

    I've also had brief pockets of anxiety here and there. I think that's normal, given the situation.

    I bought a dope new computer last week so that I could touch up old projects for my portfolio and (eventually) do some side work if need be.

    The computer hunt took up some time last week. So did the miscellaneous work-related house-keeping items, like returning the loaner computer and delivering project materials.

    My boyfriend recommended his computer guy to me. I talked to the guy and I liked him. He set up a computer for me, but I got cold feet before I purchased it.

    Despite his reassurances, the computer guy did not really seem that knowledgeable about the kind of hardware I needed. He's really more of a network specialist for general business purposes.

    I texted the spec to Justin, the computer guy from my last job, and he said it was way bad.

    So, I backed out of that and found a better machine (thanks to my boyfriend).

    All of those conversations, all of the research, took hours, over the course of several days.

    To me, it seems like it should be a 15-minute decision, but it's not.

    Yesterday, I started a resume and portfolio overhaul.

    So far, it's been lots of organizing, very little production.

    It's quite an overwhelming undertaking. But I've been wanting to do this for years.
    Last edited by Jibralta; 04-06-2020 at 05:34 PM.

  11. #820
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Wow, that's a lot to take in!
    Reading all this gave me flashbacks to what is now a little over a year out of my old job that was wearing me down for so many reasons. It took months before I felt fully decompressed and rested and processed the whole thing. Looking back, it was so crazy!!

    Im wishing you the best and can't wait to hear about all the positive things that awaits you going forward. Now's your time for all those things that got pushed aside " when there's actually time and I'm not freaking exhausted!". I understand that so much.

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