Jump to content

Open Club  ·  71 members  ·  Free

Journals

Thoughts, Rants, and Musings


Jibralta
 Share

Recommended Posts

Went for a nice long walk and started to feel better about next week, which really looks like it's going to be a massive sh*t show.

 

Now that I am back in my apartment, I am ruminating and stewing again....

 

I like to write about these things to get them off my chest, but sometimes I wonder if it just fuels the fire.

 

Keeping busy will help keep my mind off of the issue. But part of me feels like keeping busy is a cop-out, like I'm trying to avoid the problem.

 

That's so silly, though. The problem is not solvable from here, at this moment. It's in the future, and hasn't fully manifested.

 

I really don't know how it will go, so there's no point in worrying.

 

My mind can be really absurd sometimes.

 

I guess that's anxiety for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I chickened out.

 

When I was there, it didn't seem like Joe's work load was great enough to support two people.

 

But we are currently working on a project together (my friend's house), so I will have frequent contact with him and will keep an eye open for opportunity.

 

I think it would be great if you could do small projects on the side. More importantly, you will start meeting more potential clients which is basically everything. If you want to strike out on your own, it's not a bad opportunity to begin with.

 

It seems you were happier and more satisfied with the job you had a couple of years ago, not the last one, the one before. If my memory serves me right, you left because they didn't give you the 20% raise you wanted. Maybe you could bargain a higher salary now that you have more experience if they have a position available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it would be great if you could do small projects on the side. More importantly, you will start meeting more potential clients which is basically everything. If you want to strike out on your own, it's not a bad opportunity to begin with.

 

Yes, I agree. I've done it in the past, but I stopped when I started to feel like I was working all the time. Now we have this project with my friend's house, so I might as well look at it as an opportunity.

 

It seems you were happier and more satisfied with the job you had a couple of years ago, not the last one, the one before. If my memory serves me right, you left because they didn't give you the 20% raise you wanted. Maybe you could bargain a higher salary now that you have more experience if they have a position available.

 

Before I go further, let's call the job from a couple years ago Job One. Call my last job, Job Two, and call my current job, Job Three.

 

Job One was a well-oiled machine. I was very happy there. I had the highest respect for my managers.

 

I did leave Job One in part because of the money. But I also left because I didn't want to get too off-track in my career trajectory. Job One specialized in Civil Works Planning and, while there was some relevant experience to be gained, it didn't overlap with architecture enough for me to stay indefinitely. So, Job One was always sort of a temporary gig (even though I stayed for five years!).

 

I asked Job One for a 13%-14% raise. For various reasons (not entirely the fault of my then-managers), Job One delayed and delayed, and I eventually started submitting my resume to other companies. My plan was to get a good offer from another company and bring it to Job One as negotiating leverage for my 14% increase.

 

But when I applied and interviewed at Job Two, they offered me 19% more than what I was making at Job One. Plus, Job Two was an architecture company, not simply an engineering company like Job One. So, I decided to take Job Two.

 

When I handed in my resignation at Job One, my then-boss, Tim, actually offered me a 25% raise if I stayed with them. However, I turned down that extra 5% because I felt that I needed to focus on gaining more architectural experience.

 

And, you know, I gained it. It was a high price to pay, but I got what I went there for.

 

Interestingly, Job Three is like a combination of Job One and Job Two. One of the owners, Simon, actually knows my old bosses and some of my former coworkers from Job One!

 

But so far, Simon is nowhere near as organized as they were.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for every 10 hours that Jason and Albert can bill, I will only be able to bill about 7. If we work 8 days straight, they will have 80 hours, and I will have 56 hours. They will go home, and I will be stuck up there for 2 - 3 more days. Doing what? I don't know, because it's not really solo work.

 

Since Max is going to be on vacation, we have an extra room at unit 8B. I offered this room to Jason and Albert, in the hopes that they would be willing to stay local and eliminate their travel time.

 

They said "no." Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), they see the travel time as easy money. They are either oblivious or don't really give a sh*t that I'm getting screwed.

 

Ok, I think I may have solved my problem.

 

Max originally wanted me to work with Albert and have Jason work solo on a small tributary. That would have locked me into Albert's and Jason's travel schedule, since they commute together from the same place.

 

But I just proposed to Mike that after I train them, I cut Albert and Jason loose to work together on the larger part of the system. I would then work solo on the tributary. This way, my work schedule will be independent of Albert's and Jason's arrival and departure. They can accumulate as many hours as they want at whatever rate they want, and it won't affect me.

 

Max was amenable. I just have to sell it to the boys. And hopefully Jim won't throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just have to sell it to the boys. And hopefully Jim won't throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing.

 

Yesssssssssssss..... sold it to the boys. Kind of figured they'd go for it, but you never know.

 

Last potential obstacle: Jim.

 

I'll just see what happens with him once we're up there.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it was basically the sh*t show that I feared it would be: Me babysitting two half-grown men for 10 hours per day.

 

Jim did not allow me to go off on the tributary alone. He claimed it was a 'safety issue,' but I know he would have let any of the guys go alone. Whatever.

 

I fought with Jim for the first three days or so. He has a hot temper and flies off the handle pretty easy. But I grew up with my mom, so I'm not impressed. After a couple battles, Jim and I got used to each other and became friends.

 

I still got stuck working with Albert and Jason, though.

 

Jason is sooooooo lazy. He thinks he's paid to do five sections per day, no more. Any time we approached five sections, Jason put the brakes on. Well, five sections is the bare minimum and I won't stand for it. Six, seven, or eight sections per day is what I consider to be acceptable. Whenever Jason tried to apply the brakes, I had a sh*t fit. After a couple of days of dealing with me, the boys realized that being lazy was less rewarding than getting work done, and we actually made good progress.

 

I think they started to feel a sense of accomplishment when they realized how much work they were capable of completing, and that motivated them as well. By midweek, they started to leap out of their van and come up with a plan of attack, instead of hang back and procrastinate.

 

Next week, I'll start working in the office, and will also be getting a slight raise, per our agreement. This couldn't have come at a better time because my lower back is absolutely cooked. I'd get a doctor's note if they tried to stick me back out there like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it was basically the sh*t show that I feared it would be: Me babysitting two half-grown men for 10 hours per day.

 

Jim did not allow me to go off on the tributary alone. He claimed it was a 'safety issue,' but I know he would have let any of the guys go alone. Whatever.

 

I fought with Jim for the first three days or so. He has a hot temper and flies off the handle pretty easy. But I grew up with my mom, so I'm not impressed. After a couple battles, Jim and I got used to each other and became friends.

 

I still got stuck working with Albert and Jason, though.

 

Jason is sooooooo lazy. He thinks he's paid to do five sections per day, no more. Any time we approached five sections, Jason put the brakes on. Well, five sections is the bare minimum and I won't stand for it. Six, seven, or eight sections per day is what I consider to be acceptable. Whenever Jason tried to apply the brakes, I had a sh*t fit. After a couple of days of dealing with me, the boys realized that being lazy was less rewarding than getting work done, and we actually made good progress.

 

I think they started to feel a sense of accomplishment when they realized how much work they were capable of completing, and that motivated them as well. By midweek, they started to leap out of their van and come up with a plan of attack, instead of hang back and procrastinate.

 

Next week, I'll start working in the office, and will also be getting a slight raise, per our agreement. This couldn't have come at a better time because my lower back is absolutely cooked. I'd get a doctor's note if they tried to stick me back out there like this.

 

Lol, you were a force to be reckoned with! So glad they finally did some work!

 

Hope your office work goes well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you :)

 

It did go well.

 

Operationally, they're still pretty disorganized. I ended up sitting around for over an hour before anyone got to me. Kasey was on a conference call and Simon didn't get in until 10. But once he got in, he met with me and handed me the project I will be working on: a municipal complex for a nearby town.

 

I spent a couple hours reviewing the project and (dare I say it?) I liked what I saw. He gave me two analyses that the company did on the project. They were pretty good. They asked and addressed all the right questions.

 

Around noon Kasey and Simon took me to lunch, which was nice. They sort of bombarded me with my new responsibilities, but I think I will be able to handle them.

 

I always think that lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spoke with my mom yesterday. She asked me how the new job was going. I told her that everyone was friendly and that the office seemed like a generally happy place.

 

After I said that, I remembered how it was at my last job. When I walked through that office for my very first interview, my impression was that people were miserable. I was concerned about that when I considered the job offer.

 

After I started, people made jokes to me when they introduced themselves, like "Good luck," and "Let's see how long you can last."

 

I took it in stride, because I could tell that the office humor was generally ironic and sarcastic. I like ironic and sarcastic. I am ironic and sarcastic. So, I got along there very well.

 

In retrospect, I recognize that those comments were warnings disguised in humor.

 

Justin, the IT guy, told our coworker Lisa that he's seen 500 people come and go since he started. That number seems astronomical until you divide it by the 24 years he's been there. It works out to about 20 people per year--exactly what I observed during my first year working there.

 

Even though I enjoyed interacting with my coworkers, the general spirit of that office was one of misery and schadenfreude. Sure, the banter was great. But for me, it masked the true signs of unhappiness: the undying grudges and perpetual blame shifting. There was even some cliqueiness.

 

It's very obvious now. But at the time, I didn't see it because I myself was gradually becoming more miserable.

 

Anyway, this new place seems a lot happier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The one frustrating thing about this new place is the seeming lack of organization. Like, it's day four and I just got a computer yesterday afternoon. But the computer doesn't have AutoCAD or MS Office, and it's not hooked up to any printers.

 

On the other hand, the owners seem pretty laid back. Very busy, but laid back. Interestingly, I actually got chastised when I tried to hurry them along with my computer! Nothing major, but a "I just got in and haven't had a chance to sit down." Something my mom might say, but coming out of Simon's mouth.

 

So, that's the way the office operates. I'll just hang back and wait, I guess.

 

I over heard Simon talking to Jim about a couple projects, explaining how he always budgeted in extra money for contingency, etc. I liked hearing that. My last company couldn't budget (or schedule) for sht.

 

One of the guys in the office actually worked for my last employer a couple years ago. He left there shortly before I was hired. We had a good btch-session about them yesterday afternoon.

 

I talked to the civil engineer a little. Nice guy. Willing to help. Everybody seems willing to help. So unlike the last place.

 

I'm excited. I wish things would start moving so I can dig in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this may actually be a nice place to work.... Dare I hope?

 

I basically sat around and twiddled my thumbs all day, which I did not like. On the other hand, nobody was breathing down my neck for anything.

 

I mentioned to the civil engineer, Peter, that I still didn't have AutoCAD installed on my computer. I said, "Simon and Kasey seem pretty laid back. I doubt they'll freak out over it."

 

I was testing the water with these statements. I was glad when Peter seemed to agree.

 

We talked a little more about Simon and Kasey and then he said, "I wouldn't want to work anywhere else. These guys are two of the best people in the world."

 

I was like, Wow. Ok.

 

An hour and a half later, I saw that I had a missed call from Jean, my former surveying partner. I figured he was trying to get ahold of Max, who was in NJ for the week (Jean and the rest of the crews were up in NY).

 

But when I called back, it turned out he was just checking on me and making sure I was settling in ok :D He even told me to say "hi" to Arnold, who he's met a handful of times.

 

I thought that was so nice of him! Especially after I beat up on him so much in the beginning. I guess he realized I was coming from a good place. I'm glad.

 

Finally, at the very end of the day, Simon and Kasey showed up. Kasey got me set up with MS Office and got me all the login info I need to install CAD. I realized that I was more stressed out about everything than she was.

 

That made me happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been researching my biological relatives on Ancestry for the last two weeks and it's been a fascinating puzzle. I find that laying out the relationships in family tree form is a helpful way of organizing information. I have now discovered and mapped out all of my immediate biological aunts and uncles (my bio-parents have about 8 sisters and brothers between them), as well as a bunch of first cousins. Most of my relatives are still in Texas, but some have migrated east to Tennessee in recent years.

 

It is interesting to learn about my contemporary relatives, but most fascinating to me are my ancestors, how long they've been in the West, and how they got there. I already knew from my DNA test that I was part of a genetic subgroup that Ancestry defines as "Southern States Settlers," and that my ancestors arrived in this country at least 200 years ago. But now I have names and faces, and I have documents that trace the paths they all took to get to Texas.

 

Some came down from Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas. Others came over from Georgia and Louisiana, and before that, Virginia and South Caroline. So far, it seems that my most recent European ancestor arrived in 1814. He came from Switzerland and went immediately west, residing in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. When Texas was annexed to the United States in the 1840s, they picked up and went. They were pioneers who traveled by wagon train into the frontier. Some of my ancestors were already living in the Republic of Texas even before it was annexed.

 

At least four of my great+ grandfathers fought in the Civil War. One was Union, three were Confederate. I say great+ because some of them were great-great-grandfathers and some were great-great-great grandfathers. Both great-grandfathers on my father's side were civil engineers, which I find quite interesting given my own career path.

 

Their stories are still unfolding and I find that I really enjoy learning and organizing all of the information. Doing this research has been a lot of fun and has given me some broader perspectives on my life and on history in general.

 

I'm more focused now on my current relatives. Yesterday evening, I spent hours learning about them. Couldn't stop--it was addictive.

 

I recently found a blog written by my biological uncle's wife, about the rapid decline and passing of her mother. It's heart-rending. And it's so interesting because I'm picking up little details about members of my bio-family and their lives.

 

The internet is an awesome resource.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it's incredible what you find if you put your mind to it. I had some relatives recently (in the last 10 years) take up the hobby of piecing together our family tree. They were all immigrants in southeast Asia from Europe and other parts of Asia. It's mostly a mixture of indigenous islanders, Chinese immigrants, English and European transplants who stayed after the war. I reconnected with second cousins living in England, Scotland and the US also. It's a good tool but I hear it can be addictive.

 

The genetics in our family is very wide/varied and none of us look like each other so it does give me more of an appreciation for history, common practices and traditions and a better idea of our roots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I was digging up that last post that I quoted, I ran through a lot of my posts about my last job. It was interesting to read them in retrospect and see how my feelings changed over time, and with each experience.

 

God, what a journey that was!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of that last job, I just saw one of my former coworkers on Thursday night. My boyfriend and I met Eddie and his wife for dinner. Eddie is the old architect who did the QC at my last job. Tried to do the QC lol. Everybody just does whatever they want there. Nobody cares about QC.

 

It was nice to see them, although I had a little bit of anxiety about it in the day or two leading up to dinner. I knew Eddie would talk about work, and I didn't want to get all riled up again! I've been so relaxed these last few months...

 

But as it turned out, I didn't feel much stress when he told me about the ongoing ridiculousness there. I realized that it's not my problem!!! Boy did that make me smile :D

 

We had a good time with them. Lots of laughing.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My new company has two offices, a main office and a satellite office. The company inherited the satellite office when they purchased the architecture firm.

 

The main office is about an hour away by car. The satellite office is about 20 minutes away by car.

 

Interestingly, both offices are on my train line, but the main office is a two-hour train ride!! I wouldn't mind an hour train ride, but two hours is too much!

 

By train, the satellite office is 13 - 20 minutes away (depending on whether I take the express), and then there is a short transfer to an intra-city line.

 

The whole train commute takes about an hour, including the walks to and from the stations. I don't mind this because I get a lot of walking in. Probably about three miles per day, which is about what I want to do anyway.

 

Having it as part of my daily commute makes it very convenient.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joe, the structural engineer, handed in his notice yesterday. He told me about his own job hunt on the day that he came in and saw me packing up my stuff the other week.

 

I'm glad for him. I just wish I'd started my own job hunt earlier, so that I could be at the same point that he's at now.

 

I'm waiting for my former coworker to email me his resume so that I can send it to my former employer.

 

He has been largely unemployed since he quit working for our last employer back in March.

 

The other day, he texted me with a screenshot of a job ad and asked, "Is this where you're working now?"

 

It was.

 

He said he had applied. I warned him that it was kind of crazy there, but that it actually seems to be a pretty good place to work.

 

I don't know if they will offer him the job, or if he will take it, but it would probably be nice to work with him again.

 

Yesterday, one of my former coworkers, Mansoor, posted on linkedin that he was in search of structural engineers. I responded that I knew someone, and Mansoor PMed me with his direct email address (not the generic one that he posted on the main board).

 

It's a big engineering firm, and I know Joe is interested in working there.

 

Mansoor's pretty high up there, and he is doing the hiring, so this is really a very a good "in" for Joe.

 

I'd be happy if I helped to get Joe a job there.

 

Now I don't know which job I want him to take. lol.

 

Send the frickin resume already lol!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I'm going to introduce myself to my biological grandmother. She is 80 years old and if I don't do it now, it may never happen. Here's my first draft (names have been changed):

 

Dear Bio-Grandma,

 

My name is Jibralta Lastname. I am your biological granddaughter. I was born in 1977. My biological father is Firstname Middlename Lastname Jr. I learned that he was my father through Ancestry.com, but I have always known that I was adopted.

 

I don’t know whether you are aware of my existence or not. I truly hope I haven’t given you the shock of a lifetime, and sincerely apologize if I have.

 

I’m writing because you’re not going to be around forever. You are my last living grandparent, biological or otherwise. I wanted to create an opportunity for you to know me, if you’re at all interested.

 

If you’re not interested, I won’t persist. But I feel like if I don’t at least make an attempt to know you, I will end up regretting it in the future.

 

Sincerely,

Jibralta Lastname

Thoughts?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...