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15 hours ago, Jibralta said:

I watched the Netflix documentary about Jeffrey Epstein yesterday. Made me so mad.

I think that I may have actually crossed paths with this lowlife in Manhattan, in the 90s. Seems unbelievable, but I really do think it was him.

I was 14. My 8th grade French class was on a class trip to a French restaurant on 5th Ave. We were all there to have French Onion Soup, of all things¬†ūüėÉ

Everyone was the the restaurant getting their seating sorted out. I excused myself to the bathroom and snuck outside to have a cigarette. 

A well-dressed man in his 30s or 40s approached me and said, "Excuse me. I just had to stop and tell you that you're just gorgeous, standing there smoking your cigarette." And then he tried to entice me to leave with him.

I can't remember exactly how he said it, but his delivery was very casual and smooth. He told me he was wealthy, he had a limousine. I would be treated like royalty. He repeated the phrase, "roses and diamonds," a couple of times. Little did he know that roses and diamonds were two of the least interesting things to me on the planet lol. 

I found all of it extremely entertaining. I mean, I felt like I was looking pretty good that day, but check this sht out. As for the proposition: no fcking way. Thanks for the flattery dude, now move along with yourself before I scream for help. That's how I felt about it. 

I didn't smile or simper or look grateful. I didn't feel grateful. I thought he was a creepoid. I gave him a deadpan, "No," and he bustled off, saying, "I'm talking roses and diamonds here!" I guess he thought I might chase after him if he said "roses and diamonds" one more time. You can keep your roses and diamonds, dude.

And that was it. I finished my cigarette and went back upstairs to the restaurant. I told the whole class what happened, Some rich dude just offered me 'roses and diamonds' to get in his limo with him! I thought it was preposterous and laughable.  

I've thought about it since then, in abstract reverie, like What would have happened if I had said "yes," and ran off with him? Would I be a millionaire's wife right now? But my imagination could never get me past the initial revulsion of running away with someone like that; I was never really able to see myself in those shoes, under those circumstances.

I guess I started hearing the buzz about Jeffrey Epstein around 2018, after the Me Too movement intersected with some in-depth articles published by the Miami Herald.

It still didn't occur to me that the Pedophiliac Prince Charming that I ran into 27 years prior may have been Jeffrey Epstein until this summer, when I saw an interview with Maria Farmer. Maria met him in Manhattan, in 1995, just a couple years after my experience.

It was during Maria's interview that I actually looked at Jeffrey Epstein. I realized that the (dead) man I was seeing in 2020 was a white-haired version of the man I ran into in the 90s. They were cut from the same mold. Approximately the same age. I googled photos of Epstein when he was young, with darker hair... he really looked like the same man. 

And they had the same pedophiliac tastes--I did not look older than my age at 14 years old. Sht, I was confused for a college freshman when I was a 30-year old graduate student--youthful appearance has always been a blessing and a curse for me.

Watching those girls tell their stories in that Netflix documentary, I now know what would have happened if I'd traipsed off with that man. How terrible it would have been for me. I would have experienced the same crisis of conscience, of identity, that those girls experienced. 

I would not now be the wife of a millionaire. I would have been reduced to a piece of garbage, discarded and reviled by society as a prostitute, just like they were. Society doesn't see girls as children when sex and money are involved. 

Whether it was really Jeffrey Epstein that I met or not, the end result would have doubtless been the same if I had gone with him. I am so thankful that, barring a forcible kidnapping, the 14-year old me was so absolutely invulnerable to his approach. Not impressed at all. 

Wow! Thankful you didn’t take the bait. 

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Well, perhaps naturally, I've moved on to the Harvey Weinstein situation. Watched some videos. Watched a documentary. Currently watching a conversation between Rose McGowan and Ronan Farrow.

Rose McGowan reminds me a lot of my friend, Lisa. Lisa is so witty and charming that one of the main radio stations in our state invited her on as a guest! She used to call the show every morning and the DJs really took a liking to her. But Lisa is also halfway out of control at all times. She's a hyper intelligent bull in a china shop. A force of nature.

My boyfriend really likes Rose McGowan because of her brinksmanship. She's going to drive that car right off the cliff if she has to, and he digs that. I'm half-covering my eyes, but I'm with her all the way.

It's impossible to miss the way that the media protects the accused with words like "alleged," and "claims," but the women are already convicted in the court of public opinion of trying to sleep with men just to get ahead, being drama queens, being gold diggers, being crazy, illogical etc. That prejudice is always there, but rarely noteworthy. I think people like it there. It makes hatred socially acceptable. Some people love it when it's ok to hate.

Another thing--I think there may actually be as many female misogynists out there as there are men. It's really weird.

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In the shower this morning, it occurred to me that it might be useful for me to shift my outlook a little.

I did this once before, when I was in my early 20s. I liked sleeping in and avoiding responsibility. One day, I thought, "If I was 80 years old and looking back on my life, would I regret this wasted time?" I realized that I probably would, and so I changed. I started getting up early and embracing my responsibilities.

But there's more to the story than that. At that time in my life, my early 20s, I was desperately unhappy. And I didn't know why. I hadn't suffered any major traumatic events at that point. But I spent my days in misery. I slept clenched up, grinding my teeth through the night. In the mornings, I woke to dreams of knives cutting skin and blood flowing thickly. It was actually torturous, and I couldn't escape what was happening in my mind. I started to become distraught.

In retrospect, I can still only guess at the cause of that misery. Perhaps it was simply my home life. Getting through adolescence with a single mother who was an emotional adolescent herself was certainly difficult. I think I handled it well. In fact, looking back I am a little awestruck at my shrewd, calculating resourcefulness. And perhaps most of all, wisdom. At 14 years old, I took control of the situation--played all of the adults--and got myself into therapy. But the situation was still destabilizing.

I guess you can say I shifted my outlook twice before. Because I certainly remember the commitment I made to myself at 14, writing in my journal on the couch at 4AM. I committed to becoming strong. If I hadn't done that, I don't know where I'd be now. Because even with the benefit of years of therapy, there were some hard times that I thought I might not get through. Like that time in my early 20s. 

In my early 20s, I came to the end of my rope in a more dangerous way. I had no solution to my problem. I hardly knew what my problem was. Finally, it came down to a line from a movie that echoed in my head: Get busy living, or get busy dying. I boxed up all that angst and decided to get busy living. And the angst has been living quite happily in its box. It was mainly useless energy, anyway. I hear it knocking around, I feel it pressing against the sides. I stop short of saying that I'm not afraid of it anymore... Let's just say it stays contained. 

The decision I made in my 20s was to utilize all of my time in a way that would leave me feeling satisfied at the end of my life. At that time, I was more oriented towards accomplishment. But I think I've reached a point where accomplishment is losing its meaning.

If I was 80 years old and looking back on my life, what would I regret now?

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Maybe is it that accomplishment means something different to you now?  Loved what you wrote.


It could be that.... I'm not sure yet.

What comes to mind is something to do with fear, and something to do with enjoying life. But it's not really distinct yet. Those are just impressions.

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On 2/3/2021 at 7:13 AM, Jibralta said:

If I was 80 years old and looking back on my life, what would I regret now?

That's a REALLY good inspiration tool in general.  I think it was Stephen Covey who proposed the same idea as, "Begin with the End in Mind."  And you can apply it to anything in life (like your work situation).

Begin with the END in mind.  

What do you really want to get out of this?  

Ok... so then recalculate your actions to correspond with obtaining that end you have in mind.


For me personally, my focus shifted much in the same way your did as far as imaging yourself older (or even passed on) and seeing what people remembered the best about me.  What kind of influence did I have on our children?  On my husband?  On people easy to get along with and people hard to get along with?  Was I loving?  Was I able to at least try to be kind to people?  That kind of thing.

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I know this is kind of out there... but it's not unlike trimming a bonsai tree and that ancient kind of Wisdom from that culture.

They literally begin with their eyes closed, imagining what they want to SEE in the end.

They Begin with the End in Mind.

It's really cool you found this back then!!!! ‚̧ԳŹ¬† I think it's rare for people to understand that kind of long-term meaning of their life.

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I finally finished IT. God, what a long book--almost 1100 pages! But I really enjoyed it. The last time I read it, I felt let down by the ending. But I think that was due to my perspective at the time. Makes me curious to read The Stand. I think the unabridged version of that one is 1400 pages. What a commitment, though!

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Watched the Superbowl last night. It was interesting. 

We haven't watched football much this year. I am no longer on the fantasy football league from my last job, and COVID really messed with our Sunday Ticket access. Seemed like every game was blacked out. SO, we just gave up on watching.

I only got into football about three years ago, when I joined the fantasy league. Before that, I didn't understand the game and couldn't figure it out--at least not while I was watching it.

Weirdly, when we played flag football in gym class, I was actually very good at it and knew what to do. Go figure.

Arnold managed my fantasy league and we killed it both years that I played. Arnold is some kind of football genius.

Monitoring the fantasy league is actually what helped me to learn football. Fantasy football made watching football more challenging and less boring. That's what my attention span needs in order to remain engaged.

Now I have all sorts of history and statistics in my head about football. It's really weird. My boyfriend laughs because I know which players have been transferred and from where, which coaches coached/played for which teams in the past, etc. I can even tell which color commentators are good, and which ones are full of sht. 

Anyway, as I watched football and learned about it, it was hard not to notice Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots. I became a fan of all three, and quite a scholar of them as well.

I was interested to see how the Patriots and the Buccaneers fared this year. We watched a couple early games, and both teams were a mess. It was just a weird season, though. Not a good time to really evaluate. We ended up tuning out of the season altogether.

When I heard Tom Brady was going to the Superbowl again, I was happy. And against Patrick Mahomes--what a talent! And what a matchup!! 

Well... it was a good matchup on paper, at least.

I could see the light leave Patrick Mahomes's eyes right around halftime. I've never seen him look that way before--granted, I haven't watched every KC game. But he's usually got a spark in his eye, and now he looked drenched. 

Even though their game fell apart, KC had some great moments. And Patrick had some great moments. That guy can throw an accurate ball behind his back while he's zigzagging to get away from the defense, and from a horizontal position as he's falling to the ground in a tackle. And he can run!! And you can't take your eye off of him because he will take every chance he has! He's really incredible. Dangerous.

But I think Tampa Bay couldn't help but feel the magic of having someone like Tom Brady on their team. Same with KC.... yeah, they had Mahomes, but Tom Brady has the power to do the impossible with literally seconds on the clock. It had to be overwhelming for KC to face him down with a new and inexperienced quarterback, no matter how talented that new quarterback is is.

I think that's why KC started to fall apart the way they did, with all those penalties. They started to panic a little, and they really hamstringed themselves with those penalties. Bad, bad move. You cannot give a guy like Tom Brady even a fraction of an inch because he will turn that into a mile, in the blink of an eye. 

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I started reading Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. 

I've had The Last of the Mohicans on my nightstand to read since October, but James Fennimore Cooper is tough, man. I'm kind of avoiding that.

Clan of the Cave Bear is ok. I read it many years ago. Her concept is very interesting. She speculates about the earliest times of humanity, when modern humans and Neanderthals shared the earth. 

It's Jean M. Auel's first novel, and I think it shows a little in the way that she writes. She's very matter-of-fact. She doesn't really have craftsmanship, the way that Stephen King does. But she has a good idea, she's done a ton of research, and she makes it interesting.

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I love a good mental health day. Or days. Turns out I have Monday off, too. Totally forgot about that yesterday, when my sudden fake illness struck. Honestly, that made me feel a little guilty. But I have to be strong in my defiance. 

Eight years ago, before I moved to my current apartment, I was struck with a sudden, rather vicious stomach bug. I had a roommate at the time. It was evening, and I was chatting with her at the kitchen table. One moment I was fine; the next moment I got a wave of the chills and literally felt a fever rising. It was so weird. Then the stomach pain started. I was pretty sick for a couple days. Never found out what that was.

So, if anyone asks, that's the story they're getting. With some adjustment to timing and company. 

I think it's very ironic that lying to work and shirking my responsibility is actually making me feel good. It's usually the other way around with me. Doing the right thing, and doing it well, gives me a sense of satisfaction.

But with this company, doing the right thing and doing it well just makes me feel worse and worse. It makes me feel like nothing I do will ever be enough.

I'm just mystified and so delighted with this loophole that I've found: acting like a complete asshle somehow feels like enough.

I put my phone on Do Not Disturb yesterday morning and ignored all work-related texts. It actually makes me feel good to look at my phone and think, "No." I'm in full Middle Finger Mode now. And the fact that my illness probably looks looks especially suspect, given that we have Monday off, somehow makes me feel even better.

Maybe I'm crazy.




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 I'm moving this over here because I don't want to continue to derail that guy's thread.

17 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Not that they have a right, but that their work is worth a lot more than what they get in our society.

17 hours ago, itsallgrand said:

I think that's due to lack of any regulation. 

Literally anyone who can get pregnant can have the job. And short of practically killing a child, or even if you do, you can keep at the position. 

Most people are strongly opposed to any regulation on parenthood, except for adoptions, so the bad will be lumped in with the ones who do work their butts off to parent full time. 

Just my opinion. 

I've heard this argument before, and I actually agree with most points. But I think there is a slippery slope--perhaps several slippery slopes in the form of unstated/unrecognized perceptions about economics, and about women and motherhood---leading up to the conclusion.

I don't have my argument completely together. I've been thinking about it for years, and I still have a ways to go. So, I may have to clarify a few things here. But in short, I think that mothers are not valued due to lack of respect, society's obsession with money and measurement, and society's limited understanding of what is actually valuable to it.

We operate under an economic theory that has worked well for hundreds of years. We have learned to measure the progress of our society against the progress of our economy. GDP is up? Great! Society is doing good. GDP is down? Oh no. Society is falling apart.

The problem is, GDP doesn't actually measure the progress of our society. It just measures the production of material goods and services, which tends to correlate with social improvements. But, as many are aware, correlation does not prove causation. 

There are elements of our society that bring great benefit--more benefit than any good or service--which can't be measured. Examples of this are altruism, friendship, parenthood, kindness. Their impact can be approximated, like "This charitable donation allowed us to build this great museum at a cost of $2M." But the actual benefit is incalculable because it reaches so far, and in so many directions. 

An ugly truth about GDP: It interprets disaster as beneficial. For example, GDP rises during wartime. It rises after natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes. This is because goods and services increase to produce weapons, to rebuild destroyed cities, to treat casualties, and to bury the dead. It's generally overlooked that the costs in these cases far outweigh the benefits.

I'm only bringing this up to illustrate that when you bring a money model in to evaluate the benefits motherhood, motherhood will always come up looking worthless because the benefits of loving someone and being loved are incalculable. Furthermore, when the benefits of motherhood are viewed through a money lens, the perception is distorted and limited to money. The natural inclination to become a mother is viewed as a gold-digging operation, and there is a desire--and a false sense of entitlement--to control it. 

This money lens has cast single mothers as parasites because they get welfare and tax breaks 'for having children.' But this is a huge, insane distortion. The truth is, single mothers are providing an essential service, without which society would be in disarray, or could actually not exist at all. 

Yet the financial support that society gives to single mothers is a lot like the financial support that society provides to prisoners: three hot meals and a place to sleep. Oh, and you're a burden to society.

A society that doesn't value motherhood, parenthood, etc., is doomed (hence no children from me¬†ūüėāūüėā).

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Jibralta I love what you wrote.  I never ever let society or my perception of society deter me from wanting to be a mom and I solidified that that meant for me within a stable marriage.  But yes when my son was two weeks old my husband's uncle called and I told him that I was loving being a mom and also exhausted.  He thought it was hilarious that I described it as exhausting/hard work.  Hilarious.  His wife raised two amazing men at home - I am not sure if she ever worked outside the home - of course they were married in the 1950s) - and she was an incredible woman.  I chalked it up to him being around 80 when we had this conversation lol.  

I also chose full time motherhood, way in advance when I was single and had no idea if I even could have a baby (yes I would have adopted).  I saved $ for it.  You (general you) cannot lump in this choice as a general choice -there are infinite reasons why people choose to be home full time and some don't even choose, really -it's expected I suppose.  I have nothing in common with a woman who doesn't want to be home full time but does it to please someone else, or the woman who doesn't make enough $ to justify daycare so being home is the default -those choices have nothing in common with mine even though superficially we were all in the same boat. Or the mom who has no ambition or passion for a job or career, marries a wealthy guy or has a trust fund and wa la she is home full time.

I don't know how this all worked with the OP.  I really like the posts suggesting there is more to this than wanting to spend lots of $ on an expensive coin.

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I agree with so much of what you wrote!  I feel for single mothers, they get hit from ALL sides of the equation.

But put your emotions aside for a second and understand what happens when they receive tons of benefits solely contingent on not having a father for those children around.  

The government stepping in, and offering help ONLY if no man (father) is there for those kids, it creates a dynamic where those women are MUCH much more incentivized to break up their marriages or LTR partner, because they literally receive sometimes more money by doing that.  I knew a woman who worked in the food stamps office all her career, and she saw this firsthand!  They literally drop you like a hot potato if you have even a stable LTR (not just a marriage)!!!   It encourages these single moms to keep plugging away on their own, self-sabotaging their efforts to ever have a good, healthy strong LTR where the man can take care of their family. 

To me that's insane that the government steps in, and makes men look somewhat worthless to those women... or at least not worth keeping around for a long time and making their relationships work out.  She literally gets financially penalized for having a good healthy relationship with a male!!!  Ugh!

Then... when you really really look at the statistics of what happens to kids in single mother households... UGH!  That's where it does get to my emotions.  They are far more likely to die from abuse (usually it's a boyfriend or step-father).  Studies also show that the single mothers are often so stressed and pressed on all side that they are more prone to abuse drugs or alcohol to try to cope, and they are more prone to abuse their own kids than married mothers.  

Then you look at the statistics of those kids' futures and it gets pretty bad statistically.  Growing up without a kind, loving, strong father figure messes kids up, it just does.  It affects all kids differently, but the trends are that the boys end up having a strong chance of getting into trouble with the law and the girls have a strong chance of thinking of sex and relationships and men in ways that are destructive long-term.

The take away from all of that for me is that it's crucial for society to care about marriages... to care about making marriages easier, better, etc. because that's where children (our future) thrive the most.  They thrive the most inside strong, healthy, happy marriages.  

And in my opinion, it would nice if society would realize being a mother is worth a lot more, BUT I don't feel like I have ever needed that recognition.  I've never felt resentful that society didn't, "appreciate," my efforts more.  My efforts are basically their own reward.  I see them everyday, and that's enough... it's more than enough!

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19 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

She literally gets financially penalized for having a good healthy relationship with a male!!!

I agree. A lot of these systems are ass backwards.

19 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

Then... when you really really look at the statistics of what happens to kids in single mother households... UGH!  That's where it does get to my emotions.  They are far more likely to die from abuse (usually it's a boyfriend or step-father).  Studies also show that the single mothers are often so stressed and pressed on all side that they are more prone to abuse drugs or alcohol to try to cope, and they are more prone to abuse their own kids than married mothers.

And yet the kids that grow up in these circumstances are far better off than those with no parents at all.

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28 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

My efforts are basically their own reward.  I see them everyday, and that's enough... it's more than enough!

I think that most mothers would agree with you on that. They are not in it for social recognition or financial payoff. They simply want to be mothers. It's a very natural drive.

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On 2/12/2021 at 12:26 PM, Jibralta said:

It actually makes me feel good to look at my phone and think, "No." I'm in full Middle Finger Mode now.

Ughh. I've slipped out of Middle Finger Mode and am back in Anxiety Mode. I'm going to end up working today. It's the only way I can think of to assuage my anxiety.

Maybe a better word would be "address." Because I don't know if it will actually make me feel better. It's so nonsensical. 

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Arnold said that he thinks my anxiety level is actually healthy. It doesn't feel healthy at the moment, but I understand what he means. 

Anybody in my situation would feel anxious. The owners stick their heads in the ground and pretend nothing is going wrong. One of them actually becomes hostile and goes on the attack if you push the issue with him. You can't get guidance when you need it. The owners are completely unprepared and unable to handle challenges effectively. But instead of acknowledging and addressing their own (solvable!) issues, they respond by minimizing their own part in the problems that arise, and blaming their employees instead.

That's a stressful situation for anyone. It's one thing if you can trust your bosses. But if you can't, it's a little slice of hell.

My argument back to Arnold was that even though I truly believe that I'm right and they're wrong, it's hard to ignore the fact that I seem to be the common denominator in these situations. Could I actually be crazy?

Based on his experience with me, Arnold doubts I'm crazy. He thinks my poise and my decision-making process is up to snuff in 95% of my life, past and present, and that this small sliver of chaos signifies nothing but some bad luck.

I appreciate that assessment, I really do. Because I actually believe it myself, despite that tiny worm of doubt that's whispering otherwise. 

Right after our discussion, I got on LinkedIN (to obsess about the potential new job, lol) and saw this:


What timing!

This is a new concept to me, but just looking at this chart, I'd say that as a person, I tend to fall into the first column. I ask for guidance when I need it. I embrace my mistakes and strive to learn from them. I give people my honest opinion. I like to collaborate with people, and I definitely stick my neck out when I feel like something needs to be said.

I'd also say that my current work environment (and my previous work environment) falls into the column on the right.

People at my last job shifted blame for their mistakes onto their subordinates and other coworkers. It was grotesque. At this job, the owners are in a slightly different position. But they do hide from mistakes by failing to acknowledge them, and thus failing to address issues that negatively impact their employees. For example, when my work truck used to completely break down (power steering, power brakes, everything) when I was driving 80mph on the fcking highway.

At this job, more so than my last job, you get blasted for speaking your mind because one of the owners actually feels threatened by it. He doesn't want to be made to look bad. He literally said that (it makes me cringe just thinking about it). He also stonewalls you when you say that you need guidance, or that you need more time, and literally shouts you down when he doesn't want to hear something that you are saying. I'm pretty sure that this job is the first time that I've been attacked this way by someone as an adult.

So, I googled this "Psychological Safety" concept and learned that it has been around for some time, and that it's apparently viewed as "the single most important factor for increased performance in teams."


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Just to encapsulate a little of the madness: On Thursday, after two weeks of me asking him multiple times to take a look at the structure of this project, four hours before the project deadline, Alan finally got back to me.

He changed everything.

So, we have this meeting to go over the changes, and when I point out that one of his beams cuts through the opening for the staircase, Alex and Simon decide that the staircase should be moved.


I logged off and took my mental health days. I cleansed my mind and managed to forget everything for a couple of days.

But I just moved the staircase, and guess what? I remember why I checked out on Thursday. It's all coming back. We now have no room for the HVAC unit because we need that space for headroom (for the new staircase location).


I'm not saying anything. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of being ignored. 

But my heart is racing right now because this is the kind of thing that I'm dealing with every day. It's like these people just arrived on Planet Earth and haven't discovered that we have solid mass here. 

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Also, to set the stage a little: The company that I am working for (I'll call them Company F) has been in business for about eight years. In the past, it primarily focused on surveying jobs, and on civil engineering projects related to site design.

Company F also got involved with a couple of architecture projects over the years. Since Company F didn't employ architects, they partnered with an outside architecture firm, called Company D (pseudonym).

Last year, Company F bought Company D. I think this happened because Company F recently won a meaty government contract ($2M), and probably Company D was for sale at the time. 

Company F also hired a bunch of new people in the past year, myself included, both to work on the big new government project (surveying) and to staff the new architecture division (formerly Company D). 

The former owner of Company D, Alan, is an architect with about 35 years of experience. He stayed on with Company F as a consultant. I think he is probably a very knowledgeable guy, but he is REALLY checked out. One of the employees that came over to Company F when Company D was purchased told me that it became really noticeable after the purchase (the fact that Alan is checked out).

We have a morning meeting with Alan every day, and it's pretty obvious that he can't wait to get off the phone. He does not want to answer difficult questions. So, I frequently have to chase him around when I need guidance on a problem, especially when the answer is not straight forward.

The problem is, the owners of Company F have worked with Alan for years, and in their eyes he can do no wrong. So, I'm basically screwed whenever I need to rely on Alan for something. I know I'm getting a half-assed answer, but the owners don't know that. And when things come out wrong, they don't believe that he is to blame. 

I don't think Alan is evil or anything, but he's really a huge pain in my ass. 

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