Tag Archives: Rant

Thinking. Planning. Wasting.

18 Oct

Image from vi.sualize.us

 

There are two things that I’m kind of beating myself up over right now.

Next week will be my free one between jobs. I’d been planning to use the upcoming week to finally paint our living room. I really wanted to accomplish something that has been sitting on that checklist in my head. I just saw that Benjamin Moore paints are on sale until the end of the month. And yet that fan deck still sits in my drawer untouched. The universe is on my side here, and yet I still haven’t brought myself to choose some paint chips.

We’re about seven weeks away from our trip to India, and aside from our plane tickets, nothing else has been booked. I have no clue about where we’re going and what we’re going to see. I’ve been overwhelmed with my lack of knowledge of our destination and the vastness of it that I haven’t been able to effectively narrow down what I need to see. What do we fit in and how do we manage to fit it all in 16 days?

I used to think of myself as a big planner, but now I’m not so sure anymore.

I want to plan because all this lack of certainty in both matters is making me completely anxious.

But I know all it involves really is me being decisive. Something that I’m not the best at being.

Or, is this all stemming from a possible compulsion in me to always be doing something so that I don’t feel like I’m just wasting time.

I mean, it is a week off from work. Can it not just be a free week from work? And our trip to India is a vacation. Is it really necessary to fill every single minute with something to do so that I can feel like our time over there is worthwhile?

How can I learn to slow down and sit still without feeling the need to constantly rush to the next destination or action?

Forgive this stream of consciousness thing that just happened.

Well clearly, I’m also lacking focus for some reason.

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Day Twenty-Six | Pet Peeves

3 Oct

Today’s prompt for My 3o Days is:

5 pet peeves.

1. Lousy Drivers. Whether I take the train into the city or I drive, my commute to and from work can take up to 3 hours daily. Therefore, I can encounter a great deal of really bad drivers every day. Some of the things that really get my blood boiling are:

  • people who don’t signal when they switch lanes
  • people who merge into traffic at the very last possible opportunity they can get, as if that one extra car length has gotten them that additional edge on the gridlock
  • people who cruise in the left lane. FYI that is the passing lane. If you’re not passing, get into the other lane.
  • people who will move forward in an intersection though it is obvious that they will not clear it due to the traffic in front of them. As a result, when their traffic light turns red, they become a road block because they’re still in the middle of the intersection.
  • people who reverse on the highway because they have realized that they’ve missed their exit. Seriously.

2. Being late. I hate being late because I hate making people wait for me. For work, I make it my own policy to arrive and be ready to work before 9:00. If I’m just arriving at my desk and it’s 9:00, I consider that late.

3. Errant shopping carts. I hate being in the parking lot of a Walmart or the grocery store and seeing the parking lot littered with shopping carts. It’s just utter laziness if you’ve finished loading your car up with your purchases and you leave your shopping cart in the closest empty parking spot, or worse yet, in between 2 other parked cars when there is probably a cart corral just a few steps further from where you are. Even worse is a stray shopping cart spotted far from any store, and in a residential neighborhood.

4. Inconsiderate public washroom users. Do you like to wipe up my pee off the toilet seat before you get to use it? Well, what makes you think that I enjoy cleaning up after you?

5. The flagrant misuse of “…and I.” This probably stems from the constant correction by grade-school teachers which has now caused the constant grammatically incorrect use of “….and I” in spoken and written communication. I think that reality-tv stars are the worst offenders. Is it the fear of using the word “me” in a sentence, or is it because “and I” makes you sound smarter?

  • Correct: Sandy and I have a great friendship
  • Incorrect: Could you send that document to Theresa and I in an email?

The question I quickly ask myself in my head before constructing a sentence like this is, if I took the other person out of the sentence, could it be grammatically correct? ie. “…I have a great friendship” = yes; “Could you send that document to …. I in an email?” = no. I wouldn’t ask someone to send that document to I; I’d be asking that person to send that document to me. Therefore, the correct way to ask is:

  • Could you send that document to Theresa and me in an email?

Disconnect

30 Apr
Image from: weheartit.com

We’ve become so accustomed to instant communication that we’ve come to expect immediate responses from others. It has blanketed everything we do with this sense of extreme urgency. It’s come to the point that if you do not respond to something within a reasonable amount of time, you are deemed unresponsive, lazy or dismissive.

The climate at my work has become tainted by this. If I’m not able to answer a phone call or chat message for any reason, I get chased. If I cannot answer an email quickly enough, I feel as if I’m not doing my job well. I’m sure this affects my actual productivity at work, because I’m expected to respond so quickly, that I will interrupt whatever task I should be concentrating on whenever a new email appears in my inbox so that I can address it immediately.

Recently, it was recommended by someone I work with that I get myself a Blackberry so that I could be better connected. So that I could have one more line connecting me to work. As if my mobile phone isn’t quite enough.

I will NOT buy MYSELF a Blackberry so that I can be more accessible for work. Because really? How dire can any of these emergencies by? We don’t save lives. These situations never involve blood, or guts. We work on Mac computers and make things look nice and pretty so that people will want to spend their hard-earned money to buy these things. It’s not life and it certainly isn’t death.

Technology is awesome, yeah. But all these devices and doodads that give us this amazing ability to communicate with each other when we don’t even have to be in the same room, or even have to use our voices to have good old-fashioned conversation and dialogue are causing us to lose sense of what a commodity our time really is. We’re in such a rush. Always needing to be connected in case we miss something. Responding. Reaching out for the sake of reaching out, or simply because we can and because that person is accessible, not necessarily for a meaningful connection. Our technology, which is evolving daily, is supposed to offer us convenience but it’s robbing us of our own time and not allowing us to appreciate it. It has made it almost necessary for us all to be connected to the world and engaged with it at all times. It’s made it hard for us to actually turn off and connect with the world the way that we used to. Remember how we used to be in those times?

And the Hits Just Keep on Comin’

4 Mar

After finishing work yesterday, the BF was approaching our car parked on the street and was greeted with this sight:

What the…

I can’t believe that there are low-life assholes out there that would do something like this. There was nothing of value in our car, and hell, parked in the area that it was, our car probably didn’t have as much value as all that it was parked amongst. It was in a pretty affluent neighbourhood, parked on a street lined with nice houses and cars. Worst of all is that this happened in broad daylight. It’s going to cost us a bit of money to fix, as our insurance won’t cover this because of the deductible.

Everyone’s favourite thing in the world is unexpected, necessary expenses like this.

Another sucktastic thing to round out my sucktastic week.

Admittedly, my last couple of weeks have been filled with so much negative energy that I kind of wonder to myself if this happened because I’ve been such a sour bee-yotch. Before you think I’m going all The Secret, I’m not. I’ve never even read the book and I don’t really subscribe to philosophies like that. BUT it makes me wonder if all that negativity attracted even more negativity, and if maybe I started to not be so negative and bee-yotchy that things around me might be a bit nicer too. So, starting tomorrow I will try to be a bit more positive and less Chicken Little and more…I don’t know, the opposite of that, whoever that is.

My Moleskine is Gone

27 Feb

The cherry on top of this craptastic week? I lost my little planner. I loved my little planner. And I can’t find it. I’m so mad at myself.

It was a pocket-sized Moleskine weekly notebook. Soft cover. Black. Perfect because it was so small that it fit into my purse, and perfect for me to make note of all the events of my pocket-sized life.

I lost track of it sometime last weekend. I’ve called every where I’d been, and no one has turned it in. Today, I tried to buy myself another one, but my local Chapters store no longer carries calendars and planners because it’s almost March. I’ll look for one this week when I am back downtown for work.

Losing stuff really sucks.

(Image from Moleskines.com)

I Always Knew I’d Grow Up to be a Fire Fighter

24 Feb

It’s been a pretty overwhelming week at work, and we’re only on Wednesday. After weeks of “light” occupation, it seems that everything is funneling and ending up on my plate all at once. Not that I am complaining, or anything, because I like being busy and feeling useful here at work. However, I hate being so busy that all I seem to be doing is spinning my wheels. Today was one of those days, when at noon I had realized that half the week was over and I had barely accomplished anything. Just a lot of back and forth on this semi-big website development project I am managing, and still no real tangible progress achieved. We are supposed to go live on Monday. Granted, we had been given all of 3.5 weeks from concept to deployment, so relatively speaking, we are in pretty decent shape. There are a million moving parts, and a big team to manage, not to mention having to manage the client and their expectations.

So while this whole project is needing my attention and pulling me in different directions between the developer, my designers and the clients, I’ve got other shit that needs to be done. I’ve got 6 other projects for which I need to prepare estimates and plan time lines, kind of all required at once for some reason. One of these clients is a pretty huge one, that I’ve got to keep happy, and requires a high level of maintenance. I mean, if she gives me three big estimates to draft on Friday at 4.30, which she did, she expects it all to be pulled together in a day or two. If I had little else to do, totally achievable. However, I’ve got other clients and projects that I am working on at the same time. This is the source of much of my anxiety, the need to keep her happy and satisfied knowing that I am working to keep her happy and satisfied. If I don’t meet these expectations or have the gall to push back on her at all, she calls my boss to tattle on me! And then I’ve got him and her both looking at me like I am inadequate.

I am sorry, but I am only one person and can only do so much at one time.

I like to make lists of things I need to do, and beside each item in those lists, I draw a little box in which I put a check mark once that task is finished. When that list is created on Monday morning, and if by Wednesday afternoon I see no check marks because I’ve been in a state of high alert all week just reacting and responding, my level of anxiety is sky-high and I can’t help but feeling like I am a bit of a failure. My job is characterised by series of milestones, and my feeling of accomplishment is tied to reaching these milestones. This week, I have not gotten any closer to these milestones. The minute I try to focus on getting something done, it seems that I am interrupted by someone looking to me for some sort of solution. OK fine, that’s is a huge part of my job and that’s what I’m supposed to do. I get it. But it’s for that reason that I say at times that my title should be changed to “Fire Fighter,” because I spent the majority of my day putting fires out. I do wish I handled stressful days like this a little better and didn’t become so frenzied and agitated as I had, because days like this happen pretty often for me. It’s pretty much part of my job description.

I became a bit of a monster today, keeping my head low and trying to minimize unnecessary contact with anyone I worked with. Anytime anyone would come to my desk or call me to ask me a question, I would demand that they get to their point or question quickly. If I needed something from someone, I would be equally as short. The different personalities in my company grated on my nerves. And the constant (some pointless) interruptions were aggravating beyond belief.

  • If you’re going to call me from your desk to ask me something, please don’t draw out your “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii,” and spend the next 10 seconds um-ing and ah-ing and whatchamacallit-ing and clearing your throat. You’d better be ready to speak and tell me what you need from me when I pick up the phone.
  • If you come into my office and you see me frantically typing out an email, I would think that you would get that I am trying to get some form of important communication out. Why do you need to interrupt my process to show me something that you found in a book?
  • Do not look to me for an answer to an easy question that you can easily answer for yourself. It’s just downright lazy when you aren’t willing to find the answer for yourself.
  • It’s also downright lazy of you to not retain something that you’ve been shown how to do countless times. Don’t come to me again to ask how to do something that I showed you how to do yesterday, and the day before that.
  • If I am in a meeting, even if it seems informal at someone’s desk, don’t bust into the middle of the conversation to talk to me about something irrelevant to what I am dealing with. It can wait a few minutes.
  • If I am across the room from you, do not yell across to talk to me or get my attention. It is rude to do so, and we are in a professional environment. Get off your ass. and walk over if you need to address me.

Needless to say, I’m glad the day is over. At the end of it all, I did manage to prepare 2 estimates before wrapping for the day. I have 2 check marks on that list now and really hope to add more to that tomorrow. I remind myself again that I am only one person, and can only do so much. Above that, I also need to remind myself that I really am not more important than anyone else, and that we all are just trying to get our jobs done there. Though, please just stay out of my way when I’m trying to get something done and then we can talk. Maybe.

“We are the World 25 for Haiti” is stunning

16 Feb

…but not in a good way. I heard it for the first time this afternoon on the radio, but it was playing really softly and I could barely hear it, so I couldn’t really be sure that I wasn’t imagining the true awfulness of it all. The video I just watched confirms it all.

I was 9 when USA For Africa came together to create the original We are the World to benefit African famine relief. The song is an iconic one to me. Led by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, it defined the 80s, its music, and even endures today because of the living legends that were a part of the effort (Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon etc). Not to say that none of the artists in today’s version will  endure and have careers past 2011, but seriously? Justin Bieber getting to sing the opening line? Why did Lionel give this to him? I have a feeling that in 15 years, someone will be wondering to what young lady that voice belonged. Oh, and was Jamie Foxx really doing an impersonation of Ray Charles in the video? Not cool. Plus, don’t even get me started on the T-Pain, Akon, Lil Wayne (and more) Auto-Tune garbage part of the song.

While I understand the plight in Haiti and appreciate the efforts of all that were involved – because I know that it was no small feat – this version to me seems more like a parody of the original and takes away from the actual intent. There’s too much oversinging and auto-tuning, too little sincerity. Despite all this, I trust that Haiti will benefit much from this and gain more relief because of this new effort.

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