notorious

Oh, these shackles of fame.

Last night I was in a store buying bananas and a cheesecake brownie, as one does. On my way out, a tall guy stopped me and said “hey!” and then had a conversation at me. He used to work where I work, and obviously knew me. We chatted for about about the company, our new mural, and then went our separate ways.

I have no idea who he was.

I feel super bad about that, because it feels so rude. The truth is, I don’t know most of the people at work. Yes, we’re spread out over three offices and 5 floors, I work solely with one department, I never go to social events .. but those are weak excuses. Is it possible to have imposter syndrome about yourself? I guess I’ve done a bunch of stuff company-wide that would make me stand out a little, but none of it is a huge deal. I know I stand out physically – every other person here is tall and willowy and effortlessly glamourous in that Anthropologie-catalogue kind of way, whereas I am short and squat and have blue hair – but that isn’t a good stand out, it’s a “hide in the corner and hope no one sees me” thing.

And okay, damnit, all you tall white hipster guys in the other offices look exactly the same.

But seriously. I feel terrible when people know me and I don’t know them, even it’s a case of mistaken identity (I’m sorry nice lady in Denny’s, I’m not who you think I am). It’s weird to be recognized, but weirder still to be known and not have a corresponding data link inside your brain.

I do have theories on this. The majority of my theories are based around smiling. I would never, ever suggest that people have to smile, or tell someone to smile if they’re not, but I do find it odd when someone has zero response to a friendly smile. I try to smile at everyone. Most of the time, they smile back. If someone smiles at me, they get a smile of varying degree in response, from a questioning half-smile to a balls-out grin. I may be too riddled with anxiety and social diseases to strike up a conversation with someone, but I will always smile at the people I pass. There are a lot of people (all women) at work who glare at me when I smile in greeting, or simply look away. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt – maybe they’re just as socially awkward as I am, and deal with it differently than I do – but it’s happened enough times that I have a membership list for the Unfriendly Blonde Squad in my head.

Where was I going with this? I actually don’t remember – I stepped away from writing this to get some really shitty news – but I think I had a point about smiling at people with blue hair while simultaneously having a large enough impact at work to leave an impression with people I don’t know.

Shit’s gettin’ weird.

 

Trifecta_of_Science__yvr__pride__science

stressful things

Things that are currently making me want to simultaneously throw up and cry:

  • JIRA
  • Backseat troubleshooters
  • Companies that respond to your info request, which asks you what type of communication you prefer, with a phone call
  • This migraine I’ve had since midnight or so that I have to power through because JIRA
  • My hopes and dreams
  • That I know just enough to know what’s wrong, but lack the access and ability to fix it
  • Okta
  • Why did no one else care that Barb went missing
  • Existential dread
i believe i can fly but then jira

i believe i can fly
but then jira

semicolon kind of life

I’m packed and I’m holding
I’m smiling, she’s living, she’s golden
She lives for me, says she lives for me
Ovation, her own motivation
She comes round and she goes down on me

Last summer, semicolon tattoos were all over the internet. People were getting them as a personal reminder, to indicate their story wasn’t over, to celebrate a victory over a struggle, as a symbol of hope in the fight against mental illness. As this article states, they’re not “the mark of a really committed grammar nerd”, but “a reminder of their struggle, victory, and survival”.

As most of you know, I suffer from mental health issues. I’ve struggled, I’ve survived, I’m still here .. so I got a semicolon tattoo to remind myself that I am more than my depression and anxiety.

haha j/k, I totally got the tattoo because I’m a really committed grammar nerd.

haha j/k, I actually got the tattoo because you can’t have a “TL;DR” tattoo without the semicolon.

Also, knuckle tattoos on one hand only is kinda weird and unbalanced, so I also got a “RTFM” tattoo.

Okay so all of the above is actually true: I AM a mental health survivor, I AM a really committed grammar nerd, and I really did get “RTFM” and “TL;DR” tattoo’d across my knuckles because hardcore, but in a really fucking nerdy (and hilarious) way.

Better pictures coming soon. It’s hard to take pictures of your own knuckles.

doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo

wood panelled imposter wagon

I have an opportunity to speak on a panel, but my imposter syndrome has a raging boner at the thought of it.

There’s a business event coming to Vancouver in November, and the organizers have reached out to me via some co-workers to see if our company would be interested in participating. I made the executive decision of “ya, totes”, because I love things like this: the event is aimed at girls in grades 9-11 to introduce them to women in a variety of professional careers. Technology is just one of the areas the event will cover, and will feature a panel full of women from a few local tech houses.

I told the organizers that I’d be happy to help them find a panelist or two from our Product Development department, and asked if they were looking for junior, senior, or anything in between. There are a ton of awesome women I work with, and I provided some of the areas I thought might be of interest, including my own position. I mentioned that I’d volunteer myself if they were interested, but as an industry professional (and “professional” is used so loosely it’s falling down and I have to constantly hitch it back up or my bum will show) who took a non-traditional route to get where I am today, I didn’t think I’d quality.

I’m not being all coy about this – I seriously don’t think I’m qualified to talk to anyone about how to get where I am. For starters, I don’t know where I am. My title has nothing whatsoever to do with what I do on a day-to-day basis – I don’t actually even use it, because it’s so misleading. I didn’t go to university. College, sure, but then there’s my secret shame which I think is hilarious. Also, I’m short and fat and I dress funny. I have blue hair, speak in pop culture references, and can’t go three sentences without swearing up a storm. That’s just the surface, too – as far as my job goes, I don’t think I do anything particularly special. I just .. make things go. No one needs to hear about that.

To my surprise, the organizers emailed me back and said I’d be perfect for the technology panel. Wait, what? Why?

I’m not sure what to do here. On one hand, panel! That would be neat. And even though I’m terrified of kids, it amuses me to continually organize or participate in events aimed at them. But .. what if I end up on a panel that’s all “our panelists today are Lizbeth Genius, CEO of Amazing Technology; Susan Saviour, Director of Complicated Surgery at Adorable Anime-Eyed Orphans Inc.; Chloe Super Engineer, Lead Developer of Life Changing Widgets, and this weird fat girl who fucks around with JIRA and makes sure things are spelled properly.”? My ego doesn’t need that. They’ll probably all be wearing pantsuits, and I’ll show up in a Hello Kitty dress with a lunchbox for a purse. Hell, I’d probably have the reverse intended effect: after seeing me on a panel, girls will become disillusioned with the business world and start home businesses selling canned goods, or maybe join a MLM scheme. Oh, god. I’m going to be the end of the advancement of women in technology! I can’t possibly sit on this panel! Nobody wants to sell candles and costume jewellery out of their living rooms!

While it MAY be true that my imposter syndrome needs some drugs and a nap, I still think no one would be interested in what I have to say. I’d love to be able to say that I am inspiring and professional and encouraging, but .. well, all of the above. Any idiot could do what I do.

NOW I’M SAD.

 

opposite day

My lady parts hurt, so I wore pants to work.

When I got to the office, I was greeted with the spectacular sight of my coworkers all wearing kilts.

Today is Opposite Day, and it is amazing.

everything about this is amazing

everything about this is the best ever.

secrete

Even after 15+ years of baring my breasts soul on the internet, it turns out I still have some secrets. That ain’t right, so let’s fix it.

Kimli’s Remaining Secrets

  • I don’t like bananas, because I am irrationally afraid that they are full of spiders
  • I am vain about my ankles (this may not be a secret, I think I’ve mentioned it before)
  • I will not wear clothing with the following images:
    • Elephants
    • Pigs
    • Whales
    • Hippos
    • Food of any kind
  • .. because I am afraid people will point at the fat girl wearing a picture of herself
  • More and more frequently I have been craving water and will choose it over Diet Coke
  • I used to avoid making politically-charged (even if they’re not) statements for fear of offending people, but I cannot stay silent when the world is so incredibly messed up. For what it’s worth, I believe with my very soul that #blacklivesmatter. I am an off-white ally for PoC, LGBTQ, Muslims, women, and any damn person or group struggling for the right to live a life free of fear, violence, hatred, discrimination, and misogyny.
  • Sometimes I poop
gastowns

gastowns

 

groundhog day

He didn’t see his own shadow so much as a shadowy splotch on my x-ray, indicating that my foot is still fractured. I have at least another 4 weeks in this stupid boot, then another x-ray and checkup to see if I will be free. It’s already been 9 (!) weeks since I broke my foot; what’s another 4? My only consolation is that the weather has been very dank this summer, so I’m not missing out on any prime beach time (she says, like she’d ever go to a beach in the first place because there is sand and bugs and sunshine and OTHER PEOPLE and those things are awful).

Dank.

I did attend the “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” Lunch n’ Learn at my workplace last week. It was interesting-ish: we were sorted into groups based on the categories of the self-assessment, going where our lowest score was. My lowest score naturally came in “Look”, but went into the “Act” group. When asked why, I said that I thought the Look category was bullshit and that I had no plans to count my personal style as a workplace negative. That was fun.

I don’t know that the group exercise held much value for me, as we only had 10 minutes to discuss the common “mistakes” and suggestions for improvement among 11 people. Those who were the loudest had their topics of choice discussed, and while I’m sure I too suffer from varying degrees of wanting too much to be liked/not caring if I’m liked or not, it wasn’t my number one issue. I will likely pick up the book and read through the advice myself. To be honest, I’m not at all certain I WANT the corner office: I want to create and drive and learn and DO, not try to control it all.

A neat idea did come out of the talk, though. My co-worker Karen and I were talking after the session about the points that were discussed (we were in different groups), and our intern Kerri was drawn into the conversation. She had questions about the why of some things – why the coffee, why she shouldn’t always be the one to take notes – and something dawned on me: I learned these things after years of working in government and corporate jobs. No one ever sat me down and said “okay, here’s how to be adult woman: go”. So .. why *don’t* we? It’s so much easier to instil good habits than to try and break bad ones. I emailed a bunch of people, basically volunteering (it’s a bad habit I have) to lead a session with the new co-ops (or anyone else) each term that goes over stuff: how to be heard in meetings, how to communicate, how to make friends without becoming the team baker, what happens if you abuse Reply All, etc. Things that you aren’t specifically taught, but pick up after throwing a fit the first time you’re asked to serve coffee to all the men in the room or the 10th time you’re told to take meeting notes because you’re a girl and obviously all girls are secretaries. That sort of thing.

I don’t know if it’ll take off, but I’d love to do something like this (along with every other excellent idea I have that usually involves shaping terrifying young minds into my own image: boobs and purple hair for everyone).

JPEG image-3767ED3EE557-1

art via filter.

i made this and i'm stupidly proud of it so i'm posting it everywhere.

i made this and i’m stupidly proud of it so i’m posting it everywhere.

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