the boom boom into my heart

I am jittery, and I don’t know why. Is it excitement? Anticipation? Caffeine overdose? Sentient worms from a truck stop vending machine egg salad sandwich? Yes to all of the above, plus a healthy amount of cabin fever and a large double double of anxiety. Huge tracts of anxiety. A vicious, never-ending story of sadness swamps and horses that simply can’t go on of anxiety. I am not so much wallowing in it as I am utterly mired and sticky.

I’ve had a surprisingly full social calendar since the end of May, and it extends (so far) into the first week of August. This is great, because I am often angrily bored during the summer months because it’s hot and I have nothing to do. The weather has been very moderate so far this summer (for all two days of it) – I know this won’t last, but I’m enjoying the hell out of being slightly chilly while I still can.

Basically, I’m trying. If I sit down and apply the dreaded logic to my situation, things are seriously fucking great. I feel like a giant asshole for not greeting each day with a smile and a boner. This stresses me out, which turns into anxiety, which makes me restless, which makes me sad, which turns into moping, which becomes a pep talk, and the whole goddamn thing starts. all over. again. If I were not myself, I would be very understanding about things. They’re kind of a mess! My hypertension is off the charts! My doctor keeps insisting my life will have value once I lose weight! I have a mammogrammo scheduled for today and I am vainly nervous that the procedure will artificially flatten my magnificent bosom! And – all of these things aside – WORK, you guys. It is a thing. A thing that is causing at least 75% of my not inconsiderable anxiety.

Long story slightly less long: I’m still dash trash. I hate it. I am the lowest of the low, doing menial tasks that no one else wants to deal with. I have been pleading with my handlers for more advanced work and responsibility, because I am frankly super bored, but my requests are ignored. It’s such a stupid situation: I get paid a ridiculous amount of money to work from home, doing relatively brainless work, with little to no supervision. I do my job, make the real employees meet their KPIs and look great to management, and have zero responsibility when I’m off the clock. No one cares what I do.

.. except me. *I* care about what I do. I care deeply. I am being massively wasted as dash trash. I am squandered potential. My current role would be perfect for someone who wants to succeed by basically being alive and upright, but I want to do so much more. I miss working miracles. I miss owning things. I miss feeling like an actual team member who contributes. Even with my towering imposter syndrome, I know that I am way too smart and talented to be doing what I’m doing. I am sad and disconnected, and the longer I stay here the more I fear that this is what the rest of my life will look like. It feels so stupid to complain about it, because this is the dream situation for so many people .. but it makes me so sad, and I feel so worthless. For the last two years, I’ve fought so fucking hard to prove my worth and make traction and land permanence, and where has it gotten me? Arguably worse off than before. Working as a temp. Literally where I started out, over 20 years ago. I feel like a huge failure, and I’m so ashamed.

Well, this turned dark. I should end it here. Off to rebuild Fantasia with this grain of sand and a whole lot of Oxford commas.


two point two pictures



Funny story: I haven’t written in a long time because I had nothing good to say – my life is a never-ending series of whines, rage tears, and vaguebooking. I didn’t want to make a triumphant return to my poor neglected blog only to complain about how awful my ridiculously priviledged life is, so I kept my head down and cried my sad tears and posted dumb little Facebook updates about my unhappiness and then guess what.

I sort of exploded from the stress, and desperately needed an outlet that wasn’t poor Ed talking me off the ledge. Oh, if only I had a safe outlet in which I could vent about my FEELINGS. If only there was a friendly, non-judgemental place where I could air my dirty laundry and extreme dissatisfaction at my lot in life and also throw in the occasional random reference to movies from the 90s. OH IF ONLY.

I never claimed to be as smart as I tell the internet I am

So, here we are. Strap in, everyone. I’m going to cleanse my soul the only way I know how: dumping it out onto the internet for the seagulls to pick through and poop on.

Continue reading

settling in

After a month spent galavanting around Europe like someone deep in the throes of a mid-life crisis, I finally returned home and started my new job this past Monday. So far so good, but there are definitely things I have to get used to (like having direct deposit again! you have no idea how much you take magic money for granted until you’re forced to go to an actual bank every two weeks). Everyone I’ve met has been really nice/disturbingly excited to hear I’m a tech writer, and it’s been great seeing a lot of my former coworkers in the same place (I’ve already resumed my usual method of greeting one guy in particular by walking up and kicking him).

So, what’s the low down?

The Good:

  • Fun people, fun product, tons of potential to get all up in here doing all kinds of different things
  • Free parking! I was super worried about how I was going to get to the office – it’s a two-bus minimum with no parking lots nearby – but there’s free parking under the building! That is amazing, and I GET TO SCOOT TO WORK!
  • I sit two seats down from a pug:
PUG omg so cute and puggy

PUG omg so cute and puggy and also there’s my foot

  • I have nested nicely, and my desk is tastefully ridiculous
  • Seriously, people get *really* excited when I tell them what I do and what team I’m on. I wonder if I should worry.

The Confusing

  • I desperately hate not knowing things, and as this is my third day on the job, I don’t know a damn thing. I am impatient to become some sort of expert in something, and will be frustrated with myself until that happens.
  • I am a perpetual One-Off, so I’m not getting the traditional onboarding experience .. because there’s no one I can shadow to absorb knowledge.
  • I can’t find a fridge (but I brought my own, so I’m good)
  • I don’t know where to pick up my Mandatory Work Puppy
  • I have no walls! No one has any walls. How do I decorate things if I have no walls?
  • After a month in Europe, I think I forget how to do words
  • How can I keep my drink cold if there is no ice? :(
  • Open concept offices are kinda loud

The Bad

  • Sitting this close to a pug that is not mine is pure torture
  • Fluorescent lights are the devil

I have high hopes for doing good stuff here .. fingers are crossed!



it’s so hard to say goodbye

I’ve been largely ignoring the fact that this is my last week at work – all the preparations for the upcoming London trip took over, and I buried myself in logistics and making sure I’m taking enough low-cut dresses to offend the entire British Empire. However, yesterday afternoon it kind of hit me for the first time .. this is my last day. I’m leaving this afternoon, and I’m not coming back. It doesn’t seem real, even with all my desk toys and posters and endless Diet Coke cups gone. Everything has felt like regular vacation preparation: finalizing deliverables, handing off projects, sprinkling wisdom like candy giblets amongst the children of the corn .. but it’s not temporary, and I won’t be taking my work back when we return from London. This is it. This chapter is finished, and everyone will move on without me.

That’s probably the hardest part, too. I’m just egomaniacal enough to want my co-workers to throw their hands up in despair and wail at the thought of a future without me, but I know that is ridiculous. It’s been hard to let go, and harder to hear talk of my replacement(s), and hardest of all to hear plans on how they’re going to try and fix the things that are broken. I can’t help but be sad over that – if people had tried to fix things six months ago, I’d still be here. It sucks to hear all the effort to fix things NOW, but maybe I can take some small solace in being a catalyst for that change. I wasn’t just idly complaining, but seriously trying to fix things and being cockblocked at every turn until I had to give up the good fight for my own sanity, healthy, and happiness. Some days I feel like I took the easy way out, especially during weeks like this – it’s been quiet, fun, and productive at work. However, there’s a very pointed reason for the calm: the cause of all the problems (and the reason I quit) has been on vacation all week, and without his interference, we’re accomplishing things and doing great work. A vacation doesn’t last forever, though, and when he returns, I’d be just as badly off .. worse, in fact.

I don’t need to worry about it anymore, but it’ll take some time for my rage to subside. I didn’t WANT to quit. I loved this job. I am still angry about the gaslighting and abuse. That may never go away, but I am going to try to push it down the emotional ladder .. and three weeks in Europe will probably help. In fact, I’m sure of it.

Deep breath. I’m almost done. Time to remember all the good – like the amazing people I’m leaving behind, who made me in Lego form:

accurate down to the tattoos and diet coke (they told me they weren't able to make the cleavage bigger) :D

accurate right down to the tattoos and diet coke (there are limits to the amount of cleavage lego can have) :D


the excellencies

Late last week, we got an email at work advising us to dress appropriately and be on our best behaviour today, because the Excellencies were coming.

I don’t know how this was arranged, but the Ambassadors of Uganda, Libya, and Moldova were coming to tour our offices to see Canadian technology in action. We were asked to clean our workstations, be immaculate, and use formal greetings when addressing the assorted Excellencies:

  • His Excellency, Dr. Fathi Mohamed Baja, Ambassador of Libya
  • Her Excellency, Ala Beleavschi, Ambassador of Moldova
  • His Excellency, John Nsambu, High Commissioner of Uganda

The Ambassadors, we were told, were the official representatives of their President/King/Prime Minister, and that they appreciate being treated with honour and respect. Well, okay then!

.. I worked from home today. I don’t do toadying, and I have a big, big problem with Uganda’s despicable anti-gay policy and the lack of basic human rights in Libya and Moldova. Since I couldn’t promise that I wouldn’t make a scene or fondle Sam in front of the assorted Excellencies and their entourage (not to mention my inability/unwillingness to “dress appropriately”, whatever that means), I decided it would be best for all involved if I just removed myself from temptation. So, I’m at home. I’m getting a ton of stuff done, and I’m not wearing any pants.

It is a good day in the Lady Cave.

dj diana in the house

all good things ..

Yesterday marked the climax of an incredibly difficult two weeks: I quit my job. My last day will be on June 6th.

The decision to leave was a very long time in the making, because I truly loved my job. Unfortunately, a series of Unfortunate Circumstances made it impossible for me to keep calm-ish and carry on, as I’d been doing with marginal success since last July .. so I had to make the call. And it sucks.

For a very long time, I really loved my job. It was challenging and fun and I was learning more about mobile development than I ever thought possible. I found a talent for requirements that I didn’t know I had, and I was genuinely excited to ferret out all the tiny details that go into making something work. I loved my coworkers. I loved my projects. I didn’t love my desk, but even that source of daily annoyance was but a tiny fluffy cloud in the overall blue skies of my life.

After more than a year of giddiness about my job, things went south. I won’t go into detail here – you know where to find me if you want to hear the long, boring saga – but I kept thinking that maybe it would get better, and maybe things weren’t so bad, and maybe I really DID do terrible work and every other person I’ve worked with in my entire life was lying to me about my skills, and maybe no one else WOULD ever hire me, and maybe there ISN’T any value in my work, and maybe I was an awful person who deserved everything that happened, and blah blah blah Stockholm Syndrome.

Just when I learning to cope with the panic attacks, insomnia, and stress-related pointy zebra raves, the craziest thing happened: out of nowhere a massive straw fell from the sky and landed directly on a poor camel, snapping his spine into a zillion pieces! zomg!

The massive camel-seeking straw was the last of its kind, and on Friday I submitted my resignation.

I’m pretty torn up about it, because I still believe in the talents of my team and the work we were doing. I know they’ll soldier on just fine without me (hopefully not TOO fine), and my leaving isn’t that big a deal. Still, I felt so bad about abandoning them that I brought in Apology Cake as I broke the news .. I’m really going to miss them. I made a lot of friends at this job, some of whom are still there, and I’ll miss them terribly. For the longest time, I thought I could stick it out because I got to work with such awesome people, but in the end, it was a really big straw. And not a single person can blame me for doing what I have to do.

It’s not all bad, though: I start my new job on July 7th!

I have a crazy cool opportunity ahead of me, and I’m really excited about it. My confidence is a little shaky right now, but I know I can rock this shit like no other. Plus, I have three+ weeks in London between jobs which’ll go a long way in fixing my head space. Everything is coming up Milhouse – I’m looking forward to a new challenge (and also London because YAY LONDON!).

I’m sad right now, though. It’s hard not to remember how fucking amazing my job was, and think about all the cool people I’m leaving behind.

.. it was a really, really big straw.

delicious but sad

the grownup thing

I am totally okay with my decision, but I’m still going to whine about scheduling conflicts and the sensible but less fun things we do:

Astronautalis and his band of merry men (aka my three favourite musical boys in tight pants) are on tour and playing a show in Seattle next Tuesday. Being the fan girl that I am, I immediately booked time off work and arranged for a mini Mini road trip to see them play. I didn’t want to drive back to Seattle on Tuesday night for work the next day, so I thought to make An Event out of it: I booked a night in a Fancy Hotel, and made plans to have an excellent day and a half all by my lonesome (because no one else is hardcore enough to use vacation time to enable man crush swooning).

Then today happened: my favourite Marketing Manager asked if I was available next Wednesday to attend a conference with her on stuff that directly applies to what I do (neuroscience, rocket biosynthesis, that sort of thing). It’s a one-day conference only in Vancouver on the exact day I planned to be out of town to wander around Seattle in a delicious carefree daze. The company would send someone else, but I’d been specifically called out by the Uber Boss as someone they want there .. what’s a girl to do?

The only logical thing, really: I cancelled my hotel stay and unbooked the days off so I could attend the conference instead. I was worried about the hotel booking because it was a Groupon and the fine print specifically says NO RESCHEDULING NO TRANSFERRING NO ANYTHING AT ALL, but I was able to cancel the thing and get a refund. I’m sad about missing the Astronautalis show, but I have faith that they’ll play in an accessible area again soon and I’ll go to more shows (aka the opposite of what history has shown me to be true). I’m looking forward to the conference. It looks interesting, I get to spend a (paid) day off site hanging out with my favourite Marketing Manager and favourite Sam, and the brownie points earned for cancelling my plans for the sake of my job couldn’t hurt. It’s the Grown Up Thing to do. I am rocking this “adult” thing.

I still have my ticket to the show, though .. and I’ve done the drive down and back in the same day before. Perhaps being an adult doesn’t mean having less fun, it just means less sleep: I could still go to the show. Yes. This can happen. This WILL happen. I need a good dose of loud much more than I need a couple extra hours of sleep. Compromise! It keeps you fun!

wet cold canadian winter

keeping secrets

Sorry about the passworded post below – just protecting myself. Hit me up on the internet somewhere if you’d like the password; I will most likely give it to you. Blocking the world to keep out half a dozen seems silly, but better safe than sorry and other similar old world adages about spilt milk and salt and babies.

By way of apology for this annoying secrecy, here is a picture of a duck:

quack quack

quack quack

making TMI seem quaint and docile

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still angry and not planning on taking it for much longer. However, my unusually heightened emotional state of the past week may have had a little more to do with womanly hysteria than I was willing to admit: it seems I was full of the PMS. I never recognize the symptoms until I have visual confirmation, because I’ve basically forgotten how to period thanks to my superhuman delayed cycle. Instead of 5 days of fun every 4 weeks, I get one day every 18 months .. so I think I can be forgiven for not realizing when I’ve gone insane because of hormones instead of just regular insane because of stress.

To be fair, things are really lousy outside my uterus, too. The ongoing situation at work has given me stress cysts in awkward places, and one fucking ruptured today. There’s something wrong with my throat: it feels as though something’s stuck in my esophagus, and I’m constantly trying to force the nothing out which makes my gag reflex go into overdrive and then I panic a little because I can’t breathe. The stuck-in-throat feeling has been going on for about a week now, but over the last two days it’s been really problematic. If it keeps up for much longer, I’m going to have to go to the doctor. Trying to self-diagnose did no good at all, because the internet says I have several kinds of throat cancer and pregnancy, so I’m freaking out about that too. I need a haircut and a vacation. I’m worried/keyed up/excited/terrified about the future. I started biting my nails again. Work is .. complicated and disappointing. Those Prada Candy commercials are weird and dumb. My face hurts.

So there’s all that stuff, and I feel bad for complaining. Throw it all in a blender and shed a surprise uterine lining or two, and BAM: tears everywhere. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

If change is coming, I sure hope it gets here soon.

rage and capital letters

I like to say I got into the business of process improvement and tech writing so I can writes the rules (and know which ones to break), but the truth is far more alarming than any kind of need to thumb my nose at The Man: apparently, I’m a textbook Type A control freak.

Right now, I’m struggling with an overwhelming desire to CONTROL ALL THE THINGS. Stuff at work is a cluster fuck of New Coke proportions, and I want to roar and flip tables and TAKE OVER so I can fucking FIX IT ALREADY. It’s driving me crazy. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss structure. I miss rules and processes. I miss checklists and milestones and deliverables and deadlines and actually fucking MEETING those deadlines instead of floating along all willy nilly with my head stuffed up my ass. I am so much happier when everyone knows what to do and how to do it and we can all count on one another to do our jobs and do them well, and right now I am NOT HAPPY. I’m generally a happy person, and right now I am FULL OF RAGE AND CAPITAL LETTERS. ARGH!

I need to step away from the internet so I don’t go into further detail. I really want to. So badly. I’ve already sent many sternly worded emails outlining all the things that are going wrong that I can easily fix if you’d just let me oh I don’t know DO MY JOB. We’ll see if those help.

Next step: distributing yellow flags to the team to be raised every time someone interrupts you mid-sentence; red flags for being steamrolled.

So frustrated. So unhappy. This is not what I was expecting with my promotion.