two point two pictures

HELLO

I’M STILL ALIVE

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.

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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)
  • NO ICE CUBES ANYWHERE
  • 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
  • WHERE ARE THE ICE CUBES

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

functional!

functional!

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