Tag: work

gray

gray

I’m sitting here at the computer trying to figure out something to tell you all. I figure I ought to post in the middle of the day because it might get more comments, but that’ll be for another time. Tonight, it nears midnight, and I have a deadline.

The biggest thing I want to talk about, I’ve promised somebody I would wait until the right time, and the right time is not now. It will take patience, and some waiting. Waiting is.

Got my H1N1 flu shot today. One less worry. Also dropped a class. Also, one less worry.

Things have gotten a bit better since the implosion that was earlier this month, but I still get shaky every time I look at my precarious financial situation. I guess I ought to be happy I have a job, even if it’s only part-time and doesn’t pay overly well. But it’s hard to reconcile that with sitting down with budget numbers and wondering just where you’re going to come up with spare money for things like regular maintenance of the car and clothing and replacing the laptop and saving to move out. Add in the really stupid mistake, and yeah…it’s no wonder I end up in a minor panic when I look at my finances.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that I have enough of a job to mostly afford my bills and wonderful and outstanding parents, but … as the clock ticks down to the thirty-first rotation around the sun, I can’t help but think that it wasn’t supposed to be this way.

An Alexander day

An Alexander day

I swear, Mondays account for 53 and three-quarters percent of all my extensional crises. This was another bad Monday.

Anyway, to explain my topic, it comes from the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, in which the main character contemplates several times about moving to Australia. I’ve thought about it too, and so really shaky days are Alexander days. And today was just one of those days.

Part of it was triggered by getting money out of my bank account to pay for gas, and realizing I have ten dollars to get me through a week and a half after the gas was accounted for. That wasn’t happymaking at all. Of course, this is a common lament these days not just for me but for everybody. It means, at least for me, that once NaNoWriMo is over, I need to just start throwing resumes at anything that comes up that might even remotely have anything to do with what I do, even if it means relocating to a far away city. I’ve given up hope that the company I currently work for will offer me a full time job at all, and I’m just barely making it on what they pay me.

Of course, the long term cure for some of my big issues is to move out from my parents’ house, so I don’t have to justify half the stuff I do them. But that’s neither here nor there, and frankly, I’m just barely scraping by with the bills I have, and if I save anything, Social Security will crack down — they already have, which makes a tenuous situation that much worse. (It also makes it impossible for me to take on other part-time work to try and get a bit of spare change — health care. But I’ve been over that rant before.)

And then to top it off, Monday night is the night of my SQL class. Now, generally, computer classes don’t bug me, but this one for some reason does. And I think I figured it out. Not only do I shut down when faced with instructors I can’t stand, this guy’s teaching style and I don’t match well. He provides notes, but the notes aren’t helpful if you have trouble paying attention in lectures. And that’s how I learn — by seeing, and by doing. And well, really, we haven’t done much. So it puts me in a jam about studying for quizzes and tests. I think I’ve studied well enough and I get blown out of the water.

On today’s quiz, I guessed like heck and then spent the rest of the time doodling xkcd-esque stick figures all over my exam. When I handed it in, I offered a strange smile to the prof. Dunno what he’ll make of it.

Anyway, tomorrow’s gonna be a working day, so I’m trying to get some rest.

NaNo count holding steady at a bit over 18.5, but Monday and Tuesday != good writing days.

My amusement for today.

My amusement for today.

Yonder about three months ago, I got business cards from work. They gave my title as ‘Business Analyst’.

Today, we got an org chart. On this one I’m listed as a ‘Software Engineer.’

Yeah, I’m not even sure my company knows what I do. So I have decided that today, I am a ‘Business Software Analyst Engineer’. A co-worker points out that if I get my project management certification, then I could be a Business Software Analyst Engineer Manager.

Okay, I confess, I’m easily amused.

In other news, I’m going to start learning C#. If I’m going to be a software engineer, then I’d better start acting like it. ;) (And yeah, I’m going to fiddle some with Java too, but the company uses more C#, so it’s a better place for me to invest some time.)

More later.

spitting nails

spitting nails

Don’t mind me, I’m in spitting nails mode today over several dozen things all colliding at once.

Some of it is financial troubles, which I don’t feel like getting into right now. But here’s the exchange on Twitter that has pushed me over the edge. (Sorry, , you’re not the reason I’m spitting nails, but the convo with you caused somebody else to tweet things that really set me off.)

katster: I need to win the lottery. It’s the only way I can get myself out of the hell I’ve been residing in.
katster: I don’t know how else I’m going to be able to pay my bills and build up a modest reserve, let alone do fun things.
katster: Oh right, I forgot. I’m not allowed to do fun things because I’m poor and thus lazy.
underpope: Sounds like you’re tuning in to the Governator’s mindset there.
katster: it ain’t just the governator. it seems to be a common thought of Republicans in general. :P
underpope: Sadly, this is true.
katster: Yeah, and it’s eating me up more than usual today. I think I need to find a new job, but where is the next question.
SocialMedia_Mkt: stop eating, be productive, you need a job right: [link to how to monetize Twitter redacted]

Now, I happen to think that folks that think they can monetize twitter are pond scum and should be first against the wall when the revolution comes, but that’s beside that point. It’s the nature of that advice that just made me see red. On a day when I’m already feeling like crap, this was the last thing I needed.

So yeah, today’s epic fail award goes to assholes like the one above who doesn’t have hesitation to tell complete strangers to stop eating and become pond scum.

Other than that, I may have more to say later on the other issues as I’m not sure how to approach them. But right now, I’m just — yeah.

A bottle of pills [extended healthcare rant, part 2]

A bottle of pills [extended healthcare rant, part 2]

[Alright, this is a bit long, but do me the favor of reading it through, okay?]

There’s a bottle of pills sitting on my bookcase. Every night, I swallow one.

I asked once at the pharmacy how much it would cost me to fill the script. Their response was eighty dollars for a month’s supply. It could be worse. The last time I asked the same question, the particular script didn’t have a generic, and the answer was somewhere slightly north of two hundred dollars.

I suppose I’m a lucky duck in the sense that I’ve got some form of health insurance, as much as that health insurance is Medicaid (although that’s a frakking joke here in the State of California, let me tell you). And the reason I qualify for Medicaid? Well, because my income is low enough that I’m on disability. And why am I on disability? That’s what the bottle of pills is supposed to address.

You see, some of you know this, but a lot of you don’t. I’m bipolar. (Not to mention the other chronic medical conditions I have, but those complicate the situation, so let’s stay right here.) I’m lucky, if one can call it lucky to have a mental illness, that I’ve got the slightly less serious form, which doesn’t involve the complete detachment from the world that a full-blown manic state can cause.

Of course, the sudden chasms are all the much worse for it. I’m prone, especially when I’m not being good about taking my medications, of falling into a deep and horrible chasm from which there is no escape. The whole world goes dark and grey, like a fog so thick that I begin to think that I’m the only person in the world. I seriously contemplate ending it all, to stop being a worthless sack of meat that nobody particularly cares about. I can barely get out of bed, let alone do all the things the world requires of me. I start shying away from people, because if they knew, it might contaminate them and I couldn’t live with that. If I had to interact with the world, I’d put on a brave face, keep my head down, and try my best to act normal as much as every word is difficult and every step is agonizing and I’m doing my best not to break down and start crying or screaming. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Did I mention I fell into this hole in the last semester of both my undergraduate and graduate programs, and it was only sheer luck that saved my hide in both cases?

It’s an awful place to be, and something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. And it took us forever to find a pill that would keep me from falling into that dark place. The one I’m on now seems to be doing okay, although it doesn’t take away the intrusive thoughts that everybody’s looking at me and either rooting for me to fail or doesn’t care if I did. I deal with that the best that I can, and there are days that are better than the others.

Enough so that I’ve gotten a job. It’s only part-time. And in this country, being part-time (or being a contractor) means that the company doesn’t have to give you health benefits. Well, okay, that’s fine at the moment, my income is not high enough for me to move completely off SSI. So I still qualify for the little bit of help this country grudgingly gives to its poor.

And the amount of money I make is, quite frankly, unsustainable. The car payment doesn’t help, of course, but I needed a reliable car. And, you know, while my parents are great and awesome and wonderful people, I need to get out of here. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit that I’m nearly thirty-one and still living with my parents.

So I’m looking for a full-time job, which is difficult at the best of times, because I have to find a job that provides health care. Which means stringing together a couple part-time jobs or doing contract work is out of the question. Also, being at my job, if they raise the money I make an hour while keeping me part-time, at some point I’ll cross the income threshold for SSI.

And when that happens, that eighty dollar bottle of pills that’s my link to sanity, let alone the doctor to prescribe it, ends up being too much to afford. And then bang, I fall back into that hole that I’ve worked so goddamned hard to climb out of, get to the point where I can’t keep the job, and et voila, I end up back on SSI and I get to start over. That is, if I even qualify for it on the second fall.

So here I am, trapped. I’d like to do contract work. It’s more suited to my skill set and it means that I can keep my own hours, which is a good thing because I’m a night owl and run naturally on a noon to 3 AM clock. But I can’t do that, because I can’t afford to take a job that doesn’t come with benefits. Which leaves me caught nicely in a catch-22, where any attempt to make my situation better ends up, in all probability, making it worse. (Not to mention that this just feeds that little anxious voice in the back of my head: “See, they’re all rooting for you to fail!”)

Which makes me see red when I see the rhetoric that ‘all people on welfare are lazy.’ Are they lazy, or are they just trapped?

And this is just in relation to the bipolar. I’m not even bringing in the other medical conditions I’ve got, that’ll probably end up killing me. I know nobody makes it out alive, but, if you want the honest truth, most days I don’t think I’m going to make it to fifty.

…and this came out a hell of a lot rawer than I expected it to be, so be gentle.

do not stick in ear

do not stick in ear

So I’m at work, and I’m reading up on how to write a functional specification, which seems to be my next task. Now, I’ve never written one of these before, so the Google is my friend.

I stumbled across Joe Spolsky’s blog in my search for how to write one of these, and in reading the sample functional spec he provides, I found:

(Your results may vary. We are not responsible for delays in transmission or on your computer which could cause the actual time to be a bit later than the time displayed. This service is provided as-is and is merely for entertainment purposes, not for accurate time-keeping. Do not stick WhatTimeIsIt.com in your ear or use it to clean your ear.)

I spent several minutes in my cube just giggling madly at the thought of using a web interface to clean your ear. Of course, this is work, and there’s nobody to share with, so I am sharing with the Internets.

EDIT: Later, in the same document:

The exact wording of this email is still being debated hotly by the board of directors and will be provided sometime before shipping. [ Developers: for now I suggest using a nasty word. That will light a fire under Chucks’ seat. ]

So funny, and yet, so true.

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