Bleary-eyed and expected to make sense

Some days, the whole getting up really early and immediately working thing is hard.  It’s dark, it’s chilly, and I want to go back to bed.  It’s going to get darker and chillier (not today – that would be apocalyptic).  I need to start searching for a really good incentive.  Right now, I’ve been awake for 40 minutes, contacts in for 20 of those minutes, and I’m about to start a 90-minute conference call.  Maybe they won’t notice that I’m barely following along.

Messy

Work has been so nuts lately that it’s messing with my brain in every other aspect of my life. I haven’t shut down my work laptop in a week because I have too many open documents, emails, tabs, notes, anything you can think of, all unfinished.  I’m disorganized, and I can’t find the time during the work day to fix it.  I refuse on principle to take the time out of the rest of my day to do it because my work days have been getting too long already.  That may not be the best plan, though.

So I’m disorganized at work, and because I feel like I can’t think straight for 9 to 10 hours a day (if I’m lucky), I can’t shake it when I stop working.  I haven’t sorted through the mail in weeks (hope there’s nothing important in there), laundry is sporadic, basically only done when necessary, and I’m starting to worry about being ready for our trip next week.  That worry was inevitable, of course, but I need to get a grip.

I know – I’m going back to my lists.  That’ll work.

Losing daylight

It’s August, the sun is coming up later in the morning, and for inexplicable reasons (some misplaced dedication to work?), I’m getting up earlier during the week. And that means it’s dark.  I am up before the sun rises (it was still dark when I started this post), and I’m of two minds about it.  Maybe three.

First mind: I like being up (once I’m up), and being up this early means I have the entire day ahead of me.  When I get up after the sun is up, I feel like I’ve lost precious hours.  Not work hours – they’re not precious, although I do feel massively behind if I don’t start work early.  I mostly feel like I’ve lost hours when I sleep in on weekends.

Second mind: *whining* It’s daa-aark out there, and I should still be sleeeeeping.

Third mind…no, just two.  Two is enough.

Oh, he lives here too?

I barely saw John today.  I got up at 5am this morning so I could be awake for a conversation with my boss at 5:30 (8:30 for him – it was the only time we were both free today), and then work was non-stop meetings all day, so even though John was just down the hall, we barely exchanged words.  I forgot to eat lunch, and John left for the gym before I was done working.  He’s flying tonight with a pilot friend, so he needed to get moving.  I quit at 3:30 (my time), and when I headed to the gym, I met him at the bottom of our block just coming back.  We pulled our bikes over and caught up for a few minutes.  Honestly, it was like running into someone you don’t see every day.  “Hey!  How was the gym?  Oh yeah, tell me that thing you were going to tell me about work.”  He still had a schedule to keep, and I was still heading to the gym, so we headed in our separate directions.  I got back from the gym minutes before he headed off to the airport, and I guess I’ll see him when he gets home later.

Weird day.

I don’t want to fight, but I’m not going to give in

Guys, I can’t deal with work.  I feel like all I’ve done for the last two weeks is work and sleep (and complain about work).  That’s not entirely true (I didn’t work last weekend), but it’s mostly true, and I am worn out.  AND I’m still working.  I’ve spent the last two hours arguing with someone who wants to skip a safeguard before a software update, and I’m not going to let him.  We’re arguing over email which makes it even more frustrating.  He is clearly very angry with me now and has just petulantly thrown in the towel (I think).

I’m so very very tired of this.  These last two weeks have been awful, and that was without any fighting.  This, arguing with someone over something so stupid and yet so important, at the very end of a long day, is not what I need.

People suck.  Not you.  Everyone else.

Yeah, yeah, I know

Remember when I said work would be better this week?  Because it was so bad last week that this week just had to be better?  I was wrong.  Still bad, still too many hours at it.  Things just keep going wrong, and it’s my job to keep trying to fix them.  It’s exhausting and stressful, and I don’t want to do it anymore, but it’s taking up more and more of my day (my night, too – I’ll be testing an upgrade after 10pm tonight).

I’m going to read.  I don’t want to think about it anymore.

Working for the weekend is not how I want to live

Work this week officially sucked.  Every day, all day.  It’ll be better next week.  I’ll believe that if I keep repeating it to myself.  It doesn’t help that it got hot again (mid to upper 90s).  Yeah, yeah, the rest of the country has had it worse than us, I know, but we don’t have air conditioning!  We’re going to an outdoor concert tonight (Weird Al!  Should be fun.), and our only criteria for dinner before the show is that the place has to have A/C.

Oh, and John has been sick all week.  Nonstop fun in our house!

Why am I not already asleep?

I can feel my brain leaking out through my ears.  I am SO TIRED.  Yesterday, I worked 9 hours.  Then, because we were doing a software upgrade on a production environment, I got back online in the evening to test the upgrade.  It didn’t go well.  Five hours later (nearly 1am my time, nearly 4am eastern), we gave up for the night and went to bed.  I got up five hours after that and got back to work, and I got at least two more hours of sleep than the two guys who were working late with me.  I don’t know how they made it through the work day.  To make matters worse, we still haven’t fixed the issue.

Today was not fun.  Tomorrow is not likely to be, either.  This week is not a great work week.

I’m going to bed.

I felt pretty good, but then…

My weekend good mood disappeared in a clap of thunder at about 9am this morning.  I went from pretty patient with work stuff (after my nice relaxing long weekend) to ZERO TOLERANCE FOR IDIOTS, INCOMPETENCE, AND IGNORANCE, with pretty broad definitions for all three.  It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t fun.

My work day is over.  I’m going to sit outside and read, and then I’m going to a zumba class, then a yoga class.

Friday afternoons are the greatest, especially when it’s actually Thursday

Beware, all who cross my path: my weekend has begun.  Nothing will get in the way of ultimate relaxation – NOTHING!  Except for a planned work interruption Sunday morning.  Damn.  NOTHING ELSE!

Nothing.  Shhh.

Useful! And productive!

I’VE GOT BLISTERS ON ME FING…palms.  The tops of my palms, right under the fingers.  Does that part of your hand have a name?  Doesn’t have the same ring to it, regardless.  I tried the rowing machine today.  Only 15 minutes, but I’ve got four blisters that hurt like hell.  I won’t be doing that again.

Today was a Thursday that felt like a Friday.  Disappointing to find it wasn’t, but at least tomorrow really is Friday and we have a three-day weekend!  Are we doing anything for the 4th of July?  Who knows?  It’s enough not to have to go to work.

Speaking of work, I actually did work that felt useful today.  Most days are all meetings and crisis management, and I never feel like I’m getting anywhere (which is why it’s so stressful).  Today, though, EVERYTHING was down.  All the websites we host, all of our test websites, our ticket tracking system, our phone system, our network – EVERYTHING – was down.  Everyone in the office was sent home because the office didn’t even have internet.  It came back up around 1pm, and everyone came back to work (and I went back to putting out fires), but in the hours between 10 and 1 (eastern) today, I researched and started to create a new writing test we’re going to use on job applicants.  I’m completely over the TERRIBLE grammar three-fifths of my team displays, and I won’t hire anyone else with bad writing skills slide because we weren’t on the lookout for it during the interview.  Everything my team does, all of our communication with our customers, is written.  It HAS to be good.

So anyway, it felt great to actually work on something that can be completed and put to use.  We’ll start with applicants for my team, but I think (because I think highly of myself) that HR will adopt it for the company hiring process.

Let the sun shine

It’s 7:15am*, I’ve been awake for an hour (I slept in today!), working for 45 minutes, and it’s bearable because the view out my window is all green trees against blue sky.

I woke up just before 4am, to a train I might not have heard if I weren’t waking up from a disconcertingly realistic dream about having to sing the national anthem by myself, with a sore throat, as part of a class.  (Even in my dream, I didn’t start it in a low enough key.  The national anthem is hard.)  I went last, and when I was done, the classroom was empty.  I decided not to be insulted.  When I checked other classrooms for people, doors were slammed in my face because the people inside were all Navy people doing highly classified work.

I’m pretty sure the Navy part is what jolted me awake.  If the Navy shows up, I’m in for anxiety dreams.  Usually, though, I find myself back in the Navy after years away, with no idea what I’m supposed to do or how to do it.  Glad I woke up before it got rolling.

Maybe I should have been anxious about singing “The Star Spangled Banner” by myself.

*Well, it was 7:15.  Now it’s 9:20, work has happened, a meeting was scheduled, and I don’t get to have lunch with Christina.  BOO WORK.  We were going to have Indian.  Or Thai.  Something spicy, anyway.

Chewbacca Mom cheers me up

Today was a long day.  Work was not great, after not enough sleep last night, and then I got rained on during my bike ride. So I watched this video again, and it made me happy.  This woman is fantastic.  You’ve probably already seen it, but you should watch it again.

Wrong people are wrong

Whoever told me that Oregonions Oregonians no, i’m keeping Oregonions never use umbrellas didn’t know what he was talking about.  I was out in the rain today (mostly not on purpose), and I saw four people using umbrellas to keep dry.  The other twenty people were probably just trying to impress somebody.  Or they took the same chance I did and bet wrong.  It was a little bit invigorating to speed along the empty trail with rain pouring down and my favorite songs playing.  I got plenty dirty (bikes kick up a lot of mud in the rain), but I’d do it again.

Then I came home, cleaned up, made scrambled eggs (ALMOST as good as Mel’s), and watched TV.  It was an okay Sunday.  I barely spent any time dreading work tomorrow.  That’s an improvement.

Give me a head with hair

Outside looks like a pretty place today.  Too bad I haven’t seen any of it yet.  The work day didn’t work out that way, unfortunately.  I’ll get out after five for a little bit, though, and the sun will still be shining.  I have a haircut scheduled!  Today is just a trim, a consultation, a get-to-know-the-new-hair-stylist kind of appointment.  If all goes well….perhaps actually cutting of length will occur.  I measured my hair today – I could lose 12 inches of hair and still have it fall near or just under my chin.  This is a possibility.  Just not for today’s appointment.  Baby steps.

It’s been TWO YEARS since I last cut my hair.  On the one hand, ridiculous.  On the other hand, meh.  Who cares?  It’s hair, and when it’s long anyway…  Maybe I shouldn’t say that to my new hair stylist.

Back into the swing of work

John had to go back to work Wednesday, so I decided to start slowly and try to catch up on email before anyone really expected me to do any real work.  Once Outlook stopped refreshing, I had over 3200 emails.  Most of them (around 2300) were emails from our ticket system.  Usually, I read them all, but that’s day by day, as they come in, and even then it’s not always manageable.  I decided to ignore ALL 2300 of them and start fresh on Thursday, so I deleted them all.  That left about 900 emails from real people, so I spent about 7 hours today going through those and trying to get a sense of what’s been happening.  What’s been happening?  Both a lot and not that much.  It’s probably the same for any job when you disappear for a week and a half.  The biggest news is that I have a new boss (I totally dreamed that Tuesday night, too.  Weird, right?).  My old boss left abruptly 3 (maybe 4?) weeks ago, and my new boss started this Monday.  I didn’t expect them to hire someone so quickly (I don’t think anyone did), but hopefully it’s a good thing.

No one asked too much of me on Wednesday, so it wasn’t too stressful except on my butt.  We stayed in the house all day (except for lunch), and I can say from experience now that working in a house with no furniture sucks A LOT.  Where is our furniture?  I wish the moving van had a tracking number like packages do.

Grand Central Station

There are too many ways for people to get in touch with me, and too often, all are in use at the same time.  Work people can (and do) reach me via my work email address, my office phone, my work cell, my personal cell, Skype for business, Google Chat/Hangouts, and text (on both cell phones).  It’s part of my job to be available (during the work day – I do set boundaries, usually), so I don’t really mind, but sometimes it’s a bit much.

And it can be a bit much on its own, but then I add in non-work stuff that happens during the day (texts, chats, emails, calls), and it gets crazy.

Thursday, for instance, I went for a run at lunch (to clear my head because some customers at work that morning….well, I needed to clear my head), and while I was stretching, after having been back in the apartment for all of three minutes, my work cell rang.  Sure, I could have ignored it, but I saw who it was and picked up because her stuff is usually important.  It was, I answered her question, and went back to stretching.  Thirty seconds later (still stretching), my personal cell rang with a call from our landlady.  She’s got utility people in the basement and backyard, and am I home?  Oh, good, can I unlock the back door so they can get to the electrical panel?  Sure I can.

Shortly after that, I sat back down at my desk to find two chat windows flashing at me and lots of emails waiting.  I did just clear my head, right?

Big sigh of relief

Our moving documents are signed (we officially have movers coming to pack up and move our stuff), with a date and everything AND our lease is signed.  We officially have a place to live!

[Break for happy dance.]

AND it’s a beautiful day AND it was 55 degrees at lunchtime AND I ran outside for the first time in a couple weeks WITHOUT A JACKET and life is good.

BIG exception: I logged in to TurboTax to continue the taxes I started a month ago, and it got all crazy.  And what I mean by “all crazy” is really “why on earth does TurboTax think we owe almost $9000 in federal taxes and over $12,000 in MD taxes?!?”

I logged out of TurboTax and looked for local personal tax accountants.  Found one.  We’re meeting her on Friday.

Even with that hanging over us, we’re still getting things done and that is good.  I’m certain the tax thing will get figured out.  THAT is not what I’m going to worry about.

I’m home!!!

My time in Virginia this week did not go like I thought it would.  The work days were crazy, but I probably should have assumed they would be.  It’s the evenings, the hotel stay, that were so different from my expectations.  My vision of those evenings included lots of quiet time to myself, time to read, go to bed early, sleep well – miss John, certainly, but enjoy my alone time anyway.  That is decidedly NOT how those two nights went.  I did it to myself, of course.

Tuesday night, I went straight from work to happy hour with some coworkers (as I mentioned the other day, in a post fueled by wine and cookies), and I stayed out much later than I had planned.  It’s fine – I was having a good time – but it was 9:30 when I got in, after 10:30 before I got out of the bathtub, and around 11 when I went to bed, with an alarm set for 5:30 so I could get up and exercise.  I read a little (tub time!), but not much, and I slept terribly.  Not a relaxing night.

Wednesday, I worked late and went directly to a restaurant to have dinner with Susan (from boxing) and Molly.  Back in the hotel by 9:30 again, but this time with Molly, who was staying with me so she could avoid the commute from DC the next morning (and, presumably, to hang out with me).  We stayed up until midnight (slumber party!) and woke up at 6am.  She got up to exercise.  I had another terrible night’s sleep (nightmares about packing suitcases in a hotel room with a wasp, a puppy, and about a dozen people hanging around), so I stayed in bed until about 6:45.

So now I’m home, and we have a weekend without plans.  I think.  I hope.  I would like to read.

Edible

My team sent me an Edible Arrangements bouquet for my birthday!  IMG_20160216_205506

Fresh fruit, some it chocolate-covered – SO good.  And somehow, they managed to time the delivery with our weekly conference call.  Probably dumb luck, but it was a very nice surprise.  They’re very sweet.  I may not like my job, but I sure do like my team.