Tag Archives: work

My job is the center of my world

And I don’t like it.

Sorry for the hiatus.  I’ve been overworked, and beyond stressed, so much so that it has been a chore to even check my page.  Since August, I’ve applied to grad school, dropped the one course I was taking (and costing me $7K in the process) and attempted to get funding in order for said grad school.  I almost at the deadline for applying to funding, and I feel like it’s all about to fall apart.  The one school I wanted to get into rejected me, and I’m kinda stuck until I hear from the other department at the same school.  Since my work is affiliated with the school, my thesis is sort of tied to that school and it associations with my coworkers.  If I don’t get in, then my research plans fall apart, and I may have to quit in shame.  I feel like it’s totally my fault, like I didn’t try hard enough or want it enough.  I didn’t talk to the right people, at the right time.  I did try, but some didn’t respond, and others didn’t see eye to eye.  I’m not sure how much more I could do without becoming a pushy obnoxious bitch. I get panic attacks when I try to email anyone now.

So the Boy got promoted.  Technically he’s sort of my boss now, but he manages a different subset of people and projects, so I haven’t had to interact with him in any significant way at work.  He’s even been kind enough to not be at my performance or salary review.  We both agreed, before he got promoted, that it would be awkward.  Not that our relationship isn’t awkward anyway.

Not much has changed relationship wise, except we no longer go to lunch.  I had recently learned that some of our coworkers have tried to “figure us out” a few years ago.  We were visibly friends at work, but we don’t even show affection in private, so I’m not sure where they got the idea.  I think they’re just bored and like rumors.  Either way, we don’t even acknowledge each other anymore at work.  Lunch together is out of the question.  What is really upsetting me is we haven’t “gone out”, either to dinner, or just be in public together since he got promoted.  Admittedly, we didn’t do that alot before, but it’s been 6 months and we haven’t even gone out for dinner, including my birthday.  I don’t know if its subconsciously trying to avoid running into anyone, or our relationship is just that boring.

Someday I’d like a boyfriend I can admit to having.

On other relationship news, I saw J once since the death of her brother last summer.  It was at a christmas party with too many people and I shutdown pretty fast.  I’m realizing that I have not much in common with her, and even less so with her friends.  I haven’t seen her sister in who knows how long.  It’s been so long that she’s stopped asking me to hang out.  Too many broken promises on my end.  Still, if I had really wanted to be with her, I would have found a way.  Instead I found excuses.

The only people I can “relax” or act normally around are a small subset of coworkers.  These people have graduated to friends, where I can see them outside of work.  The problem I’m having is if I ever leave for a new job, I don’t know if the friendships will stay.

Hence the title of this post.  Most of my day is at work. My only “friends” are at work.  Hell, even my “boyfriend” is from work.  Sometimes all we talk about is work.  I don’t know if those are real relationships or not.  It’s all I have and it scares me.  My free time is spent thinking about work, and worrying about what I haven’t done, or who I upset.  This is why the grad school situation terrifies me.  If I go, it will be even more time devoted to work (since they are sponsoring, and will benefit from my degree)

Sometimes I just want everything to collapse, so I can start over, and maybe be a better version of me.

Walking the Tightrope

I can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post.  February just disappeared on me.  I guess that’s a good thing.  I’ve been busy.  My initial plans to start taking night courses at the local college fell through due to gross incompetence.  On the plus side, I applied to and was accepted to take one class at a very prestigious university.  It’s incredibly time consuming and starting to affect my job.  Mostly because the class is int he middle of the day and I have to leave work before lunch, drive to the school and then drive home to work for the rest of the night.  I really don’t get much work done as I am just exhausted from all the people interactions and context switching. I’m living in 3 different worlds now (home, work, school), and the stress is finally getting to me.  The first week of this schedule was horrible, and I nearly quit, but thinking about all the people who helped me get in was enough to shame myself into continuing, even if I flunked.  After a while, I got used to it, and was excited by it.  But now I’m just constantly exhausted, and my grades are suffering, which is sending down the spiral of self hate.  I’m hanging on for now, but the tightrope is getting thinner and thinner and any light breeze (read: failure), will send me tumbling town.

Not only am I stressed about just one class, but I feel as though I’m wasting an opportunity.  People would kill to be in a class taught by these professors, and I have no idea how to interact with them.  I would love to someday be one of their grad students, and this would be the perfect forum to introduce myself.  I just can’t find a reason to do it.  I feel like I’d be wasting their time, or I would just show them how stupid I am, and thus ruining my chances of working with them.

Plus I still need someone to write a recommendation for me for grad school next year.  The plan was spend a year with the same professor at the local college, and get a semi-decent recommendation.  Now I’m in a class of 250 overly ambitious people and I don’t know how to stand out.

So far, all I’ve learned this semester is ambition = stress.

I waver between giving everything I have or just saying “fuck it” and go hide in a hole.  I hate screwing up.

The really sad thing is I like it at this fancy school, so I’m going to be even more heartbroken when I don’t get in for full time.

I’m not even sure if I have what it takes to survive there.  A year ago, I would have said no, but after being here, I feel like I belong.  I may just be overestimating my abilities.

I’m failing at work, as I don’t understand the assignments anymore.  It’s just stuff I don’t want to do.  I’m a code monkey for a lower ranked co worker and it makes me feel like shit.  I’m hanging on for grad school, but if that falls apart, I’m going elsewhere.  8 years in the same (and only) place, is just too long.

And the tightrope gets thinner…

Procrastination!

Turns out I’m really good at it, as is evidence of this post.  For the past week I’ve been avoiding working on something I just hate to do.  Thursday I’m giving a talk to 20-100 people at work, and every time I think about it, I get nauseous.  The last talk I gave was 4 years ago, and thankfully I feel better about giving a talk now, than last time.  I lost 4 pounds from the stress last time.

This time, I absolutely know my subject, since I’ve been working on it for 2 years, but the thought of standing in front of everyone and trying to tell a coherent story for 25 minutes is terrifying.  It’s one of those talks that you do for visibility, and if I want to strengthen my career, I need to give them more regularly than every 4 years.  Most of the people there will daze off and not pay attention, as long as I’m consistent.  If I pause or draw attention to myself instead of the content, then I’m in trouble.  That’s when my anxiety kicks in and it’s a downward spiral.  I remember that kicking in last time on the last 4 slides, and I rushed through them.  I’m really good at talking fast, so much so that I can be done in 10 minutes (that’s even worse than going on for too long!).  Plus my graphics are boring and pointless.  This audience is used to graphs and charts and detailed analysis.  I have none of that.  It feels so fluffy compared to everyone else’s.

The plan for tonight is to get dressed, find some white noise/classical music and look at my slides.  I started putting this together a year ago, but I never have any idea what to actually say during the presentation.  I wish I could just distribute a paper on it.  I’m fine with people scrutinizing my work, but not in person.  I need time to think to respond.

I know practice will help, but I still know it won’t help enough.  No one has asked me to give a talk since the one 4 years ago.  I semi volunteered for this because I need the exposure to get what I want.

This is something I should be competent at.  Enough to be forgotten when it’s over.  Not bad enough people will remember how much I suck and awfulness of my voice and delivery.

I’m just fighting myself at this point and it’s obnoxious.  I always get in my own way.

I suck at my job

Although, it would help to know what my job really is.  I call myself a software engineer, which is sort of vague as it is.  I write code.  Application level code.  At least, that’s what I’m best at (best being a relative term.  Other people are better at me than this, but compared to everything else I’ve tried, this is the one thing I’m competent at).

Today proved my skill set is not meant for the job I do.  Since my boss left, I’m the highest ranked person (of two people) for a system.  The details of the system are technical and not software based.  I can’t explain why things work the way they do.  I can tell you about the software to turn stuff on and off, but that’s it.  People are trying to use this system and integrate it and try to assess tradeoff, but I feel so useless sitting in the meeting.  It “my” project, but I know nothing about it.  A technician knows more about the details than I do.  I feel so useless, and I’m supposed to be in charge.

And that’s just one example.  Everything my group produces is nothing I can take true understanding of.  Software is a support tool.  I was ok with that when I started working (yay job!), but now that I’m being ranked against my peers who can contribute in much more meaningful ways, I’m afraid I don’t have a future. Or if I do truly want a future there, it won’t be in work that I care about or really understand.

Problem is, I’m too afraid to leave.  What if I get a a job at a software centric place and find out I’m just not that good?  Then what?  Am I stuck with no career goals or opportunities?  I’m timid as it is and any serious criticism would probably break me.  At least here, I’m good at what I can do, but what I do isn’t important.

I hate fear.  I wish I didn’t care.

I am not adult enough for this

I just had to explain to a married man that I would not have an affair with him. WTF?  No where was I prepared for this type of conversation.  My body is still in shock and upset enough that I still want to throw up.  I understand affairs happen and people cheat for a variety of reasons, but not with and I did not expect someone to adamantly ask for it.

Background: He’s been working on my team for the past year.  He’s one of 3 guys on a 10 person team, which is rare for this industry.  I had the impression that he may have liked me a while ago, but I thought I was just being arrogant.  He’s very outgoing and likes to be around people, so I didn’t think it was that odd that he wanted to say hi, and emailed and talk about mutual interest stuff (scifi/video games).  I know he always eats with someone, and has gone out to lunch/coffee with various members of the team.  Everything seemed above board, except I had this nagging feeling that he was emailing/txting me way more than the others.

Turned out I was right.  He seemed like a really nice guy, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around this person wanting to  cheat on his wife and small child.  He was given his notice (along with a lot of others due to budget cuts), and instead of burying his emotions and moving on from the very inappropriate crush he has on me, he started emailing more and it was clear he was thinking about me way too much.  Come Monday, he comes by to talk to me about his crush and it becomes drama heavy very quickly.  I can’t remember all that he said, but even though I like talking to him, in a very non-sexual and scifi nerd way, his lack of shame and his selfishness was mind boggling.  I’ve never met anyone like it.  Everyone is entitled to their emotions, but he grossly overshared.

I tried to play marriage counselor as best I could, because I don’t believe in cheating, but I’m not sure how much sunk in.  He came back today to really ask me if I was interested and I made it perfectly clear the answer was No.  Even if he were single I wouldn’t go out with him.  He said he did alot of think about his marriage vs being with me, and that a relationship between us would be a short thing he would enjoy.  Ew.  I may be naive, but I’m not a fan of pre determined flings.  But then again, I’m looking for a long term thing.

This conversation should not have happened.  I think he’s either a psychopath or just incredibly selfish.  He even told me he cheated on his wife while they were dating, told her about those incidents because he was getting married, but wouldn’t tell her about this affair.  So creepy.

And I know I’m just being used.  He barely knows me.  His life is just in a sucky place right know and he’s using me as an escape fantasy.  Although the attention (before this conversation) was flattering, and I had been attention starved from the Boy lately, it still upsets me.  I know I”m not at fault, because I have been cold to him, and even after telling him flat out NO, he still tries to flirt.  I’m glad he’s leaving.  If he wants to be friends and have a scifi person to talk to, cool.  Otherwise, leave me alone.

I’m too young for this shit.

To Know One’s Self

I am a horrible judge of my own abilities.  I’ve been wanting to write this posts for days, but couldn’t focus long enough to sit in front of the screen.  I’ve been going in circles, trying to figure out what I’m going to do in September.  I’ve been obsessing over my grad school plans again.  I somehow got it in my head that I could go to a top tier school.  I have no idea where that came from.  I never applied there for undergrad because I didn’t think I was anywhere near the level I needed to be for it.  On paper, I looked perfect.  Top of my class, 2 years of junior college down before I even graduated high school.  School awards every year.  But somehow I felt like it didn’t mean anything.  I knew I was just a big fish in a small town. That I could never live up to the standards that the top engineering schools demanded. Again I think it stems from my absolute fear of failure.

So I went to a good Tier 2 school.  One that my mom went to, so I guess I figured if she could do it, I could.  I was offered a full scholarship at the state school but turned it down.  I knew the name brand of the tier 2 school would mean more, and maybe it has.  I doubt I would have the job I do now without it. Problem was, I don’t think I fit in there the way I was supposed to.  I cried everyday for 2 years, think I made a horrible mistake refusing the state school’s offer.  I was alone, commuting 2 hours eveyday to school and home.  I never formed the relationships or developed the social skills I needed to survive in life.  I was probably a much better fit for the Ivy leagues, where I could have lost myself in schoolwork.

I always felt lost at the tier 2 school.  I was lucky to have an adviser who saw some potential in me.  The problem was I never saw it in myself.  I was constantly struggling, against schoolwork, against research, never fully understanding what I was doing.  I was just trying to scrape by and be done with it.  I wish I had the ambition I do now.  I won’t feel like I wasted my time there.  That I could have had more focus and worked harder and kept in touch with those that could help me now.

So with that, I’m still want to go back to grad school.  I must be crazy.  I have the perfect plan to go to the state school that I turned down.  I’ll start a certificate program in the area I want in the fall.  I’ll meet the people I could do research with.  I’ll get a recommendation from the professor so I’ll almost be guaranteed a place there when I apply.  Credit wise, I can be done in a few years, with the certificate courses counting as the bulk of the coursework.  I can get my work to pay for it, since I’ll have a plan and a timeline and contacts at the school.  And I’m fairly confidant if I work as hard as I did before, I would do well there.  It’s perfect.

That was the plan, but then my stupid brain kicks in.  My employer is associated with the Ivy league school, so alot of employees have gone there for classes.  I’ve talked to my supervisor and the Boy about going back to school.  Both think I should go to the Ivy league. This is where my problem of self assessment comes in.  I don’t know if I am even capable of doing the work.  To the outside world, I look like an intelligent person.  That going to this school is just a natural course of action.  But I don’t think these people even know me now, although they know my history and work the best.  If anyone could judge my abilities right now it’s them.  They think I’d be selling myself short by going to the state school.

I took the GRE last week and did OK.  OK enough to actually consider applying to the Ivy.  Again, on paper I look good enough that I actually have a chance at being accepted.  Then again, I may be delusional and just spin the facts to suit the outcome I want.

Now that I’m considering other schools, my plan has been blown apart.  I’ve been working on this for a year and now I feel completely lost.  I know to help my chances to get accepted, I’d have to take classes before applying. That way at least I’ll have something to count towards my degree and hopefully do well enough to get someone to write a recommendation for when I do apply.  But then I don’t know if work will pay for it.  I have no planned coursework, no potential advisor, and an even smaller chance of being accepted. (From a historical perspective, people have gone back to school with their previous advisors, and thesis plans well in place when asking for funding.  I won’t have that).

So I’m stuck.  Do I take a chance and try to take classes at the Ivy or do I stick with the original plan and just start with the state school in the fall?  admittedly, I’m in a much better position mentally than when I was in undergrad (and even when I started this blog 2 years ago).  Self confidence is tall a major issue and I can’t see my abilities objectively enough to figure out if I’m even capable of the work.  There are hundreds of other people trying to do the same thing I am, and I don’t know if I’m better than them, or deserve it more than them.  So until I hit some big revelation, I’m just going to spin my wheels.  At least, until the application deadline rolls around.

I am a broken person

I don’t understand how I’ve functioned “successfully” all my life.  All the crazy is slipping out now.  I dont’ think I could have behaved any more insane or offensive today.  And not the crazy is putting my job at risk.  I hate myself right now.  I just want out.  I want to forget everything and run, but I know that will just make things worse.  I wish I wasn’t so obsessive.  Most of this wouldn’t have happened.  I spent the day agonizing over stupid concert tickets.  wtf is wrong with me?  It shouldn’t matter!  who cares where I sit.  I’m such a fucking lunatic.  And I got sarcastic with a superior.  It just slipped out and I didn’t mean anything by it.  I forgot who I was taking to :-(.  And I was so verbally abusive to the Boy yesterday.  I was just trying to tease him and I went way to far.  I’d be surprised if he ever talks to me again.  I don’t know how to fix this.

I need to reset my personality. I need to remmebr basic social interactions and not be influence by the things and people around me.  My personality is too tied to those I’m interacting with.  I’ve been spending too much time with cynical people and it’s rubbed off far too muc.  So here are my new rules for life.  I just hope I can follow them:

  1. Calm the fuck down.  seriously.
  2. work == WORK! not other life things.
  3. Be quiet
  4. Be nice
  5. Be positive
  6. Do what is best for you and not what you think others want. You cannot make everyone happy.
  7. Stop trying to be funny.  It’s just comes off as bitchy and obnoxious.
  8. You don’t deserve anything.

I’d like this tattooed on my arm so I can remember it.  I don’t want to tape it to my desk, because anyone can see it.  But I need to remember how to behave appropriately.