Frustration and waiting

I stopped myself from voluntarily going to the office today.  To make sure that everything was okay. To make sure other people did their job.

I slept a lot all weekend.  I tend to escape, to run and hide into the sacred space of sleep.

Hiding from work, the news, life.

I’ve run before.  Run away from home. And now I live here, wondering if I’ll make it out alive.

And now I live here, wondering if I’ll make it out alive. Wondering if fate will allow it.

I live here, in the heat and greenhouse feel of the rain sweeping down to the river and the subtropical air full of pollen and weight.  I wonder if I should go somewhere cooler, warmer.  I wonder how I will if I do, the costs mounting up in my all-too-logical-head, mentally converging to add estimates.

I think of the times when moving was dangling by a thread before…  men who asked me to move for my own good, me recoiling at their lack of courage.

I think of the luxury some have, roaming from place to place, funded by wealthier backgrounds, until they determine where they really want to settle down.

I think of the yard work today, how the air felt like a sauna and left me breathless from potting plants and taming those outlandish rose vines.

They don’t bloom.  They grow endlessly.

I think of the dream I had last night about snakes in my yard, the enormous- and real- black widow in the flower pot today.  Biggest one I have seen.

I look for that magic job that doesn’t exist that will pay me enough so that I can justify leaving or save up to do so.  I think about the mortgage, the cats, the yard. The fucking impossible yard.  I see myself running against the wall.

I think about doing less.  The feeling I do too much.

I remember that we were once migratory creatures, too.

I think of things to do.  I don’t do them. Holding myself back.  For what? For what?  I ask myself again and again.  What would it hurt to try…?

I look at a bill, mysteriously increased by 10 dollars… they changed my plan without telling me.  Knowing it will require a 2-hour conversation to fix, a conversation that must be during business hours between 9 and 5 Monday through Friday when I am working.  We value our customers, they say.

I hang here in limbo. Waiting for something crucial to happen.  Something definite.  Something absolute.

I hide my doubts.  I feel my way through it.  Stare at this diploma, sitting on my mantel.  I think about becoming a teacher just so I can have summers off. I have no illusions about impressing wisdom upon young minds.

I think about becoming a teacher just so I can have summers off. I have no illusions about impressing wisdom upon young minds.

I think about how tired I still feel.  3 days of almost nothing but rest and I still feel exhausted.  Beat up.  Worn out. Physically drained from a desk job where I have allowed myself to become too reliable, too much of a fixture.

I visit job websites and company websites and look again.

I think of things I could do on the side and still don’t do them.  I don’t know where I’d find the effort.  I’m running out of effort to give.  But I keep showing up and doing what is bid of me and more because I can’t stand the half-measures others throw out there and shrug.

I think about starting all over again.  What would it do for my retirement?  I’m not 22 anymore. Think about my vacation time that I take in droplets, unable to trust others to do the job?

Think about my vacation time that I take in droplets, unable to trust others to do the job.

I give up, buy a plant, a mascara, a nail polish, a t-shirt. A toy for the cats.  Just to get out of the house and pretend involvement in the world around me.   A play that I act out for five or ten bucks.  I feel no pull toward the club, the bar, the other bar, the cool new restaurant.  I go to places the old folks go, past their prime and coolness, refusing to wait in line for a table, forever for a beer.

I hate the patterns I see. The same kinds of people, different skin, hair.  Like a movie trope repeated over and over.  I wonder if any of them are any more complex.

I look at the news and fill with rage, despair, or just disappointment that things are going about as I expected.

I might comment on an article.  I might not.  I might get trolled by someone even more bored than I am.  I might not.  If I cared, it might matter what they said.  The names, the implied superiority, and assumed yelling.

I read some article on organizing my house, avoiding these foods, bad signs you should look for in your job/relationship/friendships/family.  Skim them as if they held meaning or advice for real humans here on Earth.

I wait on the fall.  The crisp air of change.  Hoping it will bring with it something new.  Hoping for a shift.  Hoping the shift will find me, when it happens.


Disasters of the Acronym Kind

Companies have a glut of internal reporting measures.  They overlap and report on information that already exists.  Why?  What is the point?   Why another quarterly report that is different from the other quarterly report that asks for the same information?   Why create endless rounds of repeated data, especially if you are not enforcing a higher internal standard than an outside certifying (or policing) organization would (especially if the area in question got certified last week)?

The economist inside me bristles at the time and money lost to these pursuits.  The productivity costs to an organization, including the time that could be spent innovating new approaches, processes and even products, are wasted.  Why? Because Sue in Operations decided we need a new report to determine the greenness of the lime Jello in the cafeteria, fully ignoring that Jello executives came in last week and gave the cafeteria a trophy.

Is Sue just bored?  Is she just desperate to be a little queen of Jello information? Is this are even something that falls under her for review?  Why is Sue under the impression that she should also be entitled to the color of the underwear of the individuals boiling the water for the Jello?  Can’t she just take the world of the person in charge of that, that it is being handled appropriately and that THEY have the data and are happy to share it, no need for the Jello makers to create a whole new 150 pg report on proper underwear for Jello cooks of exactly the correct shade green?  And then yet another one next week on the orange or cherry?

But the problem is, Sue thought it was a GREAT idea.  She probably created a cute acronym.  And because she thought it was a great idea and has some (not a whole lot, but some) leverage, the WHOLE place is doing what this semi-important operations manager has deemed to be essential.  Because she just wants to know about already-certified Jello greenness.   Three months from now she will ask the same again, even though the data never changes.  She will ask the same measurement of people who bring the pre-made Jello from the supermarket.

She will probably also create a quiz.  And a training session on how to do it.  She wants to talk to your group.  Badly.  She is very proud of her power point and her quiz.  All you really want is less crap to do anyway.  And you wonder why Sue just can’t look at the data that you already all have on Jello greenness.   Sue likes her program.  Because while the data exists on Jello greenness and underwear colors and styles, it doesn’t exist exactly together in the table she made just for her.  She has, indeed, created an entire program, got buy in from the whole place, had her semi-important voice heard, just so you would put data together that already exists, because she wanted it easy to read in a cute little form just for her.   She will probably, in the presentation, give a vacant gaze and smile and say, “this is so great because now we will know…. ” and you will think to yourself, “We already do, you nimwit!”  She probably gave it a cute acronym that almost, but not quite, spells a positive word.  GREEAAT or SUPERRR or SMRT.

Overreporting is not a crime, but it really should be some kind of economic misdemeanor.   If the information exists elsewhere, just not in the particular format you want…. why don’t you go look it up for YOURSELF and put it on the form that YOU want? You are a pansy if you cannot do this.  A PANSY.   A BUSINESS WIMP.  A little Lord Fauntleroy of the workplace.

Stop wasting time on finding data that already exists or has already been certified by some other body.  Would the people be unallowed to continue if they didn’t do x, y, and z?  And they just got recertified?  and you are asking about it anyway?


Think about programs before you put them into place. Some suggested guidelines:

1-does it already exist? can you literally walk over, grab five notebooks, and get the information that you need without hassling 15 underlings in each department who need to actually do the business of the business?

2-Is someone else already holding them accountable for the same measure to the same degree and doing it adequately?

3- Is the information not likely to have changed?  Would you likely already be aware if it had?  Would a short update if changes exist be a more appropriate measure?

4-Is the artificial due date you have created reasonable?  Why was that date your choice?  Was it well-reasoned, or did you just pick it from nothing?

5-Are you doing it because you really need the information, or do you just think “it would be gooooood to know… ”

6- Is the information really for the betterment of the company?  Why and how?  What will it do that the other data, once you get off your butt and look for it, won’t do?

7- is the information really in your wheelhouse to ask for, or does it feel more like the gardener asking for the latest numbers from accounting?   If it doesn’t fall into the umbrella of things that fit your position, why do you need the information?

Is your internal reporting really worthwhile?  Or just another thing that everyone knows is pointless except for the person who invented it?  Take a hard look… I predict you’ll be amazed at the time, money and ingenuity that you will gain.  And tell Sue to shut up.  Give her that report you already did last week for someone else and tell her to look for it herself.
















Circling the Bowl

Why do people argue the unresolvable?


Why can’t people admit that they are on different ground rather the same and just be okay with it?

I’m talking specifically about the arguments I observe (as opposed to participate in) over religion.   People push one set of values presented in a religion over another and the comment thread or discussion goes on and on and no resolution is ever reached, just endless cycles of blah-de-blah-blah about what someone should believe but it also says this other thing that another person thinks is “more equal” in the religious viewpoint.  You aren’t a REAL  (insert religion here) unless you believe THIS.  Then someone else chimes in and

People push one set of values presented in a religion over another and the comment thread or discussion goes on and on and no resolution is ever reached, just endless cycles of blah-de-blah-blah about what someone should believe but it also says this other thing that another person thinks is “more equal” in the religious viewpoint.

Maybe you aren’t the same religion after all.   Why is that hard to accept about one another rather than arguing a theological debate? Why do you feel an obligation to justify yourselves to one another?

Why?  Why spend time on it?

There are people who are in love with religion for its ability to bring judgment. There are people who are in love with religion because it might bring order to the universe, they tend to like having rules dictated to them, even if those rules hurt them personally.  There are people who are in love with religion because they think of it in a lovey-happy way– people who espouse the ideas of mercy and forgiveness and ideal, eternal love.

These people are different people.  They believe different things.  No matter what religion you are in, these people are going to have a different set of beliefs.  If they had been raised in a different culture, the temperature of their religious belief would largely be unchanged. They are, in a way, worshipping something inherently different within the religion, and will find a different set of outcomes rewarding to their sense of spirituality.  You can argue each other’s wrongness into the ground or next Tuesday but it won’t actually change anyone’s mind and it won’t matter to them.  They will keep justifying whatever it is to themselves anyway.
I vote everyone stops.
I am going to suggest a new tactic for comment sections and family reunions the world over.

Stop.  Just stop.  Put a stop to wasting your precious time and frazzling your mind over it and finding justifications for this beleif and that one.
Regardless of what religion you participate in, how different would your life be, if—
Instead of saying “Yes, I believe this, but my interpretation…” or “What that really means in the original language is.. “ – what if, instead you just looked someone in the eye and casually said,

“Yeah.  No.  I don’t believe that part.  I believe parts X-Y.  Can you pass the Ketchup?”

Can you imagine the reaction if you chose to opt out of the discussion instead of launching into a black hole of endless unresolved debate on your opinions of theology or the verb endings of languages you have never personally studied?   Wouldn’t that make life BETTER?  Just to stop?

Wouldn’t it be better not to discuss what a REEAAAALLLY REAL  (fill in the blank) believes?
Why can’t that be the answer?  Why shouldn’t it be?

You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your thought processes.  Not a single person.  They don’t owe you an explanation for theirs.  The problem is the endless justifying and verse-grabbing and historical veracity ad nauseum, because it is eating up precious seconds of your life without an end in sight.

You can pick and choose what you want to believe.  You can tell people to screw off if they don’t like it.  But that requires you owning what you actually believe.  You have to stop saying, “I know its wrong  buuuuuuuutttttt…. ” and just own that you don’t actually believe that bit of something.  It requires you to stop finding some vague verb tense only 3% of people majoring in dead and nearly -dead languages to determine what it “really means”.   It requires you to say, “I believe in the ten commandments, but I gotta tell you, I think the beatitudes are hogwash.  That hippie love crap is just annoying.”  Or the reverse.  Whatever is true for you. Own your current reality based on your actual life.

I’m telling you- go ahead.  It’s okay.  I don’t care if you do.  But you all need to start owning where you are and being honest with yourself. All you are doing otherwise is spending giant chunks of your life arguing over something you can’t resolve.  Who on earth would ever want to do that?  Why?

And who are you trying so hard to convince with that smidgen of information or vehement insistence?   Yourself?  If you have to fight that hard to justify something, no matter what it is, that’s usually a sign of a problem.

Is it hard to own your own mind?

Are we scared to know that instead of a few value systems there are infinite value systems, one per person, and we cannot legislate the mind?
Try it.  I dare you, religious peeps of various types—when someone gets all whatever and starts telling you what you believe,  what this book says or that, respond with, “Yeah, I don’t believe that part.”  even if you do. Take a look at their reaction.  Savor the moment you decided other people’s demands on your spirituality no longer were a thing for you.
What if, the next time someone tells you that you aren’t a “real (fill in the blank),” instead of getting angry or self-defensive– you just say, “yeah, I know” very nonchalantly and punctuate it by walking off to buy ice cream?

Endless debates on where the emphasis in religions should fall are a waste of your precious years on this earth. Time you can NEVER GET BACK. EVER.  When the time is gone, it is GONE.  GONE GONE.  Time you could have spent watching the sunset.  Remembering the names of the constellations overhead.  Feeling a summer breeze. Making snowmen.

Life is short.  Too short.  Don’t waste it debating the unresolvable just because you think you must.   Definitely, don’t do it because some clown is demanding answers out of you.  Your life isn’t about everyone’ else’s opinion.  It’s far too short to be.