Rare

There are rare days in life, when things seem to fall into place easily. I’ve had a few of these days, for which I’ll always be grateful. Yesterday was one of those days.

After driving home from the little house in the city on Thursday, I slept soundly and deeply, Attila at my side. I arose early, expecting a busy day, but I did not know just how busy it would be.

When Terra and I were traveling to visit Luna and family, I received a phone call from Attila, to relay to me a message. In December I’d attended a job interview, not heard back from them and ceased to think about it. On Wednesday they called and left a message for me to get in touch. So, sitting in the car, at a rest stop along the way to visit Luna, I returned the call. They offered me a job interview, a second one, on Thursday morning. I accepted.

That was yesterday morning.

While readying myself for the interview, I received a telephone call in regards to another interview I’d attended last January. They offered me a temporary position, part-time, flexible hours, which I accepted immediately. So when I headed into the scheduled interview on Thursday, I already had a new part-time job.

The interview went well, better than I’d hoped, and I was offered the job on the spot. A full-time job. Which I accepted. I start Monday morning.

Now I have a full-time job, a part-time job (where I just attained a relocation) and a new temporary part-time job. Three jobs. When it rains it pours. I think I can handle all three, I hope I can handle all three. I will be very busy for the duration of the temporary part-time job, then things will calm down as I will only have two jobs, one full-time and one part-time.

Hooray! Our bills will be paid!!!!

I am so glad I took my little excursion to the little house in the city, it will be quite a while before another opportunity of a week away. That worked out rather well.

There is also a delightful side effect to all these events. I was scheduled to work three days with the negative coworker, although that is not my office, these hours had been scheduled before the relocation. With shameful pleasure I called yesterday to inform her that I could not work those days. This is of benefit to the new employee who replaced me, as she will pick up those hours. It works well for everyone.

Thank you universe!!!

To celebrate, Attila and I immediately ordered firewood to heat our house next winter. What a relief, I was very worried about where the money for heating fuel would come from; that worry is gone.

Attila has promised to remind me of my present state of relief, if there are times when juggling three jobs gets a little overwhelming!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-3 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -3.0°C
Dewpoint: -3.2°C
Humidity: 99 %
Wind: calm

Quote

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy.”
W. Somerset Maugham
1874 – 1965

Note

W. Somerset Maugham

“The death of his mother left Maugham traumatized for life; subsequently he kept his mother’s photograph by his bedside for the rest of his life. Two years after Edith’s death, Maugham’s father died of cancer. Maugham was sent back to England to be cared for by his uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, the Vicar of Whitstable, in Kent. The move was catastrophic as Henry proved cold and emotionally cruel. The King’s School, Canterbury, where Maugham was a boarder during school terms, proved merely another version of purgatory, where he was teased for his bad English (French had been his first language) and his short stature, which he inherited from his father. It was at this time that Maugham developed the stammer that would stay with him all his life, although it was sporadic and subject to mood and circumstance.
Maugham was miserable both at the vicarage and at school. As a result, he developed a talent for making wounding remarks to those who displeased him. This ability is sometimes reflected in Maugham’s literary characters. At sixteen, Maugham refused to continue at The King’s School, and his uncle allowed him to travel to Germany, where he studied literature, philosophy and German at Heidelberg University. During his year in Heidelberg, Maugham met and had a sexual affair with John Ellingham Brooks, an Englishman ten years his senior. He also wrote his first book there, a biography of opera composer Giacomo Meyerbeer…”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Somerset_Maugham

All Gone

Dead Pine Bird Feeder, April 2, 2011

Dead Pine Bird Feeder, April 2, 2011

Complete, over, water under the bridge, old news… my last hours at the old office, with the negative coworker, came, and are now gone. All gone.

I am blank.

The sun is shining, guiding me back to composure and balance.

We are now officially out of firewood. All gone. It was a long, cold winter. Attila took his chainsaw, hiked through the snow, through the bush, found a small dead tree standing, felled the dead tree, sectioned it, loaded it onto a sled and pulled the load of wood home. That will provide heat for a few more days. We will have to purchase more firewood this spring, to stack and dry for next winter. The purchased wood is delivered by truck, it is dumped out the back of the truck onto the yard. Attila then carries the wood by wheelbarrow, back to the wood shed to be stacked. It is a very big job, moving all that wood.

I’ve done little in the way of domestic maintenance over the last few weeks. Today spring cleaning will begin, slowly. I’ve stared with filing, which is always a satisfying and quick way to reduce visual clutter.

Shopping is a challenge here in the bush. When we lived in the city, we belonged to a food co-op, where we ordered local and organic food in bulk. We found a small co-op here, but the orders were so intermittent that it wasn’t working out for us. So, I setup a company to purchase bulk food. We don’t sell much, and the orders have to be quite substantial to avoid high shipping charges. However, several orders a year of bulk items keeps the supplies well stocked, for us and our customers. We were to receive an order on Friday, but that didn’t work out due to a series of small miscommunications. The order will arrive Tuesday, which works out very well. We have ordered things like an 11 kg bag of red lentils, things you just cannot pick up at the local grocery store. We do not buy pre-processed foods, just ingredients. Buying ingredients is such an “old fashioned” way to handle the daily preparation and consumption of food. Old is better I think, at least in this instance.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

8 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 100.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 8.0°C
Dewpoint: -6.2°C
Humidity: 36 %
Wind: W 21 gust 35 km/h

Quote 

“My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what’s really going on to be scared.”
P. J. Plauger

Notes

P. J. Plauger

“P. J. Plauger is an author and entrepreneur. He has written and co-written articles and books about programming style, software tools, and the C programming language.
He founded Whitesmiths, the first company to sell a C compiler and Unix-like operating system (Idris). He has since been involved in C and C++ standardization and is now the president of Dinkumware. In January 2009 he became the convener of the ISO C++ standards committee, but in October 2009 he tendered his resignation after failing to pass a resolution to stop processing any new features in order to facilitate the promised shipping date for the C++0x standard.
Plauger wrote a science fiction short story, “Child of All Ages”, first published in Analog in the March 1975 issue, whose hero was granted immortality before attaining puberty and finds that being a child who never grows up is far removed from an idyllic Peter Pan-like existence. The story was nominated for a Nebula Award in 1975 and a Hugo Award in 1976. He won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1975, notably beating John Varley for the award.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._J._Plauger

So Tired

One more day to go. Tomorrow is my last day as an employee at this office, as of Monday I am based out of the new office. This was the last day working with the negative coworker. No surprises today, just tedium, not so bad. Tomorrow I work there alone, so it remains to be seen if there will be any surprises waiting for me on my very last day. I hope not.

Tomorrow afternoon my recovery period will begin. I expect a bit of pain as I begin to thaw, but it should be short lived.

I am very, very tired.

Luna and Janus found and purchased their new house, it looks very nice; needs just a little bit of work, superficial stuff that will make it their own.

The weather has been beautiful, sunny and warm.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

5 °C
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 100.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 5.0°C
Dewpoint: -8.9°C
Humidity: 36 %
Wind: W 17 gust 31 km/h

Quote

“A man’s silence is wonderful to listen to.”
Thomas Hardy 

Better Days to Come

As the week progresses, the pressure felt by my negative coworker to mount final attacks increases. This last week has been one of missing items. Where an item needed to perform customer service was nowhere to be found, while I was dealing with the customer, the customer became distressed. I searched for that item a total of four times, over a period of days, once during my break, and the item was not there. Then, after my negative coworker had been on duty by herself following the incident, the item was suddenly there and my negative coworker “rescued” the customer from my seeming ineptitude in having been unable to locate the item sitting “right in front of me”. Very tiring game that. The second item was part of an inventory I was asked to check. The item wasn’t there and then, again, after my negative coworker had been on duty by herself following the incident, the item was suddenly there. Of course either incident might have been my own error; I’m certain the first one wasn’t, the second one might have been. I am aware that when the supervisor is onsite this sort of thing simply stops happening. The supervisor’s comment on any discussion describing these sorts of incidences is, “I wasn’t there”. It is a sad situation all around. I am reminded of the movie, Gaslight.

Such is employment in the modern corporate world; I am extrapolating from my own experience.

These last three days will be her last opportunity to inflict herself upon my work directly. She will have the means to afflict me after I’ve left, but a direct hit becomes more complicated and dangerous to her own interests once my relocation has gone into effect. I am hoping my replacement, who is much younger than I am, will have the energy and the predisposition to keep her otherwise occupied for years to come. Although I feel rather battered at this point, I am holding strong; I continue to meet the barrage of head games with faith in better days to come and to offer the best customer service I can under the circumstances.

I need to keep a record of this experience, so that I do not question my decision to leave this office for a more positive work environment with fewer hours. From the logical and financial perspective, this is a step backwards. From an employment perspective it is a step sideways. From a personal perspective it is a big step up. Hopefully the reduction in work and income can be accommodated by a slight alteration to our lifestyle.

The weather has been relatively balmy, making it clearly evident that spring is on its way. A blanket of snow still covers the forest floor, and our yard, but its boundaries are retreating fast. Two modest firings a day in the masonry heater are keeping the house cozy.

Although our television service will be let go, we are well entertained by Netflix. Their roster of programs may be somewhat dated, but since most of the programs and movies are new to us we care not. We have just finished viewing the first series of The Duchess of Duke Street, which we thoroughly enjoyed. There is a second series, but Netflix does not offer it, we are sorry to find.

Luna and Janus are in the process of purchasing a house in a distant town. They will be far away from Terra and Lares, and our little house in the city, but closer to our house in the country. Their new place looks like a jolly house though, a place where the grand babies will thrive.

Attila and I are now able to plan regular visits to our little house in the city. We look forward to an upcoming two-day weekend in April! It will be a good time for getting out and working in our gardens, doing a spring clean up around the place.

A friend posted this on Facebook, enjoy!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 0.0°C
Dewpoint: -8.2°C
Humidity: 54 %
Wind: SSE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -2

Quote

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”
Peter Drucker
1909 – 2005

Notes

Peter Drucker

“Basic ideas
Several ideas run through most of Drucker’s writings:
Decentralization and simplification. Drucker discounted the command and control model and asserted that companies work best when they are decentralized. According to Drucker, corporations tend to produce too many products, hire employees they don’t need (when a better solution would be outsourcing), and expand into economic sectors that they should avoid.
A profound skepticism of macroeconomic theory. Drucker contended that economists of all schools fail to explain significant aspects of modern economies.
Respect of the worker. Drucker believed that employees are assets and not liabilities. He taught that knowledgeable workers are the essential ingredients of the modern economy. Central to this philosophy is the view that people are an organization’s most valuable resource and that a manager’s job is to prepare and free people to perform.
A belief in what he called “the sickness of government.” Drucker made nonpartisan claims that government is often unable or unwilling to provide new services that people need or want, though he believed that this condition is not inherent to the form of government. The chapter “The Sickness of Government” in his book The Age of Discontinuity formed the basis of the New Public Management, a theory of public administration that dominated the discipline in the 1980s and 1990s.
The need for “planned abandonment”. Businesses and governments have a natural human tendency to cling to “yesterday’s successes” rather than seeing when they are no longer useful.
A belief that taking action without thinking is the cause of every failure.
The need for community. Early in his career, Drucker predicted the “end of economic man” and advocated the creation of a “plant community” where individuals’ social needs could be met. He later acknowledged that the plant community never materialized, and by the 1980s, suggested that volunteering in the nonprofit sector was the key to fostering a healthy society where people found a sense of belonging and civic pride.
The need to manage business by balancing a variety of needs and goals, rather than subordinating an institution to a single value. This concept of management by objectives forms the keynote of his 1954 landmark The Practice of Management.
A company’s primary responsibility is to serve its customers. Profit is not the primary goal, but rather an essential condition for the company’s continued existence.
An organization should have a proper way of executing all its business processes.
A belief in the notion that great companies could stand among humankind’s noblest inventions.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker
[Although not in agreement with all of the concepts put forth by Drucker, he does provide food for thought.]

Gaslighting

“From the film’s title, “gaslighting” acquired the meaning of ruthlessly manipulating an individual, for nefarious reasons, into believing something other than the truth.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslight_(1944_film)

Disowning Projection

International Women’s Day today. I’d already written the topic below when I realized what day it is. Not one single person in my world of face-to-face contact mentioned it, and not many, perhaps not one, would know what I was talking about if I mentioned it. So, I’ll mention it here.

I’m actually doing pretty well with the situation at work, managing to get through the time and sleep at night. I’m on a regime of medication to assist my stomach through the month of March, which is flaring up from the stress, the stress of the day to day with herself, the negative coworker. I am lucky enough to be working almost every day in March, but with herself. The silver lining, adequate work, is shiny and bright and much appreciated, the cloud itself keeps me busy keeping dry.

Here is a day in the life, my life, my working life to be specific. Working with my negative co-worker is a challenge. Here is part of yesterday’s interaction. I was busily working away, minding my own business. She came around the corner, stood watching me work and began to converse, which I cannot reject out of hand without causing a lot of conflict, been there, done that. She is in charge of the office, the boss, when we are working together.

Her: “you get a pension right”
Me: “do you mean a pension from this job?”
Her: “ya”
Me: “no”
Her: “you don’t get a pension!”
Me: “no”
Her: “you get benefits right”
Me: “nothing but the hourly wage minus union dues, taxes, usual deductions”
Her: “you don’t get benefits”
Me: “nothing”
Her: “nothing!”
Me: “correct, nothing”
Her: “I don’t blame you for being to so bitter”

Bitter? Every conversation is some sort of head game, a setup for future gossip with the other employees and/or the community. She will continue her efforts to entrap for hours, she seems to thrive on it. Maybe she has learned this from her favorite TV show, Survivor; I doubt it though, this seems ingrained. It seems she lives to gossip, loves to stir up conflict, loves to repeat what people say, out of context, projecting her own dysfunctional perspective onto anyone [disowning projection] who is not present to defend themselves. I have to listen to her for hours every day that I am there. They really don’t pay me enough! Where oh where is the relocation I asked for! As another employee who refuses to work with her says, “life is too short”.

It is quite possible that at the end of March, having spent almost every day with this individual, I will be feeling quite bitter. However, that feeling will go away when she does, or, more accurately, when I stop working with her. I know that relocation is coming, I know it!

Thank you dear reader, for your forbearance of my efforts to project this unhealthy experience onto this page.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-14 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 103.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -9.0°C
Dewpoint: -14.1°C
Humidity: 67 %
Wind: ESE 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -19

Quote 

“A bully is not reasonable – he is persuaded only by threats.”
Marie De France
12th Century

“If it were not for history everything would happen at once, if it were not for geography everything would happen to me… ”

Written on a stall wall in the washroom of the By The Way Cafe, Bloor Street, Toronto, 1991.
[I have my reasons for loving geography!]

Notes

Disowning Projection

In a projection , a person attributes certain aspects of him or herself to others (→ Attribution Processes ). The process is closely tied to → identification in the psychology of personality. A disowning projection involves attributing negative aspects of the self to others, such as “selfish motives, evil intent … [or] stupid attitudes” ( Cameron 1947 ). Cameron includes the exclusion of those characteristics from the self as part of that projection (hence the disowning portion of the name). Theoretically, a disowning projection should be contrasted with an assimilative projection , in which a person similarly projects his or her own qualities onto others. Although both are projections, the content and effects of the projections are quite different. When negative characteristics are projected, the person who is projecting disassociates him or herself from the characteristics. When positive characteristics are projected, no such disassociation occurs. Instead, the person who is projecting maintains the view of him or herself as being described by these characteristics, and, after projecting them onto others, sees him or herself as similar to those others.
Source: http://www.communicationencyclopedia.com/public/tocnode?id=g9781405131995_yr2011_chunk_g97814051319959_ss55-1

Marie de France

Marie de France was a poet, in France and England during the late 12th century. Little is known of her early life; from the simple but literary Anglo-Norman French in which her works are composed, it is supposed that she was raised in Normandy. Her name is known from a line in one of her published works: Marie ai nun, si sui de France, which translates as, “My name is Marie, I am from France.”

Her written works include 12 “Breton lais” (or lays), the “Ysopet” fables, and the Legend of the Purgatory of St. Patrick. The first record of Marie de France is about 1160, with the last known record being at about 1215. One of her works is dedicated to a “King Henry,” the other to a “Count William”; it is thought that these refer to Henry II of England and his oldest son, William, Count of Salisbury. As the wife of Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine was well known to be a patroness of troubadors and other artists, it seems logical to assume that Marie de France was a member of their court.
Source: http://www.biographybase.com/biography/de_France_Marie.html