Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Screwed Up at Work

Do you ever notice that venting can have two results? Result one: you released something pent up inside and you feel unburdened. Result two: voicing something pent up digs up more frustration/anger and you are left fuming. I had a session with an EAP counselor Thursday morning. I had hoped for result one but I was in the throes of result two when I attended a Benefits reporting meeting.

A meeting run by a manager who's completely oblivious and threw me under the bus a couple weeks ago. I was the only person in the room who had gone through the reporting process three years in a row. I hate it and it's a huge burden to the analyst group. Manager Clueless started talking about the current status and when I answered questions, I could hear how curt and abrasive I sounded. I really tried to get a handle on my tone but that made it worse so I kept quiet and took notes,

A little while later my boss asked to speak to me in my office. He told me that I should not attend any future meetings. I came off unprofessional and abrasive. I also made him look bad. I told him I understood and aapologized. Of course I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I had a cry alone in office, talked to my roommate and brother. I also asked for some time to meet with my boss for tips/feedback.

Come on, I don't trust many people in my department. Everyone is out for number one, willing to throw anyone under the bus. It feels like constant fight or flight.  I have also been actively searching for a new job elsewhere. Being fed up and over a job, absolutely CANNOT cost me that job! Any way I can figure out how to deal, I'll take it.

My boss and I had a really good talk over coffee and I felt better with a couple new ways to approach work. The huge thing I need to work on is my work is not me. It isn't an extension of who I am. Work is work and if there's a question or mistake, it isn't an attack. I also need to feed my outside work life more. My boss told me that I have been coming into work already miserable and it creates a strain on the Analyst group. Also my tactic of going quiet in the meeting gave the impression that I was pissed at everyone in the room. Crap on a cracker...

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Autumn Ahhh!

Today it is sunny, dry, and in the 60s - the perfect day in Boston.  It is also Labor Day weekend - woohoo!  A lot has been going on so here's the update.

I am looking for a new job not with my current company.  I really tried to make it work and survive with two new bosses and two new analysts.  In addition to a new HRIS system that is less functional than our old one.

The sign to get out was when I asked for a raise/promotion. I was told there was no budget and no upward movement in HR. On top of that, I was told that if I want to move up professionally at the company I have to find a different discipline/department.  I was disappointed and I knew their points were total bullshit. I had just seen a dozen raises approved beyond the fiscal year budget and a new position created out of thin air for some chick who had barely worked in our department for a year. Also, fuck them with the changing my discipline crap.  I've had three careers in fifteen years and I finally found something I enjoy and am good at - Human Resources  The final straw was weeks later the director who told me "No" revealed that he had absolutely no idea I had a Masters degree even though I sent him my resume before the raise/promotion discussion.

The HR Analyst job has also morphed into 8 hours of cleaning up other people's errors.  There is no analysis - all fire drills of lazy co-worker's making.  I work with people who can't do basic math or have basic reading skills so all day I deny job offers because the compensation makes no sense or deny personnel actions because the legal document attached does not match the action.  Oh yeah, we also have to magically be versed in contract law because our Legal department asks us questions about everything. I won't even go into the Bible quoting director who I had to tangle with.

I've had two interviews this past month. I've also been crying in my office every week from sheer frustration and exhaustion. My little analyst group are good people so that helps.

I am still on a hunt for a new therapist.  For the interim, I have a regular appointment with an EAP counselor.  I had a new therapist lined up this past week but she tried to pull some shenanigans so I dropped her.

She is part of my health insurance network - something I checked before reaching out to her. As we were setting up my initial assessment appointment, she informed me that I have a $500 deductible and the session would cost me $80.00. Which made no sense if she's in network so I called my insurance and mental health administrator to check. I technically would only owe $10 as a co-pay. I told her this and she told me I might need the term deductible explained to me. Um bitch what? I work in HR and I am not having your scamming up-billing bullshit in my life. I'm worried she has tried to pull this on other people who don't know better...  Finding help is such a chore when you're struggling with depression.

I've had a pretty nice social life the past couple weekends too!  Awesome house party at a friends condo and drinks at Scholars with another friend.

Trump has been really hard to ignore or cope around this past month. At least we had 7 months before the Nazis, right? I'm Jewish and grew up on stories of my family surviving WWII so existential dread on top of depression and anxiety.

My dad is back home from the rehab hospital.  He has OT and PT therapists visiting in addition to a nurse. He also has a life alert.  My mom can go back to work with some peace of mind and a support system.  My dad has also been treating her and my brother like they are his personal servants.  So, age injury and a heart attack has not changed his selfish sociopathic tendencies.  It just added a fun pastiche of self pity. I know that sounds harsh but he broke his hip because he got pissed with mom and wanted to show her - an 85 year old temper tantrum.  Sigh... he's probably going to outlive us all...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Vacation and Domestication

I have been on vacation since August 4.  I spent Friday to Wednesday in the Berkshires.  I love western MA and I can feel a heavy blanket of stress lift once I get past the 84 split on the Mass Pike.  I stayed here. It isn't a fancy hotel but the location is absolute perfection!  Unfortunately, I came down with a head cold the days leading up to my vacation.

My big plans and to do spots were sacrificed to recovering from my cold and also cold rainy weather. I did score well shopping at the Lee outlets.  I checked out the Norman Rockwell Museum.  There is an Andy Warhol exhibit there too - which doesn't really make sense to me. I'm not a huge fan either. The only solidly nice day was Sunday which is when I tried to rent a pedal boat to go out on the lake. One person in a pedal boat does not really work because only one side of the boat is sitting fully in the water so I killed myself going ten feet due to inefficient pedaling. I tried to straddle both seats so the boat sat in the water better but it killed my back. Did I mention all this happened with a restaurant of people sitting in front of windows facing the lake? After thirty minutes, I gave up and headed back to the dock.  No one was around to help me tie the boat or de-board so of course I fell in the lake.  I was wearing a bathing suit under my clothes so no big deal.  The bigger deal was wrenching my right leg and banging up my arms and shins. I was amused, embarrassed, and sore. The next day I was at a stop light in Pittsfield when I decided to drive to New York on route 20.  I love having a strong sense of direction and an efficient Ford Focus. The drive was gorgeous and desolate.  My last full Berkshire day was all about Great Barrington.  I stopped by my favorite store. and then I was off to two hour spa treatments. It was all completely lovely.

This whole vacation was on my own and it struck me how socialized/domesticated I have become. I missed home three days in. That's what happens when you have a great living situation I guess! I texted my roommate regularly and even asked for cat pictures.  The toughest part was missing my bed. I have a memory foam/gel blend mattress and My Pillow at home. No hotel in my tax bracket can match that. Since I also watch a good share of Law & Order, I made sure I checked in with my brother and posted regularly on Facebook. I also got a little creeped out on my New York drive so I made a deal with myself that if I saw three creepy things in a row, I'd turn around. 1. Creepy bearded redneck with a broken down car on the side of the road. 2. Burnt out 1960s car half sticking out of the forest. 3. Crumbling house with siding curling off  Trump flag waving high.  Run away!  Run away!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

3 Months!

So much has happened it’s hard to keep track.  Since I love lists, here’s the breakdown:

 The Bad

My father had a heart attack – he has congestive heart failure and had a bad bout that sent him to the hospital in early May.  Through tests they found out his heart function had severely declined so they scheduled him for an angioplasty where the found 90% of his right coronary artery blocked.  He has a stent now. His well-being seriously declined between all the medications and CHF side effects. He fell and fractured his pelvis a couple weeks ago.  He’s in a rehab hospital now.

Rasputin is sick – he’s a ten year old Mainecoon and I noticed his fur wasn’t looking so great.  I tried to remove a couple mats which revealed painful skin sores underneath.  He also started drooling.  He got a lion cut at the end of June which revealed how skinny he is.  I started crying to my roommate saying he looks like a walking corpse.  I took him to the vet last weekend.  He has a cavity and gingivitis plus he could possibly have hyperthyroidism.  Poor guy!

Looking for a new therapist – I’ve had an awesome therapist for two years who has helped me a lot.  Unfortunately, my mental health benefits are administered by Beacon Health.  According to my therapist, they have horrible reimbursement rates and send therapists down a credentialing paperwork black hole.  Fed up, she had to leave my network.

The Good

Mothers Day – my mom and I had a wonderful lunch and meander down Centre Street in Jamaica Plain.  She fell in love with Cobwebs and bought herself a beautiful cordial set.  She looked like a kid at Disney World – it was so cute!

Family wedding – one of my cousins got married in June and it was so genuine, happy, and filled with love, I rode a mood high for weeks!  Good music, good food, good drinks, and lots of laughter.  Not a lick of drama I was aware of at the time.  My cousin was radiant and her husband is a really great guy.

Graduated from physical therapy – 3 months of twice weekly sessions have made me a lot stronger and pain much more tolerable!  My physical therapist was a warm, funny guy who I really enjoyed working with.  Our last session, he ran me through my first session’s exercises which felt AMAZING! I did a set and look at him, “Seriously, this was a workout?”  He laughed and said, “You reported being fatigued after this.” Such a cool way to feel the progress I’ve made.  In addition to my herniated cervical discs, he was able to help my subluxated shoulder!  My left should was messed up from the paralysis from my stroke so it doesn’t sit in the socket correctly.  For 16 years I could not raise my left arm straight up.  Now I can.

 August vacation – I have a week’s vacation booked August 4 to 11.  I’m spending 5 days in the Berkshires and the other days chilling at home.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Super Boss Wasn't So Super

It has been seven months and I have finally broken out of the thrall. Super Boss was a perfectionist control freak whose high standards made himself and whoever worked with him miserable. He quit because his ego could not take being out of control.

How did I figure this out?

1. The huge HR system transition hasn't been the end of the world Super Boss warned about. It is just different. It is certainly isn't anything to quit over.

2. Individuals in the staffing group have no idea what the recruitment process is. It turns out Super Boss basically performed the entire recruiting process rather than train them or hold them accountable. I discovered this when I pushed requisitions or job offers back asking for corrections. I was told "Super Boss always did X".

3. Nu Boss is pretty fed up, has decided to hold people accountable and to stop enabling ignorance. He definitely understands my frustration. Some days I feel like I am taking crazy pills and I wonder to myself, "How does Staffing Jane not know this after working here a decade?" Nu Boss comes into my office, throws his hands up in the air and asks the same question. I told him this week, "This is the department we inherited thanks to Super Boss".

I'm not totally in black and white world. Super Boss helped me a lot professionally and I learned a lot. But this was only his second job post college and he is SO YOUNG.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Lab Coat Sucker

Word of warning, before you go to Beth Israel Deaconess' Spine Clinic, do research on what doctor to see. Last month, I met with a horrible "doctor".  

I have two herniated cervical discs and degeneration in my neck.  I have numb fingers on my left hand, intermittent shooting pain down my arm, and upper back spasms.  If I over do it, I have all three at once and I am completely incapacitated. Sometime the pain cascade sets off my costochondritis. Five months of this crap thanks to being rear ended in November.

The BIDMC "doctor" met with me in March, did not look at a MRI or any of my PCP's reports. She just wrote me a prescription for Neurontin (gabapentin). And wrote a referral to PT. I told her that I had been on a medication that affects GABA before and had a bad reaction. She waved off my concern. I trusted her because she's a doctor and Beth Israel is a great medical center.

It takes two weeks to titrate up to the prescribed 900 mg. In those two weeks, I have had all side effects and no help with my pain. Alarmed, I called the Spine Clinic where a great nurse spoke to me and assured me that side effects are normal and I can fiddle with my dosage.  That made me feel a bit better so I rationalized that maybe feeling dizzy, forgetting words, and slow thinking would be manageable.  So, I waited another week.

That's when I read the "doctor's" appointment notes which includes a whole section that details talking to me about my weight. WHICH NEVER HAPPENED! That was my first clue that my trust has been misplaced.  So, I did more research on Neuronrtin.  Guess what? Lamotrigine - which I had a bad reaction to, is also an anti-epileptic/anti-convulsant! Oh I was pissed...

I asked my physical therapist if he had had patients on Neurontin.  He told me it can be very helpful if the underlying condition is correctly diagnosed. If there isn't a correct diagnosis, it is useless.  So, screw this medication that attacks who I am and my ability to do my job.  Also, screw this quack of a doctor who doesn't listen and lies in her notes.  What a waste of my time and giving me false hope.  I am titrating off now and riding another wave of fabulous side effects.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Elderly Parents - Welcome to Middle Age

A couple weeks ago, my 84 year old father fell in the bathtub.  He was too weak to lift himself up. He lay in the tub for six hours until my mother came home from work.  My mother was not strong enough to lift him so she needed to call 911.  On the up side, he was fully clothed and his blood sugar was not too dangerously low.

I found out about this from texts my brother sent me.  I can't imagine what was going through my dad's head as he lay there for hours.  I'm grateful that this accident had a happy ending. Sadly, it isn't the first accident with my dad. He has fallen, cut and burned himself just living in the old two story colonial my parents live in.

My mom is still working full-time and my dad is retired.  So, they are thinking of renting a one story place close to the city so my dad can live without accidents.  I don't know what their plans are for the house.  I have to say, this is a pretty genius solution and luckily my parents are healthy enough to do their rental search on their own.  Of course, me being me, I have been sending ideas to my mom. Olmsted Place looks nice and it's close to me.  Allendale could be an option if they are looking for a senior community.