Sunday, August 29, 2010

Work Internet Use (or, Deja Vu, because I know I've mentioned this before, but now with new developments)

Whereas I don’t think I really, absolutely, totally abused the internet at work (no online gambling, porn, celebrity gossip, shoe shopping, blogging, gaming, plotting against world organizations, etc), I certainly used it more than our policy allows (30 minutes a week, only work appropriate).

I check several email accounts, the news, my bank accounts and some of my favorite blogs from work daily. If things are really slow, or if I’m particularly fed up and really hating on my job I’ll visit cracked or xkcd or just surf around looking for stuff to read. I do all this in a very transparent manner; I don’t try to sneak past the tracking or the work proxy. I enter my credentials, my user name and password, into the proxy prompt every time I go to the web and I know damn well that HR has a list with every site I’ve visited, which is probably fairly ugly and perhaps even a bit embarrassing (and this without me reading up on trashy celeb gossip!).

Over a year ago, I may have even blogged about it here; it came to my attention that my non-work related internet usage was the highest in my division. I was amazed. Other people spend HOURS on the internet. There is printing of LOLcatz galore and shoe shopping abounds and all-around shenanigans of the web variety taking place. That is when I learned about secret DSL and wireless lines and people coming up with creative ways to bypass the tracking proxy. Which REALLY PISSED ME OFF.

In the overall scheme of things my job is fairly lenient and relaxed. At least, in comparison to other jobs I have had. The rules are very realistic and simple and easy to abide by if you aren’t, oh, say, a giant freaking jerk face. Which many of the people I work with, nay, many of the people on this planet are. The obvious and insane abuse of work amenities and time just added to the continually growing list of super messed up crap people pull around here, so I was angry as hell, and even angrier because I knew NOTHING WOULD BE DONE. NOTHING. We have a person who shows up an hour and a half late to work every day, takes two hour lunches, disappears for hours at a time and is a nightmare to work with. Their attitude was so bad that they finally quit last year, which was great, but then, being the failure that they are, they came crawling back. AND WE HIRED THEM BACK. They made it to work on time for about two months and are now back to being a ridiculously F’d up employee, but nothing will be done. Nothing was ever done, (which is why documentation is important oh managers out there!) and they will continue to do 15% of the job I do, in half the hours, for more than I make. My job is really getting me down. But it is worse elsewhere and there are no jobs to be had in this economy and oh lord, did I steal money from blind children in a previous life?

ANYHOO the reason I tell you this is because today, amazingly, my division head said in a big cross division meeting that management is aware that there is rampant abuse of the internet and that it needs to stop. They know about the secret wireless and DSL and better yet some jackasses are using generic login/password combos (the ones we use for testing) to access the internet. They understand that we are stressed (read: lazy entitled bastards) but it needs to stop and they will document it and pull us aside if they have to.

Now, I do abuse the internet at work according to our rules. Ya, I’m not awful, but I’m still not following policy. But I’m also not lying about it or doing anything sneaky, I’m honest about my abuse. That makes me a good person (heh). Of the few constants in my life I can tell you this: I’m honest. I always have been. I always will be. It is important to me that even when abusing work policy I’m still honest about it, and other people should be too. Is that too much to ask? I think not. I’m not saying I’m perfect or wonderful or better than everybody (I’m better than the liars) but I am honest, and non honesty really, really, really bugs me.

Knowing how my employer works nothing will come of the internet abuse warning. If management even tries to talk to someone, which they won’t, then that employee will threaten to grievance and not a damn thing will be done. I don’t care. I’m just super super happy that something was said, that management saw or listened to someone pointing the internet malarkey out (even though I pointed it out 18 goddamn months ago and jackshit was done). It was nice to hear. My standards, indeed, are quite different from what they were three years ago.

Of course, I’m going to have to hold onto this happiness as a distraction because good grief, 6 hours in and I MISS the internet. I’m having withdrawals. I don’t know what my bank balance is or what the local news is (hint: stabbing/shooting/assault in my neighborhood, but where?) or if I got any blog comments. I’m both thrilled at this morning’s announcement and ashamed that I’m this addicted to work internet. A half hour a day is two hours more than we’re allowed a week, which means I’m into semantics. I never lied or finagled my internet, but I abused the policy. I argue that the people up to no good are far more evil and rotten then I am but a broken rule is also a broken rule.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Of Depression, Botox, and My Broken Apartment

Depression is an admirable and crafty foe. It gets you where you live. At such a time when you really, truly, need to be getting out and getting sun and doing what you like and being social and trying new things the very thought of even putting on shoes make you want to take a long, long nap.

It took me years to even accept that depression has a major chemical component to it. A mixture of my upbringing and society and the awesome head game that is depression itself led me to believe that it is a personal failure and that I'm a horrible, worthless, stupid person for even having to deal with it. Good therapy, much research, mild positive meditation and education had taught me otherwise, and I am grateful. Now I know that especially at times like this when it hits me hard and dirty that it is chemical mostly, and that if I just relax, observe, let go and give myself a break things will be much easier.

I don't appreciate having to deal with it but I am hugely, wordlessly, grateful that I can see it better now and have some basic coping skills. Oh, I hate it. I hate it with every fiber of my being (though that hate is greatly muffled by the depression; it, like the rest of my life, gets smashed into a big burlap sack which makes all emotions and living much like trying to look at daylight through a window coated in three inches of mud).

It doesn't help that I'm still in limbo apartment wise, ready to come home and find the eviction for the landlord's foreclosure on the door. That, actually, is the least of my bothers with the place. It reeks like mold or mildew that no amount of bleach, baking soda, vinegar or lysol sprayed down the kitchen drain will fix. The garbage disposal, microwave, and now dishwasher are all broken.

When I'm depressed I'm unbelievably overwhelmed by things that I normally handle; the very thought of hand washing all the dishes in the dishwasher growing mold is too much for me to bear so I ignore it. I'm even too overwhelmed to just throw them out and start over, seriously, unless you've been depressed that sounds INSANE but believe me: I can't handle it. When things like that start to build the rest falls apart too; laundry isn't getting done. I don't vacuum. I haven't grocery shopped in weeks. I'm too overwhelmed to make good food choices so I eat crap which makes me feel much much worse (I know what processed sugar and fast food do to me and yet I still eat them, knowing full well I'll feel like hell and sleep bad and have no energy yet I can't escape the circle).

For a variety of reasons I haven't been able to see my therapist for over a month, thank heavens I see her this Thursday. 50 minutes won't be enough, but I'll take what I can get.

There is more on the depression but that should give you an idea. It sucks but I don't want to worry anyone or freak anyone out. I'm not now, nor have I ever been (thank God for big favors) suicidal. Homicidal...sometimes perhaps, but suicidal no :)

As for botox, I went in for the consultation. The woman who gave it to me is the same age as me. Her assistant is 24. They both use botox. Seriously. Whereas I really, really want it and the other night I caught my forehead in a mirror in poor light and wanted to weep I just can't justify the lack of concrete data.

Oh, sure, they tell you that it has been used as a wrinkle treatment on the market for 20 years now and that there are no damaging side effects but really? How many things, let's just say ALL, always turn out in the history of mankind to have lasting severe side effects? We put lead in candy and asbestos in houses and you know back then they insisted that such things were entirely safe.

Even if money weren't an issue (botox ain't cheap) I am too worried about potential long term effects. Which is an awesome catch 22 because worrying makes me wrinkle more and my wrinkle makes me worried and I go around and around and around and the depression just makes it worse get the picture. The super perky, perpetually smiling women that gave me my consult scared me too; when I asked about long term use studies or if it were safe to start killing my muscles so young or if my face would just slide off someday after years of use they got snippy and blew me off. Really? Any medical procedure, even one as "simple" as botox, should be taken seriously, and if you want to get 1200.00 bucks a year out of me maybe you shouldn't be bitchy when I ask what are very basic and logical questions.

So. No botox for me, yet. Maybe in 6 years if there is more conclusive data...or maybe never. I hate my forehead, it ages me badly, in a baseball cap I'm 22, in a ponytail I'm 38, but fixating isn't going to make it any better.

Thanks as always for coming around. I'm here. I'm probably just depression napping (like real napping but without the satisfaction or joy). And developing some dreadful mold related disease.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer Blues

First I get the three month illness of doom that essentially anhialates my summer and now the fallout from that is being exausted, gaining so much weight that my fat pants are super tight, and a crippling morbid depression I can't shake. I haven't been this down in a long time. I'm around, but life has officially kicked my booty, my big fat flabby untoned unable to make it up stairs without panting booty.

I'd blog but it would be depressing jibberish.

I'll be around when I'm a bit better.