|Oh, where to begin: full of beans and attitude, that'll do
||[Jul. 10th, 2012|11:08 pm]
Here's something I learned recently -- I've been peering at screens for at least two years now, with the frequency of typos increasing with the latenesss of the hour, the depth of rum in my glass and the tiredness of my eyes and I just learned that there's a little thing you can click to magnify the whole freaking screen. I feel like an ass for not noticing that. Computers have emasculated the Holy Grail as a journey concept. Now you can sit your fat ass in a chair and randomly click on expletive until you find something that changes EVERYTHING. |
Okay, not everything. And I can't promise a lack of typos, as I still have only a 30 watt bulb in my desk area, and I've worn half the letters off my keyboard. But still. It's like spending 20 years wandering around the damned desert, only to find the damn cup was in the privy cabinet in your own castle the whole time. (That is a holy grail reference.)
Today, in a meeting talking about a colleague's behavior being atypical, I demanded he show us his navel. Only one person in the room understood the reference. Sigh. I was going to let it drop, but noooooo, I also have an inquisitive colleague, in the same meeting who wanted to know why Johanna and I were bonding over an in-joke. So I started with pod people and...that wasn't floating, so how it's a common sci-fi trope, and it may go back further, but certainly Day of the Triffids...and three minutes later, everyone's just staring open-mouthed at me and as I peter out, Johanna says into the ensuing silence "oh, let your dork flag fly" which is why I barely know this woman but would totally get between her and the Blob to buy her time. Because she's much younger than I am and far more likely to populate the earth with other right-thinking people.
It was a dangerous day. It was a very bad weekend. I'll tell you in a minute, it's not like you've ever had to drag ANYTHING out of me before, right? But that could be boring and I might lose your attention by then. What's more important to me is that I'm all better, despite looking at a $5K bill in the next week, and resuming work on all of the other carp I'm late on to various people. I'm all expletive sunny and expletive again, though, so, okay. And that was the problem. Feeling better and I start the day with this: the project I've been trying to shove across the finish line for oh, I dunno, A YEAR AND A FREAKING HALF, finally got signed off on as complete internally. There's another external signature at play, and trust me, these aren't laurels I'm sitting on yet, but prickly pear. But still more comfortable than the fires of hell that have been my seat the past 3 months since it was ALMOST a done deal and went...all slug dropped into a salt cellar, with writhing and slug screams and agony and dying...slooooooooowly.
Anyway, there it was on my desk, SIGNED. With a little post it note from the Big Boss, saying
"Congrats!" and a smiley face. Which felt a little bit like watching Freddy Kruger bend down to pick up a baby's pacifier, wipe it off and gently reinsert it into the baby's mouth. Because for the past six months at a minimum, I've been made to feel like a complete LOSER, creating this piece of inadequate CARP. And every hoop I leaped through, instead of Yay you, you nailed that hoop, it was don't pat yourself on the back, Kilroy, I found another hoop, and yeah, I think kerosene and flames will make this more interesting. So all of that and Congrats! happy face?
I should have asked to see his navel.
But whatever, I'll take it. (Which feels like I'm in a hugely abusive relationship and I have to question why I keep working for people JUST LIKE THIS, when I had a very good relationship with my father. But hey, at least I confine to work situations where I get PAID, as opposed to marrying it, so OKAY, I managed to evade THAT double x chromosome La Brea tarpit.
I was going to leave out "tar" but I've had to explain enough references today, that I'm going to keep going, in case you're wearing a helmet. (Look, you can get offended, but seriously, I know you weren't BORN that way, you've chosen to be stupid, so stupid and offended I can handle.)
Oh, as I was leading up to -- today's theme was Fun Mouthy Bitch. Right, so finally a success in the morning. Then a three and a half task force meeting addressing how our organization has handled the Pangaea (there would be a reference to back when a continent was truly globe-spanning. I really hope this is overkill) sized organizational changes. And while it was really and truly a cock-up in terms of short term impact, I cling to the possible long term potential benefits. But in the really short term, I had more than three hours where my opinion, in terms of managing behavioral and organizational change had a rapt audience and I got to play right where my whip and chair wielding lion tamer meets machiavellan schemer meets my cliff dwelling swallow spit ability to glue and bond social circles meets puppy piling play enabler. (Seriously, you people need to flex your research muscles: try "old time circus" "Machiavelli's The Prince" and "Bird's Nest Soup"...if you can't figure out how encouraging puppies to play well together can possibly apply to a business meeting...ask me later how to get disparate people to work together, enjoy it and feel dangerous insurrective yet still being supportive of organizational goals. File under "things I'm really good at, but am too mired in toilet paper and pvc resin to exercise")
Did I mention I'm also feeling arrogant?
AND full of beans.
So, yeah, okay, in front of HR, I used the phrase "No one wants to look like an ASS in front of the whole company" And okay, it had full southern New England inflection, which meant that ass dragged on a bit. And you KNOW how I love parallel sentence structure, so I continued with "make your supervisor look like an ass" and "Make his or her supervisor look like an ass" because once you've gotten away with and the audience is rapt, well...what can you do? To their credit -- HR grokked. (How YOUNG are you? Henlein. Figure it out. It'll become popular any minute now, but right now -- serious street cred if you can use it in a sentence.)
So, then lunch and then ANOTHER 3 hour department meeting. At this point, I've got restless leg and restless brain. Thus -- the navel/triffid discussion, plus twice giving colleagues the finger behind inefficient, telegraphing cover, and encouraging several colleagues to join me in behaving badly. No, frankly. But not in a bitter, negative way. In an eyerolling, we'll live through this, I think, kind of way. Because when it's bad, (And it's BAD) the only hope is humor. Humor or bitter, those are the choices when you're pretty sure the grindstone is now hitting cartilage, if not bone. And bitter never helps. Humor might not fix it, but it'll buy you time until you can get out of the trench, when you really lose hope that the battle's lost.
So, yes, TODAY would have been a good day for a reality television crew to follow me around. In addition to the above, these things came out of my mouth today (if you don't think I've copyrighted this expletive...mwahaahahahahah. Have you MET me?):
To my asst, responsible for shipping out said project to the client, well, actually to the pile o'paperwork itself: "Fly, little project, be free, but be sure to come home before the weekend with a signature and Momma will have a biscuit for you." (I know. You think I just say inappropriate things. Sometimes I just like to push the "wait, what?" barrier. Sometimes...that's cute.)
Twice at my department meeting, I gave another colleague, not the same one, 'cause I like to share the love, the Finger, ineptly shielded by my other hand. Which my boss, who's getting closer, but still doesn't understand that there is a line between "company supportive" and "trench warfare" and we're WAY over that line, so now it's us against THEM until THEM comes to their expletive senses, was a wee bit tense about...but I have hopes in my ability to be supportively subvertive.
To the attorney I'm working with on a project, when she said okay, but my concern is that while it sounds firm, it may not stand up in court: "Yeah, I think I dated that guy."
To another colleague who had bet me $20 that I wouldn't get this project signed off on this round, when he said "damn, what how'd you manage that? What "service" did you have to deliver?" (And yeah, "service" wasn't the word he used; I encourage unprofessional language...add it to my list of faults. Or benefits. YOU decide.) And I said "seriously, this time I just delivered a good project. But if I'd thought it was going to take this long? I totally would have jumped on that in March. Because, dude, I've done WORSE things to achieve a goal."
And we LAUGHED. But that nervous laughter where neither one of us was willing to admit it wasn't a ridiculous prospect. Which is why even though I have a job that makes me pull out my fur...it's hard to contemplate leaving a collegial pool that is just enough shocked and just enough gets it: it traps me.
And I'm still laughing. Because it's been a long time since I've felt so powerful (and that's a whole 'nother post in draft -- what "power" really means, and I can guarantee it's less...powerful than you think) and less victimish, which is just a heinous place to be.
Tomorrowish: How I came to medicate myself with dinosaurs.