Nov 10, 2019

Life’s ups and downs.

I don’t know what’s been going on with me lately.

Seriously.

I’m not sure if it’s the stress of work that’s caught up with me or the ennui that arrives as we get close to the end of October baseball season ends and we enter inter the fuck tunnel of Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas (Hanakuh/Kwaanza take your pick), New Year. Honestly if I could go to sleep on October 30th and wake up like a bear hibernating on January 2nd that would be fine in my book.

Fucking BAH HUMBUG!

The truth of the matter is I don’t like shorter days or cold weather AT ALL.

Anyway, there’s that.

I’ve got a medical test coming up this week which I’m not looking forward to. I always imagine it as a submarine... up periscope. UUUggghgghhhhh.

On the bright side, I’m working from home tomorrow which is good.

The last couple of weeks have been interesting? They finally replaced our PM and what’s perfect about it is that the idiot Account Director actually spent time putting together a presentation announcing the person. No shit, a nine page presentation.

I guess it must be a wonderful thing to have lots of time on your hands because if this broadcast anything to everyone else it was what a shitty manager this woman is. In the meantime, her other two hires who are on sites have struggled mightily over the last few weeks picking up any slack that our PM carried. Instead I’ve been left to my own devices (which I actually don’t mind) and I deal directly with one of the onsites to get things done. It’s easier in some ways.

There are still the normal explosions by both my peer who apparently had a meltdown as recently as Thursday after I left for the day (I made a hasty retreat with the sense something would happen if not for any reason other than some folks were in a meeting for a few hours and no doubt would come out and realize there was work to do). And of course there is another person with the same temperament of my peer who sent me a carping text complaining about something to me and then telling me that she didn't give a ‘Fiddler’s Fuck’ about who worked on the damn thing (hint, not me).

Yeah, it’s just more joy than a person could want on a daily basis.

Last week I worked from home Friday so I could get myself checked out for the chest pains I’ve been having lately.

Seriously, that much fun.

Now on the heels of my stomach acting up back in August, I’m pretty close to just walking out as it is but after the text I pointedly showed it to my boss and made it clear I was tired of this and the next step was to go to HR.

Here’s the funny thing... you take one or two people out of the situation and it runs fairly smoothly. It has it’s moments but there are people and personalities making it much more difficult than it needs to be. After two years I’m simply tired of it and the lovely fact of the matter is that the people in charge don’t want to move me off the account because ‘I’m so good.’ Yet, I don’t get paid for being a punching bag, so we’ll have to see what next steps are but I can tell you my days of being tolerant or nice about it are at an end.

Oct 20, 2019

That was satisfying.

“The Yankees lose! THE YANKEES LOSE! TTHHHHEEEEE YYYYAAAANNNNKKKKEEEESSSS LLLOOOSSSSEEEE!”

I can just hear John Sterling screaming that one. I fucking hate the Yankees.

There I said it.

You know I was a Yankee fan through the eighties into the nineties and after the ’95 season I switched allegiances to the Mets and truthfully, I’ve never been sorry about it.

As much as I may despise the Wilpons at times, I truly hated George Steinbrenner. When the unceremoniously showed Don Mattingly the door, got rid of Mike Stanley, Randy Velarde, Jack McDowell and let go of Buck Showalter I was done.

Say what you will about Joe Torre but he inherited a good team from Showalter, don’t kid yourself.

I used to go to bunches of Yankee games each year but the one thing I noticed was more and more as the team got better it became ever more embarrassing to go to a game with women or kids. I know it was around this time that the Yankees got rid of their ushers for the most part and replaced them with NYPD which you’d think would have made a great difference in the rowdiness at the games but if anything it only got worse.

I can remember taking a woman from work and being really red faced when a group of ten plus guys in the same section used the game as an excuse to get totally blotto and thought it was totally appropriate to shout out all manners of profanity regardless of who was around them.

I’m not some kind of delicate flower either, if anything I am a maestro of the creative use of profanity but you have to learn to pick your moments.

Anyway, the first thing I noticed once I became a Mets fan was that overall the atmosphere at the ballpark (Shea Stadium then) was just a lot calmer, a lot nicer and a lot more family friendly.

Now it’s two decades plus later and I’ve gone to World Series games and playoff games that the Mets have played and they’ve been terrific. The thing I like the best about the Mets is that right now, at this moment without people realizing it they have a really good team. They did well this year IN SPITE of the injuries they had and a lot of that talent is homegrown too.

The biggest question now is whether or not they’ll finally hire a former Yankee to manage them and if you think about it... the record of former Yankees who have managed the Mets is a pretty good one - Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra and Willie Randolph.

Anyway, seeing the Yankees blow it and miss going to the World Series is fun to watch. It just is. It means a winter of listening to Yankee fans crow goes up in smoke now and if anything just gives one more ammunition for the many ways they’ve choked over the last 20 years now.

Put it this way, since their 2000 win against the Mets in the World Series, the Giants, the Cardinals and the Red Sox have won more World Series titles than the storied Yankees.

Oh, I can’t stand it... I have to go and cry some crocodile tears.

Oct 12, 2019

Is there censorship by the Left?

Mmmm... I don’t know but I do know that any time I try and post this in the comments section of a certain popular website it always seems to be removed by the moderators. Funny in the context that the prosecutor in question was readying to subpoena Hunter Biden when all this happened.

Oct 6, 2019

What a peach.

I don’t talk about politics so much lately because I find it so very stupid.

We’ve arrived at impeachment! YAY!

So for the last two plus years we’ve had the hysterics of the folks who thought for certain they were going to win an election have meltdowns over just about everything. Impeachment would have more impact if it wasn’t what people have been hearing since the day after the inauguration back in 2017.

This is just the final phase of something that’s been in the works now for the past couple of years.

Truth be told, it’s not making much of an impact on people who supported the President to begin with and I wonder too if people in the middle are all that moved either. It looks more and more like another obvious ploy to win an election in 2020 that was looking ever more likely the Democrats were going to lose.

In the meantime, there’s been the Mueller investigation that was supposedly going to spell the end for the President. Then there was the duo of Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti (who at one point was being bandied about as a challenger in 2020 to the President) who were going to seal the President’s fate. Then it was the testimony of Michael Cohen that was going to pull back the curtain and seal the deal.

All the while you have the same cast of crazies out in front droning on about ‘threats to our Democracy’ and the like but these are the same people who want to do away with the Electoral College because they lost. These are people who don’t appreciate the fact that the Founding Fathers didn’t want larger states to dominate the political landscape and allow for all voices to be heard.

Well, we can’t have that if we don’t get our way now can we?

Better still, while we’re on the subject about digging up dirt on people... anyone want to talk about the work the Podesta Group did? Anyone care to bring up what the DNC was doing before the election in 2016? Can we talk about propaganda being used as an excuse to spy on people from the other party? You know, Nixon was impeached because of a break in at Democratic National Committee Headquarters (hence Watergate) but we’re not really talking about how FISA abuse and using the government’s intelligence agencies to spy on Americans during 2016 was way, way worse.

I’m one of those folks who doesn’t believe Loretta Lynch stopped off on the tarmac to catch up with Bill and talk about their grandchildren after telling the FBI Director to refer to an investigation as anything but an investigation.

Nah... there’s nothing there! Nothing at all because some of us are in white hats and others are in black hats and the world’s really that simple a place.

I get it, we have an indelicate jerk in the Oval Office. Much of what the guy says is cringe worthy and I don’t think there are many people who would give you much of an argument on that front. In spite of that though, the thing is that there are a lot of things going on right now in this country that are better than they’ve been for a long, long time.

No one was predicting the kind of growth we’ve had and unemployment is the lowest in FIVE DECADES across the board affecting even segments of the population that supposedly have no reason to support the current administration. Oh yeah, there’s been criminal justice reform, measures to address the opioid crisis and drug prices among other things. There’s been an aggressive attempt to redress the trade imbalance we’ve had with China (and there would never be a better time to do this than when the economy is good) which was probably the biggest problem we were facing as a nation. We’ve also seen trade and protectionism addressed with both North American and European trading partners.

We’re reducing our footprint in a war we’ve been in for 18 years and we’ve made it clear there are certain things we won’t tolerate (missiles to a dictator after gassing his people).

Yeah, I get it... everything has just been BAD! IT’S BEEN HORRIBLE! THE WORLD IS GOING TO END!

But it hasn’t, it didn’t.

I don’t know what’s going to happen honestly but I will say this... this President is unlike any of the people in Washington. He’s really a true New Yorker in a lot of ways. Nasty, brash and won’t back away from a fight. I wouldn’t be so confident that events are going to go the way a lot of wishful snowflakes think they’re going to go.

Oh, and by the way... nothing that the Democrats have been offering up is all that appealing. And I’m someone that’s voted for both Democrats and Republicans so I’m one of those people you should be convincing and you’re not doing it.

Oct 4, 2019

Workaday wonders.

I haven’t written much since the coordinator left but it’s been interesting to say the least. Interesting if not necessarily in a positive way...

So, you know how these two people who were supposed to be ‘managing’ things? Well, similar to what happened to me back in August when both of these guys were supposed to take the reins, immediately upon having said reins handed over to them lo and behold they were off on PTO!

Yeah, it’s just too special.

So the coordinator leaves, my peer comes back the next day and is at various times having meltdowns because he wants his responsibilities clearly spelled out to him (which is a load of horseshit anyway because when he gets to work on something he wants to work on that goes right out the window) but, apparently he can’t be bothered to print out a web page and staple it to a folder or go onto an online spread sheet and update a field.

Really.

And then day after my birthday I once again got subjected to another screaming episode with this clown. I had gotten my work out and there were a series of jobs that came in. I had a way of breaking them down but since the prima donna had ‘designed’ something he was a bit picky about anyone touching his ‘work’ or altering it in any way.

My boss is standing over me telling me to set up the jobs one way (which won’t work) and I’m trying to explain to him why that won’t work when my peer inserts himself into the conversation and takes the boss’ side having a meltdown in the process and telling me just to give him the jobs because ‘I’m going to fuck him up!’

Like dude? Really? Take ’em stupid. Knock yourself out!

Talk about letting someone shoot themselves. I mean this was just a delight to watch.

Why? Well, because I was right and dummy was wrong and so once he got into the work itself it proved not to be easy or at all working the way he was supporting in the slightest and it became a bigger problem in the context of all the other jobs he had half done as well.

Me, I am at the point of seriously approaching HR about this because I’m more than a little tired of it. It’s about the third or fourth time something like this has happened. I don’t get angry as much as I don’t want to deal with it. I mean, I know that the behavior is not isolated to me alone. I’ve seen it with other interactions he’s had with people in the office and it’s one of the reasons people don’t want to work with him. As good as he may be, people just don’t want the bother. I know too, he treats his immediate family the same way.

Anyway, I had it and since then I’ve spoken very little to him at all. Man though... it’s been fun to watch!

Oh and the folks running the show? Well our boss immediately went on a previously scheduled week long vacation golf outing. The Account Director had been missing in action but it looks like someone is lighting a fire under her ass because she’s suddenly having to pick up some of the slack in the last few days (which she should have been doing all along). One onsite has been overwhelmed and the other just refuses to do her job. So, really... it’s been fun.

In the meantime I just have kept my head down and gotten my work out without any issue trying to keep things that I have on my plate rolling along smoothly which for the most part they have.

Oh and the other account I had nurtured along? Yeah, after telling me the client wouldn’t pay for an onsite they just hired a freelancer they’ve been using to go staff and fill that role. As someone put it to me, I’m too good on the account for them to move me off of it.

It’s akin to being punished for doing a good job.

Sep 21, 2019

Trying to be the adult in the room.

Work as usual occupies much of my focus much to my own chagrin.

Last night I was out with a co-worker who was trying to help put things in perspective and in many ways, there were a lot of things he said that he was spot on about. Spot on in theory though and not in practice.

Our coordinator left this week and the truth of it is that it really hit me much, much harder than one might think. It’s not as if I can say we didn’t have our moments and I’m sure there were times she had enough of my bullshit but the truth is that her and I were the two people who predated everyone else on the account since it came into the shop. No one else working on this had worked on it as long as we had.

Truthfully, she was one of the good things about my days at work and as far as working on this account goes the only good thing. She did a ton of work, without complaint, was always pleasant (if a little obstinate at moments) and held a lot of things together overall. It’s just more commentary on how good people go unappreciated and unrewarded in this organization.

She found another job, a better job and I’m really very happy for her because she deserves all the success and advancement she gets. Now the flip side to that is for all my happiness at her moving on, I am well and truly sad about it too. I’m even a little bit surprised myself to tell you the truth about how sad it’s made me. So much so that when I’ve focused on it I’m on the cusp of tears.

Something is very wrong with me obviously.

Like I said though, there isn’t much about work I find joy in these days. Her leaving was dealt with so poorly by management it beggars the imagination.

Instead of moving someone in a similar role on another account in temporarily to cover until they have someone to fill that position, it’s empty. The Account Director who should really be covering if no one is there can’t be bothered and neither of the onsites can slot in even on a part time basis. Yet, the SAME TWO PEOPLE who made a mess of things on the other account now have slotted in to ‘manage’ this one.

Yeah, we’re talking disaster here.

I’ve got a pile of work dumped on me and amazingly it’s all past deadline. I mean as in WHEN I GOT THE WORK IT WAS ALREADY PAST DEADLINE!

None of these jobs are easy or clear. Better still is my boss saying to just get it out back to the client even if it’s wrong. So... late and wrong, talk about winning combinations to impress and retain customers!

I’m just going to keep my head down and plod along and if the body starts to act up again walk out, go to the doctor and get a note that I need to be put onto light duty because of the stress.

It’s just this incredible dysfunction to watch in action and my coworker was telling me I shouldn’t be involved in it, I shouldn’t let it bother me, I should just do my work and not anything more but that’s not the dynamic.

This week I saw some things go one that I can’t ever remember seeing... I actually saw two instances where two different people were working on the same job at the same time. I’ve never seen that... I actually can’t remember being in a place where that happened ever. That’s how ridiculous things are right now.

Better still is that other account I was working on? Oh, well work came in on that. Everyone gets an email when the onsite assigns projects to the department. The onsite reached out to me as well via email and I followed up two days later (because I had a question on something else that was sitting on my desk I wanted to get out of shop) and it appears none of the ‘project managers’ (my boss or the other person who are supposed to be directing this work), could be bothered to follow up. No one contacted the onsite, no one assigned the work, no one set up the project. I mean nothing... these are the people in charge.

Simply amazing.

Anyway, right now I’m trying to figure out how and if I want to stay. It’s hard to keep a job. The coworker I was out with has been with the company for over a decade and he has the wonderful ability to fly below the radar in a way that seems to have always escaped me. It’s my personality, I know it. Yet, he’s got a lot of things right in his worldview I have to say. Of course, he’s about a decade younger than me and his commute is a third of what mine is so as I explained to him when he was talking about balance it’s not an easy thing when work takes up a minimum of eleven hours out of your day and more often than not thirteen or more.

You’re not particularly left with a lot in the way of free time to be sure.

Something needs to change though or maybe it’s a question of just weathering another storm. Rough seas that belie a period of calm ahead. I can’t tell but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and try to survive the storm as best I can.

Sep 13, 2019

Micromanagement 101.

So, it’s a little but interesting to watch things at work sometimes.

As we get further into the year, I can’t help but feel there is something in the offing. My suspicion is that by the first quarter of next year, a lot of the folks including myself will not be working for the company because they’ll simply be moving operations out of New York City.

They bought in a new CEO and his past along with a recent Global Town Hall as well as a meeting with a upper level manager have spoken volumes about the direction things are going in. In the meeting with the upper level guy, one thing that was made clear was that work that was being shifted out of New York to other sites would not be replaced. Further it was pointedly said that they would never expand the office because the costs of both real estate and salaries made that cost prohibitive. The company is in the midst or renegotiating the lease on the space we occupy and I know for a fact the price per square foot will be tripling almost. There was also the added jewel in a statement made by the upper management guy that although clients in other locations want operations close by, customers in New York are used to dealing with suppliers all over the world.

Yes... oh there is just so much job security.

Which is fine really. These are the days that we live in. Yet, loyalty is a swinging door.

In the meantime there’s the other drama that’s been going on.

As I had stated there was a week a few weeks back that I expected to be my last week and involved me getting called into a closed door meeting with my supervisor and his boss. They were quite upset with me because I had made it clear to the sales director I would no longer be responsible for what happened on the account I had been nursing along for the last four months.

See, there was a decision made that even though things were going well that wasn’t good. It wasn’t a good thing for me to be handling this alone and other people ‘needed’ to be involved.

It was something my boss had been engineering for awhile but from a practical standpoint it was a bit unworkable. It wasn’t the kind of client or project that demanded a huge commitment of resources but it was a relationship that was growing (something I was taking pride in) but they needed to have someone ‘project manage’ things.

Again, supposedly this meant that I would ‘be able to focus on the work’ but the only thing it meant was someone was going to take credit for my work and do little which didn’t really sit well with me. I’m funny that way in the sense that if you are supposed to be responsible for aspects of a project then I expect you to actually perform those tasks.

So, I could see the writing on the wall in the sense that the people who were coming in were in the process of making it harder to do the work, were fucking up the work and were going to do a sidestep and that’s why I went to the director of sales because I could see where this was headed and wanted to be sure that it was abundantly clear that certain people were now responsible for whatever happened on this account.

Think, hitting a hornet’s nest.

Basically I scored a direct hit and my boss’ boss was upset because as he put it, ‘He wants the department to run like a Black Box.’

Yeah, I get that... it runs like a Black Box and then you can readily blame the peons but ummmm no.
 Anyway, I started that about three weeks back if you can believe it. Wow.

So, let’s see... we essentially lost that work. That account that I had been nursing along, being hands on and at their beck and call? Well, the ham handed idiots came in and basically lost the work which was really fascinating to watch.

At every step of the way, I explained the client didn’t want us doing the work to begin with, the client didn’t want to spend money, the client is disorganized but making them jump throw hoops is only going to make them go elsewhere and?

They did.

My boss and another person were supposed to be ‘project managing’ the account but basically that meant being in the way and I wasn’t having any of it because I’m not about to be a fall guy. If you want to drive, drive baby!

I’ll just sit back and watch the scenery.

What happened was they started to get in the middle of things and I was as cooperative as I could be. I answered all their questions (again and again and again), held their hands, watched them as it was obvious they were in over their heads. Sat in client meetings and here’s the funny thing I realized.

In these phone calls we were having, one meeting I was blindsided at the end of a call when the client was told that this other person would be handling all the project management. Then afterward in meetings I just let them take the lead but it was clear they weren’t really paying close attention. So, we were having daily calls and I was out for a few days and the client cancelled those calls when I was out. And during meetings after I realized the only contribution my boss had was to repeat what I would say to make it appear he came up with the idea, I figured I should just keep my mouth shut.

And I did which was a little funny to watch really as he wildly gesticulated during one call and I looked at the ceiling raptly listening to the conversation and after a prolonged silence the client asked if I had any questions at which point I went through all the work we had in the shop and very specific questions regarding each project and the direction moving forward.

It was really funny, for me, not so much for the other people.

Now, in the course of the discussion and reviews I’ve had it’s become clear that the thought is that I am overpaid because of the ‘band’ I’m in (the job classification and title) even though a lot of the tasks I perform are nothing similar to what other people in the same job classification do.

It’s two years, no raise and nothing at all in the offing either and my peer, he’s in the same boat too.

So they kicked me back onto this other beast of an account because as the guy who was supposed to be project managing said, ‘You’re good, that’s why they won’t take you off it.’

Well, in the next week, our account coordinator leaves... and the geniuses not only don’t have anyone internally to cover in the interim they are still scrambling to get people for interviews even though she gave notice the last week in August.

It was funny today because my peer is quite militant about certain things and going beyond the scope of his responsibilities is one of them. Me, I can see the accident coming down the road and things have already starting breaking down this week. They burned me on the other thing though so I’m just sitting back again and doing what I’m told.

That’s management motivating me to go that extra mile.

Oh and by the way... so apparently all this garbage caught up with me and I wound up having such a violent reaction to all the sturm and drang of these idiots I narrowly avoided a trip to the hospital (as in getting a cat-scan because I had such stomach distress). When the choice is between your health and your job I can tell you it’s an easy choice to make.

Readying for the fireworks to come as the same two that lost the account I was shepherding are now going to be responsible for the bear of an account.... this should be fun to watch.