Afternoon drag

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I take a late lunch. I take a late lunch on purpose. I most typically take my lunch at 1:00pm so that there is less time at the end of the day. I am off at 4:30pm, so there is 2.5 hours of the work day left when I get back from lunch. But, as of late, I have noticed a problem.

The afternoon is dragging after lunch.

Like. Seriously. Dragging.

That 2.5 hours between the return from lunch and the end of the work day seem just as long as the first 5.5 hours of the day. What’s the deal with that?

There has got to be a reasonable answer for this but I am just not finding it. Instead I spend the afternoon watching the clock and hoping that somehow the end of the day gets there faster than possible in the time/space continuum.

I make coffee.

I go to the bathroom.

I visit co-workers (when I am in the office).

I work on the never ending list of work.

Nothing works.

Why are afternoons so hard? Do you know?

Tough conversations

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Anyone else tired of having tough conversations?

If you fall into the above category, would you just rather punch people in the throat instead?

Yeah, me too.

If you don’t fall into the above category, would you just rather punch people in the throat than have a conversation?

Yeah, me too.

The truth of the matter is that if you punch someone in the throat, having any conversation is just difficult for them and they just have to listen.

“Conversation had.”

Let’s move on.

What changed?

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Dear family, friends, and co-workers,

I haven’t changed.

I am the same person you liked. The same person you enjoyed hanging out with. Dare I say that you may have even “loved” me?

I still strive to do my very best every day. I still make the same lame jokes you’ve laughed at in the past. I still have hopes, dreams, fears, and challenges, just like I did when we last talked or saw each other. I still make mistakes. I still have successes. I am the same today, as I was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.

I haven’t become the evil you seem to think I have, or that the world is telling you that I am.

So what has changed for you?

I feel your stare when I walk into the room. I hear your whispered conversations when you think I can’t hear you. I feel you treating me, seeing me, thinking of me differently than before. I feel the weight of your opinion about me.

You’ve always told me not to discriminate, to not treat people differently, to “walk in their shoes” for a while. You’ve always told me not to judge people based on their skin color, their economic status, whether they had a home or not, their sexual preference, their religion, their sex, their national origin, their political party, their language, or any number of other things.

Why has that changed for you now? Is it ok to discriminate against me because my choices are different than yours?

Whether I am not vaccinated or I am, does that make me a different person than I was the last time we interacted?

Why is it now necessary for me to feel the need to announce my status when I walk into a building? Attend a function? Arrive at work? Go out to eat? Receive medical treatment? Hang out with you?

Why is it ok for some to give me unlimited access and for others to deny me access completely? Why do some get special treatment and others no treatment at all? Why is this type of discrimination acceptable but others aren’t?

I haven’t changed.

But, for whatever reason, your fear seems to have changed you.

I am the same as I was before. You are not.

I still want the same things you want. That hasn’t changed.

So why are you letting something so little stand in the way of how it used to be?

I am not vaccinated.

I am vaccinated.

Does it really matter in the end?

I am human. You are human. Let’s treat each other like it.

That is all that really matters.

Mandate BS

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Well, as predicted, the squeeze has now trickled down to me. I am just come right out and say it. This is utter bullshit. All of it.

Requiring a person to put something in their body, against their will, is tyranny in it’s purest form.

Governments that force it’s citizens to do anything to their bodies is wrong. Governments that take away an individual’s sovereignty over their body, has no justification whatsoever.

Threatening a person’s livelihood is nothing short of coercion. It is no different than the sidewalk thug putting a gun to a person’s head and telling them to hand over their wallet.

Move On

Sure, there are other jobs out there. But at the rate of government overreach at this point, no job is safe. Who’s to say that changing jobs won’t have the same requirements down the road. There is precedent for it now. Plus, finding a job that is comparable in income and benefits is a difficult task. It’s not simply a matter of going down the street and applying for a new job.

Unemployed

Benefits will be denied. That’s the second bullet in the government’s gun. They aren’t just going to make sure you can’t continue in your current job. They are going to make sure there is no safety net (you know, the one you pay into every month via a payroll tax) should you choose to buck the system. Not only is the gun to your head, but it is cocked and ready to fire.

Comply

This is what they hope will happen. They aren’t banking on people actually standing up for what they believe in. They aren’t counting on the fact that there will be a large number of people who won’t compromise their beliefs in order to keep their jobs. They are assuming that the number will be small and that, while it may be uncomfortable for those who are still working, the loss of a percentage of employees can be covered and replaced in a short period of time. That’s really where the question in this whole thing stands. How many will stand up and say NO? How does this really impact the businesses/organizations/companies that are already facing a shortage (ever heard of the healthcare shortage or the teacher shortage – these aren’t areas where you just go out and hire Joe Blow off the street)?

This is excruciating.

I have to admit, this is a tougher choice than what I thought it would be.

If I make the choice to move on, I leave a career that I enjoy and people (for the most part) that I like. I set in motion a series of decisions that impact not just the immediate status of my life, but also puts at risk the future plans and aspirations I had. What is currently a fairly comfortable existence financially suddenly becomes rather uncomfortable and quite possibly a struggle that sets my financial future back years. It basically feels like starting over.

This is no small decision.

The timeline for making the decision gets shorter with each passing day.

What would you do? Or, if you have been put in a similar situation, what did you do?

As I expected

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I am back home in my garage office and I have to say it feels so much better. As you know from a previous post, Unhappy returns, I have to start going into the office at least two days a week. Totally and wholly unwelcome development in the work from home saga.

Anyway, I have just spent the last two days doing the whole commute in the morning and afternoon, office interactions, meetings, and getting reacquainted with a cubicle work, and cubicle moving/reorganization.

The office was noisy. There were people always coming over to say “Hi” and to catch up. I had to set up my computer in a totally different arrangement since my home office uses three monitor and the office only has two. My headset had to be reconfigured to actually be able to talk to people via Zoom and Teams (of course, you don’t realize this until you are in a call). Everyone is bathing in sanitizer and wearing masks… Can’t use the lunchroom. Sheesh.

Honestly, I didn’t want to leave my cube and I didn’t really wanna be there in the first place. So, I did my time and got outta there! I hate that I am going to have repeat this whole disruption to my best work environment on a weekly basis.

Ugh.

So, I am back in the friendly confines of the familiar and I like it. This is where I should work from all the time.

Unhappy returns

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The time has come and I am not liking it whatsoever. Mostly because I feel it is so unnecessary. I can literally do this anywhere in the world and having an office, a cubical, is the most unwanted and unnecessary thing in the world right now.

Tomorrow, I have to start going back to the office.

The telecommute policy has been expanded, but that still means I am going to have to go back to the office on an average of two, sometimes three, days a week, depending on the month and various other activities that need in-person attendance.

Of course, we all now know that nothing really requires an in-person presence since we have been away from the office for 15 months straight and we have been doing our job completely and totally without fail for that time.

As you can probably assume, or tell, I am not stoked about this in any way.

Changing telecommute

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Well, after telecommuting full time for the last 16 months, there is a date to start going back to the office and I am not sure I am all that happy about it. Actually, I am sure that I am not. I lied. I am not happy about it.

Yes, I realize that the expectation to be at the office for work has always been there but this whole situation has fully exposed the fact that we don’t need to be in an office to get our job done. We have proven beyond that shadow of a doubt that our job can be done fully remote and that our clients have been affected to the smallest degree possible. In fact, many have commented over the this time about not really even realizing we were all working from home except that they knew we were working from home. That’s how we roll. There was no break in service, ever.

Anyway, the time has come to get back to the office and there will still be a telecommute policy as before, except that there is a new proposal to expand upon it. Frankly, I don’t think the expansion goes far enough and while I haven’t talked to any of my co-workers yet, I am sure there are quite a few who will express similar feelings.

Prior to the pandemic, we were allowed two days a week (40%, with a few limitations on what days they could be). Now, we are going to be allowed three days a week (60%, not sure of limitations yet). Also what remains to be seen is whether or not this policy has built in flexibility, meaning I don’t have to have a set three days but can pick and choose when I want to telecommute.

Anyway, I don’t think three days is enough.

It could be and should be more.

Perhaps I’ll see what is out there, in regards to full time telecommute and whether or not a change can be had.

Never hurts to have options, right?

Turned on it’s head

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There are a whole lot of things in this crazy, mixed up world that have been turned on their heads. It seems the “upside down” (without the scary monsters…ok, maybe just different monsters…) is for real and we are all living in it now. We can’t avoid it and it seems kicking and screaming about it won’t change it either.

I got an indication of what going back to work (like actually back to the office – because I have been working the whole time) is going to look like, and I don’t like what I am hearing.

So, the head honcho has said that when it is time to be back in the office (projected as August 1, right now) that you will have to wear a mask unless you are vaccinated and they have documented proof that you are vaccinated.

My frustration level, and my irritation level, have hit all time highs now. As I am sure you are aware if you have been reading this blog (does anyone actually do that or do you just click?) for any amount of time over the last year, that I am strongly against people providing proof of vaccination in any manner whatsoever. I believe it is a violation of privacy, leads to segregation and discrimination.

But, it appears that we are going to throw hundreds of years of vaccination understanding out the door in the name of fear.

Mainly, what’s the reason for getting a vaccination?

The simple answer is to protect someone from contracting a disease. Does it completely work in eliminating the risk? No. A vaccinated person can still get the disease, but the likelihood of it being as severe as what an unvaccinated person would experience is reduced greatly.

Immunity, as we have come to understand it, is developed through “active” exposure (coming in contact naturally) and “passive” exposure (being given a vaccine). So, as more and more people have been exposed to Covid (via either method) the more people who are protected against it.

We have seen this for years and years and years with polio, measles, mumps, small pox, chicken pox, etc. Childhood vaccinations were endured by many. We also see many people who get through the flu shot every year because they want to avoid the effects of the flu (or at least as much as possible).

So, if we understand how the shot works for the flu and all the other vaccinations, why are there demands for people to continue wearing masks when there is no reason to?

If you have had the flu shot, do you need to worry about people who haven’t had the flu shot? Do we make those people wear masks at work?

If you have had the measles vaccination, do you have to worry about people who haven’t had the measles vaccine? Do we make those coworkers without the vaccination wear a mask at work?

Do people who haven’t had a vaccine worry about the people who have had the vaccine? If someone chooses to be unvaccinated and not wear a mask, should they worry about getting the disease? No, because the likelihood of getting goes down with each person who has developed immunity to it one way or another.

As I look at the “rules” for going back to the office, I can’t help but wonder where we decided to turn everything we know about vaccinations upside down and ignore hundreds of years of practice simply because this one disease has caused so much undo fear.

If the vaccinated aren’t afraid of other vaccinated people, then do they need to be fearful of unvaccinated people? NO! They are protected. That’s why they got the vaccination in the first place!

Gosh people are stupid.

Perhaps I’ll start looking for a job where I don’t have to go into an office any longer. Anyone got a job offer that would allow me to work from home and allow me to earn what I currently earn? I would seriously consider it. Seriously.

How about “No”?

There is at least one in everyone’s life. There is at least one in everyone’s working sphere. There is always one. They are exhausting, annoying, and their success in getting to “Yes” is a rarity.

That person who won’t take “No” for an answer.

Good grief, I wanna shove an ice pick into my ear as deep as it will go and then wiggle it around like I am trying to make round cookie balls.

I jut got off the phone with a client who, no matter how many times I explained the limitations of the software and no matter how many times I explained the exact same info in a different way, she still wouldn’t accept that she couldn’t bend the software to her will.

She even suggested that maybe the people who made the software could program what she wanted into the software.

OK, that might have been a viable (and costly) answer in the past, but the software developers are focused on the new version of the software and aren’t taking requests for the current software even if the client pays for it.

Instead of adapting to the way it works and educating the people who use it (or are expected to use it), she just wants it to work the way she wants it to work.

OK, lady, we’ll get on it just for you.

No, not really. Stop asking already.

I am the fourth person you have talked to about this. We have pushed the software as far and as close to what you want, but there is a limit and our answers are all the same.

NO

We can’t do any more for you.

NO

NO

Got it?

Anyone else have a person that just take “NO” for an answer?

The instructions

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Stop trying to take the easy way out. By easy way, I mean the one where you have someone else do it for you.

Nearly everything you buy these days, nearly everything you work with these days, nearly EVERYTHING has some kind of “User Guide, “User Manual,” “Setup Guide,” “Assembly Instructions,” “Directions for Use,” etc.

Seriously. Have you opened a box of anything and not found at least some documentation with directions or instructions of some sort – either right there on the paper or directions to find them online? So there is honestly no excuse for not knowing what to do, how to use it, or how to set it up.

Unfortunately, society has become a bunch of “anti-instructionists.” (Yes, I made that up, but I can’t think of anything else to call it.)

It used to be that the cliché was that men were notorious for not reading the instructions and just jumping right in to figure it out (even if it meant taking something apart multiple times to get it right). That cliché has been turned on it’s head as, apparently, all people are just too lazy to read/learn/discover/follow directions. So many people are just willing to have someone else do it for them (or, to put it more bluntly – DEMAND you do it for them).

I know I am a little bit on the unusual side, since I do in fact take time to read the documentation included with a product, or posted online. I don’t always read them AT the moment of unboxing but I do eventually get to it. It depends on the level of complexity involved. I have even read the manuals that came with my car (hey, I like knowing about all the features that I may or may not use!). So, I do go through the trouble to learn about something. Sometimes it is trial and error and sometimes it is because I actually put effort into it and did it the right way.

Work lately…work lately is a bunch of people who don’t bother to read the documentation the software owner puts out. They don’t read all the supplemental documentation we create to further assist in use of the software. Hell, they don’t even watch the video we produce to give them visual aid in using the software. Instead, they just call use and take the easy way out – they want us to do it for them.

It’s frustrating that day after day after day people call and ask the exact same questions they asked three days ago, or 24 hours ago, or 6 weeks ago. Seriously, people, it’s part of YOUR job. Learn it. Read it. Discover it. Work in it and work at it. You aren’t going to have a crutch all the damn time.

OK.

Deep breath.

I guess my rant is over.

What type of person are you? Do you read the instructions and learn or do you completely ignore them and rely on someone else to do it for you? Do you follow directions to do things correctly or do you just make it up as you go and hope for good results?

What type of person are you?