Suddenly sucks

Photo by Cup of Couple on Pexels.com

Work.

There is too much of it, so I write a blog post about it instead.

Seems fair.

I am actually procrastinating because I don’t really want to dive into the overwhelming list of things that needs to get done. It seems the list continues to grow every day and I am not taking many things off of it.

Work suddenly sucks. I never really thought it would get this way. Don’t get me wrong, I still like what I do and the people I work with, but there is generally a feeling of dread each morning before I go to work…and I am exhausted when I am done with it.

Our normal team of 17 is down to 14. Well, 14 and a quarter.

I say a quarter because we recently hired someone to replace a co-worker that left back in October. But, he thing with this hire is that the management went with someone who has no background, no history, no knowledge of the software at all. The new hire has a lot of technical skill from their time in the military, but no skills that actually help the team at the moment, and likely won’t really contribute to the team in a meaningful sense for probably a year. The new hire will be great once up to speed, but in the meantime it will be painful for the rest of us.

The reason we are so far behind in hiring is that we had two co-workers leave to go to other jobs in the same field at about the same time. One of those people had 18 years of experience and knowledge go with them and the other had about two years of direct knowledge and many years of ancillary knowledge go with them. We have only replaced one of them.

We also had a co-worker die recently from an extended battle with lung cancer. Again, there was many years of experience and knowledge lost as a result. We all felt this loss in different ways and we are all trying to pick up the slack since it happened. The co-worker had actually been working all the way up to two weeks before their death.

So, if you are keeping track, we are down two (basically three) positions and there is also an impending retirement coming up in the next several months. Then we will be down three (basically four) positions. They have just posted the position for one of the jobs…and we’re all hoping for some really outstanding, qualified, and experience candidates. The problem is that they are only going to be replacing one at this point.

I’m just tired. And overwhelmed.

It has to get better soon.

Sprung

Photo by Ethan Medrano on Pexels.com

Sorry for being (mostly) MIA this week.

A major project and presentation was sprung on me two days ago and I had/have less than nine days to get ready for it. Oh, and that also means I have to prep for it and plan it while still doing the rest of my job.

Sure, I have a team to help with it some, but in order to have them help I have to have interim meetings along the way…which means planning for those meetings…

Thankful for a job, but hating it these days.

Pork

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

The amount of pork in the “stimulus” package passed by Congress and challenged by the President, even a lame duck president, is stupid. For a body that says they are trying to help the American people, they sure know how to help themselves to our money. This stuff, among other things, is why so many Americans don’t believe the government is working and is broken beyond repair.

For the record, I don’t believe it is beyond repair. However, I do believe it is not working the way it was intended or should.

Is it really necessary to include money for foreign countries in a bill that is aimed at helping American citizens? Is it really necessary for the country, already in debt, to make it larger to help people outside of the U.S.? Is it really necessary for our congressional representatives to stuff every spending bill with frivolous pork barrel crap just so they can get themselves re-elected and pad every pet project brought to them by the countless lobbyists?

Honestly, there is nothing stimulating about the bill.

For those who need the direct payment, it isn’t enough. For a majority of Americans (including myself), they don’t actually need a direct payment and so it is too much. Once again, Congress isn’t actually addressing the real issues and they have delayed real help by including a massive amount of stupid spending at a time when many Americans are looking at their finances and wondering how to make it from day to day.

Don’t forget the money a government spends wasn’t theirs in the first place. THIS MONEY COMES FROM YOUR POCKET! So, in one way or another, they are taking if from you: payroll taxes, income taxes, sales tax, death tax, capital gains tax, etc. The list is seemingly never ending.

The least you could do is demand that your money be spend in ways that make sense. Spend wisely. Use and follow a budget. Save.

There used to be a joke (maybe it still is a thing) that when you bought stuff from China it was cheap and would break almost immediately. People would say, “You get what you pay for,” meaning the more you pay for an item (in most cases) equates to the quality and durability of the item. Though it is cliche, the thought hold weight because there is some truth to it.

The same can be said of our representative government. We get what we pay for. Unfortunately, most of us can’t pay for a senator or a representative, so the people and companies with real money get what they pay for.

This “stimulus” bill and all the pork in it just proves that’s true…again…

Bailing, again

Photo by Anatolii Kiriak on Pexels.com

Why do I feel like we are constantly responsible for bailing out the adult children? Good grief, it is never ending.

“Can we borrow the car?”

“Can we live with you?”

“Can you watch the kids?”

“Can we use the house?”

“We need help…”

“The kids need…”

“Can you help us find…”

“Can we do laundry at your house?”

“Can you keep this in your big freezer?”

“The car broke down again…”

“Will you co-sign with us?”

Choices. It all has to do with choices and theirs are continually poor. Much of it stemming from the fact that they rarely think about the future. Vision for the future and putting in a little thought about consequences and what might happen if…thus, the lack of forethought constantly has them stamping out fires of their own creation and never allowing them to head in the right direction.

Once again, we are being asked about borrowing a vehicle and providing a place for them to hang out while they have appointments in town. They are the ones that chose to move over an hour out of town (“We like living in the country”). They are the ones that made poor financial choices and only have one running vehicle, which also happens to be providing the only manner of income at the moment. They are the ones that have chosen to have four children on little to no income (supposedly the last two were unplanned, but we know better…).

These adult step-children are killing me. They know they are the source of friction in my home and yet they do nothing to help. It is a constant stream of needs, wants, and demands (or at least putting us in a position where it feels like a demand, leaving us with little choice).

The problem is, when I try to mitigate the help and limit the aid, it comes back to bite me in the ass. The wrath and second guessing in the household becomes palpable. Winter inside, and outside the house.

Yeah, good times…

Here we go again…

I am validated

left human hand

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Research shows, Piss and Moan is good for you.

Angry? Cynical? Pessimist? Grumpy? Ill-tempered?

All good for you, according to research.

Since we’re so into science these days and scientists know all, and should be trusted at all times, so you know this is quality stuff. How could they possibly be wrong? Well, honestly, they’re not. They know their stuff!

So, Bobby McFerrin, you can take your “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and shove it! According to research, that crap is bad for your health and is more likely to kill you.

Need some help getting into the Piss and Moan mood? I have a few helpful hints to get you there, because I am also an expert in this area.

Try these responses to common, courtesy phrases:

They say: “Good morning!”  /  Your response: “What’s good about it?”

They say: “Have a nice day!”  /  Your response: “Don’t tell me what to do.”

Try these thoughts as you go out in public:

Good grief, people are really stupid.

You know, if half these people died right now I wouldn’t miss them.

Based on today’s display of humanity, would pre-historic times really have been that bad?

Try these thoughts about family:

They say: “We’re coming over.”  /  Your response: “Do you really have to?”

When, for all that is holy, can I stop parenting for 20 minutes?

How are these losers really my kids?

I’m not really genetically related to these people, am I?

You say: “Can you all just leave now?”  /  They say: “But, we haven’t been here that long.”

See how easy that is? Piss and Moan more. It has been validated and scientifically proven to be good for you.

You’re welcome.

 

Ingratitude

horse laughing laughing horse

Photo by Brenda Timmermans on Pexels.com

Rampant.

What do you do when you feel as though your kindness and generosity are being taken advantage of? What do you do when there is a lack of gratitude from someone who should be extremely appreciative of the way you have bent over backwards for them?

I think most of us don’t do things for others because we want to be celebrated. I don’t think we do things for others because we are looking for publicity or because we want accolades. We do things for others because we see a need and want to meet it. For some of us, it’s in our nature. For others, well, we have to work at it on a regular basis.

But, how do you handle a situation where you stepped out of what your “normal” everyday life is like, to rearrange and disrupt your life for a while, to help someone out only to have them act in a way that shows little to no gratitude or actually appears they are taking advantage of the situation?

Yeah, strangers likely wouldn’t act this way.

Family? Family, on the other hand, usually does.

I found out last night that appearances aren’t what they seem and there has been some talking going on behind that back of some family members about other family members. Mind you, the secretive discussions are from those who are getting help (and desperately needed it at the time) about those who are giving the help (who saw the need and stepped in to help despite major misgivings).

Seems a bit shocking, doesn’t it? It actually doesn’t really surprise me. I mean it does, and it doesn’t. That has been the trend all along. Family bends over backwards to help other family members, only to find out that it cause issues inside the family and causes the ones helping to regret they helped.

Lessons learned? You would think so, but no. That’s the problem with having a generous, helping heart.

Ingratitude. Expectation. Greed. Under-appreciation. Irresponsibility.

It’s cliche, but that phrase “Looking a gift horse in the mouth” actually does mean something.

 

Customer service?

 

The saga widens.

If you’re a business, staying in contact and helping your current customers is important for continuing to be a business. This shouldn’t even be a question. It’s a given!

If you’re a business and want to stay in business, you should respond to potential customer inquiries so they can decide if they want to buy your product. Again, this should be a given.

Customer service these days (well maybe always, but definitely more noticeable these days) is severely lacking in all kinds of different places. With most business being shifted online because of the current lockdown, customers are trying to reach out to companies as they deal with product issues or consider purchases. I am no different.

The Ryobi issue is still ongoing…no call back from the Warranty Department. Do I call every day now? Do I wait it out? Should I create a Twitter account just so I can go on there and shame them into helping me?

I emailed a company to ask about a product I currently have to see if they had a connection cable needed to connect to another product I have of theirs so they would work together. As yet, no response to that email from Goal Zero.

On top of that, I took the battery out of one of the vehicles and took it to a local company to have them check it out. It died in the vehicle for no reason and there isn’t anything that was drawing power from it, so I was wondering if it was bad. I dropped it off on Saturday with the understanding they would call on Tuesday or Wednesday with the test results (seemed like a long time to me, but OK). Yesterday afternoon came and no call. I called them. “Oh, yeah, seems to be working fine but we would like to test it one more time.” So, I’ll be picking that up this afternoon, hopefully.

Is this normal? Is customer service normally this bad?

Anyone else having a hard time getting online customer service? This stuff shouldn’t be that hard as it can mostly be done remotely. Are companies really not that nimble to make adjustments for customer service? Is it that hard to pick up a phone and just call?

I would be interested to know if you are experiencing more frustration than normal when contacting customer service.

Warranty Department

fashion hand hurry outfit

Photo by JÉSHOOTS on Pexels.com

Continuing the saga from yesterday

With a phone number and instructions to have tools, batteries, and chargers on had when I call the number, I called this morning to make sure that I was calling during East coast hours.

The call was answered by a machine and the instructions were the same as I received in my call yesterday. Then it proceeded to read back my phone number and ask if I would like a call back when someone to handle my call was available, if so, press 1.

1

And now I wait? Until when? It’s been two hours so far. Am I just supposed to wait all day by the phone, in the garage, staring at the tool that doesn’t work?

So, the saga continues…

 

No, I’m sorry

alarm clock and analog camera on wooden desk

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

19 days.

For that.

I waited 19 days to hear from HR about a question I asked to get in response, “No, I’m sorry.”

GEE, thanks. Good thing I didn’t ask an important question.

I asked if they knew the “program code” for a supplement to the healthcare program provided by the state. Not a tough question. Not one that I expected would take 19 days to answer.

When I submitted the question I anticipated an answer in a day or two. I figured it would be something they knew since it was provided by the state and encouraged by the state to participate. They should know this, right? I though so too.

After a couple of days of hearing nothing, I was wondering what was going on. Mind you, after seven days I no longer needed the answer I was looking for. I gave up trying to get signed up. After seven days I figured someone might be trying to track down the information since they should probably know this to pass along to others who  might need it.

After two weeks of hearing nothing I just assumed the HR department had decided to ignore my question so I forgot all about the fact that I even asked it.

On day 19 I get a “No, I’m sorry.”

There’s no ‘Sorry it took so long to get back to you’ or ‘I tried finding the information and had no luck.” No ‘You’ll have to work with the program provider to get that info’ or ‘Here’s a number you can try.’

So, I can only conclude that little to no effort was put into my question and therefore the response AND getting any info, let alone a response, from the HR department in a timely manner is out of the question. I can also assume that when this email was seen 15-18 days ago it was too much trouble to respond with the “No, I’m sorry” then.

NO, I’m sorry I asked…

 

Stolen retirement?

Retired

People who aren’t relatives, but look like their retired. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This morning’s irritation doesn’t really have anything to do with me, so much as it has to relatives. Well, this isn’t really an irritation for just this morning. This is an ongoing irritation that flairs of on a regular basis, especially when I feel like someone is being taken advantage of.

I have some family members who are generous people. They like to help others.

I have some family members who make poor choices and like to ask for help when things get tough.

As you can see, this combination of two types of family members makes for some behavior enabling and as a result, I don’t think anyone in the situation wins.

The biggest problem here, as I see it, is that the family members who think they are being generous and helpful are the grandparents of said family members who can’t seem to get their adult life and behavior figured out. Sure, the grandparents are free to spend their money as they see fit. They are adults and they are still of sound mind and body (at least as far as any of us are).

However, the issue I have is the frequency with which the grandchildren take advantage of their grandparents’ generosity. Less than six months ago, one of the grandchildren got a huge chunk of money (to the tune of about $3500) so they could move their family into a different rental house, one that was really beyond their means. Now that same grandchild is in need of a more fuel efficient vehicle (rental house is too far from job) and they don’t have the money for that either…and so an offer from the grandparents is on the table again…

I just can’t help but wonder if the grandparents are being robbed of their “golden years”? They live within their means and they obviously know how to manage their money, but we are often told they live meagerly and they can’t afford this or that, or they can’t get a better car for themselves, or they don’t go to doctor because they don’t think they can afford it. It’s stuff like that. Is that really how they should be living in retirement?

As the parent (step-parent/SNL, at that), when is it appropriate to say “Enough is enough” or to “Stop” or to “Step back”? Or, do I just stay out of it and let it go…none of my business kind of thing?