Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Glass Shatters1

exhales [Note this is not a downer post. It's just a snapshot of my life in February. In the words of Team America, Everything is bon. I am happy'ish. This was added post publishing after seeing the first few comments received. :-) ]

It has been a hectic and horrible month, and thus setting the tone for this post. My contract ends2 this Tuesday, on the 28th February and of course, to finish up, I am working like crazy and late (8pm? 9pm?) almost every other night, and that's only because I have the kid over and racquetball on those other nights.
I'd added some new functionality into our system and then it suddenly all stopped working. Eeeek. Indeed. The customer was pretty pissed. Words like lawsuit kept popping up. 8 working days later with 2 of us on the case, it was some stupid obscure configuration problem. Bottom line, the system now works. Yayyyyy! More importantly, it WASNT my fault. What a frigging waste of my life. Almost 2 weeks, pissed down whereever, for nothing, and it was a very tense and stressful 2 weeks. One's self-belief takes a bit of a pounding. And all that hair.

Real to Virtual to Real

When I was a kid and my Dad was my age, I always got the impression he was so in control, confident and in charge of what he did at work. I wonder now if he was ever semi-hysterical, a blubbering mess and full of self-doubt, just another cog in the wheel of inconsequentiality. I sometimes wonder how I appear to my kid. She thinks I work in a paper clip factory. "Really?", I ask her. "Always have, dude", she says.

I got called in for an interview at a job agency, which is like a frigging waste of time anyway, cos they only want to see you so they can tell the client they actually met with you and that they're not just a resume forwarding service which is what they are anyway. I dont like the idea of them. They take like 20% off the top of what I get, which I think is way too much for the service they provide. Anyway, they asked me if I'd used XYZ before. There was a 2 second window there where I had to decide either to be surly and say things like 'Did you read my resume at all?'. I decided to be nice. It was touch and go there. Apparently, one becomes less patient with age.

I think I need a job like what this lady has. I reckon anyone can do a better job than her. Frigging waste of my tax dollars. How can a person with that attitude and that level of awareness, ever get a job like that? And Mr Costello too? Perhaps it's some clever ploy to distract everyone from the AWB conga dance. We get nothing from them, I feel. Nothing.

Funny how everyone wants something for nothing. My housemate, my employer. Details? Just the usual money thing.

And is it wrong to feel (very) slightly uncomfortable if I were to go see Brokeback Mountain with just a male friend, as opposed to a group of male friends. Maybe I have issues. I do want to go see the movie.

And thus ends this months blog of my life as a dog.

Postscript :
I still have to do my quarterly BAS which is due this Tuesday. Procrastination? I guess this is what this blog entry is all about. I'm off to vacuum now and then change the sheets and about a quarter to midnight, I'll start on the BAS.

1I have stepped from the virtual and into the real world and have met my first blogger. Feel weird? You betcha. In the sense the depth of the conversation was more than what I..., never mind. Humble apologies for the size of the pic (500kb).

2No need to worry, if you were. There seems to be a bit of work out there. Just a matter of $$$. I've actually got a job offer, 4 buildings down the street, at $X, but I said I wanted $X + $20. No harm in asking, I thought. Lunch money. They were supposed to ring me on Friday, but didnt. Ah well. Sometimes the train leaves without me too. But I'm happy to potter around for a while.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I have long since given up (*)

This long forgotten memory popped up while walking home from the train station. It is quite possible that the AWB Iraq can of worms prompted it.

This is slightly complicated to explain but I will try my best.

I was 15 years old when I played in a team table tennis tournament (teams of 4-5 players). The day before the finals, 2 players from a team in the playoff for 1st and 2nd joined my team for lunch. There was a conversation thread which I could not follow clearly. What had transpired was that these 2 players were quite unhappy with their team patron and were willing to lose their matches on purpose in order to spite him (more so his possibly boastful wife).
They were willing to lose their games but not the prize money they would have gotten had they won. They wanted one of our guys to approach the other team.
So it was arranged that they would lose but still get the money. Note that financially, they gained (nor lost) nothing.

What is troubling is that I didnt say anything when I finally understood what was happening. I would like to think that I thought it was wrong but I really dont remember whether there was any outrage on my part then. However, I do remember thinking it wasnt fair to the other 2 unknowing players (one was to become the Mens State champion the year after).
The realisation of how much one would need to hate/dislike their sponsor/patron to have wanted to do this only came later in life. It was a black day for the sport and for me. It still bothers me to this day, 20ish years later, that I remained silent.
What is also troubling is that these guys, some in their late 20s, early 30s would expose a 15 y.o. to such a situation.

I dont remember where my team finished. Lower than 4th I think.

Postscript :
I can only imagine the embarassment of the people who were directly involved when all this was found out a few months later. The tournament was not held the following year. One of the guys is now a locksmith after dropping out of a police cadetship.

Sorry to bore you guys, but this is for my kid, when she is older and finds out, at the lawyers reading of my will that I've spent her inheritance and all I leave her is the URL and password to my blog. Go here instead for superb and entertaining food reviews. BTW, I dont remember ever telling anybody this story. Not even my parents.

(*) but I still think of you often.

Next scheduled blog : 18th Feb 2006.