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Transitions, Changes, and Lurches


Entry 11/20/2011 02:27:47 PM – Mentat 622

Love flies, runs, and rejoices; it is free and nothing can hold it back.” – Thomas a Kempis

Okay, so it’s Sunday and sunny… Weather outside my window has been warm enough for me to turn off the heat and open up the windows. I was in a pretty damned good mood, given that I had woken up well before the alarm was supposed to go off (and I shut the thing off so I could sleep a bit later than normal. Then it was after a couple of hours of slacking about the room in the comfy clothes — off I went on a tear cleaning up the house — right down to washing the floor. Then after a little time-out/break while I waited for the bus to pick me up so I could head up ½ mile (.8 km) to the laundry on the same road…

Heh, what can I say? I was lazy and not in the mood to schlep about 60 pounds (27.2 kg) of laundry in an Army-issued duffle bag.

Now I’m home chatting a bit online, listening to some music (other than the noise that’s going on across the street at the car wash), and realizing that it’s been more than six weeks since the last time I sat down and wrote a journal entry. Not to mention quite a bit’s happened since the last time I’ve written. So for those of you that like it summed up quickly for the tl;dr mindset:

  1. I’ve got (and still have) a job, and
  2. I’ve moved to Providence

Now the long of it.

It was the Saturday after the first week of work and I was sitting there with my aunt in the kitchen talking about the insanity of what I was learning on the job (more on that in a few). My uncle saw it as the opportunity to tell me that it was time to move. Didn’t say much of anything else other than that and walked off to ignore what was going on after that. Dropping bombs on me like that before my morning coffee (and not even after my morning shower) is never a good thing. I pretty much stormed out of the house and headed to my part of the house sitting in the darkness. Then for the next week, I was going through all sorts of anger issues (unresolved mostly of how that was just dropped on me) along with me being the drama queen expecting the worst at any given time — given that my uncle is well known for his impatience and his explosive attitudes.

The next two weeks, the environment around the homestead was dysfunctional, silent as a tomb, with moments of explosiveness given my aunt’s been the go-between between myself and my uncle through most of the bullshit of the announcement. The last thing anyone should be doing while I’m juggling two different sort of stresses (work and looking for a new place), because it’s a guarantee I’m going to shoot the messenger. And I did…

Every time she came into my sights to talk about it.

Eventually around the second week, I had finally worked through my anger and my outrage at the change of situation and knew that the timer was going to finding a new place to live. One that I would need nearly the whole of the month to find somewhere to move to. I was determined to live in Providence once again mainly because I was seriously tired of the nearly 2 hours it took getting to and from work. Not to mention that during my off-time, It took a mile to walk to the stop, and another hour to get to Providence to be around anything. And then, when I’m actually in Providence, given the uncertainty of the late night bus service, I won’t be able to stay late without having to spend $60+ for a one-way taxi ride to get back home.

No matter how much I look at it, it’s not the sort of proposition I want to deal with on my time off, and while there’s usually a good chance I wouldn’t do anything in the first place (given my history being back here in the Biggest Little) I like having the opportunity without having to invest way too much time into actually getting to what I’m doing. And let’s face it — suburban life while being nice — I have and always will be a city-boy (man).

Checking out the haunts and the potential apartments in the area were certainly a challenge; partly because of the time constraints, but mostly because at the end of 9+ hours days, I didn’t have the energy to schlep all around Providence checking out this apartment or that. So most of the apartments I did check out were within the Federal Hill and Broadway area as it’s along the lines that get me to work, and are in the neighborhoods that make it an easy walking distance to downtown (from what I’m seeing in Maps – 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the central public transit depot — Kennedy Plaza).

Missed one place in the area by about 2 days as they had someone else take the room. Another I wanted to check but ended up backing out of it because they were college students, and that would easily work my nerves. The next place I checked out had seen better days in the 60s. Sure, the landlord said that he would be having the place painted and touched up, but it would take more than a lick of paint to fix the linoleum and the bathroom was in sore need of new plumbing. Ended up checking a place out in the Mount Pleasant/Eagle Square area with a roommate that’s about my age. The place is a little small for the likes of two — but the thought that this is a temporary situation with me inheriting the place in 6 months isn’t too bad. Not to mention it allows me the tradition of shedding the crap I don’t need anymore.

Now the fun has been getting this place into some sort of order. Today I finally got around to picking up the necessaries for washing the floor, and realize that it’s going to take more than one washing to get this place into looking like an apartment my family would live in and not something a poor college student ends up landing in after a night of cheap beer drinking. At the moment, even after cooking a modest supper — I can take a deep breath and the place smells damned clean. But there’s a bit still left to do — though most of it is out of my hands, relying entirely on my roommate doing his end of the cleaning — like his bedroom and the den that I spend positively no time in. But the rest? The kitchen, pantry and bathroom? Better than when I moved in three weeks ago. As I mentioned in a tweet — compared to my roommate — I’m definitely more like Felix Unger to his Oscar Madison. But at least he doesn’t make a mess as he moves through the house…

[Last Edited: 11/22/2011 08:09:09 PM]

It’s been a couple of days since the last time I was writing this, and now it’s time to talk about the job… After being at it for six weeks, I decided that if I were finding myself drinking to calm down from dealing with the job — then this is definitely not the sort of job that I want to be part of. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind some challenges when it comes to making the sort of changes necessary to a better work environment… But when I find that the challenge is overwhelming.. When I find the obstacles daunting. When I find myself ill from the amount of multitasking that I need to do in order to keep my head above water, and not simply so that I can divert some of my personal resources to doing something relaxing… This isn’t a job. This is a hydra and I’m finding myself fighting the beast like Hercules. That’s where I’ve been for the last six weeks since I took up the position and found myself hitting the ground running on day two.

I understand that there is a sort of scarcity of jobs out there, but honestly, if I’m finding myself fighting my blood pressure along with trying to calm myself after working through lunch for almost three weeks straight (and thereby putting in on average of 50 hours a week because of it), well… I might as well go back into business for myself as I did some decades ago and work myself into an early grave. Sure, I can work up a hell of a laundry list about the things that I noticed in the time there, but I find that the simplest thing to say about it, will cover the issues extremely succinctly…

It was a small company trying to do the work of a big company, without understanding the value of the years that bigger companies take in setting up standardization.

To describe the job — yeah, it was helpdesk. It was third-party helpdesk for many companies within the New England area ranging from law firms to medical practices that didn’t want to deal with hiring someone in-house to handle their IT needs and instead went to outsourcing it to companies like the one that I worked at to get their computer needs handled. The inherent problem with this is that out of the 40 or so firms that they were handling for their IT needs, they had 40 different ways of handling the companies IT infrastructure. There were many programs that I’ve had experience with performing helpdesk work, and many more that left me wondering whether the company I was working for should be supporting in a helpdesk environment to begin with given the nature of the programs.

And what really made it a bugbear that was the straw to break the camel’s back was that this one company that worked in the production of medical equipment, were absolute luddites when it came to basic computer needs and expected the company to bend over backwards to handling aspects of support that any reputable agency would’ve put stops on their mad and prima donna hissy fits and standardized what was and wasn’t support for those users that remoted into the home-office. While I admire their “we support practically anything” vision — too many years in bigger business IT departments taught me — that is a Pandora’s Box of horrors and a quagmire to never-ending grief for the support professionals as they try to fix one thing only to end up watching it break time and time again.

So last night, after having a coffee mug filled with bourbon (Jim Beam to be exact), and then having an extremely stressful lack of a night’s sleep, I decided with clear conscience and clearer head to tender my resignation by e-mail (in the same manner as I did in accepting the position in the first place), effective immediately and also did something sincerely — wished them luck in their road ahead.

I think that with this, I’ve finally learned my lesson that I shouldn’t hold any ill will for a position that I simply can’t fit into. While I am flexible (for the most part), I am not completely malleable at my age anymore.

Anyway — that’s all for the time being. I’m off to relax with the cat and look forward to my bed finally coming in tomorrow. Until the next time.

  1. 11/28/2011 at 7:13 am

    you have got a fantastic blog right here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?

    • 11/28/2011 at 6:39 pm

      It would depend entirely on the subject.

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