On June 1st I wrote about being worried about this month’s topic. My worries, for the most part, went unrealized and that’s good. I mean, I am not going to whine or complain online more than I did before June 2018 and I hope that I didn’t offend anyone with any of my whines. I was, however, uncomfortable with some whines, wondering if I did or said things that others were whining about. I hope not.
On to books!
I like wine. I like cocktails. I wish I could drink more than two glasses of wine* or two cocktails because I like the taste. Non-alcoholic wine and virgin cocktails don’t taste the same, I’d rather drink water.
It’s not fair.
That’s my wine whine for a Friday afternoon.
*not that I always stop at two glasses, but then there’s that crazy side-effect of inebriation.
Got my first email from the new task lead. He’s decided to call me “Miss Dona.” Ugh. I don’t remember that he was from the South, so it’s probably his way of being cute? Nice? Getting to know me?
So, should I send this or let him continue to call me Miss Dona?
I am so fucking sick of work I could spit. Nothing major has happened. The manager switch has not caused any problems yet, but I am tired of doing the exact same thing day after day. Telling people time after time that they need to make sure color contrast is acceptable, that people who cannot use a mouse have to be able to use the website they are creating, that their videos need captioning, that their HTML must be valid, that tables must be marked up correctly, that their charts and graphs need to be described, that…
Oh FTS man.
Speaking of Dean’s birthday. I’ve made him a birthday cake pretty much every year since we met (that’s nearly 40). If I didn’t make him a cake or pie I have purchased one.
This year, because he’s experimenting with a (doctor recommended) dairy-free and gluten-free diet, I made him a dairy-free, gluten-free cherry cobbler (made with fresh cherries — my fingers are still red from the juice).
Guess how many cakes he’s made or purchased for my birthday over the years.
Zero. (although the kids made me a few)
It’s Dean week, although this year it’s “Dean eight days”. There’s Father’s day, our anniversary, then his birthday. It used to be more stressful for me, but we don’t do gifts anymore, so I just have to be nice to him a lot in June.
I had to type a 9-digit pin number on my phone to connect to a conference call the other day. This was after dialing the 10-digit number. This was after typing in my 4-digit pin on my phone. This was after typing my 10-digit password (lowercase, uppercase, numbers, symbols) into my computer to get to the telephone and conference call pin numbers.
No wonder I have recurring nightmares about long strings of numbers.
I work from home and have half the attic for my office. Dean has an office at work, an office in the finished basement and the other half the attic for another office. His offices are off-limits to me and my stuff. If I do a clean of my attic, I cannot put anything on his side of the attic or he will be all “what’s this? get it out of here” or he just plops it on my side again. He has 3 places to call his own. I have one and it pisses me off.
I am a huge advocate for accessibility of all types and make my living as a web accessibility specialist but sometimes the laws around this make me go “wut?”.
Take for instance the time I had to evaluate a learning course for air-traffic controllers, making sure it was accessible to the blind, deaf, and folks with low vision. None of those people could, for safety reasons, become air-traffic controllers.
Today I am remediating a file that discusses critical repairs for multi-family housing and places all accessibility issues before life-safety issues. I say remediate all life-safety issues first, then convenience issues.
Remember that task lead I talked about a couple of weeks ago? The one who admitted to feeling out of his depth? The one who quit?
He’s being replaced with someone else I once worked with. I remember this one as arrogant and a lousy communicator.
He posts videos of Trump on his Facebook page. Yes I googled him.
There is a team at my company that works on a particular project. Several members are very well-versed in my area of expertise, but ask me to to their harder evaluations. They also ask for help close to deadlines, forcing me shuffle other work around to accommodate them. I did so during my vacation, but said I would only give them 2 hours. I gave them 3.
Today they asked me to finish the evaluation* in 1.5 days. I am completely over my head in work through mid-July at the earliest so I told them no. It felt good.
*which was never promised
Our local electoral district has 33 candidates for county council at large in the primary race. Add the candidates for governor, senator, house of delegates, county executive, comptroller, attorney general, and our district council member, that’s 45 candidates which translates to at least 42 (three are unopposed) knocks at the door and flyers in the mail or on the doorstep.
I figured out who I was voting for weeks ago and I am tired of the campaign workers. So much so that I made a sign for my front door.
This is less of a whine and more of a request for advice. I have a very difficult time understanding people with heavy accents — not people from English-speaking countries, but people from, say India or China. I work with several and while I concentrate on their words, I can usually only understand about a third of what they say. I hate to ask them to repeat what they said, but sometimes I have to — and often don’t understand that either.
What should I do and how many times is it appropriate to ask them to repeat themselves?
Clare is dating someone with an apostrophe in his name. It is a Native American name meaning first born son. My whine is not about the name or any other hard (for me) to pronounce name. It is about being corrected every time I try to pronounce it. He doesn’t correct me, but both my kids do. I think I pronounce the part before the apostrophe pretty well, but it is the part after the apostrophe that I always get wrong. (I say /key/ when it should be /kay/). I hope they date long enough for me get it right.
I recently read an article about depression that described it as a voice in your head saying bad things about you and making you feel worthless. While I don’t consider myself depressed, I do have a voice in my head telling me that I did or said something stupid. This is part of what wakes me up at night and part of what leads to those bad memories I talked about last week.
I am sick of that voice and you’d think that by the ripe old age of nearly 62 that I would have banished the voice, but it persists.
Stitchfix disappointed me this quarter. I got my shipment yesterday and for some reason the robot thinks I am an apple-shaped late-middle-aged woman with flabby arms*, but shapely legs** who thinks white is the new black***.
*Okay those things are true
**they sent me some short-shorts (see photo) which are cute but I don’t wear shorts
***I prefer black or dark colors and they sent me all white, except for the above-mentioned pastel mint-green shorts
Come on guys, I have shorter legs than you do, can you please slow down? I want to be part of the conversation too.
But I looooooooooooove this house! Why can’t we buy it? I want it. You love it toooooooooooooo! Pleeeeeeeaaaaaasssssssseeeee!
Add apples to the list of fruit I can no longer eat.
I took a few bites of an apple yesterday and felt that itching in my throat just like I felt with cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines.
Unless it was the avocado. I hope it was the apple though because I don’t really like apples.
Thank you for leaving me the kind, if somewhat impersonal, note on top of the items of my red suitcase. I am happy that you are busy keeping people like me safe in the air and I understand that my portable 17″ monitor* might have looked suspicious on your screening hardware. I wish, however, after you’d taken everything out of the monitor’s case you’d put everything back — or at least in the suitcase. See, the monitor is useless without its unique cord.
*My work laptop has a tiny screen and I need more than one monitor to work.
You’d think that I would love the weekend now that I work full-time, but I hate Saturdays. All week long I do what I am told at work and I want at a day to do what I want to do, but it is also the day my husband cleans house. I am lucky that I have a built-in housekeeper, but I feel guilty for not being the person doing the cleaning so I feel that I need to keep busy to show that I am not lazy.
So I pretend to work which makes me feel guilty and lazy.
The manager for my part of the project is obviously out of his depth (something he admitted to me early on). Years ago we worked on a project where I was the task lead and I trained him in my field of expertise. After that project he was laid off from the company and has been doing odd jobs (some in my field) for a number of years. He calls himself an expert but has not done much to educate himself further in this field. For goodness sake, this is technology. It changes!
He quit today.
Good luck to him.
In January I was assigned to a project for which my company is the sub-contractor. The primary contractor was quickly made up of a motley crew of quickly scrambled together people looking for work. They’re the managers, we’re the worker-bees. At meetings they all strut around clucking at their good luck and we actually work.
This is the most disorganized project I have ever worked on and I blame the primary contractor. They freaking don’t know what they are doing.
Sometimes I wish I could delete memories like I can delete files or emails or texts or words or phrases on my computer or phone.
Most of these memories make me cringe, some make me anxious, a few make me cry.
Some of these memories are of things I said or did. Some are of things others said or did to me. Some were just plain stupid or reckless, but some were well-intentioned but taken as otherwise.
And some were just thoughts or dreams.
The last time I remember getting a good night’s sleep was October 1990*. That was before pregnancy, before babies, toddlers, teenagers, ailing parents, work anxiety, husband’s Periodic Limb Movement Disorder**.
I rarely sleep through the night, usually getting up to read around 2 and finally going back to sleep at 4 or 5.
It’s not that I am tired during the day, but I wonder how much more energy I would have if I did sleep through the night, every night. Friends swear by ambien but I am not there yet.
*a little hyperbole
**Not diagnosed except by Dr. Google
I usually go to bed first, then he follows an hour or so later:
- Kerplump goes the footstool on the recliner;
- Rattle-rattle go the dishes in the kitchen;
- Stomp Stomp Stomp go his feet on the stairs;
- Woosh goes the water in the bathroom;
- Fiddle fiddle fiddle go his hands inserting his earbuds into his ears;
- Wamph goes he, jumping into bed;
- Farts and burps (LOUD) are often next;
- Rustle rustle go the blankets;
- HHHHHHHHH goes his throat, great loud snores;
- Kick, kick, go his restless legs;
- Kick kick;
- Repeat 7-12.
That’s when I head for the guest room.
There’s just not enough time in the day to do everything I want to do: read, write, talk to my kids, research my ancestry, plan trips, spend time with Dean, hang out with friends, go through what I brought back from Mom’s; and everything I have to do: Sleep, eat, read, become presentable, work, clean, cook dinner, exercise, volunteer obligations.
There are not enough days in a year and not enough years in a lifetime.
I could get 40 hours a week back if only Dean would let me retire.
My backyard is very bird-friendly. I have feeders, birdbaths, bushes, trees and Audubon-approved bird houses. We don’t use chemicals on the yard. A haven for birds, right? Wrong. They come to my yard for food and water and cover, but have rarely nested here.
My next-door neighbors know little about birds and can only name the most common. They put chemicals on the lawn, have dogs* and an indoor/outdoor cat. Years ago they put up some ridiculous looking bird houses (shaped like birds) and guess what. Birds nest in them every year and build nests in their trees.
I’m a little worried about this month. I have been trying to be more positive this year and not whine so much online and I am worried that whining all month is going to take me back to my online whining days.
I am also worried that I will read someone else’s post and take it personally or that I will write about something and you’ll take it personally.
Okay, that’s not so much whining about whining, and more worrying about whining. I hope you don’t whine at me for not following the rules on day 1.