Sunday, June 12, 2016
I haven't been over here in eons, but I feel like I need to scream into the void.

I'm very very tired of my life right now.
Don't worry--that's not suicidal tiredness. I'm tired of having to be the grownup, sensible person all the time.

Being a grownup is over-rated.

Oh well, at least right now I really couldn't possible care less if I've pissed someone off. Cuz I'm pretty irritated at the fact that my Sunday night just imploded in sticky little pieces. Fortunately, clean-up-able pieces, but still.

Silver lining: the new person at last week's Tuesday meeting ... is my neighbor. Whose name is (almost) the same as mine, and whose husband is named the same as mine. And shares the same addiction as mine.

So yay for that!!
Saturday, December 26, 2015

Changes

This blog stands a very good chance of--at least in the short term--very much more of a rant blog. I've been called on the carpet yet again for poor communication and lack of tact and general 'meanness' at work.

The latest spark was a convoluted series of events including being very understaffed in Technical Services staff this month, an email asking everyone to please hold off on any new projects that will involve T.S., and finding an email last week when I was off-work from the children's librarian announcing a Big New Fucking Project That Totally Involves T.S.

My original email (the topical part of it):
...Can I request that any project-y stuff in Tech Svc that we've been discussing be postponed a bit till we know what we're doing going forward? I'm not even sure what that entails--all I can think of is "Star Wars"--but if you have other stuff...maybe file it for now?

Last Wednesday's email from Children's Librarian (again just the topical part):
[YA Librarian] started weeding J Fiction for me. We are changing our series over to the same style as the Young Adult department. That means all our series books will have labels like this:
J
Author
Series
Book Number
After some thought, I've decided that all of our series will be like this. I'll update you as [YA Librarian] gets farther along.

For clarification, Technical Service is where all the cataloging, labeling, stamps, etc. etc. happens. So all the new stuff coming in will need to be changed. This is a massive project that absolutely changes how we work. It doesn't necessarily mean more work per se, but there are changes that need to be made--and I don't want to spend time redoing a bunch of labels on things that are currently sitting in the back waiting for attention. In fairness, we had discussed this project about a month ago, but were holding off for now.

My reply (the one I sent--not the 3 or 4 I deleted because they were out of line) to the to librarians involved, and my boss:
When was the new labeling decision made? Tech Services absolutely cannot be left out of this process.

The email I then sent just to my boss:
Did you know this decision had been made?? I certainly didn't. And it certainly affects how Tech Services work is done. Frankly, I'm furious. We absolutely cannot add any more work to our process right now per my email last week.

Frankly, this is far from the first time [Children's Librarian] has made decisions that blow our (T.S.'s) work out of the water, and this is the straw that just broke my calm. The last think we need at this point is another unconsidered decision piled on when we are short-staffed and -houred anyway. But she tends to do this and I'm tired of it.

That's all. Good thing I'm at home today.

Reply from the boss:
Did I know? Yes and no. [Children's Librarian] and I talked about doing this, in a theoretical sense, a few months back-- I think you were actually there for some/all of it. And I approved of the switch as something to work toward, since I do think that the labeling system we used in YA is the best way to go with all of our series, regardless of material/location. I did not know they were at the point of moving forward with it, though, no.

However, talking with [Children's and YA Librarians], they assure me that this will have virtually no impact on you or technical services. Which is why they were going ahead with it without consulting you, or me for that matter. I have expressed to [Children's Librarian] the very real and strong need to communicate with me about things like this prior to initiating them, in part to avoid the type of misunderstanding we are having here. In part to make sure there isn't something they are missing in the process. And in part, just to be respectful of her coworkers. She gets that. She apologized for blindsiding us.

For now, I have given [YA Librarian] the green light to keep working on the prep stuff-- getting some of the series together, figuring out what the labels will be and the like-- while holding off on tweaking the [database] entries until you have a chance to review what they plan on doing and weigh in on the discussion. If, in fact, this has virtually no impact on "you and yourn", I have no problem with the project proceeding. If there is more impact than they realized, we will put a hold on it until things have settled out on the staffing side, particularly in your area.

I replied to him with this:
Yes, I was there for the 'theoretical' discussion awhile back. I knew it was coming. And that is precisely why I sent the email last week saying something to the effect of "no no projects." Apparently, that's not clear enough. And to start it up while I'm gone, which at least LOOKS like she waited for me to not be available to question her.

The immediate effects of starting to work on this right now have more to do with the fact that if we get new series books in, I'd prefer not to relabel them. So, having a look over [the processing] carts--and mine--and pulling off series titles would be helpful in that regard. Also, shifting the way I look at the kids' books as they come through going forward. [Tech Service staff] need to be up to speed on what the labels will look like. We haven't even had a discussion of this type! "Virtually no impact" my left elbow! What do they think we do all day?

Also, from a purely financial point of view, we'll need to stock up on labels again. They do cost money, along with the label covers.

I'm just gobsmacked that there's this complete lack of empathy, awareness, however you look at it....amazing.

So that's where it sat. I posted something on Facebook about not liking it when I get blindsided, ignored, and mentioned the apparent "wait till Cat. isn't here to start mixing things up" thing. I worked with the Children's Librarian on Sunday. She said nothing apologetic to me at all, so I didn't bring up the topic.

The boss's intro to my (one-month late midyear) review was, "So how do you feel about your communications last week about this issue?" [hackles rising, I look for a trap] "I thought it was pretty calm, considering what I didn't send!" He then pulls out these words as clubs: "over-reaction", "paranoid", "defensive", "hurtful comments", "poor communication skills", "angry." He suggested enlisting our Employee Assistance Program to get therapy. He told me that it might actually be easier if I was just angry all the time instead of "everyone" not knowing when I was going to "overreact" to something. Mind you, not one specific example of "over-reaction" and "paranoia" prior to this mare's nest was mentioned, not one concrete option beyond the EAP was suggested (I've been in therapy that started with EAP over two years ago, I just changed and upped the amount of anti-depressants I take daily, and I go to two Al-Anon meetings a week, which I told him after his suggestion of therapy). I asked him three times, "What, specifically, do you want me to change? I am doing my best to not discuss anything not work-related with people here. I'm not gossiping. I'm not 'yelling' at people for being noisy in the workroom. I try to keep up on changes that are made every 10 seconds without communication. I'm doing my best. WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?"

Apparently someone showed him what I posted on Facebook--he's not on my usual distrib list because this sort of BS has come up in the past about my opinions about City stuff. My Facebook post "makes the library look bad." O--Kayyy. I came home that night and put everyone I work with except two people into "Acquaintance-Land" on Facebook so they will see what the Boss sees now, i.e. not much. He asked if I would apologize for that post on Facebook, and my reply was, "Sure, but I'm not instigating it, because I didn't stir this up to start with." In other words, I'll apologize when I receive one. Still nothing from the Children's Librarian.

As stunned as I was after the original email from her, I am flabbergasted that he can't seem to understand that there are two different games being played here. If I have a problem with someone on staff, or rather with something someone is doing, I talk to them. I do not, ever, run up to his office and whine and complain about how horrible that person is. I actually truly like the people I work with, all of them, and I think they're all good people working toward the same goals. Yes, I vent to him occasionally--that's what those emails to him alone were, venting--but I never, EVER expect him to act on the venting. I've told him that multiple times. It's a point of pride that I don't go up the ladder till I've exhausted my own resources in problem-solving. And it pisses me off no end that apparently other people do, and he listens to them, and gets himself involved in solving the problem.

### Break ###

OK, I needed to get this vented. It kept me awake for a couple (more) hours last night and I need to drop it and focus on work on Monday. And on having a good post-Christmas weekend, too.

Going forward, my plan is to continue the work-only communication, my counting-to-ten (or thiry-four-hundred) every time I feel my blood pressure rising, removing myself from situations that are "not my circus, not my monkeys," not gossiping. Ultimately, what the boss wants is for me to treat my coworkers like I treat the library patrons. Since I'm cordial and impersonal with them, that's where I'm headed with coworkers. Totally unsatisfying, but if that's what he wants, that's what he gets. As I told Beast, my new MO upon walking into work is "Showtime!" This is how I've approached work on days I knew were going to be particularly hectic--i.e. Sundays--but now I guess I'm just going to be "always on."
Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Saga Continues....

No, not that one.

This is the one about Beast's shoulder/back/pain.

Shortest possible version: we saw the surgeon who did his lower back surgery a few years ago on Monday morning at 8 a.m. Due to holidays etc. the doctor warned us that the earliest possible date for surgery would be the second week of January but his scheduler will call and get it set up. It's Thursday late morning and Beast has called 3 times and left messages and we still haven't heard from this fantasy creature. Today he stopped on the way home from another errand for a refill on his pain Rx (prescribed by this doctor). Walgreen's wouldn't refill it because he was too early: he's been taking 4/day for two months, but for reasons unknown to us at this point, the last script was written for 2/day. Without letting us know. Clearly an error. But as it's a controlled substance, we have to dance around the office staff to get it sorted out. As I was typing that, Beast called the office and they didn't pick up. Apparently, they're at lunch, at 11:30.

Mind you, the slightly longer version is that we've had to drive an hour (one-way) TWICE in the past month to get this prescription refilled because ... Controlled Substance, new script from doctor needed for every re-up (i.e., no refills), whatever whatever, and he wasn't at his nearer-to-us-office for 4 days either time. Obviously, the last time they fucked up the dosage and neither of us thought to check, and Walgreen's didn't catch/mention it. Neither did the doctor on Monday when we were there.

So frustrated. So very very tired. And the pain that Beast was in on October 13 when we went to the ER has not abated, in fact has become worse over the intervening 2 months. He's lost the feeling in over half his dominant hand and forearm so he can't write, he's got no stamina or strength (compared to the norm), and he's lost nearly 20 lbs. because of the medicine eating his stomach. He's hanging by a thin thread, and I'm not feeling overly secure either. Not feeling very Christmas-y at all.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Can only get better

(she says, knocking wood)

Tonight has sucked. At least primarily. Sparky's home for the holiday, so that's excellent. And my reservoir of "Don't Give a Flying Peanut" is full to overflowing, which might be good for tomorrow.

But one of our sweet guinea piggies died tonight, after a few days of being sluggish and just weird. And that precipitated a fight with Beast who felt it was up to him to hold Ruka till he passed, even though he (Beast) was cratered on painkillers and nerve-blocks. And because he was cratered, he wasn't capable of being lucid or seeing reason about going to bed rather than sitting and dozing hunched over a dying guinea pig. So then he wanted to argue, which is a losing proposition for everyone when he's in this situation; I know this because this situation happens easily once a week. That's an improvement on when he was drinking a fifth of vodka--or more--every night, but dealing with it is exactly the same: he's mean, nasty, incoherent, argumentative and just generally a big asshat.

So Sparky comes home, and once again gets to watch his parents fight. We can go weeks when he's gone without even raising our voices, but it seems like when he's here, Beast needs to prove he's The Man and...yeah.

It's officially 6 weeks now that he's been in pain nonstop. We've gone several rounds with multiple doctors, had 2.5 MRIs, taken 4 or 5 different meds...and still we are just now (yesterday) reaching the action stage. He goes in next week for a cortisone shot directly into his neck near where he has a herniated disk, and then since we're pretty sure it won't fix anything, he'll schedule an appointment to talk about surgery with the same guy who did his lumbar surgery about 4 years ago.

I'm at wits' end. He's a lunatic, emotionally/physically/psychically all over the map in any given moment. He goes from fully adult to age 4 in 20 minutes and I don't always know which person I'm dealing with at any given moment, though I'm remarkably good at judging his mood. By and large, we've been ok, but tonight--and to a lesser degree last Sunday night--just about did me in. He's pissed that I made him go to bed to be rested up for company all day tomorrow. So he went to bed...but when I went up to wake him for his last pill of the night he was still awake. Still steaming. No intention of going to sleep. Because that will show me who's in charge here. And tomorrow he'll be miserable and crabby to the 11 people coming for Thanksgiving. Perfect. Because I wouldn't let him stay up till all hours holding a dying guinea pig and ruining his sleep and his body.

I am, indeed, the Evil Queen.

R.I.P. Ruka.
Ruka (rt.) in happier days
Monday, November 16, 2015

This afternoon's playlist

...was surprisingly upbeat, with some interesting lyrical content tying it together ... and yes, it was fairly randomized.
  • "I can hold you, keep you safe until you fall asleep / Never worried..." Thinking About You - Calvin Harris, Ayah Marar
  • "Don't be afraid, you're not on your own" All the Way - Timeflies
  • "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right / Here I am" Stuck in the middle with you - Stealers Wheel
  • "Knocking me out with those American thighs" You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
  • "Just one look at you / And I know it's gonna be / A lovely day....." Lovely Day - Bill Withers
  • "I won't cry, I won't cry, no I won't shed a tear" Stand By Me - Otis Redding
  • "...there's just one, way back, and I'll make it, yeah" Santeria - Sublime
  • "There ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation" One Love/People Get Ready - Bob Marley & the Wailers
  • "I heard the screen door slam / And a big yellow taxi / Come and took away my old man" Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell
  • "Before you came into my life / I missed you so bad / I missed you so bad / I missed you so, so bad" Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
  • "I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva" Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
  • "When you believe in things that you don't understand, / Then you suffer" Superstition - Stevie Wonder
  • "Sing a simple melody / That's how easy love can be" ABC - Jackson 5
  • "...stop apologising for the things you've never done" Town Called Malice - The Jam
  • "And he drives an IROC / But he doesn't know who I am" Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus
  • "I was a fool for you, from the bottom of my soul, yeah!" Shout - The Isley Brothers
  • "I'm beggin' please / Stop playin' games" Mercy - Duffy
  • "I'm a picker / I'm a grinner / I'm a lover / And I'm a sinner" The Joker - Steve Miller Band
  • "A beautiful bunch o' ripe banana ... / Hide the deadly black tarantula" Banana Boat Song (Day-O) - Harry Belafonte
  • "Like John and Yoko / Like Ice-T and Coco / Like Jay-Z, Beyonce / Come be my fiance" I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like This) - Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • "Those pretty faces always made you stand out in a crowd" I Want You Back - Jackson 5
  • "We all could make it a better way / With our love, put together / Everybody learn to love each other" Wonderful World, Beautiful People - Jimmy Cliff
  • "Three little birds / Pitch by my doorstep / Singin' sweet songs / Of melodies pure and true" Three Little Birds - Bob Marley & the Wailers
  • "Something's got me reeling / Stopped me from believing" Every Morning - Sugar Ray
  • "I'm on my way / I don't know where I'm going / I'm on my way I'm taking my time / But I don't know where" Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard - Paul Simon
  • "Oh I'm just a girl, lucky me / Twiddle-dum there's no comparison" Just a Girl - No Doubt
  • "I may see you, I may tell you to run" Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root
  • "I do a handstand, an eagle lands on my seat / Well hello, but baby, the kickstand ain't free" Downtown - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • "Te estaba buscando / Por las calles gritando / Como un loco tomando oh" El Perdón - Nicky Jam, Enrique Iglesias
  • "What would I do without your smart mouth / Drawing me in..." All of Me (Tiësto's Birthday Treatment Remix) - John Legend
  • "In a world of squares, maybe you're just round / You can't be everybody's cup of tea" Cup of Tea - Kacey Musgraves
  • "Tell me that you've got me and you're never gonna leave" Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne
  • "Let me be your air" How Deep Is Your Love - Calvin Harris, Disciples
  • "Do you think about me when you're all alone? / The things we used to do, we used to be"  I Could Be the One (Stranger) - Avicii, Nicky Romero
  • "I went from zero to my own hero" Roar - Katy Perry
  • "When you nod your head yes / But you wanna say no / What do you mean?" What Do You Mean? - Justin Bieber
  • "And we sang our song for the little thing" For a Better Day - Avicii 
  • "I had a dream so big and loud / I jumped so high I touched the clouds" Best Day of My Life - American Authors
  • "We found love in a hopeless place" We Found Love - Rihanna, Calvin Harris
  • "Will you be there by my side? / Standing strong as the waves roll over" Lean On - Major Lazer, MØ, DJ Snake
  • "We're talking to everyone / Come as you are, just come" Let's Go - Tiësto, Icona Pop
  • "I don't need to hear you talk the talk" Bang Bang - Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
  •  "These are the days we won't forget / These are the days we've been waiting for / Rattle the cage and slam that door" The Days - Avicii
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Well, we're home.

I drove the RV back to the house day before yesterday. We unloaded after we arrived, in the dark, and I did a quick wipedown of everything. Then yesterday morning we took the RV to the car wash and then back to its home. So, we are done with our trip, officially, now.

Beast's shoulder is still really sore. The oxycodone and fentanyl is keeping him functional (and sleepy). He will see his regular doctor on Monday first thing. I'm trying to figure out if I'm going back to work early or not. I'd prefer 'not' but we'll see.

This might rank up there as one of the weirder weeks of my life. I'm glad Beast is ok, I'm glad we're home safe and sound, and I'm glad nothing was worse than it was. But it was pretty bad--though I keep sugar-coating it for public consumption.

Sparky was able to come visit today after meeting some friends for lunch not to far from here. He is doing well, I think. He's excited about a date he has set up on Monday, someone he's had his eye on for awhile, I guess.

Laundry from the trip is done. Most of the stuff from the trip is out of boxes and bags and replaced where it belongs. The shot glasses I thought I bought at the antique shop apparently didn't get included, which is irritating as they were gifts. We are blessed with wonderful friends who brought us homemade Indian curry for dinner. It was delicious, and there's enough left for lunch for me tomorrow. I sound the first of Sparky's used and no-longer-needed/wanted books on Amazon today. We're watching OSU and Penn State...until Beast falls asleep anyway. The "s" key on my laptop is flaking out, so typing is annoying.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Vacation at the ER

Whee. Beast is having terrible pain in his left shoulder. It was bad enough that for a few minutes he though it might be a heart attack, which meant a fairly quick response from the EMTs who transported him to SLU Med Ctr. Where we sit.

They've established it's probably NOT a heart attack but the pain is bad. Very bad. Honestly, though, he seems a little better in the last few minutes. It might be that he's just getting used to it.

The waiting room is emptying out a little now, at least.

And we wait.  Whee.

I did manage to drive through downtown St. Louis in the RV without incident. And managed to find a spot to park eventually too!
Sunday, October 11, 2015

Vacation

I haven't ever blogged from my phone but here I am, sitting by a firepit while Beast burns things, listening to night-singing bugs and nearly indistinguishable music from across the campground. The wind is blowing in the treetops but not so much down here on the ground. 

Yes, we're camping. In an RV, which we rented from CruiseAmerica. So soft (ish) sleeping spots and protection from temperature changes and electricity. ...After my shower this morning, I blow-dried my hair. Because I could. Beast showered in the RV but I used the campground showers which was fine. 

I even cooked tonight. Yes, basic chicken and a box dinner on the side but still cheaper than eating out every meal. 

We're doing a Heartland tour. Today was a tour of Abraham & Mary Lincoln's home prior to his election to the Presidency in 1860. It's a lovely house, in good condition, and with much original furniture. We wandered around the 'neighborhood' near the house and then walked across downtown to a bar Beast found on Packerseverywhere.com (not sure how to do a hyperlink using the phone) and watched the Pack beat St. Louis with a bunch of Packerbackers. The place is only open the Sundays they play and only for the duration of the game.  It was fun. We'll find another place next week...

[Why does campfire smoke ALWAYS follow me???]

Think I'm going to finish this up now. Only a couple of logs left. Then I'll go in and read about Mary Todd's rather sad life.
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