The only good thing about today is that it’s over

Today has been difficult. Every single element of the day was riddled with problems.

I feel like I shouldn’t talk about the passing of my friend with Jonathan. Jonathan has a low opinion of social media, the internet, and online friendships in general. It would be hard for Jonathan to understand how important this friendship was to me and how heartbroken I feel over the loss. Jonathan has also been dealing with job instability and helping his father who is slowly dying of stage 4 cancer so he doesn’t need any more upsetting news.

At work, my superior made a poor decision which had a negative outcome so he threw me under the bus to save face. I spent the entire day trying to dig myself out from under the mess he created instead of working on scheduled assignments. Now, in addition to being put on the spot and verbally reprimanded for something that wasn’t my responsibility in the first place, I’m a day behind on all assigned projects.

While I was working, Dee called me asking for advice on how to handle her landlord who is threatening to evict her based on something her ex-boyfriend did even though she’s never been late on rent. Dee was again contemplating suicide and cutting. Then another friend called asking for advice on how to handle her unexpectedly heavy period. I mistook these calls for genuine emergencies since both parties know not to call while I’m at work unless there is a genuine emergency. (Dee threatening suicide is not an emergency.)

When I arrived home after work, Jonathan had left for another small job in a neighboring town so I had all evening alone with the kids. Being alone with the kids doesn’t especially bother me, but I really needed to work most of the evening to catch up on the projects I’m behind on due to my superior’s aforementioned incompetence. Since I was the only adult in the house, I needed to constantly break up arguments between Oliver and Luke, manage Luke’s behavior, ensure homework was finished, and keep the kids on schedule. Needless to say, I accomplished nothing other than household chores and child wrangling.

Luke and Oliver spent so much time arguing, fighting, picking, and generally being jerks to one another that I couldn’t even finish vacuuming and mopping the house until almost 11PM. Vacuuming and mopping needed to be finished tonight since we will have guests Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Then there was the completely unnecessary Twitter drama…that’s a subject for another day.

The only good thing about today is that it’s over. Well, and cats. Cats are good too.

Chemo Time

Tomorrow FatherInLaw gets admitted to the hospital for his first round of chemo. The oncologist is hoping to shrink his tumors to prolong FatherInLaw’s life for a few more years. Without chemo, he’s expected to live only four months.

Jonathan’s grief comes in waves. Grief comes in waves. Jonathan often sleeps on the couch because he struggles with insomnia, but lately he’s slept in bed with me. Sometimes it helps to be close to the person you love when someone else you love is dying.

At first work was understanding of the situation with FatherInLaw, but not anymore. I’m not permitted to work off site anymore. Also, I’m required to write a paragraph explaining what I am planning to do with my day off. This bothers me. On one hand, the company wants “all our personal problems dropped at the door” but then they do things like demand a detailed explanation of what I plan to do with my personal time. What a contradiction.

 

Ugh…Shenanigans at TheJob

TheJob has big plans to start monitoring and filtering all web activity. Unfortunately, once TheJob installed filtering, the entire network went down. TheJob has “rescheduled” the monitoring and filtering project but hasn’t announced a second deployment date.  For the moment, I don’t have to add TheJob on my social network accounts, but only until they decide to re-deploy the changes.

In other TheJob related news, I am now expected to work weekends. Since I’m a salaried employee, I do not get paid overtime. The more hours I work, the lower my hourly rate becomes. Greeeeeaaaat. Working 6-7 days a week every week leaves no time to work on important things like cleaning the house, spend time with Jonathan and the kids, go grocery shopping, basically anything. Oh, and while I work 7 days a week, TheJob would also like me get bachelor’s and master’s degrees paid for out of my own pocket. <eye roll>

I really don’t get paid enough for this. But, to get a job that pays more, I’d have to start working in another city. Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Ugggghhh. This is frustrating.

Stupidity at TheJob

The situation at TheJob is starting to get out of hand. They’re implementing a type of web filtering this week. Web filtering isn’t entirely bad, but TheJob has filtered sites for products many of us legitimately use to get our jobs done. Sites for with samples of code, note taking apps, the website we use to check our cell phone plans (we use our personal cell phones for work), etc.

I’m frustrated because this is a pain in the butt and a huge technological step backwards. Instead of typing notes on my tablet during a meeting, I am now to handwrite notes on paper then type up the hand written notes after the meeting and email the typed notes to the participants. Double the work. Every meeting. Everyday.

TheJob is also beginning a huge social media monitoring endeavor. I find this aggravating for a host of reasons, but mostly because we are expected to add TheJob’s social media profiles to our social media to show we’re “committed and engaged”. I don’t mention work on my social media profiles nor do I find what I talk about on social media to be any of TheJob’s business. The problem is, there will be consequences. Negative consequences always follow crappy policies.

Do I close my accounts or wait for the consequences?

Financial Dominos

I’ve said before that life is a series of difficult decisions.

This week it’s one decision after another. Jonathan was planning to pay me for the month. (Jonathan gives me money every month to put toward bills since we don’t share an account.) However, Jonathan’s current employer didn’t get the $21,000 check from a client this week. No $21k check, no money for Jonathan, no money to pay me, no money to pay the bills.

So, here we are. I need to pay a $1,700 bill tomorrow and I have a grand total of $600 to my name…well, and an Amazon gift card that I got to pay for the boots I can’t afford. Do I pay the bill and have no money left to pay any of the other bills? Do I not pay the bill and get slammed with a late fee? Do I pay part of the bill and get slammed with additional interest? Every way to handle this situation has one outcome: I end up owing more than I currently owe and I can’t even cover what I currently owe.

Here’s hoping Jonathan’s employer gets paid soon so Jonathan gets paid so I get paid so I can pay the bills. Sigh…

My Coworkers Earn More

An inch worm measures my seat
An inch worm measures the car seat

My coworkers aren’t struggling like I am. Their houses are more expensive. Most have one stay at home spouse. Most have kids. I’m the only person at who can never afford to go out to eat with the group; the only person who worries about small purchases – like a $14 book.

I estimate I’m making between 30-50% less than my coworkers based on the items they discuss purchasing, home size/neighborhood/price, and the number and quality of vehicles they own. I struggle to keep my car running. They’re buying a brand new motorcycle in addition to their newly purchased car. Also, none of them appear to have much debt or struggle with money. There are always signs when someone struggles with money – calls to banks overheard, inbound calls from collections agencies, bills left out, checking bank accounts before going to lunch…

Since salaries are non-negotiable, and what coworkers are paid is a carefully guarded secret, the only alternative I have is to look for another job. The problem is, I’m not sure that I want another job. This isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Stupid Migraine

I had lots of topics in mind to write about. Then I got a migraine and wrote nothing. I don’t get migraines often, but when I do, I lose the ability to focus my eyes. I’m literally legally blind for hours. So that’s what I did this evening instead of working over time or writing – I lost the ability to see for several hours and took a nap. What else could I do with a splitting headache and no vision (especially since I have hearing loss and lipread)?

Now I feel like tomorrow will be overwhelming because I’ll need to put in even more overtime to catch up on the overtime I should have put in, but instead had a migraine. I’m sure withdrawing from the medication the pharmacy lost started the migraine. I went through this once before when the pharmacy failed to send my meds. It’s both infuriating and depressing since there is nothing I can do about the pharmacy that won’t jeopardize my own job.

Migraines are so stupid. The pharmacy is stupid. I’m going to bed.

The Awful Pharmacy

The past 3 days have been hard. I’ve paid for my day of normalcy with pain which had kept me from sleeping well which has led to extreme fatigue. To make matters worse, the pharmacy my insurance requires that I use still hasn’t shipped the meds I ordered almost 10 days ago. I’m cutting ultrams, orphenedrines, and lexapros in half to hopefully make them last until the meds finally arrive. I take lexapro, an antidepressant, for fatigue so halving my dose is making the fatigue from not sleeping well worse. I’m afraid to take more ultram so I can sleep through the night because if I run out I’ll have to suffer through withdraw.

The pharmacy is awful. Even the lady who answers the phone is terribly rude. She’s hung up on me several times. I wasn’t rude to her in the least, but she has no patience for answering questions…which is kinda her job actually since she’s the customer service person at the pharmacy.

Work has been a pain this week as well. I haven’t gotten breaks so the only time I’ve been able to leave my desk is to use the restroom. People often call my cell while I’m in the restroom. It takes 3 min for me to walk to the rest room, urinate, wash hands, and return to my desk. People cannot wait 3 min. I have more projects than I can complete and feel constantly behind and overwhelmed. My job is designed for men who can devote their lives to work while their wives take care of the children. My job is not designed for me.

I am grateful my job pays the bills. However, my job is definitely not my life’s purpose. When I consider the things I’d rather be doing, it feels like I’m wasting my life. Fibromyalgia and RA also make what I would rather be doing nearly impossible. It’s a catch 22, really. Outside of this blog, I encourage other people and don’t complain. This is the only place I have to talk about how frustrating my job can be.

Less Pain; More Shopping!

The pain has decreased some today. My knees, feet, and hands aren’t swelling today so I only have mild foot pain and moderate back pain. Yesterday I experienced such a high level of pain that the pain constantly intruded on my thoughts. Today I’m able to think about other things for a while. I was able to cook dinner without sneaking away to the bathroom in tears afterwards. That’s the difference between a good day and a bad day with fibromyalgia. There is always pain, but on bad days I can’t push through the pain to function.

Jonathan’s work truck broke down this evening so he didn’t get home until almost 9P when he finally asked me to pick him up. Prior to that, he insisted on working on his truck where it stopped trying to repair it enough to drive it home. Normally I parent the kids in the morning through breakfast and catching the bus and Jonathan takes over after dinner until bedtime. Since Jonathan didn’t make it home until bedtime, I was the morning parent, put in 10hrs at work, the doing all the animal chores person, and the evening parent. Thank God today was a better pain day.

I got to take a break at work today. I haven’t gotten breaks for weeks because of a project I was working on. On break I found a great deal on protein treatment for my hair – it’s normally $20 a bottle and it was marked down to $10.53. The protein treatment is sold by Sally’s Beauty Supply, but I can’t find a link to it on their website. Protein is good for curly hair as it helps strengthen the hair and form curls, otherwise curly hair can poof into a big frizzy mess. Some ladies use eggs or mayonnaise. Since I’m allergic to eggs, I can’t use either.

Also, I found two antique metal counter height stools at the consignment store next door for $70. The new replicas of the stools are listed for over $300 on Overstock. Fortunately, Jonathan earned some extra money last week so we can afford the stools. Six months ago, Jonathan built this awesome marble tile bar in the kitchen and we haven’t been able to afford stools to sit at the bar! Most of the materials used to build the bar were left overs from client jobs so, even at $70, the stools will cost more than the bar.

I love finding great deals. It’s the only way I can afford to have nice things!

Less Than

The weekend was excellent. Jonathan, Luke, Oliver and I had all sorts of adventures. We drove to the city and ate dinner together. Even though I had to work 3rd shift on Friday night, the weekend was still awesome.

Today, however, is the type of day that wallows in it’s own filth then hangs around like a bad taste in your mouth. Nothing has gone terribly wrong today, but nothing has gone well either.

The morning started with a flat tire. It was the kind of flat tire that slowly deflates so I was able to refill the tire enough to drive to a repair shop. I had to walk a mile from the repair shop to work with a swollen, hurting left foot. (Arthritis) A coworker gave me a ride to the repair shop at the end of the day which was nice. A huge bold was removed from the tire and the hole was patched.

Work was mediocre. Nothing awful happened, but nothing remarkable happened either. I ate a donut which didn’t taste very good. I tried to get a diet Mountain Dew from the vending machine, but the vending machine was broken.

After I got home things were going well…until I said something Jonathan didn’t like. He got up from the table, slammed his food into the trash, and stomped downstairs. Jonathan isn’t usually a terrible grouch. However Jonathan becomes a grouch when he has a bout of insomnia. The smallest things set him off and send him slamming and stomping through the house like a tall 2yr old having a temper tantrum.

Today was just one “ugh” inspiring event after another and it’s left me feeling in a funk. The kind of funk where you start to question your life’s purpose or life’s work. The kind of funk where you compare yourself to others (who didn’t grow up with abuse and poverty/ don’t have chronic illnesses) and you feel “less than”. I’m feeling very “less than” tonight.