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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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a box of chocolates is so not the metaphor i'm looking for
children of dune - leto 1
So at work budget cuts are leading to our contractors not having their contracts renewed. It's complicated and by that, I mean, bad. The positions will be opened up as positions in the agency, which is cheaper--yes, it's cheaper for the state to hire people directly to work with the agency than it is to contract--but the state cannot pay them what they got as contractors, and they're software engineers and specialists--we cannot afford them. We are going to lose them. We are very fucked.

All of us are getting jumpy because the the first group of contracts expires this month and we don't have the people to replace them. I mean, literally--it's not just education or experience, it's familiarity with the system itself and how it was built and how it works. One's wife works at the White House, to make this clear; they can find much better jobs than this one, which means the state will have to pull people who are missing either experience or familiarity; education, at least, isn't a problem. I could probably do several of the jobs--let me say, I read the raw code and it's not what I'd call complex to read or write, just repetitive--but we need someone with all three.

This is a long way of saying if I'm really out of sorts for the next two weeks, it's literally because I'm trying not to cry over my keyboard as they rush more and more priority jobs at us to finish before the end of August, then the end of December, while we scramble frantically. I had four priority jobs added today and we couldn't do any of them because they're rushing to get the system up and working and it's not working, which you see where this is going, and it's not like it's getting better after the end of August. Also, two of my favorite coworkers are leaving and that's fucking with my mood so much you have no idea.

Which is why I'm going to reschedule the gall bladder surgery thing, and not just due to utter terror of it. I did the math on the workload and basic fact; it literally won't get done if I'm not here. I mean, we don't have the staff, the resources, or the literal time in existence. I work on this system; if someone doesn't do my tests, and they won't, then that's a huge swathe that will not get tested and I have to use this system when I get back and experience suggests that failure is high. I bought a ton of cherry tea to get ready for this. Cherry tea makes everything better.

There is the faint possibility this is not actually what I'm supposed to be doing with my life, which is--irritating, I think. I mean, any of this. All of this. The thing is, I have my work and my life and my hobbies and generally, as I've moved around state employment, I get settled and comfortable and I don't always adore the work, I love the fact that most of the time, I'm fucking good at it, and I won't lie, being good at something, being very good at something, and occasionally being much better at it than anyone else, usually beats out whether I like it or not by a good margin. Also, and this is where this gets deadly, learning anything new is fun for me. The learning process itself has kept me doing things I'd otherwise hate, because I really love to learn and in the process get really good at things and again, you see where this is going.

I mean, I get this is the kind of attitude that can end in disaster or terrible jobs, but keep in mind stupid cheese tricks wasn't a fluke or anything; that's the shit I do when I need entertainment and my boss isn't paying attention.

There's also this; work is not my life. It can't be; I get some people can do that, but I can't, I have so many different things I like to do. I care about where I work for pay and how much it entertains me (see learning experience above) and the fact it's fairy valuable to social work, but that's as far as I go. Work is fun sometimes and boring sometimes, but its actual function is to pay for my computers, child's lizards, shoes, cons, trips out of state, visiting [personal profile] svmadelyn, playing with the stock market, concerts, my hobbies, and everything that encompasses my actual life. Giving it more importance than that never seemed like a good idea; that's a good way to go crazy.

This is the first time I'm considering school as more than a means to entertain myself, which is all I was basically doing it for (and because programming is really entertaining). I'm ridiculously close to graduating, but again, school is part of my entertainment budget, not a means to an end (though yeah, that too), so that changes how I've been thinking about it, as "something if I have time, go do that" to "perhaps a change in priority would be a good idea".

Maybe I just need something new to look forward to. July and August were concert, beach, [personal profile] svmadelyn, and VVC and now I don't have anything to plan for or look forward to like that until potentially June of next year. I need something new to be excited about after two months of high-level excitement and debt payoff and everything.

You know, I've never done New Year's in New York. I'm actually seriously considering this now. I mean, I have no idea what, but it's something to stare at thoughtfully and examine and then possibly do like I do everything: take three steps back, pretend I know what I'm about to do, and take a running jump to see what happens when I land. I don't think the universe owes me excitement; that's why I figure I should provide that for myself.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/40358.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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[hugs you so fucking hard]

You want to be my plus one at my brother's wedding in October?

I was going to agree with you about work being a means to an end rather than a life, and cheer you on - and then I got all distracted by the thought of you being in New York this winter. Obviously, we'd have to have a cocktail.

But I'm still cheering you on - particularly about your workload.

They will push and push not to have to hire people and then dump it on those who are left - just to save a few bucks. If I were you, I'd have the surgery anyway. The higher ups need to know that it's just not possible with what they've decided to do and you shouldn't have to pay the consequences for their actions.

Agree with this 100%. If you're really losing the contractors, your workload will be fucked no matter WHEN you do the surgery. Don't let that be an excuse for not taking care of your health.

Fairly simple fact: if we let work consume our lives, we will have no lives. If we let work define us, we lose definition.

~nods wisely

I hope things don't get too crazy for you. D:

panda!hug, bb

As for the Horace delay, I think you've got some good reasons besides medical terror to delay it. I will say this though--they had to switch out from doing my gallbladder surgery laproscopically to full incision (I won't go into any further details about that part unless you want me to), which meant a far longer and very not cool recovery period, and I'm still so glad that I did it.

The surgery and recovery sucked, but not having to worry about accidentally eating the wrong thing or having just a sudden onset bitchslap from my gallbladder anymore makes it so, so worth it. I mean, I almost missed my babies baptism because I had to be rushed to the hospital at 4 am the day of. Instead, we had church on morphine! Good times!

The other is that while delaying for these reasons is a good plan, there might come a point when Horace gives you no option and decides he doesn't feel like waiting anymore. So, as much as one can't really prepare for the unexpected... you might want to prepare for the unexpected? If that helps.

Your New York plan is fucking fabulous and for reasons not the least of which is the fact that my roommate and I have been having detailed discussions of doing the exact same thing ever since I returned from a birthday New York weekend this past June.

We're a two-person traveling frat house of dick jokes, but if you don't mind that, I'll totally get you drunk.

Right, so I haven't been browsing around online for literally ages, so I come here to see what I've missed, and I start from the top because that's what appears and I'm too lazy to scroll down and try to figure out when last I was here, and I see this:

Which is why I'm going to reschedule the gall bladder surgery thing, and not just due to utter terror of it.

Right, so I think, hmmm, and then I scroll down and I swear, every other entry is a plea to Horace and Vicodin, maybe not in that order, and a justifiable complaint that previously okay foods are no longer okay. So I'm thinking, hmmm, again, because yeah, work's important, but hello, get the gall bladder out already, sweetheart.

Take this from a woman who went through similarly agonizing attacks before blessedly getting the offending organ removed -- you will feel one THOUSAND percent better without the gall bladder. A MILLION percent better.

Yes, there will be pain after the surgery, but there are always drugs, and I promise you, two days in and the pain will recede and then you will be SO happy, and you will eat whatever you want, and you will not have blinding, stabbing, agonizing pain attack you at random moments and really seriously ruin your day.

And I get that work is going through a crisis but you know, removing the source of unutterable agony should take precedence. What would they do if you ended up in the hospital because Horace decided to rupture? They'd figure out a way to deal, somehow.

Anyway, not really trying to second-guess you, because your life is your own and your pain is your own, but honestly, I was just as afraid of surgery as you are and in the end, it was SO worth it and if I had to go back and do it again, the only thing I would do is do it earlier. Because the pain of surgery is going to be the same no matter when you do it, so you might as well minimize your total pain by reducing the number of attacks.

Logical, right? Isn't it?

Anyway, hugs ... feel better and get yourself into the hospital to say good-bye to Horace as soon as you can. Because, trust me on this, you will be the happiest camper ever when it's done.

You should totally come to New York.

Very much agreed that work shouldn't be your life, and that hitting NYC for New Year's sounds like a fun thing to do and something to look forward to. (Hmm. I need to set up some fun things for myself later in the year, too. I've got D*C in a couple of weeks, and in October I'm taking a few three-day weekends for no particular reason, though there's going to be a new tattoo happening on one and maybe a trip to TRF on another weekend.)

One thing that makes me wary, though, is putting off dealing with Horace for too much longer. Like, past the August deadline is only a few weeks, so might as well work around that, but make sure you get it out of the way before the December rush sets in. You want to be completely recovered by New Year's, even if they have to go full-incision -- hell, you'd probably appreciate having your digestion in full working order by Thanksgiving. And October usually has some sort of interesting things going on you might hate missing -- try for September.

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