Tag Archives: frustration

This is a catharsis post. Rants ahoy

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Let me preface this by saying that I genuinely love my job. I love the travelling, the fast pace, the strange customers, even the weird cravings you get around hour nine of the flight. That being said, there certain parts of it that my anxiety-ridden self loathes like the Grinch loathes Christmas….
Specifically the increased automation of certain parts of the operation. Call me an old-soul but there are many times when the phrase “just press the button and let the machine do it” is not as reassuring as some people might think. I’m the kind of person who (had I be born a couple of decades earlier) would be fixing the TV with a mallet. Bottom line, I don’t trust machines. And machines don’t like me either. Files mysteriously disappearing and reappearing in random folders, gadgets sorting out because I looked them wrong, if it’s any type of computer it comes to my hands for the sole purpose of dying.  I’m not going to discuss here what electronic device is currently antagonising me but suffice to say I’m not at fault and this whole problem wouldn’t exist if I had interacted with a being made out of organic carbon instead of plastic and microchips.

But here’s the thing. I’m paranoid. I have backup plans for my backup plans because I know I get anxious when things spiral out of my control. But for all I wish I either had all the responsibility or none at all, I have to acknowledge (to others if not myself) that when I am running on two hours of sleep, caffeine fumes and the hope of a bed I cannot be expected to perform my best. It’s the reality of the job and I say that as someone who permanently ruined her sleep schedule when she was sixteen.

I suppose the first sacrificial victim of having a large company is personal contact. And by personal contact I don’t mean feedback forms (the subject of another rant eventually, but not now. One cause of sleeplessness at a time). Automation is all well and good but does not account for the human factor. And dear gods, this would be so much easier to rant about if I didn’t feel the need to keep it as vague as possible. I swear, the next job I happen upon (once the paperwork chasing that is disturbingly inherent in being cabin crew becomes to much for me) will have a lot less forms. Screw salary raises and benefits, I’m hardly likely to settle down anyway (that is not a dare PTB, I do want a family in the somewhat near future). I just want a job that pays my bills and doesn’t drive me to insomnia, drink and/or anxiety attacks. But I suppose that is too much to ask for all things considered.

Sometimes I wonder if my life would be easier if I could actually talk about my problems. For someone whose main strength during academia was writing, it can be remarkably hard at times to find the correct words. There are concepts I only know in one language (which might not be the language I’m using in the discourse I’m having). There are concepts I perceive in the relative safety of my mind as feelings and colours and shapes, with not corresponding words that I can find, especially in such a difficult conversation. And it is difficult. I’m aware enough of my self and my mental state to know that poking that particular hornets’ nest, while therapeutic and something I should probably do at some point, would not be pleasant for anyone involved. Too much compartmentalising and shoving things in the Narnia-sized broom closet that is my subconscious. And even as a child I preferred listening because a. human interactions are stressful and confusing, b. 95% of the people I meet/spend time with I would not care whether I saw again or not so why bother, c. my temper is too violent to risk igniting since hitting someone over the head with my leatherback Divina Comedia is sadly not socially acceptable. What this all boils down to is an underlying sentiment of “I’ve observed that references to this subject are met with frustration and/or indifference so trying to communication my perception of it, based on personal experience or not, will be likely not met favourably”. Or, more laconically, “you guys ain’t listening so why bother”? And yes, that includes trying to talk it through with someone and then them dismissing your perception/opinion/stance are non-valid because it doesn’t fitting with perception of the subject. Oh yeah. That happened. Repeatedly. From people I didn’t expect it from. Fun times. Not.

On a slight tangent, I was having a discussion earlier about diversity and PC culture and whether or not it is meaningful or limiting at this point. I hardly belong to a marginalised group so I felt it would be hypocritical to preach from a proverbial soapbox on the subject. But personally, I feel it’s about removing stigma and misconception. It’s just both can be so deeply embedded that that they are considered normal. But here’s the thing. I would very much like to wear shorts or miniskirts when I go out. So why is it that the same people who with one breath encourage me to do so because I’m apparently at the proper age for it, warm me off doing it with the next breath because “it’s not safe” or so that I can avoid catcalls. And for the matter I have nothing against a guy complimenting me on the street (in fact I am very flattered, but for the love of all you hold holy, leave it at that). What I am against is guys honking at me or whistling from the cars or ogling on the street like they got dropped off to the 21st century from the Victorian times by a very inconsiderable time-traveller. It’s not flattering, it’s not sincere and it is certainly doing nothing to cool off the hotter heads of the feminism vs sexism debate (and I include reverse sexism on that too, it’s just I’ve never had a woman make to make some of the comments I’ve heard from men). Or I would like not to have to think and hesitate about going to the doctor to verify something I suspect because having it in my medical history might affect my chances of employment, or because my symptoms are not “loud” enough to be considered legitimate. For the record I would very much like to be able to make a phone call without having to prepare myself for it in advance or have a conversation with a coworker and not obsessively dissect it afterwards for everything I may have done wrong because have I mentioned how hard it is to talk to someone when you suck at reading body language? And no, I very much do not believe in the idea that best intentions are communicated somehow.

I’m gonna cut this off rather abruptly but it’s getting late and I am famished. At least my head feels a little emtier right now so hopefully I’ll be able to sleep properly (and promptly) tonight.

In which I jump rope

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The rope in question being that beautifully thin line between self-delusion and compartmentalising (and try saying that three times fast!). Those who know me in any capacity know that I can panic easily. Not in the ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh hyperventilating kind but rather in the twenty-scenarios-imagined-in-under-10-seconds kind. Bless my writer’s mind! Of course, on a good day, that means I am pretty much prepared for any eventuality up to and including the zombie apocalypse. On a bad day my inner conversation makes the Everything Wrong video series sound like a panegyric. Add to that my ever-present underlying conviction that just because I think something is a good idea, doesn’t mean other people will think so too (and no, telling me otherwise will do nothing. To paraphrase Dr. Banner; “This one’s brain is  like a bag of cats.”). The result? A compulsive need to drown myself in tears (and I’m not adding Bailey’s to that because that shit is expensive!) whenever the words “covering letter” are mentioned. I can argue till Kingdom Come on Chaucer and Aristotelian philosophy, I can play Devil’s advocate for just about any Dark Side character but ask me to tell why you should hire me and all my words desert me.

I’m at my best when you shove me off the deep end and tell me to swim.   Throw me a Code Red and I’ll deliver. Ask me to explain it well in advance and I’ll sound like a bumbling idiot. Hence, one of the most terrifying questions for me (right up there with “Why should we hire you?” and “How do you feel about x/y/z?”) is “What are your plans?”

guy with plan

Gal in my case but yeah. Homicidal Lunatic from Gotham has a point. I just kind of do things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Some things I like/enjoy/revel in more than others. But the point is, there is no plan. No, no, no! When other people make plans, God laughs, is that not the saying? When I make plans (and declare them) it’s an automatic jinx. I kid you not, it’s happened waaaaaay often to be a coincidence.

coincidencetumblr_inline_n7u21uIqGV1sitdex

So, until I have a divine revelation where some sort of deity swears on themselves that no, they’re not messing with me because they’re bored, please world stop asking about my plans. I’ve no plans, alright? I’ve vague ideas of possibly-good things to do. And then there’s the pile of things I should/must/am expect to do. And I try to make them coincide. Somehow. Compromise, compromise, compromise.

It’s not that I want to avoid responsibility or that I wanna stay a kid forever. I’m not bleeding Peter Pan. It’s that most of the time I’m stuck in this weird Limbo where I know all of the above, heck I even acknowledge it, but don’t know how to get out. Why? Partially because I just suck. Partially because when they taught us Home Economics at school they felt it was more important to teach us the difference between “nuclear” and “extended” family instead of, I don’t know, how to adult! stitch

Passing Grade

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I can’t get no passing grade!

I can’t get no passing grade!

‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try

I can’t get no, I can’t get no!

When I’m drivin’ in my car,

Going through the simulation,

Reading all the theory parts

About lights, signs and indicators.

Supposed to help me pass my test.

 

I can’t get no, oh no no no!

Hey hey hey, that’s what I say:

I can’t get no passing grade!

I can’t get no passing grade!

‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try

I can’t get no, I can’t get no!

When I’m watchin’ hazard clips

And the time keeps running out,

How can I review the wrongs

When I need to buy that subscription too?

Is that fair? I think not!

 

I can’t get no, oh no no no!

Hey hey hey, that’s what I say:

I can’t get no passing grade!

I can’t get no passing grade!

Cause I try and I try and I try and I try

I can’t get no, I can’t get no!

When I’m ridin’ round the estate

And I’m doin’ this and I’m trying that

And I’m tryin’ to make that left reverse,

But keep on stopping for oncoming traffic.

Cause you see I’m on losing streak.

 

I can’t get no, oh no no no!

Hey hey hey, that’s what I say:

I can’t get no, I can’t get no,

I can’t get no passing grade!

No passing grade, no passing grade, no passing grade!

In which I angst over unwarranted anxiousness

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Ever have one of those days? Days when nothing in particular is going wrong, yet your stomach has the size, consistency and standard velocity of a ping-pong ball during a high-stakes game? No? Lucky you! So yeah, I’ve been in a bit of a Mood today. Don’t know why. Unfortunately for me  my subconscious has a mind -and occasionally voices- of its own. Which means that sometimes I feel things and I’m not particularly certain why. Not much that can be done about it, hence my occasional bouts of obsessive cleaning and/or cooking (much to my flatmates’ chagrin, I imagine). What am I going to do about it? Clean first. It doesn’t pay to argue with your compulsions and anyway I can’t think in a cluttered house. Then I’m going to give  myself a holiday! Have a bubble bath, open a bag of popcorn I’ve been saving, guilt-trip whoever’s closer into sitting through my latest favourite movie.

And then tomorrow I’m going to do something slightly different. I used to have trouble falling asleep when I was younger, which led to some very extensive and very complicated daydreams (is that the word? I was basically telling myself stories, trying to fall asleep). Lately though this has been happening less and less, what with me going to bed already half asleep…Now that I’m on spring break though I don’t need to wake up at any particular time. So, like some people do movie marathons, I will do a daydream marathon! I’ll stay in bed and do nothing but nap and peruse my mental library until I’m bored (or the next day comes, whichever happens first). Not sure for how long I’ll keep it up, my self-set time limit is twenty-four hours, but I’ll keep you posted.

Anyone else have any good down-time activities to suggest?

In which I’m bothered by bureaucracy

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I am NOT happy. No, sirrah, not happy at all! Why you ask? Well, remember my occasional rants about paperwork (which I am fairly certain I do both here and on Facebook)? Yeah, paperwork and I go as well together as chocolate and tzatziki. (Don’t try it, it sucks!) It’s usually not a matter of filling out forms that I’m frustrated by. Rather it’s that usually a waste of time. Like, honest to goodness waste of time. Case to point, a couple of weeks ago I filled a form to get a copy of my transcripts to attach to my postgraduate applications. At the time I had a choice of paying for second-class mail and next-day delivery. The change in cost being significant and me being a broke student, I opted for the first. Hey, I thought in my foolishness, my house is thirty minutes ON FOOT from the university. Heck you could walk the envelope from campus to the area’s post office HQ and from there to my house and still have it delivered IN LESS THAN THREE HOURS. As of yesterday, I am still waiting.

But, you might say, perhaps it takes time to actually compile the transcript. Oh my poor optimist of a reader. It doesn’t. What the process involves is somebody working in the school’s office bringing up my records and doing a printout (and I check with a friend who had to do the same a while back; it’s a minute’s work at most). Then you simply stuff the thing in an envelope, right an address and off it goes. They do say it can take up to thirty days to process the request but frankly I’m stumped as to why anything needs to be processed in the first place! I was there, they had all the info they needed in the paper I had just handed them. Heck! I was the only person currently in line for anything! They could have done it on the spot but noooooo! I went there yesterday to check on the progress (seeing as I have other things I need to do over spring break rather than agonise over applications and if left to their own devises it’d be a miracle for me to get my transcripts before spring break…). First they  asked me if I needed the paper for some sort of urgent deadline. Fool that I am, I said no, I just wanted to be done with something that is extremely stressful before I need to start concentrating on my semester’s final projects. Then I was informed that my form has not even began being processed and reminded that this can take up to THIRTY FRIGGING WORKING DAYS.

Frankly, I would not be surprised if this is how the entire “processing” goes:

So yeah, not sure how soon this will be resolved, but I do have a Plan B (and a Plan C as a matter of fact) in place. Thanks for listening and stay tuned FOR THE DRAMATIC CONCLUSION!

 

 

P.S. Man, I used a lot of capitals in this one, didn’t I?