Tag Archives: job

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.

That moment when you land back to Earth…

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I’ve been off the grid here for a while now, haven’t I? Mostly because there are only so many ways I can talk about what it’s like to drudge through a fairly boring day-today, with only the occasional spike in my anxiety to spice things up. But now… now I have Stuff to look ahead to. Pretty sure I mentioned here, what feels like centuries ago, that I was jousting with the pre-employment processes of British Airways. Well! I am delighted to report that I have officially exited that circle of Hell and my life is back on some semblance of track! So what have I been up to these past few months?

Not much really, until I got that blessed e-mail, informing me of my start date. THAT is when things got interesting! Suddenly I had a timeline and a list of things that needed to be completed. Things like finding a new place, filling out a few last pieces of paperwork, booking my medical appointment, sorting out my visa, packing… Oh gods, the packing! My new place is slightly closer to Heathrow, though each really a temporary solution until I get to flying full time and some other things get sorted out… Medical is all booked and I just need to fill out the paperwork I need to present and show up looking pretty and healthy. (Lot’s of fruits and veggies for me in the near future!) The US visa is the one that closest to being at 100% done, mostly because my appointment is next Monday. I’ve also had to hunt down a pair of court shoes and update my closet (my bank account is currently in deep mourning over that fact). The shoes should arrive at the store any day now and once I have them, they will replace my slippers inside the house. Because, let’s be honest. New shoes will hurt your feet the first few times you were them. In my case, it’s usually my heel that takes the brunt of that and I’ve hobbled back home on bleeding feet often enough to know that this is not something I want happening on the first day on the job. As for the wardrobe update….that was one of the few times I went shopping unwillingly. Left to my own devices I’d spend the majority of my life dressed either in PJs or the sort of clothes you’d find in a fantasy show (stakes and magical swords optional). In other words, my office-appropriate outfits could be counted in one hand. And I have anywhere between four and six weeks of training in which I’m expected to show up in office chic. You do the math dear reader.

Speaking of wardrobe updates, here’s a funny thing that happened the other day. I had ordered a few t-shirts online. When the parcel finally arrived (with an unexpected customs charge and wasn’t that fun…) I realised there were a few extra t-shirts on top of the stuff I had ordered. A few e-mails with the company later and here’s what I learnt. Another customer’s order was accidentally packed with mine. Now, under different circumstances I’d roll my eyes at this show of disorganisation. But! It just so happened that the person in question had ordered designs I was planning on getting myself whenever I had money to spare next. And I get to keep them. So no. I’m not complaining. In fact I may have done a mini happy dance on my bed when they told me I didn’t have to return the extras. 😀

What else, what else… I’m trying to motivate myself to exercise a bit more and touch up my German. Neither being activities I particularly enjoy so I haven’t exactly been successful so far. I tell myself to walking around counts for something and my scales seem to agree but unfortunately  that does very little for my flexibility. Looks like I’ll have to look up some yoga tutorials or cheat-sheets or something…. And I need to look into the whole luggage situation. I may have to buy a new cabin bag but given my finances currently looking like they are in their inglorious death-throws I’ll have to put that off for later. And pray there’ll be a huge sale when I get around to actually buying it. I kept getting the feeling that I’m going to school again and let me tell you it’s not just the excitement of learning something new, it’s not just the word “training” being thrown around like spare change, it’s not just meeting other people with the same brand of crazy as me. It’s the avalanche of expenses that come with it. I mean yeah, it’s exciting expenses. Made less exciting by the fact that I am not dragging my mother down the aisle of a store, throwing everything that catches my eye on the cart and not worrying about paying the bill in the end. #thingsImissfrommychildhood

….

My conscience informs me that that is what being an adult means. To which I reply:

Image result for i am an adult, but like an adult cat

(How cute is that cat?)

-ahem- Yeah….

Well this is at the stage where my rambles cease to be even slightly coherent, so I’m gonna sign out.

See y’all soon. Hopefully.

Boy she’s slow lately….

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And she doesn’t even have the “no internet” excuse! You’d think that being out of uni would allow me to post more often. Not! Sweet, sweet apathy has ensured that I am in zero mood to write (or do much of anything other than crave desserts…) As I was telling/whining to a friend a few days ago, I do not know how to function with no schedule! Give me a high panic situation and I will deliver. Give me more than three slow days in a row and you are killing me! Add to that my room being criminally cold and the heating on the house central and at the tender mercies of my landlord and I’m sure you ca imagine how well things are going.

But, you say, you’re out of uni! Shouldn’t you be working and being a serious adult and all that? I WISH! No, seriously, there’s few things I want more right now than to have to wake up with the sun and go to work. Unfortunately this will not be possible for an undetermined amount of time. Key and hated word being “undetermined”. The backchecks for my new job are taking about as long as the solar system took to form. Not only that, but the nice people in charge of the process do not feel it necessary to grace us with some sort of progress report or at least a countdown to the next phase. Meaning that I can do next to nothing, seeing as they could e-mail me tomorrow, or they could e-mail me in a month (and that’s an optimistic outlook from what I’m reading on the forums). Out of the window go therefore any and all potential temp jobs since I very much doubt anyone hires you with the adage of “may quit whenever she fancies”. So long-term projects are a no-go, short term projects are too many to pick one and I’m left kind of laying in bed, overwhelmed by everything.

And it doesn’t help that I am constantly cold. Bit hard to find motivation when you’re constantly shivering. So yeah, do excuse my absence. Believe me, it’s not cause I’m having fun….

Few more pages left

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My dissertation deadline is coming and I am proud to say I will be able to submit and be done with it early. All the panic and sleepless nights (and future back problems from all the books I’ve been carrying around) and I am actually looking at the almost complete result. Almost because a few entries in my bibliography need some additional information (page numbers mostly) and I need to check my word count again, just in case. I’m not entirely happy with that. I managed to hit just over 13600 when to upper limit is 14000. But hey, I’m gonna read through the entire thing again tonight, hunt for any pesky typos, so maybe I’ll find a few places to add a little something. Everyone’s telling me that I’m over exaggerating with my paranoia, but dammit this is major! (and a major part of my final grade too). I think I’m entitled to act a little crazy now that we’re a breath from the print-and-bind stage. Speaking of…I need to find somewhere to do the binding part. Hm…

In other news I’m also house hunting again, which I left to a lamentably late this year (and, oh, how I long for the time when moving will not be an annual event!). In my defence until very recently I had no clue what I’d be doing, much less where. But I do have a few viewings lined up for the end of the week, so here’s to hoping I drew the golden ticket. All in all my check list right now looks something like this:

  • print/bind/submit dissertation
  • find house-sign contract-arrange move-in date
  • hire van for the move
  • PACK!!!!!!!! (you never know how much stuff you have until you need to put it in a finite number of boxes…)
  • pray the gods are merciful and I get my start date sometime soon

And no! I will not calm down until all these little hotspots of stress are crossed out. On the bright side, once at least the dissertation is out of the way I will have more time for writing again. I have a few ideas I wanna try here but it’s really a matter of finding the time/energy to get started on them. We’ll see how it goes. Until then,

Peace out! 🙂

-awkward wave-

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Um…hey everyone. I’m back. Um…not sure how long I’ll be able to keep the three-a-week schedule this time, but I’ll try. I mean, my load is a little lighter this semester, so I should be fine? We’ll see. At least I’m no longer in constant panic/too tired to function mode. Sure I’m not much better, but small steps, right?

At any case I have a few ideas on what to post here for the next few weeks  so it’s not like there’s going to be zero content-just rambles. (Or more accurately, I have the ideas but whether they will spawn an avalanche of text or barely a post each is up for debate. After my most recent essay marathon just looking at a keyboard blocks my willingness to type…) But on the subject of rambles and generally stream-of-consciousness posts, there’s definitely going to be more of those. Mostly because I’ve been recently told that dammit I need to talk to somebody before I explode (again. Long story.) and since anyone who has ever met me in person can attest to the fact that my ability to communicate verbally leaves much to be desired (partially because my default mode is “people have their own shit to deal with, I don’t need to add”), I’ll just have to get it out on (virtual) paper. No, I’m not going to go all Dear Diary to you. Just rant every now and then here so that I can continue to fool people in real life into thinking I’m a calm and collected adult. Usually. Hopefully. If there is literature involved. I’m not building a good case, am I?

While I’m writing this post, I’m also trying to sync my account on Bloglovin with zero success. According to them, my blog does not exist. Since I have 2+ years worth of posts that say otherwise, I will respectfully disagree. And according to Google and WordPress Support I’m not the only one with this problem. Unfortunately, the few solutions that don’t go along the “follow the instructions on the bloglovin website” line involve coding, htmls and other scary things that I only recognise as things to stay away from. Considering the love-hate relationship I have with all things computer, if I tried my hand on coding I’d break the internet. And I happen to like a lot of people online so I wouldn’t do this to them…. I don’t know… If anyone reads this and can give me idiot-proof instructions on how to deal with the problem, I will love you forever!

But Lia, you might say, your blog is tiny (and hardly active lately). Maybe bloglovin just couldn’t find you in the tangle mess of the interwebs. Yes, thank you snarky voice in my head and/or comment section. As a matter of fact I thought of that. And so I went of the main search bar of the site and looked myself up. And I did not exist. What did exist was a handy add-a-blog button which I used. And I still can’t find me. I don’t know, maybe it takes a few hours for the thing to go through? I’ll probably check again tomorrow, see if the gods of internet have decided to show mercy. Or call my, by far more, tech-savy brother. And the problem is not my RSS feed because I checked it and it’s valid. So there!

But isn’t this a great metaphor for my life currently? I have all these plans, all these good intentions (Hell has paved a whole new lane thanks to me…), all the willingness to work for my (largely unspecific) dreams and all I ask for is a chance. And a damn guidebook because gods now I’m taking shots in the dark here and hoping the bullets will not come back to be. Yes, I know I’m neither the first not the last to be in this position and you know what? NO! I’m not going to grin, nod and accept that as an answer. I will happily acknowledge that this yet another part of the whole growing up charade but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to sit here and accept that just because my age group doesn’t (mostly) have a frigging clue on where they are going, we cannot have any help. Screw being independent! If I want somebody to take me by the hand and show me the ropes then maybe I should have one.

Universities like to wax poetic on their student support schemes and career development plans and what have you and while I applaud the initiative, I can’t help feeling I’m not the only one finishing their degree and not knowing where to find a paycheck. I chose an undergraduate and postgraduate degree on a subject I love because even as an eighteen-year-old I knew myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t make it long in a career path I was indifferent to (even if it meant a certain job). So here I am with an English degree under my belt and one on the making and next to zero tangible job experience because let me tell you (and I’m not joking now), literature is mentally exhausting. You know all those things you read and wonder, “How do they do that?” I’ll tell you how: hours pouring other people’s work on top of your own writing and world building and scenario exploring. Even my silly little fanfics have an insane amount of backstage work. For every scene or line committed to paper there’s three variants rejected or altered or even saved for future reference. If you want to write good, you need to know everything there is to know about the world you’re playing with, and the same goes to analysing someone else’s work. When I’ve spent seven hours at the library doing background reading on top of my coursework, I don’t have the mental fortitude (or the energy really, library marathons mean less cooking time means less of a chance to eat properly on a regular basis) to go out job hunting. Still, I would GLADLY scrounge the energy to pull a shift or five if someone. would. just. give. me. a. chance. When even the simplest retail job demands experience (even in-university or placements that supposedly are there to help us gain experience) and you know for a fact that you only have to show a measly CV and a shy smile…well, you sorta know your chances are next to nil. Of course they will prefer the experienced person because, come on! Who can be bothered with showing the ropes to a newbie?

I used to joke with some of my friends that when we all inevitably fail to find jobs we should just open a coffee shop together. If I had the capital, that would be my Plan A. As it is, what I do have is a very uncertain future, the understanding that my passions lie on the oft-marginalised Humanities and a terrible case of panic. There are things you cannot study for, cannot possibly prepare for and really would it be so hard if someone, just once, bothered to tell us when we are little that it’s ok to not know what you’re doing, it’s no shame to want to study what you love just because you want to learn more, not in order to get a job. I wish I could be paid to read, write and talk about mythology and the sagas and the Arthurian stories and medieval romances and poetry and all those things that most disregard as useless or irrelevant without even realising how much they have affected the “modern” way of thinking. I wish I could just find a job so that I didn’t lose sleep over how I’m going to support myself from the summer on. I wish it would be more than nominally accepted that not everyone works on the same speed and the fact that I didn’t feel ready to dive right in the job market when I was twenty doesn’t mean that I’m lazy or out of touch with reality or immature or whatever it is that employers think they skim through a two-page CV with little in terms of references and plenty in terms of hopeful willingness to help. I wish….I wish…I wish….

Most of all I wish someone would give me a chance.