I’m so sick and tired
Of being admired
That I wish that I would just die or get fired.
—Eminem, “The Way I Am” (The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000)
Don’t worry: despite the Shady quote above, I’m not looking to end my life — or my beloved career as an IT helpdesk nerd. However, I am certainly feeling a lot of pressure these days, and wishing I could have more free time to myself, instead of helping others so much…
I’m fortunately not over-burdened at work — which is just as well, as it may have been the weekend work I did last December that started off my “brain fuzz” dizzy spells. Although sometimes it feels like too much at once, I get nice periods of quiet — and in some cases, I can pass tasks on to my more esteemed colleagues to resolve after doing my initial troubleshooting… like today, when I was able to unburden myself of a serious problem with the big cheese’s laptop, leaving me free to help senpai with an easier but no less important task for another senior member of staff.
However, last Wednesday I became worried I was going to snap at someone, as numerous troubleshooting tasks were punctuated by my Japanese friend repeatedly texting me, and constantly changing her claims about where and when she could meet up with me. No, she’s not my kanojo or anything, but my reward for trying to help her with English has been for her to keep nagging for more and more help (I still remember trying to troubleshoot her writing while riding a bus to the Castle!), and seeing as I’d already spent the previous evening trying to teach her English idioms, and felt at risk of losing the one evening off I’d have all week!
Don’t worry, she’s offered to pay me at last — though I commuted that sentence to buying me some “pub grub” this evening, while I waited for a salsa class, and helped her some more. And at least she only wanted help with her English tonight, and not advice on taking legal action against a dodgy educational institution (she’s studying to become a teacher of Japanese) that’s been treating her badly, and doesn’t even seem to be accredited. On previous evenings, via Facebook Messenger, she went on for hours about this topic — but what can I do?
By coincidence, “best mate” rung up while I was waiting for my “pub grub” to arrive: he’s also having a dreadful time at work (still being sent to far-flung places by his brother), and even though he’s finally bought a new car (from a dodgy dealer — I saw the place), he was worried he hadn’t set up his parking permit right, and asked me to check. He’s got no tickets, so that’s fine — but I can’t help with his work situation, much as I wish I could. As usual, all I can do is lend a sympathetic ear — it’s something he needs to resolve on his own terms, because it’s his life and he needs to take care of himself.
I certainly can’t help others with their lives when I have so much on my plate already — I’m starting to feel like I’ve become a father to this shared household! In addition to taking on the role of gathering everyone’s share of the rent and other household bills (and cleaning the kitchen), I also had to be the one to call — guess who? — British Gas, to sort out our heating for the second winter running. I then had to text all four of my housemates, to see if anyone could be in on Friday afternoon, as “boss-lady” said I couldn’t take the time off to be here, as she needed me in to help cover the helpdesk while two of my colleagues were on leave, and the other two working on a yuge project!
None of my housemates were available… but fortunately British Gas now offer appointments at the weekend (amazing!), and the engineer sorted everything out (astounding!). Unfortunately, they still found a way to screw up: they’d recorded our address wrong! Imagine I live at 7 Yorkshire Road, and that a new set of flats called Yorkshire Works have recently opened nearby, on the same street and with the exact same postcode — and that there’s a flat 7… this is why we kept getting electricity bills for someone who doesn’t live here (and we get ours from another company anyway), and now it’s why our landlady needs to call BG to straighten this address mismatch out, as otherwise they may refuse to fix future issues entirely.
And as though helping others with their problems and sorting out household issues isn’t enough, it’s possible I’ll need to speak to the police soon: there was attempted fraud on my bank account on Sunday, apparently using my debit card details — and while they caught it in time to reverse the theft, I can’t help but worry that they’ll somehow start thinking I really did try to buy something on Facebook (ads?) for hundreds of pounds, and I’ll have to convince the boys in blue that I never sanctioned those payments or knowingly gave my card details away. I actually spent Sunday afternoon virus-checking my PC and going through my receipts for September and October (yes, I keep them, ever since 2012!) to make sure every transaction in my bank account history was legit, instead of playing games or doing anything enjoyable…
(Okay, fair enough, I had Columbo on in the background!)
Is all of this finally making a man of me? Am I maturing and taking responsibility, over matters that affect others as well as myself, instead of flinching, begging for help or procrastinating? It’s weird, but today I haven’t even had any major bouts of “brain fuzz” — almost as though facing down stressful issues is somehow keeping me sane… and perhaps it’s only when I recover from stress that I get those weird floods of quasi-memories at strange times, in which case I need to keep myself busy helping people and getting things done, instead of lazing about.
Still, I wish I didn’t have to do all this stuff alone — is there a woman out there, a potential wife (or at least long-term significant other), who would stand by me and share my burden, instead of just relying on me for everything? I feel that two of us working together and sharing responsibility could achieve so much more than two separate individuals…