I am endeavoring to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins.
–Mr. Spock, Star Trek (S1E28, “The City on the Edge of Forever”)
There are two aspects of my life where, on the verge of success as the end of 2013 approaches, I seem to be slipping backwards: work and health. In both cases it may not prove to be a problem as such, but in both cases it’s troubling me…
(And if you’re tired of hearing me go on about both of these, and my love life as well, don’t worry: I’ll find a way to shoehorn Gwar into this post as well!)
First of all, I’ve had a lousy week at work so far (and ’tis but half-over), because something long-threatened has finally caught up with me: my desktop computer has been taken away, and I’m now required to do all my work on that rubbish laptop I was given weeks ago (the one which had its first BSoD one hour into the initial training session, apparently because I had the temerity to open Outlook when I was supposed to be getting trained with Lync). Yes, one week before Christmas, despite my protests, I have to get used to a whole different way of working — instead of two monitors, one monitor with a laptop propped up next to it. Everyone else did it weeks ago, but then everyone else has thus had weeks to get used the new system!
After an hour of struggling to switch focus between a monitor and a laptop screen of completely different size, shape and DPI, I (with a mounting headache) gave up and decided to use just one monitor from now on (with my laptop closed on my desk). This is the situation I was in about three years ago, and I didn’t realise just how much I’d taken having two monitors for granted: now I have to Alt-Tab between every task, instead of having Outlook on a separate screen, and I dread to think how I’m gonna cope the next time I have to send out multiple e-mails (which I have to do at least once a month, when I generate a report about outstanding health assessments and pester the relevant social workers to… oh, like you care?).
Okay, so the laptop’s faster and takes much less time to start up in the morning than my old desktop, but still, the monitor situation’s peeing me off. What almost made me quit, however, was being told that (a) I’m getting some of my “old” tasks back again, and (b) I’m losing some of the new tasks I took the trouble to learn recently, all because I announced that I’m almost ready to take on an IT work placement through my agency and thus leave my admin job at long last. It wasn’t even discussed with me, it was agreed between my new supervisor (not the one who replaced my old supervisor when she went on maternity leave, but the one who replaced the good friend who got me through the bad times in late 2011 to early 2012… yes, it’s a confusing situation in our office) and our boss. Admittedly I won’t have to go back to doing audio typing (we’re not that backward — and besides, it’d require a Windows XP computer!), but it’s still frustrating to be sent back jobwise, especially when the first time you hear about it is when you get a meeting invite for the handover.
So, I was thoroughly miserable on Tuesday, and the office Christmas party (driven by a guy who really, really needs to stop taking Christmas so seriously — he’s almost as bad as this lunatic!), and the resulting noise (especially from the annoying woman, who had mercifully been absent on Friday and Monday) made me feel as bad as I used to in 2009, when I didn’t fit in at all. I was thinking I would hand in my notice in January, the exact instant I pass my Windows 7 exam, since I need to be free to take on whatever unpaid work experience that my agency finds for me (and no-one would wait for me to work off my notice period first, obviously), rather than wait for March, when it’s possible I’d get made redundant and thus have some extra money (on top of whatever I save in the intervening months)… but fortunately my afternoon was better, perhaps because “best mate at work” (who is Irish, just like normal “best mate”) empathised with me in finding the noise unbearable. And we all hate the laptops, and “new supervisor” said that I can keep those LAC education-related jobs until I go if I really want ’em, so all’s well… for now.
So don’t worry, I’m determined to hang on at work until I’m ready to go for my work placement and have saved enough to tide me over for, say, six months? Especially since even if I get a job, I’ll be earning less than I am now (which is a figure not unadjacent to £26,000 before taxes), and if I don’t, my agency will only be paying me £500 per month out of the money I originally paid them, which will almost cover my rent for six months. Even though my work situation itself sucks almost as much as it did in the bad old days, and the only thing which could truly make me happy now would be the annoying woman announcing her retirement (and I mean soon, not “some time in the summer of 2014”), I’m going to be sensible and save for the future.
And so to health: well, it’s late at night as I write this, so I’ll keep it short, but basically my weight’s rebounded to the point where I’m nearly up to 13 stone again. (Americans: basically I mean I’ve gone up nearly 7 pounds since reaching my lowest weight during the summer… hey, at least I’m not using kilograms!) I’m hoping it’s at least partially muscle, thanks to the teachings of my personal torturer combined with following every major exercise session with what I can only describe as a protein overdose (Quorn mini-sausages dunked in houmous or Linda McCartney vegetarian cheeseburgers with “fake bacon” on top, if you must know — basically, lots of flavoured fungus)
However, it’s also possible that I’m reverting to my old ways and just eating too much. This evening, for example, I had pizza for dinner, and I seem to be drinking a lot of hot chocolate at the moment (especially tonight, as I only discovered my prankster housemate had turned off the hot water when I was actually running the shower!), and I’ve been eating more at work than usual, though admittedly ’tis the season and all that. I also seem to be having a lot of late nights thanks to staying up watching Family Guy and American Dad!, and a lot of (slightly) late mornings due to the darkness outside and the coldness in my room, though at least they don’t expect me to be in at 9 on the dot any more (my office discovered something called “flexitime” that was previously only known to every other office in the entire f***ing council!).
Perhaps my body’s just storing up fat because it’s so cold at the moment; or, as I fervently hope, it’s muscle and I’m actually turning into a regular hunk (I should point out that I’ve been asked out for a record seventh time this year, though I haven’t had confirmation from her yet). One thing’s for certain: my weight pattern on Wii Fit Plus is turning into a smile that isn’t reflected on my face… but hey, BMI, it’s just quackery, right? No more valid than phrenology, eh?
Anyway, I won’t lose any weight if I’m up late writing this drivel for a bunch of slack-jawed yokels, nor will I be able to get to work in good time tomorrow, so good night! Oh wait, er, gratuitous Gwar reference, er… they’re awesome and stuff, and I’m going to learn the guitar in 2014 so I can jam with them. But, er, no matter how much I eat, I’ll never be able to compete with their bass player, Beefcake the Mighty. There, all finished, g’night!