This Venting Will Blow Your Fake Toupee Off

Oh I told myself I was NOT going to do this. I was not going to use this blog as a venting post for my common (read: daily) frustrations with the office. I wasn’t but dammit, I’m going to. Consider it your warning.

I went into the office yesterday morning happy as all hell. The weather was beautiful, I took my sweet time getting ready in the morning and I was at the tail end of my project list for the week. I was thinking, surely I’d be damn near done with my day by 10:00am! Yeah, I set myself up for that failure. As soon as I got in and got settled one more major project headed my way. And this is the kicker- I’m often asked to perform tasks or complete projects with software I do not have access to, in a time frame in which I don’t have time to get approvals and purchase it in (let alone learn how to use it), in some form of a task I have no experience in (Really? Seriously? Where was that on my resume?) Welcome to fucking advertising and the world of graphic design. In a company with not enough designers on board.

So hours into this project, after going through the motions of thinking, “YES, I can do this!” and being proud of myself for coming up with a couple different creative solutions, and then later going through the absolute hell of frustration when it didn’t quite turn out the way I expected, guess who walks in? Oh yes, le boss!

He has this absolute wonderful talent of managing to climb over into my area as my brain is trying to process five different things going on. And while I KNOW DAMN WELL he can see I’m squinting in thought at my computer screen, he’ll insist on spurting out whatever is on his mind without any courtesy towards me.

“So you know about X, Y, and Z for this project right?” he spits out, complicating my project even further. No, how would I know that was required? As usual, no one tells me shit.

I glanced at him and nodded. “As soon as I can get X working the rest will fall into place.”

He shook his head back at me. “Why didn’t you ask Michael to help you?!” he roars back. Honest to GOD I just sat there stunned. I didn’t answer; I just starred at the condescending look on his face like he thought I was a complete idiot. I sort of stumbled over a couple words as he was walking off.

Now honestly, I’m not one of those people who happens to be incredibly quick at comebacks; I’m often caught off guard. If I was, I probably wouldn’t be employed for very long because generally the first thoughts that roll through my head would not be considered ethnically compliant for my corporate office. For example, yelling “you’re a fucking asshole and you HAVE NO IDEA what you’re talking about!” probably wouldn’t be ok. Chucking my gorgeous IKEA lamp at his head wouldn’t either (as often visualized in my mind) and frankly I love that damn lamp. So as you can see, this lack of ability has its perks.

Nevertheless, my boss has really been an asshole lately. Had he given me two seconds to explain, he would have found out that Michael- as awesome as he is at his job- A. didn’t know anything about what I was doing (I had already asked), B. gave me solutions he looked up on the internet of which I had already tried, and C. HE DIDN’T HAVE THE DAMN SOFTWARE. Fuck you very much.

And really, after almost three years you think I’d be given the benefit of the doubt that I know what the hell I’m doing. Like “hey, we’ve thrown enough shit at her that she’s managed pretty effectively given she had no idea what she was doing- maybe she might actually be on top of it this time.” I can actually hear Carlos Mencia in my head saying, “DUH DA DA DUH!”

Now I know I’m picking on my boss here. And frankly, he does deserve it, even though I think I know why he has acted this way most recently. You see, his focal point has been 110% on output. That’s it. Nothing else matters, no structure, formal job descriptions, the company’s finances, nothing. I’ve seen him ask ridiculous tasks of people with whom it is NOT their job to do (mainly because they were the closest person in proximity to him when he thought it up), and I had witnessed him all but completely waste the company’s money on useless presentations and materials that don’t even get used (particularly when traveling or having clients in). And really, I’m aware that our department is specifically under the gun of the higher up’s, I’m aware that the economy sucks… but you know what? All of these things may be true but it doesn’t provide any excuse, in my opinion, to not extend the most basic and common courtesy and respect in the workplace. Geez, we have to put up with each other (more so than that, actually work together as a team) for 50+ fucking hours of the week, so isn’t that the least we could do?

So atlas, I worked until almost 7:00pm last night then drug myself home, poured a glass of wine and bitched to myself about all of this. It is very frustrating to ponder that, given the balance between my income and the cost of living here, I almost made more money back home in MO waitressing. And that was good exercise, nice people, decent tips and no computer screens, carpel tunnel, or asshole bosses that need to put some more work into their people and management skills. I can now see why people go to grad school after college… really, all that work for THIS?!

Thank GOD it's the weekend!



She said: “Can we turn it on House Hunters International? This shit’s boring as all hell.”

He said: “I did during the commercials. The second house they were looking at was decorated 80’s style and pink. Looked like the Brandy Bunch threw up in there. I couldn’t take it.”

She said: “Ugh, nasty. Great way to put your house up on the top end of the real estate market there dumbass.”

He said: “Yeah really.”


She said: “I think I’m in love with Jon Oliver.”

He said: “Eh?”

She said: “Just his words. The ‘Clusterfuck of clusterfucks’. I couldn’t have described the masses in DC better myself.”

He said: “They have writers for that.”

She said: “Yeah but he looks good saying it. Or maybe it’s the accent… It’s why the writers aren’t flown to DC and put on camera.”

He said: "..."


Just another typical evening in my world. The only thing different this week was the change from Indecision 08’ to Changefest 09’ in The Daily Show’s campaign. 

Oh yeah, and we have a new President. Who apparently picked his right-hand-man on the basis of who would be most likely to keep him from being assassinated. Because seriously, no one who owns a gun, who wants to keep their gun, would ever consider hurting the President with that man as the VP. It’s just too damn contradictory. 


Oops, I Did It Again…

Last week I found myself particularly stressed due to the upcoming week’s events and task lists. I knew my work week would be busy- as it often is- particularly since I was tasked to head up yet another major proposal for my company of which I had an absurdly small timeframe to work with (causing late night hours of frustration; gee, what else is new?) I also knew my writing classes would be starting and thus, I’d be handling the equivalency of a two full-time jobs with both work and class. All of these details my boyfriend knew well in advance, particularly since I found it of the utmost importance to begin bitching about them as far in advance as possible (otherwise known as, as soon as I found out this was all going down in the same WEEK).

The situation escalated on Friday night however, causing a (rare) argument between us. We both have known for about a month that two of his friends were coming into town on business for a full week; however what we did not know was that they were planning on staying WITH US (don’t they put their employees up in hotels? Cheap asses). That night I had found out that my wonderful fucking boyfriend had fully opened up our itsy-bitsy condo to them without talking to me or mentioning to them my schedule and that I would need evenings to myself without feeling as though I should be entertaining guests (Or bringing more rounds of beer. Or taking shots. Or doing whatever.)

However, in my (*ahem* justified) frustration, did I handle the situation right? Of course not. I was immediately irritated beyond all rational reasoning and lashed out at him about his insensitivity to my schedule and time, who in turn became defensive and lashed out right back to me; and thus the cycle began. After a cool down period- which included a strong cocktail, three cigarettes and about two hours- I was able to somewhat explain to him my frustrations more calmly and was able to understand that regardless of our space and situation, he really wanted to be able to have his friends stay with us and OH SO HOW important it was to him. I had to admit though, I did kinda understand. I’ve lived in much larger place before and frankly it was awesome to be able to entertain and have guests or family over to stay with me. It was a luxury I only had a short time and frankly was quite spoiled by.

Needless to say, this week turned out insanely hectic but as I wind down my Friday I figure, well I’m not dead yet. And I’m getting a pedicure tomorrow (oh hell yeah!) But I realize I have some things to work on, one thing in particular. Next time I find myself in the same situation gearing towards an argument, I’d like to work on my initial approach in airing my frustrations. Once I cool down I’m awesome at it but in those first few crucial moments I have no control and can attack in ways that put grizzles to shame. And it’s so easy to end up saying things I don’t really mean, that I end up paying for big time later (I can usually pull it off with either one of the two B’s- beer or a blowjob. But it’s never easy. Or fun.) And thus I find myself facing my one major area of communicating in a relationship that has been my biggest weakness and focal point for growth. Note to self: I really need to work on this.


The Long-Term Benefits of Kickass Friends

(This is an article originally produced for a writing class)

One of my closest interpersonal relationships is with my best friend I grew up with, Elizabeth. We met the summer we were 12-years-old out at the marina both of our parents docked boats at. When we were introduced we found out that we were both “going out with” the same boy, whose parents also housed a boat at the marina. Immediately we became friends (and ditched the boy, Brian, since we found it appalling he was “two-timing” us). Each summer thereafter we were inseparable; we stayed at each other’s houses, swam in the ocean, lounged at the beach, took off on one of the wave runners together, camped out, and even worked summer jobs at the same places. The summer when we turned 15-years-old, Elizabeth had major surgery on her cheeks and jaw; a surgery in which she felt her parents were forcing her into as it was completely cosmetic. I temporarily moved in with her family for almost a month to take care of her as she was frustrated at her parents for the surgery and struggling with her self-image (as many girls go through at that age anyway). The same scenario continued when I finally moved to California to finish off high school together, and throughout college and several years thereafter we lived only a couple miles away from each other. We’ve shared all our secrets, fought like sisters, traded clothes, been through partying, dating, moving, buying property, losing a parent to cancer and even marriages and a divorce together.

Our friendship is the perfect description of a symmetrical relationship; when one was hurting, upset, happy, or frustrated the other one quickly became so as well and shared in whatever situation or experience was taking place at that time. We rarely disagreed while growing up, but in the past four years she and I have both noticed a significant change.

The start of the change took place when Elizabeth married and moved to New York. When I went to visit them a few years ago, I noticed in our conversations that on different topics we were on different levels of opinions or experience. For example, her knowledge and opinions on government, economics and world affairs were astounding to me, whereas I seemed to have a grasp on the how-to and realistic nature of timing when it came to home improvement projects and, given I had just been through months of marriage counseling and a divorce, a bit more insight into relationships and fighting fair (even though, as I willingly admitted, in practice I wasn’t as great as the advice I could give out).

Since that time, we’ve openly discussed our friendship and the differences we’ve both witnessed in each other as part of growing up. We’re in separate worlds leading different lives and are not attached at the hip experiencing similar situations together anymore. One of the most amazing things then developed in our relationship; Elizabeth can listen to a problem or situation that I’m going through and agree in some areas (thus confirming my feelings) but she can also confront me on things that I can change and ways I can improve. It wasn’t easy at first, listening to someone who for years was so agreeable and understandable all-of-a-sudden tell me that maybe I need to think about things differently or that I might need to makes some changes. However, over the past couple of years I’ve grown not only receptive to this, but in some ways desiring it. And in turn, I’ve been able to provide the same understanding and feedback on possible ways to improve a situation or circumstance to her as well. While our relationship is still symmetrical in many ways, we’ve reached well beyond the point of agreeing just to agree, and are now able to- when the need arises- help each other grow and learn from our different experiences as well as provide validation on emotions and feelings in the situations we do agree with.


The Sibling from Hell

For the past couple of decades, my sister has been making my parent’s lives absolute hell. Being a bit older than I am, by about ten years, she was out of the house and gone when I was young (guess it didn’t help she left early to live with dad). Somewhere along the path of her life she fucked up, plain and simple, and no one really understands what went wrong (granted, her and I both have some abuse in our backgrounds from outside the family, but we couldn’t be any different in our adult lives now). Twenty-some-odd years later, she is now a cocaine addict with two children. Sadly, baby’s daddy is no longer in the children’s lives (one could argue whether he ever was given he was her drug dealer for quite some time), she’s damn near killed dad and now she’s making the sixth level of purgatory look like the damn Hilton for my mother.

A couple times a week I’ll get a call from mama, crying and exclaiming the latest news of my sister’s dark deeds. If it’s not quitting her 547,869 job she’s held in the last two years, it’s her eviction from her apartment, how some druggie she’s been running around with stole her car, or worst of all, running off for days or even weeks at a time and leaving the kids home alone to call their grandma crying and wondering what happened to their mom (again). This is simply the present… the past decade alone has consisted of heart attacks and hospitalizations for both parents, a stoke for one, a second mortgage for one and bankruptcy for another (both trying to bail her out of whatever she managed to get herself into at that time), etc, etc, ETC. And to make matters even more miserable, my mother cannot and will not accept the fact that she needs to let my sister go, as dad did only five years ago. Pushing close to being a 40-year-old, my sister has essentially made her bed, and managed to destroy the greater part of both of our parent’s health, well-being, and retirement in the process.

While my mother’s rants often drive me to the point of insanity where I’m pulling my hair out and shoving needles under my eyelids for the fun of it, my concerns are really with my nieces. They’ve had it hard and are entirely too grown up for both of their ages (12 and 9), thanks to living in hellholes and having to take care of their mother as opposed to the opposite. This fact INFURATES me beyond no comprehension. While the rest of us in the family have the opportunity to walk away, to get our own jobs and support ourselves those kids are too young. They’re stuck. I wish I could simply swoop in and snatch the kids up and somehow force my mother to give up her hold on “fixing” my sister’s life in the process.

Now please, don’t get me wrong; I’d love to and be willing to do anything to get my sister into a quality rehab facility- or any other viable option- and see her recover, to be normal, to be able to complete simple tasks such as, yanno, pay her own BILLS. But the facts are, she’s been there and done that for a little over two decades and while I often consider myself an optimist, I’m not so blindly stupid to not be realistic when it’s slapping me right on the face.

This whole situation puts me into a dilemma that I cannot really do much about. For one, I’m states away in southern Cali while they are in Missouri. I can’t even help out on a weekly basis without uprooting my life and moving back home (which is SO NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. There are good reasons I left in the first place!) However while I’m financially better off than many, the cost of living here isn’t cheap and I don’t quite have the financial ability to hire an attorney, drag my sister’s ass into court and fight custody battles (or pay her off, which would cost about the same), then support two young children on my own. Not to mention, that every time I bring the subject up with other family members, friends or the BF they all think I would be absolutely crazy to ever even consider it.

However, I have a daily struggle in me that fights’ for my family. I didn’t make my sister’s decisions nor should I ever have to clean up her messes but those girls are still my nieces who deserve a chance, and I would do anything for them. And if the situation ever arose where they needed a home and neither of my parents could handle taking them for health reasons (not an impossible situation by any means), then I would never, ever let them go to child protective services and then to some family they don’t know. If it came down to it, I’d make the only decision I could EVER live with the rest of my life and of course that would be to take them on myself. Even if it meant my BF might leave me. Even if it meant having a really hard time finding a man willing to share the load, and then have our own kids likely with my nieces still in the house. After all, isn’t that what family is for? Could I ever feel worthy of raising my own family knowing full well I deserted my nieces when they needed family the most?

The situation hasn’t arisen yet of course, but I think about it often- almost daily- and wonder if it’s really only a matter of time. And it sickens me that I’m so far away, helpless in what I can do to assist now as my mother’s health dwindles.