06 March, 2012

I don't think a glib title can cover this.

It's been an exciting couple of weeks. We finally received permission to advertise outside our organisation for someone to replace Ted so we could stop operating in perpetual crisis mode after two years. Then our director, after approving the ad and allowing it to run, got a bad case of cold feet and decided to put the whole thing on hold without actually seeing fit to mention this to The Invertebrate, who only found out when HR called him to ask him what he'd like to do about the applications already received.

The Invertebrate took a couple of days to calm down, and then broke the news to me and the Stress Fiend: "... and he's decided he wants to review how we work to see if we can get by without that extra person."

The Stress Fiend snarled and frothed bile. I was a little more phlegmatic and, honestly, I really can't say it came as a particular surprise. I was unhappy enough to cast my periodic job-search a little wider than usual and followed up possibilities a little more thoroughly and, in a brilliant stroke of timing, now have a new job that I start in a few weeks. The Invertebrate is both stressed and pleased; stressed for obvious reasons, but pleased for me (and he seems entirely genuine in this) and with the timing, coming as it does as pretty much a direct reply to the director's decision to make life harder for us than it already was.

(I should note that I think a review is a actually a good thing, but the time to do it was two years ago when Ted announced his departure plans, not now when everyone in the team has been worn ragged. On the other hand, I'm also deeply cynical about the outcome of the review and suspect that any answer other than "No, they don't need another staff member" will be strongly unwelcome).

But that's all by way of providing some context. Since it was confirmed last week I'd be leaving, the Stress Fiend has started to become even more obviously deranged. This morning was a kind of Stress Fiend tour de force.

She opened the day with the traditional rant about the corporate GMail account, how she misses Lotus Notes, and how much she hates anything new that's been introduced in the last twelve months. Nothing out of the ordinary. But then a workmate passed through and somehow set her off on a rant about prisoners, the injustice of them having actual rights, and the many hedonistic pleasures they enjoy in their luxurious, all-expenses-paid accommodation.

There was a brief lull where she paused her diatribe long enough to vapourise the irony-meter by stating loudly and angrily that ""if you do nothing but sit and bitch and complain all the time, no wonder you're never happy."

I don't know who this was directed at. She's like an AM talkback station given human form and turned loose in the world.

Leaving that odd interruption aside, from prisoners it was only a short journey to how the real problem is those infamous "kids today". And, naturally, their parents. And a lack of respect for other people and themselves. The Stress Fiend is only a few years older than me, but sometimes - most times - it's like working alongside an angry and addled octogenarian who wishes time could have been frozen in the golden age of their teenage years (when, presumably, they were the Kids Today, but a better class of Kids Today. They just don't make Kids Today like they used to in the old days.)

Then her capacity for any kind of sustained thought seemed to break down again, and first she began addressing the air: "We made jelly on the weekend. And now we need to make some more. We love jelly. Mmm. Jelly. Jelly! Jel-ly! Jellyjellyjelly ... mwahhh!"

And then she sat making wookie noises at her computer before going to buy some Pepsi so she could come back and rant about how awful it is (the taste having failed to alter mysteriously since she last drank some a few days ago) and how the Coke filling the drinks cabinet but which she chose not to have tastes so much better in every way.

(To be fair, there was some method to her madness in this case: she's trying to drink all the Pepsi so that the manager of another team who consumes it regularly and often will run out and get angry at the people responsible for keeping the fridge stocked.)

The rest of the day passed in a kind of  blur for me as I tried to switch off higher brain functions and lose myself in documenting stuff so the remnants of my team have some idea of what I do all day other than try to cling to my sanity.


klc said...

Congrats! As always I hope your new job is so much better than the last - but please find a way to give us stories nonetheless.

Andrea said...

Yes, congrats! I hope you're happier in your new job than in this one. However, I'm afraid you will have less to post here! Yay for you, darn for us, hehe.

Prof. Godel Fishbreath, Otter said...

Good Luck!