You Had To See This Coming.

Tomorrow I am walking into one of my current employers and resigning.  Mind you, I have only been there for less than a week.

If you read the last post, then you saw this coming.

Anxiety has turned into depression, and I cannot handle being in a role that requires me to be in a face-to-face setting.

So, tomorrow, I deliver this:

To Store Management and Whomever Else It May Concern:

It is with my deepest regrets that I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my <redacted> position effective immediately.

It has come to my attention that this job is not the best fit for me at this point in my life. I have issues of a personal matter that are intrusive to my work life and that will have an impact on my performance in my current role. I greatly appologize for these unforseen events and for the inconvienence that this may have caused you and your company. Rather than inhibit your business, I feel that it is best that I step down from my current role.

I do appreciate the opportunity to work for such an outstanding company such as yours and I do hope that I may be considered for future employment with you. I wish you all the best and hope that you can quickly find a replacment for my role with your company.

Best Regards,

<redacted>

So, it’s now time to focus on either a cubical type gig or something from home.

That’s my plan.

Sleepless Over Office Supplies

Here I am. Sitting at my computer at 1:25am having a panic attack.

Why? What’s wrong?

I am terrified of putting on a red shirt tomorrow.

I started work for… well let’s just say a large office supply retailer that is named after an actual office supply… and I have yet to complete a full shift. Tuesday I made it for a whopping 3 & 1/2 hours before the people and the openness started getting to me. I can’t handle it. Even after taking yesterday off, I am still in a sense of complete dread about going to work tomorrow. I have tried all day to put everything out of my head, but here I am. I was in bed, watching Fawlty Towers, waiting for my medication to kick in. I got sleepy for a few moments; however the dread has counteracted my pills. I tried forcing myself to go to sleep; however that obviously hasn’t worked.

I actually have sealed myself up in my geek-lair with the oil diffuser cranked with a clove & cinnamon mix and some incense burning. I am hoping that these sweet aromas will help me calm down and possibly get some sleep.

I am not holding my breath.

I am just terrified of going to that place tomorrow. I actually have a good notion to type up a resignation letter; however I am stuck on the male notion that I am just being a giant pussy and I know that is false logic. I have walked around this house anxiety-ridden and depressed for almost two days now and I am not sure that overcoming a (hopefully) temp job in retail is going to make me better. I still have my 2nd job and a few good prospects that have popped up lately. Honestly, I believe that this job is taking up time that could be put to better use by looking for another job and also polishing up on my Excel and Word skills.

I just don’t want to put on that damn red shirt.

 

Condiment Jokes and a Full House.

So, how about a little ketchup?

See what I did there?

Anyway…

So, in late December, we had a friend of ours move in. He is trying to reboot his life and we couldn’t stand the idea of him spending WAY too much money to rent a recliner and live under the Orwellian rules of his mother, so he lives here now.  So far, it’s been kind of fun having him live here. I say “kind of” because of this:

Me: Moderate Progressive Atheist.

Him: Somewhat Progressive Conservative Christian.

(I know! I smell sitcom in the making as well.)

We have had a few heated discussions and we have now come to the point where it isn’t a good idea to talk politics or religion, for the sake of the household. Normally, I would welcome such debate; however, usually when I have a discussion like this the other person goes home when it is all said and done, but in this case we live together. So, I have come to the realization that he is going to think his way and I am going to think my way and we just work to find common ground. We’ve been friends for decades, so it isn’t that hard. I like having him around, not for debate purposes, but for general conversation and company.

Also, we got a new dog!

She is a Russell Terrier/ Standard Poodle mix and is adorable. Her name was Popcorn; however she is now Bella (for Bellatrix LeStrange); however she is so not living up to her namesake. We named her that because of the Nerd Tradition of our dog’s naming scheme. We have a Marvel Character, A Doctor Who/Firefly Character, and now a Harry Potter Character (Our oldest came pre-named, but she shares a name with a Disney character). This dog is perpetually happy. She wags her tail like a paint mixer and with such force her entire body wags. She is so full of energy and so goofy, it was one of the best decisions that I have made so far this year.

We are also having a kid. ..

 

 

 

 

 

…come live with us this summer. Our housemate’s kid is coming to stay for the summer. She and her brother stayed for Spring Break and she loved staying with us. So, she is bunking in with us come early/mid June. She’s a great kid, too! She keeps a better house than 3 adults and that’s without prompting or a promise of a reward! I was astounded to see a 15 year old kid take out garbage and clean up a kitchen simply because it “needed to be done”.  Of course, I told her parents this and they were astounded that she cleans our house, but not theirs.  I still say she’s a good egg.

All in all, things are on an upswing from last year (*knock on wood) and hopefully will continue to get better here at the home-front.  I am planning on keeping up with this blog/journal more and hopefully there won’t be any more gaps between posts. The only thing that would keep me from doing so is if I land a job. So, if there is a gap, hopefully it’s because I am working and that is taking up my time.

Because ,unfortunately,  I don’t get paid to write a blog about my life’s adventures.

Or lack thereof.

 

Where The Fuck Have You Been?

Unlike the metaphorical father that left for a pack of smokes X number of years ago, I am back.

Where have I been?

Well, I will tell you.

In February, I started a job. I landed a “work-from-home” techsupport gig… or so I thought. I got a call back from a company called Kelly Services. I was tested and interviewed for this work-from-home gig. I was made an offer and I accepted. I then was told what I would be doing:

I was to be working as an AppleCare Advisor for all iOS devices.

Now, you may be thinking that is AWESOME; however it was far from. The job payed crap (for a technical support position) and the “benefits” that they offered was from the healthcare.gov website. So basically, they didn’t offer any healthcare insurance at all.  They sent me an iMac to work with and I had to disassemble my current computer system. Which was heartbreaking (Like the ending of Ol’ Yeller kind of heartbreaking).

Also, I should mention this: I FUCKING HATE APPLE iOS.

I did try to keep a positive attitude about the entire thing (No, really, I did).

I went through the 4 weeks of training to learn NOTHING about iOS that I didn’t already know; however I did learn a few things regarding the interaction between iOS and Mac OS X  and it was interesting. I basically took aced tests over basic IT concepts and played games on my tablet. When it finally came down to the most basic of skills that we needed to work at this job: learning the call system, we got almost no training.

You would think that the training would include a large portion of how to use the Apple Care ticketing systems (aka: iLog) and how to use all of it’s features. You would think that we would have access to this tool before we took calls. You would think that our trainers that did assist us in taking the few calls we did before we started work would be helpful; however it was just the opposite. We got to take a few calls during training and we were “mentored” by the most apathetic guy on the planet (and that’s coming from me!) who didn’t seem to care about anything other than us n00bz getting him in trouble.  It wasn’t until the last 30 minutes of our last day that we got somewhat trained on this system. The next day we went into full production.

(Basically, up until we got access and training, we were shown screenshots of iLog and that’s it. Imagine me showing you pictures of the drivers side part of the dashboard and explaining how they should work. Then, after a couple of lessons with just the pictures and my tutorial/explanation, I tell you to get in the car and take it out on the freeway.)

On my first day of production, I started on time and taking calls like a champ. I muddled my way through iLog and did pretty well (IMO). Until, iLog and my Apple VPN shit the bed. I didn’t panic. I called out attendance line to report the issue and was told that I would need to call the Help Desk. No problem. I rebooted my iMac and called the help desk. While on hold, my iMac booted and I tried signing in again. iLog still showed that it had a connection error. While I was waiting, my mouse started to move and I kept getting a series of IMs. WTF? I wrestled my mouse from whoever had remoted into my iMac and opened the first IM.

Did you ever see the movie “Office Space”?

…Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.

Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

And that’s what was happening.

I had put my iLog into an auxiliary code that didn’t go over well. Apparently, I had someone remoting into my computer to get me out of it and multiple people yelling at me via Jabber. My choice to place myself in “Offline” when my system was… well, offline was a bad choice.  So, I had all of these strangers trying to get my attention to get me to change it. When I advised everyone that I was having technical issues and on hold with the help desk, I was told that I should be in “Break” and not “Offline” (Because that makes sense in their world). I then had the multiple people explaining why and that I was “doing a bad thing” by avoiding calls. I then left a message for the help desk and tried force quitting the app. This fixed it; however a call to the attendance line again later, I was told that without a ticket number from the help desk that I would be marked as absent from half of my shift. The above events took about 25 minutes and most of it was explaining to people what was happening. It did not take 4 hours. So, queue the panic attack.

I tried taking another call and made it through it; however I was done for the day.

The next day I logged in and was determined to have a better day. That didn’t last long.

The key metric that is monitored for an AppleCare Advisor with Kelly Services is attendance. You get five occurrences before you get the boot. I received an email stating that with the one day that I had to take care of my wife and logged in late during training, some other tardy that I don’t remember and the prior day’s episode that  I had 3 occurrences, and this email was to make me aware of that.  So, I sent an email to my trainer, my supervisor and my team lead:

I resigned effective immediately.

Yep, rather than having another termination on my resume`, I just gave my notice. So, now I am looking for a job again and honestly, I am glad that I quit; however, I was kind of excited to work again. I emailed my disability lawyer that I tried to return to work, but failed at my job.  I have yet to hear anything back.

I have an appointment with the county mental health clinic this week. I may be entering an IOP to deal with some shit, if that’s available. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety a lot. I have also been having mixed episodes, which suck balls.

On a brighter note, I did get a new phone recently and I fucking love it…

And no, it wasn’t an iPhone.

 

 

A Swift Kick in the Balls.

I cannot recall hating a year so fucking much as 2016. 2016 has been nothing more than a year of loss. I have come to an understanding that my being almost 40 means that my heros are going to be dead soon; however I didn’t expect so many at one time. Today, however, is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Today we lost our princess: Carrie Fisher.

I am in tears, literal tears, as I type this out. We have lost 50 celebrities from music icons to statesmen this year. That’s almost one per week this year and 2016 still has a few days left. I cannot believe that one of my biggest heros is gone.

It sucks.

Not only was she Princess Leia, and later General Leia, she was a huge advocate for mental health issues. When I was first diagnosed as bipolar, I watched a documentary called “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive” by Stephen Fry. I was shocked to see her in it. I felt a calm come over me when I found out that “Princess Leia” was bipolar as well. Carrie Fisher became more of my hero that day because I knew that if she could live with being bipolar, then I could too.

I will miss her terribly, despite I am just a fan that she never met. She meant the world to me.

So long, Princess.

 

 

Stay Tuned for Our Halloween Special.

If you have ever read this blog you know my feelings on religion and you know that I “did time” in the church. One of the things that I would do usually for the church happened around this time of year.

Before I was “saved” I was a witch.  I practiced Wicca. A fun religion built on Welsh, Irish, British and other European pagan traditions that involves a lot of accessories and the delusion of the supernatural. Because I was a witch turned christian, I was always asked to speak out against Halloween & because I was a good little christian soldier, I always did (I now feel shame for it to be honest).

However…

I fucking loved Halloween and I still do!!

I loved the costumes, the pranks, the scary movies, and the whole idea of halloween! I know that Halloween comes from pagan roots, ALL OF OUR HOLIDAYS DO; however it isn’t satan’s night or the night where kids are sacrificed in some pagan rite. It’s a night where kids do more cardio than they do all year and get more candy than their parents know what to do with so they take it to the office the next day and all of their co-workers get to trick-or-treat throughout their cubicles (Adulting is awesome).

But, to keep with my old tradition of speaking out against things that occur on Halloween, I do want to go on a bit of a rant about some practices that do occur on this most awesome of nights.

Stop with this fucking Trunk or Treat bullshit! If you don’t know what this is, it is a stupid ploy to “make Halloween safe for kids” by having people come to church (sometimes a school, but usually a church) parking lots and open up their trunks and have kids just wander around the church parking lot and get candy. Of course there is also a catch at the church based ones:

 Churches are expanding on the original idea of trunk or treat by adding food, music, games, and rides. Their goal is to reach more of the community with an alternative to trick or treat. It not only has become a way to provide an alternative for children in the church but to the entire community. They have also found that it opens up opportunities to invite parents and children to other events or services going on at the church. To this end, some church groups hand out tracts or other information on the church at a Trunk-or-Treat.

Now I get it in the rural based communities where neighbors are 20 miles apart, but in my town there are suburban communities everywhere. We also have 30 churches that are in the 10 sq miles that make up our city limits (Welcome to Texas) and they all do the trunk-or-treat thing. The past 2-3 years that I have carved a jack-o-lantern, left the porch light on, signed my house up as a designated trick-or-treat house, I have gotten less than 5 trick-or-treaters in all 3 years combined. Its heartbreaking to see this tradition go away.

But, I would gladly let it die if it meant that a swift death would come to the other tradition that the church has on Halloween.

Every year almost every church puts on a spectacle called a “Hell House“.  They are like haunted houses you see pop-up around Halloween, but based on “sin” and “hell”.  They show melodramatic scenes of teen drug use, domestic violence, suicide, abortion, and homosexuality (amongst other evangelical christian issues). Now some of these things are serious topics, but the hyperbole comes in because the scenes are all caused by demonic influence. Yep, satan and his minion caused the depression that led that (always female actress) teen to suicide. Satan caused that girl (it’s usually always the same actress as the suicide teen) to go out to that party and get raped (notice there wasn’t any demonic influence over the guys that did the actual rape), and abortion is always caused by the devil; however at the end of the trip through this christian psychological shit-show, Jesus (or sometimes an angel if no one in the church looks like Jesus) pops in like a superhero and saves the day by leading the tour group out of hell and into heaven; however sometimes there’s a twist and not everyone gets in and you end up back in hell.

Here take a look, there was actually a documentary done about these a few years back:

 

In these attractions, you are basically subjected to psychological torture (Almost like Alex in “A Clockwork Orange”). You are made to see horrific images played out with sounds and lights (sometimes smells) to give a further discomforting augmentation to a distorted reality  and then given an out: Salvation through Jesus. At the end of these you are given a chance to pray with members of the church and be “saved” (and also join the church mailing list of course). Like the kid in the video, I would have given them the finger as well.

Truth of the matter is, I have only been through one Hell House (and that was enough). It was more horrific, and unsettling than any actual haunted house that I have been to. Mind you,  I have been to a haunted house as a kid/teen where the group was chased by a dude with a chainsaw. AN ACTUAL FUCKING CHAINSAW (sans the chain on the blade of course) and that was less horrifying and damaging than the 1 hell house that I visited in my 20s as a “saved christian”.  Honestly, I laughed at the chainsaw guy. I loved every minute of the normal haunted house. Because they are there for entertainment. Hell Houses are there to subject you to a psychological torment, distort your thinking, and then convert you you at the end. Basically, you are herded like cattle through this “morality play” and processed at the end.

And of course it’s all for your own good.

Richard Dawkins, noted atheist, has condemned Hell Houses, saying that using fear to convert children is child abuse, and that the children only leave with nightmares and soiled underpants.

My largest problem is that these are aimed at kids. They will usually let children as young as 12 into these psychological slaughterhouses and that is one of the most frightening things I find about them. That and the number of them. There is one, or more, in every town and usually the ticket prices are cheap. So, instead of going to an actual haunted house a few towns over or in the nearest metropolitan city, kids will usually end up at these. Plus, they are ran by a church.

Nothing could possibly be that scary to the kids at a church, right?

classroom-shooting

Nope. Go on and take the kids, be sure to hit the Trunk-Or-Treat afterwards.

 

Happy Halloween.

 

Salt In The Wound.

Fun tidbit.

After talking with my caseworker new caseworker about my case, it turns out that I could have been actually working a part-time job this whole time and earning some form of income. As long as:

  1. It wasn’t more than 20 hours per week.
  2. I didn’t make more than $1100 per month.

So, now I am livid that I could have been trying to bring in some form of income this entire time instead of having to scrape by like we have been.

Needless to say, I have started looking for some form of work that I feel that I can do that I also believe that I could generate income by doing.

So, I am polishing up my resume` and searching the internet for part-time work. I have some prospects and I have also started a side business that I hope will take off. I am hustling to get something going so that we can get our heads above water and not drown. If anything I will go jockey a register at a gas station, like Dante in “Clerks”.

1277483-9

Hell, I am over-qualified for all of the jobs that I have applied for, so why not be a clerk at a gas station.

At least then we wouldn’t be dodging collection calls and wondering how we are going to pay all of the bills each month.

Maybe, I could even get employee of the month?

Denied: The Sequel.

So, I received my 2nd denial letter from The Social Security Administration on Friday. Despite evidence of my mental health degrading, a personal letter from my therapist, and a 3rd party account of my condition, I am still considered “fit for work” and can be “retrained in another field” due to my young age. Now, my option is a hearing before a judge.

The issue with that is the hearing wouldn’t happen for about another year.

I have already been through hell this year with trying to get this done. We are now at an all time low. Something is going to have to change. If I continue with my disability claim it may ruin us. If I go back to work, it may just break me. So, either way I am screwed. Right now I am just stuck at a crossroads and I don’t know where to go.

If I believed in the devil, I would probably sell my soul right about now.

So, I have to make a decision. I have to either keep fighting a system that is supposed to help me or I have to bend and find something to do that won’t break me.

Thankfully I have a therapist appointment this Saturday.

Start Talking.

I have come to a conclusion today: People do not like conversations.

Like actual conversations, ones that matter and have substance. Not the shitty, empty ones that are about how the latest [insert current popular trendy band/pop-star name here] album is a “religious experience” or how the new [insert name of latest trendy food and/or beverage] at [insert name of eating establishment or franchise here] is “SOOOOO GOOD”, but ones that actually make you think. Ones that challenge you. Ones that actually may make you a little mad; however you still want to hear what the opposing view is because you want to learn.

We had house guests over the other night and a conversation was started. The topic: politics and economics. In a nutshell: How the corporate world would handle it if the US Federal Government would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The conversation never got to an argument, voices may have gotten a bit raised (because people get passionate about these things), but never to the point of yelling (One guy’s voice is just low and booming, not his fault) and the discussion was very intelligent; however it was broken up because others were too uncomfortable and they decided that we should play a game instead.

Unfortunately, this tends to happen a lot and isn’t just a one time occurrence.

Today I was watching The Green Party Town Hall that was on CNN last night and there was a comment made that we are afraid to have these type of conversations. I was also watching Chelsea  on Netflix and Zelda Williams was a guest. She also made this comment on how we, as a society, are afraid of having conversations that have differing opinions. How we are afraid of hearing other views that may challenge our own ideologies and actually learning from differing opinions. I am not saying you have to agree with the other person, and their views, but at least listen and maybe understand why they think that way. I have listened to people with theological views, differing political views, differing technological views and even though I don’t agree with them (Hell, some I think are batshit crazy or even fucking stupid), I still listen and give a differing opinion; however when the conversation turns into an argument, that’s when you break out the games, change the subject or tell the person that this topic is escalating and that you no longer want to talk about it.

In my opinion an argument is where the conversation goes from sharing ideas, to forcing ideas upon the other person (ie; here’s what I think  vs. I will make you think like me) and I think that’s what everyone fears. I think we have gotten to the point where we cannot differentiate between the two different forms of communication or we are so afraid of a conversation escalating that we try to stomp out an intelligent conversation because we think it’s an argument waiting to happen. This is something that needs to stop. We need to have these discussions. It’s how we learn and how we grow as a society and it’s how you grow as a person. Again, in my opinion, you can’t grow as a person by talking about the weather, or looking at funny cat videos with people all the damn time, just as you can’t live off of potato chips and twinkies. Eventually, you are going to need to get some real food in you.

I hope that we all overcome this fear soon, because people need to start talking.

Like in real life.

Preferably over coffee, but not Starsucks.

Real coffee. Real conversation.

Actually, at this point it doesn’t matter; just start having intelligent conversations.

Just start talking.

Treading Water.

Where did I leave off?

Oh yeah, my life is circling the drain, that’s right. How silly of me.

Yet, I continue to swim against the current.

I am still waiting on any word from my appeal from my disability and honestly I am on the verge of giving up ( which is what they want, but whatever) because we can no longer afford to wait for that ship to come in.

We have applied for foodstamps and we are hoping that we get approved so we can stop relying on the handouts from the foodbank because they obviously do not understand what a diabetic is so half of the food we get is complete crap like cakes and snack foods. I fought too damn hard to get my A1C down to a 5.0 and get off the diabetic meds and I don’t plan on going back on them.

The GoFundMe campaign that I set up is turning out to be an epic fail because in two weeks time it has gathered only 20 views and no donations. So, I am chalking that up as me putting my faith in humanity like an idiot and expecting something. Also, I still haven’t sold that goddamn table.

Yet, I continue to swim against the current.

why?

Because my wife is doing better. We have (some) food in the house. We have friends that love us and I know that would help us if they could (and some do what they can). Plus, I know if I stop swimming against the current then I will drown. Its that simple.

I don’t want to drown.