Tag Archives: basketball

The Surprise

I’m trying to figure out what on earth goes through the mind of someone who thinks it’s a good idea to surprise someone. I’m talking about real surprises, big surprises–not little things like bringing someone his/her favorite food without that person expecting it. I mean stuff that draws a crowd/eyeballs or puts someone on the spot. I think there are people out there who believe everyone likes surprises. But rest assured, I most certainly do not.

So, I was at work today, trying hard to get schitt done. Since I started working this job, there have been more things I’ve realized that I don’t like about it…one being that it’s hard to tell from day to day how busy it’s going to be. You can walk in and there’s absolutely nothing to do; the next day you can get slammed. Today we were slammed. I’m a work-life balance kind of chick, so you can forget about me staying late regardless of the fact that I’d get paid overtime. Free time > money in my world. So I was rushing to make sure I’d finish my work on time.

I was in the middle of hard work, and my eyes quickly moved across the room in that way it does when I’m not actually seeing anything–it just means I’m in a hurry and very focused. In a blur, I saw a lady and did a double take. It really was the chick from my employment agency. Still distracted, I greeted her and went back to work. Then she said they came to see me. I looked back up, and this time I noticed she was with another chick from the agency, as well as my manager.

Naturally, I thought I was about to get fired or receive a talking-to about something. Come to think of it, getting fired probably would have been preferable to what actually happened.

My employment agency was having some kind of drawing, and it turns out I won. I won a bunch of bullschitt and a very little bit of money…very little bit. Wouldn’t pay for me and a date to have a proper dining experience, to be honest with you. Whatever, they could have just, like, dropped my schitt off at the front door or left it with my manager or something.

But noooooo…they had to turn it into a big thing, all game-show-y and crap…over some bullschitt and pocket change. They did two of the worst things you can do to me–made me take photos and drew a lot of attention to me. And as if that wasn’t enough, they’re actually going to send these photos out to people! Look, if I dodge cameras when family members pull them out, why would I want to take pics for my employer and then have them sent to more non-familial people? I mean, not one family member of mine has a recent pic of me. My sister in Chicago whipped out the ole cell phone as we were leaving on Sunday, and, naturally, I had to throw a quick hand up like always on these little family visits. I do not take pics–what do people not get about this?

I daydream a lot about being famous. I’ve done it all my life, literally–every single day of my life since I can remember. As I wrote in another post a while back, I used to want to be an actress when I was a kid. I wrote scripts and performed them. Then I moved on to music and spent several years working on a music career that never really materialized…thankfully. Ever since I left school, whenever I play basketball I pretend I am playing for real, like in the WNBA, and just kind of regret not caring enough about playing ball when I was in school and still could have had some kind of opportunity. For a while, I played bball every day and just pretended as if I was in a big game, making all the big plays.

And then there’s the one thing for which I’ve always actually been destined, even when I thought I wanted to be a psychologist, doctor, lawyer, sports writer and now an IT professional–to write a book. Just about everyone who knows me knows that someday I will be writing books for a living (key phrase is “for a living”–I have written plenty of books, most of which haven’t been seen or read by anyone). I don’t tell them–in fact, as far back as 3rd grade, people have been telling me that’s what I would do. I was recently told that I should write a book, as well, for the 50 millionth time from the 50 millionth person. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to publish under my name, and now I see that if I want to maintain my sanity, no, I shouldn’t.

Gawd, I would so hate being famous. Even just a little bit of attention for my work would be entirely too much, which is why I say “thankfully” in regards to my music career that wasn’t. I would be one of those celebs who is a total @ss to the media and would whine about my [lack of] privacy all the time and how horrible it is to have fame. I do not like attention at all, unless on an one-on-one basis. Dude, a crowd actually gathered at work to see this totally unnecessary presentation for winning a simple drawing, and I just wanted to figure out how to end everything without being a rude b!tch. And then I had people I didn’t know coming up to me about it, people whining because they didn’t win, people “joking” about wanting a piece of the money. I seriously thought about just giving the money to one of them and being done with it–it really isn’t enough money for people to have an attitude because they didn’t win or to be harassing me about paying for their lunch.

This is not at all how I wanted my day to go, nor was it how I wanted to spend my day–being embarrassed surprised in front of everyone and then talking about it with a bunch of people the rest of the day. Hopefully tomorrow I will be back in my anonymous hole where I belong.

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The Quadruple Whammy–Work, Health, Sports and V-Day

Last week I visited one of the specialists to which I was referred by my doctor after blood tests came back normal for my kidneys, liver and thyroid. He examined my neck, as well as took a look at my throat. My neck did seem swollen to him, but he didn’t feel anything. The interesting thing to him was my throat–he said it was red and irritated, and he asked if I had a sore throat. I was a little surprised to hear that my throat was irritated because it wasn’t bothering me. But for several weeks I have had a cough, even though I haven’t been sick. It does always feel as if there is something in my throat, and my voice is slightly more raspy, like it gets when I talk too much or yell too much. Both doctors I’ve seen have asked if I have issues swallowing, which I don’t.

So my specialist decided that I should have an ultrasound done on my thyroid, and he had me make an appointment with one of the ladies in the office so that I could go to another facility for the ultrasound. I went and had the ultrasound done today, and I will have to go back to my specialist to get the results when they come in. The lady performing the ultrasound took a lot of pictures on the side of my neck that is swollen. I am not totally sure how much information she had about the issue. The sheet that I saw that was faxed over to them only said “thyroid nodule” on it (other than my name, the procedure and such)–it didn’t mention a side, and she didn’t spend time looking at my neck or anything. So I thought it was interesting that she spent a lot of time on that side and took a lot of pictures vs the other side of my neck.

I had to talk to my supervisor a little bit about what’s happening since I have to leave work all the time to see doctors and such, which is something I didn’t want to do. I just don’t really want to talk to most people about this, especially not people I’m not close to. I have friends who don’t know about this and probably won’t find out without reading my blog, unless it gets serious. My co-workers don’t know.

I did call the recruiter at the employment agency that placed me in my current position and told him about it so they’d know I’m taking several half-days and taking other days off. It’s weird, but I also used this news to ease into talking to my recruiter about not being in love with my job because I really was uncomfortable with having to tell him I’m not liking my job. But I’m to a point where I can’t just keep telling him that everything’s fine at work.

He was really cool about it. He basically told me he has gotten calls from just about everyone he has placed in IT positions where I work about how overwhelming the job is and kind of said the same thing they said about it taking months to get the hang of it. I told him that I question whether or not I can really tolerate not feeling like I know what I’m doing for 6+ months but that I planned to do so. I also told him that I have learned that this is how tech support jobs are and that they’re not for me because of that. I love repairing electronics because I can be left alone with them to just do my job. So we’re probably going to wait a while and then see how I feel and if I want a different kind of position.

So I think it has taken approximately two months for the love affair with the extra amount of money I make on this job to end, and now it’s getting more towards thinking, “Okay, this is too stressful.” People at work tell me it takes months to grasp the job, but I think about the tech support job I had before where I never truly felt like I grasped it. It got easier in a lot of ways eventually, but I definitely ended up in uncomfortable situations more often than someone like me can tolerate. I’m just one of those people who always likes to have the answers, always likes to be the best and never likes to look stupid or say “I don’t know.”

This is where I am right now–lots going on in my personal life as well as with my career, and I haven’t even touched on relationships or the fact that I am successfully acting like Valentine’s Day is not around the corner (for the most part, I completely forget about it, except now there are more and more commercials about it). Frankly, I’m depressed right now, but you won’t believe why. The order goes something like this:

1) My team just got smoked in college basketball. I never turn games off. I sit and watch my team lose from start to finish when it happens, but I had to walk away from this game. I am staying away from sports networks, articles, talk shows, etc, at least for the rest of the night, which is unusual for me, but I know they will talk so much about this game. I was not depressed before that game. People who aren’t into sports don’t get it, I know.

Just think of a time when, say, you built something or someone up so much and had all these visions of how great things were going to be and then the moment you realized it wasn’t going to be that way. That moment was tonight for me with my team this season. I decided I’m not going to go to the Final Four in Atlanta–they won’t be there. We’ve got a good month to go in college basketball yet, but I already can see this. I was going to wait on the results of my ultrasound before I made any changes to my plans to go to Atlanta in April, but now there’s no reason to wait.

2) My job. Just the normal “I have to go to work in the morning” dread, but it played a role in my turning the game off. I figured that I spend enough time being put through garbage during the day without forcing myself to sit through garbage in my spare time in the evenings. I try to be a real fan and not just be there for the wins, but I’m realizing after sitting through 3 losses in less than two weeks that this crap should only go so far when you have other schitt going on in your life that makes you unhappy.

Right now I’m not even worried about my ultrasound but still, for some reason, can’t bring myself to talk about it with anyone I know other than my mother and the two people I told for work-related reasons. That’s why I haven’t posted more about it until now, and even with this post it took inner prodding to go ahead and write it. I don’t want to think a lot about it, at least until I know something.

Hope you enjoyed reading about another person’s bullschitt, if you did–thanks, hahaha! 😉

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Talkin’ (Writin’) Bad About the Co-Workers

Well, I’ve been working at my new job for about three weeks now, which means it’s officially time to talk schitt about it.

First, a whole new co-worker breakdown:

Lazy Tech (LT, formerly known as the Lazy Afternoon Tech)

Really, I could also call him “Let You” Tech. I will say that he actually does do work on this job, unlike the job we had together before. But when he doesn’t want to handle an issue, he always tells me “I’m going to let you do that.” Yes, “let,” as if it’s a privilege to me. And sometimes he even explains it as a privilege to me while other, less frequent times he’ll admit he just doesn’t want to deal with something. But more often, he tells me it’s “because I need to learn how to do it.” Even as a teenager, I picked up on “let” phraseology. I used to make fun of my mother and my oldest sister for using “let” in ways that benefited them more than it benefited me.

Wannabe Cool Tech (WCT)

This is the the dude who is “training” me at work. He’s a nerdy white guy–looks the part and is short enough for one of my company’s employees to refer to him as “short” before any other identifying trait)–but I don’t think he wants to accept that. The guys at my last job were tech geeks, they more or less fit that profile in terms of behavior and interests, and they were cool with it. He knows his stuff tech-wise. But the dude struts around, talking about how he’s going to this basketball game or that football game because he somehow got the best seats through someone at our company for all the major sports teams in our home state.

Er, first of all–no one here likes baseball. Heck, no one anywhere really likes baseball anymore. It sucks, and there are way too many games. Second, no one on this side of our state likes our NFL football team–no one. Except him, apparently. Guess he hasn’t gotten the memo that everyone else here thinks it’s cool to be a Dallas Cowboys or Pittsburgh Steelers fan. So, talking about going to those baseball and NFL games does not make him cool. Now, there are people who act as if they like our NBA team, but I have a hard time believing it. I mean, doesn’t everyone just like the Lakers and the Heat, maybe the Celtics? I wonder what my city even is doing with an NBA team. So, again, how does telling everyone every time it’s game night that he’s heading to the NBA game after work make him cool?

The kid also runs around saying stuff that black guys invented but have neither used nor thought was cool in the last 10-20 years. And the dude is obviously born and raised here, a Southern area. So imagine this short, nerdy white guy taking stuff black guys made cool in, like, the late 80s, trying to use his little “hip” voice…but he has a Southern accent. Huh? For example, the kid calls every guy at work “my man,” like “What’s going on, my man?” But he says it in his little “cool” accent that is all messed up because he’s a nerdy, Southern white guy.

Now, you can get offended if you want to. I’m just sayin’…for one thing, he doesn’t sound natural trying to mimic black guys, as most white guys don’t (and isn’t it always white guys? I hardly ever hear white females using 80s and 90s black lingo in an effort to be cool). For another thing, I don’t know a black guy who addresses guy acquaintances as “my man” anymore. The closest you’d get to that is “my mans an dem,” as in “That’s my mans an dem.” And even that became popular around the late 90s. So, it’ll probably be another 10 or so years before WCT and other wannabe cool white guys move on to that one. White guys who try way too hard always use outdated “cool” terminology that was, by the way, never that cool anyway–at least if you value standard English.

Final way this dude gets on my nerves? He sits in his cubicle all day playing with his cell phone. Yeah, the dude who is supposed to be training me. He expects me to just come ask him stuff all day instead of actually being with me, doing some training. And when he does help me with tech phone calls, he always has to tell the person that he’s training me, which I can’t stand (think about it–if you go to someone for help and find out he/she is in training, how much confidence do you have 1) in the person to actually be able to help you and 2) to do it in a way that won’t take all damn day? My mother and I have both been in situations where the person behind the counter was in training, and we just kind of rolled our eyes at each other.) The kid does next to no work himself. His iPhone is always in his hands. I don’t understand it, especially with one so damn nerdy. Who the hell could he possibly be texting all day? What else can he find to do on his phone all day long?

I don’t get people who are like that, but I really scratch my head over how he can text all day. Could it be that other people don’t see how poser-ish this kid is and actually think he’s cool or likable? Yeah, probably. After all, it seems like his type is taking over the white male community. It’s a shame, not to mention goddamn annoying–white guys really used to be a lot better than this.

He just seems self-important. I think all the talk about going to see pro games is flossing, as are telling everyone that he’s the one who provides training and being all into his iPhone as if people need/want to communicate with him 24/7.

Stanky Breath Tech

He’s probably my favorite, particularly when he keeps a good distance from me. If I go to him with a question at work, he almost always just takes over the issue for me instead of forcing me to do it like the above two do. It’s not the best way to learn my job, even though usually he will explain it to me at some point. This is probably what I’d do if I were training or helping a tech with something, as well, because it just is more efficient for resolving issues. It doesn’t totally make sense to have me on the phone with someone at our company for 30 minutes, putting them on/off hold a bunch of times so I can find out how to resolve their issue, for something that could be resolved in 10 minutes.

I think he probably gets that the way I’m being “trained” is tough to take because he used to ask me every day when I first got there if I was going to show up for work the next day. I kind of told him to stop asking me that, haha, and he has. But he is the friendliest person I work with, and he’s as helpful as he can possibly be. Lazy Tech is cool, but I wouldn’t say LT is intrinsically friendly. He is more naturally an ass, but he knows that, admits it, accepts it. That’s what I like–know who and what you are and accept it. Why can’t WCT be more like that?

The only thing about this dude is his breath, really. Sometimes the guy is several feet away from me, and it’s like, “Whoa…is that really his breath?” It’s not like that every day, I don’t think, but it has been like that on more than one occasion.

The Supervisor

I like him. So far, he’s cool and supportive. I’ve heard stories about some of the people he fired before I got this position. One of the guys was fired after three days because he didn’t seem to be “getting” what he was being taught. So, apparently, I’m not doing that bad. He checks in with me to see how everything is going and seems pretty genuine.

So, that’s basically who I work with. All in all, I prefer my previous co-workers, with the obvious exception of the female tech I worked with at my last job. There are certainly other techs where I work, but they don’t really sit in our area. There is a female tech, but I don’t really work with her. She seems okay, but I must say that I’m glad I don’t work with any women on this job. I’m not sure I know how to explain why. I guess I am not surprised by what the guys are like. I’ve known LT most of the year, so I knew what to expect from him. And, as I mentioned above, white guys–generally white guys 35 and younger, but I know of some older ones, as well–just seem to be trending towards being a lot like WCT, so I am, unfortunately, pretty used to guys like him. I just feel like I know what to expect from guys and feel as if they won’t view me as competition. And LT really should view me as competition, in a way, because we have to bill our time and try to bill 8 hours of tech assistance a piece during the day, which is usually not easy to do. But neither of us is worried about it, in part because we’re both lazy but also in part because he feels confident that he’s still going to get paid for a full 40 hours a week.

The Customers

I guess they’re technically my co-workers, since most of them work for the same company I do. They are a lot better than the people I helped with technical issues on my last job. I don’t really hate dealing with them the way I hated dealing with people at my last job. Mainly, I just don’t like how I’m being trained, especially since this job is more difficult than my last one was.

Happiness?

I have noticed that, though I am frustrated at times every day at work, still dread going to work and hate to go to work in the mornings, it’s not like it was before. My job is similar in a lot of ways to my previous job, but I’m more accepting of some things than I was before. I am not sure if this is because I make more money now, because it’s still too early or because I just know this is how it is with these types of jobs now. Or a combination. I do think that if I could reach a point where I’m mainly comfortable with what I’m doing, I’d still hate the thought of going to work–because I’m lazy and would rather sit around focusing on sports–but I’d be a lot more content otherwise as far as working goes. I also have realized working 8:30am to 5:30pm is pretty good…and that I used to be tired for hours in the morning at work and then again just a couple of hours after getting home from work because I was having to get up unnaturally early for me (I am a night owl by nature, and it wouldn’t take me long at all to fall back into a pattern of staying up all night). So, I’m a lot happier with my shift than I thought I’d be.

I have been wondering lately, though, if making more money does make people happier with their jobs. I took this job, knowing it would be like the one I was leaving, because I figured that I could at least make more money while hating what I do. But so far I don’t feel anywhere near the same level of hatred. And another factor could be that I no longer have a co-worker who is as bad as FTG was. Anyway, the money = happiness part is interesting to me, and I will monitor my feelings in relation to that and write more about it in the near future.

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Competition Between Women At Work and Life

Everything cleared with the background check, so it seems like I’m just waiting to hear about when training begins on the new job. Still haven’t quit the old one, just in case something goes wrong and the new job falls through.

So, my current employer started a new employee this past week. It’s a guy to replace the lazy afternoon tech who quit. It took weeks for them to find someone decent. At this point, he is being trained even worse than I was. I was trained for, like, a day and a half and then immediately thrown right into the fire. This guy basically comes to work and sits and does nothing. No one is really training him. At this rate, I don’t know if he will actually get trained at all. It’s worse to not train him than it would have been to not train me because he is eventually going to work all by himself since he will be working the shift that goes into the night as opposed to my working with people in the day. The new guy was kind of trained part of the first day he came, and then the rest of the days the guy whom my employer makes train everyone has barely interacted with him.

One day last week, the trainer actually didn’t show up–he called in “sick.” I didn’t really think about it, but this was going to affect me. I had no idea how much so. The one thing I should have realized, though, was that this would mean I’d be asked to stay late that day. I ended up staying at work 10 hours that day. Extra money for me, sure, but money vs getting out of a hellhole–I want out of the hellhole. I already lament working a 40-hour week…don’t really want to work more than that.

What I didn’t see coming, though, is that my supervisor would essentially ask me to train the new employee that day.

Um…been working at this place for, like, 6 months…or just a tad longer. Don’t really know the job well myself. My bitch co-worker, the female tech geek (FTG), has been there, like, 8 & 1/2 years. But my supervisor came straight to me with this. I was just kind of thinking to myself, “Um…why would you ask me?!” I had an idea why, though, which was later confirmed. But my supervisor was asking me to train him that day and was complimentary towards my performance, saying this is why she was asking me. She did all of this in front of FTG.

Now a while back, I had started forming a theory about the type of person FTG is. I know in one post I had written that she seemed like one of those kids you had a class with in school who was known for being a nerd and always having the right answer when the teacher called on them, and that’s the only reason you noticed them (I had part of this confirmed not long ago, the part about being a good student…). She’s just very reliable and pretty much always does her job well. But I have also almost always felt like she’s competitive (because of how she never helps anyone, steals work from me, races to answer the phone at times, leaves bitchy and/or tattle tail-ish notes in work tickets and doesn’t communicate with people regarding important work-related information), and I started putting two and two together to get the sense that she uses doing her job well to feel better about herself and to feel better than other people at work…which is why she reacts very badly if she feels there is any insinuation she didn’t do something correctly or if she’s given constructive criticism from our supervisor.

I’m kind of realizing that one of the reasons she’d need to feel better than other people at work is because she’s not really accepted at work, which I’d honestly say is her fault. But…people who lack adequate or typical social skills sometimes don’t seem to realize they’re a big part of the problem, and I really don’t think she does realize that. People like her tend to think people are just mean to them, don’t speak to them or alienate them for no reason, and they use being even more alienating than they already are as a coping/defense mechanism. It’s kind of funny how that works. Anyway.

Didn’t mean to turn this into a psychology session, but I’m bringing all this up because I think that I just had a good chunk of this theory confirmed with my supervisor coming to me and not her to train the new co-worker, offering me praise and not her, etc.

Here’s why:

I didn’t want to be bothered with the new kid because, honestly, I am lacking on the social side of life myself (I just flatout dislike people)–I just hide it better than FTG does. Plus, I have started keeping myself occupied at work by listening to sports talk shows and blogging over at my college football blog during the day. My supervisor told me I could say no, but I didn’t think that’d look good. So I was stuck with the new kid. Being as such forced me to talk and interact with people at work more than I like to–you know, pretend to be friendly and all that. It wasn’t that bad, though–it’s just not something I like to do. I like to be left alone. I could hear FTG at the back of the room talking to herself all day. No clue what she was saying, and I don’t sit near her so I can’t see her reactions or anything. There were four of us in the room, and three of us were actually speaking TO other people all day–each other.

At some point, FTG goes to lunch. Almost immediately afterwards, the field tech comes up to me and is like, “So, what is her problem today? Did you two get into it or something?” He actually does sit right in front of her, so he could probably hear her better. At first, I was like, “I don’t know.” And then I told him what our supervisor did and what she said to me about my work performance, and he was like, “Oh, that’s probably it.” And we talked a little about her, and at some point I was like, “She seems like she’s competitive,” and he nodded vigorously. The new kid also said that when our supervisor called him into her office to let him know he’d be working with me, she basically told him not to seek help from FTG because she’s not going to give it to him.

I was just like…”Why are people warning you about her, but no one warned me when I first got here?” Because this was one of his first days there, and pretty much all of us told him essentially everything he needed to know about FTG. I basically had to learn about her myself. One of the guys who works for my employer but doesn’t work in network support with us said he thinks it was an experiment to see how things would go between us since I was the first female that had worked in network support in a long time. I have definitely noticed she doesn’t seem to have any issues with the guys who have worked with us, and I haven’t seen any sign of her having a problem with one of the guys getting promoted when he was hired years after her.

I have started wondering, though, if it’s really just about being female or if it’s race or both. She seems like a redneck (which means something different when black people say it than when white people do–something along the lines of an ignorant or narrowminded white person, at best, and a racist, at worst…and no, I don’t think of racism as ignorance). I mean, this is someone who is in her 30s, has a kid and still makes fun of the accents people from other countries have. That’s something you do when you’re a kid or a teenager who doesn’t fully know any better. If someone is doing that as an adult, you’re damn right it makes me wonder how they, in turn, feel about black people, too, especially in the South. Regardless, it’s not the kind of thing I want to hear, i.e. her sitting there mimicking an Indian’s accent and laughing when all she has to do is say, “[Whatever his name is] is calling for you.”

Where I’m from, a lot of white people have a problem when they can tell a black person is intelligent, isn’t poor or both. That was something I experienced even before I hit high school and then several times thereafter. And most of my actual conversations with FTG have consisted of her asking me about my educational background. I attended better schools than she did and went to graduate school when she hasn’t. And as I’ve kind of suggested with the “nerd who has all the answers in school” description, she seems like the kind of person who prides herself on being the smartest, knowing everything and doing everything right in order to boost her self-esteem. She doesn’t seem to have a problem with my white male co-worker knowing more than she does. Don’t know if it’s the “white” part or the “male” part that makes it okay, though.

I don’t think I’ve ever really had a competition/jealousy issue with a white female. I have never understood women being competitive with each other or jealous of each other, except maybe in something that’s competitive by nature such as sports. Well, that’s not entirely accurate–once when I was in elementary school. But it has been a really, really long time. I used to feel like being around white women was safe, for that reason. I just used to think white women didn’t see black women as competition or anything to be jealous of–and somewhat vice versa–however racist that might sound, so it would cause less problems in my interactions with them. And I do think this used to be true to some extent. I just think there used to be more of a recognition and acceptance of the fact that black women tend to differ quite a bit from white women and vice versa, which makes it harder to compare the two and see competition in the other and such, whereas now there’s more denial of that in the name of political correctness and colorblindness. When I was growing up where I was growing up, white girls had petty issues with other white girls and black girls had petty issues with other black girls, and that pretty much never happened interracially (at least not between white girls and black girls). So, this situation at work is weird to me, but it’s also funny because she’s so ridiculous, caring about schitt that doesn’t mean schitt instead of focusing on herself.

Either way, it’s really going to kill her when she finds out I managed to get another job, because she was whining that same day about how hard it is to get a job. I know she wants another job, so I know that situation and her reaction will be hysterical. I used to get pissed about how she acts, but now I just laugh. I mean, imagine someone on a basketball court knocking himself out scoring points, hot doggin’, rebounding, shooting layups, going for three pointers and thinking he’s in a serious game with someone who is just standing on the sidelines checking his iPhone or hitting on cheerleaders.

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I’m Going To Have To Stop Watching WE TV Because of Kendra

They’re killing me.

I mainly watch the channel because of “The Golden Girls.” And, unfortunately, reality TV has taken over to the point where it’s basically impossible to not have at least one reality show you like to watch, unless you just don’t watch TV. Being a sports junkie, I mainly keep my TV tuned to sports. But it’s that time of the year when the best sports are just about done (I’m trying to watch the NBA playoffs–really, I am–but it’s just not the same as football, or even college basketball). But other than sports and old shows, I have been watching some of WE’s reality shows–“Braxton Family Values,” “Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” and even “Shannen Says.”

All three actually are kind of boring, but they have their moments. I definitely expected more from Shannen’s show. I love Shannen. I will not watch any episodes of “Beverly Hills 90210” unless she’s on it. As cheesy as those storylines were, those were the best episodes of the show. I even liked “Our House.” Shannen is cool. The show, though, wasn’t. Maybe if it didn’t focus on her getting married…

But I tell you one WE reality show I won’t be watching–that “Kendra On Top” crap.

WE is just crossing the line with that one. It’s sickening on so many levels, and WE is driving me nuts with commercials for it every single commercial break.

Kendra is some chick who got famous by using Hugh Hefner. She was one of three “women” featured with him on this show that came on E! TV called “Girls Next Door.” One of my friends watched the show, so I saw a few episodes. From what I could gather, Kendra seemed like she wanted to be black. The WE commercials they show kind of support that perception. She still comes off as very white. She’s not like the stereotype of that white person who can’t speak standard English, wears baggy clothes, only listens to rap, only hangs out with blacks and that kind of thing, i.e. a wigger. She’s more like the “I’m white, and I do and say ‘black’ things every now and then, but I’m very lame and poser-ish when I do it” type. Kind of like The Offspring’s “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” white person. I remember this one episode of “Girls Next Door” when she took the other two “women” to see where she grew up, and they were kind of laughing because Kendra was always trying to make it seem like she grew up in the “ghetto.” Her house turned out to be this nice, suburban-type house.

I think about that episode a lot of the time when I see the commercial for this “Kendra On Top” reality show. And I also just think about…well…what a lot of people, particularly women, think about with the Playboy type of females. In other words, I get more judgmental than I already am.

I do want to share this thought:

I have realized that women who use their looks and their bodies to get ahead in society are smart women. It honestly just never would have occurred to me to do that, even if I could. These women don’t get credit for this. But I now just think about how I focused so much on doing well in school, academics and higher education, and I look at where I am now. And being intelligent academically and getting degrees have worked for a lot of people, and it’s still working for some people. It didn’t work for me, and there’s not much I can do about it. I know that I don’t have the looks to go out there and use that to open doors for me. But women like Kendra do, and I can’t really fault them anymore for finding some way to have the kind of life that they want. Other women, like me, still have to figure it out.

But she still gets on my nerves.

For one thing, do I really need to see a commercial featuring her every time a show on WE goes to commercial break? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–I don’t like having anything or anyone shoved down my throat.

Second, although I understand she has the type of look that’s valued in society, I don’t find her that attractive. It will probably always kill me that women can be considered attractive just because they are thin, blonde, have blue eyes and/or dress a certain way.

Third, the commercials show her kid a little bit. And I can’t help but think, “I feel sorry for that kid.” Probably for the same reasons a lot of us maybe used to think about Britney Spears’ kids–and maybe still do–and just feel sorry for them.

Fourth…[sigh]…you know…don’t want to offend anyone. Not sure this is something I can make some people understand. Interracial relationships are one thing. Having and raising multiracial kids is another thing. I just think that not everyone is cut out for either of those things, but especially the latter. For instance, there are just some white people who have no business with mixed kids. I don’t know Kendra, so I’m not saying anything definitively. It’s just, going back to this lame, poser-ish “I relate to black people” act…the way she comes off makes it seem as if she actually doesn’t really know anything about being black. She’s actually kind of offensive.

For one thing, you can relate to black people without having grown up in the ghetto or pretending to grow up in one…um, because not all black people grow up in ghettos. I read a thing or two about her husband, Hank Baskett, and it seems as if he might be an example of that fact. For another thing, if you really grew up in a ghetto, you might be proud of the character it has instilled in you due to challenges you overcame, but you also know that it’s not a walk in the park or anything to glorify, unless you’re trying to sell records or make movies off it. And, for that matter, I think the average black person knows that being black is not a walk in the park or anything to glorify.

Yeah…kinda worry about someone like this raising a part-black kid.  And right now, her child barely “looks” black, which might actually be worse. A lot of the time, kids with that type of look would hardly be raised as black or in touch with what it means to be black. But with a parent like Kendra, the real danger might be that the kid gets raised with all kinds of ignorant, incorrect ideas about being black and won’t have much of an opportunity to find out any differently because he will be around a lot of white kids and, because of how he looks, won’t necessarily be treated the way a lot of blacks are treated. So, another reason I look at the kid and feel sorry for him.

Again, as I said, I don’t know her. Maybe she’s a fine mother. You never really know.

Either way, I can’t stand the commercials, and I know I’m not going to be able to stand it when the show finally airs.

So, I’m going to have to give up “The Golden Girls.” I know it comes on the Hallmark Channel, too, but those times don’t work for me. Like, right now, there’s the usual Monday marathon on WE. It’s on after work, and I can watch it until I go to bed. Every weekday, there are episodes on after work. But I just don’t think I can take it anymore, and Kendra’s show debuts on June 5th (I know because, as I watch GG, there’s a little thingy in the bottom righthand corner that tells me this garbage).

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Follow Your Passion…But Which One?

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at work reading blogs, and there was this one post about giving up a passion and asking readers if they’d ever done that. I remember writing that I had–I’d given up a career in the music industry. But I also wrote that I believe that everyone has more than one passion.

Here we are a few weeks later, and I am faced with the truth of that very statement.

I love technology…always have. And I was starting to feel that I’m finally making progress in terms of really making a career in IT. But this was a tough week at work. One day was so bad that I didn’t speak to anyone for the rest of the day after work. I basically locked myself in my room, and that was the kind of thing I used to do maybe once a week on average at the last place I worked because I’d get off work so angry. I don’t want that to start happening with this job.

I used that evening to just think about what the real problem was, because it wasn’t really the bad day, per se. And then the next day I discussed it with my mother. Now, my mother is interesting–she is always giving advice when you don’t want it. But if you ask her, she is utterly unhelpful. She’s suddenly all “whatever you think is best,” and when I’m asking is the one time I don’t want to hear that. So, I told her this before I told her the issue, which is, more or less, what I’ve been telling you on this blog for a while now.

I basically told her that the job is not tech enough for me, and I don’t see myself being able to learn the kinds of things I wanted to or thought I would learn when I accepted the job. I mentioned that job at Michigan that I saw available a couple of weeks ago–the one I wanted to be able to maybe apply for a year from now–and I said that with the way my current job is if I did apply for that job at Michigan next year I wouldn’t even be able to do that job unless I came home from work every day and just learned stuff on my own (which I really should be doing anyway, but I’d get the Michigan job because they’d assume my current job taught me the things I’d need to learn to do their job…and I do think jobs should prepare you to move up/on, even if indirectly). So, basically, I’m not developing many new skills, and the ones I have are not being used and probably would waste away to some degree in this position.

My mother agreed with this. She said that when I first told her what I was doing, it sounded like receptionist work. Well, exactly. That’s my issue. She asked about opportunities for advancement (basically, what is a way for me to do more technical work there), and I told her the only thing I’d be able to do is study and learn about servers on my own and then I’d be able to get one of those positions there. However, I have never been interested in working on servers, although I already know a little bit–it was one of the things I was asked about in my job interview, and the guy who asked me about it responded that what I know is “90% of what they do.” (“They” are the guys who work on the servers, not people who do my job.) I’ve only ever been interested in repair/building computers, networking and programming, and I’m already trying to learn about networking and programming. I don’t want/need to add servers to the list.

The funny thing is when the guy said what I know is 90% of what they do…I haven’t seen that that’s totally accurate, but I have definitely seen that a lot of calls we get are server-related issues, which means I hand a lot of calls off to the server guys, i.e. I’m not doing a lot of tech work. Again, I feel like I take calls for other people all day (as well as all the crap from angry clients who think I am responsible for causing/fixing problems when, in actuality, it’s either nothing to do with my company or it’s the techs who actually do handle the problems). Other people at my job are fine with this, and maybe that’s why some of them have had the same job for almost a decade. I can’t imagine having a position that is more entry level for almost 10 years, and a lot of the tech geeks on tech geek forums tend to agree with me…they think, really, you shouldn’t have those jobs for more than a year or two if you truly have what it takes in IT.

Anyway, I must have been due a miracle, because I actually managed to get some advice from my mother–find another job.

And then bam. Same day and everything. I was surfing the internet, and I saw an ad for a sports writer position.

See, for the past few years, sports have been my other passion outside of technology. Back in 2007, I started a fan blog on espn.com, and I also wrote a bit at Bleacher Report. It was just for fun, and I didn’t get paid. I didn’t write at Bleacher Report for that long, but I kept blogging at espn.com–maybe because I am on that site every single day. I didn’t think anyone read that blog; I thought it was just for me. But, apparently, ESPN hired some community editors or something to pay attention to the blogs and kind of showcase some of the better stuff from the fan community.

Suddenly, I’m getting comments and notices from the community editors. “We featured your post [name of the post] in [blah blah blah]” and “On [blah blah blah date at blah blah blah time] your post will be featured on the front page of espn.com” (the latter I completely missed, by the way, because I was too busy watching bowl games and writing blog posts to put on another site). Then ESPN started the whole SportsNation thing with a TV show by that name, and now their blogging section is called SportsNation. So, I started getting messages saying they featured whatever post in their SportsNation section. And then another fan blogger there started a group for the best bloggers at espn.com and he sent me an invite. So, I used the attention and audience I was getting over there to link to pieces I was writing for other sites, and for a few years I basically had two jobs. Sports blogging wasn’t really paying that much, so I always had to keep another job. I remember telling someone that it’d be awesome if I had a position that allowed me to travel and go to a bunch of games during the college football season. I’d cover football, and that would be my actual job.

The last time I submitted a football post, it was January, the end of bowl season. I still had some more pieces I’d written that I wanted to submit, but I never did. In the last piece I posted, I wrote about the bowl games. But I also wrote that I was done. With espn.com in particular, I was sick of their horrible web infrastructure, which sometimes made it difficult to format posts or even just to post. But in terms of sports writing in particular, I was kind of tired of juggling it with another job and also tired of not just being a fan. I couldn’t watch games without thinking about what I’d write and deadlines, and it’d totally take my weekends, which meant I never had a day off work during the fall and some of the winter.

So, when I said I was done, I was. I hadn’t thought about writing anything since then. When I wrote a post here about my dream job, I didn’t think about sports writing, although I did say that one of my dream jobs would be to work in Michigan’s athletic department. Truthfully, I could have expanded that to just saying working in sports, although I’d love to work at Michigan. But I have never really actively pursued sports as my career, and I’ve thought about that a lot more in recent years. I used to play basketball when I was younger, and when it really would have mattered in terms of opening career opportunities for me I wasn’t interested, i.e. high school and college. A few years ago, I started thinking about what if I had taken basketball more seriously and played college basketball. I’m short and not that tough, so I probably never would have played in the WNBA. But it still could have opened a lot of doors, and I probably wouldn’t find things such as working in Michigan’s athletic department or being Michigan’s women’s basketball coach to be unrealistic.

In short, I guess I found working in technology to be more realistic than working in sports. Until a few days ago.

I was looking at the job ad, and it was almost everything I wanted. I’d become an actual member of the media. I’d get press credentials. I’d get to go to games. I’d get paid. I’d get to write pretty much every day.

The problems?

I’d get paid regardless, but I’d get paid more the more traffic I generated. That means that, at least initially, I probably would still have to work another job. Come the end of August, this would be a problem…because the end of August is when college football starts back up. Because my current job doesn’t require much from me, it’d be easy to sit at work, keep up with football and write as much as I need to during the summer. But in the fall, how could I do all of that and go to games? I know my local airport. Even if I wanted to attempt this crazy schedule, I know I would not always be able to get flights out on Friday evening and make it to a game on Saturday, then get back home on Sunday and write. At some point, I would not be able to keep both of these jobs, and it’s unlikely I’d find another job that would allow me the flexibility I’d need.

The other big issue is I’d probably have to just cover Michigan. I’d rather not just cover Michigan. What I’ve really wanted is my own column to just wax on and on about whatever in college football. Now, I don’t mean that I should just be able to not pay dues and walk into a company and be the featured columnist. I just mean I’d ideally be one of many columnists rather than being confined to one team. I’d love to be at a Michigan game every weekend, but it’d be incredible to go to different places and not be limited in what I write given that I love the entire sport and not just one team.

Given these two things, I debated whether or not I should even apply. But I finally did because I’m curious. There’s no guarantee that anything will come of it, but if it does I’m still not sure what to do. I hesitated to even write this post because I don’t want to jinx anything. I guess it’s no big deal and might even be a good thing if I don’t get the position. But honestly, usually when I apply for a sports writing job, I get the job. There has only been one time so far when I haven’t gotten a position, and, ironically, that was the one time a woman was doing the hiring. I used to worry when I submitted applications and writing samples to men that being a woman would hurt me, but it never did.

So, now that I’ve told you I almost always get the position, I probably won’t. 😉

We’ll see.

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Finding the Energy for Life

Tomorrow, I will officially be out of training at work. This means I have to come into work an hour earlier because I am no longer coming in on the same shift as the person who was training me. I am going to my own shift.

Just as I was getting used to my new day-to-day schedule, which was making it easier to not want to come home and just fall on my face. Now there’s a change that requires getting up even earlier than I have been. I’m almost positive this will throw me back into wanting to fall on my face within a couple of hours of getting home from work.

Truth be told, there are so many things I’ve created for myself that I “need” to do when I get home from work. I just never feel like it. Many of them relate to things that, in theory, I really want…or they, at least, would help me get closer to living the kind of life I’d prefer to be living. Learning more about programming and investing are two biggies. But sitting down and making myself learn anything has been a challenge ever since I spent two months studying for the bar exam. I had my fill of book learning with that, and I have been just about book-brain dead ever since…to the point of not even having sat for any IT certification exams yet. I can’t even finish reading books for fun anymore.

The other thing that coincided with studying for the bar exam, though, is struggling to find energy on a regular basis. While I was studying for the bar exam, I decided to try 5-hour Energy drink. It worked for a very little while, and then it did nothing for me. Since then, it’s been an on and off quest to find something that will help me make it through the day. When I was working at the hotel, I actually tried caffeine pills. Of course, I did think about that episode of Saved By the Bell when Jessie got addicted to caffeine pills. But that didn’t stop me from going to Walgreen’s and getting some. I don’t see how anyone could get addicted to those (I say the same for Oxycontin, too). They totally made me feel sick to my stomach, they made my head feel weird and, if I remember correctly, I could smell blood in my nasal passages. And they didn’t really work that well for me after a short period of time, either, and I think they only picked me up for about 4 hours when they did work. Yeah, it wasn’t long before I quit taking those.

Then I tried those Emergen-c vitamin C packets (that come with a lot of other vitamins in them, as well). They didn’t really seem to do anything. A lot of people feel that they help keep them from getting sick, and I’m really not sure it even did that.

Then I did something that I never thought I’d do–I drank coffee. Well…as much of it as I could tolerate. I might be alone here, but I really think coffee is gross. It also makes your breath smell. Coffee is what most of the guys at my job use to keep them going, and the guy who was training me…gosh, when he spoke, all I could smell was coffee. So anyway…yeah, I got desperate enough to try yucky coffee, and, I must say–you don’t even have to drink a full cup to get a little perk. Still, I couldn’t tolerate the taste enough to keep drinking even a little bit. I would probably have to say the same for stuff like green tea. Plus, with coffee, I’m too lazy to have to make it, first of all. And if it’s made already, I have to mix it to where I can tolerate it–which I’m too lazy for–and it’s impossible because I’d have to pour all of the sugar in the world in a cup for it to be tolerable.

I also have to say that the one thing that does help me without making me sick (or gag) is taking Excedrin, because Excedrin has caffeine in it. But, for some reason, I guess caffeine with aspirin and acetaminophen doesn’t make me feel horrible the way straight-up caffeine pills do. This is something I discovered just due to being a migraine sufferer. Excedrin got me through my last job in terms of energy because I had migraines pretty much daily at that job. Either that, or they were tension headaches, which I would consider a form of migraine. But I don’t have headaches or migraines to the same degree on my new job as I did at my last one.

So, how to not just sit at my desk and look like a catatonic schizo?

Well, I went to Walgreen’s again, but this time looking for stuff that was a little more natural…perhaps something with a lot of B vitamins in it. I will not try anything that has caffeine in it, except for Excedrin, and I don’t trust most other energy drinks. I decided to give Emergen-c another shot. I’m still not sure it works. I drink it on the way to work and for the first hour or two while I’m at work. I notice that I start to feel awake about 2 or 3 hours into work, but I don’t know if this is the drink or if it’s just a function of my having been awake and at work for a few hours. I will say, though, that the last couple of days I went to work with nothing to drink, and I completely felt like falling on my face until 3 or so hours into work vs just yawning a lot when I have the drink.

Needless to say, I’m not sure I’m done looking for something that will give me that extra boost. There is a smoothie shop next door to where I work. I did try one of those smoothies, one that comes with an energy boost in it, but I didn’t much care for the taste and I’m not sure it worked. I also drank some of that lame vitamin water. Excedrin is still the one [tolerable] thing with which I know I feel different and I know why I feel different, but I can’t just take Excedrin every day. And I really would like something that is more on the healthy side.

There is one other thing that I think would help me–getting more exercise. I think this would help not only with energy but also with headaches and migraines and stress. It did in the past, after all. I haven’t worked out in a while because, frankly, I hate exercise machines. They are boring. They’re something I just cannot stick with. I do like to play sports, though. I could play basketball almost daily, and I used to. To that end, I’m trying to push my father to build a basketball court of sorts in the backyard. Er…just found out that will be about $2000. But I still want to have this done. I played basketball last weekend, and I felt great afterwards. Pained…but great.

How do you get your energy every day?

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