Friday, April 22, 2005


Stop Spitting In My Garden

This will be a rant. There is no knitting content, not even a dishcloth, just a steady stream of "waa waa waa, pore pitiful me". You can just skip this if you'd like, I'll be knitting again by Monday.

I've been feeling invisible for a while now.

There is no respect at work for the fact that I am very busy at all times, but at certain times of the year (like, oh, right about now) that there is so much work I cannot possibly even keep treading water, never mind get ahead, without working a fair bit of overtime. Overtime that I have been forbidden to work. Overtime without which I must leave things undone. Things which, should I leave them undone, would likely lead to some sort of disciplinary action, not excluding the possibility of my being let go.

There are many things that I love about my job, despite my ranting; however, there are many things I hate. I do not hate it enough to raise enough hell that my family loses its main source of income. I can't be bought, but reasonable rental terms have never been all that difficult to negotiate. I'm nothing if not practical.

I'm well aware of the fact that the message being sent by my employer is that my time is of no value, and that I should work the overtime secretly, get everything done and not whine about it, and then quietly take the reprimand should I start work at 8:34 one day (or hell, even nine o'fucking clock) instead of 8:30, despite having been in the office until after seven the night before (I'm paid until four), but I'm getting sort of tired of that.

I'm getting tired of having to fight to take my vacation. I have six weeks this year, due to having carried over unused time from previous years. I will be lucky if I get to take as many as three of those weeks. It has been suggested that I could take "long weekends" instead of actual blocks of vacation, so as to cause as little disruption as possible. I declined this suggestion. Almost politely. And so if I stay in this job, I will carry at least three, possibly four weeks over to next year, when I get an increase in vacation time (I believe) and will then have eight or nine weeks; the majority of which I will be unable to use.

I'm getting tired of a job eating up time I should be spending with my kid. Or doing stuff for ME -- knitting, drinking, reading blogs, masturbating -- whatever I would spend time doing if I ever had time to do it.

Dammit, I could have raised a virtuoso (or at least a child who knew my name), written a novel, knitted a yurt or gone blind from excessive exploration of the recreational area if all of the hours that I've put in over the last five years had been hours that I got to keep for myself. Because they were mine.

I do clerical/administrative support. Yes, I'm senior staff, but I have a job, not a career, and I am paid by the hour, people. Not horribly paid, but no bonuses, no raises in the last eleven years (still not bitter!). No chance to move "up" without completing another either four or five courses in which I am not particularly interested and which I would never use in any of the positions that would become open to me should I obtain this credential. (positions which, by the way, would earn me between $150 and $300 more per month, gross. Canadian. Yes, for several years of part-time school on top of full+ time work). No, thanks. Really. I appreciate the opportunity, but fuck off.

So when I mentioned today that I didn't feel like working a lot of unpaid overtime right now, and the response was that we should make the powers that be aware of the need so that we could reassess the situation and bla dee bla, I got a little ... well ... I think the only possible term here could be "uppity". I may have pointed out that I've been mentioning this for several years, have requested full time support in the office (Princess N only gets to sleep on the job part-time), and have had my concerns and suggestions repeatedly dismissed. I didn't point out that my predecessor also attempted to "address the situation" with equally stunning results for at least 14 of her 19 years on the job.

And yes, by the time she left, she was bitter indeed.

I can't see any sort of solution to this. There is lip service given to concern for employees and willingness to restructure, but all anyone really wants is for me to shut up, take on more responsibility and just get it all done. And so I continue to send out resumes, whenever I can find the energy to chew through the restraints and get to the fax machine.

Maybe someone can fix this, but it won't be me.

Which leads me to the title of this entry. You knew I'd get to it eventually, didn't you?

My family moved house in December, to a little grass shack (or the bottom half of one side of a fourplex) in order to save a substantial amount of rent.

One of the main appeals of this place was the fact that a) it has a garden and b) the garden is mine to maintain in return for a small reduction in rent. I also love the location, the setup, the relative silence and the larger bathtub, but really, the garden was a major selling point.

I'm not insanely enamored of the fact that the garden at the front is bark mulch with plastic underneath it, so that small flowery things can be grown, but farming is out of the question. I'm also not thrilled with the fact that a previous tenant decided that the back little tiny yard would be easier to maintain if it was covered in rocks instead of grass. I now spend far too much time pulling dandelions and stray left-over plants out of this rock bed, and if we stay next year I intend to get rid of every last damned stone and put in grass.

There's a bunch of pretty stuff, flowering bushes and trees and the like, out front, and I was going to post pictures but I'm not quite drunk enough yet to go out and take photographs in the dark, so I'll just leave it to your imagination.

I'm fairly proud of the fact that I manage to keep it all looking nice, despite time constraints. It's amazing what a little mowing and raking and weed-whacking will do; it doesn't really take me more than four or five hours in a week to keep the chaos down to a dull roar, and for something I love I can find that much time. My kid helps me with it and we have a hoot.

This place was originally a duplex and has been split into two suites on each side, upper and lower. Upstairs on the other side there are some boys. Snowboarding boys, party boys, boys who are usually quiet and respectful and who are seldom home, although I must say that I've noticed upon the occasions when they HAVE been home that they have abominable taste in women. The latest case in point was the shrieking drunken Australian woman who was tapdancing on the front balcony at 2am last week, trying to pick a fight with one of the other women who she claimed had "made fun of her accent". But I digress.

My only really big complaint about these boys is that they smoke. I don't care who smokes and when and where. Hell, they can burst into flames for all I care. No, my complaint is that they don't seem to be familiar with the concept of an ashtray, and so they toss their cigarette butts into MY GARDEN. The one I tidy up. Yes, that one.

And they spit. One of the men was explaining to the drunken tapdancer that when he smokes, he spits. It's what he does. Seemingly every 20 seconds or so. And so I was outside, listening to the happy little *splat* *splat* *splat* noises that his spit made as it hit the garden and the walk, for several minutes. I mean really, the amount that that boy spits, he should be a shrivelled-up dehydrated husk by now.

I may be powerless at work, but by gum, I have some power around here and that boy is going to start using an ashtray, and stop right the fuck now with the spitting action. I have no urge to spend my weekends wallowing with my child up to our armpits in a spit-soaked ashtray, startling as that may be to some.

Thank dog I have someone upon whom to take out my frustrations. My family will be spared the beatings again this weekend.

Dearie, clearly you need to escape. I will send good thoughts out to the universe that a better job will present itself. My company has new upper management who seem to be trying to destroy the place as quickly as possible. We're all miserable, but we don't dare complain, lest we join our former co-workers at the unemployment office. Trust me, I know where you're coming from. Oh, and as for your neighbor, a well-aimed waterhose can be a very effective way of getting your point across.
What freaking bastards!! No raise in 11 years? Was that a typo? You have much more restraint than I... Definitely stick it to the boys :)
JennS must work for my employer.

When you rant, you rant. I marvel at your style and appreciate the dedication to get that much down in print. You are a queen of ranters. Woo-hoo! You rule.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stupid Blogger!
Word! I'm having similar issues and I am definitely cracking up. I simply cannot bear all the stress and insanity which is serving in place of what should be my real life. And the bullshit that I have in my personal time WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. I'm not making too many friends lately because I have no patience. Screw 'em. They shouldn't be asswiches. You go get 'em.
For a (partially) drunken rant, that was pretty well composed. Thouroughly enjoyable, despite the lack of pictures of yarn.
ok!.....* pants * ... i read them ,, both !.. * colapses * lol * wishes you win the lottory*
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