Welp, I tried and failed, and we’re all gonna die for our sins. All in a day’s work

Weird timing today, I’m getting writing in whenever I have the chance.

First day of training. It’s pretty exciting to be surrounded by a bunch of audio geeks again. Instant rapport with all of them. They’re friendly, positive and welcoming people all with a range of experience. Some come from composing, there’s a lifelong radio guy in there. Another is a year out of college. All have been freelancing for some length of time. I get the feeling that it’s gonna be a solid group. Training has run into technical difficulties, and while we’ve gone over a lot of the theory, practice is yet to come. We’re on a lunch break right now. I’m glad I at least opted for both training days. As it stands I’m still getting paid, so it’s not all bad. Still, I’m itching to get into the booth and voice. It’s funny, I was so stoked to get back to audio work, and now it’s the allure of learning the ins and outs of descriptive video that has me buzzing. There’s so much to consider and a heap to learn. What kind of stuff is best to focus on? How do we best illustrate for those who have visual difficulties? What language and terminology is appropriate?

Fast forward to a night spent drinking and chatting. I aired my grievances with the rest of my team. It’s a transitional thing, which means people will be left behind. One of my ‘girls’ had diarrhoea today. She was too embarrassed to walk to the pharmacy and ask what medication would be appropriate, so I did it for her. I figured I could take 15 minutes of my day to make hers better, so I did. I dropped the medication on her desk without saying a word, then got back to my work. I didn’t mention it the rest of the way. A few of us chatted, but moved on. There’s been a very clear hierarchy in our group for a while. As an employee, I know how meaningless this whole hierarchy is. We sat at different tables at different parts of the bar, if that wasn’t flagrant enough. The hierarchy and clique-iness wasn’t apparent enough by desk structure, apparently. It’s fine, my fellow plebs and I had our bitch session in any case.

I got locked into a conversation with a conservative middle class white boy for two hours. I know I’m a white boy from a middle class upbringing. That said, holy shit what a narrow minded dipshit he was. It’s hard to totally fault him, because he was 23. This was his first job, and he was convinced he knew how the world worked. We talked about homelessness, guns, taxes and education. I’m imagining y’all can guess how well that went. He said that guns were an I’m important liberty as part of the framework of the U.S.A. I asked him how many shootings he thought there’d been in the past year. He said 24, and said that was an acceptable number. I don’t know if he was aware that there’d been at least one per day in the past year. He gave me my condolences, as he understood that NZ was a hotbed of mass shootings. This well informed white 24 year old whose life aspirations were getting a wife, home and jet ski. What an ignorant piece of shit.

The hard lesson that I think I learned. No matter how much I tried to work through any of these ideas, and how inherently problematic/selfish they were, nothing got through. He was locked into his way of thinking. Believing 100 homeless deaths per year were entirely acceptable, with a true faith in a merit based system that didn’t account for people who didn’t have family based safety nets. I asked him, have you ever been bailed out? Then followed that track right the way back to how it would emotionally effect him situation by situation. His excuse each time was “I’d just work harder”. So naive, such a common viewpoint. It’s understandable why we’re so fucked. Still, oddly enough he said he was an NDP voter.

Weird timing? Maybe it was just a weird day.

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I cracked the code! He’s just saying that to throw us off his trail!

Forgive me while I watch this video of Billy Joel flipping out on repeat for the rest of the day.

It’s so great. I have no idea how many times I’ve seen it already. I’m sure everyone already knew about it, but e-fucking-gads it’s hilarious. I got so sweaty laughing that I became relieved I keep a towel at work. It’s not just the juxtaposition of seeing a usually benign artist like Billy Joel losing his shit, there’s so much more going on. Hearing him intersperse furious production demands throughout his lyrics (“When am I gonna take control get a hold of my emotions-STOP LIGHTING THE AUDIENCE. Why does it only seem to hit me in the middle of the night-STOP IT.”) was a good enough gag, but it’s only amplified by the joyous muppet on the keytar in front of him barely breaking his stride. Then if that wasn’t adequate, he fucking FLIPS THE PIANO and runs out front to start wailing on the stage with his mic stand. Perhaps I need to learn more about his ouvre aside from “We Didn’t Start The Fire” and “Uptown Girl”. Wait, maybe he did start the fire.

I had another flying dream last night. They’re not super uncommon, but this one felt quite sustained. What I thought was interesting (and I knooooow that everyone falsely thinks that their dreams are fascinating), was that flying in this particular dream had a profoundly physical element to it. Flying was like a muscle. None of this magical levitation, there was a specific action linked. I just tightened something inside of me. You know when you tighten your core? It was like that, but further internal. The more I tightened it, the faster I’d ascend or move. It felt incredibly visceral. I’m not gonna try to really pin down the narrative (something about being in a small yee-haw Western outpost and having to hide my ability, so as not to appear a witch), but it was so strange actually intellectualising the sensation and how to work it best. Like trying to better understand your gait and how to make it more efficient. Throughout the dream, I noticed my ability increase substantially. Maybe it was just someone mentioning the film Chronicle the other day, but the ties were pretty apparent. Y’know, I’m well overdue for a Spider Man dream come to think of it.

I got bored today and figured I could play a harmless prank. A few weeks back, I talked about the mysterious package that showed up at my desk. This left me with an interdepartmental envelope. Everyone else was out at a stakeholders’ meeting, but since I’m leaving soon, I got to skip it. I took the envelope to my co-worker’s desk (the one who sits right next to me) and jotted down her name/desk number in the appropriate sections. Inside I put a little note on a post it. “TAG! You’re it! No tag backs!” That was it. I sealed the envelope and took it downstairs to the mail room. So far it hasn’t been delivered. Maybe it’ll come tomorrow, who knows? My eternal hope, is that it suffers the same fate that the envelope did on its way to me. That took months to deliver, MONTHS. If this thing kicks around the system for several months, then she ends up with a dumb tag note from someone who used to sit directly next to her, how great would that be? It seems silly, but fun, and I’m sure something like that could lift her day immediately. Do I feel guilty for tying up the mail room with my own dumb jokes? Likely not as guilty as I should. Who knows, this could move all around the company and start a building wide game of tag. Why would that be something to feel guilty about?

If anything, I’m sure perennial firestarter Billy Joel would approve.

Sweet dreams, thinkin’ about all that neat maths

I wonder how much this company has paid me to poop over the years.

Really, I do. I go to the bathroom for number two at least six times a day, but usually upwards of nine. Counting number ones as well would be a bit much, because I have no idea where that would put me. Around 20 bathroom visits total? Let’s forget that, since it’s not part of the equaton. The tricky part is, I don’t know how long I spend in there. As someone considerably prolific (poolific? -Ed), a typical poop might be about two and a half minutes? Mostly I’m dropping trow, letting loose, maybe doing one or two more shoves, then wiping.

So let’s imagine I’m doing that six times a day, five times a week. That’d be 75 minutes (or an hour 15). I must stress, that six daily poops is probably on the lower side. I get two weeks of holiday per year, plus public holidays. Let’s assume that leaves me with about 49 weeks of actual work every year. If we’re to multiply those, we get 3675 minutes per year (or 61.25 hours. So 61 hours and 15 minutes). If we break down my salary into hourly wage, it’s about $20.70 an hour. So if we put that together (and I must stress, this is a low estimate), I probably get paid somewhere in the realms of $1268 per year just to shit. Wow. Wow. And I guess if I’ve been here for roughly four and a half years, that’s over $5700. Yes, I’ve been here longer than 4.5 years, but I’ve also had sick days. I’m sure that counts for something.

It sure feels good to know that. I could’ve bought a second hand car with the money I’ve earned from pooping. Or around 230 five and a half pound gummy bears.

I’m not gonna lie, this was the most fun I’ve had all day, and now the workday is over.

Goodnight.

Oh, I do want to miss a thing. And another. And another…

Oh jeebus it feels good to be leaving.

Ever since it was announced to the department that I was to be moving on, I’ve felt a huge pressure lift. I’m under zero pretentions. It’s the best thing in the world to look at all the extra curricular duties I’ve been taking on and say “nope, I’m done with all that”. I’ve been working above my paygrade for years, with zero thanks, and that’s now to be a relic. They’re talking about future departmental pressures, and I get to sit back and think about how it’s not gonna be my problem. It’s the utter best.

You know that Mulaney joke about how cancelling plans is like modern day heroin? I’m mainlining that all day long. I don’t enter the office with the same downtrodden aura, because I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. You know what I did on the way to work today? I spent a ton of time full body guffawing at the fun antics of a cute baby on the train (repeatedly stealing its mothers stuff (wallet, etc, and throwing it around). Then when I got to work, rather than walk into the office, I thought it’d be more fun to follow this old shaggy dog for a while and soak up how happy it was. I’m not stressed about doing things to the letter. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna intentionally do a shit job, or leave things undone, it just means that the job is now a set of tasks that need to be done, and nothing more. As soon as I leave the office, it’s gone from my brain. It doesn’t own me, and that’s incredibly freeing.

I’m still going to be in the same building, same floor. It’s not like burning bridges would be productive, so I won’t. What I will do, is maintain healthy boundaries within responsibilities/duties while I’m doing this current job. I wish I’d done a better job of it while I was in this role, or understanding that my self-worth wasn’t tied to how I paid my rent. I didn’t, and I can only take that forward with me. While I haven’t really learned anything valuable skill-wise from the past four and a half years, it’s definitely been a master class in dealing with my shit, and working to understand what my needs are.

I’m scared shitless about striking out on my own, taking ownership over my income/outgoings in an all new way. I’ll need to figure out benefits, what I can claim as business expenses, and how to make this transition as easy as possible. Friends will help. I hope. Who knows how I’m going to fill the extensive time off I’ll have? Will I learn a new skill? Take on a hobby? Volunteer? Find extra clients? The future is so hazy, but bright. It’s a crazy new world, and I’m all too excited to understand how I fit into it.

But mostly I’m looking forward to my last day in this cubicle. I won’t miss it.

If I find a gorilla for sale, trust me, you’ll be the first to know

Hey friends. I’ve got good news.

I’ve been pretty tight lipped about this, but the ink is dry on the dotted line and I can safely say that I’ve formally put in three weeks’ notice at my job. Weirdly enough, I’m still gonna be working in the building. I’ve accepted an independent contractor position with an in-house department. I’m going to be voicing Descriptive Video for a variety of programming, then mixing it in Pro Tools.

You know those people who do voice overs like “A man and a woman walk out from an elevator. The woman is holding a sign that reads “Gorilla for sale”, I’m gonna be one of those people. I was pretty dubious about my chances, given my New Zealand accent in a Canadian market, but it turns out the hiring manager wanted to have diversity in his voicing staff. Works for me. Or rather, I’ll work for him.

I’m delighted that this all new position feels like a perfect fit for my skills, something that has been sorely lacking from my employment for many years. I’m overjoyed that my work will directly be aiding accessibility needs for those who lack sight or have low vision. I’m ecstatic to be working in audio again, and hoping to regain a passion for my work that lifts the quality of my output. It’s not like all jobs have to be passion projects, but it’s something that deep down means a lot to me. If I’m gonna be giving the larger part of my waking hours to something, I want it to be something I care about.

After the countless weird stunt applications, interviews, and refreshing job hunting sites 20+ times a day, five days a week, for nigh on four years, this comes as a huge relief. I’ve been heartbroken time and time again, and gave up on hope some time ago. This has been a whirlwind turnaround that’s gone from start to end in under two weeks. I found the position after a bit of digging, and trying to figure out why it wasn’t internally posted. I didn’t even interview, I just kept organically running into this dude and we chatted about it. He was very clear from the start on what the position would demand, and never once sought to obfuscate information. After dealing with the kind of frustrating low-balling and corporate bollocks that tries to keep the upper hand, it spoke volumes about this guy that he was being totally upfront. It’s been all kinds of intense, and I’ve been trying to keep it quiet. I dunno, maybe after years of disappointment, I’ve gotten a little gun shy about speaking too soon.

I’m a little bit intimidated to start work as an independent contractor, but I’m certainly not complaining about getting paid significantly more to work, on average, eight fewer hours per week. It’s a four days on, four days off schedule, and I’m hoping to use the extra time to either pursue personal projects or perhaps look into volunteering a little. By now it should be evident how stir crazy I go when I’m not doing ten things at once.

Thanks for all my readers’ patience around my endless venting. I’m looking forward to looking forward to the future for once.

Has Fortnite’s popularity impacted the dental profession?

I don’t think we as a society reflect enough on the fact that in New Radicals’ 1997 car commercial anthem “You Get What You Give” they threaten to kick someone’s ass in. Not just kick someone’s ass, but kick it in. That’s so specific, violent and incredibly funny. But given the content of the song and its Kantian ethics, maybe that’s what the singer wanted for himself all along.

I’m going to the dentist today. More accurately, I’m getting a cleaning. I just ate tuna, so I’m definitely gonna have to brush and floss before the dentist. It’s not fair to put her through the strife of my tuna stank breath. Her and I are chums. Maybe a little too chummy at times. She’s a little handsy, and not in a way that offends me enough to say anything. One time while we were chatting she had her hand on my leg, which I thought was a little familiar, but no sweat. A few weeks back I totally forgot my dental appointment, and came in 40 minutes late. I felt like a dingus. We rescheduled, and she put her hand up as if to high five. I reciprocated, and she pressed her hands to mine which I figure was fine, but then her fingers curled around mine to intertwine. I followed suit, but it felt kind of odd. So we were just standing there with hands clasped. Strange moment. She does a great job on my teeth though. If I smelled like fish, would it dissuade this kind of behaviour? Who knows?

I have an event I’m going to tonight. I was originally planning to pick up cheap tickets from a friend’s friend, but that fell through. I looked on the event page, but ticket sales had ceased, with only expensive door tickets left. I posted on the event seeing if anyone had spare (cheaper) tickets left that they could no longer use. No dice. I very quickly got an offer from a friend who runs the event, who said she could guestlist me instead. So I’m getting in entirely free. I don’t know why I’m being rewarded for being lazy and slow, but here we are. This is what falling upwards feels like. Maybe it’s just my week or something.

I had this moment earlier where I complimented a team member, but it was weird. I saw her walking towards me and I opened my mouth to comment. Then paused, closed it, and commented that her outfit was really working today. She said thanks and went to her seat. Maybe she didn’t think it was as peculiar as I did. I had to take a sec to work out the beats, then come back to her with an explanation. So I told her that when I saw her walking, the blue of her pants really stood out to me. I have bright blue pants myself, so this made me happy and I wanted to let her know that I was cheerleading her all the way.

Then I realised that she wasn’t wearing particularly bright blue pants, just average blue jeans. It was her top that was doing it. She had this sorta dark mustard polka dot top that created a big sense of contrast. The top made her garden variety blue jeans pop, and I thought this was remarkable. So much so, that it deserved a remark to clarify. She took my compliment on her sense of composition as it was intended, and we both learned a little bit about how my brain processes information.

In any case, I need to leave to get to the dentist. Which means I’ve got some flossing and brushing to do.

It had to happen eventually. My Bar Mitzvah was a looong time ago

This week has been a total gift.

I came back from my camping trip with a renewed sense of self. I felt confident and assured in my own abilities. I was at peace with my place in the world, knowing I genuinely liked myself and what I brought to others’ lives. Having had so much unencumbered social time recharged my batteries in a big way. There was a resonant positivity that framed my vision, and even coming back to the office that supplies the bulk of my stress wasn’t a big deal. I guess this is what happens when you take a holiday. I feel like I’ve brought that enthusiasm along to every interaction I’ve had in the past few days.

You know what? This week has been downright unusual. A bunch of stuff has been going on, despite the short workweek. Yesterday I powered through a bunch of extra stuff. I’ve been applying for jobs and taking on extra curricular duties. I’ve also been maxing out my time spent relating to others. Moving on quickly from conversations in order to prioritise work efficiency and get the fuck home hasn’t been my central goal. I’ve brought with me the lackadaisical but easy types of connections I formed over the weekend.

I chatted with some woman in the kitchen about her kids’ development around water. I prompted a chat with others waiting for the elevator on weird and specific elevator behaviours. I talked with a former team member who hasn’t been out of reach, but gave me a new perspective on our old departmental arrangements. I’ve complimented people on their outfits and stylistic choices. I just got off a bus where I noticed the person sitting next to me had a weird anime sneeze, and it was a real amicable chat with a single serving stranger. I talked with the RPM instructor post class, and she told me I’d be a good fit to run classes, that I should look into it. Maybe I will. Some cash on the side and getting paid to keep fit. It sort of feels like I smiled at The Universe, and it nodded back.

I’ve realised how many people I’ve lost touch with. Not out of a lack of love, but timing issues and low batteries. Spending hours grabbing tea with someone I really like made me realise it’s something I need to prioritise. My list of people I’ve made plans with in the past few months, then one of us cancelled, is hovering somewhere above 20 individuals. All of which I could easily spend a good eight hours with one on one. I got home last night, exhausted and with a strong desire to play Magic and retreat into the internet. Instead I found myself sitting on the couch with my girlfriend just shooting the shit and checking out Natal Charts. Goofing off. I realised pretty quickly that it was time better spent than on a video game, no matter how much I love it. I’ve been retreating a lot lately, but I’m not sure why. I think moving away from that is within my best interests. Who is it that I want to be, and how can I most embody that? If I’m gonna thrive, I think the answer is through finding connection.

Folks, I think I’m finally growing up.