Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I did not blow goats; have no proof

Just over a year ago I tried something I've always wanted to try. It was a public performance piece. It ... did not go well. No, no it did not.

But tonight I gave it another go and this time it went well and I did not blow goats. In fact, I fucking rocked it out.

Alas, I didn't record the event, so I do not have proof of non-Goat blowing. But a friend was there and he saw it; he did! So it fucking happened!

This time last year I was deep in the throes of recovery from having gone insane. My breakdown then emergency separation from oldwork was a catalyst for change and resulted in me not only healing but shedding 30 years of sadness as I rose from the floor. 

Tonight I got back up and gave public performance another go and I fucking nailed it. 

They say the best revenge is success. 

So take that, oldwork, I win.

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's the third act and Ricky Bobby is back on the track!

With thanks to Talladega Nights.

It's now been a couple of weeks since I joined the new team and I am humming along. The workload is thus far bearable and there's kewl things I get to do like go into the field to talk to people and even take photos. I, like Ricky, was knocked out of the workplace and it took the entire second act to get me back to the track. But back on the track I am and I am zooming along.

And my track is an magnificent one. My workplace is in a well-appointed building, I only have to take one bus and I get on with my team. We have enjoyable chats and, thus far, no one has has presented as a psycho—an important quality not to have in any team member. 

I have not heard about my success (slash) fail for the job I recently interviewed for. Today in the mail were returned the work samples I provided at interview, without even a note of thanks—not a good sign. Nor is several emails from me which have gone unanswered.

But that's okay. That's okay because where I have landed in is awesomesauce and I get to do useful, valuable and interesting work.

And you can't get better than that as a public servant.

Wellness for the win.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Seat seep and evil people

It happened again the other day, seat seep. It happens when there's a perfect storm of runny butt and thin-weaved PJ pants sans undies. It squished through the pants and as I got off the bike seat I could see the runny smear left in my wake. 

Fortunately I have discovered the perfect cleanser for seat seep; human sweat. All I had to do was take a tissue, run it over my sweat-stained balding noggin then carefully daub up the stain. Another tissue soaked in sweat followed to ensure maximum cleansing. 

I like the symmetry of that; one secretion cleans away another. 

And from one unpleasant encounter to another; evil people. The building I now work in is a central hub for my org. It means people from outlying buildings come to mine for meetings. As I came in from a work outing I saw an evil person by the ground floor lift foyer and stairs talking with one of my new colleagues. It was the evil person from oldwork who was most-singuarly responsible for my epic collapse. 

I turned away, intent on using the lifts on the other side of the building but I stopped and went back. I walked with purpose to the lift foyer where she was, though without looking at her, summoned a lift, and stood with my back to her just three feet away. I didn't look her in the eyes once in the entire exchange. She ignored me and I her. I spent half a minute waiting, got in the arrived lift car, and stabbed the door close button. By the time I exited the lift on my floor above I just had a touch of heart hammer and it quickly ebbed. I didn't even have time to reflect on what had happened because a work friend in distress came to me to ask me to be a support person in a supervisor meeting. Her pain was overwhelming and her distress acute. And in that moment I threw myself into helping her through her immediate crisis—another fuck you to oldwork where I could put aside their evil to help someone I love.

I've come a long way. In January the mere sight of that evil person with an equally evil other oldwork person at the Australia Day Awards at 40 metres distance was enough to send me fleeing to my then building to gulp-cry with bitter hurt and anger at my desk. Now, four months later, I can stand right next to the worst of them with my back turned. She has no power over me and there is nothing she can do. Furthermore, I know that I am well-liked by my colleagues and they value what I do. So even if she slanders me, and I have no doubt that she has and will continue to do so, her slander mists away because it is by my actions I am known as an awesome public servant who cares deeply for his work and for his clients, customers and colleagues.

Wellness for the win.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I had an interview!

I had a job interview recently. It was the fourth interview I've had since I was officially dropped into the APS redeployment register.

The interview was fine. It was almost intimate, four people in a small office and clustered around a small round table. 

Since I have lost the fear of lacking worth then the interview was enjoyable. I talked at length about how awesome I am and how awesome the job was that I did. I even brought samples to show them my awesome work in action.

Alas I think I fucked the two-part written component of the interview process. Part one was okay. Part two was not. I ran out of time and had half-formed ideas on the page. 

Still, success or fail the interview and the written exercise were good experiences and the process was not scary. And if this potential new workplace decide against taking me on then I won't hold a grudge. I come with freely admitted baggage, after-all.

Today, I waited for my bus at the stop in the cooling dim of late afternoon. I could see two contrails scrawled in the sky staggered either side of Telstra tower, a spray of golden cloud against the darkening blue.

It was a nice moment.

Wellness for the win. 


... I am tracking along with some good and some bad. 

Some bad is putting weight back on. I ride an hour a day on the exercise bike but it seems to do fuck all. That or what I am doing is just retarding some of the gain. I have eaten heavier lunches that's for sure, and I've dabbled of late in pies of the fruity kind. But, since A2 cream, came out I can't but help from my pasty mistress.

Anyway being just a little bit fatter sucks the wang. It especially sucked when I discovered my shirt had gotten a little tight when I was in a meeting room designed for four people with 12 at the table and one on speaker phone and my middle button was straining and exposing my navel. I was at the fucking chair next to the one networked PC at a small desk at the back of the room which meant I was just far enough from the main table to be in everyone's eye-line. I had to stay facing side-on so as not to expose the hair-rimmed unblinking eye. The meeting was, whilst stressful, awesome though in that everyone there believed in the purpose we were meeting about and we felt institutional pride in what we're doing (1). It makes a hell of a difference to work with people that believe in what they do.

New work is stressful. I have to learn new things and I have to use the phone more. I hate using the phone. Email is the tool of government and email is preferred! I live in fear of my phone ringing and having to talk to people. So far each time the phone has rung that it has been some fucking coffee company that's trying to send a fax. If I transfer the call the fax machine then it spits out a one page flyer promoting a clearly over-priced coffee pod machine. Fuckers.

I am back in the building I've worked in for the vast bulk of my career. It's the building I was in before I was transferred out by an SES who was irritated by my presence (2). I keep running into people I know from when I was last here, and even fellow refugees from oldwork. I never know what to say about why I am back. Sometimes I will say it's because I went insane and had to flee oldwork like a thief in the night. Sometimes I don't even mention it and just say where I am working now.

A compounding stress is my newwork has dealings with oldwork. I hear the names of the people who hurt me said in a work context. I may even have to take a call from one of those people. If an accidental face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact happens I plan to take their details then pass whatever they need onto a colleague to sort out. Then to go for a calming walk to remind myself I am forever free of them and their horrors. 

Wellness for the win.

(1) Unbelievably fucking Man Hands was there! A former supervisor who once maliciously jiggled my tummy in, I presume, a lame way to say he wanted to show me he thought I was sexy. We did not talk about the incident. 
(2) I had a somewhat voluminous disagreement with that SES about her crass interference in my job when she had no expertise whatsoever in my field and refused to listen to me as the subject fucking expert (2a). I was transferred away to another part of the org, along with my job, with two months. She would also say moronic things in staff meetings like "I can just change you around at will and get you doing whatever job I need you to" only for me to pipe up cheerfully "no you can't; we're specialists" and for her to ignore that I said anything at all. Mikey don't suffer fools no gladly! 
(2a) It should be noted I later literally went insane when I failed to convince management what they were doing, and not doing in the case of health and safety, was fucked and unethical. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Back in the saddle and it's feeling good

New work is going well. There's aspects I don't like, but it's likely because I've not done those things before, but there's also elements I love and I get to do them here. 

That's pretty awesome that I get to return to my special type of bureaucracy of which I excel. It makes work more fun and therefore more enjoyable. And not only do the other team members have a sense of humour but so does my boss. 

So it's going pretty sweet for Mikey and he keeps winning.

Wellness for the win.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Topes lose ... topes lose...

I'm in a new place at work and so far, so good (1). It's scary to be back in the game, and it involves tangential contact with oldwork—horrid people's names said in my presence, that sort of thing. But on the whole my current team and boss seems kewl. My boss and I are around the same age and she's had an interesting life. She's also skilled in our trade and knows actual proper stuff, especially about the more formal side of our work—a skill set which I am lacking. Which means I will have to tentacle-touch her forehead and suck out her gooey brain nutrients... 

I've also circled back to familiar terrain, working in a cubicle farm where I used to work some five years before I was transferred for being a combination of "unusual role" meets "loud mouth jerk who continuously annoyed management". There are familiar faces, people I once worked with from when I was here as well as fellow escapees from oldwork. People seem happy to see me and that I have returned to that segment of our vast public service enterprise.

I had a knock today. 

When my computer opened I saw an email awaiting me in the in box, the email program taking forever to load and unable to show the preview pane. I was trapped in an uncomfortable place in a place of knowing who the email was from yet not knowing the result. 

The result was bad.

I'd set a mission to pitch myself to a workplace worthy of my talents. The email was from the place I'd recently pitched to, having dropped off a submission packet of ideas and a suggestion they bring me on board. The preview pane finally kicked in and appeared below the centreline view and I could see the polite words of their rejection. A rejection of "thanks for that submission, your ideas are not for us and we alas have no job for you". I didn't even get a meeting out of the pitch! That rejection was a bit of a whack as I'd put in considerable effort, the pitch with hard copy samples from a spray of years behind me. I'd presumed that sampling alone would have at least scored me a face-to-face.

Alas, I presumed poorly. 

I numbed down a downer to take the edge off the sad and forded on, sitting with my soon-to-depart colleague whose job I stand to inherit. I also made sure to have wellness walks, doing a lap of the outside of the building on the hour to keep anxiety in check as I processed the fairly comprehensive rejection.

So, my pitch and its ideas were not for them. That rejection hurts but the experience is still a win and resilience has formed—a vaccination for rejection pain. Besides, the mission I'd set was to make a pitch to a place I wanted to work at and pitch I did. It wasn't wasted work; it helped clarify my thoughts and I learned lessons along the way.

And while I may have failed to launch myself to a new place or work my new place in work is useful and good. The work environment is nice, the new team seems nice and the work I will do is interesting. I am in a position aligned to my trade and already the role is brimming with possibility. 

One door closes, another one opens.

Wellness for the win.

(1)  I naturally felt of course it was my duty to report broken shit like a toilet mechanism plate that spoinged in nastily when the door was opened and greeted the disabled unwary with a scary bang noise. I also pinged in a report on a dead light. I reported a bunch more but it turned out they're on a luminosity setting where they only come on when needed. The trouble is not every light agrees and you end up with a couple on and the rest dead depending on the time of day and how the sunshine slants in. The effect is not one of "yay, energy savers!" but "Geez, that's fucked, they can't even get all their lights on". 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I am really great

I know, from first read of that header you'd think it was a badly worded way of saying I am well. Which is true, I am, even though I endure every day without unceasing pain. But rather it is an actualisation of worth, a recognition that I am, in fact, really great and I am going to use that greatness to bring good things to others.

You see it was recently my escapeaversary, a year has past since I had my last working day at oldwork. Between that last official day in the office and my ten days of acute psychosis and then the coda with a trip to hospital I endured the most frighting time of my life. For I'd gone fully batshit nuts, actual full-on insanity replete with long crying jags on the floor of my sheet and a muttering-laced fugue state where I'd stand staring at the back wall of my shed as I tried to make sense of what was happening. My mind and body had voted and they'd downed tools and gone on strike.

That strike, that downing of tools saved my life. I was going to break that year because of the toxic workplace I found myself and it was just a matter of when. Then the when happened and I was free. 

Now I know five months off work sounds appealing. It sounds appealing to me right now. I could totally do five months off work. But it wasn't fun months. No gadfly naps in the sun, idle munching of tasty treats and lazy Eloi lovemaking under the Summer stars. Rather it was severe anxiety twixt severe fatigue. Long bouts of exhausted sleep, some partial shambling for toilet'n'food, then back to sleep again. That phase of recovery lasting month after month. But the sun came in, it did. My depression and anxiety began to lift and in lifting then the wreathed sadness of 30 years lifted with it. Gone went the self-hate about a short, fat "Chappo" body. Gone went the self-doubt of feeling a fraud. Gone went the worry that I'd not made a mark because in leaving my old job, a job that was insanely visible and stressful yet insanely rewarding, I got to recognise for the first time my worth. That the crap of childhood and stressors of adulthood, that dwelling in a body that reeked of failure had honed my brain to something remarkable. All of that doubt and self-loathing left me, burned in the flame of recovery, allowing me to understand that I was special, that my pain and body oddities were not in vain, that I had made a fucking difference in my actual world and done so the moment I entered the public service on my very first day, bespectacled and fat with a ponytail that reached down to my crack. 

We try as public servants to make a difference. Many of us sustain ourselves with the knowledge that our service helps others, especially when the times are dark like when money is turned off to help actual people with their real actual pain. And I got that insane privilege, me with my fucked-up body, to make a genuine difference. To actually really help people who endured an extra helping of familial stressors due to the nature of their work. 

I made a fucking difference and not many people can say that. I literally went insane for this country because I stood on the wall for my colleagues and clients alike.

So if we harken back to those days, if you asked me in the 48 hours leading up to my collapse if the pain and suffering I would go through would be worth it, then a past-Mikey would have said no. Past Mikey would have said surrender, let them do it. You cannot help any more. Except, of course, that's not true at all. Past Mikey would grit his teeth, rise from the mat, and stand again, healing as he did so, because that is exactly what he (me) did.

I was talking to my therapist about worrying about my next steps, that I might not be up to the challenge. Except I am up to that challenge. I am up to knocking on a door as a cold call and telling people I want to work for that they should take me on. That I am beyond fucking awesome at what I do and that no one on this planet has ever accomplished as much in their field as me.

Wellness for the win.