Friday, February 28, 2014

My Sincerest Apologies.

I trust since the last series of frantic emails and calls a half an hour ago you are all doing well. I have taken the time since our last exchange to reflect on what each of you had to express and I have realized I owe each of you some apologies.

First off, I apologize for suggesting the topic of focus for our group assignment. I admit the idea wasn't one of my best. To be honest, even I thought it sucked. It was born out of panic, to be honest. You see, we only had a half an hour to pitch our ideas to our lecturer and, after I realized we were all sitting in silence and staring around blankly for twenty minutes of that time, I think I let fear get the better of me and I simply blurted out the first thing that popped into my head. Believe me, had I known my decision to speak would lead to everyone else automatically turning off their brains and accepting my suggestion wholeheartedly (despite my opening the floor - nay - begging for other suggestions), I would have continued to remain silent with the rest of you.

I am so, SO sorry that everyone automatically assumed - without first confirming it with me - that, since I was the one who came up with the idea, that I would also be the one to prepare the whole draft paper for the lecturer to review and then go on to write the script as well (I hope you can understand my confusion at this point since another member of the group had already volunteered to do so but later, without giving us warning, seemed to have changed his mind). In hindsight, it made perfect sense that you all would just go about your lives for an entire week and think it was being handled by me, despite my not knowing I had to do it.

I'm also sorry for my job suddenly becoming so demanding. Had I known my being transferred to another office so far away, having to prepare a handover package for my replacement and subsequently having to miss a class due to the sheer exhaustion which resulted from all of this would have sent you all into such a state of panic, I would have acted in a more considerate manner.

I must also apologize for the lecturer shooting down our topic (the one I pitched and to which no one offered any alternative.) and that we now have to come up with and rewrite an entirely new paper. Had I known that during the week I was unreachable, some other member of the team would have altered my originally craptastic idea and made it, not only more craptastic, but put it outside the guidelines of the assignment, I would have made it my utmost priority to have handled things differently.

I am especially sorry to you, one-member-of-the-group-who-has-to-constantly-complain-that-you-are-the-only-one-who-is-actually-doing-anything. I know. I KNOW. It has been very hard on you. What, with your being completely silent and unreachable until the last minute and then emailing some shoddily prepared, almost unusable assembly of words, followed by calling and texting everyone in the group to make sure we see that you contributed. That ONLY YOU contributed.
I am perfectly willing to accept your behavior since you admitted to acting unreasonably when the mere thought of failing an assignment enters your head. I'm sure that was what prompted your very aggressive, albeit erroneous, email the other morning at 4 AM, telling us how you have to "put your foot down" and "we should consider ourselves lucky you didn't CC the lecturer on this email". For your sake, I am happy you did not CC our lecturer since, during your little rant, you clearly misrepresented how much you contributed to the group's work and how little everyone else did.

Mostly, I apologize for what comes next. I am afraid I can no longer sit idly by and trust everyone else to be the adults we all are supposed to be. I am truly sorry but, reluctantly, I am going to be taking stricter measures, assigning tasks and responsibilities, and making sure everyone communicates. Trust that I have no desire to do this but some level of leadership is needed going forward and, sadly, I see no one else stepping up to fill that role.

I hope you all can find it your hearts to forgive me for all I have done to contribute to every failure we've had as a group thus far. I will try my best from now on to be more of a team player and to be more considerate of everyone else's needs and commitments. I hope we can work past this and move forward from here.



Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Have No Idea What I'm Doing 2 - Now With More Cluelessness.

In case you've been wondering where I've been for the past week or so (I'll just assume that you noticed I was gone in the first place), I guess the best answer is that I had gone into a state of shock. Remember when I posted how the higher-ups in the in the government ministry I now work for not only read my résumé, but assigned me a bunch of responsibilities based on them and I was starting to feel a little in over my head? Sure you do! But, in case you don't remember all the details, you can read about it here.

Now that same résumé has turned around and bitten me in the ass again as it started a chain of events that, this past Friday, led to me not only being pulled from all of those duties but, also, unceremoniously removed from my desk and the very building in which I worked.

And, no, I was not fired.

I suppose some more explanation is in order. It all started the Friday before last, when the manager of my department was passing me in the hallway...

Manager: Vinny, you used to be a reporter, right?
Me: Yeah. How did you-
Manager: The Executive (*lightning flashes, thunder rumbles, building shakes slightly*) said it was on your résumé. She said she's putting you on a team where you can use those skills for a special project.
Me: O...kay...
Manager: I'll tell you more as soon as they tell me.
Me: Um... Sure.

If I seem a little less than enthusiastic during this conversation it's because... well... I wasn't. The last thing I wanted was to be put onto yet another team. I was just getting the hang of all the things they had me doing already. Turns out I had absolutely no idea what The Executive (*lightning flashes, thunder rumbles, building shakes slightly*) had in store for me. That is until the Manager asked to see me in his office the following Monday.

Okay, seriously! Is there ever a time when your immediate supervisor asks to see you in his/her office any you don't imagine it ending with you being escorted out of the building by security, carrying a cardboard box with all your junk (and the stapler you slipped into your back pocket)?

Anyway, I digress, as I am wont to do. Turns out, the little talk with my manager went more or less like that. Only I wasn't being fired...

Manager: How long were you a reporter?
Me: *Thinking: Oh, it's about that! Breathes a sigh of relief* Six months.
Manager: Mm-hmmm... *jots something down in the notepad on his desk*

Long pause...

Here's the thing, Vinny. Did you know The Executive (*lightning flashes, thunder rumbles, building shakes slightly*) is researcher, first and foremost? She literally reads every line of every document that goes across her desk. Which  is why she noticed on your résumé that you worked as a writer and thinks those skills will be perfect for a team that's being set up.
Me: O...kay... I remember you telling me that.
Manager: Well, the thing she now mentioned to me is that she wants this team to focus only on this project. So you're being pulled from everything else you were working on.
Me: Well... okay...(I think I really pulled off not seeming excited by the news that my heavy workload was getting lifted.) But who's going to handle all my-
Manager: Let us worry about that. Anyway, that's why you're also being pulled from the department.
Me: Huh..?
Manager: And you're being transferred to our Central building.
Me: Huh..?
Manager: For about three months.
Me: HUH???

You know those war or spy movies where they assemble a special group to take out a really high priority target? Well this is something like that (I know I'm making it seem cooler than it really is. Please leave me to my delusions thankyouverymuch). Essentially, we're a select group of people with a very particular set of skills; skills we have acquired over our very long careers. Skills that are making things a nightmare... for me.

Since I just had to go and make it known that I am a writer, The Executive (*lightning flashes, thunder rumbles, building shakes slightly*) is now putting me into this special unit dedicated to finalizing a white paper. I had to Google it. Apparently it's a big deal and while the rest of the team will provide the source material, I'm supposed to take all that and convert it into readable text that everyone - from politician, to lawyer to average Joe-on-the-street - can understand. In other words, it's intended to be read by anyone in the country who so chooses. No biggie there. I was a reporter, after all.

Oh! Did I mention it also could be used to implement major pieces of policy that could affect the state of public service for the entire country?

No pressure.

Anyway, on Wednesday I met with the man who will be my Unit Commander for the duration of this special assignment. He guaranteed me the mission shouldn't take more than four months (hopefully).

Friday was my final day there. I was given a "new" laptop, directions to my new office and I met with Unit Commander again, along with the other two members of the team. These were the people I would be working with exclusively for at least four months so it's probably a good idea for me to try not to piss them off too quickly.

I make no promises.

Yes, I did take my stapler with me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pictures In The Air.

Tears ran down the side of her face as she stared up at the ceiling. How could she be so stupid? She was smarter than this, better than this. She was going to do better, make better decisions. She was going to be the one to break the stupid cycle and not end up being condemned to the same fate as her mother and her grandmother.

She had it all planned out. Right down to the color of his eyes. Brown. A light, bright brown that shined when the sunlight hit it just right. She was going to finish high school, go to college and be a game developer in a huge company. That is until she made the right connections and started a company of her own. Then, after she got wildly successful, she would meet him. A nerdy, but still cute gamer-geek like herself, with those bright, brown eyes.

All in that order.

That was how she imagined it. That was how she had been imagining it for as long as she could remember. On those cold nights, when the heat got shut off. On the hungry nights and even on those nights when they weren't sure if they'd have a roof over their heads the next day she would look up at the ceiling and see the images of her perfect future floating above her.

Now, thought tear-filled eyes, those visions that used to fill her with comfort instead just hung in tatters above her.

All because she couldn't keep her damned legs closed. All because some stupid plastic stick that she left on her bathroom floor just confirmed what she feared most. All because some boy whose eyes we nowhere near the right shade of brown said just the right things to make her forget her goals.

No. She wasn't going to play that game. As convenient as it would be to put all the blame on him she was going to let herself off so easy. She was the one who gave in and let raging hormones make the call.

Fucking hormones!

Now, what her mother managed to pull off at seventeen, she did at only fifteen.

"Way to go, girl!" she smiled to herself, "Always the overachiever." The thought made her laugh. Hard. Too hard. For a minute she thought she was losing her mind because she laughed so hysterically. She laughed until she didn't have the breath to laugh any more.

"Hey," she put her hand on her stomach, "hope you don't mind your momma going a little crazy for a bit just now. That's something you'll probably have to put up with from time-to-time. Better learn to deal with it, kid. And you better learn to keep up too. I've got plans I intend to see through to the end. I didn't plan on having you along for the ride but I guess that's just going to make things more interesting."


This was inspired by this weeks prompt on Studio 30 Plus.
This time writers taking part had write a post that incorporated the line "hung in tatters above her".

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Social Interaction - A Sign Of The Times.

Based on the way I usually feel at the end of the week, I'm seriously considering having this made and posted on the inside of my front door so I can see it every time I'm about to turn that knob:
Don't get me wrong. Believe it or not, I'm okay with (most) of the people at work. This is prompted by those perilous minutes I actually have to be out in the streets, trying to get from point A to point B.