Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stay out of my space

This afternoon I found myself getting more & more irritated with a coworker. She sent me a couple of spreadsheets and came over to my cubicle to explain what she wanted done with them. In the process of explaining she put a hand on my back while pointing at the monitor with the other hand. She was very hesitant and unsure in her explanations, making it difficult to understand what she needed done. Then, instead of asking me to sort by a certain category, she started instructing me on HOW to sort. Are you kidding me?! What kind of idiot needs to be told how to use an autofilter, especially after demonstrating the ability to do vlookup and concatenate formulas?!

I'm afraid I got a little snippy with her, asking why she required me to highlight certain rows in yellow and why I needed to look up the values of spreadsheet A in the database when that spreadsheet had just been pulled moments before from the same database. She wanted me to take 150 rows of data from spreadsheet A and look for it in spreadsheet B to see if it matched, then look at the database to see if it also matched and highlight the data in spreadsheet B if it did. One row at a time. I'm sorry, but if there's a quick way to do something I'm choosing it. Every time. Almost every time. Okay, if there's a quick way to do something work-related I'm choosing it every time.

Anyway, she's kind of a sensitive person. Anxious, needs approval. I can tell by the way she's always chewing on something when people are talking to her; fingernails, pen caps, etc. She said I could do it the way I thought was best (oh, don't worry, I intended to) and left before she could annoy me any further.

When I had cooled down a little I pondered my reaction. What made me get so mean? Was it because I sensed a weaker person and I was raised in a family that didn't tolerate weakness? Was it that her neediness reminded me of the clingy cat lady? Maybe. But I think the biggest irritant was having that hand on my back and feeling like I couldn't shrug it off. It made me feel threatened somehow.

I don't like to be touched. Not at all. That was one of the reasons I panicked about that date last year. The idea of him being in my house and expecting to get some action was revolting. No no no no no! I like to have a lot of empty space around me, especially when I'm just getting to know you. As we become better friends that space could shrink. If I'm attracted to a guy and he hasn't managed to disqualify himself then I'm open to getting physical - but usually I'm so scared that I start shivering.

I guess all of this is fodder for another session with my future therapist. I feel bad about being rude to her. I debated explaining it to her but couldn't think of a way that wouldn't come out mean. How do you tell someone to not touch you and, while they're at it, please remain at least 24 (if not 36) inches away at all times? Whichever way I spin it she's going to have her feelings hurt.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

You fixed it!

Both of my toilets have had flushing problems for about a year. Sometimes you press the lever and nothing happens, other times the toilet runs & runs & runs without stopping. I figured out some time ago that the flapper chains were falling off the levers and either sitting at the bottom of the tank or (worse) getting stuck under the flapper. Solution? Take the lid off the tank and fish the chain out. Repeat as needed (typically at least once daily).

When you see how easy it was to fix this problem, you will be amazed that I spent a year plunging my hand into an icy cold toilet tank. I guess I'm just that lazy.

How to Replace Your Toilet Lever

Step 1: Gather materials and remove lid from tank.

Step 2: Stand by for inspection of Step 1.

Step 3: Loosen nut on inside of tank and remove handle/lever assembly.

Step 4: Stand by for inspection of Step 3.

Step 5: Remove hook from corroded lever.

Step 6: Stand by for assistance with Step 5.

Step 7: Install new lever, attach chain.

Step 8: Replace lid and admire.

Total repair time (including inspections): 10 minutes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why blogging isn't therapeutic

I tend to censor myself, no matter which format I'm using. I envy people who have the confidence to say exactly what they're thinking. I can't do it. My private journals are censored. I don't know if that's because of my conservative Christian upbringing - feeling like I have to put a positive spin on my life and downplay the negatives - or if I'm simply afraid of who might read them and judge me. I thought maybe if I created an anonymous blog that I could finally speak my mind - then I turned around and told four of my siblings about it.

This week I've been considering whether I should start seeing a therapist. It's a little bit embarrassing and I'm not very confident that it will help me. I've been through therapy before and didn't get much out of it. That could be because I was embarrassed and resentful. Maybe now that I'm older I'll be able to participate better. I don't know. I get tired of telling my tragic tale, tired of the sound of my voice and the feeling of my jaw flapping.

Still, the fact remains that I am seriously messed up. How else do you explain a BMI of nearly 50? It didn't happen by accident. Sure, I have the hormone problem excuse but the hormone problems were triggered by an initial weight problem. I'm unhappy and isolated. I won't let myself live a normal life until I lose weight but everything I've tried has ended in failure. Last month I started researching the Lap Band. I considered having it done this year but I think I should address my emotional issues first - which brought me to the therapy question.

As I was falling asleep last night I thought about what I would tell a therapist. Maybe I should start with my earliest memory: I was 3 or 4 years old and I had a dream that my dresser turned into 3 ghostly women with glowing red eyes. They locked my bedroom door and surrounded my bed. I woke up screaming. For the next few months I slept between the box spring and the mattress so they wouldn't find me.

When I told my mother about the nightmare she told me the ghosts were real and they were sent by Satan to possess me. She said I was one of God's most special children and Satan wanted me very badly. I had to be very, very good or they would come back and take me. This kind of comment is typical of my mother - it's one of many reasons I can't talk to her today.

So here I am. I have my first therapy session scripted out. I'm ready to unload on a suitable shrink - provided I can convince myself it's worth the time. I'm still not sure it is.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's curtains for you

I've spent the last few nights puzzling over a discrepancy on my W2 form. It doesn't match my last pay stub and I just can't seem to figure it out. I put everything into Excel and I'm adding this, subtracting that, figuring partial years here and salary increases there... It's mind-numbing.

Last night while I sat glued to my homemade spreadsheet I heard a loud crash followed by skittering kitty feet on the hardwood floor. I meant to get up and see what they broke, but I got distracted by a new function ("NetWorkDays" - it figures out how many non-weekend days there were between 2 given dates. It can even subtract holidays if you give it a list of dates. Genius!). Several hours later I walked out to the living room and found this:

The little terrors tore down my curtains. I thought that only happened in cartoons! You can imagine how shocked I was when I realized the entire cul de sac was able to see inside my living room for most of the night. I'm SO glad it's winter and I was wearing pants. If this had happened in the summer you would be hearing a much more embarrassing story.

Don't worry about the curtains. The rods were slightly bent but you can't really tell. Ta da!

Friday, February 5, 2010

February finds a drift

I have no excuse for my lack of blogging, other than sheer apathy. I can barely remember the month of December. I think there was sushi and sleeping in til 12 (okay, 1) and mailing Christmas gifts to darling nephews. We had a huge snowstorm on Christmas Day which I braved to get to the parents' house - only to leave again an hour later because I didn't think I could make it home in the dark. I was right, by the way. When I got home after 3 hours of driving I looked at road conditions online and saw that MODOT and KSDOT had closed the highways behind me. I never want to drive through that kind of weather again!

I spent the month of January working as a temp for a former coworker. She only needed me for 4 weeks but the pay was excellent and I had been bored out of my mind at home. I've been lazy this week, just sitting around watching TV and whistling shrilly (it drives the cats crazy, I love it!). On Monday I start my new job. Yes, I said NEW JOB.

Remember my awkward and embarrassing interview in October? Read about it here and here. I got a rejection notice in November, which I kind of expected. Then a few days before Christmas the hiring manager called to see if I was still available. They hired a temp from their IT support group, but that temp got a better offer from another company and left a month later. The manager said he had wanted to hire me all along but went with the temp because he was already trained on their systems. I'm kind of shocked that he liked me and remembered me. I thought I was a major dork!

The timing of the temp job and full time job was almost perfect because it took about a month to get all of the background checks, drug screenings and approvals together. I was finally offered the job last week. I am considered a new employee and they're not going to bridge my years of service. I was pretty angry about that, however a job with benefits is a hell of a lot better than sitting around collecting unemployment. I'm getting excited now. Truth be told, I'm also feeling a bit smug. We'll see how long that lasts!