Posts tagged frustrations
Posts tagged frustrations
Microsoft Powerpoint for Mac 2011, you are the DMV of computer software. Simple things like adding music to a slideshow and exporting it as a movie should be simple and not take three hours.
Today was like many other day, nothing spectacular. I was working in a job I worked for months to get, but the honeymoon had ended weeks ago. I found that the job I was in was not one I wanted for my life, which came as somewhat of a disappointment to me. I have been actively finding a way to change my role since then.
In the process, I found that I really enjoy graduate school and what I am learning about. Not only that, but my fellow staff and the faculty are incredibly supportive. I was hoping to land in such an environment in my job, but it was not to be.
Tonight, we have a home basketball game, the first of the season. I also usually have class on Mondays. I addressed this with my boss.
“You’ll have to miss class, it’s our first game. The whole reason you are in that program is because you came here to work.”
I didn’t say anything, but it showed me plenty about where my values lie.
“No, sir, I am in the program because I had an opportunity to earn a master’s degree while I worked. School has always been the first priority, it is the one thing that could have jeopardized my job security. You are correct in saying that I originally came here to work for you, but - after giving that a try - I can safely say that I am no longer interested in doing that or pursuing this career path. Instead, I believe my efforts will be better served elsewhere, where I have an opportunity to help others regularly, collaborate on innovative projects, and improve people’s lives. That’s what I am about. I am grateful for the opportunity, I am. That said, I need to do what is best for me - to ensure the thing that I value most of all, my personal health and happiness. It is clear to me that we do not value the same things, so I think it best we part ways.”
That was the moment my dream altered course. This is not the outcome I originally intended, but it is where I find myself today.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my roommates. We had a nice, classy dinner at Pizza Ranch and I recommended that we partake in Rock Band after I take care of my work. I took care of my work, and when I came home I asked:
“You guys ready to rock?!”
“No, Dan. The world championships of my favorite MMO RPG is on and we’re going to watch it.”
I just found out my roommates are part of the ongoing problem in my apartment building of people not cleaning up after themselves and throwing trash all over the building. Apparently it has gotten to the point where the managers are now searching through the trash trying to find the culprits. My roommates were caught dumping trash into the laundry room, which is a no-no. I saw the offense myself while doing laundry last week.
My roommates had people over on Friday too, which spiraled out of control. I had the whole floor over at my place until 5 a.m. - and I was trying to sleep through it.
In addition, I can’t but help that I am walking on eggshells at work. I realize I’ve been on the job a month, but I don’t like feeling like I’m constantly making mistakes.
Class is good though, I enjoy that. I just wish I was able to spend more time working on it instead of dealing with other people’s crap.
I went about scheduling an eye doctor appointment, I discovered that my health insurance plan does not include vision benefits. (Which is another issue all together, but let’s not open that can of worms. I fell adamantly that the US should have a national health care system like the rest of the industrialized world.)
The eye doctor’s office called me this morning, following up on the insurance situation, and had left a message. I told my mother about the situation and that we’d have to pay out of pocket.
I returned the eye doctor’s call, and my mother was in the background listening. She told me as I was on the phone that they would expect payment in full at the time of the appointment. Then she asked:
“Ask them if you need to pay something when you get to the appointment.”
Did you just ask a question you already knew the answer to? C’mon, now.
It’s a pet peeve of mine when someone asks a question they already know the answer to, for a couple reasons.
Now I will say that there are occasions when people do this unintentionally, although I think that most people are adept enough with nonverbal cues to pick up on that. What causes me the most frustration with such questions are the fact that they insult the intelligence of the person being asked.
Forgive me, I had to wait to break this news. I heard back from the people at Whitworth and they offered the Assistant Sports Information Director position to another person - in a close and difficult decision. I’m afraid there’s not much else to say other than I was overwhelmed by the positive support I received and can expect to receive moving forward.
I had a poor night of tips to boot. Grrr.
I wasn’t having a good day. I returned home today after spending two weeks house sitting near Denver’s Washington Park. “Wash Park” is a hip, swanky, park of town. During the two weeks I spend living by it I never went to the park itself or took advantage of the many amenities near it. Instead, I spent a tremendous amount of time inside watching TV - primarily the European championships. When I did venture outside to walk the dog I always cut our walk a block short of the park before turning back to the house.
When I arrived home I was upset with myself for not taking advantage of a favorable and desirable situation presented to me through house sitting. I was also upset that I failed to begin a research project for my ongoing job search. I wanted to find 15-20 schools based on several criteria (enrollment, location, number of sports, conference alignment) that would be desirable places to pry my trade and pursue a career in an athletic department.
As soon as I returned home, my family began bombarding me with questions since they have not seen or dealt with me for a while. While they are doing nothing wrong, I was not in the right frame of mind to enlighten them with the details of the past two weeks. That story was more tragedy than comedy. I did not want to return home but I also did not want to house sit. I found myself in that awkward middle state, where I felt out of place regardless of where I ended up. I was feeling sorry for myself, bitter, and doing what I could to protect/prevent myself from being overly excited/optimistic about the prospect of starting my career at Whitworth.
On top of all that, I had to deliver pizzas. A straight-forward, mindless job that is equal parts salvation and humiliation.
My third delivery of the evening was the largest one I had ever done. Garlic bread, two gluten-free pizzas, one small pizza, one large pizza, and a six-pack of Coke.
When I looked at the ticket, and saw I would require the largest bag we had, I was optimistic about the tip I would likely receive. I figured I was delivering to a birthday party, surely a large get together.
I found the location relatively easily, and as I pulled up I noticed I was the only car in the parking lot.
There was a reason for that. As I drove up I saw that the majority of the residents of the apartment complex were blind.
On the second level, a young woman was leaning against the balcony. She confirmed that I was at the right place.
“I have to call some people to get some more money.”
“That’s fine,” I replied, unsure if she was one of the blind residents. “Would you like me to bring the pizza up [to the second level]?”
“That’s probably best.”
She made a phone call and moments later, the rest of the party emerged on the lower level. There were five of them, all women. One was older and seemed to be mentoring the other four, who were probably in their late teens-early twenties. They were all blind. They filed out of the lower room, single-file, following the voice of the older woman as they used their canes to follow the grooves of the sidewalk to the stair way.
When they all reached the upper level, they figured out the payment. Paying for food is always an adventure with five or more people, and this was no exception. The young woman I encountered first payed me. She was not blind. Still, I sensed she could use a hand.
The party entered the upper level apartment, as I followed through the door, I noticed there was no furniture in the apartment aside from a small table near the rear. I made my way there carefully; they stood still, but I was anxious that there would be an incidental collision.
I put the food on the table and sorted out each of the items. The young woman who was helping the blind put each pizza in a spot so they could all find their meals easily.
I made my way back towards the door. As I reached the door, a young blind woman was standing beside the door with her hand on the knob. As I announced I was leaving, she said:
“Let me get that for you,” and opened the door with a ear to ear smile on her face.
“Thanks. Have a wonderful evening.”
As I got back into my car and made my way back, I found myself getting a little emotional. I was given a chance to improve the lives of people with far greater obstacles than I have, and it put things in perspective.
My qualms suddenly felt less significant. The loathsome attitude I had instantly vanished, and I stopped feeling sorry for myself. To me it was like God had just woke me up from a nap by dumping a bucket of cold water on my face and said:
“Dan, you are good person. You never thought twice about helping those young women. You saw the opportunity and you did what was needed, as small a gesture as it might seem. The tip wasn’t important was it? You did the right thing, like you usually do. Stop thinking you aren’t good enough.”
Thanks, I needed that.
Most weekends I work at a baseball or softball game for my internship. This weekend I operated the scoreboard, keeping track of runs and counting balls and strikes. I did this for four games, sitting in a cheap camp chair in the 80 degree Colorado sunshine. Anyone could get used to this, trust me.
Alas, my idyllic existence was disturbed by another member of the game day staff who could only be described as a variety of “That guy.” He’s worked alongside me for the past few weekends. At times he’s been tolerable, although he has a terrible tendency to ruin the rapport he earns from me almost as soon as he receives it, usually by trying to prove a point that doesn’t need to be proven or that I don’t dispute.
I refer to this variety of “That guy” as Thatguyis alwaystryingtomakeapointus. Commonly referred to “A Last Word That Guy.”
Now try and understand this in the context of sports, or knowledge of sports. As many of you are aware, I know quite a bit about sports. It’s my default conversation topic with most of my peers. Today, “That guy” was assigned to keep track of the statistics and scorekeeping for the game on the computer.
At the end of the game, a part of the scorekeeper’s responsibilities are to print out the box score and play-by-play for the game and distribute copies to the coaches for each team and to the school’s media relations director if they are present. “That guy” did that, and the visiting media relations director came over to speak with him.
“Hey, you made a mistake. The pitcher should only have one unearned run, the rest would all be earned runs. The runner that reached base on an error would be an unearned run, but the rest would all be earned because of the home runs that were hit. Please go back and fix that.”
(For the sake of my brain and all of your brains, I’m am not going to go into detail about what an unearned run is and what an earned run is, it’s irrelevant.)
As I heard the visiting director speak, she was exactly right. I looked over at the play-by-play print out and confirmed it, based on my own knowledge (which is considerable.) I assumed “That guy” would recognize the same thing, because while he is obnoxious at times, he’s capable and knows the game.
I asked him if he was going to fix the mistake he made.
“No. Our guys checked it and they said it was ok, so I’m not.”
What? Are you for real right now? She’s right. You didn’t score that properly, and she told you what you needed to do to fix the mistake. You have the opportunity to immediately fix a mistake, so take advantage of it.
He didn’t do anything, continuing to deflect any sort of responsibility or admit that he made a mistake. What arrogance…
You see, for me, it’s important to get it right. It doesn’t matter to me that my own guys told me it was right. If someone can show me that I didn’t do something correctly or made a mistake and I can understand how or why, I remedy the situation immediately. There’s no shame in admitting you made a mistake or accepting help from someone who knows what they’re doing and knows what they’re talking about. To deflect responsibility and not own up to the mistake, thinking that you or your superiors are infallible is the epitome of arrogance.
So you proved your point “That guy.” Understand that now it means the statistics and records for the team you work for (and I work for) will be inaccurate and do not fully reflect that player’s performance. I don’t know if you think that matters, but I sure think it does, and I’d feel pretty shitty that I didn’t get things right when I had the chance. We have words for that: humility and integrity. Look them up when you have a chance, guy.