Tag Archives: stress

Almost One Month

20 Jul

I have two very good friends who recently came back from a month living abroad in Paris.

…They are multiple-discipline artists, who went, not as tourists, but to live and work amongst the natives. They are writers and painters and chefs and builders of bookshelves and boxes of homemade goods you can send all over the world, to administer creature comforts and small tokens of love to people you know…far and near. They had saved up their pennies and dollars and coffee allowances for god only knows how long, in order to secure that tiniest of flats with only a hot plate and toaster oven, in that magical city…because that experience was a requirement for their art and soul. So they made it happen.

…And so, (naturally) the leading question of nearly every person who sees them since they’ve come back, is more of a demanded statement: “Didn’t you just have the most amazing time ever?!?”

…And the answer: it isn’t quite exactly what one might expect. 

It is something like this:

“It was incredibly difficult. And we’re really glad we went.”

This does not mean it went poorly. This does not mean they didn’t enjoy it. It means: sometimes, even getting what you want is hard work. Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed no matter how prepared you think you are. Sometimes the language barrier, the tiny living conditions, the just not being where you know everything and where it is and should be, is stressful and exhausting and…a lot.

One month can be a long time.

…And I feel like all of that, is exactly where I am with this new job. 

Somewhere inside, I have to believe I am at the place I am supposed to be, but my fourth week in: my struggles are not rosey and beautiful. They are hard. Still. Like stress headaches and tear-bursting-while-on-the-toilet, kind of bad.

…I miss the stupid fact of just “knowing” things. I miss auto-piloting my day-to-day masses of crap. I miss being overwhelmed, yet still feeling fully capable. I miss that when shit came down– I knew how to fix it.

I have been, and always will be, my toughest critic. I expect a lot of myself. And yet I feel like a grace-period of a month is more than sufficient to not feel like this anymore.

…I’m in mutherfucking Paris!

…I should just be blissfully contented beyond relief!!

…Isn’t this what I wanted?! Isn’t this what I left for?! More money and some damn self respect? 

I’m the holder of a Company Credit Card. Head of all accounts. Unlimited spending on whatever the hell I need to make this place bop and beep to whatever the hell tune I want it to.

 …And yet…

One month in– I somehow miss that abuseful bastard job, like it was my own pillow.

What-the-actual-fuck, you guys.

I’m exhausted. Still. Only kinda more so. And feel too full to add any more in. I *think* I’m still glad I left, but that totally depends on the day. 

I saved up all my “hope” pennies, and dollars to get here…and it isn’t heaven at all. I don’t super understand the language. The numbers are kinda douchey, but they treat me like a person and buy me lots of really good coffee.

…Yet, I am still incredibly overwhelmed.

This is all to say: New job – still processing.

~D

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All The Whys

6 Sep


Omg, who is in charge of Retrogrades, and why are they acting like such an asshole!?! 

… This day has been predictably dickish  (coming back from a 3-day sales weekend),  but even more than necessary. To be gross and inappropriate  (because it’s my fucking blog and I can),  today has been a hung-like-a-Clydesdale-mid-f***,  kind of day. 

… Everyone (including myself)  has been an asshole to deal with, rail was late, trucks and builders were no-show, everyone is screaming at and about someone else, on multiple lines, and the urgency of getting a goddamn shed constructed this absolute second,  is on par with a heart or kidney transplant …and that is without exaggeration in the least. 

What the fuck is wrong with people?! 

The only break from insanity I received, was when Cecil stopped by at 1:30 to deliver a coffee and take me outside to breathe and not answer a phone for 20 minutes. Which helped for the 20 minutes, but not enough to really recharge to a necessary level required for Asshole #47 who wanted to go into his independent financials on how he could buy and sell our company ten times over if he wanted,  and if  I knew what was good for me,  I’d find a way to magic the rail delivery to before Thursday, “or else.” 

… It wasn’t enough to help with Bitchface #52 who needed me to know that I personally was totally ruining her daughter’s wedding because I couldn’t move our build lead-time to this Saturday. Or Asshat #29 that it doesn’t matter how much “extra cash”  you tell me you can throw at the deal, I can’t manufacture a builder from a stack of Jacksons, when they are already booked two months in advance.

I already don’t like people. Days like this launch me into festering-turd-hatred of them. 

… And tonight,I need to spend hours making dick jokes at rehearsal…trying to make them funny… when really, it’s just an autobiography of my retail working life, minus the sex. And also, nothing is funny right now!

Not even my go-to “This is fine”  Flaming cartoon:

… Or the fact that my sidewalk is growing tomatoes :

NOTHING!! 
WHY?!?! 

~D

Hello, From Away

18 Jul

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I’ve been kidnapped by friends to a two-story cabin on the Sound somewhere on the peninsula.

…In the last 21 hours I’ve cried (from laughing), sped through country mountain roads (in an orange, 1960’s convertible Mustang), walked the tide-flats, let the ocean lap and salt-water sooth away my Joan Crawford bloating, back pain and pressure, ate a homecooked carne asada with fresh everything marrying so many flavor bonus surprises, the tongue was on multiple orgasm delight.

…We siesta’d on the back porch with frothy fresh margaritas, watched the waves at magic hour, read a play so late into twilight, we finished with candles whipping their light every-which-way…too stubborn to stop or go inside. Later: attacking a cheesecake on a plate between us, each with fork in-hand…laughing and chatting late into the night.

…Awoke in the loft bedroom, by the sun poking in through the giant windows. Downstairs, side-steped a morning breathing and yoga regime by Lady M, to fresh coffee, and out with bedhead and no makeup to the already toasty deck.

“Think I’m gonna take a morning dip, in a bit…the water is just too delish,” The Prof says, in greeting.

“Mmm. Coffeeeee…….,” is all I can yet manage, gripping my cup while looking out…at a view that is cinematically ridiculous.

…Lady M joins us, Yoga-refreshed, cup in hand. And for the prob’ly three-dozenth time in these hours away, we are: three women…as the world so very rarely gets the chance to unabashedly see us. Real. Makeup-naked. No phones. No watches. Hairstyles: irrelevant. We don’t care how we sit in our chairs, various sizes of little round tummies, not sucked in as an outreach to vanity. Toenail Polish on the feet thrust out before us, chipped in places…because, who cares? We are three generations of womanity…so different in our ways and manner of walking through life, but so at ease and peace with one another and (most importantly) ourselves.

…It has been silent for a while, and we are fine with this. I look at our coffee cups a moment and grin. It’s too good. I have to share it.

“…Even the cups we choose give us away: The Prof, with her delicate demi half-sized pour, Lady M with her funky handmade look and shape, and me: the largest monster-mug in the cabinet.”

…We all laugh. At what it says about us. To ourselves, and each other.

This. This is the kind of life-medicine that heals better than any pill or salve. This is where I have been taken by one of my closest of close friends….who just gets me and all my failings and frustrations. This is where I’ve been shown, by example and expert women-strength, that it is hard enough being a strong woman, being an artist, being in “business”…being a “grown-up.”

….Sometimes you need someone to take the phone and the watch and the pretenses away and say, “Go. For 24 hours: let it go, and just ‘be.'”

….And so I have.

…Save for one little blog, while two women of a certain age, laugh and sing in the ocean just below me…being amazing inspiration. Without even trying.

Because, just “being, ” is enough.

~D

Enuf

22 Apr

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A two-week build up in the office, just dun popped it’s lid today.  I thought it was all just about last week’s blood moon weirdness, but this week proves that, no…people are just giant dicks.

…As if I need reminding. I work with them every day.

Silly me, I just assumed the build up was a bubble of assholeism hailing from the full-moon crazies that I’ve come to expect when one happens. Never mind happening across several days’ time.  But this week (and it’s only Tuesday) is trying to “win” last week in outbursts, inarticulate screamings, threats, order errors, miscodings, useless communication attempts, and physically impossible requirements being thrown at us…and that is only from Corporate.  Lets not even begin on how many pissy, high-maintenance, self-entitled, elitist asshole customers (insisting they are our only customer and the exception to every rule) also added to the already overwhelming mix.

…Which would be considerably less intense if say other people were in the damn office helping.  But The WHS Pimp is on site visits and product runs, and The Gnome is out at least once per day at prenatal appointments already racked into the dozens this month for inexplicable amounts of time at any given part of the day.

…So it’s just me.

Dealing with all this rainstorm of shit, while the orders are flooding in…reallocating schedules, correcting customer service fuck ups, talking down asshole screamers for a myriad of apparent reasons, booking jobs, running reports, getting payroll in, babysitting the grown men who work for us, conducting road show reminders and Canadian product shipments, prepping for our Alaska project, placing ads, and trying to hire more builders.

…This shit is INSANE. 

I am mentally exhausted and it isn’t even May yet. 

…Right now, I am NOT doing the slotted callbacks on my roster…just so I can just fucking breathe here…at my desk…for fifteen-consecutive-minutes, and blow this shit out on my tablet. 

Just get it out!

Out!

Out! 

…Before I work myself up so high, I bash my fist into the sidewall of that bank of filing cabinets over there.

I’m pretty sure my fist will survive just fine…but it took me three years to replace the hand-me-down bastards I inherited from the last Boss, with only two working drawers per piece…and frankly I just don’t want to have to deal with that again.

…It’d be “just another fucking thing.”

…And I’ve obviously got plenty to deal with as it is.

(giant intake of breath…knuckle crack, knuckle crack…neck swivel til it pops)

Okay.

Back to the pit.

“Fuck you, Tuesday…!!!!!! FUUUCK YOOOOOOU!!!”

…Right.  I’m going back in…

~D

Welcome To Purgatory, This Is Your Captain Speaking…

24 Sep

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…In the event of an emergency, please hang out unobtrusively where you are, and someone might (or might not) be with your shortly.

In the meantime, please enjoy your free packet of peanuts. Unless you are allergic. In which case:

…Welcome to Hell, this is your Captain speaking…

***

I’ve gone dormant and underground.  For a couple of days.  I have found out that in this day and age of constant status and text updating, it really freaks people out.

…So this is to the freaking out people: don’t freak out. That’s my job.  I’m basically on retirement pension.  I’ve covered the whole field so well, they decided just to give it to me as a whole package deal. With stock options.  Like when a sports player leaves and they retire the jersey number.  That’s me.  I’m just that good.

Anyway, this is where I’ve been for these past days.  In purgatory.  Which is a lot like free-floating space, really.  No general direction or force to be pushed in, so you just “be.” Floating there.  Waiting.

Waiting.

…Which we all know that actors are totally awesome at, right?

…So…where (at the moment) I can recognize that I am in “purgatory”… in reality, it’s felt a lot like the other place, with hellfire damnation and anxiety episodes riding one right after the other.  Prob’ly because they have, and it is, and has been.

…And that was just to do with shit at the office.

Other decisions needed to be made, that really sucked, as well.

And none of this is really “finished,” per se.  I’m still floating here. Still waiting.

Every day at the office, this week, is a possible “last.” I’ve pulled myself from casting possiblities in a show I’ve been wanting to do for like…oh, a decade… and I had a MOTHER of an anxiety attack Sunday night, to show for it all.

Because I’m a human.

That’s all.

And I know that.

But, still.

It sucks.

And now, we have reached the halfway mark. 

…The cusp of Wednesday. 

…I’ve thrown my hat into a new casting ring, last minute, which will offer more role challenge bang-for-my-buck…I’ve got two MORE top-brass Corporate big-wigs arriving at the office tomorrow…I’m on day two, of minion training.  They tell me the warehouse inventory numbers are off by around $118,000…I’ve spent two days now, trying to divorce my mind from performance-based Scottish, to re-invigorated Irish dialect by tomorrow’s callback at 7:30, and no matter WHAT, I HAVE to get my shit together by Thursday, so I can…you know…go on stage and be “funny” for two hours each, across the next four days.

And I will.

Cuz I’m an “actor.”

…We are pretty fucking amazing when it comes to resilience and crap.

In “real” life, not so much, but on stage? Move over Baby Jane.

So for now, I’ll just keep my head low, hug the turf, position my pads accordingly, and get ready for the inevitable whistle blow, when they finally pop the ball and this shit starts getting real.  Until then…

…Until then, I’ll just wait here.

…Floating in the nothingness.

…Waiting for whatever the hell comes next, to just show up and finally fucking happen.

~D

Auld Lang Syne

3 Sep

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Bonus night off from rehearsal as one of m’home Theatre’s got a mayoral proclamation for it’s own day (Sept. 13th), tonight.  This lost us our director for the night, as he’s the Artistic Director of said theatre, so: am home celebrating artistic awesomeness by partaking in some artistic awesomeness.

Tonight is old favorites night.

Currently “West Wing” is in the BluRay player, uncorked champagne (brut) on the coffee table (minus a little in my glass.) This has been limited to this final DVD.  A bit of work on a blanket I forgot I was working on back in the “Anne Frank” knitting days…

…After that: a hot bath.  Bath salts (out of bubbles), then to bed and finish another one of those zillion books by my bed.

Wednesday to follow, at the office, is infinitely better than a Monday or even Tuesday (also known as a late month-end.)

Our numbers are reached.  Our weekend orders are booked. Our contracts are printed and done.  Wednesdays.  They are this whole other thing. 

…A crazy week at the office anyway, as the facelift FINALLY fucking begins.

Paint and carpets show tomorrow (in raw form.)  My desk system (the first new thing I’ve EVER owned, besides a ballpoint pen, at this place of work in SEVEN YEARS) is still in it’s Staples box, in the lobby, waiting to be put together.  We are without the new computers, using the old crap, but what can you do with these people?  The fact that we got this far is a nigh miracle.

T-minus 2.5 weeks before the Big Brass Corporate office audit AND my show’s Opening Night.

So, no stress or anything.

…Least, not right now. Right now, I’m partaking of a lovely Port Townsend boutique wine shop purchased Spanish cava bubbly. 

Suck it, stress. 

I burped you out with dinner.

Meanwhile…how awesome is bubbly? Am I right?  It’s been far too long since I had this kinda fun. Weird how a little air and squished grapes could end up so happy, but damn if it don’t.  You should have you some. Just cuz.  I promise, you won’t regret it.  Unless you have the sweet stuff. Then there is plenty to regret.  Buy Brute! Always! 

I am just here to help you, guys!

And know what ELSE is awesome?  Tomorrow opens our city detour street after like a year or something of traffic being re-routed to down town and adding fifteen to twenty minutes to the daily commute.

DONE AT LAST!

…Plus, I’ll be riding a three day work week, as the paint begins on Friday.  We will all be remote-officeing via tablets and phones for the day, as they gut the offices and (God I only hope) paint the right things the right colors, and don’t put the carpeting in until afterwards.

(Again: always a gamble when betting on “competency,” and the person who calls the shots at this place.)

…But that’s DAYS from now.  Now, I have bath salts to pick from.  And whether I want some Sci-Fi, Austen, Murder or History to take a bath with.

(I think we all know, it’ll  be Austen. I mean, lets be real.)

Joy, oh joy, for well spent nights off! 

…And so ready to hit the stage tomorrow and tear that shit up.  With three days off my handcuff bruises have practically healed…time to re-brand and re-mark, babes.

~D

I’ll Auto-Pay Your Face!

5 Nov

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This new everything digital world really blows, a lot of the time.  And where it blows most is when your money is involved.

…’Member when it was bill-paying time, and you’d sit down with your check book and balance everything, and categorize all the bills in date order, and start John Hancocking until your hand would start to cramp and the ink on your pen would go out?  And ‘member how then you’d send them all out into the world, where based on postage times and then check holding, you knew you could easily buy yourself a grace-period of say 3-5 days, wherein even if the money wasn’t in your account now, it would be by then, and yet it wouldn’t be seen as a “late payment,” because the date on your check was within the window of time, and it wasn’t your problem that snail mail and lazy tellers were holding the money back from where it needed to be, cuz by that point, your job was already done?

…I fucking miss that.

…Now everything is automatic and instant.  There is no grace at all. In the period of time that you pop your tire, and need to buy a replacement NOW, (even being obviously unplanned and not in your budget), instant deduction is merciless.  Even the 75 cent candy bar at the gas station, comes out of your account before you’ve even opened the foil on the wrapper.

…And they try to sell this “automatic” world of deductions to us, like it’s a GOOD thing.  Like we will never have to worry about anything ever again, simply because our money is in their hands, and we can feel free to go whole months at a time without so much as seeing a literal penny of it. 

…Money is now, just a code of numbers to our banks and bill services.  It is nothing tangible and what little control we once had if it, is almost completely depleted now with the advent of “Automatic Bill Pay.”

I fucking HATE it.

…First of all…I don’t have student loans or a credit card, and yet I am so fixed on my income that I need to have total control of every dime at all times.  I do not live in a financial world wherein you can just suck pockets of money from my account anytime between the 1st and the 5th, or 15th and 22nd at random, for amounts that constantly change due to service use, and/or emergency non-budgeted needs…like a popped tire, for instance.

…I cannot have you just deducting things at your whim.  And I tell the bill-people this…because you HAVE to tell them it now, or–in keeping with the theme–they automatically enroll you in it.

I was put on hold for 54 minutes this morning to fight about just this, after checking my account balance.  Finally getting a human person, their mind was blown that I was upset for having to wait so long, and that they were moving my money without permission.

…$50, now gone.

Me: Who said you could auto-deduct the $50?

Them: Its automated process now. We just do.

Me: Not my money, you don’t. I already had this conversation last month, with some other guy at your location. You should listen to the recording of the conversation –that I know you have due to the fact you declared you were doing it at the beginning of this one.

Them: Well, we sent you a contract in the mail stating the terms agreed on in the conversation.

Me: Right, and nowhere on there did it say “automatic.” In fact I was very specific on that.

Them: Only twice at the beginning, of your recording, but at the end when he said–

Me: –Twice. Twice I stated it. So stop the auto-pay.

Them: …But in the letter we sent you, we indicated that the payments would be set up in this way.

Me: Which disregards my entire conversation with him?

Them: Per the terms in the letter–

Me: –Look, I didn’t sign any letter agreement–

Them: You don’t need to sign it. It is a paper copy of the original agreement made.

Me: It is not, or it would say that I distinctly mentioned it TWICE in the phone call NOT to auto-pay. Under ANY circumstance. My authorization was verbal then, and it’s verbal now…and recorded. Take the auto-pay off now!

Them: There’s no need to get upset ma’am…

Me: No?! You don’t think so?

Them: We can rearrange the agreement.

Me: We can put the agreement back where it was before you “rearranged” it to begin with, in that when the bill is due: I will pay it, with the several options of payment method allowed to me — up to and including a check –and not at any time involving you, sucking the money out of my account without my authorization. You got all that?

Them: Cancelling auto-payment. Yes.

…Look. I know it’s this chick’s job, on behalf of her company, to suck us all dry and stupid once a month with “procedure” and “contract negotiations.” I get that. But it doesn’t mean that knowledge will keep me from being pissed off about it, and — yes — even taking it out on her, because she happens to be good at being conniving. If she wants a pat on the back for her talents in this, she should look to her boss.

…I am going to take it personally when it is made personal, and I won’t feel even a little bit bad about being a dick to people, when it seems to be the only way to communicate with them. And I gotta say, what really is not helping them (in this world of “automated absolutely everything”) is being put on hold for nearly an hour by a machine, so you’ve been stewing already, and are pissed off ten times what you were before you even called to begin with, before a live human actually picks up the phone.

This is my statement to the financial world as a whole:

If you touch my shit without permission: I go all Lorena Bobbitt on you. That happens to be MY “automated process.” M’kay?

~D

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