Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Life is out there

I had a four-day course which meant a business trip. To an actual city with paved sidewalks, trams, actual shops with things - hey, I bought a bottle of anti-dandruff shampoo on a whim, just because my head started to itch when I was passing by one of the many pharmacies. On Sunday I felt bad from the very morning. I finished my course, passed the test (killed only three people out of 40 or so) and then had a meltdown in public, in front of a bunch of strangers. I sat on the staircase, crouched and crying for no apparent reason... yesterday, I had a meltdown because I was going back to work, to that bunch of assholes less competent individuals to a place in the middle of nowhere. I pulled myself together somehow but I became painfully aware that the job from hell is just what it is. No way I can be a manager. I can't be managing people if I'm so scared or inhibited to yell at them or to tell them what to do, preferring to cover up for their mistakes and do what they should be doing because it brings less discomfort than actually telling someone that they messed up. On the other hand, carrying beer kegs is good for upper body strength.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


I'm struggling with severe depression, which is probably already widely known.
On the top of it, there's some work-related stress, seasonal affective disorder and random crap.
I had a meltdown some time ago and got new psych meds which should work better. Or work at all.
The problem of psych meds is that they need their time and it seems to me that they finally kicked in, or at least I don't feel that bad. However...
My major issue is apathy. Or, it's not much of an issue because what the heck. Not that I would lie in bed and stare into the walls, I just go about my shit as diligently as possible but I just don't get involved emotionally too much, often not at all. My major feeling is Go away and don't disturb my circles. Five minutes after a minor bout of anger, I'm back to the general Meh, life.

I guess it's a coping mechanism. I just detest my work 99% of the time (the 1% is peaceful paper shuffling), I have hardly any time outside work and sleep and the brain takes it as it comes and as it goes. Floods in Bangladesh? Can't do anything about it, meh, next. My hair caught fire? Damn nuisance, hand me that bottle of water, let's open the window so that the place doesn't stink like burnt protein, meh, next.
There is some sort of meditative quality about this feeling that nothing really matters.

Or I'm deeply mentally disturbed. Not that I'd care.

Friday, 11 October 2013


A guy called. He asked whether we could lodge and feed a bunch of people for two days, I said Yes, sure, we have vacancies.

Then I got a long list of stuff to be served, including a roasted piglet, if possible.
I said Yeah, no biggie but for the pig, I have to ask my suppliers whether they'd be able to deliver it on time and I'll talk to the chef whether it's doable. I billed the advance payment and went to do my job, which is mainly organizing, yelling, headdesking and keeping sober despite the circumstances.

I asked the chef: Hey, would you be able to roast a whole pig?
He said: Yeah, sure, whatever, I'll manage somehow, I could get a pre-cooked pig from The Meatworks, it would be easier to deal with. And, party, you say, that will rock, can't wait for all the cooking, hooray.
I replied: Excellent, so the pig business is all yours, I'll provide the drinks and candy, right?
Chef responded with a big Yes and I went back to my usual worries.
On Sunday, Chef said Alright, this is fixed, that is organized and you get the pig. I remarked that he promised to get the pig, he mumblegrumbled something and said Oh, well, whatevs, get the pig.

I phoned my sales representative in Metro. I think he likes me, most of his customers need lots of boring things like flour and milk all the time while we the fancy hotel ask for exciting shit. He only gasped shortly when I ordered a pig and then promised to ask around whether we could get a pig on Tuesday.

I went back to my paperwork and my tired mind conjured a scene, in which the delivery driver unloads a crate of coffee, some beer, a few boxes of cookies and then hands me a piece of rope to whose other end a boar is tied, saying This is Louie and Lousie saying "Oink". I called again and said Please, I need the pig dead. Now, the Metro guy gasped longer, then laughed for a while and when he caught his breath, he asked Oh my god, what happened. Long time ago, he came to understand that things sometimes get pretty odd here, that I have damn good reasons to think three corners ahead. Eh... well..., for example. I was promised that the pig will be totally dead and gutted.

I called the Chef and told him that all is set, pig is ordered. Smoked or roasted, he asked.

- Nope, just raw.
- But I wanted it cooked.
- You asked me to get you a pig. You didn't provide any specs regarding its state so I made sure it's dead, right? I snarked. - It will take a long time to roast and it's complicated and it would be much easier if it were pre-cooked. Also, The Boss said that he once had a smoked pig here, why didn't he get a smoked pig, the Chef yelled at me.
- Dear, I groaned. The smoked pig you refer to, I happened to see it. It was a piglet-shaped ham. You know, because I explicitly warned you several times, that I'm no expert when it comes to meat. I can't prepare it, I don't know even theoretically how one deals with it, I don't even eat it that much and if so, then preferably thinly sliced. You wanted a pig, you have a pig, deal with it. (See, I'm being assertive at this point.)
- Mumblegrumble, but is the advance already paid, because, if they just order all that food and don't show up, we'll be left with a pig and The Boss said that unless the advance is paid, nothing should be bought, and, anyway, everything is your fault and the pig should have been pre-cooked because now someone will be roasting it for two days. - I'll deal with The Boss and you have a pig to deal with, riiiiight?

At this point, the Chef hung the phone. I hope he's offended indeed mortally so that I don't need to deal with him any more.

Later, the Metro guy called again that hey, cool, we'll deliver the pig tomorrow. Or on Friday, if it suits you better.
At this point, it was me who gasped. We have no such big fridge so I replied that while his diligence is laudable, I ordered the pig for Tuesday so would they please hang it in their walk-in hangar fridge.

The advance payment hasn't arrived yet. The group has been here quite a few times so I hope they would eventually show up... the pig business has been stressful enough already.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Gods laugh when one makes plans

I hoped this would be a neat semibusy week at work. Three events in a row, a few random guests, nothing much to fuck up.

The Universe thought differently.

It actually started on Friday. Dad didn't really want to throw a birthday party but various relatives urged him so long that he caved. Mom decided to invite the smarter and nicer folks a day earlier for a bit of friendly chitchat, which did happen indeed. I was in a shitty mood because I'm simply not a party person, the evening dragged on, I was tired so I went to bed, stared at the internet...
When I decided that it's time for Ambien and some sleep, the receptionist called that the other receptionist is sick or something, that the ambulance are loading her in the car. Alright, I said, I'll be there in a second. The other phone rung, mom started screaming that the idjit called ambulance saying she got mushroom poisoning and where are the mushrooms from etc. I know my shit so I said Frozen Mushroom mix, delivered by Whatever Ltd., one kilo packages, yellow bag with pics of mushrooms, acquired around a week ago, kept in the freezer, thankyouverymuch, I'll be there in a sec.
Before I found my jeans and further brain functions, problem was solved, the ambulance drove away and mom said that when the docs heard that it wasn't some stuff picked at the back door but storebought produce, they wanted to drop the gal off; mom however told them to take her away. The idiot sneaked outside through the lobby full of people, didn't say a word and if it weren't for a waitress walking her dog, I'd ask about her when she wouldn't have shown up for work. Because, you know, telling someone is a tough job.
There are two sorts of mushroom poisoning. In the first case, one gets violently sick and throws up everything and more, been there, done that, morale of the story: don't trust a mushrooming botanist.
The other sort of poisoning makes you yellow and you'll need a new liver.
Nothing in between, as the three M. D.s, one nurse and one pharmacist who were sitting in the lobby, having a good time, explained.

On Monday, the maintenance alerted me that the room the receptionist was using was locked from inside. As she supposed to be in hospital, it was suspected that her boyfriend sneaked in. She had already brought him to the house, he got kicked out, she whined that it's not fair, they want to be together etc, I said No damn way... and there we went again. I banged the door a few times with no response, decided to let the intruder have ten diplomatic minutes for getting out of there in a discreet manner, lather, rinse, repeat... and then I called the cops. I also phoned the receptionist, asked her, Do you have your keys with you, to which she replied a resolute Yes! and when I remarked that incidentally, someone is locked in her room from the inside, she started muttering that she'll fix it or some such.
The officers did their door banging and the guy finally deigned to open the door. I asked him to go away now, to which he replied that oh why, he just dropped by to pick his girlfriends' things and it's so mean to call the cops and what's wrong with staying there overnight. The police told him to grab his things and get lost and told me that they had seen much better acting jobs.
Later on, the receptionist came to pick her stuff, with boyfriend in tow, and they wanted to 'discuss a few things'. It took around half an hour, during which I was accused of being Meany Meanersson because there's no damage or loss incured when the guy stays here, and, well, the insurance wouldn't cover any damages or injuries he might have caused or suffered but nothing happened so it's all okay, there's nothing wrong in borrowing workplace keys to one's buddies when it's meant well, and, most important of all, they both want work and lodging or they'll go elsewhere, and why not lodge them when there's a plenty of rooms and that I betrayed their trust by calling the cops on the poor Mr. Entitled.
My serfs obviously had Christmas in October, heard me yelling twice in one day and that's good, they think I'm soft and malleable and it's good to have them a bit scared that the next dose of shrapnel may hit them.
Then, I wanted to go and grab a drink but I wasn't in the mood.

Next time: The pig story.
PSI: While I kept the 'bunch of idiots' tag for a certain set of classmates from long time ago, I'm reviving it because it's a damn useful descriptor.