Saturday, November 7, 2009

Watch this space

Yesterday's mystery team building wasn't as bad as I'd feared. Predictably we started with a planning session. In the past I'd have found all that marketing claptrap incredibly depressing, but because I've decided I won't be there much longer, I was able to let it all wash over me. And there was an awful lot of claptrap. We even had a quote from Nelson Mandela. I struggled to see how this particular quote had a deeper meaning of, er, "we need to make more money". The word silo was mentioned several times, or should I say a significant quantum of times. I thought a silo was one of those great big cylindrical things used to store grain; I couldn't really see how it related to an insurance company. There's also been a recent trend to use the word space when talking about subjects totally unrelated to square footage, or indeed interstellar travel. "We need to enhance our competitive position in the income protection space." "We need to achieve better results in the profit space." What's wrong with "we need to make more profit"? I really wish some people could do less talking in the bullshit space.

In the afternoon we went go-karting. Again. This is the second time we've been go-karting in a matter of months. When I finally do leave my job I still won't have a clue how to use Microsoft Access, or any of the other complicated programs we use, but I sure will know how to go-kart. I was a bit apprehensive about the go-karting yesterday, mainly because we were put into teams and raced each other in a potentially embarrassing relay format. But it was actually quite a lot of fun and there was nothing to be even remotely embarrassed about. Afterwards we had drinks, though I didn't stay for long. I did however get to meet our new CEO who happens to be a pom, so we had something in common at least. He also does Iron Man (a.k.a. Bloody Stupid Man) triathlons, and that's where our similarities ended. But he did seem to be a really nice bloke.

Today I played tennis for the first time in a little while. Getting on the tennis court gives me a good indication of the state of my mental health. After today's marathon (but not quite Iron Man) effort it would seem I still have some way to go in my recovery. Fifty-eight games, six sets, 32 players competing, it was far more than my brain could handle. We lost the men's match 6-1 3-6 6-2, mainly because one of our opponents was very determined to win, far more so than me. It's funny how I'm a lot less bothered about the results of my matches than I used to be. In fact I'm less emotionally attached to most things than I used to be. Whether that's something to do with my medication I don't know.
It was in the mixed match that everything caved in on me. We'd both been playing well - we took a 7-5 3-1 lead - but I started missing a couple of easy shots and even though we still had our noses in front, suddenly I didn't want to be there. Our opposing bloke took an age between points; this frustrated me because I was desperate to get off the court. I resisted the temptation to bash myself over the head with my racket, instead taking my anger out on the fence, but a few games later I punched myself in the forehead. Not particularly hard, but I can still feel it now. Sitting here at my desk in front of the screen, I couldn't imagine wanting to injure myself. But there are certain situations (long interclub tennis matches being a prime example) where tension gradually builds up within me, until finally, crack!
My serve had been working well for me all day, and at 5-4 in the second set I served for the match. I threw in two double faults, dropped my serve, and in no time the set was gone, 7-5. The third set was all a bit of a blur. I talked to myself a lot ("this is too hard, life is too hard") and sometimes even relayed these sentiments to my partner, who had developed a real dislike to the bloke on the other side of the net. I'm not sure what happened, or how it happened, but from 2-4 down we won four games on the bounce to take out the match. After our miraculous win, I had a chat with my partner. This was the third time I'd played with her; I felt I ought to give her some idea of what was making me literally beat myself up.

I've got more puzzles to send off to the States, so I plan to spend a solid day on them tomorrow. It was good to meet up with my aunt and uncle on Thursday. We ate at Mint in Takapuna; I had a "meat lovers" pizza. They were encouraging me to come down to Christchurch and look for a job here, but I think I'll be staying in Auckland for the time being. In my current state I really think I need some stability.

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