It looks like my temporary assignment is coming to an end. I’m scheduled to finish on 5th November. There’s been a definite improvement in my mental health whilst I've had this job – since I ditched Lifeline at least – and it would be great if I could keep it at this level after I finish. I’ve maintained a constant level, or close to it, for a month now; I can’t remember the last time I managed that.
This job is nothing special but that's almost the point. Nothing special means nothing stressful. Saying that, I’m achieving more on a daily basis than I was in my last job and I even feel I have some skills that come in handy here. For instance earlier this week my boss wanted to know how to calculate the GST component of a claim on the new rate. He was impressed when I showed him; in my previous job somebody else would have made a swanky macro which gave you the answer in a fraction of the time.
My boss is a no-nonsense character who has worked for the company for 25 years. He smokes, is about five stone overweight, and has no time for corporate growth days or other such rubbish. And man does he like to swear. I have a tendency to count things, so one day I tallied all the mentions of his f-f-favourite expletive; the count reached 28 by the end of the day. The next day – a particularly bad day for my boss, I think – he dropped a whopping 59 F-bombs. I haven’t counted since. For all his effing and blinding, I find him strangely charming.
Last Saturday I attended the Asperger’s group. It was good to see everyone, including a few people, but it wasn’t easy to make conversation. It gets quite noisy there at times, and when you do have a conversation, someone else is always likely to interrupt. That of course is a common symptom of the condition.
On Sunday morning I met up with Phil who has been living in Denmark since January. I don't know how his relationship with his girlfriend has been going, but he hasn't found Denmark easy. He's can't get residency, which means he can't get a job (not that there are many jobs to be had over there anyway), which means he can't offset the high cost of living over there. He said he regrets making the move and would like to extend his stay in New Zealand, for good if possible. We played two games of pétanque, winning one each (I won the second game on a sudden-death end). The annual Waiheke tournament is in two weeks so it was useful practice.
On Monday night I continued my run of close tennis matches. We played the doubles first and I really felt like the weakest link out there. It reminded me of playing football at school: the more I avoided touching the ball, the better our team did. Superman's big serve and general aggressive play kept us in the match, even if the other team were clearly better. We somehow won the first set 7-5, but we went down in the end, 6-3 in the second set and 10-7 in the super tie-break. We did well to run them so close. My singles match was a strange one: it took my opponent some time to get into the match (he said afterwards that he struggled to read my "unusual" style of play) but once he hit his straps he was unstoppable. I won the first set 6-2, and when I clawed my way back to 5-all in the second I fancied my chances, but I eventually lost 2-6 7-5 6-2. I had no regrets: I played about as well as I could and was in good shape physically right to the end, but in the third set he had far too much firepower. Overall our team lost all six of our matches; five of them could have gone either way.
On Tuesday I tutored that 16-year-old boy again. I think he's a smart kid but just a bit lazy. He's quite happy to do the bare minimum he needs to get through the exam.
Last night we had the men's group. We watched the second half of the Aussie film Malcolm. Bloody good fun. Made we want to go to Melbourne again.