Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Crashing the system

Julie rang me at work yesterday. I soon wished I hadn't picked up the phone. I sent her a letter last night, saying that I've had enough of all this depressing talk, going round and round in a cycle of negativity, and that it doesn't help either of us. I drove over to her place and put it in her letter box. There was no point talking on the phone, or in person, because she would just take over.

I attended a meeting yesterday on the 25th floor - some of my old colleagues from my previous role were there. I really really didn't want to know. At times I stared out the window - I could see the Basin, my flat, the old Hannah's shoe factory, and in the foreground a huge billboard ad for a bank - something about revolutions and leaders. Is there no escape from this bollocks? I did pick up a couple of things from the meeting. One, they might at some point be changing their crazy zigzag premium rates on some types of insurance. Two, it would be easy for any of us to completely crash the main system. It wouldn't be much more complicated than asking your calculator to compute a number that's too big to fit in the display. Only instead of just producing an error message, the whole system would die. The worry in the meeting was that the proposed changes could kill off the system without any direct human input at all.

There were some other things in that meeting, directly related to my role, that I didn't quite take in. I was at the meeting because they want me to take on new tasks, become more involved. Grow. Develop. I don't want any of those things. It's hard enough to keep track of the tasks I'm doing now. My head is all over the place as I have to shift my attention from task A to task B, then back to A again. Then to C, and so on, all in quick succession, and in a matter of minutes I've done a whole Genesis album. Put D and E in the mix and I won't be able to cope. And of course the last thing I want is any sort of career progression in the environment I work in. My old boss, who I still think of as my boss, is going for interviews at the moment. I can hardly bear the thought of those.

I think a lot of (most?) people at work don't really want to know any more than I do, but their aspirations motivate them to want to know. Some of the sales people, for instance, are really competitive, and that competitiveness (which goes beyond just wanting to make more money) drives them to increase sales. Being a salesman, especially when it comes to selling someone else's overpriced products/services/stuff, isn't something I've ever aspired to. Seeing who can sell the most stuff is, to me, like seeing who can fart the loudest. Both are talents, and both can be improved with practice, but I don't have any wish to excel at either of them.

I'm still enjoying Truth in Advertising. A lot of it rings true to me. He said he was quite happy renting, he liked the impermanence of it, but he bought a property anyway because that's what he was "supposed" to do. I've certainly been conditioned to buy rather than rent. "Whatever happens, the value of property never goes down," Dad told me several times. That wasn't far off the truth for most of the 20th century and the very early 21st, but with leaky homes and earthquake strengthening, getting involved in property now seems like a minefield.

To prove my point about car registrations in the UK, when I asked my brother how old his Audi is, he told me it was a P. No date, just a letter, which happens to mean 1996-97. It's a bit like rocks that you say are from the Cretaceous period instead of being however many millions of years old. That makes a lot of sense because millions of years are hard to fathom. By the way, it can be good to think of things like geological time when you're feeling depressed, because it makes other things (like whether you fit in with your work colleagues) seem insignificant.

My counsellor supports me in my plan to gradually reduce my dose of Efexor to zero.

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