Sunday, November 25, 2012

Moody Movember

Been quiet again lately.

My brain has been doing its usual thing of thinking about all sorts of things, usually at random but when it comes to seeing and clicking that "new post" button, it hasn't quite happened.

I think I'm still in a hide mode, where I'm thinking more of recovering than anything else. But it's not just that. I possibly suffer a little from Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is one where the turn of the season switches something in your mind towards "It's dark out there, you should be sleeping." There's a bit more to SAD than that but that's the basic premise of it. I'm quite tired right now and in need of a break :

Been fighting this skin thing for a while and it grinds you down
Breaks from work not giving me much benefit
Treatment sometimes being worse than illness
And that tendency to SAD

Does that read a bit like "Sleepypete needs a hug" ? Per'aps.

I do feel very much worn down but that's mostly from not recovering from what ended up being a nasty situation at work. You expect your bosses to take an interest in what you're doing and to steer you in the direction they think you should go in. But when that steering becomes outright interference and later direct sabotage of what your stated objectives are, that's when the stress level starts to ramp up.

What I do depends on a steady flow of information. And what this particular individual was doing was to systematically remove me from the meetings where I could get that information. His last act of doing that came directly after hearing one of the other people at his level pass on a "Pete really helped me out in that meeting" with me then being immediately removed from attending the next review. I saw my role in that particular review as support, feeding information to the people who needed it, while drawing in information to discuss with others who were not a part of that review. I'd not be totally quiet though, I'd be reporting on a few of the defects that were our organisation's responsibility.

And sabotage like that had been steadily increasing over his period in post (note I do not say "in control" there).

There's a lot of distinct styles associated with meetings. There's the type that have to be constantly saying things. It doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be related to the subject actually under discussion. But they have to be seen as actively involved in the discussion. That's the Long Screwdriver type that cause huge amounts of interference and damage in projects.

I'm a much quieter person. I will listen hard to everything going on in a meeting and will be actively collating all that information together. I'll make judgment calls as to whether I need to pass something on to people outside the meeting. And that often happens because meetings can't involve everyone because they're a time sink.

I'll talk when I need to, not because the Long Screwdriver instinct says I should be.

The problem comes when the Long Screwdriver person's behaviour gets reinforced by apparent progress made when they're around. They don't seem to realise that we'd have been getting on with it anyway and we'd have got on with it better without their interference.

Case in point - several problems we're tackling now have their roots years ago when a collection of these Seen And Definitely Heard people were involved. (There's been quite a number of them)

This all sounds like a rant doesn't it ?

There's a definite separation between Professional Behaviour and how people actually are.

The big target of the rant above is actually a great person. He inspired a certain kind of loyalty, despite all the interference. A long time ago I worked directly for one of the other people I've vaguely referred to above and would defend him without question. I saw his workload back then, the documents he worked from and I'm not surprised deeply significant critical details were missed out (because the source documents were misleading). But I know how hard they worked and could see how much effort they put in to getting things right. His only fault was to not get his helper (me!) involved when he was getting overwhelmed.

That's one thing I'm struggling with at the moment - summoning the energy to put in. And I think that's showing with the tendency not to hit that "create post" button here. I'm ok at work when I'm powered by Coffee, Crunchies and Pepsi Max but the crash comes at home. (Not needed the Crunchie & Pepsi Max for a while!)

I'm still battling the skin thing, although it's hugely better than it was a month ago. I'm nearly clear on all parts of my body, with the red inflamed bits steadily receding. There's still a few holdout bits but the treatment gel stuff is very effective with those. However, I'm having to balance treatment with looking after the rest of me - hip hates me right now.

This weekend has been a chilled out one, filled with sport. Yesterday saw As-Live coverage of the cricket from India, it starts at 4am and finishes at 11am so the hours are hostile for watching it in the week. But it's ok for a weekend. Follow that yesterday with England v South Africa rugby and then the Grand Prix qualifying. Today it's As-Live cricket again, which will finish neatly before the Grand Prix starts. I'll be able to watch a little of the build up too.

There's also Strictly Come Dancing too, hopefully Michael & Natalie will keep going, although I suspect they'll be in the dance off. There's a lot of great dancers in Strictly this year, any of the ones left in now could win the whole thing, it's that open.

I'll close out with Movember - I had a head start here because my face was a bit torn up by the spreading infected excema. I cut the beard but kept the 'tache for Movember. It's a fairly decent one too, maybe I'll grab a picture :-)

But - I promise - in a week, it's gone. Lol. It's annoying and is getting in the way.

And I suspect that promise to remove it will come as great relief to all who know me.

Right ! Back to the cricket and firstly, enough munchies to see me through a few hours where I'll want to touch as little as possible. And then - more gunky treatment ... (Cross fingers I stay warm!)

PS I'm on the busses to get into work next week, which is due to more of those Long Screwdriver people ... We have a huge site where I work but. The Long Screwdriver mob are insisting on squeezing more people into it than can fit so they can close other sites. That's in terms of how many desks we have for them as well as car parking space. Yet no one of sufficient seniority has raised their flag to say "What the hell are you playing at ?". They just accept the squeeze as normal business. Instead of going "Ok, we'll make this happen by abusing our workforce" it should be "There is no more room on this site, stop squeezing more in". We're expected to cope with about 75% of the room needed to fit everyone in. It doesn't work. And they wonder why the workforce keeps giving the senior management votes of no confidence in the yearly surveys ...


  1. Tis the season for stimulants.... LOTS of stimulants!

  2. Muahaha - the Pepsi Max + Crunchie combo is almost as good as a packet of Mini Eggs or Smarties :-)

  3. I take St John's Wort & Ginseng on a regular basis.... and Pepsi Max [grin]


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