Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
_refugee_'s badges
_refugee_  ·  77 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 5, 2018

I've had a kickass year.

Tomorrow I have 3 back-to-back interviews for a position I really want and have been encouraged to apply for from almost every angle.

I'll find out if I get it within another week.

Sounds like a number of people have applied. Sounds like, regardless of my encouragement, that competition will be real -- even if I am the favorite of the hiring manager(s) (which is an IF, not a CERTAIN) I can't fuck around on this; I gotta keep bringing it.

I had a good long talk with my sister last night. One thing we touched on was how I've been trying to change my life over the past year. She told me, "it's like you went to a therapist, except you just did it yourself." I showed her my gratitude journal and talked about how making minimal steps, minimal requirements to achievement, got me so far it was perceivable with a year's distance.

29, and nearly 30, and I think finally basically have come to terms with the last serious break-up. It took two years of thought and effort besides. I'm going on dates now. I have one I'm really excited about on Sunday, actually. Even my sister thinks he's cute. We don't have each other's numbers -- I told him I'd meet him to watch the Dallas/Eagles rivalry game go down, at the same pub where we met earlier this week when a friend of mine turned wingman. I found him on facebook, though, and I know his full name. I know how he feels about guns (when asked if he was carrying in the bar, he reacted with the very appropriate and appreciated shocked face -- yes, we have confirmed, it appears this one is sane). And various random other stuff besides.

There's a temptation to only reward oneself when there's a tangible success you can pin on it. "I can buy whatever I want with my bonus" or "I got a raise so I deserve a big fancy dinner" or "I'm promoted so I can really party wild" or "I lost 20 pounds so I can buy whatever clothes I want" or etc etc. While in the big picture I support the idea that rewards should be merited...

I f*n love the Rolling Stones. And I've wanted to see them for years. And pretty soon, at least one of them is going to die. And regardless of whether I get that job or not, of whether I get that promotion this year or not, of whether I lose those last 5 pounds before 2019 or not...I have worked hard this year. I have changed so much, most importantly my mentality. I've grown a sense of ownership and accountability and responsibility for myself, like I finally understand I can control my actions. Most if not all of them.

I don't need to achieve a specific, not-entirely-within-my-control goalpost to deserve these tickets. I deserve to treat myself with love and kindness and I deserve this crazy, ridiculous, over-the-top, once in a lifetime reward. I've got two tickets that cost more than discogs appraises my whole Stones collections at (well, on average at least). I don't need to know who's coming with me. All I need to know is, whoever I ask, they're out of their goddamn fucking mind if they don't feed blessed and immediately agree to accompany me.

Fuck yeah, rolling stones. When else am I going to see them. They ain't getting any goddamn younger.

_refugee_  ·  289 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 9, 2018x 2


I was getting ready for work this morning, and I had all the way gotten dressed, accessorized, and even did my hair braided, in two french braids tied off at the nape of my neck, when by that point all the looking in the mirror which that entailed started getting to me. I started second-guessing my outfit (even despite my never-before-failed orderly-life strategy of picking out my work clothes every night beforehand). I started second-guessing how I looked. I started thinking about Instagram models and the bodies of the people I work with (typical Bank Ass office bodies, generally) and I started trying to think about female friends I have who are my age and how they looked, and how they looked compared to high school, and so on and so forth. I started to stare at the mirror and ask myself, "What do other people see when they look at me? What must I look like through the eyes of other people? Do I have a big ass? I don't think I do, but my last kind-of-boyfriend keeps vague-posting about me on facebook and one thing he shared was about how he's an ass man and the girl he likes has a huge one...I never thought I have a big ass, really, but do I?"

I go through this whole exercise in pissing away thought and time into mirrors in exchange for racheting higher and higher levels of crippling gross feelings often enough. Pretty often. Maybe a lot. Depends on the week.

So anyway I kept looking in the full body mirror in my room at myself and asking, “Is this how normal people think and feel and think and feel about their bodies?” Then I’d go to the bathroom for some other reason and find myself looking in the mirror there. I’d ask, “How do normal people feel about their bodies? Is the way I feel about my body normal? I don’t think so, I mean, what normal person does this in the morning, especially a morning when they took care and time to look a little more-than-average nice in ways that require a little more-than-average self-care and you’d think self-care meant doing so was good for one, wouldn’t it?”

And then I’d walk through the kitchen to put something in my work bag or whatever and I’d pass the full body mirror on the way and at some point between all my askings about normal people I realized something. Maybe I had a breakthrough. I think it might be one, anyway. It feels like that, in my mind, honestly it feels like a literal break in the pattern and color of the thoughts I'd been weaving just as I'm using to weaving them all the time, and yes it feels like maybe now I can see through them. And there's light coming through over there.

To explain what happened I need to talk about something else for a minute. I’m working on a 5-year plan. Early on, mid-January or earlier, while I was just starting the entire project and fleshing it out, I stopped at some point. I thought, you’re making all these plans for 1, 2, 5 years out, refugee, but why? And I stopped all my tasking and goal-orienting and sometimes-you-can-get-too-caught-up-on-projects-and-progress-and-miss-the-big-green-point-all-around you. I took a trusty notebook and I wrote down, What kind of person do you want to be?

I gave it care and thought and came up with eleven words in the next hour or so. I didn’t let myself just rush to write down popular good virtues or etc; I asked myself, what kind of person is it important, to me, for me to be? and i weighed what i came up with until I decided I agreed with it.

I didn’t tie any major life goals back to those words, not specifically, not concretely, only maybe if you stretch the meaning and squint your eyes a bit. So they didn't actually drive my goals or my 5 year plan in any visceral way. However, taking that inventory did really seem to help ground me as I went through making my goals and breaking them into smaller goals and basically wiring up my 5-year-plan process/binder. Mentally, I think it gave me the ground I needed to stand upon and solidly create my plan of attack for getting what I want out of life. I think doing that gave me the fortitude to see the 5 year plan through, and commit to it, and work at it. And keep working at it, day by day.

So this morning, looking into mirrors and agonizing and asking myself all these questions which hinged on this strange word, normal, this word which usually frankly I disdain -- I thought, hey hang on just one minute. Normal, normal, normal, why do you keep saying that? Why are you fixating there? Put aside the question of “Am I normal or not?” because frankly, that answer doesn’t matter to the true issue at hand. The true issue at hand is that I don't feel very comfortable with my body and haven't since I was 12— what the fuck is any normal person going to know or be able to tell me about how to change that? Scratch everything about this line of tearing-your-hair-out making-yourself-madder-not-saner-by-following-it line of questioning and KILL the underlying train of faux-logic that’s driving it.

Forget everybody else, and what everybody else does.

And I sat down, and I opened my trusty notebook, and I wrote, “What’s the kind of relationship I want with my body?”

You know what I think now? I think me and my body? I think we might be going somewhere. At last. I think, starting from here — what do I want with what I have — and seeing it as a relationship, as a “Let me take care of you and you take care of me,” sort of deal — I don’t know, in my notebook I titled it caps-lock BREAKTHROUGH. and then I gave it an underline.



Before that happened this morning I was going to share with Pubski an old poem I dug up this week, 2011 sort of old, which you know what? Has stood up to time and is, surprisingly, still intellectually decent. A little morsel. It has a tone I think mk will recognize and like. Remember when we talked about a little detachment? I think I feel it here.


Happy hump day guys, on with the self-actualizing, good energy all around.


_refugee_  ·  679 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 12, 2017

hey perhaps more importantly I GOT AN ETSY STORE OPEN AGAIN

Got 9 listings up as of this AM but something like 5 additional book styles/covers need to be added before my total inventory's represented. What I'm saying is hit that F5 through the day and through tomorrow too and get me some pagevyaaas. Spend some money. Spam people with my link.

And in May I'll have a vendor table at a little local art hall event one of the bars I like holds every month. That is far scarier than the Etsy shop, fwiw. But I'm committed. Eek.

_refugee_  ·  850 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Insomniasexx and Randomuser weekend in Cali: Hubski Meetup

Actually, into his bag of holding.

_refugee_  ·  916 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 17, 2016

Hey dude,

I'm just going to interject here that KB calorie tracks daily and has been for years. I know this because I'm his stalker, duh. Not to mention that it's quite possible for an eating disorder to have long-term side effects on the human body. And let's not even consider what all else he might have wrong with him. I mean, dude's a little grungy. He's got that ponytail going...could have worms, maybe, you know, even?

Of course, you don't know KB as well as I do, or his eating habits, or exercise habits, or past history with food, or any of those things.

But I can assure you he already knows about CICO and that there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat.

Your comment would be totally in place if it was on r/loseit, and honestly, if you'd said it there, I'd probably have upvoted and moved on. It's just...KB's not a dumbass or a dilettante when it comes to cal counts, weight loss, exercise, etc. So I'm just gonna raise up and try to let you know as politely as possible, your comment here is coming across condescending as all hell.

And maaaybe I just saved you a verbal whipping by doing this. (But not if you get defensive about what all I've just said. Cuz I'm trying to be nice here, I really am, and it's not something I even try very often.)

_refugee_  ·  1065 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Today on "Questions you'd never think would be asked"...

whaholy fuck

Here's a really offensive idea, why don't you just have an amnio and if it comes back "your kid will be disabled" STOP HAVING THE KID ANYMORE

OK, OK, that clearly won't solve for Example Kid #1, but still. I'd advocate for that way before I could get on board with making disabled kids permanent kids.

I find this disgusting.

_refugee_  ·  1077 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The other side of "doing a job you love"

Reality: not as good as it first sounded

_refugee_  ·  1106 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Free speech is exhaustingx 2

You don't have to tolerate hate speech. You can argue against it or you can go somewhere it can no longer reach you.

You aren't required to engage with speech of any form, hate or otherwise.

OP may feel he has a moral or personal obligation to speak up against certain kinds of hate speech. Kudos to OP, he is doing a valuable service. However, that's his choice and it's not mandated by any entity and he can opt out at any time.

You aren't required to enter a debate with hate speech. You aren't required to accept hate speech. You aren't required to believe it.

Hate speech is protected because it is speech, and because defining sub-types of speech into categories like "hate speech" cannot in any way be imagined as objective. And if we start only protecting subjective sub-categories of speech we are in for a much bigger world of trouble than having to hear the college religious nut go off about abortions again.

War - this is honestly more directly aimed at you, tbh.

You don't have to engage in free speech or provide responses to hate speech. Some would say that not reacting, that ignoring hate speech, denying it an audience, is the best thing that you can do.

I don't agree. I think it is vital to speak up against perceived wrongs; we all have our own set, but for instance, say something blatantly racist or sexist in my eyesight and I'm going to call you out on it.

Except you're totally right. It's exhausting. Sometimes you want to just have a conversation. Sometimes you just want to vent about your day. Sometimes you want to just feel calm, not incited to anger, not riled up. Sometimes you want to just walk away. The more standing up against hate speech you do the more exhausted you get.

But you are standing up because you choose to stand up because you see an injustice and refuse to let it stand. To me that is real character. It is a person with no skin on the line other than being a witness who says, "You know what? No. I will not be a witness to this, I will not let this stand." You are standing up because you know it sucks but someone has to do it, you know someone has to do it, and you aren't going to sit on your ass looking around for "someone." You'd sit on your ass forever if you did that.

Having character, having things that you as a person stand for, and then backing those morals and beliefs up with frequent refusals to tolerate those who propagate ideas and lifestyles which are completely counter to those morals? That is exhausting. Especially if you are a decent person who sees nuance in things and doesn't want to fight people all the time. Who wants to like people, give them the benefit of the doubt, who doesn't want to be seen as aggressive or antagonistic or "that fucking annoying fucker, bringing up race arguments again." (I imagine the Westboro Baptists do not find themselves particularly exhausted at the end of the day; I imagine they cackle with glee, actually.)

It is exhausting to stand up for what you believe in. But the only reason you are able to do so is because of free speech.

We cannot limit speech based on our feelings about the content because what will end up happening is that others will limit our speech because of our feelings and our content. We can only choose whether or not to tolerate it; to serve as an audience; to speak up, debate, or challenge it.

There are users here who have left because they got tired of standing up. More's the pity: no one has stepped in to fill their shoes. And that's what happens when voices of dissent get beaten down into silence, they stepped all over, forced to repeat themselves and their arguments again and again, forced to reduce their existence to constantly arguing with different bigots over the same shit every day because guess what? There will always be more bigots. There will always be more innocent ignoramuses.

It fuckin' sucks.

All I can say is shoulder on and be the voice of dissent and keep being it. Because the voices of dissent are vital, and few, and necessary.

_refugee_  ·  1140 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Radicalizing the Romanceless

Democrats and the tea party differ only on the surface.

_refugee_  ·  1169 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Interactive Map: How Many People Have Been Shot Near You This Year?

WARNING; you incited a small novel. (Many people from DE flee DE and gladly put it behind them. I feel the opposite. So I thought about why I stay a fair bit.)

I have lived and worked many different places. I grew up and went to college and all in DE, so I'm a true native, although my family stayed in suburbia and out of Wilmington for the most part. I've never lived in Wilmington proper before (though I have lived in one or two other 'bad areas' of Delaware; at one place there was a shooting on my street, no injuries though).

Currently, I work in Wilmington and have for the past 3 years (nearly!) because that's where my job is. Wilmington is a big center for banks due to Delaware's business-friendly tax and incorporation laws, so there is a lot of opportunity in my field there. I am moving to Wilmington because I wanted to get out of Newark, because I was frustrated with it for a number of reasons, and I helped my friends move into a great apartment complex (in a good part of the city on the outskirts of town) and decided to seize the opportunity, move somewhere really nice, and also get to be near/with friends.

Those aren't necessarily very strong reasons to answer, "What's keeping you in Wilmington?" but I wanted to start out with them because I think me being in Wilmington is more of a "thing that happened" than continued active decision. More specifically in response to your question, I freely admit I am a Delaware girl, have always been in love with the state, have always loved the parks, suburbs, and general feel of the area of DE in which I've grown up and lived. I like to quote Lord of the Rings when Bilbo speaks to Gandalf about Frodo: "He's still in love with the Shire." There are people I've grown up with who couldn't wait to leave DE, and denigrate it in their wake. There are people I know who scoff at people like me who (although not technically correct in my case; I've lived in PA and MD, too) "have never left." Heck, there's lots of literary tropes about how small towns are evil, or bad, or small-minded, or if you want to grow and develop as a person you need to leave them. Lately I have been thinking that there seems to be a general air of disdain, often, about people who "never leave" their hometown. But why? What is wrong with loving the area where you grew up, and continuing to love it, and staying there? - I don't think anything really. But sometimes people try to tell you that such feelings are hokey, or that people who stay are people who "never go anywhere," instead of maybe "people who love this place and want to stay." That's more what's keeping me in Delaware, though, not Wilmington.

I can't help working in Wilmington unless I were to move to another state where we have other worksites, or began WFH full-time (which I do not want). I have considered on and off moving to VA - work's HQ is located there; the housing market's pretty buyer-friendly; I've always wanted to live in a slightly more southern climate (weather-wise); etc. But recently while discussing this with a coworker she raised some potential pitfalls to doing that, which frankly bother me enough at the moment that I've decided for now, I definitely don't want to move to VA.

In the meantime, MD tax rates are just freakin' ridiculously high, so I have no interest in moving there (lived just over the border in MD for a year which is how I know that). I enjoyed living in PA but no longer have anything that draws me there; my brother has graduated and moved to Portland for grad school, the friends I lived with have all coupled up and are living with their S/Os and not looking for roommates, and I no longer have a job in PA either, one of the reasons I moved out there in the first place. So if I were to move, the states nearest me that would allow me to keep working out of Wilmington aren't good options in my mind, so I'd have to move further away and probably transfer to a different work site.

And right now, there's simply nothing persuading me to do that. I mean, I guess you could cite Wilmington's crime rate and say that should be a persuasive factor, but I don't have a family and don't plan on starting one in the short-term. Most of the Wilmington crime is drug-related and usually committed by male persons of color against other (often also male) persons of color. Some parts of the city are very, very bad, but I don't live there, work there, or go there, so the impact - besides being aware of it - is minimal. I have friends who are very committed to Wilmington and they feel strongly about standing by their city and working to redeem the community there, as opposed to simply fleeing and abandoning the city to fall into itself. I do think there is a point there that is valid, although I'm no city's savior or martyr and know that.

Meanwhile so much of my life is in Wilmington, Newark, and the surrounding areas. Many very dear friends, many very dear memories, my current boyfriend, etc. Honestly, I was saying at Thanksgiving the biggest drawback about living around here is that there is no way I can get out of going to my family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, unless I want to have absolutely NO relationship with my family - and I'm not there, by any means.

Once I wrote a poem that began,

  "I live inside my memory, I cannot help it." 

I really love revisiting past places, past times, past moments. I love the comfort of knowing how to get places. I love running into other native Delawareans and getting to swap stories from middle school and discover that we went to the same place for kindergarten, or etc. I love that it's a two-hour drive to the beach and I've been there and done it enough that I kind of know my way around even though I probably only make the trip a half-dozen times or so a year. I love all the country roads, I love knowing and going to all the state parks, I love the farms that start to pop up as you head away from Wilmington and Newark. I love that sometimes, I can take someone I really care about and go on a 30-minute drive with them and point out numerous meaningful places from my childhood and recount random stories that make up a part of who I am, just because I drive by places and they jog my memory. I love that I know the house with the best Christmas light display every year and I love bringing new people to see it.

There are drawbacks to living in the same place and knowing all the same people - they know all your past mistakes and drama - but I've been improving my life and growing up and being pretty straight and clean, post-college. I live and interact with people in such a way that I am not embarrassed by my choices or most things(people) I've done over the past 5 years. I have cut out the poisonous friends and, even though I'm still living in the same town they probably live in, I don't run into them, not more than maybe a chance meeting in the street once a year, and when that happens I don't have to engage. I am proud of my life and who I am and where I've gotten, especially compared to when I've been down in the past. So I feel like the common complaint of living in the same place for too long, that "you know too many people and too many people know you/about you," doesn't come into play in my life very much. And I have always felt that the best part of traveling is coming home - I do not have an innate urge to go new places, break new ground, go someplace totally different where no one knows me.

Besides, the Poet Laureate for the state has just retired, which means there's an open position. She held the post for like 8 years, and while she's a good poet, I kind of feel like I am one too. And I feel like being a native makes me a better candidate for the position than not! ;)

(It's been a running joke since college that I'm going to become poet laureate of Delaware. I have done basically nothing to accomplish this, but then again, how does one get that kind of post anyway? Who knows. Prestige, I guess. Prestige and writing regional love poems.)

Side note - best thing about the passage you quote above?

| that Wilmington just got its first homicide unit.

The police chief actually vocally opposed this development. Crazy hubris IMHO - there is a clear violence/crime problem in the city. But the push to add a homicide unit came from an outside review and I think he just didn't want to agree with any of the suggestions that came from it.

Anyway. That's why I live in, basically, the same area (certainly same county) where I grew up and went to college and why it doesn't bother me - why I actually enjoy and like it. Wilmington is kind of a side effect of those choices. But again...I could flee Wilmington for its crime rate, or I could stay and try, in some small way, to help fix it and its problems. I don't think that Wilmington's problems would be improved in any way if everyone who could afford to leave it left.

_refugee_  ·  1177 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 2, 2015

I have some nice poetry news.

I've been nominated twice now for a 2015 Pushcart Prize, for 2 separate poems. A nomination is very nice - but not terribly impressive on resumes, as it's like saying, "Hey! Some person in a place of some power thought that I wrote a good poem once!" Two nominations was both surprising and double-nice.

Now the Pushcart committee or whatever will go through all tens of thousands of the nominations, read all the poems, and select probably a short list which will be published in Real Book Format and available at Real Book Stores, and Real People Who Want To Know Modern Lit will read it. It'd be amazing if I got on that list, but I'm not holding my breath. However, there's also probably going to be another list, Honorable Mentions or something, which may be about as long as the short list in and of itself. Maybe I'm delusional, but I like to think I might be able to get that.

The two poems are "A Great Grave," published by Starline (for those of you who bought a copy of The Taj Mahal,* there's a copy of that poem in the chap), and "My Loneliness Keeps Me Company." Unfortunately neither are on the web in print but I've posted them around on Hubski so if you're curious, I'll link ya or something. Alternatively, I've been recording my poems on Soundcloud, so you can listen to most of my published poems (not all yet, but working on it) here.

Also, I sent out some poems over the weekend, including a set of four witch poems that I just had a feeling a certain press (which I love) would really like. They got back to me within a day, they are taking all four, and they are paying me $15 for the privilege!! That is absolutely the most amount of money I've made off poetry in a sitting. It has helped re-inspire me a little bit. I wrote a lot of witch poems but I haven't worked on them much, I am going to start doing that and see if maybe there's a book here or something. For those curious, the press is FLAPPERHOUSE , and the print version will go live on Dec 22, so if you want, you could order a copy. (Or just donate a little money to them!) However, they usually put up poems from each issue gradually, so I am pretty sure I will also be able to put up a OC post in the next few weeks and share them with you.

So that's good news there. Maybe I just need to be having sex again in order to get back on writing poems.

_refugee_  ·  1231 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I asked.

I'm crying, I'm so happy for you. I love that (thru social media) I feel like I have distantly observed the entire trajectory of your two's relationship. I remember when random user was just a really cute guy who kept making insom food on Instagram. I just really love that I have been able to watch you two develop to this. Let me know when you set the date because I just wanna send you a "happy wedding!" card or something. I just really feel that I have known insom as a person from way before this was ever a 'thing' and it's very beautiful to me that I have gotten to see that. Idk. Feelings n shit. Congratulations so much you guys!!

_refugee_  ·  1244 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How to deal with a victim mentality in the workplace

It sounds like from their perspective their jobs were really shitty for two years or as long as they've worked at the company. It sounds like this was an endemic, pervasive issue that most people experienced.

I'd hazard that if "shit" is the norm, most people aren't going to go to their managers and say "Hey what's with all this shit? It's shitty." I'd also say that because basically everyone had to deal with the shit, its all-encompassing nature would probably discourage employees from talking to their managers about it (you know, all that shit). If things suck for you, but also seem to suck for everyone, you're going to conclude "shit is the way of life around here," and/or "there is no option but shit." neither perception would lead one to believe that one direct manager would be able to alter that employee's personal amount of shit, in either quality or quantity. After all, if all it took to fix things was talking to a manager, wouldn't everyone be doing it? Wouldn't things stop being shitty very fast? If a direct manager was able to fix the shit, why would things have been allowed to get so shitty in the first place?

Bad jobs/work environments build distrust and resentment between levels.

(Side note: If I had a shitty job for two years I'd be trying to get out of there so fast.)

You say you want to make things better but I don't see how you are actually trying to do that for the employees.

If you don't believe that they are too busy, develop and launch a simple time tracking initiative to see how everyone is really spending their time. Any automated systems they use (like dialers in call centers) could also be used to build this data. Why don't you actually see where all the time is going instead of simply not believing what they see about their workload? Do a side by side with someone in the floor and see how long various tasks actually take in execution. It doesn't sound to me like you are an individual contributor but probably dept head or similar. The distance of such a role easily lets one forget, overlook, or simply never know how much work, time, attention etc, must go into each step of a process.

Instead of coming up with a project to improve things and forcing it on your employees unwillingly why don't you have a brown bag session where you discuss needs and potential ways to fill or improve those gaps. When an employee has a good idea first praise and be supportive, then ask him or her to take ownership of their proposal. They will be much more engaged, feel more valued, and work harder when they feel it is their idea which they are convinced will help them. Even if they come up with the same idea that you have.

I think you need to get more in touch with what's going on behind the scenes here.

Also I feel like anyone with any experience in corporate business would have been able to come up with and follow at least some of these steps without asking a kind of random, mildly anonymous Internet forum with no focus in business or management.

Don't you have a manager, mentor or guru who would have been better placed and more informed, probably more experienced, to turn to for advice in times like this? I also feel like some of this would be covered in people management classes as part of a decent MBA curriculum.

I don't mean to sound too negative here but there are a lot of easy ways to drive engagement, it just sounds like you aren't prioritizing that - you're prioritizing your project. If you want things to get better for the people, start by asking the people what they want and need. If you think your employees are shirkers exaggerating their time spent on current products do time tracking and touch base with managers weekly or biweekly to monitor team workloads and downtime. (That will not make anyone happier about your company, though. Time tracking always implies a lack of trust, a suspicion of dishonesty or inefficiency, and not to mention is an additional burden to complete in and of itself.)

I feel like you are thinking "fix the company, then the employee situation will right itself." But I think you need to flip it and work on the employees first. It's very expensive and time consuming to keep bringing in new hires and right now I would expect people at your company to feel almost driven away.

Also like your chosen verbiage - "victim mentality" is really dismissive. I see you mention it might not be the best phrase. I don't think it's a phrase you should ever use in the context of a business setting, honestly. Not behind closed doors, certainly not when you are "trying" to troubleshoot things. Imagine a laptop manufacturer who approached interface/user issues with the attitude that "our users are just so stupid, this is really easy, they just need to catch up to how things are done now" - vs. "this approach isn't working for our users. why not? how can we fix it?"

I've worked at a few big (global) companies in my time and employee engagements taken pretty seriously, so long as you aren't Bank of America. Good companies see disengagement and try to solve it from their end, instead of dismissing it as the lazy employees' fault.

Finally : if the sentiment that work is shit there is truly universal, why is your conclusion that your employees are universally lazy/shirking assignments? Why aren't you paying attention to the fact that everyone (but you) seems to agree there are issues with the current work environment still? You may be CEO my friend but even as CEO if your "gut" tells you 1 thing and then 100 qualified people line up and tell you that your gut is wrong, would you choose to ignore all of them and follow your gut anyway? When your gut doesn't even do anything on the ground floor of the work environment and they all do?

100% of your employees can't be lazy liars. If so you are really shitty at hiring. Trust them. Stop listening to your lonely opinion. this is like the girl who always dates assholes moaning about "why are all men assholes" and it's like "yo girl not all men are assholes, probably not even most, the problem lies with YOU and how you are interacting with everyone else." You're like "all my employees suck lie and are unhappy, none of them will do what I want." Dude I know corporate America. There's a guy willing to rim ass for a promotion on every team of 4 or more people. People want to work. People don't want to lie. Trust me dicking around for 8 hours a day for a paycheck actually sucks. So I think the problem may lie with you.

_refugee_  ·  1325 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I Defaulted on My Student Loans

    I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society.

    I chose life. That is to say, I defaulted on my student loans.

Oh my, well aren't we precious and special, far too special to pay back the money that we borrowed, and to "waste our lives" doing something that isn't our specially chosen specially snowflake Profession of Choice - and of course, not working in that Profession of Choice would, absolutely, totally, kill us, wouldn't it?

WHILE I AGREE that student loans and student loan debt are huge problems facing the youth in America today, and I am in fact one of those people, I find myself still waking up alive each day to go to my job at a Big Evil Corporate Bank despite my dreams of being a writer, so I would like to know what makes this author so specially-special that a "Real Job(TM)" is such anathema to them, such poison to their special sensitive disposition, that they could not manage it. - By the way guys - check it out - with that Real Job, I also have this crazy nifty thing called a Real 401(k)! It's fun when following your dream means barely NOT making enough money now (if you can't pay your debts, you're not making enough money) and certainly never having enough for the future. Innit?

Maybe they didn't respond well to management.

    It struck me as absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college.

Oh, boy. Wait til this author gets into medical debt. Or car debt. Or house debt. Did you know that debt isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is a thing that happens to people? And most of those people didn't think they were being irresponsible when they got into it, and most people thought whatever they were paying for was a Good and Necessary Thing?

Actually, here's a thought.

Wait til this author realizes that sometimes, some things kind of suck, but that doesn't mean you can just quit them.

    Someone with character would have paid off those loans and let the chips fall where they may. But I have found, after some decades on this earth, that the road to character is often paved with family money and family connections, not to mention 14 percent effective tax rates on seven-figure incomes.

Oh. Well fuck you too. I have a five figure income. I just happen to only have a reasonable amount of student debt (in-state tuition anyone? finished college in 3 years - in part to avoid additional debt?). But that's not because anyone I'm related to is a millionaire and it's not because my family paid for my college. I didn't get my student loans paid off through some mysterious "family connection" either. I'm still paying them off. And I will continue to do so. Until they're done.

God, sacrificing your nonpaying but TOTALLY ESSENTIAL dream career just looks like blood splattered all over an altar, doesn't it? It just feels horrible too, having an extra couple hundred I can burn each month, after I pay all my obligations and then some.

Trust me, I can barely type for all the soul-crushing.

_refugee_  ·  1352 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 10, 2015x 2

I've been traveling again for work.

Monday night I had dinner with coworkers. I went back to my hotel, logged back onto my work laptop, and tried to start getting shit done.

Work's been pretty crazy lately.

After about an hour in which everything I tried to do failed to take, I started feeling guilty for going out to dinner. I already knew i'd have to work late every night this week, plus probably both days this weekend, if I wanted to make my Monday deadline.

In another hour or so I was crying. (Still in front of my computer, still trying to do work.) I realized I felt guilty for taking the time to eat food that day. I realized that while I love working for my current company, I was at the point where I was going to start looking for new jobs (I'd already emailed a recruiter back on LinkedIn that day) because I was ready to fucking jump ship and get the hell out of there. But I like my boss. I realized I'd been in this role for 8 months, which was depressing, because every single month as my deadline has approached I have told myself, "don't worry, next month, it will be better." And this is 8 months in and no, it hasn't gotten better, not one whit.

So I did a very scary, very adult thing.

I wrote my boss an email. (I wrote a few drafts first.)

    "I don’t think I can continue testing for XXX the way that I have been doing. I realized today I have been in this role for 8 months and for at least 6 of those months I have been constantly stressed: either I feel my hands are tied, or that I am working myself to the bone to meet a deadline that often, much to my upset, is missed anyway (due to exceptions, work not being done, business pushback, or whatever).

    Tonight I am sitting in front of my computer trying to update the June testing calendar (which is not working for some reason) and all I can think of is the 30 [system name] screenshots I still need to get, that I was going to get tonight. And now it’s 8:30 and I feel guilty for having gone out to dinner because I feel like I should have spent that time working. That’s not right. I feel like I need to work late every night this week and both days this weekend if I want to meet deadlines. That’s not right. Unfortunately, this is the way I have felt almost every month for the past 6-8 months. I have to admit that I can’t do this anymore.

    I hope we can try to talk about this. I am feeling a little emotional right now but I have to admit that I have not been happy with this situation for some time now. Maybe we can slim down the big controls (the ones with 20+ attributes), reduce sample sizes, eliminate redundancies (like how we test for insurance fulfilment on 3 different controls), or maybe there are other options. I hope there is something.

    I love working with you, but there is nothing that I love about the XXX project.

I did figure, they weren't going to fire me for saying this, and at least I was giving my boss the chance to help fix this situation and keep me, instead of just jumping ship. I kind of figured it was fair. It was better than just jumping to another job at another company that I probably wouldn't like as much.

The very next morning we had a meeting face-to-face with the department head.

They took every single suggestion I made and went with it. I was a little amazed. I walked out of that meeting feeling like I had gotten everything I wanted. I also felt like, at no point did this become an issue of "are you not working hard enough?"

I have to admit that that feeling, the feeling of guilt, that my workload was a result of me not working efficiently, or well, or prioritizing correctly, was what had been holding me back from having this discussion. I was worried that it would all come back on me. I was worried that it was actually my fault, and that I couldn't see it, or that I just needed to work harder. That it was all my failure.

No one felt that way.

I think this is among the most adult things ever that I have done, and I wanted to share it with Hubski. In part because wow, that was a really hard and stressful thing, but for those of you that maybe havent' had to do this or don't know that you can...I tried it. And it worked for me. And no one is going to fire you because you say your workload is too heavy. (They might put you on some sort of 'plan'....I guess it depends...But what I want to say is that, it is worth a shot.)

Look at me guys. I'm...I'm...Adulting.