Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Substitute Vs. The Program

* = If I could dress in a tux with a kettle helmet & cape everday, I WOULD!

When did it become common practice to be late? When did it become o.k. to just not show up to things you’ve committed to? I’m curious, because this type of crap keeps happening to me, both personally and professionally. Don’t get me wrong, I get it that life is busy, hell it’s hectic. A lot of times things happen outside our sphere of control, like illness, crazy relatives, seizures, migraines, having no money, children(s), diarrhea, kidney stones, natural disasters, pregnancy scares, relationship issues, hemorrhoids, booty calls, etc. These things HAPPEN! I try to understand, I really do. In fact I try to be accommodating.

In my personal life I just shrug and say, “that’s alright”. It’s not usually I’m swallowing a HUGE spoonful of RAGE! Seriously, it upsets me, and then I take a deep breath & remember that these folks are my friends, for better or worse I love them. I trust that they are only doing these cancellations because they have no choice. I also feel like this gives me some equity for when I inevitable do the same to them. It’s a give and take, but it’s built on admiration, respect, and affection.

In a professional setting there is no excuse. None. I don’t care about you as a human being beyond you doing what needs to be done, which is what we compensate you for. It proves that you neither respect or care about the company, the people we serve, or myself when you blatantly do exactly what I ask you over, and over, and over, and over not to. It also shows a remarkable lack of character and personal pride. Let’s get something straight, I love me job, LOVE IT. I adore the people that I serve as a community. They are an inspiration and have taught me far more than any paltry thing I’ve ever taught them. That being said I do not personally care for the folks who sign my checks, BUT I do my job. I show up, I do my best, and I’m on TIME! Hell, I’m early. I represent them with class, tact, professionalism, and a single-minded desire to improve not only the lives of the people we serve, but also give their business the best possible reputation. I’m a middle management lackey, for lack of a better term, I’m given marching orders and I march. My bosses don’t show up, when they show up at all, until 9am or 10am, but that shouldn’t be my concern, MY concern is that I show up at 7:30am. To do otherwise is disrespectful to the job. I don’t have to enjoy whom I do the job for in order to enjoy & respect the job.

That seems to be lost on at least 70% of the people who come through my door. A lot of times these aren’t young folks either, a lot of times they are much older than me. It shouldn’t have to be part of my mandate to teach you how to actually work. It should be my job to instruct you in the finer detail points, to educate you not just on policy, but on diagnosis specifics, medication side effects, objective writing skills, behavioral management, etc. Being on time or even just showing up, you should have that down pat before you walk through that door.

I don’t like watching people cry, contrary to popular belief. It sucks to look at someone, regardless of your frustration and send him or her packing, especially when they aren’t sure if it’s going to cost them their employment. It’s even less fun to do so when they have kids and it’s the holiday season. No one, not even me, likes to feel like a heartless prick. That being said I have to. I have to do this in order to HOPE that you’ll figure out that this is a job, it’s serious, and the people we serve as well as your employers demand the best of you. If you can’t do that then it’s bad for the people you directly work for, work with, and it’s a poor reflection on the company at large. More than that, to me it’s a personal insult. Everyone has the potential for greatness in them. They really do, even a Douche Lord like Rick Perry. It’s within their grasp, it’s just sometimes they need a kick in the shorts to remind them of that. I hope today gives these two folks the kick they need, if not for them, for the sake of their kids.

Now back to my peeps for a second, if you cancel I don’t want you to think I’m making dolls from your hair to burn or anything. It just upsets me. It hurts. I personalize it, just like a great deal of things. I’m susceptible to guilt and to personalizing things like no one’s business. It’s not even that I misread social signals or intent, I just assume or better yet JUMP into the idea that you are trying to hurt me. I’ve always been that way; I don’t like it very much, but have yet to eradicate it from my personality. I rationalize a lot of things extremely well, especially when I’m detached or can focus on the objectivity of it. I don’t do that well with my friends when it comes to our interpersonal dynamics. I can do it when it’s an outside problem. I am a good listener, and I like to think, give good advice, but when things revolve back to me, personally, I lose that.

An example would be Ant leaving Christmas early. I was shocked and sad that after I woke up he was gone. My first reaction was “what did I do?” I thought maybe he was mad at me or something. That is F’Ning irrational. He had other things to do, and sure I didn’t get a hug goodbye, single tear, but it’s not like I won’t see him again soon. Or Dave & I having occasional dust ups over the silliest junior high shit. He’ll say something, that usually is quiet true, that I don’t like so instead of saying, “interesting point David, maybe we could discuss that at length at a time where I’m more rational” I shout “EAT A COCK!” Not rational. Then he responds in kind and we end up both having to be told to clean the sand out of our vaginas by Mike, Cassandra, Liz, and an assorted cast of thousands. It’s strange. I don’t know why I do this. I catch myself on the verge of this with Cassandra a lot. She’ll say something and I literally have to bite my tongue because I want to say something that in hindsight is beyond dickish. I don’t do it, but I think I’m more disappointed that I even had the thought to say it in the first place.

But I digress, when you, the assemble peeps, have to cancel or don’t show it hurts. It cuts deep. That being said I’ll get over it. If I ever act childish, which translates to WHEN I act childish, point it out nicely and remind me to get over myself. Now, let’s clarify that this isn’t a free pass to just be a passenger in our relationships, that’s how people get cut out of my Covenant. If you aren’t invested in your friendship then jump ship now and save us both the work and consternation. Life is to short, and the only folks who get the free pass of awkward non-involvement are my actually family, because I didn’t get to choose who pooped me out or the litter I was born with.

Not to mention I think they are awkward around me because they don’t know me anymore. They don’t know what to expect every time I open my mouth. I know that’s why I’m awkward around them. We’re trying, and you know that’s all anyone can ask.

That was longer and more personal than I intended, how about we just finish with some…


- This is the beauty of a cathartic release using stream of consciousness writing. I feel SO much better now, and have my thoughts organized a lot better. I wish I were better at doing this person to person, rather than with writing. Something to work on I guess.
- It’s going to be almost 50 degrees on Saturday. I’m grilling; it might be my lost opportunity before the Real Winter shows up.
- We’re a few days away from two anniversaries, one good one not so good. I hope they balance each other out this year.
- Maybe tonight I can convince Cassandra to play one of my new games; Small World, Blood Bowl Team Manager, or Trollhalla. I know she love(s) her some Small World, neither of us has played the Blood Bowl card game yet, and we both think Trollhalla looks “For Cute”. You choose gorgeous!
- Oh and when I say gorgeous that doesn’t mean Ant or David, sorry. It’s not that I don’t think you are, it’s just that I don’t swing that way baby.
- I knocked out a three more cards last night. Two decent Monsters, and one Villager.
(It needs some tweaks, but I LOVE that picture.) I’m trying to put in almost minor Quest type mechanics in the Villagers so they aren’t just Scenario specific ‘things’.
(Again, there are some corrections to be made, like F'Ning spelling, but otherwise it looks solid.) I figure if they have a reward mechanic you could just have them in the Monster Deck and when drawn, rather than battle them; you could have the option of completing their quick Quest for tangible reward. The more difficult this Side Quest the better the reward. It would help elongate the game, add more decision-making moments, and build in a leg for fewer Scenarios based play and more Random Exploration style play.

- If only Chad Greenway tackled as well as he talks on the radio. I have an interesting idea; Professional athletes shouldn’t be allowed to comment on the ignorant thoughts of the rabid fan base until they are in their league’s all-star game on a consistent basis. See I’ll listen to someone like Jared Allen bitch and moan about the rubes not getting it, he makes plays, but when Greenway, who even though he has a TON of tactics statistically, has yet to make a significant tackle or play all season after a HUGE contract, jabbers on and on about rubes not understanding I just have to shake my head. Hey Chad, instead of spending 20 minutes defending you & your team's awful play how about you watch some more film, so you aren’t getting used like a tampon in the flats by quality backs or spend some time in tackling drills so you aren’t ‘catching’ people and getting driven back two yards every play. When you start making tackles in the backfield it’ll be the first time. As for the rubes, you KNOW they are going to say dumb things like the Vikings should tank so they can get a better draft pick, THAT’S WHY THEY ARE RUBES! Don’t get baited into it.
- Speaking of the scariness of people who are from, graduated from an institution (Greenway went to the University of Iowa in case you didn’t know) in, or currently campaigning in Iowa holy crap has the crazy bar been set high. Watching the Republicans campaign for the caucus has been like a strange reality show, I’m starting to see the appeal this has for a lot of you. There is betrayal, crazy talk, and lies galore! All we’re missing is a sex scandal. The thing is there isn’t a ‘real’ candidate among them. Even the front runner ‘Mittens’ is so deeply flawed that if he gets into a general election against President Barry he’s going to get run. The guy changes his opinions on things more often than I change my socks. Ron Paul has good ideas, if you were starting a society and government from scratch and IF business was an honest man’s game. Oh that and he is backed by disturbing, hateful racists, that coupled with his desire to repeal a lot of stuff that doesn’t need repealed makes him toxic. Santorum is a fundamentalist, who couldn’t win in his own state. Bachman is baby follies crazy. Gingrich has more baggage than an airport and almost as many flip-flops as ‘Mittens’. Who’s that leave us with? Oh yes, that bastion of sanity and tolerance Rick Perry. Rick Perry is a dumber, if it’s even possible, version of G.W. Bush. Do we really need another ‘shoot first and never ask questionsTexas moron as leader of the free world? Am I forgetting anyone? John Huntsman. The only Republican who intrigues me at all now, and he’s buried. Why you ask? It’s because he’s actually a moderate. I’d be intrigued to hear more from Huntsman, but we won’t, he’s not nearly crazy enough. Joe K., you HAVE to love this.
- I let those two rants get away from me; I’m sensing a theme here today.

Well this is most likely the last blog of the year, I just want to say thanks to those who take the time to read it, and question your sanity for caring. Thank you.

“I've been looking so long for you now you won't get away from my grasp.
You've been living so long in hiding in hiding behind that false mask.
And you know and I know that you ain't got long now to last.
Your looks and your feelings are just the remains of your past.

You're standing in the wings, there you wait for the curtain to fall.
Knowing the terror and holding you have on us all.
Yeah, I know that you're gonna scratch me, maim me and maul.
You know I'm helpless from your mesmerising cat call.

Keep your distance, walk away, don't take his bait.
Don't you stray, don't fade away.
Watch your step, he's out to get you, come what may.
Don't you stray, from the narrow way.

I'm running and hiding in my dreams you're always there.
You're the Phantom of the Opera, you're the devil, you're just out to scare.
You damaged my mind and my soul it just floats through the air.
Haunt me, you taunt me, you torture me back at your lair.”

* = Much like the infinitely talented Zak Sabbath on his own blog has pointed out this album cover is the PERFECT reference point for a Githyanki prime material plane incursion. I'm thinking of using it, except instead of a desert, it would be a winter landscape, a dry, dead tundra plane.


  1. I choose Trollhallaaaaaaaa!!

    I would like to play something new and saying Trollhalla is just plain fun!

  2. terribly sorry about christmas, old chap. i am apparently quite skilled at hurting feelings, as i seem to have upset almost everyone that day. in truth i was just trying to spend some time with everyone, old friends and new. as much as i wish things were just like in the good old days, they are different now, and i need to learn to adjust to that. just know this: my bro-love for you is strong and everlasting. peace out, Benjamizzle.

  3. Ant,
    It's not a big deal, like I said it was just me being neurotic. As for hurting others they just need to get over themselves and realize that things are different now. Lives have been altered and you are allowed and SHOULD have other interests, relationships, & commitments.
    My bro-love burns like a 1,000 Exploding Suns. Happy Holidays Bro-Lo El Cunado!