Half full

The workplace has been grim lately, as we’re on the path from 400 employees down to 65, and eight more were eliminated this week.  It’s like reality tv without the voting.  One of the things about labor unions, which, and sheesh, don't get all worked up, because I'm a big fan of worker's rights, but seriously, in this climate of reducing workforces, they create an anti-evolution trend -- survival of the least fit, with the ultimate end of populating our governments with the oldest, least enthusiastic, most bitter workers.

 One of the eight was B., who has been mentioned in a bunch of posts, so maybe you'll miss hm a little too.  We've shared a cubicle wall for 10 years, and have talked about everything there is to talk about, from our lives, the books we’ve each read for a decade, sexual fantasies, news, work, friends.  I've made him call his gf and apologize for drunk-dialing her in an angry mood, and he's encouraged me to date, even though its a cruel world out there.  We’ve become like siblings, and it will be strange and sad when he leaves. Not to mention that the blog will definitely suffer.

Anyway, the future doesn’t look very bright, but I believe in optimism as a religion, not a mood, because what’s the downside?  It doesn't always come easily, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to live a half empty life, full of dread for things that may or may not ever happen, or filled with disappointment about things out of my control.  Making the best of things is really the only option, right?

So I was trying my hardest at that when one of the big guys who never talks to me asked me to write a few pages on what we’re doing to enhance equity and social justice in the county, so I dropped what I was doing, which was talking to B. about whether he should get a vasectomy while he still has insurance, and focused right in on it.

I came up with a few things, and an even longer list of things we could do, like waive permit fees for Tent City, and develop incentives for developments to reduce their carbon footprint, and offer translation services in the permit center. 

I sent my document over to the guy, and then decided to walk over and chat, because I’d never talked to him before.  We started talking about whether delivery of our services is equitable, and I said probably not. I suggested that perhaps code enforcement cases go unreported in White Center, but every tree that comes down in Redmond might be called in by six neighbors, and we probably direct our responses accordingly.

He said that people probably choose to live in a place like White Center because they don’t want anyone telling them what to do, while others may choose to live in a community with covenants and restrictions on everything because they like that.  I didn’t know where to begin, but I tried.

“I think that may be some truth to that,” (because it’s always good to start that way, right?) “but if we truly believe the codes are the best available science, and in place to protect the public benefit, shouldn’t we deliver them evenly, regardless of how people feel about it?  And isn’t there already inequity in where people live?”

“Oh, I forgot,” he laughed.  “You’re taking this seriously, and I’m just trying to fill in the blanks on my form.”

I slowly backed out of the room then without saying anything, because I wasn’t sure what else to do.

I got an MRI of my brain the other day to try to get to the bottom of some weird symptoms like drowsiness and dizziness and numbness that I've been having for a while; hopefully it will be one of those, huh, nothing’s wrong kind of things, but it does promote a little anxiety, and it has made me think more carefully about how I spend my time.

After leaving the guys’ office, I walked past some of my favorite co-workers, who were standing around with a crowbar.  E. handed it to me and asked me to smash a PDA, I'm not sure why.  I think it was offered as a gift, but it was a little bit wasted on me.  I’m not really the smashing things kind, but I did like the solid feel of the crowbar in my hand, and kind of enjoyed the shattered windshield look of the pda screen after I whacked at it for a bit.


  1. Betsy, I'm pretty sure, from the look on your face, that you enjoyed the visceral rush of shattering that glass screen... http://goo.gl/idUBv

  2. Oh for crying out loud. I just wrote you the longest comment in the history of comments and hit backspace twice and lost the darn thing. Second time, more succinctly.
    Me too. MRI fine. Went through three years of freaking out before I got a diagnosis that explained anything. Mostly my neck is a wreck. 12 years of working at a computer, a long neck and a bone spur on a nerve bundle and I've had all those symptoms, plus the occasional ice pick to the side of the head for 8 years now. I'm practically senile from it all, but would rather suffer than have the grim surgery. I have 3 herniated discs in my neck, C5, 6 & 7 that cause the numbness and dizziness, and crazy ass menopause symptoms and early menopause that helped the dizzy and tired program. I had doctors tell me repeatedly I was too young for perimenopause at 43, but my last period was at 46, so I showed them. The menopause boards are full of miserable women with the same symptoms. So are the fibromyalgia and the hypochondria chat rooms, I've read them all. I've had tests out the wazoo, and more doctors tell me I was having these symptoms from stress than I can remember. I insisted it was the other way around, the symptoms were the cause of the stress. They prescribed antianxiety and pain meds that almost made me crazy and made me more tired, which I didn't put up with for long. Antivert for the dizzyness didn't help either. I always felt like I was getting off a merrygoround. It took an MRI of the neck to diagnose the neck nerve problem, which manifests in many strange ways that apparently only a neurosurgeon and a physical therapist are allowed to know. The head shot MRI's don't show the neck bones, so mine went undetected and untreated for three scary years.
    So, could be any of these, and hopefully your doctor checked your thyroid and to bloodwork to rule out any other autoimmune or arthritis type problem. I think I've had all the tests they give, except Lyme, and I still wonder about that one. I assume the combo of bad neck, crazy hormones and the sucks to get old program are the cause of all this mayhem. Did I mention the insomnia? I blame the adrenaline surges and hot flashes for that mostly, plus an inability to get comfortable. But I had a doctor tell me lack of sleep can cause all sorts of problems and mimic all the symptoms of fibromyalgia, so I try to sleep as best I can.
    Ok that's enough. If you want more health babble, feel free to email me, it's on my blog page. Good luck and hope you get things resolved soon. The relief of finding out you don't have a brain tumor fades and you start wishing something - anything was wrong so you could make it stop. Or at least know what is causing it.
    Take care.

  3. ps Awful news about the workplace downsizing. Yikes the odds are awful. Also I know I follow you because I get your blog updates in my dashboard, and yet, no Mel butterfly in your followers. Blogger is a mystery sometimes.


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