Snapped at Work: Don’t Work a Job You Hate

Let me get real with you for a moment.

I snapped at my dayjob on Sunday.

So I worked selling health insurance at a call center. People called in, I would talk to them, figure out what the best plan would be (spoilers the best plan for everyone is single payer/Medicare for all but that’s besides the point, not really), and then enroll them into it. I did not like a single part of this.

I don’t like talking on the phone. I don’t even really like verbally talking. I can go a week without talking to anyone and be fine; at this job I could have to talk to 250 people in one week. I’m no good at small talk. I’m not great at multitasking. I’m not a salesman. And I don’t like health insurance. I HATE health insurance. It’s a garbage system that results in overpriced garbage. People pay money to get mediocre insurance and that money then goes towards trying to convince other people to get mediocre insurance that will fund more advertising for… I mean, Aetna (the company that the program I was on was contracted with) gave people $10 Visa reward cards for calling and going to meetings. This is the most capitalistic garbage nonsense and I got sick from so many people calling in literally because $10 is this giant boon to them because our garbage society makes people live off garbage to survive so that a select few can own the figgin solar system. I’m getting off-topic.

So what was I doing there? I mean at the end I wasn’t even sure anymore, but how did I get into this job? I was fresh outta college and needed a job because I rashly decided college would be a good idea without considering the fact it’s only a good idea if you can either do it free or do it specifically to become massively rich at the expense of everything else, possibly including the college you went to. I went to a temp agency and got a job at this health insurance place. No real job interview, I just started. Even though I was bad at basically everything the job needed.

Anyway this has been boiling for two years starting when there was mandatory overtime because we were way too busy because the system is stupid for only letting people enroll in a small 2-month window and they don’t have enough people working because presumably no one in their right mind wants to work there?? Between the actual work and my hate for health insurance things, as I said, just kind of boiled until I finally exploded on Sunday. It wasn’t this one thing–it never is, is it?–this was just the, as they say, last straw that broke the camel’s backlog. The pot had been so close to boiling over for so long, this one thing finally overflowed it like fireworks.

Unexpectedly, this final straw was a rude caller. And honestly I can’t blame them for it, they said they’d spent an hour and a half on the phone, the worst communication system humans have ever created. Usually I could deal with rude callers, but between the stress of the Aetna program, hating health insurance more, and just generally feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing anymore, I finally snapped. I later realized it wasn’t even because she was rude, it was because I couldn’t help her well. My being there was a detriment not just to myself but to everyone I talked to. It turns out capitalism can lead to terrible results when someone gets stuck at a job they don’t like and can’t do well! If I liked the job, that would be different, but since I didn’t that could only lead to worse outcomes. If I can’t get a job I at least like, I should get one where I make, if not a net positive outcome, at least not a net negative one.

When I snapped I at least still had the awareness to mute myself but then I just went at it, screaming and throwing some stuff, I’m pretty sure I threw my headset and I know I threw my water bottle. I seriously don’t even know what I said. I might’ve said “I’m done,” “I quit,” I probably said, “I hate health insurance,” I think I might’ve swore once?? I definitely screamed. I think I threw my water bottle down, it bounced up, and then landed in a trash can–almost, but when I thought it did, I was still flippant enough to stop for a moment and remark on having made a basket. (All I know how to do is make jokes, Someone Please Hire Me To Write Jokes, Oh Gourd I Need To Get Out Of Indiana, The Land Without Jokes.)

One of my supervisors came over to calm me down, asked me if I needed to take a walk. I did. It was sprinkling outside. So was I. I swear I haven’t cried in a long, long time, but I did. I sobbed a little, even. (In retrospect I wish I’d sobbed and cried harder, even when alone I tried not to but honestly it would have been a lot more cathartic I think if I’d just bawled like crazy. I’m thinking of heading out to the lake one of these days and just screaming across it, seeing if I still have some emotions pent-up in there, because whenever I think about it I’m like “okay i would actually rather like to cry like that again please”.)

I walked to the end of the parking lot. I seem to remember thinking I laughed a little because of how long I’d held it all in, but if I’m being honest with myself there was no laughter there. When I finally went back inside my supervisor had organized my stuff for me. Let me tell you, the only thing I regret from this is that I had hoped to leave the job with some dignity intact, because the only thing I liked about the job was almost all my coworkers were nice and wonderful people. If any of you somehow read this, you’re all probably great and I’m still sorry I didn’t leave before I exploded. I really shouldn’t have come back after this year’s furlough, but I just didn’t realize how close to my breaking point I’d been at. And, you know, capitalism. I “need” a “job.” Well, I need money is what I need, but a universal basic guaranteed income is still a long ways away, it seems.

I’ve been looking for a job just about all year. In the last several months I’ve started just applying to everywhere I might be able to reasonably be hired at and do. That means no more customer rep or sales though. The fewer customers I have to talk to, the better. I do have enough money saved for a time though, and plus I have the figgin most wonderful parents ever, so things will probably be fine. Maybe this can be a turning point, my second novel should release soon (even sooner now that I’m not spending half my figgin time awake doing something I hate), maybe I can become a super success right quick. (Hahaha if only life was a book. Well sometimes it is.)

So why am I writing all this? Originally I just had the idea of a brief explanation just to sort of outline why I might suddenly have more of an online presence again and also why I might not post about single player/Medicare for all every single night (working in health insurance kind of keeps it really far in the forefront of my mind). However, there’s now another reason, and it’s why I’m also going to post this on Medium, and it’s basically this:

If you’re in a job you hate or can’t stand, and you can, leave. Like I said, my only regret is not being able to leave with some dignity. Leave before you explode out of there. If you can’t just leave (insert another rant about capitalism forcing people to work themselves into mental illness and exhaustion), keep looking for another job–don’t stop just because now you have a way to not die, thanks capitalism. Of course, I’m different, I can hardly function in normal society, I can only function on the internet society. But hey, I’m on the internet right now. And what I’ve come to realize is we’re all a lot more similar than we are different.

Anyway, it’s been three days. I should probably call the old dayjob place to confirm with them I’m not coming back.

Advertisements

Blaargablogging

Part of the reason I don’t say a lot while dayjobbing is I might think of something but by the time I can write down notes I forget it. There are two blaarg posts I’ve thought of–both involving video games, actually–that I recently thought of but by the time I was able to open my tablet to jot notes on it down I’d forgotten most of it.

i really need a job where i can take my tablet out whenever. we’re not allowed at my current dayjob because of “security reasons”. which are generally reasonable, i admit.

Gender Swap

I’m sure you’ve heard: The Doctor is now a woman! Neat! I’m not here to talk about that, because I saw this tweet in response:

SO I DID.

Animaniacs, Pinky & the Brain, Freakazoid

Yakko and Wakko as girls and Dot as a boy? It totally works! You really don’t even have to change anything. No, technically, you don’t have to change their reactions to attractive people.

Pinky & the Brain also super works too and the show kinda needed more female characters so yeeeah. I even once wrote a story in the past with a character who was basically a female version of The Brain so I can confirm it still works.

Freakazoid was the only one I had a bit of trouble with at first but then I got over it. Actually would female Freakazoid be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl with no guy to be a supporting character to? (I know Steff was his girlfriend later but he’s still the main character?) I guess he (she) wouldn’t really be pixie. I guess Freakazoid is more of a Cloudcuckoolander. Look I don’t organize tropes I just write them and then people tell me what tropes I’ve used, or at least they would if they’d put me on TV Tropes. Someone go do that.

Sheep in the Big City

I’ll wait a moment for you to look that up.

Anyway just reverse the entire Secret Military Organization. Which really just means they’re all female now, except maybe the Plot Device, who is still a robot but with a male voice. It still works, except it again took me a bit on General Specific, but I think I got it conceptualized. Also, Ben Plotz. Have a female narrator!

Actually I recently realized I missed a great opportunity to give Wally in the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos a gender-neutral name. There’s no reason they should be male, and in fact good reason for them to be neither, so Wally is officially a gender-neutral name and Wally is referred to with a they pronoun. Anyway! With those two shows considered I started thinking of other forms of media!

Discworld

Why haven’t we had a female grim reaper?

I mean I wouldn’t be surprised if something has had a female personification of Death but I don’t know of one.

Also I don’t know if The Luggage counts as male but if it does there wouldn’t be much of a difference as female.

Despite what Granny Weatherwax might say, I could not only see the wizards and witches be swapped, I’m not sure there’d be a difference!

And there’s no reason the Night Watch couldn’t be swapped. Sam Vimes, Sergeant Colon, and yes, even Nobby.

Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos

wait these are mine. and top is neuter. Okay actually if the CCC is ever adapted into a media with sound Top should definitely be voiced by a female voice actor.

Super Mario

Female Fawful? Works for me! Male Cackletta? That’s just Antasma. Female Waluigi? wa. (That’s Waluigi for “yes”) Female Count Bleck, female Dimentio? YES

Banjo-Kazooie

Why is it so hard to imagine a male Gruntilda? Maybe it’s because she’s such a figgin awesome female villain and those are always precious. Anyway, as soon as I imagined her not as a witch but as a wizard or warlock or something IT STILL TOTALLY WORKS

Sonic the Hedgehog

okay i draw the line at eggman losing his mustache

JUST KIDDING FEMALE EGGMAN WOULD BE COOL TOO

I’d also be super down with female Tails and Team Chaotix.

Nedroid

Female Reginald and female Beartato would also be cool and I want to see Anthony Clark do that actually.

Homestuck

Let’s be honest, there’s probably enough fan-fiction out there that every character is gender-swapped at some point, and I’m okay with this. Female Spades Slick!

Anyway I hope none of this is offensive, or maybe I hope all of this is offensive. It’s hard to tell!

Savethrift

With some of the games coming for the Nintendo Switch later this year I’m gonna want to get one soon, but the stock has been pretty abysmal from what I’ve heard, so I figured it’d be a good idea to get one sooner rather than later. I called Wal-Mart today (look it’s the only nearby place that has game systems, everything else is on the east side near the mall all we got here on the west side are trees and lakes, PFFT NATURE) and they had a couple in stock.

But I was like, ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhshhhhshhhshshhsshhswaieurduncare

I’ll definitely want one before mid-August; still don’t know if I’m getting Spla2n, I want more friends who are getting it. But half the time I’m like “i’m going to buy this thing” and five seconds later I’m like “i really really don’t want to buy this thing”. And buying something when you don’t want to sounds insane so I end up not doing it.

This is probably a habit I want to cultivate. Some people are spendthrifts. I’m a savethrift. Some people want to spend money all the time. I want to spend money never.

Neighbors

It’s kind of hard to tell without the volume up high, but there is a constant semi-rythmical thumping like from drums. I assume it’s drums? Someone in the upstairs apartment is apparently playing drums? At completely random times of the day/night, at that?

WHY IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE

anyway i’ve just had the need of complaining about this. sometimes–more than I care for–i would really like to be deaf, and it is legit for this reason i still haven’t cleared out my right ear since it kind of acts as a natural noise reducer sometimes……….

Sorry, too much information.

NEIGHBORS, WHADDYA GONNA DO

Anyway people seem to be setting off fireworks outside so yaaay more noise. The thing is, I would trade all the music in the world for silence. But at what cost? Oh, right, all the music in the world. Okay!

Wikify the Encyclopedia

I’ve spoken before about the creation of an encyclopedia to keep track of your novel or novel series’ world. I had an entire series about it on some website, Obscure Authors Alliance I think, the website itself is even more obscure than the authors now so whatever. My own encyclopedia for the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos was all put in a Word document. I started with a rather random assortment of information, moved on to entries for species, organizations, characters, and locations, then ended with some random lists. The document became like 200 pages long or something and it was nigh-impossible to efficiently look through it.

I needed a better way to do it.

What about a wiki?

I mentioned I was putting everything on a private wiki earlier and that I would make this post so now I am. I actually have some weird wiki experience, having made one with some friends a while ago for our fan universe. This new one is private and not for a fan universe. It’s for my universe. And it helps immensely with organization. I fully recommend anyone creating their own universe put it all into a private wiki for easy access and organization of information. You might even find it easier to come up with new details when it’s so easy to find existing ones.

When I was trying to find a good program to use I checked Wikipedia’s personal wiki article. I probably should’ve tried all of them before going with one for sure but I didn’t feel like it and am always too busy so I just went with Dokuwiki on a Stick which is apparently its real name. It’s worked fine so far. Some of the syntax is different than what I’m used to (but apparently it’s the syntax MediaWiki uses so whatever) and it needs some extensions added for things that should be pretty obvious like categories, and also it has a bit of the problem of public programs made by coders which is that it can be obtuse to anyone who doesn’t code (like me) but it’s not too bad. I mean, I figured it out! See?

Okay. Okay. Okay. So on the Word document I just basically had one chunk of text with a few paragraphs smushed together with each paragraph being a different section (history, appearance, etc.) This was terrible, and for longer things, such as species with an actually notable history, it was terrible to look at because it was just one paragraph per section. It was… you know how dinosaur is like “terrible lizard” or something? What would be the name for “terrible paragraph”?

Anyway, having actual sections sectioned off for each section means I can use actual paragraphs now. It’s readable. And whereas before I could really see no more than one or two entries at a time and had to scroll the giant document to find them, now related articles can be reached right from a link. I know this is basic wiki information but I mean come on it’s really figgin useful!

So far the most time-consuming thing in transferring all this information onto the wiki is the formatting, but as I go I’m finding there are things that I never really detailed on, things that are easier to notice I never wrote down now that I can easily look at it all. Species culture, including any possible common religion, is but one of these. Eating habits is another. There is also a lot of information that I would put in lists, such as blood color, that I probably should have mentioned in the species entries. So now I do. Characters of a certain species is another example.

Honestly the Word document also got incredibly disorganized. At the start was a lot of information that should have gone elsewhere, such as planet histories, and for some reason I tucked a list of planet flora off near the bottom instead of actually in the entries for those planets.

With all this information in the wiki, I’ll be able to see a list of everyone who lives somewhere and simply click their name to see who they are. Before I’d have to like, put their name and then probably what species they are or some other identifying characteristic because honestly I just wouldn’t know, that’s why I write this stuff down so I can look it up, but I couldn’t effectively look stuff up in that document!

AAA

The character articles are probably the biggest relief of these. There was a lot of information I packed into places that it didn’t really fit in an effort to reduce the size of those terrible paragraphs on the Word document. Now they get their own section! I also never was really able to detail a character’s family in their sections because it was about them, but again, now a specific section for that can exist.

Being able to have specific sections also helps in looking up those specific things—before I’d have to scour their history for where they lived, but now I can just check the actual section for it. I’ve also started work on a properly-organized timeline article, which set me into determining just what the birthdates for all the characters are, so I’m not sure I can stress enough that having this be organized goads me to actually get more information made. Now I can tell when Ropak’s birthday is in Wandering Fortunes! Er, not that he can.

There is actually something of a timeline for a couple kingdoms in the CCC that haven’t appeared yet in the old Word document. They’re both too long to look through well and have a giant line of the kings and queens that is confusing to look at. This will, again, now only be vastly improved in the wiki format, but I can make the names of all these rulers link to pages that don’t exist, and when I find I don’t have anything important to make articles for, I can start really detailing that history. The red links to nowhere significantly help me see what parts of the CCC I still need expand on.

So I reiterate at this point in this post that I recommend organizing any world you’re creating for something into a wiki, especially if it spans for more than one something. Especially do it before you have more than 100,000 words worth of information to transfer over to it like I do…

Cleaning a mouse (the, uh, computer device)

I used to have…

Okay.

I have a problem with computer mice. After a while of use they don’t click right–either they don’t click sometimes or they click multiple times, or more likely both. This usually happens with the left button and sometimes the scroll wheel. I always figured it was mediocre shoddy construction (I’m looking at you, Logitech). However, now I suspect it is actually incredibly well-done and artfully crafted shoddy construction.

Specifically, it’s not that the mouse was broken, it was just dusty and needed a cleaning.

Well, let me try to clean the inside of the mouse I’ve been using. Okay, unscrew this screw, and… it won’t open. What? Okay, let me look up a video here. Okay, okay, yes. Oh. The other screws are under some smooth guard things to make moving the mouse smoother, and they actually peeled off some years back and I superglued them back on. Great.

Oh, even better, after those are unscrewed you need to unscrew more screws inside the mouse to get to the top part of the mouse. You have to go through the whole internal workings just to get to the top area. I’m starting to see why most instructions to clean this mouse say to just work a knife between the top and the clicky button area to get that apart. What should be a simple routine clean becomes a complete disassemblage that could easily result in doing something wrong and leaving it unusable.

Do they make tiny explosives that just release a rush of air instead of fire and smoke? I think that would be an easier way to clean this.

As long as I’m complaining, my dad’s old toolbox smells like a dead dog. He says it’s always smelled like a dead dog. ????

Government Pizza

I put together this post almost a week ago and saved it to post probably the next day and it completely slipped my mind.

I recently wrote a series of tweets that turned into a weird story on why I worry about what Democracy will wrought. Or wright. I’m not sure what the future tense of wrought is. Anyway.

 

A brief…ish metaphor for the USA times

Say you enter a cafe for lunch. Not a café, of course, because it’s hard to add those little symbols to letters while typing and the French suck–this is America, gaddfern it–in fact, we just start pronouncing cafe “cayff”. So anyway, you enter a cayff and want something to food.

How about a salad? Well, you’ve heard some weird stuff about it, some people say the lettuce wasn’t protected against disease and the tomatoes are mushy, but you checked and the lettuce was protected against disease although questions were brought up over the–I’m gonna say some kind of spray that protected it against disease? I don’t know can you imagine injecting lettuce with a needle? I looked it up and apparently a needle was found in some Romanian lettuce but I mean ha ha where even is Romania? Is it in Rome? I also found this which is adorable.

bunny

Also you checked and the tomatoes are mushy but, still, overall very healthy, very nice. I actually don’t like salads but I assume most people find them edible!

It turns out this cayff only serves one thing at a time, and it only changes every four years (usually). What it serves is decided upon by all the customers who happen to be there at the time. Whichever side is loudest most populous is what is served for those four years. Everyone seems to be focusing on two dishes though, neither of which is the salad. You ask a waiter about it, and they shrug. You ask a few more waiters, and then finally you ask someone who has eaten at the cayff before and they explain that the salad is available down in the basement past a rickety set of stairs, through a flooded passageway, over a wobbly wooden rope bridge over a chasm, and through a Roman gladiator coliseum. They put it there, and nobody ever took the salad, and so they left it there.

You manage to see it using some binoculars or something, and yep, it would be really hard to notice unless you go around asking and looking. No wonder no one goes for it.

You also notice a plate of butter-fried butter covered in nickels with a side of no health care.

Okay, you go back upstairs. What’s the two dishes everyone else is looking at? Well, one of them is an orange Skittle. A giant orange Skittle. That’s poisoned.

why are we eating here again

Okay, okay, okay, what about the other one? Hey, it’s a steak! That’s pretty good, right? It has a side of white bread sogged up with grease and a big hole cut in the center so it’s mostly just the crust, but maybe you won’t have to eat that. Maybe you can just eat the steak.

Although… now that you are remembering, your friend ate here a little while ago for breakfast. They had two steaks available, but one included a fruit salad, though there were some hard bits in the steak. The other steak–the one that is now available for lunch–was actually made of rat meat. Or pigeon meat, or whatever you want to say. Now, they’re saying this lunch steak is not made of that stuff. It is 100% grade-A beef, and it even offers some of the fruit from the fruit salad.

You don’t see the fruit salad, though (they say it’s coming), and you can’t be sure they’re telling the truth about the content of the steak. Sure, your friend could have been lying, but why would they lie, and also, I only said it was a friend because I thought this story might be inconsistent if you’d eaten here before. The breakfast metaphor doesn’t even work all that well. Also, some of the steak’s friends showed up and are dropping hints that the steak would go ahead with the TPP anydangway.

Let’s take a brief moment to reiterate the orange Skittle was poison. Also I can’t actually tell if Skittle is the singular form or if it really is just Skittles overall. Also Skittles is starting to look really weird. Oh yeah and by the way orange is my least favorite Skittle flavor. Actually I don’t like orange-flavored most things. Yet they always seem so common.

What was I talking about? Oh, right, the steak.

So maybe the steak is cool now? Maybe it won’t be rotten and stuffed with money? Maybe it won’t be soaked in oil and cooked in coal?

To push this metaphor unnecessarily further, everyone is divided into tables and each table’s vote is homogeneous, the plurality vote of the table is considered the general vote. You get dumped at a table full of people who don’t think that Skittle is poisonous. You might as well drum up awareness of the salad. The more people who know, the closer we can get to having more choices.

The steak may turn out fine. It may turn out figgin excellent. And the salad could even turn out mediocre. But the range of possibilities seems more positive for the salad.

THIS METAPHOR STOPPED BEING BRIEF HALF AN HOUR AGO I APOLOGIZE

Random chance in writing

I actually randomize a…n almost bizarre amount of stuff in the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos. Some events I randomize–I’m pretty sure the initial setup of the four battles in chapter 17 of Darmenzi had the participants of the four fights randomized, and from there I just wrote how it would naturally play out. I hadn’t planned how they would turn out (though the orb then got nabbed by someone else anyway so it wasn’t that critical, I guess).

But that’s not all. Every time I develop a new character, whether premeditated for a future book or someone written in as I’m writing, I’ll open up a random number generator and randomly determine a number of features for the character, gender/sex being a big one. Regardless of any preconceived notions I have about a character, I’ll randomize what sex they are. (A lot of older characters I didn’t do this for because they’ve existed in such a way for so long.) Another datapoint: glasses. It turns out a lot of people nowadays need corrective eyewear. It’s not really such a nerd accessory anymore, and you can’t remove the need for vision correctiveness by just being cool (although you can just wear contact lenses, I guess).

Oh yeah, and sexual orientation. That’s randomized.

(Not all of these things are fully randomized, and some of them could be subject to change as I get to know a character. One character just had to have eyeglasses. Another character I simply realized, as I worked out the plot for a future story, was certainly homosexual.)

Anyway, my point here is that I randomly determine so much in writing that why don’t I try to use it to help me write blog posts? TO WIKIPEDIA’S RANDOM ARTICLE FEATURE

ong what if someone wrote a story with wikipedia’s articles as the characters, and there’s a group of article characters that are orphans ong

Er… there are a lot. Like, more than the population of a big town. More than the population of the town I used to live in.

And they’re all on a deserted island alone. There’s a Wikipedia war or something, probably like an edit war, and the orphaned articles get stranded on an island filled with pies, and only one of them can be Lord of the Pies, coming this fall to Reality Show TVision.