thessalian: (Rant)
I need a day off. I need a day off. I need a day off so badly I CANNOT STAND IT.

(Thankfully, it is the weekend so I get two. But it doesn't feel like enough.)

The good news is I am no longer standing in for the secretary that doesn't do a damned thing. No, instead I am helping yet another department with yet another backlog - this one dating as far back as June. Well. August now (because I frankly rock). Except that IT didn't give me access to the part of the system I needed to access and no one told me where to save what when anyway, and nobody told me exactly how things work in that department so things got messy. See, apparently these doctors do not like looking at computer screens ... or dealing with computers at all, given their inability to log things onto the shiny new digital dictation system correctly so that I still get all manner of letters with no idea who I'm typing about... Anyway, point is that they won't verify letters on the system. No, they make it a lot more complicated. They make us finalise the letters on the system so we can print them out, check the printouts over for errors, and then make us leave any corrections that might need making on the system while we correct and print out an entirely separate copy on the shared drive. This is insane, but never mind. At least I now relatively have the hang of things so I can just get on with typing.

Well ... mostly. There are issues. See, there's not enough room in the office of the department for whom I am doing backlog duty for me to actually have office space there. I'm up in the managerial suite for my typing. The printer's inconvenient; not only do I share it with about eight other people (none of whom are keen to take their printed documents out of the printer, for some reason, so they just sit there and clutter up the place) but it's sitting in a corner being blocked by a co-worker and a large floor-standing electric fan. My desk is an ergonomic nightmare and my back is to a corridor, which is less than fun. And I have to go down three flights of stairs and halfway across the hospital to drop off my printed-out documents ... in the opposite direction of anywhere I might actually find lunch. And as unpleasant as my current office space is, it's better than what I might have Monday, since this department wants to keep me for a few weeks longer but also has to give this desk to the other poor slob helping with this department's backlog. So they want me to come in at half-past sparrowfart Monday morning as usual but aren't entirely sure they'll have a desk for me to work at when I do.

This is why I spend most of my evenings doing little more than play Dragon Age 2. There is nothing more satisfying after a day of this shit than hitting lowish-level mobs with Assassinate and watching them explode.

Who votes I have a really nice dinner tonight?
thessalian: (facepalm)
It's been ten years now, more or less exactly. Ten years ago I tried to kill myself - again - and that time ended up in a US psychiatric hospital, full of OTC sleep aids and self-loathing, with a liberal serving of alcohol. And then a UK psychiatric hospital. And then a lot of therapy and some antidepressants.

I'm now off the antidepressants. I still have some problems coping with stress. There are the migraines. There are the bouts of self-loathing. I know how far I've come, and that some days are better than others - some days, I won't even think about it; others, I'll slog through with the goal of 'just get through the day' in my head. One thing Susanna Kaysen was right about - once the option to suicide is there, once you've decided that you actually can do that to yourself, it's always on the table and is never going away. It might not be the automatic go-to solution in all cases, but if things get bad enough, it's there. All therapy gives you is the ability to talk yourself off the ledge before you have to get someone else to do so.

There were some very good things about ten years ago. I met the siblings I'd have asked for if I could have chosen, and some wonderful friends into the bargain. I saw parts of the world I'd have likely never seen otherwise. It was in no way the best way to go about everything, because running away from one's self never works and problems like this transcend geography, but I'm not going to in any way belittle any of the good that came from it. There were people who helped me a great deal in a lot of ways and I will always be grateful.

...Not grateful enough to be anything but pissed off at having the fact of the anniversary in question flung into my face first thing in the morning, in a public journal entry, expressed in such a way that makes it sound like I made some asinine attempt on my life in some Romeo-and-Juliet-ish "if we can't be together then I don't want to live" bit of bullshit. (The author of that little gem should also point out that if it hadn't been for my calling a certain umsibling first, I wouldn't have called him at all, and thus he wouldn't have been able to be BigHeroGuy because I'd have just finished my drink and gone swimming in the Gulf with my boatload of sleeping pills and hard lemonade. kthnxbai.)

On that note, did I mention that today will be a mental health day on the grounds of triggers and OMG YOU DID FUCKING WELL NOT? Well, it is.

GIBBONS!

Apr. 9th, 2009 01:21 pm
thessalian: (vengeance)
I'm not sure where the gibbons are - Royal Mail, the local NHS Trust central appointments office or the local NHS Trust hospital's post room. I'm not home yet; I haven't seen a doctor yet. I am in the local library (where I had to go to return some books anyway, but still), which at least have free internet facilities, to give an update on the gibbons.

I turned up at the hospital and found main outpatients with 20 minutes to spare. Go, me. As I arrived, some lady was being told that her appointment had been rescheduled and they'd tried to tell her but she'd recently moved and her address hadn't been changed on the system yet. I had no sense of foreboding whatsoever as I handed in my appointment letter and said I had a 10am appointment. I should have had, really, because the next thing that happened was the receptionist telling me that my appointment had been rescheduled. For yesterday. I don't know why the totally random reschedule - no one bothered to tell me - but what they told me was that they'd typed up a letter on 3rd March that never got to me. Yeah. That's helpful. So like I say, I don't know where the gibbons are. Anyway, since it was a new appointment and I got marked as Did Not Attend through no fucking fault of my own, a DNA letter got sent to my GP and they removed me from the system. And according to the receptionist on duty, the earliest they could fit me in again was July.

I swear, I nearly cried. I tried not to give the staff a hard time, but I did have to explain that I had been going through this for months, there have been Casualty trips and I could not wait another two months to be seen because my situation was deteriorating in a quick and worrisome way. Thankfully, the secretary who was called on to pull up my notification-of-reschedule letter was very nice and basically told me that she would see what she could do to get me seen today. There's always one, I suppose, to make up for the receptionist who just wants people to go away, from the look of her. In any case, in the meantime, a nurse took my blood pressure and so on to get it out of the way in case I could be seen that day and I was told to wait.

And so I waited. And waited. And waited. And watched the receptionist and the secretary converse with what I assume to be some sort of doctor (registrar, probably - too young to be a SHO and certainly too young for a consultant, which I only say because he looked about half my age). The receptionist took the line of, "She has another appointment! Everyone's busy!" and the secretary took my side. Long story short? I have an appointment with the registrar at 2pm today. By that point, there was no point whatsoever in going home, so I hung around Barnet for a bit, and now have to head back so that I can make my hard-won appointment. I'm tired, hungry and all-around miserable, and I hope this whole rigamarole was worth it.

*voom*
thessalian: (wannabe)
I hate eBay.

Okay, in theory, awesome. In practice ... dear fucking gods it's annoying. I've never really liked auctions anyway, but the whole thing combines the annoyance factor of an auction with the arsehole contingent of the internet and still means you don't get what you want.

So I was bidding on a Gladstone bag for my Brighton Below LARP costume (I still need to get in touch with Simon about a few last tweaks, but I still want to know how the hell a resurrected old god is 'a little bit mudane'. Fuckit; if he wants 'jazzed up', maybe I should just go voodoo. Anyone got a top hat?) and the first one I bid on got sniped. And so I was happily bidding on the second. That one, too, has just got sniped. I actually upped my bid on this second one but every time I turned around, it just got to 50p more. Which means I don't know what someone bid on it, and I can't really afford to break the bank to find out.

Screw this. I'm not going to browse eBay any more. I am going, thank you, to stick with buying things at normal stores where you pay a price for something and then are guaranteed to get it without having to go through this shit.

Oh well. At least that £20 in my bank account is now no longer earmarked for eBay...
thessalian: (sucky day)
It's been one of those days. One of those miserable, forsaken days that you really want to just wipe off the bloody calendar. Mercury. Fucking. Retrograde.

Got into the office thinking, "This will be a good day. Lunch with [livejournal.com profile] yshala, bank run on the way, no problem." However, my early afternoon got completely scuppered by an unexpected team meeting (I've been there two days and I'm technically a temp! AUGH! We spent hours going over a bit of NHS policy they were talking about implementing when I was back at St Barts lo these many years ago, for pity's sake!) and I didn't have [livejournal.com profile] yshala's phone number to tell her. I emailed Daz (copying her in so she'd at least know I tried) and wound up spending the rest of the day running around like a headless chicken or stuck in meetings and IT training. I got the bank run done but sacrificed the whole 'actually eating lunch' thing to do it, and the one tape I managed to get done ... well, I didn't get to finish it because some yahoo of a SHO decided that I could quite easily pull a patient's details up to type a Did Not Attend letter with nothing but a date of birth - no hospital number, no patient name, nothing. Man, I was so glad when the workday ended and I could go home...

But of course, that didn't go well either. The train stopped at Camden Town for awhile, during which we were told that there was signal failure at Highgate and East Finchley (both of 'em! At once!) and therefore would be significant delays while they 'harmonised the service'. Which meant sitting at Camden for ten minutes, then chugging along a ways before being informed that, to 'harmonise the service', the train I was on would be terminating at Archway. Juuuuuust brilliant. Then, of course, after another ten minutes of hovering on the platform at Archway, I discover that the next train is heading for Mill Hill East rather than High Barnet as previously stated. Again, 'harmonising the service'. Some time after that, I finally got on my packed Tube home.

There was nice dinner that I tried to appreciate despite the flat and the headache and the rampant screaming bleeeh. But tonight? Oh gods, this has to be a bullshit-free night.
thessalian: (Depressed)
I am headachy and depressed and really, really flat right now. So I'm sort of alternating Buffy S4 with occasional peeks at IM to see if anyone's about and that'll probably be the rest of my mid-evening. Well, that and KFC. Deep-fried nasty always helps.

After that ... well, it depends. Possibly RP, or I might go back onto FFXI and see if I can find a party invite lurking about the place. Nuking things is good. Nuking things is cathartic. Plus if I do any more damn bug broth crafting, I may well die of boredom (though, still, 115k+, not bad).

On the whole, though ... gods, I'm miserable.

(Oh. But. Courtesy [livejournal.com profile] mitchy:

Comment here and I will reply to you and tell you what icon of yours I associate with you. Once I reply, please repost this in your own journal, because I want to know what icon you associate with me.

Not, as [livejournal.com profile] mitchy says, that you have to do that last. But it'd be nice.)
thessalian: (rage)
Yesterday didn't go particularly well towards the end...

I'll begin with about a fortnight ago, when I got called into my line manager's office and told that I really ought to email the people I do my PA work for to let them know that I have done the things they've asked me to do. Now, as someone who's pretty used to working on her own initiative, that's somewhat counter-intuitive - surely my employers, who laud my technical skills and proactivity, should trust that I am going to do what they ask of me, and that I will pass along any details of that as are appropriate but otherwise will just get on with the work. However, as I was asked to start confirming that I was doing my job regularly, I did as requested, sending emails confirming that a task was done when a task was done. What else was there to do?

Cue two weeks later - yesterday. The day started off pretty normally. There were tasks. I did them. I emailed people to let them know that the tasks were done when the tasks were done. I pried some information out of my just-back-from-holiday line manager, who seemed happy to see me and content that things were well and under control. Matters progressed throughout the day until I had nothing much left to do.

Then my line manager walks in, looking really subdued, and informing me that I have to report to Personnel. It's never a good thing when one has to report to Personnel. Honestly, though, I thought it was something to do with my apparently missing Occupational Health form that was posted to the Royal Free but may, I suspect, have been lost owing to the postal strikes that were happening at the time I sent it. So I wasn't particularly worried, but there was a little bit of trepidation about how my formerly smiley and personable line manager wouldn't even look at me on the way down to Personnel, much less talk to me. It wasn't that 'I am very disappointed in you; you have done a bad bad thing' silence, though, so I didn't think much of it.

Basically, it was a 'walking the last mile' thing, as I discovered when I sat down in the Personnel Director's office and said Personnel Director told me that, while my technical skills were brilliant, I wasn't communicating to the senior managers enough in terms of what I was getting done, so they weren't renewing my probation period and I might as well leave the building and the job right then.

Long story short: despite the fact that I get my job done and do so quite well, because I work on my own initiative and have only recently started flooding my senior managers' email in-boxes with pithy emails telling them that yes, I have done my job, I got sacked.

My line manager was horrified and apparently very surprised. No one else knew a damn thing about it, to judge by the reaction of the one person I got to say good-bye to. I seriously doubt whether my senior managers know a damn thing about this, to judge from their emails to me yesterday (boy, are they in for a shock). And frankly, it makes no sense. Ask me to do a thing right towards the end of my probation period, and then don't extend the probation period to make absolutely sure it's going according to plan, with an employee that they've admitted is a fantastic PA? Of course, it's possible that they just want to revisit the payband on that role and can't do that as effectively when someone's in the role on a permanent basis, but on the whole, I'm just not going to bother doing the conspiracy theory thing.

There's also, of course, the little matter of now being unemployed. Again. I've got my last paycheque coming in (including payment in lieu for the annual leave I never took and I wonder if I'm supposed to be getting notice - that never became clear but generally speaking one gets at least some notice period before the sacking, though admittedly that might be different in a probation period) so that's a month's worth of leeway, and with everyone going back to uni and stuff, there should be some temp roles kicking about the place. Today, however, is a mental health day. I just can't face the idea of bouncing right back up and ringing agencies today. Too much stress and confusion and argh.

Instead, I'm going to find something that vaguely resembles lunch, sit down in front of Buffy or something for a couple of hours and pull out Transmetropolitan. Spider Jerusalem really helps at times like these.
thessalian: (sick)
Running late and I don't care. This, frankly, is what flexitime is for.

Due to circumstances I'd rather not rant about right this second, I wound up too angry and frustrated to even contemplate going to bed until about half-two in the godsdamned morning. Then lay awake for at least a half-hour. The fact that I did not manage to crawl out of bed until about quarter to eight? Probably not surprising.

I have a screaming migraine, a flare-up of the stupid symptomatic hiatus hernia, intense tiredness and a general overall sense of impending dread. All I really want to do right now is sleep until Friday. Though I will settle for an end to the migraine and possibly something where my stomach doesn't feel like it's being tied in knots.

Still, the bosses are in today (I think - to be honest, I can never really tell, whatever their diaries say) and since they were in until 7pm yesterday (when the taxi I booked for them whisked them to the restaurant I also booked for them), there's likely a lot of stuff to sort out. So I'll head off and stop somewhere for painkillers and such on the way. I shouldn't be too late because there is the Tube, and I'm owed an hour's flexi on the grounds of having stayed until half-five yesterday so moving is not a massive priority. And besides, I can stay late to cover it ... provided I can move at all. Gods, I hurt.

I know, I know - whinge moan, moan whinge. The bonuses here, I suppose, involve having had dinner with mother last night during which she presented me with a metric buttload of new clothes. Less for me to have to buy, anyway. It's not all stuff I'd choose, but since when is work-stuff ever stuff I'd pick for myself? (I'd have veered away from the patterns more, personally, but fashion's weird.)

Anyway, I suppose I really should head off. I just want to go back to bed and forget the world exists for awhile. Is that so much to ask?

Management

Mar. 23rd, 2007 07:17 pm
thessalian: (faith)
Well, we tried pulling out a stick of the RAM I'm currently running. Matters improved for all of two minutes before the crawl began again. Basically, consensus is the motherboard is going to hell. This theory is backed up by the constantly borking or vanishing F drive, the iTunes skippage and general mishegoss of that nature. Which means that I need the damn thing replacing. Fair enough - it's [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo's old motherboard, it's seen use, it's old and these things happen.

However. I can't afford to replace the motherboard. I particularly can't afford to replace the graphics card as well as the motherboard, which I'll probably have to do as the newer motherboards probably won't run the older graphics card. So basically, FFXI and Sims 2 will have to go hang until I can afford to replace what amounts to my entire system. Given the fact that I need to start setting up a nest-egg for the next unemployment horror (I'm a temp; it's going to happen one day), I won't actually be able to afford it. At all. Look, having enough money to contribute to the rent and suchlike is far more important than some stupid game. Or so I keep telling myself in a bid to keep from feeling utterly and completely miserable about the whole fucking situation.

After all, it's not like I'm ever going to be completely without computer access. If the motherboard on the Frankenbox dies completely, I have iMisc. My favourite tunes are on iStress, and it's not like I've been using iTunes on this machine anyway because of the whole skipping problem. And the stuff that I have to run on a PC isn't running so if I had to switch to iMisc as my primary computer, all I'd be losing is a decent keyboard and mouse. I can manage, and I suppose I'm going to have to.

I'm tired of most of my life being nothing more than 'managing'. I was coping a whole lot better when I had things to look forward to when I got home. Interior design. Monster nukage. That kind of thing. Now, though, I crawl through the shitstorm that is my day, I go home, I sleep until dinner, I eat, I chat to friends briefly, I very occasionally RP, and then I go to bed. Then I get up and do it all over again. My weekends are now pretty much just recovery time from hell-week - getting my back into halfway decent shape to survive another five days sitting in the horrible chair. It's depressing.

But I'll manage. I'm going to have to manage. It's not a permanent situation. Something'll come up so I can get a new motherboard. If nothing else, it's nine months 'til Christmas. And a hard-excavated streak of optimism is all that's keeping me remotely sane right now.
thessalian: (sick)
This week was my first week at a temp-to-perm job that was in no way challenging me, sticking with it because it was a temp-to-perm assignment and I wanted it to be perm ... and because I was assured by all and sundry that the office was "just having a slow week; it'll pick up next week". Now, if anyone would know, the full-time permanent staff would. You'd think, anyway. However, if you've been following my life for the past month, you'd probably work out quicker than I did that it's not that simple; not ever.

At about 3:30 this afternoon, I was asked to take a phone call. I figured it must be from the agency, and I was right. What I didn't figure was that the conversation would go as follows:

AGENT: Hi, [livejournal.com profile] thessalian! How're things?
ME: Fine, thanks for asking.
AGENT: No problem. Listen, we've just got a call from one of the girls in your office.
ME: (thinking) Okay, I haven't been on the internet from work once, I've bent over backwards to find things to do so I don't look like I'm slacking and I've done every piece of slogwork this office has produced this week, so there can't be a problem with my performance.
ME: Oh?
AGENT: Well, they wanted me to tell you this - I guess they're embarrassed - but it seems like they haven't got enough work for you long-term.
ME: ...
ME: (thinking) This is after an entire fucking week of them ASSURING me that this was just a slow week and of course they wanted to keep me and all of that! It's been obvious to me for ages that this place hasn't been producing enough work to keep me busy given my skills but THEY'RE the ones who're supposed to know whether that's a temporary condition or not, and well before three-fucking-thirty in the afternoon when all my agency cards are at HOME!
ME: ...Ah. They just told me they were having a slow week.
AGENT: (sounding sympathetic) I know; I'm really sorry and I'm looking really hard for something else for you, but I wanted to let you know now so you can ring your other agencies...
ME: *groan* My agency cards are at home...
AGENT: (nearly audible wince) I did tell you as soon as I knew...
ME: I know. It's okay. I'll just finish up this one bit I'm doing, go home early and call my agencies from there.
AGENT: I really am sorry. I'll let you know as soon as something comes in. In the meantime, make sure they sign your timesheet.
ME: (through gritted teeth) Oh, don't worry; I will.
Our Temporary Heroine then finishes the document she was typing and resists the temptation to stomp across the office and fling that cowardly bitch of an office manager out the fire escape.

I mean, seriously. Do they just not believe in being fair to temps? You know, people who need to let agencies know that they're available by first thing Friday morning at the very latest if they want to stand a hope in hell of working the following week? People who might not be able to afford being unemployed for a week? Does this not even remotely cross their tiny little minds?

I'm trying not to stress. I have a backup plan for covering my end of the household expenses for this month with enough left over to cover any shortfall in March, or to set up a nest-egg in case this shit happens again. But it means pushing Missouri back again and cancelling Phoenix Rising altogether, because it involves telling my mother that, instead of a trip to the US to see friends and speak in front of a whole bunch of people, I'd rather have some breathing space and no-strings financial help as my 30th birthday gift. I could just ask for a loan, but what with temping and all, I'm not secure enough in my ability to stick to a repayment plan for that option to fly. Yes, I know it's my mother and she's not likely to charge interest, but it's the principle of the thing. I'm not making any final decisions on that one, though, until I find out a) whether I can get Mum a refund on the gift certificate with which I bought my ticket and b) whether I'm working again by Tuesday morning.

So once again I am unemployed, and this is not the first time that I've lost out on a job because I'm too fucking efficient to take a very long time over a very little work. And all I can really think at this particular moment is "It's not my fault - I have to stop thinking this is my fault" and, of course, "Happy fucking birthday, [livejournal.com profile] thessalian".

Yeah. Tomorrow I turn 30. And please, for the love of whatever god you worship, don't mention it. I don't give a crap that I'm getting older - that has never bothered me and it's not about to start now. But honestly, I have never been less in the mood to celebrate anything in my entire life so, while I probably won't actually say anything if you choose to mark the occasion, the reaction you get from me is likely to be somewhat underwhelming. I'm too tired, depressed, angry and frustrated to much care, I'm afraid.
thessalian: (defensive)
Apparently, 'tis the fucking season.

I got the following email today:

Dear writer, you owe me fanfic! )

This was my reply:

Dear fangirl: Until I'm being paid for this, I don't owe you a damn thing. )

Thankfully, the one who wanted to use my characters has said that she won't post any of the stuff she writes on any sites, and I'm not going to stop her from writing it so long as it doesn't go out anywhere. She also asked if there's any hope for her as a writer, and I really don't know what to say. There's a lack of comic timing and subtlety in her work, and she doesn't really pay all that much attention to the characters' voices from what little of it I actually read. So I'm putting off answering that one for awhile.

Why? Why do these things happen?
thessalian: (defensive)
My boss needs to shut up.

His last letter/email reached me via post on Friday. Which means I picked it up in the afternoon. Being ill, I didn't get a chance to respond to it until Monday - weird sleep patterns and what have you. Which means he got his stupid hard copy signed permission to contact my doctor this very morning. Given first class post, it will have arrived today. What do I find in the mail today? Two letters, sent yesterday, telling me to respond to his last communication already or my pay might be withheld. Oh, thank you - I really need this when I'm ill. He couldn't have given it beyond the weekend to start in on this? Well, saving grace is that the letter I sent will have arrived today and I'll be sending him further certification on Wednesday, which should reach him Thursday ... at least, provided I can get to see Dr Bez without any problems tomorrow.

Moral: If you want something hard copy, give it a couple of days before you start bitching about where it's gone. The post office only works so fast.

*whine*

Owwwww...

Sep. 7th, 2006 08:19 am
thessalian: (meep)
I am waiting for painkillers to kick in. Because hey, guess what? The headache has still not gone away despite the lion's share of yesterday spent languishing in bed. Bully for me! It's not like I'm tired or anything; sure, I may have only got a few hours during the night, but given I slept for six hours yesterday during the daytime, I think it pretty well evens out. If I didn't have the fucking headache and associated nausea, I would actually feel fairly well, I think. But I don't. Instead, I have the miserable headache and Ham-Fisted Editor is in today and it's just going to be messy if I don't turn up but I somehow can't see myself taking any of that shit today. So I'm sitting here waiting for painkillers to kick in and judging my ability to complete a sentence while still contemplating calling in sick again.

...I don't wanna call in sick, but neither do I want to go to work feeling like someone is napalming my brain! Now I have The Guilt! [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo says this ought to take a back seat to The Head Explody, and I know he's right (though I note he's never that sensible about himself), but it still leaves The Guilt. I'm just glad I haven't called in sick in awhile (well, in a month, but it was still just the one day back in August with the gut horror). And it's a new year employment-wise, so hopefully I shouldn't get into too much shit for being ill.

Now, if the cat would just shut up for two minutes...
thessalian: (vengeance)
And here I am again, with further griping about my day. See, I now get the idea that today has been specifically designed by some malign deity specifically to turn my entire mood into a smouldering heap of slag.

Okay, when we reject papers, we hold on to them for a year, just in case some poor slob decides to send in a revised version. Fair enough. However, at some point it dawned on me that possibly the best way to store these was not the way my predecessors had, which was basically to hold all the relevant documentation on each paper together with a rubber band and then stuff them in a hanging folder with a bunch of other similarly banded papers. It was a mess trying to dig that shit out all the time. So eventually, I decided, "Hey! Individual folders don't take up as much room as these few overstuffed ones we've got going at the minute; why don't I just start putting the rejected papers into filing, hanging file and all? That way if someone wants to look at the documentation again, all they have to do is look at the relevant file! Yay! I R Clever!"

So that is what I did, and Michael frowned and wasn't sure that was such a good idea. But when, lo and befuckinghold, things actually started being more organised in the realm of rejected papers, he warmed to it and thought it was fab. To the point where a) he forgot it was my own initiative that led to the change and b) he decided to do a clear-out to make some nice tidy room for these papers. Which was nice. Until the questions came up about items he found while hunting. Idiotic questions, for the most part.

1) There's no card for this. Why is there no card for this?
*looks* Because it never even went for referees. We rejected it out of hand.
Well, we should have a card saying something to that effect. In case they come back with a revision.
*thinking* Why the fuck would there be a revision? Have you read the letter? The one on the screen in front of you? The one in which Ham-Fisted Editor explains to the corresponding author that the topic's not relevant to us, their data was a joke and their English was laughable even by Ham-Fisted Editor's standards?

2) I couldn't find a card for this one.
*looks* That's because it's been accepted. Well, the revised version was, anyway - this is the old version. They sent in a revision and that was accepted in June / March / January (delete as applicable).
Are you sure?
*double-checks* Yep.
Right. I'll check with copy anyway because I can't see that it has.
*thinking* ARE YOU EVEN LOOKING AT THE NICE SHINY VIRTUAL CARD ON THE SCREEN IN FRONT OF YOU READING, ACCEPTED [DATE]?!?

3) This is all fine except there's a typo on the date here that was messing with my system.
*looks* ... Okay. I'll fix that. *thinking* Why the almighty fuck didn't you, as you were there and it was merely a matter of adding a fucking zero?

4) I couldn't find a card for this one.
...Says rejected here.
Yes, I saw the rejection letter. But I can't find a card.
*checks box o' rejected cards* Here it is.
Oh, right.
*considers seppuku*

Plus there's a paper that came with thirteen or so high-quality images as figures (FOUR, damnit! The limit is FOUR!) which are printing out on our slow cranky printer like molasses in January, I have to do a post run and there's intermittent rain.

Today. SUCKS.
thessalian: (sucky day)
And the suck just keeps on coming as I spend yet another Friday taking shit for things that are not my fault.

See, we had this paper that arrived in late January. This paper was too long by our guidelines, so I told them to cut it shorter and send it again if they chose to, then moved on to other things. Then went on my birthday holiday, came back, and still thought nothing of that particular too-long paper (one of the many, you understand) until exactly a week ago, when I got an email asking what had become of their paper. Of course, it's now nearly eight months later so I don't actually remember thing one about this paper, so I look it up. And as I look, I see that yes, on 9 February, we - meaning Michael, as I was out of the office at the time - did send confirmation of receipt of that paper. But did I see a printout when I arrived? No. Did I see the email to which Michael was replying? No. Did I have any clue what to say that wasn't going to look like backstabbing my boss? NO. So I cited 'administration error', explained that we didn't seem to have the paper, apologised profusely and asked them to send it again. Which they did. And it's being worked on. So not great, but at least that's better than it could be, right?

Except for the fact that there's this other paper that turned out to, despite having apparently been accepted, dropped off the planet. Apparently there was at one point a serious hiccup between me and copy editing. No, I don't remember whose fault it was - this was months ago. What I do know is that the stupid paper should have been forwarded to copy editing but apparently, no such thing occurred. Either that or copy editing lost the damn paper, and of course I'd gone through an email "Accepted Papers" purge so I have no proof that it got sent at all. Fuck. Me. So I have to, yet again, turn around to authors and cite 'administration error' (which always, always, ALWAYS means me) so I can get the final version of the fucking paper again.

Except that the corresponding author of that second paper is the same as the corresponding author of the first one, and someone who we work with closely and like to keep happy wherever possible. And now the final version's been sent to me, but is attached to this letter going on about how there is concern about our (read: my) organisational skills. And Michael gave me the blankest, dumbest stoned-cow look when he asked for an explanation of that first paper and I had to tell him that he was the last one to deal with it and seems to have somehow lost it while I was away. "That's odd," he says. "First thing I generally do with these things is check the word length. You'd have thought..." Like it couldn't possibly be to do with him at all. Like it doesn't matter that he's supposed to get the benefit of the doubt and I'm not.

I'm supposed to send emails to people who don't seem to exist and the spelling of whose names I can't trust (so what's the point of even looking?!?). I'm supposed to somehow know when other people have fucked up around here. There is no way that I need this bullshit today.

And so continues the cavalcade of SUCK.
thessalian: (sucky day)
So it's the day before my holiday and absolutely everyone decides that today is the day they need to give me work.

Now, I honestly don't mind work. It keeps me out of trouble. But seriously. Ham-Fisted Editor did very little while he was doing the conference thing, despite the fact that I sent him everything as it happened. So instead of trying to do some while he was on conference, papers with all the referee data just sat there and mouldered for a month when all he was going to say was "Send it to a statistician". On top of that, half the fucking world decided to submit new papers between last night and this morning, and more are coming in even as I type, and yet more referee's opinions have come in. People keep randomly dropping work on my desk and no one seems keen to prioritise beyond, "This needs doing now.

Kicker? Michael approaches my desk this morning and goes, "So you're off next week. And you'll be sure to be all up-to-date before you go, won't you."

Oh yes. Of course I'm going to be entirely up to date by the end of the day, with a month's worth of work being dumped on my desk because Ham-Fisted Editor can't properly manage his time and having to make tea for fifteen people for this fucking Editorial Board meeting, which involves boiling two kettles minimum and general faffing of obscene proportions and the expenditure of half an hour's worth of time. That's so going to happen. OH yes.

Well, actually, it is, for secretly, under the guise of a mild-mannered Canadian, I am SuperAdmin, saviour of all disorganised management! Blessed with powers of super speed, ESP and slight precognition, SuperAdmin strikes fear into the hearts of overflowing in-trays worldwide! A month's worth of backlog all arriving on a desk at once is no match for SuperAdmin!

...Oh no! SuperAdmin's only weakness! The ... the Editorial Board tea party! Nooooooooooooooooooo!

Actually, what I'm going to do is copy-paste the decision letters exactly as Ham-Fisted Editor wrote them, and his atrocious grammar can go fuck itself. I don't care if he looks like a dipwad anymore. He is a dipwad. Anyway, I don't have time to fuck around with his decision letters today, not if I'm going to get Lady Competence's letters out and process the new papers.

(Edit: No I'm not. Then I'd look like the dumb one. So retyping shall happen. DAMNIT!)

See icon for mood.
thessalian: (rage)
Word from the office is that, since I've already had 14 sick days since the start of the year, there are serious problems and it all needs to be 'discussed'. I don't know what there is to discuss, frankly; there is nothing I can do about this. I got bronchitis earlier this year. Last month I had tonsillitis. This month ... same thing. I don't know how to stop getting sick; I can bundle up and eat my veggies and all that good shit, and I do. However, if the lurgy wants me, the lurgy is going to have me, and there's not a lot I can do to stop it. So now I have lurgy with added stress and, while I was too sick to go to the doctor today (it's that horrible in-between point of ill health where you're too ill to move and not ill enough for an ambulance), I will have to go in tomorrow and while I'm there, I will also have to ask if there's any way of getting some kind of note pointing out that I did go to the doctor for these things and that my illness was in no way malingering. It's the only thing I can think to do because frankly, at this point, I'm at the end of my tether. I wasn't ill for so long in any of those individual cases that I didn't qualify for self-certification, but I was genuinely ill, and honestly, what else can you really say? "I'm sorry; I should obviously have dragged myself in anyway, infected half the office with it so that productivity takes a real nose-dive and wound up ill for weeks instead of days"?

Great. Stress on top of illness. That's going to get me better quicker, isn't it? Fuckit; doctor tomorrow and the rest of the week in bed. I can't see myself getting properly better before then and if I'm going to get shit for minding my own health, then I'm not going to make the effort to come in while still horribly ill just because they're bitching at me.

Besides, the beginning of the year was five months ago! If it was within a month, like it was at Kier, I could understand, but ... argh!

Dilemma

May. 26th, 2006 07:50 am
thessalian: (meep)
My head hurts. I'm tired. I'm stressed and every muscle in my body has tensed up for no apparent reason. Yesterday, for the most part, sucked beyond the telling of it (with a few exceptions like dinner at Ikkyusan, a trip to the asian grocer just across the road from the restauraunt, dragon beard candy and gummy Damballa), which I guess explains it. The question is whether I want to risk worse migraine by going into work. The answer is no.

But of course, work ethic is causing me some problems. I'm not that ill. Mostly I just need a mental health day. Work sucks, the Frankenbox is fragged (though the noise is probably cat fur in the fan again), I've still got [livejournal.com profile] vampadvocate peering around the edges of my journal and going on about how she'd talk to me but (what do you think is going to happen if you talk to me directly, out of curiosity?) and in general, just argh. I don't know what to do...

First thing we do ... call in. Screw this; not sacrificing my health for work ethic, mental or physical. Then I switch off the Frankenbox because I needed to take it apart anyway. Then back to bed for a bit.
thessalian: (meep)
It's Meet the Parents Week!

Well, really. Tonight, drinks with my mother. Thursday, dinner with [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo's. Argh. Argh. Streeeeeess.

Oh well. I will be content. There's all that time off, and I need to plug in iStress to give it a bit of charge, maybe feed it [livejournal.com profile] weaselbitch's Portishead album (I'd completely forgotten about this album and how much I liked it!), get dressed, brush my hair, and then head off to do a bit of shopping and then meet [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo for a drink at the Intrepid Fox before meeting Mum for a drink at trendy coffee wine bar place.

Gleep.

Daily Duty

Mar. 21st, 2006 04:20 pm
thessalian: (sucky day)
Today has not been fun. Today has consisted of going through the Sent Folder of Eternal Agony, weeding out yet more emails that I can only hope I won't need later. While I was in the middle of that, Michael came up to hand me a list of records that hadn't been updated on the computer, so that was ... nothing remotely like a nice change of pace. I understand that some of it is stuff that only I can do, but surely he could have taken the three seconds to correct a couple of typos on dates. And then there's the galling fact that when I forget to update records and card files, I get a bollocking, but some of those cards hadn't been updated and the papers got published in 2004 and you know James won't hear anything about it. Fine, because he isn't doing it anymore, but there's also the stuff that didn't get to copy editing that was originally sent over in June of last year (when, of course, he was doing my job) and so I will get shit for not having seen it for months. Argh. Honestly, James gets away with fucking murder and it gets to me. Some of them, of course, I can't update because nothing's been done with them because, despite having sent the papers to HFE, he has done JACK FUCKING SQUAT WITH THEM.

Incidentally, someone in this office is stealing my T-cards. No kidding. Really. STEALING the fuckers. There is no other explanation for why various of them go conspicuously missing and then Michael gives me shit because there is no card for a manuscript. But there was. I updated it last week. And now it's gone. And it's not on my desk. I don't know if someone in this office is eating them or what, but it's beginning to drive me slightly bugfuck.

And then, of course, there's the post run. Big boxen. Which means that I need to go to the actual post office with cash. Well, at least it gets me the hell out of here.

I'm trying to decide whether I can face pub, basket food and company tonight. I'm supposed to be doing Heffalump Basket Food Night with [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo and [livejournal.com profile] weaselbitch but all I really want to do is crawl into bed and not move for awhile. The commute home isn't going to be fun.

I think I have ibuprofen in my handbag. And I know there's coffee around here somewhere... But I should do the post run first.

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