Saturday, December 7, 2013
I told him to leave. Actually I told him to "get out now." In the past year he has been practically always stressed out with the job. He used to try to change workplace dis-function but eventually he realized the futility of it all. His company only seems to care about profit and don't seem too concerned about the revolving door of employees, which is all but guaranteed when you under staff and overwork your employees. workers. There were too many similarities to my old job for me to keep my trap shut: the attitude of 'I was once an abused underling so now it's your turn to pay your dues', the boss showing the employee time cards on PowerPoint at the productivity monthly meetings with different color highlights to indicate how much overtime everyone worked as though over sixty hours per week was a badge of honor, the 'advice' that management frowns on people who don't volunteer to come in on weekends, the employee appraisals that seem to only focus on negative aspects of performance (how many minutes after 8:30am did you arrive to work even though there is no appraisal category for how many hours you worked the night before), etc.
After three years of that management style I was so bitter that it was a fortunate thing that I decided to take a few months off to decompress because had I tried to interview for a new job, I probably would have come off as mentally unstable. Because I probably was mentally unstable.
My friend is no longer making sense. He displays a strange approach to problem solving, which is to let the problem fester while it is low on the radar until it becomes a major problem, at which point normal options are taken away. Case in point: his sink was draining very slowly. I pointed this out to him when I was over for a visit. A few weeks later I was rinsing my hands and noticed that the drain was barely working. Have you called anyone to fix it or called your landlord, I asked him. No, the landlord probably wouldn't care. He had no reason for why he thought that the landlord wouldn't care since he rarely speaks to the landlord, so I can only conclude that the attitude at his workplace has carried over to how he believes other people operate. He would use his sink in the morning, filling it up, then go to work. By the time he came home it would have drained. Except last week it didn't drain fast enough and the water escaped down the side of his pipes and somehow made it into his neighbor's ceiling. Now the landlord is involved and has to pay for the neighbor's ceiling along with fixing the drain.
And I am introducing this guy for a job. He needs to leave his current situation but I'm not sure that he is fit for working in a 'normal' company right now. At least by observing him I have gained insight into how so many people in upper management are useless. If he stays in his current job, he will follow that path.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
SB voiced his approval by yelling, "Nick, you'd better get the coach to sub you off right now! You'll never play better than that!" His statement was followed by a chorus of other players shouting for Nick to retire immediately.
And that, my friends, is how rugby players support each other.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
This reminds me to be thankful not only for our usually good health but also for the medical services here in Hong Kong that allow us to seek care without stressing out over the cost of hospital care. We are living on my salary and a trip to the emergency room in the United States would have hurt. I hope that Obamacare, as it is being called, works as it is meant to because one should never have to choose between one's health and one's financial solvency.
I also was reminded this year that I am at an age where I no longer consider myself to be young. I experienced some trauma thinking that I am now closer to middle aged than teenaged, but then I thought about how much less awkward and dumb I am and that cheered me right up. I prefer my sharper self even if it is in a less sharp body.
It must have been thinking about aging that caused me to look back on a poignant Thanksgiving more than a decade ago. A university tradition went terribly wrong before our annual game against the University of Texas and the bonfire that we had been building collapsed. There were twelve trees planted alongside the rugby pitch to memorialize the students did not survive the accident; it was something that I am thankful for because I saw those trees every week and is eased my heart to know that I was not in danger of forgetting.
One of the students was an architecture student in my year. I had never met her but I felt her loss anyway. At my graduation, right before I hoisted the gonfalon and led my class into the stadium, I spared a moment of thought for this unknown woman as well as my dear friend, Robley, who succumbed to cancer one month before. It is times like now when I face down a milestone that I think about those who are no longer along on my ride. They were bright and beautiful people and they should have had whole lives but sometimes things don't work out like they should. While I am saddened that they missed these experiences, I am very grateful for the life that I have had and for the gift that these people gave me: the knowledge of how precious our time on earth is.
Monday, November 25, 2013
I deserved the glare that I got today while waiting to be seated for lunch. The middle aged woman in front of me looked like a cat and I was fascinated. Her skin seemed too tight for her skull while her neck and hands were soft and a bit lined like a normal middle aged woman. I wasn't trying to be rude but I was mesmerized by the complete lack of wrinkles anywhere on her face, even as she was glaring. It really was like a cat; their expressions rarely change but you just know when they want to rip your throat out.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Last night SB returned home sporting an impressive, little gouge in his elbow. He was vague on the details but it appeared that he was involved in a scuffle with another player that (for once) wasn't his fault. The other player received a double penalty and SB continued to play without realizing that he was bleeding all over the ice.
He needed stitches but it wasn't going to happen so I was very happy that I had picked up a handful of butterfly bandages last summer when we were in the States. I haven't been able to find them here in Hong Kong. You can make your own but I prefer the ones you buy at first aid stores because they are strong and adhere more than regular bandages. This is important because you are using the butterfly to close a laceration in lieu of suturing.
Overall I think that I did a pretty good job. SB will live to