Back off bitch

A couple of months back I formed an instant dislike to someone on our very first meeting. She is a woman that tries to intimidate everyone that she comes into contact with. When I first met her I knew that it wasn’t going to be plain sailing. She is one of those middle aged women that wear clothes that should only be seen on a 20 year old. She has glasses with frames so bright that it hurts your eyes to look at them. And she has an attitude that’s worse than all of those things put together.

She is working for a client of mine. I don’t know what her job description is, but she seems to think that it’s commander of the universe. She speaks for the client. I suspect she probably eats and breathes for her as well. I can’t communicate with the client unless it’s on speaker phone so that the bitch can loudly talk over the client. It is doing my head in.

Everything that comes out of her mouth sounds confrontational. If she is questioning something that I’ve done, rather than asking me to explain, she asks me to justify myself. Huh? I wonder if she’ll ask me to justify the kick in the face that she’s about to get.

I designed a site for these people some months ago. We got to a stage where they were happy but were waiting on some final content before go live. They got that content in the form of a brochure on Monday. They sent it through and told (not asked, told) me to redesign the site to match the brochure. I said it’d take a week. They asked me to justify myself. I said I had other priorities. Once the bitch realised that I wasn’t going to respond to her bullying, she got the client to come begging.

Things got worse this morning when they rang with some final changes before go live. I asked when go live was. They said half an hour. I laughed. They didn’t.  I felt myself starting to get incredibly angry. I told them I couldn’t guarantee that the work would be done today. And then I did it. You are probably wondering why the hell I am so nice to people like this. Sometimes I wonder. But to be honest, I didn’t do the work to help them out. I did it because until it was done I would stress about it.

And I want the bitch off my back.

Philosophising

Further to yesterday’s public service announcement, I need to explain a few things. I sometimes forget that my brain works slightly differently to that of the average person. I forget that I live inside this head 24/7. Everyone else just gets daily 300 word glimpses. You’d be forgiven for taking things a bit more literally than they are intended.

I have the tendency to get overexcited, especially during times of change. These moments are great blazing flashes and are generally followed up by periods of philosophising. I have never really noticed this as a pattern in the past, but of late it is becoming hard to ignore. Something happens. I react. I announce my intent for all to hear. Someone comments. I realise that I have been misunderstood. I try and explain.

I have been thinking on that last bit. That is what’s new. I didn’t used to explain. I didn’t used to care. In fact, the sillier I was, the funnier I found it. But now there is a new factor to consider. Responsibility. Before, I used to think that the things that I did really only affected me. As I have gotten older, I have realised that it simply isn’t the case. My epilepsy affects the people that love me. Not that I ever have seizures any more, but the fact that I somehow broke my brain is a scary thing. My decision to take up a fighting sport after my diagnosis affects other people. My decision to have a baby affects others. And therefore the way I behave in preparation becomes something that’s about more than just me.

Sometimes I feel like perhaps I give the impression that I’m feeling all whoa-is-me about this thing. Like it’s getting me down or become all consuming. That’s not the case. I know my time will come. It has just taken me some time to realise that in order for it to happen, I have to make sacrifices. Those sacrifices are hard and they have taken some adjustment on my part. I wasn’t ready before, although I thought I was. A friend asked me in the weekend if I really want to have a baby. If I’m ready. I told him that until last month I wasn’t.

But I am now.

So, as another friend said to me this morning, maybe this is fate’s way of teaching me some patience. It’s certainly something that I have always struggled with. In fact, in those personal development courses when you have to list your best and worst personality traits, my worst is always impatience. It’s what other people list for me as well.

But more than that, perhaps this time is supposed to be so that I can clean up my act and get my body healthy. I am looking on it as a transitional time. Time that I can use to get my head around this thing that is to become my new life.

I joked yesterday about going back to my old ways. Perhaps I was too blase about it. I believe that you get from life what you put in. This is my chance to plan for my future and to take stock and do things right. I should look at it as a good thing. Most people don’t get this time to reflect and plan. And most people would kill to be told that they have to slow down on the exercise and take it easy. But there’s the thing.

I’m not most people.

Public Service Announcement

I think it only fair to warn you all that I’ve leapt off the wagon. I’m back on the bad behaviour bus and I’m looking forward to the ride. 

Things on the trying to have a baby front are not going well. After depriving myself of alcohol, caffeine, sugar, wheat, refined food and excessive exercise for months, my hormones are still about as controlled as my behaviour used to be. It looked like I’d made a breakthrough for a while there and I started responding to the drugs, but then this cycle it all went through the floor again. The clinic can’t explain it. I sure as hell can’t.

So for the sake of my sanity, I’m taking Christmas off. After 5 failed cycles, I need to stop and take stock. I am getting a bit tired of wondering at the start of each month whether I’m going to spend it crying or ranting. They say that it’s normal to have extreme emotions whilst on hormone treatment, but they fail to say that none of those extremes are good. I am still managing to stay positive, even though it seems that another of my friends gets pregnant each month. I don’t want to spend the Christmas season watching everyone else eating and drinking only to get more and more bitter each time things fail.

I had considered trying once more having a rest, but mum feels strongly that I need a break now. And mum’s usually right. So after Saturday’s bloods revealed that my estrogen had once again fallen through the floor, I consoled myself with Moet. And coffee. And sugar. At one stage I really broke out and had some bread.

I behaved rather badly on Saturday evening when I showed up to a bbq at the house of a friend that I haven’t seen since school. I lasted there less than an hour when I announced (before dinner was even served) that I had to leave temporarily and then never returned. It was probably best for all concerned, to be honest.

So today I am feeling poisoned but philosophical about things. My time will come.

Cats and clocks and identity crises

I have been having a bit of a dilemma with alarm clocks of late. I decided out of the blue a few weeks back that I no longer like the alarm clock that I’ve had for the last few years. It’s gone from being cute and funky to just plain ugly, through no fault of it’s own. So I started a quest for a new one. I found the coolest retro style clock. It was metal and heavy and I loved it. It had a couple of downfalls however. It didn’t have a light, which is important to me in an alarm clock. And it ticked. Boy, did it tick. It ticked like it’s life depended on it. Not surprising really – I guess it did. I wasn’t affected by it in the slightest, but it turned Shaun into the devil incarnate. So it was out on it’s heavy metal ass.

Yesterday I thought I’d hit the jackpot. I was out doing some early Christmas shopping when I spotted some cool looking red things which, upon closer inspection, turned out to be clocks. They were digital – no ticking. I asked the chick at the shop if they had a light. Yup – all good. Sweet.

I set the clock up on my bedside table. It looked great. Things were going well. Until we went to bed. Things started going downhill as it proceeded to announce the time loudly every hour in a robotic American voice. “Beeeeeeeep. Eleven o’clock pm.”  Great. It was funny at first. That quickly ceased. If you pushed it to turn the light on it would tell you the exact time. Preceeded by the annoying beeeeeeep, of course.  To make matters worse, in my fit of buying excitement, I’d bought Shaun one as well. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they were in unison. But they weren’t.

After a few hours I punched it hard enough that it stopped the talking. Until 5:30 this morning when the alarm went off. Now, I accept that alarms need to be obnoxious enough that you can’t ignore them, but the obnoxious beep followed by the extremely annoying robotic rooster crow could probably be considered overkill. That, and the fact that we couldn’t figure out how to stop it. It crowed and crowed and crowed until it’s batteries were forcibly removed. So those will be joining the ticking bastard in the alarm clock graveyard.

Whilst on the subject of annoying birds, I should mention that Chico has developed a bit of an identity crisis and seems to think he’s a sparrow. He has added a new trick to his repertoire of ridiculous yet highly entertaining habits. He no longer just empties the washing machine and drags the dirty clothes around the house, he now goes around the neighbourhood collecting all the bread that people have thrown out for the birds. He brings it in through his catdoor and eats it on the furniture. Every day when we get home there are piles of crumbs and half eaten pieces of bread all over the house. I wondered what was going on for a while until we witnessed him coming over the fence with some old burnt toast in his mouth.

Things are more than a little weird around our place at the moment.

BIG talking

I have always been a believer in the fact that you can’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. My family (well, three of us) are well known for rounding out a story to make it more entertaining. Some would call it  exaggeration. I call it storyteller’s license. It’s what makes your run of the mill, every day experiences into something that other people want to hear about. And I love an audience. 

It might surprise you to hear that it’s not all roses in the life of the big talker. There are occasions when good stories go bad. This doesn’t happen to the seasoned storyteller but can be a trap for young players. As a couple of novices I know found out.

We were having dinner at a friend’s place last week when he told us of someone he knows who is about to propose to his girlfriend. Always keen to help (and fuelled by a few drinks – like petrol to a storyteller),  the friend jumped in and offered up the services of yet another friend who happens to own a jewellery store. He mentioned that he could get her to do him an exceptionally cheap deal. Now I have NO idea how things got so out of control, but now the engager is under the impression that he can get an $20k ring for $2k. He is so excited about it that he is telling all his friends. Every time he tells someone in front of the storyteller, the storyteller gets so excited by the reaction that he reinforces the story. The full realisation of what he has done is only just starting to sink in. Needless to say, he’s not looking forward to that engagement party.

I think perhaps the best example I have ever heard of a good story taking a turn, is one from my varsity days. My old flatmate was out drinking one night (yup – it’s always a factor) when she met a cute guy at the bar. She introduced herself and he noticed that her lastname was the same as that of a famous sportsman. He asked if they were related and she said (ok, lied) that she was his especially close and absolutely favourite cousin. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to her, the cousin of the famous sportsman happened to be a semi-famous surfer. She of course jumped on that band wagon as well.

All probably would have been well except that the guy was so taken with this drunk surfer chick from the famous family that he got her number and they started dating. He told all his mates about her and they lined up to hit the waves with her. The unfortunate truth of the matter was that she couldn’t even swim.

After several months the guy started to wonder why her favourite cousin was never at any family functions with all the other cousins. Last I saw of them, they were getting married and he was still blissfully unaware of his fiancee’s lack of fame and fear of the waves.

So the moral of this particular story is that if you don’t know how to factor exaggeration into a good yarn, what you are actually doing is the thing more commonly known as lying.

Not cool.

When we moved house a few months back we used a moving company. After doing the job ourselves a couple of times in the past and almost breaking up over it, we have sworn never to do it again. You pay people to do things like that. It’s just safer all round.

We used a company that was recommended by a couple of friends that used them a couple of weeks earlier. It was just two guys and a truck, but they showed up when they said they would and got the job done efficiently. That’s all we needed. Unfortunately, their price was astronomical because we needed to move on a Sunday.

Moving day rolled around and so did the middle of winter. About 10 minutes into the move, the sky started falling. I don’t know that I’ve seen rain much heavier in my lifetime. They perservered, but it made things pretty slippery. As a result, our fridge somehow got dropped. It is only a couple of years old and is one of those iridium brushed stainless steel ones. Call me house-proud, but I wasn’t particularly stoked about the huge dent in the middle of the door. The chief mover guy told us not to worry, we’d sort it out at the end.

So… at the end, he gives us a form and tells us we have two options. The first ‘option’ is to do nothing. Yeah, see I wasn’t good with that. The second ‘option’ was to tick a box saying we wanted insurance, pay $100 and call their office the next day to lodge a claim. I was a bit pissed, but it seemed that we had no other feasible ‘options’, so we ticked the box and paid the cash.

The next day we called the office and were effectively told to bugger off. According to the owner of the company, we hadn’t committed to insurance before the job. That’s true – it was never mentioned. We didn’t know it was an option. We had been told what to do by the driver and he had taken our money. We laid out our case to the owner (hereon referred to as the bastard) and he got extremely angry and said that he would have to pay for it himself and deal with it internally. We were fine with that. He told us to get the work done and then let him know.

Whatever! We asked him to put that in writing. He said he would. We didn’t hear from him again. He seemed to be mysteriously sick every time we called. I can see why he needs to steal from people – he’s obviously very ill. He hasn’t been at work for most of the last two months. Apparently.

We have written to him. We have called. We have set our lawyers on him. They got through and he was unbelievably rude. He finally agreed (again) that he would pay. The lawyers didn’t fall for that. They sent him a memo saying he’d pay and that we were to forward the invoice straight to him. All he had to do was sign it. He didn’t. Then he apparently got sick again.

Unfortunately for him, I come from a family of lawyers and we are persistant. There is no way I’m letting the bastard get away with it. The damage only comes to about $500, but on top of that he has taken extra cash from us as a premium.  It’s sounding like a scam that he pulls on lots of people.

So now we’re taking him to the Disputes Tribunal. I’m getting my money off that bastard and then I’m turning him in to the police.

See how he deals with THAT internally.

Recharged

This weekend just gone marked the break in the long weekend drought for us.  Long weekends (I believe they are known as bank holidays in other countries) are ridiculously planned in this country. There is a glut of them in January, when everyone has just started back at work after their summer holiday and doesn’t really need them. They carry on sporadically through until late June, where they stop all the way through until now. What seems even more ridiculous is that some of them (Queen’s Birthday for example) are on some arbitrarily selected date anyway. Why not put it in the middle of winter when everyone desperately needs an extra day? Ooooh no. That would be sensible.

Anyway, enough of the moaning. The fast is over. It’s holiday season. Yesterday was Labour Day. It was supposedly invented to celebrate the fact that none of us have to work more than 40 hours a week. What a joke! I do 40 hours in my first job alone! But still, that’s my choice.

I spent part of the weekend down in Tauranga hanging out with Mary. It was fantastic. We ate icecream and burgers and went to a movie. The most amazing thing though, was the fact that we both slept for 11 hours. That’s unheard of among Hawk women that aren’t under anaesthesia or haven’t just returned from a 3 day bender.

I spent half of Sunday and all of yesterday lounging around the house. It was a shitty, windy weekend so yard work was out of the question. With the exception of a quick excursion to the gym, I spent most of the time on the couch. I watched part of 4 movies. None of them really captured my attention for longer than half an hour. The only one I watched through to the end was entertaining for an unusual reason. It was Bridge to Terabithia – a kid’s film that was average. The reason it cracked me up so much was that it is an American film shot here in NZ. The scenery is all very kiwi, set largely in our native bush. They would cut to these shots of squirrels on occasion, which was interesting considering we don’t have squirrels here. I guess they wanted to Americanise it.

Anyway, I’ve just realised that I’ve written almost 400 words about absolutely nothing of value, so that’ll be it for today.

As you were.