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Friday, March 30, 2018

 
I'm now three weeks into my job and I'm basically training two new people how this company works. At this point, I've got a decade of experience in this industry and I'm training people who have less than two and don't gave any kind of education. I'm trying not to feel superior, but their troubleshooting skills and their basic knowledge of how systems work is lacking. The guy training me is having a new kid in a month and is mentioning that he'll be gone soon, so they lean to me saying "Oh, Tom can help us". So, I'm beginning to see that I'm really fucking good and knowledgeable at what I do and I'm severely underpaid, especially if I'm training people. I'm not a teacher,by any means, but,if they want me to explain to noobs how I come to the conclusions that I do, they need to show me the proverbial money.

I had to attend a meeting early in the morning, pre-coffee, about ITAR, or something about International Arms Resolutions and how I'm supposed to make sure I'm not divulging information about how to use our products to cause terrorism, which I literally paid no attention to because, if COBRA comes to me offering more money and actual benefits, then fuck you, America, me and COBRA Commander are fucking shit up in the name of anarchy. Rather than paying any attention to it all, I daydreamed about the condo that went on sale yesterday that was foreclosed on a year ago, and is reasonably-ish priced and how I'd like to live there and fulfill that resolution about being a person the little curly haired girl would want to date.When they started talking about government shit in my meeting, I started having a Goodwill Hunting conflict. I thought about buying my condo and getting a dog from a shelter, whatever was the most pathetic looking doge I could find is,hopefully a grey pitbull,and her name will be Ellen Ripley because she'll be a badass bitch and she'll have a dog bed and we'll go to the dog park down the block together. I might be Lennie from Of Mice and Men...


said Tommy T. at 8:24 PM - #
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

 
I got a job,but it's not going to be a long term thing.I'm not going to let it be. During my interview, they pointed out rather extreme turnover that they've had the past couple years. I thought it strange that they've gone through four IT directors in two years,but figured that's on them to figure out. Afterwards, their H.R. guy sat me down and showed me their benefits package. If Iwere to get hired on from being a contractor to a regular employee, there's no raise whatsoever. There's a chance,however, to get get quarterly bonuses if I meet arbitrary objectives that don't seem to be laid out in advance.You get ten days of vacation a year, there's ten holidays they get off, along with a floating holiday. The guy training me told me today he's expecting a kid next month."So, do they offer paternity leave?" "No, you get short term disability at 80% pay for a couple weeks." There's your answer right there. Having kids is nowhere on my radar considering I don't even date, but how a company treats its employees is pretty high up there. I looked around at everyone that works there, they're all my age or older, no younger folks whatsoever. I've got no misconceptions that I'm a young person anymore, but I've gotten butt surfed by enough employers to know that if an employer looks like a scumbag,they're probably scumbags.If they want loyalty and complacency, they're going to have to earn it. So I'm going to put in my time and continue to apply to other jobs in the mean time, hoping to find an employer that gives a shit about its employees and its community.


said Tommy T. at 6:22 PM - #
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Thursday, March 01, 2018

 
Not feeling good at all about being unemployed yet. I'm at the point where I've seen the same episode of Roseanne four times in the last six months on the OTA channel that just repeats old '80s and '90s sitcoms and advertises farmersonly.com and where to buy catheters cheaply. I've been thinking a lot about what to do if this is a long term thing and how to prevent it from happening again.

School? Do I want to be going back to school at 37? What would I go to school for? Am I still capable of learning? I've tried to come up with an idea of what I'd like to do, but I'm not particularly good at anything except avoiding people. I'm not interested in much apart from food, punk rock, and staying fit. Staying fit isn't something I'm willing to get a job in at all because I have no patience for people who think it's too hard to learn how to plan and cook their own meals and not eat out five or more nights a week, or are afraid of being judged at the gym. Punk rock isn't really something I could apply to real life, short of an English degree or something so that I could write about it and I'm shit at writing about music. Food is a non-starter because I have only one usable side of my body and I'm utter shit at creating recipes on my own.

To pass the time, I've started watching Gilmore Girls again because that show became my security blanket while going to school in my twenties and living with the man who wore his ass as a hat. I started with season where Rory started going to Yale because that when it started to get really good and because I though maybe it'll get me in the mindset of going back to school. But now that it's March, it got me thinking that when I last went to school, this is when I was craving Spring Break and planning elaborate trips to follow the Boston Bruins hockey team around for a week or going down to Texas for SXSW. It might be cool to go to Texas, but I really don't follow music as much as I did a decade ago. I've mostly settled into listening anarcho-syndicalist folk punk bands who sing about overcoming alcoholism.



said Tommy T. at 11:11 AM - #
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Thursday, January 25, 2018

 
They want an in person interview next week... And I spoke to another recruiter this morning for the job I interviewed for back in September, so they either picked the wrong person for that one or went a few months down a person. I'm less inclined to give much of a shit about either way. Not helping was that the recruiter straight up refused to tell me who it was with but I was able to figure it out based on the street name he gave me. The pay is far less than I'm looking for, particularly when they claim to have gained over two billion in assets in under five years. I'm hoping the in person interview goes well because that job offers substantially more.


said Tommy T. at 3:31 PM - #
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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

 
Just did my first phone interview for a job that actually pays more than what I'm looking for. Like always,I don't feel good about how it went. I hate phone interviews. I hate interviews, period. I hate them for the same reason I hate dates: I get so nervous about it, I forget my entire life, so answering questions is extremely difficult and I stumble through it, vomiting up a word salad rivaled only by Donald Trump. I prepared for this one, looking up relevant information about the company so I could reasonably answer why I want to work there better than "because I want a fucking job and it appears that you have one available." I wrote down questions to ask because you're supposed to ask questions of your interview because you're interviewing the company as much as they're interviewing you. Maybe the whole corporate drone, middle class, home owner lifestyle isn't my thing and I should stop trying to fit in. Give up on those dreams of being a contributing member of society, meeting a woman while out volunteering who isn't raging Christian religious, and being all dashing and charming and shit, and then going on extravagant vacations touring breweries that don't specialize in gross ass sour beers.

My dream condo that went on the market two weeks before I lost my job is now off the market, which might not be so bad. I looked at its page on zillow and noticed that there's no washer or dryer in the unit. I stayed at an airbnb while in Montreal where the woman who owned it put one of each in her kitchen and then ran her countertop between them, which was an interesting way to setup a kitchen, but I don't think it's something I'd want in my home or have to figure out how to plumb into a kitchen, so maybe it wasn't my dream condo, which is good considering the job hunt has been largely fruitless, with only nibbles from recruiters offering shit jobs doing phone support for insultingly low wages.


said Tommy T. at 1:22 PM - #
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Monday, January 01, 2018

 
2017 wasn't a bad year, but it wasn't a great year, either.

I saw the Descendents live, something I had been hoping to do for 18 years and it was everything I hoped it would be. They played pretty much their entire catalogue and were able to rock pretty well for a bunch of old guys.

I traveled to Toronto to see the band Sigur Ros, which proved to be the best vacation I've ever had and the most amazing concert I've ever seen. And, true to form, as soon as the handbell choir opener played Staralfur, I started crying because that song moves me to tears every time. It was hard to leave Toronto because their public transit system was incredibly convenient. Like I wish we could have that here. And I ran into chef Chuck fucking Hughes on a steet cornerin downtown Toronto! Since I got back, I've been saying that as soon as Trump implements the death camps, I'm fleeing to Toronto. I'd like to believe PM Trudeau would be okay with taking in American refugees in that situation. Quebec City, however, remains my zombie apocalypse bug out destination.

I lost my job this year. My job in Milwaukee was eliminated and I was offered to be relocated to Kansas City. Their number to relocate me was nowhere near the number I'd consider taking to leave Milwaukee. This place is my home, the first place I've ever been where I feel like I fit in, and god damn anyone who tries to make me leave.

Rather than move, I took the generous severance package option. A few weeks later, my best friend visited from Alaska, got me drunk, and convinced me to go to Alaska for a week. I hadn't seen dude in five years, so it was cool to go visit and meet his kid and his wife and see that his dog was still alive and happy and still puts his snout directly into your crotch. I also had long layovers in Seattle, so I got to spend time there again and it turns out I still love it there.They've got a light rail now that makes getting around pretty easy and it's pretty cheap, $6 for a day pass, so I was able to do and see things I missed last time I was there. I'd still love to live there, but I don't think it's time yet. My buddy wants me to move to Alaska,but there's no way, the place is too far removed for me, which is really saying something. You're able to drive from one end of the road to the other in an hour.I mean, the road just fucking ends. The only way to get things there is by plane or boat, which makes shit expensive. I guess they pay well up there to make up for it, but I can't handle the fact that the sun rises at 8:30 in the morning in the winter and it starts getting dark at 3pm. I already despise winter, that place would be hell for me.

For 2018, my priorities are to get a job, not drink at all until the job happens and to get myself to a point in my life where I'd feel comfortable actually trying to date.I spent 2017 avoiding dating at all, which makes it sound like it was a difficult thing. It was not. A couple weeks before the New Year, I activated my profile on the app where women have to message the guy first because I wanted to see if the landscape has changed much. Nope. Still loaded with women whose bios contain such choice morsels as "love to have fun" and "hobbies include: Netflix, sarcasm and the oxford comma". My new favorite, though, was the one whose bio read "My sarcasm is so dry, sometimes my friends think I'm an asshole, but I'm not, though!" That complete lack of self awareness was from a woman well into her thirties, not some 23 year old because I've got my filters set realistically. I want to get to a place where, were I able to actually form sentences around the little curly haired girl, she'd actually enthusiastically say yes to a date with me. I don't know how to get there, but I'm going to try to figure it out.

2018 was supposed to be the year that I bought a condo. I've got enough saved to plunk down a 50% down payment on a place at the top end of my budget, but that's now going to get used to keep me alive and sane while funemployed. I live comically below my means, so I could be fine for quite a while, if need be. I hope it need not be. Unfortunately, I'm over the entire I.T. field. The whole having to find a new job every couple years is annoying, especially as I'm hurtling towards 40, so not only do I have to worry about being discriminated against for having a disability, I'll soon have to worry about being discriminated against because of my age. I don't like those odds. I'm pretty jealous of the job stability the accountants at my old job had. The most of their worries seem to be whether or not the printer was going to cooperate and whether or not the lady who refuses to retire at 75 bathed in perfume again today.


said Tommy T. at 12:21 PM - #
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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

 
Dear Tom,

Next time it's Christmas Karaoke night at the dive bar down the street from your house and you're four beers deep and there's a super cute girl with the pipes to back it up, ask her to accompany you on Fairytale of New York because anyone worth a damn knows the words to that one, even though no one else at the bar knows that song. Love,

Tom


said Tommy T. at 12:43 AM - #
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

 
And I couldn't do it.

I spent weeks building myself up, working on what I was going to say when I saw her and then the moment came. I saw her after the race was done, presumably walking back to her car. I tried smiling at her to see if there was any reaction, while at the same time trying to not look like a goofball smiling at her. There was not. She looked dejected. I had wanted to say hi and ask her how she did. It was on my tongue but I couldn't get it out because she looked like she wasn't having any of it. Based on her bib number, she missed out on a top five finish by a second. I don't know if a fifth place finish would have gotten her anything or not, but, in that brief moment, I could tell a positive outcome wasn't going to happen. So I chickened out.


said Tommy T. at 6:55 PM - #
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

 
"That's when I realized it gets worse." They transferred my job to Kansas City, another flyover state. I had a month to decide if I'd stay in Wisconsin or move to Kansas. I did my research and found that cost of living is similar, except housing is slightly higher in Kansas and that Kansas City, MO is the worst city in America to date in and, as an atheist anarchist, those aren't very good odds, so I had to decline their offer of no raise at all and a small relocation bonus because I'm not a fucking moron.

I don't particularly want to be looking for a new job right now, when I'd actually prefer to continue shopping for a condo, but shit happens. So, I've got to find that little curly haired girl and try and fail to make something happen. Good timing, that.

I've got the chance to talk to the little curly haired girl at the 5K run at the campus where I work if she runs it this year. I haven't seen her since the run last year, so I'm not holding my breath, but, if I don't talk to her now, I'll never get my chance again. Good fucking timing, that.


said Tommy T. at 7:59 PM - #
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Tuesday, July 04, 2017

 
"Maybe we'll see on the 4th of July"...

I'm keeping to my resolution of not dating and I feel terrible. Not because I'm not dating anyone,but because I don't feel bad that I'm not dating anyone. I'm pretty okay with not dating because I'm not all that attracted to anyone, but I feel bad about not being attracted to anyone. It feels like I should be, but I just can't give a shit about anyone because I don't share any real interests with anyone and because all the women my age treat me like nothing more than an anthropomorphic wallet, which makes me feel slightly less shallow about judging someone by their looks.
I looked up the girl I hoped to see every fourth of July earlier this year and I was glad to see that she's got a kid and what looks like a good life in Madison. I still wish I had tried talking to her even though it would have never worked out,but, man, it would have been awesome to go on a date with Liz. It would have been a colossal failure like all the rest, but at least I wouldn't be left wondering what if.


said Tommy T. at 10:01 PM - #
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