No, Mr. Little, The Sky Is Not Falling

About a week ago I was given notice that as of September 30th, my contract was finally coming to an end and it would be my absolute, absolute last day at my current place of employment. However, because I’d been told this so many times over the last eight months, I took it with a grain of salt and went on about my business, thinking, “Yeah, right.” This past Monday morning however, I received email from my recruiter confirming that after speaking with my boss, my time here was indeed coming to an end.

Well fuck.

Yeah, I know I was making way less money than what I’d been prior to coming here and it was a constant reminder of how woefully under-employed I was, but for the most part—even with the multiple instances of stupid I have witnessed during my tenure—I have genuinely enjoyed working here and realized that I was going to miss my coworkers much more than I ever thought I would.

Even so, as much as the thought of having to go through a job search yet again (not to mention interviewing) left a pit in my stomach, I tried to remain positive. Firstly, since this was not a for-cause or a voluntary termination, securing Arizona Employment Benefits—as meager as they are—while I looked for work wouldn’t be met with the kind of resistance I got from DISH after I left there. Secondly, I tried to keep the attitude that everything happens for a reason, and this was happening now because it was time for me to move onto a new chapter in my professional life.

Well, wouldn’t you know as soon as I wrapped my head around that, accepted it, received a glowing Letter of Recommendation from my supervisor’s boss, and actually started looking forward to having some time off, everything changed.

My boss walked in late yesterday afternoon with a very serious look on his face and his cell phone glued to his ear. I didn’t know who he was talking to, but I overheard, “So this isn’t FTE? Okay, I’ll ask him how he feels about it.”

Next thing I know we were sitting in his office and I was being offered a job; not as an “Imaging Specialist” (my current title), but as a proper Desktop Tech. It would still be a contract position, but unlike my current gig, this one was open-ended and could potentially last years. (There’s a hiring freeze on right now for full-time employees; otherwise they’d offer to hire me outright.)

To be honest, my initial internal reaction—after seeing how things are done around here and dealing with some of the personalities I’d have to interact with on a daily basis as a Desktop Tech—was “Oh hell no!” But almost immediately I remembered this had also been my initial reaction to the offer of employment at Abrazo after contracting there those many years ago—and that resulted in some lifelong friendships being formed and the job itself ultimately becoming the one to which I compared all that followed.

I told my supervisor it sounded interesting, but frankly it would all come down to the money. I’d already applied at two other state agencies where I’d be making significantly more and he was aware of that, so he understood completely, saying that I’d have to discuss those specifics with his boss.

This morning when I arrived at work I sent an email off to the man holding the purse strings asking if we could meet sometime today. Not thirty seconds later my phone rang and the he said, “How about now?”

To sum up, after discussing everything and getting a ballpark salary estimate sometime later, I accepted the offer. My new title and pay grade takes effect Monday even though I’ll still be reporting to the same location and doing the same tasks I have been until they figure out exactly what they’re going to do with me. It still needs to be determined which facility I’ll be based at and who I’ll be paired with—requiring some personnel shuffling—but it looks like I’m set for the foreseeable future and I can finally exhale a bit…

I Love This!

I’d never heard of this group until the final episode of Mr. Robot. In what was probably one of the—if not the—greatest scenes in the series that was so perfectly paired with music, The Moth & The Flame plays as Agent DiPierro walks Darlene through FBI Headquarters after a particularly intense verbal interrogation wherein Darlene mistakenly thought she had the upper hand.

Some Tumblr Thoughts

1. Do not kill yourself. Killing yourself is very messy and your friends and family will cry over you. It is not beautiful or brave, and even if it was, you will not be around to see that.

2. Washing your hair is going to be a chore. But you should do it anyway. Because you will feel better about yourself.

3. Get up late. Have a lay in. Sleep past your alarm. You have a very long life ahead of you and for now you should appreciate the cold side of your pillow.

4. He is going to break your heart but he’s just another male human who finds it hard to deal with Mondays, too. So in a month you’ll wake up and you won’t even remember that little scar on his knuckle you kissed.

5. Don’t spend hours looking up what your name means on google. Your name is your name and you should go out there and do heroic and good deeds and give your name your own meaning.

6. Don’t fight your demons. Your demons are here to teach you lessons. Sit down with your demons and have a drink and a chat and learn their names and talk about the burns on their fingers and scratches on their ankles. Some of them are very nice.

7. Music is good for your soul. Rap music will energise you and boost your ego and pop music will cheer you up. Indie music will make you think and emotional songs will make you cry and think about that boy again. It’s healthy.

8. Victim complexes are not attractive. Boys and girls will not date you because you are sad. They are not going to date you and kiss your aching bones and cure you of your dragging depression. Wake up. Take a bath. Do your hair. Be attractive.

9. Sadness is not poetic. Depression is not beautiful. Laying in bed all day and eating too much is lazy and disgusting and it is not tragic or pretty. Get up. Go outside. Let the sun warm your bones. Live.

10. If it makes you happy, buy twenty of it. Dedicate your life to it. Print it on T-shirts and collect things and draw art of it. Do not care what people think. They are the unhappy people you need to avoid. The abuse they will hurl at you is painless compared to how sad they are. Pity them. Remain happy.

11. You are allowed to he angry. But the world is not working against you. The flowers do not bloom for you and when your mother shouts ask her if she is okay instead of thinking she hates you. She never will. The world walks beside you and is silent. It does not trip you up or carry you.

12. Day and night cycles are natural. Humans only sleep at night because we used to avoid predators in the dark because of our poor eyesight. Stay awake until 5am watching bad reality shows. Wake up at 7pm and have breakfast.

13. Eat when you are hungry. Being bored does not constitute a chocolate bar. Sleep when you are tired. Do not mindlessly obey the sleep at night rule. If you are not tired, do not sleep.

Who Knew?

I for one did not realize that H.G. Wells (author of War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, and many other classic pieces of sci-fi literature.) was such a hottie in his youth.

The More Things Change…

From Eclectablog, October 2013:

I’ve had it. Enough is enough. Our country has been held hostage since the 2010 midterm elections by a vocal minority that somehow thinks if they scream loud enough, waving woefully misspelled signs and threatening their puppet-strung representatives with primary challenges, the rest of us will just have to fall in line.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve watched Tea Party extremists put gun targets on maps of the districts of people like Gabby Giffords. Even before she was shot in the head, a reporter asked her if she was afraid of rhetoric like that. I’ve heard the shouts of angry mobs suggesting a female candidate be raped with a hot curling iron. I’ve heard lie after lie after lie about nearly everything imaginable, many coming from my own U.S. Representative, Kerry Bentivolio, who won his seat in large part by spreading lies and creating fear Because his opponent, Dr. Syed Taj, is a Muslim.

The extremists tell us over and over that this is a Christian country. No other faith — or a lack of faith — will be tolerated, apparently. We must live by their rules or suffer the consequences. I have no problem with whatever faith someone chooses to practice or not practice. But my beliefs are my choice, not theirs.

In Michigan, there’s been legislation proposed that would let healthcare providers and hospitals dictate medical decisions for the rest of us based on their religious or moral views. Similar legislation may move forward letting adoption agencies use the same criteria for making placement decisions.

Right to Life of Michigan is trying to force legislation on the state that would require women to buy a separate insurance policy for an abortion, bullying their way past both voters and Republicans like Governor Rick Snyder. Because they don’t believe in abortion, they want to make it harder, if not impossible, for women to have one — even though it’s legal for any American woman to make that choice. Many groups like this don’t think employer-provided insurance should cover birth control, either. Yet many of these same people are claiming that Obamacare “gets between you and your doctor” in making medical decisions. Setting aside the fact that it’s a complete lie, explain to me how that isn’t completely hypocritical.

The anti-Obamacare extremists have spread more lies than I can even keep track of, because they “don’t want to pay for everyone else’s healthcare.” Well, neither do I. But I will be until the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate kicks in on January 1, every time someone uses the emergency room for a routine health matter because they don’t want to buy insurance. I’m not talking about those who can’t afford it, who will be covered by Medicaid expansion in Michigan. I’m talking about people who choose not to buy insurance. I pay my premiums every month so I can get care when I need it. The penalty imposed on those who can afford insurance but choose not to buy it is a small price to pay for unlimited free visits to the expensive emergency room. Tea Partiers claim to be all about individual responsibility, except when it comes to paying for their own healthcare, it seems.

This weekend, Members of the U.S. Congress will speak at the Values Voter Summit, where they will spread despicable lies about the LGBT community, African Americans, Hispanics, women and anyone else they choose to vilify — all in the name of “family values.” It’s a conference of extremism, and these representatives will stand up proudly and display their hate for all to see, encouraging their followers to take that hate into the streets.

The entire American economy is headed for a freefall if the extremist factions of the GOP get their way and don’t fund the government, which they say they’re determined to do if their demands aren’t met. This is extortion, plain and simple, and it’s a plan that’s been in the works for months.

They claim President Obama is unwilling to negotiate, but he’s rightly said he’ll gladly negotiate if extremists stop holding a gun to the head of the American people. Not to mention that President Obama and the Democrats have negotiated, time and time again. The GOP has run out of “good faith” negotiating tokens. And if those of us who are sick of the extremists’ reign of terror vote against them in 2014, they’ll run out of power, too.

The Affordable Care Act is the law. Roe v. Wade is the law. The right of Americans to practice the religion they choose — to lead the life they choose — is woven into the fabric of everything we stand for in this country. Yet a few extremists are willing to tear our entire country apart just so they can force everyone to live they way they think we should, instead of letting each of us live the way we choose.

I never again want to hear Tea Party extremists claim they’re fighting for their liberty. Because they’re actually fighting for their narrow-minded beliefs and, in the process, they’re trying to take away the rightful liberties of everyone else in this country who doesn’t share their views.

That is as un-American as it gets.