well, while I am in a foul mood regarding work, I thought I would post my 'asshatted things I did this week' so people would understand why I am disliked at work so much. Not that most of these things are work-related but some are. This is more of an insight as to what kind of perceptions I have and actions I sometimes take.
1) For my kids (yes, I am a single dad (read: undatable by 98% of the female population. The 'unattractive' trait takes care of the remaining 2%), I bought some cool-assed Spongebob Squarepants valentines. There were three different ones and each had a red heart-shaped sucker stuck through the card. I helped them tape the sucker stick to the back of the card so they wouldn't fall out in transit. They signed the perspective cards for their friends and put them back in the bags. Then (and only then), my younger daughter tells me one boy in her class is diabetic. Man, I started feeling like crap. It was an empathic 'feeling like crap' wherein I started trying to imaging how it must feel to be in the 5th grade, have diabetes and deal with the carbohydrate onslaught we call Valentine's Day...and it was a bit beyond my ability to imagine. So, I went to Walgreens at lunch today and picked up a bag of sugar free candy. I'll be damned if EVERYONE isn't going to be able to indulge in the taste of empty calories just because one kid has a problem with his pancreas. I wondered how many Valentine's Days he went home and felt horrible because all the other kids were feeding perpetual sugar highs while he had to sit and watch. Well, not this year, damn it! I was tempted to let them take some glowsticks but those are more of a night thing and I know kids would break them ASAP. Cost: $1.50.
2) A co-worker (of sorts, she doesn't report to my director or my VP so it is a distant co-worker) had a laptop that was giving her an error. Specifically (after some research), an error indicating the battery that backs up the BIOS was bad. I spent over an hour working on her laptop...not because it was my job (it was her personal laptop she bought from liquidated inventory at work) but because I just wanted to fix it. I like my job and what I do. I don't always like a lot of the people I do my job with, however (or at least their actions and attitudes). That is not a slam on her. I don't know her that well and never had a beef with her. She always seemed pretty nice in the past when I spoke to her. It was just I know that 'I just bought this and now it's broken...and there is no warranty...oh shite!' feeling and felt I could prevent it. I did some quick dissection of the components, found the offending part and, after a quick trip to Walgreens (this was after I bought the aforementioned candy so I made two trips there today) to buy a CR 2025 battery and some electrical tape, had the laptop fixed. She offered to pay me for the parts but I told her to wait and make sure the laptop didn't give her more problems. That was my way of non-sequituring (is that a word?) into a position of avoiding a conversation about payment. Needless to say, I won't ever bring it up to her and I never work on PCs in that area of the building. Maybe it was just the challenge of repairing it. Cost: $4.95
I was asked by my boss to fix a printer issue. Turns out the printer had some 'waste toner cartidge' that no one (even me) ever knew about...and it was full. Despite the typical 'shake it, shake it, shake it...shake it like a Polaroid picture' act that EVERYONE who works in IT will do to any containter containing toner in an effort to squeeze a few more days of life out of it, it wasn't going to cooperate. As a result, the printer was not working and there was no ETA for the part. Hell, at first, I didn't even know a part number. I added a different printer to the user's machine and gave her rights to print to it and killed her print jobs to the crapped out printer. Then I went above and beyond...I looked up the needed part number and two local resellers who might have it since the perception I had was the printer was needed ASAP. I left it with the co-worker who commented to me that she needed a new picture of me since my "old picture looks nothing like me". I guess work wants a new aspect of 'fugly' to print in the employee profiles she was printing...which was why the printer was needed in the first place. This employee was dinged hard about 8 months ago for not having 'replacement parts' in stock which was why I found the part number...to facilitate her in ordering the part and avoid the repercussions of it not being in stock. Not that it matters to those wanting to make waves that NO ONE knew this part even existed until today...she would still get hammered for it (if not canned). I took her comment and slightly thankful attitude as a positive sign. Later, I saw her on Yahoo and IMed her. She never responded...which is typical for everyone in the whole workplace. Nevermind, like the last co-worker who did this a week ago, she was seen walking around yacking with people all over the place for quite some time after the IM. Fucking priceless.
So, here is my 'Mastercard' version of my week:
Helping your daughter see the benefits of empathy and actions that take little time and effort yet may greatly benefit someone else: $1.50 Fixing a broken laptop for a co-worker in another division expecting nothing more than a 'thank you' and some self-satisfaction: $5 Trying to help and be a friend to a co-worker for the umteenth time and getting totally blown off in a rather public manner: priceless.
I was told today that a friend of my mother's who I knew a little bit died last night a few days after he underwent surgery for colon cancer. He had just undergone chemo and was having the tumor removed to facilitate further treatments. He never recovered from the surgery. He died Wednesday morning at 3am. I feel pretty bad about it for a variety of reasons. Maybe someday I will feel more like talking about it.