Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hello from a disgruntled ex-employee

Today brought me an e-mail from a darling little fellow who used to work from me. We will call him Dave so as not too seem impersonal when we talk about him as he is a valued individual of the human species.

Dave used to work for me. He transferred from another department when he applied for a more senior position in my team. He interviewed extremely well, in fact he interviewed so well I got a little suspicious. Another guy who worked for me had already told me about Dave because he used to work with him in another place. Dave was a great writer, he just didn't produce anything.

So I interviewed Dave. I was told I had to hire Dave as an internal promotion was preferable. Dave become one of mine.

Within two weeks I felt like Dave and I were long lost soul mates. We had so much in common. Even our cats looked exactly the same even though Dave's was male and mine is female. I was a little perplexed knowing myself well enough to know that I don't bond with people that easily and with the cultural background difference and all. I turned to an older team member one day and told him how I felt like Dave and I were so alike it was scary, and that I was a little perplexed by it. He turned to me and said "Oh, my god! I feel exactly the same way about Dave!"

Now me and this other team member are good friends but we are like chalk and cheese (I'm the cheese because it tastes better). We stood there and looked at each other for a while with puzzlement on our little chubby faces until our eyes narrowed in suspicion and we began to watch Dave more closely.

Cut a long story short.

It didn't take much watching.

Dave was, as I mentioned, a brilliant writer. In fact he could have written for any law magazine and not had a problem with it. He could however not write for our audience which is, and I quote, "people who basically come straight out of 7 Eleven to become techs" as a manager of past used to say.

The people we write for are clever with tools and repairs but they're not book smart as a rule. They're certainly not the kind of people who read James Joyce for funsies but then I don't know anyone who does really. Oh well with the exception of that batty Swedish teacher I had way back in my other life when I did my engineering course but she was bloody batty that woman. Her signature was in the shape of a dachshund and she had even signed her passport that way.

Anyway. Dave. Dave was also sneaky we found out.

He had made friends with a guy in IT and found out what the only open port on the network was, the port that was open only so that antivirus software could update several times per day, and he was using it to talk to friends using Communicator. He tunneled out so he could chat. Strictly verboten (as in banned) since our was the business of development and the industry I work in is highly regulated.

I was thinking Dave was typing an awful lot even for a writer. I found that Dave had a nasty internet chatting habit. An investigation by IT found that he also had several pirated versions of software and a tonne of illegally downloaded mp3s.

That whole business was almost enough to get Dave sacked but not quite. I had to focus on the giant performance issue I had on my hands, Dave was producing nothing really and that while being handsomely paid, so performance management was the solution according to human resources.

We never really got that far with managing Dave's performance because he resigned and went to work for another major corporation. We've been keeping an eye on that company's share price ever since. We were afraid that them having employed Dave would have a negative impact on the share price.

Three years on and impeccably timed I receive this from my long lost pal Dave:

"Hi ,
I hope you're not well and that life is treating you really poorly. You're an absolute b|tch, a horrible and nasty person. You're ugly, fat and unattractive. You're disgusting and filthy. I would even go so far as to say that you're a stupid fcuking mole of a cnut!

fcuk you!"

Shucks Dave! I didn't know you cared! After all this time you finally let me know that you've been thinking about me and that in the most intense fashion apparently.

Now I don't like to put people down (and I suppose this is the moment this post becomes an open letter to Dave really) but you probably would have been better off removing your actual name from the sender thing on your hotmail account. I googled your hotmail e-mail address and found it on a forum that deals exclusively with that sport you love so much, you know the one you kept talking about? At that moment I knew that it was you who had actually sent that e-mail.

Not being satisfied with that alone, and being bored at lunch time, I googled your name and found that you have a webpage where you promote yourself as a photographer. You even list that forum site I found your hotmail e-mail address on as your fave site. Sweet! So not only can I now be absolutely certain that it's you who sent the "love letter" but also that you're not an opponent worthy of my attention.

I will not know if you will send me more e-mails because IT blocked your e-mail address today. HR requested it. I was told not to reply because that's what all good cyber-bully victims refrain from doing. Cyber-bully victims don't have right of reply or they can't be bothered. I forget which.

I have to admit that I was tempted to e-mail back correcting the spelling mistakes but the sentence structure and grammar is impeccable, no?

If was to reply to Dave it would probably be something along these lines:

"Hi Dave,
Great to hear from you finally! I've been wondering how you went after leaving

Hope this e-mail finds you well and if you ever need a reference please don't hesitate to ask.

Take care now!

stupid fcuking mole of a cnut

P.S. Sorry about the Krispy Kreme doughnut stain on this e-mail, those suckers are so sticky!

P.P.S. About the fucking thing, well let's just say I have a nasty infection right now, so if you can wait that would be great!"


Medication prevents it but since Dave's website lists his favorite club in town, he describes himself and the resident photographer there, I would love to be able to be a little creepy by turning up there to say hi.

But better still I would love to print out his little e-mail, cut out the actual message section and leave that cut out on his doorstep because you see that would be creepy, that would be very creepy indeed.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I long for the day...

I long for the day when I find someone likes me, loves me and finds me attractive just the way I am.

I'm beginning to suspect that day will never come.

WTF do you say, no that's not it, WTF do you tell yourself when the person you live with, the person who fucks you, tells you that he doesn't find you physically attractive but he likes you, he likes to kick around with you? He tells you he doesn't find anyone attractive really.

So you ask if he ever found you attractive and he tells you that he did when you first met. But now that you've put weight back on again apparently you're not attractive to him at all.

I don't know WTF to tell myself. I don't even know where to start working in this one.

Last thing I needed to hear right now. Last thing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When I go insane I go insane and then I start rambling while thinking I'm a bloody genius

I don't know what the hell is up with me but I have some sort of bee in my bonnet. Far as I can tell it's the kind that makes you glad you weren't born in times when slavery was still legal and you just happened to be one, that that is, because this kind of bee is the kind that would make you start a revolt all on your own and you wouldn't care if no one else joined it. In other words, the bee ain't that bright, it's just angry. Maybe it's time to schedule another appointment with my cheerleader come psychologist.

I'm screwed up ya'll. I'm standing here in front of ya'll confessing like an alcoholic at an AA meeting. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. You can never drink again. Using that as my logic I can never...screw up again?!

And so logic fails. Again.

My intellect. At times of self-delusion I consider it more than adequate. On a really delusional day I even consider it better than average. On a bad day I'm kicking myself all the way down George Street, Sydney, (it's a long street and it crosses several suburban borders) for being so stupid.

Lately my intellect has spawned some, shall we say, interesting ideas. One of them being that I perhaps should take up smoking again just to have something to do. It's been, what, eleven years or so since I last sucked some serious tar into my little lungs.

That thought popped into mind just as easily as if I would have been considering taking up crocheting or something equally riveting so I could make really weird stuff to sell on etzy.com.

But that was after I ruled out becoming a raging alcoholic simply because I don't enjoy being drunk and I know people who are recovering alcoholics and it's all too hard and I may change my mind as one does occasionally and then I would have to recover too. On top of everything else.

So, I considered pot but that shit makes you eat heaps and I'm already fat but if I was stoned all the time I wouldn't care, right? Right? Wrong apparently, and then there was the whole thing about illegality and that bothered me a little plus of course I don't know any drug dealers. I used to when I lived in Redfern a decade ago but that was only because of my neighbors' constant dealing and the fact that my first husband was an unashamed pothead (and a raging alcoholic which may account for my reluctance to become one at least in part). 

So then I had this absolute brilliant epiphany! It was so bloody brilliant I was even managing to praise myself for it against all odds what with the poor self esteem and breakdown and all.

I should change my attitude!

If I changed my attitude I wouldn't be so anxious, dependent on others' opinions of me and definitely not become so angry about things I perceive as being wrong in this world (or my own reality depending on my attitude towards the whole thing).

Problem solver me! Pat, pat on my back. Sheer genius there Inkus Spillingus!

At this point something sane in me took over. Apparently it does still live in my noggin somewhere...

No! No! No! That’s not good enough. I don’t buy it. What I’ve learned is that when something is wrong and it riles you up to the point that it makes you feel bad or angry then you can’t simply change your attitude towards it. Even if you succeed the wrong is still there and now it thinks it's winning so it's mocking you until you become aware of how seriously wrong it is again.

(I'm not sure the medication is working for me. Even I think this sounds like crazy talk! Or, maybe this is me when I'm sane. It's so hard to tell nowadays ya'll.)

I think what I'm trying to tell you is that I think that you can't really change your attitude to stuff that bothers you. That's not the key. The key is, and wait for it, *drumroll*, to shift your focus.

If something is bothering you enough to send you spare and you can't do lickety about it, it helps to focus on something else.

It's like when your cat decides to give you the cold shoulder and you go and talk to your dog instead. You can sit there an stew over the asshole cat or you can enjoy soft doggie because he loves you (and he's like totally dependent on having a pack so he'll basically do anything to please you). In my case nowadays there's no dog so I switch cats. There's three. One's bound to be hungry (and therefore willing to suck up to me).

Now if switching focus doesn't cut it you're not stuck. There's always switching tact. Tactics are important.

If one tactic or strategy doesn't work then it's time to get all smarty pants and think of a new one or even several new ones. Tactics and strategies are like cakes. You can have more than one piece in the same sitting. It's OK even if you don't think it is. If you were my grandmother you would even have extra cream on top even though it's so unfashionable nowadays.

I learned the whole switching tactics and strategies thing when I was riding horses because there was this one bastard little pony who used to bite people in the back as soon as they turned away. I was no exception.

I spent weeks trying to anticipate the bite but then one day when he got me anyway I just reacted and punched him in the nose. *Kapow*.  That was the day we reached an understand and he promised never to bite me ever again and I promised not to hit him ever again We weren't exactly best friends but we were able to frequent the same stables without further incident.

So armed with these completely insane thoughts in my head I will enter tomorrow to do a presentation in front of the manager formally known as the Sharpei, now know as the Reptile because of her obvious inability to empathize, and I will rock it. Maybe. I have no doubt that I will get the same response as usual. Cold and damp. Like a Sydney winter's night.

God ya'll! She scares the crap out of me for some reason. I don't know why but she does. I could totally take her in a cage fight but she uses mind control which is cheating. Anyway.

And I need to say this as well:
I'm going to be OK with being on medication if that's what gets me across the line in the end, up in the morning, gets me to the point I can make it to work everyday and so I can sleep at night. If I was another person I would tell me this, I really would. I'm lucky 'cause I had someone else telling me this and sometimes you need that (you know who you are and thank you, really!).

I'm OK. It's all that counts. Even if God raptured my computer monitor this morning using a power surge. I didn't know monitors had souls but there you go. Thank God for the freebie albeit smaller monitor that's been sitting on the floor in my room for months waiting for me to decide its fate. I've been meaning to do something with it. It's small which is kind of cute. It works.

I promise to try to be more grown up in my next post, I really do.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

OMG ya'll! I completely forgot to tell you about my new bike!!

A few weeks back I had the fourth (the f-ing fourth!) spoke break in the bike wheel of my trusty road bike. I've been saying to the guys at my bike shop since the second one broke that I wanted a new wheel but they kept reassuring me that it "would never happen again", the odds of that are just too big. Well, bike boys I should have bought a lottery ticket.

The fourth spoke broke on the way to work and I managed to nurse the bike to work. I called a new bike shop close to work and begged them to repair my wheel at lunch. I didn't need to beg, they were more than willing to oblige. I love new bike shops that are still in the process of building a customer base.

I was standing there waiting for the the mechanic to put a new spoke in my wheel when I suddenly spotted her up on the stand. She was gorgeous. I've been toying with the idea of getting a second bike for a while now. My old mountain bike is too hard to ride and it needs too much help. So, I asked lots of questions about this new bike I had spotted.

In the mean time it was decided that my poor back wheel would be a complete re-spoke. I was to bring the bike by in the morning and they would do it. I left without even having to pay for the job they had just done (love these guys) only promising to return the next day.

I did. I put my roadie in for fix and a service. All up it ended up costing me less than a new wheel. (Did I mention I love these guys?) I also left with my new bike.

My new bike is an off-roader but she handles Sydney beautifully. I ride a mix of roads, footpaths and bike tracks to get to and from work and since I currently leave home at the ungodly hour of 5am (btw - wtf happened to the rapture?!) it's dark. Having thick chunky tires that grip in the wet and suspension that takes care of pot holes you can't see in the dark is great! I love my new bike. It takes more to ride but that only means that I get more exercise, right? I must say also that I sometimes miss the extra power having cleats mean. It makes for a faster ride up hills if nothing else.

I will not get rid of my trusty roadie but for now I will use my Avanti Forte 3. Being able to zoom down the bike paths in the morning and not having to worry about the concrete being slippery from morning dew is fun, so much fun! It has disk brakes too. They're apparently heavier but I can attest to the fact that they're more reliable but you can't fix them yourself which kind of sucks. My first disk brakes ever!

Behold! I was too lazy to take a pic of mine so I stole this from the web! That's not purple, that's eggplant color because all women want to be reminded of food when they're riding their bike according to Marketing at Avanti!.

Australian actor Bill Hunter dies - I dunno what'll happen to Aussie movies now

One of the first things I noticed when I had moved to Australia many, many years ago, so many years ago that I can't off the top of my head exactly recall how many this early on a Sunday morning, was that there was one Australian actor who seemed to be in all Aussie movies.

Well he's died. Since I suspect that you can't make movies without Bill Hunter I, it's a logical conclusion, also now suspect that you can't make Aussie movies. I know it's not comparable to Hollywood falling down in a heap, or Bollywood for that matter, but to some of us, the some of who like homegrown movies, it's not good.

But anyway Bill, rest in piece. We we''ll miss you on the silver screen. You are the one who should have made Terminator. I'm just saying. And Dirty Harry. I'm just saying again.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


A few days ago I connected the TV. When I moved in August I left Foxtel and its many choices behind because for some reason it had lost its shine. Getting rid of it came with another bonus. It saved me a tonne of money. I figured I may connect to free to air some day. It offers five channels after all. Being connected again has nice little reminder as to why I wasn't in such a hurry to get all plugged in again.

We used have movie blockbuster night on Sundays here in Australia. Free to air channels would compete to put the best movie on. You looked forward to the event all week. It was such a nice way to end a weekend and to round it all off before you had to get back to grind on Monday morning.

Things have changed. I was watching some ads for upcoming programs the other day and there was a coast guard drama, a customs drama and a bloody police drama, all Australian (and I swear they've all got the same bloody actors in them too).

If you want to see something from overseas there's crime, gruesome crime and even more gruesome crime served up to you in the form of CSI everywhere, NCIS anywhere and Law and Order everywhere else. There are at least different actors in those. I think.

If you don't want crime there's a steady stream of reality TV. I found reality TV fascinating for a year or so back in the days when Survivor debut and Big Brother was just a baby. Now it makes me want to vomit.

Why, oh why, do they have to milk every bloody TV genre until it's about as full or juice and about as interesting as a kindergarten kid's first clay sculpture. There's not an original concept to be seen even if one were to use a telescope in the vain hope that it would help.

All of this crap is interrupted by incredibly boring and silly ads that make me want to boycott everything advertised. What happened to clever ads? We used to have them you know! Surprise or I won't buy your shit. OK?

Because I like sitting down on the couch and play potato I resort to getting my hands on really old TV shows, mostly courtesy of O, which means I'm watching Blakes 7. I'm also watching the Killing even if it's crime and it's raining all the time because it's set in Seattle. Oh, and I am holding out for the next series of True Blood (Alexander Skarsgard is hot and he gets to speak Swedish and then there's the werewolf dude who's super hot) but that's about.

I miss the good old days when you could rely on TV keeping you occupied and suitable sedated. It's no wonder I had a bloody breakdown. I don't drink anymore and TV sucks.

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