April 26, 2005

"Serial Abuser"

During a recent phone call, Jim was telling me about John Bolton being described as a "serial abuser" before Congress.

For those who don't follow this stuff closely (I'm one of them), John Bolton is up for the U.S. seat on the U.N.

Anyway, Jim forwarded me a great link on these hearings. Apparently Mr. Bolton is a great guy if you happen to be above him, but if you work for him then he makes your life miserable. This sounds a lot like my current manager, so much so that it's scary.

Some great quotes came out of these hearings:

"He's a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy."

"He abuses his authority with little people."

"It's an 800-pound gorilla devouring a banana. The analyst was required simply to stand there and to take it."

(all quotes by Carl W. Ford Jr.)

Is it any wonder that I've been miserable at my job on-and-off for over 5 years?

April 14, 2005

"Operation Let Freedom Ring"

Pete is moving out April 16th, to move in with his brother Dave. I'll be helping him move, as will Jim and Mike.

Although it's a sad event any time a marriage breaks up, in this case the writing has been on the wall for longer than I care to remember. In a lot of ways my observations of Pete's ordeal reminds me of my own; plenty of ups and downs, the good times not really making up for all the bad.

Pete's in for a lot of change and some hardship, but it's survivable. He'll get back on his feet, recover, and along the way found happiness again.

April 13, 2005

Change Is Scary

My exit plan from this job is in place. May is my last full month of rent payment for this apartment, so about mid-month I'll be putting in my 2 weeks. Between June 1st and 15th I'll be moving in to a room over at Randy's. And I just found out today that the next CDL courses at BCIT (Burlington County Institute of Technology) start May 2nd & June 13th. Since these classes are from 8:25-3, I'll settle for the June date.

To get my CDL (more precisely, to get it from BCIT, which Don can't recommend highly enough) I'll need a NJ driver's liscense and a physical exam.

This makes me uneasy on some levels. For one, I loathe the thought of moving back to NJ, mostly because my car insurance goes up. Hopefully I'll be able to keep my account with GEICO (they're allowed in the state now) and not have to change insurance companies every 2-3 years.

Car insurance is a sore spot with me, because most of my life I was a Jersey resident and without fail I had to get a new insurance company every couple of years...clean record or no. Let's face it, anyone who sells car insurance in New Jersey knows they have you over a barrel and aren't afraid to exploit that fact. My record is spotless and has been for years, I just don't want the hassle.

The physical causes me concern for other reasons. I'll want to go while I'm employed at my current job, because I have health care. So does this get back to my employer somehow, and how do I handle it if it does?

Changing residency causes me a whole lot of concern. I've got the address, so that's not an issue. I will have to get a NJ liscense and surrender my PA one, that sucks as a matter of pride. But now what happens during tax time? Am I going to have to fill out a NJ and a PA tax form? Since my current job I pay PA taxes, but I'll have to hold a night job in NJ and will likely pay NJ taxes for that, how the hell do I figure out what goes where? Most troubling, this year was the first time I used TurboTax and I loved it! But will TurboTax let me fill out forms for two different states, or will I have to do my state return(s) by hand?

While all this change does cause me some anxiety, I don't loose sleep like I do over work. Just the thought of something being broke over the network that my boss sees as "my fault" causes me to start awake in the middle of the night. Granted, not as often as back in February, but often enough to not only make me want to quit but in fact relish the thought of quitting.

The fact that I've lasted this long, especially since February, is a testimony not only to my own constitution but to all the support from my friends & family. Everyone has been so helpful and so understanding, it's beyond anything I expected.

April 02, 2005

Another Coworker Gone

In the past few weeks my manager has been bugging me for data on what I've done for the past 5 1/2 years. He keeps saying he wants to put he in for a promotion to Tech II (which is long overdue).

In the past it was the other way around, I would have to bug him and he'd deflect me with one of his answers: "There's a pay & hiring freeze", "I'm looking into it", or "I've asked the question and have not received an answer."

Friday I finally understood his sudden willingness - one of my coworkers was fired!

Glenn has been here for 4 1/2 years, I've had a year seniority over him. He was a good technician who kept and maintained the cleanest county, Delaware county. He's done everything that the job required.

But true to form, my manager picked Glenn after chasing two other coworkers out over a year ago. First it was Nate, who had cronic lateness issues but had full custody of his daughter & an unreliable ex-wife (she was often late picking up their daughter or would simply not take her to school when she had custody). After that my manager started hammering Gordon, basically getting on him for not following up or handling things properly. When he left it was Glenn's turn, my manager followed the exact same pattern and started writing Glenn up for every little thing.

At one point Glenn even confronted Mike (the manager), of setting him up to be fired. He even pointed out that our manager had confided in Glenn when he was trying to fire Nate and Gordon! My manager flatly denied everything, saying he liked Glenn and wanted to keep him around. Everything's been quiet since then, all of a sudden Glenn's fired.

In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't be surprised. A few of my coworkers said the signs were there, but since everything's been cool lately this was the last thing they expected...especially on April Fool's Day!

It goes without saying that I can't wait to put in my notice.