My head begins to spin and my arms start to tighten against my sides when I consider writing about this. It was that bad. We're talking about my former job, the job I began after leaving teaching, that was a perfect fit for me, that I even took on the road with me when mister mrtl and I began maddening around the land. My stomach still gets knotted up and my chest sore remembering how bad things got before... well, I can't really say I let go before they did, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Despite no longer working for the company, I won't go into too many details. I'm not out for vengeance, and I guess there's a part of me that really can't stand to burn bridges. Pardon the generally-spoken nature.
Story Time with mrtl
For a period of about nine months, I was in work hell. Summarily, what could possibly go wrong with a project went wrong with this project. Whenever I started to think I had control of the tasking, some new issue would rear its ugly head. Blame a number of factors, circumstances, and people involved, or not, but what resulted was a perfect storm o' shite. The easiest way to look back on it is to say that what I was doing was in no way telecommutable, but it probably wouldn't have fared much better if distance hadn't been a factor.
To maintain a degree of levity, I started paying attention to the signals my body was sending. I used these signals to design a customized straight jacket, the details of which I will list below. Mind you that each detail represents some issue that had arisen.
Initially, the design for the straight jacket and adjustments were made as I received changes to my tasking from the office. (e.g., "Sure, I'll change the subject name 'widgy widget' to 'widgity widget' throughout, even though I just changed it from 'widgity widget' to 'widgy widget' throughout per your request YESTERDAY. You owe me a straight jacket for that," or "Chapter 6 needs to be moved to Chapter 4, with all references adjusted accordingly? Oh, no, it's no problem at all, but would have been nice to have been told that the other day when Chapter 10 moved to Chapter 3 and all the references were adjusted then. Make that straight jacket a salmony shade of pink, please." or "'Widgity Widget' is supposed to be capitalized every time? You betcha! Add some fringe for me, hon!")
BODY SIGNAL / Accommodating Design
- I NEED A STRAIGHT JACKET / A straight jacket
- I WANT IT TO BECOME ME / A salmony shade of pink
- I WANT IT FANCY / Fringed (I normally avoid fringe, but since I wouldn't have to worry about accidental dipping and dirtying with restricted movement)
- AND BLINGED / Bedazzled (Another thing to avoid, but I was starting to lose it)
- I'LL PROBABLY GET RASHY FROM WEARING IT SO MUCH / Lined with purple alpaca to prevent chafing
- I NEED MY DAMMIT DOLL / Shoulder pocket holding dammit doll (note input from Naval Engineer in my office that pocket and doll not appropriate -- "What the hell do you need a pocket for on a straight jacket? How are you going to grab your dammit doll?" -- almost proved a setback in the design process -- fortunately a coworker suggested throwing myself against the wall to bang the doll, so it was a keeper)
- I NEED A DRINK / Camelbak ("integral beverage resevoir") to hold copious amounts of alcohol (originally this feature was a flask concealed under the dammit doll, but moved due to certain injury from slamming against the wall to bang the dammit doll) - The Camelbak is not actually visible in view (thus the "integral")
- I WANT TO ROCK IN A FETAL POSITION UNDER MY DESK / Quick-release padded bustle provides cushioning for butt when I drop (originally designed as a rocker-type chair attachment, which would have hung from the jacket and hindered movement -- my coworker said it looked hideous and suggested the bustle)
- AYFKM? YOU'D THINK I'M ASKING FOR THIS ABUSE / "Thank you sir, may I have another" on arms (originally on front, but moved to sleeves for visibility)
- I NEED A LOBOTOMY / "INTENTIONALLY BLANK" on the back
- I WANT TO SLAM MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL / Matching head bumpa to protect head when banging it on desk or wall.
- THIS IS MAKING ME SO INSANE IT MAKES ME MISS WORKING ON [INSERT LESS INSANITY-INDUCING PROJECT FROM THE PAST] / Embroidered patches for each project will adorn the brim (moved from the jacket so the mere sight of them doesn't cause fits)
The coworker who helped with changes listed above captured the design in this white board sketch when I was in the area working in the office. Behold the greatness!
Yeah. I never really recovered from this project, and ultimately decided to take a break from working. The girls were home full-time for the summer, so I quickly got conflicted trying to determine which insanity was the lesser.