||[Apr. 3rd, 2014|06:31 am]
Yesterday's workday just felt like a cascade of triage starting during my meeting with the manager of the DBAs, his manager, and one of my counterparts. There's been some extremely bad communication, and the message that my team HAS to adapt to a new version of a database wasn't clear until about a week and a half ago. The plan to switch has been plopped down on one of my install dates. My relationship with the DBA manager is tenuous at best, so i'm doing my best to be compassionate and not pissed off in those meetings.
Meanwhile, skype messages and emails pour in about this issue and that.
The worst thing about being on the west coast is that the flood of email from the beginning of the German workday to the "beginning" of mine means starting work is to start with with a flood demanding attention, and one must go through looking for the urgent vs important vs whatever.
I should take this moment to acknowledge that i rarely start my day at 6 am anymore. It's glorious. Two days a week at 7:30, but that's not so bad: i need not change my waking schedule significantly. I'm not sure what changed....
During the day i held my depression as gently as i could. I am wondering whether to come out to my manager. I've read coming out stories from some successful folks about their mental health journeys and how we are fighting the stigma. I'm out as having seasonal affective disorder, mainly because i occasionally use the bright light at my desk, but also i've shared with one of my staff who seems to have the same issue. (Get the light! Try it!)
I would not have ever shared with New Director, but my new manager is a competent and even talented manager. I'm pretty sure now is not the right time, as the thought came mainly as i struggled through yesterday and even now my eyes flood as i think of how work pretty much takes the full capacity of my mental health.
After work, i did something i haven't done in ages: i picked up a book. (Charles Stross' Glasshouse) I've not let myself get lost in the printed word in ages. (Ages would be since... 20131101. Months, then.)
After being wrenched out of the book coma to go to dinner, came the reminder of how fast i can read compared to listening or watching. I was about half done with the book, if not more. But the book coma - the sense of being completely lost in the world, of living in it - it seemed so powerful.
One reason i picked up the book is because that experience of getting lost in a book has helped reboot my state in the past, and i hope it has now.
As for the book itself, i'm a bit horrified. This is a posthuman universe science fiction story about an experiment to recreate the conditions of contemporary time: compare this to reality tv series of folks trying to live on the prairie with late 1800s technology. However, the conditions remind me just a little too much of the Stanford Prison Experiment -- and clearly the author is aware of that, too. My respect for the story is how the apparently genderfluid characters are shoehorned into the very gendered culture and the described experience of the protagonist who is cast in the experiment as a "wife." It seems realistic and plausible and is in many ways consonant with my experience.
I am left wondering though about the characters in the story who were passionate about the points and score: just like in real life, i don't really get the motivations. Mostly, i don't seem to know folks like that (Quakers? nope. Tech workers at a non profit? nope. My brother? not really, but kinda?) On the other hand, i probably avoid the fiction that would illuminate that for me.