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RisenPhoenix Transmutes


RisenPhoenix

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Halfway through the challenge and I'm.... mehhhhh.....

 

I'm mostly surviving at this point.  I'm very excited to have this coming Monday off, though.  I'm dealing with a less-than-ideal work from home set up, plus trying to manage a boss who is paranoid that everyone is slacking off because they are from home, AND who is giving a bunch of busywork as his "solve" with no real goal other than to have us fill 8 hours a day.  I'm doing my best to get out of the house for movement, but also last week was a whole bunch of crappy weather that prevented it.  I'm very much burnt out after the work day it seems, and since I have no dojo to go to afterwards my forward momentum and energy to do anything other than just sit and zone out.  I don't want to be productive, I don't want to deal with my brain moving, I just want to be a useless blob.

 

So, I'm trying to slightly get some productivity post-work if only in the short and sweet variety.  I'm trying to do a few minutes of cleaning after work to tidy up the space.  I'm trying to do a few minutes of Duolingo's Japanese course for the millionth time (though I'm realizing I remember more than I thought).  I have some tasks I have a list of, just as a reminder of things to do that are not work related. 

 

Challenge things, good last week actually was pretty solid.  A net total of about 1900 calories, thanks to two decently long rucks.  Most of the food was not junky, either.  Huzzah, progress!  Workouts have been good, though I skipped Friday's workout to sleep (hence the second ruck).  Aikido stuff has mainly been tracking down things, which took longer than expected.  Kinda counts?

 

I am shockingly tired.  Gonna go eat dinner now.  Tried making Ragu.  Made more of an Italian Chili.  Still tastes good, at least.

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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On 4/15/2020 at 6:42 PM, Mistr said:

I agree. Your boss needs to be realistic about what kind of work people can do remotely and how long it takes. She also needs to remember that some things are a lot slower when you don't have access to the resources you normally use at work.

All of this, plus micromanaging ppl to avoid them slacking off is a fantastic way to 1, guarantee that ppl will lose morale and therefore be more likely to be unproductive or to quit as soon as another offer opens up. If your boss is worried about slacking, her actions about guarantee its going to happen. 

 

Probably not even willfully, just in the sense it's hard to be productive when someone is constantly looking over your shoulder.

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2 hours ago, chemgeek said:

All of this, plus micromanaging ppl to avoid them slacking off is a fantastic way to 1, guarantee that ppl will lose morale and therefore be more likely to be unproductive or to quit as soon as another offer opens up. If your boss is worried about slacking, her actions about guarantee its going to happen. 

 

I think the ship has sailed on this person's ability to think logically when managing people.

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Current Challenge

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Clawing my way in here.  I'm kind of back to my old habits of just being motivated to DO what I need to do, and not write about it as much.  Also just having so much more paperwork at work these days means I'm busy during work hours and then tired of computer screens and writing by the end of the day so I don't want to do anything.

 

Last couple of days Goal 1 superseded all.  From essentially Friday at noon I just threw in the towel and turned myself over to vaguely hedonistic selfcare.  Friday night was goodbye virtual drinks for a departing coworker I am close to, followed by virtual family drinks - both required a large amount of whiskey.  Massachusetts had a holiday (Monday would have been the Boston Marathon), and so I had a 3 day weekend.  I bought Final Fantasy VII Remake, turned my phone off, and did not bother counting calories at all.  I ate like a king Saturday to Monday, and have ZERO regrets about it (though after a chunk of selfcare reflections happened).  I also slept like crazy.  I ignored everyone who tried to contact me, given so many people have used me as a therapist and dumped their anxieties on me (consciously or not).  I played hours of the game.  I went on a 4.5 mile ruck in the reservation near my house.  I ignored people some more.  The only actual productive thing I did was send out the virtual meeting invite for the dojo board meeting that is Sunday.  Otherwise, games, food, and solitude have helped refill the battery that was (probably obvious to you all) incredibly low and lower than I had realized.

 

Couple things I am going to (Try to) take away from the selfcare weekend stint:

1) Work on the boundaries better to stop people dumping their anxiety on me.  I'm actually dealing just fine with everything, even if the closed dojo and gym sucks.  I understand people need to vent.  I just seem to frequently be the ear for everyone and I naturally try to fix people's problems.  Can't keep doing it for my own sanity.

2) Tied to 1, I'm just going to stop replying to most things after 8PM.  People won't notice if I'm missing usually, so they can wait 12 hours unless it is something urgent.

3) Remember cheat days have a logic behind them.  I ate a lot this weekend.  My weight is slightly up.  My body is.... thinner?  Yup, back to bodies being weird.  Also yesterday I had only 1900 calories and felt fine.  Yea, I'm running on all those extra calories I consumed, but mentally I'm just happier over all.  Counting calories didn't feel quite as restrictive yesterday, even though I had eaten less than I had in a long, long while.

4) I'm not missing living and breathing aikido.  I miss it, but also think moving forward I'm going to try and constrain my days a bit more.  I had already started moving this way anyway, but I think the dojo move, plus the loss of Sunday classes, and now this has put in perspective that having some more flexibility in my schedule is needed.  Probably more now that I'm single, too, to be honest.  And for more honesty, I love my dojo, but all the people I regularly enjoy working with are just not around as much anymore, so I can't really find time to play and refine things the way I would like.  It's a thought process that has been driving me to get to more seminars this year, once money was sorted, but clearly seminars this year are not going to happen for a long, long while either.  And all of this I think is going to depend on what happens when we start up again and if I'm teaching.  I did enjoy that, and that would help light some fires under my butt I suppose, since I did enjoy it.  And to be honest, one way or the other SOMEONE seems to be planning on me teaching (either at my dojo or at Harvard to help that group).  So that's....a thing.

5) I really enjoy cooking overall, but need to build out my pantry so I can do some more cooking.

 

So yea.

 

Also for more Boss drama....

 

So he had assigned a MASSIVE task to me and a coworker.  Massive as in "Learn an entire field and reasonably apply it, by the way we probably want to give a talk where you guys present to the whole company as experts soon" Massive.  More or less he wanted us (it seemed) to do a mini-PhD literature review in a couple of weeks, and then pose as experts in front of the entire company.  No real direction other than "Make a talk" and "Learn all the things."  Not a helpful directive.  My coworker and I kept talking about what we were doing, both tried to get answers from him that kept being contradictory, and then left us more confused about what the actual goal of everything was.  So we finally had a meeting with the three of us in one (virtual) room.  More or less he copped to not being quite as communicative as he thought, that he thought we were part of a conversation that we were not actually a part of, and that his he 'explained' his ideas and tactics.  Overall, my coworker and I have no issues with his plans (the company is lacking this area of expertise right now and that is Not A Good Thing given the work we do, and he wants to make sure he controls that field, and wants to promote his underlings).  We had larger issues with the immediate plans, plus the pace, given how massive the field was.  So he went on and on about everything he wants (an insanely detailed slide deck he can just modify to an audience - I strongly disagree with that as a tactic for talks, given how much I hate my boss' slides), plus his vague political machinations.  Which lead my coworker and I to again say his speed is insane, and for me to say I'm making sure we don't unconsciously get caught in the crossfire by being set up as experts and then failing in front of the entire company.  My boss' suggestion was.... essentially be a con man, because no one in the audience knows the field well enough to provide questions that would be Gotcha! questions.  Congrats, if you're seeing red, that's pretty much how I then ripped into my boss.  We semi-managed to get a vague trajectory.  We ended the call.  I wrote up meeting notes and plans.  They were 100% my plans and nothing my boss had proposed.  I sent them saying this is what we got out of the meeting and if things need to change, let us me know.  Boss 100% agreed to everything.  Score 1, RP.

 

Then YESTERDAY.  First LOL: Boss, who in the Friday meeting said "This isn't That much information, give me highlights and I'll review" then told me and my coworker that we had done so much work he couldn't get through it all.  Yes.  We told you everything was massive.  This was the problem.

 

Then during out team meeting.... To fill time, he's been having us read a text book on Immunology.  I'd be grumpy if we were still in the lab, but for now I'm pretty fine with this, especially since he's giving lectures on each chapter, which has been actually helpful since he throws in company commentary.  His pace has been insane, but he since has slowed down to a chapter a week, which is at least reasonable.  We are now 7 chapters in. 

 

In the team meeting, he said he wants to have a Quiz.

 

A Quiz.

 

I thought he was joking.  I really did.  Then he kept talking.  And talking.  And explaining why he thought it was a fantastic idea.

 

......

 

I absolutely ripped into him in this meeting.  Loudly.  And with great force.  There was laughter from the unmuted microphones.  His argument was he wanted to have us show mastery of these concepts.  Never mind that there are a million other ways to show this, apparently a quiz was the idea.  I straight up told him I will not do a quiz, it is a waste of everyone's time and productivity, and completely useless.  We are not in school.  We are not grad students.  We are not TAs.  Don't waste our time. He said maybe there could be a discussion instead, and he could call on people instead.... which entered round 2 of me ripping into him for the same reasons.  He tried (poorly) to push back and then said talk among ourselves to figure out "a compromise" and then hung up since he had another meeting to go to.

 

It went as well as you could imagine.  Pretty much all of us went WTF, followed by going "we know he means well, but...." and then trying to find some actually useful thing to make stuff at least pertinent.  We could actually be reading papers that would give us current knowledge and impact the company on these topics, and THAT would be useful.  I did, semi-jokingly, suggest that we let him set up a quiz/discussion period, and then no one show up.  I straight up said he can TRY and give me a quiz, but I will not do it.  My boss' first report was equally pissed off.

 

So, I think his "compromise" he'll get, at best, we'll force him to make a list of company-specific topics that were covered in the talk, we'll go find papers, and then give a mini talk about them.  At least that won't feel as much of a waste of time.  And if he doubles down on the quiz thing.... well, I'll just be scooting over to the associate director(s) of the group who like me to help me give and upper-level slap.

 

So yea.  Good times.  But at least I'm not quite as ragey about everything as I was pre-selfcare extravaganza.

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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23 minutes ago, RisenPhoenix said:

In the team meeting, he said he wants to have a Quiz.

 

A Quiz.

 

 

The only sensible reaction I can think of to such a suggestion outside of an academic setting:

 

 

Other than that WHERE ARE YOU IN FF7????? I beat the game over the weekend and was floored with the entire experience. I really had my doubts going into it because the game left a profound mark on my childhood and I didn't want a cherished memory to be ruined. But Square did a great job with this first installment.

 

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"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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A quiz? Really?

 

I can get proficiency testing especially it it were lab operations but a quiz? Quizzes aren't even super reliable measures of learning in school settings. Totally it's a waste of your time. 

 

Why can't he have you all build onboarding content for new employees or pull together a review document? That would at least be productive.

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Yay for you doing self care over the weekend!

 

I agree with what everyone else has said about your boss and quizzes. We do quizzes after training sessions for our new hires. They are intended as focused review questions. If someone has trouble with a question, that tells the trainer that some of their content was not presented well.

Level 60  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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Are we there yet?

 

I think I'm currently in the "I just need to keep moving and be selfish" mode of my existence. Enough so that next challenge I may just have a battle log.  Or nothing.  Not quite sure yet.  It's strange, but I'm wondering if my NF days are numbered.  I remember years ago when Catspaw made that as a throw away comment in her threads, and I balked.  But these days it rings a bit truer as my time is spent mostly doing tasks and habits that I spent nearly a decade here building. I certainly don't have the capacity I have had in the past, for sure. *shrug* Who knows. 

 

Boss stuff: He has backed off the quiz idea without further bludgeoning on my part.  The plan has now shifted to a review session, which is... fine.  Still a bit of a waste of time, but certainly better than the graded nonsense he was originally planning. Just still so much running around and trying to get details and plans out of him that is like pulling teeth.  I'm hoping once a pair of conference talks are squared away he might gain some minor amounts of sanity.  In the mean time, I'm chugging along.  On the plus side, I've also managed to get some responsibilities / assignments with one of his direct peers in a team we are all on. So I'm getting some experience/career growth that I want, she's getting someone to take stuff off her plate that's a bit more managementy than her reports are ready for, and I'm being kept relatively sane by having relevant, practical work instead of reading and reviewing a damn text book.

 

Now then.  Challenge.

 

Selfcare-wise, I took most of Saturday to disconnect from everything.  Read a bunch and drank coffee.  Went on a nice 6 mile hike (at the low low cost of Whoops I parked Illegally And Have a Parking Ticket), listened to a few videogame soundtracks, discovered new sights.  Ate well.  Read a bunch more.  Coming out of my cocoon I had definitely-not-socially-distant tea with two friends who have also been cooped up in their house for two weeks that live down the street, then virtual drinks with TinMan and his wife.   I also played a lot of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and beat it last night ( @bigm141414).  I enjoyed it, and now have.... something to play after work I think.  The virus has done wonders for giving me time to play video games again, that's for sure.

 

Food has been wobbly, but mostly good.  Days I over eat I'm usually content to under eat the next day, even if the macros aren't the best.  Last week I ended "about" 2000 calories, but also didn't track for 2 days.  I was probably up substantially more.  This week so far I'm seemingly averaging around 2100 again with my predicted things.  Honestly, I call that all a win.  I weighed myself Sunday morning, and found I was around 213, which makes sense.  Better, though, was the fact I had a waist measurement of 36" and a neck measurement of about 15.75".  For reference, I don't think I've seen my neck that small ever, and my thinnest waist measurement was 35.5".  So based on those numbers, I'm approximately 19% body fat these days.  Which is more or less where I was pre-car accident.  So even though I'm about 5 pounds from where I wanted to be at the start of May (goal of 207-210), I'm content here.  Would like better, but this is a good pace to be when I had gotten back up to probably 230ish after the end of last year.

 

Aikido stuff has been nil.  Unless we count the board meeting we had on Sunday morning.

 

Workouts, though, have been solid.  ast week were the Monday/Wednesday NP workouts, plus work-sponsored yoga, plus an extra yoga session I'm paying for now to help support the work yoga instructor.  Thursday night I felt dead, so I slept 9-10 hours, on the reasoning that I'd take the long Saturday hike.  Worked out well.

 

This week I did NP yesterday.  Tomorrow I'm skipping.  The workout is a 6k run, and I have regularly skipped this one whenever they throw it.  I debated going for a 6k hike, but I would be too stressed trying to plot a 6k path, and do it in an hour-ish that would let me get home and prepared for work that morning.  So no.  I will sleep, and revel in the sleep.  Probably will do a hike anyway on Saturday or Sunday.  That's been the usual thing now.

 

So yea.  That's been the last week and change.  Just chugging forward where I can and not taking failures too harshly.  Maybe, just maybe, the pandemic can teach me a bit better self compassion.  That'd be weird and productive, right?

  • Like 4

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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On 4/28/2020 at 9:50 AM, RisenPhoenix said:

 I also played a lot of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and beat it last night

 

What were your impressions? Did it live up to the hype and more importantly did you think it did the original justice? I am intrigued where they are going in the next episode. Also that last boss fight. Pure JRPG craziness. IT was definitely an off the rails over the top ending, in a way that I've missed in games lately.

 

On 4/28/2020 at 9:50 AM, RisenPhoenix said:

It's strange, but I'm wondering if my NF days are numbered

 

As a person who has waffled a lot in my participation in NF, I know these feels well. I always remind myself that everything works, but nothing works forever and there are times where stepping back and paring down is required to continue progress. You'll be happy to know that the boards will always be here (I mean 10 freaking years this place has been around), and you can pop in at your leisure. We're always here for you, my dude.

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"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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I'm glad things have gotten better at work. There is enough frustration in the current situation without your boss making it worse.


Good for you in deciding which activities fit your needs at the moment. Hiking and yoga - yes. Running - no.

 

I hope you stick around at least some of the time. Doing a battle log is great. Kishi did that for a long time. Pick the format that makes you happier.

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Level 60  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

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Small wrap up, since I'm blatantly using this to avoid working on a presentation I need to give on Wednesday.

 

My selfcare has definitely gotten better, if only for me taking the time to sit down and map out what my anxieties have been and ways to tackle them.  My whiteboard right now has a wonderful diagram of all my current brain weasels and things I can do (or not) to appease them.  It was rather cathartic to write out, even if it doesn't totally solve the base problem.

 

I did a few aikido-centric things, but pretty much none of it was actual aikido-learning.  I really don't care.  I think of the dojo fondly, can't wait to get back to training, but trying to add an additional learning task to my life on top of massive work-learning role shifts is not something I am going to stress myself out on.

 

Food was pretty solid most of the time over the course of the challenge.  I think I ended up averaging about 2200 calories a day.  I actually seem to have lost about 2 pounds during the course of the challenge.  All in all, I'm now just under 212.  I had aimed to be 210 by May 1, but being 2 pounds shy of that mark is certainly not a terrible thing, considering where I started in January.  In early Feburary I was just about 220.  In early January I was probably close to 225 or 230.  The fact I've made it this far with relatively less-strict methods is a massive accomplishment.  Furthermore, I am more or less in the same proportion I was before my car accident at the end of 2018.  That's a massive, massive benchmark I've been trying to reach since the beginning of 2019.  Athletically I am certainly not where I was (injuries now have seen to that), but I am at least in striking distance of that benchmark, too. Which brings me to....

 

Workouts.  I pretty much managed most of the NP workouts MWF the entire challenge period.  Those I skipped I usually replaced with a long ruck through the woods.  There were one or two I skipped for self-care purposes, but that same selfcare usually also drove me to go for hikes and rucks anyway.  I also have had it end up that I am now doing yoga usually twice a week (once on Wednesday afternoon, once on Thursday night).  And I do try to get a post-work walk in when I can, though the weather has been spotty enough the last few weeks that I haven't manage that as regularly as I would like.  But workouts are pretty solid, on that front.

 

So over all, this challenge was fairly successful.  Considering everything, the needle has definitely ticked forward in a much more drastic way than I had expected.

 

Also I made this thing in the next challenge.

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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