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Harihead

Harihead is Moving Ahead

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Harihead is Mellowing Out and Moving Ahead

Last month was, shall we say, challenging. I'm now concentrating on finding a new job, managing the ongoing stress from my current job, and introducing better, more supportive personal behaviors and habits to help get me through the transition time. 

 

Life Goal: 
Return to the weight and fitness I had when I worked from home, instead of someone else's office. 
 
3 Month Goal: 
Lose 15 pounds before I go to France this June. 
March: Down 4 pounds.
April: 

 

4 Week Challenge Goals:

Cope with stress, promote good behaviors, find a new job. 
 
Exercise
Cardio = elevate heart rate at least 25 minutes 6x weekly. (This is another bump from last challenge, easy to track in MFP.)
A = >6/week, STA +3, STR +2
B = >5/week, STA +2, STR +1
C = >4/week, STA +1
 
Diet
Try to improve the score on my 2 worst stress-handling fails: processed food and alcohol. For this challenge, I'm going to relax the definition of "processed". Instead of being only natural protein, veggie, or fruit, I will allow some whole grain as long as it's healthily prepared. Still aiming for mostly paleo and no junk.  
- <=1 processed food/week
- <=3 drinking events/week total (monitoring the total to <7/week)
- >= 12 glasses water/day (because it always helps)
A = 0 fails/week, CON +3, DEX +1
B = 3 fails/week, CON +2, DEX +1
C = 6 fails/week, CON +1, DEX +1
 
Refresh:
Get myself out of this sleep-deprived zone! I want to achieve >= 7 hours a night. 
- regular bedtime (tracked by my Jawbone UP) with healthy herbal prep
- Tai Chi or meditation every day 
A = 0 fails/week, CHA +3
B = 2 fails/week, CHA +2
C = 4 fails/week, CHA +1
 
Renew:
Handle the transition to my next opportunity gracefully. 
- Ideal is 2+ job-seeking and 2+ fiction-writing activities per week (tracked on spreadsheet 178).
- Count down the days by recording "a blessing per day", so I can move through this change with gratitude and awareness. 
A = 5/week WIS +3
B = 4/week WIS +2
C = 3/week WIS +1
 
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Sunday stats - Day 1

Sleep: 8 hours sleep!!!! 7.5 of it "sound"! IT'S A MIRACLE!!!

Renew: Picked up tailored suits, ready for dry cleaning

Blessing: Planning Iceland trip

 

Phys: walk + Tai Chi 

Fud: Super clean diet, 2 red wine

MFP projection = -1.7 pounds/week

 

 

Monday stats - Day 2

Sleep: 7 hours sleep, 5.5 of it "sound". Technically this meets goal, but I'd like to do better. 

Renew: I got called back for a second interview, Yay! Takes place April 14. 

Blessing: New comfortable shoes

 

Phys: short walk + Tai Chi & meditation

Fud: Super clean diet, some brown rice

MFP projection = -1.5 pounds/week

 

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9 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

How much better do you feel with enough sleep?

 

Night and day! I couldn't even do my taxes yesterday, I was so wiped out. I puttered around updating my LinkedIn profile and really improved it, but I made a lot of mistakes and had to make several corrections. Today, I just walked through the tax stuff, zip zip zip. 

I'm really tired again, though. I think I have a lot of catch-up to do. Early to bed!

 

8 hours ago, Swampling said:

7.5 hours of sound sleep? FINALLY! :triumphant: 

I hope this kind of sleep pattern catches on! :)

 

Trip to Iceland? :-o I'm a bit envious (in a good way)! 

> I hope this kind of sleep pattern catches on!

May it be so! I refilled my baby aspirin sleep aid, just in case. Almost out. 

 

You can be even more jealous, because the whole trip is France for a week, Norfolk for a week (where my friend lives), and then Iceland for a 2-day stopover. We just booked two midnight-sun tours, one for whale watching, and one for the Golden Circle. I saw the white nights in Russia several years ago, and it's really a lovely quality of light. Plus, those Icelanders are party animals!

 

Thank you both for your kind inquiries. Good night!

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Following! 

 

Regarding the health and fitness you had working from home:


I have a friend that I have a lot of conversations with about this. She used to be a coworker, and she quit to become a massage therapist (Tech Writing was REALLY not for her). After going off to start her own business which she runs out of her home (with her artist husband, who has a studio in their basement), she has lost weight and her fitness level has increased. 

 

She attributes it to lots of things: being on her feet most of the day instead of sitting down all day, no longer boredom eating during long hours in the office, not eating on a schedule just to get her lunch break in before some long meeting, and general overall increased happiness. For me personally, the fact that I always have to work according to someone else's schedule is the main thing that makes me dislike office work and long to work for myself one day. 

 

What are your thoughts on this? I previously had two work from home days a week (those recently got taken away from me), and while working from home my eating habits were definitely different, but it also wasn't enough work from home to really seem dramatically different to me. 

 

And as always, good luck on the job hunt. Wonder Twin Powers, activate!

 

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On 4/4/2016 at 9:15 AM, shaeon said:

Regarding the health and fitness you had working from home:


... She attributes it to lots of things: being on her feet most of the day instead of sitting down all day, no longer boredom eating during long hours in the office, not eating on a schedule just to get her lunch break in before some long meeting, and general overall increased happiness. For me personally, the fact that I always have to work according to someone else's schedule is the main thing that makes me dislike office work and long to work for myself one day. 

 

What are your thoughts on this? I previously had two work from home days a week (those recently got taken away from me), and while working from home my eating habits were definitely different, but it also wasn't enough work from home to really seem dramatically different to me. 

 

And as always, good luck on the job hunt. Wonder Twin Powers, activate!

 

Many thoughts, but first: 

I got called back for a second interview, Yay! Takes place April 14. 

All of a sudden I'm way nervous. I'll be meeting with the Marketing Director. I'd feel more comfortable with R&D, but a stretch is what I'm going for! Please remind me not to be insane and stay at this job with the wrong culture and triple workload out of fear. 

 

Hey, power twin! High five!

 

What are your thoughts on this?

First off, I've spent about 9 years of my career working from home, so I have lots of habits built up from that experience. Everything your friend enthused about is true for me also. And I REALLY hate working in someone else's office! I much prefer setting my own, sane schedule. 

 

The habits I built up are include eating twice a day. I like to eat around 10 and 4-6, depending on how the day goes. Then I'm good. Maybe an apple at night (like tonight; ate lunch about 2). When I can cook or prepare good fresh food, just what I want when I want it, instead of whatever I crammed into an unappealing plastic container the night before, I'm so much better nourished. Part of the reason I made it through the Death March was because I was eating good, hot meals. 

 

I can start and finish work when I want to. So I can start at 7 AM, and take a mid-day break for a bicycle ride or a hike when the weather is prime. This is so difficult to do out of an office, because sweat and office clothes don't mix. I couldn't help noticing that I lost 3 pounds even at the Death March peak when I was working at home, taking care of myself. An office just isn't fun. 

 

Tuesday stats

Sleep: ~8 hours sleep, 3+ of it "sound". Hmm, another UP failure. I think I turn it off in my sleep. 

Renew: Searched for good dry cleaner for new interview clothes. Fingers crossed they won't be ruined!

Blessing: My taxes are optimized! Go, me! (= perfect withholding #)

 

Phys: walk + Tai Chi + meditation - stressful day, I needed it all. 

Fud: Super clean diet, just a little butter with my crab

MFP projection = -1.5 pounds/week

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11 hours ago, Harihead said:

Many thoughts, but first: 

I got called back for a second interview, Yay! Takes place April 14. 

All of a sudden I'm way nervous. I'll be meeting with the Marketing Director. I'd feel more comfortable with R&D, but a stretch is what I'm going for! Please remind me not to be insane and stay at this job with the wrong culture and triple workload out of fear. 

 

Hey, power twin! High five!

 

What are your thoughts on this?

First off, I've spent about 9 years of my career working from home, so I have lots of habits built up from that experience. Everything your friend enthused about is true for me also. And I REALLY hate working in someone else's office! I much prefer setting my own, sane schedule. 

 

The habits I built up are include eating twice a day. I like to eat around 10 and 4-6, depending on how the day goes. Then I'm good. Maybe an apple at night (like tonight; ate lunch about 2). When I can cook or prepare good fresh food, just what I want when I want it, instead of whatever I crammed into an unappealing plastic container the night before, I'm so much better nourished. Part of the reason I made it through the Death March was because I was eating good, hot meals. 

 

I can start and finish work when I want to. So I can start at 7 AM, and take a mid-day break for a bicycle ride or a hike when the weather is prime. This is so difficult to do out of an office, because sweat and office clothes don't mix. I couldn't help noticing that I lost 3 pounds even at the Death March peak when I was working at home, taking care of myself. An office just isn't fun. 

 

 

Tuesday stats

Sleep: x hours sleep, 5.5 of it "sound". Hmm, another UP failure. I can tell you I was in bed 8 hours, and at 3 of it was sound. 

Renew: 

Blessing:

 

Phys: walk + Tai Chi or meditation

Fud: clean diet, 

MFP projection = -x pounds/week

 

 

Congrats on the second interview! That's awesome! And yes, definitely don't be insane. 

 

Yeah, the eating at work thing for me is definitely different than at home. I've been bringing food with me to the office a lot lately, so that I can eat when I'm hungry even if that's not the time that lines up with when I have time for a full hour long break. I don't really mind working in an office if the environment there is ok, but it definitely messes with when you can eat.

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On 4/5/2016 at 7:39 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Congrats on the 2nd interview.

You do not want to keep that current job.

 

On 4/5/2016 at 9:30 AM, shaeon said:

Congrats on the second interview! That's awesome! And yes, definitely don't be insane. 

Thank you, Tank and Shaeon! I needed that kick. Another stressful day had me beaten down to, "I can't do this! It's too hard!"

 

I'm WAY emotional due to general exhaustion. I practically cried when they couldn't refill my mild sleep aid. (I had to get doctors orders to refill it; hopefully today.) I spent the entire evening winding down, breathing deeply, meditating, eating my new herbal de-stress formula and my regular Deep Sleep preparation. It took about 3 hours, but I did eventually calm down. 

 

Wednesday stats

Sleep: 7 hours sleep, 4.5 of it "sound". Feeling a little draggy. Today I present to the office, oh joy. 

Renew: Counseled with 2 friends about next moves at job

Blessing: barefoot Tai Chi

 

Phys: walk + Tai Chi 

Fud: Pretty clean diet, some dairy, good bread, 1 wine

MFP projection = -2 pounds/week

 

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So glad you are making progress on sleep and de-stressing! Congratulations and good luck on the second interview, too! You are smart to make a move out of such a difficult environment and be taking good care of yourself during this transition. Rooting for you!

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Thank you, Shadowlion! Today was a pretty difficult day. I was being recognized for this project which is difficult for me because I associate it with massive overtime, bullying, and basic abuse. 

 

I did break down and tell a coworker about my problems, and he seemed very concerned. He said it was past time to talk to the director. I'm not keen on this, because the director can be quirky, but apparently Thursday morning is a good time for him (Mondays and Fridays are not). If he's in the office, and available, I'm going to let him know why the work situation has become unworkable. I'm going to give him a simple list of my projects and major things my boss needs to change. Boss, what a laugh. She's a newbie with me as her first practice employee, and I've managed a dept as a B-level for years. But, that's what you get in a loosy-goosey in-club company. 

 

Very churned up. Had a good talk with my sister over dinner who gave me some good advice and suggestions. I'm going to just be open to what happens tomorrow, and take it to the next step. Thanks, anyone who's out there, for listening. 

 

Thurs stats:

Sleep: 8 hours sleep, 6 of it "sound". Whahoo! Will try to repeat the feat tonight.  

Renew: Lots of discussion about the director's talk. Wow, and thanks. 

Blessing: Gorgeous day for a hike

 

Phys: 5 mile hike

Fud: Pretty clean diet, a little goat cheese, 1 wine

MFP projection = -4 pounds/week

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Hang in there. That sort of uncertainty is always tough to deal with. Good that you were able to have a talk with your sister. Will be keeping good thoughts for you tomorrow!

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Best of luck talking with the director. Yeah, recognition for pulling through after bad treatment at work always sucks. It feels like "congrats! You are great at taking a beating!" 

 

Last year I had to talk things out with my head manager, which sounds a lot like your situation now talking with your director. I empathize. It's really hard. I hope that the best comes of it. Maybe it can make things somewhat more tolerable as you try to find new work. 

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Okay, I took the plunge this morning and made an appt on the director's calendar. He was working from home, which is not how I wanted to conduct this interview, but I didn't want to wait a whole week.

 

I checked with my boss so I could read her my manifesto, but she wasn't in the office yet. So I figured I'd catch her up later.

 

The boss responded almost instantly with a short email, Call my mobile. So I did.

 

We small-talked at first, and then I went into the 4-person workload. He said, "Before you get too angry at R, understand that I'm the one who denied getting you extra resources last year." So, boom, he perfectly understood I was overloaded, knew it for a year, and chose to do nothing about it. 

Now, at this point I was getting angry, and the strain showed in my voice. However, I thought my points were good. I deliberately used phrasing that Eric suggested, and as a good old boy, I figured he knew what would be effective. 

 

I continued with, "R and I had a plan where I would give her estimates on how long it would take to complete various projects based on difficulty: low, medium, and high. We were going to discuss these estimates Monday. Yesterday, while talking to a new potential outsourcing company, she suddenly announced, "And we'd like to have the course complete by August." In other words, double-booking me AGAIN for two huge projects on tight deadlines. Plus, we'd discussed this project and she never asked me for an estimate. Again, pulled deadline out of the air.  

 

He said, "I'm going to interrupt you here. There is no place for saying negative things about your coworkers. R has marketing skills that you don't have, and you have technical skills she doesn't understand." Therefore confirming he put someone in place as my manager who had no clue what my job involved.

 

I said, "I can't do that again. I'm going to work one person's workload from now on." 

 

He said, "You can't call me up and threaten me. You're emotional and irrational. Take a long weekend, hike and cool down, and we'll talk this over on Monday."

 

So my proposal that I work a normal work week was viewed as a "threat" and my points as "emotional and irrational." I grant you, the tension in my voice would make the listener defensive, but I don't think one person/one job is a threat in any normal workplace. 

 

I'm all wound up. I'm going to take a long hike and see if Nature can work some magic.

Your views are welcome-- including constructive critique. I'm at the end of my rope here.

Cheers. 

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Toxic work environment. So. Toxic. 

 

First of all, explaining that your manager just made up a deadline without asking you for your estimates isn't the same thing as calling her names or something. It's not like you attacked her personally, (or attacked her at all, in fact). You gave a concrete example of the types of problems you are having. It's a statement of a fact, not negative talk. So that's ridiculous. How are you supposed to have a productive workplace if you can never address problems? 

 

Secondly, a threat is when you say "do this or else THIS will happen." You didn't make a threat. You simply declared your limits and set a boundary. As a director, it's within his rights to refuse to accept those limits, but calling it a threat is just dumb. 

Also... SIGH. Yeah, a man called you emotional and irrational. What a damn stereotype. And it was a man who gets butthurt if someone actually talks about problems openly and thinks a boundary is the same thing as a threat. Someone here was emotional and irrational, but it certainly wasn't you. 

 

It sounds like ultimately, the message here is "we're not hiring extra people; deal with it." In which case, fine - you're looking for a new job anyway. You gave it a shot, and it just confirms even more that you're doing what needs to be done. But then there's that emotional edge to it that you've talked about before that is a problem for you in the corporate culture there. I gave that a lot of thought after you posted that article to my weekly challenge thread - the family culture workplace isn't necessarily bad, but this workplace is like a dysfunctional family, where no one is allowed to ever talk about problems (which in my own experience is the thing that is most likely to lead to a bad workplace in that kind of culture). 

 

So yeah. I like a family culture workplace, but these people would drive me nuts. 

 

I'm sorry it went that way. I'm glad you gave it a shot, because I think it's worth it to see if you can make things better. But since it seems like they won't let that happen, I hope it just fuels your fire to get out. 

 

And I really have no criticism. I wouldn't have stayed as calm as you. Sounds like you were straightforward and kept the topic on actual business problems. I don't think it should be a bad thing that you clearly sound tense. That should signal a GOOD leader that you're under a lot of stress and that this has been weighing heavy on you. 

 

Enjoy your hike. I hope it was a beautiful day out.

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I'm glad you gave it a shot, because I think it's worth it to see if you can make things better. But since it seems like they won't let that happen, I hope it just fuels your fire to get out.

Thank you Tank, Shaeon, and Shadowlion. Perfectly well put. I do feel better having given it a shot, and understanding that they really have no intention of making things better for me. It certainly leaves no doubt that leaving is my best option. 

 

I am going to give one more try at improving relationships. The VP who originally hired me seems like a reasonable man. I've convinced him to meet me for coffee tomorrow, so I can ask him for some tips on how to deal with these people. I don't believe I was irrational or accusatory; I was giving concrete examples of the difficulties I was encountering. I do plan to clean out my office completely this weekend, because there's a possibility I'll be walked out the door on Monday. I'm not working with rational people here. The only acceptable answer is, "Yes, I'll sign up for some more abuse, please!" Er, no. 

 

Fri stats:

Sleep: 7 hours sleep, 5.5 of it "sound". (good herbal prep, 1 pill)

Renew: Bought external drive for backup, interview samples

Blessing: A darling 9-year-old girl joined me for my Tai Chi workout, then taught me her hip-hop routine. :)

 

Phys: Bike ride + Tai Chi 

Fud: Super clean diet, but wine = 8 glasses this week! Oops. 

MFP projection = +0.5 pounds/week

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You are right to go to the VP. Be warned, the person who accused you of being irrational will get angry you went over his head. The fact that you will be correct to talk to the VP will make him even angrier. Just remember his opinion doesn't matter because he's a stinky-butt poo-poo head.

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You are right to go to the VP. Be warned, the person who accused you of being irrational will get angry you went over his head. The fact that you will be correct to talk to the VP will make him even angrier. Just remember his opinion doesn't matter because he's a stinky-butt poo-poo head.

LOL. Truer words have never been spoken. The director's a stinky-butt poo-poo head, and has always been a stinky-butt poo-poo head. Actually, this VP and my boss both report to him. I tried the VP because I knew he'd been there several years and would have some tips as to how to deal with him without him turning into a raving maniac. No matter what I try, I seem to trip that bully button. 

 

The VP did have some good tips. He's analytical, and so am I, so I'm hoping his tips will work better than my earlier strategies. In any case, if they piss him off Monday, I'll have learned another way to fail.

 

I'm in a good mood tonight. I bought an external drive and backed up my work laptop to it, so I can have access to my old projects for samples or coding if needed (not showing anything proprietary, of course). This way I can be confident I can clean up my work machine of anything not relevant to the next employee without saying, "Oops, I needed that." I also went in after working hours and completed cleaning out my desk, recycled a huge stack of papers from my filing cabinet and left one small drawer of crucial papers for my replacement. Took all my cups and the few remaining personal items home. A friend I talked to tonight said, "You tipped your hand!" I assured her that no one reacted in the slightest to any previous denuding of my cube, and I'm certain they won't notice the final removals. They just don't care about me. 

 

Oh, and the VP (who was nice enough to give me a good 90 minutes to discuss how badly I was f*ing up) confirmed my analysis. I said, the last time I was angry at someone, it turned up on my performance review over a year later, when the incident was already long made up with the person who I'd flared up at (I insisted on root-cause analysis of the disagreement, and we found common ground to work from). Anyway, I was graded down for this and the incident wasn't even in the review period. He said, "Well we're a family culture, and we hold grudges." !!! Wow. So he confirmed my analysis of the culture and basically confirmed my job was certainly dead end after this (though he didn't say it). Never a better time to move one. 

 

Up way too late tonight, so not sleeping much. But I feel relaxed for the first time in forever. 

 

Sat stats:

Sleep: 3 hours sleep, x of it "sound". (bad prep)

Renew: 

Blessing:

 

Phys: walk + Tai Chi or meditation

Fud: clean diet, 

MFP projection = -x pounds/week

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Sat stats:

Sleep: Only 2 hours per UP. 

Renew: Backed up laptop

Blessing: Complete wallow day! Made it through 2 seasons of "Newsroom"

 

Phys: COMPLETE POTATO! No walk + Tai Chi or meditation, zip 

Fud: Clean diet, some cheese, 2 wine

MFP projection = -0 pounds/week

 

 

Sun stats:

Sleep: Forgot to turn UP to sleep mode, but got 5-6 hours. 

Renew: Reviewed new potential jobs, read another bullying book 

Blessing: 

 

Phys: walk + Tai Chi or meditation

Fud: Clean diet, 

MFP projection = -x pounds/week

 

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Week 1 Roundup:

 
Exercise
Cardio = A for week. 4 okay and 2 excellent workouts. 
 
Diet
Water and processed food okay, alcohol 9 vs 7. B for week. 
Down 1 pound. :)
 
Refresh:
! achieved >= 7 hours total a night for 6 nights. B for week. 
- Tai Chi or meditation only 5x this week. 
 
Renew:
Super active on the new job front. A for week. 
 
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Forums are broken! I can't edit any previous posts, so my apologies for the duplicate days. (I copy the lines and then update, or I did....)

 

Sun stats:

Sleep: Forgot to turn UP to sleep mode, but got ~5-6 hours. 

Renew: Reviewed new potential jobs, read another bullying book 

Blessing: Noticed my tags are expired! Trick is to get them updated before I get a ticket. 

 

Phys: bike ride + meditation

Fud: Super clean diet, no exceptions!

MFP projection = -2 pounds/week

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