Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The result of chronic creativity stifling

Our office is being reorganized, so that we hamsters will fit more efficiently in our cubicles. HR sent out an e-mail this morning; the gist of which was, “carry your access badge with you at all times.”

This, of course, prompted the following smartass e-mail volley:

CAD Monkey: It’s just another way for The Man to hold us down!

Cube Neighbor: Strawberry fields forever!!!

CAD Monkey: [waves a burning roll of trace paper in the air] We will never surrender!!

Cube Neighbor: [sirens wailing in background. People rushing past through thick, billowy smoke with hands clasping shirts over their mouths. The power is out. You are disoriented. The rhythmic clatter of hard sole shoes becomes more and more pronounced. ~clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap~ the police round the corner near the copier with pink slips drawn.]

Platoon…HALT! Ready! Aim! FIRE!

…and a martyr is born…

CAD Monkey: [grasps chest, sinks to ground] My only regret…cough…is that I have…boneitis.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

CAD Monkey: Someone is totally trying to mess with my reality. The coffee makers have had their pots switched, so that the “decaf” pots are on the “regular” machine, and so on. Does this mean I have to put regular coffee in the “wrong” machine?

Coworker: I think the cleaning crew just does that sometimes.

CAD Monkey: To screw with people like me!

Coworker: Uh huh. Yeah. [looks at me like I’m crazy. which I am.]

On another note, I think that K@shi should change the name of their "instant" cereal from "G0 Lean" to "Volcano in a Cup." I arrived at this conclusion after discovering that, no matter what size cup you put this cereal in, it will go from normal to volcanic in the space of two seconds- making it difficult to microwave.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I'm double-dipping with my other blog. Deal with it.

Monday was horrid.

Yesterday was bad as well, as I went to the new doctor for a second opinion on my hip (or first opinion, as the other doctor told me nothing). I found out that I have congenital hip dysplasia, which, besides sounding something like a dog would suffer from, means that my hip socket and the ball of my femur are both slightly malformed.

Yay, genetics! You score again, bitch!

This causes my femur to hit the edge of the hip socket, instead of resting inside it like it should- in turn, causing an early breakdown of the joint’s cartilage. This equals pain, and an early onset of osteoarthritis. Check, and…check. He told me that I will eventually need a total hip replacement. When I asked why I couldn’t have it now, he said I was too young. Sigh. So, I get to have a super-fun 10-15 years of pain, then a hip replacement. Wheeee!

Oh yeah, and this guy did tell me, "Lose weight." No shit. I'll get right on that, asshole.

Then I cried all the way from the doctor’s office back to work. Yesterday afternoon, my blood work came back as positive for rheumatoid arthritis. So I have that to look forward to as well.

Last night, I told ManThing, “after today and Monday, things have got to get better!”
This morning, my face has broken out in hives, and I found some sort of larval insect thing in my pumpkin bread.

I stand corrected.

Monday, November 14, 2005


I'm at level 3.

I only just managed to escape another Monday Migraine through the quick ingestion of additional caffeine. As it is, my pulse is way up; and my head is pounding with the force of it.

The way the project team management is trying to use me is like using an ice skate as a screwdriver. Sure, you can probably manage; but it’s not the best use of the ice skate.

Example #1 - Secretary and/ or Arbitrator:
Project Manager (PM) tells me to send out a meeting request, because our Client Liason (CL) “wanted to talk about plaster soffit details.” I sent out the meeting request, and electronically reserved time in a conference room. Just to be sure, I physically went and looked at the conference room’s sign-up sheet; and as usual, the whole day has been blocked out by someone who didn’t bother to put it on the electronic calendar. I booked another conference room, and resent the request. Then, CL declined the meeting. I e-mailed him back, asking what time he would prefer to have the meeting, since PM told me CL was the one who wanted the meeting in the first place. CL replies, “What I need to review with PM, Designer and Junior Designer is the entry design. If that is what is being discussed then I will come.” Thanks, PM, for making me look like an ass by not telling me what CL really wanted to meet about! Oh, and also? Send the fucking meeting request out yourself so this doesn’t happen!

Example #2a – Project Manager:
I am not, I repeat, NOT a Project Manager!! However, everybody still seems to think I am. The engineers are asking me for an addendum date on Project A. I don’t know; I’m NOT the PM! When I e-mail the PM for the answer, he’ll either not answer, or reply, “ask the engineers how long they need.” The engineers don’t work that way! They want a deadline! And why do I know this and you do not, when you’re the fucking PM?!?

Example #2b – Project Manager:
Project Architect (PA) wants me to find work for the employees that have been added to the job temporarily to help out. This project is so huge and complicated that I can barely figure out WTF I’m doing, much less bring someone totally unfamiliar with it up to speed. I’m trying to draw. I don’t have time to do markups.

Example #3 - Project Architect:
The CAD Draftsman is constantly bugging me for completed wall section sheets, so that he can work on the larger scale details off those sheets. I have little to give him, because I’m still trying to figure out how the damn building goes together. This is a process of 1) trying it the way I think it will work; 2) consulting the structural engineer; 3) getting PM’s “permission” to proceed; and 4) trying to get Designer to agree with the whole thing. That last step usually causes me to have to do steps 2 through 4 all over again.

This thing is supposed to go out, at 100 percent, in one month from tomorrow. It is not going to happen. PM is delusional about the amount of work left to do, evident by the fact that he keeps saying, “we will be done by the 15th,” yet he continues to add more and more details- when we already have a stack of details not yet drawn.

The poor PA is at home today, after having a hemorrhagic nosebleed yesterday- most likely brought on by stress. Her neighbor, who is also on this God-forsaken project team, took PA to the emergency room, and said that even though PA was faint from lack of blood, she couldn’t stop worrying about this project!

What is wrong with everybody?!?
A week off?
Hell, I'd be happy with being able to take a day off at this point!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I, Nobot

A few weeks ago, I made mention of the machine. At the time, I said it had been dormant, and was rusty. Now I’d like to clarify- the machine is dead.

I will not make any attempts to revive it.

During school, the projects were everything. I put off sleep, socializing, exercise, nutrition…everything. All so I could finish the damn projects. The longest amount of time I went without sleep was 36 straight hours. My body is no longer capable, nor am I willing, to recreate that feat.

Also, why should I?

As a salaried employee, I won’t get paid any additional money for working above and beyond 40 hours. Nor can I put forth a behemoth effort, then take a week off. There is no longer the threat of “grades,” which used to have a ridiculously important place in my life. Thinking back, trying to maintain the machine is one of the factors that caused me to check myself into the hospital for severe depression in the semester before my thesis. That fact alone makes it unworthy of revival.

But wait…there’s more. In school, the projects required me to think, create, build models, draw hand sketches and create colored renderings. At work, the projects force me to spend hours working on repetitive wall sections, calling out wall types, and drawing miles and miles of 2’x 2’ ceiling grids- all while sitting in the same chair, in front of the same computer, in the same cubicle. My brain can only sustain itself on menial tasks for so long before it starts shutting down.

The studio environment bred camaraderie; all of my friends spent as much time as I did in studio. Now, I need to get away from people in the office- I need a break (Hack n’ Snort, I’m looking at you). Also, I start to miss my husband, my cat, my couch. I have heard too many architects talk about how their wives nearly left them because of the amount of hours they spent at the office. No thanks.

I suppose that one reward of working 60 hours per week would be the acknowledgement of my "go-getter attitude," resulting in my moving quickly up the corporate ladder. Then I could be expected to work even longer hours, with even more pressure and responsibility! Yeah, sign me up for that.

I am so sick of the unspoken pressure to work 50+ hours every week. I hate it that Project Managers make promises to clients that undercut the schedule, in part causing the aforementioned pressure. Most of all, I hate the fact that I work- hard- for 40-45 hours per week, yet I still feel like I’m a slacker.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Over the past seven years, I have accepted the fact that there will always be some coworkers in my office that I simply will not like. Try as I might, I won’t be able to get along with, or even tolerate some people. It’s not my 7th birthday party anymore; I don’t have to get along with everybody. I know that these people will linger, and I will have to deal with them for as long as they or I remain with the company.

But sometimes…sometimes wishes come true!

Being married to an IT guy, I know that when you see the office IT guy hauling off someone’s CPU- while leaving the monitor and keyboard behind- it’s usually not a good sign for that person. I almost didn't believe it when I saw whose machine was getting removed this morning.

Ho-bag is no more. The fact that this makes me so damned happy is just another reason I’m going to hell in a pretty basket.

I feel vindicated that someone in the upper echelons didn’t fall for the Giggle n’ Jiggle routine she was working. Score one for us brainy girls. Every now and then, when I’m sure that the industry is every bit as bad as I think it is, someone will prove me wrong- and I’ve been overdue for some proof lately.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

While I’m sitting at my desk at work, I have so many ideas for posts; bright, and clear, and scathing. Then I come home, and see the couch. I think of how tired I am of sitting in front of a computer, and the only thing that is bright and clear is the pain in my leg. And so I write nothing.

But now, I am writing, for the same reason I do too many things in my life: not because I want to, but because I feel I should.

And I just lost the urge again. Sorry.