Monthly Archives: November 2014

Not Much To Say

I don’t really have much to say right now. Work is work, life is life, and I’m still tired from the weekend. I have some things I might want to write about, but I’m just not feeling the drive or interest right now. But Hey, it’s pretty cold out! So at least there’s that. Or something.

I really do wish I had more down time to do the things I like (read: play video games), but that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now. Too much of my time is spoken for, and unless I want to stay up overly late, I’m not sure how to squeeze more free time out of my schedule. At least when I was working at Costco I had afternoons to myself.

Maybe I’m still just getting used to the new work load, even though it’s been three months. But it sure seems that even my free time in the evening and on weekends has been lacking. Maybe it’s just the big push I had before Mile Hi Con. I don’t know. All I know is I don’t feel like doing much besides sitting like a lump.

At least this malaise isn’t really translating into depression, I guess. Just fatigue. And it’s not like I’m any busier than I was when I was in grad school. So what’s different? I don’t know.

But hey, at least I’m still posting something, right?

Still Around

Hey, guess what?  I’m still tired!  And still don’t have much to say!  Yaaaay, me!

Seriously though, the weekend has left me pretty exhausted.  I did at least have a good time at the event; court was long, yes, but it was entertaining and fun.  The drive down wasn’t as draining as I had feared it would be, and I enjoyed the chance to see and catch up with old friends.

But today was still Monday.  And I don’t really feel like doing much of anything tonight.  So I’m not going to.  Instead, I’ll putter around on the Internet, maybe play some video games with my girlfriend, then crawl into bed and hope tomorrow goes better.

Not As Bad

So I’m feeling better about things.  The Big Boss has headed back to the home office, so things are calming down at work.  I’ve sorted out my plans for Coronation (yes, I decided to go), so that shouldn’t be too bad.  I’m still tired, but the end is in sight.

I think the biggest issue for me when it came to the Coronation decision was I hadn’t made any plans yet.  As such, I couldn’t help but see everything that had to be done as one large, overwhelming lump of stuff.  And I’ll admit to getting to the point of brooding, where I was treading the same mental ruts over and over without making progress towards any sort of decision.  But I found someone to carpool with, somewhere I can (hopefully) stay, and should still be able to manage heading out and getting back at reasonable times.

It’s also quieted down at the office, which is helping a lot.  Having people in town from the home office is nice, but it does mean we go out to eat a lot.  Like, every day they were here.  And hanging out with workers after hours, while definitely the politic thing to do, does tend to eliminate one’s down time in the evening.  And while the food was tasty, it can definitely get a bit loud for an introvert near the end of his spoons after a few pitchers of beer.

So we’ll see how this weekend goes.  Hopefully I manage to have fun.  Hopefully I don’t come home too worn out.  And hopefully I get a few nights to myself next week.

NOPEworking

What a fine week to be feeling the need to curl up and be a hermit.  Which, of course, I can’t do.  The Big Boss is still in town, and dragging everyone out to dinner again.  Coronation is this weekend, and I’m still going back and forth on whether or not I want to go.  If I’m being completely honest, I’ve been brooding a bit too much.  It’s one of those things where I should go, but don’t really want to.  At this point, a weekend off is sounding very appealing, especially since I’m already planning on being out of town next weekend.

But I’m probably not going to get that.  I’m fast approaching the end of my ability to make decisions and/or deal with others socially.  So this is probably going to be all I get to post for today.  All I really want to do is go home and zone out, or at least go hit my friends with sticks.  But I’m probably not going to even get that.

Blargh.

Networking, I Guess

No post tonight (obviously, at this point).  People from the home office are in town, so of course we had to take them out to dinner.  Which means I didn’t get home until late.  Which means I haven’t had time to write.  And the best part is, we’ll probably have to take them out tomorrow night too, so I’ll be missing heavy practice.  All right before an event that I’m not too excited about that I really should go to anyway.

Plus, the news from the political front has me depressed, so I’m just going to bed.

L’esprit d’Escalier

The French have a phrase: l’esprit d’escalier. Often translated as “staircase wit,” it refers to when you think the perfect thing to say to someone, whether as witty retort or poignant parting words, just a moment too late. Like, for instance, walking down the stairs out of a meeting or interview (hence the term).

I had one of those moments today, one that is still bothering me hours after the fact. It’s of course well past the time I could do something about it, but maybe writing will help expunge my feelings. The Big Boss (heh) is in town to visit some clients this weekend, and spent the afternoon in the office. As the day wound down everyone got to talking, and the subject of the business side of architecture came up.

Now, believe it or not, but a lot of architects aren’t the best businesspeople. There’s more to running a practice than sketching designs on paper. As the Big Boss said, architecture is a service industry, and it’s our job to meet the needs of our clients. But architects often have to go out in search of work, which can lead to a feast-or-famine mentality. Thus, the challenge often becomes: how do you balance work demands with worker resources?

A common tactic is to hire people on a temporary basis, adding them as needed when the projects are rolling in and cutting them loose once the well dries up or moves. Luckily our office doesn’t work like that, otherwise I’d be a little more paranoid. But a lot of firms do. Unfortunately, some firms also attempt to enhance their bottom line by hiring less experience people at a lower rate. This may save money in the short term, but in the long term it may cost you more, since inexperience people will need more training (as an inexperienced person, I keep quiet during this bit).

But as the discussion continued, one of my coworkers, talking about the low pay/low quality bit and how that relates to motivation, said something to the effect of “They’re hiring people to work at $XX an hour, and you can’t live on that.”

The kicker, of course, being that “$XX” was less than what I’m making.

Here’s where I had my esprit d’escalier moment. What I wanted to do was pipe up and say something to the effect of “Actually, I don’t do too bad.” But with the Big Boss there, I wasn’t sure that was the best course of action. After all, I’m still within my probationary period, and would prefer not to step on any toes.

The conversation moved on, but as I went about my errands on my way home the comment (and missed opportunity) still gnawed at me. It’s a bit of a sensitive subject for me: while I’m now working in my field, I’m not making that much more per hour than I was as a Costco retail grunt. Sure, I get more hours and a more regular schedule, but I’m still far below what my (brief) research indicated was the going rate, as well as my expectations were.

And I’m not sure how to bring that up. Maybe it’s due to cost of living differences between here and the home office, but I’d like to be making more. Plus it’s a little annoying to hear someone dismissively say “You can’t live on $XX” when you’re actually living on less. And not just living, but managing to pay all your bills and student loans in a timely manner. I’m sure my coworker didn’t mean anything by it, but like I said, it bothered me.

And I’m sure that the dreary day and unnaturally abrupt change in daylight (DST can bite me) hasn’t helped my outlook either. But writing about it seems to have helped. There is a chance, after all, that I may get a raise at my 90-day review, Assuming I have the wherewithal to properly advocate for it. But for now, I’ll just have to settle for being mildly annoyed, as the dark strips away what precious little free time I have.