Know Your Lane

Some people are born managers. They can handle flow of information and the order in which tasks must be accomplished.

Some people are born self starters. They can work alone and unsupervised and get tasks things done well and on time.

Some people are neither of those things. Some people work well under supervision, and when told exactly what to do. But without that strict framework in place their wheels just spin.

There is absolutely no shame in being any of these three types of people. The world requires all types. Me personally, I do best as a middle manager. I can handle one jobsite, and get it finished on time, managing the various tasks and people involved in that project. But I wouldn’t do well as head of a company. Keeping track of the details for 50 jobs is beyond me. And I can do sort of OK when left alone at a jobsite for one or two days, but beyond that I have trouble staying focused. I don’t need managing, just another person onsite with me is enough to keep me on track and focused.

Some people I work with need to learn their lane. They cannot manage. They cannot keep themselves focused. Even with another person on site they are distracted and lost. Some people I work with need to be ridden like an old mule to get any productive work out of them. And there is nothing wrong with that. But they need to recognise that this is the lane they are in. They are and always will be, the “dumb labor.” nothing wrong with it, just recognise it as fact, and let me take the reins.

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Coworkers

So on monday I was sent to work on a roof. Now I love working on roofs. I like being up high, I like the excitement (I’m afraid of heights, it gives me an adrenaline rush) and honestly roofing is pretty straightforward and simple. It’s relaxing mindless work.

Now the guy I was sent to work on this roof with it turns out is ALSO afraid of heights. However he DOESN’T like the adrenaline rush of it. In fact he militantly HATES the idea of being up high. To the point that he complains about being event to do a roofing job, even when he is on the ground and I’m on the roof. Even this I don’t mind, as long as you pitch in and do everything you CAN do. Which he did.

So Monday, Monday was pretty dang good.

Tuesday, I was sent back to the same roofing job. This time to replace the facia boards on the end of the house. This time I got to play with a cherry picker and again, I did all the high up work. But I got to play with the machine, and he was helpful and all went well. I didn’t get off work until 1730 so it was a 9 1/2 hour day, but that’s just more money in my pocket. I can live with that. Tuesday was a good day.

Today is Wednesday and I am going to kill this stupid moron I’ve been working with for two days. On both Monday and Tuesday I commented that the metal flashing on the new section of the room didn’tatch the older section. My coworker commented that this was odd, but that they hadn’t been able to find matching flashing, and this was what we had. As I came later to the job, and he was working here previously, I didn’t question this. Sometimes you just can’t find the exact same materials. It happens. This morning my boss revived a phone call from an unhappy homeowner asking why it looked different. Turns out not only had we ORDERED the correct matching pieces, they were in the trailer with us the whole time. Something I never investigated because I had been told such things did not exist. Putting that flashing on Monday would have been a piece of cake, taken me maybe 45 minutes. Putting it on Tuesday from the lift would have been even easier, taken maybe 8-10 minutes. Putting the flashing on TODAY, when I have to wait for the sun to come up high enough that it melts the frost off the roof, then we rug the safety lines, then install the new flashing, then pack everything back up. I’ve been at work for 2 hours and the frost is still on the roof. I flat REFUSE to get on it until it’s at least no longer icy. And the whole two hours I have been listening to this useless git talk about how much he hates roofing jobs, and how sorry he is that he can’t get up there and help me, and how crappy this is that he keeps getting sent to do roofing jobs.
Sir, You aren’t the one climbing on the roof. You aren’t the one who has to risk falling 25 feet to paving stones if you don’t see a small patch of ice before the safety line is rigged. You ARE the one that is responsible for ME having to do those things, and THAT fact is the only thing you haven’t apologized for. What I need you to do is stay far far away from me today, because I feel like inviting you up on the roof and pushing you off.
Update:

1040 all flashing is changed.

 This new one has a pebbled surface to match the roof plates.
As opposed to this.

I’m much happier with the final product, but I wish it could have been done yesterday. I’m still burnt up about that.

I can be a good man, no matter the personal cost. But I am human, there IS a fucking cost. 
I have to find a different way to pay it.

Running Screaming

Today is the worst sort of emotional roller coaster. I have to decide whether i am going to struggle for every single tiny piece of me degree that is left to take, or whether i will just give up and quit school. The decision doesn’t have to be made today, but that actually makes it worse. I have to decide EVERY SINGLE DAY, until I graduate or quit. I hate those kinds of decisions. Because i feel like it is just a pointless struggle until i give up. And lets be honest, i have had ALLOT of supremely painful pointless struggles in my life. All i want is to work, and live my life. But, the vast majority of people i have spoken with view me as a unemployable commodity in this country because i don’t hold a degree. and i can’t seek out the truth in that because i don’t speak enough Finnish. Languages are hard for me because

a) abstract concepts and i don’t really get along all that well

b) When something doesn’t get along well with my brain i tend to not put my full effort into it.

c) I am easily distracted once i’m not putting my full attention onto something.

 

It’s not laziness, truly its not. i WANT desperately to learn the language. i want it so i can simply walk onto a construction site, tell them what i can do, and get a god damn job already. i would quit this school in a heart beat if i could be gainfully employed. i give zero cares as to whether or not i LIKE the job, or ENJOY myself. its just work.

 

That is problem the first today.

 

Problem the second.

My ANTI-depressant is quite possibly trying to kill me. As in, lethargy, lack of drive to complete tasks, increase in suicidal thoughts, anger outbursts and rapid mood swings.

i discovered this while googling if it was possible to deliberately overdose on my medication. Later, while standing next to a set of train tracks, thinking how annoying it was that i had the dog with me and would have to take her back home and inside, then come back out to the tracks before i could actually step in front of a train, i decided that i should put some thought into how much of that was my current REAL emotional state, and how much was being “provided”. I’m used to having thoughts of death. they have been my constant companions since i was 20-21. However its really only been in the last year that i have had constant suicidal thoughts. Not to say i haven’t contemplated it before, but they are now the over riding thought. If you don’t understand the difference between wanting to BE dead, and wanting to KILL yourself, don’t think about it too much. It’s not pleasant and realistically, it either makes perfect sense to you or it doesn’t. today i have thought about killing myself 5 times. It’s 11:30.  I don’t feel I’m a suicide risk, I’m gonna be PISSED if you call the white jackets on me. I have also thought twice about leaving my wife so that she can have a happy life without me, and three times about having a child.  the mood swings are real.

 

All my life consists of is a headlong plunge down hill in terror trying not to trip up and screw everybody else running around me. this medication was supposed to make that easier. If it’s not, i need one that will. Otherwise someday i WILL do something foolish, and that spectrum of foolish thoughts i have is…. VAST.

What do you do?

When going the right thing feels like betraying someone’s trust, what are you supposed to do? 

You do the right thing, and you hope to god that they know you are doing it because you care about them. If they are the person you think they are, they will know, and they will understand. If they are someone else….. you may have lost a friend, and that will hurt. It will hurt long and hard. 

All you can do is pray and trust.

Trust in your judgement, trust in your faith, trust in whatever it takes to hold your course. The important thing is to hold your course. 
I have never been one to judge others for mistakes. I have made mistakes. What I judge is how you handle yourself once you the mistake is made. People who have NEVER made a mistake, I don’t trust at all. Because those people are just really good at lying. Every good person I know has screwed up. What makes them good is that they faced it square on, and moved forward, adjusting their course and correcting their error. It’s bloody hard sometimes, I know, and it’s terrifying. But it’s the only way to actually heal.

Sometimes I want to do the wrong things. I pray at those times. Maybe only briefly as I am driving down the road, sometimes I set down on a log in the woods and sob my heart out to god, asking for his help. Either way, he always provides it.  My deepest regrets have been when I knew I was making an error and I kept on making it. My greatest prides have been the moments when I can look back and say, I did a hard thing for the right reason. 

Someday my guilt and my fears may overcome my ability to keep living. Someday my guilt and my fears may fade away to nothing. Today is neither of those. Today is a day when I have neither guilt or fear. Today I want to help, I want to comfort, to shelter, to protect, and I can’t. It’s just not my place. But I see, and I hear, and I’m praying desperately.

Friday the 13th

Yesterday I felt great, the day before was pretty good too, today is not going so well. It does not escape me that I tend to only write here when I’m having a bad day, I’m aware of that. At the moment that’s what this space is for me. And i can’t even write about WHY my days are bad all the time.  Someday I will find a space where I can reveal everything, where I can vent everything, where I can just BE the person I am in all my totality, both good and bad. That Time näy require an Armageddon and divine intervention though. Which is fine. I’m playing the long game.

Short term selfish desires result in long term pain. And i quit giving in to my short term desires a long time ago. 

It never gets easier though. 

Trust in God, trust in the Bible’s counsel, and trust in my faith, that’s the game I’m playing now. And I’m getting better at it. Almost as good as I was when I was 20-21. I will never give anyone a reason to be disappointed in me ever again.