Destination Journey -My Job -11 NOV 2020

The daily prompt is about my career.

For the last fifteen years, I’ve worked as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) for a software company with a major government client. I utilize my education and my background experience to demonstrate to the client how our products can improve their own data management processes, written procedures, and their overall data quality.

The job sounds both exciting and boring, and yes, there seems to be equal measures of both most of the time. I am constantly learning new systems and how we can integrate them into the infrastructure we have already constructed. This proves challenging because I can’t control how any external system creates and maintains its own data. The external company is solely responsible for those processes unless we can negotiate a written agreement on how to share data in formats which each separate system can process correctly.

There are times when I wish that I could try to market our products to other data producers, but that job is not in my career path. I exist in that nebulous world between client and software developers. I normally receive high praise from the client who sees what I can show with their data, while at the same time, the software developers in the same company i work for seem to view my inputs less favorably. I attribute this to the software developers mindset that they think they know best what everyone wants. They also seem to have forgotten to approach any data management system from a client point of view.

So, my job is interesting and often full of surprises. I wouldn’t still be doing it after fifteen years if I hated it, but there are some days that are worse than others, as with any job.

Tuesday update

As I prepare to start Tuesday here at home, there are several things that I want to take care of. First of all, I want to walk this morning for exercise. I’m going to try and get back into shape as safely as possible. I’m going to browse for some new comfortable walking shoes later today. I don’t have a lot to spend, but I do want to take care of my feet.

I am not working today because I’m fighting the system to get approval for short-term disability. If I go back to work now, I’ll look be surrendering my chances to qualify for short-term disability unless I am hospitalized again. I definitely don’t want that. Therefore, I’m not returning to work this week as I go through o all of my follow-up medical appointments. I’ll submit all the paperwork after those visits and hope for the best.

I don’t miss work yet. I’m not sure when I will, honestly. I just know that I do need time to recover from all that I’ve gone through recently. I also know that work stress doesn’t help at all.

I decided against shopping for shoes today because that would violate my deliberate plan to avoid crowds of people. I can always order some shoes online and return them if they don’t work out for me. I just want some comfortable hiking shoes so I can start exercising again.

One last thing that is sort of related involves our new method for getting groceries. Placing an order and then picking things up curbside at the store is working out better than planned because it makes us plan more deliberately for what we need rather than just run into the store without a clue. Definitely a win for us.

Ignorance is Killing Us – Part 2 – Racism

    The second danger that we are facing now is Racism. I have been with my partner Hal, who is black, for more than 20 years, and in that time, I have learned a lot about how he sees the world as a black man. The things that he has seen in his life are frightening to think about for me. As a white man, I grew up with privilege that I never realized I had. To me, the local police were people I could put my trust in, especially in a small townh. I never thought that the black children I grew up with could have such a completely different view of the world, but after being with Hal, and then talking to some of the people I grew up with, I now know that the feelings of fear and distrust did exist even when I was a child.
    Those fears and feelings were never shared with me growing up because those feelings are deeply held in the black community. The common perception is that no white outsider can ever appreciate those feelings, that they would be called irrational or ridiculous. I never knowingly felt that way towards my friends, but I never realized that those feelings were being hidden from me either. My parents taught me as best they could to respect everyone, and to never look down on anyone. I am glad that those friends I had growing up never associated me personally with any of the problems that they encountered, but I wish that I had known about those problems so I could have helped to overcome them.
    As the number of murders committed by the police continue to grow, it becomes apparent that the real problem is ignorance. Pretending that this is a recent phenomenon completely proves the very point that my childhood friends, and Hal, have taught me. The problem has been around for over 400 years and is deeply rooted in our society. Slavery might have been outlawed, but the repercussions remain to this very day. White society has the remarkable ability to filter out unpleasant things and pretend that things are completely fine, unless the problems affect white society. This willful choice to be ignorant is a huge part of the problem.
    I am proud to be part of the #BLM movement, but I can never speak for  those directly affected. I can only speak from the perspective of a white man who is woke and proud of it. I choose to not be ignorant, because ignorance is killing us, all of us. To be silent is to be complicit.

Is It Too Much To Ask?

I want Trump defeated so much that I’m willing to vote for the human equivalent of a baloney sandwich to get rid of trump. The question of mine that no one can answer is “Is this the best we can do?”

I have nothing against Biden other than the sad truth that he cannot inspire me at all. When the Democrats seem intent on using the campaign platform consisting solely of “Biden is better than trump.” Of course Biden is better than trump. The only people I can think of who are worse than trump would be Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Hitler, and Pol Pot. Not to mention Jim Jones and David Koresh.

I’ve given up ever seeing a Democrat who truly inspires me, one who brings energy and vision to a campaign. When someone as bland as Biden isn’t leading by 20-25 points in the polls over trump, I consider my point has been made.

I suppose that I’ll have to wait for a Democratic candidate with a big set, I don’t see any right now. But I’ll still vote for Biden over trump.

Names capitalized or not indicate my personal level of enthusiasm. That level is extremely low.

My New Journal

I got my new journal a day early. It is beautiful, soft leather and has a leather strap to wrap it closed.

I want to carry this journal with me and make observations about what each day presents to me. Writing had always been a passion of mine, and even though I blog online, there is something both classical and romantic about writing the old way.

As lunchtime arrives, I’ve been making notes in my new journal and loving every single second using it. Let my journey begin!

Migraine

The pain is brutal. The back of my eyes feel like drums that are being pounded by an overly enthusiastic 7-year old with hypertension and a bad attitude. I made it through the day at work without killing anyone, so that’s a good thing. Now, the tv is OFF and I just want peace and quiet as well as several aspirin to try and make this pain stop.

Sleeping for over an hour numbed the pain, but only until I woke up. More aspirin, and more staying quiet with no tv noise, but the pain still lingers. Blood sugar has never gone high, in fact it is probably going to drop soon unless I eat something. I will go to bed as early as possible this evening and desperately hope that this migraine goes away.

A Much-Needed Break

Life has gotten out of control here over the last two weeks, and I have been struggling to find a way to get things back under control. Thankfully, these problems aren’t related to the COVID-19 pandemic, both Hal (person) and I are well. OK, not completely true for Hal since he is undergoing some extensive dental work, but that wasn’t totally unexpected.

Hal has been understandably cranky at times as he waits for new dentures to be fitted because he isn’t able to eat solid food and I’m making anything and everything that he thinks he can comfortably eat with extracted teeth and a sore mouth. Hopefully this will all be over with in a week, two weeks at the most. This must be awful for him, and I want everything else to be as perfect as possible for him.

This whole situation has worn me out. My yoga has lapsed, and I feel terrible about that. I am working several projects on the job, so I’m busier than normal there, but there aren’t enough hours in the day right now to get everything done and still have enough time to rest. The holiday weekend couldn’t have come at a better time for me, I have tried to deliberately detach myself from the distractions, my success rate is almost 50% I suppose.

We did get an air fryer this weekend, something we’ve wanted for awhile and now we have the room in our kitchen for it.

Because the air fryer made by the Instant Pot company, it should be very high quality and last for a long time.

Monday is dreary and cool. Exactly the type of day that matches staying at home. Only a trip to the grocery store will get me out today. My sinuses are giving me fits again today, with a severe headache. Hal (person) is resting and still recovering from dental surgery last Friday. I want to rest as much as possible today and try to start a productive short week tomorrow.

DDP Yoga Days 26-29

    I got so busy and tired that I neglected to make my daily entries about DDP Yoga. I have not stopped working out, but I have decided that I need to focus on getting more rest. Another factor is that because Phase 2 of the program is much longer per session so far, I don’t have time to work out in the morning and have to make time after work in the early evening. This is also the time when I am the most tired.
     Last night I finally forced myself to go to bed at around 2030. This is extremely early, but I know that I need to make this change to my routine so I can sleep better and longer each night. This change will also give me more energy and that in turn will make my workouts even better.

Irresponsible Parenting

After writing my last post about Irresponsible Behavior, I began thinking about other things that have caused me concern recently related to the pandemic. By far, the thing I have seen that upsets and bothers me the most is parents out in public, not wearing a mask while having their kids with them, and the kids also aren’t wearing masks!

I don’t have children, so keep that in mind as you read on. I can’t understand how a parent, or in a few cases, an expectant mother, can willingly expose their children to this pandemic without any concern at all.

The parent, as an adult, has the right to make stupid decisions, but their children depend on them for guidance. I hope that none of the people I’ve seen contracts COVID-19, especially the children.

Irresponsible Behavior

Hal and I decided to grab dinner last night from the drive-thru at one of our favorite restaurants. We knew that the restaurant wasn’t open, but their drive-thru made it possible for us to grab dinner and bring it home. This is one of the repercussions of the pandemic. The important thing is to stay safe and to not put anyone else at unnecessary risk.

The line at the restaurant for the drive-thru was unbelievable. There must have been 20 cars in line ahead of us. We relaxed and eventually ordered, got our food, and then drove home. Our experience wasn’t bad at all, but we saw something that was rather disturbing while we were there.

Apparently, today marks the irresponsible attempt to reopen businesses other than drive-thru or delivery. Next to the restaurant we were waiting at was another restaurant where people were crowded at outside tables. Social distancing was obviously not being practiced, and neither was the wearing of masks except for the restaurant staff. The relaxation of rules states that outdoor dining is allowed. I personally don’t know what the capacity percentage or protective mask rules are

Honestly, seeing those people made me nervous. Were any of them carriers of COVID-19? Would someone contract the disease by being in a large unprotected group? While Hal and I take every precaution to limit contact to protect ourselves and people we have to interact with, such as the drive-thru workers, or the employees at the grocery store and pharmacy. What about the restaurant staff who had to interact with the people ignoring rules and protection?

I can’t see anything that justifies relaxing the rules so quickly while the number of cases and deaths are still rising. I see nothing to celebrate now. The celebration comes when we finally have the pandemic under control, and not before. It is irresponsible to treat some political stunt like “reopening” prematurely as something worth celebrating.

Everyone misses what we all took for granted before the pandemic, but we cannot wish reality away because it doesn’t fit with our desire for convenience. The experts are trying to warn us about this, but political pressure is driving the decision when science should be guiding us. I am afraid that these irresponsible actions will produce more cases and deaths, and will just prolong the pandemic.