Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sweater vest—APS man armour

I wear sweater vests now. I never used to before but I found they're comfortable and they also hide wrinkled shirts if you're adverse to ironing.

As I put it on this morning it felt like I was donning a chain shirt and girding up for battle. 

I liked that idea so much I had to dash in here and write about it.

We're not supposed to wear our pass out and about until we're inside the work building. But tucking a pass under your shirt presses cold plastic and metal against your bare skin—and taking a pass off and putting it in your pocket is annoying to both insert and to fish out.

Sweater vest? No problem. The pass slips snuggly between vest and shirt. Concealed but not inflicting discomfort for its tucking—and easy to fish out when needed.

I've not seen lady APS wear a sweater vest so I presume it's pretty much a man-only affair. 

With anything though there's always a dark lining in every silver cloud. I have found one minor irritant in possessing sweater vest. If you elect to shred a box of papers, then empty the bag, chances are flecks of shredder waste—they look like sliced grains of white rice—will cling with determined fury to your chosen garment. And if you're a man blessed with an ample tum if that waste clings below the equator you won't know it's there but everyone else seeing you will because the white is stark against the dark of your garb. 

I didn't know it had happened to me until the next day when I went to put it on and saw the light dusting of shredder specks clinging to the weave of the vest.

Finally I leave you with this. I Googled for "sweater vest" to get the wiki and I loved the sample images Google sniffed up so much I had to include it in this post. 

I especially love the out and proud sweater vestee on the far right.












WFTW.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

high—low—high ... but mostly high

It's been a roller coaster for me of late. One minute I'm up, then I'll take a hit, but then I'll be up again. 

Oh well, beats the Ferris wheel I guess.

I had to have an uncomfortable work conversation which left me anxious and distressed. But even as I went through it I marvelled at the kindness shown and their making sure I was robust enough to have the conversation in the first place.

I felt looked after. Although anxiety flared and I took a Valium for the first time in months fight (slash) flight did not kick in. After a short calming walk I returned and stayed at my desk beavering away.

Later I had a meeting with a client. She gushed with praise of our work. It felt great to know I made a difference.

Recently I had a final meeting with my doctor and rehab guardian. It was to close off the extra support I'd received from having returned to the depths of fear and anxiety. I told them I was happy to be back at work because I was a change agent and it's hard to be a change agent when you're not at work to change it. 

I realised I don't have a job. I don't even have a career. 

I have a calling.

Government is the greatest way to lift as many as possible and to create avenues of advancement for those afflicted with disability—physical, mental, cultural or social . 

And I'm part of that effort. 

WFTW.

Yet more battle anthems



I don't know why but singing along just makes me feel better.

And of course you can't go past Chumbawumba.



WFTW

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Back on the horse

Earlier this year I had a very public meltdown at a work meeting—great gobs of agonised silent howling. Great stuff.

My meltdown directly led to my being sent on gardening leave for rest and recovery.

On return I stayed away from attending the meetings but now, with many months on and with me all but healed, I decided "fuck it, let's go again".

So I went back. It was nice. Only a small number of people but enthusiastic people who just want to foster a happier workplace. I felt at home and I felt welcomed.

I got back on the horse and I am riding fine.

WFTW.

Another battle anthem


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Flu sweeps Canberra

The flu has swept Canberra with rumint indicating about 20 per cent of the APS has been out of action at one point in the past few weeks.

I got it, getting it about three days after theWife and theBoy had it. Fortunately for me it's been mild, mostly extra body ache—extra on what I have normally—and a sore throat. 

Years ago it would have sent me to bed without supper and moaning for three days while my body fought back. Now, thanks to being fitter, I was mobile and not too sore.

It did mean however not riding the exercise bike for three days—rest and fluids was my doctor ordered recovery method—and so I feel a little toey for having missed clambering aboard SoTPC and riding for an hour each day. But only slightly, because riding the bike is always a chore and I was under doctor's orders not to climb on board. 

Hooray! That made me feel better. 

So I spent my time recovering watching Netflix-delivered shows or surfing the web (slash) reading an e-book via the tablet. How bored I would have been before high-speed internet. I'd have been forced to open up a DVD cover and slot a DVD into the machine, watch daytime TV or read dead tree delivered text like a pre-Copernican lamo (1)(2).

Hooray for the internet! Boo for flu.

UPDATE: I rode SoTPC and got one of my best times ever. Hooray for rest and recovery!

(1) Except, of course, for the DVD and TV. We'd be a weird culture if we'd developed DVD and broadcast TV technology before developing Copernican astronomy. We'd be like that alien race from Hitchhikers that invented aerosol deodorant before the wheel. 
(2) With thanks to Paul Keating for "pre-Copernican" as an insult.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The toilet situation

With thanks to Pulp Fiction.

We had one of the toilets in the gents clog up and because of my mad work maintenance ordering skillz I got asked to sort it out.

"I guess I'll log a job," I said brightly, "... pardon the pun."


I got one laugh, from my boss+, which I heard waft out of his door.

The toilet got fixed the next day. I got an email saying it had been done and asking for feedback so I went and checked. Yes, it had been done. But they didn't clean it or spray around pleasing smells so I found myself with toilet brush in hand taking care of at least the cleaning part.

I then walked into the area where the nearest people dwelt to announce the repair was complete.

"BOG DE-LOGGED" I semi-shouted, thrusting clenched fists into the air.

One laugh ... from the poor person originally assigned the toilet repair organising detail but who asked me to step in because of said skillz. 

Still, it felt good to be able to get something like that fixed—fixed the next day, no less.

I know the "broken windows" theory of community management is a "broken theory" but I have to admit it makes being at work a lot nicer if there isn't a blocked up dunny with a giant clog of shit and paper stinking up the joint (1).

WFTW.

(1) Even if I don't use that toilet—I go the disabled toilet being the only (that I know of) person with disabilities in the area. I accept my disabilities ... and all the kewl stuff that comes with it like free parking and extra-roomy toilets with a lift bar.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mp3 player rezzed—joy delivered and goal re-affirmed

I took along my old Sony one gig Mp3 player, now about seven years old, on the off chance there was enough battery life within it to play for me.

There was not.

But when at work I stuck the player into a USB port and while the player's software wasn't activated it did receive a charge and soon it was back to full.

I go outside the building at least twice a day for mental and physical health. And though walking is painful I've found I can amble along a level surface for about ten minutes with minimal discomfort. 

I fired up the player and thumbed on "(Nothing but) flowers" by Talking Heads. A joyous song that I played again and again for health breaks when leaving the new building (1) I went to on return to work from my five months of insanity-then-recovery.

The joy lifted me as I walked in the chill of the air, admiring the parliament house and flagpole in the distance and the dark clouds above. 

As I walked back to my current building (2) I remembered what I used to think to myself as I closed in on my post-recovery building whilst listening to this song.

"I'm going to fix this place."

I am. I'm going to fix it. It's not quixotic—it's reality.

WFTW.

(1) It was the building I'd been in before my last workplace, a decrepit wreck of poor '80s office low-rise. We had been enticed into the wreck by a good deal on the rent and then I got wrecked as a result. 
(2) Which was the building I was in before going to the new building when it was the old old building.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Through frozen glass

I had another mental win today. I had to work on a policy-type document that directly tied to what I went through when I had my cathartic release from a former workplace.

I grinned as I edited away knowing that, once again, I was making a fucking difference.

WFTW.