I didn’t want to post anything until I finished the current chapter of my novel, which will take a couple of days more or so. However, I’m feeling like shit at the moment. Writing about it is a way of palliating that psychological pain, so here I am.
My current contract at work was supposed to end this Sunday. I was already dreading the end of the week, because I’m always either told on Thursday or even on Friday (if they even “remember” to tell me) whether or not they will prolong my contract. As a thirty-seven year old man, most months I’ve had no clue if the next one I was going to be unemployed, and that has gone on for years. This time it’s even worse: my boss told me that they intend to keep prolonging my contract week by week for the foreseeable future, at least until January of next year.
People are supposed to be happy that someone pays them to work, I’m guessing. Not me: I’m absolutely fed up with my job as an IT guy at a hospital complex. I’ll mention again, for the umpteenth time, that I’m autistic and have OCD. I need, for psychological and neurological reasons, a set, clear schedule, controllable problems to deal with (if I’m forced to deal with any problems), silence, and the least amount of human interactions as possible. Instead I work at an office with an open plan, forced to deal with the moronic interactions of four/five adult men that behave like schoolchildren, with the corresponding noise pollution. In addition, I never know what kind of problem I’ll have to deal with that day, nor the kind of user that I’ll be forced to tolerate.
For example, yesterday I was ordered to switch the printers of PCs at opposite ends of the sterile processing department (the supervisor wanted the fancier printer for herself). Of course, I also had to configure them at their new destinations. I dressed myself like a local employee to enter the sterile environment. When I finished configuring the fancier printer on the supervisor’s PC and told it to print a test page, the printer refused to recognize that its frontal cassette was loaded with paper. I asked the supervisor if the printer worked properly beforehand. “Oh, I don’t know.” I suspect they wanted me to discover the error and fix it. I’m not the kind of IT guy that fixes physical errors in printers. In addition, the specific model of that fancy printer isn’t maintained by the governmental organization that runs these hospitals: the users are supposed to call Ricoh. After I told her this, she answered something like, “why do I need to do that? I’m too busy. You are the one paid to fix machines.”
As a technician employed with this governmental organization, I’m not paid to interact with that kind of printer beyond plugging it into a local PC and making sure it receives the print order. I considered telling her to fuck off and call the company herself as she’s supposed to; I feel like telling people to fuck off very often at my job. But I went through the trouble of calling the company myself. Of course, they told me that “they’ll send someone.” A couple of days. The supervisor considered that unacceptable, because she was supposed to print something in ten or so minutes (although she had ordered us to exchange a working printer for another one that “oh, I don’t know if it works”).
I manage to get the bypass loader working. I didn’t know they had one, because, again, my organization doesn’t maintain those printers. But the printer had the frontal cassette set as the priority source of paper; every time you sent a print order, the display showed an error, and the user had to select the bypass loader manually. The supervisor told me that it was too much of a bother. However, to change it in the options so it considers the bypass loader the priority, I would need admin privileges.
In the end, the supervisor made me responsible for dealing with the printer company and notifying her when they decide to send someone (if they even call me to notify me). I’m not supposed to do any of that, and certainly I’m not paid to do so either. I just gave in because such people are somewhat likely to complain to my bosses for it, and although the bosses know that dealing with those printers’ specific issues isn’t my responsibility, they’ll get annoyed with me if they receive a complaint call.
After that whole incident, I was done for the whole morning; I wanted to shut down and wait out until I left the office. However, it was half past ten in the morning, and I ended up having to deal with plenty more.
Every single day plenty of users demand us to do stuff for them, but often they fail to provide the basic information for solving those issues. “Hey, I need access to the shared folder that my coworkers access.” You end up having to write back to ask for personal information, what computer they are using, the specific path to the folder, etc. Plenty of times they prove themselves hard to reach. Often when they write you back it’s as if they failed to read half of your original message. Sometimes they give you incorrect information, although the correct one was plainly displayed on the screen in front of their fucking eyes. Needless to say, the whole thing is maddening.
When my boss told me they were going to prolong my contract and he saw that I wasn’t ecstatic about it, he said that he knew I intended to take a break to study for an upcoming public examination, which will determine how often they’ll call me back for such contracts. That exam is on the fifteenth of January, and I’ll likely be employed until then. I’m studying at the office, between tasks; I refuse to waste any time doing job-related stuff during my free time, which is devoted mainly to writing. However, I didn’t feel like I could share with anyone I know in person the real reason why I didn’t want to continue: I hate this job, I hate having to be employed, I have waking up at six in the morning to be surrounded with human beings until half past four in the afternoon, and I feel like I’m going crazier every passing day.
After I found out that I’ll likely be employed for the entirety of December (if they cut my current contract short, they’ll still call me to cover other people’s holidays), I’ve felt a cold ache in my chest, added to strange twitches and spasms I’ve felt in there since I received the latest “booster vaccine” about a year ago or so (which caused me atrial fibrillation, a physical issue with my heart). And honestly I just want to hide at one of the rooms that contain the network racks, to either kick a wall or cry for a bit. Perhaps both.
A logical solution to this issue could be to get another job. But by the time I was offered the first contract for this governmental organization, I had “struggled” to find employment as a programmer, for which I was trained. And by struggled I meant that for most of those years I couldn’t get a job, and half of the time that I did get a job, I wasn’t paid for it.
The last time I accepted one of those internships was through an organization that supposedly helps autistic people. The programming company put me working alone at a desk (I was fine with that). I dealt with a single boss who was happy with my performance, but by the end of that internship I was told that they wouldn’t hire me because they didn’t think I would be able to work well in a team. They knew I was autistic. The HR woman wanted me to feel proud that I had wasted six months of my life programming their intranet for free, because now their job was easier. Needless to say, I will never work for free again.
Anyway, my parents, with whom I don’t particularly get along, weren’t too happy about having to pay for most of my stuff during such periods of my life. But they forced me to exist, although they barely tolerated each other. Regarding my current predicament, I have never earned as much money as I do at my current job, although that isn’t saying much, as I barely earned minimum wage as a programmer. However, I’m a single man with no social life, so I’ve managed to build up some savings.
Very often at the office, while I waste another hour of my limited time as a living being, the thought crosses my mind that I should be sitting at home and writing. That’s what I’m meant to do due to the particular combination of nature and nurture that produced my idiotic existence. Some of those times I also think that if I had been born a hot enough girl, someone else could be working their ass off to pay the bills while I sat around at home while diddling myself. I’d have a juicy pair of tits as well, instead of these pituitary-tumor-induced man-boobs. Unfortunately I’m a weird-looking guy who’s only getting older, losing more hair and struggling to lose extra weight, and I wasn’t much better in my prime.
Regarding non-writing-related stuff, Chainsaw Man has been a joy (I was giddy throughout episode 7, knowing what was coming during that work party), and the Steam version of Dwarf Fortress will come out in less than two weeks. Silver linings, I suppose.