Damn it

I crashed and burned, psychologically and emotionally, at about 22:30 last night, and I have no idea why. Up until bedtime I was in a perfectly good mood, the weekend was great, everything was fine, and then suddenly it all wasn’t.

I’m not crippled by bleakness or on the verge of a rage meltdown. I’m mostly fine and capable of conducting myself. I got out of bed and came to work, made the coffee and got on with shit. I’m just fucking despondent, and frustrated, and annoyed, and it’s not really any one thing.

I want our goddamn car fixed, and to stop being a huge money-sinking pain in my balls. I want the mechanic to do a decent job and not require three follow-up visits to replace bits he fixed badly the first time. I want people to listen to me when I say I can smell a badly-installed component burning, or feel the car wobbling when you reach a certain speed. I’m pretty sure the annual checkup guys spotted and pinged both of these issues and they’re now on their way to getting fixed, but I’d like for that to have been something I was trusted about. And speaking of the annual checkup guys, I want the annual checkup guys to do their damn jobs instead of costing me money and messing my car up worse than it already was.

Lest I appear overly critical of others – yes, I want to not drive off the fucking road into a tree again, which unnecessarily tripled the cost of this year’s car maintenance and was entirely my own stupid fault (and again, to be fair, the guy who fixed that damage, for half the price the Volvo people would have done it, did a great job and nothing got pinged on the inspection). I’d want to dump the car altogether and just use public transport, but I want public transport to stop being unutterable, irretrievable, weapons-grade shit before that happens.

I want this fucking paperwork headache with my residency permit to go away, but (after a month and a half on the waiting list) I only just have my appointment on Friday (requiring me to take half a day off work because why the Hell would they be open at convenient times?) and I just know they’re going to find some sort of fine-print problem with the forms and materials they’ve asked me to bring, because they have to justify their existence somehow and the behemoth of Finnish bureaucracy has to lumber on. I want my children to have the citizenships that are theirs by fucking birthright without me having to jump through hoops and amass ludicrous fucking piles of evidence and pay a ton of money and practically beg for the privilege, and I want that shit to take less than fucking years. I know that when we finally do get all the required paperwork together (and that’s going to require Wump to get her passport renewed for a start, and that will take time and constant goddamn nagging on my part and it just fucking exhausts me), the bureaucrats are going to want to know why we waited until our kids were school-age before getting their citizenships sorted out, and I want to not have a hammer in my hand when the paper-pushing cunt-and-a-half at the bureau asks me that question.

Speaking of passports, I want us all to go to Australia this Christmas, and I want more support about that. I know my parents have said this so many times it’s lost all meaning, but it happens to be true this time – this will almost certainly be the last Christmas they will get to spend with their Finnish grandkids, because my parents don’t come over here in the winter and we haven’t been to Australia for Christmas since 2002 or something. It’s a pain to get a month off at Christmas here, so it’s not likely to happen again anytime soon. Added to this, once our kids get Australian citizenship they can’t travel to Australia on their Finnish passports, but have to use Australian ones. And to get plane tickets, we need valid passport numbers. And we need to get tickets about 6 months in advance, which means we either need to get their citizenship (from fucking Berlin) and their new passports (from Stockholm) in the next two or three months (100% absolutely not going to happen) before booking tickets, or we have to book tickets (once Wump’s gotten her new passport) on their Finnish credentials and put off the whole citizenship question for another year. Which is basically the only realistic option at this point, but I still want some goddamn backup on it. I know, intellectually, that I have that backup, even if I do have to nag a lot. In which case, I want to be able to appreciate that more, myself, and not complain so much.

I want to be able to write for more than a single two-hour session a week without either neglecting my wife and daughters or going with so little sleep that I begin to lose track of what day it is. I want to be able to get my ideas down on paper or on the screen without a single setback or comment or upswelling of bad mood or a momentary distraction from some other facet of my life shutting the whole thing down and leaving me staring at the screen and seething while the ideas die inside my head, unable to get out because one hour ago I was ready to go, and now I just can’t be bothered. I want to be a better person and not blame everyone else for this bullshit.

I want to start walking again. I used to walk every day for an hour and it made me feel better about all these things, but now I don’t ever seem to have time. I can’t go during working hours and I always seem to have grocery shopping or errands or dinner to make or some other shit stopping me from doing anything in the afternoon. And the morning, forget about it. If I could drag myself out of bed an hour earlier, I’d be writing more. Or, more accurately, not in fact going to sleep the night before.

I want to be able to get a manual finished and published at work, without someone in the review and approval chain – someone who is neither a writer nor an engineer – having some bullshit comment or leaving my draft sitting on their desk for weeks and weeks while they pretend to think. I’ve said this before, but you don’t need to justify your paycheque by coming up with any comment no matter how irrelevant. It’s when you do that, in fact, that people begin questioning why you’re here and why you only ever seem to get in the way of shit. See my comments about the Finnish bureaucracy. Just sign the paper and let the designers and technicians get on with the important work without me bothering them three times a day.

I want the world to un-fuck itself, please. I want the idiots to all just shut up and stay out of my face and be quietly denied any capability to steer national policy or change my world in any way. And I want the actively evil people in governments around the world to actually die. I don’t care anymore that they are human beings with their own thoughts and dreams and opinions and families and rights. It’s too late for them to realise how evil they are and redeem themselves. The only way they can enrich the world now is by adding their nutrients back into the biosphere. I want them to be dead and I will not mourn if it happens. I will celebrate. Even if it does happen, it’s probably too late to stop the environment from killing us all, but I want it to happen anyway. If we’re all going to die, I want them to die first.

Huh. Guess I just put my finger on why I suddenly crashed and burned.

Feel a little bit better, too.

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21 Responses to Damn it

  1. dreameling says:

    Damn, that’s a lot of crap to carry around in your head all the time. How about just blow off work for one day? Call in sick, take a day off, walk and write.

    • stchucky says:

      Calling in sick at this place is just not happening. You need to come in and get a doctor to sign your papers right here in the office like it’s 1975.

      And I’m taking a half-day tomorrow to watch my firstborn’s school play, and another half-day on Friday to do goddamn paperwork for my residency. I can’t take another day off, I have deadlines.

      • dreameling says:

        You need to come in and get a doctor to sign your papers right here in the office like it’s 1975.

        Seriously? If you’re vomiting and running a high fever, you need to come to the office? Can’t be. Isn’t it pretty much law that you get 2 sick days days for free (meaning you just inform your supervisor)?

      • stchucky says:

        Seriously? If you’re vomiting and running a high fever, you need to come to the office? Can’t be. Isn’t it pretty much law that you get 2 sick days days for free (meaning you just inform your supervisor)?

        No, that’s not a law. We operate on factory rules, not office rules (shit, we’re not even allowed to use plus hours to take more than two days off a year). And they do have options for calling in sick now (it’s a pilot program here), if you can’t make it to the office. And yeah, that does get you a day or two.

        But doing that is even more difficult than driving in and seeing the doctor in person, when you’re feverish and vomiting. I know this from personal experience, because I had the norovirus a few weeks ago. I could have called up, although there’s a rotating nurse / doctor / supervisor availability thing that basically makes it impossible to find anyone on the phone, especially if you’re running a high fever. Even getting to talk to someone while I was right here was impossible, I was redirected over and over again until I just hung up, walked into the nurse’s station, and cold-sweated on her until she gave me a sairausloma paper and told me to go home.

        And that’s another thing. Do the call-in, and you have to do that shit all over again a day or two later, if you’re not better. Actually make an appearance with a bag of stoolwater bulging on your stomach, and you’ll get the week you need, no more fuss. For your one-day ailments, it’s … well, I rarely have one of those that isn’t just a case of “meh, I don’t feel like working today”. And factories can’t be having with that candy-arse bullshit. Yes, those sickies are way easier to pull off in the office system.

        I could have used a lift to the office though. Driving with a 39°C fever and struggling not to vomit was … not the safest thing in the world. I hope their system gets easier before I get sick again.

      • dreameling says:

        Planmeca doesn’t sound fun at all. Fuck factory rules. This is the 2010s.

      • stchucky says:

        It’s fine until you get sick. Then, sadly, you want to be actually sick.

        Also, it beats unemployment.


    • stchucky says:

      I also have a book draft for you, so if you want to catch up for a pint, just let me know so I can add it to my schedule in really, really tiny writing.

  2. brknwntr says:

    I’m trying to get an hour or so of walking in a few times a week near your house with the dog. I enjoy walking with conversation, and walking silently. Also available for flinging stones at assholes, or a pint.

    • stchucky says:

      Don’t take this the wrong way, but I like my walking exactly one way: utterly alone. Appreciate the shout-out though.

      Will put you at the top of my contacts for pints and rocks.

      • brknwntr says:

        No worries, it’s very British of you, the solitary countryside stroke, but I often do the same. In fact I bought a dog, specifically to enable me to take multi day solitary hikes.

      • stchucky says:

        Just took a quick walk to the end of the compound and back, it’s not the countryside but it’ll do. I’m going to start doing laps of the area on my lunch break, since I normally eat at my computer I’m still entitled to an actual break. It’s still only half an hour a day, but it’s a start.

      • stchucky says:

        Also I thought you bought a dog to enable you to meet new and fascinatingly obnoxious demographics of the Finnish population, in this case, dog owners.

      • brknwntr says:

        Funny man is funny. Most Finnish dog owners have been in fact surprisingly out going and talkative. They meet at the same time most days in the dog parks and chat, they are welcoming to newcomers and on the whole are quite pleasant. This Great Dane woman obviously is a cat person. Or out of an L. Ron Hubbard book. (Incredibly obscure reference is incredibly obscure.)

      • stchucky says:

        Only Hubbard books I’m aware of are The Kingslayer, Battlefield Earth and … The Typewriter in the Sky? But that one is clearly more about Zeegon…

      • brknwntr says:

        I’ll be honest, I’ve only read two Hubbard books, and the one that I am remembering this reference from I can’t remember the title. It is in fact the only thing I remember from the book. I was 14, it mad an impression. I BELEIVE it is a part of the Mission Earth series.

        A man, I believe an alien, is trying to fit in on Earth and has been employed to sleep with a human woman in order to show her that sex is ok with normal sized men. Previously she has been using a policeman’s truncheon and screwing her Great Dane. However the man was preoccupied, couldn’t render a good service, and so she left further convinced that her dog was the only thing that could satisfy her.

        This is all I remember. I would encourage you to read A Very Strange Trip the only other Hubbard book I have read. It’s entertaining.

      • stchucky says:

        That’s … well. Good old Hubbard.

      • JonathanBloom says:

        “This Great Dane woman obviously is a cat person.”


  3. stchucky says:

    If nothing else, today is the 20th of the month. Which means that the assorted sales streams of the extended Amazon corporation are about to start cheering me up, just a little bit.

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