The old cliché, "the first day of the rest of your life," feels so overused and trite, and yet that's pretty much how I feel right now.

Monday afternoon, I sent my boss an e-mail saying I wouldn't be present. My signature contains a cutesy little perl script, and unbeknownst to me, his mail filters pick up on the code and decide it's a virus and chucks the notice into his spam-box. I get no report of a bounce, but he doesn't know where I am, so he calls my apartment and gets no answer. He gets no answering machine either, which should have suggested he mis-dialed, but no matter, he gets escalates things to his boss, who has HR call me. They reach me on the second ring and ask me why I didn't tell anyone I didn't come into the office. I tell the HR representative about the e-mail, and she asks for a copy. I forward the message to her, headers and all, and she says it looks like I sent it when I said I did and the matter's between me and my manager, not between me and HR.

Thursday, I had a meeting with a different representative from HR, my manager, and his manager. I received a formal written warning stating that I had failed to follow the guidelines established and not properly notified my manager of an outage. During the course of the meeting, everything about which I had been having problems came to light. She said that the manager I had considered to be one of the best I'd ever had was in fact a very poor manager, that my unusual schedule had been his poor handling of my time, that the job for which I had been hired had not been moved to development but had in fact been disbanded for the foreseeable future and that my new job was to be at work on time and handle any tasks assigned to me as they arose.

She even went so far as to say that I had an excellent skillset for many other departments in the company. I've never had a manager try so hard to convince an employee to quit. Every grievance I raised was dismissed as
"a personal problem, not a company problem," and ultimately I had all the blame for everything dumped back on me, shy of the things my second-line was willing to take pride in doing.

My job duties now involve... sitting. I have to be here at 09h30 every day, have to sit for seven and a half hours waiting to see if someone gives me something to do, and then I can catch the train home. I feel like I'm in
high school again.

If the internet weren't filtered at work, I'd be jobsearching on company time. As it is, I play a lot of Freecell.

I hate coming to work now. I hate getting up in the morning, hate the ride into the office, hate the seven-and-a-half hour wait, hate the ride home and only start to feel normal again once I've entered the apartment. I was so out of it this morning that DEVO only made me feel worse and I started crying at a snippet of OMF-Battlegrounds music. I've been more and more prone to random fits of tears for no reason. I haven't been missing any rounds with my hormones, so I don't want to blame that. I'd rather not believe it's stress, but I can't figure out what else it is.

The worst part of this is that I feel like I should do my best to wait it out, at least until Jessie and I have our plans to move into a house finalized and settled next April. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize the chances of getting approved for a home loan. Meanwhile, we really do need both incomes to get ahead fast enough for either of us to feel like we're doing something positive and not just sitting around stagnating in debt, meaning this is something that will be around for a while.

My parents called on Saturday, and I told them about all of this, and they had their own bout of it when Dad was working and Mom was going to evening classes. They survived it, and I think I can, too, but it's still very

I only hope the day does come soon when we don't have to do this any more.


I have decided to become an Employee that Meets Expectations.

I am not a morning person. I have never been a morning person. I made it through high school by having a mother who was willing to wake me in time to get ready, and I was often late to my first class. After a while, my teachers just got used to it, because my grades were exemplary otherwise. In university, I didn't take any class before noon that I could avoid, and I often failed the ones I couldn't because I couldn't wake up in time for the pop quizzes. However, I endured it all, and I eventually wound up with a Master's of Science degree in Computer Science.

Now I am working for a company that expects me to adhere to an 09h30-18h00 schedule, with a one-hour lunch break.

To be scrupulously fair, they said I could start as early as 07h00 if I wanted, and leave two-and-a-half hours early as a result. However, they've insisted I take lunch off the clock, even though I don't eat lunch.

My mate works now. Jessie's finally got a job after over a year of being unemployed. I can't be happier with this fact, not because I want to see Jessie working but because we really do need two incomes to get out of debt
without drastically effecting our budget. The manager at that store is great. The work isn't hard. Jessie's already learned closing and is going to start on opening soon. There's been talk of it becoming a full-time position. It's almost perfect.

The only catch is that it's an afternoon job. 15h30-21h30 five days a week. 

Under my previous manager, and his boss, I came in late and left late. They didn't seem to care, and if anyone above them did I never heard about it. No-one ever said anything more to me about it more severe than, "if
anyone complaints, we'll have to ask you to stop." Nobody did, so I kept doing it. While I was in surgery, the company faced a re-organization, and I came back to a new manager. Same general department, but one with
one level of insulating management removed, shifted sidways on the org chart.

A lot transpired that I could discuss here, but it's really not important. The short form is that I don't trust my current manager, and there's not a lot I can say or do about him. The company's in a hiring freeze right now,
and out is the only direction anyone can move. I went five months without a formal assignment, and I only ever heard from my boss when things were going badly or when I had some five-minute patch to apply. It got so bad
that for a brief while, I was going home crying several nights in a row. I literally felt that the risk of being fired was outweighed by the fear that nothing would ever change.

The day I resolved to go talk with someone in HR, my manager pulled me into a meeting and we managed to clear a lot of the air between us. He asked me why my schedule had been so lax and I explained to him that in the past I'd had no reason other than nobody having a problem with it, and now I had a good excuse for being late. Between my commute and the amount of sleep I need to function, trying to work a Standard Schedule means I only get fleeting contact with my mate, and I told my boss that I'd go nuts trying to live in that sort of situation for long. He said he understood and that he'd present my case to upper management for me, indicating that it should
be all but a done deal. 

Last night he said to me as I was leaving that the meeting with upper management went poorly and that I had to stick to the Standard Schedule, at least for two months, while they see if I have what it takes to stick to the proper routine, like some sixth-grader.

I feel cheated, but I don't know what to do about it. If I try to go over my boss' head to deal with this, I'm only going to undo what little repair I've managed to make to our working relationship. If I do nothing, he's not going to push the issue for two months, but this is something I really do want to get fixed if at all possible. He himself doesn't show up until nearly 11h00, meaning I'd get more face-time if I came in later, but that fact has gone unnoticed by everyone in power.

About the only thing I can think of doing is simply focusing on being at work and making no effort beyond showing up on time and making it clear that my work ethic improves significantly when I'm not treated like a
child. Of course, this could get me fired for unproductivity, but right now I just don't care.