November 15th, 2002


... creeps in this petty pace from day to day ...

These last two days at work have been phenomenally unproductive, even by my usual standards. My project manager has been off sick for a couple of days, and I'm always worse at getting work done when he's not around -- and at the moment there's very little to do, and I'm not feeling motivated enough to create work for myself out of thin air. By the time I left work yesterday I was practically in tears just from the sheer pointlessness of the job, and (by extension, since it's the thing that eats most of my time) of my life. I only wish I could say that this was a rare occurrence.

As a result, I really wasn't in the mood for karate after work yesterday. I told sensei I wasn't feeling very "together", and he appeared to ignore me, and instead asked me to help him put the blinds back up in the dojo (the dojo was vandalised last week, and he's been repairing it bit by bit) before the lesson. Then he started talking about various aspects of self-defence -- particularly how to be aware and safe in the street, and how to deal with intruders in the home -- and getting me to think of ways to get out of imagined situations... and before I knew it, we'd had a productive and interesting lesson, and I hadn't once thought about how miserable I was feeling. Clever trick. :-)

Before that I'd been thinking of staying home rather than going to the pub, but I did go in the end ... I usually do in the end, because it's preferable to sitting at home moping. Got to the Castle to find that the usual Thursday night crowd had temporarily merged with the CUSFS social. Fortunately managed to avoid getting dragged into too much geeky conversation! It was a shame that lnr was so late getting to the pub, but nice to have a chat and a bit of a snuggle eventually.


It's funny, though, how the morning after a night in the pub I only seem to be able to remember the stupid embarrassing things I said, and/or that everybody had the same conversations as they always do. I feel bad for feeling like this about a pleasant evening spent with friends, but I think it's just part of the general feeling I have that I'm not going anywhere. I can't tell the difference sometimes between yesterday, last week, last month; it all just blurs into one long day of getting up, going to work, coming home, pottering about and/or going out, and going to sleep, and waking up still feeling tired.

Work today has been worse than usual. I've done virtually nothing useful, and I haven't even been able to concentrate on anything non-work-related... I've recently been trying to put together some internal documentation to put on the company intranet intranet (in some cases just converting things from hideous Word-document-with-hyperlink world of hell, in other cases rewriting stuff that hasn't been updated since 1994, in most cases just writing from scratch), but my motivation isn't helped by the fact that I know that a) nobody will use the documentation -- they'll still come and ask me the same stupid questions again and again -- and b) my job title still won't change, and I'll be an "editorial assistant" until I leave, because they don't have a little box labelled "unpaid systems integrator, perl scripter, documentation writer, speaks-to-programmers, unix support for DOS weenies, and general techie dogsbody" that they can put me in.

It's all just so frustrating. I know it shouldn't be: after all, it's only a job, and it pays me enough to cover my half of the mortgage; but over the days, weeks, months and years it just wears me down. I feel like I'm railing against the darkness, but every time I try to lift my hand to light a candle, my limbs turn to lead and the table with the candle on shoots up out of my reach like something from Alice in Wonderland. Maybe, just like Alice, it's me who shrinks when I feel like this. Curioser, as they say, and curioser. One side will make you grow taller... but the bottle labelled "Drink Me" is half-empty.

Now, how can I kill the last half-hour until hometime...