Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

A Part or Apart   Leave a comment

My circle of friends have considerably dwindled after college. It wasn’t by any means large to begin with:

  • People I met in the game room.
  • My ex’s friends.
  • Friends my ex and I had in common with.
  • People I met at the local arcade.
  • Co-workers.

Then there’s also friends I met online and friends I now only talk to online.

  • Friends from elementary school.
  • Friends from high school.
  • Friends from college.
  • Friends I met on Xanga.

Some of the friends I met in college now I only talk to online. Some friends I only know of in high school now I interact with more online than before. Most of my cousins and elementary school classmates are overseas so I only interact with them online.

If you ask me who my closest friends are, it’s easily the friends I made on Xanga. 10-20 years ago, this would be considered “abnormal” and weird. It’s actually the “new normal” now. It’s also not too different from penpals. Still, with that measuring stick, my online friendships are not too different to the friends I’ve seen in person. I’m just as distant with them.

The pandemic has limited socializing for everyone. They say introverts are unfazed by the change. Extroverts are experiencing cabin fever and resorted to virtual happy hours just to talk to people. As someone who’s most probably introverted, it’s not really the case. I enjoy talking and socializing with people, but only to a degree. I can stop it on my terms. The “batteries need to recharge” analogy is really fitting. However, these isolation measures, travel restrictions, and closures is not normal, even for introverts. We want to control when we can socialize and recharge our batteries.

I friend posted a favorite photo of her first date with another friend. That was my first time learning they are together now. I’ve had suspicions of her no longer being married and now together with the other friend, but the photo was confirmation. I’m probably a year or so late of the news.

I sometimes wonder if I ever crossed people’s minds even without seeing my Facebook status updates the same way that they cross my mind out of the blue. Have I imparted a considerable impression on them to wonder how I’m doing or what I’m up to? Is it worth it being a part of their lives? Is being apart for so long unhealthy for me and my psyche? Does all of this matter?

Part of me misses the closeness and connection that friendships give. The hangouts and party invites. Surprises and dinners. At the same time, I also find these things unbearable and dragging. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love these people. But the energy it takes to put on a front is exhausting. I need to brace and prepare myself to be in that space. Having missed too many invites and I probably have given the impression that I don’t like them or enjoy their company. So there’s that.

I’m done.

Posted April 8, 2020 by StupidSystemus in Musings

In My Dark Corner of the House   Leave a comment

I don’t think people I know, including my family, how much of a night owl I am. It’s not just a term I use like some people do to be quirky or unique. I’m the embodiment of a night owl. It’s the best time of the day for me to unwind. I do my best and worst thinking in the dark.

….

I wrote a bunch of stuff here which I deleted, but I really just want the world and all its ailments to fucking go away. My room is my cold, dark, respite and it’s the closest thing right now besides packing up and leaving everything behind.

If everyone could just shut the fuck up, respectfully.

I’m done.

Posted March 6, 2020 by StupidSystemus in Musings

We Can’t ‘Cancel’ Everything   Leave a comment

‘Call-out culture’ is a form of public humiliation aiming to hold individuals or groups, usually famous, accountable for their actions by calling attention to their behavior that is perceived as problematic on social media. A variant of the term, ‘cancel culture,’ talks about boycotting persons or groups who have shared questionable or unpopular opinions or had their past behavior perceived to be offensive or problematic. The person or the group is therefore ‘canceled’ and sometimes leads to people calling for their resignation, job termination, end of their careers, or something similar. Most of these are ill-conceived, ill-informed, and just causes more problems since their original intent is based on catharsis at a mob mentality level rather than from a place of justification. There’s no middle ground. It’s an easy fix. That’s why this whole ‘cancel culture’ idea doesn’t really translate well to other professions.

I was reading an article on the news of a dentist that was suspended for five years for causing the death of a patient. The dentist did not sterilize their tools properly and caused a bacterial infection on the patient’s mouth. A person made a comment saying the dentist should have been fired and had their license revoked rather than suspension. Here’s why that causes potentially more problems.

The suggested average number of physicians per 100,000 population is 30 for family medicine and about 8 for general surgery [1]. Not including cost of living of the region, climate, and other factors, let’s assume other health or medical professionals fall somewhere around the 8 to 30 range as well (give or take). If any of them make a mistake, costly, deadly, or otherwise, and it gets picked up by the news, chances are there is an online mob chanting for this person’s head on a spike: fired and license to practice revoked. The end of their career.

How many professionals in health and medicine do you think will be left if everyone causing a medical mistake is forbidden to practice their profession rather than a suspension? It’s not like doctors grow on trees.

Punishment depends on the severity and egregious level of the mistake. Repeat offenders will probably have their license revoked, but medical boards and hospitals still need to factor in the needs of the population as a whole. Is the medical professional the best in their field? Is there a huge demand for their specialty? Will their departure affect the general population?

It’s a good thing the medical community have laws and procedures created to handle such things instead of listening from the peanut gallery online.

I’m done.

A Quiet Place… For Me to Poop On   2 comments

Working in an office environment, it’s really hard to find some alone time. The best place is the bathroom, but it’s quite hectic, depending on the time of day. Empty bathrooms are hard to come by and sometimes you just want some peace and quiet.

My first job out of a college was in a 12-story building in DC near the L’Enfant Plaza Station. Our office was in the first floor and everyone shared a pair of gendered bathrooms. It was not very clean. I mostly used the bathroom for peeing and always made an effort to go number 2 at home before leaving for work. Our company occupied the 1st and 12th floor. Sometimes we had meetings at the top floor. Their bathrooms are newer and cleaner, but still get busy. About three months into work, I learned of the empty floor with no tenants. I was desperate to find an empty bathroom after lunch, and used the one on that floor. That changed everything.

It was quiet and peaceful. The only sound you hear is the exhaust. The light would dim if it doesn’t detect any movements. I only shared it with a few coworkers and they followed suit, going on different times. After that job, I’ve made it into a game to always find the best bathroom.

My 2nd job after was pretty quiet. Not that many employees. And there were 2 sets of bathrooms on the two-story office. I didn’t have much trouble there, but I didn’t use their bathrooms as much besides peeing because of my 11-7pm work schedule.

My 3rd job was a lot quieter. My worst job of them all. I regret ever taking that job. I find solace in the fact that I now know which jobs NOT to take because of them. And there’s also the quiet bathrooms because of low tenant count.

My 4th job was for a big company. They owned the 3-story double building. The buildings were connected in the first floor. They had their own catered cafeteria with chefs and everything, shared by both buildings. There’s only one set of bathrooms per floor on each building. I usually go down the elevator, walk the connecting bridge and use the 3rd floor bathroom on the other building. Less people over there. Not as quiet, but I get some exercise. The only quiet bathroom is the family bathroom in the connecting floor. I’ve used it a few times, but they locked it for family-use only (baby diaper changes).

On my current job, we have a set of bathrooms per section (2), per floor (2). There’s a lone bathroom on the 2nd floor just around the back near the elevators, but it’s primarily used for the maintenance staff and disabled/handicapped people. It’s not as furnished as other bathrooms, but it hasn’t stopped employees from using it, though. Its single-person shared bathroom. It’s quiet, but there’s a 180° security camera just outside looking over the balcony. I think it’s trained towards the front door security desk, but it still makes me feel uneasy about using the bathroom. Feels very “Big Brother-ish.”

A year into the job, they added a 3rd section with two floors. The 1st floor bathrooms is right outside the new gym they added. It has locker rooms and two shower stalls each. The 2nd floor bathroom is outside our office space, shared between our office and the building management company. Unlike our bathrooms inside the company, these bathrooms are outside of security camera view. There isn’t really a quiet bathroom time in the big office, but there are plenty of bathrooms to choose from. Sometimes I just get lucky. And with telework, Friday’s are the quietest.

Three years has passed. The nature of my job and our company’s work structure means job functions are never stable. Contracts change between companies depending on the requirements. Even multi-year contracts are never guaranteed. They are always in flux and depend on client internal structures. If those change, we also change. We don’t have as many employees as we did in the past 2-3 years. I would say we lost probably half our workforce across the board. Some projects have our employees working at their site. That meant we have a huge office space with empty cubicles left unused. The company had to give up two sections of the 2nd floor. So now we’re down to 4 sets of bathrooms and the lone, single-person, shared bathroom.

It seemed pretty hopeless to find a quiet place for me to poop on. But there’s hope. Remember that set of bathrooms in the 2nd floor shared by our company and the building management office? We technically don’t have direct access to that bathroom anymore. They closed off the walkway on the second floor. However, that bathroom is still open from the outside. You don’t have to go through security personnel to use it. By extension, it is a public bathroom. The only way to get there is to use the back exit for our office space or the shared back entrance of the building.

So there I went. No security cameras. Nobody in there (other than building maintenance staff and equipment if you happen to run into them). Just me, the quiet, the peace, and the bathroom. And they even fixed the door hook to hang things at the stall in the back of the bathroom. Finally some peace and quiet. Thank you for reading my shit post.

I’m done (pooping).

Posted January 29, 2020 by StupidSystemus in Musings

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Reality-Bending Dreams   Leave a comment

Dreams have a way of twisting things as you understand in real life. Be it physics or just grounded understanding of the real world, it changes in dreams. This includes people and your relationship with them.

There’s a classmate I knew in college I had a crush on. For some reason I had a dream where we were getting friendly and we might have hit it off. I didn’t wake up and ended the dream like most of them. Things just played out naturally until my memory of the dream faded. I started getting coherent waking thoughts back on top of lingering memories about the dream and my classmate. It was a happy thought as I slowly eased into waking up. Then I started to remember she’s happily married with a kid. That snapped me back to reality.

Felt sad about my present reality. It’s the kind of sadness where you don’t want to get up, but it quickly dissipated. It’s not as bad as I had it before where I’m completely frozen and really didn’t want to get up and go to work.

But if you ask me, I think I prefer these dreams over my past waking-hour thoughts. With these dreams, I get to enjoy the show. When I’m alone with my thoughts and the existential dread creeps on me, it’s a bummer. It’s the same feeling you get when you lose your appetite, but you lose a part of your will to go on (like “what’s the point of doing anything” type of thoughts) instead of the hunger.

I’m done.

Posted January 24, 2020 by StupidSystemus in Musings