Category Archives: Public Sector Ridiculousness

Quarantine for you 'fatty'

quarantined-label-w476h290

 

Friday was…utterly ridiculous. I went to my GP just to see what this itch was all about, because it was intolerable, but I assumed that it was just eczema because the midwife had said it was nothing the week before. Anyway – the GP was having none of it and decided that I needed to go straight into hospital and have blood tests – for Obstetric Cholestasis

For Information OC is:

Obstetric cholestasis (OC), also called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), is a potentially serious liver disorder that can develop in pregnancy. Normally, bile salts flow from your liver to your gut to help you digest food. In obstetric cholestasis, the bile salts don’t flow properly and build up in your body instead. There’s no cure for OC, but it clears up once you’ve had your baby.Some studies have found that babies of women with OC are more likely to be born prematurely or to be stillborn. It’s not known how much higher the risk of stillbirth is compared to women who don’t have OC. There is no reliable way to work out your baby’s individual risk of stillbirth.

I rocked up to hospital and was basically immediately quarantined – they weren’t sure if I had chicken pox or OC – neither of which are great news – they drew blood decided to give me a CTG ( monitoring the babies heart rate) – which they then thought showed a deceleration, so I was then re-monitored and had to sit with the CTG monitor bands on my itchy rash wrapped round my belly for over an hour – I was becoming more and more displeased with the situation! We had gone in at 3pm and at 10pm there were STILL no blood test results. They didn’t want to release me as they had said that if the tests came back positive they were going to induce me there and then.

Do you know my major concern at this point… as pathetic as it sounds… try not to judge me… but I hadn’t shaved!! I didn’t want to be induced and have hairy legs – not if I was able to have a pool birth! ridiculous the things you worry about when your panicking!!

Anyway – I decided that we would leave hospital because the wife hadn’t eaten for over 12 hours and I had, had just about enough of all the fuss. Suffice to say the results all came back fine and I didn’t need inducing at all – and do you know what they gave me… a bloody piriton – PIRITON – an allergy drug I could have bought over the bloody counter at the local supermarket HOURS before. The irritating thing is my best mate ( a doctor) diagnosed me with PEP (polymorphic eruption of pregnancy) about an hour into me sitting in hospital – all she got was a couple of tidbits of information over a text no exam or anything – sigh – if only she had been able to be my doctor!!

PEP is: a relatively common skin disorder that occurs in women of childbearing age. It usually presents in women during their first pregnancy. Recurrence in subsequent pregnancies is unusual and milder.

It is characterised by an itchy rash that commonly begins on the abdomen, particularly within stretch marks (striae). It most usually develops during late pregnancy (third trimester) 

Basically a really annoying itchy rash – delightful, one of the other lovely ailments caused in pregnancy!! Suffice to say the itchy is subsiding now I have the piriton but the rash is spreading – and is now on my thighs 🙁

Today was officially my last day at work – I know I finished over a week ago but I had to go in today for half a day for a conference that my team had organised. Half day – so left at about 1 /1:30 and between 9:30 and 1:30 I had no less than 6 people comment on my size…

some of the most ridiculous inducing:

“alright fatty”

“woah im not being rude, but your fucking huge”

“oh you’ve put on weight since I last saw you” “hahaha”

How is “alright fatty” a bloody greeting ??? Why (a women no less) think that it was acceptable to greet another women in that way? irrespective of being pregnant. Just infuriates me. I don’t think I’m that fat? I don’t think I have put on that much weight, but all the constant comments are really starting to get to me, no one ever says anything nice, only comments about how huge I am. I am trying really hard to stay positive, but I am still a girl and I am still sensitive about my weight and its really not nice hearing people comment on how massive you are CONTINUOUSLY – even if the cause is pregnancy.

🙁

 

Depression. Muses. Life.

muse

I am feeling worse than ever. I saw the above picture today, and I just cried. For me it’s such an inspirational picture. It takes me back to when I was travelling. Reminds me of the breath taking Himalayan mountains I trekked through. The peace I found when I was there. I want nothing more right now than to run away and climb into a big dark hole, hiding away from the world forever.

I want to be that girl in the photo. I should be that girl in the photo. All I ever wanted to do was go to uni and go travelling. Bum around the world for a while, sucking life experiences in and just ‘being’. No responsibilities, no plans, no cares. Coming from someone so anal, and organised I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed travelling. But I really did find a kind of peace when I was away. A kind of silence. Like the silence late at night when it’s snowed or is snowing. When it’s 1am, and nothing moves not even the air… Travelling was my muse, it inspired me, it humbled me and it gave me peace.

I am a shell, a living breathing carcass right now.

The last year has crushed me.

I don’t think I even know who I am anymore.

The stress of my family during the wedding, the job that has sucked every ounce of individuality out of me and forced a monotonous drone of boring beige routine into my life, and worst into me…. but worst of all the fertility issue.

I have been in and out of depression enough over the last 18 months because of ‘life’ but right now… it truly has to be the worst place I have been in…

I just cant cope.

My senior manager told me the other day that he couldn’t believe how well I was coping. He said no one would notice that something so horrific was happening to me. He said that I was really strong, and he was very impressed with my resilience.

It’s a facade. I am a fake. A plastic temporary smile, that I wear for 8 hours a day that drains every last ounce of anything I have in me.

He shouldn’t be impressed. He might think I am still brilliant, I am coasting through the days just to keep myself going. I am on autopilot… again.

I just didn’t picture my life like this, when I think back, this picture, that girl… that’s who I was going to be. I think that’s why the photo has struck such a deep resonance with me.

I have started testing my ovulation again today… when I ovulate this week, we will be flying to Denmark to try insemination.

The wife is so positive that it scares me. I already feel like a failure, my body… my ovaries are inadequate and I don’t want to disappoint her if the insemination doesn’t work. It only has a 25% chance of working at the best of times, let alone with my problems. I am also worried because I have been trying to be really healthy, but I seem to have got a cold this week… that is not going to help me get pregnant… more worries.

Then the thought of actually getting pregnant is also terrifying. All the life changes, I am still trying to get my head around it all, giving up everything I thought I was going to have, that was who I was going to be in my 30’s… not in my mid twenties. The next 5 years were meant to be fun before we tried to have a family…. I just can’t get my head around it. I just can’t. Why hasn’t someone told me it’s all a big mistake yet? WHY?????

I just…

I am in a very dark, very strange, very lonely place right now. Words are failing me, I just can’t explain where my head is. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to see anyone, I don’t want to do anything. I can feel myself locking down, and shutting the world out and theres nothing I can do about it. I can’t muster enough ‘me’ to talk about how I feel. I don’t fucking know how I feel. That’s probably the problem. I don’t have words. The complexity of emotions I am feeling right now is indescribable.

I feel bad because I know I should be communicating, but I just don’t want to talk, about anything to anyone. I don’t want to have to justify myself, and I don’t want to explain my feelings. I just want to be quiet and for it all to go away. I want to wake up in the morning and be that girl in the photo…

But I won’t.

I am going to wake up… still be Sacha, still be depressed, still have a job I hate, and still have fertility issues.

Spiralling Down

One week. One week back in my cesspit hole of a job to feel myself start to tip off the side of sanity all over again.

I hate it. I hate my job so much it infects me. It putrefies my thoughts and tears tiny bits of my soul away, day by day. I can feel myself erupting on the inside over nothing. Something someone says, an insignificant remark makes my mind seethe and my blood burn with angry lust.

I am becoming scarred with bitter frustration.

I am broken.

I have a new boss, and he asked me this week after hearing my story if I had any fight left in me.

“you do don’t you… have fight left in you?” He asked me expectantly.

I just turned my head away. Biting back the tears.

” I don’t know”

And I really don’t know.

My old boss stole my confidence, and crushed my creativity.

” The thing is Sach…” He would say patronisingly.

“You got a big personality. You just need to be a bit less Sacha… you know?”

Cunt.

He hated me. He hated what I represented and made sure I knew it.

I am disgusted with myself that I could let a man beat me down and crush me the way he did, the way work has.

He left, but I have given up. I have nothing left, no fight, no drive, no ambition.

My entire being is bruise and I am exhausted.

I am Sacha, and I am beautiful, but, I am utterly broken.

 

Some People are Gay, Get OVER It.

A friend was telling me about their theory, there wont be equality for everyone fitting into a protected characteristic (like LGBT, mental health etc etc) until there is equality for women. Interesting. I have to say I kind of agree.

I mean the Church of England won’t even allowed women bishops for goodness sake, why are LGBT people expecting gay marriage to be allowed in churches? Of course I think they should be allowed, but I am just saying we don’t stand a hope in hell, when the CofE can’t even sort out a simple vote to have women bishops.

 

The UK government recently held a consultation on whether or not they should allowed gay marriages, and with a staggering 228,000 responses, it seems likely that the government is going to legalise gay marriage, at least civil marriage anyway.

The BBC’s report is here. I blogged a few times about the CofE’s ridiculous response to the consultation too: here, here, here and here.

What gets me now, and I am going to try HARD not to rant about this:

1. Apparently I can’t divorce my wife for cheating on me unless she cheats with a man. The rage I feel brewing about this, is ridiculous, I am once again turning green with a Hulk like rage. It annoys me that I even have to justify this. OF COURSE it’s cheating if she slept with another women. HOW DARE the government try and tell me it isn’t cheating. I tell you what cameron, how about I give ol’ Sammy Cameron a good poking, and then you see how you feel about it, and when she’s had the best night of her life, then come and tell me you don’t feel cheated on. Prick.

2. They are going to make it opt in for churches? I mean reaaally? This is not going to help religious LGBT people get the weddings they want. Personally I couldn’t give two shits if the churches don’t want us marrying in their ‘sacred’ grounds, I am not religious in the slightest. But I am not naive enough to think that there are no religious LGBT people. Therefore, being the egalitarian that I am I think that churches should be made (eventually) to conduct religious same-sex marriages.

Churches spout the reason that same sex marriages should not be allowed is because marriage is to enable children. WELL I got news for you god botherers, science has enabled something called sperm donation,  IVF, and surrogacy, so single women, gay and lesbian couples, and even single men can still have children. You might wana read the news sometimes. Oh and if you try and tell me that lesbians can’t parent or whatever, then how about bring some hard facts to back up your argument, otherwise, keep your bigoted opinions to yourself. I got more news for you, studies such as this one (and there are several others saying the same thing) state that not only do lesbian families rock, they smash straight families… BOOM. How do you like them apples ‘father.’

Also, whilst I am ranting, what REALLY pisses me off, is when Christians, pick and choose what aspects of the bible they want to follow:

your not supposed to wear mixed clothes

or eat shellfish

If your husband dies you marry his brother

If your wife isn’t a virgin when you marry her she gets killed.

 

Or do you not fancy following those rules? Just the ones that make you homophobic bigots?

 

3. THE EQUALITIES minister, has made 4 loop holes to prevent people going to the court of human rights, the worst of which is that they will make it legally binding that:

It is NOT discrimination to refuse to marry a same sex couple.

Words fail me at this point. I have nothing polite or clean to say about this. Seriously Maria Miller have you been puffing on the crack pipe again?

#idiot.

Lesson 101 in how to demotivate someone

You can squash me,

You can beat me,

You can push me down,

But I will get up,

I will try again,

And I won’t give up,

One day when your tired,

When your broken,

And when you quit

I will triumph, I will stand proud, and I will win.

Sacha Black

****

What a ridiculous week.

I have never met a bunch of more miserable, bubble bursting, negative  people in my life. I know were in a recession but seriously, theres no need to make me miserable just because you are!

I met a senior manager recently who told me that I wouldn’t have a job in a few years time, that there wouldn’t be any money for managers or project managers like me. That we were facing hard times and more cuts were coming, they continued…

“realistically I ought to find a ‘proper profession'”

Thing is it was meant to be a motivating statement because they were trying to poach me into their department. Probably is, once I heard that they thought I wouldn’t have a career etc etc I kinda switched off.

Then a few days later I met my new mentor.

WELL.

They asked me what my biggest challenges were at the moment. I said that in my previous job I was really passionate and enjoyed living to work. Whilst I understood that there was a balance to be had and that it wouldn’t always be like that, I wanted to still be passionate about what I was doing, and that I was struggling to find a niche in the job I am doing at the moment to be passionate about.

My mentor kindly told me that I needed a reality check because most people work to live and that I should probably get used to it.

I was utterly shocked that for someone who is supposed to mentor, coach and motivate someone that they could be so negative and pessimistic. I am not naive I know most people work to live, but for goodness sake you don’t have too.

Only you have control over your life and the direction you choose to take. People choose to stay in jobs they hate for a variety of reasons, but I am sorry that’s your choice. If you were really miserable then only you can make the change you need too, to do what makes you happy. I think it’s utter bollocks that I should expect to not be passionate about my job and expect to work to live. Bollocks.

Demon emailer makes for an angry Sacha

Today, I am boshing out my angry lesbian.

We have established that I hate vague rambling discussions and or instructions, and these nearly made it onto my list of pet hates.

However, I still only have three official pet hates, (official because I have an endless ever growing list of things that annoy me, but three that will instantly piss me off)

I hate being patronized. It makes me arrogant and angry and ultimately turns me into the antichrist!

Don’t patronize me because

a) I am probably more intelligence than you

and

b) I can definitely do whatever it is that were doing better than you

So this new person has taken over the HR for the scheme that I am on. Supposedly they are “babysitting” it. Sorry the last time I checked I didn’t actually wear diapers anymore.

Anyway.

A little while ago we were asked to organise an event. Asked for ideas and then the reins were past over to us to get on with the event.

New girl starts, a little over a week after we were told to get on with it.

Newbie sends some really patronizing email giving us an arbitrary deadline for the next working day to ‘submit’ our presentations to her to ‘review’ them.

#rage instantly.

Firstly we were never given a deadline in the first place, secondly dont ask for something the next working day when its already the afternoon and I am rammed up to my eyeballs in work; and thirdly, the event was still a WHOLE month away. Your not in the private sector now love. Welcome to the public sector!

I responded with a polite email back suggesting that the deadline be pushed forward because the event was a long way away and that the deadline was a little close.

This earnt the newbie the nick name “Demon Emailer”

The ridiculous email continues

“I am sure that you all have been formulating your ideas for what you are going to talk about since the time you volunteered to do these sessions. ”

The response I SHOULD have sent:

No you patronizing bitch, I have not been formulating ideas, I offered to do this a week ago. I have been up to my eyeballs in real work besides I am conducting a 15 minute ice breaker I do not need to spend hours doing it, now fuck off and chill out.

I didn’t. I was polite.

Demon Emailer continues:

If your workload is such that you don’t think those timelines are workable, we have another couple of graduates who are interested in helping out

At this point I genuinely turned purple in the face at the audacity of the demon emailer. How dare you suggest that I am incapable of delivering a 15 minute session in a months time. No I do not need help, its FIFTEEN MINUTES of material. I could piss longer than that, this is not hard.

Anyway, after my hulk climbed back inside, and my face returned to its olivey colour, I decided to march up to the demon emailers office and ‘ave a word’

Demon emailer can’t be thinking they can get away with this for the rest of their time here!

Polite conversation was had. Through gritted teeth I hasen to add.

Its at this point that I am convinced I am working with a full on robot. I have never seen anyone fidget less in my life. The wind could have picked up and their hair wouldn’t have even budged plus their posture was waaay too straight to be normal.

We move on a couple of weeks.

Demon emailer decided that they wanted a rehersal of the event.

Much to irritation. Again, this is 15 minutes. Not hard.

Reluctantly I drag myself to this meeting.

Demon Emailer then says:

“Now then Sacha, let’s role play your piece shall we, lets practice all together (insert painfully perky smile) and then we can all make sure we are perfect. I have trained people across the world  and  run events for small groups to huge conferences, and I know that to look natural and unpracticed you need to practice practice practice”

#RAGE

Firstly, no I will not role play my section, I am not four, and we are not in drama class now love.

Secondly, your telling me your life story like I give a fuck.

Thirdly, you sat perfectly still for so long theres a fly nesting in your perfect hair (ok not true, but I wish it had been)

Fourthly, wipe that perky smile off your face before I do

Evidently I didn’t actually say any of these things, but I really wanted to.

*sigh*

I did refuse to participate though. I mean really, role playing my 15minute section. Delusional.

Existentially bored.

Forget mid life crisis, I am having a mid twenty something post university, pre marriage existential crisis.

This blog (and many more in the same vein to come I imagine) were always coming, and in some senses the probably the foundation for why I am writing in the first place.

I am lost.

There I said it.

Once upon a time… I wanted to be an actress, then a psychiatrist, then a psychologist, then a doctor, then an academic, then a Vice Chancellor, then a politician. Then I got lost.

I took so many turns I got lost and tangled up in a big mess of Sacha, then I stopped following my dream.

Now I have forgotten what it was. Literally.

Existential Crisis

I am not asking for sympathy. I don’t need it. I am lucky, I am employed for a start, with the British economic climate in the shit state that it is I should be thankful; and I am. I have food and a roof, a loving partner and two adorable baby substitutes in the form of cats! Thats an awful lot more than most people in the world. So I am not complaining. I am aware that this is a first world problem. But it’s my crisis, and I am working on it!

Beside this feels more like pondering.

Technically I ought to be fortunate and grateful for the position I am in. I am on a pretty prestigious scheme and work towards being a manager over a couple of years, jump several pay packets and get more qualifications.

Thats all great.

But I am STILL bored.

I don’t cope well bored. I turn into one of those really annoying disruptive kids in school that everyone hated despite secretly finding really funny.

annoying, you know you shouldn't laugh, but you just can't help it!

Technically I have a direction. A public sector direction. BORED

I am a hardworking  tortured public sector bureaucrat (PSB).  Theres always lots of work to do. I don’t think anyone is really ever sure what that work is, there seems to be a general vague malaise that follows us PSBs around. Most of the time no one can come up with a real answer as to why they are doing something, or who it is thats going to read their work.

Classic example I spent 3 and a half working days writing a board report. Took the report to board, spent approximately 1.5 minutes in the board room and left again. No one had read the paper and it got passed anyway. Shocking really. But this isn’t a rant about the public sector.

Theres work, lots of it. But its BORING; and this is really my point.

I am not sure how one finds their purpose? I seem to be questioning everything.

(God, I am so middle aged. Aren’t I supposed to be out getting pissed and doing irresponsible things at the weekends and not questioning life?)

Starting with the obvious ‘where do we come from?’ I set myself the challenge of reading, the bible, the Koran, the Torah, and Chariot of the Gods by Erich Von Daniken.

The latter being one of the books describing an alternate history linked to alien visits and one of the books behind the film prometheus.

Anyway, not having a direction fucks you up! It changes everything.

How am I supposed to get up in the morning and ‘do’ life without a serious direction. I am wasting precious minutes and seconds with no core purpose, no challenge, no direction and no goal.

I am BORED.

On the verge of mental anarchy and I pity the person I explode on.

I need a goal.

I am officially sending out an

S.O.S

I need to find a direction. It makes me want to vomit  and punch myself in the face to even say this; because I hate cliches, but, “I need to find myself”

vom.

Anyone with a quick fix will be my new have person! Answers on a postcard. Or alternatively posted below 😛

Conniption- My Secret Inner Hulk

con·nip·tion/kəˈnipSHən/

Conniption
Noun: A fit of rage or hysterics

Conniption

I am literally the poster child for conniption, and angry lesbian!

As my dear friend likes to tell me on a regular basis.

I tend not to ‘do’ many emotions other than extremely angry or extremely happy.

This causes problems.

Mostly for other people, but occasionally for myself.

Particularly when people can’t handle me, and they make me feel like I need to moderate myself on their behalf. We don’t tend to stay acquainted for long.

Working in the public sector being a conniption is a massive problem.

People are often unsure how to take me, I am admittedly slightly unstable, (in a conniptiony type way- not mentally!) and they are never sure if I will react to something with a fit of rage, or a fit of hysterical laughter.

When someone has something important, or controversial to tell me I can see their unconscious wincing before they open their mouth… and then they brace themselves for whatever reaction they might get.

If I had more of a heart I’d feel bad about it. But I shan’t apologise for who I am, and if I missed a few emotional DNA strands along the whole birthing process well that ain’t really my fault is it?!

Thing is, usually I respond with red rage. This is normally a burst of momentary rage.

I would speak loudly.

(This is most important. I find it highly irritating that people always tell me that I shout at them.

I don’t

I am loud ALL THE TIME! Just because your little ears can’t handle any noise above a whisper, does not mean I am shouting)

I might spew some profanities at whomever had irritated me this time. This adds to their perception of me shouting.

I am not shouting. I am talking loudly, and….passionately.

And thats another thing. Why do people always take my passion for aggression?

I am loud, and passionate, therefore I MUST be aggressive?

AND WHY, why do they try to make out like its a bad thing, and make you feel bad for it?

Well I don’t, I am entirely proud of me, and won’t be made to feel bad about it.

Generally after an outburst of my inner hulk If you give me five minutes, I am over it.

They usually aren’t… for quite some time.

I don’t get this.

If people stopped getting offended all the time, we would all get on a lot better. People say offensive things to me all the time, you don’t see me crying over it.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” “sticks and stones”

For example, my manager recently told me:

” You really need to be a little bit less Sacha. Your personality is a risk to your reputation.”

I instantly felt my inner hulk smashing at my skin to get out.

Inner Hulk

I managed to contain my inner hulk.

Just.

However I did have several mental senarios run through my head – mostly of jumping across the desk and savagely punching him in the face, knocking a few teeth out and wiping the satisfied smirk smile off of their face.

I did none of them and contained myself, with great mental sacrifice.

After an hour long lecture from my manager about how I need to moderate myself, and how bad my personality is blah blah blah… As I left the scene of crime, my manager had the cheek to tell me not to get road rage on the way home.

Cunt.

Explicit Vagueness

Now, I have only been a public sector worker for a mere 10/11 months. However, I have seen some truly bizarre ongoings in my short time.

But today, my manager has truly out done themselves.

I am blunt.

I do not sugar coat, and I dislike detest people who beat around the bush.

I can’t be dealing with vague ramblings (as we know), mutterings, utterings, waffle, drivel, small talk, or any other nonsense that comes out of peoples mouth. If you have something to say, say it.

Now I have had some seriously vague rambly type instructions from all the managers I’ve had so far, but today has beaten them all.

I was asked to write an article for some publication or other. Given a set of bullet points of what to include.

Simple, yes?

NO.

Why is it public sector managers insist on correcting everything you do?

It is beyond me, to understand how its efficient for anyone to do a piece of work, that is perfectly adequate, and yet their manager insists on correcting it to within an inch of its life.

If your so certain about what you want in the first place, SURELY its quicker, easier and more efficient for you (dear manager) to just do it yourself?

Its not like that word you inserted, or the comma you added really made the article that much better did it?!

I digress.

No, No, I will continue with this actually.

Seriously though, how disempowering, and demotivating does a manager need to be. You would think that following a set of bullet points to write a page long article was simple enough. I have a First Class degree for godsake. I know damn well that what I wrote was fine. If not brilliant! (probably not brilliant)

When it came back it was utterly massacred. Ruined, mutated into some vague waffling nothingness.

ANYWAY…

In fear of having my work brutalised again, I asked if a paragraph I’d re-written was sounding more like he wanted it.

Obviously the answer was no.

“Ok.” I said. “What would you like me to add…. or remove”

“Well..” My manager starts.

“Perhaps you could….” *Insert excessively long pause, whilst I try to control my eye from twitching with irritation at said pause*

“umm, well we need to be a bit more explicit” My manager states

“RIght. Sooo I should add an example with some statistics then, yeah?” I asked.

“Well no, don’t actually put statistics in. We need to be a bit more vague than that.”  My manager answered.

You can imagine the look on my face at this point. My response was:

“So, let me see if I have this straight; you want me to be a bit more explicit, whilst being quite vague?”

Need I say more.