God! I love them! Weekends, that is. This last week dragged like a broken hind leg on a Russian race horse, skittering and slobbing.
It takes a little while to get used to going back to work every day, you know? ;-)
This last week at work has solidified my intimations that I am a boob at work. I am ineffectual. I seem, to me at least, to be an anchor with whomever I work. I drag 'em down. They have to be over my shoulder at every instant and make sure that I do the seemingly-simple procedures adequately. (That, by the way, is one of my problems: I don't work well when people are right there, over my shoulder, watching my every move. I start to spin the wrench the wrong way--righty tighty, lefty loosey, I know--and I second-guess every action that I do. I guess I do this because I don't want to fuck up, I don't want to add to the "Adam is an Ass" common "knowledge.")
I feel like a thief at work, sometimes. The company pays me good money to work with gas lines and all that comes with them, but, often--especially when I am on a three-person crew--I stand around, watching the others do the work. I'm game to do the work, really, but often co-workers will just grab the appropriate tools and do the work themselves. They'll say, "Don't worry about this one, Adam. I got it."
Maybe I need to be challenged?
Listen: there's no overt animosity with my co-workers, at all. They all like me; I know that they do. I try hard; I bust my ass with the physical part of the job. I just have the feeling that they all, too, view me as an inept boob, one who needs to dealt with with kid-gloves. I feel--and this is funny--I feel that they view me with sorrow, a sense of "what a good guy, but he's a complete ass." There is no trust, nor--I'm convinced--should there be. I've been in this department for a year and nine months and I'm still committing basic fucking errors. I'm still sweatin' the basics of the job. Though it may stem from second-guessing myself and/or self-consciousness and/or lack of attention to detail (yes), the fact remains that I suck as a gas lines worker.
There. I said it. It's out.
Now I can move on, I reckon, and work like there's no one there, judging, gauging, making sure that Adam doesn't do something to blow shit up. [That was written for effect; there's not a whole lot of opportunity to blow shit up. Relax.]
Does this sound like a pity party? I'm writing it and, yes, as I'm tapping the keys, that is exactly what it sounds like: a pity party. Listen, A-Bomb, just do the fucking job. It is faaaaaaaar from rocket science.
When oh when will I become proficient? When?! This job has damaged my hubris. It has Achille-sliced my confidence in my own innate intelligence. I am in a field in which many of my co-workers are "That Guy/Girl." The type of person who can look at a problem of mechanics and, through use of hammers and 'drivers and screws (oh my), remedy the situation, make it good as gold. Me? I look at the pipes and the fittings and the frozen ground (how will I get a wrench in there?) and I think to myself, Self? This is un-doable.
And then a co-worker will step in and kindly say, "Hey, Adam, lemme in there for a second." And then he or she will do what needs to be done in an expedient manner and, then, all is good, but, again, I've the feeling that I'm nothing but a implement used to keep ships and the like in place. An anchor, I mean. An ineffectual anchor.
I am not mechanically-inclined. I'm just not. I'm smart, I'm intelligent--I know this, cling to this fact--but I am not one of those dudes who can look at a problem and, through the use of tools, remedy the conflict. I'm just not. It's not my skill-set. And, yesterday, I was asking myself just what the hell is my skill-set? I can tell you this: it has absolutely nothing to do with steel pipes and fittings and unions and couplings and curb boxes and three-quarter to five-eighth adapters. My skill-set does not include use of trenching machinery, though my job title is TMO, Trenching Machine Operator. I can do it, I'm sure--gimme time and don't watch--but--damn!--this shit doesn't come easily to me! Motherfuck.
Sometimes at work, I want to tell with whomever I'm working that, hey, I'm not as dumb as I appear. In fact, I've mentioned that twice within the last couple of days/daze. They all say the right things: Dude, it takes a while to get this shit, man. You can only learn by doing. It's all right, Adam; you're doing fine.
No! No I'm not doing fine. I placed in the 98th percentile in my English ACTs, damn it! I'm smart! Seriously. Seriously.
Seriously, though, what, exactly, marks someone as "smart?" I'd trade my ACT scores for mechanical aptitude in a fucking heartbeat. That, to me, is "smart." The ability to view a mechanical quandary and take the appropriate steps to remedy said quandary, to me, is smart. Everyone and their brother can tap their thoughts out on the keyboard, mind to fingertips.
This post has meandered long enough. Basically, to sum it all up, I feel ineffectual at work. Have felt and continue to feel as such.
I'm seriously thinking about trading my 2002 Ford Focus hatchback in and get a rip-roaring pickup truck with a large bed. And, yes, that is a complete nod to my feeling weak and inadequate (and trucks are cool and strong and kick-ass). With a rip-roaring pickup truck (no lower than a V6) I'll be able to feel--and thus act--more manly. This begs a jaunt onto gender roles and femininity and masculinity and how individuals tend to associate "things" and actions with said roles, but, for now, I'm done.
I'm done with this post. It's 9:03 in the aye-em and I'm just about bushed, ready to go back to the warm bed and the warm woman and the satin sheets. I just got up--and thus onto this drivel--because I had to drain the monster. My elephant trunk was about to leak.
Postscript--Some, if not all, of the sympathy I feel that I feel from my co-workers could be attributable to them all knowing that I've had some Subby-Abuse demons capering behind my skull, of late. Yes. That could be part of it. I have the sense that everyone in the office is treating me and viewing me with kid gloves. "Adam's a loose cannon. Be careful"-type thing. And I can undertand that. I've not got the best track record. At all.
So, I guess, in essence, this post is about starting anew, blank-slating with regards to the people's perceptions in the headquarters. That is not an option. Baggage accumulates and people are people. People remember; people distrust. And I cannot, and will not, blame them. They see a dude who was thisclose to getting canned, they see said dude fumbling with the most basic aspects of the job and, I think, the Highers-Up ask themselves, "Why'd we keep this blast on the fucking payroll? He's an incompetent boob, with a substance abuse history, who is doing nothing but pilfering high twenties dollar an hour. Why is he still here?"
And that's a good question. God bless the union. And that is the God-given truth. God bless the union. They saved my ass--they did it with compassion and stories of their family members who'd fought the Lick-n-Hops, and they did it with an overt display of Solidarity.
And I'd never felt alone.
I love my job! =o)
***Edit: I should have been there for my dad during his last fucking days. I'm crying, now. He was in Hospice, at home, and I flaked on his last week. Fuck! I miss him so much. I really do. I'm listening to The Beatles' "Let it Be," and it njackhammers into my skull the thoughts that I had while my dad was checking out, dying. It's rough--seriously. I miss him! Fuck.
Fuck. It's like a huge fucking void in my life that I've adequately ignored, thus far.
I miss him. My Daddy. I fucking miss him. I want him here. [I'm spoutin' tears, here.]
I miss him. So sincerely. I think that there is a LFD (Life Before Dad Died) and a life after. Still, three months later, I say and/or type and/or hear that my Dad "passed." LOL I'm laughing 'cause I'm leaking like a faucet, right now. I miss him.
I MISS HIM!
It's tough to tickle the keyboard through tears.
11:57 in the morn.
My tears have abated, for now. I don't want any sympathy from You Readers. No.
Instead, I'd love to read stories about substance abuse and the love that you hold/held for your parental unit--and they friends.
Get back to me--please.