Thursday, April 15, 2010


Well, its been finalized, I've been accepted into the ICU team's PM position.  If I'm lucky they'll have me walking around in a white coat in no time.  Not joking, at least one of the members of this team already do this.  Not certain how my body will respond to the late night shift, but we'll see.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So I applied to the position I mentioned earlier.  I lost control of my self presentation fairly quickly in the interview but managed to do so without being completely embarrassing.  Just good old candid me who can't think about how something will sound to someone else until afterward .  Initially I was told I'd get a response within several hours.  Now its been several days and last I checked we were just glad that the last person they needed to interview had shown up to work as planned and that no unexpected extra events were thrown in the schedule for that day.  Emotionally this has been unpleasant, like being trapped in a stress position.  I'm in the midst of a change that is uncertain as to whether its going to happen, and I'm uncertain as to whether its going to happen for several days now.  Its not that I don't think the change would be for the better or that we wouldn't be able to manage if the change didn't happen.  It's just I'm stuck not knowing whether things are changing.  Reminds me of when I went to college the first time.  I desperately wanted to leave home, but the sheer amount of uncertainty and change involved left me so stressed out I could hardly eat for I think about a week or more.

Back to the present, this could be a lot worse I suppose, but a ton of my body's stress indicators are all sending up signal flares and fireworks.  I can't remember the last time I was this twitchy, don't recall ever having stress stomach aches before, and can't bring myself to fall asleep.  Today was the first day since applying for it that I managed to make myself follow my normal break routine at work instead of doing something like staring out the window doing nothing except watching the pattern of light play around the blinds replaying awkward events from my past through my mind or wishing I was better at predicting how things would sound when I said them.

As I told one of my associates at work today, I'm mentally freaking out, but trying to do so calmly.

Some days I just have to love being me.  Because if I didn't I'd have to find out how to love being someone else, and that sounds like a headache. (grins).

Sunday, April 11, 2010


So a few weeks ago, they decided to pour the concrete for the tennis court behind my apartment.  This wouldn't normally be a problem, but they decided to do it at 2 AM.  Took them until around 4 or 5 PM, so we're talking 14-15 hours straight work.  Since they were making so much noise and light it woke us up and we were among several people who filed a noise ordinance complaint.

Then, just a few days ago, they put up a sign on our door saying they were going to do it again tonight.  So to reduce the amount of light coming through our window, which was what woke us up the first time, we went and got curtains and I hung them in our bedroom.  Then today they come by and say, never mind, the weather has turned and we'll do it on Wednesday.

Just so long as when they do it I can sleep, I don't mind.  I'm not terribly hopeful though.

ICU team

So, I'm applying for a new position at work.  Right now I do standard callbacks.  Doctor calls up says, "fix my phone, wait, I'm in the middle of performing surgery, call me back" click... I get to call them back and say "what's wrong with your phone sir?"  I'm looking at moving to our center's "Intensive Care Unit."  Literally that's what we call it.  There's a Center for Disease Control too, but that's out of center.  So basically, I'd do the callbacks for the problems that as far as anybody can tell during the call, have no solution.  Like the person I had recently whose contract was printed out in Spanish on accident and there's no official way of reprint in English unless he wants to sign up for another contract.  I'd be working evening shift instead and get paid another 50 cents an hour.

There are several reasons for switching positions.  One, Bonnie Jean could switch back to working more hours regardless of when Uriel went back home.  Two, I'd be more able to take daytime Institute classes.  Three, the scheduling perks that come with being on my current team only last so long as my stats stay good, and I'm only ever one week away from losing that.  Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but they've been being really aggressive about maintaining high productivity.  To maintain stats you have to do around 1/4 to 1/3 of the callback work when the time for it isn't being measured.  Imagine measuring car speed that way.  The distance counts, but not the time you took getting there.  Makes your speed jump really quickly.  The ICU team, on the other hand, values thoroughness and accuracy over speed, which suits me just fine.

Since I'm already a backup replacement for the ICU team and I have a really good relationship with the TL in charge of the operation, I have a really good chance of getting it.  The TL in charge actually all but told me that the interview for it would be a formality.  He said we'd still have to do an interview process just to make it fair, but that he was really excited to have me on his team.  So unless I have a call monitoring that completely bombs between now and then, chances are I'll get it.

Nonverbal Language... and Movies

I have been rewatching a lot of movies recently.  Gives me something to do while I'm washing dishes.  I've noticed something.  I'm starting to pick up on a lot of the background stuff that I never saw before.  Emotional cues between characters, non verbal story elements etc...  I'm not certain how much of this is due to the aging process of gaining experience.  I recall listening to some Amy Grant music before and after getting engaged to Bonnie Jean and there was so much of it that I got after being in a deep relationship that I hadn't picked up before.

How much of this means my expression of AS is evolving as I develop as a person?  That would be nice, but its also unstable.  My development can shift forwards or backwards without warning.  I recall one time when I was so proud of myself because I was talking to three girls at once, said something that caused an unintentional emotional reaction, read that expression off all three of their faces in real time, responded to it in real time, and addressed the unintended reaction.  Wow that was a good day.  Normally most of that would happen after about a minute and a half of analyzing and the conversation would be over before I could address the problem.  Then, I was unable to read social context or anything social that was non verbal for about the next three days and I think I made my professor want to kill me.

Or maybe its simple repetition?  Wow, I just watched Star Wars for the billionth time and now I finally get that facial expression that passes between Han and Leia at the end of the last movie.  I really don't know.  I probably have bits of all those going on.  In any case, it makes it kind of fun to watch these old movies.  I'm in the middle of Star Trek: The Movie (ok I felt like enjoying some old cheesy stuff, I know the movie is awful but its fun at the same time) and there's all sorts of things that I just passed by before that suddenly make sense.  I mean, the entire Captain Decker and Captian Kirk duking it out over who is more competent to lead the ship.  Sure I understood that it was there, but watching it now I get a lot of the emotional aspects of that battle and the politics behind the scenes of how they are relating.    Or there's things that suddenly don't make sense.  Why does Spock understand their "new" engines that "nobody" understands when he's been busy training to be a monk of logic or whatever you want to call it  for the past who knows how long?  I guess monks of logic get to study ship design?

In any case, its like watching the movies for the first time suddenly, or as if its a completely new movie.  Now if only some of this could translate to real world application that could be fun.  I'm guessing it could be happening there all the time and I'm just not realizing it because I've developed such a caution in dealing with people that I don't take risks where I might not understand what's happening.  For instance, I was IM chatting with a team lead about a new position I'm considering applying for, and I was practically triple verifying what he was saying to make sure I understood him.  That's worse because I don't normally interact with that particular person much and I always always struggle when I'm changing team leads, teachers, or whatever.  I don't adapt to different people's communication/leadership styles readily and I was trying not to make any big mistakes.  I can't hit rewind and watch the movie of John the team lead and Justin the closet aspie over and over again until I understand it.  Guess movies have their advantages.