The Joys of Being the Janitor

The Joys of Being the Janitor

I’ve complained earlier of having been unanimously by one out of one vote appointed the concierge. I’m still hating it, faithful to my principle of hating everything and everyone.

A more appropriate word for concierge is the janitor, which is an all-in-one function, rolling into a single person an administrator, an electrician, a plumber and a cleaner, among other things. No qualifications are required because other people don’t know what they’re doing either anyway.

On a Friday morning, I woke up to the sound of water gurgling more angrily than usual in the radiators. That means one thing. I gotta go down to the boiler room and pressurise the boiler. I duly did. The water stopped splashing and I was pleased with myself, thinking how nicely I fixed it.

An hour later I noticed the radiators stopped heating altogether. Also, there was no hot water. Oops. So back to the cellar I descend to examine. The meter shows the whopping pressure of zero. Hmm. I move a few handles tentatively, waiting for something to magically happen. After another hour I break and call the actual plumber.

He’s pretty displeased because it’s Friday and people don’t expect to work on a Friday, unless they’re freelancers, like me, who work 24/7 and rest only when they’re interned in the psych ward with acute overwork. The plumber came and scolded me for clearly not knowing how to pressurise the boiler properly. Dear plumber, I’m a fucking doctor of literature, of course I don’t know how to treat a boiler, but I did exactly what you showed me to do to it, okay?

IMG_20180101_192653-01
An irrelevant image enhancing the horror mood of the post

The plumber started repressurising. It was taking forever and the pressure refused to climb. I guess it was feeling lazy. See above for nobody works on a Friday. The plumber says, That’s weird, it’s like the water is disappearing. I scream internally. I don’t believe in magic disappearances. I say, What do you mean, disappearing, like leaking? The plumber confirms. I’m trying to wrap my mind around it as the plumber sends me out to check all the flats  in the building for radiator leaks.

I don’t get too far. There’s the sound of a waterfall in the cellar next to the boiler room. Properly freaked out, I throw the door open and step in a pool of water as I’m reaching for the light switch. There’s a hole in the ceiling and a thick stream is pouring down from it. I scream literally. The plumber rushes to see if I saw a ghost or what and whistles appreciatively, as he observes the make-shift waterfall. The building has just upgraded to a swimming pool.

What’s above here, the plumber gestures up, clearly delighted to have a little excitement to spice up his dull shift. That would be my flat, I say. Alright, let’s see your flat then, the plumber suggests. My flat is all clear, which is good news, the plumber offers, as he notices my white face. There’s no fucking good news when there’s a fucking hole in the fucking cellar ceiling!! It’s like comforting a dying guy with telling him that at least, when he’s dead, he won’t have to pay health insurance.

What’s next to you, the plumber inquires. An empty bar, I say. We pay a visit there and the plumber is insensitively cheerful to see it flooded. Here you go, he shouts enthusiastically, that’s your leak! I remain quiet and catatonic. The plumber sends me back to my flat to take a Lexaurin and sets off to fetch his mates, so they could have some fun too.

The leak turned out to have been caused by an exploded radiator, which some dumbass didn’t shut down properly and which burst with excitement when the outside temperature dropped too low. I was relieved that I didn’t break the boiler but spent the rest of the day trying to sweep the water from the flooded areas. It was like, uh, sweeping water. Being a janitor is a great job. Not.

I Have a New Psychiatrist (That’s My Life Now)

I Have a New Psychiatrist (That’s My Life Now)

My old psychiatrist retired (probably to devote himself full-time to his drinking hobby) and was replaced by a new psychiatrist. Unlike the old guy, the new lady is less than a hundred and doesn’t appear to have a drinking problem (good for her).

I bear no grudge against her (yet), but as per usual, I’ve been quite passive-aggressive at our first date. She surely hated me at first sight, which is only right and mutual because I hate people by default. This might explain my passive-aggressive tendencies.

My new psych person had the old psych person’s office completely cleared, so now she practises in a large and mostly empty room. I’m scared of open spaces, so here you go. Also, she brought in a new table and positioned it in the wrong place. I’m OCD, so here you go again.

I tried hard to conduct myself, so I didn’t point out that she ruined everything for me. (She even moved the nurse’s station to the wrong wall, and nothing will ever be the same.) We had the following largely disappointing conversation.

Psych: So, how have you been feeling?
Me: (What I thought: That’s a question beneath your profession. If I were feeling anything else than poorly, I wouldn’t be here, right? Elementary, doctor.) What I said: Poorly. (What I didn’t add: But I accept that it is what it is and I let it go, as my positive affirmations have me believe.)

Psych (staring at me): You look anxious.
Me (staring in a wall behind her): (What I thought: Right, that’s because I have anxiety, just check my bloody chart, duh.) What I said: Yes.

Psych: What about we try increasing the antidepressant dose?
Me: (What I thought: Whatever. It’s not like I’m a doctor. Oh, wait. I am a doctor. Whew.) What I said: Okay.

Psych: And what do you do?
Me: (What I thought: Ow fuck, now we’re going to chit-chat? As a doctor, you should know that it’s not what I do but how I deal with it. Also, don’t try to outsmart me. You’re no match for my intellectual arrogance.) What I said: Work from home.

Psych: You don’t talk much, right?
Me: (Nothing. Why state the obvious.)
Psych: OK, so see you in a month.
Me: (If I live to see the next month.) OK.

I guess I’m not a very amiable person. Actually, I’m sure of that because I spend a lot of time with myself and I hate every second. I’m such an annoying little smartass. Currently on more antidepressants than before, so we’ll see.

A Snap a Day Non-challenge

A Snap a Day Non-challenge

My reblogs of my own Instagram snaps seem to be among the posts which you hate the least, so I’m continuing with this non-challenge and presenting another week’s worth of crappy snappy shit (I know that this dubious phrase makes no sense, but that’s suitable for a non-challenge).

IMG_20180123_101610_835
Jan 22: Went to Tesco. Was colour-coordinated. That’s how exciting my life is.
IMG_20180123_101136_729
Jan 23: It’s fucking freezing and I don’t understand how the water hasn’t turned into ice. The world is not what it used to be. 
IMG_20180124_230926_567
Jan 24: My old yoga mat is disintegrating and disgusting. I bought a new one. I haven’t used it yet. I have this curious mental block which doesn’t prevent me from buying new things but does prevent me from using them. What the actual fuck. Sorry for the swearing but it’s spot on here.
IMG_20180125_193443_648
Jan 25: I’ve been waiting in vain for my ballots for presidential elections. Nothing arrived and then I was told that this time I’d be getting ballots on the spot. Which I did. I could’ve spared myself the trip, the wrong candidate won. 
IMG_20180126_154438_216
Jan 26: Proof that I bothered to go voting. Never again. See above. A nice walk though. 
IMG_20180127_220202_268
Jan 27: My anxiety levels are breaking records and I’m unsuccessfully trying to counter with meditation. Nice try.
IMG_20180128_144239_848
Jan 28: I had this obsessive thought that there was a gas or water leak, so I descended in the cellar of the building to examine. Thanks for the trip, anxiety. Nothing is leaking anywhere. So, good news, I guess. I need to go check again though.

 

I’m an Asshole (and a Fire Hazard)

I’m an Asshole (and a Fire Hazard)

Currently in depths of depression slash anxiety, earlier today I was considering slashing my wrists but as per usual, I reconsidered because I don’t have my hair and nails freshly done and we must consider the feelings of those who find my body. Sorry for this killer intro, but it’s important to establish that I’m even more unbalanced than my normal unbalanced in order to gain insight into my following actions, which, I promise, are quite amusing (unless you’re the one taking the actions, of course, but that only makes it the funnier for you).

Working wasn’t working out for me today, so I resorted to the consolation of my disconsolate blog and checked out my notifications. (On a side note, if you’re anything like me [I hope for your own sake you’re not] and love tinkering around with new nifty features, go ahead and take the new post notification option in the Reader for a test ride.) So here I am, reading the comments on my blog and finding a note from Ellen, who expressed a mild interest in my curious capability of pulling a poem out of three random words. On this note I noted that the next thing I know, I’ll be pulling a poem out of my ass.

I thought to act on this dubious promise (threat?) and to gather inspiration, I went to check out my ass in the mirror. Kidding. I went to empty my ashtray, which is what I call a jar with a lid sitting at my balcony, which I religiously fill up with butts (not butts as in asses but butts as in, you know, butts). I usually throw the whole thing out when it’s full, but I’ve run out of jars, hence I had to keep the jar and relieve it of its contents only. I did this, on which I realised I’m such an asshole.

My anxiety agrees with this evaluation. I’m not only an asshole, I’m also a fire hazard. I emptied a jar full of fag ends into the dust bin, which obviously contains flammable materials. What if one of the dead fag ends wasn’t entirely dead and ended? What if I burn the building down? (And in case I don’t, for future reference, what’s even the correct and safe way of disposing of fag ends?) Now I’m terrified, courtesy of my assholeness and anxiety, and I’m periodically going down to check whether the bin has flamed up yet. So far, it hasn’t. Doesn’t make me any less anxious. Would you believe my stupidity? Please do nominate me for the post-mortem Darwin Award.

What I’ve Been Up to during the Holidays

What I’ve Been Up to during the Holidays

My holiday programme could be summed up in one word: nothing. But then I’d have nothing to blog about, so let’s elaborate.

I spent the holiday with my family: Ella, Lena, Apple, Broken Bastard and, most important, WiFi. In other words, I was home alone (plus one, that is, cat). So as not to be lonely, I was spending quality time with the cat (the above-mentioned Ella) and my favourite devices, which I named (like Robinson’s Wilson the Ball). Lena is my laptop and my bestie. Apple is the iPad with whom I have a love-and-hate relationship and only use it for reading Kindle books. The Broken Bastard is my electric heater, which is broken, hence bastard. As to WiFi, duh, self-explanatory.

My festive mood was oscillating between severely depressed and fiercely grumpy. On the Christmas Day, I was flooded with seasonal wishes on Facebook, which were mostly the identical Facebook-generated card. I soon developed a strong allergic reaction against it.

On a whim, I texted my academic colleague a customised wish: “Though Christmas is a social construct, have a good one!” She replied with happy holidays and the wish that god may bless me. That made me grumpy. How many times do I have to publicly declare that a) I’m Buddhist and don’t celebrate Christian holidays (and, obviously, don’t believe in god’s blessings); b) I’m depressed and grumpy, hence wishing me a happy anything is really a waste of a perfectly good wish.

On the Christmas Eve, I found myself digging in the Windows registry for fun. Even I considered this a twisted way to spend the holiday. So I went to reorganise my desktop folders instead. Seeing that this was not much better, I proceeded to change my phone ringtones. I was really just waiting the season out.

IMG_20171219_151503-01
That’s me in the ball

On the New Year’s Eve, I started to organise my work and life for the new year, obsessively filling in my several planning diaries and journals. A good try, alas, I failed in all instances. I switched on a boring radio station so as not to miss the countdown to midnight. I didn’t miss it, but it was anti-climactic. The moderator invited a charwoman to the microphone and they both dispensed their best wishes.

I tried to toast to my cat (not toast my cat as in putting her in a toaster), but she was shitting herself with fright from the fireworks under the sofa and refused to come out. And the next thing I remember is a hangover and another shitty year beginning. The cat foretold it right.

I’m particularly proud of the new year’s wish I posted on Instagram, so I’ll repeat it here: If you’re a guy, may your new year not suck. And if it sucks, may it at least swallow. (This joke I stole.) If you’re a gal, may your new year not be a dick. Actually… (This one I didn’t steal.) Well, let’s hope my new year will be a dick.

Also, I do not offer my apologies for my somewhat inappropriate sense of humour. I’m true to myself. Which is actually the moral of The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne:

Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!

So, this is where sex jokes and classics of American literature meet.

The Dumbest Things to Tell a Person with Depression

The Dumbest Things to Tell a Person with Depression

I’m, so far, a depression survivor. It’s a mixture of depressing and hilarious. I’ve started to collect the weirdest, dumbest and most illogical things people tell me when I mention that I have depression. I usually mention it as a disclaimer—and for comic relief because depressed people tend to love black humour. It somehow fits the dark mood.

While I’m risking that I will come across as a smartass (probably because I am that), I’ll share a selection of the most hilarious responses I’ve collected over the years. Sometimes it looks like people have no clue what they’re actually saying. It appears that some people have no sense to see what pearls of nonsense they are dispensing.

Let’s start with the usual:

Get over it.

Think: would you tell this to someone with cancer? I hope not. Let’s establish that there is a difference between manageable and curable. And guess what! Depression is the former, but not the latter. Who would have thought? (That’s not a real question, that’s the tricky rhetorical kind of a question, which is really a statement. Whew!)

My personal favourite:

Cheer up!

OMG, how come it didn’t occur to me before? I’m cured! Kidding. This is too ludicrous to deserve further commentary.

Another of my favourite exchanges:

Look at the bright side!

“Such as?”—”Well, you’re alive…”—”You realise I’m suicidal?”—”Uhuh?”—”That means that being alive isn’t the bright side for me!” Duh.

An inspirational story:

Look at [insert a famous actor’s name]! He functioned just fine with it, he’d just get on the stage and when his act was over, they’d take him straight to the hospital!

I’m not sure how being taken straight to the hospital could mean that someone is fine. Maybe I’m missing something. Or maybe you’re missing something. (Not you as the specific you, but you as the generic you, like someone.)

A piece of undeniable logic:

But you smile in photos!

Of course I smile in photos. I’m not a moron. (Okay, I am a moron, but not in this respect.) Please be aware that I didn’t have a stroke, hence my ability to lift the corners of my mouth remains unaffected. My exercising this ability doesn’t necessarily reflect the state of my mind.

A case of stating the obvious:

It’s just in your head.

I wholeheartedly agree that mental afflictions affect the mind, which resides in the brain, which resides in the head, so it is indeed all in my head. But, uh, how is this piece of information helpful? *shrug*

The list goes on, but I think you got the idea. The point is: let’s all mind what we’re saying and whether what we’re saying even makes any sense. Here’s an inspiration for a new year’s resolution!

I’ve Been Actively Anti-OCD Today

I’ve Been Actively Anti-OCD Today

It’s not often that I try to go against my OCD. After all, I have more urgent issues to struggle with. But when I do go anti-OCD, it’s in the weirdest ways. You’d never believe what one can OCD about. For example, a computer game.

The only game I ever purchased is Age of Empires. Yes, the 1990s game. The idea of the game is that you build a town and defeat your enemy. I don’t care about the fight (see above, I have enough to fight with) but I care about my virtual city immensely.

So my idea of this game is that I set the difficulty to the easiest level and spend the game time carefully aligning my town buildings, producing a predetermined number of villagers and distributing them equally among various tasks.

Untitled picture.png
OCD style

Mind you, there must be an equal proportion of male and female villagers. The total number of each gender and the total number of villagers respectively must be divisible by two. Female villagers must not be assigned strenuous tasks, like ore mining or wood gathering. Male villagers must not be farmers, fishermen or gatherers.

Also, soldiers must come in even numbers. The army must consist of only one type of soldier, though extra siege weapons are allowed. Should anything go wrong at the first attempt—a building is misaligned or villagers aren’t divided into two equally sizeable groups by gender—the unit must be deleted and replaced as applicable.

Today I ended up with one extra female villager. That was a bugger. The villager insisted that she feels to be a woman, hence I couldn’t pretend they were transgender. That pissed me off and, against all idiosyncratic rules I created for the game, I assigned the poor woman to gold digging, along with three males.

I didn’t enjoy the game and resigned it after a few minutes. This might or might not have to do with my OCD. I’m pleased with myself because I’ve been actively anti-OCD; but I’m somewhat upset that nothing holds my interest these days. I used to play this game often and with pleasure, and now I can’t find anything that I’d marginally enjoy. So please excuse me, I’ll try my hand at reading for a change.

Sorry about the Silence

Sorry about the Silence

I haven’t been around for a while. (Stating the obvious.) I’ve been busy busting my ass working like my life depended on it (it sort of does). It’s not that I have a history of overwork and psych ward incarceration (I do). So, to make up for it, I’ve penned a terrible pseudo-poem.

I’ve been quiet
Catatonic
Vegetative
Pathetic
Not keen on
—anything

I’m not good
But better now
Thank you

 

I Know a Person Who Knows a Person

I Know a Person Who Knows a Person

Today I woke up alright. That scared me a bit because I thought for a moment I was dead. I wasn’t dead but as the day progressed, I wish I were. After much deliberation, as my best friend aka anxiety got the better of me, I went to pop a Lexaurin. There was an empty box in the cabinet. Fuck. I’ve run out.

As I was freaking out, a friend texted me whether I wanted to go out tonight. I didn’t want to, so I texted her back that I wanted to (sic). I also mentioned I was having a minor crisis, to put it mildly, because I was out of Lexaurin, my life pill. My dear and beloved friend asked how many pills I wanted. I wondered why she was asking but said I needed two or three until I get a new prescription on Tuesday.

Several hours later, said friend said we needed to cancel our plans because no one else could go, so it would be only two of us and no one to stay sober and drive us home. However, she went on, she’d be stopping by my house and bringing me some Lexaurin. I didn’t ask. I just accepted the gifts of the universe. Or, rather, the gifts of my friend’s granddad, from whom she nicked the pills.

I think I’m in love with my friend. A shame she’s not gay. I’m not gay either, but you know, extraordinary times… Also, should anyone ask, I deny everything, I saw nothing and say nothing.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experi(mental)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experi(mental)

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental.

Did you ever notice there was mental in experimental? Now you know. Here are my mental pills, mostly.