What Exactly Were You Doing In High School?

Not a day goes by where I come across yet another whinge-fest comparing High School to a prison. Nowhere do I see in these screeds where the author themselves tried to make the best of the situation. It’s pure complaining and whining.

It dawned on me recently, these people didn’t do anything to better themselves.

Oh, sure, they were a “rebel” who “unfairly” got in trouble for arguing with their dumb-dumb teachers. However, there is one question that can be asked of this. If High School was “like a prison“, implying it was easy, why didn’t you coast through it with high grades? All while bettering yourself?

I’ll make a prediction that the loudest complainers actually did the least in school. You know the type: they took only the required classes. They had days where they had more than one study hall. They didn’t do sports and weren’t in any clubs. They didn’t sing or play an instrument. They didn’t challenge themselves with honors or AP classes. They abhorred “electives” like photography, shop, or mechanical drawing. They were a body in a seat that didn’t want to be there.

Before the comments section lights up in “But, this!” and “Exception, that!” or “My teachers were (or are) all idiots!” I’ll give you a piece of life advice: A lot of people in the world are morons. Some will be in positions of authority over you. Guess what? You’ll have to learn to deal with it. Give them what they want.

(As an aside: If half of these guys hate other people as much as they claim to, why don’t they eat a bullet and end it all?)

Your teacher might be dumber than you. Big deal. While you might gain a small bit of smug satisfaction from arguing successfully with them, at what cost though? By prolonging your day in “your prison” with detention? Or having them mark you down continually because you’re “difficult”?

Give them what they want.

While you’re giving them what they want, you work on bettering yourself. Read good books. Learn about a topic that interests you. Go out for a sports team. Join a club. Take an art class. Do the school play or musical. Work towards a future-based you.

For me, High School was a joke. I found it to be not that difficult at all. Having said that, I never viewed it with vitriolic hatred to call it a “prison“. I learned at an early age that arguing with your teachers was a waste of time. I learned to “smile and nod” and go with the flow.

I did my homework.

I got grades that allowed me to later take six AP classes; earning enough college credit to enter university as a second semester Freshman.

I did sports in soccer, wrestling, and track.

I continued my life-long love of singing by being in the lower and later the upper chorus.

I constantly read books that weren’t assigned by the teacher.

I was always looking to learn something new, which is much easier nowadays with the Internet.

The point is that I didn’t go full difficult contrarian asshole, disliked by everyone. I didn’t brag about getting D’s and F’s because I was angry I couldn’t be home playing videogames all day.

Were there days where I hated school? Sure. Did I wish sometimes I could just stay home to play videogames or watch TV instead of going to class? Of course.

I am a human being with feelings, after all.

In short this whole “High School is a prison!” argument is identical to the “Woe is me! Why can’t I find high IQ friends to talk to!” complaint. The advice for these problems is the same: Grow up and learn to live in the real world. Learn to deal with it, and make the best of the situation.

One January Evening

The new message window flashed on my AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) client one January evening. I got up from my desk and walked over to my computer to read it.

“i think its best if we stop seeing each other,” it read.

I expected a flash of anger, but got a cold and calculated intellect instead. I should’ve been angry. This was before the “free” texting and smartphone days. On the dumping scale, doing so by IM was pretty bad and disrespectful, if not the worst way to do it.

I wasn’t angry though.

Deep down I knew this girl was a rebound. Me trying to fill the hole FirstGF dug out of me when we broke up. A replacement of lower quality, if you did an honest side-by-side comparison. I know that I shouldn’t have gotten involved with her in the mental state I was in, but I did anyways because I was weak.

She had a lot of red flags that I ignored. Was my age yet wasn’t in college. Was sleeping on the couch at her sister’s. Had the “popular in the small town but a non-person everywhere else” complex. No drive. No plan for the future. Divorced parents. These rationalized away by me, the fool looking for love.

I stared at the window for a good while, thinking of some sort of reply. I wasn’t pissed or angry. The analytical side of my mind reminded me of a few ignored signs that a breakup was coming. The conclusion “she never was that into you anyways” rang with finality in my inner monologue.

“Shit,” I said to my CRT monitor.

Typing back, I said I agreed with her and this was for the best.

She was heading back home to her small town. I was full up with coursework and my part-time job work schedule (one of her complaints, actually).

In a hidden recess of my heart, I was glad it happened. That small mote of my psyche chastising me for being such a selfish chickenshit.

You deserved this! What did you expect?” the mote exclaimed.

It wasn’t wrong.

After I finished typing, I hit “enter” to send the message. Unsurprising to me, I watched her icon change. It went from “online” to disappearing with the door slamming sound accompanying a log off. I clicked over to my buddy list and removed her from it. I knew it was better to do this instead of seeing her everyday like I did with FirstGF. I was learning.

I logged off of AIM and stepped over to my open Chemistry book at my other desk and got back to doing my homework.

Little Details

It’s the little details that you miss.

For more than a week, I’ve been wondering where my W-2 was. Companies are required by law to either hand you it before the end of January, or mail it so it arrives before then. There wasn’t an issue last year when they mailed it.

The first week of February ends and I still haven’t gotten it.

I feared a possibility of it being lost in the mail or my identity being stolen. So I contacted payroll about the “online” W-2 access. They set up my account and I was able to print a copy of my W-2 to do my taxes.

I did this last Monday, the sixth.

Fast forward to Friday evening, the tenth.

I’m lifting in my apartment’s fitness center and am between my squat and overhead press sets. One of the complex managers opens the door and comes in, beckoning me over. He has two W-2’s in his hand.

“These belong to you,” he said while handing me the W-2’s.

“How did you get those?” I asked.

“The mailman dropped them by the office, I think. He said there wasn’t a street address here, but figured it did belong to someone.”

“There wasn’t a street address here…”

I looked at the address on the W-2’s, and cursed internally.

My address had two of its digits transposed.

After I thanked the complex manager, I did a couple of sets of OHP and then cut it short to see if this was my cock-up or HR’s.

I dug back in my records to one of the old paystub printouts, and sure enough: the digits are transposed there too.

And it dawned on me: I had transposed two of the digits myself when I changed my address with my work almost two years ago.

The little details get you sometimes, and they don’t end up being important until they are. So it’s good to be aware of the small things.

Back At It

A few weeks ago I pushed aside my misgivings about my back and decided to get back under the bar, using a modified version of the StrongLifts workout.

The normal workout goes like this (5×5, except 1×5 Deadlift):

A: Squat, Bench press, Barbell row
B: Squat, Overhead press, Deadlift

Now my modification (because I forgot the initial order) is as follows:

A: Squat, Overhead press, Dips (if feeling it)
B: Squat, Bench press, Deadlift

I dropped out Rows because frankly, they didn’t do much for me the last time I did StrongLifts. They also put more strain on my lower back based on a few test lifts I did earlier this month. Since I don’t want to be injured, it seemed like a smart choice.

So far, things have been going good and I’m making sure to concentrate on my form while lifting. I don’t want a repeat of the muscle pull during my PB deadlift or the tweaking of my back during that squat. The latter of the two actually put me out of commission longer until I fixed that with weekly massages.

As long as I concentrate on the hip drive during squats and not rounding my back during deadlift, I’ll should be fine.

Bored At Work Diaries – 20 December 2016

20 December 2016
15:05

Oh look, work has dried up once again. Work ahead they said. We’re so far behind they said. You all need to work harder the next couple of weeks.

I click “refresh” in my program, nothing shows up.

I walk by the posted “how are we doing?” graphs, we’re ahead of this year’s goal.

At least this year management didn’t try to pull the “optional extended workdays” bullshit like last year. I declined to do both, since I would’ve sat around for two hours twiddling my thumbs.

It might seem that I’m complaining a lot about how the day seems to crawl, I was actually surprised today that the time passed. Except for that meeting this morning (that ran over time, typical). I’m holding off on doing a piece of work until tomorrow, because I have to parcel out and time-manage like that to keep sane.

Yesterday, I found out that the back coil springs (both of them) on my TDI rusted out near the bottom and broke. Apparently this is a typical and normal thing for my car model. One more repair that gets added to my car’s 90,000 mile service on New Year’s Eve. The car is running great and since I take very good care of it, it looks almost brand new. It pays to take care of the things you own, especially expensive ones.

Even with having a massage this past Friday, I’m still slightly sore. It must be a combination of the weather and me beating the shit out of my body with lifting/running. Maybe if I’m lucky, the girl I go to in Buffalo will be available for a massage. This girl is the standard that I base all masseuses on, so I hope she has a cancellation when I’m in town next week.

Talked to Redhead last Thursday, and I’ll probably see her again tonight in my complex’s fitness center. I’m still talking with her, and she with me, so I guess things are still going alright. It would be nice if her schedule cleared up though (an actual full schedule, not the fake full BS) so I could actually take her out for a drink. Be patient, but don’t lose sleep over it. She’s telling you stuff about her life, letting you in slightly bit-by-bit, another good sign. To be honest, if she had a boyfriend, was seeing someone, or wasn’t interested she would’ve told you so already. Don’t worry. Just be a normal human being and enjoy being in the moment with conversation.

Bored At Work Diaries – 13 December 2016

13 December 2016
15:15

Snow.

It started to snow earlier today, and many of my coworkers are freaking out about the drive home. I swear every year this nonsense happens every time the white stuff begins to fall. My commute home tonight is most likely going to be very slow (even if the roads I will be traveling on will be clear). Not looking forward to that drive at all.

The infrequency snowfall here in Columbus probably feeds into the “freak out” that happens. A dusting occurs overnight, and all the school districts in the county close up for the day due to “weather.” Total BS.

I remember growing up that if my school district actually closed up for snow, it was really bad out. I’m talking blizzard conditions or heavy accumulation (>2 ft). Even after moving away from WNY, I shake my head in disappointment when Columbus, still in the North, acts like they’re North Carolina or Georgia when snow falls. It also doesn’t help the city when most locales, like the City of Columbus proper, don’t plow or salt the roads. I fear ice more so here than when I’m back in Buffalo!

And they get worse weather!

Anyways, due to some BS survey management made us take, we now have to have 30 minute 1-on-1 meetings with our direct manager once a month. Supposedly I was going to talk to mine at 13:30, but he ran over time with the previous person by 20-25 minutes. Unprofessional to say the least. To be honest I was fuming, and I knew these meetings were going to be a waste of my time, but to go over like that? Bad management of both time and the person you’re talking to. I mentioned some bugs I’ve been encountering and was told about when our self-assessments were due. Grand total: 15 minutes.

Overall, a waste of my time.

I came back to my office, finished up what I was doing, and began typing this. Honestly, it does help to pass the time (it’s now 15:30) until I can head home.

Now if I was a less productive person, I’d be working “bell to bell” since I’d most likely be behind on everything. Since I am very productive and know exactly what I have to do to meet my objectives, I can “coast” for the most part. Furthermore, busting my butt won’t get me promoted faster, so why kill myself?

Bored At Work Diaries – 8 December 2016

8 December 2016
15:07

Back at it again, it seems.

For some reason all the work that’s pertinent to my group dried up by Tuesday, and that’s making me scrounge by doing stuff from another work-group to keep occupied. Very tedious and annoying.

Due to this lack, I’ve been taking my time with all the stuff I do, dragging it out as long as possible. Why bother flying through some easy-to-do stuff when there’s nothing else to do after it? The lack of direction from my manager in a “focus on this after [things] are done” way is telling of the dysfunction of the company. I’m still waiting for the hammer to drop, even with upper management’s “sunshine, lollipops, unicorns, and rainbows” view of the future.

Ideally, I should be writing this directly on my blog but I’m not dumb enough to log into it here at work. While I do have the app on my phone, I find it easier to compose when using a real keyboard and not hunched over a small screen. That and making an edit on a regular computer is much easier.

I’ve been really drained as of late. While I’ve been dreaming when I’ve slept (a good sign), waking up in the morning has me feeling like I should not bother to get out of bed. The past few days I even debated on calling in sick to work, but I manned up and started my day. I’ll bet this lethargy is coupled with my “dealing with work tedium” I’ve mentioned above.

Tomorrow, I’ll be taking the afternoon off. This should give me some more time to get ahead on my recordings for Christmas week or just to veg out with a videogame for the afternoon (I’m revisiting FF13 to possibly “Platinum” the game). Either way, the weekend will be a little bit longer, and hopefully I can recharge my batteries a bit more before returning to the salt mines on Monday.