Tuesday, 9 July 2013

And she's back - briefly

So on Friday night both the Twin and I had dreams involving our mother and grandmother.  Both involved Mum stalking us in some way and with us trying to get away.  Turns out these dreams were quite prophetic.
While we are out on Saturday Twin receives a text from mum - text reads as follows "Hi Twin Your Uncle is bringing up your Grandmother on Thursday and they are staying a while.  he will be chauffeuring her around as I can't drive.  They would like to see you perhaps on Saturday.  Contact me so that we can arrange something"
Its like nothing has ever happened.  Like I haven't stopped talking to her for 6 months and Twin for 3.  We are both freaked out and for a while can't decide what to do but eventually decide not to respond straight away. First this gives us a chance to calm down and second it takes away control from mum.  If we had responded straight away she would assume its ok to talk to us all the time and we would be bombarded with messages (has happened in past).
Looking at the text we see its about control, she wants to control the situation with Grandmother and Uncle so all communication has to go through her. We do want to see Grandmother and Uncle though so next day Twin Texts back that we will contact Uncle through Facebook and arrange something. This gives us control and means she will only know about plans if Uncle chooses to tell her.  Twin contacts Uncle and we agree to see them on Saturday but don't agree venue yet.
No further contact from the other mother so far.
Now there are a couple of things to consider, assuming Mum has told Nanny and Uncle about the situation we may have to deal with them harassing us to start contact with Mum.  If she has told them I can assume she has painted us in a bad light and will not have told them the truth. I think we are just going to have to say they don't know the whole situation and that we don't want to go into it and if they won't stop talking about it then we will leave.
However if mum hasn't told them anything we may have to explain that we are no contact with mum which is going to be tricky.
The other problem is that Mum may show up at the venue (when we decide were it is) and at that point I will be out of there and taking Twin with me.
I am hoping that none of these things will happen but I realise that is slightly deluded but I am not looking forward to seeing them because of this and that makes me sad.
It has also made me realise that there are things about mum that I don't miss.
I don't miss her attempts to disrupt my life every time something good happens - like the bombshells she would drop directly before or just after every holiday.
I don't miss her treating me like a servant
I don't miss being scared to tell her I had a day off as she would assume that it was so she could order me about.
I don't miss having to watch what I put on face book because she would demand every detail
I don't miss her attempts to control my life
I don't miss watching her emotionally drain my sister to the point of exhaustion and depression
I don't miss the lies and her attempts to change history in her favour
I don't miss the passive aggressive tactics and the little put downs she would slip into conversation to make us feel bad
I don't miss the 'accidental' destruction of my favourite things or the clothes that she would give away
to be honest I don't miss my mother.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Bus journey and sexism

I am not particularly fond of bus travel but its my way to work and back  however I had my worst bus journey in a long time yesterday in a long while and not for the usual reasons (crowing, bags on seats ect)

 Got on a bus at my usual stop but itwas quite crowded so I sat next to another woman who looked to be late twenties.  There were two teenage boys behind us, around 16 or so.  The boys were quite vocal, swearing quite a lot and playing off against each other. After a little bit is became clear they were eyeing me and this other women up.  Kept leaning forward and looking us up and down.  I was slightly creeped out but decided to ignore them.  Woman next to me was clutching her phone and texting. 
The seat in front becomes free so I move too it.  Within 2 minutes one of the boys sits down next to me.  Legs akimbo as guys seem to do and and tucked between over his groin.  Hands then become crossed but with the palms at breast level, that is at my breast level.  I start to plan what to do in case he goes for a grope.  I am steadfastly ignoring him but he is inching ever closer and his leg keeps slightly brushing mine. 
He then starts a conversation with his mate two seats behind.  Points over me, not touching and says I’d do that one pointing at a car but looking at me, then is mate says I’d do the one behind clearly referring to the women behind me.  I am seriously freaked out now and am pretty much ready to yell and punch if he tries anything.  Also worried about woman behind me.  He sits there for a while longer and then eventually gets up and moves back to his mate. 
The woman behind takes a phone call in this time and its clear she has arranged someone to meet her at the bus stop, so she is obviously disturbed too.
I eventually get up to get off and when I look up both boys are smirking at me and nudging each other.  I even stop and check when I get off to make sure they didn’t follow me. Now he didn’t touch me or even say anything directly to me but the whole experience freaked me out so much I was nearly in tears. I also felt I couldn’t say anything to them because it was so subtle and people would think me strange.   The fact that these two boys thought it was ok to do this to women and that we had to put up with it for fear of being labelled crazy or hormonal just makes me weep. 
I went home and shared this story on the everyday sexism website but I didn’t share it on facebook or twitter because I didn’t want to face people saying I was making a fuss or trying to shift the blame onto me.  Most of my friends wouldn’t do this but some of my family would and I didn’t want to have to deal with that on top of everything else.
The attitude of these boys is the attitude of a lot of people in society and this is the sort of thing we need to fight back against.  This is why I support the everyday sexism project and why I am a feminist. If anyone reads this I strongly suggest that you go look up the everyday sexism website to see what women have to put up with on a daily basis and if you ever see anything like this happening to a woman or to a man and think they need help - please help and show these people that their behaviour is not acceptable.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Annoying Manager

So after all my good intentions about writing here about the things going on in my life  - not just the drama I haven't written a single post since March.  However I now have something to write about and its not my mother (no contact since Christmas).

The subject of today’s post the annoying manager.
I work for local government (not saying where or what I do).  The team I am in has seven members of staff at my level and two managers. The seven staff members are all intelligent people with the ability to manage our own workload and do what needs to be done with very little supervision. 
The first manager, who has been here the longest. knows the team back to front, knows everything we do and is very supportive.  However he is also not afraid to give us a hard time if needed and to be fair sometimes we need it.
The second manager has only been with the team 2.5 years.  He was moved from another section, supposedly on a temporary basis, where he was surplus to requirements (first warning something was wrong).  We have been stuck with him since and it looks like he may now be here for permanently.  Since he arrived he has been nothing but trouble. He hasn't learnt anything about how the team works, the processes for what we do or even how we file things. Despite being a manager he refuses to make a decision about anything and tries to get us as staff to do it for him so if anything goes wrong he can blame us. He puts the wrong information in reports and then delegates it to someone else to fix, usually at the last minute and usually when they have something else that needs doing, then continues to pressure them to do the work he should have done.  If he needs papers for a meeting he will ask someone else to print them out even if he has time to do it himself.  He asks people to send emails for him, again he could do this himself and he won't arrange any meetings. He won't research information for himself (even if its in his email) and he forgets on purpose to do important tasks.  Not to mention he is rude to staff and clients.
This was annoying enough before but he wasn't my line manager so I could ignore (while supporting the other team members to stand up to him) however I have been assigned to assist him on an important project and I may have to kill him by the end of it.
Every day I have to remind him that I am not his secretary, that he can print things himself and that he should be making decisions.  Every day he comes out with some stupid notion that I then have to spend time correcting and I am currently not getting any of my normal work done as I am too busy sorting out the mistakes he has made, or working on the next random thing he throws my way.
Every day I get angrier and angrier and at some point I will lose my temper and tell him off.
I have come close and had to point out proper procedure on a number of occasions but have kept my temper so far.  The person who sits next to me is already sick of me ranting about this.
So if anyone actually reads this can you leave a tip for controlling my temper otherwise if you see a headline reading Council Worker Kills Manager that will be me