Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Work's Great Idea

Last week mysterious symbols began to appear around my office.  There were four different types and looked like some sort of code from a dystopian future.  They were closely followed by an email from Corporate management to tell us something big was coming and we should all be prepared. 
So we waited and prepared for another rubbish management idea.

Nothing was heard till the weekend and then on Monday morning we all came in to large decorated white boards and markers on every floor - yes corporate has decided that we needed suggestion boards to go along with our new themes of customer first, work together, honest and transparent and forward thinking - oh the excitement.

Now when you put up suggestions boards in a large local government office and let the staff write on them what do you think it going to happen - yes the staff are going to write suggestions but they are not the ones that management are going to want to hear.

Within 30 minutes the board had its first suggestion - stop spending money on rubbish like this when you are cutting costs elsewhere and so it continued.  By the evening the board on my floor was covered and there were only 2 positive suggestions (roast beef monster munch in the vending machines and can we have an ATM).  The rest were completely negative.

But perhaps this was only my floor, nope - a quick tour of the building revealed the following
courtyard, and ground floor almost identical in negativity, third floor a few more positive suggestions but again mostly negative and my personal favourite,the second floor where management lives, one post about how great this idea is followed closely by if you think this is good check out the board on the 1st (my) floor that's were the best suggestions are.

So once again one of corporates bright ideas to get us all involved has only served to further alienate staff and generally cause disharmony - another fabulous idea.

So my challenge now is to think of something to write before the boards get taken down (I give it a week).  I was thinking a picture of the lorax and the following

Unless senior management start to care about staff a whole lot nothing is going to get better its not

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Older Sisters partner joins the fray

Been very quiet over the last few months but as always I knew it wouldn't last.
Older sister has been living with her current partner and the father of littlest niece for the last 3 years.  He has stayed with her despite one relapse of drinking and the ongoing drama with the family.  I didn't know him that well as he is usually not there when we visit and Big Sis never really comes to see us.  Big Sis recently told us they are going to get married once her divorce comes through. She even asked Twin to give a statement to her lawyer to support the custody arrangements for the other two kids, basically to say that custody remains the same.  They stay with their dad and Big sis gets visitation rights.
Everything fine so far.
Anyway recently two things have happened.  Thing one its Dad and oldest niece's birthday in the same week. We have arranged a surprise meal for Dad and asked oldest niece and nephew's Dad if they could come.  Their Dad agreed and it was all set.  Twin then gets a call from Big Sis upset because she wanted to change her contact days and wanted them on the day they were coming to us but found out we were having them.  She was upset because we hadn't asked her as well as their dad.  OK so we screwed up and should have asked.  Twin apologies says it won't happen again and explains it for the birthday.  Big sis still a little upset but says ok.  Sorted we think.
Second thing - Twin self publishes a book.  This is a good thing and we are all very encouraging to twin, especially as she has been really depressed and this is something very positive.  Book includes sweet dedication to all nieces and nephew by first name only.
Twin then receives very angry email from Big Sis's partner (BSP), he is angry that littlest nieces name has been included without his permission.  Rather than just asking her nicely to remove it he tells her she has to remove it, accuses her of using nieces and nephew for commercial reasons, accuses her of being belligerent to Big Sis, of hurting her on purpose and of not even knowing littlest niece that well as she has only ever seen her twice. He also accuses Twin of stealing Big Sis' time with her kids.
Twin is upset but emails back to say of course she will remove the name but that is was only included out of love and not for any other reason, that she had arranged to see the kids before Big Sis wanted to change the contact time and that she has sorted that out with Big Sis and its none of his business, and that she has seen littlest niece more than twice in her life. BSP emails back to say that anything that hurts Big Sis is his business and he is glad he sent nasty email.  Twin then has to email to say she would never hurt Big Sis on purpose and that book has been changed.
Twin is very upset,she was trying to do a nice thing for the nieces and nephew and has just got abuse for it.  However if she hadn't included littlest niece name Big Sis would have gone off on one anyway. We think that Big Sis doesn't know he has sent this email but not sure what will happen next.  Big Sis tends to take the side of anyone that isn't in the family over us and may not believe Twin but I can feel a big row brewing over this.
Big Sis may use this as an excuse to isolate kids further from this side of the family.  I am also worried that BSP may try to isolate Big Sis from the rest of us.  Once again she has picked a real charmer.
Once again I am in a rage because trying to do something positive has resulted in nothing but trauma.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Paranoia kicks in

After no news from Big Sis since the other mother went into hospital  Twin and I learnt this weekend that she is out.  Twin noticed that she had responded to a post Uncle (mums brother) had put on facebook and quickly checked Mum's facebook account to see what what was going on.

Not only was mum out of the hospital but she was telling her friends that she only went in voluntarily because she was so isolated.  So completely ignoring the fact that she was committed (again).  So once again mum has started to re write what actually happened and will convince herself that it's the truth. 

When we were speaking to her the next stage was to try and push the blame onto us and make us do more and more to support her, while bad mouthing us to family if we dared refuse.  Now we are not speaking to her we are worried about what will happen next.

The first option is that she will continue to ignore us but still blame us to all and sundry for anything bad that has happened, this will probably mean her landing on Big Sis as she is still in contact.  The second is that she will try to re-engage us in her life.  This could start out small with letters/ calls etc or she may try to pull something dramatic like turning up at the house or at work.

The second option is why Twin and I are worried.  She has form for doing this when she feels she is not getting enough attention, like the Christmas were she announced she had been shop lifting or the time she made up a rape allegation.  Even when we were kids she would make up stories about us to get attention from her friends - I was supposed to be an anorexic  and then a closet lesbian and Big Sis was supposedly on drugs and had aids.
None of this was true but it got her lots of attention which is what she is after.

The problem is that Twin and I are now on tender hooks waiting for the big drama which may or may not kick off.  When I cut contact originally she was in and out of hospital for a while, some of the illness was real but not all, but when Twin cut her off we expected something big but nothing happened till Big Sis put her foot down 8 months later.

So for the next month I will be a paranoid mess expecting her to jump out at me around every corner, every phone call will make me jump and white cars like hers will make me want to hide and that's what really depresses me that even after a year she has the power to make me feel like this.

Monday, 6 January 2014

New Year New Start - oh no wait for it

So had a very quiet Christmas and what at first appeared to be a quiet new year, then once again the drama begins.

Get a text on the 3rd from Big Sis - Mum is in local hospital (local to us not big sis) and is about to be transferred to local mental hospital.  She tried to kill herself on hogmanay and then when local crisis team wasn't quick enough to visit she tried again.

Twin replies to Big Sis and eventually more comes out.  Mum took an overdose (not really) of paracetamol and other pain meds and then called someone so an ambulance came.  Then when she wasn't getting enough attention did it again and as a result has ended up back in the place she didn't want to be - the mental hospital.

This is because Big Sis stopped paying her the attention that she wanted and she doesn't have Twin and I to fall back on.  Not enough attention means that Mum does things to get more, like shoplifting or made up rape stories or deciding that one of us has something wrong with us that she needs to tell all her friends/ family like when I was anorexic or Big Sis must have AIDS.

Anyway I didn't respond to text as Twin did so Big Sis uses this as an excuse to try and get Twin back involved with Mum.  Twin refuses (good for her) but the drama continues.

Two days later Twin gets a call from Mum's Neighbour here -  she is worried about Mum.  Twin tells her she is in hospital but doesn't know more cause of the not speaking to her for months.  Twin then ends up trying to arrange access to Mums flat for Big Sis who is coming down from her home 2 hours away to get mum stuff for the hospital.  So despite being no contact Twin still gets dragged in.  Big Sis doesn't get me involved because she knows better.

In the end it turns out Big Sis has come down with her partner and littlest niece.   However despite that she doesn't come to see us, just mum.

Twin gets series of texts throughout the day trying to guilt her into seeing Mum but stands firm.

Then that evening I discover that Big Sis has started a thread about it on a popular forum. Big Sis is all upset that she is having to deal with this and that we are not involved.  She makes is sound like she is the only one who is dealing with Mum and we are selfish cows for not getting involved.  What she neglects to mention is that we have had to deal with Mum and her behaviour since she left home at 17 and we have born the brunt of it for the last 15 years.  She only really had to deal with her for 8 months.  I can't even reply to the thread as I will out myself and it will end in a fight.  It is typical though that she tries to put blame on us ( a trick she has learnt from mum).

So now Twin and I are stuck waiting to here news from Big Sis or the hospital  but not really wanting to know.  To top it off I have picked up a cold and an infection which is making me really miserable and Twin who has been getting so much better in regards to her depression is now feeling quite down again (although she is coping much better than she previously would have).

The scary part is that I have a regular meeting at the mental hospital (for work) and if Mum is still there  when this happens I will have to worry about running in to her there, just to make my job that little bit more stressful.

It is now a case of wait and see.