Stop thinking!

I just get angry when I think about work anymore. And not just your garden-variety sort of angry either. This is “veins sticking out of forehead, face all splotchy, want to either scream or throw up” type of angry. Clog-popping anger. Blood-pressure-warning anger. Incoherent streams of curse words like when Ralphie beats up the yellow-eyed kid in A Christmas Story but not nearly as cute anger.

What’s terrible is, if I didn’t actually care about work, I’d be fine. Everyone seems to think I’m pretty good at what I do, so I don’t think I’m rampantly incompetent. I honestly want to make things better, not for myself (which nobody in management seems to believe, since apparently employees are sniveling ratfaces as a rule) but for the customers. I was under the impression that was the sort of thing companies look for in an employee. It’s all about the customers, right? Isn’t that what they keep trying to drill into our heads from the very beginning? Service with a smile!

Today I flew into Houston, preparing for a full week of training in Documentum. “But Chris,” you may say, “why are you learning about a huge complex document management system when you are but a humble Web designer?” Well, the simple answer is I’m not a professional Web designer anymore. It has been unilaterally decided that my 13 years of Web design and editing experience is trumped by someone else’s five years, so the part of my job that I enjoyed the most has passed to another employee in another department at our company. But it’s not all bad, at least I get to keep my job! It’s the part of my job that drives me insane and will leave me a burned-out Luddite, but what the hell, it’s a paycheck, right?

I found this out on Friday. I’ve been Little Mr. Sunshine all weekend, let me tell you. My shoulders won’t unknot. My stomach is a seething mass of acid. I want to sleep all the time, but I can’t stay asleep more than a couple of hours at a time.

My wife is worried about me. So am I.

What I’m trying to say is: Greetings from beautiful downtown Houston!

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