The first session of my mini D&D campaign went well. Work, on the other hand, was fairly stressful this week.
Because I have an annoying habit of dramatically announcing things that I probably am not entirely prepared to talk about in the most random circumstances possible at that workplace.
Because somehow those personal things that I never expect to be relevant again to a new workplace – like, say, the reasons why, exactly, I ended up taking not-FMLA in 2018 – keep popping up again in new and unexpected circumstances.
Circumstances like, for instance, a discussion of how the current management of my workplace could improve upon out-of-date and potentially exploitable workplace policies to avoid a replication of the prior management’s mistakes during the fallout from that previously mentioned mini workplace crisis. I ended up volunteering to work with HR to draft updated guidelines to make my current workplace more disability friendly as part of an overall “mea culpa for our own 2018 mistakes” policy revamp. Because, uh, my sometimes use of a mobility aid tends to make my “lived experience” fairly apparent – and because I can’t seem to shut up!
As with the story of how I “came out” as neurodiverse at that same workplace, I will probably share the full story here eventually. But, that takes effort. Effort is hard. Especially when I had previously set up the idea that I might just default to a Brevity is the Soul of Apathetically this week.
I’m going to appreciate my own foresight in setting that up last week and punt explaining work drama until next week.
Though, I will put out a blanket call for help with making my work more “disability friendly” in the meantime. If you were putting together a list of common workplace accommodations that would help those with chronic illness, mental health challenges, neurodiversity, or some type of disability – broadly defined – what would you want to see on this list?
Because did I mention I have no idea how to shut up, but I also panic when I feel like I’m being judged on whether I did a good job at something that matters? So, even though I could normally list off a dozen or so accommodations that I wish most workplaces had on a moment’s notice, I freeze up the moment I might be asked to say something officially?
Oh, and because I also managed in the middle of all of that to reinforce my own “lived experience” as a person with a chronic illness by pinching a nerve in my neck while trying to put my shoulder back in its socket after dislocating it while sleeping? Because Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome sucks? I even had to take a sick day because I literally couldn’t turn my head.
So, uh, yeah. Have a Brevity is the Soul of Apathetically…
Men in Black III states that an insatiable craving for chocolate milk is a sign of temporal fracturing
Lavender (considering the fractured state of her own memories and how she had just a few hours earlier sent Partner a text specifically reminding him to pick up Nesquick on his next grocery run): “That explains a lot!”
Partner (looking at the aforementioned text): “That explains a lot!”
Lavender pinches a nerve in her neck – because sleeping is hard! – and can’t turn her head
Partner: “I’m specifically asking you a question I already know the answer to for the express purpose of causing you shame. So maybe you’ll remember in the future. Are you still doing your neck exercises?
Partner leaves on a special about dangerous hurricanes to distract Lavender from her pain. The special discusses how hurricane activity is getting more frequent and more intense year after year. It references how Hurricane Sally could follow Hurricane Laura’s track to hit roughly the same part of Louisiana.
Partner: “Why are there so many hurricanes one after another? We’ll never know! News services are going intentionally devoid of all context to cater to political divisions! We can now watch hours of coverage on super hurricanes with no context about climate change to say how we got here! History started yesterday and nobody knows how anything happened! Why are there so many devastating hurricanes nowadays? It’s a great mystery! We may never know!”
Lavender: “You know, I’d normally say something pretentious right now about how at least we’re better than that. But, I know you are just setting me up for a reminder of my earlier lack of contextual awareness of how I got myself into my current predicament. Okay, I get it. Contextual awareness good. Contextual awareness necessary to not die.”
Partner: “Hey, as long as you said it, not me…”
Lavender: “Yeah, yeah. Now go text me this exchange at some point for my blog because I can’t move my head enough to even attempt to write it down myself right now.”
Partner: “I saw this couple last night. They had this tiny animal, and I thought ‘that’s either the world’s cutest dog or a kitty.”
Partner: “It turned out to be a miniature huskie puppy, but that’s when I realized I had come to a point in my pet-owner life wherein the literal World’s Cutest Dog was equivalent to a kitty. Any kitty. I had dogs as a kid! When did I become this person?!”
Lavender: “I feel like I have been getting less engagement with my blog lately. I was kind of wondering if it was because I’ve become a one-trick pony, or maybe because I haven’t been as good about posting once a week-ish lately. But, I’m not sure. It might just be that everyone is a little burned out lately. When I look at which blogs were liking some of my posts before, I realize that a decent number of them have just stopped posting altogether. All typically within the past few months. Or, at least since quarantine. Maybe nobody really knows what to say about our world right now.”
Partner: “That makes sense, though. The world is too much, so you just retreat into not dealing with anybody. Dealing with things is hard. Even virtual things that are normally fun things. Each extra thing becomes one thing too many. I mean, I guess it is counterproductive to isolate like that, since commiseration is comforting, but it makes sense. I do it, too.”
Partner: “Hey, you know what might be a reassuring post? To tell your readers that it’s okay to find the world overwhelming and to disappear for two to three weeks because it’s all too much. And then to come back. Take some time for self-care. After all, the world will still be just as horrible when they get back.”
Lavender: “That’s supposed to be comforting?”
Partner: “Well, maybe not the ‘the world will be just as horrible when they get back’ part. But, the rest of it at least?”
Lavender looks over at Partner who is plotting an optimization function on scrape paper during the plane ride to our August mini vacation
Lavender: “Are you engaging in a little light calculus on vacation?”
Partner: “Gotta keep the brain sharp!”
Lavender: “Yeah, no. You don’t do things to take care of yourself like that. So, what are you actually doing?”
Partner: “Okay. Fine. It’s the damage curve for [a D&D 5e spell called Hex] for [Partner’s character name]. I’ve got both it and [another setting-specific D&D 5e spell that does something similar]. Now that [Lavender’s character] has [another D&D spell called True Seeing] and we don’t have to worry about invisible enemies, I wanted to see which one was really worth it for the way we tend to play. So, I plotted out their damage curves by characteristics of potential enemies. I only get 13 spell slots, you know!”
Need a recap of anything I’m talking about in any post? Check out my Glossary of Terms.
4 thoughts on “Brevity is the Soul of Apathetically #9: Out of Context”
Tall cubicle walls (not open plan or short cubicle walls), ability to use earphones (not headset), desk and chair with a clear view to the cubicle “door”. I put a sign outside my cubicle asking people to wave before they walked in, so I’d notice the waving motion even with earphones in and not be startled.
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I don’t think I’ve ever been “out” in an honest and effective workplace, at least not at one I returned to. And they only got the “in distress” version.
I never thought about what accommodation might be helpful. I came up with one. Management being overtly explicit. For instance, in my last job, I was salary. No one really paid much attention to when I arrived or when I left or when I took lunch. It was assumed that I was meeting my contractual obligations. I stressed, a lot, over lunch. When to take it. Am I allowed to take it? Can I leave? Should I tell people? If I had felt comfortable being open about my mental illnesses, then maybe I could have explained that in some areas, vague is not helpful for the neurodiverse. It generates anxiety. Unless that’s just a me thing.
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Oh, no. That is so a me thing, too. Oh, God, I stress so much still about taking lunch, especially when working at home…
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I don’t get much engagement on my blog. One reason is i don’t care for the ad stuff, and another being my lack of computer savvy. For a non-believer i seem pretty “Field of Dreams” about it all, if you’re familiar with the reference.
I haven’t worked outside the home, save for an entertainment job i had for a few years, since i was 7mos pregnant with my oldest, who is now almost 31. That being said, i’ve seen some offices set up “quiet rooms” where someone who is in overwhelm, can go to a dim room with sound-proofing and soothing lighting, fabrics, and colours. They’re made for 1 person, and the office allows for employees to take the room for a certain length of time – say, 20mins, and decompress.
My anxiety AND my multiplicity/dissociation would appreciate the heck outta that.
Hope your neck is feeling better.