I come undone

Fast forward a week and I'm out of here. I've already referred in my previous blog entry that my current job is like a life in Hell-mouth straight out of 'Buffy the vampire slayer' TV show, but soon all bad is to as and I've finally given my two weeks notice and now I feel sooo relieved. A better job (and by now I think that ANY job is better than this one) is still just an uncertain prospect in my future, which I'm sure is soon to come to life and get some material form, but I just could not stand staying here for any longer or I would be risking becoming one of those surly faces I'm facing all day long at the moment. Up until this experience I've thought that a promise of 'friendly co-workers' and 'friendly working environment' was just that - words to describe something obvious and a must-have for ANY company. Turns out, this small yet so essential part of good job might sometimes be missing, making in turn a good on paper job to something entirely different.
Some compromises work for the best, but if they don't then they just don't and it's time to move on. And since I'm already feeling I'm becoming one of them - eternally unhappy, grumpy and dissatisfied co-workers of mine - it is better to move on than to dwell on the thought that all is bad, all is dark, managers are fools, etc. No job should be a battle for staying afloat and sane. corporate_mismanagement_sjpg1225

Just kill 'em all

No no don't worry I'm not on some killing rampage or completely out of my mind, but there is some killing involved in my activities on almost daily basis. But I'll get back to it a little bit later.
First of all, let me begin with telling that I've never been a damsel in distress, and I never intend to be one, if I can help it. I enjoyed fairy tales and their happy endings and all, but I just never could understand why is it that men characters in those stories usually were the ones having all these exciting adventures, and the ladies were either left behind to just wait, or they mostly were these annoying damsels in distress waiting for their rescuer. I've never wanted to be a boy, but neither did I ever wanted to be this helpless girl. I wanted to have the adventure of killing some dragon, discovering some Wild West territories or flying some spaceship Star Wars' style, etc. for myself. Since until my early teenage years I was happily tailing my brother and his boy company, including all of my summers spent in a company of my all-boy cousins, I've never even questioned myself, if climbing up that tree is girlish or not. I was having a time of my life up in those trees or while making some arrows for a hand made bows, and was basically doing anything the boys did, but those few things I thought were stupid. Anyway, I've learned to kick ass and fight in a proper way - no hair pulling and scratching at your opponent's face like some girly girls do (though that technique is SCARY, and could be quite efficient from what I've seen).
Then the day has come, when I was no longer wanted in this company of the boys. My brother - a teenager now - was more interested in girls and other stuff the boys at that age do, than playing with his little sis. So, after years and years of running with the boys, I've found myself playing with the girls my age, and often thinking how playing family is so much much more boring than playing football. I think this was the time, when I first decided, that I'd never be this helpless girl, who is stuck with cooking, while some men are out looking for a mammoth to kill.
Don't get me wrong, I've never wanted to be a manly lady, a man or anything like that, but in my opinion a princess in a ball gown was just as good for some sword fight as a knight in his armor. Only the princess in this case had the advantage of two worlds - fighting like a man, or running from the fight without a risk of being called unmanly or a coward ;) Cheating, you'd say? Screw that! If I cannot open a jar, I'd ask for help, but I still have a trick or two up my sleeve if this help is unavailable :)
I have some phobias and frights; I can work some of them, and I've come to terms with the others. It's like I'm afraid of heights, yet I can climb up real high for a picturesque view to enjoy. On the other hand, at the mere sight of a mouse or some snake I'd be gone in the opposite direction in a moment, fighting back a panicky noises coming from my throat. And that's OK. The thing about being a knight as opposed to the unlucky damsel waiting to be saved is to take charge of your own decisions, life, and not just sit waiting for life to happen while you skulk.
So now we're back to the killing part. Since August is well known for wasps getting very active and bothersome, it's no surprise that this summer is no exception. But a late night exercise on an almost daily basis of killing up to some 3 nasty wasps at a time, which dare to bother a sleepy princess while she's getting ready for hers good night's sleep is way too much. That is when the princess gets all mad and tunes into her 'kill 'em all' slayer mode.
How's killing a few angry wasps for a lullaby for you, eh?


The Final Straw

Since the company I’ve happily and proudly worked for the last couple of years is no more on the map, anticipating this unhappy event I’ve been looking for another position since like the New Year. In April I’d thought I’ve found myself a ‘jackpot’ in a form of an offer to come and join this quite well known international company. In theory and on paper this job offer was more than tempting – good salary, great benefits and appealing international environment, and more. This made me think I was joining a team of professionals where I could fit right in. Alas the very first weeks in my new job proved me wrong on like almost every single aspect.

I’m not so sure if my own definition of ‘professionalism’ is an exact match to that in a dictionary, but I strongly believe that only the very few of this new ‘team’ could be in any way described as professionals. Never in my life before have I’ve met so many people in one place which are so unhappy with their work, holding so many grudges towards one another to the extent that more than once I’ve witnessed people making ugly faces as they pass someone on their ‘bad list’. Oh, and I’m not even talking about all that angry gossip and buckets of shit they throw like out of the blue on one another at all times. The whole experience strongly resembles some sort of ugly war in which no one is safe and can at every moment get a stab to one’s back.
For the first month or so I was given an openly cold shoulder from like every single member of this new ‘team’ – none would speak to me but say ‘good morning’ and ‘good-bye’, unless they needed me to do something for them, etc. In my previous company I have enjoyed working in a tightly knit team of people who were all friendly, professional and thus at any point, even on a really bad day, I could say out loud ‘I LOVE my job’ and be true in every aspect. So, try to imagine my initial shock when in this new job I’ve found myself right in the middle of some sort of ongoing war. Oh, I was warned during the job interview that climate within the company could not be described as ‘friendly’, but never in my life I could have imagined that things could be THAT bad. In the very beginning I believed – ah, blame that on that streak of my personality which always tends to look for the best in others- that with time people would warm up to me and things would then get rolling smoother. Hm… in a way it did. Some of co-workers started at least talking to me, well, at least during coffee breaks or lunch i now was talked to, but whenever it came down to doing business… At this point I’m totally stunned with the fact that a company with nonexistent communications whatsoever and and with no respect for one another somehow manages to be operational and is able to do business at all.
I’m not sure how, why and when this total cease of internal communications has started nor why this ‘war’ has begun in the first place, nor at this point do i even care about ti, but these couple of months were hell and nightmare, and I’m just giving up. Fuck ‘em, but if I get shouted at and am bullied just because I am doing my work, or trying to do my work, I’ve nothing else to say but bid them all farewell until I haven’t lost my own humane face and respect for myself.
Being shouted at for no other reason but just because I’m new and don’t belong to any of the ‘alliances’ was the final straw which dipped the scales once and for good in favor of quitting. No one should be treated like shit at work, that’s simply all kind of wrong.


Colors of June

The grass is always greener on the other side

In mid-June I’ve traveled to Helsinki through Riga to participate in this rather boring internal health and safety training. Well, if I’m completely honest with all of you out there, the training in itself wasn’t all that boring, and presenters did their best to make this training good, but… There is a huge ‘but’ – even though I know in my mind that HSE is important, and it helps save lives, health and all, I still find everything related to the subject yawn-worthy and extremely boring. Well, that’s just my luck as it seems. In almost every single job I ever had somehow I always end up being in one or another way responsible for the subject and matters of HSE. More so, when I was interviewing for my current position (which is not so great as I’ve learned by now, and not just because of the boring and unwanted HSE part), I was clearly told by the manager that the company has HSE matters fully covered, and that they won’t require me to be involved in the subject but for a few translations now and then to make group policies and other materials available in local language.
Alas here I am – not the sole responsible person for the HSE in the company, but still involved more than I’d like to be, and that pisses me off greatly. Damn.
During my career I’ve seen plenty of corporate meetings and training sessions, but this one was different from the very start. First of all, none of the participants were given an agenda for the event prior to its start. Strange and unusual though it seemed, the goal of the organizers, as it was revealed eventually, was to prevent participants from coming ‘too prepared’. And it sort of worked pretty as none of participants knew what the training was going to be about in more detail and thus none could happily just to daydream or drowse to the end.
So I’ve spent a day and a half in this hotel conference room learning things I did not really want to learn, and was almost literary killed by the fact that the agenda of the said training was so tight there was literary no time between training session and compulsory evening/lunch parts to get out for a half an hour of fresh air. Ah, if only I’d have known that this was just the top of an iceberg!
The first clue to what was yet to come was the fact that on the second day the training session was wrapped up quite early in the afternoon, like around 2 p.m., and we – me and my manager with whom I came to the training – came to realize that there was way too much time to kill until the flight Helsinki-Riga would take us homeward bound. If I were on my own, I would have used those extra 3.5 hours for some shopping or sightseeing, but being in tow with the manager, I sort of had no choice but to follow the lead and ended up spending hours and hours at the airport with no book to read and only a smartphone and a free Wi-Fi access at the airport to keep me from shooting myself with a loose door handle out of sheer boredom.
that's pretty much most of what I've seen of the Finland

After long hours of waiting finally the time for boarding has come and we hurried to the gate only to learn that our flight was delayed by half an hour. This would not have been much of a problem if it were a direct flight, but since we had to transfer to another one at Riga airport and the layover between flights was that of half an hour, this made for an ‘oh, no’ moment. The crew of the plane really did their best to catch up for the lost time, but as soon as we landed in Riga bad news became even worse. Our connecting flight to Vilnius has not yet departed and those who were fast to the gate could still see the plane attached to the boarding gate, alas we were denied access to the plane since we were to the gate like 5 minutes past the time for ‘gate closing’, and the lot of twenty something passengers could do nothing but watch the plane leave without us on board.
By the time everyone gathered at the AirBaltic ticket counter, tensions grew and people were getting real angry. Judging from the comments of some other unlucky fellow passengers from Helsinki flight, I’ve learned that it’s not so uncommon for AirBaltic not to wait on their own delayed flight even if for not all that much of a delay, and that some of people already have tasted more than once during their travels that buying a plane ticket not necessarily means one is going to actually fly. Seems that coming on time sometimes is an issue with them, but they never fail to provide a bus on such cases, and our bus was like ready at the moment we’ve reached the airport AirBaltic ticket counter, as if they were pretty confident Helsinki-Riga flight was to be delayed for much longer time, either they were never even intending on waiting on us in the first place, or whatever.
While some of the left-behind passengers seemed eager to fight for their rights, and willing to dig their heel deep and stand their ground to the very end, all I wished was to get moving, get to that damn bus and start rolling home.
finally on the move and homeward bound

It was almost 9 p.m. when the lot of us has finally departed from Riga to Vilnius on the bus. Instead of a relatively short flight Riga-Vilnius, I was now facing a more than 4 hours long bus trip to Vilnius, and having sat doing like nothing for the greater half of the day, I did not feel very happy about being robbed of these extra hours of my time. But at least with every turn of the wheels I was getting closer to my destination.
I love Latvia. I love its many castles and so similar yet a bit different nature from that of Lithuania. I like people of Latvia, even those surly and unsmiling, since it’s just like being at home there and yet not. I even am already planning to visit a couple of spots in Latvia this very summer. But on that never ending day I really could not wait but to get out of Latvia as soon as possible, and signs marking the Latvian-Lithuanian border were like the best thing I saw that day and inwardly I cheered and punched the air. Looks like home, smells like home, it must be home, even if the actual home was yet hours away.
There is a saying that thy neighbor’s grass is always greener, but like for once I could not disagree more. The grass is always greener on the other side, only this time I thought it was greener on the ‘right’ side of the border.


Swimming through a meadow

Through out the whole day at the office I was longing for a good ol’ walk, alas rain which started at lunch did not want to give up. While a warm cascade of summertime rain might be fun at times, and good rain boots combined with a cheery umbrella might add to the fun, this rain was of a much nastier temperament – cold, slow, and boring to the very bone. Thankfully it stopped at last, and I sprang into action at once. Since my friend who often joins me on such walks decided to pass on this one, I ventured on my own, bravely treading through some sloppy wet ground, hiking some forest paths and hitting a nowadays mostly unused due to some  road constructions tarmac road. Then I came to this meadow…

to be or not to be

On the other side of it there is a stream with a stone crossing. After a moment of hesitation and weighing pros and cons of crossing this lovely yet very VERY wet meadow, I opted to get my legs wet a bit. While where I’ve entered the meadow its grass was low and only came to my ankles, as I went further the grass grew higher and seemingly wetter. To be or not to be, I asked myself, and deciding it could not be any worse I continued soon to find myself almost literary swimming through the wet meadow. I’d say meadow swimming is quite fun, though a little bit warmer dew would’ve made the experience even more pleasant. Anyways, in the end I reach the stream, only to find that its usually shallow waters has risen a bit and some of the stones in the crossing are now under water. Plunging into a stream murky with all this excess rain water wasn’t very tempting, but it was either two steps of faith or going back the way I came. Uh-huh, one swim through the meadow is quite a limit for a day. So ahead I went into the stream.

one can usually cross the stream with dry feet. Not this time
Wet feet and clingy wet capri pants aren’t the most pleasant pf experience on a day with temperatures only as high as 17 C, but a good adventure and a gulp of some fresh air after a tiresome day at work was so refreshing :)
wet yet almost shinny clean toes :D

Taking care not to step on any of the many snails which crawl from some hidey holes after each rain I proceeded homeward bound.
Through the forest once more lay my path

 On my way I noticed this rather strange painting on a pine’s trunk:
Aliens go this way.
I hope humans are also allowed to take this road. Anyway at least I did ;)
Do I look like an alien? I sure hope I do C: Otherwise what's the point in taking an upside down pic ;)
 I used to live on the edge of the forest. Still do, only nowadays the forest has shrunk a bit and its edge had to give way for a new road.
And finally a home stretch – a road to be


Summer time

Since on last Saturday summer has officially started, I could not waste a minute of the perfect weather and opened my swimming season. Ah, good thing that so close to my home there is a lake which I can be easily reached by foot or – if I want to get there faster – by bicycle.

just some 10 minutes of pedaling and there it is…
2 kilometers are like nothing when I’m driven by the desire to plunge into water :) And since the swimming season is open, why limit myself to sunny days only? Any day is a swimming day unless it’s really too cold for that.
almost some sort of a personal heaven on Earth – green and soft grass, water, and a pleasant company of two ‘guys’ ;)

Also the company on those not so sunny and not so hot days are so much better and so much quieter too ;)

That’s what I call good company, when I’m up to enjoy some solitude :D Their swimming costumes are also were dashing and catching the eye
On the more serious note, I’ve switched jobs like a month ago. Since the job offer was like grab it or loose it, but in either way I’d loose by then my current job, I took my chances and plunged deep into new water. What can I say? I’m starting to dot some ‘eyes’ already, I can state that I’ve forgotten that some companies could be such… joy killers. If I cannot find at least something to enjoy in this new company, then I’ll be back to looking for something else.
Like a neighborhood where my new office is located, there is something fishy about this new company. Can’t yet put a finger on it, neither can I tell if I really can’t find anything to like about this new job, but for a while I’m still about to give it a fair shot.
One of the ugliest of new neighborhoods in Vilnius. Built on a former landfill, with buildings rising up to 12 story high – as if it’s NY or something, and with building so close to each other that some balconies come so close to each other that it seems one neighbor could climb balconies to visit another in the opposing building. Concrete jungle which leaves me rather depressed and sorry for every one living there


It's time for blue

Two weeks ago among all this snow only empty nesting-boxes could’ve given a clue it’s time for spring
Just a couple of weeks ago there was more than plenty of snow all around, and it seemed that spring is in no hurry to come. But a little bit of good ol' sunlight did the deed and the snow is gone for good and is now being rapidly replaced with the first blossoms of spring. It's time for blue and my all time favorite spring wild flower - a deep bow and welcome to a queen of spring - violet.
and now just you watch it – everything is in such a hurry to fall into blossom, that it would be easier to stop a waterfall :)

Though there is still more of a limp than a spring to my feet, I could not help it, and let this perfect and sunny weather to lure my outside, and step after limp I've found myself surrounded by first colors and blossoms of this rather late spring, and among many and many song birds filling the air. It feels as if nothing could go wrong. Hopefully the feeling will last as I'm going to need it. Going back to work tomorrow, and the two weeks in this job might not be all that easy. Still, I've a new job to look forward, so like in that song - I will survive. Cheers and enjoy your spring :D
One happy me with a handful of violets to make me smile. Not even a hurting feet could stop me :D


Tuesday's roller coaster

My kind of a roller coaster day:
* start a day with some unsettling news at work (as if we’d heard anything good of lately)
* finally sell that trouser’s I’ve bought on-line a while ago which did not fit at a good price
* unsuccessfully step on your feet and hurt your feet so you can barely walk while taking stairs
* receive a call offering a job (Yay!)
* go to a clinic for an X-ray and sigh in relief it’s just some strained ligaments and nothing’s broken
* get ready to stay put for a week with the feet held high and trying not to step on it much – doctor’s orders
Summarizing life’s a zebra – there’s white stripe, then there's black one, then again white one. Until you get to the a**. So cheer up ;)


Small obsessions

Spring. Finally. Hey, the spring is finally here! Snow is rapidly melting and temperatures are rising. The increasing spots of snow free ground, though still mostly of just slushy mud, makes me a strong believer in a soon to come awesome greeness of the world around me. Ah, colours of the spring, I've missed you so much. Quoting one well known blogger, spring might be so late and summer so short in Lithuania so that we'd appreciate it more. I must agree that there is nothing better after long and nerve trying winter to finally get a first glimpse of a still brownish grass, and then in a few days suddenly notice it ain't brown anymore.
Dreams of a shopaholic. One of the best ways to replenish one's wardrobe these days is to do some on-line shopping. There's almost always a good sale with really low prices out there to be caught. Secondly, one can choose from many and many options and can actually save some time which otherwise would've been spent on walking from one shop to another. So for the past couple of days, while it was still pretty much a winter outside, but a premonition of spring to come has already haunted us, while on lunch break we’ve hatched a plan with girls at the office and immediately put it into action ordering loads of goodies. On the downside, on-line shopping is so much fun, that it’s a damn hard feat to stop shopping before buying way too much stuff or spending too much. Small obsessions are only as good as they don't hurt your wallet too much ;)
Career. Since things started to go downhill at work, I’ve started to actively look for another job, and since then have been to a number of job interviews. Some of them turned to be to a real no-no and what a heck I’m doing here kind, some of them sounded good/great but I was not the lucky one to get a job, but this last one stood out a lot between ‘em all.
Right before Easter a recruiter contacted me and asked if I’d like to enter for this administrative position in a very well known international company. Though in the end the company chose another applicant, this was one of those rare recruitments which leave a lasting impression and a really positive ‘aftertaste’ in the end. Professionally handled interviews, very specific and hands-on approach during the whole recruitment process is what makes me really like this company, if compared to some other interviews I’ve been to.


Happy Easter Mr Snowman

A 3 day long Easter holiday brought me some warm moments with my family and friends, but also showered with so much snow that I've joked it's more of a Chreaster time than Easter. A huge army of snowmen rolled up all over the town and the neighborhood looked festive but more appropriate for Christmas time, but that's Easter 2013 for you ;)
A dandy snowman, courtesy of some neighborhood kids

Yet another one of mine, not so pretty as the one some kids made, but still will do for an April's fool day it was made on ;)

Fingers crossed still optimistically hoping the SPRING is just around the corner. And if some one spots it, please oh please stop pouring it some good beer or it will never come.
On a side note, in Lithuania we have a tradition of paining eggs for Easter. Right before the Easter there was this show on the radio and people called in to share their favorite methods of egg painting. One of them caught the attention of my colleagues, so off they went to hunt for some natural silk and tried to paint eggs with silk. Later they shared pictures of their results, and I really like them. Maybe I'll try painting eggs with silk too the next year. Of cause if I can be troubled to do that over the more traditional and much easier and faster way we use to paint eggs in the family using some onion skins.


Time machine

Commercials and ads can be so annoying, but few exceptions are so good, timely and catchy that you can really enjoy them. One of such open air ads campaign which I really enjoy is promoting the many joys of reading, and one can see many and many reading themed posters all over the city. With slogans raging from 'Time machine on your book-shelve... Open the book', 'travel the world in 80 pages... Open the book', 'Need something romantic... Open the book', etc. it has caught my eye and every time i see those ads they make me smile. That's just my kind of ads :)
My sort of time machine ;)


Lazy Sunday

The first weekend of spring is still much winter like – for the starters we’ve got a short blizzard, then some sunshine, and again some more snow. But my spirit is already high, no matter what but like in a month’s span it should start changing to the more spring like manner for good. It’s March after all, and it’s for a reason that the first month of spring bears name  ‘kovas’ in Lithuanian, which quite literary means ‘battle’ or ‘fighting’.
During my jogging session on Sunday morning I went past this somewhat angry looking woman like snowman, which caught y eye so much that I even took a picture of it.
Angry and lonely snowman-lady

Sometime into my jogging session, I’ve had this brilliant idea – why not make her a mate? It is spring after all, and it’s nature’s mating time. So I’ve changed my jogging direction, so that I’d go back to that snowman-lady. And here are the results.
A happy duo


Where are leaves?

As we were having a coffee break at work with some celebratory cake – after all winter is over and spring is here, a  colleague shared this little story of her daughter with us:
A girl of some 3 years old got up today, and first thing ran to the window to look outside. She stood over there for quite a while, looking in all direction as if trying to spot something in particular, until her mother got curious, and ventured to ask her, ‘What are you looking at dear?’. The girl looked back at her mom with her lower lip already trembling in a building up cry, and replied in the most hurt manner, ‘It is spring already, ain’t it? So why there are no green leaves on trees then?’ Her mom was left speechless.
How can you explain to little kids that 1st of March, and calendar spring do not really mean it is spring already, huh? And I share that little girl’s sentiment, snow be gone, give me colors, leaves and grass back


The prettiest of 'em all

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest of ‘em all?
When I was a kid, for almost all special occasions I was made to wear this hideous pom-pom style ribbon pinned firmly to my hair. I hated the look wholeheartedly, but unfortunately my mum loved it as she did love everything ‘girly’. As at the time this sort of ruched ribbon pinned right on top of one’s head was considered a real highlight of style or something,so  she insisted on me ‘joining the club’. I hated those hideous things so much, that once in a while (or like every time I wore them) I’d attempt ‘lose’ or ruin those pom-poms for good, only for them to come back on me with a vengeance again and again and again.
Luckily this hideous look went out of fashion, and ribbons were no more.


Flower pot craze or meet my own boss from hell

My first encounter with a boss from hell was in 2006, when I started my work at SEM as an office manager.  At that time SEM was just a small unit of a really huge international corporation operating in Lithuania on B2B basis and oriented to serve other SE group companies exclusively. The recruiting process to get that coveted (at the time) position was rather long and trying on nerves- firstly, initial screening by some outsourced HR recruiting company, then second meeting with same outsourced HR company for some tests, both psychological and language tests, and only then, finally, two meetings with  actual representatives of the company I was applying for – I’ve got to meet regional manager and HR manager. I wanted the job so much, that I believe in trying to impress my future employer I could hardly shut up at all during our first meeting, and I scolded myself for that afterwards, but what a heck, I did get my job in the end. Getting the job was such a huge boost to my ego and self-esteem, that I’ve felt like I’ve just won some huge jackpot, though I had some nagging reservations and uncertainties, mostly concerning the fact that I was really really put off by SEM HR manager, and for some deeply intuitive reason at the time had this idea that we’d hardly get along well. Well, as  during interviews I was told, she wasn’t going to be my direct superior in any way, I took the job and joined the team. Alas as my probation period was closing to the end, some structural changes were introduced and I’ve found myself reporting directly to the HR manager and became her one and only subordinate. All of a sudden I’ve found myself in a living hell of uncomfortable workplace with a hormonal bitch at my neck for almost all the time. What defines a boss from hell? Well, firstly his or hers nag for micro-management and nit-picks of all of your work. Secondly, many and many unreasonable demands and really fuzzy expectations of what should be done, not even talking about the ‘how’ part here. Immediately after becoming her subordinate I was told that she was ‘working on’ my job description, meaning that I was to jump at her will every time she needed something done, even if that was just for the ‘jumping’ sake.
I would get disciplined on like daily basis for such trivial to actual work things as office flowers. At the time the company was doing really well and we had a girl from a flower company to come in once or twice per week to water office plants and to bring in some fresh flowers for reception, etc., but somehow that was all wrong for my boss – the flowers were always not fresh enough for her taste, and the potted ones were always facing the sun/window, etc. with the wrong side of the pot and so on, and on, and on. I’d be asked to come over to her room and would then receive a full on lecture on how those damned flowers should be positioned, and all. In real life it takes like seconds to turn the flower pot or to readjust some flowers in a vase, but it seems she took a particular joy in having something to be all grumpy about all the time. I would listen to her rave, then would go out to ‘take care’ of flowers properly and to her taste, but I would just never do right by her in this matter no matter how precisely I’d follow her instructions, so in the end this whole flower issue was just one perpetual circle of  ‘mat discipline’ over and over again. Flowers topic was one of many, only difference being that some other stupid issues could be resolved and successfully put behind and forgotten, but this one was not. By the end of the first month under her supervision I’ve started to look for a new job, meanwhile gritting my teeth and ‘laying low’ until something would turn up. My escape from this hell came in quite an unexpected way, six months in this job she happily announced that she soon she’d be leaving on maternity leave, and this news was what empowered me to suck it in and start seeing some light in my miserable life at the office. At the time some legislation was passed by Lithuanian Parliament that aloud for a parent to take a two year long maternity (or paternity) leave and receive a compensation equal to one’s salary, if it did not exceed some maximum set in the said law. Those months left until she left to give birth and raise her newborn were hell, but knowing it would be over at least for two years kept me afloat. Also, knowing that she was pregnant, in a way helped me dismiss some of her crazy demands as that of being inflicted by her pregnancy hormones. At this crazy time I’ve learned that for my strained nerves food in excess amounts has become the best new friend, and that eventually led me to my darkest hours of self destruction and obesity.
After she was gone, I had to take over her HR responsibilities and face the double amount of daily work. Never ending tight dead lines, high levels of stress at work kept me munching all this comfort food, but having her off of my head felt so good emotionally that I did not care for the rest. Then yet another girl from the office was leaving for maternity leave, and I somehow landed her responsibilities too on top of what I already had. My only consolation was that this other girl kind of was not planning on returning to work for the company afterwards, and I hoped I could land her job eventually. How foolish of me! Why should the company do that, if they already had me doing 3 people’s work for 1 person’s salary. I’ve learned a lesson of having to negotiate terms and only then say ‘yes’ to something the hard way.
The worst thing about this whole situation was that this flower pot craze started all over again as soon as she was back to work. Only this time I no more could give my HR manager a pass on her numerous ramblings due to some pregnancy or whatever hormones, and just had to accept that that’s the way she was. Luckily or not so much the economic crisis turning the world upside down at the time of her coming back, and the corporation has started some major renationalisation of it’s units and launched a full-on downsizing, and me, being single and with no kids, was among those who were first to be downsized.
Looking back on this whole situation, I’d say that I’ve came out of it with some useful skills, a somewhat scratched ego and a much much broader waistline, but also I’ve gained myself a sixth sense for spotting a bad boss from miles away.